"Even a rocket-like super train will be slowed to a snail's pace when it runs on poor quality tracks and has to stop too often. Even a Ferrari can't muster up much more than a leisurely pace when it travels on a dirt road."
"France, with its spectacularly speedy travel times, has proven that progress is truly not a matter of just producing more and more high technology. The country has Europe's oldest and most attractive high-speed train system. The TGV, with its thoroughly solid, venerable old Alstom trains, travels from Paris to Marseille -- 661 kilometers (411 miles) as the crow flies -- in just three hours. Even the most modern ICE takes five and a half hours -- nearly twice as long -- to cover the shorter distance between Hamburg and Munich."
"The super-high-speed, three-hour service from Paris to Marseille, for example, passes through Lyon and Avignon without stopping. This is the only way for a train to have unparalleled speed on this line -- and three hours is a travel time that allows train travel to beat even flight."
On my last train trip across the Mojave Desert...on a straight-run track, we slowed to 5 m.p.h. The conductor informed me the tarck was so bad, if we went any faster we'd de-rail. If we ever develop high-speed trains...we'd have to build high-speed track to accomodate them..
Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"