This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Taking the High Speed Rail from Phoenix to Los Angeles in the future


As of this writing, Fall of 2016, you can't take a "Bullet Train" from Phoenix to Los Angeles. But I know that it will happen, so I'm planning ahead.

I live in Phoenix, and I love visiting LA, but it's miserable getting there. I've driven it (which is boring and awful), and nowadays I fly (and dealing with airports is miserable and awful). And while the future of high speed transportation when I was a kid was in the air, now it's on the ground.

If you've ever flown on a commercial plane from Phoenix to Los Angeles, you know that you barely have time to eat those delicious honey-roasted peanuts before you hear the pilot saying "We're about to land..." So the time time in the air is short, but the time at the airport is ridiculously long. And that's because it's an old, antiquated, adapted system that took into account the convenience of airplanes, but forgot all about how people move. You have to arrive at an airport an hour or two before the plane takes off, and then stand in line, herded like cattle. I know that they're doing the best they can, but it still sucks.

I'm sure that future generations will wonder what people nowadays were thinking.

In my fairly long lifetime, I've never ridden on a train. I've seen people do it in movies, and I've read about it in books. It works like this, you go to a station, buy a ticket, and get on the train. Actually, I've been on the Light Rail here in Phoenix, and it's just amazing. You just walk on, with your ticket in hand, and the train takes you somewhere. You don't stand in line, you don't have to have a "boarding pass", you don't have to look at what number you're supposed to be, you just go. There are multiple doors that open wide so that a lot of people can get on and off at the same time.

It seems like a wild fantasy for me to imagine getting into a train like that in Phoenix, and riding all of the way to Los Angeles. No boarding passes with the number and section that I need to figure out, no need to arrive two hours before the train arrives (although I'd get there early to get a good seat), no stopping at every little town along the way (like Greyhound busses do - yuk!).

I'm looking forward to riding the train to Los Angeles. I'm practicing here in Phoenix by riding the Light Rail, and the Sky Train.


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