ratpag needs to work on shortening some of its titles. This will be discussed in our next board meeting (3 minutes after 7 between the 9th and 13th days of the 33rd iteration of the 39th cycles of meeting months, for the clueless). We just weren’t sure how to shorten such important issues.
First, we are proud to introduce the newest addition to ratpag’s Shit List, Assembly Member Jim Patterson of Fresno, California. Jim joins Milwaukee, WI and Portland, OR on this devastating list due to his staunch, stubborn opposition to California’s high speed rail project. Our friends at the Fresno Bee report that Jim has introduced Assembly Bill 1501 which is “aimed at barring the California High-Speed Rail Authority from spending any more of the $6 billion in federal grants that the Obama administration has pledged to the state to begin building a backbone of the statewide bullet train through the San Joaquin Valley.” Shame! Mr. Patterson, welcome to our Shit List.
Though the federal government has given the OK for California to use grant money first (as opposed to immediately matching that money with state funds), the new bill would prohibit that. Now, this is interesting because another high-speed rail-related story caught our eye and that is this $226 million contract awarded to Siemens for the delivery of 32 diesel-driven, high-speed locomotives. These high-speed locomotives, expected to be “delivered between autumn 2016 and summer 2017” to five states, including California! We sure hope there are high speed tracks for these locomotives to run on.
But we digress…and we lost our train of thought. Finally, we look at “what would happen if we stuck high-speed trains to the side of a skyscraper” or something called the Hyper-Speed Vertical Train Hub. This would involve putting a high speed rail station in a skyscraper, thus allowing trains to “shoot down the sides of the building into underground tunnels to their destinations.” ratpag is taking a strong “Sure, why not?” stance regarding this. And so we start another work week.