Recently I read this article in the daily: Bad news travels fast - Beware the high-speed rail boondoggle. It's amazing that USA doesn't really have a fast railway network.
Recently I made this picture on an ICE train:
Actually it was 243 km/h, but until I had my iPhone out to take the picture, it went down to 233 as we were approaching the next station. This train drives regularly with 280 km/h which is 170 miles per hour.
Even as you can drive that fast legally on highways in Germany, using the train can be very comfortable. You can surf the web, watch video or have your dinner in the train.
So if you plan to build high speed railroad in the US, why not connect places like Chicago and Atlanta with a train going so fast that a race between two persons going from one city to the other, the one taking the train arrives faster than the other taking the airplane? And not an 80 miles railroad described in the article above.
Just my 0.02 cents...