California Choo-Choo. Again.

The ongoing California Bullet Train mess has entered a new stage. It appears that so many compromises (read, political deals) have been made that the current plan violates the criteria that were included as conditions to the voters’ approval of the deal back in 2008. The problem is┬áthat the proposed first segment will fall short of the minimum distance required to have a usable train operation. In the meantime lawsuits are pending to stop the current version of the train, and to enforce the one presented to the voters at the time they were asked to approve (and did approve) it. In short, it’s a mess.

The voters approved a $9 billion bond issue, but to build the first usable rail segment (between Merced and the San Fernando Valley) will require $31 billion, and in the words of the Los Angeles Times, “the state does not have this kind of money in sight.” Got it? And to make matters worse — if that is possible — some of the leaders of the bullet train effort have now evidently come around to opposing it in its present form. It’s all there in black and white, and if you have an interest in this mess, read Ralph Vartabedian, High-Speed Rail’s Strongest Backers Have┬áConcerns, L.A. Times. March 27, 2013, at p. AA1. Click here,0,6470905.story