Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The high-speed rail folly rolls on


Randal O'Toole does a nice job deconstructing the silly high-speed rail map that has the anti-car folks all excited. Even as fantasy the map makes no sense, but high-speed rail in the US has never been about reality. As O'Toole points out, it's really about the romance of rail and nostalgia for the past. Anyone who takes a close look at the numbers understands that. Like the progressive infatuation with bicycles, their obsession with trains represents a massive intellectual failure by the liberal left:

Economist Megan McArdle points out that Twu’s New York-Los Angeles line makes little sense. Few people will want to spend 18 hours (McArdle’s estimate) in a coach seat when planes can do the same trip in six at a far lower cost. Nor will many intermediate segments, such as Chicago to Omaha or Denver to Las Vegas, attract large numbers of passengers. Thus, the trains will be fairly empty for much of the route...Twu’s map also includes routes from Cheyenne to El Paso; Chicago to Montreal; and a line to McAllen, Texas and beyond into Mexico. Other than the politicians that represent these regions, how could anyone take these routes seriously?

The liberals at KQED swoon over the map, and of course they swoon over bicycles.

Kathy Hamilton's latest column on the California High-Speed Rail project.

Below is a good illustration of the intellectual level progressives are operating on:

 

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