High Speed Rail In France Zips Along

Almost 190 miles of new high speed rail track will possibly be installed between Tours and Bordeaux, France under the direction of the Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) railway, the Vinci construction company, the Caisse des Dépots investment firm, and AXA, a global fiance and insurance conglomerate.

The effort is part of the South Europe Atlantic project that seeks to make the trip from Paris to Bordeaux take just over two hours by the year 2016. Over the next twelve months, RFF will look to sign a public and private agreement for funding the $10.2 billion (7.2 billion euro) rail upgrade. The hope is that $5.1 billion will be provided by the French government, roughly $2.5 from the federal branch, and the other $2.5 split among the five region states where the rail will run. RFF claims the project will create over 6,000 jobs in the next few years, and potentially 60,000 jobs over the lifetime of the line.

RFF France High Speed Rail

image via RFF

Elsewhere, rail efforts in China seem to be guaranteed according to Chinese officials, although its extremely rare to find any government spokesperson in the country publicly state something negative about a state-backed project. Similarly, Germany is preparing for 300 new trains under a $10 billion program.

Here in America, however, efforts are more complicated. High speed rail is getting $2 billion in government funding, even though some thought it might be cut completely. Amtrak is looking for private funding to help it expand, but a new GOP bill may remove them from the proposed northeast line, and open that project up for competitive bidding.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.

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