Fantasy Map: United States High Speed Rail System
Submitted by thethingtobomb, who says:
Obviously this potential US High Speed rail system has some layout problems, but the map itself is intriguing. What’s your opinion?
Transit Maps says:
The problem with this map is that it’s based on incredibly optimistic projections of HSR in the United States (I believe the technical term for this is a “pipe dream”). Back in 2009, there was a big push for high-speed rail and it seemed that everyone was getting behind it — hence, all the routes shown here.
Cue the economic downturn and suddenly things don’t look so rosy. HSR is expensive.
Of everything shown here, only the incredibly controversial California High Speed Rail is getting anywhere near construction. If I remember right, Florida explicitly rejected Federal grant money for HSR there, and I know for a fact there’s almost no funding in Oregon.
Of current routes, only the Northeast Corridor is taking baby steps towards becoming a true high-speed corridor: the Acela Express barely qualifies at its highest speed, and there’s plenty of sections of track where it has to operate at slower speeds.
In short, HSR has a long way to go before acceptance and implementation in the United States, meaning maps like this remain strictly in the “fantasy” category.
Design-wise, the map is functional enough, although the font used is pretty ghastly, in my opinion.
Leaving aside the politics and cost for a minute, this is actually a pretty darn nice map. Attractive and informational. Drawing the “Super Express” and “Express” routes as dead straight lines definitely emphasises the idea of speed and direct connections between points. Long Island looks a little weird, though…