Saturday, November 5, 2011

Getting there must be half the fun; coming back the other half, if you ride HSR.

Short and to the point. No further comments required.  Wait, just one. 

Bill Quick raises the issue of which is faster travel, HSR or air.  In an ideal HSR world, the train might even be as fast -- door to door -- as flying.  But, in the real world, that will not be the case.  The promised 2:40 train trip is a fantasy.  The new business plan clearly suggests a much longer travel time and therefore this "speedier than a plane" claim has been now put to rest by the rail authority itself.

OK. Two points. 

If that wasn't enough, despite their promises of $81. tickets, we will discover, to our amazement, if the train every becomes actually operational, that it will be far more expensive and therefore air travel will become far more favorably competitive.  Another bubble burst!

we’re broke - let’s spend a lot of money!

November 5th 2011

Instapundit » Blog Archive » 

 “A bullet train business plan released Tuesday notes that the system cost of $98 billion could jump an additional $19 billion depending on the route and construction features.”

No major public project only doubles over the initial cost projection. It’s always more. Consider the Bay Bridge repair project, begun after the bridge was badly damaged in the quake of 1989 and still not completed. (Yes, that’s right, they’ve been working on this project for more than 22 years).

The initial cost projection for replacing the east span of the bridge (where the famous damage occurred with a chunk of the bridge roadway actually falling down onto the lower span) was $1.5 billion. Currently, the actual cost is well north of $12 billion.

That’s not double, that’s an 800% increase. If the same metric applies to the wildly un-needed high speed rail line, we’re looking at a construction cost of almost half a trillion dollars - four years worth of the current California state budget.

That’s a lot of money to pay for a choo choo train almost nobody will ride, and will shave maybe an hour or two off the travel time between SF and LA versus flying.

-Bill Quick

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