Tuesday, Jan 08 2013 12:01 AM

Stops along High Speed Rail will make not-so-high-speed travel

After reading several articles about the proposed high speed rail system for California, it amazes me that so many people want it to stop at various towns along the route. I guess I can understand some of it, but that is not the point of having a "High Speed Rail System" to have it stopping all the time. The HSR as I understand it is suppose to provide better, faster, and a more economical method of travel from L.A. to San Francisco at a high rate of speed, cutting down on the amount of car traffic, pollution and all that other good stuff.

This train is supposed to travel at high speed -- in Japan at 200 plus mph -- and here they are saying 200 plus, it all sound good until you start making stops at every town that wants a piece of the action. Then what happens to the speed of 200 mph it drops like a rock.

Questions to ask: How many miles does it take the train to reach 200 mph? Then how many miles do they need to slow down for a stop at a town? How long are they going to be stopped for passengers to get on/off? Can they really go 200 mph through the Tehachapi mountains, come on lets get real.

If they run a HSR train from L.A. -- Palmdale -- Tehachapi -- Bakersfield -- blah -- blah -- blah, it is no different than Amtrak running a little faster, however it just cost us billions of dollars for a fancy looking train.

Why not take that money and upgrade the Amtrak equipment so it doesn't break down so much and make it more reliable. While your at it give a new look and a coat of blue and gold paint, that by itself would make it look like it is going faster.

Now I am all for traveling fast and safe, but how many of you are really going to go to Bakersfield or Los Angeles not alone San Francisco and be without a car to get around. Do you honestly have the money to pay a taxi or are you going to find the nearest bus? Me, I will drive, take my time and enjoy the scenery, and of course pay the increased taxes that comes with the gloating power of saying "look at us we have a High Speed Rail System."

Now if they were talking about a bullet train from West Coast to East Coast, that might get my approval, however it would all depend on how much it is going to cost. I am sure the gasoline tax would increase and the state of our highways would deteriorate due to the money going to the HSR system to keep it up and running.

On second thought, I think I will just stick with my car.

RONALD L. SNYDER lives in Tehachapi.

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