San Diegans are being asked to pay for a couple of costly trains they likely won't ride very often. State and federal taxpayers are picking up the bill for California's high-speed rail line from Bakersfield to Madera in the Central Valley. With no funding source identified and ridership between two Central Valley locations likely to disappoint, the train's chances of ever extending all the way to San Diego seem iffy at best.
A little bit closer to home, a private company is trying to build a rail line from Victorville to Las Vegas. But to build this "private" train, the company needs a taxpayer-backed loan from the federal government of $5.5 billion or more. In simple terms, it's similar to the loan that solar panel company Solyndra received before going bankrupt, costing taxpayers over $500 million. Only the train's loan would be 10 times bigger.