Train track in the United States

High speed rail appetite growing globally

A new survey, commissioned by Hitachi Rail, has found that high-speed rail travel is becoming increasingly more popular in the United States, with many favouring it over flights.

The research comes as part of a global study, collecting data from 12,000 people from 12 different cities around the world, and has found that the results from the two involved US cities – San Francisco and Washington DC – represents a statistically accurate picture of how the average US citizens thinks about long distance travel.

According to the findings, more than half of Americans are in support of reducing or eliminating short haul flights, when there is the alternative for high-speed rail instead, whilst just below half would support increasing air taxes to fund railway infrastructure.

This research comes after recent decades have shown how transformational high-speed rail has been in areas such as Asia and Europe, as people can make their journeys in a more sustainable way. Whilst US access to high-speed rail travel is limited, it is hoped that the increasing appetite will lead to developments in how it can be scaled up.

Hitachi Rail us high speed trains quote

Joseph Pozza, Hitachi Rail North America’s President, said:

“We know that high-speed rail can transform how people travel, creating a modal shift away from high-pollution transit options such as planes and cares and onto sustainable trains. This is evident in the high-speed rail lines Hitachi Rail operates across the globe.

“Our research underlines that there is growing public support for high-speed rail in America, with over half even prepared to support a reduction on short haul flights where rail alternatives exist. As an industry, we should take heed of this public appetite and work together to make it a reality.”

Hitachi Rail unveiled the report at the annual US High Speed Rail Conference, which brings together leaders of industry, business and politics to explore how high-speed rail travel in the US can be improved and increased, fulfilling the clear desires of many people.


Image credit: iStock


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