"80 dead, 36 critical after Spain train crash blamed on high speed; 5 Americans among injured" — Washington Post headline, July 25, 2013.
"I'm delighted to represent President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the American people on this, my second trip to Spain. I returned to listen and to learn. I've returned to extend the president's gratitude for Spain's technical support and guidance as America begins the heavy lifting of building a national high-speed rail network. And I've returned to ask for your continued collaboration as we move down the track toward a better future for both of our nations.
Now, it's not lost on anyone that when President Obama proposed his high-speed rail plan, he specifically called out Spain as an example for America to emulate. We know that, today, 40 percent of Spain's population lives within 30 miles of a high-speed rail station – and that as your network expands, that number will rise to 90 percent by the year 2020. We know that the high-speed line between Madrid and Seville is so successful that more people travel between here and there by rail than by both car and airplane combined.
President Obama has been crystal clear: There is absolutely no reason that the same can't be true on the line between Boston and Washington, or Detroit and Chicago, or San Francisco and Los Angeles. That's why President Obama and the Congress provided seed money to get us started – to hire workers, to manufacture and lay track, and to build new stations. And that's why, going forward, America will continue looking to Spain – and others – for both inspiration and information." — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Remarks in Madrid, Spain, June 17, 2011.
"When President Barack Obama introduced his high-speed rail plan last year, he pointed to Spain — not only as an example to follow, but also as a country America has fallen behind. 'In Spain, a high-speed line between Madrid and Seville is so successful that more people travel between those cities by rail than by car and airplane combined,' said the President, 'There's no reason why we can't do this. This is America. There's no reason why the future of travel should lie somewhere else beyond our borders.'" — PBS reports on infrastructure, February 2010, "Spain: The next American system?"