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Visualizing

A Beautiful Vision Of An American High-Speed Rail Map

Imagine if the entire country was linked by 220-mile-per-hour trains. That’s what this map does.

High-speed rail in this country is a joke. The Acela barely even hits its highest speed on its short route from Washington, D.C., to Boston and projects have been scuttled across the rest of the country as governments tighten their belts, leaving us well behind Europe and Asia when it comes to fast, efficient rail travel.

But imagine if things were different. Imagine if, instead of a rail system that hadn’t materially improved in nearly a century, our government had built an amazing network of high-speed rail lines that could whisk you from any major city to another in a matter of hours. That’s what this map, from California Rail Map, does.

Click to enlarge.

Created by Alfred Twu, the map compiles visions of possible American rail systems from a long list of places and mashes them together to show what a national rail network might look like. Need to get from Boston to Atlanta. That’s easy. Just hop on the Blue Line to New York, grab a quick transfer to the White Line, and you’ll be there in just a few hours.

Given the difficulties in building just a tiny part of this system (the chunk of the Yellow Line from L.A. to San Francisco), we’re so amazingly far away from this happening. Looking at this map can be more frustrating than inspiring. But just imagine.

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