"The U.S. has among the worst passenger trains in the world, and we seek to be a big part of the solution to change that. This is a model that is commercialy viable, privately financeable, and can change the fabric of transportation in the country." -Wes Edens, Chairman, Fortress Investment Group (owner of Brightline) More info
BUSINESS CASE FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL
The business case in favor of high speed rail (above all other modes) couldn't have been made more clear recently with the purchase of the private HSR operator in Italy (NTV) for $2.43 Billion by New York based Global Infrastructure Partners.
High speed rail is highly profitable as a business because of its extremely high capacity and super efficiency at all levels. Clearly Global Infrastructure Partners understands the high value, efficiency, and longevity of high speed rail, and sees it as a major part of our future as the best form of transportation, well worth investing in. The potential for America is huge as we are just getting started! Story | Evaluation
This follows previous private pension fund investment in HS1 in the UK, and several private projects underway in America. Progress continues in Texas on what is sure to be another successful and highly profitable high speed rail system being led by Texas Central Railway with backing from business and the Japanese government. Fortress Investment Group built their privately funded and operated Brightline new passenger rail service operating in South Florida, along with new stations and their own real estate developments at the stations. They are currently expanding to Orlando and starting a new line between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
The business case for high speed rail is huge, and has proven out over decades in more than 20 countries! America, arguably the most business-focused nation on earth, is missing all the huge opportunities HSR can offer the country. Without HSR, it makes it ever more difficult for America to compete in the global marketplace with nations that have HSR.
OUR CURRENT FORMS OF TRANSPORT ARE BAD FOR BUSINESS
America's current 2 main forms of transportation - cars and airplanes - are both bad for business in that so much wasted time is part of the everyday process of both modes. Time is money to business people, and adds up huge to corporations with many traveling personnel - negatively affecting the entire company's ability to compete in the global marketplace.
If all your people are stuck in traffic all the time, or dealing with flight delays day after day, it becomes ever more difficult to be competitive, because all that wasted down time and extra expense has to be paid for somehow, and billed to someone.
Our current problematic transportation system is also bad for business in general - affecting the entire travel industry with lost business, and many other industries that depend on easy, efficient movement of people and goods across regions.
Thousands of miles of delays and waste daily
Endless, costly delays - every airport, every day
Trains outperform both flying and driving in every measure - capacity, mobility, speed, safety, cost, efficiency, energy consumption, profitability, carbon footprint, physical footprint, economic development, smart growth, and national security.
China built more than 12,000 miles of state-of-the-art high speed rail in 9 years!
"A single high speed train line can carry the equivalent passengers of a 10 lane freeway"
HIGH SPEED RAIL MEANS BUSINESS:
Jobs. Each $1 billion invested in high-speed rail supports about 24,000 jobs, according to a 2009 APTA report.
Economic growth. A study recently conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayor found that, by 2035, a high-speed rail line through Los Angeles would create $7.6 billion in related sales; a line through Chicago would create $6.1 billion; a line through Albany, $2.5 billion;
Energy Efficiency. An International Union of Railways report shows that high-speed trains achieve 106 passenger miles per kilowatt hour of energy. By comparison, buses get 34 miles; cars, 24; and airplanes, 13. (Regional trains are not exactly a plum, at 33 m/kwh.) Meanwhile a Center for Neighborhood Technology study found that high-speed trains around the world emit somewhere between .1 and .3 pounds of carbon dioxide per passenger mile, while planes emit more than .6 pounds and cars more than .5.
Manufacturing. According to a recent Duke University study, the United States has 249 rail manufacturers spread across 35 states. That includes 15 railcar builders, five locomotive builders, and 159 component suppliers. Presumably these outfits would expand, or receive competition from new companies, if heavy investments in passenger rail were made.