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Report: 14 billion dollar deal for Bullet train from Houston to Dallas is done


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The main point of airport security is to prevent someone hijacking a plane. Hijacking a train doesn’t have the same potential impact. 

And if you wanted to crash the train, it might be easier to go after the track.  Threatening the track also causes more chaos because it’s much harder to police 100s of miles of track that screen a few hundred people.

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I have to go between Houston and Dallas on the leave in the morning-back in the evening deal 5-6 times a year.  

No way I’m driving 7-8 hours total, imaginary self-driving car or not.   I’d have to get up at 4:00am.   Even with all the bullshit, Hobby to Love is only about 4 hrs total.  I don’t need luggage or anything extra - just get me there as fast as possible.

If they can get scheduling right that will be the market.  The Southwest planes are always jam packed, and I might as well drive if I have to deal with getting to and from IAH and DFW.  Vonlane is terrible- both the ride and the crowd-but sometimes  it’s my only non-drive option because the Southwest flights are all booked between dawn and 8:00pm and I have a little bit of work to do one direction or the other.  A 90-minute train ride would be amazing.  

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On 9/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, Texas Jeff said:

Seriously, why would a private investor go for this?  Southwest Airlines has a market cap of around $30 billion today.  Before 2016, Southwest was worth much less than that.

What is the pitch?  You invest $14 billion which probably becomes $28 billion once you start building the thing and you end up with a route that serves two locations that are also served by Megabus ($15 a ride), Southwest ($120 a ride if you plan a bit ahead) and your own car.

Agreed.  Stupid idea.  Giant money suck.  The "Texas Boondoggle".  There are exactly TWO HSR's that actually turn a profit (They rest require massive government assistance).  Both operate out of Tokyo.  So tell me again how "private" money it going to make this happen?

***Technically the two HSRs in Tokyo that operate in the black were built by the Japanese government then given to the company who operates them. So, if you count the absence of construction debt service as a government subsidy, then ALL high speed railways in the world require government subsidy to stay afloat.

Even in moonbat-shit crazy CA they finally torpedoed HSR when cost "estimates" topped $77B for their rail between LA ans San Fran.  This is before it ever got off the ground.  Many anticipated that once work started it might cost twice that.  This won't cost near this, but it will still be prohibitively expensive for a project few will consistently ride (for all the reasons already given:  cost, time, convenience). 

 

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16 hours ago, GreenspointTexas said:

Just curious, how many people do yall think would use a Houston/Dallas rail on a daily basis? 500? 1000?

 

if so, isnt that only like 2-3 trains a day?

Houston to Dallas routes have 28 daily weekday flights of 737s between Southwest(20) and American(8).  United has another 8 flights of regional jets.

That is capacity for over 5000 fliers per weekday Houston to Dallas. I'd guess there is another 5,000 going Dallas to Houston.

Edited by ShaggyBevo RIP
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13 minutes ago, Pig Bellmont said:

The weirdest thing about public transit is that it requires government investment. So wild. 

Not at a prohibitively expensive cost - it's unnecessarily expensive and will absolutely require billions in tax revenue to get off the ground and maintain.  The exact opposite of how it's being sold as a "private" venture.  As stated, there are exactly TWO rails in the world that operate in the black.  Both in Japan.  So what private investor(s) is going to risk billions on this nonsense?  And if they are going the "private" route - how exactly does a private company get around the private domain issue?  Unless you think a private company should have this type of power?

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4 minutes ago, ShaggyBevo RIP said:

28 weekday flights of 737s between Southwest(20) and American(8).  United has another 8 flights of regional jets.

That is over 5000 fliers a weekday.

This. Some of you idiots are seriously underestimating how many business travelers would use this. And, I'm pretty sure you'd have significantly more people use this than currently fly. 

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Is the funding secured?
Are the ridership estimates accurate?
Are the cost projections realistic?
Will taxpayers have to bail out the project?
What are the real impacts on landowners and communities along the route?

I think that there are two groups of people that want this thing:

  • Investors that will directly profit from it before the tax payers have to foot the bill for a "privately owned" project
  • People that aren't investors that are foolish enough to think that the latter won't happen and that it will be used enough to pay for itself.
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7 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

This. Some of you idiots are seriously underestimating how many business travelers would use this. And, I'm pretty sure you'd have significantly more people use this than currently fly. 

As mentioned; getting to the airport,  thru security, flight time, and getting out of the airport in only about 60-90 minutes faster than driving. Get that number to 2-3 hours faster and it will get drivers off of the highway.

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11 minutes ago, ShaggyBevo RIP said:

As mentioned; getting to the airport,  thru security, flight time, and getting out of the airport in only about 60-90 minutes faster than driving. Get that number to 2-3 hours faster and it will get drivers off of the highway.

That's another problem I have with this venture.  It does zero to help congestion.  Actually, it makes it worse.  Because you will now have a lot more people coming into the center of Houston now that were previously just driving to the airport or Dallas.

I want rail that aids in congestion, not adds more to it.  And this will.  More rail crossings in the city.  More cars coming into the urban core.

A smart rail project would be running lines from the suburbs into downtown.

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39 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Agreed.  Stupid idea.  Giant money suck.  The "Texas Boondoggle".  There are exactly TWO HSR's that actually turn a profit (They rest require massive government assistance).  Both operate out of Tokyo.  So tell me again how "private" money it going to make this happen?

***Technically the two HSRs in Tokyo that operate in the black were built by the Japanese government then given to the company who operates them. So, if you count the absence of construction debt service as a government subsidy, then ALL high speed railways in the world require government subsidy to stay afloat.

Even in moonbat-shit crazy CA they finally torpedoed HSR when cost "estimates" topped $77B for their rail between LA ans San Fran.  This is before it ever got off the ground.  Many anticipated that once work started it might cost twice that.  This won't cost near this, but it will still be prohibitively expensive for a project few will consistently ride (for all the reasons already given:  cost, time, convenience). 

 

Assuming your assertions are correct, is turning a profit a reliable metric? Specifically, are existing high speed railways run by entities that actually look to turn a profit? While turning a profit is generally the goal of a private business, public services and utilities aren't usually setup for that purpose. As a relevant example for this board, UT Athletics doesn't regularly report a substantial profit. We all know that it isn't because UT athletics couldn't turn a  massive profit if wanted, but rather because the it isn't designed to do so. This is a sincere question, as I really have no idea how HSR is run worldwide. 

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4 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

Assuming your assertions are correct, is turning a profit a reliable metric? Specifically, are existing high speed railways run by entities that actually look to turn a profit? While turning a profit is generally the goal of a private business, public services and utilities aren't usually setup for that purpose. As a relevant example for this board, UT Athletics doesn't regularly report a substantial profit. We all know that it isn't because UT athletics couldn't turn a  massive profit if wanted, but rather because the it isn't designed to do so. This is a sincere question, as I really have no idea how HSR is run worldwide. 

Excuse me, this is America.  If it doesn't lead to a giant profit windfall for the owners that the workers never get a cut of, what's the point of a business? 

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8 minutes ago, Js1 said:

Excuse me, this is America.  If it doesn't lead to a giant profit windfall for the owners that the workers never get a cut of, what's the point of a business? 

I know this was sarcasm. But for everyone else, my point was that existing data on the profitability of other HSR operations may not be relevant to whether HSR can be massively profitable should the operating entity desire it. 

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13 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

Assuming your assertions are correct, is turning a profit a reliable metric? Specifically, are existing high speed railways run by entities that actually look to turn a profit? While turning a profit is generally the goal of a private business, public services and utilities aren't usually setup for that purpose. As a relevant example for this board, UT Athletics doesn't regularly report a substantial profit. We all know that it isn't because UT athletics couldn't turn a  massive profit if wanted, but rather because the it isn't designed to do so. This is a sincere question, as I really have no idea how HSR is run worldwide. 

For a private company, yeah, I'd say the whole concept of "profit" is pretty damn important?  That was/is how this boondoggle is being sold - it's privately funded, in a thinly veiled attempt to alleviate concerns that this won't cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars (which of course it will).  So are we going to admit this isn't privately funded, and will in fact be a state/federal money-pit that will require taxpayer funding and massive private land seizures.  Knowing this - sure, let's vote on it.  But don't pretend that this isn't what is actually being voted on.

It's a solution searching for a problem.  HSR's world wide operate at a HUGE governmental cost.  Again, for the 3rd time.  There are exactly TWO rail systems that don't require billions in tax payer subsidies.  Both in Japan.  

HSR needs 3 things...we're missing on 2 of those, arguably on all three

  • High population density
  • Existing transport corridors at capacity
  • Low ownership of private automobiles
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7 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

I know this was sarcasm. But for everyone else, my point was that existing data on the profitability of other HSR operations may not be relevant to whether HSR can be massively profitable should the operating entity desire it. 

Why would they not want it to be profitable?  Of course they want it to make money - but it's just not going to happen.  Let's just look at Houston, all by it's lonesome. Can you imagine what it would take to put a rail line all around the city? How much private property would need to be purchased? How much infrastructure would have to be built? 

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31 minutes ago, Js1 said:

Excuse me, this is America.  If it doesn't lead to a giant profit windfall for the owners that the workers never get a cut of, what's the point of a business? 

I think the point is the people selling this project are going to pull a bait and switch.  They claim, loudly and proudly, that it will be privately funded.  I do not believe for one second that is in any way possible.

I don't even so much have a problem using eminent domain given the public purpose (like privately owned pipelines and utilities).  But I do have a problem being lied to.  And I can see this bait and switch coming from miles away.

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Yep.  How many places are tracks going to interrupt existing roadways, causing further traffic jams? If it's all overhead, how much more money does that add to the project?

Then, for a few hundred billion, we're left with one loop that stops at ~10 different hubs around the city, and we still have miles and miles of area left that need to be accessed. More trains to these places now? Parking lots to leave cars at? More property to buy and neighborhoods to plow secondary lines through? All so you can bike the last 5 miles home, pay for a parking pass in a lot, or pay for a cab or Uber to take you to the house? What about all of the places you normally stop on the way home? Grocery store, hardware, electronics, clothes, whatever. You stop for all sorts of things when you have a car, maximizing the efficiency of the trip.

Now, add the security check points to all of this. 

That's a model for efficiency and responsible spending folks. People are surely going to abandon their cars for this.

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27 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Why would they not want it to be profitable?  Of course they want it to make money - but it's just not going to happen.  Let's just look at Houston, all by it's lonesome. Can you imagine what it would take to put a rail line all around the city? How much private property would need to be purchased? How much infrastructure would have to be built? 

You're missing my point. I assume that this private entity would want it be profitable. However, I don't know that the same can be said for existing entities running HSR. If, those entities are largely public concerns and not intended to run for a profit, then what relevance does the fact that they don't make a profit have? It would be like saying UT Athletics would make a poor private business venture because available evidence shows that UT Athletics as currently operated doesn't make a significant profit. The more relevant question in that scenario is whether UT athletics could be hugely profitable if it wanted, and I think that answer is obviously yes. So, I go back to my original question, how are current HSR operated? Are they even intended to make a profit?  

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On 9/14/2019 at 5:53 PM, atomheartbevo said:

When you look at New England, you'd be surprised (well maybe not you), but a lot of people would be surprised at people who live in one city, or even state, and work in another city or state, and commute by rail.

Hell, there are plenty of people who live in Austin or San Antonio, and commute to the other.  And I have plenty of friends in the Houston area who have 45-minute commutes (or longer).  Put them on a comfortable train with wifi, and plenty would reconsider rail.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if there was a decent high-speed rail between Austin and San Antonio.

Thing is, though, the distance from Greenwich, CT to midtown Manhattan is about the same as from McKinney to downtown Dallas.  Northeastern distances just don't scale here.

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3 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

You're missing my point. I assume that this private entity would want it be profitable. However, I don't know that the same can be said for existing entities running HSR. If, those entities are largely public concerns and not intended to run for a profit, then what relevance does the fact that they don't make a profit have? It would be like saying UT Athletics would make a poor private business venture because available evidence shows that UT Athletics as currently operated doesn't make a significant profit. The more relevant question in that scenario is whether UT athletics could be hugely profitable if it wanted, and I think that answer is obviously yes. So, I go back to my original question, how are current HSR operated? Are they even intended to make a profit?  

I get your point, and I think you're missing mine.  You're conflating a public investment with a private one.  Private, as this boondoggle was sold to the public.  So as a "private" investment, this is the standard it's being held to.  As already stated - this is false.  There is no way this will not wind up costing taxpayers tens, if not hundreds of billions.  With this understanding - we can proceed on the merits of the HSR.  

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13 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Yep.  How many places are tracks going to interrupt existing roadways, causing further traffic jams? If it's all overhead, how much more money does that add to the project?

Then, for a few hundred billion, we're left with one loop that stops at ~10 different hubs around the city, and we still have miles and miles of area left that need to be accessed. More trains to these places now? Parking lots to leave cars at? More property to buy and neighborhoods to plow secondary lines through? All so you can bike the last 5 miles home, pay for a parking pass in a lot, or pay for a cab or Uber to take you to the house? What about all of the places you normally stop on the way home? Grocery store, hardware, electronics, clothes, whatever. You stop for all sorts of things when you have a car, maximizing the efficiency of the trip.

Now, add the security check points to all of this. 

That's a model for efficiency and responsible spending folks. People are surely going to abandon their cars for this.

What in the ever loving fuck are you talking about? HSR isn't last mile transportation. It is hub transportation, just like airports. Do you think we need small airports placed throughout the city in order to justify and use existing large airports? I would take rail and then use Uber/Lyft. And everyday so would literally thousands and thousands of other business travelers. 

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6 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

I get your point, and I think you're missing mine.  You're conflating a public investment with a private one.  Private, as this boondoggle was sold to the public.  So as a "private" investment, this is the standard it's being held to.  As already stated - this is false.  There is no way this will not wind up costing taxpayers tens, if not hundreds of billions.  With this understanding - we can proceed on the merits of the HSR.  

I'm not conflating anything. I'm trying to un-conflate them. Your ultimate conclusion may be right, it may be impossible for HSR to make a profit. I'm just asking whether the data you're using to justify that conclusion is reliable. 

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16 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

I get your point, and I think you're missing mine.  You're conflating a public investment with a private one.  Private, as this boondoggle was sold to the public.  So as a "private" investment, this is the standard it's being held to.  As already stated - this is false.  There is no way this will not wind up costing taxpayers tens, if not hundreds of billions.  With this understanding - we can proceed on the merits of the HSR.  

low-angle-view-scarecrow-against-cloudy-

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I doubt this company would commit billions unless they believe they can turn a profit. Perhaps they have some secret deal with the state or feds but that would seem unlikely. 

I haven’t even read about them expecting the govt to build the stations. Which is a tough issue. The govt subsidies airlines or private vehicle transportation by paying for airports or roads. But should they fund a rail station that is monopolized by a single company?  Probably not.

 Station costs are a major reason Amtrak fails.  In other countries, I don’t know if the rail companies are forced to cover all station costs. The give subsidies them like how our govt subsidies airports. 

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1 minute ago, BabaYaga said:

So you think this will remain a privately funded endeavor and not wind up costing taxpayers billions?  You don't think, that despite worldwide, only two HSR's manage to turn a profit....this one will.  

Bless your heart....

You introduced the info that only 2 HSRs make a profit. Can you back that up and not just repeat it over and over in an attempt to make everyone think it’s common knowledge. 

How many other private HSRs are there?  My guess is that Japan has the only private HSR out there that wasn’t planned to be a govt only or govt-private endeavor. 

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why should anyone have a discussion with you when you're literally just making things up?

Quote

How many places are tracks going to interrupt existing roadways, causing further traffic jams?

you can't run at high speed with grade crossings.  so, very few. 

Quote

If it's all overhead, how much more money does that add to the project?

they've already built that into their projected costs

Quote

Then, for a few hundred billion

made up figure on your part

Quote

we're left with one loop that stops at ~10 different hubs around the city

what the fuck are you even talking about?

this isn't the "baba yaga hates public infrastructure unless it's the kind that makes him have to purchase a tens of thousands of dollars product and continually pump thousands of dollars of other products into it in order to use that infrastructure so he gets to make up figures and scenarios at whim" thread

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7 minutes ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

You introduced the info that only 2 HSRs make a profit. Can you back that up and not just repeat it over and over in an attempt to make everyone think it’s common knowledge. 

How many other private HSRs are there?  My guess is that Japan has the only private HSR out there that wasn’t planned to be a govt only or govt-private endeavor. 

Japan's was handed over after the government footed the initial COF to build the stations.  Their YOY "profit" excludes this initial amount.  They have the population density and geographic necessity.  we don't.  

CA, after billions spent, is seemingly going to abandon their HSR aspirations after finally realizing that it's simply too expensive.  They tapped out at $77B and a decade behind schedule...but we'll be different....why?

I'm also curious how a private company is going to get around the ED issue, and whether anyone has issue with this?  

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53 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Japan's was handed over after the government footed the initial COF to build the stations.  Their YOY "profit" excludes this initial amount.  They have the population density and geographic necessity.  we don't.  

CA, after billions spent, is seemingly going to abandon their HSR aspirations after finally realizing that it's simply too expensive.  They tapped out at $77B and a decade behind schedule...but we'll be different....why?

I'm also curious how a private company is going to get around the ED issue, and whether anyone has issue with this?  

ED isn't an issue.  Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)

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1 hour ago, BabaYaga said:

CA, after billions spent, is seemingly going to abandon their HSR aspirations after finally realizing that it's simply too expensive.  They tapped out at $77B and a decade behind schedule...but we'll be different....why?

a) texas central doesn't have a bunch of americans who don't know what the fuck they're doing building it

b) texas central doesn't have a bunch of politicians trying to make it all things to all people

c) california isn't abandoning hsr

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1 hour ago, BabaYaga said:

Japan's was handed over after the government footed the initial COF to build the stations.  Their YOY "profit" excludes this initial amount.  They have the population density and geographic necessity.  we don't.  

CA, after billions spent, is seemingly going to abandon their HSR aspirations after finally realizing that it's simply too expensive.  They tapped out at $77B and a decade behind schedule...but we'll be different....why?

I'm also curious how a private company is going to get around the ED issue, and whether anyone has issue with this?  

Because Texas isn't California? Other places of have implemented HSR successfully. California fucking it up just tells us that California fucked it up. And maybe that their geography isn't favorable for it. We got flat, mostly empty space between our major urban centers. In particular, Dallas and Houston have almost zilch in between them. So, I could see some reasons why it would work here and not there. Also, if one were inclined to think that private industry can manage things better than government (I don't hold this absolutist position, but I know many folks do), then we have that going for this project too. 

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1 hour ago, BabaYaga said:

 

CA, after billions spent, is seemingly going to abandon their HSR aspirations after finally realizing that it's simply too expensive.  They tapped out at $77B and a decade behind schedule...but we'll be different....why?

 

Because Elon musk promised to build a subterranean transport line using existing sewer pipes

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On 9/13/2019 at 6:52 PM, Deej said:

John Sharp will make sure the route takes it directly in front of Dead Dog/Kroger Field.

I've seen the group trying to do this make a couple presentations to network/organizational groups in the last 4-5 years and College Station was the stop along the way at that time. I've finally stopped getting the stupid text message updates from them.

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On 9/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, Texas Jeff said:

Seriously, why would a private investor go for this?  Southwest Airlines has a market cap of around $30 billion today.  Before 2016, Southwest was worth much less than that.

What is the pitch?  You invest $14 billion which probably becomes $28 billion once you start building the thing and you end up with a route that serves two locations that are also served by Megabus ($15 a ride), Southwest ($120 a ride if you plan a bit ahead) and your own car.

Your pitch is that we're building a transportation connection between two of the five largest metropolitan areas in the country that is significantly more attractive than any other transit option.  It is significantly faster than automotive transport, and is significantly cheaper than air transit.*

Once that rail line is completed, it has a usable life of around 40 years.  So for the next generation, we're going to have the most attractive transit option between populations of 7 Million and 6 Million (which will more than double over the next 40 years).  During that time, the operating costs are going to be incredibly low.  Unlike airlines, we don't have to pay for jet fuel.  And unlike airlines, we don't need to pay for a flight attendant for every 50 pax.  And, perhaps most importantly, we need one driver, not two pilots who each make six figures.  Our labor costs will be a fraction of Southwest's.

And once we prove the concept, the line is shaped to allow for a spur to Austin and San Antonio.  So with a new line, we can bring in another 5 Million people into the network.

And none of that is to speak of some of the fuzzy capitalization coming in from Japan to prove the concept so that they can sell the trainsets elsewhere.  But that's a separate topic.

Am I buying all of it?  No, not really.  But I can see how it would work.

 

 

* And, by the way, you need to recognize that as soon as this comes online, Southwest is happily going to slash the number of flights DAL-HOU.  DAL is limited to twenty gates, and Southwest would much rather be flying DAL-LGA or DAL-MDW than it would DAL-HOU.

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13 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

Because Texas isn't California? Other places of have implemented HSR successfully. California fucking it up just tells us that California fucked it up. And maybe that their geography isn't favorable for it. We got flat, mostly empty space between our major urban centers. In particular, Dallas and Houston have almost zilch in between them. So, I could see some reasons why it would work here and not there. Also, if one were inclined to think that private industry can manage things better than government (I don't hold this absolutist position, but I know many folks do), then we have that going for this project too. 

Other places?  Where?  Show us where it was built in the US (not Europe) that didn't involve billions in tax payer dollars (which of course is the point, that this is NOT going to wind up a privately funded project as sold to voters)

So it will work here...because it's flat?  They're almost a hundred billion in debt/costs and a decade over delivery expectations....because CA it's not completely flat?  Come on.  

Quote

a) texas central doesn't have a bunch of americans who don't know what the fuck they're doing building it

b) texas central doesn't have a bunch of politicians trying to make it all things to all people

c) california isn't abandoning hsr

Pork and greedy politicians isn't limited to CA.  And it's dead, effectively.  Politi-speak/spin from Newsom to not piss off the state.  It's not happening.  It's already drug out for well over a decade and billions have been lost.  Apparently the sunk-cost fallacy is something new to him.  

Keep in mind a decade and billions to cover a scant 110 miles.  

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17 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Other places?  Where?  Show us where it was built in the US (not Europe) that didn't involve billions in tax payer dollars (which of course is the point, that this is NOT going to wind up a privately funded project as sold to voters)

So it will work here...because it's flat?  They're almost a hundred billion in debt/costs and a decade over delivery expectations....because CA it's not completely flat?  Come on.  

I have no idea if anywhere else has funded HSR privately and obviously can't show you anywhere in the US because it hasn't been done yet (just as in 2002 I couldn't show you that an online streaming service would run Blockbuster out of business, dominate 30% of internet traffic, and have $128 billion in market cap). I'm also not sure the source of the funds really matters, the point is it is capable of being done, and at prices much less than what California has been paying. California's failures are ultimately its own. It is true, that some of the same issues that haunt California may arise here in Texas. I don't know which way it will ultimately go here. If politicians decide they want to fuck it up and make it impossibly expensive to build, I'm quite sure they can do that. However, you asked for evidence that Texas won't end up like California. And, since Texas prides itself on being business friendly and NOT being California, I thought that was a relevant piece of evidence. I have no doubt that, if the state takes a business friendly approach to this project, it can succeed.   

I'll also add, what is the end goal of this evil plan you envision? Private investors are going to spend a ton of their own money to build this thing... and then I guess somehow convince the the state to bail them out when they fail? Where is the profit motive there? Sounds like at best they make even. And, why would the state bail them out? I totally agree that the state shouldn't do that and as far as I know there is no agreement in place to do that.  But if private investors want to try and build HSR in Texas, think they can do it economically, and are willing to risk their own money, more power to them. 

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1 hour ago, BabaYaga said:

Pork and greedy politicians isn't limited to CA. 

good thing there's a private company building this using private funds instead of federal or state government, then. 

another reason why you don't want taxpayer money: no corrupt buy american act

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12 minutes ago, elfenix said:

good thing there's a private company building this using private funds instead of federal or state government, then. 

another reason why you don't want taxpayer money: no corrupt buy american act

That's the crux of this whole dilemma - whether you actually think this will stay, start to finish, a private endeavor.  Based upon every proposal tried in the US.  It seems a pipe dream at best.  As Johnny stated, a looming bait/switch.

CA may not be the best example, but it certainly is the most recent.  If Texas is even a fraction as expensive and delayed, then this is a wasted effort.  If you want international examples, there are zero that were privately funded.  All incurred massive governmental costs both to start and maintain.  A few were then turned over, and even fewer still then are profitable.  All this for a solution the state doesn't even really "need" (want =/= need). 

Investors may see this as a chance to get in, knowing there will be overruns that will propped up by state and federal dollars (read as us taxpayers).

 

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1 hour ago, Dahobbs said:

I have no idea if anywhere else has funded HSR privately and obviously can't show you anywhere in the US because it hasn't been done yet (just as in 2002 I couldn't show you that an online streaming service would run Blockbuster out of business, dominate 30% of internet traffic, and have $128 billion in market cap). I'm also not sure the source of the funds really matters, the point is it is capable of being done, and at prices much less than what California has been paying. California's failures are ultimately its own. It is true, that some of the same issues that haunt California may arise here in Texas. I don't know which way it will ultimately go here. If politicians decide they want to fuck it up and make it impossibly expensive to build, I'm quite sure they can do that. However, you asked for evidence that Texas won't end up like California. And, since Texas prides itself on being business friendly and NOT being California, I thought that was a relevant piece of evidence. I have no doubt that, if the state takes a business friendly approach to this project, it can succeed.   

I'll also add, what is the end goal of this evil plan you envision? Private investors are going to spend a ton of their own money to build this thing... and then I guess somehow convince the the state to bail them out when they fail? Where is the profit motive there? Sounds like at best they make even. And, why would the state bail them out? I totally agree that the state shouldn't do that and as far as I know there is no agreement in place to do that.  But if private investors want to try and build HSR in Texas, think they can do it economically, and are willing to risk their own money, more power to them. 

Don't worry man, 

 

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4 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

That's the crux of this whole dilemma - whether you actually think this will stay, start to finish, a private endeavor.  Based upon every proposal tried in the US.  It seems a pipe dream at best.  As Johnny stated, a looming bait/switch.

CA may not be the best example, but it certainly is the most recent.  If Texas is even a fraction as expensive and delayed, then this is a wasted effort.  If you want international examples, there are zero that were privately funded.  All incurred massive governmental costs both to start and maintain.  A few were then turned over, and even fewer still then are profitable.  All this for a solution the state doesn't even really "need" (want =/= need). 

Investors may see this as a chance to get in, knowing there will be overruns that will propped up by state and federal dollars (read as us taxpayers).

 

so, you admit all you have is FUD?

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1 minute ago, elfenix said:

no one had tried throwing a football at one point, either.

Private citizens land that may have been generational wasn't threatened via ED by throwing a football.  This is.  So if Texas Central goes tits up halfway through this mess, and the state miraculously doesn't step in and prop this thing up with taxpayer dollars, do the ranchers and landowners get to buy their property back?

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6 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Private citizens land that may have been generational wasn't threatened via ED by throwing a football.  This is.  So if Texas Central goes tits up halfway through this mess, and the state miraculously doesn't step in and prop this thing up with taxpayer dollars, do the ranchers and landowners get to buy their property back?

we do have repurchase rights in this state.  assuming they get a couple years into construction and then run out of money and no one steps in, i'd think that'd be a trigger under 21.101(a)(1).

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2 minutes ago, elfenix said:

we do have repurchase rights in this state.  assuming they get a couple years into construction and then run out of money and no one steps in, i'd think that'd be a trigger under 21.101(a)(1).

As a landowner of property that's been in our family for 100+ years, it's a pretty big deal to myself and others for a deal that may, or maybe not, even get off the ground.  

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