Here's another reason why we can't get high speed passenger rail


Worth reading, but a short summary: agricultural interests, and a few others, want to divert rail bond money to water improvement.  Vote for one thing, pay for another.

3 Replies

  • Being from California, i am not quite sure that it is a bad idea. Our droughts are severs, and considering that most of fruits, vegetables, nuts, poultry and many other agricultural products come to our table form California, it is imperative to keep our agricultural sector alive and prosperous.
    However, being so far behind the world on TRUE high speed rail is not good either. We just need to reduce power of our dysfunctional domestic airlines and transfer funding to HSR. Not Amtrak-style, not Metrolink, but truly civilized Euro style high class service HSR that would take you from LA to SF in no time without stopping in every small town (This is NOT a commuter train). No airport nightmares and time wasted on strip searches.
    Our fellow countrymen do not understand the concept of high speed train. Moreover, as much money as has already been wasted on political games, public relations (do we really care what angry bicyclists or half-wit actors think about HSR???), paying high wages to those HSR CEOs that really have no clue what HSR is all about, and many other useless activities, I am not surprised that our CA residents have grown negative about the entire idea.
    Just like everything else, our government takes a good idea and turns into another devastating fiasco that only results in some politician crooks get elected and some steal public money and stash in their off-shore accounts without giving anything back to the society whatsoever. Nothing sensational about it, but I guess masses think it is all right, if think at all.
    Well we all know that unlike UK and Australia we do not get anything back on our taxes, even though we pay just as much, considering double taxation- fed and state. Well illegals do get benefits, Americans don't.
  • California needs higher speed rail on existing routes, not high speed rail. Funding for high speed rail has already been diverted to other transportation agencies as part of the connection / compatibility to the proposed high speed rail system. This diversion of funds just replaces funds that were sub-planted from their budgets. This is not the first attempt by California to have high speed rail. The state would be better served with higher speed passenger trains with greater frequency such as one train in each direction every hour in the central valley from Bakersfield-Stockton-Sacramento-Bay area. To be successful passenger operations need to go to private industry because there is no incentive to the public sector to be successful. Example the Perris Valley extension of Metro-Link. It would be more cost effective to give major tax breaks to railroads for providing passenger service and over 100% accelerated depreciation on equipment and facilities that support passenger operations and no property tax on passenger facilities, shops, stations, parking structures, and right-of-way
  • In reply to Nordic Cat:

    First off, the reason why California grows a lot of produce is because it's cheap to do it there; it isn't in anyone's... or rather anyone else's...interest to keep it cheap artificially by having the rest of the Union pay for water improvements.

    Next, almost any comparison with places with vastly different geography or demographics is nonsense. The whole of the UK fits into a space not that different from the NE corridor. High speed rail can actually work in some places, but not across the whole of the US, or even the lower 48.

    Finally, it's bad practice to sell new taxation for one thing, and use it for another.
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