California high-speed rail project over budget before single foot of track laid

by editor on August 16, 2011

Look up in the sky. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the cost of the first section of California’s proposed high-speed rail line! And its estimated costs are increasing faster than Obamacare waivers.

The Merced Sun-Star reveals the future and the losing thereof:

Building tracks for the first section of California’s proposed high-speed rail line will cost $2.9 billion to $6.8 billion more than originally estimated…


California High Speed Rail, designed to deliver the Golden State into bankruptcy even faster

A 2009 business plan … estimated costs at about $7.1 billion for the equivalent stretch of tracks. Officials say those estimates were made before detailed engineering work and feedback from communities along the proposed route.

OK, the data produced by the Magic 8-Ball was wrong.

The latest estimates are contained in two environmental impact studies…

Environmental impact studies have destroyed more infrastructure projects than the Luftwaffe.

The rail authority’s chief executive, Roelof van Ark, said planners anticipated the higher costs as more information about land acquisition and other details related to actual construction became known.

Planners knew their estimates were bogus but it’s raaaaacist to bother Obama when he’s playing with his trains.

“We’ve had cost increases, but I believe the costs are now realistic and fair,” he said.

Likely they are neither.

Van Ark also said he expects the estimated total cost of the project, originally pegged at $43 billion, to rise.

Why produce an estimate he knows is low? It’s a game. He estimates $43 billion knowing it’s actually $200 billion and will act surprised when it hits $500 billion. All for a project nobody but politicians actually wants.

But at least your destitute grandkids will have a nice train station to sleep in.

– Written by Bonfire of the Absurdities

Source: Merced Sun Star

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24 Comments on "California high-speed rail project over budget before single foot of track laid"

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[…] is expected to, the total cost will likely be somewhere between $63 – $87 billion dollars. This project is over budget before a single foot of track has been laid. Due in large part, most ironically, to environmental impact studies. This has become a national […]

I farted and my face blew up
I farted and my face blew up

Roelof van Ark??!? Wait a second! Wasn’t he a bad guy in Die Hard?!

Yippy Kay Yay Mother F______!


“Environmental impact studies have destroyed more infrastructure projects than the Luftwaffe.”

HA! That’s so cold!

/But true.
//Hey, can California secede from the Union? I promise on my rockbound Yankee heritage we won’t fight it this time.

Roland Melnick

In Wisconsin, we were on a path to making this same mistake. The Fed had “free money” set aside to build a car-speed rail line from Milwaukee to Madison. Thankfully, our new governor as of November 2010, Scott Walker, killed it. He won popular support by simply telling the truth that the price tag would go way up before it was built and it would likely run a large operational deficit every year…two things the Wisconsin taxpayer would have to pay for at a time when we were dealing with a multi-billion dollar State deficit.



Aretha Franklin’s song Chain Chain Chain should be changed to Train Train Train….train of fool’s.


As a resident of California I feel embarrassed by this boondoggle. But then again, almost every public works project in this state is an embarrasment. Look at the new bay bridge. How long have they been working on that? Over four years, and they have not even reached T.I. yet. Or the S.M.A.R.T. rail here where I live has just opened up after quite a few years of political B.S. It is only halfway completed and is limited to a maximum of 5 freight cars per train.
Don’t even get me started on the 101 widening project.

Elrond Hubbard

The California High Speed train is nothing but government triumphalism, similar to the huge government building projects of the fascists and communists during the ’30s. In the 21st century nothing says Big Government like high speed trains. They have nothing to do with serving the public but rather with overwhelming the public, citizens are not asked what they want but rather they are told what they want: high speed rail, green energy, cap and trade, the Chevy Volt, etc.


When the original $9.9 billion in bonds came up for the vote, there was no mention in the original proposition of where the money was going to go and what it would be spent on. It was basically promoted as “give us money for this cool thing” with no plan. It passed anyway, but not by much (IIRC it was 51.4% or something, I may be wrong).

Thing is, a bullet train between SF and LA is only a bullet train if there are very few stops (if any). Every station means a delay – it takes about as long to take the Amtrak from my home to San Diego as it does to drive. How many cities along the line are going to sue for a station? That will just defeat the purpose of a “high speed” train.


The simple, plain fact that high-speed rqail makes no economic sense in Californis will NEVER outweigh the desires of the Ruling Class to “pump up” their resumes with the latest and greatest Popular Ideas!

And, BTW, the majority of the population in Corcoran, CA ain’t takin’ the train (or anything else) anywhere. At least I hope not. They’re locked up in the prison.


So, this may sound like Common Sense, but why don’t they kill the train thats costs too much and isn’t built yet, and use the funds to open the brand new school that is finished and standing empty?


We have a commuter train, the Railrunner, that runs between Belen and Santa Fe. This is in New Mexico for those of you who are geographically challenged.

It cost about $500 million to get the Failrunner, as I call it, up and running. The experts say it topped one million riders earlier this year but what they don’t say is it took 6 years to get to that historic mark. Six years, one million passengers at an average of $10 dollars per rider, it looks like this monument to former Governor Bill Retardson took in $10 million in revenue. Who cares if it costs $20 million per year to operate the choo-choo! Three or four thousand people per day get to ride it without all the hassles of driving in rush hour traffic!

What nobody will admit is it takes about one and a half hours to drive from Belen through Albuquerque to Santa Fe. The train takes almost twice that long. The majority of riders are state government employees who commute from Belen and Albuquerque to work in our capitol city. If they are late for work because of delays, who cares! They are gooberment employees and get paid anyway!

Another problem is half of our population of 2 million do not live anywhere near the “Rio Grande corridor” and will never see the train, much less pay to ride it, but our tax money is being used to keep the thing running. California, like New Mexico and all the western states, is a mobile society spread out over vast stretches of country. We need highways to get where we are going in the shortest time possible, not choo-choo trains that drop us off miles from where we need to be.

When are the elected fools in our western states going to get the message? This is not the east coast where millions of people live in a few square miles and mass transportation makes sense. Out here those same millions are scattered out over thousands of square miles and have no use, need nor want to pay for mass transportation they will never use.


Reminds me of the virtually empty TriRail in South Florida. Only 17% of it’s operating costs are covered by revenue. Guess who is picking up the rest?

Joe Redfield

If you ask a Progressive just why it is we need a high speed rail system, the answer will be that Europe, Japan and China all have one, and if we don’t, they’ll never let us into the Cool Countries club.


Call me selfish, but I’d rather drive myself around. Leave home and come home on my own schedule. Stop along the way if i want. If I wanted to ride trains I’d move to Europe or the east coast.


And I guess at least one person downvoted you because he or she believes that the government shouldn’t allow you to even own a car and that everyone should only be allowed to use public transportation.

Because the left believes that all power comes from the government. Except we have the Constitution which limits what the government can do. Which is why they must destroy it.


… and sing out loud, and smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em and fart without people giving you dirty looks.

No public transit for me … and they are GLAD of that!! tee hee

Buck O'Fama

You can fart on public transit…. just pretend you’re a Obamunist and say “Bush did it!”.


When they come up with a train that picks me up at my home, drops me at my destination, is always there when I need it, and doesn’t have any other a*%holes on it, I’ll ride the train. Maybe.


Homer is looking at me with a puzzled look on his face. Yes Homer is it possible to fart without people giving you dirty looks…..just blame it on the dog……Oh I see his point.

Pittsburgh Z

Can’t wait til the government gets to run everyone’s health care!

Gonna be great!

Yes We Can! We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For!

Buck O'Fama

When the gubbermint runs heatlh care, the slogan will be “We are the ones we DIED waiting for.”


The project seems to be more of an effort to acquire billions in funding so that politicians can play in the real estate market, ‘work’ with unions, fund all manner of ‘experts’ to do studies etc. It’s probably not an effort to actually build and operate a train of any sort, that would be too hard for today’s generation.

The Empire State Building was built in 400 days by the way…..


This makes me very happy that Florida cancelled our “slow speed rail” project!
What we don’t need is another rathole to throw money into!


Yet another payback by Obumbles to his union thugs will cost american citizens more tax money than we have to spend. It is no wonder that businesses are leaving mexifornia as fast as they can, they know how will ultimately get stuck with the bill for this boondoggle. Of coarse, in the MOST prone earthquake zone in the lower 48 states we need to build RAISED tracks for all the bums and leeches to ride on for free. The american people should get a vote going to force california to become mexican territory. With the mexican governments official policy of HELPING illegal immigrants to cross the border we could dump 10 million or so on canada and let them have some fun for a change!