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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Northeast, California, Midwest identified as 'best' potential HSR corridors, study says



As the Federal Railroad Administration continues to sift through applications submitted by states in late August for high-speed rail stimulus funds, national urban planning group America 2050 has released a study that ranks all potential high-speed rail corridors.

"Where High Speed Rail Works Best" analyzed 27,000 potential corridors, or "city pairs," and ranked them according to a weighted average of six survey criteria: number of potential passengers, optimal distances, potential for connections to transit, economic productivity, most automobile congestion and containment within a "megaregion" — networks of metropolitan regions with shared economies, infrastructure and natural resources.

Corridors in the Northeast, Midwest and California ranked highest on the survey, and America 2050 is recommending that the federal government first invest in those corridors to increase the probability of success for the high-speed rail program.

"Eight billion dollars is only a fraction that will be necessary to fully construct an American high-speed rail network," said America 2050 Chairman Robert Yaro in a prepared statement. "The initial funding must be spent well to show how successful high-speed rail can be in boosting local economies and providing immediate employment and measurable transportation benefits."

The study's top-ranking city pairs include New York-Washington, D.C., Philadelphia-Washington, D.C., Boston-New York, Baltimore-New York, Los Angeles-San Francisco, Boston-Philadelphia, Los Angeles-San Diego, Los Angeles-San Jose, Boston-Washington, Dallas-Houston and Chicago-Detroit. For the complete rankings, and to view the full report, follow this link. 

America 2050 is a national urban planning initiative aimed at developing an infrastructure vision and growth strategy for America. The vision includes investments in sustainable transportation, the energy grid and water infrastructure to shape quality communities, create jobs, and make America more competitive and livable in the 21st century, according to the organization.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/25/2009