Re: Nope, that post was from the real BOB2... It contained real rail content and the "runaway money train" at CAHSRA...that I supported.
HSR is, in principle, a good thing to add to the transportation portfolio for the state. However, it ended up "designed" by politicians, not people who knew how to make a system that served a purpose and could (eventually) be built. The speed/travel time bogey is the most obvious part of that, which grossly limits CAHSR's options even if they want to exercise them.
When The Proposition was promoted, it was actually clear that the $10B was a starter amount. It mainly would cover the planning and engineering work that had not been done before trying to sell it to the voters. What was NOT made clear was that $30-some B was almost certainly not what it would finally cost. Anybody with reasonable thinking skills and any experience with transportation projects (of all types) could have told you at least double, likely triple that was more like it. $30B was, even then, the likely amount of simply building the LA-Bakersfield section. But it was still (then and now) worthwhile to make a start, wherever and however possible, and going for $30B at the time would have been a non-starter.
The choice to set it up using nearly all contractors with only token oversight was a poor one, leading to potentially fatal conflict of interest problems. Caltrans uses contractors too, a lot, but somehow manages to control at least some of their excesses; that may come from keeping the policy decisions under public, rather than contractor, control. If it were up to me (which it wasn't, and isn't), it would have been an obvious choice to make HSR part of Caltrans, much like the Division of Rail, and leverage the people and procedures already in place to manage things (hopefully better).
What we're faced with now is having a starter segment more or less where I expected it to be, but still no realistic prospect of connecting it to the metro areas at either end. Costs haven't gone down for getting over and under the mountains defending access to the Bay Area and LA. Does anybody have realistic proposals for making those connections, other than griping about Pacheco vs Altamont or Palmdale vs a big hole in the Tehachapis, none of which are likely to happen short of our great-great-grandchildrens' lifetimes at the current rate of progress?
Will Merced be oceanfront property by the time HSR gets there? Even at only 1m (nearly certain to happen by 2100), parts of Caltrain will be underwater at high tides, or the rail embankment will be the dike that keeps other areas from being flooded. Play around with flood.firetree.net
to see some scenarios (including the really goofy ones).