This is rotten, of course. It was an unused, newly built section. But it will no doubt be used by the NIMBYs down the peninsula and the “fiscal conservatives” and wealthy landowners in the Central Valley as ammunition. Before these problems with the Chinese HSR, they were saying, “Why can’t California build as fast as China?”. Now they will say, “See? HSR systems never work and they always collapse and it’s a dangerous waste of money and we should fix every other single thing wrong in our state before we even consider an integrated public transportation system”.
It’s the same double standard they use with Maglev. Magnetic Levitation is an unproven (at our required scale) and very expensive method of building guideway and propulsion for trains. But “why isn’t California building Maglev? It’s the future! China is beating us!”. No, we’re building state-of-the-practice, proven, off-the-shelf, steel-wheel-on-steel-rail high-speed tracks and trains. “But that is too expensive!” So you want an unproven R&D project, but not a proven system?
Gah, rainy Tuesday morning. Thank goodness for the Tom Tom Club.