Posted by James Thurber, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm
I've just returned from the East Coast, riding their excellent trains - which are high speed - 150 mph on the Acela Express from Boston to New York City. I spoke with several conductors about California's high speed rail project and they voiced some legitimate concerns: a) 260 mph is still very experimental. Most trains that run at this speed do so for extremely short distances - many of these trains operate on magnetic levitated rail systems; b) "What would California's High Speed Railroad's average speed be?" They felt it would be no greater than 125 mph in the best of circumstances; c) the distances in California do NOT lend themselves to high speed rail - its 400 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles; d) Are the public transportation systems in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco suitable? They doubted it (I do too). Public transportation is excellent in Boston, Washington, D.C. and especially New York City.
Given their concerns I think that California's decision to go ahead with High Speed Rail will prove one of the biggest failures in the history of the state.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm
Contrary to his election promises, Jerry Brown is clearly indebted to big labor. Taxing the living crap out of the general public to employ a relatvely small number of valley construction workers is not sound fiscal policy. Next on his agenda: Reopen Solyndra?
Posted by tommygee54, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Supposedly HSR will be completed by 2029. I will be 75 years old then. I will have to find a reason to use the system when I am 75. At least the intersection of Central Expy at Rengstorff will be different...
Posted by Ole, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jul 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm
Thanks for the insight James.
I just returned from Spain, where there are several HSR systems draining the state. They are not all that fast or on time. They aren't cheap either. And then you get gouged by higher rental car rates than at the major international airports. And then there's that 25% unemployment.
Posted by Old Steve, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:55 am
You might be right: "Insanity. We can't afford it and nobody is going to use it." However, I'm sure I can find these exact words from the early sixties to refer to BART in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Our Supervisors opted out of BART based on that logic, and half a century later we pay a premium to buy our way back in. If you are wrong about HSR, the same thing will have to happen all over again. Insanity is actually taking the same approach but expecting a different result.
Posted by Old Steve, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Jul 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm
Hopefully we will be able to explain to kids who get in trouble during two extra weeks of no school that their life changing problems are our way of "sending a message" to the Governor and Legislators about spending priorities. Only about 50 school districts around the state directly spend local revenue on school operations. The other 950 are largely funded by the state through complicated formulas. They are spared in the adopted budget, while everything else takes cuts of various sizes. If the initiative fails, more than 5 million students K-12 will get fewer classroom days, and many of their parents will pay a direct "tax" in the form of additional child care expenses. Over the last three or four years, schools have already been cut by approx 20%. Each year in a child's education is a one-off opportunity, so putting money back later does not help the student who is shortchanged today.
Posted by timo, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jul 12, 2012 at 1:27 am
This high speed rail is the biggest waste of time and money this area has ever seen. its gonna start out like a ball of fire and burn out just as fast. in the first month it will already be over budget, and it will get worse from there. I wonder how many people are going to get fat cash out of this horrible joke.