Good news! California’s choo-choo to nowhere will only waste 68 billion instead of 98 billion

posted at 11:10 am on April 2, 2012 by John Hawkins

California has a budget deficit north of 10 billion dollars a year, a debt that’s over 600 billion dollars, and businesses are already fleeing the state because of the ridiculous regulations, high taxes, and unfriendly business climate. So, is California buckling down and starting to do the tough, but necessary work needed to get the state back on track? Well, only if you consider spending almost 70 billion dollars more on a high speed rail project that’s practically guaranteed to be a disastrous money pit before it’s ever built to fit that definition.

State transportation officials have slashed the price tag for California’s controversial high-speed rail project by $30 billion and expanded the first stretch of track to run from Merced in the Central Valley south to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

…The drastic revision, which puts the proposed cost of the system at $68.4 billion instead of the $98.5 billion estimated in November, intends to cool opposition to the project, which has been labeled a “train to nowhere” for its plans to start in the state’s rural center, and criticized for its high costs and uncertain funding plan.

California is spending roughly a quarter of its budget paying just THE INTEREST on its debt and it’s going to toss $70 billion more down a rathole? What would make anyone in his right mind think this is a good idea? Do people just hear the words “future” and “train” together and think it’s a can’t miss project?

How’s that working out with Amtrak? About as well as the maiden voyage of the Titanic — but of course, it’s not high speed rail. If it was, judging by the experience shown in Europe, it would probably be losing a lot more money.

In 2008, Amtrak’s inspector general published an analysis of government subsidies to passenger rail in Europe and compared them to Amtrak’s subsidies. One purpose of the review was to address the contention that passenger rail in other countries, especially HSR, operates at a profit (i.e., without subsidies). For 1995-2006, the study found that the governments of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, and Austria spent “a combined total of $42 billion annually on their national passenger railroads.”[9] The $42 billion that these six countries, which have a combined population of 269 million, spent on just passenger rail in 2006[10] is roughly proportionate to the $54.8 billion (most of which was funded by user fees) that the government of the United States (population of 309 million) spent on all forms of transportation, including highways, rail, aviation, water transport, and mass transit.[11]

To put the European commitment to passenger rail in perspective, rail ridership (high speed, conventional intercity, and metropolitan commuter rail) in these six countries accounted for just 7.9 percent of all surface transportation modes on a per passenger, per billion kilometer basis. This suggests that these countries received a poor return on their money given that more than 90 percent of passengers in these countries chose other travel modes– mostly auto–despite the subsidies.

In Europe as a whole (EU-27), rail accounted for only 6.1 percent of passenger travel in 2007, including travel by air and sea. Buses accounted for 8.3 percent of the market, and air travel accounted for 8.8 percent. Despite Europe’s huge investment in passenger rail, its market share declined from 6.6 percent in 1995 to 6.1 percent in 2007. Over that same period, commercial air increased its share from 6.3 percent to 8.8 percent. By providing faster service and competitive prices, it took passengers away from rail, buses, and autos.

What’s a better use of 70 billion dollars for California? Creating a high speed rail line that’s a cant-miss failure or paying off part of its massive debt that is increasingly likely to cause the state to default within the next decade? If your answer is “build a choo-choo to nowhere,” then congratulations, you’re one of the people who’s helping to ruin the state of California.

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California: Quadrupling down on stupid!!

Bitter Clinger on April 2, 2012 at 11:13 AM

But….It’s for the children!!

HotAirian on April 2, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Look at their Congresspeople and Senators! Govenor?

KOOLAID2 on April 2, 2012 at 11:13 AM

California has a budget deficit north of 10 billion dollars a year, a debt that’s over 600 billion dollars

How does CA fund its debt? Bond initiatives?

Is CA going to start issuing its own currency?

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM

California unions never saw a spending project their coffers didn’t like.

Archivarix on April 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM

When was the last time a major budget item in CA came at or under budget?
And Merced to San Fernando…really? Merced??? Do that many people buy almonds???

right2bright on April 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

This is the problem with having politicians spending public money. They have no skin in the game and in fact benefit more by wasting tax payers dollars since their contributors are invariably related to the money wasting project.

If it would make money, private money would invest in it.

aniptofar on April 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

State transportation officials have slashed the price tag for California’s controversial high-speed rail project by $30 billion and expanded the first stretch of track to run from Merced in the Central Valley south to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

Um, how does expanding the length of the track translate to “slashing” the cost?

Bitter Clinger on April 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Good news! California’s choo-choo to nowhere will only waste 68 billion instead of 98 billion

Is the National Socialist Left somehow trying to replicate the plot of Atlas Shrugged?

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson

Chip on April 2, 2012 at 11:17 AM

We are already broke, and Governor Moonbeam is going to propose another tax hike on personal income this November…

All: this is what happens when Democrats control BOTH HOUSES of your state for 50 years… Yes, they have had control of the Senate and Assembly since the 1960 Census and reapportionment (gerrymandering)… Only the occasional Governor (think Reagan) can migiate the damage but not completely stop it…

We need Emperor Norton back “in office”… he’d be better than the group up in Sacratomato…

Khun Joe on April 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

BAILOUTPALOOZA!!

Encourage states to bankrupt themselves then leave the Federal Government to bail them out (and take over the “administration” of the state).

All growing the power of the ever larger Federal Government and swallowing individual freedom and liberty?

naaaah, couldn’t happen here.

We have a Constitution and an alert Citizenry after all.

PappyD61 on April 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Get out of your cars and board the train so we can go over the cliff together while singing Kumbaya.

NapaConservative on April 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

What’s the big deal here? All we’re doing is throwing a boatload of money at the unions and saying, “Here, use it for graft, kickbacks and waste.” Jeez.

Kenosha Kid on April 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

This is the most reckless and stupid idea I’ve come across in a long time. The poor put-upon CA taxpayer cannot be asked to continue to sacrifice his future and the future of his children to fund these sorts of unneeded projects.

Hold on a sec… there’s a knock at my door.

After discussing this issue with some well-meaning union officials who have graciously visited my office to help me be better-informed about this project… in good conscience, and for the betterment of the children, workers and puppies of CA… I must vote to support this God-approved, earth-saving, anti-Wall-Street, pro-good things, Messianic rail project.

-Your Local CA Assemblyorganism

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Um, how does expanding the length of the track translate to “slashing” the cost?

Bitter Clinger on April 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Why do you hate Trayvon Martin?

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Um, how does expanding the length of the track translate to “slashing” the cost?

Bitter Clinger on April 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Why do you hate Trayvon Martin?

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM

LOL. Maybe they can call it the Hoodie Express.

Bitter Clinger on April 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

If they are going to pay $100 billion for a train system, at least do it right. Have the train go to San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

SoulGlo on April 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

1. This will never be finished. If you think the ‘Big Dig’ was a perpetual project just wait.

2. Per the first point, it will just be a continual money drain that never ends.

3. Will the last private business that leaves Kalifornia, please turn off the lights, if there are any power plants working anymore there.

jukin3 on April 2, 2012 at 11:26 AM

What would make anyone in his right mind think this is a good idea?

Uh, this is California we’re talking about.

As I am sure Governor Moonbeam has said before, “Relying on the sanity and restraint of California is not a strategy and it is not an option!”

CorporatePiggy on April 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM

This monumental stupidity is why Southern California wants to secede from California.

SWalker on April 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM

You realize, I hope, that the next step in this on-going catastrophe will be politicians and their media fans pushing for a Federal take-over of all state debts on the basis that “it’s only fair.” After all, California is “too big to fail.”

Fred 2 on April 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Saved $30 billion!

lorien1973 on April 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Fun Fact: Kalifornia has more welfare recipients than all the other states, about 35% of the total.

Were number ONE!!

jukin3 on April 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Have the train go to San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

SoulGlo on April 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Well, San Diego does have the “trolley to TJ”, and it is usually full.

JimboHoffa on April 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM

BAILOUTPALOOZA!!

Encourage states to bankrupt themselves then leave the Federal Government to bail them out (and take over the “administration” of the state).

All growing the power of the ever larger Federal Government and swallowing individual freedom and liberty?

naaaah, couldn’t happen here.

We have a Constitution and an alert Citizenry after all.

PappyD61 on April 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Bingo Pappy.

I believe the CA legislature has made a calculated decision to go all in on spending realizing that no amount of cost cutting will save them at this point and hope the Federal Goverment will bail them out.

It makes me sick to my stomach because I think they’ve calculated correctly.

WisRich on April 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM

I decided Governor Moonbeam was an idiot since he put the kabosh on Linda Rondstadt.

itsspideyman on April 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Take that 68 billion and multiply it by two or three if you want to know what it will really cost. That’s the way these government estimates always work. Actually, since this is California, it will probably be much worse.

RadClown on April 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

IF it is $68 Billion today, by the time it is built, you can bet on a minimum of $250 BILLION with all the union contracts, Enviro wackjob appeasement and of course, the actual stupid train from and to nowhere.

SDarchitect on April 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

We need Emperor Norton back “in office”… he’d be better than the group up in Sacratomato…

Khun Joe on April 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Did he have any kin? I don’t recall any children, but I haven’t read about him in a long time. That relative could be the answer.

A bit larger in scope, though. What Constitutional remedies are there when a state goes bankrupt? I don’t think that the Founding Fathers ever contemplated such a thing. If the federal government takes over, which I don’t think is allowable under the Constitution as the federal government is supposed to be a creature of the states and people, not the reverse (as Obama and company feel), what happens to the relationship between the federal and state governments in general?

This could turn out to be almost as dangerous to our Constitutional Republic as the individual mandate of Obamacare.

Kevin K. on April 2, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Take that 68 billion and multiply it by two or three if you want to know what it will really cost. That’s the way these government estimates always work. Actually, since this is California, it will probably be much worse.

RadClown on April 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

This is California. You’re looking at a 10-15X multiplier on whatever bogus number they float out there.

Then when they go wildly over budget instead of canning the project they’ll say, ‘WE CAN’T STOP NOW‘. Government math is criminal. There will be some very interesting accounting involved in their ‘budgeting process’. The kind that in the private sector gets you fired, sued, and occasionally thrown in jail.

CorporatePiggy on April 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

If the revision is intended to cool opposition, then how can it be relied upon to be an accurate reflection of reality?

BKeyser on April 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Just guess where Willard is building his dream house?

celtic warrior on April 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM

If you use the new Bay Bridge boondoggle as a measuring stock of what this high-speed rail disaster is going to be like, you’ll join us californians in our desperation.

NapaConservative on April 2, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Get out of your cars and board the train so we can go over the cliff together while singing Kumbaya.

NapaConservative on April 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Are they playing the same lame, folksy commercials touting keeping your family close with the high speed choo choo, up in Napa as they are here in the central valley. Or do you guys get an upscale version? :)

arnold ziffel on April 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

This STORY is missing the CRUCIAL DETAIL!

Notice how the SF paper casually mentions using EXISTING Cal-trans lines. What they FAIL to mention is that this is NO LONGER HIGH SPEED!

Governor Jerry Brown is trying to REDEPLOY 10 Billion in HIGH SPEED rail bonds into LOCAL EXISTING light rail!

This is a MASSIVE FRAUD and this story from the SF newspaper is simply trying to confuse people!

Freddy on April 2, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Are they playing the same lame, folksy commercials touting keeping your family close with the high speed choo choo, up in Napa as they are here in the central valley. Or do you guys get an upscale version? :)

arnold ziffel on April 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

They don’t run any of those commercials here. But then again, I wouldn’t have time to watch them, I mean, drinking champagne and eating caviar is a very time consuming activity. /sarc

NapaConservative on April 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM

So, is California buckling down and starting to do the tough, but necessary work needed to get the state back on track?

Oh, I get it! HAHAHA…
Oh you clever Americans with your words!
oClosing in a coll $1,000,000,000,000 in debt huh?
Well, this project should help then.
GO JERRY!

Amendment X on April 2, 2012 at 12:03 PM

What’s the problem? Right here on one project you have 30 billion created or saved dollars. Geez, trying to explain this higher math to the ungrateful unwashed plebes is hard.

/

- liberals – looting America like never before!

ghostwalker1 on April 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

California’s choo-choo to nowhere will only waste 68 billion instead of 98 billion

So does that get chalked up as $30B in “savings?”

These kinds of projects are absurd. Trains linked the country because there was a need to move people and things efficiently and they were built by private enterprises. This field of dreams mentality about high speed rail doesn’t make sense because there is no compelling reason why one would need to travel at high speed from the San Fernando Valley to Merced.

Happy Nomad on April 2, 2012 at 12:23 PM

For 1995-2006, the study found that the governments of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, and Austria spent “a combined total of $42 billion annually on their national passenger railroads.”[9] The $42 billion that these six countries, which have a combined population of 269 million, spent on just passenger rail in 2006[10] is roughly proportionate to the $54.8 billion (most of which was funded by user fees) that the government of the United States (population of 309 million) spent on all forms of transportation, including highways, rail, aviation, water transport, and mass transit.[11]

As bad as the European subsidy in high-speed rail might seem, it would be much worse in California.

In order to prevent a high-speed train from careening off the track, the tracks must be built very straight, with only very gentle curves (turning radius > 1000 meters), and gentle slopes.
While it may be feasible to build such track across gently rolling farmland in northern Europe, it would be prohibitive to build through the mountainous terrain between San Francisco and Los Angeles, or between SF and the Central Valley.

In addition, the wind from a high-speed train passing at 180 mph (the cruising speed of the French TGV) can easily knock people over and overturn small cars waiting at grade crossings. For this reason, high-speed rail lines do not pass through existing train stations or grade crossings in Europe, which requires the construction of many bridges and tunnels for existing crossroads.

Where could straight track, isolated from pedestrians, train stations, and grade crossings, be built through the highly congested SF and LA metro areas? Answer: Nowhere!!!

Even if a high-speed line was built along the Central Valley, trains connecting to it would have to travel more slowly (about 50 mph) along existing passenger railways through the SF and LA metro areas, meaning that the entire trip would require over 4 hours.

Passengers wanting to travel between SF and LA (the only real market for high-speed rail in California) could still arrive faster by plane, even allowing for delays getting to and from airports, and going through security.

All those lefties in SF and LA dreaming of high-speed trains should carefully enjoy the view of all those beautiful mountains in between. Is it easier to drill tunnels through them, or hop on a plane and fly over them or over the Pacific?

Steve Z on April 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Hey! You don’t like the ‘numbers’ today, the HS Rail Commission will gladly supply you with a ‘new and improved’ set tomorrow. Better yet, just tell them what numbers you want to see. They’ll gladly provide a “study” to back those numbers up.

GarandFan on April 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I decided Governor Moonbeam was an idiot since he put the kabosh on Linda Rondstadt.

itsspideyman on April 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Didn’t “Poor, poor pitiful” Linda Ronstadt want to lay her head on the railroad track in her song? The Guv is building the track for her!

Steve Z on April 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Why run from LA to the San Fernando Valley? The valley is now dry and no longer producing the amount of food needed to require rail service to get to market or people to work farms. So it a win/win. Cali can skip the valley and still save the spotted humpbot minnow or whatever.

Bulletchaser on April 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Kalifornia deserves it. Too bad they’ll drag us all down with them somehow most likely.

I don’t like giving up but Kali is a lost cause I’m afraid. if you’re a conservative living in that State, get out any way you can. Let it become Detroit on a State-wide level and be the poster child for liberal/progressive foolishness.

Yakko77 on April 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I can’t see how the Madera to Fresno route can be anything but a grand-slam.

pat on April 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

CA govt. (my state) has become a conduit of money from the taxpayer to lib developers, RE investors, unions, and the like. Based on the fond delusions of CA voters, feeding their absurd fantasies, the objective is the enrichment and entrenchment of lib Dems. Supported by huge bureaucracies composed of true believers, who manipulate any and all regulations in favor of this idiocy.

Criminal. In opposing a proposed large solar energy project in my valley, I have learned a lot that I wish I didn’t know.

jodetoad on April 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

CA has decided to go all “Thelma and Louise” right off the frickin cliff.

WisRich on April 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I just watched Atlas Shrugs again on Netflix over the weekend… and its becoming downright scary how accurate it is turning out to be. The part where companies are considered successful based on how much they can get from DC, even though they can’t provide any useful product on time…

dominigan on April 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

dominigan on April 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Netflix has it as one of my “recommended” films… I need to watch it. My daughter had to read it for AP English, she’d dying to see the movie.

The truth is scarier than the fiction, indeed.

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM

It relies heavily on what officials have called a “blended approach” that uses existing commuter rail lines – including Caltrain – in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

That shift, authority board members said Saturday, is largely responsible for the cost savings because it eliminates the need to build separate tracks for high-speed rail through dense metropolitan areas.

Why not save even more money and have the high speed rail passengers make the entire trip via a bus?

pedestrian on April 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I just watched Atlas Shrugs again on Netflix over the weekend… and its becoming downright scary how accurate it is turning out to be. The part where companies are considered successful based on how much they can get from DC, even though they can’t provide any useful product on time…

dominigan on April 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM
Netflix has it as one of my “recommended” films… I need to watch it. My daughter had to read it for AP English, she’d dying to see the movie.

The truth is scarier than the fiction, indeed.

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM

It was excellent. The scenes showing the backroom deals and the politically correct phrasing of proposed legislation promoting “fairness” were terrifying.

talkingpoints on April 2, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Um, how does expanding the length of the track translate to “slashing” the cost?

Bitter Clinger on April 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM
Why do you hate Trayvon Martin?

mankai on April 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Why do you hate women?

talkingpoints on April 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM

If they are going to pay $100 billion for a train system, at least do it right. Have the train go to San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

SoulGlo on April 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Heh- you don’t live in California, do you? Common sense and good government practice is in very short supply in Sacramento.

Well, San Diego does have the “trolley to TJ”, and it is usually full.

JimboHoffa on April 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM

The “TJ Trolley” was the derisive name given it when the system idea was first floated back in the late ’70′s. I do have to give it kudos- it’s reasonably well run, clean, and for a taxpayer-subsidized system, it’s been a surprisingly effective transportation alternative.

BillH on April 2, 2012 at 2:07 PM

The photo on the main page appears to be of a recent VIA Rail derailment in Burlington, Ontario. The head-end crew were killed in the accident.

Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive, but it seems to be in bad taste to use a photo from a fatal accident under the headine “Good news!”

Am just sayin’.

Lickmuffin on April 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Why run from LA to the San Fernando Valley?

Bulletchaser on April 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I think you mean the San Joaquin Valley. The San Fernando Valley is the north end of Los Angeles (think Glendale, Burbank, Van Nuys, Northridge, Sunland, etc.) :)

BillH on April 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

The photo on the main page appears to be of a recent VIA Rail derailment in Burlington, Ontario. The head-end crew were killed in the accident.

Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive, but it seems to be in bad taste to use a photo from a fatal accident under the headine “Good news!”

Am just sayin’.

Lickmuffin on April 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Yes, you’re being overly sensitive.

NapaConservative on April 2, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I’m afraid that you have sugar coated the seriousness of the high speed rail follies.

It is much worse than you think.

First, California doesn’t care about the costs–or at least it won’t as long as the federal government is giving them billions every year now and forever to keep the trains running.

Second, if you look at the justification to solicit the federal grants, the esitmated passenger load is completely unrealistic. I don’t know what it is now, but in the beginning, CALTRAN estimated the high speed rail between San Fran and Los Angles would be 10,000 passengers per hour 365 days a year. Even if that were a realist estimate, it wouldn’t make the system profitable.

Third, the high speed train is not so high speed. Much of the system will using existing right of ways that are ladened with regulations restricting the speed of trains. And trains will be making numerous stops to pick up and drop off passengers.

I believe the estimated speed of the new high speed rail would be about 10 MPH higher than the existing trains on an average run.

Next, it still can’t compete with air service between the cities.

CALTRAN decided to start building high speed rail in the middle of nowhere because it was about to lose some federal funding for being so far behind schedule and they thought it would be easier to get through the required EPA and California environmental studies. The kept the federal funding, but they were wrong about speeding up the environment impact studies. There appears to be a bird or lizard living in the area that is holding things up.

Next, the train still has the same problem that the airline has in that you must rent a car or get a cab to and from the station.

Next, of the nearly 200 high speed rail systems around the world, only two segments are profitable: Tokyo / Kyoto and Paris / Lyon.
These two segments connect two huge urban areas that are many times larger than any two urban areas in the US. The rest of the segments requre government subsidies to keep running.

Every year the high speed train lobby predicts some miricle in how people travel and believe next year or the year after people will suddently abandon all other modes and choose HSR.

Every year they are wrong. Between 1998 to 2011, ridership has dropped on Eurorail’s high speed trains while air, bus, and autos all have increased.

Like all of the IPCC predictions of climate doom and gloom due to global warming, high speed rail has yet to live up to a single sigificant prediction of affordability or having some significant advantage over other forms of transportation.

Without tax subsidies, the cost of a ticket on high speed rail would probably be around two or three times the cost of a non-subsidized air fare. With subsides, it will be about the same.

And this is the tip of the iceberg. High speed rail is not just a train to nowhere, it is a train from unkept promises to bankrupcy.

BMF on April 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Yes, you’re being overly sensitive.

Damn. I’ll have to get that looked at, then.

Lickmuffin on April 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Once again I am reminded of the old 2010 election joke:

Q – What’s the difference between the HMS Titanic and the state of California?

A – The passengers on the Titanic did not vote for the Captain to run into the iceberg.

bugsy on April 2, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Look at their Congresspeople and Senators! Governor?

Talk about inhumane treatment of prisoners.

sdbatboy on April 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Damn. I’ll have to get that looked at, then.

Lickmuffin on April 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I forgot to put a smiley face after my last post. For that I apologize.

NapaConservative on April 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Time to re-read Atlas Shrugged, so many parallels with this Progressive insanity…

kirkill on April 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I love trains, and would be delighted to go to California and ride on their nice, new high-speed train, even if it goes nowhere.

Just as long as I don’t have to pay for it.

MrLynn on April 2, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Isn’t that just dandy. A story about the railroad system in California and you have used a recent picture of a train wreck in my home town of Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Two engineers died in the accident when the train passed over a track switch at 60+ mph when the speed should have been in the 20 mph range.

Surely you could have used a picture of an American train. If you look closely you will see the VIA Rail colors on the wrecked cars.

seniorcanuk on April 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Why dont they just build an effing pyramid and stop the pretenses?

68 000 000 000 / 37 692 000 = 1804.09636

That is 1804 dollars per citizen. The next earthquake, they might need the bucks to re build some freeways. Even the railroad to nowhere could go up in dust in a single earthquake

unreal

entagor on April 2, 2012 at 11:41 PM