Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Terrorism and high-speed rail

Everyone agrees barriers are needed to keep debris from derailed freight trains from smashing into the fast-moving passenger cars. But for years freight train operators and the California High-Speed Rail Authority could not agree on their exact design.They finally reached agreement last year. And only then did the contractor for the 31 miles of track in and around Fresno put a price tag on the work: an additional $140 million.

At least some experts see that bump in the bill as a worrisome harbinger.

Cost increases, after all, have dogged the bullet train for years, and new jumps in price may start surfacing as the complex engineering needed for passenger safety comes into clearer focus. Aside from the debris barriers, the range of safety issues includes how bullet trains will operate in dense urban environments where they cross highways, how to contend with the possibility of fires and other mishaps in the long tunnels they’ll pass through...

Rob's comment:
Odd that there's no mention of terrorism. It's surprising that terrorists haven't already tried to derail a high-speed train in Europe. It's not just "dense urban environments" that pose that danger, since it's impossible to secure hundreds of miles of track.

Pro-high-speed rail StreetsblogCal is dismissive of all safety concerns: "Anti-CAHSR reporter finds another angle for attacking high speed rail."

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At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a mention of terrorism when discussing the Bay Bridge? Suicide bomber drives a truck laden with explosives onto that thing and blows it up at the support structure and boom.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

A truck bomb could happen, of course. But sabotaging train tracks that cover hundreds of miles would be a lot easier.


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