High Speed MESS!!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Navy1960, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Navy1960

    Navy1960 Senior Member

    Sep 4, 2008
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    There was one part of the speech, however, that no green could fault: Obama's call for the creation of a high-speed rail system as a way to generate green jobs, enhance economic productivity and reduce carbon emissions. On Thursday, Jan. 28, the White House announced the awarding of $8 billion in stimulus funding to kick-start high-speed-rail projects and improve service in 13 corridors across the country. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Tampa, Fla., to announce the projects, which include the construction of an 84-mile high-speed track from Tampa to Orlando.

    High-Speed Rail's Job and Energy Benefits to the U.S. - TIME

    When Strickland first started talking about the costs associated with the "Quick-start" project -- which postulates that slow trains averaging only 39 mph will be running by 2011 -- the figure he used was about $250 million. Over time, that figure nearly doubled to about $400 million. Then, when Ohio submitted its application to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in early October for a share of the underfunded $8 billion nationally for high speed rail projects, the figure rose yet again to about $564 million.

    But we now have news from three other states -- California, Florida, Minnesota -- where enthusiasm and concrete accomplishments far out distance what Ohio has produced on the subject, despite over 40 years of time to have produced a scintilla more than it has now.
    High speed rail costs from California, Florida, Minnesota lessons for Strickland, 3-C train backers

    Ridership in these markets has been bolstered by high gasoline prices and one-way highway tolls of $40 and $100, respectively. These and other foreign routes have attracted much of their ridership from a strong core of rail passengers that does not exist in the U.S.

    The administration is giving California $2.25 billion for trains that are expected to reach 220 miles per hour between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The cost of building this rail line is now estimated by the California High Speed Rail Authority to be more than $40 billion and could be $60 billion or more.

    Even after adjusting for inflation, the projected cost of the system has increased by half over the original cost in the past decade. Ridership projections have also fluctuated wildly, from as low as 32 million annually to nearly 100 million; now the rail authority estimates the train will carry 41 million passengers each year.

    High-speed rail does little to unsnarl traffic jams because most highway congestion is within urban areas, not between them. It also has negligible impact on airport congestion. The world's strongest high-speed rail market, Tokyo to Osaka, is also one of the world's largest airline markets. Even with high-speed rail, there is still frequent air-shuttle service between Paris and Marseille.
    The Runaway Subsidy Train - WSJ.com

    HSR while perhaps a good solution for the DC-NY run it's overall cost is way out of line with the benefits from it. Further, given the fact that Govt. has for years mismanaged Amtrak and it exists only because the taxpayer keeps it alive to propose Amtrak (fast) given the fact we cannot even manage the system we have is complete nonsense. One other consideration here is in California for example the cost of a train ride on the HSR from SFO ro LA would be over 100 dollars in each direction and take longer than commercial air travel and often times cost more. I fail to understand how the President and the OMB can justify spending well in execess of 500 Billion dollars in HSR funding and yet tell NASA that a moon program is not viable because of the costs.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010

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