Mark Reutter

PPI Fellow Mark Reutter is the former editor of Railroad History and author of Making Steel: Sparrows Point and the Rise and Ruin of American Industrial Might (2005, rev. ed.).



By / 3.16.2011

Contrary to reports in the New York Times and elsewhere, high-speed rail in Florida is not yet dead. There’s a grassroots effort by municipal governments to revive the high-speed line between Tampa and Orlando that Gov. Rick Scott has so zealously tried to kill. The cities of Tampa, Lakeland, Orlando, and Miami want to create […]


By / 3.3.2011

Why is Florida’s rookie Republican Gov. Rick Scott hell-bent on rejecting $2.4 billion in federal funds for a Tampa-Orlando high-speed railway? Is it because his argument that Florida taxpayers would be “on the hook” for cost overruns was about to be exposed as a bunch of hooey? Until Scott announced he would veto the rail […]


By / 2.17.2011

In rejecting $2.4 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail in Florida yesterday, Gov. Rick Scott came up with a great idea to solve the state’s burgeoning traffic problems – more highways! At the same time he was denouncing fast trains as wasteful government spending at a hastily arranged press conference, he was imploring U.S. […]


By / 2.14.2011

President Obama’s proposal to fund high-speed rail in the next surface transportation bill does more than boost the prospects that fast trains could be running in places like Florida and California by 2018. He calls on Congress to end its haphazard pork-barrel approach to building infrastructure. In today’s 2012 budget plan, the president outlines a […]


By / 2.9.2011

The White House won’t back down. That was the signal beamed yesterday when Vice President Joe Biden announced the administration’s plan to spend $53 billion on high-speed rail over the next six years. But questions remain: How can the administration convince a spending-skeptical public it’s a worthwhile investment? And how can it bring long-term funding […]


By / 1.27.2011

In setting a national goal of providing high-speed train service to 80 percent of Americans by 2035, President Obama challenged himself and Congress to come up with a way to finance the biggest transportation program since the Interstate Highway System. The president called on Congress to “redouble” efforts to rebuild the nation’s transportation infrastructure and […]


By / 1.14.2011

One might expect, with a disastrous oil spill just behind us and gas prices predicted to soar to $5 a gallon by 2012, that the Washington Post would address the Obama administration’s alternative to oil-based transportation with nuanced understanding. Sad to say the paper has instead served up an editorial full of misinformation about the […]


By / 12.10.2010

The Obama administration yesterday called the bluff of two newly elected Republican governors and regained control of its high-speed rail program. Confronted by Governor-elects Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio, who vowed to kill the administration’s signature high-speed transportation initiative in their states when they take office next month, U.S. Transportation Secretary […]


By / 12.1.2010

This week, the British government will formalize an agreement with two Canadian pension funds with enormous implications for passenger train development in the United States. In return for the right to operate a high-speed rail line linking London with the Channel Tunnel for 30 years, the Ontario teachers and municipal employee pension funds have agreed […]


By / 11.23.2010

Talk about a blessing in disguise. Just as the Obama administration’s high-speed rail program was running out of congressionally-appropriated cash, Governor-elects Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio have come chugging to the rescue. By vowing to kill planned passenger train lines in their states, the newly elected Midwest Republicans have potentially freed […]