It’s a holiday weekend and the highways will be jammed and the airports full. Enjoy that middle seat in coach. After experiencing the joy of traveling via high speed rail in Europe last week, I’d just like to know why its taking so long in California.
We’re warned about long lines and spotty service of inter-country flights in Europe and instead opted to use high speed trains from Budapest to Venice via Salzburg. The train stations didn’t require a security check or the removal of shoes, the seats on the train were much more spacious and comfortable than coach on a jet and the view out the window was spectacular. Free WiFi on the train let me craft some posts for the blog last week and get caught up on email. The dining car had wonderful options for a light dinner. My only real complaint, not enough storage space for luggage and everyone had big suitcases. That’s a very fixable problem.
We need this in California.
The trains rumbled along at 240 km/hour, stopped infrequently and made traveling a real pleasure. For the red-eye to Venice, we had a cabin with beds. Try that on Southwest. Imagine connections to Union Station in LA, ARTIC in Anaheim to Santa Barbara, San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento (Las Vegas? Please?) would be a cheaper and better alternative to driving or flying and a far more reliable means of mass transit.
And yes, high speed rail will be an expensive proposition but one that would create thousands of good paying jobs for construction, new jobs for operations and maintenance and new economic engines to connect key cities in California for travel. It’s a worthwhile use of tax dollars to make this happen.