Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Day for California High Speed Rail:UPDATED

Update: Here is a link to the LA Times story on the new California High SPeed Rail Authority report. The cost is now $98.5 billion (estimate when California voters passed Proposition for $9 billion in funding = $43 billion) and the construction time has been extended by 13 years to 2033 from 2020. One new option it to run the entire train on elevated tracks over the 5 freeway between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. See the below video about a similar design in San Jose to see how that might look.

Original post:
November 1 is a big day for California's high speed rail plans. The California High Speed Rail Authority will release a report that will update the business plan for the proposed system. Here is a news report from the Sacramento Bee about what is expected. It will not be surprising if the new report is the beginning of the end for the HSR system. Costs are higher than expected, and private investors are unwilling to invest speculatively in the project. Private investment was supposed to play an enormous role in financing and building the system, but without revenue guarantees there is no interest from the private sector.

Even if the system gets built, it won't be pretty according to this new video (via David Levinson and Systemic Failure):

I doubt anyone will want to live or work anywhere near that infrastructure, especially with trains running every five to ten minutes as promoted by the HSR supporters.

Here is a Pasadena Star News op-ed that is pessimistic about high speed rail but optimistic about higher speed rail.

Tangentially related, here is a story about the struggles of the Ontario airport. A HSR connection will not help the problems detailed.


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