A Private Railroad is Born

January 15, 2014

by Holman Jenkins in The Wall Street Journal, 15 January 2014, page B3

The recent spate of “High Speed Rail” projects has become somewhat of a misnomer, Jenkins writes.

A judge has blocked the initial San Francisco to Los Angeles leg [of the California High-Speed Rail project] on the reasonable grounds that the $68 billion to complete the project is nowhere to be found…

Florida was one of several states that waved off the initial [Federal high-speed rail money]… for what most knew was a nonsensical Tampa to Orlando bullet train. Thereupon something interesting happened: Private investors stepped up with a rail vision of their own…

Jenkins continues to describe how, by planning a smart project that only starts with a passenger train, and adds major real-estate elements, building on their own private rights-of-way and property holdings, Fortress Investment Group and their Florida East Coast Industries subsidiary are already building the first passenger railroad in America since Amtrak Day, May 1, 1971 which will not be dependent on Federal operating subsidies.

Rest of the story in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

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