Tuesday, February 8, 2011

High-speed trains: the White House wants 53 billion over 6 years

WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday presented a plan of 53 billion dollars over six years to develop lines of high-speed rail in the United States in the wake of the desire articulated by President Barack Obama to invest in infrastructure.
Vice President Joe Biden said the administration would propose in its next annual budget to be presented mid-month, to spend eight billion dollars to "increase American access to train services to large speed ".
This investment must be approved by a Congress where the Republican opponents of GM. Obama and Biden are in a strong position, would the departure of a plan to allow 80% of Americans have access to high-speed rail by 25 years, according to Biden.
The investment would total $ 53 billion over 6 years, said the White House.
Republicans have responded with hostility, not surprisingly, the chairman of the Subcommittee of rail in the House of Representatives, Bill Shuster, saying it is "not the government develop the high-speed train American", but to private companies.
Both the President and the Vice-President stressed that development of the national railroad passenger, Amtrak, which now suffers the consequences of years of neglect, would be one of the pillars of the future prosperity of the United States .
Republicans denounced Amtrak as a "Soviet-style system" structurally deficient.
During his speech on the state of the Union January 25, Obama had called the United States to invest in the fundamentals that are in his eyes teaching, research and infrastructure to resist the rise potential of countries like India and China.
"As a passenger and longstanding supporter of Amtrak, I understand the benefits of investing in a modern railway network to help connect people, ease congestion and create quality jobs and skilled can not be relocated, "said Biden, speaking at a station in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania East).
The plan presented Tuesday, which complements previous announcements on the subject of MM. Obama and Biden, provides for three types of rail systems, including a national network that would evolve convoys between 200 and 400 km / h.
"In the U.S., we make a point of honor to dream great things," he told the Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Obama, Ray LaHood. He said "this investment in a network of high speed trains American (...) we will be competitive in the twenty-first century."
Extensive, the United States have promoted the automobile and aircraft after World War II, leaving their train system is now obsolete and inefficient, while Japan, Europe and China have recently increased projects.
Congestion at airports, congestion, rising oil prices and the fight against global warming appears to give a new chance to railways, but the cost of building a modern network is expected to amount to hundreds of billion.
On the single line theoretically "high speed" service in the U.S. currently, the Washington-Boston axis, the average does not exceed 132 km / h between the federal capital and New York.

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