March 04, 2013

Amtrak does make a profit!

As long as you confine your focus to the Northeast Corridor.

And, this is a legitimate point of view, especially when it comes to high-speed rail.

Florida and Gov. Rick Scott, like the Texas Triangle here in Texas, actually are well-placed for high-speed rail. So is what's already being planned in California.

But most of the rest of the country isn't. Not without subsidies even bigger than we offer airlines today, by far.

The "flyover" territory has its name for a reason. With trains, even high-speed rail, it's an issue more serious yet. Even allowing for longer boarding and security times, on any route over 450 miles, a plane is clearly faster. It's a dead heat, on average, at 350-450 miles.

And, look at other countries with high-speed rail.

Besides clearly boondoggled China, most of their routes are ... under 450 miles as far as major city connections. The US Northeast is as densely populated as the denser parts of Western Europe. Most the midsection, even east of the 100th meridian, isn't close.

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