On the Coast Starlight #14 yesterday one of the old California Zephyr Dome Cars from the 1950s was attached at the back of the consist. On board were a bunch of Cal alumni headed up to the Bay Area for the 111th Big Game this afternoon. (Go Bears!) There are a bunch of Cal alums living down in Southern California, many of whom like to travel up to watch the annual Big Game whether it's in Berkeley or Palo Alto.
In addition, there are plenty of sports fans that often travel between north and south following their teams - Dodgers fans going to SF for a game, Raider fans going to San Diego, Trojan and Bruin fans going to the Bay Area, Kings and Ducks fans going to the Shark Tank, and of course the intense rivalry between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings (and I'm sure Warriors fans travel too).
Those trips are all made much, much easier with high speed rail. Most of the stadiums for these teams are very easily reached by transit, and many are close to proposed HSR stations. The Shark Tank is literally across the street from Diridon Station. Just as BART gets heavy ridership on game days, I am sure that California sports fans will find HSR to be a godsend. Leave work an hour early in LA and be in SF to watch the Giants and Dodgers that night. How awesome will that be?
Anyhow, this is an open thread. A few items that might be of interest:
- Campus Progress published a much better HSR article, by Eliza Krigman of the Center for Responsive Politics' blog Capital Eye. Unfortunately the American Prospect's TAPPED blog linked approvingly to that moronic Ben Adler piece. Dana Goldstein of TAPPED mislabeled HSR as "California's Light Rail line." The blind leading the blind...
- BART to San José looks to have passed for good - will that make Diridon Station the Grand Central Station of the West? Or does the Transbay Terminal deserve that accolade? Let's not forget LA Union Station, which on the four times I used it over the last few days was packed to the rafters as usual. Still, with the ACE trains, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, VTA, BART, and HSR, Diridon Station is poised to become one of the great nodes of passenger rail travel on the West Coast, if not the nation.
And did I mention, Go Bears?!