Hi Speed rail too expensive? Let the Irish build it


Hi Speed Rail costs are getting to be astronomical.

California's estimated costs to build a high speed rail system between Los Angeles and the San Francisco bay area have now risen to 100 billion dollars. Original estimates presented to voters just three years ago pegged the price at a measly 43 billion.

Today's estimated price has more than doubled in just three years and from experience this won't be the last time that estimate and/or final price tag more than doubles, especially when you consider the project is mapped out to take 20 years to build. Just using the model of every 3 years the price doubles, you get into US National debt territory.
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-------------------- Of course in order to build this project you will see every special interest that can walk crawl or run, hitch a ride on this gravy train. Experience shows when the stars align like this, under the banner of a "noble cause" nothing can rival the expense and cost overruns when everyone has finally given the OK and climbed aboard the "piece train".

A good example was when the earthquake damaged portion of freeway in Oakland California had to be replaced. It took nearly a decade to build a three mile stretch of freeway at the cost of 1.2 billion. At the time it was called the most expensive stretch of road in the history of mankind and probably still is.

These same forces are pushing the high speed rail project.

Looking in the historic context of railroad building, nothing could rival what occurred in America in the 1860's, when east and west were connected by a transcontinental railroad. These tracks made their way through the harshest conditions imaginable wending through the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and the stark rugged lands of Nebraska and Utah. Almost 1,800 miles of railway built in six years.

The substantial amount of work on this project was by the new Irish immigrants/Civil War veterans who constructed the eastern portion of the track and by Chinese immigrants who worked on the line from the west.

The government sold bonds to help finance the project, but also gave the railroad builders land rights and right of way along the routes that would be extremely valuable after the rail system was complete. New towns sprung up along the route and brought hundreds of thousands of new immigrants to settle along the new thoroughfare.

As the rail line was built, a new system of communication was installed next to the tracks, the telegraph line, which connected east and west instantaneously with information and news of events in the land.

The railroads not only carried passengers, but carried manufactured goods from the east coast and sent back raw materials and goods from the west. The dangerous trip across country which used to take months, now took just days and cost about 65.00.

But back in those days, there wasn't an EPA, Department of Interior, teams of environmental organizations armed with lawyers, or any organized groups opposing progress...Unless you counted the displaced Native American tribes, who got swept aside by the call of manifest destiny. These tribes of people were not happy with the westward progress that aimed directly at them. They referred to the new steam locomotives as "iron horses". Guns were called "fire arms", whiskey was called "fire water" and the covered wagons that brought settlers to their lands were named "God dams".

But nothing could stand in the way of this expansion. It showed when the nation pulls together and there is a will to get things done, great things can be accomplished.

The same spirit of "can do" is lying dormant right now as evidenced by the red tape and "molasses in winter" speed in which this high speed rail project is being formulated. So from the perspective of cost effectiveness and the 20/20 hindsight that history gives, I nominate the Irish and Chinese to take charge of this endeavor. My guess it will be built under budget and come in way ahead of schedule.

For the most unique gifts, time capsules in American and world history: lifemagforsale.com

For other points of view visit Carroll Standard: www.carrollstandard.com
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