Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grand Game: Bullet Train Edition

Amazing article in the NYTimes, on bullet trains. (Nod to Anonyman).

Worthy of the Grand Game. Pick your favorite part.

Anonyman went first: Best part is the last sentence in the article...

Now, with the collapse of the Florida route, it looks as if the nation’s first segment of true high-speed rail will be in an even unlikelier place — linking Fresno and Bakersfield, in California’s Central Valley, and scheduled to end construction in 2017.

I can see wanting to take a fast train OUT of either of those places, but not if your only option is to go to the OTHER of those places.

My favorite part: The "Mad Men" commercial they paraphrase, which I had not heard about.

My favorite line: "“I read a piece that said that in 40 years, gas is going to cost almost a dollar a gallon,” one says." That was 1965, when gas was $0.31 per gallon. Now, this is not a commercial about inflation, folks. This is about GASOLINE. So, what is the current price of gasoline (I figured $3.60 per gallon nominal) in terms of 1965 prices? The answer is... $0.58! Still nowhere close to a dollar. I can never tell if US PIRG is a bunch of idiots, or liars. But those are the only possibilities, for them to make an ad like this.

Anyway, your turn! What's the coolest part of the article? Don't hold back, there's plenty of fun for everybody!


Mike said...

Tampa and Orlando are only 84 miles apart, generally considered too close for high-speed rail to make sense. The train trip, with many stops along the way, would have shaved only around a half-hour off the drive.

That right there is hope over experience. With multiple stops the train will never get up to any average speed faster than a car stuck in traffic on the interstate.

I like the Grand Game. No one at my house will play with me though.

Careless said...

"It will delay the country’s first bullet train ride by years, if not longer,"

Btw, it looks like you forgot a link, it's

rmv said...

"The administration said Friday that it would give Florida’s $2.4 billion to rail projects elsewhere and invited other states to apply for the money."

I remember when I 16, I was always broke. I worked, but every time I got paid, I'd spend it like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

Is the federal government a 16-year old with a crappy understanding of personal finance or a drunken sailor with a crappy understanding of personal finance?

Anonymous said...

"The federal government had agreed to pay $2.4 billion of its estimated $2.6 billion in construction costs".

That sounds so cheap for Florida when cost is reported that way. Florida only has to pay $0.2!!!! $200,000,000 for a train no one will use sounds waaaaaay more expensive.

Maybe the funniest is: "The Tampa-to-Orlando route had obvious drawbacks: It would have linked two cities that are virtually unnavigable without cars..." That seems like a pretty big fickin' drawback!

Brad said...

Perhaps you forget the government is YOU. Someone once said government is "of the people" etc... Make a better suggestion or do something. Just sitting there and complaining isn't making anything better.

emerson said...

"Make a better suggestion or do something better."

My better suggestion: Spend that $2.4 billion on giving everyone eight bucks.

Anonymous said...

There are NIMBY problems in LA and the Bay Area. The main trunk of the rail line is in the central Valley, it has the easiest construction, and the cheapest cost. The test tracks will be in the Central Valley, and showing California (and the rest of America) the reality of high speed rail will boost support for the project. Time is not on the side of HSR opponents- the proof is in the pudding.

I know being glib is fun, but it's almost never well informed.