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Bullet train? More like a fast commuter train through the Antelope and San Joaquin valleys

Bullet train? More like a fast commuter train through the Antelope and San Joaquin valleys
Crews work on a bullet-train overcrossing in Madera County on Feb. 21. (California High Speed Rail Authority)

To the editor: I am tired of reading about the estimates for the cost of California’s bullet train going up.

In 2008, voters approved a concept of a straight-line, high-speed train through the grazing land of the west San Joaquin Valley. Northbound travelers wouldn’t see city lights until approaching San Jose. Trains operating on this line would have an easy time meeting their planned 200 mph schedule.

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What happened?

Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich successfully lobbied to turn our bullet train into an Antelope Valley commuter train. In a feeding frenzy, local politicians in the San Joaquin Valley insisted that their constituencies also deserved a slice of this political pie. Now, the concept offered to all of California is dying in shame.

Antelope Valley commuters deserve faster Metrolink service, but the voters of California have their priorities too. Let’s reboot this project as a real bullet train. Had the original concept not been attenuated, we could have trains running by now.

Joseph A. Strapac, Bellflower

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To the editor: How many more times do we have to read about the soaring costs of the bullet train?

Let’s be honest: There is no way to truly estimate the cost of this project, and there will never be enough riders to recoup what will be spent to build it.

Like it or not, we need better roads, cleaner cars and improvements to our airports.

Rudiger Stuhlmuller, Long Beach

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