Monday, 12 March 2018

The Scam Called High-Speed Rail


There's a crackpot scheme in California to build a railway connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles using technology very similar to HS2. The project had a similar timescale to UK HS2.

A new report claims that the California project will cost two or three times the original cost and will be at least 4 years late in delivery, if it happens.
"The price of the California bullet train project jumped sharply Friday when the state rail authority announced that the cost of connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $77.3 billion and could rise as high as $98.1 billion — an uptick of at least $13 billion from estimates two years ago. 
The rail authority also said the earliest trains could operate on a partial system between San Francisco and Bakersfield would be 2029 — four years later than the previous projection. The full system would not begin operating until 2033.
The new estimates will force California's leadership to double down on its political and financial commitments if it wants to see the system completed, against a backdrop of rising costs, years of delays, strident litigation and backlashes in communities where homes, businesses, farms and environmental preserves will have to give up land to the rail's right-of-way.
The initial reaction to the business plan was less than enthusiastic, even from Democrats who have long backed it as a way to revolutionize transportation in the state while reducing emissions.
"At first glance, the High Speed Rail project is still over budget and the funding to complete the program hasn't been identified," said Jim Frazier (Democrat-Discovery Bay), chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, which will hold an oversight hearing on the plan on April 2. "We still have no realistic way to pay for the project."
Republicans were predictably harsher.
"Initially a rathole, now a sinkhole, soon it will be an abyss in which more and more tax dollars are forever lost. I speak of the never-ending scam called High Speed Rail," said Sen. Andy Vidak (Republican-Hanford).

Full report:
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-train-cost-increase-20180309-story.html

And there's another interesting article below.
"...continuing to spend billions on the bullet train is an exercise in futility, absurdity and malfeasance"
Report:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/sd-bullet-train-business-plan-20180309-story.html