The Anti-Planner has more on the California high speed rail proposal I wrote about earlier. My guess was that the first $9 billion bond issue, on the ballot this fall, would not get the train out of the LA metro area. Well, I was right and wrong. The smart money thinks the line will start at the other end, in San Francisco. But the betting is that for $9 billion the line won't even get out of the San Francisco metro area, making it perhaps as far as San Jose.
But we have a second data point -- there is a proposal on the table to extend BART from Fremont to Santa Clara for $4.7 billion, a distance (as shown on the map below) about a third of that from San Francisco to San Jose.
I am not sure what high-speed rail technology that they are considering, but a true high-speed line requires special alignments, track, and signaling that should make it FAR more expensive per mile than a BART line (just as an example, a true high-speed line could take miles to make a 90 degree turn, eating up land and reducing alignment flexibility in a very congested and hilly area). And remember, the BART cost estimate is probably low.
No way these guys get to San Jose for $9 billion, much less to LA for $40 billion. Just what Californians need with their massive budget deficit: a brand new white elephant.