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California rivals Alaska with a $4.15 billion train to nowhere

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Los Angeles - In an effort to glam onto federal money before the December deadline, California’s High Speed Rail Authority board unanimously voted to begin construction of the first leg of the state's proposed bullet train…train sold separately.

Ever hear of Borden or Corcoran, two tiny cities in California’s Central Valley? No?

Well neither have most people who live in the state. According to the Los Angeles Times: "Included in the plan are tracks, station platforms, bridges and viaducts, which would elevate the line through urban areas. The initial section, however, would not be equipped with maintenance facilities, locomotives, passenger cars or an electrical system necessary to power high-speed trains."

Los Angeles attorney Walter Moore, who is vacationing in Perpignan, France, wrote in his blog:

"Right now I'm in a city in France where they built more impressive structures during the course of 35 years in the 13th century using no machines than the State of California can cobble together in a decade despite billions of dollars and state-of-the art construction technology. France has had a nation-wide bullet train -- the TGV -- for over 20 years. ("TGV" stands for "Tres Grand Vitesse," which means, basically, "very great speed.") It began service on its first leg, Paris to Lyon, in 1981."

The $4.14 billion, 65-mile segment in the middle of the proposed Central Valley line, doesn’t even go as far as Bakersfield, a moderate-sized city that at least a few people have heard of.

Regardless of the lame excuses they came up with for starting in the middle of nowhere and going nowhere, Alaska can now relax, because the jokes will be on us.

California High-Speed Rail Authority press release: CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY APPROVES

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (4 posted):

thrtruth on 12/03/2010 19:17:00
Please try and do real reporting and not some slant news..the section is just the first phase and it will not be the entire "route" did all 10,000 miles of interstate start construction on the same day?
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john burrows on 12/03/2010 19:25:02
But it does include a station at Fresno (metro population 1,000,000 and a station at Hanford (metro population 400,000). So 1.4 million people live in the middle of nowhere? I don't think so.

Don't be too surprised if in about ten years the jokes turns out not to be on California but on rest of the country.
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Sandy Sand on 12/04/2010 07:46:40
If you go to the links provided in the story, you will see a map locating the proposed rail line. A little to the right, but unmarked, is the San Andreas fault -- a mite close to the rail line.

One has to wonder if they took that into consideration for the proposed rail line.

When the Big One hits -- and if it hits after the completion of the line -- you can expect billions of dollars turned into a mass of twisted rails and toppled cars.

It will be affected in the same way by Mother Nature as all of Southern California will, by having it's ties to water and power from the north and the east slashed.

The California aqueduct will shatter, dumping its supply of precious liquid and all the transmission lines that march across the Mojave Desert to Los Angeles will come tumbling down, leaving Southern Californians high, dry and powerless for months, if not years.

The least they could do is build a couple of desalination plants and get them online.

Of course, the politicians never mention such things -- then they'd have to do something to prepare for the Big One. Like all of the State's infrastructure: It's better to put it off for another day, but when that day comes it will be too late.
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Brian on 12/05/2010 22:13:58
I'd rather see one go from riverside to Las Vegas. Or better yet, trains down all the free way so I don't have to sit in traffic to get home.
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