To the editor: Kudos are due to the intrepid leaders of the California High Speed Rail Authority. Their timely relocation of the first operating segment of their bullet train — now San Jose to Bakersfield and no longer Burbank to Fresno — follows their unhappy collision with fiscal reality. ("In a major shift, bullet train will start in Bay Area, not L.A., officials say," Feb. 18)
Similarly, kudos are belatedly due to the intrepid stewards of the Titanic for the timely relocation of their wooden lounge chairs — from the forecastle deck to the stern deck — following their unhappy collision with an iceberg.
Robert I. Schwartz, Thousand Oaks
To the editor: The Rail Passenger Assn. of California welcomes the decision of the High Speed Rail Authority to construct north from Bakersfield to link with an electrified Caltrain system at San Jose.
At the same time, money will be spent on the long overdue modernization of Los Angeles Union Station, permitting through services between the north and south of the region. Coupled with the removal of the capacity-choking bottlenecks that prevent Metrolink and Surfliner trains from reaching their potential, in effect what will be created is two regional mobility systems that should tie together the planned and existing investments in subway and light rail lines to create better choices for citizens in the most populated areas of the state.
In an ideal world, we would see simultaneous construction of the link between the San Fernando Valley and Bakersfield. This could be a private enterprise project put out to the industry for proposals, perhaps for a "toll" railroad or some other form of joint venture.
Absent that, I have no doubt that Southern California politicians will find a way to fund the missing link once they see how the "northerners" enjoy the benefits of swift, electric-powered transportation.
Paul Dyson, Burbank
The writer is president of the Rail Passenger Assn. of California and Nevada.