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New Train Deserves Own Novel (NM-barf alert)
The Albuquerque Journal ^ | December 1, 2008 | Gene Grant

Posted on 12/02/2008 8:18:48 PM PST by CedarDave

And so it begins. The end of next week, the Rail Runner Express commuter rail to Santa Fe pulls out of the station for its inaugural run. Quite properly, it'll be a celebration loaded with meaning. By the time the one hour and 30 minute ride chugs into Santa Fe, we'll not only have taken a giant leap to the future, we'll honor the past as well.

For the moment, let's take that leap forward. Say two decades. Is there anyone left who opposed this project who cannot acknowledge that, in one fell swoop, we have looked the future in the mug and winked at it?

~~snip~~

What if those departed [killed on the highway] had the Rail Runner Express as a choice back then? How is this a bad thing? Look, $400 million is a lot of money, but what price a life?

Here's the thing. It's been a tough slog to get a lot of us on board with the idea of a commuter train in a car-crazy culture like New Mexico, but you have to appreciate what the fates have unfolded for us in the last year. A fundamental reconstruction on the relationship with the car. The timing could not have been better. Yes, the price of fuel has dropped again, but is there any doubt the spike in fuel we recently suffered will not return?

I'm not saying there shouldn't have been opposition. It's what we do.

~~snip~~

For Gov. Bill Richardson, riding in that engineer's cab for the first leg will be a well-earned triumph worthy of a novel. Editors, radio talk show callers, or anyone else be damned.

(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: billrichardson; railrunner; richardson; richardsonsrailroad
I'm tired of this crap -- ABQ/SF taxpayers will pay at least 90 percent of the O&M costs -- one former legislator says his colleagues still in the legislature say 99% (no federal money used; the entire state paid the capital costs at the expense of very necessary adjacent highway reconstruction for the first 15 miles). For the remainder of the distance, it's being celebrated as the best thing since sliced bread (that section of the ABQ/SF highway that will not be at capacity for another 15-16 years - NM DOT stats). Click on the keywords Rail Runner or Richardson's Railroad for the whole long story.
1 posted on 12/02/2008 8:18:48 PM PST by CedarDave
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To: CedarDave

Bill Richardson is a tool.


2 posted on 12/02/2008 8:22:22 PM PST by library user
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To: CedarDave

“A tail of seduction, sedition, corruption and waste: The DollarRunner Express takes you into the darkened depth of the human soul faster than the speed of light! Meet Gov. Bill Richardson, a powerful politician who likes drink, trains, and fattening foods... and his cabinet and cabal of ne’er-do-wells as they build an engineering marvel using money stolen from other people!”


3 posted on 12/02/2008 8:23:19 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: CedarDave
All boondoggles are equal. Some are (evidently) more equal than others.

''Light rail'', et al., are nothing AND CAN BE NOTHING but money pits for the dumbass taxpayer, except in the 3 or 4 areas in the nation where gross population density is high enough to support them on a break-even or near-break-even basis.

Otherwise, they're pure USDA-inspected, Grade A, goobermint pork, for the benefit solely of the friends of the political class that pushed the boondoggle past the idiot voters.

4 posted on 12/02/2008 8:23:59 PM PST by SAJ
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To: CedarDave; LegendHasIt; Rogle; leapfrog0202; Santa Fe_Conservative; DesertDreamer; ...

NM list PING!

(FReepmail greyfoxx39 to be added or removed from the NM list)


5 posted on 12/02/2008 8:24:21 PM PST by CedarDave (This bumper sticker stays on my pickup: "I'm voting for Sarah!")
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To: library user
Bill Richardson is a tool toad.

There, fixed it.

6 posted on 12/02/2008 8:25:37 PM PST by CedarDave (This bumper sticker stays on my pickup: "I'm voting for Sarah!")
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To: CedarDave
Quite properly, it'll be a celebration loaded with meaning.

The author is full of meaning, if you catch my drift.
7 posted on 12/02/2008 8:28:26 PM PST by dr_who
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To: SAJ
...except in the 3 or 4 areas in the nation where gross population density is high enough to support them on a break-even or near-break-even basis.

I'd even take 50-70 percent farebox if necessary to cut congestion or avoid federal air quality sanctions. In this case 10% or less farebox?? Where is the sanity?? The pro-commuter rail bureaucrats in ABQ/SF took advantage of the Obama surge in NM to win approval of yet another tax to fund it.

8 posted on 12/02/2008 8:31:38 PM PST by CedarDave (This bumper sticker stays on my pickup: "I'm voting for Sarah!")
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To: CedarDave
On the basis of this one article, I'd judge that Gene Grant is even dumber than Bill Richardson.
9 posted on 12/02/2008 8:36:15 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: okie01

Gene Grant is a writer, actor, former congressional staffer and father of two. He can be reached by e-mail at gene@genegrant.com.
10 posted on 12/02/2008 8:45:05 PM PST by CedarDave (This bumper sticker stays on my pickup: "I'm voting for Sarah!")
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To: CedarDave
It's not very kind of the ABQ Journal to keep us non-subscribers from viewing the story online. I'm certain this writer makes a bunch of other statements of equal or greater stupidity to his claim that lives will be saved by this raildoggle. You've whetted my appetite, but not enough to pay for a subscription to the rag. Especially so since it's now the only paper in town, not that the Tribune was all that much better.

As a resident of one of the 30 or so cities all vying for additional federal transportation dollars to build more rail transit, I have a selfish interest in the "success" of this venture. Let's hope Richardson's successor and the Democrat-controlled legislature goes hog-wild and extends the rails in all directions: south to Socorro, west to Grants, east to Santa Rosa or maybe Tucumcari, with a spur up the back side of Sandia Peak to serve all the commuters of Cedar Crest and Sandia Park. All to be built with federal funds, naturally, since everyone knows the state hasn't got the bucks.

I'm sure the state's lobbyists, in concert with the new SecCommerce, would make a convincing case for cutting CO2 emissions, highway deaths, wild animal roadkill and commuting time. It ought to sail through Congress and be signed by President 0bama.

The price? Oh, maybe $20 billion. Less than the Big 3 bailout, and look at all the benefits it would bring . . to those of us who've tried to stop these stupid rail ventures elsewhere in the country.

You see, unlike loans to banks and grants to automakers, federal funding of transportation projects is not open-ended. Once the five-year pot has been exhausted, it takes another ISTEA or TEA-21 to replenish.

And what better way to spend it than on a huge boondoggle across the center of New Mexico!

11 posted on 12/02/2008 9:08:25 PM PST by logician2u
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To: CedarDave

That picture says it all.


12 posted on 12/02/2008 9:10:39 PM PST by logician2u
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To: logician2u
All to be built with federal funds, naturally, since everyone knows the state hasn't got the bucks.

As far as I know, no federal funds were used to build the Rail Runner as Richardson didn't want to take the chance that it would fail a cost benefit analysis (which it would) and it would mean delays (he wanted it built FAST for showcase use in his presidential campaign). However, having said that, I believe that state funds which were designated as match for in-state federal highway projects were diverted for the RR construction which in turn has derailed necessary highway rebuilding/reconstruction.

And what better way to spend it than on a huge boondoggle across the center of New Mexico!
Don't suggest it!!

As far as viewing the entire story, it is free. Look closely at the page and follow the instructions at the bottom -- no registration or subscription necessary, just needing to watch a 20-30 second ad.

13 posted on 12/02/2008 9:25:53 PM PST by CedarDave (This bumper sticker stays on my pickup: "I'm voting for Sarah!")
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To: CedarDave

14 posted on 12/02/2008 9:30:19 PM PST by JRios1968 (Sarah Palin is what Willis was talkin' about!)
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To: CedarDave
Would it be too harsh if I were to say:
Too bad that there is no Taggart Tunnel for the train to run through when it is loaded up with corrupt politicians and their sycophants on the inaugural run?

Yeah, that would be an anti-social(ist) thought. Forget I brought it up.

15 posted on 12/02/2008 9:32:37 PM PST by LegendHasIt (Freepmail me if you want to join the Precious Metals ping list.)
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To: CedarDave
. . I believe that state funds which were designated as match for in-state federal highway projects were diverted for the RR construction . .

Not surprising. It's what they euphemistically call "flex funds," giving the locals discretion as to what they are wasted on. It was probably your MPO for ABQ/Santa Fe that decided they didn't need the money for roads. Richardson might have swayed them with his infallible logic, but it's likely your mayors will be at the ribbon-cutting to share the credit.

Too many local politicians have bought into the idea that roads are bad but rails are good, unfortunately. Our only hope is to replace them with people of IQ=>100 who can't be bought with federal bribes.

16 posted on 12/02/2008 9:39:45 PM PST by logician2u
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To: CedarDave
Randal O'Toole caught New Mexico's diversion of federal money from highways to rail last year. We'll have to wait and see what he puts together when the ABQ-SantaFe line goes into operation later this month.
17 posted on 12/02/2008 9:59:19 PM PST by logician2u
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To: CedarDave; Xenalyte
Nothing new here, mate. I'm in StL, MO -- our infamous MetroKlunk, aka 'MetroLink', has been ripping us off for years. Doubtless our good FReeper colleague Xenalyte can tell you some (cough) wonderful stories about Houston's light-rail fiasco, too -- she calls it the ''Wham-Bam Tram'' for reasons which I'm sure she'll explain fully if you ask, and the fiscal folly in Houston, I'm sure, is every bit as outrageous as it is here.

''Light rail'', and other such bureaudork schemes, are world-without-end black holes for the taxpayer in almost ALL areas, serving only to create jobs for morons (including my cousin's wife's sister's husband, who defends his cushy job to the death, the little weasel) and more 'turf' for bureaudorks.

18 posted on 12/02/2008 10:16:44 PM PST by SAJ
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To: CedarDave
You can catch Gene Grant, media tool for Bill Richardson, live and in person, on Friday evenings on KNME, PBS in Albuquerque.

He is as barf-inspiring on TV as he is in print. (Ain't he cute??)

19 posted on 12/03/2008 7:16:54 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (Tagline on vacation during the grand experiment.)
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To: greyfoxx39

Thanks greyfoxx. I’m being pummeled on other forums for not being “visionary” with my comments on the Railrunner boondoggle. These liberals have no clue that either someone pays the piper some day or in the alternative government prints money (as I’m sure we are about to do on the national level).


20 posted on 12/03/2008 7:56:56 AM PST by CedarDave (This bumper sticker stays on my pickup: "I'm voting for Sarah!")
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To: CedarDave; LegendHasIt; Rogle; leapfrog0202; Santa Fe_Conservative; DesertDreamer; ...

Cedar Dave I am sorry but I must disagree with you. Under the original Richardson’s Investment Partnership (GRIP) program submitted by Richardson to the Legislature in a special secession Oct 2003 there was to be a 50, 50 split between the State and the Feds. The funding from the Fed was to come from the Federal Railroad Administration. The Federal Railroad Administration took a look at the Rail Runner and concluded it was not economically feasible. Bill Richardson decided to continue the project with only state money while NM appealed the Federal Railroad Administration’s decision going even to the extent of trying to drag Senator Domenici into the ruckus. The Federal Railroad Administration held their ground and eventually NM divert Federal road dollars to the Rail Runner.


21 posted on 12/03/2008 8:03:29 AM PST by Rogle
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To: CedarDave
Those liberals you are speaking to probably go around bragging that NM is as sophisticated and forward-thinking as, say, NY or MA.

The Taosenos and Santa Feans from the east would like to see the sleepy little state they now call home join with the elite so they won't have to apologize for us crackers.

22 posted on 12/03/2008 8:19:30 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (Tagline on vacation during the grand experiment.)
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To: Rogle
I remember seeing that, Rogle.

Thank God that King Bill will be departing before he can come up with more grandiose schemes to bill to the NM taxpayers and their descendants.

What is this "education legacy" he is trying to foist off on us now? My remote is working overtime dodging Richardson and Obama praise stories on TV.

Speaking of praises, get a load of

THIS!

I betcha they don't have THIS picture in their album!

Photobucket

23 posted on 12/03/2008 8:28:00 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (Tagline on vacation during the grand experiment.)
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