Recently, someone asked the Antiplanner why Amtrak’s high-speed rail plan is so expensive. They were referring to a proposal published in late October to increase speeds in Amtrak’s Boston-to-Washington corridor to 220 mph.
The plan calls for spending $117 billion in the 427-mile corridor, for an average cost of nearly $275 million per mile. That’s almost ten times Florida’s projected cost of $30 million per mile and close to three times California’s projected cost of about $95 million per mile. Wikipedia reports that France kept the cost of one line down to $25 million per mile, but only by making compromises with grades and curvature. Continue reading