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Print | High speed rail AKA Amtrax on steroids
Post Letter to the Editor - Jul 07 2011
by Post Editor : letters@portervillepost.com

Dear Editor, The CA high speed rail system was established in 1996, California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA). It is a costly nightmare that is supposed to begin construction in 2012 but that is doubtful because our state is broke and other issues. Some have put the cost at $50 billion and others say $273 billion and most don't even know.

It is also said that for every $1.00 spent by a passenger there will be a $4.00 subsidy but I think it will be more. Haven't we learned anything from Amtrax? It's a loser that eats taxpayer dollars by the truck load! HSR will go faster and eat dollars faster.

High speed rail is a 19th century technology all spruced up! Let's take a common sense look at this. Can you imagine what a mess we would have if there was a wreck at 220 MPH? That's the projected speed of HSR train. If a vehicle sees a problem ahead it has the option of changing lanes or stopping while a train has only the option of stopping, if it can.

The HSR train will have to have it own tracks which means more land taken up probably most by eminent domain. This means more crossings of roads and streets with potential of collisions or it means it's own raised tracks which will be immensely expensive.

Why is HSR right for us? Well Japan, China, Spain and France has it so we have to have it! It sounds like kids when Johnny says, "Tommy has a choo-choo so I want one!" The ones behind this scheme are the engineering firms, contractors, unions and bullet train manufacturers.

So why not join the 20th or 21st century? While the earth's surface is filling up rapidly we still have a lot of space above us. We should be thinking of improving our air traffic control system and devise a way to keep the unionized controllers awake. While the proponents of the HSR tout the low cost of transportation they don't count the cost of construction which is enormous. We don't have to build a new "skyway", it is already there for free! All we have to do is manage it properly.

Remember, a train has one track, a vehicle may have two or more lanes but a plane can go left or right, up or down to avoid problems. If managed properly they are always a safe distance to avoid a collision.

In the 1960's I lived in Orange County and frequently flew out of LAX. I could take a helicopter from Disneyland and be at LAX in 20 to 30 minutes instead of taking an airport bus which took an hour or more depending on traffic. I wonder why we don't see more helicopter travel today for this use. It doesn't take up runway space.

HSR expects the time between SF and LA to be 2 hours and 40 minutes while air is 1 hour and 5 minutes. While we expect the air fare to be more than the Amtrax-HSR fare, you can bet the overall cost will be exorbitant for HSR. We only pay for air travel when we buy a ticket and some people never fly and some only seldom.

Every tax payer will pay for HSR even though they never use it just like we pay for Amtrax. Just think of how much you have paid for Amtrax and seldom or never used it! The only difference is that AMTRAX-HSR will be a heck of a lot more!

Obama said recently he would build HSR throughout America! That is typical of the blow-hard who wants to wreck our Republic and has a spending addiction.

We should scrap the whole idiotic idea!

Thank You Very Much ... Bob Inabinette bobeye@hughes.net from Springville, CA.

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