Adkins: The Case for High Speed Rail in the US
To start this winter term at Dartmouth, I took an Amtrak from New York City to White River Junction. As I sat on the train for the seven-hour journey, I couldn’t help but imagine how little time a similar route would take in a place like Europe or Southeast Asia. In Japan, a train ride from Tokyo to Osaka — a journey 30 miles longer than New York City to White River Junction — would take just over two hours. Now, this may not be the best example, as White River Junction is much more rural than Osaka, but let’s apply this comparison to a 300-mile train ride from Boston to Philadelphia, an equidistant journey to the Japan example. I found that a $125 (at the cheapest) Amtrak train ride would take up to six hours. For 35 dollars less, a 300-mile ride from Paris to London would take about two hours. In Europe, traveling via train is incredibly efficient and cheap.