Dennis Cardoza Slams HSR Route

Nov 30th, 2010 | Posted by

Congressman Dennis Cardoza slammed the proposed Borden-Corcoran HSR construction route last week with strong language, calling it a “Thanksgiving Day fraud.”

Cardoza is today stepping up his criticism of the route selection and the California High Speed Rail Authority. Because Cardoza, a Democrat, was instrumental in bringing HSR funds to the Central Valley, his criticisms carry particularly strong weight.

Cardoza wrote a letter to Ray LaHood calling for the US DOT to “intervene” in the question of the project route:

DOT.highSpeedRail11.30.10

As you can see, Cardoza claims that the Borden-Corcoran route does not meet ARRA or Prop 1A requirements, that Merced-Fresno meets the “independent utility” requirements, and that since a Hanford station wasn’t in the EIR, Merced-Fresno is the better choice. Cardoza wants Secretary LaHood to intervene and rule out the Borden-Corcoran proposal – and do so before Thursday’s CHSRA board meeting.

Cardoza sent out the following press release along with this letter:

Congressman Cardoza Condemns High Speed “Train To Nowhere”

Requests Intervention From U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Authority

For Immediate Release: November 30, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Dennis Cardoza strongly condemned the High Speed Rail Authority today and demanded an explanation for the wasteful use of tax funding and illogical decisions being made about the proposed first route.

The HSR Authority board is on the verge of adopting a staff proposal this week that would ignore two previously considered routes for the high-speed passenger train and instead create a hybrid route running between the community of Borden, outside of Madera, and Corcoran, south of Hanford.

The board was expected to either approve a route between Bakersfield and Fresno, or Merced and Fresno, according to a grant that was awarded to California through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. On the day before Thanksgiving, as most were preparing for the long holiday weekend, the Authority quietly released news that it was instead choosing a hybrid route rather than a route already reviewed by the public.

Cardoza called the announcement a “Thanksgiving Day Fraud” and joined many others today in referring to the route as “The High Speed Train To Nowhere.”

In a two-page letter today, Congressman Cardoza requested that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood immediately intervene to enforce the Federal Railroad Administration’s directive on the use of a recent $715 million federal grant. Please click here to read the letter.

“The intent of the Legislature and Californians in passing Proposition 1A in 2008 was to build the system as fast as possible, maximizing ridership and the mobility of Californians in a manner that yields the most benefit consistent with available revenues,” Cardoza said in the letter.

“The Merced-Fresno segment represents the backbone of this rail system, providing crucial links to Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Southern California. The Merced-Fresno segment offers a line that is ready to go and will provide a functioning segment, connecting two stations and an operating line that has independent utility. In contrast, the Borden-Corcoran segment with a high-speed train (HST) station in the Kings/Tulare region near Hanford violates Proposition 1A because it cannot be considered a “useable segment” and it currently does not meet FRA’s requirement of independent utility.”

Cardoza also said he remains concerned that the Authority is subverting voter intent and public input from numerous meetings held on the two expected routes:

“What is at stake with this decision is absolutely monumental and marks the cornerstone of the future of high speed rail. For the HSR Authority to choose this route is to significantly undermine the public’s trust, marks a gross misuse of taxpayer funds, and will alienate significant supporters of the project, including in Southern California and the Bay Area. To accept the route recommended by staff is akin to derailment of an otherwise highly valuable infrastructure project that Californians have said they support.”

Cardoza isn’t mincing words here. And his influence is considerable, given the heavy lifting he did to bring the funding to the Central Valley.

Whether or not Secretary LaHood steps in, the lines are being clearly drawn. CHSRA CEO Roelof van Ark believes that the most important thing to do is lay track from SF to LA, and sees Borden-Corcoran, with stations at Fresno and Hanford, as the best way to get that started. Reports suggest that the CHSRA board is split, with some sympathetic to Merced, others to van Ark, and others to both.

What happens on Thursday is anyone’s guess. But Cardoza’s intervention, whether or not he succeeds in getting LaHood to step in, may help tip the scales against the Borden-Corcoran plan. We will see what happens.

  1. Jack In Fresno
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 19:21
    #1

    Pure damage control, he lost, it was researched and Merced was eliminated fair and square. He is going to call LaHood’s attention to the matter, Van Ark will explain it’s a waste of very limited resources to build anything past the wye in phase I. Case closed.

    Purporting the train to nowhere meme’ is just fueling oppositional fire. It helps no one.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    Sadly he is repeating misinformation that this is going to be the only piece ever built between these two small towns knowing full well this is just the beginning.. the reason .. the maintenance base.. He knows that the section chosen stands a good chance of getting it first and personally I think Fresno is the better choice for it. The Merced to Fresno section at best will have the stub running out to Atwater for years if the base goes to Fresno.. talk about a train to nowhere. The Merced to Fresno section at this point does not even have the exact route decided and we still have to deal with the Union Pacific all before September 2011.

  2. synonymouse
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 19:31
    #2

    This bickering is the direct result of the selection of the 99 alignment over I-5.

    99 is a product of the early 20th century, when there not enough money available to build express highways(aka freeways)and the roads had to go thru the center of every town. By the fifties and the cold war the country was rich enough to build extensive by-pass routes, of which I-5 is one of the most successful examples. It is a ready-made and cheap ROW, especially for a starter route which needs extraordinary speed and travel times to impress a skeptical public. So dumb to regress to 1920 route planning.

    Jack In Fresno Reply:

    There is not enough population along the I-5…..

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Maybe not I5, but the point is still valid. If CHSRA was able to function with the same efficiency as the Spanish, or even the French, the $4+ billion down-payment would be sufficient to build Merced all the way perhaps to Bakersfield.

    This bickering is the inevitable result when vast sums are spent, with little to show for it — giant aerials, FRA-compliant infrastructure, etc, etc.

    joe Reply:

    Spain connect cities, didn’t bypass them.

    The Congressman wants jobs in his district to justify the spedning and he did some heavily lifting to fund the project.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Spain connect cities, didn’t bypass them.

    Did you read this on the back of a cornflakes box or something?

    Spain doesn’t run trains through city centres at 200+kmh.

    Those conurbations that don’t have peripheral stations are served by all-stop or all-slow-way-down trains.

    But please, don’t let facts get in the way of your beliefs.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Give it a rest. The Central Valley construction costs are, like, 25% higher than those of the LGV Est. Just because the Bay Area is profligate with money doesn’t mean everyone else is.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    I don’t see where you get 25% from.

    LGV-Est: $4.2 billion for 190 miles ($22 million/mile)
    Borden-Corcoran: $4.15 billion for 65 miles ($63 million/mile)

    Also note that LGV-Est is a completed project, whereas Borden-Corcoran may or may not have electrification, completed stations, signaling, ECOs, etc.

    Peter Reply:

    How many miles on the LGV-Est are elevated?

    Clem Reply:

    The French don’t do elevated. That’s the whole point. HSR in California is seen by the construction industrial complex as a way to build monumental concrete structures. They’re just big freeways accessorized with rails.

    thatbruce Reply:

    That’s probably the saddest true thing I’ll read today.

    Peter Reply:

    Well, tell UP to allow HSR to use its ROW and most of the elevated structures.

    Peter Reply:

    *would go away.

    GAH

    jimsf Reply:

    but they sure know how to do them

    Alon Levy Reply:

    A lot of this is inflated for special testing (yeah, I know), plus cost inflation.

    Compare LGV Est Phase 2 ($16 million/km) and the CV cost estimates (a little more than $20 million/km) and the difference looks a lot more reasonable.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Does not have electrification, maintenance / operations facility or high speed elements

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No, it does have high-speed elements. The infrastructure and systems are built to allow trains to go at full speed without destroying the track. Only the catenary is missing.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    In the sense of communications and signaling equipment

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The PTC mandate will be in effect in 2015. They are going to have modern signaling.

    Peter Reply:

    How do you know they won’t have signaling equipment for high speed trains? They need PTC or in-cab signaling to run trains faster than 79 mph. If they install ERTMS, there’s nothing to keep them from using it for HSR later on.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    That’s my question: I saw nothing when they included the cost of signaling in the segment cost estimates that said the signaling was going to have to be ripped out and replaced for HSR use. If it was just budgeting for the contingency, it ought to have been in the same cost pool as the $150m contingency for the BNSF corridor connector.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Communications and signaling elements are cheap. So is electrification, which is why I’m amazed they’re not including it. This isn’t even about hoping that the US can replicate European construction costs: the costs I’m calculating for those items come from the US and UK. Electrification is about $2 million per km. ERTMS is in the same ballpark – I’m not sure how high right now, but you can check.

    Victor Reply:

    Yeah the I-5, 60’s-70’s era planning bypassed cities that weren’t BIG enough, As a result some died, Some shrank a lot and some hang on still, It’s something that shouldn’t be repeated.

    jimsf Reply:

    oh for god’s sake give it a rest syn.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    really…I guess when the trains are running he will still be at it!!

    StevieB Reply:

    The continued soapboxing on this route which is not germane is laughable.

    Eric Fredericks Reply:

    I will repeat myself again. The I-5 corridor is not suitable for trains running at 220mph. There are too many curves. You would have to purchase so much right of way and valuable farmland that it might never get built. The existing rail corridors are much more straight and serve population centers.

    The I-5 corridor was the first thing the CHSRA looked at in its early planning.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    You are correct in the sense that if the 99 alignment was chosen, there would be no CV segment with independent utility, and so no funding to get started, and so no bickering over where to start.

  3. Kibble
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 19:44
    #3

    A random question on my part. Is there any chance the project will cancel the section to irvine? I know nothing is set in stone but how does the irvine connection look?

    Also, realistically when will true construction begin? Thanks!

    thatbruce Reply:

    Anaheim to Irvine is a ‘Phase 2’ segment as far as I know, with no timeline apart from ‘after Phase 1 is complete’. Most likely it will be a continuation of the ‘shared track’ proposal with Metrolink, with added quirks due to the occasional freight at night.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    It is phase 3.

  4. D. P. Lubic
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 19:55
    #4

    Let’s look at the situation:

    A lot of people think we need to bring rail transit back, partially for congestion reasons, but also because of oil vulnerability, amply demonstrated in 2007. Hence the passing of the California High Speed Rail Act.

    As venturesome as this is, it is still an expensive project, and resourses are limited. The big thing that is hoped for is that there will be a federal match; after all, the Feds have seen the oil vulnerability as well, and a new administration is rail freindly.

    Planning, in progress for some time, proceeds. Initial proposals are floated, but for a variety of reasons, both real and, well, fanciful, opposition turns out to be unexpectedly strong in what could be initial build areas. Worse, it looks like federal support may be wavering due to money concerns, particularly since conservative (and usually anti-rail) forces look like they may win an election.

    Other options are looked at. Rationalles include easier building in level and open terrain, lack of opposition combined with support for the project, and a big requirement from the Feds, the concept of “independent utility,” the idea that whatever is built will be of use even if the rest of the project is cancelled.

    This last item becomes even more important as conservative elements partially take over the federal government. There is a stong possibility that no federal money will be forthcoming.

    If you were in such a situation, what would you do? You have some noisy people who don’t want you around San Francisco, you don’t have any guarentee of support from your own federal government, the transportation game is so badly rigged against rail with road subsidies (most of which are hidden) that private operators aren’t really ready for it (and private capital is no longer the bunch of buckaroos the conservatives make them out to be), and you are not sure you can raise your own money due to a poor economy. Foreign capital is worth considering, but has its own problems, among them wounded pride at the idea of a foreign company, perhaps backed by a government that may be hostile to your own, will control a large and valuable asset in your land.

    What do you do? You choose a segment that can be truly high speed. You choose a segment in an area with no opposition and strong support. You pick a segment that can be easily connected into the existing passenger rail network should this be all you build. This segment can still be a huge improvement for that national network, even if you are limited to the 110-120 mph range and lack electrification, by greatly reducing travel times on this service. You do this keeping a fair reserve available for continued construction should additional matching money become available, and you also keep a reserve for building those connecting tracks if the project flops.

    Now, put yourself in the shoes of the rail authority, and ask yourself–given the limits and constraints you have to deal with, what would you do differently?

    jimsf Reply:

    plus there’s room out there to put one of these!

    jimsf Reply:

    I meant this !

    Jerry Reply:

    I’m ready to ride it.

    Dan Reply:

    SWEET.

    If we build one of those, the Chinese HSR got nothin’ on us!!!!!

    jimsf Reply:

    we’re californians, gotta think outside the box ya know.

    jimsf Reply:

    sure there’d be bypass tracks, only trains with a special surcharge would go through that.

    Victor Reply:

    I’d rather have this one Here, Now if only the French would provide financing to go with what We already have, Plus build the trains here, We’d have ourselves a CTGV.

    Victor Reply:

    I meant this link: here

    Victor Reply:

    And then there’s the Mail TGV mentioned here. Yes the French do haul mail in the Yellow Trains, Who said Freight can’t haul ass. ;)

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    I don’t know if the French are creative or bizarre:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQdiw2tebWc&NR=1

    Have fun anyway!

    Spokker Reply:

    Atherton would find some way to complain.

    The wind from the invisible train passengers will give Bobby the sniffles. Have they done an EIR on the radiation from invisible trains? I’m sure it’s a lot. Seven studies have been done but I think one more would do the trick. Start working on it and extend the public comment period to 2929.

    political_incorrectness Reply:

    As has been said before, overanalysis is paralysis

  5. tomCV
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 20:01
    #5

    An ambitious, visionary, forward-thinking project requires an ambitious, visionary, forward-thinking support system.

    Read more: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2010/11/30/1673547/e-daniel-hirleman-uc-merced-all.html#ixzz16pTYA0gY
    http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2010/11/30/1673547/e-daniel-hirleman-uc-merced-all.html

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Thanks for linking this. I was just about to publish a post about that op-ed when I saw Cardoza’s letter and press release.

    Risenmessiah Reply:

    The heavy maintenance facility does not make or break the dean’s vision. UC Merced can still be a huge leader in transportation, and high speed rail. If the school produces the human capital, the businesses will come.

  6. Jon
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 20:40
    #6

    Oh FFS. You have to start building somewhere, and no trains will be running until the whole of phase 1 is complete. So why does it mater precisely which bit of the central valley you start in?

    The reason the Merced supporters are pissed is because they think the decision means the Heavy Maintenance Facility will go to Fresno instead of Merced. And they may be right, but I wish they would just be honest and admit that instead of picking at technicalities. Seems to me like Cardoza is clutching at any reason to oppose this decision simply because it was not he one he wanted.

    Eric M Reply:

    Van Arc said no decision on the maintenance facility will be made for a long time. No trains running, no maintenance facility. Merced is just the baby in the crib crying for attention which shouldn’t even be on phase 1 to begin with.

    Castle Expert Reply:

    Eric I agree Van Ark has said on many occasions that the decsion on the Maintenaced facility will not be decided until they actually purchase trains. But what I find interesting is last year at this time an RFP was released from the authority with all proposals due at the end of 2009. A total of roughly 14 proposals were submitted from Merced to Bakersfield. Since that time they have been whittled down to 8.

    The selection process has now been seperated into two groups. Proposals from Fresno to the South are in one group and proposals from Madera North are in a second group.

    The final selection is due the early part of 2012 according to the RFP. Van Ark and staff can talk all they want about that the decison on the HMF will not be for years but the facts are unless their is a change upcoming the next group of finalist will be announced in a few months. Since their is no track south of Fresno all proposals from Madera north will be eliminated.

    A request in writing has gone to the Authority Board stating that if the decsion on the HMF is not for five years than why not delay selecting the finalists for HMF until the entire phase I is completed. To date the authority has been silent on this request.

    brandon from San Diego Reply:

    A maintenance facility needs to be up and operational a out 1 year prior to HSR trains rolling out onto the mainline. The auhority might need to baroow/lease a trainset from someone to test the yard itself.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    The maintenance base is reason NUMBER ONE.. No matter what anyone says with issues of station to station or ridership or anything else.. It starts real long-term jobs in its winning community as soon as 2014 when they actually start construction on it and then start the testing and commissioning the trainsets and then when all the construction is done and the workers have gone away the maintenance base will be there with good pay and long-term jobs and taxes! That’s why these two areas and Congressmen are going at it tooth and nail.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Merced is effectively out of the running for a maintenance station under the current plan.

    The plan now is to build San Jose to San Fernando Valley stop and start running trains. You will need a maintenance facility for that route. Maintenance facility will be on that route. Merced is not on that route. Ergo, no maintenance facility in Merced.

    As we have said, you argue about whether Merced supporters were fooling themselves or being fooled, but now is the time for a little honesty.

    morris brown Reply:

    Elizabeth:

    Where is your documentation that this is the plan?

    Assuming this is the new plan, think what this will do to the ridership model. Will ridership now be more like 10 million passengers per year rather than 43 million.

    Is the Authority now producing a new business plan with new ridership projections for this model?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Morris,

    The San Jose to San Fernando is not the final project. It is the initial operating segment.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Page 4 http://cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=9442

    Dan S. Reply:

    All Page 4 shows is a plan for building a CV section first, then extending to SJ, plus the additional route to SF. (Page 4 of that PDF, marked as Page 17 of some larger doc.) It certainly doesn’t say that they plan to run trains from SJ as soon as they have laid tracks from there to the CV. It shows Phase 1 as SF to Anaheim.

    Let’s not get too excited about these wry assertions until they prove to be more than that…

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Precisely. Page 4 is labeled as an efficient way to build out the system. Nowhere on that page does it indicate that the “yellow” segments together with the first segment make up a layout for running preliminary services.

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    Question: Can both Sylmar and Hanford be built without going over the station limit? I thought the talk was for Burbank being the only San Fernando station?

    thatbruce Reply:

    Maintenance facility will be on that route.

    That is not a given. With Merced only a short distance off your proposed initial route, they’d be still in the running for a maintenance facility.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Right, on two points:

    (1) That it’s Elizabeth’s route, based on the tenuous supposition that the current thinking on the staging of segments is driven by a preferred preliminary service, rather than being driven by ensuring that there is not a single point of attack for opponents of the project to stall the entire project.

    (2) Its not even settled where the Wye is to be located, and the Wye has to be built as part of the CV/SJ segment, so the idea that we can at this time even know the full cost of the major maintenance facility in Merced vs other rival locations, let alone rule Merced out based on cost, is nothing but guesswork.

    It may be that Cardoza is pushing for Merced to get locked in as the maintenance facility site as part of the CHSRA/FRA funding agreement, precisely because there is no functional necessity for making that decision for a number of years yet, and there’s no telling what the balance of power will be at that point in time.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    It is 30 miles, including an expensive aerial through Merced. Assume $75 million mile (akin to Fresno segment), that is $2.25 billion. That is a lot of money.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Pull the bandaid off.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    In what sense is it 30 miles? Are you taking the mileage from Merced to the Fresno side turnouts and adding the mileage between the San Jose side turnouts and the Merced side turnouts?

    And if that’s where you are getting 30 miles, which turnout are you using, the one furthest from Merced to get the biggest number?

    And since the Fresno segment would be a rough guide if the proportion of elevated track is similar, and not if not, why not take the miles of elevate track from the Fresno side and San Jose side turnouts through to Merced and the cost of the Fresno elevated sections, and the at grade miles and the cost of the Fresno at grade sections?

    And of course, the first segment includes a substantial prudent contingency, given that the project risk of building the first segment is intrinsically greater: by the time the Merced / Wye segment is built, the Authority should have substantially more experience with segment construction.

    Peter Reply:

    I get 18 miles from where the tracks would turn north on Avenue 24 in the West Chowchilla option. That option would, in addition to saving 10 miles of tracks, reduce the impact to Chowchilla.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    I’m taking it from the turnoff point to SJ to Castle Air Force base, just using Google maps going straight up the 99. The actual distance might vary because of rail cut acrosses to BNSF (which would make it longer), changes in the turnoff point (longer or shorter). I looked at something near the 152. Castle is past Merced proper.

    Here are some recent slides showing the locations: http://cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=9250

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Call it $2 billion. There is always going to be a higher priority for that money until after you have service running. Ergo, no maintenance.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Which means that when there is no basis for even saying whether the first service will be the full Phase 1 or, a la the TGV experience, some major segment of Phase 1, we have no idea when the maintenance center will be needed, other than knowing that it will be needed in order to run an Express HSR system.

    What difference does it make what the priority is for the money before trains are running, not having a station when there are not trains running is no loss.

    How much are California bonds selling for? A 20 year revenue bond at 6% for $400m would be $35m/annum, at 8% $41m/annum.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    And how many maintenance facilities have the corridor alignment running directly through the maintenance site? The cost that is relevant to your argument is the incremental cost of accessing Merced versus other sites, as the least cost to access a site is an amount that cannot be saved.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I can’t find the map showing which sections will be elevated, which at-grade, and so on. Will the entire 30 miles be elevated, or will they be mostly at grade with only the actual crossings elevated?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Alon, the best place to look is http://cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=9442 page 24 aka 11

    Presumably the extra track starts at mile 34 (which now gives us the exact mileage) with the wye aerial. It looks like about 13 miles of aerials and maybe 24 grade sep/ road movement projects.
    The full 50 miles, with less relative aerial is $2.7. I think the $2 billion is reasonable.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Thanks for the link. (Can’t open it right now, but will later.)

    BruceMcF Reply:

    But those are for the BNSF or hybrid alignments. What is the mileage for the UP alignment? On the map on the previous page, its less than the BSNF and hybrid alignment mileages.

    Also, I don’t find 12 miles of aerial in Merced, but more like 9 miles (which ought to be constant across all alignments), with the six mile of aerial for Madero and the Wye. Over 2/3 the cost for the section north of the Wye seems excessive.

    jim Reply:

    The wye doesn’t need to built as part of the Fresno-SJ segment. It needs to be engineered and the turnouts have to be built in to the segment; you need to know where the footings are going to be for the flyovers, so you can leave room for them. But you don’t need to build the flyovers and you don’t need to run any track away from the turnouts.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Any flyovers for the Fresno side turnouts to the San Jose side turnouts should be built before operations behind through that side of the Wye. Creating unnecessary corridor possession costs because you failed to complete that work before operations began would be absurd.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    … before operations begin through that side of the Wye …

    dang typing blind.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    It is not my concept http://cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=9442 page 4

    BruceMcF Reply:

    A service running on the red and yellow before the blue is finished is your concept.

    jimsf Reply:

    As we have said, you argue about whether Merced supporters were fooling themselves or being fooled, but now is the time for a little honesty

    uh huh.

  7. datacruncher
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 21:37
    #7

    Maybe someone more familiar with the whole EIR/EIS for Fresno-Bakersfield can provide more detail, but I’m seeing references to a Hanford/Visalia area station in the Alternative Analysis. It looks to me like Cardoza overreached with his statement that a station was not in the AA for that segment.
    http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=6718
    http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=7717

    Dan S. Reply:

    Nice finds on the AA reports. I have no idea on their applicability, but they certainly contain info on a Hanford/Visalia station.

    I also hate the way everyone throws around assertions without providing any support or reasoning. E.g., Cardoza asserts that the proposed segment violates independent utility and is not a usable segment, but of course fails to state why. Anyone buying it? Seems like more worthless FUD to me.

    As to his willingness to speak for me, someone who voted for Prop 1A, I can say that I don’t agree that this is a huge fraud, a waste, or a train to nowhere. Who said the first “segment” had to be a fully-functioning HSR system, for goodness sakes? Does anyone expect any revenue runs on any part of this system before SF to LA is completed? I don’t think so. Was it ever promised or implied in any way? I don’t think so. Was there ever any suggestion that any individual independent segment would have to be able to survive without operational subsidies if the full system wasn’t completed? Not that I know of. For Cardoza (and the many pundits on these pages who do it) to state such things as facts without any objective references is argumentatively void.

    CHSRA is sadly lacking in political savvy as it tries to foist its decisions on the public without much apparent tact or outreach or predictability. They are making their own problems here.

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    CHSRA needs a diplomat, a PR person. Robert, I’ve had 30 years’ experience in dealing with the public as a tax auditor, not all of whom liked what I do. That could be useful here, and I’m available. :-)

    BruceMcF Reply:

    A year ago on this site, Robert published the submission of Californians for HSR, opposing a Visalia station alternative, arguing that the Kings/Tulare station was the last priority, and if built should be roughly where at the location of the present preferred alternative.

  8. Alon Levy
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 22:26
    #8

    Looking at the populations of just the cities at the edges is really disingenuous when the line’s largest city is at the center.

  9. John Burrows
    Nov 30th, 2010 at 23:49
    #9

    Estimated costs of CAHSR segments (2009 business plan):

    San Jose to Merced————————————$6.9 billion
    Merced to Fresno—————————————-3.0 billion
    Fresno to Bakersfield———————————–5.1 billion
    Bakersfield to Palmdale——————————–5.0 billion
    Palmdale to Los Angeles——————————-7.6 billion
    Total——————————————————27.6 billion

    From San Jose to Sylmar, temporarily bypassing Merced instead of from San Jose to Los Angeles
    through Merced, could save some money initially. A wild guess — not including Merced might save close to 1 billion because the WYE would not have to be done. Likewise, delaying the more urban segment from Sylmar to Los Angeles could save another 3 billion plus.

    Subtracting 4.0 billion from 27.6 billion leaves 23.6 billion. Add 1.6 billion (1/2 the implementation costs) and you have a wild guess of 25.2 billion to run high speed rail from San Jose to Sylmar. This is the minimal system that can connect the Bay Area with Metro Los Angeles, and until this happens there is not going to be a whole lot of “benefit consistent with available revenue”

    CaHSRA is hoping for a total of 17 to 19 billion in federal funding. If they can get a commitment for another 13 to 14 billion in addition to what already has been allocated there would be enough money to build from San Jose to Sylmar– a functioning system that would generate substantial revenue.

    As far as getting a large funding commitment right now—-a snowball would have a better chance in hell— but Washington seems to be on a 2 year cycle.

    And concerning Merced—It would still be in phase 1 and would get HSR about the same time as San Francisco and Los Angeles.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Stopping at Sylmar is feasible if and only if Metrolink gets an extensive FRA waiver and electrifies.

    thatbruce Reply:

    Doubtful that Metrolink would even pursue such a course in the medium term, owing to the high mileage of services operated outside corridors covered by CAHSR phase 1.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Why should they seek or you suggest that they would seek to do such a thing for their entire network?

    I mean, other than as a strawman “proposal”?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It’s a good thing if Metrolink seeks a systemwide FRA waiver. That way, next time a train operator texts while driving and the train derails, the lead coach won’t telescope into the locomotive.

    Dan Reply:

    I recognize the reference, but could you elaborate on how an FRA waiver would’ve affected this accident? (serious question)

    //dan.

    Peter Reply:

    Crash-energy Management, PTC?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Peter if he’s asking the question he doesn’t know what PTC is.
    Dan, granting a waiver of existing FRA rules would require a modern signal system. When the engineer is too busy being distracted by personal business to operate the train,the signal system working together with the control systems on board the train, would have stopped the train before it went where it wasn’t supposed to go. Positive train control. It has other names too. Even if the train-stop system fails and the accident happens anyway, the train would be designed to minimize injury and death. Crash energy management….

    Alon Levy Reply:

    What Peter said. And it’s important to mention that either PTC or crash-energy management alone would be good enough in that case. Any PTC would have prevented the engineer from passing the signal at danger. As for crash energy management, in 2006, there was a head-on collision near Zoufftgen between a freight train and a passenger train, near the boundary between the French and Luxembourger centralized traffic control systems; the total death toll was only 6, attributed to the protection offered by crumple zones.

    What happened at Chatsworth is the exact opposite of what happened at Zoufftgen. Instead of preventing train crumples, the regulations forced the locomotive to be so heavy that the lead coach telescoped into it. Although American coaches have higher buff strength than European trains, the lack of crumple zones and the greater weight of the loco caused more extensive damage.

    James Fujita Reply:

    Or you could electrify the lines running next to Cal HSR first and save the other lines for later when funding becomes available. Metra (Chicago) has both electric and diesel lines.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Stopping at Sylmar is feasible if and only if Metrolink gets an extensive FRA waiver and electrifies.

    Metrolink stops at Sylmar now without electrification or an FRA waiver. It would be really stupid to not go that route but there’s no reason the existing diesel service couldn’t continue to run until construction between Sylmar and LA is finished.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Metrolink provides trivial amounts of off-peak service and not very good peak service – to do any more would be prohibitive under the current FRA model. Even if somehow the transfer were well-timed, and reliable, you couldn’t expect it to be used by many trains.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Run more of them. There’s a difference between feasible and cost effective.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Your numbers are missing $11 billion worth of other costs which were put as separate line items – even though some clearly belong with segments

    $4.4 billion electrification and systems elements
    $3.3 billion trains
    $3.3 billion program implementation (i.e. overhead)

    You can scale back some of the numbers for the reduced scope project – say 25% but then you are pushing $32 billion and that is before accounting for some cost escalation that we have seen in the CV sections for things like Amtrak compliant structures and other unnamed items.

    You are at a $35 billion project minimum. It is better than a $50+ billion project, which is the full phase 1 price tag at this point, but you are still really out there.

    $4.3 funded.
    probably $ 6.3 billion left of bond funds
    you might get $3-4 billion of vendor financing/ TIF etc
    You still need $20+ billion

    Peter Reply:

    Elizabeth, I’m looking at page 85 of the Business Plan, and it clearly lays out the numbers that John Burrows cites. And those numbers include the line items you mention.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Here are the complete budget numbers behind the 2009 Business Plan. CARRD got this through a public records request.
    http://www.calhsr.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Phase_I_CapitalCost-2009Update.pdf
    I don’t think it is on their site.

    John Burrows Reply:

    I used table 3 not table 1

    YesonHSR Reply:

    why do you think there is only 6.3billion left in the bond? the Segment needs only 1.9 where have they used/commited almost 890 million at this point

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Start with 9 billion – they will have spent about $500 million on preliminary engineering. They will match $2 billion. You are at $6.5 and I know there was a good reason for the other $200 million when I calculated it this morning.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    6.3/20 ~= 30%, which is well within range of state matching funds on federally funded intercity transport projects. Any oil-independence infrastructure within a kooie of what the country needs, and that’d be the funding. OTOH, $1b/annum Federal HSR funding would not suffice.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    My understanding is that the formula is more like (6.3)/ (20+ 6.3) which is 23% which is still okay. The point is you still need $20 billion in fed dollars to do the scaled down project, which helps one understand why van Ark is willing to piss off Merced to keep the project as small as possible.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Sorry, 6.3/21 ~= 30% … the notional $25.1b total cost above less the $4.3b already financed.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    I was thinking the same opening segment..SJ to Sylmar to start getting money coming in. private investors China or not will want cash flow asap so instead of waiting for all the fighting to end over SF-SJ the system could beging with these temp endpoints till either SF-LAUS comes on line. Sylmar of course would be an airport style operation at first ..ie people would need to drive and park or shuttles from LAUS.

    Peter Reply:

    Or they could take Metrolink.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    I think a preliminary line has to be to LA-US or to SF-TBT … if it is short on the one it will still pick substantial CV patronage to the other. Having one end built will generate actual segment ridership to parameterize the ridership modeling required to float revenue bonds.

    jim Reply:

    No. Electrify Metrolink and run (some trains) through; electrify Caltrain and run (some trains) through. There will be trains, not as many as you’d like, not as fast as you’d like (probably about 3:15 LAUS to TBT), but trains running from LA to SF. UP would probably accept CHRSA paying to add another track to Sylmar-LAUS, as long as UP got to use all the tracks. If Caltrain can get a waiver, so can Metrolink. During Caltrain’s peak, it’d be difficult to fit more than one train per hour non-stop between SJ and TBT, but off -peak there’s plenty of room and a train that leaves LA at 7AM will be running along Caltrain’s RoW after 9AM. The timetable isn’t pretty, but it would get service started.

    Back in the Arpanet days we used to say that running code beat specified standards every time. The same thing applies to railroads.

    YESONHSR Reply:

    I think this is just what will happen at first…until enough funding comes thru for SF-SJ major upgrades..if ever.. Some trains will end in SanJose and maby just the express LA-SF will run along Caltrain.

    Peter Reply:

    Don’t forget Caltrain’s waiver requires a number of new grade separations in addition to PTC etc.

    Peter Reply:

    So a fair amount of construction would still be required even without quad-tracking.

    YESONHSR Reply:

    Caltrain has stated that they can run 12 trains per hour per direction of combined HSR and Caltrain on the current system once electrified and signal upgrades. thou they dont state the running times

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Caltrain has stated …

    Q: How do you know somebody from Caltrain is lying?
    A: His lips are moving.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Richard, you have to admit that idiots, with one hand tied behind their back, could run 12 trains an hour…. all of them running at the speed of the local… could probably even do it with telegraphs and train orders.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Where/how do they terminate their imaginary trains, assuming the had or could justify the public handouts to run such a ridiculous level of over-staffed service and could afford to buy such a ridiculous amount of equipment, which they can’t and should never be allowed to?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Thats a different question. They could run 12 trains an hour. Whether or not it’s cheap, convenient. rational etc is something else. He didn’t bring up those other objectives of a modern transportation corridor.

    YESONHSR Reply:

    Its on their high speed rail handout/website…thats all I know!!!

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Its fine to run the service out onto a slower line to complete the route, but you still want the line to run into either LA or SF, which ensures that the other side of the line will definitely be built.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    This is always Los Angeles and San Francisco at the endpoints.. though the true high speed rail system may just end at San Jose and Sylmar and the rest of the way and it is going to be on the standard upgraded commuter lines . I feel very strongly we are going to get the money for the main stem from either foreign sources i.e. the Chinese or the FEds.. but they certainly aren’t going to want to get involved in very expensive urban rebuilding just to get into the dense city core just to save 15 minutes especially when it costs 7 billion due to local demands for tunnels. This is something we may be faced with getting the service started between LA-SF and over the years upgrades will happen.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It saves more than 15 minutes, more like 30 minutes on the San Francisco side alone! You’re not going to get 2:40 LA-SF if it ends at San Jose and Sylmar, and believe me, if that’s the case, the ridership numbers will not hold up.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    And the ridership numbers are more than a little important to floating revenue bonds. You may be able to get buy with one side running to target and the other side yet to be built …. “these trips are on the full system, and this is how those numbers are coming in, these trips are on the segment we have yet to complete, and from the performance of the finished segment, are projected to be …”.

    … but “both of these are falling short of target, and we double pinkie swear that when these final segments are finished, the ridership will show up”, that’s a weaker case.

    And of course, the Bay and the LA Basin will fall into fighting over which segment to complete first rather than link arms and sing Kumbayah, and of course potential investors in revenue bonds will know perfectly well that there is a catfight brewing.

    Get a line finished, through to either LAUS or SFTBT, and its a lot less worrying if the the state contribution for the final segments of Phase 1 have to be topped up from revenue bonds.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    Caltrain plans to run San Jose to San Francisco in 45 minutes with signal upgrades and the electrification And new equipment program. A one-stop high-speed trains should be able to do it in 40 minutes and yes the overall runtime LA to SF would probably be around two hours 55 minutes though I doubt very much it would do anything to the ridership or revenue especially when we don’t even know what the future will bring when it comes to gas prices /the airline industry and of course future growth. That’s one thing everyone keeps commenting about is the ridership and it’s like a gold standard that the system should not be built if we cannot do in two hours 40 minutes which even looking at the authorities prototyped timetable shows only two hours and 40 minutes on about six slots in the AM PM rush. I think the system will be a fantastic success even at three hours or three hours 10 minutes the trains will be full when given a choice of a crowded air system or a comfortable high-speed rail .

    Joey Reply:

    It might be acceptable to have incremental upgrades for SF-SJ, starting with electrification and a few other improvements, and working its way up to a full build as HSR demand is predicted to ramp up. A slightly longer trip time in the short term might not strictly violate AB3034 as long as the final result allows 2:40.

    Clem Reply:

    Caltrain plans no such thing. They are planning run times of no less than 65 minutes, to allow more trains to operate per peak hour. Higher average speeds would result in a greater speed mismatch with locals, resulting in lower track capacity. That is, unless Caltrain expresses could overtake Caltrain locals, but there is evidence that Caltrain is planning no such thing either.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    more like 30 minutes on the San Francisco side alone

    Check your arithmetic.

    Not only that, but you’re assuming
    (1) that current (sub-60 minute) Caltrain multi-stop runtime is the best that can be timetabled without a cost-is-entirely-beside-the-point concrete contractor pork-fest build-out all the way down the peninsula; and
    (2) that the PB fantasy pedal-to-the-metal 30 min SJ-SF run (no stop in SJ, 200kmh through people’s back yards, zero track sharing) is anything but crack smoking fraud.

    But feel free to keep on repeating it; it seems to make you happy somehow.

  10. jimsf
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 05:13
    #10

    Has anyone else noticed that chsra has banner ads now on tube the pop up when you view tgv videos. right hand corner now they need some short tv spot as well.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    We would be much happier to see them fix all the broken links to their site with their communication budget.

    Dan Reply:

    Perhaps the legislature should expand their MarCom budget such that they could do both?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    They have $8 million for marcom.

  11. morris brown
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 08:14
    #11

    Way off topic:

    Those here promoting foreign funding / private ownership etc. should take notice of this article.

    Wall Street Journal :

    In California, a Road to Recovery Stirs Unrest

    http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/111451/in-california-a-road-to-recovery-stirs-unrest?mod=bb-budgeting&sec=topStories&pos=6&asset=&ccode=

    Peter Reply:

    I agree that PPP is a poor way to finance any project. But, with the Republicans holding the House, there aren’t many ways to get around PPP.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The key thing in any PPP is to get the details of the agreement right ~ difficult to do when there is a camp that is opposed to any PPP and a camp that treats any PPP as a magic wand, but necessary, while the camp that wants to get the details of the PPP right may not reach a consensus on what points are critical and what points can be compromised on.

    And operator franchises for rail services that generate an operating surplus is not something that Americans have a lot of experience with, to say the least.

  12. dave
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 09:37
    #12

    O/T: Does anyone know what tunnel(s) this is?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd0GsCnKNno

    Saw it way back and am not sure. The Train hits 360 km/h (223 mph) at one point and stops so it must be a test run.

    Wish we had this kind of sophisticated tunnel desing for BART. Not that dank, wet, dark, Loud, basement tunnel we call the transbay tube. Yeah I know it’s not a tunnel, it’s a tube but still they are similar designed and used the same way, compare both.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0x22U4d6XE

    Joey Reply:

    It looks like the Bologna-Florence TAV line (it also says that somewhere in the description). Also, having been through it, I can say that it’s a lot darker than that normally, or at least it looks that way from on the train.

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s because of the lights in the interior of the cars. Also, the transbay tube is just as well-lit, again it looks dark compared to the interior of the cars.

    thatbruce Reply:

    Looks like a speed run through the Monte Bibele tunnel on the Bologna to Florence HS line.

    Peter Reply:

    Interesting how a train whose prototype was made in 1988 can reach 360 km/h…

    Al-Fakh Yugoudh Reply:

    It’s one of the Bologna-Florence test runs before the line opened in Dec. 2009. The engine used was a ETR500
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETR_500

  13. Al-Fakh Yugoudh
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 12:38
    #13

    Maybe a little OT, but there is a lively discussion on this article just appeared on “The Atlantic”:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/12/should-china-rethink-high-speed-rail/67282

  14. morris brown
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 14:35
    #14

    @ Robert or others?

    Any word on a webcast of tomorrow’s board meeting (12/02/2010)

    Nadia Reply:

    It is in a room where they’ve typically not had any problems broadcasting – so fingers crossed – you should be able to watch online.

  15. morris brown
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 15:12
    #15

    You can listen to a program done this morning with Dan Walters, Dean Florez and Steve Geil, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation .

    http://media.scpr.org/audio/upload/2010/12/01/20101201_airtalk_highspeedrail.mp3

    Nothing new really. The supporters can just ignore reality and do.

    Interesting at the end, evern Dean Florez, admits the Authority hasn’t done a good job.

    dave Reply:

    “evern Dean Florez, admits the Authority hasn’t done a good job.”

    Some of us supporters know the Authority hasn’t done a good job. They could use an overhaul, or at the very least bring problems to the table and fix them immediately. The key word is “fix”, if the Authority is a problem then fix it, remove/replace Board Members do whatever the problem is. But don’t use the Authority’s problem to make your case the HSR is a bad idea. My support is 100% behind the idea of HSR, even though at times it is not on the decisions of the Authority.

    jimsf Reply:

    The supporters aren’t the ones ignoring reality. The anti high speed rail crowd are the ones who simply throw everything but the kitchen sink at the projects, realities be damned, in an attempt to kill it.

    And while supporters understand that things are less than perfect, that state and federal politics in general is a messy game, that no matter the route, no matter the design, no matter the choice of trainset, signaling, operating contract, or livery, that someone somewhere is gonna be unhappy, deniers, use blatantly disingenuous arguments to make a case against high speed rail in general. That lack of honesty is far more obvious and egregious than your garden variety flawed political process.

    You anti rail folks will change your argument on a daily, or hourly, or post by post basis based on whatever negative item you can highlight at the moment.

    One minute its, “we support it if its done right” (our way) then its, “we are worried about the debt”, then its “it won’t make a profit” then its “they need to change it to altamont/tejon/dumbarton/whatever.”

    Its same dumptruck load of bullshit that we have been hearing from a certain segment of the american population/party for the past 3 decades. And it smells just as bad today as it did in the 80s.

    Everytime I hear this kind of >a href=”http://cdn.picapp.com/ftp/Images/1/0/f/9/domestic_pig_screaming_286e.jpg?adImageId=6404803&imageId=5119946″>hogwash I’m gonna point it out and call you on it.

    How bout just being honest about why you don’t want high speed rail instead pretending all these other things. All of you who seek to delay, deny, defund, derail, it, why don’t you all come out and man/woman up, tell the truth, about your real motives, and just stick by your guns with it. It would be a lot more respectable. At least it would get you out of being lumped in with the scoundrels in power who can’t help themselves.
    Harsh, but I’m just that fed up with it, here and everywhere. TAt least have the guts to tell the damn truth.

    hog·wash   
    [hawg-wosh, -wawsh, hog-] Show IPA
    –noun
    1.
    refuse given to hogs; swill.
    2.
    any worthless stuff.
    3.
    meaningless or insincere talk, writing, etc.; nonsense; bunk
    hogwash (n.)
    absurdity, bilge, bilgewater, buncombe, bunk, bunkum, drivel, drool, eyewash, folly, foolishness, guff, incongruity, nonsense, rigmarole, rot, rubbish, taradiddle, tarradiddle, tommyrot, tosh, tripe, trumpery, twaddle, baloney (colloquial, spéc. anglais américain), boloney (colloquial), bosh (spéc. anglais britannique), bull (colloquial), claptrap (colloquial), cobblers (colloquial, British), humbug (British)

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    And “horsefeathers”. . .

    jimsf Reply:

    oh yeh those too.

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    Hey, Jim, not to brag or anything, but have you noticed that with the exception of Peninsula, nobody, including Morris (who is perhaps the hottest anit-rail poster here), has tried to take on my arguments about the real cost of driving, including how our oil dependency, driven by the fly-drive lifestyle, is now a national security threat? A couple of others have taken on the generational aspect, but not these two.

    I kind of wish Morris would take on this challenge. It would either reveal the phoniness you claim, or reveal a different outlook (which Peninsula has), or possibly might reveal something useful.

    jimsf Reply:

    It’ll never happen.

    YESONHSR Reply:

    Thats because they are perfectly happy with it..never mind the cost or damage or the future ..Im sure you have seen many articles about it and how “nobody” wants HSR or transit or any less roads ect etc

  16. Elizabeth
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 17:44
    #16

    More fun and games. Voice of OC ran an article today about this email exchange:

    http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/voiceofoc.org/content/tncms/assets/editorial/f/87/d2d/f87d2db0-fd72-11df-a8d5-001cc4c03286-revisions/4cf68a0a7981d.pdf.pdf

    Peter Reply:

    I am getting the feeling that Anaheim station area design has been kind of screwed up. A lot of redesign will probably have to go into it. This will likely be another reason for pushing back the construction of LA-Anaheim.

    Interestingly, it looks to me as if the email from Pringle shows that he had little influence over the LA-Anaheim section, and that he was angry over that fact.

    Caelestor Reply:

    Are they still sharing tracks, and what’s the speeds along the Metrolink corridor? I’m interested to see how long it would take for HSR to get to Anaheim run on non-upgraded track (30, 40 minutes?).

    Peter Reply:

    Last I saw, they carried forward the “Consolidated Track Alternative”, and the “Dedicated HST Alternative”.

    MGimbel Reply:

    An engineer from the Authority told me shared-tracks would lengthen the LA-Anaheim run from 20 minutes to 25 minutes. The big difference lies within the reduced capacity for additional HSTs since they’d have to share tracks with Amtrak and Metrolink.

    Peter Reply:

    What would have to be done to force the Authority to implement “true” track sharing with Caltrain as well, so as not to fuck over Caltrain service?

    Clem Reply:

    Ditch freight. That’s literally all it would take.

    Peter Reply:

    Ok, so to get the Authority to consider track sharing with Caltrain, Caltrain, at its own expense, has to initiate freight abandonment proceedings? What would it take to get Caltrain to do that?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You mean reduced capacity coming from sharing tracks with 3 tph of Metrolink, plus 1 tph of Amtrak that will get eviscerated when HSR opens?

    jimsf Reply:

    I don’t get what the problem is. The parcel for artic is here and the tracks are right next to it.

    Joey Reply:

    I think the option being studied was to move the station to the other side of SR-57, where the existing Amtrak/Metrolink station is. This would mess with plans for ARTIC, but it would probably improve station access as well as making it easier to construct (platforms don’t have to extend under the freeway).

    jimsf Reply:

    Crazy non issue. They are only like 200 feet apart. Plus why can’t the hsr just stop at the existing station anyway? Why do they need a new one? They can’t just modify the platforms and be done with it?

    or of they don’t want to run the platform under the freeway, put it on the edge of artic and extend it out over the river. That would keep it in a nice open area with views.

    I guess artic will become the new amtrak metrolink station so hsr could use the old one. but really, jut extend the platfrom from the freeway, to over the river and there you go.

    Joey Reply:

    Ever considered the problem of platform heights. Also, there will be a capacity problem given their unnecessarily long terminal dwell times, requiring more than two tracks (though three wouldn’t be completely wasteful even with reasonable dwell times).

    Joey Reply:

    The issue in question is that it messed up the City’s ARTIC plans. It’s also a bit more than 200′ (closer to 1000).

    jimsf Reply:

    Right but come one people its matter of pouring some concrete here and there, and concrete is a very flexible material with which to work. add a third track, raise platforms, whatever they need to do its not a major deal. What I see is a pacrel for artic, with tracks that run right next to it. If they can’t work a simple solution out of that then they shouldn’t be in the construction, design or planning business. Why does everything have to blow up into being a major problem. I still don’t know why we need any of theses overblown, overpriced, over engineered taj mahal stations anyway ( other than LA and SF of course since they warrant the “signature” architecture) but no one else. Its a waste of money. Isn’t this all that’s really necessary?

    jimsf Reply:

    this

    Dan S. Reply:

    “More fun and games?” Heh, you’re starting to sound like Morris now! ;-)

    The actual article is currently listed in the topmost position on their homepage. Links below.

    http://www.voiceofoc.org/

    http://www.voiceofoc.org/oc_north/article_587ec35a-fd68-11df-aae3-001cc4c03286.html

    Seems like Pringle has calmned down significantly since those emails were sent around, as per this quote he gave the VOC yesterday:

    “I feel very good about where Parsons Brinckerhoff is at this time,” he said, noting that it was subcontractors that caused the problems in Anaheim.

    jimsf Reply:

    you see how this works around here? We pretend to support the project, while being terribly concerned about how things are being done. And we wring our hands in faux consternation when “damaging” ( oh my goodness! For heaven’s sake isnt this awful!”) information comes to light. Then we conclude that things just simply can not go forward now. Not without starting all over!

    See I recognize it because it’s become such a tediously familiar tactic. Its very “John McCain on DADT”

    you know, ” I want to support such and such but… I need x information first!” But sir, “we have x information right here.” “Oh well that x information isn’t what I meant, see its this x information over here that I was talking about.. yeh, that’s the ticket”

    UGH.

    and to reiteriate the worst part of it is they think we can’t see it.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    its todays culture of nibby nose your a bad guy mindset ..everything going on with this project has happened before with anything large scale ..it just was not micromanged in a media spot light like CAHSR..or anything being built today

    jimsf Reply:

    well they need to knock it off. Its ridiculous.

  17. Elizabeth
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 20:12
    #17

    Attorney General’s office issued their opinion: Katz and Pringle held incompatible offices.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-high-speed-conflicts-20101202,0,6322530.story

    The full opinion: http://www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/2010-12/58022849.pdf

    Pringle’s tactic of skipping out on meetings is not in the spirit / letter of the law. He is supposed to leave. They could have used another board member for the discussions over the last couple of months.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    The entire sideshow of this is the plain fact that this was always on the website and well-known to many people that both these boardmembers held these positions… How did they ever service as long as they did and get appointed by the governor? You mean that nobody knew this was the law? At this point in time I’m looking forward to Gov. Brown and his ideas on how to handle this project.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    Sorry to serve I meant!!! Anyhow I do think this is the first big project to come along in the state since the age of the Internet and the soundbites and sensationalized media.. this project seems to have a magnifying glass on it compared to the years past when im sure A whole lot of things happened building the BART the freeways the water systems etc. etc. and you just did not get a daily update drama story

    Elizabeth Reply:

    It is a good question. It is not the magnifying glass effect. I read through a lot of the opinions on conflict of offices and most were over much more obscure and less important offices. In this case, I think it is like one of those pyschological experiments where they put a huge amount of money on the ground and no one picks it up because everyone assumes it must not be real or someone would have grabbed it. None of us would assume that the governor would make mistakes like this in appointment process.

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    I won’t say Elizabeth is wrong, but I do think we have a “magnifying glass effect” to deal with. I think part of this results from abuses by the government in the past, including abuses in the highway system, both political and corporate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehoVnykvMKY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id3XDKXMuAw&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQbi5Aft3uI&feature=related

    To be continued:

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcWQL6hdxcQ&feature=related

    And people wonder why we want rail back so? And the conservatives wonder why so many of us are suspicious of the oil and auto industries, and of very large corporations in general?

    thatbruce Reply:

    He is supposed to leave. (the CAHSRA board)

    The closing paragraph in the cited opinion restates the 1099 text: “the holder of incompatible offices is deemed to have forfeited the first office upon acceding to the second” and adds an ‘or else’ proviso.

    In the case of Pringle and this opinion, being appointed to the CAHSRA board should have resulted in the forfeiture of the positions of the Mayor of Anaheim and being on the OCTA board, up to January 2010. I suspect that a further opinion would be needed to determine whether Pringle’s reappointment to the OCTA board in January resulted in the forfeiture of his CAHSRA position as per CARRD’s timeline, or whether said reappointment ought to be viewed as a continuation of a forfeited position, and thus not affecting his standing on the CAHSRA board ( I’m in favor of the latter ).

    This is a critical step for determining whether any decisions made by Pringle since January in his role on the CAHSRA board could be considered tainted by 1099.

  18. jimsf
    Dec 1st, 2010 at 20:26
    #18

    oh no. that is very terrible. now what do we do?

    thatbruce Reply:

    Scrap the current board, have Robert as chair, DP as public relations, Clem and Richard being the technical committee, and you handling station design. Easy ;)

    jimsf Reply:

    oh ok.

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