Monday, February 13, 2012

High-Speed Rail? Sue the Bastards!

Check this out. Never mind the phallic suggestions.  Yet, these trains are heavily promoted by guys. With many of them, it's almost a spiritual thing. What, do you suppose, is their problem?

Also, I should say that anything that looks like this has got to be insanely expensive.  And in this case, it is.  It looks like something intended for rich people; something that only the affluent can afford.  And in this case, it is. 

If it was something the Defense Department required, we might hesitate, but then approve.  But this is not a national security necessity.  It's more like a national whim, an amenity. The train for those who have everything else. 

We're talking trains, for God's sake, not supersonic passenger jets, a business that British Airways and Air France got out of, by the way. And these were private corporations who were losing gobs of money. It will be the same here with the CHSRA, or worse. 

The Brits have been angry about having their HS2 high-speed rail project shoved down their throats. They are launching lawsuits.  We have been, and will continue to do the same.

Fresh legal challenge to high speed rail
Campaigners trying to block plans to build a high speed rail line from London to Birmingham have made their first move to challenge the scheme in the courts.

High speed rail set to be challenged by opponents 

By David Millward, Transport Editor
4:47PM GMT 13 Feb 2012

The HS2 Action Alliance has served a formal letter on Justine Greening, the Transport Secretary asking her to scrap the scheme which would see trains hurtling through the countryside at speeds of up to 250mph.

In the letter the Alliance has given Ms Greening two weeks to abandon the flagship project, which they say will devastate some of the country’s finest landscape, or face the threat of a costly legal challenge in the High Court.

The letter is the opening salvo in what could be a lengthy legal war of attrition between the Government and community groups opposing the £32.7 million project to run trains from Euston to Birmingham and then on to Leeds and Manchester.

The letter is backed by more than 70 action groups and four wildlife trusts along the route. They argue that the Government has failed to comply with a series of European directives in pushing through the scheme including one which requires an environmental assessment of not only the scheme but alternatives.

In addition the campaigners say that the scheme does not comply with the European Habitat and Species Directive, which imposes a legal obligation on decision makers to take into account any threat to a number of endangered creatures, including all bats.

“Our concern they have made the decision without working out how to deal with the Bechstein Bat, whose colony at Bernwood Forest near Aylesbury is under threat, “ said Matt Jackson of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust.

“Normally you can work out a solution for these problems, but in this case so little is known about them that the work has still not been done.”

A Department for Transport spokesman defended the scheme. "The line of route between London and the West Midlands has been continually improved to mitigate the impact on those living near it and the environment.

“We believe we have struck the right balance between the reasonable concerns of people living on or near the line, who will be offered a package of compensation measures, the environment and the need to keep Britain moving."

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