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High Speed Rail / Texas Triangle

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It's a boondoggle to them because they can't imagine ever using it. But rather than just say "I'm against this because I don't think it will benefit me personally," they're looking for terms they think will scare people. "boondoggle" "taxpayer bailout" etc

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To be fair, if you live midway between to stations, you'd never use it.  But same thing for living under the flight path between two airports, or near a highway that doesn't have exits close by.  At least the train will be narrower & quieter than a new highway

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15 hours ago, Triton said:

 

Oof. Karen is the worst.

 

Of everyone who attended this meeting, what percentage of them do you think own a MAGA hat?

 

No need to answer. I've tabulated the results and present to you the Venn diagram:

 

480px-Red_circle.svg.png

 

 

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Based on the picture of the crowd, when they say "Boondoggle"  are you supposed to respond "OK Boomer"?  Asking for a friend...

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When I say "Ok" you say "Boomer". OK!

25 minutes ago, DNAguy said:

 

Oof. Karen is the worst.

 

Of everyone who attended this meeting, what percentage of them do you think own a MAGA hat?

 

No need to answer. I've tabulated the results and present to you the Venn diagram:

 

480px-Red_circle.svg.png

 

 

They're probably the same people who believe rail (or any type of public transportation) is "socialism".

 

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Ok Monty, if we are going to go that route.  ...By the looks of it, for the most part,  "in it for the long haul" could mean not past 9pm. 

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35 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

Ok Monty, if we are going to go that route.  ...By the looks of it, for the most part,  "in it for the long haul" could mean not past 9pm. 

 

Yes, but then they are up at o-dark-thirty while others are sleeping off their netflix binge.

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1 hour ago, Some one said:

When I say "Ok" you say "Boomer". OK!

They're probably the same people who believe rail (or any type of public transportation) is "socialism".

 

 

More likely they are the same people who believe rail (or any type of public transportation) is of no relevance to their lives.  Since they live in the country.  It's kind of comparable to people who go to any length to prevent the building of a walmart. 

 

12814_original.jpg

 

Oh, look, a red circle....

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Please stay away from the politics and bashing voters. I support the current president and also support high speed rail. It should also be noted that Trump is all for using tax dollars on infrastructure. He has also mentioned rail in the past with private public partnerships. It short sighted and very ignorant to label all people a certain certain way just because you dislike a political figure. I am all for Highspeed rail and believe this the best way to do it through capitalism. The 1800s railroads were not built by the government but instead capitalist who saw a good investment.

Edited by cougarpad
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11 hours ago, cougarpad said:

Please stay away from the politics and bashing voters. I support the current president and also support high speed rail. It should also be noted that Trump is all for using tax dollars on infrastructure. He has also mentioned rail in the past with private public partnerships. It short sighted and very ignorant to label all people a certain certain way just because you dislike a political figure. I am all for Highspeed rail and believe this the best way to do it through capitalism. The 1800s railroads were not built by the government but instead capitalist who saw a good investment.

Much of the railroad infrastructure in the 1800's was built by railroads who received huge quantities of free land from the government. Technically, the railroads built the lines, but there was a huge incentive.

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10 hours ago, Ross said:

Much of the railroad infrastructure in the 1800's was built by railroads who received huge quantities of free land from the government. Technically, the railroads built the lines, but there was a huge incentive.

Here's a library of Congress link that has a map graphically showing just how much land was given to railroads http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/riseind/railroad/grants.html

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On 2/21/2020 at 3:15 PM, BeerNut said:

Based on the picture of the crowd, when they say "Boondoggle"  are you supposed to respond "OK Boomer"?  Asking for a friend...

 

Also a reminder that sites like the Chron are going to get a juicier story by covering the supposed "victims" in this predetermined narrative. Its obvious that they are doing this for money and clicks when this is the same type of organization with people that also want mass transit options.

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20 hours ago, Ross said:

Much of the railroad infrastructure in the 1800's was built by railroads who received huge quantities of free land from the government. Technically, the railroads built the lines, but there was a huge incentive.

It still doesn't take away from the fact that capitalism was involved in the construction of the railroads. It was just not government building by itself. When investors are involved it means that the projects will be built as efficiently as possible so that there is profit. You can look to California as an example for a true boondoggle when a government tries to build on their own using tax dollars with no financial restraints on blowing budgets. Just as in the past with railroads being built with capitalism, it is going to take the same approach if we are going to see highspeed rail in the US. 

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21 hours ago, cougarpad said:

It still doesn't take away from the fact that capitalism was involved in the construction of the railroads. It was just not government building by itself. When investors are involved it means that the projects will be built as efficiently as possible so that there is profit. You can look to California as an example for a true boondoggle when a government tries to build on their own using tax dollars with no financial restraints on blowing budgets. Just as in the past with railroads being built with capitalism, it is going to take the same approach if we are going to see highspeed rail in the US. 

 

The California project was a lot different from this one too.

 

It was supposed to traverse extreme terrain with tunnels dozens of miles long. It was also supposed to go through some of the most expensive real estate in the world. And California has a well entrenched NIMBY force which was set out from the start to sue the project into the ground.

 

Assuming Texas Central can get off the ground, it will have a much easier time building an at-grade route with no major bridges or tunnels across sparsely populated rural areas.

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21 hours ago, zaphod said:

 

The California project was a lot different from this one too.

 

It was supposed to traverse extreme terrain with tunnels dozens of miles long. It was also supposed to go through some of the most expensive real estate in the world. And California has a well entrenched NIMBY force which was set out from the start to sue the project into the ground.

 

Assuming Texas Central can get off the ground, it will have a much easier time building an at-grade route with no major bridges or tunnels across sparsely populated rural areas.

 

Yeah, but thats also precisely the point on why for such a grand project, private enterprise works because it better understands these risks because if they don't heed these risks then they go out of business whereas a government does not. While California does have its own challenges its not impossible. It does have some really expensive real estate, but it doesn't necessarily have to be traversed. There are ways around it, but a big problem with government projects such as this is a terrible combination of stubbornness, naivety, and because of all the money involved, corruption. They stubbornly refused to adapt to the needs of the area, naively assumed that because they are the government they have all the answers, and because how government projects normally work its rife with corruption by those who want a stable check. The sad part about their HSR attempt was that the fault was their own doing, and they have no one else to blame, but themselves.

Edited by Luminare
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On 2/24/2020 at 5:44 PM, zaphod said:

 

The California project was a lot different from this one too.

 

It was supposed to traverse extreme terrain with tunnels dozens of miles long. It was also supposed to go through some of the most expensive real estate in the world. And California has a well entrenched NIMBY force which was set out from the start to sue the project into the ground.

 

Assuming Texas Central can get off the ground, it will have a much easier time building an at-grade route with no major bridges or tunnels across sparsely populated rural areas.

 

The Texas project is also ~ 1/2 the length of the California system as well. That helps a lot.

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Texas Central Railroad High-Speed Rail Safety Standards

 

Quote

SUMMARY:

FRA is proposing a rule of particular applicability (RPA) to establish safety standards for the Texas Central Railroad (TCRR or the railroad) high speed rail system. The proposed standards are not intended for general application in the railroad industry, but would apply only to the TCRR system planned for development in the State of Texas. The proposed RPA takes a systemsapproach to safety, and so includes standards that address all aspects of the TCRR high-speed system, including signal and trainset control, track, rolling stock, operating practices, system qualifications, and maintenance. The TCRR system is planned to operate from Houston to Dallas, on dedicated track, with no grade crossings, at speeds not to exceed 330 km/h (205 mph). The TCRR rolling stock, track, and core systems will replicate the Central Japan Railway Company (JRC), Tokaido Shinkansen high-speed rail system, and will be used exclusively for revenue passenger service.

DATES:

Written comments must be received by May 11, 2020. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent possible without incurring additional expense or delay.

 

 

FRA anticipates holding three public hearings to receive oral comment on this NPRM, and that proceedings will also be necessary under 49 U.S.C. 20306. FRA will publish a separate announcement in the Federal Register to inform interested parties of the date, time, and location of these hearings.

 

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https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2020/03/28/future-of-dallas-houston-bullet-train-uncertain-after-company-lays-off-more-than-two-dozen-employees-due-to-coronavirus/

 

Quote

The timetable for the highly anticipated bullet train between Dallas and Houston is uncertain after Texas Central — the company building the project — laid off 28 employees Friday because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar said in a news release that the project is facing delays because of the toll inflicted by the pandemic in Italy, Spain and Japan, nations where the company has partners.

 

I think the key word is "uncertain". With capital markets disrupted and investors probably more conscious of the risks of investments which pack people closely together, it may become difficult to raise the 15+ billion needed for the project. It's also unclear how the situation will affect interest rates for higher-risk bonds like Texas Central. If interest rates go up, the project may become economically infeasible.

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Bullet train company Texas Central hails appeals court ruling declaring it a railroad

Quote

Writing for the 13th Texas Court of Appeals, Judge Nora Longoria said a Leon County judge who sided with landowners erred when he said the lack of current operations or equipment meant Texas Central was not a railroad, and therefore had no claim to survey land or acquire it through eminent domain.

 

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On 5/12/2020 at 1:56 PM, BeerNut said:

 

I find this statement by the opposition hilarious:

 

Quote

Texans Against High-Speed Rail, a group critical of the project who helped the Miles with their challenge, released a statement saying the couple intends to appeal to the state supreme court.

“Based on this ruling, anybody with $300 and a computer can immediately obtain the extraordinary power of eminent domain by simply filing papers with the Texas Secretary of State self-declaring to be a railroad,” the group wrote.

 

Simple answer, no it is not that easy. This displays just how little they know. I'm not going to pretend that I know the process in-depth, but if it has taken TCR this long to get operations going, and get all the paper work in, I would assume that is opposite of "easy". This reminds me of those stories of reporters who thought it was easy to get a firearm in places like Walmart and actually found out that it was a more in-depth process to get a firearm than it initially appeared. I really wish people wouldn't make such ill-informed assumptions about complicated processes such as the one TCR is undertaking. Just because you don't like something, or you don't understand it doesn't mean its simple or easy or not complicated, and just because you learned a tiny amount of info from some blog somewhere doesn't mean you now know everything about it, but apparently its a thing because its why the Dunning-Kruger Effect is a thing.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, gmac said:

 

Wow dude that was all the way back in 2014. I'm sure the Judge at this point has atoned and rectified what she did. Nobody is perfect in this world, and if that person committed a crime and payed for that crime then they should be done with that crime and they can move on. Has this person done it again? Everyone makes mistakes. Are your hands clean as well?

 

Besides what does this have to do with this case. If this was a case where she handed down a particular sentence for drunk driving due to her past which colored the situation then that is one thing, but her past DWI has nothing to do with this. What is the point of bring this up other than the fact you can't let something go from the past or you are implying in same way that she must have been drunk while in court to make this decision. Either way you just come off as a spiteful prick.

Edited by Luminare
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3 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Wow dude that was all the way back in 2014. I'm sure the Judge at this point has atoned and rectified what she did. Nobody is perfect in this world, and if that person committed a crime and payed for that crime then they should be done with that crime and they can move on. Has this person done it again? Everyone makes mistakes. Are your hands clean as well?

 

Besides what does this have to do with this case. If this was a case where she handed down a particular sentence for drunk driving due to her past which colored the situation then that is one thing, but her past DWI has nothing to do with this. What is the point of bring this up other than the fact you can't let something go from the past or you are implying in same way that she must have been drunk while in court to make this decision. Either way you just come off as a spiteful prick.

 

A little bit touchy, are we? I'm not real fond of our government employees using their positions to get favorable treatment, which is what happened in her case.

 

But if you're OK with it, great. Rock on. You do you, hoss.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, gmac said:

 

A little bit touchy, are we? I'm not real fond of our government employees using their positions to get favorable treatment, which is what happened in her case.

 

But if you're OK with it, great. Rock on. You do you, hoss.

 

m e h  I've said what I've wanted to say. If you want to sit there and act like some armchair tough guy. Your loss moss. She definitely can be criticized for her past. Never said she shouldn't, but there is a time and place. At the same time I don't think people should be haunted by there past. But you do you.

Edited by Luminare

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16 hours ago, Texasota said:

Of course, one way to cut down on DWIs is...

 

more trains

 

🤣 Touché

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On 5/14/2020 at 7:09 AM, Texasota said:

Of course, one way to cut down on DWIs is...

 

more trains

Uber is more efficient.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe for the individual passenger. Definitely not overall.

 

And obviously not for this specific trip. Not a lot of Uber drivers taking you between Houston and Dallas at 200mph.

Edited by Texasota
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3 minutes ago, CaptainJilliams said:

Not sure if this was posted or not but...

 

Texas Appellate Court Allows Eminent Domain for High-Speed Rail Project

 

https://thetexan.news/texas-appellate-court-allows-eminent-domain-for-high-speed-rail-project/

 

Just out of principal by what is already in the books for established rail companies, and the rights that oil companies get, this should be granted to TCR as well. I don't like it when new companies get blocked from the same powers as the big boys simply because they don't have an established lobby to push there weight around.

 

While it seems they are going to avoid ED when possible its nice to know they will have it in there back pocket as an emergency measure.

 

I've always thought it was wrong that this power is allowed for some, but oh because we don't like this new upstart company they don't get to have it. If these people don't like ED then nobody should be allowed to have it.

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It's also always good to remember that the eminent domain is for a rail easement - they can only use it for a railroad

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Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the actual proceedings. The original argument against TCR was that under the current statutes it couldn't be classified as a railroad because it wasn't a “interurban electric railway”. Imagine trying to explain that to a judge. I would imagine it went like this.

 

Plaintiff: We are in opposition because we do not believe TCR qualifies as an "interurban electric railway".

Judge: Is it the case that the Shinkansen is a type of train that is powered by electricity?

Plaintiff: Yes your honor the Shinkansen is a type of train that is powered by electricity.

Judge: This train is planned to go from Houston to Dallas, correct? It would stand to reason to say this is interurban by definition right?

Plaintiff: Yes the train is planned to go from Houston to Dallas. Yes by definition that would be interurban your honor.

Judge: Does the Shinkansen sit on rails and use those rails to travel to and from its destination?

Plaintiff: Yes your honor the Shinkansen does indeed sit on rails and use those rails to travel to and from its destination.

Judge: Let me get this straight then. It uses electricity. It sits on rails, and travels on them. It also travels between urban destinations which means its interurban by definition. This stands to reason that TCR would qualify under the current statutes as an "interurban electric railway" correct?

Plaintiff: Yes your honor.

Judge: Then why are you claiming that this isn't an "interurban electric railway"?

Plaintiff: Reasons...

Judge: Why are you claiming that this isn't an "interurban electric railway"?

Plaintiff: Feelings...

Judge: Case dismissed.

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Looking at the footprint segments. Its interesting how the route which will cause the least disturbance will be the route that doesn't go along the highway. It would not only be more efficient to take Segment 4 instead of Segment 3C, but it will also be the least destructive. Will definitely look at the full document later. Lots to look into. I'm not surprised now why this process takes so long.

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19 hours ago, EllenOlenska said:

That future 18th street monorail gonna be sweet 

Marge vs. the Monorail - Wikipedia

 

You know what they say: Sir, there's nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail!

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I'll be uploading here certain aspects of the EIS that I find interesting or important.

 

Here is a proposed construction timeline, and proposed budget.

 

NQWiA4k.jpg

 

QJVLfiV.jpg

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37 minutes ago, BigFootsSocks said:

https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2020/06/05/texas-central-stimulus-money.html
 

Does anyone have access to biz journal and want to provide a summary?

 

Texas Central, like many other companies, is dealing with economic hardships brought on by the  COVID-19 pandemic.



The company, which is developing a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail line that could connect Dallas and Houston via a 90-minute train ride, laid off 28 employees in March and watched as the pandemic roiled global financial markets it hoped to tap for financing.



Texas Central is evaluating other means of financing besides private equity, according to an April 8 letter sent from Drayton McLane, Jr. — Texas Central chairman and an investor in the project — to Texas State Sen. Robert Nichols. The Dallas Business Journal obtained a copy of the letter, which can be seen here.



McLane gave an update on the project to Nichols, saying it's "turned into a $30B project and we have certainly hit a snag with all the difficulties of the Corona Virus."



"We feel that between Japanese government funding and the monies we hope to receive from President Trump's infrastructure stimulus through the Department of Transportation, along with private equity that the project still has a great opportunity, is viable and can be construction ready this year," McLane added.



In the early days of the project, Texas Central said its attempt at building high-speed rail in Texas would differ from previous attempts because the project would be privately financed.



However, the company has also said it could explore government loan vehicles, such as Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing and Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.



The uncertainty in global markets also has Texas Central thinking about how much appetite there will be for private financing.



"We don't know whether that's going to be there or not," said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central, about attracting private equity interest. "It depends on the markets themselves to determine if and how much of the money can come from private equity. And that's why it would require some stimulus money, but we don't know yet."



Aguilar said any funds from the U.S. government that Texas Central would seek would be in the form of loans. He said the company did not apply for funding through the CARES Act passed by the U.S. government. A Federal Railroad Administration spokesperson confirmed Texas Central did not receive funding through the CARES Act.



How much the Texas Central project will cost has been a hotly contested issue.



Currently on Texas Central's website, it says the train system will cost "more than $12 billion to construct." Regarding the $30 billion figure McLane mentioned, Aguilar said the project construction cost will be around $20 billion, and environmental requirements are an example of something that could add costs.



Aguilar called the $30 billion figure "a conservative estimate of 'all in' numbers."



The project is coming off what Aguilar said was "an amazing month" in May.



Texas Central won a key legal ruling, earning the designation of a railroad by the Thirteenth Court of Appeals. The designation is key for Texas Central, as railroads in Texas have the power of eminent domain — a tool the company could use to acquire the land it needs. Project opponents are appealing the decision to the Texas Supreme Court. So far, Aguilar said the company has purchased about 25 percent of the land it needs, which represents about 360 parcels.

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$30 billion sounds insane. Here's to hoping the market quickly recovers... I've been wanting to see a project like this all my life and to see it fall apart this quickly is saddening. I don't understand why they are making these articles though, making this public. This is ammo for the people against this project... what good comes at sharing this?

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$30B, a "conservative, 'all in' estimate," is a bit more than four times what the upcoming Houston freeway rebuild is projected to cost.

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And so it begins... private tentacles reaching into the public trough.

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12 hours ago, gmac said:

And so it begins... private tentacles reaching into the public trough.

 

They're looking for loans, not handouts. Nobody could have predicted the damage the Coronavirus has wrought on society economically. Unfortunately, massive infrastructure projects like this are going to get squeezed and that's unavoidable. 

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Posted (edited)

Even if they're looking for a handout, whats the issue? I feel like people forget this project is for US, TEXANS. The same people that support that i45 project, oppose this one lol. This project displaces A LOT less people, provides an alternative means of transpiration we don't have, AND we're not even paying for it. I personally want both 🤷‍♂️. If you're opposed to this project and not the i45 project, maybe stop being greedy and appreciate that not everyone uses transportation the same way as you do?

Edited by Amlaham
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1 hour ago, Amlaham said:

Even if they're looking for a handout, whats the issue? I feel like people forget this project is for US, TEXANS. The same people that support that i45 project, oppose this one lol. This project displaces A LOT less people, provides an alternative means of transpiration we don't have, AND we're not even paying for it. I personally want both 🤷‍♂️. If you're opposed to this project and not the i45 project, maybe stop being greedy and appreciate that not everyone uses transportation the same way as you do?

 

Amen

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I had a lot of hope for this project, but when I saw $30B I knew immediately that this will never get off the ground. I really hoped we would be the first in the Western Hemisphere to get a bullet train, but I cannot imagine that they will get the funding. 

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6 minutes ago, HoustonBoy said:

I had a lot of hope for this project, but when I saw $30B I knew immediately that this will never get off the ground. I really hoped we would be the first in the Western Hemisphere to get a bullet train, but I cannot imagine that they will get the funding. 

 

I'm not shocked. If you are in the construction/architecture industry, then you wouldn't be surprised by jumps in costs either. I don't understand how everyone here was ok with $15Billon, but $30Billon, oh no the sky is falling. This project is fine. My estimate is that they will most likely push back there start day until the fall to wait and see how the markets shack out. The fact of the matter is that infrastructure is actually a solid financial investment in terms of long-term investing. With everyone pulling there money out to wait until things settle that only means that TCR has a better chance of approaching more investors once things get back to normal because more money will be floating around from being pulled out previously. If I had money and someone told me about an investment opportunity of a project that would be built over 5 years, is a fixed asset that will get regular use, and it goes to two major metropolitan areas thats an easy sell regarding financing. The numbers provided by McLane is what he needs to do to properly disclose there finances. It doesn't mean that price won't go down. Everything is being inflated because all supply chains have slowed down making things much more expensive. Once things get going again I'm thinking that number is going to fall back down to around $20Billon. I do agree with what they are saying which is the added infrastructure and land reclamation they will have to do to satisfy the Feds, State, and local authorities was bound to balloon the costs, but that happens. Costs always rise on jobs like this. I don't know a single job that said there prices were lower than what they thought without substantially slashing a budget. Most of the budget they can't slash. If you look at there calculations its pretty bread and butter what is needed to make this thing operation. Its external forces which are making this more expensive. If thats the case they can afford to wait a bit, or roll out construction in longer phases.

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