From High-Speed Rail to Higher-Performing Rail

Ken Orski
Editor/Publisher of Innovation NewsBriefs, a transportation newsletter

I am pleased to note that the U.S. Department of Transportation seems to have dropped its use of the phrase  “high-speed rail” in describing the administration’s rail program in favor of  “higher-performing rail.” The new usage first appeared (to our knowledge) in  the Federal Railroad Administration’s announcement of the Final State Rail Plan Guidance— “to assist States in their ongoing effort to plan for and invest in a higher-performing rail network.” (US DOT Fast Lane blog)

Could this welcome change in the official rhetoric be linked to the departure of former Sec. Ray LaHood, the Administration’s chief  “high speed rail” cheerleader?

And will the California high-speed rail project  be henceforth renamed the  “Higher-performing rail project”, now that the blended approach has made a two-hour 40 minute LA-to-SF trip a physical impossibility?

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