Wednesday, February 08, 2017

High-speed rail and electrifying Caltrain

From an LA Times story on the Caltrain electrification issue:

The argument between Democrats and Republicans pivots on the arcane issue of whether the grant is solely for Caltrain electrification. β€œIt is not a grant associated with high speed rail in any way,” [Seamus]Murphy said. But Republican staffers say the California High-Speed Rail Authority is putting up about $713 million for the electrification, money that is supposed to come from bonds specifically earmarked for high speed rail. So in their view the electrification grant does support high speed rail β€” and therefore should be held up until completion of an audit on the bullet train project.

For once the Republicans are right about something. Murphy is lying. Years ago the High-Speed Rail Authority awarded Caltrain more than $700 million for the electrification project. See Electrification of the Caltrain Corridor.

I'm a Democrat and voted for Obama twice, but he and the Democrats have always been dumb about high-speed rail (See video below). An audit of that project is a good idea, since it would show both that it has morphed into something a lot different than what was promised to California's voters in 2008 and that it doesn't have nearly enough money to get built.

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