Monday, February 01, 2010

Wendell Cox Takes (on) the Train



Extended excerpt because WSJ pulls articles too fast:
The administration is giving California $2.25 billion for trains that are expected to reach 220 miles per hour between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The cost of building this rail line is now estimated by the California High Speed Rail Authority to be more than $40 billion and could be $60 billion or more.

Even after adjusting for inflation, the projected cost of the system has increased by half over the original cost in the past decade. Ridership projections have also fluctuated wildly, from as low as 32 million annually to nearly 100 million; now the rail authority estimates the train will carry 41 million passengers each year.

High-speed rail does little to unsnarl traffic jams because most highway congestion is within urban areas, not between them. It also has negligible impact on airport congestion. The world's strongest high-speed rail market, Tokyo to Osaka, is also one of the world's largest airline markets. Even with high-speed rail, there is still frequent air-shuttle service between Paris and Marseille.

Environmental claims are misleading. Using California High Speed Rail Authority's data, Joe Vranich and I estimated that the California system would reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, at a cost of $2,000 per ton. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that we should be able to meet its greenhouse gas targets by spending $50 or less per ton.

16 comments:

wagga said...

If you first make a reservation, then can't make it, do you get Cash Back?

tj and the bear said...

Bullet trains are cool, but that still doesn't make them worthwhile.

getyourselfconnected said...

Why build trains when we can have flying cars?:
http://www.terrafugia.com/

serinitis said...

Casey update at http://falsecasey.blogspot.com/

I find it even more depressing than the train fiasco.

Akubi said...

The Bush is back per Hegre. Impeach Chief Justice Roberts!
He isn't good for civil rights like porn and stuff.

Lost Cause said...

There are so many reasons to support high speed rail. You can't beat the efficiency of trains. Warren Buffet is buying trains. The railroads have been at the forefront of technology for years. Did you know that the inventor of the microprocessor worked summers at General Railway Signal, for instance? And that most train engines are diesel hybrids? So you can expect that high speed rail would expand the economy in many unforseen ways. It is also foolish to rely upon a single, wasteful mode of transportation, when everyone predicts expensive oil.

Bill in NC said...

Freight trains are great.

They can move a lot of stuff cheaply, just not very quickly.

Any money spent on trains is best spent on expanding freight rail (electrifying as much track as possible)

Introduce tax incentives to phase out coast-to-coast trucking.

Then deliver goods locally using trucks (short-haul could be delivered by electric trucks).

That would save wear and tear on the road system and precious petroleum fuel, as heavy trucks cause the most damage to the road system.

Too few people use passenger rail for it to ever be an economically sustainable option in the U.S.

Especially since it is much cheaper (both capital and operating costs) to operate low-speed (freight) trains rather than high-speed (passenger) trains.

Pleather Murse said...

"Does the debtor own or have possession of any property that poses or is alleged to pose a threat of imminent and identifiable harm to public health or safety?" (Exhibit C on the Serin bankruptcy filing form) LOL. What's that about? New boilerplate on the standard bankruptcy filing forms?

H Simpson said...

PM

Sounds like they are talking about houses used to make meth. Places are considered toxic waste sites.

segfault said...

PM,

Casey might qualify as that sort of property.

Lost Cause said...

We're gonna party like its 9999.

Jean ValJean said...

@LC: Thanks to Greece, Portugal, and Kenneth Lewis.

Looks like the frequency is 9999, Mr. Rather....

Orange10 said...

The Serin family needs to be shamed out of the state.

Jean ValJean said...

Oh no.. keep them there with the rest of the Fraudsters.

Or totally out of the country. But we don't want their gay-ass carcasses anywhere else.

Tach said...

The Cerin's bankruptcy filing. The credit card debt is truly awesome. How does someone get that many cards much less max all of them out?

Isn't there some point where you go: "Fuck, that's a lot of money."

I thought that Casey was the exception in his family, but apparently he's just engaging in the lessons his parents taught him.

Pleather Murse said...

I suspect a lot of that cc debt is at KC's instigation or to get KC out of tight spots ...