Second iteration, idealized national network for high speed railpassenger service
This map is updated some, and includes a link from Chicago across Illinois to Des Moines, Iowa, and then to Omaha, Nebraska.
Update: See the far more impressive consideration of the recreation of a national passenger railroad system in Transport Politic, in this entry "Envisioning a Future Interstate Rail Network."
Based on comments from the previous blog entry. It's not perfect, but it attempts to incorporate all the good comments but based on my drawing. Now, not just for pork barrell reasons, it provides service to almost every state--I suppose if a Chicago to Omaha link were added, it would provide service to Iowa too...
The blue states are members of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition, the gray states are not members but have other high speed rail plans. The base graphic comes from S4PRC but in this version, I took off specific mention of that organization because they have no connection to this mapping exercise.
Speaking of exercise, this is based on thinking about transportation networks in five overarching dimensions:1. International -- connections between countries. (The map above shows a couple connections between the U.S. and Canada, and one connection from San Antonio to Monterrey, Mexico through Laredo.)
2. National -- anchors of a national transportation system, current anchors are the Interstate Highway system, the freight railroad system, and airplane travel. We do not have a national passenger railroad network presently.
3. Regional -- multi-state connections -- for the most part these don't exist for transit, but do for freight railroad, airplane travel, and the Interstate highway system. The Northeast Corridor railroad passenger service offered by Amtrak is an example of such a transit network.
4. Metropolitan -- transit systems like the WMATA subway and bus system, the combined railroad, subway, bus, and waterborne transit services in the NYC or Boston regions.
5. Sub-metropolitan transit systems (in the DC region, locally provided services such as RideOn in Montgomery County Maryland or the Downtown Circulator in DC are examples of services within the subnetwork category of the Metropolitan Transit Network).