Re: Sure, why not?
Author: laff trak
Date: 02-07-2024 - 08:00
HSR is good for distances up to 400-500 miles as a faster replacement for driving. 3-4 hours on a train vs 4-8 hours driving is competitive. As with most rail, it's best when there's some intermediate traffic to serve, not just end-to-end flyover. At shorter distances (a few hundred miles) HSR can beat air travel time when all the airport hassles and local access time are included - yes, some of those apply to the train as well, but if there are suburban stations in addition to downtown they can be reduced considerably. BLW to Vegas fits this category.
Properly done, HSR can eat United Express/Skywest's lunch.
None of that applies to LA-PHX. It's too far, and there's essentially no intermediate traffic to help pay the bills. So I'd see LA-PHX as something done with a different technology a long time in the future. Or else, perhaps, as an overnight train where you're selling lodging as well as transportation.