Re: The Latest..... Sounds more realistic than some things...
Date: 11-21-2020 - 11:12
Only problem with the Virgin Vegas line is that the tax-advantaged bond sale did a faceplant. So they have a well-done plan and engineering and market studies, but no money. Will be interesting to see if they want to keep going with it.
As for CAHSR, it's a case of sometimes you have to take what you can get, and try to make lemonade. I never did see the worth of demanding a full-on 225 mph line (needed to meet a bogus end-to-end time bogey, whether or not intermediate stops to serve real people were provided). But the other benefits of the program were worth the probable failure of the main event. We've now reached that point - the side projects are done or under construction or at least funded, the Valley segment (which I suspect will be shortened before it's done, not reaching downtown Bakersfield with true HSR) is actually being built in part (never really expected). There are interim (possibly long-term interim) uses for the track that gets built. But ultimately the main event was a waste of money (surprise! given who was pushing it). Realistically, though, the other money that came with it would never have been available otherwise, at least in the quantity seen, for projects like Caltrain electrification, various transit things, and even LAUS run-through tracks.
Yes, we should speak of CAHSR in the past tense now. The original gold-plated system will never happen; the money is spent, and what we have is an impressive short segment and a warehouse full of studies that someday might be useful (for instance, most of the environmental and preliminary engineering for the Virgin Vegas line was done by DesertXpress over a decade ago). Better to talk about what should succeed it and how to make it actually useful as a transportation artery rather than just a monument to certain politicians' egos.