California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.
Heck, Portland can blow through that kind of cash in no time on light rail alone! But there's more to come, undoubtedly, which is why I tend to refer to the initial rosy projections that inevitably accompany such projects as the "liar's budget" - cost and time overruns are generally massive. At present, they're spending some $3.2 million a day on this turkey even as the local loons are pushing to secede from the USA.
At the end of the line, expect completion of the project - should that ever in fact occur - to run to at least $100 billion rather than the $64 billion originally envisioned in the liar's budget. And what will they get in exchange for all of that time and money? A bullet train, like Japan has? Not really - it'll still be a 3.5 hour-long ride between L.A. and SF - and probably a lot longer, given all the politically-motivated "stations" they're sticking along the route; it's far faster to jet between the two cities, which can be done today. Just break out your phone and reserve a seat on the flight of your choice.
But all in all, this is unsurprising; the "bullet train" thing is an Obama administration pipe dream, shotgunned by Transportation Secretary Foxx, who's never seen a choo-choo he didn't love. With Trump and the Republicans now in charge, it's unlikely that further federal money will be forthcoming, and the turkey will be dead in time for Thanksgiving.
California already knows this:
The California High-Speed Rail Authority came up empty when it asked the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama for a $15 billion loan, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Now, why would they ask Barry's administration for a "loan" on that order of magnitude in late December of 2016, one may wonder.
Or wonder not.