Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail

  • Published on May 7, 2019
  • China has the world’s fastest and largest high-speed rail network - more than 19,000 miles, the vast majority of which was built in the past decade.
    Japan’s bullet trains can reach nearly 200 miles per hour and date to the 1960s. They have moved more than 9 billion people without a single passenger causality. casualty
    France began service of the high-speed TGV train in 1981 and the rest of Europe quickly followed.
    But the U.S. has no true high-speed trains, aside from sections of Amtrak’s Acela line in the Northeast Corridor. The Acela can reach 150 mph for only 34 miles of its 457-mile span. Its average speed between New York and Boston is about 65 mph.
    California’s high-speed rail system is under construction, but whether it will ever get completed as intended is uncertain.
    Watch the video to see why the U.S. continues to fail with high-speed trains, and some companies that are trying to fix that.
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    Why The US Has No High-Speed Rail

Comments • 29 037

  • Transit 94
    Transit 94 8 minutes ago

    I really hope people are using the new Virgin Trains USA in Florida. If it thrives we could see a private rail boom again just like the Pre-WWII days, this time with high speed rail. It might not be very fast now, but give it time and maybe someday the trains will go over 200 mph.

  • Double D
    Double D 33 minutes ago

    I would love to quickly visit other states in far less time to travel. the problem is. State Police, Government and FBI and every other law enforcement doesn't want criminals to just commit a crime and so easily and quickly be half way across the country. it would make crime fighting almost impossible to solve.

  • the5thYearSeniors
    the5thYearSeniors 51 minute ago

    It’s actually insane that the average american is convinced that cars are a better form of transportation considering electric motors are 80-90% efficient compared with 20% efficiency of combustion engines. Not to mention that the average person is driving alone. It’s disgusting.

  • Grim Reafer
    Grim Reafer 58 minutes ago

    America is behind in a lot of ways. Also, America is not as smart as people think. America is slow. Americans are pocketing America's money. America is not great.

  • Buds889
    Buds889 Hour ago

    70-80 years ago yes, but gasoline accounts for less than 10% of the oil industries production in modern times. The majority, oddly countering this video, is high-sulfur diesel fuel for trains & freight ships. The auto & oil industry did have a large part in tipping the scales in the 40-50s towards automobiles but they absolutely are not the culprit for keeping rail out of the states that issue lies in the government not being able to annex large swaths of land to build tracks. Arguing that the cost of building through the terrain is the issue in disingenuous, the price comes from not being able to forcibly annex land like all these other great countries you've toted and instead having to buy it at market price.

  • Dissenting Tirade

    We could have one if we didn't give all the money to supporting illegals.

  • der kohler
    der kohler Hour ago

    don't underestimate the efforts made to make japan's shinkansen safe from their frequent earthquakes

  • Thomas
    Thomas 2 hours ago

    Let's put in electric powered trains..its a huge investment but it will definitely make money. The big city's in America that have trains make tons of money every year, trains will be cheaper to take and environmentally friendly to the planet, all electric....all you billionaires come together and mKe it happen, theres plenty of money out there..people will ride your trains..lol

  • Mr Plutonium
    Mr Plutonium 2 hours ago

    The problem is that Amtrak is a monopoly and the US government is a stakeholder. They want to spend NOT a single cent but will happily hike fares.

  • Thomas
    Thomas 2 hours ago

    America is perfect for rail travel, heck 65 years ago everyone use to travel by rail, Europe rail systems are amazing, I traveled through 3 different countries in 3 days and it cost me 50$ american dollars Amazing. I would love to travel by train across America. Exp in the north wests Massachusetts, let's make America great again and start traveling by train again. It's time to injoy life and see the beautiful places in America..

  • TheWalletWaffling
    TheWalletWaffling 2 hours ago

    While America called it greatest country, however it doesnt mean its great.

  • Mad Friend
    Mad Friend 2 hours ago

    best country in the world lol

  • John Barclay
    John Barclay 2 hours ago

    Boeing can’t sell planes

  • alphagt62
    alphagt62 3 hours ago

    They overlook many money saving methods, they all want to get billions in cash to fight overwhelming obstacles. Why not take an existing train route, and upgrade the rails to accommodate a high speed train? No right of ways to buy, no tunnels to dig, no zones to change. Amtrak SHOULD have done this long ago, but they did nothing, and no one even wants to work with them to get it done now. Says a lot.

  • Budda Kream
    Budda Kream 3 hours ago

    Don't worry guys I'm sure we'll move away from purely automotive travel when 1 of 2 things happen. We run out of oil, or the planet overheats from carbon emissions and we all freeze to death when the ice age gets kickstarted again.

  • charles casselman
    charles casselman 3 hours ago

    they built the rail in Florida and nobody uses it. you have to drive to the station, pay for parking, then when you get to your stop you still need a ride to your destination

  • Autos Y Cultura
    Autos Y Cultura 3 hours ago


  • Autos Y Cultura
    Autos Y Cultura 4 hours ago

    Because is a poor country not like the European Union or China where long term views are more important, is still a colony mentality there but we do NOT want them back to europe, eventually you could settle in the brexited UK hahahah they are fat there too hahaha

  • Dennis Premoli
    Dennis Premoli 4 hours ago

    As usual, as per nearly all the problems plaguing the US, lobbying is at the forefront.

  • fenderstratguy
    fenderstratguy 4 hours ago

    What if we designated certain transport corridors now, today, and said, this is where high-speed transit is going to eventually go, and we are going to seize this property at that time through eminent domain? This might keep speculators in check and land acquisition costs down.
    Also I'd like to see all bullet train tracks elevated, the way China does it. That will take up less room on the surface, eliminate train vs traffic accidents, reduce vandalism, reduce the need for stops and intersections, etc. The only places at ground level would be the train stations.
    Amtrak is a joke. Read the reviews. It's a typical government-run fiasco. It's filthy, slow, unreliable, and useless.

  • Gabriel Soria
    Gabriel Soria 4 hours ago

    This was the idea behind The Boring Company in that it will go under everything and bypass everything that is limiting high speed trains both physically and politically. I think it was a mistake to try to put cars though and should really stick to high speed trains.

  • Dee Bee
    Dee Bee 4 hours ago +1

    Yup its all about gas and profiting and raising high gas prices to just get our last buck in our pocket!! Japan and Germany and China use there money well to the evolution of change with the economy other than the stupid people running our state California and just makin money off the tax payer!! To be honest. The stupid Stupid people running the US are just plain OLD SCHOOL to be honest!!! LMAF

  • Anthony Grizzly
    Anthony Grizzly 4 hours ago

    Because the size of an entire european country is about the same as one of our Walmart parking lots.

  • Toophless One
    Toophless One 4 hours ago

    Take a look at heavily traveled air route, lay track that will service these routes and get on with business. I live in the SF Bay Area and travel up and down the west coast via air. If there was a train that ran from where I'm at and say Seattle (a +2 hour flight) and not drop me off in downtown Seattle where traffic is terrible I'd consider it. But if it took five hours, forget it. Same going south. For me, I don't have the desire to spend time sitting in a car. And no amount of left-wing econazi browbeating is going to sway me from my point

  • fenderstratguy
    fenderstratguy 4 hours ago

    Why don't we have a high-speed rail link from Anaheim to the Las Vegas Strip? Invite the casinos to pay a small subsidy and give preferred service to those hotels. Let them pay over time instead of all up front.....it would be to their great benefit. Imagine all the Asian tourists who come to LA/DisneyLand being able to hop on a high-speed train to gamble! They make billions on those visitors.

  • fenderstratguy
    fenderstratguy 4 hours ago

    Nothing wrong with a good car infrastructure but I would love to see our country build a convenient, modern, high-speed rail system also.
    Out here in LA we can already see the future of a cars-only-based future...and it sucks. Bumper to bumper, slow-and-go traffic SUCKS.
    I've been on the Shanghai to Beijing bullet train and it was impressive. Beautiful train....180mph....and very smooth. Seats are more or less like airplanes, but more comfortable. Food sucks (also just like airplanes). It says they now go 200mph but when I was on it they had recently had a crash and so they were resuming service at a slower speed.
    Why can't we have BOTH a beautiful highway system AND a beautiful, modern, high-speed rail network?

  • Gen Li
    Gen Li 5 hours ago

    The US was the global leader in rail when rail was the newest, best, cheapest, and most efficient technology for getting people rapidly from one place to another. It is not any longer. Instead of using the 19th century obsolete technology of rail, we used the early 20th century technology of internal combustion cars and the middle 20th century technology of airline travel, both of which were cheaper, faster, and more efficient. Yes--more efficient! Buses are more efficient than trains as they are actually utilized where they are available, and car travel with 2 people in it causes less pollution than your average bus trip. Automobile infrastructure is far, far cheaper than train infrastructure. You don't have to give contractors thousands of square miles of land in exchange for building a road. You did for rail! Even street car lines were subsidized by selling the parcels of land that were suddenly worth more because they were accessible.

    The street cars being replaced by EVIL CAR COMPANIES is a total myth. The jitney cab killed the streetcar--that is, 20th century Uber. It was faster, cheaper, more available, and more convenient. This guy is a fraud, spouting lies. Street cars were usually replaced first by electric buses using the old tram lines, because the capital costs of a new bus were so much lower than for a new street car. Then the lines were torn out because the extra infrastructure was expensive and regular diesel buses, which could be deployed anywhere, were used. As people got wealthier, they relied more and more on their own cars for transportation. The 1960s was a turning point where public transportation went from paying for itself to being a huge fiscal drain on town and city budgets. It would be cheaper in most cities to BUY A CAR for each person who doesn't have one than to continue to run buses.
    Japan has the highest rate of rail utilization and also the longest average commutes in the world. That's not coincidental. As far as stimulating the faltering Japanese economy, all the investments in rail have been a boondoggle. Adding a punishing commute on top of the Japanese corporate culture contributes to Japan's birth rate freefall. By investing in the wrong things, they insured the decline and potentially the extinction of their people.
    China has high-speed rail because taking a Chinese-owned airline is taking your own life into your hands. Most people are also too poor for cars, so there's no incentive to drive somewhere. Railways are intensely subsidized. China also concentrates its entire population into a few "economic zones"--towns and cities of 50k people or 100k people just don't exist because Chinese policies don't let them exist.
    Density is only one part of the puzzle as to why rail isn't a good idea. Europe, also, has "haves" and "have nots" in its countryside vs. cities. There are entire TOWNS in Italy with no plumbing or electricity. Rail is, again, extremely heavily subsidized, and again, a good number of people can't afford cars.
    Why are we so romantically attached to 200-year-old technology whose heyday is long past?

  • vdub 1971
    vdub 1971 5 hours ago

    30,000 people die every year in the US from car accidents.

  • khan nguyen
    khan nguyen 6 hours ago

    We don't have "high speed" rail because corruption politic

  • Daniel Ginther
    Daniel Ginther 6 hours ago

    Very poorly researched topic.

  • Sharon Mount
    Sharon Mount 6 hours ago

    Maybe coz we have too many deer it would be wack-a-deer and cattle

  • JA W
    JA W 7 hours ago

    I would love to take the train everywhere but the corruption on the train in California saw only 1$ in $6 ever making it to the project. All the other was wasted in Politics, lobbing, and all the other "lining of the pockets of business that would be affected by the rail going on line!!! Highway building and repair, Car manufactures, Big oil, and even the businesses lining the highways are all against the rails. They all want a cut that prevents the $$$ to ever get to the building of the rail.

  • Herbert Kraft
    Herbert Kraft 7 hours ago


  • JH
    JH 7 hours ago

    A high speed railway was proposed between LAX and Las Vegas. It was shutdown by airline lobbyists.
    As always, corruption getting in the way of capitalism.....

  • kurisu7885
    kurisu7885 7 hours ago

    I love how some are trying to argue that the USA as a whole doesn't want mass transit. Things is there are people like me who can't operate a personal car due to disability and are effectively trapped to things that are within walking distance. There used to be a grocery store in walking distance from my home but it has since closed. If there was a local transit system in my town or even connecting my town and others together I would gladly use it.

  • Zeek M
    Zeek M 8 hours ago

    Namely because that's one less terrorist target.

    HURST KEVIN 8 hours ago

    USA deregualted Trucking in the late 60s sell more oil! Then rail went down, Coal, Steel and car industries all inter connected nbecause of GREED

  • jim blake
    jim blake 9 hours ago

    Biggest reasons for lack of high speed rail in US: More individual freedom and the rise of a car culture in the US, plus the country's vast size. You need closely spaced, highly dense urban areas to make high speed rail affordable. That's why it works so well in Europe, Japan and China. Not to mention China has three times the US population and is highly autocratic. High-speed rail is perfect for autocratic countries who don't like the freedom of a car culture. Notice how the only high speed rail in the US is on the east coast - urban and densely populated? Don't get me wrong however. I think high speed rail in the US would be awesome. But the reasons for not having it aren't purely corrupt - there are practical reasons as to why it hasn't happened here.

  • Luigi
    Luigi 9 hours ago +2

    Trump wants to bring back coal, maybe we can bring back steam locomotive
    very soon.

  • Luigi
    Luigi 9 hours ago

    Why we don't have any high speed rail service in the US? …. The answer is simple... our citizens are just plain stupid …. they watch F aux News and voted for Trump didn't they? When we have 60 lane highways and black top over all our land, then we might think about rail service.

  • Timothy Lee
    Timothy Lee 10 hours ago +5

    Trillions of dollars wasted on Middle-East wars. It could have been spend on high-speed train.

  • Maynard French
    Maynard French 12 hours ago

    That is funny, California's environmental review process has made it impossible to build a high speed rail, making it so expensive that they can't afford it. Instead of admitting that the cost of their environmentalism stifled the project they are blaming the feds for not giving them enough money. They are the sixth largest economy in the world about the size of France's. France has high speed rail.

  • Paul D
    Paul D 12 hours ago +1

    We don't have the money for it because we have a military budget through the roof. We protect all of western Europe, while they have no budget.

  • James Shelnutt
    James Shelnutt 14 hours ago

    to get a high speed rail between states in the US you'd have to get cooperation between all the parties involved - that is the problem - trying to get a lot of people from different areas to agree on something is very tough to do - making it is not the problem at all - it could easily be made - but making it happen (agreeing on the plans for how it would be done) is a nightmare.

  • george m.
    george m. 14 hours ago

    Blame it on China. Someone has to take the blame.

  • Ryan Mcguinness
    Ryan Mcguinness 15 hours ago +2

    "come to the U.S, where we put profit before people".

  • Fanta Graham
    Fanta Graham 16 hours ago

    facism left germany and installed itself in america

  • paul wintin
    paul wintin 17 hours ago

    It’s simple math. The United States doesn’t have the population density to make High Speed rail cost effective and would be a boondoggle of enormous proportion. The big con to any rail system is the exorbitantly high cost per mile to build and run. Almost every passenger rail system is highly subsidized in order to stay in business. Comparing the US to other countries regarding rail systems is ridiculous due to the massive size and low population density of the US. China is slightly smaller in square miles than the US but has more than four times the population. Other countries such as Japan also benefit from a high population density. The only place in the US it might make some sense to even attempt to build high speed rail would be the Northeast corridor with it’s high population density, but the high cost would mean raising taxes. If a high speed rail system charged the actual cost to get passengers to their destination, it would be more expensive than air travel.

  • Seeker44
    Seeker44 18 hours ago

    Capitalism gone wrong

  • dredhead117
    dredhead117 20 hours ago

    Classic America. Just now beginning an objectively good thing that other countries have been doing for decades

  • Abo Miranda
    Abo Miranda 22 hours ago +1

    You can't build a "cheap high-speed train" in the land of the free or the land of opportunities because in reality, you're in the land of capitalism.

    • jpp452
      jpp452 21 hour ago

      Not true capitalism. Governments decide the winners and losers by tax incentives or penalties or subsidies. The U.S. is a "corporate socialist" state.

  • Jerzy - SilverSetFilms
    Jerzy - SilverSetFilms 22 hours ago

    We don't even have synch traffic lights... Europe has it for last 50 years.

    • Sean Gahan
      Sean Gahan 5 hours ago

      i honestly dont know what you're talking about, can you explain please?

  • S K
    S K Day ago

    So they answered their own question about 1/2 way thru: Americans have actual "rights", including property rights. The rest of the cost is feeding lawyers.

    That's good for some things, but bad for high speed rail. Tough

  • Mark smith
    Mark smith Day ago

    it's a CROCK, NOT every one lives in a large City, I live in Montana and it's 800 miles from one side to the other with very few towns in between, Farmers and Ranchers can't take a train from their small town to another small town or even a big city. Stop thinking that EVERYONE lives in an Apartment in a CITY.

  • J Polar
    J Polar Day ago +3

    The United States is too corrupt to make or use anything that makes sense. Everything from government right down to the police. We're in a very bad situation sad to say. 😔😔

  • desmondjr johnston


  • Michael Sanders
    Michael Sanders Day ago

    I'm an american. We dont have high speed rail because most the money is being funneled into corrupt politicians bank accounts.and California couldn't manage money if they're lives depended on it....

  • William Reiland 4

    i have a smple method and design for building elevated trains, bridges, evenb an intercontinental rail. who do i contact?/

  • William Reiland 4

    i love the high speed el trainb.. i suggest they build one across texas to double as the texas border wallo.. and built with glass and solar panels would be beautiful and tink ports from the Gulf to Pacific

  • TheWakeup011
    TheWakeup011 Day ago

    The U.S. govt. has an interesting agreement with Amtrak. Js.

    69SHOVLHED Day ago

    the answer is easy: because our politicians are stupid and corrupt. its too bad the rag heads didn't hit the capitol building instead of the world trade center and pentagon. they would have done us a great big favor, except most of the lazy, stupid, corrupt ass holes we call senators and representatives don't even show up to work half the time.

  • ken sharborough
    ken sharborough Day ago

    USA also has aircraft carriers that do not use ramps like everyone else.

    • jpp452
      jpp452 22 hours ago

      And your point is.....?

  • steve harless
    steve harless Day ago +5

    Oil Companies paid off our lawmakers to keep the trains from expanding

    • jpp452
      jpp452 22 hours ago

      That's part of it. HSTs are best run by electricity. Diesels have trouble maintaining high speeds. (In that respect, steam locomotives are better!)

  • Daniel Richter
    Daniel Richter Day ago +1

    What a load of crap. This half baked project is out of control and has zero future. It will cost more and take longer than to fly from LA to San Francisco.

  • Teisha mctablor
    Teisha mctablor Day ago

    How many excuses can they give? Make a dedicated track for high speed. I would gladly use the trains.

    MAC VENA Day ago

    Doesn't anyone get that electricity isn't clean energy. It produced with COAL!

    MAC VENA Day ago

    A high speed rail from Bakersfield to Merced? Thats like building a road from Nowhere to Never Never Land. There is nothing out there but farms. Who would ride it...cows?

  • HeNeeds ToGo
    HeNeeds ToGo Day ago

    So Trump thinks a high-speed rail is a bad investment, but wants to throw away billions of dollars to build a useless wall? Wow, no wonder he went broke so many times...

  • dizkoteck
    dizkoteck Day ago

    Watched the video to the end. Here’s the summary: we don’t have high speed rail because trump

  • Syed Ahmed
    Syed Ahmed Day ago

    China makes highspeed trains? we make hyper-speed hyperloops boiiiii. why make infrastructure for dated technology when you can quantum teleport to your destination in -3.4 seconds