US government waste $4 billion for 25k people [High speed rail]

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Eraserhead, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Eraserhead, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #1
    Jesus ****ing christ.

    $4.2 billion for 25 thousand people.

    ****ing hell, you might as well give the rich a tax break :rolleyes:.

    (source)
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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  3. dscuber9000 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    We really should invest in high-speed rail for larger cities. There's no reason for the country where trains were invented for us to be so far behind Asian countries in rail.
     
  4. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #4
    FWIW, both those towns do lie along the proposed and voter-approved high speed rail link between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is probably easier and cheaper to get the land and construction permits for this segment of the larger project so as to take advantage of the federal stimulus money before some deadline.
     
  5. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #5
    :confused:
     
  6. dscuber9000 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Whoops, apparently it was invented in Wales. :eek: Well, America was the first to have long-distance rail. :D
     
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #7
  8. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Not nearly as wasteful as a manned space flight to Mars.
     
  9. takao, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #9
    that's what i thought when reading the op

    after all such rail connections are upgraded one after anothernot all at the same time so i don't get the upcry about it

    edit: it's just like saying "the new Gotthard-Basistunnel in switzerland was built to connect Erstfeld with Bodio" (combined 4600 population) except that it was built to connect the heartland of switzerland and italy with a faster connection
     
  10. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #10
    Not even that.
     
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #11
    Crap. :(

    Now I want to watch The Train, a French film staring, among others, Burt Lancaster.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    The linked article in the OP tries to make it sound like the rail line is only going to connect two towns, and that is a misrepresentation.

    The US could really use a proper high-speed rail system. We are far too dependent on our highway system for both freight and travel.

    In my home state of Ohio, a Cleveland-Columbus-Cincy high-speed rail project is in the process of being scuppered by Republicans, who want to use the federal money for the project to fix highways and bridges. In other words, they've mismanaged their highway money and are now killing a promising, forward-thinking transportation project in order to make up the shortage.
     
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #13
    It concerns me that no one has acknowledged your point (one other independently proposed it). I do question whether the initiative overall was the right move, though. I certainly hope so.
     
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Had I known you were sitting there, concerned, I'd have said something like, "Good point," and set your mind at ease.
     
  15. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #15
    How emotionally conservative of you.
     
  16. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    #16
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    I thought Gelfin's point so clear and obvious and the original article with its accompanying outrage so patently absurd that any reinforcement would be utterly redundant.
     
  18. Eraserhead thread starter macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #18
    I've just checked on Amtraks website and there is currently only one train a day between "San Francisco" (well Oakland) and LA, it takes 12 hours and has an average speed of 40mph this 75 mile section of track is not going to speed up the journey enough that people are going to start using it for a decent journey (and demanding a decent number of trains as well).

    The difference there is that the trains which run between Bern and Milan, which run every 30 minutes or so, will be sped up substantially, and those trains also attract a lot of users. And both of those cities are much larger.

    Additionally people might get on longer distance trains between Germany and Italy through the tunnel.
     
  19. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

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    #19
    Quoting the linked article:

    How does that make it sound like the rail line is only going to connect two towns?

    Why is the outrage patently absurd? This is a dumb decision, plain and simple. The overall project is estimated to cost $43 billion, and with inflation and the usual cost overruns on this type of project could likely end up costing much more. The Feds are set to contribute an additional $15 billion to this project over the next decade, but this is in doubt due to the current $1.3 trillion Federal deficit. Even if these funds materialize, and even if the currently-bankrupt State of California somehow manages to scrape together enough funds to match, the project will take well over a decade to complete. It will be a long, long time before the project delivers its full potential benefit to society, if ever. And so the planners, in their infinite wisdom, have chosen to start in an impoverished rural area (dubbed "the new Appalachia"), which guarantees that this initial phase of the project will benefit as few people as possible! Oh, and by the way, as this article from the LA Times points out,

    Oh, so $4 billion gets us 65 miles of tracks and platforms in Appalachia, but no trains! Brilliant.

    The best way to have garnered popular support for this project would have been to go for a "quick win," a segment between two significant cities that would have shown the potential of high-speed rail service. It seems that a lot of sensible people in California realize this; a Democratic congressman is calling for a DOT investigation.
     
  20. Eraserhead thread starter macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #20
    Quite. So LA to San Diego, or Oakland to Sacramento would both be good.
     
  21. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

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    #21
    The discussions prior to this last-minute panic move to secure Federal pork apparently were focusing on a Fresno-Merced segment, which would have connected two university towns. This would have been a much smarter move, but unfortunately they couldn't get their act together in time for the deadline.
     
  22. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #22
    It certainly sounds as if CA is not getting very good value, whatever the final scheme. These things were much more economical when you could bring in a couple of thousand Chinese coolies to do the work.
     
  23. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #23
    Which would cost significantly more than $4 billion. This is the problem with big infrastructure projects today. Taxpayers won't accept the fact that big infrastructure costs big money, so money gets doled out in chunks like this, that then get portrayed in the media as pork-barrel spending, which then discourages politicians from voting for big infrastructure upgrades. In the meantime, the US has bridges and dams that are on the verge of failing by the tens of thousands, a deteriorating road infrastructure, no high speed rail at all, and the worst airports in the modern world. (Fly in to most American airports on a direct flight from most of Europe or Asia, and what you are greeted with upon arrival in 'the greatest nation on earth' is downright embarrassing).
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    I'm so glad you put that in quotes... :)
     
  25. Eraserhead, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    Eraserhead thread starter macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #25
    All true, but here's the thing, California could spend the money on new, clean, buses, with WiFi, low floors, clean engines which follow the strictest emissions standards worldwide, LED stop announcements onboard, LED real-time timing announcements on the stops and online on your iPhone. And then add a smart card which auto-tops up, and accepts top-ups online and works on buses, trains, taxis and ideally in shops.

    And probably add some bus lanes as well.

    I bet I could do all that for a major city in California for a fraction of what is being spent on this high-speed rail project. And it might actually get people out of their cars and onto public transport in a meaningful way.

    And then when you do bring high-speed rail to San Francisco/LA you have a serious system to integrate with.

    The only difference is that that is less sexy. But instead it'd probably work - and none of it isn't in use (at least in large pieces) in multiple major cities around the world.
     

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