The prospect of developing an ambitious, tailor-made high speed rail network for the United States is growing at an incredible pace in the USA and President Obama and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood SA are strongly committed to pushing the development of a high-performance rail system for America.
Against this background UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux was invited together with high-level participants from the administration, Senate and industry, to present the achievements and experiences gathered from the successful operations of high speed rail systems by UIC member railways (47 years of experience in Japan and 30 years in Europe starting with France in 1981). He presented very concrete achievements and results of high-speed railways currently in operation. These high-performance rail systems have proved to be particularly safe, reliable, commercially attractive and environmentally-friendly – all in all a transport solution that fits perfectly with the objectives of sustainable development and sound investment benefiting society as a whole.
Awareness of the unquestionable advantages of high speed rail transport is growing and ideas of developing an international masterplan for high speed on the North American continent are progressing. Ideas to connect Quebec with New York, as well as with Detroit and Chicago are a few that can be mentioned.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, who is also a member of the US HSR Advisory Board, took the opportunity of this New York conference to announce the organisation of UIC HIGHSPEED 2012, the 8th World Congress on High Speed Rail planned to be held on 10-13 July 2012 in Philadelphia, USA. The main organisers will be UIC and APTA together with the support of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), AAR and Amtrak, all UIC North American members. This major event will provide a unique opportunity for exchange between all players involved in all issues and challenges connected with the development of high speed rail systems.