Magazine article The Futurist

Supertrains for the U.S

Magazine article The Futurist

Supertrains for the U.S

Article excerpt

Early in the next century, highspeed trains will be running on several heavily traveled corridors in the United States, predicts Joseph Vranich, author of Supretrains. Such trains, which have been operating for years in Japan and Europe, could significantly ease congestion on highways and in the air.

For example, a high-speed line between Southern California and Las Vegas "is expected to serve almost 8 million people in the year 2000," says Vranich, executive vice president of the High Speed Rail Association in Washington, D.C. "Considered together with the lines planned for Florida, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Supertrains can take more than 40 million travelers annually out of the skies and off the highways."

Some of these trains will be advanced steel-wheel trains, while others will be magnetic levitation (maglev) trains that "float" while traveling at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. A maglev line between the Orlando, Florida, airport and a tourist complex near Disney World is scheduled to open in the fall of 1995.

"The largest intercity travel market in the United States is made up of people traveling 600 miles or less," notes Vranich, and more than 80% of intercity travelers go by car. Highspeed trains could replace much air and highway travel over these short distances, and they will allow workers to commute across greater distances than practical by car.

In addition, high-speed trains will prove a boon to the environment, says the author. …

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