Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lessons learned about HSR from the UK

As they get ever close to building it, the UK media have been publishing more articles about their intended high-speed rail project, called HS2.  Great Britain now has about 70 miles of actual high-speed rail corridor.  They want to run a new high-speed rail line north to Edinburgh, with the first section to Manchester and Birmingham. They intend to go through the Cotswolds and the Lake District, both highly attractive tourist attractions, famous for their non-industrial, rural qualities.

The three articles, below, will provide a good basis for a better understanding of the issues for our British cousins.

We have been making this case for a long time; that is, that the UK experience with high-speed rail and our own in California is strikingly similar.  Please note, I'm certainly not a defender of HSR in the UK.  However, if there is an environment more appropriate than ours in California, it is in the UK, especially by connecting their Eurotunnel route beyond London to other major cities.  On the other hand, the HS2 will be, exactly like the intended HSR for California, another luxury train for the affluent.

It is wrong for the government, any government, whether the UK or Saudi Arabia, to be using government funding to create an alternative, high-end, transit system that will accommodate only those who can afford the highest price train tickets available.  Call that stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

As someone from Great Britain put it, some time ago, why should the lower classes be paying to build a train for the upper classes?  The same question should be asked in this country and certainly in California.  And, furthermore, I want to ask of my Party why we are supporting this train  to be built for the same people we constantly condemn for their excessive wealth and abusive financial exploitation of the rest of us?

The jobs issue is a scam and has been demonstrated as such.  The HSR will be a net loss to the state and not the bolstering of the economy as the rail promoters claim.  I certainly can't speak for the Brits about their project; they are doing a good job of that as we can read in their press.  But, we surely have the right to express our condemnation of the HSR intended for us, and about to be imposed upon us against our will.

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