Full Speed Ahead

Can Private-Sector Sponsors Help High-Speed Rail Finally Gain Ground in the U.S.?

High-speed rail has long had trouble leaving the station in the United States. Building a new rail network is a high-risk endeavor—as public-sector project sponsors have learned. The State of California's beleaguered US$65 billion high-speed project, which got the green light a decade ago, has become a kind of parable for how difficult it can be to square innovative transit plans with regulatory requirements, local stakeholder opposition and a polarized political environment.
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