As a Buy-America compliant rolling stock, rail infrastructure and electrification manufacturer in the United States for nearly four decades and with 2,000 suppliers across 40+ states, we are excited to support the vision laid out by Congressman Moulton. High-speed Rail would not only deliver a more sustainable and efficient transportation option for Americans, it would also create jobs and connect communities that have been disconnected from urban centers. HSR is the way of the world and I would love nothing more than to see this in the USA!
Today, Seth Moulton reintroduced the American High-Speed Rail Act, which calls upon the U.S. federal government to invest $205 billion dollars into high speed rail (HSR).
While sceptics wonder if this will be just another failed attempt to bring High Speed Rail to America, I believe now is the time.
Why? First and foremost are the economic benefits that correspond with high speed rail. At a time when our country is still grappling with historic unemployment from the pandemic, we need jobs. HSR is projected to create at least 2.6 million direct American jobs over five years. The American Public Transit Association (APTA) states that every $1 invested in rail creates $4 in economic benefit for the country and the communities where it is invested.
From mixed-use development of train stations – think condos, restaurants and stores – to new communities popping up at stops that were previously disconnected from large cities, HSR has the possibility to transform cities and expand megacities. For those that have traveled to Europe, you have experienced first-hand the benefits of high speed rail. People can live an hour outside of Barcelona, London or Paris and be at work in 20 minutes. You can travel between easily. In fact, you can travel from Madrid to Barcelona in 2.5 hours and the route is almost 400 miles long. That would be like going from Nashville to Chicago or Washington D.C.to Buffalo in 2.5 hours.
Beyond job creation and unlocking economic opportunity, HSR is the solution to a growing challenge: how do we decarbonize transportation? 100% electrified rail lines, running the distance from Las Vegas to Los Angeles are projected to remove 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the air. That’s the equivalent of 3 million cars per year.
Even though Americans – myself included – are accustomed to our “car” culture. You only need to experience HSR to understand that it is a more enjoyable commute. You can move seamlessly past traffic jams, cup of coffee in hand, while reading the morning news or catching up on the game from last night, all while on the way to a business meeting. And it’s also without the security lines found at airports, the weather delays and the ability to take conference calls en route.
Today’s reintroduction of the American High-Speed Rail Act is an important step in making this become a reality. I believe within the decade we’ll see HSR connecting a number of U.S. cities, transforming our communities, creating jobs and providing a more sustainable way in which we commute.
Marc Buncher, CEO
Siemens Mobility Inc.