June 8, 2015

Shaft... Shafter... Shaftest....

"Sate bullet train officials have cut eight miles of track from an initial 130-mile section of construction in the Central Valley as a result of legal disputes with local cities. Instead of ending in the outskirts of Bakersfield, the rail work will now stop just north of Shafter. A still-pending legal battle also could eliminate a proposed elevated structure that would have carried high-speed trains through Shafter's downtown...."

44 comments:

chickelit said...

Such comparative and superlative adjectives were never applied to Richard Roundtree though his name is evocative.

Bob Boyd said...

Just for the Hell of it.

Shaft
Who's the black private dick
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?
(Shaft!)
You're damn right
Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his brother man?
(Shaft!)
Can ya dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's danger all about
(Shaft!)
Right on
You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother
(Shut your mouth)
But I'm talkin' about Shaft
(Then we can dig it)
He's a complicated man
But no one understands him but his woman
(John Shaft)

Rumpletweezer said...

It takes government to spend so much money on something this stupid.

Original Mike said...

Where was Scott Walker when California needed him?

paminwi said...

"How the state will fully fund the $6-billion initial construction phase is not entirely certain, however."

No big deal - just commit to a $6 BILLION project with no concrete way to plan for it. No wonder our states are in ruins! People running them are idiots.

madAsHell said...

We were all cheering when they/we/us defeated the Alaskan bridge to nowhere.
Why are we pursuing the train to nowhere?

Big Mike said...

Democrats want to fully fund a train to nowhere, while refusing to fund Schwartzenegger's proposed anti-drought measures back in 2010. Now the people who voted for those Democrats will get to drink their own (treated) sewage.

Big Mike said...

@madAsHell, the "bridge to nowhere" actually had an important purpose: to provide an all-weather connection from the city of Ketchikan, Alaska, to its airport on a nearby island.

BarrySanders20 said...

There has to be corruption on a UN-scale, or at least a FIFA-scale, for this project to continue to exist.

It puts the boon in boondoggle.

BarrySanders20 said...

It also puts the ram in the ram-a-lama ding-dong.

Alexander said...

When the time comes, the ghosts of WWII Soviets will marvel at how thorough the scorched-earth policy was when the Anglo-Saxon retreated from Los Aztlangeles and the Kalifornia oblast. Thousands of miles of destroyed farmland, and railroads that are useless to the invader.

For us there is no land beyond the Mississippi!

David Begley said...

CA needs water; not a train.

Hagar said...

Bill Richardson built a commuter rail line called 'The Railrunner" from Belen to Santa Fe with a half billion dollars he robbed from the Highway Dept. and additional debt.
Last year the Railrunner took in $2.84 million in ticket sales, had $28 million in operating costs, and paid $28 million on the outstanding debt.
Last week the Feds told the State to install the GPS automatic control system mandated after the accident in New York for another $50 million, and do it pronto.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I believe it was Superman who was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, so I would have chosen a different name for these sorts of high speed trains.

Curious George said...

"David Begley said...
CA needs water; not a train."

That's why they are getting a train.

CWJ said...

Just as effective as a baserunner sliding head first only to end up a foot short of the bag.

Gahrie said...

Oh shit...look can't we just give everyone their share of the graft and then shut this thing down?

Original Mike said...

"CA needs water; not a train."

Imagine how many desalination plants $68,000,000,000 would buy.

Sheer idiocy.

tim in vermont said...

"How the state will fully fund the $6-billion initial construction phase is not entirely certain, however."

Sounds like Vermont's now defunct, hopefully, but dormant at least, Single-Payer health insurance plan.

“It is not the right time for Vermont” to pass a single-payer system, Shumlin acknowledged in a public statement ending his signature initiative. He concluded the 11.5 percent payroll assessments on businesses and sliding premiums up to 9.5 percent of individuals’ income “might hurt our economy.”

Vermont’s public failure is especially frustrating to single-payer advocates because, they note, the Shumlin framework, which had gotten approval of the state legislature minus that key financing element,

One Republican killed it by managing to get a poison pill into the legislation, a date by which a plan to pay for it had to be made public and approved.

To bad nobody in California was smart enough to get a simple line like that put in. Who could object, after all?

MarkW said...

Last year the Railrunner took in $2.84 million in ticket sales, had $28 million in operating costs, and paid $28 million on the outstanding debt.
Last week the Feds told the State to install the GPS automatic control system mandated after the accident in New York for another $50 million, and do it pronto.


But it just doesn't matter to train-obsessed progressives. Those numbers could be $2.8 million in ticket sales vs $280 million operating costs and $500 million for the speed control system, and it would make no difference to their impervious support for rail transit.

The really fun number for the 'Rail Runner', BTW, is the cost per passenger trip. $28 million in operating costs plus $28 million in debt service for half a million passenger trips works out to over $100 per trip in subsidies (vs an average fare of $2.50)!

Sebastian said...

"over $100 per trip in subsidies"

A fun number, true. But the 6 cents per passenger mile fare is right up there.

I'm sure CA can beat NM in this race.

chillblaine said...

I can only water my roses on Thursdays and Sundays but there is plenty of money for this train? A hundred billion dollars would build a hundred desal plants up and down the coast. California taxpayers get the shaft.

Chris N said...

Train bring community linto peace and harmony with Earth Mother. All people happy. All together appear people will in community mural.

richard mcenroe said...

Original Mike...None. But it will start to pay for the lobbying for further funds and the court courts arising out of the Green challenges...

Joe said...

Late in the article there is a sentence which shows just how big of a joke this whole thing is: "The electrical system to operate trains would be part of a later project to extend tracks to Merced and Burbank."

In a hundred years there will a big story and pictures in a what-the-hell were they thinking article?

Just Mike said...

They told us the Bullet Train would be a gold mine, but all we're getting is the shaft.

CA politicos-Need water? Build a Train: http://www.ego-vero.net/main/?p=1234

Governor Brown delivers a beam of Hope: http://www.ego-vero.net/main/?p=1934

Skeptical Voter said...

My hobby (flying free flight model airplanes) takes me to some pretty remote places in the Southern San Joaquin west and north of Bakersfield. And the need to eat takes me to some of these small towns like Shafter and Wasco. Sunblasted and poverty stricken they are not the end of the world--but you can see it from there.

And so for now, Jerry Brown's toy train will end several hundred yards north of Shafter. OTOH you won't be able to board it, because its northern end is also several hundred yards south of some other little burg.

Why not just pile up all the cash you're going to spend on this fiasco and burn it? You'll get a better bang for your buck since the fire will give off momentary warmth.

cubanbob said...

Its this kind of idiocy that is reason enough to remove the tax exempt status of state and municipal bonds.

Paul Snively said...

The really hilarious part is the failure to account for central valley agricultural opposition—because, don'tcha know, all those farmers are dumb yokels who'll happily sell at the government-judged "fair market" value, not corporate defense attorneys who've represented Ford, General Motors, Sturm, and Ruger and are quite capable of standing up to the California bullet train authority.

From the beginning, this project has had that supercilious, unctuous "only urban centers matter" ethos behind it, as if California agriculture didn't feed most of the nation. I won't deny my Schadenfreude at every obvious stumbling block this project encounters.

retired said...

Everyone in Cali wants it but NIMBY.
Here's hoping the lawsuits keep Jerry Brown's legacy from being built.

kcom said...

"Where was Scott Walker when California needed him?"

Inhabiting a state populated by sane voters. Ultimately, Jerry Brown didn't elect himself. Hundreds of thousands of deluded Californians did. What's the cure for that?

gerry said...

What's the cure for that?

Less marijuana.

Original Mike said...

Nobody wants to go to Bakersfield anyway.

Fritz said...

The train from nowhere to nowhere.

Yancey Ward said...

A bullet train that can't even make to Bakersfield. California has the stupidest politicians on the planet.

Ambrose said...

I wonder how much water this boondoggle is wasting.

drywilly said...

"We were all cheering when they/we/us defeated the Alaskan bridge to nowhere.
Why are we pursuing the train to nowhere?" Need to have DOJ indict Boxer for corruption on trumped evidence prior to election, drop the case and then fail to prosecute the the patriotic lawyers of DOJ.

Johanna Lapp said...

Explain to me, please, the rationale for these trains? Country music fans from all over the state will flock to Bakersfield, creating Nashville West, or Branson West? 20 million daily commuters living in Marin will now be able to fill non-existent jobs in East L.A.? Oakland can become a city of upper-middle class condos and the displaced maids and janitors can be relocated to the Mojave Desert, reviving property values?

Where's the beef?

Gahrie said...

Explain to me, please, the rationale for these trains?

The original plan was to link San Francisco and Los Angeles. For various reasons the plans were changed over the years, and now we have the slowest high-speed train in the world that goes from nowhere to nowhere. Apparently no one has stopped to reassess, and say "Hey guys, maybe this isn't such a great idea anymore...?"

Paul Ciotti said...

It's a mistake to think of this project as a bullet train. That was just the way that Jerry Brown sold it to the public. It's actually a commuter train for people who live in Palmdale but work in Los Angeles. Same thing at the other end. Now that San Francisco and Silicon Valley are too expensive for a lot of people who work there to actually live there, this train allows them the option of living in Fresno and still having a comfortable commute. The real test of this train will be how many people actually ride it all the way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The answer will be hardly anyone.

Michael K said...

" California has the stupidest politicians on the planet."

I think that is the last word. Or should be.

Carnifex said...

MWHHAHAHHWHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHHA

Eff you California. You ordered the crap sandwich, you can eat the crap sandwich. This boondoggle won't be stopped until a conservative governor, and conservative house is elected in that state. In other words never. A liberal democrat/progressive rino will never admit that the government is too stupid to wipe its own ass, let alone spend billions of dollars sanely.

The Drill SGT said...

Remember the Feds are pissing away $3B on this useless thing. When the MSM and the (D)'s complain about how the evil GOP refuses to fund safety features for "self-supporting" AMTRAK, remind them about what $3B would mean to the North East corridor. If trains won't work Boston to DC, they won't work anywhere...

richardsson said...

Trains are for freight