"Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir humanity's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical plan once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency." -Daniel Burnham
Our vision is for a 21st century, 17,000 mile national high speed rail system built in 4 phases, for completion by 2030. This new national system will revitalize our economy, reactivate our manufacturing sector, create millions of jobs, end our oil dependency, reduce congestion, and cut our carbon footprint by epic proportions. Powered by electricity, this system provides sustainable, affordable, safe mobility for all. The map phasing follows the most logical sequence for a national system build out - starting with the largest cities in the busiest corridors, then growing to connect those together across the country. The busiest corridors are known as 'megaregions' and have been studied extensively by the Regional Plan Association. Their analysis and mapping of the 11 megaregions forms the background for the development of our national high speed rail plan. Our plan calls for a national system of HSR Express lines connecting cities and states into an integrated system. Our plan sets high standards for interoperable state-of-the-art dedicated track, advanced control systems, elegant multi-modal train stations, and top-of-the-line 220 mph trains connecting major cities together. Our plan calls for a support network of 110 mph trains connecting smaller cities and towns together with the high speed system.
The national high speed rail system forms the backbone of a complete sustainable transportation system for America. The other components of this system include connecting regional and commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, trams, electric buses, and bicycles.
US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood - big plans for US High Speed Rail
"New high-speed trains will link 80 percent of Americans within 25 years, at a cost of about $500 billion" - 8/12/10
"New approaches to planning and development will be required to realize America's extensive railway redesign. Given the extent of what needs to be done, there is no chance that existing railway finance, design and construction efforts could simply be scaled up." -Anthony Perl
Fully Integrated, Multi-layered National Rail System Built in 4 Phases
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." -Michelangelo
3-Tier Rail System for America
The complete sustainable transportation system for America - a 3-tier, integrated rail network. The backbone of the network is the HSR system, connected to the regional and local rail systems in a seamless network. This network includes regional and commuter rail, metro systems, light rail, streetcars and trams as shown:
Map zoom on the Chicago region
The Midwest High Speed Rail Association has done a detailed regional high speed rail map for the Chicago area clearly showing the hierarchy of rail systems based on the demand for service in each corridor. A similar rail plan map for each region of the United States makes sense to begin planning. More info
Midwest High Speed Rail Complete System
Map zoom on the State of Florida
The Florida High Speed Rail Authority has put together a vision for the state's full build-out. More info