The Rumpus on High-Speed Rail in the Rockies

Politicians love to talk about the fiscal deficit, but what about Americas infrastructure and transportation deficit? Take high speed rail, for example. What should have been a bipartisan slam dunk has turned into an ideological battlefield pitting the Obama Administration against some budget hawk Republican governors who have rejected high-speed rail funding initially allotted to their states as part of the $8 billion approved by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

So while states such as California are quickly moving their passenger rail system into the 21st century, other states like Florida are content to keep its citizens chugging along the creaky rails of last century (but they are saving money right?).

What about the Rocky Mountain states–are New Mexico and Colorado riding the bullet train to the future?

The answer is no. But that doesnt mean the two states, along with Texas, didnt try. After they werent chosen as one of the ten federally-funded high-priority HSR corridors, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter teamed up on a proposal to build an HSR line between Denver and El Paso, with the midway point near Albuquerque.

According to the Denver Business Journal, a study released in early 2010 said that high speed rail along Colorados interstate 70 and 25 corridors would generate billions for the economy. The study, sponsored by Colorado Department of Transportation and the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority, said the project would generate $33 billion in benefits for the state through job creation, income and higher property values.

However, the price tag would have been $22 billion for HSR, all funded by the three states without federal assistance. So what happened? Well, in case youve been living under a rail tie, last November anti-HSR Republicans swept into Congress and Governor Mansions across the country. Perry followed his fiscally conservative comrades in Wisconsin and Florida by rejecting HSR funding. Richardsons Republican replacement, Susana Martinez, is another fiscal conservative who doesnt seem keen on HSR. That leaves former Denver Mayor and current Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who believes in biking and other alternative forms of transportation. In short, he is Mr. HSR.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

So what was once a promising bipartisan collaboration to bring HSR to the Southwestern United States has fallen victim to the anti-HSR fervor sweeping the GOP. But there is hope in Hickenlooper. And a lot of money has been freed up by the states that rejected HSR funding. Will Colorado be rewarded? Is high speed rail along the Front Ridge of Rockies between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs via Denver in the cards?

Stay tuned.

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  1. Katy says:

    story on Dallas Observer: “TxDOT Really Wants to See That Whole Dallas to Houston High-Speed Rail Line Happen: :

  2. D.W. Major says:

    HSR could be so much better.
    Just how much better you can see on my website.

    People want to travel and they have a right to do so.
    But environmetal Issues can and must not be ignored.
    Saying that the Aviation industry is by far the biggest polluter in the world
    counting 1t+ of CO2 emissions per person per year.

    This is why I invented a HSR System that is faster then Airoplane yet produces ZERO Emissions.

    Implementing this Soulution would save billions of Pound and also eliminate pollution by giving people the freedom to travel anywhere at low costs High speeds and no pollution.

    Personally I think it is better to present a better technology then to fight a stupid fight.

    “The HS2 rail project is expensive, environmentally damaging, and badly thought through.” – quote.

    I agree completely and it is a waste of time work and Taxpayers money.

    If we ought to put a new HSR line in place we should make it snappy and think it through to the smallest details possible.
    And because thinking is my work and people don’t like to do this kind of thing anymore I just did that.

    This fact and that the Aviation Industry is by far the biggest polluter on this planet brought me to sit down and try to create the best possible transport system ever.

    And that I did.
    A Train that is faster then an Airplane yet produces absolute no emissions whatsoever.
    But it did not stop there.
    I included into the Train Track an Infrastructure housing facility so that everywhere where this Train goes so does Internet electricity telephone water in fact anything that uses cables can be connected with this system.

    That means that we can travel faster then dialing up with AOL.

    My Idea is no more radical as to connect every city every country and every continent with this Train and to replace ALL existing methods of Transportation with this non polluting solution and bring education energy and communication directly to the home of everyone in every village and every town no one excluded.

    This concept is possible within one year of work and there is much more to it.
    The amount of money spend into similar technology that proves everything exceeds $20.000.000 and the technology and concept is proven since the 1930′s in one way or the other.

    Franz Kruckenbergs Shienenzeppelin – 1930′s
    The Hovercraft – 1950′s
    Jean Bertin’s Aerotrain – 1970′s
    The Scramjet engine – 1910′s – 2005

    All this technology combined is the result of my work.
    Hypersonic Zero Emission High Speed Rail.

    In times where reporter are reduced to regurgitating news I offer you a real story.

    Any question I will answer and if you are interested I got a tale or two to tell.

    D.W. Major
    Zero Emission Transportation Ltd