New High Speed Rail Fail in UK?
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  • Kenny

    1. ” there are many investment options facing the British government with a significantly better payoff than the rail line can now claim.”

    Not to mention — Heaven forbid — of giving the money back to the long suffering taxpayers. But that option never seems to be on the table. I wonder why?

    2. In a sane world, whenever experts give their estimates on the feasibility of such government projects, including the cost, say, of building a school or whatever, said experts should be required to put up a personal bond which they would forfeit if the project goes over cost by, say, 10-pct.

    Such a proposal would help bring honesty to government finances but as we all know, government does not want honesty. It wants the freedom to lie and cheat, saying it’s all for the greater good.

  • vanderleun

    “If the high costs and low benefits of high speed rail are forcing the British to a rethink, American supporters of high speed rail need to worry.”

    No they don’t. It won’t give them a second’s worth of qualm. As you know well, it’s not about feasibility or affordability or fiscal responsibility. They simply like to have high speed rail in the world because it makes them feel good. That’s the totality of it. They got on a train in Europe during Junior year abroad and never got off it. They like see the train going by from the rear seat of their limo. That’s the whole thing. It’s not about anything else. Never was. Never will be.

    The only conceivable thing that will put a stop to the continued attacks on the public purse by high-speed rail proponents would be public executions of the same. And that is not going to happen. Hence, here come the little trillion dollar choo-choo trains.

  • Kris

    [email protected]: “The only conceivable thing that will put a stop to the continued attacks on the public purse by high-speed rail proponents would be public executions of the same. ”

    Not that this would deter them. If their choo-choo jumps the track, they’ll give their lives to bring it back.

  • bob

    There is a reason that privately owned railroads gave up passenger trains. The Antiplanner–http://ti.org/antiplanner/–routinely analyses various kinds of passenger trains. Virtually every one of them in the entire world fails both economic and environmental evaluation. Trains are even worse than passenger cars at moving people. Buses, too, are worse than cars, but very much better than trains.

    From a passenger viewpoint, trains are always inconvenient, and urban rapid transit systems are often dirty and dangerous.

    A very few very highly congested cities can justify passenger trains simply to relieve congestion. It is notable, however, that these trains must be heavily subsidized so that passengers pay a very small or even negligible fraction of the operating and capital costs. If passengers paid true costs, no one would ride the trains.

  • Stan M

    The proposed High Speed train link -known as HS2 is under review by the UK Government Treasury office, and not without due cause. The Government appointed body to determine government spend – The Major Projects Authority- has identifed HS2 is being in the ‘amber/red category, meaning it is unlikley to be a realistic and successful project. The cross party parliamentary Public Accounts committee last month reviewed HS2 at which time the Chair of the committee described the project as ‘potty’.
    Independent research and investigation into HS2 has revealed that the new level of return of 1.2 will not be achieved and that a likely return will not even break even!.
    The claim that HS2 will be ‘carbon neutral; has been disproved as it relied on unattainable levels of recucing car traffic.
    The government public consultation on HS2 returned a 90% NO Thanks.
    However the politicians keep going blindly onward.They are recruiting managers for HS2 Ltd at around £100,000 pa plus benefits for the quasi company. HS2 Ltd- has just awarded a £10million contract to a construction company which has two directors on the board of HS2 Ltd.
    And this government is telling the Greeks how to run their economy!
    Altogether the whole thing is indeed a white elephant, and meantime UK sinks gently into double dip recession.
    Anyone interested in further information might like to visit stophs2.org, and hs2aa.org to learn more!

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