I had no idea that the State of California had already done so much work on planning a high-speed rail network. The California High Speed Rail Authority website has routes, station plans, videos, economic analyses, and tons of other information about the planned network. San Francisco to LA in two and a half hours? For less than half the price of flying (and only slightly more than driving)? I’m in!
image courtesy NC3D
California seems to me like a great place to kick start high speed rail in the US (discounting the sort-of-high-speed Acela trains in the Northeast). LA to San Francisco is about 600 km, right in the sweet spot for high speed rail: long enough to be much faster than driving; short enough to be as fast–or faster–than flying. I’ve driven that route through the central valley many times. It’s hot, crowded, smelly and sometimes very dangerous. I suspect a great many people would be very happy never to drive that route again.