While the proposed first link of the California High Speed Rail, the “train to nowhere” from Madera to Fresno, has received funding totaling $12.9 billion, it’s nowhere enough to do this initial 300 mile link, much less the entire rail line from L.A. to S.F. And now the federal government is providing no money at all in their massive transportation bill for this expensive boondoggle. Stick a fork in it. CHSR is dead. By law the rail line must operate without a taxpayer subsidy and is expected to cost at least $305 billion. Much of the financing was supposed to come from private investors. However, none are interested, since they clearly see no way CHSR can make a profit.
There is so much wrong with this project. Because the rail is high speed, it must run on separate tracks. There are huge problems getting land rights and running fast rail through densely populated areas like San Jose or the San Fernando Valley. If the train is going fast, then the rail must be above or below ground. This is extraordinarily expensive. If it runs on the ground, then it won’t be fast because it will have to stop at crossings. Thus the whole point of high speed passenger rail would be defeated.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has been unable to attract outside investors and doesn’t have even 40 percent of the money it needs to complete the initial 300-mile, $31 billion segment — much less the $68 billion needed to build a rail line linking San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles.