Serious, real, insanity over high speed rail

So, California is going to build it\’s first high speed rail line.


It\’s going to go from Borden (so small it\’s not even incorporated, doesn\’t seem to actually have a population in Wikipedia), through Corcoran (pop 25,000, of whom half are prisoners and thus not likely to be frequent travellers) to Bakersfield (population 340,000 or so).

And they\’re going to spend $5.5 billion on this.

These people are absolutely fucking insane.

13 thoughts on “Serious, real, insanity over high speed rail”

  1. Actually quite clever. Funding has been secured for only the first leg, so get that laid (where there are few influential landowners to try to block it). Then the second phase of joining it up to LA and SF is easier because you say “the opponents are going to waste $6bn by killing this project at this stage”.

  2. Here in East Anglia we have just spent some moolah on the Cambridge Guided Busway. At least its running costs must be low; nothing’s running yet. But we do know already that the paths that give access for maintenance, and double as cycle paths, are prone to flooding. In the Fens: who’d have guessed? WKPD claims:
    Construction began in March 2007 with an intended completion date of April 2009. In September 2010 delays with the southern section moved the expected opening date into early 2011 . The scheme was estimated to cost over £150 million, and was subsequently described by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert as a “white elephant”. An independent review was announced on 21 September 2010 and by December 2010 the figure had increased to £181 million.

  3. Tim, sorry to hijack your post like this – I wrote a blogpost based on (I think it was your idea) of measuring state spending with a peasant’s tax.

    Would be interested in your feedback and if you have the original link to your post (which I searched for but couldn’t find), I’ll happily add it.


    P.S. I’m a long time reader of your excellent site and hopefully send some traffic your way!

  4. If I remember correctly LA has the most pointless bit of underground railway as well – about 6 stops out from the centre and stops in the middle of nowhere.

  5. If it must be built why not just build most of it alongside, over or under Highway 5?

    Or floating on a massive pontoon in the Pacific…

    It’s got to be something worthy of appearing on Quest (best channel ever!).

  6. dearieme,

    And they’ve signed exclusive contracts to provide services for 5 years, despite the fact that you don’t need to do this with busways.

    (one reason I like busways is that they don’t have the massive centralisation problems that come with trains).

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