The Nation’s First High-Speed Rail Line

Good news — someone is moving forward in this country even if our Tea Party overlords in congress and Republican state legislatures say otherwise.

California lawmakers have approved billions of dollars in construction financing for the first segment of what would be the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line, eventually connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco. […]

The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $2.6 billion in voter-approved bonds to build an initial 130-miles stretch in the Central Valley. That would allow the state to collect about $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.

Critics call the bullet train a boondoggle, but supporters hailed the vote as the start of a much-needed infrastructure project. The bill also includes about $1.9 billion in funds for local rail projects.

The bill will inject roughly $7.7 billion of spending into the California economy, which is what Republicans refer to as a “boondoggle.” You know, because economic growth is bad and we hate infrastructure. Giving people jobs is bad too, I guess. Boo jobs!

Democrats will drag you kicking and screaming to a better economy whether you like it or not.

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  • mrbrink

    I’m not about to go off on the need for greatly improved and updated options for modes of travel and the infrastructure to sustain it in this country, or the stupid lying cowardly fuck-it-alls who argue that a dirty oil pipeline from Canada through the heart of America is more valuable than high speed rail, but I was in Las Vegas the morning of 9-11-01 and when air travel was ordered grounded to uncertainty I was pretty much stranded. Rental cars were sold out for miles with no openings in sight, and CSR’s for Amtrak were saying they were going to be booked for at least a week, except for the last seat available on the last train out of L.A. the next day. So my last real chance to get home ASAP for what seemed like the end of the fucking world was old fashion rail. It was a good friend driving me from Vegas– through the Area 51 desert and shit– to get to Los Angeles to catch the very LAST seat on a 3-4 day Amtrak from L.A. – Chicago.

    I highly recommend it. One of the greatest experiences of my life was getting home from Vegas after 9/11. All the people I met along the way. The country’s back 40 landscape. They can ground airplanes, buy up all the rental cars and the gasoline, but when I was virtually immobilized and needed a ride more than any time in my life, more than the time I got stranded at Summerfest in Milwuakee, it was rail that came through.

    • villemar

      Yeah the LA to Vegas high speed line has been on the radar for a lot of us since the idea gailed ground in the late 90’s. And, I do believe we voted for high-speed rail in 2008, IIRC. And, the Amtrak line (The Pacific Surfliner) going up the coast is very pleasant and popular; in fact I take it all the time from San Diego to LA. But we do need federal dollars for these big infrastructure projects. Let the fucktarded red state backwaters whose bridges are falling apart cede their federal infastructure share to us, we’re more than happy to take it and we will absolutely use it. The mighty juggernaut of technology, infrastructure, commerce and art will roll on regardless of what the shithole Somalia-wannabe states do.

    • JMAshby

      I have never ridden on a train. Not because I refuse to or don’t want to, but because I’ve never lived within even a couple hundred miles of a passenger train.

      Louisville did have a passenger connection but it was dismantled in the 80s in exchange for automakers setting up plants there.

      If there was a high speed connection between where I am and metro Cinci I’d go there far more often. But you know, then I might do something like… put money into the local economy and attend pro sports games. And that would just be socialist.

  • muselet

    Oh, there are naysayers aplenty here in California, too.

    The LA Dog Trainer printed a letter this very morning from a writer insisting he won’t vote for the proposed state tax revisions in November because of the bond issue, finishing with the Parthian shot: “Don’t tell me you’re broke and drive away in a Porsche.”

    Because starting a high-speed rail system where building is cheaper and easier (in the flat and sparsely populated Central Valley, rather than in the dense conurbations at the ends of the line) is a waste of money or something.

    It’s not like we don’t need another transportation system, after all. Airports in both the Los Angeles Basin and the Bay Area are already operating at close to capacity and demand is growing; I-5 and CA-99 won’t be able to absorb more traffic for much longer, either, and adding more lanes will help for roughly nought point four of a second. That leaves … what? Larry Niven’s transport booths?

    Me, I consider this very good news indeed.

    –alopecia

  • kullervo

    LA to LV? I’d love that. This route? No thanks.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Well anything east-west like that would require cooperation between states and you know darn well AZ and NV wont cooperate with librul CA. In AZ it took decades to get one shitty little metro-line that goes about 5 miles from Camelback Rd to the Airport, in an area where no one lives. The majority of the population lives in the suburbs and our high ways are at capacity before they are ever built. I know i have said it many times before but…..God I hate this state.

      • kullervo

        And in Los Angeles there’s no rail link to LAX. So now they’ll get high-speed rail through towns last visited by Steinbeck, at a cost that will probably be triple what they’re guessing. Super.