This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Autopia discusses the role of airlines in high-speed rail:

Airport congestion is a mounting problem exacerbated in part by all the short flights in and out of major airports.

These short hops should not exist. They’re short enough to take by train. It seems airlines keep the flights to attract more passengers by providing connecting service to destinations beyond their hubs. But why would anyone want to put in the time to travel to and from airports, deal with security and then risk delays due to weather or congestion?

There’s a solution. Airlines need to team up with railway lines to optimize the effectiveness of our railway and airport systems.

The post goes on to discuss the various ways this is being done in Europe and even parts of the US.

I think this is one way in which American high-speed rail will be unique, owing to our different land use patterns. We’ll have to build (a) stations with rental car facilities, and (b) stations both in the downtown core and at the nearest airport, to facilitate transfers. Not that these things are completely unique to the US; my point is simply that HSR will look somewhat different in America than it does in Europe and Japan. There probably won’t be the same giant, above-ground hangar-like stations that you have in Europe, for example.

I suspect we’ll see this play out in Florida, which looks like it’s going to be America’s first high-speed rail state. The Tampa-Orlando route, with right-of-way donated by Disney, will probably be a tourist-heavy affair. The benefit is that you get riders right away. The danger in this approach is that it becomes a novelty, not unlike Orlando’s other major rapid transit system.