Readers React

A sad picture of California's bullet train construction

To the editor: The photo that accompanies The Times' front-page story Wednesday on the construction of California's bullet train could not speak any louder or more clearly. It shows a piece of railroad track that looks like it was designed centuries ago, spiked to a very sad looking (and very cracked) wooden railway tie. ("Ground broken on controversial California bullet train project," Jan. 6)

Photographer Luis Sinco's shot is stunning in its simplicity but haunting as a metaphor for this ill-conceived project.

Doug Stokes, Duarte

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To the editor: Hopefully the rail pictured on the front page Wednesday wasn't representative of how the bullet train's right of way is to be constructed.

There are few main lines and no high speed railroads using wooden ties and spikes. With these systems the chairs (what the rails sit on) are screwed to concrete ties and spring clips used to hold the rail to the chair. The most modern systems use ballast-less track, which is more expensive up front but is more stable and cost-effective in the long run.

However, if the picture is an accurate representation of how the right of way is going to be built, we might get much more than only a financial train wreck.

Chris Daly, Yucaipa

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To the editor: Once the bullet train is in full operation and if the airlines continue on their current path, I predict the total time from your home in Los Angeles to your hotel in San Francisco will be about the same. The trip, however, will certainly be much more comfortable.

Patrick Morgan, Los Angeles

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To the editor: If the bullet train were economically viable, it already would exist, having been built and operated by private enterprise — like the airlines.

Roy W. Rising, Valley Village

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