High-Speed Rail (Cont’d.) — In Pursuit of the Free Lunch

Here is the latest on developments in the plans for construction of a high-speedd rail network. From today’s Wall Street Journal, Josh Mitchell, High-Speed-Rail Costs Irk States, Aug. 21-22, 2010, at p. A3. We quote:

“Some states that participated in the Obama adminstration’s plans for building high-speed-rail networks are now balking at those projects, halting or scaling back developments because the federal government won’t foot the bill.”

The problem is that after the initial federal allocation of $8 billion, states submitted applications for funds totalling $102 billion. So what else is new? But before providing more money the feds want the recipient states to pay for 20% of the cost. So guess what? Once the realization that the high-speed raill “free lunch” wasn’t all free sunk in, state applications dropped abruptly from $102 billion to $8.5 billion. And so it goes. 

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