Trump Could Become America’s ‘High-Speed Rail President’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raises his arms during a campaign rally in Boca Raton, Fla., Sunday, March 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

President Donald Trump could bring high-speed rail lines to America, taking up the mantle that Barack Obama started but failed to complete.

Trump campaigned on plans to repair America’s crumbling infrastructure and vowed to invest in renewing the nation’s highways, airports, bridges, and dams.

His new $1 trillion plan would be implemented over the span of 10 years. The funds would come from both federal and private sources.

President Trump has made a show of implementing tasks he underlined as goals during his first 100 days in office. And during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, America’s ally in the Asia-Pacific reiterated that commitment.

According to McClatchy, Abe said Trump would make “major-scale investments” in infrastructure, including high-speed rail that will likely travel at 200 mph or more; similar to the ones used in Japan for the last 50 years.

No train in the United States currently travels faster than 150 mph, McClatchy notes.

While there is a demand for high-speed rail liness in the United States, one of the main issues is cost and whether it is necessary to build lines in regions that are less densely populated.

For example, California has faced significant opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans for a high-speed rail.

Breitbart News previously reported that all 14 members of California’s GOP delegation recently penned a letter and sent it to Trump’s Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, last month asking him to block a pending $650 million federal grant for the troubled project until undergoing an audit of its finances.

Brown’s office reportedly sent nine examples of big shovel-ready projects in California for consideration by Trump last month. However, a list of 50 Emergency and National Security Projects acquired by McClatchy’s Kansas City Star does not include them.

Number 13 on the list, the Texas Central Railway (which covers a 250-mile stretch of land between Dallas and Houston), will not seek federal funding to build the planned 200 mph train. It is slated to cost approximately $12 billion.

The last item on the list, at number 50, is the St. Louis Airport, and will cost $1.8 billion to rehabilitate.

Brown, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and was one of Trump’s staunchest critics, made an appeal to the president over social media, indicating his interest in having California’s high-speed rail included as a recipient of federal funds.

However, California’s non-business friendly climate could be among several hurdles to prevent the expensive high-speed rail project from moving forward as quickly as anticipated.

As for the other projects, receiving federal money for the items on the list of 50 could also be challenging as Republicans, who control Congress, tend to be more fiscally conservative and seek ways to save money and prevent burdening taxpayers further.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz


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