Originally Posted by Boris550
Have you performed any studies? Have you gone from agency to agency and found out the exact specifications of each train and route? Have you done any research to try and estimate market share or economic benefits? I think not. Certainly, the margin of error COULD potentially be large, but that doesn't mean that our relatively uninformed opinions carry the same weight as that of people who do these kinds of studies for a living. You are still entitled to your opinion, but I think it is very premature to outright label something as a "white elephant" or such, based purely on speculation. At the very least, objections to the concept should, IMHO, be based upon actual plans and their merits or lack thereof.
The problem with your comments is that you have things backwards. It's not for the skeptics to prove the promoters wrong by coming up with their own set of dubious reports. Rather, the onus is 100 % on the shoulders of the promoters - of any project - to prove the investment merits of their proposal. Once they acheive any such proof, they can raise all the money they need from the financial markets. This is how business works. In other words, you wouldn't go to a bank asking for a loan and expect the bank to come up with a study disproving your business plan - you would have to convince them, they don't have to convince you.
It's always the proponents of high-risk projects, with dubious business merit, who are the ones running to government asking for subsidies. Businesses that service unmet needs that the public is willing to pay for don't need government subsidies. In fact, such businesses only want government to stay out of their hair.
Mirabel Airport had detailed studies/reports showing it would be a huge success, so the government put lots of money into the project.... but what happened to that investment?
The reason I know high speed rail (Ed - Cal) would be a "white elephant" is because the public seems to be managing rather nicely without it. Unless Alberta can't do without it, it's an excellent bet that it would fail - without massive government subsidies.