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View Full Version : Calif. rail project is high-speed pork



Eric Johnson
11-01-2010, 07:11 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/31/AR2010103104260.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

http://tinyurl.com/2gxwv6e

By Robert J. Samuelson
Monday, November 1, 2010

Somehow, it's become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help "save the planet." They won't. They're a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause. They would further burden already overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs - schools, defense, research.

Let's suppose that the Obama administration gets its wish to build high-speed rail systems in 13 urban corridors. The administration has already committed $10.5 billion, and that's just a token down payment. California wants about $19 billion for an 800-mile track from Anaheim to San Francisco. Constructing all 13 corridors could easily approach $200 billion. Most (or all) of that would have to come from government at some level. What would we get for this huge investment?

-more-

BonMallari
11-01-2010, 07:51 AM
follow the money trail....San Francisco- Nancy Pelosi's district...believe it or not California was once solid Republican state ( I know , I grew up there) but sadly as the demographics changed and more minorities, legal and illegal, decided to take up residence in the state, it is now a much more solid liberal state...Calif is also the biggest electoral state, win the state, win the presidential election

depittydawg
11-01-2010, 09:48 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/31/AR2010103104260.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

http://tinyurl.com/2gxwv6e

By Robert J. Samuelson
Monday, November 1, 2010

Somehow, it's become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help "save the planet." They won't. They're a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause. They would further burden already overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs - schools, defense, research.

Let's suppose that the Obama administration gets its wish to build high-speed rail systems in 13 urban corridors. The administration has already committed $10.5 billion, and that's just a token down payment. California wants about $19 billion for an 800-mile track from Anaheim to San Francisco. Constructing all 13 corridors could easily approach $200 billion. Most (or all) of that would have to come from government at some level. What would we get for this huge investment?

-more-

Well, public railways seem to work pretty good in Europe and Japan. Why would the US be any different. That said, it seems to be much more important to establish a good access system within the cities prior to linking them together.

subroc
11-02-2010, 04:16 AM
Well, public railways seem to work pretty good in Europe and Japan. Why would the US be any different. That said, it seems to be much more important to establish a good access system within the cities prior to linking them together.

been using much public transportation lately?

Hew
11-02-2010, 04:38 AM
Well, public railways seem to work pretty good in Europe and Japan. Why would the US be any different.
Ummm, because their population density is about 20x ours?

dnf777
11-02-2010, 04:53 AM
Ummm, because their population density is about 20x ours?

Hang on. We'll catch up soon enough. (too soon if you ask me)

Then the only hunting will be on million dollar exclusive preserves. When I hear "cap and trade", I'm wishing it was in reference to neutral population growth. If we had only 100 million people, we wouldn't even have to worry about most of the other stuff.

M&K's Retrievers
11-02-2010, 05:34 AM
Hang on. We'll catch up soon enough. (too soon if you ask me)

Then the only hunting will be on million dollar exclusive preserves. When I hear "cap and trade", I'm wishing it was in reference to neutral population growth. If we had only 100 million people, we wouldn't even have to worry about most of the other stuff.

With Obamacare we could be well on our way. :(

Cody Covey
11-02-2010, 12:18 PM
We actually do have almost neutral population growth. And without immigration we are on the negative side

Eric Johnson
11-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Well, public railways seem to work pretty good in Europe and Japan. Why would the US be any different. That said, it seems to be much more important to establish a good access system within the cities prior to linking them together.

The article continues...

"Only in places with greater population densities, such as Europe and Asia, is high-speed rail potentially attractive. Even there, most of the existing high-speed trains don't earn "enough revenue to cover both their construction and operating costs," the Congressional Research Service report said. The major exceptions seem to be the Tokyo-Osaka and Paris-Lyon lines."

Do you even read these or do you simply knee-jerk react to anything that is said?

Eric

YardleyLabs
11-02-2010, 01:22 PM
We actually do have almost neutral population growth. And without immigration we are on the negative side
That is actually true for the United States as a whole as well as for almost all European countries.

Hew
11-02-2010, 02:54 PM
Do you even read these or do you simply knee-jerk react to anything that is said?
Is that rhetorical?

YardleyLabs
11-02-2010, 03:27 PM
The article continues...

"Only in places with greater population densities, such as Europe and Asia, is high-speed rail potentially attractive. Even there, most of the existing high-speed trains don't earn "enough revenue to cover both their construction and operating costs," the Congressional Research Service report said. The major exceptions seem to be the Tokyo-Osaka and Paris-Lyon lines."

Do you even read these or do you simply knee-jerk react to anything that is said?

Eric
I agree that the case for high speed rail is poor in most of the US. I live in one of the few areas that is an exception. The Philadelphia-New York corridor and, more generally, the Washington - Boston corridor has a high density population and substantial traffic. The article's comments about the value of high speed transit have some merit even in this corridor. However, the article appears to be questioning the value of rail improvement in general, which is not warranted. For example, he states that eliminating Amtrak trains in the northeast corridor would only affect 28,000 passengers per day and would not be noticed by anyone else. However, Amtrak is not the primary provider of passenger service along the corridor. That honor goes to competing services provided by NJ Transit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, etc. As a group these move hundreds of thousands of passengers daily and, when service is interrupted, business in NYC grinds to a halt. Having commuted from PA to NYC daily for 12 years, I know just how quickly problems can develop and how severely they affect traffic. The tracks that exist now are saturated, as are the roads. However, public investment still favors expanding road rather than rail service. That needs to shift.

Wayne Beck
11-02-2010, 03:44 PM
Having commuted from PA to NYC daily for 12 years, .

Man.. I feel for ya.. And I thought Horsham to Bristol was bad every day..

:rolleyes:

Eric Johnson
11-02-2010, 06:49 PM
Jeff-

The commuter traffic in the NY SMA and the Washington SMA is a different issue as it's a different kind of traffic. This is especially true since the title of the article is "California Rail Projects...."

Eric

YardleyLabs
11-02-2010, 07:04 PM
Jeff-

The commuter traffic in the NY SMA and the Washington SMA is a different issue as it's a different kind of traffic. This is especially true since the title of the article is "California Rail Projects...."

Eric
I understand that Eric, and noted my general agreement that high speed rail made little sense across the country. I don't know the specifics of California, but it may be the only other place in the US that would make sense. That benefit would need to be shown. However, the article you referenced was actually an attack on the notion for all parts of the US including the north east corridor. My disagreement is with the article.

depittydawg
11-02-2010, 08:01 PM
The article continues...

"Only in places with greater population densities, such as Europe and Asia, is high-speed rail potentially attractive. Even there, most of the existing high-speed trains don't earn "enough revenue to cover both their construction and operating costs," the Congressional Research Service report said. The major exceptions seem to be the Tokyo-Osaka and Paris-Lyon lines."

Do you even read these or do you simply knee-jerk react to anything that is said?

Eric

Do you ever do any research beyond the mostly bogus stories floated around this site? For those of us who have lived in major American cities, and traveled abroad, we understand that US cities are every bit as congested as Europe and Japan. As for the Japanese public railway system, which I have traveled pretty extensively, it moves throughout the entire country, including the sparsely populated areas.
Beyond that, I challenge you to demonstrate that the billions the US spends on it's public transportation system (roads) pays for itself in any community that is not heavily populated. Or, put in its simplest terms how is spending billions on roads for individuals to drive automobiles any more efficient than spending the same billions for adequate systems of public access?
So how about you take your Knee-Jerk comment and shove it where the sun don't shine.

M&K's Retrievers
11-02-2010, 09:11 PM
So how about you take your Knee-Jerk comment and shove it where the sun don't shine.

How nice!!

Eric Johnson
11-03-2010, 10:20 AM
Do you ever do any research beyond the mostly bogus stories floated around this site?

So how about you take your Knee-Jerk comment and shove it where the sun don't shine.

The article was from the Washington Post. Are you suggesting that they present bogus stories?

There's a very real difference between rail vs. road transport for people. Rail is only point to point and then something has to move the people to their final destinations. That requires roads so they're going to be built anyway. No one suggests that rail doesn't have a role in transportation of goods. The same just isn't true as far as the upgrade to the rail system for hauling folks. Heck, the current system (Amtrak) has to be heavily subsidized to survive today.

I traveled all over Europe and Africa for 6 years doing logistics planning for the Air Force. The transportation situation is very different there.

However, since you're so eloquent in your arguments, I'll give to you that which you so desperately desire, the Last Word.

Eric

M&K's Retrievers
11-03-2010, 12:22 PM
The article was from the Washington Post. Are you suggesting that they present bogus stories?

There's a very real difference between rail vs. road transport for people. Rail is only point to point and then something has to move the people to their final destinations. That requires roads so they're going to be built anyway. No one suggests that rail doesn't have a role in transportation of goods. The same just isn't true as far as the upgrade to the rail system for hauling folks. Heck, the current system (Amtrak) has to be heavily subsidized to survive today.

I traveled all over Europe and Africa for 6 years doing logistics planning for the Air Force. The transportation situation is very different there.

However, since you're so eloquent in your arguments, I'll give to you that which you so desperately desire, the Last Word.

Eric

He will get back to you when he goes on break or his supervisor isn't looking.:rolleyes: