I've been doing all this train research as a result of a bunch of people saying Trains! when talking about peak oil, climate change, blah, blah, bleeping, blah. Usually, it goes something like this: walk, bike, take public transit -- no, not buses, trains! Because all us white folk hate buses, but we love trains.
I dunno. I've ridden trains (in the US, Canada, the Netherlands and France). I've ridden slow trains, fast trains, commuter rail, overnight trains. I kinda like trains, but I see a really big dislocation going from driving on interstates to riding on trains. Obviously, a lot of freight has already made the switch, and some people are as well. And trains exist as trams and trolleys and so forth. But I keep thinking about that massive installed base of roads we have and scratching my head about how every time we get crap off those roads it's going to induce demand because a lot of people with the money for a Volt or whatever are going to look at that empty road and go, geez, I'll have so much more freedom if I can bring my non-human-powered-ground-transport with me.
Road diets can only get you so far.
I had been thinking, I wonder if you could use the interstates for trains, but the more I read about grades for rail vs. grades for cars, the more concerned I was. But still...
It took me a little while to find this thing via google, but have at it. Obviously, as J.H. Crawford notes, this is only conceptual. But it's conceptual with a lot of the obvious details worked out. I'd love your opinion, informed or otherwise.