Thursday, September 18, 2008

Guess Who!

Just when you thought you could go a year without hearing his name, he pops his car loving face up through the wack a mole hole to write another bs study on rail. Never mind that he has been debunked more times than anyone can remember, he still gets his funding from the Reason Foundation. You know, that place that doesn't believe in transportation choice and believes that the free market = automobiles. It doesn't hurt that they are funded by oil companies and beneficiaries.

But on to the report. Here's the first zinger.
It is possible that HSR can serve legitimate public and environmental purposes and be a financial success in California. However, the current CHSRA proposal cannot achieve such objectives.
I'm not sure what other CHSRA proposal they were referring to, like they were proposing another one? Perhaps we should wait 20 years right? Because it will be so much cheaper. Why do they even say this when they don't even believe it.

Here's another favorite:
It should give pause that previous HSR projects have been halted in three states—California (for Los Angeles–San Diego), Texas and Florida. The federally sponsored HSR program for Boston– New York–Washington serves only a fraction of its projected ridership and carries a fraction of the passengers that European and Japanese lines carry.
Because you can compare real high speed rail with a line that barely gets over 100 miles per hour. Apples to Apples right? And how about the Texas comparison, where HSR was stopped by airline lobbiests for Southwest Airlines, because they were so scared of what it would do to thier business.

I could go on but you really don't want to read my rant. If so inclined you can read the report for yourself. It's pretty gross and has a lot of generalizations.

And yes...they play the fear card.
Terrorism against rail targets is a concern considering the extent of attacks that continue to occur on rail systems around the world.
Typical of current culture warrior thinking. When you can't win with the facts, try to scare people.


Anonymous said...

They don't think something like the TGV would work in America. More horseshit from the ExxonMobil funded, right wing, global warming denying libertarians.

When I heard of libertarians five years ago, I associated Wendell Cox and Randal O'Toole with rail opponents like John Stossel (does this ring a bell?). And I knew that libertarians were so anti-government on economic matters, I chose to distance myself from libertarians (although I consider myself to be more socially libertarian; I support the NDP). Libertarianism is so creepy.

I have stated to close friends I have (including when I've sent out messages to friends on my Facebook account) about my desire to electrify the whole Quebec City-Windsor, Ontario (across from Detroit) corridor.

Nevertheless, I think the best way to high speed rail is to electrify existing lines first. Because rail lines in Canada and the U.S. are standard gauge (not in my native Newfoundland, and I'm bummed they don't run trains anymore there), it should make good sense to electrify existing lines before new high speed lines are built. This is what is accepted in Europe.

However, new links that will have to be built anyway (like between Tampa and St. Petersburg) should be electric from the start. Deferring electrification is shortsighted.

About my comment regarding Newfoundland, this is not to say I want high speed rail there!

Anonymous said...

Brian Mulruiny trashed the Newfoundland Railway along with the Prine Edward Island Railway in the late 1980's. He also cut Via Rail in half too in 1990.

What's sad is that a place like Calgary hasn't has inter city passenger train service since 1990!(Though the city does has the C-train LRT)

arcady said...

Something like the TGV *couldn't* work in America, at least not without a good amount of investment in the existing rail infrastructure. You need the connecting normal-speed-rail lines before you have enough destinations to get enough traffic onto the high speed lines. Look at the TGV map. The blue and red lines are the actual high speed lines where the trains go fast. The black lines are regular old electrified railroads that have TGV trains running on them.

BruceMcF said...

TGV technology as in steel wheel on steel rail traveling 200mph+ when operating on fully grade separated corridors with canting and gradients designed for very HSR is certainly within the realm of the feasible. Without the normal Express passenger rail infrastructure, it may require larger population origins and destinations for success ... but then again, we have that in the US, with LA/SF, NYC/CHI, NYC/BOS, possibly even MIA/ATL.

Anonymous said...

Disclosure: I am an economic conservative. Point: what is so unfortunate about Prop 1A is that the projections are so ludicrous. 117 million passengers a year? Total ridership for Amtrak last year was a fraction of that. Give us realistic ridership projections, realistic cost estimates and please don't tell us that hsr will take care of 50% of California's ghg emissions. Oh, and by the way, the law putting Prop 1A on the ballot requires a business plan by September 1st. Where is it? How are voters to judge this without details?