There was intial talk here in Ohio about a HSR line called the 3-C Line, that would connect Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. Initially, nearly everyone I knew (including myself) was very excited about the potential prospect. Then once everyone (including myself) understood the costs to build and operate it, and then were told that due to the number of stops along the way that the average speed on a trip from Cincinnati to Cleveland would be 39 miles per hour; it quickly lost momentum, and is basically now dead in the water. So much so that the feds pulled Ohios grant dollars for an HSR project and gave them to California. Good luck California.
It takes me basically four hours and twenty minutes to go from my driveway to Cleveland. I don't have to even ever get out of my car, and I can drive from my garage to the garage of an office building. I dont have to get out, stand in any lines, go through any security, rent a car or wait for a bus to take me to my final destination once I arrive in Cleveland. None of that. I can drive very nicely from point A to point B in roughly 4.5 hours.
If I took the proposed HSR line, I have to leave my car either at home and rely on other mode of transportation to take me to the station, or leave my car somewhere nearby the station. I have to wait in line, I have to wait for the train, I have to go through security, THEN I will have to endure a train ride that will take me to some part of Cleveland (not my final destination mind you), and drop me off SIX HOURS AND 38 MINUTES later (and thats ONLY the train ride portion of the trip; not the waiting in line, or the drive to the station, or getting to point B once I arrive in Cleveland). In fact, due to safety concerns there would be ONLY 38 miles of track where the train can actually TRAVEL AT high speed. And it's gonna cost how much? 3.5 billion dollars? Then another 20 million each year from the state to operate it? Well if it's good for the environment...what? The environmental impact to build it would be another 800 milllion dollars? And it will take me twice as long to get there?
I can see a WHOLE bunch of Americans saying the same thing.
As Bosk and others havce pointed out numerous times in this thread. If people don't use it, it's a waste of money. I don't care how much it costs, for me personally, I'm not riding on anything that takes me nearly 8 hours to get to Cleveland from my front door.
The convenience and low cost of our highway systems will never allow the U.S. to be like Europe as far as rail travel is concerned.