US High Speed Rail Association Meets In San Francisco

Autodesk Gallery, site of the US High Speed Rail Association May, 2012 conference in San Francisco, looks out onto the Bay Bridge

I just returned from having attended the US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR) California Conference, in San Francisco. I got a chance to meet lots of interesting, important people all involved in some way with Bullet Trains and high-speed rail.  And I was able share many of my thoughts and desires with them on these subjects.

As you might expect, all the issues and events surrounding the development of California high-speed rail were foremost on our minds. Most notably, of course, is that California must approve $2.7 B by June 30 to avoid losing $3.3 B in Federal funding.

On this subject I enjoyed some very informative presentations from numerous high-speed rail experts as well as from those with high profiles in government and business.

With pleasure, I was able to announce the publication of the e-book version of our book Fast Trains – America’s High Speed Future for it became available on on the second day of the conference.  With California high-speed rail so prevalent on everyone’s agenda, my announcement created quite a bit of buzz at the conference, and I found this very gratifying.

As it is, Fast Trains could not have been published at a more relevant time.  My announcement being made at this important conference (especially since it was being held in California) was timely indeed.  California is a state that is probably the most in need of high-speed rail as an urgent solution to its many economic and transportation problems (that include gridlock and too many cars on too many highways, rising gas prices, needed highway and infrastructure improvements, as well as the need for an infusion of capital and jobs, jobs, jobs!).  Hopefully, though, with the construction of California high-speed rail, we will have the first leg of a connection that will ultimately join numerous communities and many big cities across our entire continent.

A bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco makes so much sense and it shall be a train that the middle class will afford to ride, per Dan Richard, the chair person of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s the comments. Will it be enough to the California State Assembly to approve the budget by June 30?  It’s possible.

However, I wish I could get my book into the hands of the powers that be.  Even if its ability to communicate and reinforce the benefits of high-speed rail only plays a small role in seeing the bond initiative pass in the California State Legislator, it is definitely worth it.  We all need to stay tuned to all that is happening in The Golden State.  California high-speed rail needs public support, especially in the coming months.

But please read my book.  It is comprehensive and thorough as well as a joy to read.  It brings to light the urgent need for high-speed rail and bullet trains.  It also honestly and completely covers the many challenges facing high-speed rail’s implementation.  But most of all, it compellingly highlights the benefits of high-speed rail, which is especially important to Californians who have no real options other  than the automobile and the antiquated, dilapidated highway system in the state that is slowing failing to accommodate it.

There is a narrative in our book Fast Trains that really highlights the trials and tribulations of traveling by car in California.  A single mom sets out to drive from San Jose to Los Angeles and during her trip has to suffer what millions of other drivers in California routinely suffer on a daily basis driving in California.  I think everyone will enjoy reading this and the other narratives in Fast Trains.  However, my point here is that an unpleasant six to eight-hour trip by car from San Jose to L.A. can become a pleasant and most enjoyable (and affordable!) journey that only takes 2.5 hours by a Californian high-speed rail bullet train.  This is not fiction but fact, and California in the next couple months is on the cusp of making it reality.  Let’s hope!

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1 Response to US High Speed Rail Association Meets In San Francisco

  1. Pingback: Embracing Nostalgia while Propelling into the Future of Train Travel | Fast Trains

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