The Wallstreet Journal has written an aricle, that coincides with the US launching it’s official launching of high-speed rail in US, observing the development of high speed rail in Spain. It touches on the point that before the rail network was started the Spanish didn’t travel much around the country. Now with an expanding rail network the attitudes towards travel in general, and more importantly the attitude towards rail travel has impacted attitudes in the current generation. This is important in working towards a network in the US; without a working example that can act as a point of reference (and arguably something to envy) then development of high speed rail in the US might not take off in the way it should. Importantly finding an alternative, and effective, means of transport in the US is necessary, not just from the perspective of getting people around quickly, effectively, economically and environmentally, but also from the perspective of breaking the bonds with oil powered transport.
My opinion is that the money set aside by Obama is too little to make a difference , not just in consideration of the actual costs involved in building high speed rail routes , but also considering the number of states and regions competing for this money. Additionally, this is not a problem that needs just money throwing at it, but also a great deal of public education is needed to shift the public’s perception of rail travel and how necessary it is for the future of the regions that are planning on high speed rail. Until that time, the likes of Spain, China, Japan, Germany, and France can satisfy themselves with the fact that by making such decisions years ago they can benefit now and not have to wait and hope for change to come.