Tips for Travel to Spain
Even enthusiastic Spanish officials are curious about the logic of starting in the sparsely populated Central Valley.
Sep 24, 2015
We see that a group from Fresno is taking a 9-day trip to Spain to check out their high-speed rail system and what they can learn from their successes and failures. Some are critical of the trip, but we support it. We would ask that before they leave they take a look at the 3-part series written by the Fresno Bee in January of 2012:
If they will do their homework they will find:
1. Analysts don't believe that even the busiest high-speed route between Madrid and Barcelona musters enough riders to cover its operating costs, much less the investment in infrastructure.
2. None of the Spanish high-speed rail routes has enough riders to make the system financially sustainable.
3. One of the experts quoted in the story says, "There's no question whether it can cover its costs. It cannot."
4. Even enthusiastic Spanish officials are curious about the logic of starting in the sparsely populated Central Valley. "You need to have either Los Angeles or San Francisco. It can be a failure or fiasco if it starts in two cities that aren't as well populated or if there isn't as much attraction. The lesson is to do it right the first time, or extending it won't be possible because the public won't be in agreement."
If our officials will listen to the Spanish experts they might learn something, but we doubt they will. We suspect their minds are made up and aren't looking for any reason to change. After the Fresno Bee published their 3-part series they wrote an editorial endorsing California's high-speed rail plan. Why bother to send a reporter all the way to Spain if you're not going to listen to the evidence he brings back? Go figure.
Fresno Officials Will Travel to Spain to study high-speed rail
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