By Scott Huntington
There is something iconic about the U.S. railway system. Whether you’re watching the trains fly down the track or watching the landscape speed by from your seat inside one, a train ride is an experience that stays with you.
Rails and subways are a big part of the public transportation infrastructure in areas with a high population density but when it comes to trains, the U.S. is lagging behind the rest of the world. What sort of future are we looking at for the U.S. railway system?
Rail is still a big part of industry, with thousands of tons of materials and finished products transported by train every year. The goal now, though, is to bring more train-related travel options to the general population.
BrightLine is one of the first forays into private funded high-speed rail in the United States. Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, this company has completed their first train set and is working tirelessly to set up transit lines in West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and eventually Orlando and beyond.
While they won’t be as fast as the high-speed rails that provide transportation for places like Japan, the BrightLine rail will make the trip much faster than a standard car ride, and paves the way for private-funded rail systems.
An easy to utilize high-speed rail system could help eliminate or at least reduce the massive traffic congestion. The first stretch of this rail system is supposed to open between West Palm Beach and Miami in July of 2017. Driving between the two cities takes drivers more than an hour and a half as they drive up I-95. Some of the busier stretches of this interstate service upwards of 200,000 cars every single day.
By giving commuters another option to travel between the two busy cities, the high-speed rail could reduce the number of I-95 drivers dramatically. Plus., as an added bonus, reducing the number of cars on the interstate will reduce the state’s overall carbon footprint.
While the future of the U.S. railway system is still up in the air, it’s a lot brighter than it used to be.
Image credit: Pexels
Scott Huntington is a writer and blogger. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.