Good and bad news on bullet train(s) front

March 24, 2013

By Chris Reed

train_wreck_num_2As I wrote last week, the budget that Senate Democrats have embraced contains so little discretionary funding for California’s bullet-train project that it is impossible to see how the $68 billion project ever gets done.

But here’s an interesting twist. The primary author of the budget — Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash. — is so down on the Obama administration’s bullet train initiative that she tried to kill it in 2011. This is from a Sept. 21, 2011, AP story:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to provide $100 million to build high-speed rail lines, a small portion of what President Barack Obama has proposed for one of his economic priorities.

“The panel voted by voice Wednesday to include the money in a $110 billion transportation and housing bill for next year.

“Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the bill’s author, included nothing for high-speed rail in the original measure, citing budget constraints.

“But senators backed an amendment by No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois adding the money. He said it would be paid for with unspent money from past home district projects called earmarks.’

The Vegas-to-Victorville bullet train. Yes, I said Victorville.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: There’s another costly bullet-train program still alive that we don’t hear much about — and its advocates are still somewhat cocky that billions of dollars in now-available federal funds will be wasted on it. It is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s farcical plan to link Las Vegas with, yes, Victorville with a high-speed rail project dependent on federal dollars.

For those who don’t know their Socal geography, Victorville is 85 miles from Los Angeles — 85 congested miles on Interstates 15 and 10. This is only slightly less crazy than the California bullet train’s first segment being built in farm country in the Central Valley.

6 comments

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  1. Jay
    Jay 24 March, 2013, 08:04

    To put a good spin on the Vegas train idea, at least it’s for the boring, long, desert half of the trip.

    Reply this comment
  2. nephrite
    nephrite 24 March, 2013, 10:23

    Whether the employees are paid federally, state, or both they will be “union” and will fund all democrats at all levels with tax payers money! The only way to stop the crony “unionism” is by a National Right to Work law which will give the employees the “right” to not join the “union” or to opt out…

    Reply this comment
  3. UpChuck.Liberals
    UpChuck.Liberals 24 March, 2013, 13:05

    But…but…but…WHAT about Moonbeams legacy of leaving us stuck with yet another drain on our economy?

    Reply this comment
  4. us citizen
    us citizen 24 March, 2013, 17:01

    Victorville………are you kidding!!! That’s like one of the armpits of CA.

    Reply this comment
  5. Hondo
    Hondo 25 March, 2013, 11:13

    Nevada is done for. It was once one of two place in Amerika where you could legally gamble. The other was Atlantic city. Then the Supreme court said that Indian reservations could allow gambling there. What followed was a frenzy in Indian casino building. The indians even tried to create out of thin air, new reservations and tribes, as they tried in Colorado.
    Now, nearly every state has many gambling site. People don’t have to fly to the ends of the country to gamble. Chris Criste has said that Atlantic city is dying.
    LA built Vegas. Vegas was close to that huge base of customers just as Kalifornia took off after WW2.
    Now, why drive or fly to Vegas when you can stop off at the Banning casino.
    When I worked for the Forest service in 78 fighting wildfires, Banning was a common source of fire. There was absoulutely nothing there but a Del Taco. The indians would set fire to their range several times a year to burn off the over growth brush to improve grazing for their sheep. After the fire we would always stop at the Del Taco afterwards to eat. One time we went to a training fire there. Someone donated an old building to burn so we could practice interior firefighting. While we were burning the building down, someone went up the hiway and set a wildfire on the hill. They figured, since we were there anyways. I remember I met a couple chicks when we stopped off at the Del Taco after the fire.
    Ah youth.
    Hondo…..

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