Denham hits nail on rail

August 24, 2013 

For a passenger train system that is years away from completion, California high-speed rail sure is carrying lots of baggage. We can thank its long history of disjointed planning for the many budgetary and infrastructural setbacks.

Agricultural, municipal and environmental groups are up in arms over HSR route issues that adversely affect water, crops, livestock, wildlife and scenic plant life. From infrastructure to commerce, jobs and longevity of living things, there are many reasons why Congressman Jeff Denham wants an HSR plan and prioritizes overall rail system needs while demanding fact-based answers.

Neither high-speed rail nor Amtrak's high speed rail system plans meet the congressman's criteria that emphasize safety, quality and affordability. Any effort by CHSRA and Amtrak to combine their respective budgets (or increase purchasing power for train sets) would likely be a failed effort. This is because their respective regions would require separate and exorbitantly expensive train designs.

Nevertheless, if Denham favors $6 billion in NE corridor infrastructure improvements, it could help California high-speed rail and Amtrak to connect, combine their respective budgets, and then see if a high-speed savings miracle occurs!

ERNESTO MORENO

Modesto

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