Monday, April 20, 2009

New high-speed rail idea a BAD idea

The Quorum Report has just reported "High-Speed Rail Could Make a Comeback in Texas." I was very sorry to read that "Hope for a statewide high-speed rail network may be revived this session--courtesy of the mammoth stimulus package"--sorry for the landowners in the way and sorry for the taxpayers who will be saddled with yet another white elephant burden for who knows how many decades to come.

Others are concerned, says Quorum Report, that the rail proposal will be like the Trans-Texas Corridor--a "big unwieldy state-run project with little oversight and unquenchable eminent domain demands."

ACRE is following the misguided effort to force UP freight off the line through Austin to a new line that would tear up the valuable Blackland Prairie in our Eastern Williamson Co. area. There is hard data from other countries with extensive high-speed rail that the economics are not there for this scheme to be workable in this country. The facts and figures don't seem to matter to the people who are pushing it. Again, like the Corridor and other such projects, I'm afraid that a lot of land will be condemned and the construction started, or even finished, before it becomes obvious to all that the system really won't take that many vehicles off the roads, that it will never be self-supporting, and that it will have to be heavily tax-payer subsidized always.

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