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11 Jan 2011: Study Evaluates Markets
For High-Speed Rail Systems in the U.S.

A new study identifies the high-speed rail corridors in the U.S. with the greatest potential to attract ridership in the nation’s so-called “megaregions.” The study by the group America 2050 scores 7,870 potential rail corridors using 12 critical factors, including population, employment concentrations, rail transit accessibility, and air travel markets. In addition to obvious potential markets such as New York to Washington and Los Angeles to San Diego, the study cites other megaregions with the potential to have well-developed high speed rail systems, including Chicago to Milwaukee and Dallas to Houston. The study encourages the federal government to conduct a similar evaluation to decide where investment in high speed rail systems should be concentrated. The study only considered rail lines that extend from 100 to 600 miles, a distance at which trains can compete with automobiles and aviation.

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