Why the U.S. needs more high-speed rail

One of better roundups I've read in a long time on how business travelers use high-speed trains in Europe can be found on The Times of London's TimesOnline Web site. Anyone who travels for business or leisure within Europe should find the article helpful in knowing the cities that are now connected, downtown-to-downtown, in less than three or four hours by rail. Just as Amtrak's fairly high-speed trains from Boston to Washington through Philadelphia are competitive with airlines, Europe's system draws travelers away from the skies. And that's despite a plethora of discount airlines and often higher fares on many European rail routes.  

As you may know from visting here before, a new administration in Washington has given a boost in its economic stimulus program to development of more high-speed rail lines in this country, as I pointed out in my Feb. 23 Winging It column. Years, probably decades, will pass before we could have a rail network like the one described in the TimesOnline report. We have a tremendous amount of catching up to do, but we can hope, can't we?

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