Re: PB wants $1.3bil more for the Crazy Train to Palmdale
Date: 02-12-2020 - 19:58
Remember how megaprojects get done according to Willie Brown: you dig a big enough hole with the down payment that you have to keep shoveling money into it until the project gets done.
In that regard, the Central Valley Section may be both a big hole and not big enough. By yielding to the temptation to produce a track that is semi-usable with the initial funding, CAHSR may have shot themselves in the foot. The hole is big enough to get a lot of people mad, but not big enough that it can't be abandoned and repurposed. Had they started with a Coast Range Tunnel or something semi-serious on the Bakersfield to LA leg, they'd be running out of money about now with only perhaps some grading to show for it (or a couple of miles of tunnel but nowhere near completion). With that, they could argue legitimately that we-all really truly do need Moar Moneys - otherwise we'd all be embarrassed by producing another train line that's usable only as a (dead end) bike trail, or a tunnel that's usable only as a lab for geology school students. As it is, we'll end up with an initial usable segment that actually could be used to make existing and possibly additional San Joaquin trains faster and more reliable on the southern 1/3 of their route, and maybe even rent space to BNSF for Z trains, even if the rest is never built -- not what you need to follow Willie's dictum.