Obama Pushes for High-Speed Railways

President Obama expects to use $8 billion of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan to invest in high speed railways in an effort to expand travel options, according to the Associated Press.

Yesterday, the president announced the official plans, which would involve three different steps: improving existing railways in need, creating a feasible plan for high-speed railways, and building new railways based upon those plans.

Proposed routes are located in Texas, Florida, Illinois, and through the Southeast, running through North Carolina and Louisiana.

“This is not some fanciful, pie-in-the-sky vision of the future. It’s happening now,” Obama said. “The problem is, it’s happening elsewhere.”

While the European Union standard for high-speed trains is over 125mph, the US standard remains at 90mph. Only one train in the United States, the Amtrak Acela Express between Boston and Washington D.C, meets the standard. Due to curvy tracks and unstable cargo, however, the train travels at half-speed.