So what did taxpayers get for $47 million

Dear Editor,
Recently the Dispatch reported that the Valley Transportation
Authority paid Union Pacific Railroad $47 million. What did the
taxpayers get for their money? Some say we purchased right of way,
i.e., real property, while others say we got trackage rights to run
passenger trains. Which was it?
Dear Editor,

Recently the Dispatch reported that the Valley Transportation Authority paid Union Pacific Railroad $47 million. What did the taxpayers get for their money? Some say we purchased right of way, i.e., real property, while others say we got trackage rights to run passenger trains. Which was it?

Recent reports of AMTRAK having to reimburse the Class 1 railroads for any damages paid to personal injury plaintiffs, or their heirs in wrongful death cases, because the contract between the National Railroad Passenger Corporation and the Class 1’s contains an indemnification clause to that effect, leads me to suspect that VTA has made the same promise to UP.

So what did we get for the $47 million? There really should be an answer so that taxpayers will know just what our leaders have gotten us into. It’s bad enough that we have to subsidize Caltrain riders’ rides at 99 percent of total costs, but what hidden traps lurk in the fine print?

Joe Thompson, Gilroy

Editor’s note: The agreement is for trackage rights and the purchase of a station.

Leave your comments