Friday, February 12, 2010

High-speed rail: Stimulus dollars wisely spent?

Mark Clayton's "High-speed rail: Stimulus dollars wisely spent?" story in The Christian Science Monitor discusses the benefits of spending much federal dollars on high speed trains. Fairly nice article but it doesn't really answer the question he asks or do a benefit-cost analysis compared to other projects the fed stimulus money could be spent on.

I liked this section the most giving some hard numbers:

What will $8 billion buy?

The initial investment will pay to build, upgrade, and plan about 7,100 miles of track, including 1,340 miles of new track, 4,724 miles of upgrades to existing track, and planning for 1,032 more.

Building a national network could eventually cost more than $100 billion and take decades, Mr. Schenendorf says. The US High Speed Rail Association, an advocacy group, envisions a 17,000-mile high-speed system to be completed by 2030. But that would require sustained support from Congress and the backing of future presidents.


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