Skip to comments.Bullet train Project Nearly Triples In Cost (High Speed Rail To Nowhere)
Posted on 11/01/2011 8:39:12 AM PDT by goldstategop
With the Golden State nearly broke, it now plans to secure funding largely by borrowing more, the Associated Press reported, though specifics were unclear. About 20 percent would come from the private sector.
Until now, the state had been relying on more than $15 billion from the federal government, $10 billion from private investors and $5 billion from local governments. But the state hadn't gotten any closer to raising the money in the three years since voters approved the plan.
The bullet train project, which would link San Francisco and Los Angeles with the nation's first high-speed rail line, has seemed to be a dream for job-hungry politicians, unions and business groups.
Like Brown, the mayors of San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles are also in favor, saying it is pivotal to start quickly and create jobs by taking advantage of a $2.2 billion federal grant that would expire next year.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
The High Speed Rail Boondoggle
The picture says its all. But what California's High Speed Rail amounts to in a broke state is a big pay off for politicians, unions and groups that want to profit off the taxpayers. No wonder every one from the Governor to big city mayors want to fleece the Golden State's public before it realizes it has been conned!
Somewhere, Willie Green smiles with joy.
I remember voting against this pile-o-manure, and wishing there was a “hell no” choice. There’s no future to high speed trains in America when we have millions of Muzzies and other non-Americans who would, for the price of a brick, throw the train off the track.
At least with airplanes, only the end points need secured.
California will spend $20 Billion it doesn't have to chase a $2.2 Billion grant. They will spend more in interest than they will gain from the Uncle Sugar.
And, at the end of the day, they will have nothing. People will still take the plane or drive. It just doesn't make sense to build a train from SF to LA. The numbers just don't work.
Californians vote for this because they like the aesthetics of high speed rail. They feel better about themselves knowing that there are fast trains (World Class!) whizzing about, even if nobody ever gets on a train. This could better be thought of as a giant public art project, rather than transportation.
if it’s a financial boondoggle,
you know the californicate
will be doing it.
Obama’s $2.2 billion federal grant won’t even cover the cost of one rail segment. How are they going to raise the rest of the money?
The projected current cost of building a complete high speed rail system is enough to run California’s government for a year. Every one backing this project is chugging smoke out of their ass!
For the cost of this train, they could buy every man, woman and child in California a fractional ownership of a Cirrus SR-22, and they could fly themselves back and forth from SF to LA in half the time.
Exactly. Every other state looked at the math, said “thanks but no thanks” and decided their own dollars could be put to better use.
The fact of the matter this project is not financially self-supporting. I have to hear a single person in California say they need a bullet train. It makes no sense when you can fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco for far cheaper and in under an hour.
Yup. The State Of California for half that money could buy every resident of the state a lifetime pass on the state’s airlines, which could ferry them inexpensively to any destination they choose.
People don’t want to sit three hours on train waiting to get someplace. Before civil aviation emerged, there was no other way to connect the country. Today, long-distance passenger trains in America are a relic of the past.
They are not what we need today.
Using the Santa Cruz model, Ca will buy the right-of-way and put in a bike path.
People voted for it because of a poison pill clause that said it could only be built without cost to the taxpayers. That’s the only reason the bonds for it passed. As things stand now, those bonds will never be issued and the high speed rail elephant will thankfully, never be built.
And a nightmare for the taxpayers who will be stuck paying for this useless boondoggle. EVERY DOLLAR THAT CREATES A GOVERNMENT JOB IS A DOLLAR LOST TO A FREE ENTERPRISE JOB. Government produces nothing (except regulations). Government has no assets except those it seizes by force from private citizens.
Just look at the physics of the problem. If I am going to be in an aluminum tube hurtling along at hundreds of miles an hour, do I want that aluminum tube to be five miles up in the air, where there is nothing to hit, or down at ground level, where there are all sorts of things to hit?
High speed rail might make sense for trips that are too short for aircraft, maybe up to 200 miles or so. For anything longer, there are better, cheaper, safer, less polluting and more comfortable alternatives.
“At least with airplanes, only the end points need secured.”
It might make sense from San Diego to Los Angeles and from Sacramento to San Franciso.
A limited high speed rail system could be built very cheaply.
But unfortunately that only underscores why the rest of it isn’t really necessary and the politicians won’t hear it.
It’s all about population density and distance.
To put it in perspective, Tokyo-Osaka (which is profitable), services 3x the number of people over half the distance.
Even the Boston - Washington corridor is only 50 percent as efficient as Tokyo-Osaka and that assumes ridership numbers equal to Japan.
A good idea—in 1970. Now the costs are out of sight and the State is broke.
Sac-San Fran, nowhere near the population density.
LA-SD and even throwing in Tijuana, no. Shorter yes, but you’d have to have 60 million people for it to make money.
All the people who knew how to run a railroad are dead. Any of them could tell you that passenger lines have almost never been profitable. Were it not for freight and the mail, the railroads could never have afforded to run passenger cars.
Those are cities that are what - two hours apart? And with the bullet train in Japan that distance can be traveled in 45 minutes. With the distances in California and almost no body lives in the mountainous corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it means that the ridership to support it isn’t there. And with competition from the airlines, it will be operating at a loss from Day One. Which means ultimately the taxpayers would have to pick up the tab for this White Elephant.
Better to kill it now while its still a snaggle-toothed baby instead of a full-grown monster.
I think the tickets will be available for free.
Freight trains are profitable because its the cheapest way to transport bulk goods from one location to another. Passenger trains aren’t, except in very limited circumstances.
There’s a very simple solution to paying for this project in full.
See? Nothing to it.
The Washington DC-Boston metropolis has like 60 million people and Amtrak’s high speed commuter line, in spite of favorable demographics, is running at a loss. California has almost 40 million people but the vast bulk of them live in the San Diego-Los Angeles metropolis, which makes a statewide bullet train system a complete fantasy.
People were lied to. To say the cost was low-balled is an understatement. Spending $100 billion on a glorified steam train is not what most people think is a sound investment. There are other better uses for that money. Again, I have yet to hear one proponent of California high speed rail say there is a demand for it.
You would think that sanity would prevail, but this is California. I just don’t want them coming to the Feds asking for money.
There’s two high speed rail lines that make money - both are in Japan - maybe one more somewhere...
Why do liberals push this idea - does anyone understand?
Don't worry! Unfair Competition with the Bullet Train will be limited sharply by legislative action. Bullet Train Lobbyists will work ceaselessly to prevent the danger of the another choice becoming economically superior. BTW they will be paid with your tax dollars, so you may rest assured your Bullet Train tax dollars are hard at work!!!
That reminds me of something...I wonder if the Bullet Train should be subject to the Ammo Tax?
That might be the most accurate description of the project I have ever read. :)
IIRC, JR Line (Japan) is privately operated,too.
Well, the system might allow Democrats to inexpensively shuttle illegal voters to whatever district they are most needed in - just in time for an election. So the fantasy might seem worth pursuing, to some. :)
We took the train from San Jose to San Luis Obispo once. (Final destination- Cambria.) We thought it would be a fun trip for the kids and help us avoid holiday weekend traffic. It’s normally a 3.5 hr drive door-to-door including a rest stop or two.
It took about 20 minutes to get to downtown San Jose, park and get on the train. We ended up in a dark, smelly car filled with numerous questionable characters. My younger son was fiddling behind a seat and came out with an empty whiskey bottle (we considered ourselves lucky he didn’t find a used hypodermic needle)
It took 8.5 hrs to get to San Luis, we then rented a car and drove 40 minutes to Cambria, our destination.
So we paid for parking in San Jose, 4 train tickets, a rental car for the weekend and it took a total of 10 hours from start to finish. Does this make one bit of sense economically or time-wise??? NO!!
Today, if you plan ahead, you can purchase an $89 plane ticket to go from 5 different airports in No. Cal to ~9 different airports in So. Cal in less than 1 hr 15 mins, plus planes leave ~ every 30 minutes.
Only in screwed up California would anyone think that spending billions and billions of $$$ to replace plane travel with train travel makes sense. Of course these are the same stupid people who run empty light rail cars and buses all over the county so they can pat themselves on the back for saving the planet!!
“Stupid people are ruining this country.”
Idiots on Parade,, anyone who supports building this HSR boondoggle.
One poster pointed out the quoted cost only includes laying down track. Not building stations or service depots and does not include rolling stock or maintainance. That breaks down the actual cost to $62 million per track mile!
What's more, for political reasons, California Central Valley is targeted by the state's Democrats because they can least resist it.
Its all about leftist politics, of crowding every one together and forcing them to use a mode of transportation favored by politicians and central planners.
Make no mistake, leaving the high cost aside, high speed rail in California is the antithesis of American freedom.
That is exactly why the Left insists on ramming it down the throats of unwilling Californians. Its about ideology, not economics or even common sense.
They already spent $700 million on business plans, consultants and environmental studies. And they haven’t laid a single mile of track yet!
Idiots is putting it mildly about the high speed rail supporters.
Same with carbon taxes. =I’m a country boy, and I had my city time. It’s so depressing. Never was I unhappier than confined in the city. I heard about ‘sustainability’ in my classes, and that annoyed me to no end, I did my paper on the Interstate Highway system and it’s overall contribution to American prosperity. I got a D, but then I didn’t care much so long as they passed me.
It’s all about control.
They want people to live where they want you to live, go where they want you to go and trains let you herd people together.
Yup. They don’t care if no one ever rides it as long as they can control what people do. HSR is merely a means to an end. One long desired by the Left since the Industrial Revolution.
That is how liberals think... you might be right on this - thanks for sharing.
That might have something to do with why they’re turning a profit...