2230

					Industrial Engineering B9                                                                                                        2230


 HIGH SPEED TRAIN SYSTEMS: OPTIMIZING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
                     IN THE UNITED STATES
                        Matthew Egan (mae62@pitt.edu), Victoria Venn (vtv3@pitt.edu)

Abstract—High Speed Railways are a revolutionary method               While driving, you try to stay safe by being alert of the road,
of transportation that uses train cars that can attain speeds         but it is difficult with the lack of visibility due to the storm.
of up to 220 miles per hour [1]. In 2009, the United States           On top of all that, it will cost you an average of $91.72 in
government announced that they will construct a High Speed            fuel prices to travel round trip between the two cities [5].
Railway system. According to the plans, the railroad will                 If driving seems too long and dangerous of an option,
stretch more than 17,000 miles and reach to more than 70              then perhaps you would prefer to travel by air. After all, the
cities once completed [2]. This paper will discuss how these          airplane ride from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh is less than an
high speed train systems will optimize public transportation          hour (approoximately 49 minutes). While on the flight, you
in the United States. This system will do so not only by              can relax and perhaps entertain yourself as you approach
saving American citizens’ time and money, but also by                 your destination, luxuries which are unavailable to you if
decreasing reliance on alternate transportation forms such            you drive. On the other hand, you must also consider the
as automobiles and airplanes. This paper will also argue              hassle that you will encounter when using the air travel
that these trains represent a sustainable solution to the             option. First, you must drive to the airport a few hours
current economic and energy crises the United States faces            before your flight through city traffic, and have a place to
today.                                                                keep your automobile while you are away. Once you get to
By decreasing the public’s reliance on automobile and air             the airport, you must go through the long lines and extensive
travel, these trains will alleviate traffic on highways and           security measures just to get to your gate. In addition, you
crowding at airports. Moreover, while high speed trains               need to compensate for the likely delays you will face due to
will be able to travel at times that are comparable to those          do the storm. Finally, the average cost of a round trip flight
of aircrafts, they will not subject passengers to the high            between the two citites is over $300, not including any
fares, discomfort, and inconvenience of air travel. The               additional fees for checking bags, on-flight food, etc [6].
railway will also benefit the American economy not only by            You must consider if the quick plane ride is really worth the
allowing consumers and goods to travel more efficiently, but          cost and inconvience that comes with air transportation.
also by creating or saving approximately 150,000 jobs [3].                It seems that in this hypothetical scenario, there is no
Perhaps one of the most enduring benefits of the high speed           ideal way to travel, for in either case, you will incur high
trains in this environmentally-conscious world is that it is          prices, extended delays, and infuriating inconvience with no
completely electric and uses no fossil fuels [4]. This new            guarantee of arriving to your destination on time. Now,
high speed railroad system offers many benefits that make it          imagine a new way to travel that was unaffected by the
a promising success for the future of transportation in               storm, got you to your destination on time, and was very
America.                                                              affordable. A transportation method like that is currently
Key Words—High Speed Railroads, Future of                             under construction in the United States in the form of high
Transportation in America, Transportation Technology,                 speed railroads. High speed railroads (HSR) will be able to
Improving Public Transportation, Benefits of High Speed               provide travel times comparable to airplanes, while being
Trains, Job creation in America, Environmentally-friendly             more convient and affordable. These new railroad systems
travel options                                                        will revolutionize the way that United States functions as a
                                                                      whole, not only by enhancing the country’s means of
    CURRENT METHODS OF TRANSPORTATION                                 transportation,      but    benefitting     economically      and
                                                                      environmentally as well.
Perhaps you are a traveling business executive who needs to
take a trip from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in order to present                    WHAT IS HIGH SPEED RAIL?
a new proposal for your company. Unfortunately, this trip
occurs in the middle of January and there is a massive                High Speed Railroads are exactly what the name implies: a
snowstorm threatening the entire Northeast. You consider              railroad system with trains that can reach speeds of up to 220
two options for traveling to your destination—driving or              miles per hour (mph). Although the idea of trains traveling
flying.                                                               at speeds that high seems like a futuristic concept, high
    Because the destinations are in the same state, the first         speed trains have in fact been in existence for nearly half of
option of driving seems like a logical transportation method.         a century. The first ever high speed railroad was completed
However, the time it takes to drive between the two cities is         in 1964 in Japan. The train system, called “Shinkansen” was
about five-and-a-half hours each way, not including                   able to travel at speeds of 130 mph and was the first
slowdowns you will face due to traffic and road conditions.           passenger train ever to reach a speed above 100 mph. HSR
University of Pittsburgh
Swanson School of Engineering                                                                                       March 29, 2012
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                                                                                                                        Matthew Egan
                                                                                                                        Victoria Venn

then made its way into Europe in 1978, with a railroad                  smaller in area than the U.S., the length of the rail lines that
constructed between Rome and Florence, Italy. From there,               were required was substantially less, and therefore, more
nearly all of Western Europe, including: Spain, Germany,                affordable. The United States is over 3,000 miles long and
Belgium, Britain and France, also adopted their own railroad            has economically prevalent cities in all four corners of the
systems with speeds between 150 mph and up to 220 mph.                  country, so the amount of money needed to construct totally
After its incorporation in Europe, China took HSR to the                new rail lines connecting all of these cities is astronomical
next level with a new innovation called “maglev” trains.                [1].
“Maglev” is short for magnetic levitation and these trains                  For the time being, President Obama and the United
use magnets to literally “float” a few inches off the track and         States government have collaborated on an alternative plan
obtain speeds of 268 mph, the highest of any train in the               that is more economical yet still allows for the development
world. A common characteristic of these high speed trains is            of high speed rail throughout the country. Instead of
that they are all powered by electricity, rather than through           creating entirely new rail lines, this project will put
the burning of fossil fuels. In all of these countries, the             Americans to work much sooner by upgrading of existing
adaptation of high speed rail has been widely accepted and              rail lines to support trains of speeds over 100 mph [3]. This
has become incredibly popular. For example, in the United               plan will incorporate HSR in ten main corridors of the
Kingdom there were more than 1.3 billion rail passengers in             country, which overall inhabits about three-fourths of the
2009 alone [1][3].                                                      country’s population. The corridors chosen to receive HSR
    High speed rail was finally introduced to the United                (designated by red lines in Figure 1) are as follows:
States in 2009, when President Barack Obama announced                   California, Pacific Northwest, South Central, Gulf Coast,
that he would spend $8 billion of the stimulus package in               Chicago Hub Network, Florida, Southeast, Keystone,
order to create a country-wide High Speed Railroad Network              Empire, and Northern New England. Each of these corridors
[7]. When completed, this HSR system will be the first of               has been strategically chosen to maximize travel times in
its kind in the United States and will forever revolutionize            their respective areas [2].
the way that Americans travel.

     IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HSR SYSTEM
In response to a national project as immense as this one,
questions regarding cost, time, location, and logistics will
begin to arise. As previously stated, President Obama
initially spent an amount of $8 billion to fund the start of this
construction.      In order to jumpstart the project, he
additionally allocated $2.5 billion from the 2010 stimulus
budget, as well as a total of $53 billion over the following
six years. This total amount of $63.5 billion may be higher
than most people would like to see spent, but the funds are
necessary in order to compensate for the labor and materials
that are required to implement the system [8].
     When the idea of an HSR system in the United States
originally came to fruition, a number of different plans were
initially considered. Ideally, the United States would have
                                                                                                   FIGURE 1
liked to join the countries of Europe and Asia by creating a            FIGURE 1 SHOWS THE TEN CORRIDORS OF HSR IN THE UNITED STATES [2].
high speed rail system, or possibly even a Maglev train
system, that can transport passengers at speeds of 220 mph                  An example of a corridor which will utilize the
or higher. Unfortunately, the state of the modern economy               improvement of existing railroad lines can be seen in the
rendered the building of such rail lines unfeasible. The                Empire corridor in New York. This area will update a 462
construction of train lines that could support 220-mph-trains           mile long rail line that connects major cities, including New
would require the building of entirely new rail lines from              York City, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. When
scratch, which would ultimately cost an extraordinary                   completed, passengers will be able to travel throughout the
amount of money [9]. The reason countries like Japan,                   state at speeds of 110 mph, while avoiding the traffic that
France, and Germany have been able to afford these high-                normally congests roads while traveling to these cities [10].
tech rail systems is that they have invested much more time                 Perhaps the most discussed area that will receive HSR is
into them. After World War II, many of these countries                  the state of California. Even before President Obama
were left in ruins from battle, and the governments decided             announced the nationwide HSR initiative in 2009, voters in
to rely on railroads as a way to rebuild the countries’                 California had passed a bill to create a high speed rail
infrastructure. Because all of these countries are much                 network in their state. California is notorious for its extreme



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                                                                                                                     Matthew Egan
                                                                                                                     Victoria Venn

congestion on highways and in airports (especially in Los              Engineers, “sustainability” is defined as “a set of
Angeles) due to overpopulation and a lack of alternate                 environmental, economic and social conditions in which all
infrastructure. The HSR project hopes to dramatically                  of society has the capacity and opportunity to maintain and
reduce the amount of traffic on highways in this state.                improve its quality of life indefinitely without degrading the
California saw its need for HSR so great that the project will         quantity, quality or availability of natural, economic, and
condone the creation of entirely new rail lines, an initiative         social resources. ” [13]. In accordance with this definition,
only seen in this specific corridor. These new rail lines will         HSR qualifies as a sustainable innovation, for is conserves
be state-of-the-art and will be able to support 220-mph-               four vital resources: time, money, nature and human life.
travel. In total, these lines will cover over 800 miles and
will reach the highly populated cities of San Francisco,                                  Time-Related Benefits
Sacramento, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Diego [11].
   The region highlighted in blue on the map in Figure 1 is            As the name implies, a primary benefit of high speed rail
known as the Northeast corridor. The Northeast corridor is             will be the conservation of time. With the use of these new
considered one of the most prominent economic and social               high speed trains, travel times will be reduced by more tan
corridors in the nation, as it contains the cities of                  half when compared to automobile travel. For example, a
Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City                trip of 550 miles that would normally take about ten hours
and Boston. This area is the nation’s densest and most                 while driving at an average speed of 55 mph would only take
economically productive, considering its 50 million residents          about five hours while riding one of the 110 mph trains. The
produce 20% of the nation’s GDP while inhabiting only 2%               largest benefits of speed will be seen in California and
of the country’s land mass [12]. Why then, was such a                  possibly the Northeast corridor, where the implementation of
booming economical area not designated for a new rail                  220 mph trains could make the eight hour car ride from San
system? This is because in 1992, the corridor received                 Diego to San Francisco pass in approximately three hours
extensive funding to upgrade and improve the rail system.              [11]. There will be little trouble for Americans access these
The Northeast corridor’s rail system is currently one of the           high speed rail stations. As previously stated, the rail system
most efficient in America, with speeds of up to 150 mph,               will reach to more than 70 U.S. cities and be available to
and for the time being there was no reason to fund another             80% of the American public when completed [7]. This
upgrade in this area [2]. Although the area has not yet been           makes availability and location a non-issue.
approved for additional funding, the National Railroad                     Another aspect of high speed rail that sets it apart from
Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) has proposed a plan to the              nearly any other form of modern transportation is its
federal government seeking funding to upgrade to HSR. If               reliability. That is, when customers purchase high-speed rail
approved, Amtrak intends on building a railroad system                 tickets, they can bet with near certainty that the train will
similar to the one that will be built in California. A 220-            leave and arrive at the scheduled time. The trains are rarely
mph-railroad system would be able to travel from Boston to             affected or slowed by external factors like weather, and
Washington D.C. in fewer than three hours. In an area so               delays are rare. In fact, Spain’s HSR system has a 98.8%
dense yet so productive, an advanced HSR train with speeds             on-time performance rate [14]. Admittedly, high-speed rail
of 220 mph would decrease congestion on the cities’                    is not perfect; there will be unavoidable instances where
highways and transport passengers much faster, allowing                delays and slowdowns will occur. Still, the likelihood of
businesses to meet and transact more efficiently [12].                 issues like this occurring with HSR is much lower than with
  The overall mission of the high speed rail initiative to             alternate forms of transportation.
provide is to provide 80% of Americans with high speed rail                The various number of options for train tickets is a factor
within the next 25 years. This ten-corridor implementation             that increases productivity of the trains and makes it more
process will do just that. When completed, it will span the            appealing than flying. When flying, the customer must
entire country and reach to nearly every major city in the             usually buy a ticket weeks in advance for a specific date and
United States [7]. Even trains like the one being built in             time; and if they miss that plane then the odds of them
California and considered for the Northeast corridor could             reaching their destination on time are very slim, and they
be a possibility for the majority of the country in the future         will end up paying incredibly high fees to do so. According
when the economy is strong enough to support such                      to TGV, the high-speed train system in France, the customer
expenditures.                                                          still has the option of buying a ticket in advance, but can also
                                                                       easily purchase a ticket the day before a departure. On any
     SUSTAINABLE BENEFITS OF THE SYSTEM                                given day, there are usually more than twenty trains running
                                                                       per day to each city, leaving plenty of time slots to choose
A nationwide project of such magnitude can only be justified           from. However, if the passenger is late for the train, they are
if the cost of it is offset by a substantial number of benefits.       able to return the ticket up to an hour after the train has left
Fortunately for the United States, High Speed Rail offers a            for a full refund or in exchange for a ticket on an upcoming
sustainable transportation system with an abundance of                 train [15]. If this same policy is incorporated in the
benefits. According to the American Society of Civil



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                                                                                                                   Matthew Egan
                                                                                                                   Victoria Venn

American HSR systems, the convenience of rail travel will                 Through job creation, increased consumer spending and
be unrivaled by both automobile and air travel.                       productivity, and low ticket prices, HSR will provide a
                                                                      sustainable transportation system that will be able to
                     Economic Benefits                                conserve the money of both American citizens and the
                                                                      country as a whole.
President Obama did not approve the use of $63.5 billion for
the construction of HSR simply as a luxury for the American                             Environmental Benefits
people. His reasoning behind the creation of HSR was
motivated by his visions of a stronger economy for America.           In today’s environmentally-friendly world, finding ways to
In the midst of one of the worst economic recessions in               accomplish everyday tasks in a “green” manner is more
American history in 2009, Obama made high speed rail one              prevalent than ever. A large controversy that has arisen as
of the main projects of his stimulus package. He did so               humans continue to seek energy sources is the conservation
because there is tremendous room for economic growth as a             of natural resources. Nonrenewable resources such as coal,
result of HSR.                                                        oil, and natural gases are burned as fossil fuels to provide
     In a case study performed by The United States                   humans with energy to power every-day technology. The
Conference of Mayors, the economic impact of high speed               problem with these sources of energy is that they not only
rail on four U.S. cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando,              pollute the atmosphere with harmful carbon dioxide gas, but
Albany) was studied. The results of the study show that               they are limited on this planet; and once they are burned they
HSR could potentially bring $7.6 billion in additional                can never be reused. America is particularly guilty of
business sales to Los Angeles, $6.1 billion to Chicago, $2.7          burning fossil fuels, as the United States receives more than
billion to Orlando and $2.1 billion to Albany. Each city              83% of its energy from coal, oil and natural gas. [20]
would also see more than 20,000 jobs created (up to 60,000                High Speed Rail is the sustainable solution that the
in Los Angeles) [16]. These outstanding results bode well             United has been seeking. Oil is an increasingly scarce
for every other American city that will be affected by HSR.           natural resource that is used to power both automobiles and
     High speed rail is able to have such a dramatic effect on        airplanes.     Currently, the United States uses about
the economy for various reasons. HSR will increase travel             19,150,000 barrels of oil per day, or 6.98 billion barrels a
efficiency and will take automobiles off the road. Each year          year. As previously stated, the HSR system will be able to
the American people waste a total of 41.2 billion hours and           save America 125 million barrels of oil per year, resulting in
lose nearly $87.2 billion in productivity just because of             a 1.78% decrease in oil use per year [20].
traffic on highways. High speed rail will displace eight                  As a result of the decrease in need for oil, HSR will
million cars from the road each year and help to alleviate            greatly reduce the amount of carbon emissions that are
this loss in productivity by $1.3 billion per year [14][17].          released into the atmosphere each day. For example, on a
One of the long-term effects of HSR that will boost the               240 mile trip from Houston to Dallas, the average airplane
economy is job creation. By the end of 2010, the                      would release 133.7 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air,
implementation of high speed rail had already assisted in the         and the average automobile would release 157 pounds.
creation of 150,000 jobs [3]. For every $1 billion that is            Although the trains themselves do not burn fossil fuels, the
spent in capital funding, another 24,000 construction jobs            electricity that powers them was most likely generated by
are created [14]. Types of jobs that are created as a result of       fossil fuels. Even so, the amount of carbon dioxide that
high speed rail are: city planners, engineers, architects,            would be released into the air by a train on that 240 mile trip
construction workers, train operators, and maintenance                is only 32.1 pounds, substantially less than both the airplane
workers [18]. High speed rail will decrease America’s need            and the automobile. The California Corridor alone will
for foreign oil, which is one of the largest issues affecting         remove approximately 12 billion pounds of carbon dioxide
the economy. The system will reduce oil usage by 125                  from the air by the year 2030 [21].
million barrels a year, saving the country more than $13                  Furthermore, trains are able to use energy three times
billion per year [14]. An HSR system will also merit the              more efficiently than automobiles and six times more
construction of many new shops and buildings surrounding              efficiently than airplanes [4]. Overall, HSR will result in
train stations, resulting in even more job creation and               71% fewer emissions than automobiles and 76% fewer than
consumer spending. The completion of HSR in the U.S. will             air travel, providing a much more sustainable and
put more money into Americans’ pockets. The price of                  environmentally-responsible world for the future [14].
tickets will vary depending on your destination, length of the
trip, when you schedule it, etc. but it is projected that                                    Safety Benefits
average ticket prices will range from $20 to a little over
$100. Assuredly, the price will be more affordable than a             The most precious resource that HSR will conserve is human
comparable airplane ticket, thus saving Americans’ money              life. Ever since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011,
[19].                                                                 safety regarding public transportation has been of utmost
                                                                      importance. Laws and regulations for airport security have



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                                                                                                                    Matthew Egan
                                                                                                                    Victoria Venn

grown extensively since the September 11 attacks, so one              communities more livable—and we’re doing it all while
must believe that the same security measures will be taken            decreasing America’s environmental impact and increasing
on these HSR systems. As of now, the Transportation                   America’s ability to compete in the world” [12]. That is
Security Agency (TSA) has not announced any formal plans              precisely what HSR will do for the United States. It will
regarding the security measures that will be used at HSR              provide a sustainible means of transportation, in that it will
stations. The only decision about security at the stations that       provide a safe and efficient means of transportation, boost
has been made is that there will be no shoe-checks as seen at         the economy, create jobs, and reduce carbon emissions.
airports. Foreign train stations tend to be more lax than
airport security because trains try to keep efficiency at                                 OPPOSING VIEWS
stations one of the benefits over air travel. That being said,
America tends to be particularly stringent with security              As with nearly any major, government funded project like
measures considering its traumatic past with terrorist attacks.       HSR, there will be those who oppose it. In the case of high
Ultimately, the final decision of pre-departure security              speed rail, the opposition comes mainly from conservative
measures will come down to the TSA.                                   Republicans. Many Republicans believe that the initial
    As for the system itself, HSR has proven to have a                spending of $63.5 billion cannot be justified given the
sterling record of safety over the years. In fact, the                current state of the American economy. They also believe
“Shinkansen” trains in Japan have never had a death or an             that the environmental benefits from this railroad are not
injury in their 46 years of existence. Similar successes can          worth the accompanying price tag.
be found in France and Spain, who have also never seen a                  The reasons for doubt are very rational. It is tough to
fatality due to high speed rail. The fatality rate of Amtrak          validate the use of such a large amount of money when the
trains is .04 per 100 million passenger miles, which is               economy of the nation is already struggling. The economy
substantially lower than the 1.26 fatality rate due to                however, is the prime reason that President Obama began
automobiles [13].                                                     this initiative. Although the initial amount of spending does
    High speed rail proves to be such a safe option because of        seem very steep, the rail system will pay for itself over its
the technology involved with it. High speed trains are                lifetime by increasing productivity, decreasing reliance on
usually operated via computers that automatically keep the            foreign fuels, creating jobs, and boosting tourism in cities all
trains at a safe speed and distance from other trains. In the         across the country. Studies show that every dollar spent in
United States, the railroad system that will be put into place        costs yields between $1.70 and $2.50 of benefits [16]. As
will be equipped with a computer system known as Positive             for the environmental concerns, once again the amount of
Control Testing (PTC). PTC is the latest form of computer             benefits that will be seen in the present does not justify the
technology for train systems that ensures passenger safety.           high cost of the system. However, the amount of fossil fuels
Positive Train Control utilizes GPS systems to track the              available in the world is decreasing every day. As these
location and speed of a train. These automated pilots keep            nonrenewable resources continue to deplete, the price of
the speed of the train constant, and are able to slow the train       them will increase.        Creating this system of clean
if there is any sign of danger. For instance, if a train is           transportation in the present ensures that America will have
moving at a speed too high for a particular turn, PTC is able         an alternative to polluting sources like automobiles and
to calculate the problem in advance and slow the train to             airplanes in the future.
avoid any danger. This system will prevent against
                                                                              HIGH SPEED RAIL IS THE FUTURE OF
accidents such as: train-to-train collisions, over-speed
derailments, interruption of work-zones, and switch                             TRANSPORTATION IN AMERICA
displacements. The technology also comes equipped with                Put yourself back into the position of the traveling business
earthquake detectors to immediately slow the train in the             executive traveling in the snowstorm, except in this scenario
event of an earthquake, a feature that will be especially             you have three options: driving, flying, or high speed train.
prevalent in California, an area which is known to be prone           Driving would be dangerous due to the conditions, and the
to Earthquakes. PTC is an extremely safe system that                  airport would likely be delayed causing you to be late to
essentially eliminates any possible human error and ensures           your presentation.
a safe trip [22]. This state-of-the-art technology will                   With the HSR option, you are able to buy the ticket only
ultimately sustain the most important resource of all; human          a day or so in advance and at a fraction of the price of the
life.                                                                 airplane ticket. When you arrive at the train station, you are
    Perhaps Vice President Joe Biden summed up the                    able to easily pass through security, and do not have the
benefits of high speed rail best when he said, “By investing          worry of delays or unnecessary slowdowns due to weather.
in high-speed rail, we’re doing so many good things for our           The train will be able to travel from Philadelphia to
country at the same time. We’re creating good construction            Pittsburgh through the storm in less than three hours. You
and manufacturing jobs in the near-term; we’re spurring               are able to sit back on the train and relax, to arrive at your
economic development in the future; we’re making our                  destination on time, feeling refreshed. All the while, you are



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                                                                                                                                             Matthew Egan
                                                                                                                                             Victoria Venn

satisfied knowing that you made the trip in a vehicle that is                       [19] Y. Freemark (2009, September 8). “Getting the Price Right: How
                                                                                    Much Should High-Speed Fares Cost?” The Transport Politic [Online].
sustainable and environmentally friendly.
                                                                                    Available:      http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2009/09/08/getting-the-
    High speed rail will provide an exciting and sustainable                        price-right-how-much-should-high-speed-fares-cost/
transportation method for the United States. The creation of                         [20] (2010). “Country Comparison: Oil – Consumption” Central
this rail system will do much more for the country than just                        Intelligence            Agency.             [Online].           Available:
                                                                                    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
provide a convenient and safe means of traveling. The HSR
                                                                                    [21] J. Miller (2011, December 11) “High Stakes for High-Speed Rail”
network will provide Americans’ with jobs, improve the                              California League of Conservation Voters. [Online]. Available:
economy, reduce the carbon footprint, and overall, provide                          http://www.ecovote.org/blog/high-stakes-high-speed-rail
the everyday American citizen with a better quality of life.                        [22] S. McElligott (2012) “Positive Train Control” HNTB [Online].
                                                                                    Available:     http://www.hntb.com/news-room/white-paper/positive-train-
                                                                                    control
                            REFERENCES
[1] R. James (2009, April 20). “A Brief History of High-Speed Rail” Time                               ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Magazine                           [Online].                       Available:
                                                                                    A.Kanafani, D. Gillin, D. Levinson, J. Mathieu. (1997). “The full cost of
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1892463,00.html
                                                                                    High Speed Rail: The Engineering Approach.” Regional Science.[Online].
[2] (2011). “High Speed Rail Corridor Descriptions” Federal Railroad
                                                                                    Available: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/HighSpeedRail.pdf
Administration                        [Online].                    Available:
                                                                                    K. Laing. (2012). “Rail left at the Station in State of the Union.” The
http://www.fra.dot.gov/Pages/203.shtml
                                                                                    Hill.[Online].       Available:        http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-
[3] J. Lee (2009, April 16). “A Vision for High Speed Rail” The White
                                                                                    report/railroads/206299-rail-left-at-the-station-in-obama-state-of-the-union-
House. [Online]. Available: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/16/a-
                                                                                    address
vision-for-high-speed-rail
                                                                                    “US High Speed Rail Network”.(2011).US High Speed Rail Association.
[4] E. Glaeser. (2009, August 12). “How Big are the Environmental
                                                                                    [Online]. Available: http://www.ushsr.com/ushsrmap.html
Benefits of High Speed Rail?”. The New York Times. [Online]. Available:
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/how-big-are-the-
environmental-benefits-of-high-speed-rail/                                                                ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
[5] (2012). “AAA Fuel Cost Calculator” AAA [Online]. Available:
http://fuelcostcalculator.aaa.com/                                                  We would like to thank Dr. Jill Dione for meeting with us to
[6] (2012, January 12). “Flights From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.” Fare             provide assistance. Dr. Dione was incredibly helpful to us
Compare.                            [Online]                       Available:
                                                                                    and allowed our paper to reach its full potential. We would
http://www.farecompare.com/flights/Philadelphia-PHL/Pittsburgh-
PIT/market.html                                                                     also like to acknowledge Dave Meyers and Megan Ubinger
[7] T. Marcus. (2011). “Bringing High-Speed Rail to America.” The White             for providing us with useful advice from an engineering
House.                            [Online].                        Available:       standpoint.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/08/bringing-high-speed-rail-
america
[8] (2011, Februrary 8). “Biden announces $53 billion high-speed rail plan”
CNN.                             [Online]                          Available:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/02/08/biden.rail.network/index.html
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