I’ve said it many, many times, and I will say it again. I love trains. It is by far my favorite way to travel. Outside of the United States, railroad are accessible, convenient and affordable. Even the longest train ride in Malaysia (12 hours!) was an experience in meeting the locals, eating cheap food and watching the landscape unfold.

I love trains.

And so does Alfred Twu, who came up with this awesome plan for the future of America’s rail lines. I want this to be real 50 years ago. Seriously, how do we not have high-speed rail here?

Look at this map!

US High-Speed Rail System by Alfred Twu

US High-Speed Rail System by Alfred Twu

It’s purty!

We need this!

Sign the White House petition here. And let’s hear from the White House why train travel in the US can’t be more affordable, accessible and convenient. Our infrastructure is failing. Didn’t Obama just say in the State of the Union Address we have “70,000 structurally deficient bridges?” Why not make trains? Please!

It is possible, we just need to make it happen. Someday we’ll be able to go from New York to LA in two days! Without flying! And we could go to Canada! No more long road trips and motion sickness! How awesome!

Cheers to the Daily What for showcasing Twu’s map as a beautiful pipe dream. For more information about Twu and high-speed rail in America, Slate has a nice article about liberal’s dreams for public transit.


2 thoughts on “Travel in the Time of Public Transit: USA Edition

  1. So here’s how I think the trains could work. With modern electronics, the train cars could be self-powered and talk to each other while traveling. The trains starts out in Boston with 16 cars. As the train approaches Providence (5 minutes out to allow for momentum change) a car pulls out from the station ahead of the train and the last car decouples from the train. The decoupled car stops at Providence to discharge passengers and refill for the next trip. The fresh car attaches to the main train and the doors between cars open so passengers can move around. As the train approaches Hartford a car pulls out to become added to the front of the train and the last car detaches to drop people off. At each station a car or two get added or detached from the train depending on the popularity of each station. The beauty of this system is conservation of momentum. The whole train’s mass doesn’t have to stop and restart at each station, just a car or two are changing momentum. I give the example of starting with 16 cars because Los Angeles is the 16th city from Boston. When your car connected to the train, you would move to the car dropping off in your destination city, if you get what I mean.

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