High Speed Rail Gathers Speed

High-speed rail may be coming to California faster than expected. The federal government’s stimulus program approved $2.2 billion for environmental planning and the design and construction of four corridors, including the San Francisco-to-San Jose segment of the route. That segment alone is expected to generate 34,000 jobs.

According to the terms of the grant, construction must begin by September 2012 and be completed by September 2017.

In addition to the high-speed rail funding, another $99 million in stimulus funds will be used to develop intercity rail projects, including $29 million for a train link between San Jose and Sacramento.
Read More at the Business Journal.
Read More at KCBS.
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21 Comments

  1. Oh, wow!

    This is cool.

    I can shut down the infidel’s 2.2 billion dollar choo choo train with a ten pound satchel charge placed on the tracks in the dark of night in middle of nowhere.

    Don’t those blockheads ever look at World War II movies?

  2. Fabulous, another empty train that I am going to help pay for. We are not a tiny, little country like Japan where it works very well.  It’s much easier to fly. Although, with airport security searching stay at home mom and kids, it may be faster. I’ll just drive.

  3. The high speed train will be a terrific benefit to our state and community. Anyone who has actually taken a high speed train knows how wonderfully practical
    they are.

    All the naysayers seem to prefer to live in the past instead of looking to improve the future of our city, state, and planet. For me I can hardly wait to take the high
    speed train to LA to visit my daughter for dinner and still make it back home in time for bed.

  4. The nice thing about estimates is that reporters quote them without thinking.

    34,000 jobs?  66,000 jobs!  100,000 jobs!!!

    Oh, what the heck.  Let’s call it an even million.  We’re just making it up anyway.

    It’s not like anyone checks these things.

    If someone wants to check past predictions, HSRs main proponents are

    Rod Diridon, who brought us VTA light rail.  He told us light rail would be profitable with a one dollar fare.  (Actual numbers are over 85% loss)

    Quentin Kopp, who told us that BART’s SFO extension would make so much money, you could borrow against the profits.  (Which they did.  VTA was the lender)

    • > The nice thing about estimates is that reporters quote them without thinking.

      > 34,000 jobs?  66,000 jobs!  100,000 jobs!!!

      > Oh, what the heck.  Let’s call it an even million.  We’re just making it up anyway.

      You’re new at hyping gubbermint projects, aren’t you.  I can tell.

      Just counting new jobs is not the way we do things anymore.

      We now count jobs “created or saved”.

      I estimate that High Speed Rail will save the jobs of all those Los Angelino’s traveling to San Franciso, and will likewise save the jobs all the San Franciscan’s traveling to LA, at some point in their lifetimes.

      I would say that the jobs created or saved would be about twenty are thirty million.  But, since everyone knows that we’re just talking round numbers, lets say fifty million.

      Call it an even hundred million.

  5. At the risk of fluffing up his self-importance more than necessary, honesty compels me to inform Mohammed that his little satchel bomb wouldn’t be taking down a mere $2.2 billion choo choo train system, but,  according to today’s Mercury, a $42.6 BILLION DOLLAR system.

    Now that’s what I call a LOT of bang for the buck,  or looking at this from the terrorist perspective, a lot of BUCKS for the bang.

    And, it’s not clear that $42.6 billion is even the price tag for the whole system.  Apparently, connections to Sacramento and San Diego are extra cost add-ons.

    And, by the way, my recollection is that the porkulus package included $4 billion for building High Speed Rail from LA to Harry Reid’s Shangri-La, Las Vegas.

    So realistically, Mohammed probably has a crack at sabotaging a FIFTY BILLION DOLLAR system.

    But wait, this is a system that will be built by contractors who will low-ball the initial estimates, and then pump up their profits with frilly add-ons.  And smart contractors can think up lots and lots of “must have” frilly add-ons.

    I’m betting that the total system price by the time Mohammed lights off his first Improvised Explosive Device in front of the first speeding high speed train will be a HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS . . . and climbing.

  6. Another great thing about High Speed Rail is that trains can’t be hijacked to Cuba.

    But trains do seem to have a way of attracting riffraff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improvised_explosive_device

    “One of the first examples of coordinated large-scale use of IEDs was the Belarussian Rail War launched by Belarussian guerrillas against the Germans during World War II.  Both command-detonated and delayed-fuse IEDs were used to derail thousands of German trains during 1943–1944.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin_gas_attack_on_the_Tokyo_subway

    “The Sarin attack on the Tokyo subway, usually referred to in the Japanese media as the Subway Sarin Incident …  was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by members of Aum Shinrikyo on March 20, 1995.

    In five coordinated attacks, the perpetrators released sarin on several lines of the Tokyo Metro, killing twelve people, severely injuring fifty and causing temporary vision problems for nearly a thousand others. The attack was directed against trains passing through Kasumigaseki and Nagatacho, home to the Japanese government.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings

    “The 7 July 2005 London bombings, also known as 7/7, were a series of coordinated suicide attacks on London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour. The bombings were carried out by four British Muslim men, three of Pakistani and one of Jamaican descent.

    … The explosions appear to have been caused by home-made organic peroxide-based devices, packed into rucksacks and detonated by the bombers themselves. Fifty-six people were killed, including the bombers, and around 700 were injured.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_robberies

    Famous train robberies

    Great Gold Robbery of 1855, London – Paris (1855)
    Bezdany raid, Lithuania (1908)
    Kakori train robbery, India (1925)
    Great Train Robbery, England (1963)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Train_Robbery_(1963)

    “At just after 3 a.m. the driver Jack Mills from Crewe stopped the train at a red signal at Ledburn, at a place known as ‘Sears Crossing’ between Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire and Cheddington in Buckinghamshire. However unknown to him the signalling equipment had been tampered with by members of the 15 strong gang of robbers from London ….”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_robberies

    List of train robbers

    Frank, William, Simeon, and John Reno (The Reno Gang)
    Cole, Jim, John, and Bob Younger (Younger Brothers)
    The Dalton Gang
    Wild Bunch (aka Doolin-Dalton Gang)
    The Jessie Evans Gang
    Bill Miner
    Black Jack (Tom) Ketchum
    Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang
    Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch
    Bill Doolin
    Dave Rudabaugh
    Little knox West
    George Newton
    Tulsa Black Jack
    Sam Bass
    Charlie Ballard
    Peg-Leg Eldridge
    Big Nose George Parrot
    Quail Hunter Jack Kennedy
    Alvin Karpis

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_James

    “On July 21, 1873, [the James-Younger Gang]  turned to train robbery, derailing the Rock Island train in Adair, Iowa and stealing approximately $3,000 ($51,000 in 2007). ”

  7. Gee I see you are fixated on all things negative. I guess if we all thought like you we should dismantle all the trains and subways in the world because they are too dangerous. Would you feel safer if we all lived in caves and never came out? If you want to live in a cave that’s up to you. As for me, I prefer to look to the future and live in a world of wonderful possibilities. Who knows?  High speed trains might be a great thing when gas hits $100 dollars a gallon. I for one would like the option to find out.

    • > High speed trains might be a great thing when gas hits $100 dollars a gallon. I for one would like the option to find out.

      Me too.  I would love to see gas hit $100 per gallon AND see that you have the option to find out.

    • > Gee I see you are fixated on all things negative.

      > As for me, I prefer to look to the future and live in a world of wonderful possibilities.

      I realize it’s easy to be a sunny optimist in the Age of Obama, where everyone in the world loves the U.S.A. and would never wish us any harm.

      But, aren’t you a little but worried about what might happen if the evil Bush conspiracy steals the next election and starts bombing innocent peace-loving third world peoples, and makes them hate us all over again?

    • > Would you feel safer if we all lived in caves and never came out?

      Well, yes I would feel safer.

      But there’s no need to go to that extreme.  I would feel safer just staying off of a stupid bullet train.

      http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/24/news/24iht-bullet_0.html?pagewanted=1

      “Bullet Train’s Safety Image ‘Shattered’”

      TOKYO— By severing Japan’s bullet train line, the Kobe earthquake not only has choked off a key transportation artery but also tarnished Japan’s image of the train as an emblem of the nation’s prowess in high technology.

      Repairing the bullet train, where elevated tracks collapsed in eight spots west of Osaka to Himeji, is expected to take four and a half months. But restoring the bullet train’s big sales point – its safety – could take much longer.

      “The myth among Japanese that the shinkansen is absolutely safe has been shattered,” said Naoto Hashimoto, a transportation analyst at the Nomura Research Institute. “The psychological impact is incalculable.”

      “It will take several months for repairs but as long as two years for a return to previous levels of ridership,” Mr. Hashimoto predicted….

      “The train’s safe image had already been under attack by railroad unions, which said that high-speed Nozomi trains, introduced in 1992 and capable of traveling 270 kilometers per hour (165 miles per hour), were unsafe. Undercarriages had fallen off, and wind vibrations in tunnels put the trains at risk, they said, voicing accusations that the railroad rejected.”

      High Speed Rail is about the dumbest idea ever sold to the California voters.

  8. I wonder if Cool Luke,  Loose Lips Sink Ships, Wreck of the Old 97, Bang for the Buck, How Do They Know?, One hundred thousand jobs, SJKay, and Mohammed Al Ka-Boom might be the same person? Sounds like all of them work for the oil/auto industry.

    • > I wonder if Cool Luke,  Loose Lips Sink Ships, Wreck of the Old 97, Bang for the Buck, How Do They Know?, One hundred thousand jobs, SJKay, and Mohammed Al Ka-Boom might be the same person?

      Are you trying to suggest that there is only one intelligent being in the universe that is against High Speed Rail, and that everyone else agrees with you?

      You’re more of a narcissist than The Obamagogue, if that’s possible.

  9. Spreading fear is a great way to keep people from acting in their own best interests.

    There is always a potential cost on the path to a better way of doing things. I believe that High Speed Trains is worth it because I have experienced their benefits.

    Maybe instead of trying to spread fear and shouting out “No” you might try spreading some goodwill by saying “Maybe”.  That way we could start working together rather than just you saying “My way or the highway”.

    When King George told George Washington “My way or the highway”, you’ll recall what happened. It was tough going but ultimately a good idea won out. Don’t be afraid.

    • > I believe that High Speed Trains is worth it because I have experienced their benefits.

      Oh, really.  The taxpayers need to build a $50 billion carnival ride because YOU had fun?

      How much did you pay to “experience the benefits” of your High Speed Train ride?  Two dollars? Three dollars? Five dollars?

      Would you have been just as happy with your High Speed Train ride if you had paid the REAL COST of the ride?  Five hundred dollars? A thousand dollars? Twenty five hundred dollars?

      If you want to go to LA and have a weekend of fun, couldn’t you just take a Greyhound bus and keep you grabby fingers out of the taxpayers’ wallet? 

      Ride the monorail in Disneyland or something. (That is, if the monorail is running again after it’s last crash.)

  10. Lets use all this money to build nuclear power plants producing clean energy to power electric cars rather than build a railroad that relatively few would use. The building of nuclear plants would also create thousands of jobs. With the new generation of nuclear plants they are safe and being built by almost every other country on earth.

  11. Electric cars are a bad use of clean power.  You’re better off just buying hybrids.  Hybrids cost less, so you can buy more of them- and get larger total emissions reductions.

    If you have a gigawatt of clean electricity, the cleanest thing to do with it is turn off a gigawatt of coal power.  Until we turn off the last coal plant, it makes no sense to talk about finding a use for clean electricity.  We already have a great one.