From 1965 to 1977, French engineers worked on a high-speed express train powered by rocket engines. It looked like something out of 1950s science fiction, but it also looked promising until it was (figuratively speaking) overtaken by advances in electric motor technology.
1) It's still cool.
2) The page's author claims high-speed trains would solve US transportation problems. They could help some, but they would not be heavily used because US cities that grew up with the automobile are physically enormous and almost impossible to get around quickly. Even the cities with better public transit are difficult unless you are already familiar with the routes and even more difficult to use to meet tightly spaced appointments. I agree with improving both intercity rail and public transit, but I've always felt the first priority is to improve the automobile. Absent brute force on the government's part, it's not going away.