July 22, 2016
The U.S. has metros with incredible infrastructure. But when it comes to high-speed rail, the United States is falling behind the rest of the world. The only high-speed train line is Amtrak’s Acela in the northeast corridor, which can reach 165 miles per hour. But these trains are authorized only to operate for a few minutes on certain segments of their routes, up to 150 mph.
Though some states are trying to jump on the high-speed rail concept, hurdles exist. One is a lack of federal money to jump-start such programs. Another are the “Buy America” laws, which are preventing high-speed rail cars from being imported into the U.S. No manufactures exist in the U.S. to produce them. Other issues include demand models skewed toward less ridership, as well as America’s love affair with the open roads and highways.