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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,…

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