Petroleum isn't the whole problem, or I'd totally be a train-riding hippie if only I had the time
So, who else out there regularly reads both Grist and Midwest High Speed Rail? I'm dying to meet you, at least internetly, because sometimes I feel so alone...
Anyway, from Midwest High Speed Rail:
350 mph. On a train. In France.
[Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Well, if you post it, then you said it first.]
"... And given how much oil airplanes burn, and how much coal and nuclear power we have in the United States, it makes a lot of sense to start using home-grown energy to power intercity travel instead of foreign oil.
"The barrier to high-speed rail isn't economic or technical. It's political. ..."
I would like to point out here in my Grand Illinois Trail Comma Random Other Transportation Slash Environmental Issues Blog that there is also a perfectly valid environmental barrier to consider. You say the words "coal" and "nuclear" (or shucks, even "ethanol") and whole bunches of people cry foul for whole bunches of reasons, and most people would admit that at least some of them are pretty good. Like, you know, terrorism.
(Okay, I hate to use a dirty trick to grab attention as much as anyone else does, but you have to admit it's an effective one. Oh, I lie--c'mon, who doesn't love a dirty trick every now and then?)
Anyway, I just can't believe the high-speed rail folks missed that one, but I'm too shy to tell it to their internet face.