Reader Award!

Every once in a while a comment deserves to be highlighted for being exceptionally clueless.

July 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

If you build a train track across a strike slip fault, like the San Andreas or Hayward faults, and an earthquake occurs along the fault – the train track will no longer be contiguous.  The train will fly off the track at 200 miles an hour, killing everyone within a mile or two.

Look what happened to this fence in the 1906 earthquake.

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18 Responses to Reader Award!

  1. Robertvdl says:

    The good thing is that an airport is a save place to be, as long as you’re not outside.

  2. John B., M.D. says:

    Walt makes the case that just driving is quickest.

    As stated on another post, I predict this project will cost far more and take far longer than advertised, and will never be self-sufficient (remember Amtrak), assuming it even gets completed. It will make the Big Dig look like a well-run project that finished ahead of schedule and underbudget.

    The high-speed trains have technology that detects earthquakes and applies the brakes. Whether this would work or not to save lives is questionable. I suspect that any mode of ground transportation would be risky as roads and bridges collapse.

    The LA to Las Vegas high-speed train is even more ridiculous. The LA terminal planned is actually 80 miles away in Victorville. So, you have to commute to Victorville in order to catch a train. Anticipate security will be more like airport security in the future, and immediately one can see the delays and inconvenience.

    What can possibly go wrong?

  3. We have the same contoversy over High Speed trains in the UK. The govt plans to waste 30 billion on building a high speed train link from London to Birmingham, which will save some passengers (but not all) about 30 minutes per trip.

    The answer is ridiculously simple. Let private finance build it if there is really a demand for it. And let passengers on it pay the real cost for their tickets. It has been estimated that this would add £100 to a ticket that currently costs about £60 (or 2 gallons of petrol). I cannot see anyone other than a few businessmen on company paid expenses forking out the extra cost to arrive half an hour early.

    Of course the govt is into “green” travel, so prefers this option to others.

  4. Adam Gallon says:

    The Eurostar train, running from London, through the Channel Tunnel, to Paris, has only 1/3rd of its projected number of passengers & makes massive losses.
    This article’s 2 years old, but things haven’t improved.

  5. AndyW says:

    The train will fly off the track at 200 miles an hour, killing everyone within a mile or two.”



  6. jckca says:

    If you don’t live and work in CA you might not understand the flights and think the train sounds reasonable. Southwest leaves from 4 airports in bay area / northern CA to 6 or so in Southern CA / LA, SD, OC. Flights start at 5am and leave every 30 to 60 minutes until 11pm. Southwest you can switch flights for free on every fare but the 3 week fare which no one buys. So you show up at the airport, take the next flight, fly for an hour, for a total trip time of about two hours. People fly south in the morning and back in the evening (or vice versa), they don’t spend 6 hours doing that, they spend 3.5 to 4.5. Jet Blue is copying this model and even United does a halfway decent job at letting you do this.

    If the train does not allow getting to your location in the morning and back in the evening, they will never get business customers, which are probably 70% of the people on these routes. If the train takes 3 hours and you have 30 minutes wait for the next train, no way are people going to switch to something that takes 7 hours instead of 4. I think in reality the train will be closer to 4 hours due to stops, so you have 9 hours compared to 4. So instead of leaving at 6am or so and returning at 8pm by plane you will have to leave at 4am and return 10pm by train.

    • Robertvdl says:

      Are there people that do this every day? Using Skype isn’t cheaper? Or maybe better look for a girl/boyfiend in the other town , sleep there during the week and go home to wife/husband and kids in the weekend.

    • Eric Simpson says:

      Right jckca. Flying is an easy option, So is driving. So is already existing amtrak routes, or buses for that matter. Sure, it might be a net plus to have the new rail in 2039 or whenever, but not much of a plus, and it’s simply something we can’t afford when the state is bordering on bankruptcy (and Mexico). An by the time the eyesore boondoggle is complete, who’s to say what new transportation modes and technology will be available. Now is not the time to embark on a quixotic quest that will help bleed the treasury dry.

  7. nigelf says:

    Gov. Schwarzenegger flew every week day from his home in LA to Stockton and back again at the end of the day.
    All while preaching green bullshit.

  8. nigelf says:

    Correction: Sacramento.

    • Traitor In Chief says:

      And I would assume Ah-nold used a private jet, flying out of a small local AP like Bob Hope.

      People complain about Southwest being the cattle car, but I see it quite differently. If you get an assigned seat on another Airline, you have no idea who is sitting next to you.

      I get the business class ticket, and then check in online the day prior. I’m always in the front of the line if I choose. I print my boarding pass at home and drop it in my bag, which is about the size of an overnight bag, even when I’m travelling for 3 days. I NEVER check a bag. I don’t even want the rolling 30lb job. I take NO liquids, and put everything not clothing into a plastic baggie.

      The best time to board on Southwest depends on the situation. First, ask at the desk if the flight is full. If it’s a short flight and you’re in a hurry, you might board first and sit up front so you are first off.

      Every traveler seems to want to be in the front of the A/C. If the boarding agent says the flight is “nearly full” I beeline to the last row and sit by the window. That row doesn’t recline, and is chosen last. Most often, I have no one next to me when I sit there.

      If the agent or flight attendant tell me the flight is absolutely full, I prefer to board in the B group, and choose a fwd seat next to a thin person, preferably female. 🙂

      I love Southwest because they depart on time. No BS delays like I ALWAYS seem to get on Delta or some other large carriers. And it isn’t (as much of) a guessing game as to who I am seated by.

      I try to arrive 45 minutes early, (depending on the airport), get thru security and walk straight to boarding.

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