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Opinion: Good news for CAHSRA bullet train

Okay. I admit that I have not been a fan of the California High Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA). Originally, California’s Proposition 1A, which passed in 2008, authorized close to $10 billion to build a rail system that would zoom passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in less than three hours. That sounded great to people who cast their votes in favor of the plan.

Like my fellow Golden State residents, I liked the idea. However, as plans for the system were drawn up for the CAHSRA, I became skeptical. It seemed that the brain trust (?) in charge of the project hadn’t really thought about the many challenges presented by the state’s geography and geology, as well as property rights.

The Train to Nowhere

My first opinion column in opposition to the CAHSRA was published on April 15, 2010, criticizing projected costs and lack of vision. Then, as a partial plan was revealed, I wrote another oppositional column for the Dec. 9, 2010, issue of this newspaper. I called the plan a “Train Bound for Nowhere.” At that time, CAHSRA intended to lay track from Borden (Hunh?) to Corcoran (Why?). First, I’m not sure where Borden is, exactly. I’ve been told that it’s a dot on the map somewhere between Madera City limits and Madera Ranchos. And nearly half of Corcoran’s population of a bit over 22,000 consists of incarcerated inmates in its two prisons.


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