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Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

Some high Speed Rail Refrences

Delusion and Deception in Large Projects  (local)


Ultra High‐Speed Ground Transportation Study Prepared for Washington State Department of  Transportation  (local)



'Astronomical' Cost Estimate For Portland-Seattle-Vancouver Bullet Train


Embattled high-speed rail continues to be a moving target for cost, schedule, route


B.C. backs high-speed corridor study connecting Vancouver to Seattle


High-speed-rail 'safeguard' bill signed into law


Cost for California bullet train system rises to $77.3 billion


California High-Speed Rail Update


Europe’s High-Speed Rail Not Sustainable

From:  http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=14762

Europe’s High-Speed Rail Not Sustainable

From:  http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=14762

France opened two new high-speed rail lines last year, but they may be the last for awhile because the country is running out of cash to pay for them. A recent review by the European Court of Auditors seems to question whether any more high-speed rail lines should be built anywhere in Europe.

The audit reviewed 30 high-speed rail lines and found:

The auditors cite an academic study that concluded that high-speed rail was a “success” if it carried 6 million passengers its first year rising soon to 9 million passengers. But this study wasn’t based on the profitability of the lines; instead, nearly all of the benefits it calculated went to business travelers who saved time by riding the trains. The study assumed that time to those travelers was worth 40 euros ($46 dollars) per hour. But if it is really worth that much, why aren’t the trains priced that high?

In any case, based on the 6 million/9 million criteria, only a minority lines audited were a success. Of course, by the more realistic criterion of profitability, even those were failures.

Although the auditors offered the usual platitudes about high-speed rail being “environmentally sustainable,” they conclude that high-speed rail is not economically sustainable. Most of the routes that are likely to capture a lot of riders have already been built, so any further routes in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other countries that have been building high-speed rail, are likely to be severe drains on the economy.

It’s too bad the audit didn’t question the usual platitudes about environmental sustainability. According to the European Union, nearly 85 percent of passenger ground-level travel in the 28 countries that form the EU is by automobile, and high-speed rail has done nothing to reduce this. For example, in 1990, cars provided 84.8 percent of ground travel in France. Since then, despite France’s aggressive high-speed rail construction program, the percentage of ground travel by car was still 84.8 percent in 2015. While rail’s share grew from 9.3 to 9.9 percent, it did so at the expense of buses, not cars.

Nor is high-speed rail putting a dent in air travel. Unfortunately, the EU doesn’t estimate passenger-kilometers of air travel, but in terms of numbers of travelers, air travel continues to grow faster than rail travel.

Supposedly, high-speed train operations produce less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger-kilometer than air travel. But this ignores the huge emissions produced during rail construction. One study found that the operational savings will recoup the construction costs only if a line carries 10 million passengers per year, a threshold reached by very few lines. Moreover, in Europe, many high-speed train riders would otherwise be riding low-speed trains, and high-speed trains produce far more greenhouse gas emissions per passenger-kilometer than conventional trains.

So Europe has spent tens of billions on high-speed rail lines and accomplished almost nothing. High-speed trains haven’t gotten people out of their cars or noticeably slowed the growth in air travel. On average, such trains have probably increased greenhouse gas emissions relative to conventional trains and air travel. The only real return from high-speed rail construction is to serve the egos of the politicians who fund them.

From:  http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=14762