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Readers React: Build high-speed rail in Southern California, not the Central Valley

A full-scale mock-up of a bullet train locomotive is displayed in Sacramento on Feb. 26, 2015.
A full-scale mock-up of a bullet train locomotive is displayed in Sacramento on Feb. 26, 2015.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: By as late as 2030, and for the price of about $20 billion, high-speed rail service will run between Bakersfield and Merced. You would think for that much money a system could be built from Sacramento at least to the base of the Grapevine on Highway 5.

This project will eclipse the “Big Dig” in Boston, which was delayed multiple times and ended up costing about $15 billion.

Meanwhile, for the millions of people who live along the San Diego-Los Angeles-Santa Barbara corridor, we have Amtrak trains that take about six hours to make the full trip. Maybe that’s not too bad considering driving that distance can take even longer with today’s congested highways.

Dennis Arntz, Laguna Niguel

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To the editor: Does anybody really believe that a high-speed rail line between Bakersfield and Merced can be completed for only about $20 billion?

We know what will happen, based on the current absence of completed environmental reports and the reality that much of the land hasn’t yet been purchased and contracts have yet to be written. The most we can hope for is in about another 10 years, there will be a request for at least another $5 billion to “complete” what then will be only 70% finished.

In 2008, the people of California were promised a bullet train that would extend from Los Angeles to San Francisco for only $33 billion, and we voted for it. Now we are told $20 billion will get us only 120 miles of railway.

And how was it ever expected to get up to 200 mph when it will be required to stop at several cities along the way? Give me and every other California taxpayer a break, and just kill this project right now.

Bill Schoettler, Bass Lake, Calif.

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