The Highway Lobby still wants their tunnels (updated)


The revised High Speed Rail route from Palmdale to Burbank has just come in.

Guess what? It’s still all about building super-expensive tunnels instead of above ground tracks. Which’ll be wonderful in an earthquake along the San Andreas, right?

Something that’s not marked on their map, btw.


FireShot Capture 140 - -


Even the proposed 14 route is still mostly tunnels, although they’d probably be cut and cover instead of bored.

Still no station planned between Burbank and Palmdale though, which effectively makes this HSR completely useless for the most newly popular and expansive neighborhood(s) in Los Angeles County. The ones that are pegged for huge growth in the next 50 years.

Good work there, guys. Cutting off Newhall to Castaic makes a lot of sense. Yeah, those people can drive all the way down to Burbank to then travel back up North.

The earliest news stories on this — and there have only been few — also seem to have misinterpreted the map, along with some other major inaccuracies. According to the key above, it’s going to be mostly tunnel work to Palmdale (dark blue).  They’re clearly not dropping tunnels between Burbank and Palmdale.

There’s even more of them, unbelievably, in this revised plan, and supposedly to placate the neighbors. The one big change is that the more extensive through-the-mountains route has been eliminated.

They’re also placing the new 14 San Fernando-north tunnel well away from Canyon Country now, thus cutting that area off even more than it was.

Here’s an idea, since what they’re putting on the table this week is still totally nutty. Why not just put this HSR above ground to Canyon Country, and then pin it along 14 above ground as well? It’d be both considerably cheaper to build and more functional. And a much prettier trip.

Too easy, right? Also not profitable enough for the Highway Lobby.

So you think it’ll ever get built?

Nope. Not with these plans. Too uselessly expensive– just as we’ve pointed out.

More here:



Just a note:

The map we’re using here is the latest just issued, the one with the three “Refined” routes. Most news stories and blogs though are still using last month’s map based upon the old “2015” routes, the various multiple “E” ones through the mountains and woods.

That’s how confusing — and flaky — this proposed project has become. Changes were announced in March, but even more were made in April. They dropped the tunneling to Union Station, but created even more of it beyond Burbank north.





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23 responses to “The Highway Lobby still wants their tunnels (updated)

  1. Anonymous

    Sounds like quite a boondoggle. It figures that someone would come around and ruin a potentially good idea.

    • semichorus

      Yep. Who in their right mind would want to be underground so much, or drive so far to a station just to shave a few hours off their trip. They might as well stay in the car and head up I-5.

      What a disaster this will be– and I’m a big fan of HSR.

  2. Anonymous

    You’re right semi you’d have to be crazy to take an underground train through an earthquake zone. Hpefully this will never get off the drawing board.

    • semichorus

      Hopefully Schiff will step in and put the ki-bosh on this. He’s against a forest route– which it still is in part — and he’s also a big fan of the original 14-adjacent plan.

      These new proposals are nuts, really. The Burbank council should be having apoplexy too at the thought of all or most of the Canyon Country/Castaic people driving into Burbank just to be able to take it.

      And who would want to do that? You might as well fly.

  3. Al in SoCal

    I also don’t think this will ever come to fruition, however I don’t think they necessarily need a stop in between as that area (Lancaster, Newhall, Valencia) is heavily served by Metrolink.

    *NOT* saying that this is a great solution, but w/ HSR it can only achieve the speeds if they have limited stops.

    • Anonymous

      I am not a fan of this high speed rail and the reason is simple. If anyone can build a system that ends up ineffecient and overpriced its government
      Trust this will be one more costly system that people do not even use.

      • Al in SoCal

        Unfortunately, I’d have to agree. I voted for it, but I can’t believe what a boondoggle it’s become. I liked Elon Musk’s idea which if we invested the $10B into would perhaps already be researched & into development.

        Why on EARTH is there no train from LA to Vegas? It boggles the mind to think that would not be a prime money-maker.

  4. Anonymous 3

    “Still no station planned between Burbank and Palmdale though, which effectively makes this HSR completely useless for the most newly popular and expansive neighborhood(s) in Los Angeles County. The ones that are pegged for huge growth in the next 50 years.”

    It is not a commuter line. That is not the concept.

    • semichorus

      It’s not useful to about 1/3 of LA County now. That’s the point.

      • Anonymous 3

        Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

        • semichorus

          This isn’t even good.

          • Anonymous 3

            Once more: it is not mass transit. I have traveled on the French HST, and trust me, it does not stop at every little burg between Italy and Paris (the route I took).

            Until you come to grasp that, you have no understanding of HST.

            • semichorus

              It has to be able to pick up passengers in the metropolitan areas.

              Canyon Country is in the metropolitan area. And the distance between Burbank and CC is longer than between Union Station and Burbank. So by your logic, they shouldn’t be stopping in Burbank, either.

              Do you ever think things through?

              We’re talking about one extra station in the fastest growing part of LA County. It’s nuts to leave it out.

    • Anonymous

      The thing is a joke and it will make a few relatives of the likes of Frutos and Telamonty rich while the rest of us pay our mayor the pathetic sell out

  5. Dsn

    Wake up America

    • Jan

      I share the video guys feelings everything has turned into corrupt crap.

      • Al in SoCal

        IF Trump would reign in his not to subtle racist dialogue and focus instead on the corruption angle he would pickup a wide majority of Democrats as well.

        Corruption is by far the world’s worst problem and it is an ever-growing threat to America – IMO.

  6. Citizen Cane

    The California High Speed Rail project is nothing more than a plan to employ 1000’s of union workers at the expense of tax payers. The promises made about travel times from LA to SF are a complete fabrication of the truth, or a lie. The completion date is also a lie. From the 39 billion cost when it was on the ballot a few years ago, and the sudden cost increase to 98 billion after you dumb ass Californians voted for it, should raise anyone’s eyebrow. From 39 billion to 98 billion, means well over 100 billion. One would think any curious politician in California would demand hearing to lock in a cost figure. But California is run by Liberals, and they have been ordered by the DNC not to question a union project. You see, campaigns are funded by unions, and Dems see this as a legit cash cow for Democratic campaigns for years to come.

    Flying from Burbank to NoCal takes an hour. Rail is not the way to go.

    • semichorus

      This has nothing to do with liberals.

      It’s about corporate business interests trying to take advantage of the system. The Highway Lobby (a great old term that you NEVER hear used any more in any of the corporate media vehicles) is decidedly NOT left wing.

      I like HSR — and much of this is about opening up the Central Valley, not just a shortcut to SF. But the institutional/money people are ruining it.

      As they always do– with the schools, big growth and the environment (the exploitative “sustainability” hoax), the popular arts … EVERYTHING.

      Big Money gets into good things and ruins them. Corrupts them is more like it.

      • Al in SoCal

        Everyone seems to forget that this was VOTED ON by the people of CA. We can debate the problems of the project, but the source were our very own votes.

        • semichorus

          No one voted for an underground railway through an earthquake zone that will cost 10X as much. At the very least.

          The people were not the source of the problem on this one. It’s the Highway Lobby, and just like what’s going on at the airport, this convolution and inanity will soon doom the project.

  7. Thank General Motors , Firestone Tire and Standard Oil they killed electricity , the red and green Pacific Electric cars and their right of way with them. If it aint’ broke don’t fix it !—Some sick joke from the “BOSS”

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