High Speed Rubbish. Mate.

I came across this video gem the other day. Look and sound familiar? The Australian TV show Utopia, goes after high speed rail as never making economic sense. But economic sense ought not to get in the way of progress, and the idea of intercity transit going real, real fast is irresistible to some, including the army of consultants, engineers, union construction workers and land grabbers who make bank on the concept.

California’s HSR Authority has been a sink hole for billions and billions of dollars, escalating costs, tortuous delays, etc., etc. And yet it gasps on, staggering along thanks to its own bureaucratic inertia – an idea sold to the voters over 15 years ago and with little hope of opening the easiest segment before 2030.

Meantime, this titanic boondoggle is scoping the all-important line from Anaheim to Los Angeles where the line currently under construction in the Central Valley may never reach in this century. Cutting through this urban landscape, including Fullerton, will cost a fortune, of course, and the HSR won’t be able to go much faster than existing train service. What would it mean for us if this dopey authority cut a swath through Fullerton? It won’t be good, that’s for sure.

But who cares? In California it’s not efficacy that matters. It’s the grand gesture, and in this case the laughable assertion that California will be appreciably better off by spending hundreds of billions of dollars to buy a few train trips per year.

9 Replies to “High Speed Rubbish. Mate.”

  1. HSR NEVER made any sense. It was the brainchild of Jerry Brown. Of course the anti-car crowd got all het up.

    But you’re right. This was always about making the most money before the gravy train came to a screeching halt.

    1. I don’t think it’s going to screech to a halt. I think it will limp slowly to an unheralded demise.

      And if anybody asks, the transitocracy will claim it failed because we didn’t support it with enough funding.

    2. Kirt Pringle took his marching orders from J.B. But in the end, J.B. quacked Pringle off the HSRA for a MAJOR conflict of interest. Anyone remember that? Thanks in part to someone connected to this blog and major research and efforts to Cynthia Ward!

  2. Government projects take on a life of their own. They are virtually indestructible. They need constant feeding. They never pay for themselves but rely on atmospheric feel-goods to be justified.

    Actually, the Trail to Nowhere represent the phenomenon in microcosm. Notice how it is still alive after it should have been dead as a doornail back in August.

    1. That’s funny. Fullerton’s Low Speed Bike Path.

      It costs too much, doesn’t line up with itself, and doesn’t go anywhere anybody wants to go.

      Other than that it’s wonderful.

  3. Someday, folks will realise it is just a scam to keep hundreds of bureaucrats ‘working’ on the problem, with many more ‘off book’ consultants, lawyers, and other hanger ons feeding them campaign contributions on a program that may never end… But still well funded.

  4. We need this to replace fuel guzzling cars and those horrible airplanes that are destroying our atmosphere.

    And jobs. Many jobs. And people driving to those jobs. And building those green train cars. And burning the coal to juice it along.

    We need HSR!

  5. Yeah. I see a lot of Republican style propaganda out of Australia. Transit bad. Solar bad. Wind bad. Coal and oil good. It’s like you all got bonked on the head by a rich ideogue with a media empire.

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