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August 27, 2018


Bruce Dickinson

Joe, kind of a poorly written article, at least the first half of it. The problem isn't framed properly: it's build rate, not spend rate. Bruce Dickinson will point out the obvious that spending won't increase unless you have something to spend it on. In a meandering, indirect way, the article then states that the labor, resources, materials and inflation assumptions are wrong. There is a shortage of labor/materials that are increasing in price, so yeah the cost of the project goes up, but how can you spend if you can't line up everything to spend on right away when the labor resources are limited and you can only build so much at once.

The real killer is gonna be the inflation assumptions. You have below actual inflation numbers being projected into the future! And guess what? the actual cost inflation seen, which is higher than the HSR projections, occurred during a 30-year low interest rate environment! In George W Bush's words, that is likely to be a mis-underestimated number.

Folks you heard it here first, Bruce Dickinson projects a 4x-5x total project cost for HSR for a total of $280-$350 billion dollars over the life of the project (today's dollars).

Now, who wants to bet who is closer to the actual number: the HSR authority, with hundreds of employees and consultants or Bruce Dickinson??

Any takers??


Vote for Cox. Just for the sake of stopping HSR. $ 3.1 million a day for some hot button issues.


Agreed, Bruce. Spend rate is easier to headline than x number of concrete truck deliveries, y feet of rebar, etc. so we get:

The bullet train project, with its record-breaking rate of spending last year, fell 31 percent short of the authority's $4.5 million-a-day target. In its current fiscal year, the aim is to spend $1.8 billion, or $4.9 million a day. At its peak in fiscal 2023, spending should hit $10.7 billion —or $29 million every calendar day —according to planning documents.

The more interesting bet is whether any trains ever run :-)

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