10 July 2012

'Ferrari' of the Californian Railroad

Written by Published in Technology

On July 7th California’s senate approved funding for the first phase of a $68 billion plan to produce the first high-speed rail system that will link Los Angeles to San Francisco. With construction beginning in the Central Valley, the rail system will zoom between Los Angeles and San Francisco in three hours – a journey that usually takes up to eight! Sustainable sources such as wind and solar energy will be the main producers of electric power driving the engine to speeds of up to 200 mph

For those who live in California, traffic is a daunting smog-filled second home that doesn’t leave too much room for a stress-free commute. According to The Coalition for Clean Air, the air in Southern California can reduce ones life expectancy by one to two years, however, the renewable energy that supplies the high-speed system will aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 12 billion  pounds per year. Furthermore, it will also decrease the current annual dependency on foreign oil by 12.7 million barrels.

Dan Richard, chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority says, "Not only will California be the first state in the nation to build a high-speed rail system to connect our urban centers, we will also modernize and improve rail systems at the local and regional level. This plan will improve mobility for commuters and travellers alike, reduce emissions, and put thousands of people to work while enhancing our economic competitiveness."

With California being the fifth largest producer of global warming emissions in the world, injecting a high-speed ‘Ferrari’ train into the transportation route might just be the right step towards making California a more eco-friendly state. The high-speed rail will only utilize one third of the energy that airplanes use and one fifth the energy of a typical family car.

Many supporters of the bill believe the train will not only modernize California’s transportation system but also contribute to the expansion of its economy. President Barack Obama has already proposed spending $53 billion on a national high-speed rail network with hopes that in 25 years, 80% of Americans will be zipping from city to city and state to state in their own personal smog-free ‘Ferrari’ train.


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