November 10, 2010

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood leans on 2 new GOP governors about the high-speed rail project.

This is about our new Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, and the new Ohio Governor John Kasich La Hood says — understandably — that the stimulus money for high-speed rail can't be used for other things. Walker and Kasich — understandably — are fighting to keep the money and put it into highway construction and that sort of thing.

76 comments:

tim maguire said...

Well what good is throwing taxpayer dollars around if a federal bureaucrat can't steer it to the cronies and supporters he wants it thrown to in complete disregard of the taxpayers who earned the money in the first place?

I'm sure there's an answer to that question. Garage? Little help?

America's Politico said...

A set of questions for the distinguished Professor and others --

The Politico reports that in 1992, our future POTUS was in Bali for one month to write his memoir that would later (in 2006) propel him to the Senate and then WH.

How do people plan to go to a recluse site and write books? I know many Professors do that. Do you take your library resources with you? Does the planning for the such sites takes months in advance?

Does this activity (ie, going to Bali) show an intellectual strength that no other POTUS has had? This is that it was his intent that the resulting book would help him in future career. Remember he always wanted to be POTUS.

I am impressed, very impressed. I am not a bit surprised that in 1992, he had a vision of the WH.

NB: Bush knows the GOP is finished. GOP will lose the House, the Senate is already lost, and forget about the WH.

Bob Ellison said...

LaHood is a ass.

tjl said...

"complete disregard of the taxpayers who earned the money in the first place?"

It's just a failure in messaging. If the voters would just try harder to understand their betters in the administration they would see the superior wisdom of this plan.
How inspiring it is to see a president who showers his gifts on the ungrateful heartland whether they like it or not.

traditionalguy said...

Another exposed act by the Obama Regime to lie , lie, and lie until the American people are finished off. Total slush fund waste is mandated or else. It is time to expose Dur Kenyan Fuhrer and his fascist minions for what they really are.

MayBee said...

The Politico reports that in 1992, our future POTUS was in Bali for one month to write his memoir

I know its o/t, but I really kind of hope someone asked him about that on this trip.

His 1992 trip is one of those weird "Obama's past is a mystery" stories. Sometimes it's reported Michelle went with him to Bali. Sometimes it's reported he went alone. Sometimes it's reported he went in early 1993. He was a newly married man at the time, and had already taken time at remote cabin to write the book, which was long overdue.
He was also newly hired at the University of Chicago. He was hired with the understanding that he would be given an office to write- not for the University- but his book. When he still could not complete the book, he was granted a leave from UofC to go to Bali.

Cheering him on all along was Michelle's boss, Valerie Jarrett.
All very weird.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"It is time to expose Dur Kenyan Fuhrer and his fascist minions for what they really are."

It's truly the last opportunity for Republicans to tell these corrupt Democrats to go fuck themselves.

Look ... the Federal government has offices scattered throughout the state of Wisconsin: I'd suggest a $10 billion tax on those rents ... due and payable immediately by ONLY the Secretary of Transportation under felony evasion of state taxes penalties.

Put that tax cheating fuck in jail if he doesn't send the check by next Tuesday.

Two can play their fucking games and it's high time Republicans start understanding that it's a war they are waging against us.

I'd send Barack Obama a message too: Don't bring your ass back to Wisconsin or we'll pull your motorcade over for a "safety inspection" and you will find yourself being frisked by the side of the highway.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dur Kenyan Fuhrer and his fascist minions

Damn - great band name! I wish I had thought of that. I thought I was being clever/smart with Britney Houston but, fuck, that's good!

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"... our future POTUS was in Bali for one month to write his memoir ..."

He was in Bali fucking Vera Baker.

The Drill SGT said...

President Barack Obama's $814 billion economic stimulus plan includes funding to create a high-speed train network across the country.

a big fib that makes it sound like a small portion of Porkulus funds high speed rail coast to coast instead of just pissing away billions on demonstration segments using incompatible rail standards and train types.

I say this as a son of a 40 year railroad worker (WP). I'm taking my wife to Denver soon so we can right the Zephyr to Sacramento.

The Drill SGT said...

ride

blake said...

lol, AP.

Going to Bali while Ayers wrote his book isn't such an intellectual feat.

DADvocate said...

The high speed rail for Ohio is as stupid a project as there comes. The trip is slower than by car, leaves you with no form of transportation once you arrive and will require taxpayer subsidies forever.

edutcher said...

As far as Ohio is concerned, nice to see Kasich (I was proud to vote for him) wanting to use that money for something useful (imagine that!. The cowpaths that are used for roads in this state are a disgrace.

And tim maguire is right on the money.

Bob Ellison said...

LaHood is a ass.

Always was.

Michael Haz said...

$800 billion to connect bullet trains to Chicago. Why am I not surprised? And the Chicago-style thuggery, of course, can't govern with out that.

garage mahal said...

And Walker appears to be just finding this out, that the funds earmarked specifically for this rail project cannot be used for anything else. No worries, New York and Illinois said they would gladly accept the funds.

YoungHegelian said...

"And they're buying a railway to He-a-ven"

Apologies to Robert P.

John Lynch said...

I think they shouldn't spend the money on anything.

Big Mike said...

@garage, then let them take the money. Do you play chess? Are you familiar with the concept of the poisoned pawn? Christie gets it. Kasich gets it. Walker gets it. Even if you don't.

Mark said...

The focus is always on the quid pro quo between elected politicians and direct/immediate beneficiaries of projects like this, but I wonder how many dinners/vacations/speaking engagements/cash-in-the-freezer goes to both appointed and permanent members of the administrative class?

Seriously, the same money spent on roads would probably benefit more semi-skilled laborers than would money spent on high-speed rail (which pretty much by definition is high-tech and less labor-intensive than materiel-intensive.)

If the point is to pump money into local economies, as opposed to global economic entities, I'd have to opt for good old-fashioned shovel-intensive road building and maintenance.

David said...

Schools?

Urban schools?

The soft bigotry of low expectations, anyone?

Lance said...

This episode provides a perfect proof of Sen. Coburn's thesis on earmarks.

AJ Lynch said...

Have there been any other Cabinet Members that appeared slimier and more devious than LaHood and Sebelius?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

lol, I guess it wasn't a done deal after all.

edutcher said...

There's always Big Sis and Geithner.

AJ Lynch said...

Nah Napolitano just strikes me as a very dim bulb and Geithner as clueless. But not smart enought to even try to be slimy & devious.

c3 said...

Is there any way they can take the money and then give out as direct rebates to their citizens?

Talk about stimulus.

c3 said...

Maybe the new Governors are "closet" Muslims and hence, can't accept

pork

former law student said...

Wisconsinites should know better than anyone that federal money has strings attached -- remember when you could hit the bars at age 18?

ampersand said...

Ray La Hood is a corrupt Republican from Illinois. He was a close aide to corrupt politician Dennis Hastert. All our politicians in Illinois are bipartisan when it comes to corruption. We had one honest Senator,Peter Fitzgerald (r), he was run out after one term, he couldn't even get an endorsement. from the corrupt head of the Illinois Republican party, Judy Topinka. Fitzgerald's seat was won eventually by Honest Abe Obama.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"@garage, then let them take the money. Do you play chess? Are you familiar with the concept of the poisoned pawn?"

Garage Mahal is a checker player - a true king-maker.

And don't you dare challenge him to a game of tic-tac-toe (he's aware of the power of the center square).

AlphaLiberal said...

Why do conservatives hate trains? This is so strange. How did trains get to be ideological? Because they save energy?

Republicans: Proud Defenders of waste.

Anyways, Wisconsin already got stimulus funds for roads and bridges. By turning this away, Walker is killing hundreds of jobs.

garage mahal said...

Why do conservatives hate trains?

They don't want icky people riding through the burbs.

Original Mike said...

And Walker appears to be just finding this out, that the funds earmarked specifically for this rail project cannot be used for anything else. No worries, New York and Illinois said they would gladly accept the funds.

Fine. We still come out ahead.

DADvocate said...

No worries, New York and Illinois said they would gladly accept the funds.

By all means let's spend the money. We have to keep this unsustainable spending going.

Why do conservatives hate trains? This is so strange. How did trains get to be ideological? Because they save energy?

A 75% empty passenger train won't be saving energy (or time). Take an honest look at the numbers.

Oops, sorry, I shouldn't have asked you to do something of which you're incapable, "take an honest look."

mndasher said...

alphalib: Why do conservatives hate trains.Because they will forever be losing larger amounts of money and require taxpayer subsidies forever.

Edgehopper said...

Why do conservatives hate trains? This is so strange. How did trains get to be ideological? Because they save energy?

Republicans: Proud Defenders of waste.


I can't speak to the Wisconsin line, but I'm very familiar with Cleveland and Columbus.

Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinatti are already connected by a fairly low traffic interstate highway, I-71. With a car, you can travel between the cities at a solid 70 mph average. None of the cities have strong local public transit systems, Columbus in particular doesn't have any local rail. All three cities are the epitome of suburban sprawl; no one lives in Cleveland proper besides the extreme poor, and no one lives in Columbus proper except politicians and OSU students.

There is very little reason to travel between the three cities unless you're an Ohio politician, and even if you are, it's easier to go by car so you can travel to the appropriate suburb when you get there.

It would be slightly less wasteful to burn the cash for home heating.

William said...

As an Ohio resident I am hoping this is an area in which we can see the first steps of bipartisanship. The Democrats want to see stimulus money spending to lower unemployment. The Republicans want to spend the money on higher priority transportation projects.

gus3 said...

We're going to spend a few billion dollars, for a project that we can't use without being strip-searched by the TSA?

cnet

Radio host Meg McLain

What makes you think it'll be any different at a shiny new train station?

wv: aunclo: what the government is waiting for us to cry

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

How many "icky" people will be able to afford a $66 dollar round trip train ride from Milwaukee to Madison?

former law student said...

How many "icky" people will be able to afford a $66 dollar round trip train ride from Milwaukee to Madison?

The IRS estimates the round trip costs a taxpayer $90 when all the expenses of car ownership are considered.

Archie Berk said...

Ohio is not high speed rail. 50 mph top speed on existing rail lines. Waste of money.

Michael said...

FLS wrote: "The IRS estimates the round trip costs a taxpayer $90 when all the expenses of car ownership are considered."

Yes, but the IRS is not buying the $66 round trip ticket, nor is the IRS considering the expenses of choochoo train building and operation into the "real" cost of the $66 ticket.

Alpha: Conservatives love choochoo trains that pay for themselves. Choochoo's carbon footprints are enormous by the way when taking into account the cost of producing the cars, steel rails, operations, fuel, etc. But those are things that just happen to economics challenged liberals.

Original Mike said...

I heard a piece of an interview yesterday with Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. He was asked a question regarding the location of stops at the other end of the line, in Milwaukee. His response was that he didn't know where those stops would be and that he wasn't responsible for that end of the line.

It took me a second before I grasped the significance of this confession: How can you argue for the viability of a rail line when you don't even know where the line goes?

These people have not done a careful analysis of this project. It's just a religion for them.

jtschmidt19 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
save_the_rustbelt said...

Kasich used to be a pretty sane guy, but then while whoring his name to Lehman Bros. for several years after leaving Congress he became a pretty standard slobbering dittohead.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Some on the left seem to think this rail line will provide an affordable mode of daily transportation to the huddled masses. In reality, except for a few affluent business people, the only people who will benefit from this boondoggle are lefties who want to feel “European” for a day. Unless, of course, you believe low skilled factory workers in Milwaukee will be able to afford the daily $66 roundtrip commute to their new high paying jobs in Madison.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

But yes, if we nee to spend $800 Billion, let's spend it on the fantasy train. No sense using it on something that every person in the state either directly or indirectly relies on (roads and bridges). No sense using it on improving the sewage system of the state’s major metropolitan area that pumps billions of gallons of poop into lake Michigan every time a substantial rainfall occurs. No, the train makes perfect sense. Just think of all the revenue it will generate in latte sales alone.

Milwaukee said...

AlphaLiberal: Why do liberals love trains so much?

Trains are incredibly efficient in terms of energy used for tons transported, and superb in being low polluting. But trains work best with freight. More passenger trains interfere with freight operations, making them less effective. Planes are better than trains for any trip over 500 miles. Cars are better for shorter trips: just getting to and from the stations require some transportation.

Perhaps leftist like trains because they despise the freedom given to individuals with cars. Or they despise cars because being in a car makes some people happy, and leftist are so miserable they don't want others to be happy.

Joe said...

Ray LaHood and the nanny statists at at DOT are assholes. Semi truck accidents have been declining for years, but he and his cronies keep whipping up hysteria about "distracted driving." MADD has also gotten involved and are proposing ruinous rules to the trucking industry, IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECOVERY.

Joe said...

superb in being low polluting

Not for high speed trains which in Europe pollute more per person than a high fuel mileage diesel with two passengers.

(Don't have a link, I think it was a report at Popular Mechanics.)

A.C. McCloud said...

Why do conservatives hate trains? This is so strange. How did trains get to be ideological? Because they save energy?

Republicans: Proud Defenders of waste.


Throwing money to freight rails to increase the speed of Amtrak or proposing HSR between cities that don't warrant it (Little Rock and Dallas?) is the waste here.

Union Pacific is currently demanding half a billion federal dollars just to make the "Sunset Limited" a daily train from LA to New Orleans. They don't want it getting in the way of their freight business (which is enviro-friendly, btw) and are shaking down the govt to do it. The shake-down will go the other way when they accept the money.

It's asinine to put HSR on freight tracks in any manner. If we're going to have HSR then build HSR, not a 90-100 mph Amtrak.

Milwaukee said...

Joe: The Freight trains are low polluting, compared to trucks, in terms of tons moved per hour per mile per gallon of fuel. I am not aware of fuel efficiency of passenger rail, but considering how much people weigh, I'm willing to bet that passenger trains are not fuel efficient for routes over 500 miles. My guess from your response is that high speed rail in Europe is high polluting.

Milwaukee said...

Joe: The Freight trains are low polluting, compared to trucks, in terms of tons moved per hour per mile per gallon of fuel. I am not aware of fuel efficiency of passenger rail, but considering how much people weigh, I'm willing to bet that passenger trains are not fuel efficient for routes over 500 miles. My guess from your response is that high speed rail in Europe is high polluting.

Further, scheduled passenger rail goes whether the train is full or near empty. Freight trains go when full, or those empty cars are left behind. (Except for dead heading, of course.)

Milwaukee said...

A.C. McCloud: The capitalist countries had far less pollution than their socialist counter parts. Further, capitalist see pollution as waste: heat transporting substances going up the chimney cost profits. While I would agree with reasonable pollution requirements, the EPA goes too far. And another entrepreneur can find a less polluting, more efficient method, and put the polluter out of business. Unless the first guy is working crony capitalism, where he gets the government to create obstacles for competition.

former law student said...

How can you argue for the viability of a rail line when you don't even know where the line goes?

The siting of the downtown terminal will not make or break the project. Recall that the world's first transcontinental railroad didn't make it all the way to San Francisco, and hasn't to this day. Yet millions of people have ridden on it since 1869.

Few people remember that the transcontinental was funded though US government bonds, and was begun in the middle of the Civil War, which surely should have been a priority, both for resources and attention.

As I understand it, the 90 mph train in Wisconsin will ride on its own tracks, not shared with freight. What the situation will be in Ohio I do not know.

Original Mike said...

Why do conservatives hate trains? This is so strange. How did trains get to be ideological? Because they save energy?

Clearly, in order to save energy there is a minimum number of passengers who need to give up their car for taking the train. What is that threshold for the proposed Madison to Milwaukee train?

Original Mike said...

The siting of the downtown terminal will not make or break the project. Recall that the world's first transcontinental railroad didn't make it all the way to San Francisco, and hasn't to this day. Yet millions of people have ridden on it since 1869.

Oh good grief.

When the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, the alternative to taking the train was to take the stage coach. Or you could take a ship around Cape Horn. The railroad was a huge INCREASE in convenience, even you had to negotiate the last few miles via other means.

Contrast that with today, when taking the train is a DECREASE in convenience compared to the personal car.

Other than that, it was a great analogy FLS.

Squid said...

Few people remember that the transcontinental was funded though US government bonds, and was begun in the middle of the Civil War, which surely should have been a priority, both for resources and attention.

Indeed, I can't imagine why the government would want to cement ties to a distant state with a nascent secessionist movement just after a number of other states seceded from the Union. Such misplaced priorities they had back then!

gus3 said...

Milwaukee said:

"Freight trains go when full, or those empty cars are left behind."

Wrong. I live near an active rail line, and twice a day, there's an empty train. Somebody has to take those empty coal cars back to the mine, y'know.

wv: relin: what it's time to do

Milwaukee said...

Gus3:
You do lose more than style points for quoting out of context.

I wrote: "Freight trains go when full, or those empty cars are left behind. (Except for dead heading, of course.)"

jdkchem said...

Dur Kenyan Fuhrer and his fascist minions

Damn - great band name! I wish I had thought of that. I thought I was being clever/smart with Britney Houston but, fuck, that's good!


It is good but it is not Barnyard Fun!

Big Mike said...

@FLS, I realize that you and I are both train buffs, but for the life of me I can't see why you are so hung up passenger trains. They don't make sense for most of the intercity travel that Americans do.

jdkchem said...

Does this activity (ie, going to Bali) show an intellectual strength that no other POTUS has had? This is that it was his intent that the resulting book would help him in future career. Remember he always wanted to be POTUS.

I am betting you spent many youthful days with tubes of Testors jammed in your nostrils.
Not to mention easily impressed by someone who wanted to be POTUS and came up TU short.

TTB said...

"complete disregard of the taxpayers who earned the money in the first place?"

In this case the taxpayers haven't earned the money yet: every dime of the $819,000,000 will be extracted from future taxpayers, even some now unborn, because all the money is borrowed.

The government is living on a credit card which they arene;t required to pay off: WE are.

jdkchem said...

Why do conservatives hate trains? This is so strange. How did trains get to be ideological? Because they save energy?

Why do libel-rals hate logic? Your postulate is beyond dimwitted. This seems to be the domain of the libel-ral, turn every objection into some form of hate. Most of us grew out of this stage. You and your kind apparently have not.

Mark said...

It's not that I hate trains; quite the contrary. NYC couldn't function without the subway. Also, heavy rail is extremely cost-effective for moving time-insensitive freight.

The questions about the high-speed rail lines all revolve around economics; what number of riders at what cost per rider at what frequency pays for the thing? Utilization projections for other projects that have been proposed tend to be far too low to justify the costs, and that's just how it is.

Mark said...

Quick aside: Click here for for official PDF discussing the economic benefits of Wisconsin High Speed Rail. Interestingly, it starts not with actual projected benefits, but by implying that numbers can't be assigned beforehand because, gosh darnnit, it's just gonna be a game changer:

In 1954, President Eisenhower
never could have imagined how
the Interstate Highway System
would impact America’s economic
competitiveness. Initially conceived
of as a national defense strategy,
these efficient connections between
people and goods quickly changed
the way we live. The foresight to
invest in transportation networks
fueled the boom that established
the United States as a global
economic leader in the 20th century.


(Actually, I imagine Eisenhower had a very good idea what economic benefits would come from the Interstate system, having seen first-hand how effective the Autobahn was for moving materiel in Germany. In peacetime, the ability to move materiel efficiently is key to reducing costs to business, and Eisenhower was no dummy.)

Mark said...

The PDF goes on to talk about jobs (both in construction and in operation), about how many people are in the area of the proposed network, about increasing tourism (!) but not a single mention of the continuing cost per rider mile.

Now, back to some rough analysis: According to Google, the driving distance from station to station on the proposed line is about 77 miles, and the estimated driving time is 1:29. Assuming the average customer will make the round trip 4 times a week (I'm balllparking that most users will be 5-day-a-week commuters, with a smaller percentage from "tourism, etc." passengers) that's about 600 driving miles and 12 driving hours per week. Now, assuming average car MPG at 20, that's 30 gallons of gas per rider per week, which at current prices means about $90 a week. (We could also use the IRS deduction number, which is .50/mile this year, to get a number of $300/week - which effectively means the government heavily subsidizes business driving. We are also just blowing off car pooling.)

(The most attractive benefit of a 90 MPH train on the route is it saves the average commuter an hour/day commute time, but that's ONLY if walking distance from station to destination is minimal; otherwise there's the additional commutes from home to station and from station to destination, with associated added times and costs.)

Just for grins, let's more than double the $90 and say it costs the average rider $200 to commute to and from Milwaukee to Madison four times a week. That means $50/day, or $25 one-way is our target number, neglecting the loss of per-mile deductions because the tickets themselves will probably be deductable as well.

So, how many riders/day does the system need in order to support a $25 per trip price point? To put that pricing and utilization in some perspective, a monthly Amtrak pass from NYC to Philadelphia (along Amtrak's busiest corridor) currently costs $1,242, which assuming 25 round trips a month comes out to just shy of $50, or $25/trip. Bingo!

Frankly, I don't see the Madison-to-Milwaukee line being nearly as heavily utilized as the Northeast corridor. That means in order to reach a magic $25/trip for regular commuters, somebody will have to subsidizing the line for the foreseeable future.

As a fiscal conservative, I'm just not into the idea of my paying extra taxes so latte-sippers in Wisconsin can commute from the idyllic city of Madison to the economic hub of Milwaukee.

So that's why conservatives hate commuter rail. If you can't make it make economic sense, we're just not going to buy into all the sunshine and unicorns that are trotted out instead.

Don Meaker said...

That it needs a government program is prima facie evidence that the high speed rail program does not make economic sense. If it did make economic sense, private parties would already have bought the easement, built the rail lines, published the schedules, bought the cars, and hired the drivers and mechanics.

And don't worry, the TSA will arrange to strip search and recreationally molest rail commuters too.

AJ Lynch said...

Orig Mike said:

"Oh good grief. When the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, the alternative to taking the train was to take the stage coach. Or you could take a ship around Cape Horn. "

LOL. Mike well done- it is a Hall of Fame level refudiation of a liberal's logic! And the 1st time Cape Horn has been mentioned on this blog I bet.

Milwaukee said...

Before World War II Eisenhower was part of an Army Division driving somewhere for a trip of some duration. He was appalled at how long it took and what a burden it was for every vehicle to stop at every light and stop sign. The National Highway System was meant for military purposes. To that end, it originally was meant to bypass cities. But city planners got wind of that, and connected the cities. Most cities have experienced many commuters making longer drives of greater distances over time: people keep moving out. But after the first housing development on Long Island, commuting seems more and more natural.

There used to a be a railroad that ran from Chicago to Minneapolis in 400 minutes. Which is how part of that route, when turned into a bicycle path, got the name "400". Bing maps tells me that is now a 352 minute drive. Throw in a couple of rest stops, and that's about 400 minutes. Since we don't have high speed rail in this country, recreating a business which went bankrupt years ago is silly.

By the way: air transportation as an industry is pretty much a non-profit venture. Since the inception of commercial airlines, their losses pretty much equal their profits. Government subsidies for airports, air traffic control and security support that industry. So, basically it comes down to "What do we want to subsidize?" I think most people prefer having their cars, thank you. I do.

Mass transit is a losing venture everywhere. But think of it this way: If we bribe people with mass transit they won't clog up the roads with their cars. Imagine New York City without the subway. People would have cars and taxis and buses. Well, that would be more of a mess than they already have. They subsidize the subway to reduce congestion on streets and in parking lots. It's a trade off. But I don't want to subsidize expensive trains.

former law student said...

That it needs a government program is prima facie evidence that the high speed rail program does not make economic sense.

The transcontinental railroad didn't make economic sense either. The United States had to sweeten the deal further with the gift of 175 million acres of land -- an area bigger than the state of Texas.

for the life of me I can't see why you are so hung up passenger trains.

Constructing a rail line between Madison and Milwaukee for trains that can't even go as fast as they did in the thirties seems worse than useless. But this is your Congress at work -- Congress appropriated the money for trains and on trains shall it be spent.

Imagine if Wisconsin had decided to spend the I-94 money on commuter rail, back in the 50s. Would that have flown?

former law student said...

LOL. Mike well done- it is a Hall of Fame level refudiation of a liberal's logic! And the 1st time Cape Horn has been mentioned on this blog I bet.


If government subsidies for transportation are OK if they make travel faster, then the argument against building a 90mph train fails. Hoist by his own petard.

Original Mike said...

If government subsidies for transportation are OK if they make travel faster, then the argument against building a 90mph train fails. Hoist by his own petard.

The transcontinental railroad changed the travel time from the central US to California from 4 weeks to 8 days, an acceleration factor of 350%. The acceleration factor of a 90 mph train from a 70 mph car is 30%. And that is very generous, because it doesn't take into account the travel to and from stations.

But just keep repeating 90 mph, FLS, it's sooo persuasive.

Original Mike said...

Thanks, AJ. I think Althouse needs a "Cape Horn" tag.