High speed rail can be much more expensive than lower speed rail lines because the other slower lines are able to share tracks with both freight trains and other commuter lines traveling at similar speeds. High speed rail lines, however, require their own sets of rails to allow the trains to travel at their high speeds without interfering with other traffic on the lines. This means a great deal of property has to be attained for the lines, new track needs to be produced and installed, and infrastructure changes (bridges, tunnels, overpasses) would have to be constructed in order to allow the high speed trains to travel at speeds consistently above 150 mph. Estimates to construct a dedicated high speed line from New York to Washington reach a costly $32 billion, for example.
There are a great deal of environmental benefits from a high speed rail. Decreased use of alternative energy consuming travel methods, efficient use of space etc. However if you are to focus purely on financial costs and not overall economic benefit it comes to be much much more expensive.
This is mainly an estimation from articles on different railway routes and is purely speculative. Estimates for the price for high speed railway projects can vary anywhere from 250 Million Dollars (US) to 80 Billion Dollars (US). We have not compared railways with high speed railways because they are not in competition. Regular railways are slow, inefficient and hardly lucrative. Amtrak requires large subsidies each year to stay afloat. Rather this would be competing with Airports and Highways. Their cost far outweighs expanding the roads but yields great long term benefits. Regular train tracks are generally 100 dollars per foot compared to high speed railways nearly 1 Million per foot!
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