The report argues long-term, strategic advocacy campaigns are required to launch new high-speed projects. - Photo: California High Speed Rail Authority

The report argues long-term, strategic advocacy campaigns are required to launch new high-speed projects.

Photo: California High Speed Rail Authority

The U.S. High Speed Rail Coalition unveiled a roadmap with real-world guidance on how to launch a new high-speed rail project.

The first-of-its-kind action plan is intended to equip advocates with practical tips, realistic expectations, and strategic support as they work to launch new high-speed train projects in their regions.

High-speed rail lines are complex megaprojects with unique challenges,” said Bernard Cohen, sr. advisor, planning and operations, at Alternate Concepts Inc.; former Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary; and the principal author of the roadmap. “We’ve created a practical guide that demystifies what’s involved in launching a new high-speed rail project.”

The “Roadmap”

“High-Speed Rail Projection Initiation: A Roadmap for Advocates” focuses on five key building blocks of success, including organization, technical planning, strategic engagement, project funding, and compelling communications.

The report argues long-term, strategic advocacy campaigns are required to launch new high-speed projects. When designing campaigns, advocates must be fully aware of potential pitfalls, as well as likely sources of support and opposition.   

Capitalizing on Voter Support

The roadmap notes that a recent survey by Public Policy Polling for the Coalition found 72% of U.S. registered voters support the creation of a nationwide HSR network in the U.S.

According to Ezra Silk, Political Director of the Coalition, a major goal of the report is to help build a grassroots movement for a national high-speed rail network.

“Launching high-speed rail involves technical experts, but you don’t need to be a transportation planner to take the lead in bringing high-speed rail to your community,” said Silk. “Millions of Americans want high-speed rail, and this report will help give them the tools they need to turn their bullet train dreams into reality.”

The roadmap was designed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. In May, the 600,000-member union announced a voluntary recognition agreement with Siemens Mobility to represent workers who will build the trainsets for the Brightline West high-speed rail project that will connect Las Vegas to Southern California by 2028.

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