Scoping Comments for Merced to Bakersfield Segments

Oct 31st, 2009 | Posted by

Yesterday afternoon, Californians for High Speed Rail submitted the following comments to the California High Speed Rail Authority for the Merced to Fresno and Fresno to Bakersfield segments.

As you can see, the comments follow the general principles Californians for High Speed Rail have laid out for the HSR project. The comments call for stations to be built in downtown Merced, downtown Fresno, and downtown Bakersfield, accompanied with rules to promote transit-oriented development and to prevent sprawl. For example, in Merced, owing to several factors, the comments included possible alignments around the town of Merced with non-downtown stations. Even in those cases, the stations would involve selection criteria and mitigation measures designed to limit sprawl, such as considering the “Amount of transit-oriented development (TOD) the locality has committed to planning for within a half mile radius of the station site” and “Growth management policies the locality has adopted or is committed to adopting that would direct growth into the half-mile radius of the station site.” In Fresno and Bakersfield, the comments recommend against any non-downtown alignment. The comments for both segments include recommending not only those factors be applied to the possible Merced stations, but to all possible stations, as well as using automobile trips generated (ATG), instead of level of service (LOS) to determine impact on automobiles.

Additionally, the comments call for a Merced station to be fully compatible with Amtrak service, so as to enable a quick and easy 5-minute transfer from a high speed train to a waiting Amtrak train to continue to journey north to points along the San Joaquin routes to Oakland and Sacramento. They also support “further examination” of a station in downtown Hanford, but recognize that this station is a low priority and should not be built at the expense of building another station elsewhere in the system. The comments support a strictly defined examination of a Hanford station at the junction of state routes 43 and 198 just east of town, but only with strict TOD and anti-sprawl considerations. The comments do not endorse any station near Visalia. And finally, the comments call for using the BNSF right-of-way between Fresno and Bakersfield, and not following the UPRR ROW, owing to the BNSF alignment’s better positioning of the preferred downtown Bakersfield station.

Here are the complete letters:

CA4HSR-Merced to Fresno Scoping Comments

CA4HSR-Fresno to Bakersfield Scoping Comments

Californians for High Speed Rail will be submitting comments for other segments in the coming days, promoting our vision for a high speed train that promotes both intercity passenger service alongside transit-oriented development and mitigates against sprawl in each community it serves. You can submit your comments as well on the following corridors (note the due dates) to comments@hsr.ca.gov.

Bakersfield to Palmdale: due November 2

Los Angeles to San Diego: due November 20

Altamont Corridor: due December 4

We’ll try and keep you apprised of other comment deadlines as they approach.

  1. jim
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 17:41
    #1

    Dang! you go MERced! See Palo Alto, thats how you do it. The know what they want.
    I love how they already have their ducks in a row and now that through ticketing, timed transfers, multi modal, and TOD all need to be part of the package for Merced. They must be teachin some real smarties at UC Merced which is more than we can say for a certain other university town.

  2. jim
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 18:04
    #2

    The merced station should be downtown, to keep and encourage density downtown. The UC can run student shuttles.
    Castle should be used for maintenance as its not in merced, its in atwater and there's no plan for an Atwater station.

    Merced is in the enviable position of being a small town with virtually no sprawling suburban area. The have an opportunity to build a city nearly from scratch with a full on downtown focus and a reigning in of suburban sprawl before it happens.

    Merced, with some innovative thinking, its university, hsr, and good planning, could put itself on the map as a model green city.

  3. YesonHSR
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 19:08
    #3

    Why not keep it BNSF "all the way"?
    Amtrak is already on it and it goes right past Castle and UC.
    Above Fresno around highway 33 the line can come straight down and merge near UP for the short time thru downtown before joining the BNSF again to Bakersfield.
    The proposals listed sound good but are complex with alot required of UP not the least of which is allowing Amtrak to run 6 trains PLUS sell part of there ROW to CAHSR..I dont see this working out at all..I really think CAHSR should work with the safe bet and thats BNSF.
    I am thinking of joining this group as we need a non-state body supporting this project against all the negative news types and deniers.

  4. Martin
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 19:54
    #4
  5. political_incorrectness
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 20:40
    #5

    YESonHSR, the UP ROW goes right through the downtowns. I personally would like UP to get over CAHSR into the ROW and piss off. Why can they not be willing to negotiate and perhaps make some money off the ROW? I am thankful BNSF is willing to negotiate while UP seems to not be willing to negotiate. Unless UP wants to negotiate, we cannot assume UP ROW will be available unless the feds step in.

  6. 無名 – wu ming
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 21:09
    #6

    having that HSR station will go a long way towards helping UC merced recruit profs. an hour or two from SF or LA makes moving somewhere that deep in the valley a lot more attractive. it's a smart move.

  7. jim
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 21:15
    #7

    yesonhsrI am thinking of joining this group as we need a non-state body supporting this project against all the negative news types and denieryes on hsr

    I just emailed to see ig we can get the newsleter inyo yje stations

  8. Anonymous
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 22:53
    #8

    Jim @ 6:41,
    Don't be to harsh on Palo Alto. There are many in that fine university town that do want HSR and know what they want in terms of better transit. Unfortunately, the local pols of PA are only listening to loud, rich minority who think their rights trump others. But you're right…GO MERCED!

  9. jim
    Oct 31st, 2009 at 23:14
    #9

    Funny thing is, the real wealthy, the big money, they don't live anywhere near the tracks, nor do they likely care one way or the other.

    The folks that are going on and on are mostly wanna be's. who bought into the im wealthy cuz my address is PA and my house value went so high during the boom.
    PA is not anywhere near the caliber of nice that Beverly HIlls or Bel Air or Brentwood is but to hear them talk about " the most valuable real estate in the nation" and " the most important part of california" etc is just so ridiculous. I can't help but pick on them.

    And still, they could take a proactive "how can we best benefit from this" approach like the valley is doing

  10. Rafael
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 03:19
    #10

    @ yesonHSR -

    (a) CHSRA prefers the CA-99 corridor north of Calwa (south Fresno), which isn't quite the same thing as the UPRR right of way.

    The preference stems from the following considerations:

    1. need for straight tracks, BNSF right of way has lots of sharp turns north of Calwa that would prevent trains from running through at the target speed of 220mph

    2. desire to minimize the number of required grade separations in Fresno

    3. desire for downtown stations in Merced and Modesto

    4. need to approach Stockton from the South (though it would be possible to cut over from BNSF between just south of Escalon and Stockton Airport/French Camp)

    Wrt noise, note that mile-long freight trains already run through at 75mph even at night with bells, horns etc. If the HSR tracks are immediately adjacent to the freight tracks, the grade separation projects will included the latter and thus eliminate the need for bells and horns. IMHO, that alone would more than compensate for the higher total volume of rail traffic. Bells and horns are downright evil, especially at night.

  11. Rafael
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 03:31
    #11

    @ Martin -

    does this new "Association for Sustainable Transit and Jobs" have a web site yet? If not, they might as well not exist.

  12. loooking on
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 05:31
    #12

    Merced, and Merced county being put up as examples of which the rest of California should follow.

    WOW!!!

    One of the if not the worst hit with the over building and housing crisis. A County board of supervisors, which under dark clouds, approved Villages of Laguna San Luis with the idea of making millions (maybe billions) for land developers in the area on the promise, now denied by law, of a train station in the Los Banos area.

    And now, Jim, proclaiming UC Merced to be the institution where the really smart youngsters strive to go and get the finest in college education, rather than Stnford!!!

    Truly amazing.

  13. Rafael
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 07:45
    #13

    Considering that UPRR hasn't been willing to host Amtrak San Joaquin trains south of Stockton to date, it seems to me that getting an intermodal station with HSR in Merced will be difficult if CHSRA sticks with the preferred CA-99 corridor.

    A connector between the rights of way just north of Merced may happen if Castle Airport is indeed chosen as the site of the heavy maintenance facility for HSR. However, that is still far from certain.

    Also note that Amtrak SJ and HSR trains will not be permitted to share track anywhere at all unless FRA is willing to provide a waiver. Adjacent tracks should be ok, though.

    Sticking with BNSF north of Calwa (south Fresno) would preclude the high cruise speeds CHSRA intends to operate express trains at through Fresno. Similarly, the right angle intersection between the UPRR and BNSF rights of way in south Stockton is totally unsuitable for running up to Sacramento at 220mph. There are opportunities for cutting over, e.g. between Escalon and French Camp.

    However, whether HSR trains will ever reach Sacramento at all essentially depends on cooperation from UPRR. Even bypassing Stockton to the east wouldn't make a difference since that railroad's rights of way are the only option within Sacramento itself.

  14. AndyDuncan
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 08:00
    #14

    There seems to be some confusion regarding robert's Article.

    These are not the prgressive, informed comments coming OUT of the Merced scoping process, these are the comments that Robert and the others at the "Californians For High Speed Rail" lobbying organization are SUBMITTING to the scoping process.

    The comments are well informed and consistent with the views of this site because Robert wrote them.

    You can expect the usual nimbyism and irrational FUD from the rest of the comments when they get released by the authority.

  15. YESonHSR
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 09:02
    #15

    Looking at CAHSR google map on the web site it appears there have been some updates to it.South of Frenso it still follows BNSF but now bypasses Wasco and one other small town and still cuts over to UP in Fresno but stays south of UP,
    cant remember thou I think it was north before and the route now goes around UP yard.
    BTW the SF-SJ section has also been updated with a number of "under consideration" sections where before was retained fill!

  16. Adirondacker12800
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 10:30
    #16

    Considering that UPRR hasn't been willing to host Amtrak San Joaquin trains south of Stockton to date, it seems to me that getting an intermodal station with HSR in Merced will be difficult if CHSRA sticks with the preferred CA-99 corridor

    Intermodal with what? You don't think that conventional Amtrak trains will be running parallel to the HSR trains do you?

  17. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 10:38
    #17

    Actually, I think it would make a lot of sense for Amtrak trains to provide local service in the Central Valley, with intermodal HSR stations where local passengers could transfer to HSR. The BNSF right-of-way tends to run far from downtown areas though, which are vastly preferable for HSR stations.

  18. jim
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 10:58
    #18

    Intermodal with what? You don't think that conventional Amtrak trains will be running parallel to the HSR trains do you?"

    Yes that is the plan. Amtrak has no intention of getting rid of sanjoa service. In fact more trains will be added including adding service to redding.

  19. Adirondacker12800
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 11:25
    #19

    Yes that is the plan. Amtrak has no intention of getting rid of sanjoa service.

    Hmmm lets see I can stand on the platform in Fresno and take a train that takes hours to get to Bakersfield or a train that takes minutes to get to Bakersfield. Unless the fare on the conventional train is nearly free who is going to take the conventional train? The conventional train doesn't go to Los Angeles or San Francisco so taking a conventional train from Fresno to either won't be an option. . . and unless it's nearly free no one would take it.

    In fact more trains will be added including adding service to redding

    Redding won't have HSR service for the foreseeable future so planning intermodal station in Redding is moot. Redding's intermodal station will be in Sacramento….

  20. YESonHSR
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 11:34
    #20

    Bakersfield will have to be the interchange as its the only station that will host bolth systems.Passengers in Merced will take the HST if they need to get to Fresno or Bakersfield.The SanJoaquins will really only need to serve the small towns for connection at Bakersfield for HSR and intervalley travel and direct rail to the EastBay.

  21. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 11:43
    #21

    @Adirondacker12800

    As I said, it would make sense for the San Joaquín service to act as a local, serving the areas too small to warrant HSR stations. Intermodal stations would allow people to transfer from local trains to HSR and travel to other regions of the state. Of course people will choose HSR for, for instance, Fresno to Bakersfield trips, but that's forgetting the areas in between, however small they may be. Places like Hanford, Corocan, and Wasco already have Amtrak stations, and intermodals with HSR will allow people in those regions easy access to the rest of the state.

  22. john lindt
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 12:08
    #22

    Ignoring Visalia because it doesn't have 4 year college like much smaller Merced makes no sense. Quite the opposite. The half million people of Tulare/Kings need adequate access to this statewide system as matter of fairness and equity.
    Tulare County has offered free land for station, TOD, and $50 million in monies to swing the BNSF allignment just a few miles closer to 99-where the people are! The city of Hanford does not want a station in their downtown. That means you have to swing the track east of Hanford anyway.
    What part of this don't you folks get. The HSR is not about making it attractive to commute from SF to UC Merced. Its about economic development of all regions of the state – especially the poorest.

  23. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 12:25
    #23

    @john lindt

    Visalia itself does have a large enough population to warrant a HSR station. The issue is, I think, that there is no easy way to access Visalia. The current plan is to utilize the BNSF alignment which goes through Hanford (though HSR will bypass Hanford to the West). The SR99 route is also UPRR, which means that a new right-of-way would have to be built there, not to mention the fact that at best, a HSR station could only be constructed on the outskirts of Visalia, as there appears to be no viable route to access the downtown area (this reduces ridership and increases risk of sprawl). Believe me, I don't think anyone has anything against serving Visalia, but it just doesn't seem feasible.

  24. jim
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 13:03
    #24

    adirondack "Redding won't have HSR service for the foreseeable future so planning intermodal station in Redding is moot. Redding's intermodal station will be in Sacramento…"

    No one said anythig about hsr to redding. Its an overlay like this

    SJQ currently serves 13 stations that hsr will not serve and will eventually add at least another 3-4 stations to the north.

  25. jim
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 13:32
    #25

    New stations, upgrades and rebuilds are going in at

    elk grove, madera, stockton, ( upgrade to existing and construction of new) hercules, richmond,
    upgrades have already been completed at several other stations and new station from extending trains 702 and 704 north at MRV CIC and RDR

  26. Anonymous
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 15:30
    #26

    @ Jim

    MRV CIC and RDR? What is the English translation of that?

    I don't read Amtrak acronym fluently.

  27. matt
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 16:26
    #27

    @Anon

    Maryville, Chico, and Redding.

    From google searching amtrak codes.

  28. Elizabeth
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 19:02
    #28

    Question:

    I was looking at the Heavy Maintenance Facility requirements. The facility must on ON the test tracks, which need to be a minimum of 79 miles long and straight. They need to test the trains at up to 248mph for the entire stretch (after acceleration).

    Since Fresno is only 50 miles from Merced, doesn't this automatically disqualify Merced as a candidate?

    Not only will there have to be a curve at Fresno, but I can't see testing being allowed through Fresno, especially not at 248 mph.

    Is Merced just being led on? What is the deal?

  29. Adirondacker12800
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 19:15
    #29

    SJQ currently serves 13 stations that hsr will not serve and will eventually add at least another 3-4 stations to the north.

    There's 6 trains a day now. Take out all the traffic between the places that will have HSR after phase 2 is complete… how many passengers are there going to be left? Is it better for them to have one train a day in each direction or a Thruway type bus once an hour that brings them to the HSR station 30 miles away?

    Chico had a whopping 6,935 passengers in fiscal year 2007. Which is an average of less than 20 passengers a day. Maryville Chico and Redding can have a lovely shiny new Thruway bus that takes them to Sacramento where passengers can transfer to the high speed electric trains. Once they get more than a few bus loads a day start talking about train service…

  30. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 19:32
    #30

    Why have a bus when you can have a train? Especially since the trackage already exists, and trains don't have to worry about traffic/waiting at intersections. Plus, train rides tend to be smoother and more comfortable, not to mention more energy efficient. The San Joaquín service can survive IFF infill stations are built to serve areas currently underserved, and timed transfers are provided with HSR trains. Actually I'm wondering if DMUs might make sense on the San Joaquín corridor, as they can accelerate quite quickly (important for maintaining good speed on a local service), and they are more practical for running shorter trains.

  31. Adirondacker12800
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 19:44
    #31

    Why have a bus when you can have a train?

    Because for 20 people a day it's too expensive.

    DMUs might make sense on the San Joaquín corridor, as they can accelerate quite quickly (important for maintaining good speed on a local service), and they are more practical for running shorter trains.

    DMUs make sense when passenger loads are similar to lightly used bus lines.

  32. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 20:19
    #32

    @Adirondacker12800..

    Because for 20 people a day it's too expensive.

    20 people a day isn't enough to even warrant shuttle bus service. But I'll assume you're exaggerating that number, and just mention that rail tends to be more expensive to build, but less expensive to operate, whereas buses tend to be cheaper to start with, but cost more to operate in the long run. Pile that on top of the facts that rail can provide faster, more comfortable service (read: more attractive and hence more ridership), not to mention being more energy efficient.

    DMUs make sense when passenger loads are similar to lightly used bus lines.

    Ehh? Isn't that the exact type of traffic volume these types of routes will have?

  33. john lindt
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 20:53
    #33

    Hey Joey,
    HSR will have to move its ROW to the EAST of Hanford anyway-not WEST. So there needs to be a new alignment toward Highway 99 anyway. There is an alternative they are studying that would swing it toward 99 near the Visalia airport to coordinate with other modes of transportation – good for ridership and much easier for most of the population to access rail service. Isnt that what this is all about?
    Re: the Maintainence Station ELIZABETH is right-this thing belongs in the South Valley where the test track will be. Who annointed Merced or CAFB?

  34. jim
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 21:03
    #34

    Adirondack– listen to me, san joaquin service will not be discontinued. Service will be increased. We are already getting ready to add two addtional trains per day in addtion to going north to redding. Upgrades to track and stations are in the works, and part of the 10 billion in hsr funds will go to san joaquin service for further upgrades. Trust me I know. San joaquin service is not going away.
    repeat: its not going away.
    What is likely is that amtrak california will operate hsr in conjunction with the other state services, with through ticketing and timed transfers using existing staff and res. Just wait. you'll see. AFter 45 years, I know how things are done in california. You'll see.

  35. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 21:10
    #35

    @john lindt

    My west comment came from the google map, though that may not be 100% accurate anymore. In any case, Visalia Airport is much farther east than any Hanford-avoiding alignment would have to be, not to mention still being more or less in the middle of nowhere. TBH I doubt there are enough flights going there to call it an intermodal center. So ridership would have to come from the surrounding communities, in which case it doesn't make much sense to put a station all the way out there anyway.

  36. Peter
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 21:27
    #36

    @ Joey

    Being a general aviation pilot, I can guarantee you that there pretty much is NO general aviation airport that gets enough transient traffic to warrant an HSR station.

    About Visalia specifically, I can't imagine enough traffic even airline-wise coming in to warrant such a station. If I understand it correctly, only Great Lakes Airlines flies into there. The biggest plane they fly is a Brasilia, which holds 30 passengers. The only service out of Visalia is to Ontario. I don't see that airport generating enough passengers for HSR.

  37. jim
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 21:57
    #37

    new san joaquin station for elk grove (7 million in stimulus funds
    "The project includes an 800 foot long rail platform, drop off and longer term parking areas, bus drop off/loading area, paved pedestrian trail along Whitehouse Creek under the existing rail road bridge, frontage improvements along Elk Grove-Florin Road, and a signalized intersection at the Station Entrance with Elk Grove-Florin Road"

  38. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 21:59
    #38

    @Peter – my point exactly.

    To be honest, as much as there does seem to be enough population in the Visalia area to warrant a HSR station, it just doesn't look feasible. It doesn't help that there are three population centers (Visalia being the main one), which have considerable distance between them.

    john lindt: Would I be correct in assuming that you are from the Visalia area?

  39. Adirondacker12800
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 23:02
    #39

    But I'll assume you're exaggerating that number,

    Chico had 6,935 passengers in fiscal year 2007. I didn't use FY 2008 numbers because there was a mudslide in Oregon that closed down service for a while. 6,935 divided by 365 is 19. Some of them were headed north. So yes I exaggerated. I inflated the number slightly. Quadruple that and you have filled one DMU car. Or a bus and half. …in round numbers. Add up all of the passengers north of the suburbs of Sacramento, there might be a hundred a day.

    rail tends to be more expensive to build, but less expensive to operate, whereas buses tend to be cheaper to start with, but cost more to operate in the long run.

    When you are talking about fleets. Three DMU cars shuttling back and forth between Sacramento and Redding – one going north, one going south and one back at the shop being repaired or maintained isn't a fleet. It'd be cheaper to contract with Greyhound and have them add a bus or two to the schedule.

    listen to me, san joaquin service will not be discontinued. Service will be increased.

    Once HSR is completed to Sacramento you are left with a few stations that aren't already an HSR station or a Capitol Corridor station. Once the initial line is open there's no need for San Joaquin service south of Fresno. . . assuming the people in Hanford or Visalia decide they want a station.

    Once phase one is built it's faster to go between Bakersfield ( and points south ) and Sacramento via San Jose using HSR and a Capitol Corridor train than it is on a San Joaquin. Once HSR opens it's faster to get to Oakland from Fresno using HSR and BART. Once HSR goes all the way to Sacramento how many riders are left south of Fresno, other than foamers pining to ride on a Superliner between Bakersfield and Hanford?

    Assume they build an HSR station someplace between Bakersfield and Fresno that attracts all the riders now using Hanford. That leaves Wasco with 18,635 passengers in fiscal year 2008 ( or an average of just under 52 passengers a day ) and Corcoran with 26,018 a year ( or just under 72 a day ) or three busloads or two Superliner cars. Once phase one opens, assuming a station that replaces Amtrak's Hanford, there's no need for the San Joaquins to run south of Fresno. Once phase two opens the people who aren't served by Capitol Corridor trains, ACE trains or HSR …there aren't enough of them to scare up a train load of passengers a day. They'd be better served by frequent bus service to the nearest HSR station. . . for the ones who don't want to or can't drive to the nearest HSR station.

    …the San Joaquin will be truncated to Fresno once phase one opens and probably wither away once phase two opens. No need at all for them with HSR service to Oakland.

    new san joaquin station for elk grove (7 million in stimulus funds
    "The project includes an 800 foot long rail platform, drop off and longer term parking areas, bus drop off/loading area, paved pedestrian trail along Whitehouse Creek under the existing rail road bridge, frontage improvements along Elk Grove-Florin Road, and a signalized intersection at the Station Entrance with Elk Grove-Florin Road"

    And when HSR goes to Sacramento it will make a really nice commuter rail station so that commuters can get to Sacramento. Or a really nice bus station so that people can get to the HSR stations in Stockton and Sacramento. Or both.

  40. Joey
    Nov 1st, 2009 at 23:48
    #40

    Why is it that all the towns with larger populations tend to be along the UPRR corridor? Looking at Google earth, the UPRR alignment seems to have perhaps double the ridership potential for the San Joaquín service as BNSF does. Oh well, life sucks.

    Anyway, to look at current ridership for a place like Redding would be to ignore the fact that there are plenty of people who would take the train if it were available, but who would drive or just not travel otherwise. You can't deny that trains attract a lot more ridership than buses, especially if they run frequently and are reasonably fast.

    Also, as I said, infill stations could end up being a critical component of the San Joaquín's future. Along BNSF and south of Fresno, the only potential station seems to be Shafter, with a slightly smaller population than Corocan. North though, you've got Atwater (population 27,972), Riverbank (15,862), Galt (19,472), and Elk Grove (136,318 – actually that's probably enough to warrant its own HSR station). And that's not to mention the existing stations like Turlock (Denair), Madera, and Lodi (almost large enough for an HSR station too).

    BTW – Hanford getting a station is quite an assumption at this point.

    Also, just for the sake of comparison, let's look at a best case scenario and imagine that UPRR was willing to host San Joaquín trains in the Central Valley. That would allow stations at Ripon/Sálida, downtown Modesto, Delhi, Livingston, Atwater, Downtown Merced (could happen anyway), Chowchilla, Downtown Madera, Downtown Fresno (though the existing station is close enough), Selma, Kingsburg, Visalia, Tulare, and Delano. If all those cities could be served, the San Joaquín service could survive easily. Even on BNSF, there's unused ridership. Truth be told, there's a lot of local ridership potential in the Central Valley, there just isn't any service.

    In case I failed to say anything else useful, let me end by mentioning that intermodal connections with HSR would probably increase local ridership.

  41. jim
    Nov 2nd, 2009 at 08:04
    #41

    adirondack. the plan is to keep the san joaquins okay? I mean they could go away in 20 or 30 years but not anytime soon. and like I said its likely that amtrak will operate hsr and coordinate it with san joaquins as the sjq' will be serving up to redding by then. and don't underetimate the people who will use it for local travel, including many people who wont ride hsr because it goes to fast and it scares them ( yes believe it or not i hear this all the time too)

  42. Adirondacker12800
    Nov 2nd, 2009 at 13:18
    #42

    the plan is to keep the san joaquins okay? I mean they could go away in 20 or 30 years but not anytime soon.

    But we aren't discussing Amtrak's plan for 2010. We are discussing what happens when HSR starts to carry passengers. Once HSR starts to carry passengers there won't be enough of them south of Fresno to fill a car of a conventional train. Once it goes all the way to Sacramento there won't be enough passengers at the existing stations to fill a train a day. If Amtrak decides to reallocate the creaky old diesel equipment to Sacramento to Redding, great! I wonder if they will be able to fill a train a day.

  43. Anonymous
    Nov 2nd, 2009 at 14:44
    #43

    Jim is worried that he will be one to lose a job due to HSR.

  44. Alon Levy
    Nov 2nd, 2009 at 16:26
    #44

    Why would he? HSR would increase train passenger volume in California by an order of magnitude. No efficiency increases could turn that into net job loss.

  45. Anonymous
    Nov 3rd, 2009 at 00:24
    #45

    No private HSR operator would hire deadweight Amtrak employees if given the choice. They would preferably hire airline flight attendants who know how successful private operations work.

Comments are closed.