Absolutely. China, especially is heavily investing in its high speed rail systems, with $88 billion last year alone. Their goal is to service all of China by high spread rail within a few years, not only creating money through paying travelers, but creating jobs (all in response to the global recession.) Japan has slowed down, but they’re still ahead of America by far. In the book Fast Food Nation,by Eric Schlosser, the author argues that the rapid growth and power of the American auto industry was responsible for the near demise of the railroad industry. By lobbying congress to make taxpayers pay for the construction and upkeep of the roadways, instead of following suit and paying for roads themselves (like the rail companies had to do for their tracks,) the car companies got rich quick. Then they started buying up railroad tracks and decommissioning them, as a way to get rid of the competition. Rail travel, and rail freight, is by far more eco-friendly, safe, and in my opinion, enjoyable than cars or airplanes.
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