Letters to the Editor

Bill Wood: Bullet train is already outdated

Our elected representatives in Sacramento are vigorously pursuing updated 19th century technology called high-speed rail. The private sector is busy developing 21st century technology.

Elon Musk, who developed the Tesla electric car, is an inventor and industrial genius. He proposed a system of tubes capable of transporting travelers from San Francisco to L.A. in minutes. Cost estimates show it to be far cheaper than the fast choo-choo. There is no interest from Sacramento.

Several technology companies are working to develop self-driving automobiles. Tremendous progress has been made. Looking ahead to the improvements and availability of self-driving cars, we should be close to having them in five years and certainly in 10 years.

Picture the traveler of the future telling his self-driving car to go the train station. Lug the suitcases to the platform, probably go through security and wait for the train. At the destination, he goes through the hassle of getting L.A. ground transportation.

The alternative is to tell the smart car to go to L.A. and sit back in comfort and arrive without the train hassles. In my mind, the bullet train is dead on arrival.

Bill Wood, Oakdale

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