The Future of High-Speed Rail

"Imagine boarding a train in the center of a … whisking through towns at speeds over 100 … and ending up just blocks from your destination." That's the vision President Obama laid out in April while unveiling his plan to spend $13 billion on high-speed rail (HSR) by 2014. But will it ever become a reality? Next month, D.C. will split the first funds among 11 designated corridors. A road map for the journey ahead:

A BETTER-CONNECTED AMERICA
Advocates see HSR as a green way to link the megaregions of the future (shaded). Start with the highest-impact projects, they say, then grow the network.

HOW THE U.S. MEASURES UP
With only one slower, shorter line in service (the Acela), we're far behind the leading HSR nations.