This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: k makes an actual operating profit
on running trains is in the Northeast, where larger cities are closer together than in other parts of the
nation, and the primary infrastructure has been in place for decade s.
Obama hopes to build upon that model by installing railroads to link cities in other parts of the
nation—an effort he believes could help revitalize the Midwest. A faster rail service could relieve
traffic congestion, conserve energy, prevent pollution , and offer greater accessibility for intercity
travel. Which may be why it’s a key part of Obama’s vision for America’s future —you may have heard
him mention it a couple months back on the campaign trail?
From Politico: "The time is right now for us to start thinking about high-speed rail as an alternative to
air transportation connecting all these cities," Obama said. "And think about what a great project that
would be in terms of rebuilding America."
A New Era for Railroads?
And change is possible—after 9/11, for instance, train ticket sales skyrocketed by 40 percent. With
the proper incentives, many could again be convinced to ride a less expensive train to their
destination instead of flying or driving. Which would be great news: railroads are one of the most
sustainable modes of transportation available.
Railroads in places like the Midwest and California routinely operate at a loss, and survive only on
government subsidies. And the idea that train travel is outdated—along with a dearth of destination
options and lackluster service—is among the reasons it struggles. This $8 billion dollar overha ul,
combined with an additional $1 billion scheduled for 2010, could go a long way to remedy America's
railroad woes. The extensive project will also create thousands of jobs in the process.
With high speed service, more destinations on the menu, and a modern image, Americans might just
be willing to park their SUVs and get on the train again. 29 | P a g e High Speed Rail Affirmative BDL
Article: A Vision for High Speed Rail WhiteHouse.gov, 2009, A vision for High Speed Rail, http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/16/avision-for-high-speed-rail
"I'm happy to be here. I’m happier than you can imagine," said the Vice President, a noted rail
enthusiast, before introducing the President for the release of his strategic plan for high speed rail in
America. Revolving around the $8 billion in the Recovery Act and the $1 billion per year for five years
requested in the President’s budget to get these projects off the ground, the President painted the
picture that will become a reality as a result of these investments: What we're talking about is a vision
for high-speed rail in America. Imagine boarding a train in the center of a city. No racing to an airport
and across a terminal, no delays, no sitting on the tarmac, no lost luggage, no taking off your shoes.
(Laughter.) Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour, walking only a few
steps to public transport...
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.
- Spring '14