A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion....Isn't it ironic that we're about to get a President who is the opposite of "never built anything"? How will Obama's train fare under President Trump?
“Despite past issues with funding this boondoggle, we were repeatedly assured in an August field hearing that construction costs were under control,” [said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), chairman of the House rail subcommittee]. “They continue to reaffirm my belief that this is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.”
The railroad administration’s analysis shows that the state authority could lose $220 million in one of the federal grants this year if it cannot submit paperwork by June 30, to meet the Sept. 30 deadline of the Obama administration’s stimulus act. To hit those milestones requires spending $3.2 million per day, a very high rate of construction spending....
The California system is being built by an independent authority that has never built anything and depends on a large network of consultants and contractors for advice....
From last March:
In a freewheeling speech Thursday afternoon, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump stumbled into a riff about how great trains are. It’s sad, he said, that the American rail system is so dilapidated while China’s is now slicker than ever.I don't think Trump is about thinking small and scrimping. But we will not tolerate him dreaming big and throwing money at sprawling projects that never get done. Dreaming was Obama's gig. Trump will have to do that on-time-and-under-budget magic he's bragged about. The pressure is on.
“They have trains that go 300 miles per hour,” the populist billionaire exclaimed. “We have trains that go chug … chug … chug.”...
“Our airports, bridges, water tunnels, power grids, rail systems—our nation’s entire infrastructure is crumbling, and we aren’t doing anything about it,” he wrote in his 2015 book, Crippled America. He went on to promise that fixing it would spur economic growth.
“These projects put people to work—not just the people doing the work but also the manufacturers, the suppliers, the designers, and, yes, even the lawyers. The Senate Budget Committee estimates that rebuilding America will create 13 million jobs,” he wrote. Which, incidentally, was Obama’s point in 2011, when Congressional Republicans blocked his $60 billion infrastructure jobs bill.
What if, in the end, it's the Obama-fan types who like Trump the most?