High speed rail : a study of international best practices and identification of opportunities in the U.S.

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Date

2010-08

Authors

Rutzen, Beatriz

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Abstract

In the United States, passenger rail has always been less competitive than in other parts of the world due to a number of factors. Many argue that in order for a passenger rail network to be successful major changes in service improvement have to be implemented to make it more desirable to the user. High-speed rail can offer such service improvement. With the current administration’s allocation of $8 billion in its stimulus package for the development of high-speed rail corridors and a number of regions being interested in venturing into such projects it is important that we understand the factors and regulatory structure that needs to exist in order for passenger railroad to be successful. This study aims to review how foreign countries have developed and their railroad systems to identify key factors that have contributed to its successful implementation. An evaluation of the factors, such as organization structure, operation, administration, development and type of funding, that are common to each of these projects will used as performance measures to identify potential locations and opportunities for high speed rail projects in the U.S. Southwest region.

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