Why is there no efficient train system in USA?

lyrelente asked:

Why are there no high speed trains? Take France for instance. Their TGV currently goes at 200 mph, and the new generation will go at 350 mph.
This basically means that you can pretty much go through France from north to south in about four or five hours by train. When the new trains are up and running it’ll be even less. A lot less. Trains are competing with airplanes.
It’s also cheap. A one way ticket from let’s say Marseille (south) to Paris is gonna be about 75 euros ($100). And it’ll be about one fourth or even half that if you buy the annual discount card.
To move between cities within France, practically nobody takes the airplane, and less people travel by car. This off course means a lot less pollution.
In a country like the US (the biggest polluter of all), wouldn’t it make sense to invest in having a truly efficient train system?

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5 Comments so far

  1. thcrbz on September 27th, 2009

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    At one time, the airlines made so much money that people didn’t think about riding trains anymore. Airplanes were much faster and more comfortable than trains.

    The main problem with a high speed train is where does it run? We could set up a network between cities similar to the way that air routes work. Also, the distance between cities is so great that the infrastructure would be very expensive. With the large areas between cities, there still is a lot of travel once you have reached you “destination” city.

  2. imdashti on September 30th, 2009

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    I’m always happy to use the rail systems when I go to Europe. I hoped to do that when I was in Canada and the US, but they are not practical. The issues you raised are true. My answer is that I think the air transport system is so developed in North America that the rail system cannot compete. I hope to see initiatives by some states and provinces to use railroads.

  3. phoneguy955 on October 1st, 2009

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    Europe is different then the US. Marseille to Paris is the same like Boston to Washington DC. In the US everyone is in the suburbs. Boston to DC may be 7 hours by train but you are in Saugus, MA so it is an hour to the train station and then you have to wait for the train and your client in DC is in Andover, MD and he is an hour to the train so point A to point B is 10-12 hours by train when you can just jump in the car and do it in 7.

  4. mikehunt29 on October 3rd, 2009

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    The US is a lot bigger and more spread out. Travel by train (even at 200+ mph) would still take a long time. Some cities that are fairly close together are moving in that direction though.

  5. susie on October 5th, 2009

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    because we are so over taxed,no one will vote it in.and nobody wants to pay for it,citizens or government

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