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Travel Tip: When Will the U.S. Get High-Speed Rail Service

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Japanese Shinkansen bullet trainWith all this talk about high-speed rail service in the U.S., it pays to see how other countries are doing it right.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about faster trains coming to the Northeast Corridor. Starting in 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration may allow modern European designs on our railway systems. That means upgraded passenger trains that can run parallel with freight trains. They’ll be faster, sleeker and yes, maybe even on time!

The fact is, there’s a lot we can learn from the European model. The brand-new high-speed rail service connecting Spain and France cuts the travel time from Barcelona to Paris in half—from 12 to just over 6 hours.

And the Eurostar is always one of my favorite ways to connect between London and Paris. Much more efficient and straightforward than the low-cost airlines, not to mention a better ride.

So will train travel be the next big thing in American transportation? Eh, probably not.

But we have a long way to go improving our rail service as it stands today, so the more we can learn, the better off we’ll be.

For more information, visit the train travel archives.

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