“America is just too big for trains.”
HSR makes sense for regional hops of less than 400 to maybe 600 miles or along an existing (and successful) corridor like Washington DC to Boston. But for long hauls you’re right that it just can’t compete with aircraft.
Unless, of course, Obozo has his way and institutes carbon taxes that make air travel cost prohibitive for everyone but the limousine liberals.
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).
I actually like our heavy rail here in Utah. I don’t know how the cost is justified but I ride it when I have to go to SLC. I ride it quite a bit in the summer with the kids cause I just hate driving.
Most people shy away from mass transit unless they have actually been to some place that mass transit is the best option. Yes, America is too large to bridge with a train that operates in the black.