Editorial: Train overruns reach billions

A bullet train in California sounds like a great idea.

A report by the high-speed rail authority in that state earlier this month revealed that the cost of the project has risen from $68,000,000,000.00 to $71,000,000,000.00.

It’s no wonder that the authority didn’t want to make the report public. (Leaders of the authority said they have been completely “transparent.”)

That train project is now more than 31 percent higher than originally projected.

The route from Burbank to Merced will now cost at least $35,700,000,000.00 and with inflation, could actually go as high as $40,000,000,000.00.

The route includes tunneling through the San Gabriel and Tehachapi mountains (about 36 miles).

The report also shows delays. The projected start date for service in 2022 is now pushed back.

The funding package has a deficit of $16,300,000,000.00. And congressmen from California are suggesting that they won’t approve any more federal funds for such a runaway project.

Government shouldn’t subsidize passenger trains. They can’t charge enough for fares to break even.

Plans to use taxpayer funds to prop up passenger train service from Tulsa to Oklahoma City are unworkable, especially in light of the recent state budget shortfalls.

Tulsa shouldn’t try to impose higher taxes to get train service to Downtown. Tulsa taxpayers have already sacrificed enough to satisfy the chamber fat cats downtown.

Trains are 19th century technology. Americans want the freedom afforded by automobiles. California is giving the nation a great example of how not to solve transportation problems.