Latest Issue

All change for Britain’s railways

Even America is investing in high-speed rail. It's time Britain did the same, says the transport minister

By Andrew Adonis   January 2009

On the day America elected Barack Obama, the people of California took a less noticed, but still momentous, referendum decision. They voted in favour of the country’s first genuinely high-speed railway connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The vote for a $10bn bond, supported by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, means work will soon begin on a railway that will slash journey time between the west coast’s two main cities to at little as two hours and 38 minutes, on trains travelling up to 220 miles per hour. At present the same journey takes around six hours by car. On rail,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect