Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Video: Elon Musk Says California High-Speed Rail Is 'Backwards'

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and futurist behind Tesla and SpaceX, has a few words for the much-beleaguered high-speed rail that has been in development hell for years. In a new interview, he calls the proposed technology a step backwards.

"It's almost like, instead of going forwards towards the Concorde, we actually went backwards toward the DC-3. It doesn't make sense." Musk said.

The high speed rail, which was approved by voters via Proposition 1A back in 2008, was purported to be a shining example of Californian ingenuity, linking Southern and Northern California. But as the years progressed, and after it was revealed that the first leg of the train was only going to run through the Central Valley, public perception of the project began to go south. Last year, a poll found that 52 percent of Californians opposed the creation of the rail.

Support for LAist comes from

Musk makes sure to point out that he doesn't hate the high speed rail project—he just wishes it was something better and more cutting edge. He touts the Shanghai Line, the current standard for bullet train technology in the world, saying that our rail line should at least be a tad better than theirs.

Musk is, of course, the main architect behind the Hyperloop, a futuristic high-speed transportation system that touts the ability to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 35 minutes. Musk posted the plans for the Hyperloop on his blog as a call for ambitious builders to make his plan a reality.

"I'm not saying that we have to do [Hyperloop]," Musk says. "I just wants us to have a badass transportation system."

He also would like a straight path from Los Angeles to San Francisco, which is definitely not a bad idea at all.

52% of Californians Don't Want High Speed RailGoing Nowhere Fast: 1st Leg of High Speed Rail ApprovedCalifornia High-Speed Rail Hits A Snag: Fall Start Date In JeopardyL.A. To SF In 35 Minutes: Futuristic 'Hyperloop' Plan UnveiledCalifornia Narrowly Approves Nation's First Bullet Train