Chris Tann (ctann) wrote,
Chris Tann

EMail to Senator Barbara Boxer about Californian High Speed Rail

 Dear Senator Boxer,

Thanks you for your recent message about high-speed rail. That is some great news about the extra funding - and I have a suggestion on exactly where that could be applied.

Currently, the planning commission is refusing to even consider constructing tunnels for the train as it passes San Jose. Their potential solutions all involve a system of bridges and flyovers. Now San Jose does not have exactly the prettiest skyline to start with, but it seems that the planing commission is firmly stuck in the 20th (or perhaps 19th?) century style of railroad building. I believe that their decision was based purely on cost, and as far as I know a full review of underground options has not been performed.

Obviously America lags the rest of the world in passenger rail infrastructure. Here we have the chance to put California IN FRONT - rather than compromising on a system that is obsolete the day it is put into operation (take, for example, San Jose's compromise on the Light Rail, a system so hobbled by design compromises that it is almost useless for regular commuting).

European train systems make enormous use of tunnels, and I see no reason why the same can't be done in America. That is where the rail infrastructure belongs in highly populated areas. I urge you most strongly to push heavily for a full investigation into putting the trains underground as they pass through San Jose. The same would probably be true further up the peninsula, through cities such as Palo Alto, Menlo Park, etc. Please, lets make this venture an exercise in 21st Century design and construction, and create something that will allow California to say, not just "yes we have one too, sort of", but "look - we are the leaders in world technology, and to prove it, we have the best high-speed rail in the world"!


ps - to see what a little bit of will (and some huge machinery) can achieve when it comes to public transit tunneling, please research the construction of line 2 in the Cairo Metro system
Tags: high speed rail

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