Midwest High-Speed Rail Essay, Research Paper
MIDWEST HIGH-SPEED RAIL
Where would America be without the train? The train and rail are as much a part of American heritage as the land itself. The train connected the east to the west. Trains ushered in the industrial revolution of the later 19th century. Trains not only ushered in industry, but also commerce America into the next century. The high-speed rail proposed to the Midwest will bring people in its cities closer together by the way of lowered cost and travel time. It will create jobs and help finance other important state programs with the revenue it creates. The beauty of the state will be preserved as it runs cleaner than other transits. When up and running theses trains will hopefully cut down the amount of travel on busy interstates which will further benefit our environment. Indiana should proudly be a part and share its weight of such an auspicious event.
The question now is whether or not Indiana will help fund Amtrack’s new train system. Under Amtrack’s proposed plan, called the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MMRI), it has been projected that the total capital cost for their Midwest High-Speed Rail, is $3.5 billion. The proposed cost will be divided up by having the federal government contribute 80% of the capital cost, while then allowing the nine states to pick up the remaining 20%. With the nine states only having to pay 20% of a 3.5 billion dollar project cost how could any state pass up this chance. By the year 2010 the MMRI will be up and running and generate a projected total 471 million in revenue. The operation cost per year is only estimated at 347 million, which leaves each state with a nice 14 million to help finance new state project or older state project s that could never be worked into the budget before.
Travel time is also a nice quality to the MMRI. What ever the travel time on other convectional forms of transportations will be cut down by at least 2 hours. A trip from Chicago to Detroit would normally take at least 4 to 5, but with the MMRI travel time from Chicago to Detroit would be cut to 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
The MMRI will cover 70 different metro areas and 11 different urban areas with a convenient shuttle service that will branch out even further to even the most remote areas.
The third reason that Indiana should help pay for its section of the Midwest High-Speed Rail is that it is a good economic investment for the states. In comparison to the Amtrack Northeast Corridor, this carries 11 million passengers per year. The Midwest High-Speed Rail system estimates that 7.8 million total annual passengers by the year 2010, which will mean a hefty decrease in highway congestion. (Vantuono) With 7.8 million paying riders, Indiana will gain an estimated 52.3 million in revenue by the year 2010.(Renn) With a 52.3 million dollar revenue Indiana will be able to give more funding for other programs but also be able to fund new programs that it was not able to fund before, Not only will the Midwest High-Speed Rail bring in more revenue but is also 4 to 9 million dollars cheaper per mile than rural interstate highways. (Vantuono) Which in the will also benefit Indiana by being able to invest more money in maintaining the interstate highways, and elimination costly highway tolls.
Another reason why Indiana should help pay for its section of the Midwest High-Speed Rail, is becau8se this form of travel is more economic then other conventional forms. The high speed trains that will be used are called diesel multiple units (DMU’s). (Renn) These trains are different from conventional locomotives: they are powered by diesel engines that are attached to passenger cars not a locomotive. These trains are more efficient in several ways; first off the DMU’s are one half the ewight of a conventional train; secondly, because of the lower weight of the DMU’s they have higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions, which is even better for out environment. Also the diesel fuel that eh DMU’s use is being developed further to use lower sulfur emissions by the time the rail is in full operation.
In conclusion, the cost is very minimal considering each state will only have to finance 20% of the total cost, and when up and running the state will sit back on nice 14 million in profit each year. Not only will the state be happier but in the end it will make the people of Indiana and other travelers happier but not having to deal with crowed highways, or costly tolls, and mostly by being more environmentally sound.