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Even without a bullet train, L.A. Union Station needs an upgrade

To the editor: The analysis in this article — in which I am quoted — is to the point. The California High Speed Rail Authority needs to get a bullet train running to restore credibility, and there are too many hurdles in the mountain crossing for the southern segment to be ready in a timely manner. ("Bullet train's first segment, reserved for Southland, could open in Bay Area instead," Jan. 23)

This doesn't mean that nothing should happen in the south.

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Los Angeles Union Station needs a major modernization program to make it ready for high-speed rail as well as for enhanced regional service and transit. A significant portion of available high-speed rail funds should be dedicated to that project so that we gain immediate benefit from a better functioning station as well as being ready for the second operating segment of California's bullet train.

Paul Dyson, Burbank

The writer is president of the Passenger Rail Assn. of California.

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To the editor: Articles keep showing up as to where and when the proposed high-speed rail should begin construction.

How about simultaneously beginning the construction in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and having the tracks meet in the Central Valley around Hanford?

California could create its own "Promontory Point."

Morley J. Helfand, Arcadia

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To the editor: The California High Speed Rail Authority's reasons for building the first operational bullet train segment from San Jose to Bakersfield instead of Burbank to Palmdale remind me of the old story about the drunk looking for his lost keys under a street lamp instead of in the bushes.

It wasn't where he needed to look, but the light there was so much better.

Hal Drake, Santa Barbara

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