President Obama had big plans for high-speed rail in the United States when he came into office in 2008 — it included rail projects in 31 states. But a number of governors rejected the federal funding and with a steep price tag combined with the recession, high-speed rail seemed to be stalled at the station. But now bullet trains may be on track once again — the California Senate recently approved for the first phase of its high-speed line and Amtrak is promoting its plan for a $150 billion upgrade to its Northeast corridor line that would allow speeds of 220 miles per hour and make travel time from Boston to Washington D.C. just three hours long. So is high-speed rail really on its way? We’ll talk about the pros and cons of these different proposals and a take a look at some of the challenges that remain. Our guests are ROBERT PUENTES, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program where he also directs the Program’s Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, and CHRISTOPHER BARKAN, the Director of the Railroad Engineering Program, and George Krambles Faculty Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Photo: The California state Senate recently passed a budget measure which will bring high-speed rail to the Golden State. (AP photo file)