reply to Kearnstd
Re: Free? Not Really
said by Kearnstd:I agree, but full grade separation is very expensive. I've heard the cost of a grade separating a single intersection is in the tens of millions, and most complicated can push $100 million. Only the government can pay for that.
the US will never have a high speed rail that is proper unless it is elevated above or sunk below grade. and even then idiot kids will still get hit by trains going 200mph and mom will sue the company because you know trains are suppost to stop on a dime, and 20ft fences are not enough.
Concerning liability, I really think Congress needs to provide liability immunity except in cases of the rail operators fault.
I live a few miles from CalTrain, a commuter railroad on the SF Peninsula. On average there's a suicide and possibly another grade crossing accident every month, where some Darwin Award candidate decides they're better than crossing gates and heavy trains.
I suspect these idiots, or their families, sue (or settle) with the railroad over these incidents where the railroad is clearly not at fault. Trains only operate on rail tracks, they don't go anywhere willy nilly.
I've heard in Japan, to combat suicides and accidents at railroads; the rail operators will sue the person at fault (or their estate) for the damage caused. Maybe we should consider that here.