December 26, 2014
An artist's conception of a high-speed rail train in California.
To the editor: George Skelton's and Jeff Morales'
fanciful musings about the security advantages of high-speed trains
trivialize a substantial risk. Trains cannot be flown into buildings,
but they are attractive targets for terrorists. ("An upside of high-speed rail? It's more traveler friendly than flying," Dec. 21)
rush hour on March 11, 2004, four commuter trains in Madrid were hit by
10 nearly simultaneous explosions in a coordinated attack that killed
191 and wounded more than 2,000. On Jan. 26, 2005, a car parked by a
suicidal man on train tracks in Glendale derailed three trains,
including two Metrolink commuter trains, killing 11.
The Alvia high-speed train from Madrid to Ferrol derailed due to driver recklessness on July 24, 2013, killing 79.
aircraft requires securing only airports. Securing trains requires
securing the entire right of way. High-speed trains are particularly vulnerable to attack.
James E. Moore II, Los Angeles
To the editor:
Skelton writes, "But like many, I chortle at the route — Madera to
Bakersfield for the initial leg." As a retired engineer, I take
exception to Skelton's statement. This is the perfect place to start.
have worked on large projects. You start where engineering problems
will be fewest in order to work out the techniques, procedures and
testing. The construction environment should be as uncomplicated as
Even construction on the Interstate Highway System was begun in the 1950s on rural sections.
Lee Mellinger, Valley Glen
To the editor: It may be a nice idea to have a
high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but it is
far more important to safeguard Los Angeles' water supply.
The Northwest and Northeast have abundant fresh water. The Southwest
has very little, and that's not going to change any time soon.
Instead of valuable dollars and engineering brilliance being expended on a
high-speed train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, surely it makes
more sense to figure out a way for a pipeline to be constructed to
ensure that L.A.'s water needs are met for the next century.
Build the pipeline, then build the train line.
David B. Hill, Pacific Palisades