Governor Brown Rides Beijing-Shanghai HSR
As part of his trip to China, Governor Jerry Brown, California High Speed Rail Authority board chairman Dan Richard, and the press pool following them took the high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai today. It was not only a good opportunity for the governor and the board chairman to experience Chinese HSR up close, but also a good chance for California’s top political reporters to actually see and understand just what it is we are talking about when we advocate for building bullet trains.
(Video by David Siders of the Sacramento Bee)
Anthony York has another video with Brown on the train itself at the LA Times – sadly it’s not embeddable.
Here’s Sacramento TV reporter John Myers’ take on Brown’s journey:
“When I get back, it’s just going to be one building after another,” said Brown, punching the air with his fist for emphasis….
Brown, who met for 45 minutes with China’s Premier Li Keqiang before boarding the train, kept remarking en route how much the Chinese have done since his only other visit to the country in 1986.
“We sit around and mope. And process. And navel gaze,” said the governor about the political environment back home. “And the rest of the world is moving at mach speed. So when we go back, we’ll emulate some of that.”…
The governor and the chair of the state’s high speed rail authority, Dan Richard, both talked about the possibility of Chinese investment in California’s $68 billion train project — scheduled to break ground in the Central Valley this summer, but still short of commitments of cash to build anything but a short, initial leg.
I’m sure that Governor Brown was excited to ride the bullet train. It was a longer trip than would be experienced on California’s high speed rail system – a 5 hour trip on a route about as far as the distance from San Diego to the Oregon border. The trip from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles on a bullet train once the system’s built would be about half that time.
Governor Brown has shown California that the world is moving ahead with HSR – and reminded the state that it would do well to keep up.