Republicans Have a Sneaky Plan to Kill California’s Bullet Train

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A reader tweets: “CA high speed rail *and* Trump. Your favorite things, together at last!” The San Francisco Chronicle has the story:

Freshly empowered California Republicans in Congress are pushing the Trump administration to hold off on approving $647 million for the Caltrain system to go electric — something that could kill the redo of a line that carries more than 60,000 riders a day between the South Bay and San Francisco.

Wait a second. Caltrain is just an ordinary commuter line. I have nothing against electrifying it. What kind of bait-and-switch is this? Well, it turns out that this is just leverage to try to kill the LA-San Francisco high-speed rail project:

The Republicans don’t have anything against Caltrain electrification per se — it’s the high-speed rail line they can’t stand. And high-speed trains will have no way of getting from San Jose to San Francisco if the Caltrain line isn’t electrified….Republicans have long seen high-speed rail as a boondoggle, but they’ve been up against an Obama administration that refused to spike its funding. That’s not a problem anymore.

Huh. That’s hardball for sure. Presumably, if Gov. Jerry Brown killed his beloved bullet train, nobody would have any objection to the Caltrain electrification anymore. Unfortunately for Brown, this actually seems like the kind of assholery that would appeal to Trump. We’ll know his decision in a week or two.

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