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Fast Trains Sound Nice, But Who Will Ride?
IBD Editorials ^ | September 23, 2011 | Staff

Posted on 09/23/2011 5:21:33 PM PDT by Kaslin

Boondoggles: How can we tell if Congress is serious about reining in spending? A clear-cut, permanent defunding of high-speed rail would be one sign. But the pipe dream won't quite die.

Sometime soon — or so we'd like to think — the fast-train fad will fizzle out, the victim of fiscal sanity and critical thinking.

Just this week, a Senate Appropriations subcommittee controlled by Democrats actually voted to give high-speed rail nothing at all in the new fiscal year.

That got our hopes up. Then the full Appropriations Committee mixed the message by approving $100 million for the program, which is a far cry from the $8 billion sought by President Obama.

That pittance was a symbolic victory for the rail fans. It was a rebuke to the Republican-controlled House, which is trying to kill Obama's high-speed rail scheme once and for all. For those who think that sleek trains will somehow revolutionize transportation in America, it keeps the dream alive.

It also continues to dangle the temptation of federal funds — if not in 2012, maybe later — in front of states that should not be taking the bait. California, especially, would spare itself enormous future pain if it were to ditch its ambitious high-speed rail plan now, before starting to build lines that almost no one will use.

A clear sign from the feds that no further money is coming for that purpose, now or ever, would make the state's decision easy. Voters have authorized $9 billion in bonds to build the system, but these don't come close to meeting construction costs, which the state's non-partisan Legislative Analyst office has pegged at $67 billion for just the first phase, from Orange County through Los Angeles to San Francisco.

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: imisswilliegreen; rail; train; willie

1 posted on 09/23/2011 5:21:36 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

high-speed rail is a misnomer. Most of the proposals aren’t must faster then a car on a freeway.


2 posted on 09/23/2011 5:26:11 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Kaslin
Fast Trains Sound Nice, But Who Will Ride?

It doesn't matter if ANYBODY rides them.

That's not their purpose.

Their purpose is to provide billions of federal dollars to Metropolitan Transportation Districts, which are mandated to be run by Eric Holder's people, who are mandated to stuff their pockets with as many federal dollars as they can hold.

Reparations!

3 posted on 09/23/2011 5:26:51 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Palin is coming, and the Tea Party is coming with her.)
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To: Kaslin

We have had for 50 years the technology to launch hundreds of people at a time to 35,000 ft at 600 mph safely, and we are still subsidizing a nineteenth century piece of transportation technology. As for daily commuting, people can just drive at off peak traffic hours, or carpool.


4 posted on 09/23/2011 5:27:10 PM PDT by SteelToe
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Mo’ Money...Mo’ Money....Mo’ Money!!!


5 posted on 09/23/2011 5:27:57 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Kaslin

We live in middle TN. We like to vacation in Florida. If there were high speed rail from here to there AND it was cheaper than air travel AND there were no TSA shake downs, I would gladly use it.


6 posted on 09/23/2011 5:31:34 PM PDT by Boiling point (Cain / Palin 2012)
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To: Kaslin

I won’t be riding that Piece O’ Crap.

going by car is faster

It won’t be completed in my lifetime and I am young.


7 posted on 09/23/2011 5:31:57 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Kaslin

Gold Star passengers will ride for free.


8 posted on 09/23/2011 5:32:06 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Kaslin
Fast Trains Sound Nice, But Who Will Ride?

Where's WillieG? He'll ride.

9 posted on 09/23/2011 5:34:49 PM PDT by mountn man (Happiness is not a destination, its a way of life.)
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To: SteelToe
"As for daily commuting, people can just drive at off peak traffic hours, or carpool."

Or buses. Use same infrastructure as cars, far more route flexibility than trains.

10 posted on 09/23/2011 5:37:18 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Kaslin

Sen. Dick Turban (D-Madiganistan) proposed high speed trains from New Fallujah to Rahmabad, and from Rahmabad to St. Louis. In the case of the New Fallujah train, we know that at least 50% of the riders would be so illiterate they could not read the ticket. It would have to be called a “bullet train” since it would nearly require Madiganistan to become a “conceal carry” state for self protection.


11 posted on 09/23/2011 5:38:46 PM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all......)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Poor Willie Green. I’ll be the Koch brothers are behind this. ;’)

To get rid of funding for this, get rid of everything else brought to us by the green agenda — then the greeniacs will then attack high speed rail, since they have nothing else to do. Thanks Kaslin.


12 posted on 09/23/2011 5:39:58 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Kaslin

I’m holding out for the High Speed Stagecoach system. Now we’re talking.

Pray for America


13 posted on 09/23/2011 5:41:07 PM PDT by bray (Palin is hated by the establishment of both Parties. Winner!)
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To: Kaslin
They are spending $200 million to build a high speed rail system that will reduce a 5 hour ride by 15 minutes.
14 posted on 09/23/2011 5:41:56 PM PDT by bwc2221
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To: Kaslin

Sen. Dick Turban (D-Madiganistan) proposed high speed trains from New Fallujah to Rahmabad, and from Rahmabad to St. Louis. In the case of the New Fallujah train, we know that at least 50% of the riders would be so illiterate they could not read the ticket. It would have to be called a “bullet train” since it would nearly require Madiganistan to become a “conceal carry” state for self protection.


15 posted on 09/23/2011 5:42:50 PM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all......)
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To: Boiling point
What if you had to pay for it.

I mean all of it, with no subsidies from the rest of us taxpayers who would never use it?

As a funny aside, the TSA made a big show at the Atlanta Amtrak station a couple weeks back. Overweight socom wannabees strolling around with their K9s, being expensively useless.

The news guy interviewed some of the waiting passengers to get their reaction, and they were cool with the jackboot show of force, but were a little miffed about their train being 6 hours late FROM NEW ORLEANS!

16 posted on 09/23/2011 5:43:46 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: Kaslin

If I have to ride with the public, can’t take the dog, gun and everything I want, and does not go to the doorstop of the place I am going....meh. I will drive.


17 posted on 09/23/2011 5:43:46 PM PDT by doodad
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To: Wonder Warthog
People want autonomy, their Cars, in advanced civilization. Not Soviet era mass transit "schemes" that's what the rats call school choice, a "sleazy" "scheme." Just adopting rat lingo.
18 posted on 09/23/2011 5:45:35 PM PDT by 4Liberty (88% of Americans are NON-UNION. We value honest, peaceful Free trade-NOT protectionist CARTELS)
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To: Boiling point
We live in middle TN. We like to vacation in Florida. If there were high speed rail from here to there AND it was cheaper than air travel AND there were no TSA shake downs, I would gladly use it.

Your attitude is what Obama and the Democrats are counting on. I really don't mean that as an insult, either. It's just that, if they can build these damned things to run as advertised, they believe people will take to them.

They can't, and, of course, the TSA will follow, so it's all academic.

19 posted on 09/23/2011 5:47:00 PM PDT by BfloGuy (Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: bwc2221
$200 million is too little. Every time the high speed backers want a vacation, the estimates go up. The State of California or confusion, wants to put a high speed rail from Fresno to Los Angeles. I have a question which contains 3 separate questions. 1) How the hell wants to go to Fresno? 2) Who the hell wants to go to Los Angeles? and 3) Will illegals get a discount to ride it to make their illegal run into California faster?
Just wondering.
20 posted on 09/23/2011 5:48:38 PM PDT by Nitehawk0325 (Death sentences should be carried out within 60 days of convictions)
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To: DManA

Here in NYS, we have a damn thruway from one end of the state to the other. Now really....Do you really want to “drive” faster than 70 MPH?? Take a damn plane.


21 posted on 09/23/2011 5:49:19 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Kaslin
Yep, the future of rail is what it is now, freight hauling. Going a bit faster with the freight would be nice but wouldn't justify the cost of building all new lines capable of handling the speeds so called high speed rail would travel at.

I like my idea much better. Instead of loading people into crowded aircraft we should put them into individual UAVs(large ones) that would fly over the city of choice and eject the passenger out, with a parachute of course. Sound like a money waster? Yep, but no more so than high speed rail. What ever happened to Willy Green, BTW?

22 posted on 09/23/2011 5:49:57 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Kaslin

Train Union guys who will be making $150K/year from Federal Subsidies.


23 posted on 09/23/2011 5:54:24 PM PDT by cruise_missile
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To: Kaslin
Just part of agenda 21 so the can get some of the infrastructure in place in their incrimentalist plan.
24 posted on 09/23/2011 5:56:08 PM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: calex59

As I recall, he told the proprietor to perform an obscene act with himself, and out the door he went.


25 posted on 09/23/2011 5:58:12 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Boiling point

Idea is fine BUT the way the Gov. will put it in place will have it too expensive and too slow. Its like the Electric car—the Volt. Not really a bad idea for inter urban transportation but WAY TO EXPENSIVE—so its out of reach for the very people it needs to serve! IF the high speed train was inexpensive and good—it would be an excellent alternative to driving or air—But it will not be!


26 posted on 09/23/2011 6:01:21 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Kaslin

Unless they’re O-Gauge I have no use for them.


27 posted on 09/23/2011 6:03:15 PM PDT by NavyCanDo (GO MAMA GRIZZLY!)
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To: Kaslin
Monorail-Monorail-MONORAIL!


28 posted on 09/23/2011 6:03:44 PM PDT by jaz.357 ( Virgina Earthquake survivor!)
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To: Kaslin

If passenger travel was profitable, the major railroads would be in it in a big way.

The market will best determine if hi-speed rail is practical.


29 posted on 09/23/2011 6:08:17 PM PDT by Joe Bfstplk (People should enjoy the fruits of their labor. No labor, no fruit.)
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To: Nitehawk0325
The State of California or confusion, wants to put a high speed rail from Fresno to Los Angeles. I have a question which contains 3 separate questions. 1) How the hell wants to go to Fresno?

That's the problem, they want to put it on the wrong side of the mountains, put a high speed rail line between L.A. and Mammoth Ski Resort in Eastern Sierra and they would find a lot of people wanting to ride. During Summer there are millions of people who go to the Eastern Sierra, backpackers, fishermen, etc. that would rather not drive here. We have no railroads or public transportaion of any kind (no Greyhound bus, etc.).

30 posted on 09/23/2011 6:09:41 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: Kaslin

Problem is what in the hell do you do once you get to a station that may still be miles from your destination. Bring your roller skates.


31 posted on 09/23/2011 6:21:59 PM PDT by Logical me
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To: 4Liberty

High Speed to Insolvency-Why liberals love trains.

http://www.newsweek.com/2011/02/27/high-speed-to-insolvency.html

To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make.

Time was, the progressive cry was “Workers of the world unite!” or “Power to the people!” Now it is less resonant: “All aboard!”


32 posted on 09/23/2011 6:31:31 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (See ya later, debt inflator ! Gone in 4 (2012))
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To: Kaslin

A fixed rail system seems rather short sighted, even if the government can successfully identify routes that would justify this kind of capital expenditure.

A fixed system is very expensive to change as circumstances, residency and employment patterns and vacation preferences change as they always will.

If there is a real unaddressed need for public transport, busses would seem to be a better choice. They are easier and less expensive to reroute in the future, and when they break down, its a lot easier just to tow them out of the way and have the subsequent busses to just pass the disabled vehicles.


33 posted on 09/23/2011 6:46:22 PM PDT by I_Like_Spam
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To: Kaslin

How did Willie Green manage to buy that Committee?


34 posted on 09/23/2011 6:47:58 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles.)
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To: Kaslin
In my humble opinion, high-speed rail--or to be more specific, trains that can cruise at speeds over over 220 km/h (136.7 mph)--makes the most sense in higher-density populated countries where you know there will be pretty strong ridership.

That's why it makes sense in Japan, South Korea, China, much of Europe, and certain corridors in the USA (e.g. the Northeast Corridor between Richmond, VA to Boston, MA). Interestingly, Chicago is one place where high-speed rail especially makes sense, since from Chicago these corridors work well for such lines:

Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison, WI-Eau Claire, WI-Minneapolis/St. Paul
Chicago-Davenport, IA-Des Moines-Omaha
Chicago-St. Louis-Kansas City, MO-Wichita
Chicago-Indianapolis-Cincinnati
Chicago-Grand Rapids, MI-Lansing, MI-Detroit
Chicago-South Bend, IN-Toledo-Cleveland-Buffalo

35 posted on 09/23/2011 7:12:31 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: 4Liberty
"People want autonomy, their Cars, in advanced civilization."

Oh, I agree. "M...ass transit" is not for me. But if you absolutely MUST "do" mass transit, buses are a far more practical choice than trains.

36 posted on 09/23/2011 7:21:57 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: Kaslin
Fast Trains Sound Nice, But Who Will Ride?

Willie Green will ride them only to enjoy delicious meals in the dining car while using free Wi-Fi.

37 posted on 09/23/2011 7:29:50 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOs!!!)
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To: Wonder Warthog

Buses work best when distances are relatively short, like about commuting up to 20 miles between home and work. But buses have the issues of being limited by posted road speed limits, and that could make commutes quite long.


38 posted on 09/23/2011 7:31:47 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: calex59
What ever happened to Willy Green, BTW?

Willie was out-sourced. You can find a dozen trolls straight of the shelf who can perform the same work.

39 posted on 09/23/2011 7:35:35 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Sacajaweau

Here in NJ, they wanted to build another tunnel under the Hudson River until the great Chris Christie pointed out that there was nobody to use it; the jobs in NYC, and the taxpayers of northern NJ, were melting away. People I know who commute into the city say there are a lot less people on the existing trains...


40 posted on 09/23/2011 9:51:12 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: Logical me

Here in Newark NJ people don’t want to walk three blocks through the natives, never mind miles. They know better, despite the news blackout (pardon the pun).


41 posted on 09/23/2011 9:52:55 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: RayChuang88
That's why it makes sense in Japan, South Korea, China, much of Europe, and certain corridors in the USA (e.g. the Northeast Corridor between Richmond, VA to Boston, MA). Interestingly, Chicago is one place where high-speed rail especially makes sense

Well, it might "make sense" but it doesn't make cents, as there is only one profitable line in all the ones you propose, that is Tokyo-Osaka. Nowhere else in the world does highspeed rail support itself profitably.

42 posted on 09/24/2011 9:48:28 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: kearnyirish2
I'm over in NYC, a big part of that deal, was the idea of moving freight. It would have helped jobs wise, but the only benefit would have been in NYC, there would have been absolutely nothing to gain for NJ. Moving cargo, into NYC is fine, but why should New Jersey pay to help create jobs in NYC ?

FWIW, the folks I know in Jersey who do commute to NYC, have always said, they would despise the trains, they will drive, deal with traffic and all that, rather then ride the train in. Some of them actually would rather cab it then ride in, that says alot.

43 posted on 09/24/2011 11:53:30 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Sonny M

“I’m over in NYC, a big part of that deal, was the idea of moving freight.”

I see; that makes sense, but was left out of the public discussion (and I could see why).


44 posted on 09/27/2011 9:53:03 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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