To the editor: Your editorial is correct about one aspect of the California bullet train: the mandate that the rail line “operate without a subsidy, which is extremely rare for transportation projects.”
I grew up riding on trains and worked several railroad jobs. I have ridden on high-speed trains in Europe and would ride the California super train if it is ever completed. However, as you stated, it has to be constructed and it must operate without a subsidy.
Ever read about Amtrak? It gets hundreds of millions of dollars per year in federal subsidies, and it did not even have to acquire expensive rights-of-way or build nearly all of the tracks it uses. Still, it cannot even cover the incremental costs of operating passenger trains.
I am disgusted that politicians did not honestly sell the idea for a bullet train on its own merits and instead absurdly promised it would be a self-funding venture. Don’t blame President Trump for wanting to kill the bullet train — he has nothing to do with the disaster that is the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Robert R. Trout, Carlsbad
To the editor: The governor’s intent to focus the high-speed rail project on the segment between Merced and Bakersfield is based on the inherent difficulties of building out the full north-south system and cost overruns.
The biggest problem is that the bullet train is going the wrong way. A high-speed rail from Los Angeles to Las Vegas would relieve congestion along the 15 Freeway and take about two hours to cover the 270 miles.
Doing multiple daily runs in an all-club car configuration would make enough money to eventually pay for the dream of an L.A. to San Francisco system.
Trains already run between the two cities, so the right of way is there along with the engineering to get over the mountains. Money should be available from the state of Nevada as well as from the resorts in Las Vegas.
Darcy Vernier, Marina del Rey