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Don't forget to account for a general change in the value of travel as the cost of energy changes. 100 years ago it was really, really expensive to travel long distances. Recently it's been really cheap. There's probably a happy median in there somewhere, but in that case, the value of the time taken to travel at some speed will have to be accounted for.

HSR is competing with today's air travel in cost and speed. But if the cost of air travel jumps up due to the lack of electric airplanes, then maybe the trains don't need to go quite as fast to attract passengers. I think there is a degree of national technological pride involved in today's HSR projects, and that while there may be some of them in the long run, for trunk connections, "fast" conventional trains will be the majority system.

Or, most likely, electric cars.

by asdf on Fri Jul 22nd, 2011 at 11:46:57 PM EST
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