Im­prove high-speed rail

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

With the re­cent con­tro­versy over United Air­lines vi­o­lently pulling a seated pas­sen­ger off a flight, it is good to re­flect on air travel in gen­eral. Pas­sen­gers are ex­pected to ar­rive at the ter­mi­nal two hours be­fore their sched­uled flights, then en­dure se­cu­rity lines, which en­tail re­mov­ing shoes and be­ing pat­ted down.

A much bet­ter al­ter­na­tive is high­speed rail. When trav­el­ing in other coun­tries I re­ally came to ap­pre­ci­ate this mode of trans­port. Most city train sta­tions are eas­ily reach­able by taxi or metro. Us­ing high-speed rail, you can travel from Bei­jing to Shang­hai, a dis­tance of 819 miles, in un­der five hours. For com­par­i­son, New York to Chicago is 714 miles, and a quick on­line search shows that the fastest train be­tween these cities takes more than 17 hours.

This coun­try is way be­hind Europe, Ja­pan and China with re­spect to high-speed rail, which is a vi­able op­tion to fly­ing. If you in­clude the time it takes to travel to and from an air­port and the re­quired two-hour, pre-flight ar­rival time, the train is of­ten faster and al­ways com­pet­i­tive. The jour­ney is more pleas­ant, the seats are com­fort­able, there is more leg room and you can get up and visit the dining car or roam around. No one gets bumped and phys­i­cally hauled out of their seat, either.

This coun­try should be in­vest­ing in high-speed rail. Let’s get some com­pe­ti­tion to air­lines, cre­ate plenty of con­struc­tion and rail-line jobs and in­crease the ease of travel for pas­sen­gers.

GARY BISCHOFF Sauger­ties, N.Y.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.