In many countries around the world, high-speed trains compete with planes in terms of time and costs, providing passengers with a quick, comfortable journey from point A to point B. That’s not the case in America. The United States has only one train that can technically be called a high-speed train, which averages a meager 68 mph as it travels from Boston to Washington DC. Under the Green New Deal, a comprehensive national plan to tackle climate change and inequality that was proposed last week on Capitol Hill, investments would be made in developing a high-speed rail network across the country. So, why is this a good idea? An analysis from Bloomberg put together last year found that travel time from airport to destination, when factoring the time it takes to get to the airport and waiting in security lines, is roughly the same as high-speed trains. The main difference, however, is that high-speed trains are far less carbon-intensive than flying while being much cheaper too. Skeptics may think that the US is too big for high-speed trains, but countries around the world show otherwise. In Japan, there’s a train route that covers the approximate distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2.5 hours. That’s hours quicker than anyone in California could ever dream of.

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