Will California’s high-speed rail system be German enough?
That question is not a joke, as I learned last month while riding Germany’s popular high-speed rail. In fact, it’s a more important question than the ones Californians have been myopically asking for years about the costs, funding, and construction deadlines of the state’s controversial project.
The value of high-speed rail does not lie in the cost or speed of trains, but rather in the ability of such projects to anchor deep connections—between transportation hubs, between cultural attractions, between cities, between job sites. And German high-speed rail, while far from perfect, excels at creating fast and efficient connections.