I'm headed to Portugal for two weeks this coming Thursday and am spending the day getting my preparations done. Our trip will take us all over the country, from Porto to Coimbra to Lisboa to Faro and the Algarve (where I'm hoping it won't yet be totally overwhelmed with British tourists). Not only will it be representative of the various regions of Portugal, but it's a trip that can be done via high speed rail. Comboios de Portugal operates the Alfa Pendular, a tilting train of the pendolino family. The trains have a top speed of 220 km/h (136 mph) which isn't exactly TGV or AVE speed, but certainly qualifies as a kind of HSR. It connects Porto to Lisboa (the nation's two largest cities) in about 2 hours. So I'll get to see the Portuguese HSR system in action, although before the planned upgrades of the Porto-Lisboa line to 300 km/h (to be completed by 2015) and before the HSR link from Lisboa to Madrid is completed (due in 2013).
Anyhow, enough about me. Two brief HSR items for this Sunday afternoon:
- The FRA presentations from the Sacramento meeting have been posted online (h/t to Matt Melzer). Haven't yet had a chance to look these over, but if you do, be sure to offer your thoughts in the comments.
- The Bay Area Council Economic Institute has proposed $7 billion in infrastructure stimulus for the region, including HSR-related projects such as upgrading Diridon Station.