High-Speed Rail News Roundup #27: June 21, 2012

When we think of France, we conjure up images of elegance, savoir-faire and class. But even in the land of wine and cheese you’ll find socially repugnant behavior. The SNCF has started an ad campaign calling out such incivilities. Also in this issue, making it easier to get to America’s socially repugnant capital (Vegas), making it harder to get anywhere in the U.S. by high speed rail – and more. Now stop picking your teeth and spitting. As if you would ever in public…

A Big SNCF-U to Gross Behavior

In a new ad campaign, the French Railway System aims to show you that music blaring, loud talking, feet on empty seats and littering will simply not be tolerated any more. Giant 16-foot sculptures are being erected in the likeness of someone (not you) doing these types of social misdeeds. On their website, you can view videos of people passing by these pieces of anti-social art. Think this will deter disgusting behavior?

SNCF ad against uncivil behavior
SNCF ad against uncivil behavior – Photo © SNCF

Xpress Yourself to the Strip

The DesertXpress proposal would run a train from the Strip to Victorville, and now the dice is being rolled on extending the line to Palmdale (which is also a stop on the proposed California bullet train.) Some benefits of the route include diverting two million car trips from the congesting I15, reducing traffic by as much as 25%. The all-electric operations of the train are expected to reduce emissions by 40% and save 8.5 million gallons of gasoline. And then there are the jobs.

And while we’re on the subject of this planned high-speed rail line to Vegas, it was also announced that the DesertXpress project has undergone a re-branding and is now named XpressWest.

XpressWest Train
XpressWest Train rendering © DesertXpress Enterprises LLC

HSR in the USA? LMK

Imagine the high-pitched electric whine of a bullet train whizzing by at 200 mph, shuttling you from Los Angeles to San Francisco. A lot of people are having this dream. Too bad last week the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told California lawmakers that the Obama administration would rescind the $3.3 billion in federal grants if the state didn’t act by July to appropriate $2.7 billion in state funds toward the project. What will happen if this project derails?

Brussels Flexes its Airport Muscle:

A new high-speed rail link has officially opened at Brussels Airport, connecting it with the other high-speed networks that already exist between Paris, Amsterdam, London and Cologne. This new link gives passengers more flexibility in their travel choices and transforms the gateway into a more efficient intermodal hub. How else will this link improve travel?

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