Worst Story of the Day Department: Several Democratic State Senators are going to China to study high-speed rail. The Chinese are covering all the costs for this junket.
Hey,China. How about covering the costs for my wife and me to come to China and study your wonderful trains. Maybe I'll close one eye and like them, and influence the right people to contract to buy some for California. Oh, wait. I'm just an ordinary citizen, not a Democratic State Senator that supports high-speed rail.
"Given this interest by the Chinese in California’s high-speed railway project, the opportunity to meet and engage Chinese rail officials and engineers is timely and beneficial to our efforts here in California,’’
Well, I should say so. And why shouldn't they go? "The senators were invited by the Chinese ministry, which is paying for travel expenses and providing a demonstration "related to high-speed rail technology, stations, engineering and manufacturing,’’
What State Senator wouldn't benefit from learning about "HSR technology, stations, engineering and manufacturing?" And the food and accommodations won't be that bad either.
So, let's speculate about what kinds of knowledge and wisdom our three Democratic State Senators will come back with. All those many mechanical/technical failures and the accident were a minor fluke and all the problems with PTC have been fully solved. Not to worry.
And, all those stolen patent-rights and infringements of Japanese and French rail technologies? No longer a problem. The Chinese will "re-patent" all that stuff to make sure it stays patented.
What else? The Chinese learned their lesson and promise to be more "transparent" about news suppression and fact distortions. "News black-out? We know nothing about that!"
By the way, we still don't know the total body-count in this accident. We read the number 40 in many of the articles, but who knows? In a country of 1.3 billion people, I guess it's not that important.
And, while there, our Senators might want to study the rapid deployment of back-hoes to bury evidence after any train accident we might have in California, after we have bought and are running Chinese High-Speed Rail equipment between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Thanks, Senators DeLeon, Calderon and Correa, for making such a sacrifice on our behalf. Although, it is odd that no Republican Senators, Like Doug LaMalfa, are coming with you.
California lawmakers travel to China to study high-speed rail
August 1, 2011 | 12:43 pm
A group of state lawmakers has flown to China to see if California can learn anything from that country about building a high-speed rail system.
But the lesson may be about what not to do: the state senators are arriving in a country mourning an accident last month in which two Chinese bullet trains collided, killing at least 39 people and injuring 200.
The delegation includes Democrats Kevin De Leon of Los Angeles, Ron Calderon of Montebello and Lou Correa of Santa Ana and is being paid for by the Chinese Ministry of Railways.
The July 23 accident has raised questions about the safety of the Chinese high-speed rail system, with the Shanghai Railway Bureau finding that "design flaws" in the track's signaling equipment contributed to the accident.
The senators were invited by the Chinese ministry, which is paying for travel expenses and providing a demonstration "related to high-speed rail technology, stations, engineering and manufacturing,’’ De Leon’s office said.
Calderon has supported the proposal to build a high-speed rail system in California because of the jobs it would create, said spokesman Rocky Rushing.
He noted that a Chinese rail authority has signed agreements with some U.S. companies to collaborate on technology they hope will be used on California’s proposed system.
"Given this interest by the Chinese in California’s high-speed railway project, the opportunity to meet and engage Chinese rail officials and engineers is timely and beneficial to our efforts here in California,’’ Rushing said. "This is made even more true in light of the recent deadly high-speed rail crash and other problems and challenges the system has faced.’’
-- Patrick McGreevy