Talk about burying jars filled with FRN's

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Obama Unveils Plan to Fund High-Speed Passenger Rail

By CHRISTOPHER CONKEY and ALEX ROTH

President Barack Obama on Thursday set U.S. transportation policy on a new course, announcing at least $13 billion to enhance passenger rail service as an alternative to clogged highways and overcrowded airports.

"Building a new system of high-speed rail in America will be faster, cheaper and easier than building more freeways or adding to an already overburdened aviation system, and everybody stands to benefit," Mr. Obama said, speaking at an event in Washington before leaving for Mexico....

This is someone who needs a drug test immediately.

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Amtrak

As someone who would like to take a train from Toronto to St. Louis every now and again. I can tell you that I would pay as much as a plane ticket to travel by train.

But the only thing that keeps me from pulling that trigger (the train ticket is cheaper) is that it takes 24+ hours to go that far. Most of the time is wasted waiting for commercial trains to pass (they own the tracks and have right-of-way). If I could take a train that didn't stop every hour to wait 30 minutes that would be awesome. I am sure there are positive externalities to this too (such as less traffic/traffic deaths, lower prices to air tickets, etc) but the social provisioning of this is not the only way of course. It is that Amtrak is stuffed every year with monopoly money and giving monopoly protections. May just lay the track and have companies bid on usage rights.

But if you have ridden Amtrak anywhere outside of the NYC-DC corridor, you know it is total shit. My train rides in Post-Communist Russia were better.

Private High Speed Rail

Apparently a private company in Italy is going to try to compete with the state rail service with high speed rail on existing track. I wonder if such a thing could work in the U.S., or if it's even legal.

The proposed new Mexico to Canada highway

to expedite NAFTA trade - surprised that it isn't rail.