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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Liberals' High-Speed Trains To Nowhere

Above, a Japanese bullet train at Tokyo Station in 2006. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Last week's crash of an Amtrak commuter train outside of Philadelphia caused liberals to respond in their typical knee-jerk way about infrastructure funding and the need (or, rather, their desire) for high-speed rail. And this was even after it was disclosed that the train exceeded its speed limit.

The New York Post has an excellent editorial on why the liberals's schemes for high-speed rail just won't work in the U.S.

Here's part of it:
Amtrak is the DMV in an Uber world. 
The system was slated for profitability in the 1970s, after a brief period of public subsidy. Not surprisingly, the profitability has never come, and the subsidy has never ended. All told, the taxpayers pour about $1 billion into it a year. 
Amtrak’s unionized employees made on average more than $90,000 a year in wages and benefits as of a couple of years ago. 
Outside of the Northeast and a few other places, it serves uneconomical routes that account for the bulk of its losses (although Congress insists on those routes for political reasons). 
Amtrak can’t even sell food and drink to a captive audience at a profit. It loses $80 million a year on its food service, perhaps as much as $7 million of that lost to simple theft. 
If Amtrak is the future of American transit, then American transit has no future. Yet visions of high-speed rail dance in the heads of liberal rail enthusiasts, who believe that what we need is Amtrak, only more so.
Of course, all this waste is paid for by the U.S. taxpayers, who can barely (if at all) make ends meet.

California's high-speed rail plan for the San Joaquin Valley (where hardly any one is at and where nobody wants to go to) is a perfect example of a liberal "train to nowhere" scheme. More waste of taxpayer money.

To read more, go here

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