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October 23, 2018



More people are willing to speak up about the boondoggle:

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are on the same page when it comes to California’s $77 billion high-speed rail project.

“Trains leave when you don’t want to leave, from a place you don’t want to leave from, and take you to a place you don’t want to go to, at a time you don’t want to get there, and then you have to get into a car and go wherever you’re going. It is a crazy system,” said Ellison during an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria Opens a New Window. " on Thursday. Ellison, who said he hasn’t spoken to Musk about the train, noted that their views are in-line.



I attended the most recent HSR Community Working Group session last week and here are a few take-aways:

--The full complement of 8 FTE’s and a consultant are still there and getting paid

--Their take on the Gavinor’s comments were that HSR is “not curtailed or scaled back or scrapped” and they have the new challenge of building out 52 miles MORE than they were working on before (that is the incremental distance to Merced on one end and Bakersfield on the other).

--The bookend project we actually care about, Caltrain electrification, seems to have firm financial footing.

--The believe they have met the scope of the project to date so the Fed Railroad Administration is wrong to try to clawback federal money. (no surprise there)

--Some clueless Millbrae city councilwoman I didn’t recognize was there to welcome the CHSRA-CWG and tell them how much Millbrae is looking forward to HSR and that they have active projects that will benefit from it.

--The “Early Train Operator” (ETO) presented their ideas on the project. This is Deutsche Bahn (DB). The spokesperson was competent in the operations of German HSR which they manage, but: they still have no decision on whether the CA HSR will be reservation-only a la the French TGV or reservation + walk on; nor do they have a plan for baggage screening which they punted to TSA.

All in all, it sounded like "business as usual" for the Northern Region of CHSRA.

Peter Garrison

Potholes and pensions first.
Then dams and infrastructure.
Like with Burlingame.
But, no.
HSR and a Rec Dept.

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