Sunday, March 02, 2014

High-speed rail news

Assemblyman Jeff Gorell

Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, who's running for Congress against a first-term Democrat, is sponsoring an initiative that would give voters a chance to put a stop to the high-speed rail boondoggle. It's a shrewd move by Gorell, since the Democratic Party/labor union backed high-speed rail project is trailing in public opinion polls. I'll vote for the initiative. 

See a story in the San Francisco Business Times.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has come out against the high-speed project.

The Bay Guardian's editor Steve Jones is wondering if Newsom is on "the wrong side of history." Like his predecessor, Tim Redmond, Jones shows no familiarity with any of the devastating criticism the project has faced in the last few years. In short this is another massive intellectual failure by San Francisco progressives who often fail to do any homework on important issues. Theirs is a faith-based political perspective.

See Kathy Hamilton on how the California High-Speed Rail Authority tries to manipulate the news cycle.

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At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Caltrain? Another boondoggle that few people would miss. Time to close it and turn it into a two-lane expressway going down the peninsula.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Har, har. No, Caltrain is a good system that now uses diesel engines. Electrification of Caltrain is a good idea, but the problem is that the project is relying on high-speed rail money, which is increasingly less likely to be available due to potentially fatal litigation in Sacramento's Superior Court.

The high-speed rail folks brandished money to electrify Caltrain as bait to try to get support on the Peninsula for the high-speed rail project, but that has been unsuccessful.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Let's try that last link again here.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

From a San Jose Mercury News story:

"To electrify the 51-mile stretch of tracks, Caltrain will need to install poles at least 30 feet high with overhead wires alongside them. Caltrain also will need to build two substations -- one in South San Francisco and the other in San Jose -- as well as several smaller stations along the line.As many as 2,200 trees along the route will need to be removed and 3,600 pruned to make way for the poles, according to Caltrain.No trees can be planted or structures built within 10 feet of the electrical poles, for safety reasons.Caltrain might need to acquire a total of about 20 acres for the project, including the substations.About $9 million has been budgeted for that..."

This would be a huge impact on the densely-populated Peninsula. Hard to believe that this will be approved by the communities along the Caltrain line.

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

20 acres of land acquisition. Most of it is for the substations. On a line that runs 70 miles.

In return, the peninsula gets full grade separation so the trains don't have to run whistles or bells, and cars crossing never have to wait for trains.

Anyone who opposes that would be hit with one of the few pruned branches from trees along the train line.

At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the densely-populated Peninsula

What are you smoking? Must be that good Anderson Valley stuff.


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