California is lying now because they actually defined high-speed rail in 2008

In 2008 an original bond measure approved the California High-Speed rail project. The measure was full of lies about costs.

There was a strict guarantee that the California high-speed rail measure included in 2008. Maximum non-stop time for San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes. From 2008 to 2018, the state rail authority made a series of political and financial compromises that slowed speeds on long stretches of the track.

A 2018 computer simulation by the authority says that the proposed train will make the trip in two hours and 36 minutes and 50 seconds.

* trains operating at higher speeds than virtually all the systems in Asia and Europe
* human train operators consistently performing with the precision of a computer model
* favorable deals on the use of tracks that the state does not own
* friendly decisions by federal safety regulators.

California has a lying computer simulation because they actually defined high-speed rail in 2008. The budget is likely already going to be over $100 billion to complete the high-speed rail and could easily become $200 billion.

They are unlikely to get such large authorizations of funding. There is no way that private investors will invest in it and the federal government will not invest in it. This means that they will use the bond money to complete about 119 miles and then collect some fees from Amtrak using the line. No Amtrak trains will be high-speed.

In its 2018 business plan, the authority deleted construction of a 13-mile tunnel under the Pacheco Pass from its first phase because it did not have enough money. The decision will leave about 80 miles of track in the Bay Area disconnected from 119 miles of track in the Central Valley.

TGV -Paris to Lyon line has an average speed is 121 miles per hour.
Tokyo to Osaka line has an average speed of 145 miles per hour.
The California line says they will have an average speed of 164 miles per hour with route over three mountain ranges and five of the 10 largest cities in the state.

To provide Californians a safe, convenient, affordable, and reliable alternative to driving and high gas prices; to provide good-paying jobs and improve California’s economy while reducing air pollution, global warming greenhouse gases, and our dependence on foreign oil, shall $9.95 billion in bonds be issued to establish a clean, efficient high-speed train service linking Southern California, the Sacramento/San Joaquin
Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area, with at least 90 percent of bond funds spent for specific projects, with private and public matching funds required, including, but not limited to, federal funds, funds from revenue bonds, and local funds, and all bond funds subject to independent audits?

Fiscal Impact: State costs of $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay both principal and interest costs of the bonds. Payments would average about $647 million per year. When constructed, unknown operation and maintenance costs, probably over $1 billion annually; at least partially, and potentially fully, offset by passenger fares.

A YES vote on this measure means: The state could sell $9.95 billion in general obligation bonds, to plan and to partially fund the construction of a high-speed train system in California, and to make capital improvements to state and local rail services.

California’s transportation system is broken: skyrocketing gasoline prices and gridlocked freeways and airports. High-speed trains are the new transportation option that reduces greenhouse gases and dependence on foreign oil. High-speed trains are cheaper than building new highways and airports to meet population growth and require NO NEW TAXES.

Prop. 1A is a huge boondoggle. Taxpayers pay at least $640,000,000 per year in costs for a government-run railroad. There’s no guarantee it will ever get built. Expand existing transportation systems instead to cut commutes and save fuel. No on 1A: an open taxpayer checkbook with virtually no accountability.

The authority estimated in 2006 that the total cost to develop and construct the entire high-speed train system would be about $45 billion. While the authority plans to fund the construction of the proposed system with a combination of federal, private, local, and state monies, no funding has yet been provided.

Proposition 1A is a $9.95 billion bond measure for an 800-mile High-Speed Train network that will relieve 70 million passenger trips a year that now clog California’s highways and airports— WITHOUT RAISING TAXES.

California will be the first state in the country to benefit from environmentally preferred High-Speed Trains common today in Europe and Asia. Proposition 1A will bring California:
• Electric-powered High-Speed Trains running up to 220 miles an hour on modern track, safely separated from other traffic generally along existing rail corridors.

Proposition 1A will save time and money. Travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 2½ hours for about $50 a person.

2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following characteristics:
(a) Electric trains that are capable of sustained maximum revenue operating speeds of no less than 200 miles per hour.
(b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that shall not exceed the following:
(1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes.
(2) Oakland-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes.
(3) San Francisco-San Jose: 30 minutes.
(4) San Jose-Los Angeles: two hours, 10 minutes.
(5) San Diego-Los Angeles: one hour, 20 minutes.
(6) Inland Empire-Los Angeles: 30 minutes.
(7) Sacramento-Los Angeles: two hours, 20 minutes.
(c) Achievable operating headway (time between successive trains) shall be five minutes or less.

45 thoughts on “California is lying now because they actually defined high-speed rail in 2008”

  1. I think the problem is government contracts are issued with out fixed dates for completion. There should also be daily penalties for not completing sections on time. Until then its all waste and society will be diminished by the cost of corruption.

  2. I think the problem is government contracts are issued with out fixed dates for completion. There should also be daily penalties for not completing sections on time. Until then its all waste and society will be diminished by the cost of corruption.

  3. I think the problem is government contracts are issued with out fixed dates for completion. There should also be daily penalties for not completing sections on time. Until then its all waste and society will be diminished by the cost of corruption.

  4. The costs cited don’t take into account the increased economic activity enabled by any large transportation infrastructure project. (granted, this is very hard to measure) The rail line will probably more than pay for itself in the enabling of increased economic activity in the state. California’s population is heading towards 50 million and the highways linking the north and south parts of the state already get pretty clogged on weekends, especially holiday weekends. More transportation options are absolutely needed to keep the economy growing.

    Or we can pinch pennies and watch the economy stagnate as the population surges to 50 million and the aging highways are crumbling.

    Oh, and air travel can’t accommodate all the growing demand from the growing population unless the major airports all get major upgrades to allow more flight lines and terminals, etc. (highly unlikely given that most of the major airports don’t really have room to expand and such projects would be massive and expensive in their own right anyway)

    I’d prefer hyperloops or some other futuristic system….but traditional high speed rail is a hell of a lot better than nothing. California’s population will probably hit 50 million by 2040ish (only 20 years out) so this is a real issue, not some far-future concern.

  5. For some reason John had trouble replying.
    He sent a communication to me which I am now posting

    Konrd is plain wrong. I have indeed included time for the slower sections.
    Not all trains will stop. To compete with air, many trains will run NON-STOP from LA to SF – just as they do from Marseilles all the way to Paris. Here in Europe we USE these fast trains. You americans don\’t.

  6. “At almost $70 billion dollars, construction of a high speed rail system from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim is certainly an expensive project. But it will cost a fraction of what the state would have to spend to achieve the same level of mobility for a population expected to reach 50 million people by the year 2030. To move an equivalent number of people would cost $170 billion in new freeways and airport runway expansions in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, assuming those projects would have both the necessary public support and environmental clearance. And while others have said we should wait for newer technology, high speed rail is a safe, reliable and cost effective system of transportation, proven around the world.” –San Francisco Examiner

  7. Recorded history.

    And even if he was wrong, it would be ‘libel’. And you would have to prove he wrote those words with deliberate malice in order to make that charge stick, too.

  8. I don’t know what a BOT is, but a ” Rabid Radical Political Right” ? That I’m a Russian? What a laugh. Are you completely nuts? I don’t know what dream world you are in, but I am supporting Kevin de Leon. The man is impeccably honest. And what “MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION” am I spreading? That Feinstein and her husband are one of the subcontractors making millions? That’s a matter of public record. What do you want? A copy of the signed contract? I’ll bet that if I went to Sacramento and got a copy of the contract, in your delusional world, you would accuse me of having a fraudulent document. Or that it a lot longer from SF to LA than 380 miles? Tell you what, this is what I propose. We will meet at 100 Van Ness. I will have $5000 in cash, and you will have $5000 in cash. I will set my trip odometer at 0. We will drive to LA, and when we hit 380 miles, we will see where we are. If we are in LA city limits, I will give you my $5000 for you to donate to Feinstein’s re-election campaign or to keep for yourself. If we haven’t reached LA city limits, you give me your $5000 that I will donate to Kevin’s election campaign. Put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, don’t bother me anymore.

  9. And I’m telling you to prove your words. A post above is an exact copy of your original post so that makes YOU A BOT spreading DISINFORMATION PROPAGANDA to smear the Senator…. Typical of a BOT of the Rabid Radical Political Right and the Russian disinformation campaigns being spread. YOU ARE A LIAR… And by the way it isn’t up to me to proof my claim it is up to YOU to prove your claim since you are the one spreading the MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION.

  10. And I am telling you it is a straight up LIE. Part of a disinformation propaganda campaign to smear the Senator. Your post is EXACTLY like another one so YOU ARE A BOT

  11. Dianne Feinstein and her husband are contractors for the high speed project. That is a matter of public record. The contract is not under their names, but is hidden under the name of the construction company they own. I don’t care what Google maps says. From my former home in San Jose to Los Angeles is more that 380 miles. I have driven it many times in three different cars. Unless you can convince me that three different makes and models of cars have the identical error in their odometers, YOU CAN BLOW IT OUT YOUR ASS.

  12. The trains themselves have to be more advanced, and more expensive. There is a 150 mph train on the east coast the Acela Express. It is not that advanced or expensive. In fact, they are retiring the trains so we should be able to get them relatively cheap.
    Also, the voltage must be higher for 200mph and the paragraphs more advanced.

    The energy is a very very small part of the cost. Trains are extremely efficient.

  13. A more sensible plan (and cheaper!) would be to buy every homeless person and undocumented worker in California a Lamborghini. Not top of the line, like a Performante, but a decent one. And equity demands that none of them worry about the price of gas more than rich people do, so gas is free for them. Then sign them all up for Uber or Lyft and let the market determine the price to travel from place to place at 168 mph.

  14. Wayne the original cost in the voter guide was listed as 45 billion. You tout the tripling of the original budget as some kind of success. Most of us here in CA know better, Don’t get us started on the bond money redirected away from road repair. Many times.

  15. @john. You do know that the 380 miles from SF to LA has multiple stops on the line. In fact many sections are not high speed at all. So you take 10 stops. Each one 5 minutes. That adds almost an hour to travel time. Then the low speed sections add to the travel time as well. No way on earth the train meets the time required.

  16. The only way we ever build something of this importance is to follow Trumps pro USA policies, and any other future president that will put America first

  17. The train that will go nowhere, Most folks in CA. new this all along. This was just another way for our politicians to take our money and put it in the pockets of our governor and Dianne. Richard and Dianne Blum are major contractors to build the project. They got a $100,000,000 no bid contract with cost over-runs. Don’t know who Dianne Blum is? Maybe you know her better as United States Senator Dianne Feinstein. And Dianne and her husband ain’t the only ones involved in the corruption. This state is A shit hole to live in due to these two.

  18. Obviously you haven’t been in any of the airports of California lately. They are at near maximum capacity in both people and more restrictively allowable flights. The ONLY way to increase airport efficiency is to increase the size of planes. HOWEVER, that means over $500-700 BILLION in expansion and remodeling of airports to accommodate the larger planes and it isn’t JUST the terminals. The runways need to be upgraded as well to accept the added weight of the planes. The HSRS is a far less expensive system over all. Myself, I’d have preferred seeing the system be MagLev (up front expense is higher long term operation MUCH lower by unto 50%) or possibly HyperLoop (Up front expense about the same, Numbers of individual trains would need to be higher and operational costs are unknown)

  19. I disagree. The current California budget has a projected $6 billion dollar surplus, but tax receipts are running more than $3.2 Billion AHEAD of that figure with the potential of reaching $12 billion by December 31. The current rainy day fund has over $14 billion in it. So think twice. They will find a way to complete it and not likely for $200 billion more likely $145 Billion.

  20. Actually he is correct. According to Google Maps it is 382 miles from 100 Van Ness Ave SF to Civic Center LA. Is that the route Not exactly but when you re route the map it becomes just 10. miles more to 392 miles. As for your assertion that US Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband are contractors for the HSRS in California YOU ARE AN OUTRIGHT LIAR. . The Primary contractor for the first segment is “Dragados USA, a subsidiary of a Spanish construction firm, submitted the lowest of three bids for the new contract and was judged as having the highest technical competence score.” They are overseeing the consortium of contractors Colorado-based Flatiron Construction and Oakland-based Shimmick Construction NONE of which have any connection to the Senator.

  21. SkyTran is NOT a long-distance form of transportation. It is really intended to take the place of traffic congesting bus services in municipal grid systems. Hyperloop systems designs have been around since the 1880’s in both design and in science fiction. Today’s systems are approaching the those systems envisioned by the dreamers of that era.

  22. If this train were being built by the Japanese from start to finish I would trust that it was going to be a quality mode of transportation. Unfortunately, it is not. One thing the taxpayers of California should be absolutely assured of is that if the legislature puts a price on anything it is understated by half or more.

  23. One question: Do the lines from Paris to Lyon or those you say are being built in the UK or for that matter do high speed trains anywhere share tracks with freight trains as they will in California?

  24. What about SkyTran, or the up-and-coming hyperloop system? SkyTran would cost a mere fraction of the proposed high-speed rail project (whatever the ultimate cost may be), is non-stop, and can clime 20% grades. I believe the hyperloop system would be much cheaper as well — and much faster, too!

  25. San Francisco to Los Angeles is 380 miles? In your dreams. It is a lot more than that from SF to the LA County line. I lived in the San Jose for most of my life, and I have drove to LA many times. One point that this story didn’t mention is the political corruption associated with the construction. Richard and Dianne Blum are major contractors to build the project. They got a $100,000,000 no bid contract with cost over-runs. Don’t know who Dianne Blum is? Maybe you know her better as United States Senator Dianne Feinstein. And Dianne and her husband ain’t the only ones involved in the corruption.

  26. I’m somewhat handicapped by the new commenting system’s deliberate lack of link functionality, but google, for instance “Former public transit executive charged with taking $500,000 in contract kickbacks”

    Here in South Carolina, google “Florence Concrete’s Undisclosed $40 Million”.

    You’re calling slander something that’s scarcely in dispute. Politicians direct the expenditures of enormous sums of money, and, strangely become wealthy on quite limited public salaries.

  27. The extra 50mph doesn’t actually change the cost that much.
    For the extra speed the exact same new track just needs to be a tad straighter.

    These days any new train is able to run at these sort of speeds.
    200 mph is the standard speed across the globe.
    And the latest trains from Bombardier, Siemens or Alstom all boast of being able to do those speed whilst using 25% less energy than their older trains.

  28. You are the ones lying here. Trains run the 290 miles from Paris to Lyon in under 2 hours.
    That’s 145 miles per hour average speed on an old line built in 1980.

    New lines (like those we are now building across the UK) can take 250 mph trains instead of the older 185 mph ones the French still use on the older Paris-Lyon line.

    Your new line will also be built for trains able to run FASTER than 200 mph.

    Your distance from San Francisco to L.A. is about 380 miles.
    Any train would only need average 140 mph to do that in 2 hrs 40 mins.
    Once the WHOLE of your new line is opened, that should be perfectly possible – with your trains running at the newer speeds of OVER 200mph through the valley, but slowing to about 100mph from San Jose into SF and from Bakersfield into LA.

  29. I doubt it’s a blunder. The system doesn’t need to carry very many people to achieve it’s actual purpose, providing massive opportunities for graft and kickbacks.

    Huge public works projects in most places in the US are a way of laundering public funds back to the politicians and their friends and relatives first, and actually accomplishing anything for the public is second or maybe third in priorities. An after thought.

  30. Too many law makers see these things as dollars for workers and companies in their district first, rather than the public good. Too many Democrats think actually building anything is marring the face of God. Fiscal responsibility? Yeah, not terribly likely in California. Unfortunately.

    The citizens were definitely tricked.

    What we should spend money on is getting several more lanes for scanning people at the airports so we only have to wait 20 minutes rather than an hour. How much would that cost? Peanuts compared with these things. If we can dramatically speed up airports then airplanes become a viable option for shorter distances. And lots of full planes mean more cheaper tickets.

  31. There’s a much more thorough and balanced article here:,_High-Speed_Rail_Act_(2008)
    Without getting into specifics about the current proposal, it’s worth noting that America is the only major OECD region which does not currently have high speed rail. China, of course, is not even in that club, but has more high speed rail than any other country. Japan and large parts of Europe have had high speed rail for years and even decades.
    One has to start to wonder if America will ever build anything of scale and importance ever again.

  32. The California government is an incompetent mess. To entrust them with a $100 billion project like this is pure insanity. Yes, the cost will probably rise to $200 billion before they end up scuttling the whole thing. Incredible.

  33. They need to limit it to San Diego, Anaheim, Los Angles, San Jose, San Francisco. If, by chance, they go through any other city of 100,000 people or more, 2 stops per day max. Nothing out of the way to any extent. Anaheim and Los Angles are not far apart, but they are big and it might reduce traffic, and a lot of people visit Anaheim for the theme parks.

    If they want to build another train down the center of the state bring it to the voters. There just are not that many people who live inland for it to be worth it to build for 200 mph. 150 mph there would be just fine and much cheaper. Riverside, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento, Chico, Redding. Longer but it is flatter and the land is cheaper. No need to try to connect them somewhere.

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