The Obama stimulus package includes $8 billion for high speed rail across the country, which is good news for Rick Harnish. He’s the executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and has been lobbying for more money to build out a better infrastructure to move Americans by train.
Today on WLS/Chicago, we talked about what that money means for people in this part of the country (as opposed to the Acela corridor on the east coast or the plans for high-speed trains connecting southern and northern California). He claims that within a couple of years, we could see trains moving at over 100 mph between cities. Although that’s nowhere near the 200+ mph of trains in Europe and Asia, it’s a beginning. I questioned him about whether there would be enough rail passengers to support such an infrastructure, considering how much Amtrak is already in the red.