Sadie strikes again, like a bullet (train)

Thought it may be of interest to readers. Trains, planes or automobiles. I haven’t been on a train in years (decades actually) other than mass transit local trains. As you know, California discovered yet another way to spend money. California Bullet Train Law Signed At Historic Union Station …
No way to run a railroad: “Only a government subsidized operation could sell hamburgers for $10 each and lose money.”


Amtrak Lost $834 Million on Food in Last Decade Theft by Amtrak food service employees could cost the agency $4 million to $7 million annually.

According to charts shown by Republican committee staff members during the hearing, Amtrak charges about $2 for a soft drink, but the cost to taxpayers is about $3.40 when labor is included. A $9.50 hamburger on the train costs taxpayers $16, the charts showed. Labor adds nearly 60 percent to food and beverage costs.


DQ here.  I’m not so much upset about the train, as I am about the cost of decades of delay in actually doing anything to build it.  As for paying for it, looks like I’m leaving California just in time.

Thanks,  Sadie.

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  • Randall Woodman

    Freight trains are useful.  Passenger trains, not so much.  

    Why is the left (and some on the right) so obsessed with using trains for mass transit?  I find the local ones useful if I’m going to a location that is close to the train station but that doesn’t happen very often.  Plus I have to build in extra time for the train ride.  About the only time I like riding the train is when it’s rush hour and the train actually is faster than driving.  But that doesn’t happen very much.

    If passenger trains were profitable the government wouldn’t need to subsidize it.


  • weathtd

    $2.00 for a soda that costs .50?  What are they doing that requires all that labor cost?  Are they charging $1.40 in labor for popping the top?  Oh, I forgot, it’s run by government.
    I traveled by train back in 1983.  All airports on the east coast were closed due to snow.  Traveling by train from Wilson, NC to Newark was way more comfortable than flying.  It just took from 1am until 3pm the next day due to the weather.  Then I had the wonderful task of digging my car out of the snow at Newark airport and driving straight through to Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis.

  • Ron19

    So, as of 2008, several new proposals for high-speed service have surfaced. One proposal was the Magnetic Levitation Train project for the Los Angeles–Las Vegas corridor that, if built, would allow speeds up to 300 miles per hour on an elevated structure. It would come with a price tag of approximately $12 billion, and according to USA Today, there’s only one country using this technology, and that’s China. Another proposal—far short of bullet-train status—comes from DesertXpress Enterprises at roughly one-third the cost ($3 to $5 billion) of Magnetic Levitation. A line would be built to handle 125-mile-per-hour trains between Victorville, California (northeast of the renowned train-watching location of Cajon Pass), and Las Vegas. Presumably, these trains would enter the Los Angeles Basin on conventional lines with lower speeds.
    EuDaly, Kevin; Schafer, Mike; Jessup, Steve; Boyd, Jim; Glischinski, Steve; McBride, Andrew (2009-07-15). The Complete Book of North American Railroading (Kindle Locations 5932-5938). Motorbooks International. Kindle Edition.

    Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown just signed legislation, from California’s Democratic Legislature, for a test version of a high speed electric train to go from downtown LA to Sacramento.  Projected final cost, in about 2030 if all goes well, will be about $70 billion.  The first phase, for about $7 billion, will be a test railroad requiring all new track, non-electrified, medium speed train going from the middle of nowhere to some other nowhere, and will gobble up many square mills of California’s Central Valley year-round produce and fruit growing region.  Only the Democrat politicians and the consultants on this project believe that millions of passengers per year will flock to this and stick with it.

    The LA-Las Vegas proposals can start testing with existing track and train-sets rented from the Metrolink commuter raillines in Southern California, to run evenings and weekends to see if any potential passengers care to do this.  They can run trains from several metropolitin areas.  If it looks viable, they can then add new track through the Cajon Pass and High Dessert, and buy faster trainsets.   

    Since this makes so much more sense, I don’t expect it to happen.

    Another proposal that’s been going around locally is an embeded streetcar line in traffic-dense Harbor Blvd. between South Coast Plaza and Disneyland, for all the visiting mouseketeers that checked into a Disneyland hotel so that they could go to a shopping mall ten miles away and then airfreight all that new stuff home.

    An elevated monorail that doesn’t interfere with traffic, modeled after the Disneyland Monorail ride, has never been proposed, as far as I know, since it would be a more practical or at least less disruptive idea.    

    Oh, yes.  Disney’s California Adventure is already using some magnetic levitation technology for some of it’s rides. 


    DQ – You can now return to your regularly scheduled program (retirement). I really enjoyed this summer’s rerun – three cheers to you – Hip hip Horray, Hip hip horray, Hip hip horray!  Indeed, you are getting out of the state in time – The Perils of Pauline [see: photo above] will continue on and off the track.