It's disapointing to see the writer of the piece ( who I like when he talks Disney ) show that he is clueless about spending, debt, high speed rail and the fact that these trains are a loser all the way around. High speed rail is a disaster, a truly horrible idea when the USA is $14 TRILLION in debt.
Where does the money come from? Who is going to pay for the system once it gets running and it loses money like Amtrak does?
I doubt that Werner ever thought of these questions or even cares. All Werner knows is that the Govt is sending money that comes from the money fairy and that will create magical jobs for all...problems all solved!
I know....lets get the Fed Gov to send all of us a $million bucks each so we will all have money!!!!!! Problem solved!!
Disney fans tend to be liberals who live in the would of fantasty. They have a hard time breaking down real numbers and real costs...but they really know what pins to trade for while zipping thru Fantasyland.
Not to completely derail this thread (no pun intended), but what I find amusing is that roughly half the posters in this thread have made only one post, which leads me to assume its just one person flooding a thread.
Back on topic, I'll keep my viewpoint simple (don't care for politics):
Excellent Concept that has gone the way of the Los Angeles Alweg Monorail. What is needed is Walt's optimism and persistence, something which has sadly died along with the man, and long gone in today's world. It may be a joke, but some risks are needed to be taken, which can prove to be a success in the long run, despite initial cost.
And as for Cali, people seem to forget that the LA-SF flight corridor is rather busy.
The rest of the article dealt with Florida's high-speed rail plan, its history, a look at actual high-speed rail in Germany, and a glimpse of Siemens' public display to promote their consortium. Yes, the article dealt more with the plan and its justification than with costs or politics.
I approached the article from a perspective that I felt would be of interest to Disney fans. I included artwork showing the proposed station at Walt Disney World that, to my knowledge, has not been posted on other Disney fan websites or blogs. My original outline included a several paragraphs speculating about how the high-speed rail could become part of the new version of Disney's Magical Express, but I omitted this from the published article.
From the outset, I decided I didn't want to get bogged down in the politics of the issue. There are plenty of passionate arguments on both sides, and plenty of places to read those arguments online.
I can see both sides of this issue. I'm quite aware that public transportation projects are costly and never pay their own way in the long run. However, transportation is vital to every country. Regardless of the type of transportation (air, local rail, intercity rail, local roads, interstate highways, urban transit, etc.), it requires government involvement.
My own opinion is that passenger rail improvements are vital in heavily populated parts of the East Coast, both for downtown-to-downtown services and to feed New York City's overburdened JFK and LaGuardia airports and Boston's Logan Airport (freeing up slots for longer flights). There's just no economically practical way to add more urban freeways or more runway capacity.
It's much harder to justify the Tampa-Orlando plan. I had several discussions with people at the Florida Rail Ventures exhibit, and I wasn't satisfied with the answers. It sounds good on the surface to run tracks down the center of I-4, but that raises the whole question of how to deal with freeway overpasses, considering the overhead power supply lines that electric trains require. The solution is likely to be very costly because the power supply lines and overpasses cannot occupy the same space. And the estimate for how many riders the system would attract seemed to be based on what it would take to economically justify the system rather than on quantifiable demand.
Now I'll get a bit political. It seems politically naive how Gov. Scott unilaterally pulled the plug, without even getting support from his own party. You can do that when you're a corporate CEO, but that's not how elected government works.
It's naive to think that high-speed rail (or any other major transportation infrastructure program) is possible if government just "stays out of the way."
The plan in Florida is (or was) to have consortia of private companies bid to build and operate the system. But, yes, the funds would have come almost entirely from the Federal Government — by increasing the Federal deficit even more.
There can can be legitimate discussion about the merits of Florida High Speed Rail, the design decisions, the business case, and the wisdom of sending tax money from Washington to Florida for it (by increasing the Federal deficit for it). There are smart, informed, sincere people on both sides of the issues.
Again, I don't think this is the right forum to discuss the politics. And, for that matter, there are better places to debate the issues than here in this thread.
The purpose of the article was to discuss a plan involving Walt Disney World that has now "gone to Yester World" — but that may not be dead yet after all.