Thursday, May 08, 2008

America gets its first high-speed train!

No, silly, that’s South America. Argentina to be specific. North America still doesn’t have high-speed train service.

Now don’t go getting all huffy about the ACELA being a high-speed train because (1) its service is so unreliable and intermittent as to be laughable and (2) its average speed -- due to track congestion and aging rails -- is slightly faster than a 1985 Yugo in desperate need of a new cam shaft and a couple quarts of Quaker State.

The Argentine train, however, will be impressive: 8 double-decker trains, with a capacity to hold 509 passengers each, will travel at a maximum 320 kph (200 mph), linking Buenos Aires and the city of Rosario, a major port, and the city of Córdoba. The trip will take 3 hours, or roughly one-fifth of the current journey time.

Peckers up, USA-ers. Let's be grateful for our gas-tax holiday this summer (if we get one) and for the hawk-eyed airport security screeners who will be confiscating our travel-size Head-and-Shoulders and our nipple rings.

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