Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationRail · 1 decade ago

does anybody know just what the California High Speed Rail Authority do if anything?

This just really might be the gravy is it state run ?how many executives?I never heard of them before but for a railway that does not exist they are allready crying about overruns on a $30 billion dollar project ..I wonder if they even bought a shovell yet THEY have not talked to Union Pacific in years ..the big dig in Boston is going to be small compaired to these jokers

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This thing has been a planning commission that has been around for about 15 or 20 years now, and has been more talk than action.

    What they have been trying to do is get Union Pacific and formerly, Southern Pacific to assist in the project of building it for them. This is one case where, rightfully so they have refused to help.

    This rail authority has been a horrible waste of money in this state and ahould have been shut down years ago.

    Personally, this high speed rail thing should be handled by our Federal Government, but they decided to go and fight a war in Iraq that would have already paid for this project about four times over, and had change left over to deal with our sinking economy and weak dollar.

    Union Pacifc dropped their passenger services many moons ago because the airlines could get folks to their destinations faster. Notice I did not say safer.

    Now since he airlines are under so much scrutiny, and you have to go through security check points that leave you angry, feeling violated, walking with bowed legs, and having a need for some butt cream; people are looking for alternate means of travel. It has even been magnified due to the increasing fuel prices.

    So what happens, people are turning back to rail as an answer, and they are shocked to find out that Amtrak is their only option for long distance rail travel.

    The California High Speed Rail Authority wants to build the equivelent of the French TGV to handle traffic out of San Francisco, Sacramento into Los Angeles and San Diego.

    Here is the pinch. What about the rest of the state?

    My little town of Chico, used to be about 48,000 to 50,000 folks when I moved into the Bay Area, now they have grown to a population of over 100,000 people. Redding, about 2 hours north of Chico is in the same situation. How does this rail service benefit anything North of Sacramento?

    It doesn't!

    This is one reason why they hare having such a hard time getting the approval, because this plan leaves nearly half the State without services. This boondoggle only services the "business corridor" of this State.

    Why did I say Federal?

    Because this type of rail service needs to service from San Diego all the way to Seattle, Washington. Basically it needs to service every major city in the US.

    Now you are saying that is a nearly impossible job, and that makes it not pracitcal?


    Amtrak services every major city in our nation.

    The issue is how our country decided to set up its transportation infrastruture. We should have purchased the extra land many years ago, like the europeans, and Japanese did to have the land reserved for this type of national project.

    Personally, lets put the Army Corps of Engineers back to work, make some new Federal Government Jobs, and get this thing built.

    You might even get some cooperation from the existing railroads if you were willing to give them a buck or two to assist in the construction. Oh yeah, I for got to mention that.

    California was not willing to pay the Union Scale Wages for the Maintenance of Way crews to do the work in the first place. California wanted a "Special Contract Rate" for the bid. The other issue was they wanted to use Union Pacifc's rails for this project. Union Pacific told them "Pound Salt", we have enough trouble negotiating 200 Amtrak trains per day around our 800+ freight schedules, plus sharing our rails in some locations with BNSF. Basically, tain't gonna happen.

    Hence, Union Pacific told them where they could stick it.

    People forget one thing about Union Pacific; they are the largest railroad transportation company in the world. Union Pacific alone burns as much diesel fuel as the whole of the US Navy annually.

    They have deep pockets, and a virtually endless supply of cash. Nearly everything that is shipped west of the Misssissippi is shipped on either BNSF Railroad or Union Pacific, at one time in the journey. More than likely your computer that you are working on, was shipped by the railroads at one time or another. And... if it was not, I am quire sure that either some of the parts were, or the raw materials to build it were shipped by rail.

    But as for the High Speed Rail Authority, well they are an agency that has wishful thinking at best. As far as I am concerned, the Feds need to be picking up the tab on this project.

    Source(s): Niles Canyon Railway Member
  • Alco83
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Indeed, the California High Speed Rail Authority is a planning agency to determine where high speed rail lines should be built in the state.

    Of note, though, the state will not be receiving any help from Union Pacific as the railroad just announced it wants no part of the plan, which means if California wants high speed rail it will have to build all new or upgrade current right-of-way it may purchase (thus driving up the cost).

    Still, high speed is a much better bang for the buck and more environmentally friendly than building new highways and/or airports. If the state needs some guidance on this perhaps they should look at what North Carolina is doing.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes, it is a planning organisation, not an actual railroad company. they have talked to all railroads at some point, not sure what you are referring to. there is a difference in talking and signing agreements, which they have not done yet.

    but if we want to talk about gravy trains, look at all the roads, highways, interstates, and freeways that california has built on the public dime. look at all the airports that are owned and paid for by municipalities/governments and exempt from property taxes.

    railroads are privately owned enterprises, with stockholders and they have to raise money the old fashioned way, from banks, stockholders, and bonds.

    the states and feds have been unfairly subsidizing railroad competitors for over 70 years. there is nothing wrong with the state finally seeing the "light", so to speak, and to finally start including rail options as part of an entire transportation network that would become more efficient.

    autos are ideal for some trips, but not all. air is ideal for some trips, but not all. AND RAIL IS IDEAL FOR SOME TRIPS, BUT NOT ALL. let's talk about efficient and equal transportation choices.

    if the public feels that railroads still should not get any public funding to help build a high-speed-rail network over the next 30 yrs that will benefit the public and not the private corporations, then lets make every road pay for itself (ie, tollways), and make every airport and airplane pay for itself, and every ship using long beach port needs to pay the true costs of using the port, and so on.

    after all, it would only be fair, eh?

    Source(s): me - international transportation planner
  • 5 years ago

    I live in Florida and that is THE stupidest thing I have ever heard of ( the train) NO ONE is going to take a High Speed train from Tampa to Orlando. Think about it. Drive to the station. wait for the train. take the ride. rent a car to go wherever. Or drive the 60 miles in the time you spent doing all of the above!

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  • 1 decade ago

    they are the planning agency for high speed train in California

    note the *media said they didn't talk with UP yet

    but we dont really know all the details

    UP hates anything thats not freight thats why they always

    put up roadblocks

    I belive UP did talked them

    but now they say wait a minutie we didnt know you want

    OUR tracks

    it might interfere with our trains

  • Jimbo
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    They are planning and constructing a high-speed rail, hence the name. It is supposed to go from LA to SF.

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