Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Great Train Robbery

From Kathy Hamilton's latest column:

Judge Quentin Kopp, former cheerleader and long-term advocate of the high-speed rail project, was interviewed on the CNN segment. When Drew Griffin asked Kopp what happened to what was a great idea, the retired judge answered, “What happened over the last 3 years was the collapse of the plan to run genuine high-speed rail. I call it the Great Train Robbery.” What Quentin Kopp was referring to is “the blended system” in which some trains use current infrastructure, some trains go slow and others go faster, in other words, not real high-speed rail and “not what the state tax-payers voted for. Under this plan, we’re getting ripped off, no question about it,” said Kopp.
Quentin Kopp's declaration for the Kings County litigation that might put a stop to the rip-off.

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At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, I actually think I agree with you here. I'm a *huge* advocate for high speed rail, but the SNCF, the French rail company that has been building HSR for over 3 decades, advocated for the I-5 corridor for up to $60 billion less, after pulling out of the whole project wrote:

"Simply put, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has a wish list, not a plan," said a presentation from SNCF. "This lack of an investment-grade business plan is a deadly defect, particularly in a project that by law cannot rely on government subsidies for its operation and maintenance."

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, it's an ongoing waste of money. It's not going to get more federal money, no private investors have come forward---why would they?---and no local governments can afford to contribute. The folks at this site provide a thorough-going analysis of all aspects of this misbegotten project.

Kopp gets a lot of credit for facing the reality of a project that he too originally supported that has gone off the tracks, so to speak.


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