I don't care how much these projects cost, I would support them no matter what. Cars are evil.
Meanwhile, the Chicago-St. Louis line in Illinois is doing just fine and nearing completion:http://www.examiner.com/travel-in-chicago/chicago-to-st-louis-high-speed-rail-project-nearing-completion. This one is much closer in scope to the Ohio rail project.The grant for the California project was only intended to build the section from Bakersfield to Merced. I'd argue that the premise to funding the California project was based upon the assumption that LA and SF area authorities would foot the bill for their segments. Arguably, not a great approach to the project.The Opinion column overlooks the places, situations, and plans that are much more similar to our own (such as Illinois). The Illinois project is doing well, within budget, and will continue to help build up transportation links in that part of the midwest -- providing a competitive edge to attract the continually-growing demand (and dwindling supply) for a quality of life & amenities available mostly along the east coast.Ridership on some of the already upgraded portions of Illinois lines has already prompted Amtrak in that state to reduce fares through April to encourage more riders and possibly bring in more income.
Coleman is right. We can spend a ton of money on rail projects. We should subsidize every single rail project we can.
We follow the "living room" rule. Exhibit the same courtesy you would show guests in your home.