Article in The Weekly Standard Magazine Sees Truth of California High-Speed Rail

Bullet Train to Nowhere - The Weekly StandardThe September 12, 2016 issue of The Weekly Standard magazine includes an excellent article about California High-Speed Rail and how it is affecting San Joaquin Valley communities. CCHSRA recommends that you read this article and share it on social media.

As it surveys opposition throughout the state to the bullet train, the article cites the Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA). It also profiles and quotes CCHSRA members and friends who are defending their property rights from the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

Our region is described as “geographically, topographically, demographically, and culturally far away from the bustle of the two coastal metropolises that the train was supposed to be designed to serve.” But as the reader learns, the first cut of the rail alignment diagonally bisects our fields and undermines our rural agricultural life.

And for what end? To quote from the article, “It is undoubtedly unfair to perceive as metaphors the rain, the mud, the never-used equipment, and the solo unfinished viaduct over an isolated rural river in an agricultural valley more than a hundred miles from the heavily trafficked coastal corridor that connects Los Angeles and San Francisco. But the metaphors are irresistible because they point to reality.”

Bullet Train to Nowhere: The Ultimate California Boondoggle – The Weekly Standard – September 12, 2016

2 comments

  • 2008 Prop 1-A was for “Safe, Reliable” HSR. Grade crossings of even 79 mph track (like Caltrain now) are neither safe nor reliable. (Amtrak on 79 mph track hit a heavy truck at a Bourbonnais, IL. grade crossing, derailing two locomotives and 11 of 13 cars.)

    CHSRA plans to use Caltrain track (which has dozens of grade crossings), but at a much higher 125 mph speed. CPUC has safety oversight responsibility over railroad operations. CHSRA’s 2016 Business Plan makes little mention of CPUC, of safety, or of reliability, even though those are the lead words in the Prop 1-A title.

    Great article. One error really stood out; Caltrain is owned not by Caltrans, but by a joint powers board of three counties.

    The circuitous Palmdale dogleg adds many miles, affecting cost and travel time. It really shows on a map. CHSRA should serve Palmdale (per Prop 1=A) on a wye track aimed to Las Vegas, with the main stem following I-5 from Bakersfield to Burbank. Indeed, the whole line should have followed I-5 instead of US 99. When I-5 was built, it slashed driving time between the Bay Area and LA by about an hour.

    Politicians’ folly: Naming the SF end of HSR “Transbay Transit Center”, when it is far from BART, the major trans-Bay transit operator.

    What an impressive article!

    Robert S. Allen
    BART Director, District 5, 1974-1988
    Retired, SP (now UP) Western Division, Engineering/Operations.