It baffles me as to why there is not a more adequate system of rail transportation in the U.S. that is both faster and more conveinant. For a hypothetical situation, I was wondering how long it would take to ride the Amtrak train from where I live in Austin, TX to Los Angeles, CA. It takes about 38 hours direct, which to me is rediculous. It takes about 20 hours, almost half that time, to drive from Austin to Los Angeles, a distance of about 1400 miles. Doing the math, the Amtrak train travels at about 35 miles per hour. I understand that the train makes stops and that time is factored in. Also, I understand that Amtrak has to use the freight lines, which also contribute to the added time. What I don't understand is why there can't be more funding for Amtrak to fix all of this. For one, there should be an express train for every Amtrak line. Such an express line for the Texas Eagle, which travels from Chicago to Los Angeles, should stop only in Chicago, St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, Austin or San Antonio, El Paso, Tuscon, and Los Angeles. Second, even if the Amtrak traveled at half the speed of a Japanese bullet train which would be 90 mph, there should be no reason why this train can't rocket across a landscape as barren as the American Southwest. Stopping for as long as an hour in each city between Austin to Los Angeles would only take about two hours. Given the train travels at 90 mph, the total trip time should take only about 18 hours, or slightly less than the time it would take to drive. If the systematics of this hypothetical situation could be applied all over the country with Amtrak I feel that more people would be inclined to use rail travel and not drive. There could arise the need for even more trains and train routes that aren't so dependent on freight lines. I don't understand why more can't be done, and I was hoping somebody in the transportation industry could provide me with a little more insight.