@InTheDark: Looking at what I believe the actual costs will be and the financial analysis, redone so many times, it appears to me that this makes no economic sense because the taxpayers will be required to provide massive subsidies for evermore (just like most of AMTRAK. We do not have the population density to support that system and what it would cost us to run it - much less build it.
The High Speed Rail Authority has admitted to underestimating the cost by about 100% and overestimating the revenue (ridership), by over 50%. How can you believe anything they say - many of the them depend on the system for present and future income; they were not selected to say no and they were not selected to do a fair evaluation, if they were, they could never have missed the building costs by billion or so.
If you have to promise to stop at every town to get the votes, how can it be 'high speed'? This will end up being a 0 billion project IF we are lucky and the publicly run railroads, like AMTRAK require huge subsidies.
An independent analysis found that the average operational loss per passenger on all 44 of Amtrak's routes was in 2008. The only profitable line was the higher-speed Acela Express in the Northeast Corridor. However, the Northeast Corridor's Northeast Regional line, which has more than twice the number of riders as the Acela, lost money per passenger. The Sunset Limited, which runs from New Orleans to Los Angeles, lost an astounding 2 per passenger.
Study: Pew Charitable Trust, Subsidy Scope, http://subsidyscope.com/transportation/amtrak.
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