Eight years ago, President Obama tried to make high-speed rail a way of life in America by throwing money at badly conceived projects. Only one project remains after several governors wisely said "no thanks." That's the one in California, which has been nothing but trouble in the time since.
Today, the Mercury News has posted a compendium of graphs, charts and stats on this disastrous project. At this moment, the first 28 miles of track — between Fresno and Madera — aren't expected to be finished until 2019. The first 119 miles of track are not projected to be finished until at least 2024. At that point, the track will extend from Madera to Shafter, which is a town you've probably never heard of that's close to Bakersfield.
And as of 2016, the estimated cost of laying that much track through nowheresville is ten times what it cost to build the Hoover Dam (after adjusting for inflation).
Another way to look at it: This small stretch of track costs nearly as much as the EPA's annual budget.
If the entire system is ever built — and it may not be, thanks to bureaucratic problems and legal challenges — it would take an extremely optimistic 10,000 passengers per day, paying an average $86 per ticket, to recoup just the construction costs over a period of two centuries. That doesn't include the costs of maintaining the system during those 200 years.
Anyway, it's worth having a look at this, wherever you live. Some fool will probably come to your state someday with an idea like this one, and it will be worth understanding why it's a bad idea.