The Aug. 21 letter “Tunnel vision” pleads that Amtrak closing the rail gap through the mountains that separate Southern California with the rest of the state is better than the current high-speed rail plan.
For over half a century, Californian rail passengers have endured a 10-hour or more slog between San Francisco to Los Angeles that meant limited service (to accommodate freight trains) and being forced to transfer to a bus. That is embarrassing for a grand, populous state. Despite decades of complaints, there has been no political will from Amtrak or any California agency to fix it.
The voter-approved California high-speed rail is exactly the solution. Even if you are not comfortable with $68 billion for the full build out, the $32 billion Initial Operating Segment of Merced to Burbank will get Fresnans to Los Angeles County in one hour and 10 minutes.
Roger Christensen, Kingsburg