A conservative friend says high-speed rail is the worst kind of crony capitalism and liberal boondoggle. The reason: Americans don’t want it. Build high-speed intercity rail, and it won’t get enough passengers to justify the investment. High speed rail isn’t even popular in other countries (he says), where the trains generally run far from capacity.
I can’t say he’s wrong.
On the other hand: The San Diego to LA train runs well, and is generally pretty full when I’ve taken it.
Related: US liberals want to build out light rail in cities, but they undervalue a better option: Buses. In the 60s, Americans of all classes rode the bus, but now they’re consigned to poor people. Who are icky.