By ERIC JOHNSTON
When U.S. President Barack Obama took office, one thing he pitched was a "Green New Deal" that would reduce fossil fuel use, and high-speed passenger trains like those in Japan and Europe were part of his sweeping plan.
If there is one thing virtually all Americans whose only form of transport at home has been automobiles appreciate when they come to Japan, it's the bullet trains — a marvel worthy of emulation in the United States.
The U.S. East and West Coasts, the Midwest and Florida have all expressed interest in introducing, or in the case of the East, upgrading, high-speed passenger rail service.
Last month, U.S. and Japanese officials discussed introducing bullet trains in America, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hopes to visit Japan in a couple of months to take a ride on a shinkansen.
What is being done to introduce shinkansen systems in the U.S.?
Two companies have been formed to introduce current and future bullet-train technology to the U.S. market. The first, U.S.-Japan High Speed Rail, was set up to sell the N700-I trains currently in use in Japan.
The second, U.S.-Japan MAGLEV, is looking to introduce maglev trains like those now being tested in Japan, where they are not expected to go into operation for at least another 15 years.
Both are based in Washington and funded by the U.S. venture capital firm New Magellan Ventures. They are led by prominent former high-ranking government officials who have been deeply involved with U.S.-Japanese defense relations, including Richard Lawless, the president and CEO of U.S.-Japan High Speed Rail.
Lawless served as deputy undersecretary of defense for Asia-Pacific security affairs.
Over the past several months, U.S. and Japanese officials involved in the project have been holding meetings with the aim of concluding a contract before the end of this year.
Where in America would bullet trains debut?
Michael Finnegan, executive vice president of U.S.-Japan MAGLEV, said the N700-I series may be introduced in various regions, including Florida, Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Texas and perhaps the Midwest on a Chicago-St. Louis route.
He said an initial line may link Tampa and Orlando, Fla., with an eventual link with Miami.
Many of the bureaucratic challenges to introducing bullet trains to this region have been, or are nearly, resolved, he said.
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Please to have in US nao?
Here's the source, sorry!