Fox News LA Launches Misleading Hatchet Job on HSR Project

Aug 28th, 2012 | Posted by

Wow – I’ve seen some biased reporting in my time but this segment that aired on Fox 11 in Southern California last night blows everything else out of the water. The report, a deeply misleading and flawed attack on the high speed rail project, takes as gospel criticisms made by Michael Brady, a longtime HSR opponent, fails to investigate the veracity of the charges, and barely gives any room for anyone else to get a word in. Pour yourself a strong drink before you click play on this:

Everything those reporters learned in j-school got tossed out the window in that segment. Particularly appalling was the way that Brady was given unprecedented airtime (usually quotes from interviewees are much, much shorter on TV news) to spout his claims, which the Fox 11 reporters immediately declare to be true and then start attacking the project on that basis.

The only differing argument they offer is a short quote from California High Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales, almost surely a smaller quote from a longer statement the CHSRA gave Fox 11. The rest of the time the reporter and anchor continue to attack the project.

Brady’s claims are all flawed or invalid. First, he is a longtime anti-HSR activist, not a former supporter, as this local news article makes clear. Brady was the one who filed an anti-HSR lawsuit in 2009 claiming that Union Pacific’s permission was needed before doing any work to the Peninsula rail corridor. That lawsuit was thrown out of court by a Sacramento judge in 2010.

But Brady never stopped his legal jihad against the bullet trains, and in late 2011 began claiming that the new “blended plan” and the new business plan were somehow in violation of Prop 1A. That’s the centerpiece of his current lawsuit, the one that Fox 11 simply decided was totally true without doing any independent research to verify the claims.

The core of Brady’s arguments, as summarized by Fox 11, are:

• All rail lines are supposed to be electrified

• Trains supposed to go from L.A. to S.F. in 2 hours 40 minutes

• Without transfers

• All money should be in the bank before building

The problem with these arguments is they’re totally misleading. The CHSRA will be building the project in phases, as was always planned and intended. Prop 1A is written to facilitate building the project in phases.

The Caltrain work on the Peninsula will indeed be electrified. So too will the HSR trains once they begin operating.

Trains will indeed go from LA to SF in 2 hours, 40 minutes, as CHSRA board chairman Dan Richard has verified earlier this year:

Richard has been emphatic that the train will achieve the speeds the law requires. In a presentation in April in Fresno, he said: “Our engineers have told us it will achieve the performance standards the voters insisted on in the ballot measure. And so that means trains that can go from Los Angeles Union Station to the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco in two hours, 40 minutes.”

Brady also says it won’t be a single-seat ride from SF to LA. Initially, a transfer may be required, but that’s only because trains will begin operating before the entire system is finished. That too is allowed in Prop 1A. If the CHSRA were planning to stop there, Brady might have a point. But they’re not, and so Brady is willfully misinterpreting reality.

Finally, yes, the CHSRA will have all the money they need to begin constructing the segment from Bakersfield to Fresno. That too is consistent with Prop 1A, which nowhere says that all the money for the entire SF-LA project has to be in the door before any construction can begin. No transportation project in the country is financed like that; construction usually happens in a rolling process as money comes in the door, one factor in the long amounts of time it can take to build projects and systems.

Brady’s entire lawsuit is predicated on misleading the court and the public that a temporary phase of the project is somehow a permanent phase. It is a dishonest claim that I expect will be thrown out of court just like his last lawsuit.

The difference this time is that Brady now has a major TV station in the state blindly repeating his claims. Fox 11 didn’t always used to traffic in this kind of journalism and I doubt that John Beard would have tolerated it. Of course, Fox 11 fired him in September 2007 so they could stop doing hard news and go more toward baseless fluff, which judging by this report they’ve clearly succeeded at doing.

I’ve heard reports that the national Fox News channel is interested in picking up this story, which would come as no surprise given that it fits their own M.O. so well. Fox News would use this story to attack President Barack Obama, who has strongly supported the California HSR project. If they followed the same path as their LA affiliate, they’d be simply repeating Michael Brady’s misleading and false claims. Which is exactly what I expect them to do. Sigh.

  1. Donk
    Aug 28th, 2012 at 20:41
    #1

    If you are under 70 and watch the local news, you are braindead.

    joe Reply:

    Maybe. … If it’s FOX. I do watch the local news, even for Chicago, where I grew up. Not quite 70.

    The nut cases already got the message HSR is Obama-rail.

    Fox News will embolden the tri-corner hat crazies and that might get most California residents to question why their city governments are appeasing a vocal minority of Fox-loving HSR opponents.

    Bonus, this issue another demographic loser.

    Donk Reply:

    The local news needs to stick to the important stories. Like pandas.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Three alarm fires are usually good too.

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    Donk and Adirondacker remind me that an old newspaper adage was “If it bleeds, it leads; if it smells, it sells.”

    joe Reply:

    I love pandas.

    Alan Reply:

    Give it a week, and Fox News will be back to pandering about “legitimate rape” and other cornerstones of the GOP platform…

  2. morris brown
    Aug 28th, 2012 at 21:31
    #2

    Amazing how the truth really hurts, doesn’t it Robert.

    Brady’s claims, every one of them are valid, and will be proven so when the case reaches a jury, now expected in early 2013.

    I should certainly hope that Fox News nationally will indeed pick this up.

    BTW, while I’m here, and I’m not here often anymore, your readers should view the latest California Rail News:

    http://www.calrailnews.com/crn/0812/crn0812.pdf

    You will like reading it about as much as you enjoyed viewing the Fox News video.

    Derek Reply:

    With a highly deceptive title like “$8 BILLION BILL TO PRODUCE ZERO MILES OF HSR”, the rest of the article isn’t worth reading. I feel stupider after only having read the title!

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    There is no way they are going to hit the travel times. They can’t even get an engineer to sign a memo that asserts it much less actually prove it. It is just sad.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Sure they can hit the travel times. Maybe they’ll end up going via Tejon, maybe they’ll end up engineering bypasses, but they’ll hit it.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Admittedly I’m making some fairly cynical assumptions here (they’ll hit it… by building more than originally planned for more money), but then I’m a cynical kind of guy.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They won’t hit the big one 2:40 from LA to SF, but the one they will really tank is SF to SJ. With the blended approach they have no shot at 30 min

    Jon Reply:

    Doesn’t really matter how long SF-SJ takes, prop 1A funds will be long exhausted by the time they get to the peninsula.

    As for the 2:40 SF-LA requirement, providing everything they build with prop 1A money moves them towards that goal, I don’t see how they are breaking the law. The reason the four track peninsula option is still in the EIR is so that if this comes up in court they can argue they are still working towards a 2:40 system. The money spent on the bookends were connectivity funds and are not subject to the above time requirements.

    joe Reply:

    The Peer Review recommended getting started with blended Caltrain ROW and expanding to 4 track when the ridership/demand requires expansion to 4 track. 2:40 would be, IMHO, the time *claimed* for the full expansion.

    I would find it hilariously ironic if the PAMPA lawyers legal challenges today somehow lock the 2:40 number in such a way that when the system is expanded to 4 track, it must be designed to meet 2;40 come hell or high-water. No exceptions! It’s Illegal if it doesn’t scream through PAMPA and make that 2;40 number.

    jonathan Reply:

    Nope, wrong. The Prop 1a number that matters for SF-SJ is 30 mins. But don’t worry.
    Caltrain management continues to ensure that “improvements” to the Caltrain ROW are making that goal _harder-, not easier. Yes, really. See Clem’s blog for details on the grade-separations currently under construction.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    that is not was the authority is saying…they are saying they can hit it with the blended system, which is wise because there is no plan after the blended system. The business plan clearly states that the blended system is the “final” phase 1 state.

    joe Reply:

    The existence of the 4 track EIR and lawsuit against it by PAMPA disproves the corridor is finalized.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    2h40m wasn’t ever possible in anything remotely resembling commercial service via PB’s PB-profiting gerrymandered SF-SJ-Gilroy-Los Banos-Fresno-Bakersfield-Palmdale-LA route.
    0h30m wasn’t ever possible SJ-SJ for that matter; “blended system” or otherwise.

    PB was lying and continues to outright lie.

    It really is that simple, that cut and dried.

    Whether the purpose is purely corporate enrichment or whether there’s some percentage of rank unprofessional incompetence mixed in to the toxic brew might be of interest to somebody, but doesn’t change the basic physical incompatibility of reality with corporate consultant misrepresentation of it.

    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals, doing what they do best. Doing the only thing they do well, in fact.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Even with Tejon, I-5, Altamont 2:40 will present an operating challenge. You have dust and very high temperatures to adjust for. A while back the CEO of the UP commented that he thought around 160mph would the typical top end operating speed of hsr in California and I believe he is right.

    Operating and maintenance costs will weigh on top speeds. Energy requirements and wear factors. That’s why Tejon is so preferable as its 50 less route miles means less cost. 50 less miles of dual trackage and catenary to maintain, l00 less miles of wire to energize.

    joe Reply:

    GOP Congress and GAO audit.

    You think someone with half a brain could cobble together a few words, sentences and fire them off to end this obvious scam.

    When we look back and 2012 and ask – where was our patriots, I worry they’ll point to you and say –
    “He wuz busy on the HSR blog”.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It totally matters and if they don’t hit then it is illegal. You are building a system (as supporters point out all the time) so if prop 1a money is used in the system then it has to meet the law. Just like the US highway system, not all money is federal, but all highways follow federal law.

    It also flies in the face of the “assurances” from the authority. As quoted in this blog post they insist they will hit the numbers.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I forgot to mention that third, your argument does not hold water because electrification of the “bookends” is in this 1st phase which is using prop1a money. the 900k that was set aside in prop 1a for connector systems is being used

    Elizabeth Reply:

    The 900k is being used for all sorts of things. Electrification money is coming from $9 billion pot.

    Jon Reply:

    Yes, and connecting transit is by definition not HSR and therefore doesn’t have travel time requirements.

    The sections of the system that prop 1a money is used on need to meet the travel times. You cant asses the whole HSR system on the prop 1a travel times because prop 1a money will noy be used for most of the system. At least that’s my interpretation, I’m sure it will end up in court some way along the line.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What law being broke? Jerry makes up the law as he goes along and his sycophant judges ratify his every move, snapping to attention and jackboots clicking in unison.

    When I read the GOP platform wants to dump Amtrak I have to re-think voting for Romney, but then when I look at the nonsense emanating from the PB worshippers, my gut reaction is screw this. If Ryan vows to cut off Rose Pak’s Central Stubway money I’ll vote for Romney for sure.

    Jay Taylor Reply:

    Just hella rough numbers, but the N700 runs from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo, making 6 stops in about 2h 26m . This is about the same length as LA to SF, but built for much slower top and average speeds due to sharper curves and such. So I see no reason that the CAHSR can’t make the run with no stops and a higher top speed.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    not at all close 315 miles vs 480

    Elizabeth Reply:

    oops 320 (515 km) The SF – LA train route is 50% longer.

    Jay Taylor Reply:

    Looks like I fat fingered some numbers(badly) doing conversions.
    The numbers Im coming up with are 432 miles for SF to LA(from the CAHSR website) and 320ish miles for the Tokyo to Osaka run. So yes I was wrong about them being about the same, but no they are not 50% longer.
    where are you getting the 480 miles for the SF to LA run?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    These are the numbers we have gotten from alternatives analyses. There is still a range as not everything is tied down (especially San Jose to Merced and the wye). It might end up closer to 470.

    The 432 has been on the website since forever – I’m not sure if it was ever valid.

    Eric M Reply:

    So you are saying the alternatives are adding 50 miles?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Are they done value engineering the Roundabout?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Just hella rough numbers,

    Here’s a hella tough exercise to work through:

    You promise an average speed of 20mph on a 20 mile line route.

    Because of geography combined with America’s Finest Professional Transportation “design”, the first 10 miles of your route are restricted to 10mph maximum speed. (The “design” also adds another couple miles of route length for added joy, but ignore that second order effect for now.)

    Question: What average and top speed is necessary in the remainder of the route in order to achieve the advertised 20mph average?

    Is it faster than Caltrain?
    Is it faster than a Shinkansen?
    Is it faster than a TGV?
    Is it faster than a neutrino?

    synonymouse Reply:

    They have to reset this thing by jettisoning the Las Vegas fantasy for good. Deserted Xpress needs to be DOA. Idiotic to send California money and jobs to LA when Anaheim keeps rumbling on towards a riot. Build your damn megacasinos in Disneyuniverse. and keep the money in-state.

    There are clearly several good alternatives to laying out hsr in the Valley. Damn shame they’ve no doubt got Van Ark shut up with all kinds of NDA’s. You know damn well PB must have looked at something like Richard’s alignment in between 99 and I-5 as well as various spur routes tapping east towards 99 cities off an I-5 racetrack. One could imagine an eventual loop spur with very fast travel times for everybody.

    Palmdale is another issue altogether. It does not need hsr but rather LA’s iteration of a BART. Villa should tell the Tejon Ranch Co. to buzz off and start planning a massive conversion of Metrolink to a regional rapid transit. Very expensive but that is what is required.

    synonymouse Reply:

    LA should read LV

    jonathan Reply:

    to answer poor Richard’s question:

    anyone with high-school competency in physics can work out the answer — and it’s not the one our functionally-illterate Richard intended.

    Richard gives us a word-problem — clearly in the domain of physics rather than algebra, as proven by the multi-choice answers. (Speed of a neutrino? You want to draw a distinction between neutrinos and photos? how very very charitable)

    Very well, let’s apply high-school physics to poor Richard’s problem.

    A train travelling the 20 mi of track covers the first 10 miles iat 10 mi/hr, for a total of 1.0 hr.
    how fast does the train have to travel the remaining 10 mi, to make an average speed of 20 mi/hr (for a total of 1.0 hr for the 20 mi)?

    Anyone with competence with significant digits (a trivial extension of one of Richard’s pet fact-checks, orders of magnitude) knows that to the posed 2 significant digits, the train has 0.049 (recurring) hr. For simplicity, call it 0.05 hr, and we’ll shave a bit later. So. If we have 0.05 hr to travel 10 miles, then our speed needs to be (10.0mi) / (0.05hr), or 200 mi/hr. Equivalent, to the stated precision, to 320 km/r.

    Note that that _average_ speed of 320 km/hr is well within the requirements of California’s HSR’s _top_ speed. Which proves that Richard is neither as smart as he thinks, nor as numerate, nor as conversant with orders of magnitude.

    How, one can legitimately ask what _acceleration_ is needed to travel 10 mi in 0.05 hr.
    In the world of physics, that isn’t going to be a constant acceleration: if it was, high-speed trains would have no air resistance, and would accelerate until wheel-slip became a limiting factor.

    Richard has shown exactly one thing: that Richard doesn’t even understand the issues well enough to pose high-school-textbook level questions. Because anyone who can manage high-school algebra, and has read any of Richard’s rants, will correctly infer that poor Richard intended “faster than a neutrino” as the correct answer.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Fail. You’re out out of time at the 10-mile-mark. You don’t get another 3 min. (0.05 hr) to jerk off with.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Ten mph maximum speed not ten mph average speed. Just a tad before the ten mile mark because the train isn’t going ten miles an hour when it leaves the platform…… Or course the passengers or freight could leap onto the train as it passes by at ten miles an hour but that would mean the line is longer than 20 miles….

    synonymouse Reply:

    Interesting that Tolmach has Bakersfield-Palmdale dead in the water.

    The level of subsidy issue is one that won’t go away. Both Muni and AC are flirting with that old devilish fare increase-service cut downward spiral. BART is riding high for now but eventually the cost of far-flung outer ring service will neutralize the supposed “surplus”.

    Adding the circuitous San Joaquin Valley AmBART and its guaranteed chronic operating deficits will just speed up the day of subsidy “death panels” Shades of Beeching.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Has Morris been banned yet? Why not? We don’t particularly need to read Tolmach’s insane rants.

    Nathanael Reply:

    And he’s been writing insane anti-rail rants for several years now. CalRailNews is now “Tolmach’s Insane Rants Central”, and it’s sad they haven’t shut down.

    VBobier Reply:

    It’s cause of the old saying that goes like this “Keep Your friends close and Your enemies closer”…

    Nathanael Reply:

    As usual, Morris is talking shit and lying (since all of Derby’s claims are bullshit and will never even make it to a jury — if they do they’ll be thrown out with prejudice).

    I am really tired of him not being banned.

    VBobier Reply:

    Ditto…

    VBobier Reply:

    Morris You wouldn’t know the truth from a hole in the ground, even if it came up behind Ya and kicked ya into said hole in the ground…

  3. John Burrows
    Aug 28th, 2012 at 21:54
    #3

    I agree—This is not meant for a California audience. The Republicans will use the Fox News article to try and pick up votes in battleground states by running against California, the only state that is going ahead with high speed rail.

    The story will play better in states such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin where Republican governors have killed high speed rail and returned the money, some of which was then re-appropriated to California.

    Running against California is part of the the overall Republican election strategy—It fits in with Romney’s warning that the US could end up like Greece or California.

    Before election day there will be other examples of this “California bashing” —But notice that Romney still manages to find his way here for those lucrative fundraisers.

    Matthew B Reply:

    Lovely how some politicians try to sell the California=Greece farce, while at the same time they come to California to use our economy as their piggy bank through political fundraisers. Ultimately, the country’s largest state economy is not well represented in Washington.

  4. D. P. Lubic
    Aug 28th, 2012 at 22:34
    #4

    I just took a look at this piece, and have to say, Fox put its foot in its mouth again. The original $10 billion was never enough for the whole system, it was meant as seed money for the original operating segment.

    The railroad itself will be hundreds of miles long; it’s not something you would normally build in a year or two. Building it that quickly could be done, but you have to wonder if you wouldn’t wind up with (a) embarrassing problems with subcontractors that always show up on rush jobs–ask the Chinese about this, and (b), how much would that have cost, and whether that much money could be raised that quickly for that option.

    Oh, and of course, no comment on the cost of the status quo. . .

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    Anymore, I would regard almost anything from a News Corp. operation as suspect. That’s a harsh statement, but I have to find myself in agreement with the “studies” that indicate that Fox viewers are even less informed than those who watch no news at all!

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-11-22/news/30431182_1_fox-news-results-show-viewers

    http://www.inquisitr.com/241677/study-fox-news-viewers-less-informed-than-those-who-watch-no-news-at-all/

    The first link is to an article from a year ago, the second is an article on a follow-up. (No links directly to the studies are provided, unfortunately). I have to say when I saw the first article some time back, I didn’t think much of it. Thought it was just somebody, liberal in this case, making something sensational out of what could have been some rigged survey or a particularly goofy sample. I changed my mind when I went and looked at some Fox stories that can only be described as ridiculous.

    The really dangerous and worrisome aspect of Fox is that some people believe it, and do so rabidly. The good news is that Fox News’ viewership demographic has an average age–an AVERAGE, mind you–of 65! That’s ancient in terms of marketing demographics, and not much less than ancient in terms of life insurance actuarial tables. And Rupert Murdoch himself is over 80–he won’t last forever, either.

    Below is a link to some details on the age of viewership of “old” media. One of the things that stands out is the rapid aging from only ten years before. It’s particularly shocking in the case of Fox, whose average viewer age went from 35 to 65 in that time. Interestingly, newspaper readers moved up in age, too–from an average of 55 to 56. The newspaper business may have troubles making it into the future, but the aging of that demographic does not seem to be the main problem.

    http://stephenslighthouse.com/2010/08/16/average-age-of-old-media-users-viewers/

    Nathanael Reply:

    Well, given Murdoch’s proven-criminal acts, you have to assume anything from Newscorp is false unless proven otherwise…

    …but there’s also independent proof that “Fox News” lies routinely (see Media Matters for a bazillion examples).

    “The really dangerous and worrisome aspect of Fox is that some people believe it, and do so rabidly. ”
    Yes. This is the worrisome aspect. I’ve heard far too many stories of “Fox News zombies” who used to be sane people and who now rant about Obama’s birth certificate and Kenyan Muslims.

    VBobier Reply:

    Rupert once admitted it was such, so FAUX has no real NEWS anymore, if it did, then that would be NEWS, until then Rupert Murdoch said it was only entertainment, for whom though is the question…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not even particularly entertaining.

    VBobier Reply:

    No it isn’t, I’m just quoting what Murduck said, I find some of their TV shows and sports to be good, the only parts of the NEWS on FAUX that I’d trust would be sports, traffic and the weather, otherwise forget it…

  5. missiondweller
    Aug 28th, 2012 at 22:59
    #5

    Maybe Brady is a hack but maybe we should also question whether if we spend $68 Billion and wait to 2035 (Christ, I’ll be 65 by then) and just end up with rail from LA to SJ and have to take another train to SF, what have we really accomplished? I want a REAL HSR system!

    We need to build the entire thing simultaneously to save money and get revenues started. To do that we need some type of state revenue source while hoping we can get Feds to contribute.

    As this article points out there are ways of saving money on rail projects that I previously posted
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-26/u-s-taxpayers-are-gouged-on-mass-transit-costs.html

    joe Reply:

    CA requires an undemocratic super-majority to raise taxes. Changes of dedicated funding for HSR are limited to Ballot initiatives.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Such a ballot initiative would never pass – that’s why a re-vote on Prop 1A was verboten.

    Besides soon the Pelosi-Brown-Villa machine will have its super-majority. Then Moonbeam & Legislature zombies will slap a VAT tax on your I-CRAP, internet purchases, your cell phone service, you name it. Congressionals exempt, as with insider trading laws.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Or they could just raise the income tax, which is a lot more likely.

    Nathanael Reply:

    …you know, for the top bracket folks, the $1,000,000-a-year types.

    Nathanael Reply:

    After all, these days, *that’s where the money is*. Why try to get blood from a turnip?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Why would you ever have to transfer at SJ?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    To get on BART? Why would someone just stay on the train when that alluring BART station is right there? Get to see all of the stops in the East Bay and then hurtle through the Transbay Tunnel. Shouldn’t take much more than half an hour, three quarters of an hour versus sitting in your seat

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Wouldn’t the BART transfer be in Stockton instead?

    missiondweller Reply:

    Because they are now essentially eliminating the Peninsula portion of HSR in favor of a “cheaper” electrified Caltrain, which is NOT HSR from LA to SF.

    VBobier Reply:

    No HSR will still be on the Peninsula, what You just said is a FAT LIE, to be hauled off as GARBAGE…

    jonathan Reply:

    Nope, he’s correct. HSR trainsets may be on the Peninsula. But it’s NEVER been on the plan for the Peninsula to become high-speed rail.

    joe Reply:

    The EIR is for 4 tracks.

    The blended solution is temporary, until demand warrants greater capacity. That’s the Peer review recommendation. Get started with blended and expand when needed.

    If the definition of HSR is 150 MPH then the Peninsula will have HSR.

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe, yu can’t even get your numbers right. Even in the non-Blended plan, the Peninsula is limited to 125 mi/hr;, call it 200km/r.

    200km/hr is NOT HSR. I don’t care what some bunch of legislators voted on, to construe the Acela as HSR at 150mi/hr. 200 km/hr — the Penisula speed — was HSR in the 1960s and 1970s; not any more: 200 km/r is core InterCity speeds on legacy rail corridors.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    UIC definition of HSR is 125mph/200kph on legacy corridors. The Caltrain ROW is a legacy corridor.

    jonathan Reply:

    Yes. So it’s not HSR. its the _existing_ max for legacy corridors. Duh.

    missiondweller Reply:

    That’s the problem I have with “blended”, It requires HSR to share tracks with Caltrain.

    When does HSR get its own tracks? 2055, 2065???

    Nathanael Reply:

    Why should it need its own tracks?

    Here’s the thing: trains running at the same speed should be able to share tracks.

    The NIMBY explosions on the Peninsula mean that it’s going to be impossible to get 220 mph tracks on the Peninsula barring a major change in public opinion.

    Caltrain might as well run at 125 mph.

    Now, why four tracks? So that HSR can pass Caltrain while Caltrain stops at stations. That’s needed when service levels get high enough.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    And how does that require people to transfer at San Jose?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Good range of comments on the Bloomberg article on the Altamont site:

    http://www.altamontpress.com/discussion/read.php?1,77080,77080#msg-77080

  6. D. P. Lubic
    Aug 28th, 2012 at 23:09
    #6

    In a lighter (off topic) vein, a recent discussion of railroad themed films got me curious to look up “La Ilusion Viaja en Tranvia,” or “Illusion Travels by Streetcar,” a Mexican film from 1954. I haven’t seen all of it yet, just enough to find it, check that the playlist feature works through all nine segments, and check out the first one, but blow me down, what a flick! I don’t know a lick of Spanish, but from what I’ve seen, this movie looks like one made by a serious trolley fan, and judging from the situations and reactions of the actors, one that had a good writer as well!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whdmRXPT … sults_main

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045907/

    If only we could get something of equal quality for North American steam. . .

    A friend and coworker, one who has also told me I live in the wrong time, once told me that my failed attempt at selling a TV series based on the adventures of railroad men in the steam era had a problem–it needed more s-e-x. If the poster for this film is any indication, it looks like the producers of this Mexican film understood that as well. . .

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e … poster.jpg

    That first segment–all I’ve really seen so far–is very interesting. The movie opens with an apparent mini-history of transit service in what I assume is Mexico City, followed by some amazing shop scenes that strike me as a cross between John Frankenhiemer’s “The Train” and something from E. Jay Quinby’s “Interurban Interlude!”

    Looks like one I’m going to have to try to pick up, provided I can get one with English subtitles to be able to figure out what everyone is saying!

    Nathanael Reply:

    The sex was certainly kept well out of sight among the railroad men in the age of steam. Though actually you could have a lot of quite realistic steamy stories (pun intended) if you focused on the activities in the passenger cars. ;-)

  7. YESONHSR
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 00:01
    #7

    Robert what kind of board are you running??? You never post my comments .So you are a censor ?? I have been on your “moderation” yet you let others here insult other posters at will …AS A MEMBER OF CASHR I would like a answer from you.

    Matthew B Reply:

    I can’t say what your exact situation is, but some of us are automagically posted without moderation. I believe moderation can be turned on for specific people who have had complaints in the past, and for new accounts by default. This is just a guess, though. When I started with a new account, I was moderated for a while, but at some point my posts seemed to be showing up immediately.

    It could be that Robert wasn’t around and wasn’t approving any moderated posts for a while, but that for people who did not require moderation their posts were showing up immediately.

    YESONHSR Reply:

    AS I was a backer on Prop1A and a Cailfornian for HSR member He knows what he is doing..He needs to answer and not be “just” an mouthpiece as some have labled him…And maby just as I see it

  8. Derek
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 00:14
    #8

    Transportation hub gets $127 million contract

    ANAHEIM – Construction on a long-planned, major transportation hub is scheduled to begin next month now that the City Council has awarded a $127 million contract.

    Clark Construction Group won the contract to build the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, or ARTIC, on 16 acres southeast of the 57 freeway and Katella Avenue.
    Article Tab: Concept art shows what ARTIC will look like when it is completed in 2014.
    Concept art shows what ARTIC will look like when it is completed in 2014.

    The center, which has been planned for about a decade, is designed to serve as a point for buses, taxis and rail, including possibly a high-speed train, within walking distance of Angel Stadium and Honda Center.

    Joey Reply:

    It is regrettably on the wrong side of a freeway.

    VBobier Reply:

    Well that isn’t an unreachable location, so big deal…

    joe Reply:

    Buckaroo Banzai: Hey, hey, hey, hey-now. Don’t be mean; we don’t have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

    Honda Center and Stadium are on opposite sides of highway 57 -and Ketalla. Which location looks closest to both? The SE side.

    I am curious if ARTIC will displace the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA)

    VBobier Reply:

    I’ve no idea and I do like Anime, some of it really is better than some TV shows of today…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    HSR is not in the plan at the moment…because they would have to revise up the 68 billion price tag. Another requirement (Anaheim service) that is in prop 1A that is being ignored

    Jon Reply:

    Again, this doesn’t matter. Prop 1A says they can build to Anaheim, not that they have to.

    VBobier Reply:

    Nimbys like to interpret things how they want, the courts will put these suits where they belong if they have no merit, in the shredder…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Not true….direct quote from prop 1a

    Phase I of the train project is the corridor between San Francisco Transbay Terminal and Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim.

    it is actually 1 of the 3 cities that are mandatory

    Nathanael Reply:

    Inserted after much lobbying by Orange County.

    Note that there is no requirement that the service to Anaheim be, in fact, at high speed. If you’re going to do lawyerly nitpicks, you should do them properly.

    The current plan, which involves run-through tracks at LA Union Station, a station at Anaheim which is capable of receiving high-speed trainsets, and electrification in between, is perfectly acceptable under Prop I, contrary to what anti-train people say.

    Some of the trains coming from the Central Valley to LA will simply continue to Anaheim. That is all. That satisfies the requirements.

    Jon Reply:

    And where does prop 1a say that the whole system has to be completed with prop 1a money?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Read ‘em and weep

    http://www.articinfo.com/PDF/120813_ARTIC_PPT.pdf

    It does seem like a wee bit of overkill for a station that has ridership in line with Menlo Park.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Richard will especially like the part where instead of just walking up to the platform, you will now have the opportunity to go up two sets of escalators, walk across a concourse bridge and go down one set of stairs to catch your train,

    Joey Reply:

    I’m sure passengers will love that part too.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Either they’re going to house the Hindenburg in it, or it’s Crystal Cathedral II.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They want to see how low they can keep the heating bill in winter. Both days of it. The air conditioning bill on the other hand…

    Matthew B Reply:

    Regarding the comparison to Menlo Park, I guess Menlo Park is about as built out as NIMBYs will allow, while central Anaheim has tons of room to grow, but nevertheless manages to have similar ridership despite the current large numbers of surface parking lots and industrial uses surrounding the station. There should be significant increase in ridership as the area around the station continues to develop towards offices and mixed use apartment buildings. Furthermore, there’s a planned fixed-guideway system that will link Artic to Disneyland and the convention center: http://aconnext.com/arc/
    I’m not much of a fan of Disneyland, personally, but I do understand it’s a popular destination.

    I think Artic might be a bit overkill, but it’s not so crazy. Demographic and land use trends are in favor of it being a success with or without HSR, and I imagine it would be a very popular HSR stop as well.

    joe Reply:

    If this were a train station – yeah.

    It’s a multi-modal station.

    TOTAL Daily Boardings and Alightings
    existing 2,736
    opening day 2014-10,330
    2035-19,020
    TOTAL Including CHSR 51,000

    It’s exactly like Menlo Park.

    Within 5 square mile Study Area – Several of the biggest attractions and event centers in the world are located in the City of Anaheim with approximately 20 million visitors annually including: world-renown theme parks (Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure); the largest convention center on West Coast (Anaheim Convention Center); home of two professional sports teams (MLB Angels Baseball and NHL Anaheim Ducks); major concert venues (Honda Center and City National Grove of Anaheim); high density mixed-use communities; and, major entertainment district

    The station is surrounded by a road, I assume for drop off pick up taxi and etc. and not much room exists to flatten the station and keep the sq ft. It gets smaller and not suited for 2035 expectations – rebuilt it. Or it goes either up or down. Tunneling underground keeps people from climbing too many stairs. It’s probably more expensive but we have some very important metrics – minimize stairs.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Joe –

    1) The station itself is not actually being designed to accomodate high speed rail.
    2) The existing demandis the best predictor of opening day (the opening day number is not internally consistent with existing demand but was produced a long time ago)
    3) Menlo Park has buses too http://www.samtrans.com/schedulesandmaps/maps.html + free Menlo Park shuttles and Caltrain shuttles.

    Yes, Anaheim is nothing like Menlo Park. The incredibly low ridership of Anaheim says something about the area in which the station is located. The new one seems slightly worse if anything.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    joe Reply:
    August 30th, 2012 at 3:59 am

    If this were a train station – yeah.

    It’s a multi-modal station.

    Remind me again how Millbrae “multi-modal” is working out?

    Oh, that’s right: at less than 35% of the prediction made by Parsons Brinkerhoff.

    Remind me again of how San Joé‘s Rod “Not Yet Dead” Diridon Memorial “multi-modal” station is the single most heavily used node in the entire Bay Area, what with San José being the largest and most populous city, the Capital of Silicon Valley, and the station serving TWO different Amtrak lines, ACE, Caltrain, VTA bus, VTA super-duper-Diridon-tastic Light Rail, free shuttle buses, Highway 17 express, etc, etc? Oh, that’s right: way below any urban station in SF or Oakland.

    Multi-modal! Inter-hyper-multi-pan-galactic! It’s a floor wax and a floor wax as well as being a floor wax!

    Nathanael Reply:

    The tracks are at ground level and they’re not going to move. How else do you cross the tracks?

    Two level changes is acceptable when you have to cross over or under something. The plan appears to retain direct access to the south-side platform from the south side. (The north side platform has a bus loop blocking it, but appears to have direct connections to that.)

    It’s more-than-two level changes which one should always avoid. It is always possible to avoid having more htan two level changes. This succeeds at avoiding having more than two level changes.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    The tracks are at ground level and they’re not going to move. How else do you cross the tracks?

    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionalism: you’re soaking in it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Elevating the tracks or putting them in a trench would create an impassable Berlin Wall that would disrupt the community connectivity between the parking lots on one side of the tracks and the parking lots on the other side of the tracks.

    Joey Reply:

    The main issue in Anaheim is the freeway going over the tracks as well as a river crossing. Of course it would be nice to be able to get rid of or move the freeway, but that’s unlikely.

    thatbruce Reply:

    @Elizabeth:

    It does seem like a wee bit of overkill for a station that has ridership in line with Menlo Park.

    Overkill yes, but they’re planning it to be the central point of Anaheim’s ‘Platinum Triangle’, as pointed out several times in the pdf you provided a link to. Its average commuter ridership isn’t going to stay in the ‘Menlo Park’ vicinity.

    Nathanael Reply:

    IF the planned connecting train/monorail to Disneyland is built, it will certainly have high ridership. OF course, that doesn’t seem to be funded yet.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    The design as it is probably adds 5-10 minutes to get to platform and makes it hard to conceive of bringing a bike on a local train. Access time is equivalent to twice as much travel time – you have effectively just negated any benefit from a faster time to LA Union Station.

    Ridership definitely goes up with a good connection to disneyland. The station design does not help though for connections and it is inconceivable that you would have designed this station without trying to optimize that connection (if anyone knows otherwise, links would be helpful).

    While the current station could definitely use some sprucing up, the connection to Disney would seem like a much, much higher priority.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Here is link about incompatibility http://voiceofoc.org/oc_north/article_19bd7cac-cda1-11df-892e-001cc4c03286.html there is more detail in actual eirs for project.

    Does anyone want to guess which consultant was hired to design the station?

    jonathan Reply:

    Has to be PB, With a pedestrian-unfriendly design like that. Is it? Oh, mirabile dictu…

    Elizabeth, if you get the ears of any decision-makers, have you ever suggested that they take a field trip to part of the world which _does_ know how to do passenger rail? Switzerland, Germany, or even France in Western Europe; Australia or New Zealand if they want a southern-hemisphere junket (but realy, to tickle Richard M’s functional illiteracy about Anglophones and rail).

    I can’t get rid of my conviction that the public decision-makers, with zero staff having engineering experitise in pasenger rail, simply don’t grok that things could be much, much etter than PB’s concrete-intensive airport-inspired designs.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    I went for a site visit last year and came away quite concerned about the execution of what on the surface seemed like a reasonable idea. There is an excessive amount of concrete, a lack of green space, a lack of walkability etc. Here is an article that discusses these issues: http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/anaheim-platinum-triangle-visionary-urban-village-missed-opportunity/

    joe Reply:

    The ridership projects in the presentation are clearly listed. The Menlo Park reference is unfortunate. One wonders.

  9. VBobier
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 07:27
    #9

  10. Alan
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:55
    #10

    Perhaps KTTV and the other Fox-owned stations should worry about getting their own act together. All of them are at risk of losing their FCC licenses because of the News Corp (parent company) phone-hacking scandal–challenges have already been filed against their DC station.

    Revoking the Fox licenses would certainly serve the public interest, and this story is another demonstration of why that would be so.

    VBobier Reply:

    Agreed, all fox owned stations don’t broadcast anything outside of subversive ideology today and aren’t to be trusted for NEWS…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Thats right…support free speech by banning all the speech you hate….that will show them!!

    Do you read what you post?

    Jon Reply:

    No, they should have their license revoked because they are part of a known criminal enterprise. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with it.

    James M. in Irvine Reply:

    The problem is if their license gets pulled because of Murdock, they will just say it’s because they are telling it like it is about Obama (NOT) and blame the President. I say let FAUX fall after the next Repugnican gets in…..Like 50 years from now…

    jimBo

    VBobier Reply:

    Then I can say only one thing:

    Vote only for Democrats and Obama/Biden on November 6th 2012…

    Alan Reply:

    If the Fox local TV licenses are revoked, that doesn’t necessarily kill the Fox Noise cable network, which doesn’t need to be licensed. It may weaken it somewhat, but not kill it. Ironically, News Corp is a contributor to the Obama campaign–while their on-air people are all Republican cheerleaders, Rupert and Roger Ailes realize that their business model depends on having an opposition to fight. What would Fox Noise be with Rmoney in office?

    Alan Reply:

    Exactly, Jon. Criminals are not fit to be FCC licensees.

    Alan Reply:

    John, did *you* read what I posted? The license challenges are related to the phone-hacking scandal involving Fox’s parent, News Corp. The issue is whether or not News Corp is fit to be an FCC licensee. There is precedent for such an action–Google “FCC” and “RKO General” to get a clue. You need one.

  11. Jo
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:40
    #11

    This is an example of why I have not watched a local newscast in over 40 years. Back then I found the the local newscasts in my locality biased, unprofessional, and just plain stupid, not to mention the bumbling reporters that are supposed to pass as journalists. It is sad that this type of reporting is now being institutionalized by certain outfits on a national scale.

    VBobier Reply:

    I mainly watch KNBC 4 News out of Los Angeles, when their not up there’s KTLA and KCBS/KCAL and I find all to be truthful, FAUX I would not trust with even a 10′ pole.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I’ve basically eliminated TV news from my diet entirely; even when honest, they’re *shallow*.

    I have not found a complete substitute for local or national newspapers. I’ve found a *lot* of better news sources, what I haven’t found is a better *aggregator* which tells me *when* there is news in a particular field or area. All the better news sources are too topic-specific.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    I’m no fan of local news either, but this stuff still has legs and influence. Plus, my philosophy at this blog since I launched in March 2008 has been to push back against misleading BS whenever it shows up in the media.

    VBobier Reply:

    I hear Ya Robert, Keep pushing till it bursts…

  12. trentbridge
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 13:09
    #12

    Now if the Huffington Post had slammed CAHSR I would be worried! Fox News is just preaching to the choir! With the GOP convention going on and Hurricane Isaac pounding LA (the State)you’re not going to get much national interest in a typical California “fruits and nuts” piece.

  13. Peter
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 15:06
    #13

    I wonder what Fox News will cover when the lawsuit gets dumped again.

    Eric M Reply:

    Or what Morris will say…..

    VBobier Reply:

    Something along the lines of this or that, that He dislikes something that pertains to the lawsuit or maybe He’ll surprise and delight us by keeping His trap shut and move on…

    VBobier Reply:

    Maybe their own ass…

  14. Douglas Scott
    Aug 29th, 2012 at 15:24
    #14

    Fox News, where the truth goes to die. Anyone, who is not ideologically hidebound is not going to that network for quality journalism. Only those already in the anti-HSR camp will pay them any mind. They are preaching to the choir.

Comments are closed.