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 Post subject: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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Yep, the boondoggle has begun! I'm actually a fan of high speed rail. It seems like most 1st world countries have it EXCEPT the US. Here we consider anything over 90mph to be "high speed" when in other countries they run trains at 200mph or more. Even though I'm a fan of HSR I'm not a proponent of the proposed HSR in California for a variety of reasons: it makes no sense to go from San Diego to Riverside to get to LA. A straight shot that goes from SD to LA in less than an hour would be fantastic, anything else is a waste of time. A train that goes from LA to Sacramento instead of the Bay Area is just plain DUMB.

Anyway, the reason I started this thread is because of the news article today:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Building tracks for the first section of California's proposed high-speed rail line will cost $2.9 billion to $6.8 billion more than originally estimated, raising questions about the affordability of the nation's most ambitious rail project at a time when its planning and finances are under fire.

A 2009 business plan developed for the California High-Speed Authority, the entity overseeing the project, estimated costs at about $7.1 billion for the equivalent stretch of tracks. Officials say those estimates were made before detailed engineering work and feedback from communities along the proposed route.


So now it's looking like it could end up costing up to $14 BILLION to build about 140 miles of track. Can we really afford to build that? Is there demand for that? What's the ROI???

At this rate the entire project will end up cost a quarter of a TRILLION dollars. This project should be killed now before we waste anymore money on it!

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011 ... ost-soars/


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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Dragon's Back
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Not only will it never pay for itself. It will never operate in black ink.

It's nothing but a money pit


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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Hemlock Ridge
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SkierBob wrote:
Not only will it never pay for itself. It will never operate in black ink.

It's nothing but a money pit


I still shake my head at that project, and I'm still amazed that a majority of Californians thought it was a good idea. We're nearly bankrupt ... shortening the school year and laying off teachers ... and our credit rating is crap. In that environment, we're taking on a massive public works project that no one needs and no one asked for. And I might add, a project that when it is completed, will offer less convenient and lengthier travel times to the endpoints and will be hyper-vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Someone ... anyone ... explain to me why the project, as currently defined at least, is a good idea. I really want to know.

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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:42 pm 
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The Antelope Valley Transit Authority recently posted their ridership numbers for last year. I took the that number and divided it into their budget for last year and found out it cost tax payers $65 everytime someone stepped foot on a bus.

It would be cheaper to give people prepaid credit cards that could be used for taxis only then to continue operation of the AV Transit Authority. I just read they're also doing 9 million in improvements to their facility. It's just crazy.

I'm sure the same would hold true if you did the math for Eastern Sierra Transit, and the high speed rail boondoggle.


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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Dave's Run
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Biker395 wrote:
SkierBob wrote:
Not only will it never pay for itself. It will never operate in black ink.

It's nothing but a money pit


I still shake my head at that project, and I'm still amazed that a majority of Californians thought it was a good idea. We're nearly bankrupt ... shortening the school year and laying off teachers ... and our credit rating is crap. In that environment, we're taking on a massive public works project that no one needs and no one asked for. And I might add, a project that when it is completed, will offer less convenient and lengthier travel times to the endpoints and will be hyper-vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Someone ... anyone ... explain to me why the project, as currently defined at least, is a good idea. I really want to know.


because " we're saving the planet",
don't ya know

put anything that "saves the planet, the kids, the marsh smelt" and californians will vote for it -
never mind that there are 100's of flights a day chris crossing the state, we have to " save the planet"

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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Dragon's Back
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They have not shortened the school year yet, but they need to. WTF some people I know went back to classes today... it's summer geez let the kids have a life.

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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Dragon's Back
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TheSnowman wrote:
They have not shortened the school year yet, but they need to. WTF some people I know went back to classes today... it's summer geez let the kids have a life.


High school started yesterday here in the Antelope Valley.


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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:57 pm 
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M2M wrote:
Biker395 wrote:
SkierBob wrote:
Not only will it never pay for itself. It will never operate in black ink.

It's nothing but a money pit


I still shake my head at that project, and I'm still amazed that a majority of Californians thought it was a good idea. We're nearly bankrupt ... shortening the school year and laying off teachers ... and our credit rating is crap. In that environment, we're taking on a massive public works project that no one needs and no one asked for. And I might add, a project that when it is completed, will offer less convenient and lengthier travel times to the endpoints and will be hyper-vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Someone ... anyone ... explain to me why the project, as currently defined at least, is a good idea. I really want to know.


because " we're saving the planet",
don't ya know

put anything that "saves the planet, the kids, the marsh smelt" and californians will vote for it -
never mind that there are 100's of flights a day chris crossing the state, we have to " save the planet"


The fact is anything that would actually pay for itself and make a buck is built by private Entrepreneurs. Pretty much everything that would never make a profit and continues to be a money pit for the life of the operation is done by local, state, and federal governments at the expense of taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Hemlock Ridge
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Proponents argue that there are all kinds of subsidies for the airlines ... why not high speed rail?

I'd be interested to know how the subsidies compare, but in any case, airlines at least get people where they want to go, and reasonably quickly. Their also inherently immune to terrorist attacks when airborne.

Autos fill in the gaps (100-200 mile) trips pretty well. Even so, I could see a bullet train from SLO to SD directly along the coast getting some use for shorter distances ... but that is not the proposed route.

I dunno. Even if it were built today, I don't see myself or anyone I know using it. WTF? :fubar:

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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:09 pm 
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Kiwi Flat
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Can taxpayers demand a halt to this ? Can there be an amendment voted on to halt this kind of waste until there is a REAL way to pay for it ? Or scrap it all together. How can they talk about cutting Social Security benefits and raising the age of retirement while funding projects like this ?

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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Hemlock Ridge
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This project is insane. I'm all for infrastructural improvements, especially in a ... "weak" .. high-unemployment economy, but this is absolutely ridiculous.

Who is really getting all the incredible money for that rail? Is this what it costs in Germany and Japan for an equivalent-sized rail line? California is broke (as is the nation). We can't afford this. High-speed rail is a luxury at this time, and who knows how long that very scenario continues to exist on down the road..

There's way more important ways to allocate money than this "CA bridge to nowhere".. Who is actually going to use or more importantly, be able to afford this luxury rail? Politicians from Sacramento, attending special meetings or for speeches in San Diego and LA for their re-election concerns? Can you say politico-subsidy?

And I'm not saying don't spend any money. Do spend, but not on this particular extravagance..

Geez, come on back down to Earth, guys..

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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Hemlock Ridge
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more than most states... Californians (particularly the southern portion)... LOVE their cars and the culture surrounding them, its not going to work.

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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Hemlock Ridge
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Location: Going deep inside the Kremlin ... KGB-plotting with Vladimir Puntang..
M2M wrote:
Biker395 wrote:
SkierBob wrote:
Not only will it never pay for itself. It will never operate in black ink.

It's nothing but a money pit


I still shake my head at that project, and I'm still amazed that a majority of Californians thought it was a good idea. We're nearly bankrupt ... shortening the school year and laying off teachers ... and our credit rating is crap. In that environment, we're taking on a massive public works project that no one needs and no one asked for. And I might add, a project that when it is completed, will offer less convenient and lengthier travel times to the endpoints and will be hyper-vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Someone ... anyone ... explain to me why the project, as currently defined at least, is a good idea. I really want to know.


because " we're saving the planet",
don't ya know

put anything that "saves the planet, the kids, the marsh smelt" and californians will vote for it -
never mind that there are 100's of flights a day chris crossing the state, we have to " save the planet"


Well, I guess ... we gotta do ... something ... if we're gonna have 7,000,000,000+ humans living on this sphere with nice/comfortable cars & trucks and 60" big screens and cheap energy..

Inspirational speech given recently at The Aspen Institute, on how the science and technology of mankind can "save the planet".

Maybe this one got Al Gore all stirred up beforehand ... ?

Inspired!

_________________
"To much of the world, which has grown to hate American bullying, the bullying of Americans by their own police is poetic justice."


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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Kiwi Flat
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If you really want your head to spin, check this out:
http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html

I just saw this link recently and it made me nauseated.


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 Post subject: Re: The High Speed Rail boondoggle
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Rodger's Ridge
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This is kind of ironic. I remember the same arguments put forth during BART's construction, and yes it did run way over. San Mateo County refused to allow it so for years it never connected to SFO.

Guess what, it moves a lot of people now (including to SFO) and the Bay Area would be gridlocked without it.

Biker, high speed cant run along the coastline because of impact, and its not straight or level enough anyway. Why run it thru the Central Valley? Straight and flat, and it follows a previous high travel corridor.

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