Peter Kerpedjiev, a researcher in Vienna recently asked how far you can travel in less than a day from major European cities by train. The differences he found between some cities is astounding.
A Parisian, for example, could attend a business meeting in London or Berlin on Friday – and be back in home in time to enjoy a weekend in the Swiss Alps or the French Riviera. This wealth of experiences isn’t just available in France – it’s at the fingertips of millions of people across Western Europe.
On the other hand, Eastern European countries, which have invested less in their rail systems, don’t have the same opportunities. A city like Sofia or Riga only has easy access to a few regional cities, a fraction of the destinations enjoyed on the other side of the continent.
Unfortunately, if someone conducted a similar study in the Midwest, the maps would probably look a lot more like Belgrade or Podgorica than Brussels or Amsterdam. Like so many places in Eastern Europe, we haven’t built world-class train systems, despite our much larger economy. Considering that the Midwest would be the world’s fifth largest economy it was its own country, we should expect better. This isn’t about flashy trains (although those are pretty cool), its about the opportunities millions of people miss out on every day.
All the best,
Manager of Communications
Last Week at MHSRA:
We’ve been generating news coverage about the Illinois Senate’s high-speed rail resolution. Check some of the articles out here:
We’re getting the word out about why need to grow, not cut, Illinois transit, while budget negotiations are in progress. Last week we spread the word at the Lincoln Square Farmers market in Chicago. If you’d be interested in volunteering to work at a booth, pass out flyers or give a presentation, email Shira at [email protected] to learn more.
Articles We Enjoyed:
Toronto airport rail link opens
Toronto’s project is a role model for Chicago and the Midwest
Why Japan’s Bullet Train Will Finally Bring High-Speed Rail to America
A look at what makes Japan’s rail system so special.
Google Maps upgrades real-time transit display
Delays on Chicago transit services will be prominently displayed.
Why America is betting big on bullet trains
A look at the status of high-speed rail in the U.S. and around the world.
Urban sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion annually, Smart growth policies may be the answer.
Trains are necessary to combat the high-costs of sprawl.
Via Rail Seek Toronto-Montreal Line Partners, Mulls Debt
The passenger railroad is looking to invest $2.4 billion in track upgrades.
Laos and China to Set Up Joint Company for High-Speed Railway
The project will expand China’s reach into Southeast Asia.
China’s newest corporate giant is selling cheap high-speed rail to the rest of the world.
High-speed rail is becoming a major export for China.
P3 Infrastructure Summit 2015 In New York City – October 14-15, 2015
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Join today at MidwestHSR.org/Join-Us