“If you think about the Midwest, think about right here, what we’ve got is all kind of towns that we could connect. All of these cities are, they basically take in the air about 45 minutes to an hour to fly. But by the time you get to the airport, take off your shoes, get to the terminal, realize that your flight’s been delayed two hours, go pay $10 for a cup of coffee, and a sandwich for another $10, come back, you get on the plane, you’re sitting on the tarmac for another 25 minutes, you finally take off, you’re circling above the city for another half hour, when you land they can’t find your luggage, and then you get to where you’re going — by the time it’s all done it’s a five-hour trip! So the time is right now for us to start thinking about high-speed rail as an alternative to air transportation, connecting all these cities and think about what a great project that would be in terms of rebuilding America.

Sen. Barack Obama, in a speech to blue-collar workers in Youngstown, Ohio, Aug. 5, 2008

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