Friday, July 06, 2007

Economist: Europe's high-speed rail revolution

Remember, Europe is essentially the United States from the Mississippi River east.

The Economist lays out the incredibly exciting development in high-speed rail in Europe. This must be our lodestar. Please share this article with as many elected officials, community leaders and business people you know to help inspire them to see what service we can enjoy in the United States.

After all, if we want to remain economically competitive with the European Union, we need to move beyond wasting hours and hours at overcrowded airports and leaving millions of smaller communities without airport service outside of any non-automobile transportation network. Otherwise, we are imposing additional costs due to transportation waste on all of our products and services and will have to charge more than the Europeans will for their products and services with their low-cost efficient transportation networks that lower their cost of doing business.

Here is the article and the closing paragraph.

Whether through competition, co-operation or both, a plethora of European directives such as the “Railway Interoperability Directive” and the “Third Railway Package” will encourage the emergence of this new era of international rail travel. Rail bosses note that on six-hour journeys they are typically winning more than 60% of the leisure market from airlines. The same is happening with business travellers on four-hour journeys. It may be a while before you can choose between a French TGV or a German ICE to ride to Bucharest or even Naples. But as when Lenin sped in his sealed carriage through war-torn Germany 90 years ago, the train of revolution has left the station.


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