I just read this article, which states that a Utah state senator is interested in the idea of building a high speed railway. I love this idea, as I think many people do. And like many people, I fear that it’s a long shot.
But it could actually happen, if enough people expressed the political will to make it happen. This is one of the many reasons I am not a libertarian: because the government can and should undertake massive, monumental projects that benefit society for multiple generations. Moreover, government — which is really just all of us collectively — should do the things that private enterprise cannot. No one corporation, or group of corporations, includes everyone. But our government does, it is simply us after all, and that’s why it naturally can spearhead this sort of project.
I think the biggest impediment right now for a project like this is public awareness and prioritization. In other words, I doubt many people (in Utah) even think of high speed rail as a social or political issue. Others many not think it’s a big deal. (My evidence is that this topic almost never comes up in my personal discussions, and that no progress is being made. I realize that evidence is far from definitive.)
So how, specifically, could we make this happen? We could lobby our legislators. We could drum up support among our friends and neighbors. We could blog about it. We could question every elected official and potential elected official about their stance. In other words, we should make this an issue. Let’s talk about and drum up some buzz for high speed rail; it’ll be the first step to making it a reality.