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  1. #1
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    CA HIGH SPEED RAIL: the slow motion train wreck continues

    "the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has fingered major flaws, echoing opponents of the project – but supporters don’t seem to care. An Authority press release pretends it gets “high marks.” Technically, though, it gets D’s in most categories and never hits the high mark.

    GAO pokes holes in the Authority’s math. Examples of foreign high-speed rail or Amtrak don’t work. There’s not enough documentation, either. Federal overseers can’t reproduce calculations — basic high school science."


    California's High-Speed Rail Dead - Business Insider

    A question for those of you who live in California... what's the voter sentiment on this? Is anybody paying attention at all?

    As a US taxpayer, it steams me to no end - here we are dealing with debt and sequester headlines everyday and meanwhile the Obama admin continues to pursue this massive boondoggle.

    It's not even a viable stimulus; there are too many other infrastructure projects that are sitting unfunded while this project goes forward.
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  2. #2
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    typical of this state. people voting for things and a govt that can't pay for them

    I like the idea. It would be so nice to NOT have to drive from So Cal to Nor Cal or vice versa
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  3. #3
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    I'm sorry but real men don't ride no damn train- they drive their SUVs back and forth from Bay Area to SoCal, as God intended.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    I'm sorry but real men don't ride no damn train- they drive their SUVs back and forth from Bay Area to SoCal, as God intended.
    as someone who was raised in Nor Cal, went to college in SoCal and worked a decade as a touring musician I can pretty much say at this juncture I am over the I 5 drive
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    A question for those of you who live in California... what's the voter sentiment on this? Is anybody paying attention at all?
    I voted against this boondoggle. But then being a conservative in CA it's pretty much expected that everything I vote against passes anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie View Post
    I like the idea. It would be so nice to NOT have to drive from So Cal to Nor Cal or vice versa
    Except they keep scaling back what they are actually going to build in the near future (e.g. next decade) and that's not in the plan. They won't have that, based on some of the projections, until near 2030. Service to San Diego is in phase 2...so maybe they'll have that done by 2050...when I'm pushing up daisies.

    It's probably worth mentioning that, like the project, even the webpage sucks. This website won't even load
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    I'm sorry but real men don't ride no damn train- they drive their SUVs back and forth from Bay Area to SoCal, as God intended.
    Or you could book a 90 minutes flight for about $150 between SFO and LAX.

    How much are those train tickets suppose to cost? And even at 200mph, I would image the train ride would still take about 3 - 4 hours.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudak View Post
    ...............But then being a conservative in CA...............

    Man that's hard. Hang in there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    Or you could book a 90 minutes flight for about $150 between SFO and LAX.

    How much are those train tickets suppose to cost? And even at 200mph, I would image the train ride would still take about 3 - 4 hours.
    Um, yeah... is that the reference to "high school math" in the article?

    Anyway, this thing, should it ever actually get built (which God Help Us)... will be obsoleted by self-driving cars long before then.
    * posted by Creakybot 2013 all rights reserved.
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  9. #9
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    Can something be both a really good idea (high speed rail in California) AND spectacularly mismanaged?

    Because that's what seems to be going on here.

    Rail is a good idea. And in california, it makes sense. It's hard to imagine how a good idea can be this poorly mismanaged, but there we are.

    In 100 years, we'll look back and shake our heads about the era of crony capitalism at the beginning of the 21st century.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotophage View Post
    Can something be both a really good idea (high speed rail in California) AND spectacularly mismanaged?
    yes, when the government gets involved.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  11. #11
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    For reference, you can check out this disaster further along in construction...

    Stuttgart 21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    One of the more sinister political tidbits of Stuttgart 21 was that when the decision was presented as a referendum, the referendum was worded in such a way that a "no" vote meant voting "yes" to the railway construction.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    For reference, you can check out this disaster further along in construction...

    Stuttgart 21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    One of the more sinister political tidbits of Stuttgart 21 was that when the decision was presented as a referendum, the referendum was worded in such a way that a "no" vote meant voting "yes" to the railway construction.
    I'm so confused. Germany is involved with California's train system?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    Or you could book a 90 minutes flight for about $150 between SFO and LAX.

    How much are those train tickets suppose to cost? And even at 200mph, I would image the train ride would still take about 3 - 4 hours.
    but I'd have to drive 2.5 hrs to LA
    Flights from San Diego can be had, but if the train went up the coast it would be more enjoyable than the flight
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    Man that's hard. Hang in there.
    actually quite easy. Move to the eastern part of the state. 40 minutes East of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego and you might as well be in Oklahoma, in fact we make the best Nascar drivers in the world
    Last edited by atpjunkie; 04-13-2013 at 08:33 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudak View Post
    I voted against this boondoggle. But then being a conservative in CA it's pretty much expected that everything I vote against passes anyways.

    Except they keep scaling back what they are actually going to build in the near future (e.g. next decade) and that's not in the plan. They won't have that, based on some of the projections, until near 2030. Service to San Diego is in phase 2...so maybe they'll have that done by 2050...when I'm pushing up daisies.

    It's probably worth mentioning that, like the project, even the webpage sucks. This website won't even load
    I voted against it as well and I am on the left. The state is strapped, we have other things that need addressing that are far more pressing. All I said was 'I like the idea of it'
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chudak View Post
    I voted against this boondoggle. But then being a conservative in CA it's pretty much expected that everything I vote against passes anyways.
    I'm a lib and I voted against it. Just seemed like they were blowing more and more smoke up our hindquarters about how much it was REALLY going to cost and how long it'd REALLY take to build.

    I'm not against the concept of high-speed-rail at all, but you could tell that this particular project was starting to look like the Titanic, in search of an iceberg.

    Far as being conservative in CA goes... well, y'all kinda did it to yourselves, seemed like there was a lot of 'no compromise/ideological purity' stuff going on, and rather than strengthening the GOP in CA, it all but destroyed it.

    The same process is playing out nationwide, though, just at a slower pace. So, CA Repubs are not 'especially dumb' or anything, they just did what the rest of the party did, just in a state that was very unreceptive to it.

    Repubs in California could make a comeback if they were willing to be moderately conservative, i.e. what the party was even 30 years ago. But I'm not sure they're interested.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie View Post
    actually quite easy. Move to the eastern part of the state. 40 minutes west of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego and you might as well be in Oklahoma, in fact we make the best Nascar drivers in the world
    40 minutes west of the Pacific Ocean sounds inconveniently remote.

  18. #18
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    I love trains; was born in Altoona, Pa (largest railroad yard in the world at one point) and still a big railfan.

    Trains really work in Europe. Very efficient and convenient.

    I want high-speed rail to work here but even a guy like me thinks that most of their ideas are doomed to failure.

    Here in Ohio they're talking about HS Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati, costing tons and tons of money...and the trains would be empty.

    They're trying to fill an imaginary need with no thought of reality.

    You can drive Cleve-Columbus in less than 3 hours and Cleve-Cincy in around 6 because of our expensive highway system.

    What do you do when you get off the train and have no car? You'll pay more in cab fare than the gas would have cost to drive yourself.
    No one commutes from any of those cities to another.

    The tickets may not be cheap. You can fly now, who needs the train?

    It is the gov't trying to put the pieces in place for less energy dependence / higher efficiency down the road. But it is hard to see most HS rail as anything other than a gigantic money pit, at least for now.
    If gas were $10 a gallon people might take the train but right now, no way.
    Last edited by Randy99CL; 04-11-2013 at 10:24 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy99CL View Post
    I love trains; was born in Altoona, Pa (largest railroad yard in the world at one point) and still a big railfan.

    Trains really work in Europe. Very efficient and convenient.

    I want high-speed rail to work here but even a guy like me thinks that most of their ideas are doomed to failure.

    Here in Ohio they're talking about HS Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati, costing tons and tons of money...and the trains would be empty.

    They're trying to fill an imaginary need with no thought of reality.

    You can drive Cleve-Columbus in less than 3 hours and Cleve-Cincy in around 6 because of our expensive highway system.

    What do you do when you get off the train and have no car? You'll pay more in cab fare than the gas would have cost to drive yourself.
    No one commutes from any of those cities to another.

    The tickets may not be cheap. You can fly now, who needs the train?

    It is the gov't trying to put the pieces in place for less energy dependence / higher efficiency down the road. But it is hard to see most HS rail as anything other than a gigantic money pit, at least for now.
    I think it has to be put in someplace where the population density calls for it. It works in Europe in part because of greater population density... America, by contrast, is too spread out in a lot of places. But high-speed rail seems to meet a demand in places like the DC-Baltimore-Philly-NY-Boston corridor.
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  20. #20
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    Also works in Europe because the price of gasoline/diesel here isn't artificially kept low.

  21. #21
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    Re: CA HIGH SPEED RAIL: the slow motion train wreck continues

    Trains are a great alternative to driving or flying. Unfortunately the government subsidized the other two means so heavily that trains do not make sense for most people.

  22. #22
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    Re: CA HIGH SPEED RAIL: the slow motion train wreck continues

    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    Or you could book a 90 minutes flight for about $150 between SFO and LAX.

    How much are those train tickets suppose to cost? And even at 200mph, I would image the train ride would still take about 3 - 4 hours.
    Exactly. Now if we made people flying pay all the costs of those flights it May be a very different decision.

    Another key is time to board and get to the train station/airport. In most cases the train station is downtown. The airport is in a suburb with heavy traffic to get to.

    So while a plane from Dc to Ny is technically quicker when you factor in security and getting from the airport to where you are going, it changes the calculation dramatically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemShock View Post
    I think it has to be put in someplace where the population density calls for it. It works in Europe in part because of greater population density... America, by contrast, is too spread out in a lot of places. But high-speed rail seems to meet a demand in places like the DC-Baltimore-Philly-NY-Boston corridor.
    in works in parts of europe only. best mainly where you have two large cities some 100 miles apart with "crossover country" in between (sounds familiar? a large part of the US works that way, just look at the suggested maps of country wide rail.).
    Blows your hair back.

  24. #24
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    As bad as the high speed rail might be, at least its intended to serve the general public.

    Here's another CA boondoggle that will serve far less and cost perhaps even more.



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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    For reference, you can check out this disaster further along in construction...

    Stuttgart 21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    What disaster is that you're speaking of? In contrast to this country, Germany does have modern public transportation (roughly a half century ahead of were the US is in that respect), and Stuttgart 21 is a project that enjoys wide support across the political spectrum, local opposition notwithstanding. So yeah, it's going to cost a couple of billion Euros, but it will also create a huge amount of new, prime real estate in the center of the city that's worth billions, too. Do you know anything at all about this project?

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