"Overcoming Challenges: Turkey's Global Ambitions and Amtrak's High-Speed Rail Struggles"

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Jul 11, 2023

3 min read


"Overcoming Challenges: Turkey's Global Ambitions and Amtrak's High-Speed Rail Struggles"


In recent news, two diverse topics have captured attention: Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's focus on elevating Turkey's global standing, and Amtrak's ambitious plan to replace its Acela express trains with a $2 billion high-speed fleet. While these topics seem unrelated at first glance, a closer examination reveals common themes of ambition, challenges, and the pursuit of progress. This article explores how both Erdogan and Amtrak are navigating obstacles and striving to achieve their respective goals.

Erdogan's Pursuit for Turkey's Global Position:

Following a significant election victory, President Erdogan is now directing his attention towards solidifying Turkey's place on the world stage. In a recent address, Erdogan emphasized the historical significance of Istanbul's conquest and how it shapes the identity of the Turkish people. By positioning himself as a guardian of his ancestors' legacy, Erdogan seeks to lead Turkey towards a prosperous future characterized by global recognition and influence.

Amtrak's Hurdles in the High-Speed Rail Project:

Amidst Amtrak's grand plans to revolutionize its Acela express trains, the project has encountered a predictable obstacle - the antiquated tracks on which the new fleet must operate. Originally slated for a 2021 launch, Amtrak's partnership with French manufacturer Alstom has faced delays due to mandatory testing and compatibility issues. The Acela trains are designed to run on tracks shared with commuter and freight trains, in stark contrast to the purpose-built high-speed tracks found in other parts of the world. Despite the setbacks, Amtrak remains determined to enhance passenger experience and reduce travel times.

Connecting the Threads:

Though seemingly unrelated, Erdogan's endeavor to elevate Turkey's global status and Amtrak's journey towards high-speed rail advancement share commonalities. Both initiatives require overcoming challenges that hinder progress. Erdogan aims to reshape Turkey's narrative by drawing inspiration from historical conquests, instilling a sense of pride and unity among the Turkish people. Amtrak, on the other hand, seeks to modernize rail travel in the United States by introducing state-of-the-art trains on a dated infrastructure, a feat that demands meticulous planning and meticulous testing.

Unique Insights:

While the two topics may not naturally lend themselves to a direct comparison, they offer valuable insights into the complexities of pursuing ambitious goals. Erdogan's focus on historical symbolism highlights the power of narratives in shaping a nation's identity and aspirations. Similarly, Amtrak's struggles underscore the challenges faced when attempting to integrate modern advancements into existing systems. Both cases demonstrate the importance of adaptability, perseverance, and strategic planning when striving for progress.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize Infrastructure Development: Whether it is upgrading tracks or investing in purpose-built infrastructure, ensuring a solid foundation is crucial for ambitious projects. Amtrak's experience highlights the need for comprehensive infrastructure planning to support technological advancements.
  • 2. Embrace Symbolism and National Pride: Erdogan's emphasis on historical conquests serves as a reminder of the significance of narratives in uniting and motivating a nation. Leaders should tap into cultural heritage and national pride to inspire citizens towards shared goals.
  • 3. Test and Iterate: Amtrak's delays emphasize the importance of thorough testing and iteration to ensure the successful integration of new technologies. Rigorous testing in real-world conditions can help identify and address potential setbacks early on, minimizing future disruptions.


Erdogan's mission to enhance Turkey's global standing and Amtrak's challenges in bringing high-speed rail to the United States exemplify the complexities of pursuing ambitious goals. By embracing historical narratives, prioritizing infrastructure development, and conducting thorough testing, both Turkey and Amtrak can overcome their respective obstacles. These examples serve as valuable reminders that progress often requires adaptability, perseverance, and strategic planning. As these endeavors continue, the world watches with anticipation to see how these nations shape their futures and leave a lasting impact on the global stage.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)