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Announced the abandonment of the "California High Speed ​​Rail", is it so difficult to repair the high-speed rail in the United States?

February 12, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he will abandon the San Francisco-Los Angeles high-speed rail that has been promoted since 2008 and is known by many Californians as California dreams. Field to Merced's range of high-speed rail.

This means that after waiting for eleven years of California high-speed rail, it is a dream.

The San Francisco-Los Angeles high-speed rail connects California's north and south cities with a design mileage of 520 miles and a train speed of 220 miles per hour.

The Bakersfield-Merceid interval is only 119 miles long, about 177 kilometers. It is connected to two relatively unimportant cities in the agricultural valley of central California. It can be said that the value of high-speed rail is completely unrecognizable. .

There is media irony in the local area, and the ostrich has changed.

First, the high-speed rail in California What is the reality?

People have high hopes for California high-speed rail: Unlike other states, California high-speed rail has largely got rid of the influence of party struggle.

When it was first proposed in 2008, the advocate was the Republican governor and former Hollywood tough guy star Schwarzenegger, and now the ruling Newham is a Democrat, the initiator of the controversial North American high-speed rail program, Democratic Congressman Alexander Ocacio Cortes.

Although the current Republican President Trump opposes the high-speed rail, Newsum is famous for his courage and Trump. This seems to be a project that cannot be stopped or shrunk anyway.

However, such a high-speed rail is still an ostrich, and it does not care about the expectations of California and even Americans. In fact, the Governor of the Governor made a speech last December to let us face the reality.

So what is this reality?

First of all, money is not enough: even according to the original budget, the San Francisco-Los Angeles high-speed rail will cost $32 billion and will be completed in 2029.

The revised budget disclosed in 2015 showed that the required construction funds expanded to $77 billion, and the completion date was pushed back to 2033.

However, California has so far determined that the funds available for implementation are only $30.7 billion, less than half of the required funds.

In addition, a lot of work has not been done at all or simply not done: even if the high-speed rail, which is called the valley to the valley section, has been started, there are still many routes ambushing many problems that have not been solved so far - such as EIA, mines and relocation disputes will not only make the project difficult, but will further increase construction costs.

The reason why Newsum was still biting his teeth and then playing the cockroach, just because he had to play it - it had already started the foundation work, and the money thrown down could not be recovered. Once the company was killed, Trump was blocking the door to recover the $3.5 billion in support from the federal government.

Second, Americans' resentment for high-speed rail

As early as April 16, 2009, Obama spoke in a speech about the high-speed railroad blueprint across the United States.

In January 2010, the day after the publication of the State of the Union address, he announced at a mass rally that he would spend $8 billion to build up to 13 high-speed rail lines. In the next five years, the United States will also spend $1 billion a year as the starting capital for the plan.

In January 2011, he even stated in his State of the Union address that the future high-speed rail bullet trains in the United States will be running between cities at speeds of over 320 kilometers per hour. In the next 25 years, our goal is to 80% of Americans sit on high-speed rail.

In February of that year, Vice President Biden announced that he would spend $53 billion to build a high-speed rail within six years.

However, the ideal is full, and the reality is very skinny: Obama has not stepped down, and states such as Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin canceled the high-speed rail program and returned the federal funds.

Biden's $53 billion high-speed rail design in 2009 was lost in the following year. Nowadays, it is called the last hope of the California high-speed rail, and there is no suspense to the ostrich.

Three, the United States built a high-speed rail, where is it difficult?

Since the rise of the mid-century highway network and air passenger transport, the United States has formed a domestic passenger transport mode with passenger air-high-speed greyhounds. Most Americans have become accustomed to this. The railway has even relegated to the second line in terms of freight. .

The power of habit is endless. It turns out that whether Obama or Schwarzenegger wants to change the rules of travel that Americans have formed for more than half a century, it is not easy.

In addition, many studies have shown that high-speed rail is more suitable for connecting densely populated and concentrated urban belts, and the distance between two points is not 500-1000 km, otherwise the fare will not have much competitive advantage compared with air passenger transportation. And the economic benefits of high-speed rail will fall sharply.

And most of the United States is sparsely populated, and the large cities are far apart and lack of dense population in the middle, which is not conducive to the benefits of high-speed rail. Suitable for the development of high-speed rail, limited to a few areas such as the Northeast Corridor, San Francisco-Los Angeles, California.

So, when Obama's 13 high-speed rail plans were bold, it was unrealistic.

Fourth, California High Speed ​​Rail: Another Way to Die

And the California high-speed rail is another way to die.

As the experts said, the Los Angeles-San Francisco line is the most suitable area for the construction of high-speed rail in the United States. The population along the line is dense, the city is numerous, the industry is dense and developed, commuting needs to be strong and stable, and the length is also very suitable.

But why is it messed up?

The cost of a low-cost airline from Los Angeles to San Francisco is only about $60, and it takes an hour and a half to fly. The planned high-speed rail will take 2 hours and 40 minutes from Los Angeles Union Station to downtown San Francisco.

The fare, according to the California High Speed ​​Rail Authority, is $93, which is nearly 50% higher than the low-cost fare, which is clearly uncompetitive.

But why?

The United States defines high-speed rails at speeds of more than 125 miles per hour. Such speeds can only be called cars in China or Europe. Such low speed standards make high-speed rails low and lack the fundamental advantage of competing with low-cost airlines.

At the same time, different political parties and governments have successively inserted private goods into the high-speed rail program. For example, Democrats demand 100% use of renewable energy. Republicans demanded that the United States give priority after Trump took office. The technology and equipment that are not cost-effective or even unsatisfactory at all, the result is not fast, but the cost is raised again.

As some experts have pointed out, poor management and quick success to please the voters, so that the original chances of success have become difficult.

There are only one question to follow - can you survive by the ostrich's slimming down?


Because the ostrich is infected, it is not lacking. Even if the volume is small, what about?

□陶短房( columnist)

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