One way of breaking the nation’s reliance on foreign oil imports and avoiding the potential environmental calamities of offshore drilling is the development of viable transportation alternatives. High-speed rail — often discussed but rarely pursued by government or private investment — represents an attractive option that could make a difference along the densely populated corridors.
In a rare partnership, North Carolina and Virginia are working together to see high-speed rail connect key cities to a common ride, an effort that will be aided by a multimillion dollar federal grant. Their success in this endeavor could not only change the commuting patterns for millions, but also be part of a comprehensive new, more economical and more stable energy policy.
The Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor project began in 2010 with a goal of connecting the railroad-dependent Northeast with faster lines throughout the South. By creating a network that extends from Jacksonville, Fla., to the nation’s capital, it would connect the entire Eastern Seaboard, linking major metropolitan cities like Atlanta, Charlotte and Columbia, S.C., with Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
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