A Reader Says: Train money would be better spent on irrigation
Train money would be better spent on irrigation
According to the op-ed by Mayor Pro-Tem Jon Harrison ( True cost of Redlands Passenger Rail Project , May 5), the
cost of the Redlands Passenger Rail Project (RPRP) is estimated at $320 million, ($242 million plus $78 million
interest). This does not recognize the present value of money committed now, versus what opportunity is foreclosed,
for other valuable projects by making the decision to do the project.
This is often 5 to 10 percent additional in prudent capital decision making.
In addition a recent article in the Facts reports this cost makes no provision for operations.
Mr. Harrison points out that borrowing is not uncommon by citizens for a high-value item like their home, but of
course that analogy only holds if one could avoid buying or renting a home.
It is clear that we have gone along without this nine miles of RPRP for many years and could do so in the future.
If we are able to come up with a few hundred million dollars, why not run a non-potable line through the city to allow
Redlands to retain flowers, trees and lawns in this drought crisis?
Surely this is needed more than this short railway.
I recall the concerns in my home in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania in the late 1930s at the introduction of
diesel-electric engines to replace the coal fired trains of that time.
It is surprising that is the technology we now choose to travel from San Bernardino to Redlands in the 21st century.
I’m sure these new Diesel Multiple Units are a very modern design, but I believe at the proposed cost we could
provide a Tesla car (and driver) in lieu of these foreign made units to carry the few passengers who will really opt for
this service when it is finally built.
I believe this project cries out for citizen approval/disapproval on the ballot.
— Aloysius G. Casey, retired lieutenant general, U.S. Air Force