California High Speed rail to link San Jose to nowhere


California has been planning to link Los Angeles and San Francisco with high speed rail. But they are just a little short of money, say, about 40 billion dollars short. So they are going to do the next best thing: to link San Jose to some small towns in California's Central Valley. And it will only cost $21 billion to do!

Until the high-speed rail authority released a new draft business plan last month, the state had planned to open its first operating segment between Burbank and the Central Valley by 2022. But in a major concession to its limited funding, the plan now calls for a cheaper segment that would run from San Jose to the Central Valley by 2025.

By the time that initial segment is built, all the existing funds would be exhausted, leaving uncertainty about how and when the line would cross the geologically complex mountains of Southern California.

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The bullet train has been funded so far by a $9-billion bond, $3.2 billion in federal grants and about $500 million a year in greenhouse gas fees, all of which leave big shortfalls in the $64-billion megaproject. The shortfall is estimated at $43.5 billion, an amount that would be difficult or impossible to find in the short term.

Sounds like a bargain. Full speed ahead!





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