Originally Posted by medford
the biggest challenge, is that people don't generally ride it enough to make it profittable. Even in Europe, the train system is heavily subsidized, as it is here in America. I'd love to hope a train and take a quick ride up to the heart of C-Bus, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, etc... But if its going to take me 10 hours to get to Chicago, or 14+ hours to get to Atlanta, I'll just hop in my car and do the trip in half the time. And I don't really want the government to go about spending the money needed to make those trips more time managable.
I've never been to Europe so I don't know how easy it is to go from Point A to Point B. I do know that if I want to go back to Iowa and see my family, I can hop in my car, get on the interstate and be there in 10 hours if I don't make too many stops. About the only thing I have to worry about is road construction and weather. If I want to go to Indy or Columbus or Cleveland or Louisville I can get in my car and go there. I can drive to where I want to go and leave when I want. If there were some high speed rail that took me to those places, when I got there, I'd have to worry about going where I want to go. If I don't know anyone there, I have to either rent a car or get a taxi. I don't want to get political but I think that is an issue that the Ohio high speed train advocates either really never considered or omitted in their advertising.
For better or for worse, after WWII this country committed to the automobile and planes. I'm not sure if Europe could commit to autos and planes like the U.S.did. Germany did have the Autobahn but what about the other countries? Perhaps, for them, the train was just fine and it was too costly to make roads like the Autobahn and the interstate.