We can't help it. If it's news about high-speed choo-choos, we feel obligated to cover it. Hell, they feel obligated to build it, so...
Things continue to go from really bad to completely spinning-out-of-control atrocious for California's high-speed rail project. We touched on it before, but for some more detail, the reason why the cost estimate for the project as per the state's ILA (Independent Legislative Analyst) office went from $98 billion a few months ago to $68 billion a few weeks ago, is because Jerry Brown hacked away at it and presented California lawmakers a bastardized and quite likely illegal version of the plan voted upon by Californians back in 2008.
Article here talks about a lawsuit that has been filed and which represents a real threat to the continuance of the project as it violates several conditions of the original plan, among those being:
- current plan calls for a "blended" approach to the project whereby high speed trains would use existing rail lines in addition to newly-built high speed lines (a violation of the original plan) and which would cause...
- trains to travel at slower speeds than advertised and which would also cause...
- riders to have to switch trains between L.A. and San Francisco, another original plan no-no.
- New plan also cuts out electricity. You read that correctly. As currently laid out, there is no intention of actually providing electricity to the choo-choos. Perhaps years from now, we will have another bond proposition to consider providing actual power to the not-so high-speed choo-choos that will be setting by idly rusting away in a pistachio field outside of Bakersfield.
- Also, current plan includes local spending on existing rail infrastructure which was not in the original plan. Now, your first instinct would be to assume vote-buying as this was our first impression as well. But voting at both the Senate and Assembly levels broke along party lines and with solid Democratic majorities in both chambers, the issue was never in any doubt, vote wise, so... we will have to fall back on completely insane fiscal recklessness as the reason.
A couple of lines from linked article that caught our eye.
The governor hailed the vote, saying, "The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again."
If by "out in front once again", the governor meant fiscal irresponsibility and all-around dumb-ass ideas, then, yes, we are #1.
And then this:
Kopp said he was disappointed that there were no plans to electrify the Central Valley segment. Planners wanted to start construction in the valley because it's a good place "to test the trains at 220 miles per hour," Kopp said.
Without electrification, trains can't attain that speed, he said.
Since we are resorting to a 19th century mode of transportation, perhaps teams of oxen will help the choo-choos attain (not) that speed.
The hell-bent pursuit of a project this heinous, wasteful and unneccessary represents an unseriousness that rivals that of Porkulus and Obamacare - statist solutions searching for a problem.