Technical Reports

High Speed Rail (HSR) in the United States

  • 08
  • Dec
  • 2009
AUTHOR: David Randall Peterman, John Frittelli, William J. Mallett
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER:
SUBJECT: High-Speed Passenger Rail
ABSTRACT: There are two approaches to High Speed Rail: improving existing tracks and signaling to allow trains to travel somewhat faster, typically to as much as 110 miles per hour, generally on track shared with freight trains; and building new tracks dedicated exclusively to high speed passenger rail service, to allow trains to travel at speeds of 200 mph of more. The potential costs, and benefits, are relatively lower with the first approach and higher with the second approach. Current discussions of high speed rail programs and policies sometimes fail to clearly distinguish between these two approaches.
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