By contrast, here's the official high-speed rail plan as proposed by the White House in April:
Among the differences: the ttp plan includes a route for the Colorado Front Range which the gummint plan lacks; it also integrates the major components of HSR in the eastern half of the country, from the Northeast Corridor to Texas; and integrates the Arizona 'Sun Corridor' into the California network. Whence the differences? Well, these are among ttp's criteria:
the transport politic’s proposal was informed by an analysis of potential travel between metro regions of populations greater than 100,000 and between 50 and 500 miles apart... The vast majority of train travel would occur on trains running at 150 mph or above on routes of 500 miles or less. Roads and airports along these corridors would be significantly decongested as more people choose to take the train instead of a car for short to medium distances (50-200 miles) and the train instead of the airplane for long distance (300-500 miles) travel...They also get into the nitty-gritty of how such a plan ought to be administered:
There is no transcontinental high-speed railroad proposed here because high-speed rail simply doesn’t attract particularly high ridership above the 500 mile travel distance; the best way to get from the East Coast to the West Coast will – and should, barring some unforeseen technological advance – remain via airplane...
In order to calculate the cost effectiveness of each route on the high-speed system, the transport politic used a relatively simple methodology based on travel between city pairs 50 to 500 miles apart. The calculations assume the following: that a big city to big city route attracts more passengers than a small city to small city route; that a big city to small city route attracts more passengers than a small city to small city route; that as distances increase, ridership decreases, though not proportionately. I recognize that these assumptions may be incorrect in many cases, but they provide a reasonable start for further research on this subject.
the transport politic’s suggestion is that the most appropriate way to get the ball rolling is to separate train operations – Amtrak – from track possession and maintenance by setting up a national infrastructure owner – let’s call it NatTrack. This agency would take hold of the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor and begin acquiring and assembling land for future high-speed rail corridors. Through eminent domain, it would also take possession of a large number of the nation’s freight lines, most of which are currently under-maintained and poorly managed, and begin converting them to standard-speed rail operations. NatTrack would manage route creation, not only in buying land and constructing track, but in prioritizing corridors to build new lines, deciding which to implement, and when.Here's their proposal for order of implementation:
By the way, as a Texas-based blog, The Map Scroll heartily endorses the plan to include Houston in the Texas HSR plan along with San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth, which the official plan stupidly fails to do. Intermodality shows a plan specifically for Texas:
There are lots more details for the transport politic's plan, including scoring for every route based on a function of distance and expected demand. It's really a comprehensive analysis and well worth checking out.