California already accustomed to the state funded

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Unformatted text preview: rak’s $151 billion high-speed rail plan: Are there cheaper options? July 16, Last week, we took a look at Amtrak’s $151 billion proposal to convert the heavil y trafficked Northeast Corridor into true high-speed rail. Under this vision, the Acela train would no longer average a plodding 70 mph across the system. A trip from New York to Washington, D.C., would take just 94 minutes instead of three hours. Boston to D.C. would take just three hours instead of seven.The catch, as always, is that the $151 billion plan is expensive. When the high -speed line is complete, Amtrak would generate an operating surplus of about $1.65 billion per year. That’s a nice jar of change, but it’s not enough to finance the upgrade of the rail line. Which means Amtrak would need help from Congress. And while $151 billion spread out over 28 years is a pittance compared with, say, what the war in Iraq cost, the Republican-controlled House doesn’t appear to be in the mood to fund vast new rail infrastructure projects right now. 22 | P a g e High Speed Rail Negative BDL States Counterplan Solvency [____] States can invest in rail networks Rich Sampson, Community Transportation Association, 2012 (Rewarding State Investment in Innercity Rail, IL_27_Rewarding_State_Investment.pdf) Various states have had a growing, but differing approach to their involvement in the nation’s intercity passenger rail network since Amtrak’s inception in 1971. Initially, Amtrak assumed responsibility in both financing and operating the totality of the system, and inaugurated a coast-to-coast network, primarily focusing on the long-distance trains it inherited from the privately-owned railroads. The Northeast Corridor remained the most striking exception to this approach, where Amtrak continued the tradition of the Pennsylvania and New Haven railroads in providing frequent service along the nation’s most densely-populated corridor. Amtrak operated other corridor routes in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia less frequently without the requirement of corresponding state investment. Gradually, states began to desire more focused service between their communities than Amtrak was willing or able to provide. Just a few years after Amtrak’s creation, a trio of states stepped forward with their own investment to restore trains previously operated by the private railroads that had not been retained by the national rail service. In 1974, California moved to return trains to the San Joaquin Valley and launched a route with that name connecting terminals in Oakland and Sacramento with Bakersfield. At the same time, Michigan sought to bring back its east-west line between Port Huron and Chicago, ultimately to be known as the BlueWater. Likewise, New York longed for its link between its namesak...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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