Supertrains: Solutions to America's Transportation Gridlock

Joseph Vranich, Author
Joseph Vranich, Author St. Martin's Press $35 (406p) ISBN 978-0-312-06476-1
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
Paperback - 422 pages - 978-0-312-09468-3
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This timely but disjointed, rambling text rightly questions why Japan has developed the Bullet Train, France the Train a Grand Vitesse (TGV) and Germany the Intercity Express (ICE) while America's rail system continues to operate on 1930s technology. In his introduction, Clancy ( The Sum of All Fears ) states that overcrowding in airports and on highways could be lessened by competitively paced, comfortable ``supertrains.'' High-speed rail specialist Vranich, head of a Washington, D.C., public relations firm, addresses means of financing supertrains, passenger safety, tourism industry perks and environmental issues. He discusses the quiet and swift magnetic levitation train, or maglev, which operates on opposing magnetic fields, and argues that America would be wise to purchase ready-made foreign trains. Exterior and interior photos of supertrains, diagrams of aerodynamic trains and track structures, and maps of existing and planned routes illustrate the volume. Unfortunately, Vranich's future-tense patriotic cheerleading is grating: ``The day a conductor collects the first Supertrain ticket is the day remaining doubts will be swept away. Then Americans will rejoice in the realization that fast trains are the way to travel.'' (Jan.)
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