To me it has become apparent that the vision of the high-speed rail is being driven by money minions. They seem only able to see the eventual dollars they can pocket by the process, not what's best for the greater good. The "vision" needs to be one that is self-sustaining for two, three or more hundred years with built-in growth potential. Some simple thoughts:
Mojave needs to become a central hub. The HSR needs to come to a stop here. People need to transfer to modern designed people mover helicopters (Hughey-type) that transport the passengers within less than 40 minutes or less to the "hub" at the base of the Grapevine where they re-enter the HSR to zoom away north and visa versa. The Mojave Hub is also the diverging point to a HSR which carries travelers to Las Vegas! I'll bet Las Vegas and Nevada would love to hook their wagon to that star! They'd probably invest heavily for the privilege. A hub should be built in Barstow which services people coming from San Diego and the Riverside area.
Mojave already has a Virgin Galactic division, which surely has the visionary staff capable of developing a solar helicopter capable of such a transport! And they have even other aeronautic development groups!
The upside is you have eliminated the destruction of mountain geography and private property. So much of the over-the-pass driving of people escaping the valley for a weekend in Vegas. I loved the public service sign that appeared at the base of 58 that said, "This as a freeway, Not a raceway!" Don't you just hate the folks who speed up to 80-plus mph just as they reach the leveling out of Tehachapi Valley?
If we're going to think about a bright future for our young Americans, let's give them a debt-free one, or at least one that can be paid for in their lifetime, and make money in the future! Right now it looks like we are handing them a huge bill that is staggering. Would you like to step into that future? Expand the vision. Money minions are so very out of step and need to step aside and let some real dreamers lead the way.
P.S.: Bringing them closer to ground. This smacks of Raoul Dahl's "The Twiitts" and How Mrs. Twitt got the Terrible Shrinks. And how much money can they cut from the budget by reducing the height?
Cherrill Gragg, Tehachapi