A $4.15 Billion dollar Bullet




Trying to hold back the California High Speed Rail Authority is much akin to trying to stop illegal immigration.  It ain’t going to happen…anytime soon!  High Speed Rail is coming…….. brother!

The distance from Sacramento to San Diego is approximately 505 miles.  Based on the fact that time was running out to spend the Federal money, the CHSRA selected an open area of the Central Valley from the tiny town of Borden to Corcoran…a first span of 65 miles – as the opening shot to create a leg of High Speed Rail.

Now you have to understand…this building program will include the tracks, station platforms and viaducts that elevate the line through urban areas and right-aways.  This initial section however doesn’t include much in the way of High Speed infrastructure, like maintanence facilities, locomotives, passenger cars or the electrical system necessary to power high-speed trains.

As can be imagined, the Central Valley politicians are just “scrambling”, trying to figure out why they didn’t get the selected 65 mile stretch, or when more of that program will be unveiled.  Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston…loved the idea, Merced Mayor Bill Spriggs voiced concern that his community wouldn’t profit initially.  Vice Chairman of the CHSRA Tom Umberg filled in for CHSRA Chairman Curt Pringle….who was absent on the day of he vote.  Evidently, Curt didn’t want to have folks say…he rammed the project through.

Congressman Dennis Cardoza of Merced….called it “the train to nowhere”….which isn’t exactly the case.  The CHSRA has already said that the track could be used by Amtrak, in a worse case senario.  The truth of the matter is:  “There’s a lot of money….in High Speed Rail….lots of jobs and a good end benefit – connecting Northern California to Southern California.”  Mayor Bob Link of Visalia: ” This is not a train to nowhere.”  “Fresno is one of the largest cities in California!”  Needless to say, the bureaucrats and elected are just giddy….thinking about all the jobs and the coming increases to their local economies.

“The Central Valley was chosen as a starting point to rapidly create jobs and avoid the expected resistance in Los Angeles and San Francisco.” said Rob Kulat, a Federal Railroad Administration spokesperson.

Hey, by the time they get done….it may cost realistically upwards of a $100 Billion dollars for California High Speed Rail.  That’s a lot of construction, lots of jobs and an interesting time ahead for us all in the Golden State.  For those that oppose the California High Speed Rail Authority and the program in general, they will be facing a well organized, highly funded, movtivated group of citizens, bureaucrats, electeds and workers that want their communities to prosper with a High Speed Rail future.

How long will all this take?  It will be interesting to see how long the first stretch takes to complete!  This just maybe one of those “shovel ready projects” – that will move quickly ahead.  We will be watching!  Hey, when you spend $4.15 billion dollars to kick start the project…how bad can it be?

*There is an excellent article today in the LA Times…..in the  LATEXTRA  Section…by Dan Weikel and Rich Connell

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.