As the Obama Administration pushes for high-speed rail networks across the country, Germany's Siemens has secured a place for its Valero ICE trains in the Sunshine State.
Earlier this month, Siemens presented its vision of U.S. high-speed rail to the people of Florida with the "Future of Florida High-Speed Rail Tour," a traveling exhibit featuring a full-sized model of the Velaro high-speed train.
Apparently, the strategy worked, as Florida recently announced that it would make transportation history as the first state to build a high-speed rail corridor, with trains connecting Tampa to Orlando and then to Miami in a second phase.
"We want to give Floridians a taste of what a true high-speed rail train looks and feels like," added Oliver Hauck, president of Siemens Mobility in the U.S. "Siemens Velaro trains are successfully running on some of the fastest and most important routes in the world today."
In April, President Barack Obama surprised many mass transit supporters when he endorsed a $10 billion investment in high-speed rail in the stimulus package, outlining 13 possible high-speed rail corridors throughout the United States, from Florida to California.
Later in the summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation delivered $80 million in grants for high-speed rail projects to several U.S. states, including California, Wisconsin, New York and New Mexico. Florida scooped up the bulk of that money however, pocketing a cool $66,600,000.
The Velaro can travel up to 250 miles per hour (403 kilometers/hour) and currently operates at high-speeds in Germany, Spain, China, Russia, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria. In 2006, a Velaro E trainset operated by Spain's national rail authority, RENFE, set a world record for fastest unmodified commercial rail travel.