Amtrak ridership is at an all time high - last year 26 million passengers took the train instead of driving or flying. While this may not compare to the hundreds of millions of passengers on Europe and Asia's high-speed rails, there is a clear trend toward increasing rail ridership in the United States. This video looks at Amtrak's Acela, the closest thing in the United States to high speed rail.
It's easier than driving and more convenient than flying.
CBS dug up some interesting figures about federal funding for different modes of transportation in the USA: while the government funded highways to the tune of $35 billion last year, and air travel received $14.5 billion, Amtrak received a measly $1.3 billion - the same as it got in 1980. And President Bush is proposing to slash that by 40%.
What's the logic in that? This quote from a passenger may provide a clue:
If we had high speed rail service in the United States, we'd never get on another airplane!