American high speed rail debacle. Is it because of vigorous Democracy or Political Gridlock and lost ability to build big things

Megan McArdle tries to put a positive spin on America’s failure and bleak future in regards to high speed rail.

Viewed from a purely technological perspective, America’s high speed rail is an embarrassment compared to China’s: shaky, slow, and not particularly sleek. But viewed in another way, our slow rail network is the price for a lot of great things about America: our limits on government power, our democratic political system, and the fact that we’re already rich enough to have an enormous amount of existing infrastructure, in the form of houses, industrial plant, and roads, that would be very expensive to tear up in the name of building rail lines. All in all, I think these things are more valuable than even a really cool train system.

High speed rail in the USA will not go very fast because it uses existing rights of way, and because the politicians that fund it like to have it make stops in their city

Forbes – Political gridlock railroads high-speed trains – Whether or not a multi-billion-dollar high-speed rail project is good for the nation, the current political schizophrenia over its funding is causing rail companies lot of pain.

Philadelphia Inquirer – Cost the highest hurdle for high-speed rail in U.S.