Amtrak recently unveiled a $151 billion plan to institute a high-speed network by the year 2040 that could take passengers from NYC to DC or Boston in a mere 94 minutes. Not surprisingly, a plan with this price tag has not won over many, especially in an election year. However, as Yoni Applebaum points out in the Atlantic, not all of the economic gains have been identified, and this plan could unleash the next Golden Age in the Northeast.
Convenient travel from high density urban centers to more land and lower housing markets could spur economic development in the Northeast. Rail lines and reasonable property taxes have been proven to grow business relocation/start-ups, increase population, produce hospitals and foster education – revitalizing once forgotten towns created at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
The article quotes an official of one of the small communities this high speed rail could reach as saying Amtrak’s plan is “a pie-in-the-sky-idea.” And it may in fact well be. As we all know, it takes a lot of pie-in-the-sky thinking to create gold out of steel, but history shows it can be done.
Full story at the Atlantic