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Guest opinion: High-speed rail critics have come a long way

Original post made on Dec 14, 2011

As early as 2003, when Menlo Park was threatened with grade separations that would have achieved what the high-speed rail authority is now threatening to do on the Caltrain corridor, there was hardly any opposition.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 12:00 AM

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Posted by Jim Loomis
a resident of another community
on Dec 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

My favorite line in Mr. Engel's commentary is "Republicans, as it happens". Ah ... so by sheer coincidence, the legislators who sympathize with Mr. Engels anti-rail view just happen by chance to be members of the GOP. What I don't get is how these folks can confidently trash a mode of transportation that has been a proven success in Europe and Japan for more than 30 years. Good heavens, they're starting to build a high-speed rail line in Uzbekistan! Even in this country, despite Republican efforts to starve Amtrak to death and block rail everywhere else, people are riding trains in ever-increasing numbers and demanding more and better service. Finally, a simple question: As California's population increases by 20-25 million over the next few decades, how do the anti-rail folks propose to move them around? Without rail, there is only one possible answer to that: more highways, which cost as much as $75 million per lane, per mile. Do the math folks!

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Mr. Loomis:

we can trash a mode of transportation that has been a success in Europe and Japan for several reasons:

1. Japan and Europe have much higher population densities along the routes served by high speed rail.
2. European and Japanese high speed rail are heavily subsidized by the governments in which they are located. Something that was SPECIFICALLY stated by the propositiona that got people to vote for it would NOT, repeat NOT happen. Now it is becoming quite clear this is not the truth. The facts are that HSR in California will REQUIRE subsidies from the state. Something we CANNOT afford. This was a Lie sold to the voters by the proponents of HSR.
3. HSR was sold with a price tag of $33 billion. Now it's $98.5 billion. Another lie. You can bet the ACTUAL costs will be MUCH higher.
4. HSR was sold with a price of $30 for a ticket. Now it's at least $200. Another lie used to sell HSR.
5. HSR was supposed ot be built at least 10 years earlier that the latest projection of 2033. Another LIE used to sell HSR.
6. The trip to LA was supposed to be 2 1/2 hours, now the projections are longer. Another LIE used to HSR.

Now do you understand why, Mr. Loomis, that the voters of California want a revote? We were LIED to. We no longer buy the garbage we were sold by the HSR folks. We do not want to subsidize this boondoggle into perpetuity, nor do we want our grandchildren and great-grandchildren subsidizing it either. HSR will never provide what the LIARS promissed and the electorate is finally figuring that out.

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