The Science of Sustainability

Reporter's Notes: A Bumpy Ride for High Speed Rail

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As the high-speed rail inches toward reality, it's encountering a thicket of NIMBYism.

We'd been wanting to do an update on the California high speed rail project for months now. (Here's David Gorn's HSR Quest Radio piece from 9/08.) Luckily, there's no bad time to cover high speed rail. The project is so huge, so expensive, so ambitious and so controversial that you could make a whole beat out of it and stay entertained for a good long time.

But if – like me – you're just taking a dip, the first place to check out is the High Speed Rail Authority site. The Authority clearly has deep pockets when it comes to producing animations of the 432-mile train line. Would that the planning process ran as smoothly as those blue and yellow trains.

Click below to use the interactive map.

cshr_screenshot

Your next stop should be this great primer on the technology and issues surrounding HSR, produced by my TV colleagues at QUEST.

I also recommend Robert Cruickshank's California High Speed Rail Blog. Cruickshank makes no secret of his pro-HSR stance — nor of his irritation at those who've put up roadblocks or expressed concerns — but his site is readable and impressively comprehensive. I guess you can count on the train buffs to track every twist and turn of the most ambitious rail project since the Transcontinental Railroad.

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Category: Engineering, Radio

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About the Author ()

Amy Standen is a radio reporter for KQED Science. Her email is astanden@kqed.org and you can follow her on Twitter at @amystanden.