I take Nick’s point about needing to get the operation up and running as quickly as possible. So yeah, it’s easier to get high speed rial in several segments (and would probably be the same for WA if we ever wanted Spokane-Seattle or Bellingham-Vancouver high speed rail) than just starting out DC-Boston. Get more of a buy in from places along the route. And get some people actually using it.
But again, 2040 doesn’t seem like it’s horribly far into the future.* Most big infrastructure projects are for the next generation.
* Although for some reason my brain insists to me despite my knowing better that 1995 sure feels a lot closer in time to now than 2015.