Another Claim: Private Sector Can’t Build High Speed Rail

In his recent response ( to TRAC’s opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee (see, blogger Robert Cruickshank claimed:

The idea that the private sector would pay for HSR tunnels from Bakersfield to LA is absurd. They are not going to pay billions to do so. It’s too big a lift, too much risk, for the private sector to pull off. I am skeptical of the claims made in Texas that HSR can be built without any public funds, but it’s more plausible there given that Texas has much less challenging geography than California – especially between Bakersfield and LA.

First of all, the private sector would NOT build long tunnels between Bakersfield and Los Angeles. Only a HSR plan apparently unconstrained by cost, and built by people with no experience in actual HSR construction and operations, would propose such a thing. Think of CHSRA…

Second, five years ago in 2009, SNCF America proposed a HSR system in California that could be constructed with a large percentage of private dollars. They also proposed similar, HSR networks in Texas, the Midwest and Florida. See

More details on SNCF’s California proposals and how they were covered up: