Traveling for business in Germany, Japan and other countries is made easier through optional high-speed train travel. Based in Frankfurt, for example, I booked two days of meetings in three nearby cities and, using DB’s high-speed lines, got where I was going fast… and didn’t have to change hotels each night. Arriving in Japan, the Narita Express whisked me from that airport, through Tokyo and to my destination in Yokohama in 89 minutes (no, not 90… 89!). No street traffic hassles in cabs or buses… just quiet and clean transport for worn-out business travelers.
As the son of career railroad workers, I always opt for riding the rails when it makes sense for my itinerary… which is not so often here in the US, especially here in the western US. That’s why this week’s announcement from President Obama about the federal government’s intent to provide $53 billion for high speed rail infrastructure hit a positive note with me. It’s the first big step toward Americans having a choice on how to travel for work and leisure, in 31 states. It’s stimulus spending on many levels: employment during the research, design, and construction of the equipment, services and lines; improved infrastructure for metro areas; cleaner, faster transport; and efficient use of travel time and budgets for business travelers.
It’s a start!