Does anyone have any ideas what the future in railroad will be like in the United States? Will we have mag-lev high-speed trains, air-cushioned freight trains and bullet passenger trains? Well it is an interesting subject from a planning perspective and from a Futurist point of view. Part of what makes a civilization run efficiently is the flows of transportation and distribution of course.
Recently in an online think tank a participants stated; "I am proposing to determine the trend and then proceed to invent what I believe trains will be like in 50 years following that trend."
Indeed this is a worthy project, it is great to see your interests. Myself as a Futurist and trend watcher of high-speed rail, air-cushioned technologies, Magnetic Levitation and projected needs of our civilization, I concur with your approach on this subject and for some back ground information perhaps you might enjoy the "Flow of Transportation" essay, as it discusses some of the ways the US has used rail to move people, products and commodities. We should respect our rail lines more.
Even though our transportation systems and distributions are so diverse with so much redundancy, such as air, ferry, ship and trucks. Rail is a big part of the over all mix. Mr. Minetta, Snow and Greenspan have all made note of the massive amounts of distribution by rail. Indeed even though trucks can also carry much of the freight rail provides competition and thus efficiencies. But can you imagine a futuristic super rail transportation system fifty years from now? Do we have the vision to make that happen? Surely we do? But the question remains will we re-invest in the flows of our civilization to make that happen? Consider this in 2006.