Do we really need a high speed rail?

27 Nov

Growing up in the Central Valley (California to be exalt) we have always valued the farm land that was spread around our small town. However about 10 years ago (roughly) there was a proposition for a high speed rail, basically just a really fast train, which at first would run in between Fresno and Bakersfield. However the grand idea would that connect two major metropolitan cites, San Francisco and L.A., and would provide more job opportunities.

However well the initial intentions of the High Speed Rail (HSR) might of been, it wasn’t clearly thought out. And here is some of my bigger issues with the train:

  • The majority of the audience, aka the Central California residents, weren’t in favor of the train.
  • The route of HSR keeps changing, and there still isn’t a definitive route
  • The current plan of HSR calls for constructing to go through nearly 400 homes and the relocation of almost 400 “commercial or industrial businesses
  • The overall cost of the train is 68 billion
  • A planned hit in agriculture revenue of about 34 million, and a lost of 340 job from production farming
  • there will be a permeant loss of 3,500 acres of “important” farmland
  • In addition to 1600 acres “temporally disrupted” during the building of the HSR

The major thing is that no one thought to educate individuals about the HSR, instead of talking to people about the trail officials just announced how they expected things to be done. If they had taken the time to educate people and make informed decisions about planning maybe we wouldn’t have the current PR nightmare on our hands. Officials rushed to proclaimed the benefits of the HSR, although with current financial trouble can we afford to finance another project?

Right now we are in one of the biggest droughts in California, but instead of addressing that issue Californians are caught up with the idea of a train. I don’t debate that the HSR could of been a great tool for California, but with the physical and political climate is now the right time to be pushing for a train? The facts are that we don’t need a fancy train, but we will always need “important” agriculture land.

Have a good thanksgiving,



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