Washington D.C. To Host High Speed Rail Summit
The Federal Highway Act of 1956 changed the lives of Americans. Thousands of jobs were created, cars were purchased and suburbs emerged. Our economy thrived and revitalized our nation. Trains were no longer needed as automobiles were affordable and all the rage.
56 years later, it is 2012. Cars are not as affordable. Gas prices are through the roof. Our carbon footprints are larger than life. And our economy, well, we all know how that is.
To help with job creation and get America moving again (and fast), many are in support of bringing the High Speed Rail to the United States. The HSR will connect major cities together with a 17,000 mile national high speed rail system with an estimated completion date by 2030.
The trains are revolutionizing the world as they speed across countries at 220 miles per hour. They currently operate in more than 20 countries worldwide including the UK, France, Spain, China and Germany. In Japan, 9 billion passengers have been riding the trains for over 45 years without a single fatality. Ten more countries are under construction including Saudi Arabia and Italy. Turkey, Morocco, Russia, Poland, Brazil and Argentina are among the 14 countries currently under development.
The High Speed Rail Summit, an independent, nonprofit trade association focused on advancing the speed rail in the country, will be meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 28- March 1 where supporters and opponents of bringing the trains to our nation can voice their opinions. Numerous highlighted speakers who will be in attendance include U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Congressman John Mica, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Congressman Jim Oberstar. They’ll inform the public and continue to gain popularity and support to begin building the trains that could reshape our country’s transportation system and kick our economy back in to full gear.
The speakers will discuss the many challenges with launching a major new infrastructure project as large as this, such as the high cost to begin the project (just $98 billion in California alone), but will also stress the importance of bringing the high speed rail to the United States. The High Speed Rail Summit said the project will not only revive our economy and add millions of new jobs, but it will reduce our dependence on oil, reduce congestion and provide safe and affordable transportation. These trains have the ability to take 18.6 million cars off the road, said Peter Calthorpe for the New York Times. “This type of development means less air pollution, fewer respiratory diseases, less water consumption, efficient local infrastructure and lower costs to local governments,” he said.
With the pros and cons piling up across the country, it might be difficult to decide to stand for or against the High Speed Rail. Join others this Tuesday- Thursday at Alion Conference Center, 1100 New Jersey Ave S.E., directly across the street from Navy Yard metro station, for speeches, networking events and programs to establish an opinion on the project that could quite possibly change the way Americans travel. Again.