Skip to comments.Map Shows Where 220mph Trains Would Go in the U.S.
Posted on 03/04/2013 2:59:36 PM PST by MeganC
Whether a high-speed rail system ever gets built in the United States is still up in the air, but if it is, artist and activist Alfred Twu has figured out exactly where those speedy rail lines should go.
Twu started working on this map in 2009, when President Obama's plan to build high-speed rail was unveiled. "There were many such maps being made by various designers," says Twu, but since then he's updated the map with labels and put it on Facebook, and it struck a chord. It's gone viral.
"With the huge response it's generated, I created a petition to the White House to fund such a system," he told Mashable. After just a week, that White House petition already has 27,528 signatures.
Twu's not just guessing where those routes should be, either. "The routes are based on various studies by government agencies and advocacy groups," he explains.
We like the map's colors and its overall design, into which Twu put a lot of thought. "Some artistic license was applied to make it more elegant and have it be a series of distinct lines like a subway map," he says. "Colors were selected to convey the idea of the U.S. being made up of several interwoven regional cultures that come together at major cities like an internal melting pot."
Trains zipping across the continent at 220mph might sound like a far-fetched futuristic concept, but Twu thinks this project could be built out much like the Interstate Highway System was built in the 50s, he says. "I've seen 2030 and 2050 as potential dates from various advocacy groups," Twu added.
As you look at the map, you'll see that Twu included unshaded routes, which he says were "purposely left open to interpretation." He says the general idea of adding those routes would be that they would handle "lower-speed trains, as well as potential future high-speed routes."
But certainly there's not enough money to do something like this, given the economic situation in the United States at the moment, right? Tsu says cost estimates for a high-speed rail system like this range from $1-$2 trillion. Geez, that's a lot of money. He responded, "Sounds like a lot, but divided over four decades, that is around $25-$50 billion a year or 80-160 dollars a year per person. That's one tank's worth of gas money."
To get a closer look at the map, view or download this .PDF file.
What do you think, readers? Will this speedy rail system be going near your house? Should the United States catch up with the rest of the developed world and build the system, or should budget constraints keep us from spending money on this futuristic conveyance?
Trains and airports are both very heavy front cost items. It would be nice to see a long term study of something say, an Atlanta to LA 40 year cost analysis for both.
The newness of the railroad linking Washington to Boston (relatively speaking) dates to the 1900s. There were several opportunities to straighten out several curves and they were not taken. The DC politicians were promising 160-mph operation as far back as the late 1960s with the Metroliner multiple-unit trains, and they still have not delivered (what makes that sad is that they would have been the fastest trains in the world at that time if that had come to pass).
Nobody is going from New York to Los Angeles by "high speed rail."
That doesn't mean that high speed rail won't be practical between cities with much much intercity traffic.
It's not an enemy of highways or airlines, but something to help cope with and reduce congestion.
“Hey, I want a map of unicorn farms and leprechauns with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
Why is it that I suspect that I really could get a Federal grant to do this for you?
That ought to be a real scream at 200 MPH.
High speed trains seem to be a communist’s wet dream.
is that a REAL map or a complete joke?
so CHICAGO is the high speed rail hub of the US ?!?!?!??!!
OMFG! you have GOT to be KIDDING Me!!! who the hell goes to Chigago!!!!!!
this is either a joke, or Obama’s personal kickback to his adopted corupt state.
Yep. Just what we need: Another money sucking, worthless Government boondoggle.
“This map is just some freelance kook’s imagining.”
Not that I support the idea, but from the article comes this statement:
>>Twu’s not just guessing where those routes should be, either. “The routes are based on various studies by government agencies and advocacy groups,” he explains. <<
That means that someone has spent taxpayer money on these various proposals and this map is just a summary of all of those proposals in one, single graphic.
I doubt you'd see any buffaloes, but if they put one next to I-90, you could shoot a lot of prairie dogs.
Notice where the dark blue line starts in the south....hmmm
Just imagine the thrill of traveling at 220 MPH along when the next giant quake hits...
So now, already wayyy behind sched and over budget, and IIRC with the technical jobs going to out-of-state and out-of-country (think china) companies, we are now told that by 2022, the thriving California financial centers of Madera and Bakersfield will (about 120 mi apart) be the first places linked by the new bullet train.
Think of this. The once-Golden state is spiraling toward financial ruin, yet we are spending billions and billions to link Madera and Bakersfield, which happen to already be connected by a very nice freeway..
Now who would not want to pay (lots) more $$$, wait around in an icky train station (and do the security xray) to go to Madera (ugh) and not even have a car when you get there?
I have no plans to ever ride this hideous waste of my money. Further, I know lots and lots of liberals and progressives (hey, this is California), and I have yet to hear from even one that he or she looks forward to taking the bullet train.
So, when this electrified choo-choo finally takes to the rail, I expect no riders after the first few days of operation. There is no genuine demand for this service. None.
And, relating all of this to the topic of the thread, one hopes that the remainder of the 57 states can observe the bullet-train-induced, job killing, capital-draining financial wounding of California before wanting such a platinum-plated loser of their own.
(Just noticed the length of my post. Can you guess that I get a little wound-up about this topic?)
And TJ abd Juarez.
Sickening, isn’t it.
Of course he's going to say that. Some advocacy groups, wild dreamers like himself, have similar maps, and their websites do their best to come across as at least quasi-official..
But from what I've seen of the government maps, none seriously has a high speed rail line from Chicago to Los Angeles. That's not saying there might not be kooks and dreamers somewhere in the government, though ...
It’s Twu, it’s twu. I hope he didn’t spend twu much time on this since the route are just about a laydown the same as current Amtrak routes.
What the heck is mashup anyway?
They always talk about “High Speed” but when they get down to specifics we are talking about 80mph. In short spurts.
It’s Twu! It’s Twu!
Beat me by 2:06. I shouldn’t have taken the time to read through the other comments.