By Kent Larsen
LDS Senator Harry Reid Advocates High-Speed Trains
WASHINGTON, DC -- A commentary in the Chicago Tribune mentions the
role of Nevada Senator Harry Reid, an LDS Church member, in
advocating high-speed trains as an alternative to air travel. Reid,
who travels a lot between Nevada and Washington DC, is annoyed at
flight delays, crowded airports and jammed highways. He sees
high-speed trains as a way of relieving the congestion.
Reid's target for the trains are short flights. "A significant
percentage of flights in the U.S. are short flights," Reid told the
Chicago Tribune. "Can you imagine, there are flights between
Washington's Dulles Airport and Baltimore, about 40 miles apart. It's
ridiculous. I believe we should try to eliminate as many of these
flights as we can. I think the only way to do that is by some type of
A study by Reid's office looking at heavily-trafficked Chicago O'Hare
International Airport showed that 54% of flights at the airport
initially travel less than 400 miles. He also points to the northeast
corridor, which stretches from Washington DC to Boston as a place
where flights could easily be reduced. He says he recently took the
train from Washington DC to New York City, "It took about three
hours, but it was sure a lot more pleasant than the air shuttle. If
we had some type of high-speed rail, where instead of taking three
hours, it took 1 1/2 hours, that's almost as fast as a plane."
That dream isn't so far off. Amtrak recently started higher speed
service in the northeast corridor, cutting travel time significantly,
but not as much as Reid would like. To get the 300 mile an hour
speeds Reid is looking for, developers are looking to Maglev trains.
In the US, the California Maglev Project is planning an 83-mile
system that could be in use as soon as 2008.
Commentary: High-speed trains could ease airport congestion
Seattle WA Times (Chicago Tribune) 19Nov00 T2
By Alfred Borcover: Chicago Tribune