I wish everyone had a subscription to the Wall Street Journal since, in my opinion, it is two notches above any other daily news source for insight and analysis. In today's edition, editorial writer Allysia Finley lays out the sordid history of our high-cost rail project as a prelude to the Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority lawsuit that get an initial hearing on May 31st. Finley notes that Quentin Kopp is supporting Tos because he believes that various aspect of the original Prop. 1A are not being met. She writes
Mr. Kopp seems more and more like the protagonist Victor Frankenstein of literary lore, disillusioned by what his ambitions have wrought.
And she goes on to remind us of all the caveats that got 5% more people to vote for 1A than against it
The initiative mandated that trains run every five minutes at peak speeds that exceed 200 miles per hour; zip between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes; and operate without a subsidy.
Given the split-the-baby "blended solution" that we are faced with on the Peninsula as HSR is supposedly going to work with an electified Caltrain and the estimate of 150 mph in rural areas, Finley reminds us
To meet the law's 2 hour and 40 minutes travel time, the rail authority intends for the train to barrel through the Central Valley and Tehachapi Mountains, which are traversed by a fault line, at 220 mph.
While the fastest train in the world with years of operational experience running in France tops out at just under 200 mph. Keep your fingers crossed on May 31st! We've only wasted a few billion dollars so far, maybe we can save the other $80-90 billion this will cost.