Your story was too kind to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. At the time of its proposal, the French national railway SNCF had the investment backing to actually build the L.A.-San Francisco line. The authority's 2012 business plan instead insisted that those with private capital would be unwilling to invest until the high-speed line showed a profit.
The Central Valley project approved last week by the Legislature thus exposes the state to unlimited operating losses. Worse yet, before that line can be completed, it will need an additional $27 billion from the federal government — quite unlikely in today's political climate. I'd sure like to understand the thinking behind the rejection of the French offer.
San Rafael, Calif.
The writer is president of the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund.
I am a train buff. Some of my greatest memories are of crossing the continent from Chicago to Los Angeles on the Santa Fe Super Chief and Union Pacific's City of Los Angeles.