How Taiwan’s High-Speed Trains Expose California’s Lack of Nerve

While the Golden State Made Excuses, the Poorer, Smaller Island Country Transformed Its National Transit System

When it comes to fast trains, a California consensus has hardened: High-speed rail is beyond our capabilities.

We may be the world’s high-tech capital, but we say that high-speed rail is just too technically challenging for us. We may have one of the planet’s richest economies, but nevertheless maintain that high-speed rail is too expensive. We are a giant, sprawling state of 40 million people, but believe we’re too small to construct even one high-speed rail line.

If we’re right about our own powerlessness to deliver high-speed rail, then how do …

Merced, Where California Stores Its Big Plans

Unfinished Dreams for High-Speed Rail and Higher Education Falter Statewide But Find a Home in the Central Valley 

Have any grand but unfocused ambitions? Have an idea but no strategy to execute it? How about any half-finished projects clogging up your garage?

Send them to Merced. That’s what the …

All Aboard, Bay Area, on Your Fast Train to Wasco

This Kern County Town, a Conduit for High-Speed Rail, Has a Lot to Offer

Dear Bay Area,

Welcome to Wasco.

You may never have heard of this small city of 25,000 in the San Joaquin Valley. You probably can’t pronounce it (it’s WAW-skoh).

But you and …

Meet the Toughest Mountains in California

The Tehachapi Range May Intimidate High-Speed Rail Builders, but This Stubborn Barrier Actually Ties the State Together

Don’t mess with the Tehachapis.

California has taller mountain ranges, more famous mountain ranges, even more beautiful mountain ranges. But no mountains here are tougher—or more important—than the Tehachapis.

A mishmash of …