Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Long-Term High-Speed Rail Is Cheaper
Depending on the terrain, it costs anywhere from $7 million to
$20 million per mile to build a typical interstate highway. And
there is a huge hidden cost to highway construction: they require
vast quantities of land that will stop generating billions of dollars
in property taxes once the roads are built. Revenue for cities and
towns will be lost forever.
New modern airports are currently costing many billions of
dollars each. Depending on which expert you talk to, this country
supposedly “needs” anywhere from 10 to 20 new ones. You and
I will be paying for those airports, of course, with our tax dollars
and higher fares the airlines must charge to cover the increased
landing fees they'll be forced to pay.
The cost for building a high-speed rail system? Depending
on the terrain, the cost of land acquisition, and other variables,
it's somewhere between $40 and $80 million a mile. But far less
land is used for the train's right-of-way, and the fuel saved by pas-
sengers taking the train instead of driving or flying will be in the
billions and will keep adding up indefinitely.
Trains Are Better for the Environment
This one is a slam dunk. New highways and airports gobble up
thousands of acres of land. Pollution from automobiles and jet
planes fills the air in most of our major cities, where it's measured
and calculated by the ton. Then there's the whole issue of noise
pollution.
Electric high-speed trains, on the other hand, have no exhaust
and therefore emit no pollution. The amount of land used by two
parallel tracks is obviously a great deal less than the amount used
by a six-lane interstate highway. In many instances, the rail line
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