Dutch Television Takes a Look at California’s Lagging Rail Infrastructure

A 200 mph train in the Netherlands. A Dutch TV crew asks: will California ever catch up? Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A 200 mph train in the Netherlands. A Dutch TV crew asks: will California ever catch up? Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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When it comes to safety, well-designed people-oriented streets, and infrastructure overall, the Dutch do it right.

At Streetsblog, we are unabashed Nederlandophiles (is that a real word?). So when a producer at RTL Netherlands TV tracked us down a couple of months ago to see if we wanted to participate in a news segment looking at California’s efforts to modernize its rail system, we were happy to help.

The report finally aired in the Netherlands this week. So what did the Dutch news team conclude about the state of California’s train efforts?

Let’s just say we look pretty odd from the outside. A half-century ago the U.S. sent men to the moon. That was accomplished¬†in just eight years. But now the country is so politically dysfunctional that it can’t mange to build a simple rail line in its wealthiest state, connecting that state’s largest cities, without the project dragging on for several decades.

But we’ll let the Dutch news team speak for themselves. If you don’t have it set already, make sure to turn on the subtitles to see the translation:

Have you spent time in the Netherlands or other countries with modern rail systems? What do you think about California’s projects? Let us know your reactions in the comments below.

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