New paper lays the foundation for a Midwest high-speed rail network

September 06, 2017

So often when we talk about high-speed rail, we assume we’re only connecting big cities. Chicago to Minneapolis. New York to Washington. Los Angeles to San Francisco.

High-speed rail brings big benefits to major cities, but a lot of us in the Midwest don’t live in big cities. We live in Madison, Fort Wayne, Springfield. These are places that are too small to be blessed by high-speed rail, right?

Not at all. Around the world, successful high-speed rail systems bring faster, more frequent train service to places the size of Peoria by building robust networks. One new, high-speed line connects to many existing and upgraded conventional lines. Trains take advantage of the high-speed line for a portion of their journey, then seamlessly connect to older rails to reach their destinations.

You’ve heard us talk about the Phased Network Approach before, but today we’re excited to share a detailed white paper that examines the Midwest’s high-speed rail potential from start to finish. It considers examples from Europe and Asia that show how to maximize the demand for trains, then proposes how we could build a network in the Midwest. It also shows how our current funding and planning structure in the U.S. is seemingly engineered to prevent such a network from happening, and what policy changes are necessary to correct this.

If you’ve already perused our Phased Network Approach page and want to dig deeper, check out the white paper.

Your donations power the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, and this white paper wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Thank you! Please consider donating to fund the next phase of our research, which will identify the Midwest high-speed lines to build first for the biggest effect.

Articles we enjoyed

New Locomotives Serving Amtrak Customers on State-sponsored Trains in the Midwest

Colorado commission works on plan for Front Range passenger rail

PTC equipped San Francisco commuter train departs for first time

NFTA Taking Next Step Towards Light Rail Extension