Tag Archives: railroads

Why more railroad subsidies make no sense

Why high-speed rail makes no sense. Key quote:

High-speed rail would transform Amtrak’s small drain [on the government] into a much larger drain. Once built, high-speed rail systems would face a dilemma. To recoup initial capital costs — construction and train purchases — ticket prices would have to be set so high that few people would choose rail. But lower prices, even with favorable passenger loads, might not cover costs. Government would be stuck with huge subsidies. Even without recovering capital costs, high-speed rail systems would probably run in the red. Most mass-transit systems, despite high ridership, routinely have deficits.

Obama to call for $53 billion in spending for high-speed rail

Obama calls for $53 billion in spending to build more high-speed railroads. Key quote:

An initial $8 billion in spending will be part of the budget plan Obama is set to release Monday. If Congress approves the plan, the money would go toward developing or improving trains that travel up to 250 miles per hour, and connecting existing rail lines to new projects. The White House wouldn’t say where the money for the rest of the program would come from, though it’s likely Obama would seek funding in future budgets or transportation bills.

I hope that the reason the White House couldn’t say where the money would come from is because it simply does not exist, and there is little chance that Congress will appropriate it.