We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We took the high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Seville. 310 k/hr, smooth as silk, utterly quiet, large comfy seats, and with stewardesses serving drinks and snacks. Just one stop, in Cordoba. Reservations are required because these trains are always sold out.
Later, we took the same train north to Cordoba.
Madrid train station. It even has a turtle pond.
Andalusian countryside from the train. It is dry, and 90% olive orchards.
MADRID to Seville, surely, especially if you stopped in Cordoba. Milan to Seville would be something else entirely (interesting trip, for sure, but three separate countries). But the AVE is a great train.
We went from Malaga to Seville to Madrid then Barcelona. Lovely train system, but get progressively shabbier the closer you get to the French border. The last trip from Barcelona to Nice was on the Talgo, the train Spain uses for poor relatives and refugees.
If I don't have to pay for the impossibly expensive capital construction costs, and I can get subsidized tickets, as I can in Europe, hight speed rail makes all kinds of sense for me. For the Europeans subsidizing my ticket, it makes no sense whatsoever. But rail almost never makes sense, and almost never can recover its actual costs based on ticket sales, it requires subsidizes, and usually huge subsidies.
So, I am not for high speed rail in the US, since I will have to pay for it through the federal, and possibly state and local tax subsidies. I am all for it in other nations too stupid to realize what a bad idea it is.
You beat me to it, but your comments are spot on. It is hard to find a realistic assessment of the costs of trains (including high speed trains) because they are a mixture of capital costs and operating costs, and people tend to overlook the capital costs. But the analyses I have seen all tend to say that they are big-time money losers. With environmental rules, prevailing wage laws, etc, driving up the costs, it is only going to get worse.