Excellent articles in the Financial Times today on high-speed rail. In "China on track to be world's biggest network" here, the newspaper writes about the future being bleak for the Chinese airline industry while China continues to spend on building new and redo existing airports. Yet, the thing the Chinese airline industry has to focus on is the consumer aspects and why they would choose rail over air:
"Flights in China are almost always delayed and passengers must arrive early so that they can pass through rigorous security checks.
Once on the aircraft, the service is perfunctory, the toilets often filthy and the food barely edible.
In contrast, China's shiny new high-speed trains are clean, fast, smooth and almost always on time. There are no excess baggage fees for heavy luggage, security checks are perfunctory and passengers can use their mobile phones."
I believe, if the US ends up being serious about high-speed rail, it will face the same concern as above.