Many ENR readers have watched with interest the recent debate over the proposed Las Vegas-to-Los Angeles high-speed rail corridor running along Interstate 15. Long viewed as a potential maglev project, things got a little murky last month when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) switched his support from maglev to conventional high-speed steel wheel technology. But what happened in Vegas is not staying there. With the advent of the Obama presidency, rail suddenly is a hot and potentially lucrative topic everywhere.
This year alone there already have been two rail Viewpoints, a Feb 25 piece entitled "Finally, Maglev Leadership" by Kevin C. Coates lauding the Obama sea-change in attitude and funding from the Bush years for Maglev and its importance to American technology and transportation, and an April 27 article "High-Speed Rail is a Game-changer" by Peter Gertler championing Obama's strategic rail vision and his $8-billion plan for a new high-speed rail system that could transform America. And there have been numerous ENR news stories on high-speed rail funding.