Ron Nixon, reporting for the New York Times:
Still, even if the California, Florida and Texas projects all succeed, transportation experts say it is unlikely that the United States will ever have the same kind of high-speed rail systems as China or Europe.
C. William Ibbs, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, said countries with successful high-speed rail projects had higher population densities, higher gas prices, higher rates of public-transportation use and lower rates of car ownership. “So it wouldn’t make any sense to have a high-speed rail train in most areas of the United States,” he said. “The geography is different and other factors are just too different.”
That’s the sort of short-sighted attitude that got us to where we are today. Also, the idea that the geography of the U.S. is somehow so different that high-speed rail can’t work? Think again.