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In America, high-speed train travel is off track

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In America, high-speed train travel is off trackCalifornia’s suspension this week of a high-speed rail project underscores the up-hill battle the modern mode of transport faces in the United States — including myriad cultural, political and economic obstacles. Long gone are the days of the 19th century gold rush, when Americans raced to build transcontinental rail links and conquer the nation’s vast expanse. “We have a Congress polluted by special interest money … that has been working for years to stop/prevent any rail investment,” said Andy Kunz, head of the US High Speed Rail Association, pointing to the oil, aviation and auto industries in particular.