When it comes to fast train travel, the U.S. lags — badly

The TGV, France’s high-speed train, is fast; it has set at least one world speed record for a train on rails, hitting 357 mph on a stretch of track between Paris and Strasbourg, France. The U.S. has nothing close to it.
(Christophe Recoura / SNCF / Getty Images)

If there is a need for a high-velocity train anywhere in the world, the United States should be on top of the list.

Do we have one? No.

The railroads in the U.S. are antiquated. I rarely use a train as transportation, but the few times I do, I am so distraught that I imagine I’m on a train pulled by a steam locomotive. I recently took the train from Los Angeles to San Diego. It broke down twice, with a delay of 1 hour and 45 minutes.

This is America, the richest and most modern nation in the world, a nation that landed a man on the moon and has sent robots to Mars.


What we have is a “choo-choo train system.” I wonder why we are still more then 30 years behind other nations.

John Genna
Simi Valley

Young guys zip

Francisco Martinez, author of the Sept. 1 Departure Points article, “Racing Boldly Toward Life,” didn’t give his age, but I think he’s young, as evidenced by such comments as “rented a motorbike” and “zoomed ahead of the pack.” The article about his trip to Indonesia was beautifully written and made clear his feelings about what’s really important in life and matters in the long run.


Martinez explained how Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, despite his wealth, would probably have the same feeling of enjoyment riding through the countryside but most likely couldn’t or wouldn’t.

I got a kick out of the fact that the writer used Zuckerberg as the example of a billionaire rather than, say, Microsoft’s Bill Gates or Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, probably because it would be difficult to picture Gates or Bezos zipping through traffic on a motorbike. Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is still young, and young guys zip.

Bill Spitalnick
Newport Beach

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