For anyone who’s traveled or lived abroad in Europe the thought of hopping a train and heading crosscountry, the Obama Administration’s high speed rail push was a cause to cheer. Unfortunately, an obstinant Republican Party, fresh from their spending binges of the Bush years, cried foul, screaming about huge debts while governors of Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio refused the stimulative funds meant to initiate these projects.
These projects would have created high-speed rail transporation hubs in strategic metropolitan areas across the country and connect them with existing commuter hubs of Chicago and northeastern seaboard, like the Northeast Corridor Line I worked on between Conneticut and Boston, which now runs south all the way to Washington D.C. From those lines, spurs would branch out to other regional communities connecting them to the main lines creating opportunies down the road for someone in rural northern California to hop a train to San Francisco for a concert or head to Portland or Seattle for a long weekend. It’s not entirely unlike what happened through the development of the national interstate highway system.
Despite the foundering hopes for a national high-speed passenger rail system there are still many hanging on to the dream who are continuing the work to keep the concept alive.
In Liberals’ Dreams, This Is What America’s High-Speed Rail Network Looks Like
In the real world, President Obama’s grand plans for a national high-speed rail system sputtered out in the face of Republican opposition. But in the alternate world depicted by graphic artist Alfred Twu, we’ve realized them all, and more.
The map above depicts Twu’s vision of an America whose major cities are all connected by state-of-the-art, 220 mph trains. His map isn’t strictly based on the Obama administration’s actual plans, shown here. It’s far more ambitious than that. In short, it’s a mass-transit lover’s wildest dream. New York to Boston in an hour flat. New York to Los Angeles in a single day. Connections to Vancouver, Toronto, and Monterrey.