California’s much-vaunted high-speed rail project is, to put it bluntly, a train wreck. Intended to demonstrate the state’s commitment to sustainable, cutting-edge transportation systems, and to show that the U.S. can build rail networks as sophisticated as those in Europe and Asia, it is instead a monument to the ways poor planning, mismanagement and political interference can screw up major public works. For anti-government conservatives, it is also a powerful argument for scrapping President Obama’s national rail plans, rescinding federal funding and canceling the project before any more money is wasted on it.
But the L.A. Times assures us that it all can be salvaged if they just start over. And it is worth the expense and effort, because Obama has a dream and we can’t let the conservatives win the future:
Obama’s inspiring vision of a nation crisscrossed by bullet trains, providing cleaner, safer and cheaper competition to airlines and reducing reliance on gas-guzzling automobiles, is in serious jeopardy as a new Republican majority in the House looks to slash his funding plans. In this environment, California is a test case for whether high-speed trains can succeed in the U.S. — and so far, the state is failing the test.
Well, if Obama’s dream of high-speed rail can’t be salvaged, there’s always his dream of windmills.
Before We Spend $53 Billion On High-Speed Rail, Can We Get Low-Speed Rail To Run On Time?