On New Geography a nice essay about the follies in high speed rail projections.
In a January 4 letter to the Federal Railroad Administrator, Inspector General Mitchel Behm announced an evaluation of “best practices” with respect to high-speed rail forecasts, noting that “it is of critical importance that the Federal investments are directed to the most worthy projects.” For starters, the Inspector General needs to understand that there are is no such thing as “best practices” in high-speed rail forecasts. Best practices and high speed rail in the same sentence sounds like a line from a comedy routine. The record of ridership, revenue and cost projections in high speed rail projects is abysmal.
See Reason's study on the CA high speed rail project and it's rosy scenarios here.