CHSRA Signs Contract With Tutor Perini

Aug 19th, 2013 | Posted by

For those of you wondering what would happen the first business day after a Sacramento judge ruled that the 2011 financing plan violated Prop 1A, Governor Jerry Brown has a message:

The ruling raises some questions about the plan, but “it did not stop anything,” the Democratic governor told reporters during a Lake Tahoe summit.

“There’s a lot of room for interpretation, and I think the outcome will be positive,” Brown said of the ruling late Friday by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny.

And the California High Speed Rail Authority has its own message:

The ruling came just hours after the California High-Speed Rail Authority signed a nearly $1 billion contract authorizing a consortium led by Tutor Perini to design and build the first 30 miles of track from Madera to Fresno, rail authority board Chairman Dan Richard said.

Governor Brown and the CHSRA clearly believe that the ruling does not threaten the project’s survival or even its ability to continue moving forward. And Judge Kenny pointedly refused to order any injunction preventing the Authority from moving forward, holding that to a future hearing and noting that the final authority here may rest with the Legislature given the way Prop 1A was written.

But there are other reasons for HSR supporters to be hopeful. After reflecting over the weekend on the ruling, and reading it a few more times, some other points became clear.

Keep in mind that Judge Kenny based his ruling on the 2011 financing plan. But that plan was superseded by the 2012 Business Plan, which addressed the problems found in the 2011 financing plan. The 2012 Business Plan was what the Legislature used when they authorized the release of funds in July 2012. And that authorization was what Judge Kenny declined to block.

HSR opponents claimed a big victory on Friday, but it may prove to be hollow. In 2009 Judge Kenny threw out an early EIR, but the Authority was able to amend it and get it approved without any delay in project work. In this case it appears that the Authority already addressed these issues. Judge Kenny may not find that persuasive, but you can bet that the lawyers in the Attorney General’s office will make a big deal of it in the hearing to determine what remedy, if any, he will order as a result of Friday’s ruling.

Signing the contract with Tutor Perini is a big step forward for the project. Judge Kenny’s ruling still has to be dealt with. But Governor Brown, a shoo-in for re-election next year, is determined to move ahead, and the CHSRA now has a signed contract for construction. I’m feeling confident about this project’s future, and other HSR advocates should as well.

  1. morris brown
    Aug 19th, 2013 at 22:38
    #1

    Robert has written:

    Keep in mind that Judge Kenny based his ruling on the 2011 financing plan. But that plan was superseded by the 2012 Business Plan, which addressed the problems found in the 2011 financing plan. The 2012 Business Plan was what the Legislature used when they authorized the release of funds in July 2012. And that authorization was what Judge Kenny declined to block.

    Pray tell Robert just what differences in the 2011 vs 2012 plan would
    change Judge Kenny’s findings?

    Where in the 2012 plan are the identified funding sources, which are not just wishes and prayers?

    Where in the 2012 plan are the completed environmental clearances which were missing in the 2011 plan?

    Statements like this from the CHSRA just don’t “hold water”. We will see soon enough. I so glad for you that you are feeling so confident.

    Mike Reply:

    Yeah, I had the same thought as Morris. I think it’s still possible for the Authority to get out of this alive, but it’s not due to any differences between the Draft and the Revised business plans.

    CaliforniaDefender Reply:

    That’s right Morris. As usual, the CHSRA does not have the facts or the law to back up their statements. Their steamroller tactics must be stopped.

    VBobier Reply:

    And if you don’t get what you want, like an “emergency injunction”, what will you do then?

    Alan Reply:

    Pout and hold his breath until turning blue…

    VBobier Reply:

    I’d love to see that…

  2. Donk
    Aug 19th, 2013 at 22:44
    #2

    I have been supportive of this project for a long time but am really getting concerned that we are just throwing money down a rathole.

    nslander Reply:

    Did you honestly ever expect anything LESS than this degree of delay, litigation and obstructionism? I certainly didn’t.

    swing hanger Reply:

    America- nowadays better at producing reams of litigation documents than a single meter of high speed railway track.

    nslander Reply:

    I prefer to view it as the soothing salve of cynisism.

    nslander Reply:

    Sic.

    Blaine Reply:

    It appears that there are a lot of anti progressive folk in the US wanting to stop progress. It’s a joke, your passenger rail system is stuck in the 50′s vs. Japan, France, UK, China etc. People travel to an airport outside of a city centre and take a short haul flight under 3 hrs. Total time with check in of bags etc, check out and driving time approx 4 1/2 hrs. It was proven back in 1960′s that a HS Train downtown to downtown could beat that any day. It’s not “new technology”, and nothing to be scared of!
    Also folk say that HSR is subsidized, hey the “freeway” as well as they are “free” to ride along. Who pays to build them?, yes you guessed it the taxpayer! Your “freeways” are not free then and the speed of a car will never match a modern HS Train.
    I don’t think that the naysayers have ever experienced a HS train as if they did then the “blinkers” might come off?.
    Time for all the “waffle” talk to stop and put the shovel in the ground. I guarantee once it’s built then other US states will want a HS Train. Luckily California and your governor has seen the “light of day” and actually realized what other countries have by visiting them and taking HS rail.
    Also talking about the plane, your airports are tax payer subsidized as well. Nothing is “free”!
    Why should HS Rail need to be 100% un-subsidized, for the sake of the environment the option is to continue to drive cars on choked freeways, pollute the air and yes freeway are paid by the taxpayer. Put a toll on them in order to subsidize HS rail, in the UK for instance “gas” petrol is taxed way higher than in the US in order to subsidize other modes of transit, yes including HS rail. All things need to be compared on an “even playing field” in “tax payer” terms.
    Here’s hoping the project moves forward and the “naysays” go back in their bunkers and let progress of the US match that of other “modern industrial lands” vs. being an absolute joke with your current passenger rail system being stuck in the “50’S”. In fact your trains went faster then?

    CaliforniaDefender Reply:

    It’s not the litigation and obstruction that has doomed this project, it is the poor planning, lack of cooperation with impacted communities, and the lack of public and private funding. Don’t blame the messenger.

    nslander Reply:

    Lack of funding has nothing to do with political obstructionism, and delays have nothing to do with litigation. Well-funded ideological opposition is effectively toothless to thwart progress and has contributed absolutely nothing to a hostile political climate. Ok.

    I acknowledge contributory negligence, but you are categorically opposed to this project. Spare the histrionics and just say that.

    VBobier Reply:

    He won’t…

    CaliforniaDefender Reply:

    I’m not categorically against it. I voted for Prop 1A, relying on the $45 B estimate and believing that improving transit across the state would be a good thing. But the way this project has been carried out has turned me, as well as many other would-be supporters against it. If the agency did its job right, and at least appeared to be honest and forthright about its plans, it would have my support. Instead, it has been more than negligent and very shifty. I simply do not trust them to get this done in a way that really benefits California in proportion to the costs.

    VBobier Reply:

    Perception is everything and the CHSRA was hamstrung by the legislature for a long time, staff for PR would have helped, but that was not to be, one can be forthright and if no one sees that, then it’s like “if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No, perception is not everything. At one point there are real resources going to build the railroad, or any other project, and it costs money to get those resources.

    VBobier Reply:

    When one is interfacing with the public it is, its called Public Relations, otherwise known here as “PR” that’s the PR in My post at 9:48am, right now some think the worst of the project, when the legislature had to deal with Repubs on everything to get a budget out, that was minority rule then, HSR was on life support and Repubs liked it that way, cause then Repubs could say they were for HSR, back then the only Repub that was truly for HSR was the Governator Himself, before Democrats got a 2/3rds majority, afterwards Repubs pulled a 180 and then said they were against HSR, I wasn’t talking about building HSR, ok?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    There’s only so much PR can do to a project that really did say Phase 1 would cost $33 billion in 2008 and really has upped the estimate to $65 billion (now $53 billion). And PR is the nice way to refer to this. In politics it’s called spin.

    VBobier Reply:

    Well as you just said it was an estimate, not a firm price. Freeways cost more than just money, they make people who live next to them sick, both from the sound and the exhaust… HSR is being built from the ground up. Both are expensive to build and CA needs a better transportation solution that can and does move more people, cars on a freeway can’t move enough people, since the freeway system is at it’s limit and can’t be expanded to meet the demand of 50 million people(PDF) in 2049 or 12.75 million more than is in CA now(37.25 Million in 2010, in 2012 it’s supposed to be about 38.04 Million), nor can the airports, so what choice do We have? It’s build HSR, that No Growth stuff of a few Peninsula cities won’t sell in the rest of CA. The population of CA is growing and that’s a fact, even google says CA has as of 2012 38.04 Million people.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ CaliforniaDefender

    I also voted for Prop 1A but now I realize that with a uniparty system locked in power this class of large infrastructure project will inevitably become troubled because “they” can ignore the terms of the enabling legislation routinely at will and with impunity. They write their own rules as they go along.

    The only hope for resetting this thing at all is if the GOP fields a credible candidate for Governor straightaway and he/she lays into Brown mercilessly on the failings of PB-CHSRA. With a majority now in opposition to hsr it is possible this Republican candidate will score some points that will show up in the polls. That is about the only strategy that could induce any change in Brown’s position, as I see it. It is all about the politics.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Like Mega Meg was going to ride her white steed to a landslide victory and the propositions you said would fail miserably but didn’t?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The GOP candidate would be a very longshot indeed but scoring some pollable policy points against the DogLeg could rouse Jerry from his coma and beget some adjustments.

    They need another celebrity like Schwarzie to get media attention quickly.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I should have said bad polls on hsr could move Jerry’s handlers to wake him from his nap.

    synonymouse Reply:

    From the rodent point of view I would offer gopher hole would be a more accurate analogy. Gophers manage to dig in the most hostile stuff and pretty much aimlessly. Rats are quite bright and their holes are a cut thru to something they need. So Tehachapi is a more akin to a gopher hole.

    Madera to Palmdale represents a political failure for Antonovich & Co. and eventually the locals will pick up on it. The fix crumbles. Operationally it dictates a forced transfer, imho, as the DogLeg is probably not possible with diesel due to the fumes and grinding out the 3%+ gradients and dual fuel not so appealing after Santiago de Compostela and the dead weight you have to carry.

    Changing locomotives? Maybe but I was under the impression this whole thing was about powered axle multiple unit trainsets.

    More a turkey than Deserted Xprss.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Nancy Pelosi mind rays bathing the stations will make everyone ignore it.

  3. Richard Mlynarik
    Aug 19th, 2013 at 23:01
    #3

    Mmmmmmmmm … I love the smell of rigged bids and change orders in the morning.
    It smells like .. victory!

    VBobier Reply:

    A worthless ruling about an obsolete financing plan from 2011 that was never used to release the bonds or commit to a contract, dream on, this changes NOTHING…

    thatbruce Reply:

    @VBobier:

    It sets case law with regards to the CHSRA’s funding and environmental activities. Don’t be surprised to see this ruling referenced in future cases.

    VBobier Reply:

    Some ruling, largely useless and ineffective…

    CaliforniaDefender Reply:

    Vbobler, I suppose it doesn’t matter to you at all that funding has been lined up for the entire IOS-south, as required by statute? Should they just start building now, even if they can’t complete a usable segment? What about promises to the voters who narrowly approved Prop 1A. I suppose those promises don’t mean anything either. Hopefully, the judge will follow his ruling through to its logical conclusion and stop this out of contrl train dead in its tracks.

    VBobier Reply:

    Well is it enforceable? I highly doubt it…

    TomW Reply:

    Saying the bid was rigged is libel.

    synonymouse Reply:

    yuk yuk yuk

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They’re welcome to sue.

    VBobier Reply:

    TomW is right Alon Levy, TomW isn’t the one that would worry about libel, that’s between the person wronged and His tormentor, if the person wronged felt inclined to do so or not, it is libel and the internet is no protection, everything can be traced and with a warrant it can be proven as to who posted what… Besides it’s a cheap and baseless shot.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Nobody would worry about libel. Certainly not in the US – a libel lawsuit would get laughed out of court. Hell, I don’t think they’d be able to win a libel case in the rest of the Anglosphere, where pretty much anything counts as libel.

    Remember, if they sue, their own internal documents become fair game for the court to examine. So instead of having CARRD try to guess what led to the scoring criteria that produced the bid outcome, the jury would get to see everything. It causes a lot more damage to the HSRA to get dragged through a lawsuit than to ignore Richard. Same reason the Reason people and other hacks who think European HSR is subsidized, who I openly accuse of fraud, aren’t going to sue. They’ll probably lose, and there’s no downside to ignoring what people on the Internet accuse you of.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Madera to Fresno high speed rail contract signed, high speed rail and jobs coming to the Valley!

    CaliforniaDefender Reply:

    Short-term jobs for well-connected firms and a 100-mile berm that may be useful for conventional rail is coming to the valley. Yippee!

    VBobier Reply:

    Some people are just short sighted and narrow minded, just saying…

  4. John Nachtigall
    Aug 19th, 2013 at 23:15
    #4

    Way to ignore the other part of the ruling on EIR reports (or lack thereof). Does the 2012 business plan magically make them “done” for the whole IOS now?

    StevieB Reply:

    The EIR are expected to be completed before the end of the year and major construction is not now expected before then. It appears the environmental reports will be right on time.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Great, can you please point to the part of the law that says you don’t need EIRs before “major” construction because The judge and I can only find the part that says you need them before any construction??

    CaliforniaDefender Reply:

    Bottom line, the Authority needs to submit a new funding plan that complies with the letter of the statute and it can’t spend any money before then. No more twisting the law so that a square pin can fit into a round box.

    StevieB Reply:

    Dan Richard, chairman of the authority’s board said, “We are moving forward with this plan because the judge told us that we could move forward with this plan, and the judge did not do the one thing that the plaintiffs asked him to do, which was to stop the project.”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yet…the part you left out is yet. He is holding a hearing on the proposed remidies. The fact he has not put a remedy in place yet does not mean he will not put a remedy in place at all

    nslander Reply:

    What’s do you hope that remedy will be, John?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No construction until you comply with the law. In this case full funding identified for an IOS that requires no subsidy and all EIRs in place before construction. That is what the law says and they should follow that or not build

    VBobier Reply:

    Doubt that will happen, considering how Prop1a is written according to the Judge that is.

  5. Resident
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 00:15
    #5

    Like crack fiends caught in a raid, they can’t shove it down their throats or up their asses fast enough to save it from being taken away in desparation.

    Well, good for them.

    If I were a high speed rail supporter, counting on the long-battled, hard-won AB3034 funding to seed high speed rail for california someday in the near future, I think I might be asking what happens to this signed $1B contract with Tutor Perini when the judge rules it illegal? I’m certain that we’ll shortly see precious bond dollars funneled to TP as penalty/settlement/damages money and legal fees, without even a single grain of sand being disturbed. Nice gig if you can get it – Im sure TP is laughing their heads off right now.

    Your great leaders are selling you down the river, stealing YOUR bond money, to make sure they grab what they can while the ship goes down. (But shhhh, don’t say anything, don’t complain, don’t make a fuss – just keep quiet and let them steal it.)

    As far as I’m concerned the faster they piss it down the toilet the sooner we can all lay to rest this half-assed idea that there will someday be a high speed rail.

    By the way, given these guys were all named as defendants, and they all now know with certainty they are in violation of the law, in knowing defiance of the law, I wonder if any of them are thinking about jail time yet.

    Robert – the 2012 business plan remedies zero of the issues the judge set forth, and certainly does not meet the criteria of 2704.08 (d). I would LOVE to see their lawyers show up in court and try to haul out that 2012 business plan.

    CaliforniaDefender Reply:

    Well stated! For those of you engaging in wishful thinking, it’s time to remove your blinders.

  6. agb5
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 03:17
    #6

    Where can I download the source code of the “Open Source” Hyperloop and start fixing the bugs?

    I expect Musk is too “busy” to integrate the many ‘refinements’ that can be found in blogs distributed around the web.

    I there a single crowd-sourced Hyperloop 2.0 document being created anywhere?

    Edward Carroll Reply:

    Musk’s “alpha” proposal is here:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/blog_images/hyperloop-alpha.pdf

    Musk declared it “open source” and lobbed it out there. Wait a month and then try a search. Something may get started.

    Before then it is all just oooh! aaah! and criticism.

  7. John Nachtigall
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 06:19
    #7

    Someone please explain how the 2012 plan “fixes” the issues? Since the ruling specifically states the money for the whole IOS must be identified upfront and the authority itself admits the ICS is not the IOS and they don’t have all the money.

    Do you really expect a judge to rule the law is not being followed but not stop it from happening?
    Do you think it is a good idea to thumb your nose at the ruling by spending the money before he rules on remedies?
    Could management of this project get any worse?

    Derek Reply:

    Federal funding alone will cover the ICS. So even if the judge rules California cannot spend any of the promised $9 billion in California bond funds until the Prop 1A requirements are satisfied, construction can still begin immediately.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    uh… no

    CHSRA signed a contract with the fed govt promising them prop 1a dollars to match any fed dollars spent. that sounds like a commitment to me.

    Derek Reply:

    Must both sources of funding be spent simultaneously? And does the Sacramento judge have jurisdiction over the federal funding?

    VBobier Reply:

    A State Judge? No, I don’t think He does, jurisdictional matter, a Federal Judge could rule on State or Federal matters, but I’m pretty sure the other way around doesn’t work.

    nslander Reply:

    “Do you really expect a judge to rule the law is not being followed but not stop it from happening?”

    There’s this class they make you take in law school that deals with this subject. In fact, it’s called “Remedies”. I don’t pull from stuff from my backside about clothoid spirals- not sure why so many refuse to bring a similar circumspection with respect to the law.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But if “remedies” are such a snap and done deal why did the Judge not just opt for jedi mind trick and rule move along, these laws are not the ones you are looking for?

    My only guess is the the younger bureaucracy(not the senescents jonesing for a legacy)is worried about the consequences they will have to deal with of a megaproject that bombs.

    Jerry had better worry about where he is going to find the money to buy off Amalgamated. That’s an immediate “remedy”.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So why hold a further hearing then. It seems a real jump to say he will do nothing just because he refused to do it immediately.

    StevieB Reply:

    The Court finds that the funding plan did not comply with requirements but is unwilling to stop the funding of construction. You can read the ruling.

    Based on its finding that the funding plan did not comply with the requirements of Section 2704.08(c)(2), the Court is satisfied that issuance of a writ of mandate directing the Authority to rescind its approval of the November 3, 2011 funding plan may, as a matter of abstract right, be an available remedy in this case. However, the Court is not yet convinced that invalidation of the funding plan, by itself, would be a remedy with any real, practical effect. Unless the writ also invalidated the legislative appropriation for the high-speed rail program or subsequent approvals (such as contracts) made in furtherance of the program, issuance of the writ would have no substantial or practical impact on the program. As a matter of general principle, a writ will not issue to enforce a mere abstract right, without any substantial or practical benefit to the petitioner.

    The Court finds that the writ should not issue in this case to invalidate the legislative appropriation made through SB 1029. The Court reaches this conclusion on substantive and procedural grounds.
    The substantive ground for the Court’s conclusion is that petitioners have not demonstrated that
    the Authority’s non-compliance with the funding plan requirements of Section 2704.08(c)(2) rendered the subsequent legislative appropriation invalid. Nothing in Section 2704.08(c)(2), or elsewhere in Proposition 1A, provides that the Legislature shall not or may not make an appropriation for the highspeed rail program if the initial funding plan required by Section 2704.08(c)(2) fails to comply with all the requirements of the statute. Lacking such a consequence for the Authority’s non-compliance, Proposition 1A appears to entrust the question of whether to make an appropriation based on the funding plan to the Legislature’s collective judgment. The terms of Proposition 1A itself give the Court no authority to interfere with that exercise of judgment.

    Resident Reply:

    Correct -he’s not going to try to invalidate SB1029 – the legislative appropriation. That’s just approval for the bonds to be sold. That’s not spending decisions, that’s just bond sale authorization. Those bond funds sit idle until the authority enters in to spending contracts.

    It doesn’t matter if he touches SB1029. He has other potential remedies available to stop the authority from SPENDING the bond funds. The next phase of hearings will be a look at the decisions the authority is making and which ones he’ll invalidate to get them to stop spending illegally.

    synonymouse Reply:

    So it is just a toothless legal opinion. So why not simply recuse? He did not make any friends with the all powerful in California Burton patronage machine.

    Jonathan Reply:

    I repeat: what *is* the “Burton patronage machine”?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The California Democratic Party headquartered in San Francisco. If you look up the definition in a political dictionary you should find a picture of Willie Brown under the heading.

    jonathan Reply:

    But why “Burton”?? Is this some private code of yours?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The late Phil Burton built the political machine which now dominates uniparty California.

    jonathan Reply:

    Phillip Burton died 30 years ago.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The party goes on.

    Mike Reply:

    Philip Burton may be dead, but his brother John is chairman of the California Democratic Party.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Proposition 1A appears to entrust the question of whether to make an appropriation based on the funding plan to the Legislature’s collective judgment. The terms of Proposition 1A itself give the Court no authority to interfere with that exercise of judgment.”

    So the judge rules that the Authority is not following the law, but the law does not specify any remedies or penalties for not following the law so he cannot legally stop it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    sounds about right

    Resident Reply:

    No! He’s saying he can’t mess with SB1029 – the appropriation decision. That’s just legislation approving sale of the bonds. That is not the contractual spending obligations, – the actual spending decisions.

    The spending decisions are still occurring under AB3034, via CHSRA decisions.

    He still is saying he has potential remedy under AB3034 to stop CHSRA spending decisions.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The judge isn’t saying he has a potential remedy, but is asking the lawyers to argue about whether he does.

    Resident Reply:

    I read it as arguments for what it will be, not if there will be.

  8. JJJJ
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 07:31
    #8

    Tutor Perini has elased offices in Fresnos Fulton Mall. HSR is revitalizing town already!

  9. Paul Dyson
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 07:34
    #9

    Glad to hear that the contract with TP is signed. Continues the strategy of build something in a completely stupid place and blackmail the state into pouring more money in so that the first money was not wasted. Reminds me of the Somme. 50,000 casualties on the first day, so keep sending in more men because you wouldn’t want the first ones to have died in vain…

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/williesworld/article/When-Warriors-travel-to-China-Ed-Lee-will-follow-4691101.php

    Willie Brown comes clean about how it is done:

    News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone.

    We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it.

    In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved.

    The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.

    Mike Reply:

    Of course we all know that this is how it’s done, but it still makes one feel a bit ill to see it put so baldly in print.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    I think you would really enjoy Willie Brown’s autobiography, which is full of such candor – including a description of the main benefit of political power, which is that good looking people will sleep with you. He does assure women that this applies to them too. I kid you not.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But this time they have not let him in on the BART strike, even tho he wants to.

    jimsf Reply:

    First, the central valley is not a stupid place to start. Second the goal is to build the whole project so whether they started in the valley or the bay or la, its all going to get used. The valley is most in need of the construction jobs. I’m glad they started there.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    agree

    VBobier Reply:

    Me too.

    Joey Reply:

    You get construction jobs in the CV but you also build something that won’t be used for a few years after it’s complete. It’s a tradeoff.

    VBobier Reply:

    Actually Amtrak could pay the CHSRA to use the rails once their complete, at least until more money shows up to do any catenary and it largely follows one of their existing routes. Construction of rails like this never puts the catenary up at the same time, it would be a security headache and during construction it would just be in the way, from what I’ve read it’s one of the last things done, the trains should of course come just before the catenary.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Almost certainly Amtrak is going to run it. Remember they have to placate BNSF as to operating parameters and answerability.

    Joey Reply:

    Union Pacific limits Amtrak’s capacity to a few trains per day on other segments (Oakland-Martinez and Stockton-Sacramento). You’re not going to get an appreciable amount of use out of the track until one of the mountain crossings is constructed.

  10. morris brown
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 07:48
    #10

    Dan Walters has just posted an outstanding article with some history.

    When former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators asked voters for a north-south bullet train five years ago, they knew it would be a hard sell.

    Therefore, they included safeguards to persuade voters that it was a well- reasoned project that would not become a money pit, including:

    • The state’s exposure would be limited to the $9.95 billion bond issue, about a fourth of the estimated cost.

    • There could be no operating subsidies.

    • Trains would run between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 160 minutes.

    • Financing and environmental studies would have to be completed before a “usable segment” was built.

    Even so, and even without a dime being spent against it, the ballot measure was approved very narrowly.

    Since then, polls indicate that public sentiment has turned against the project as costs have ballooned, as only a token amount of federal funds has been forthcoming, and as design changes made the 160- minute promise a pipe dream.

    However, Schwarzenegger’s successor, Jerry Brown, and his High-Speed Rail Authority have pushed ahead, planning to build a 130-mile portion in the San Joaquin Valley that’s been dubbed, not inaccurately, as the train to nowhere.

    Critics have pointed out repeatedly that the seemingly solid assurances in the 2008 ballot measure were being ignored in the rush to move some dirt, particularly the supposed mandate to have environmental impact studies cleared and financing lined up in advance of construction.

    Brown and other advocates have simply ignored the criticism and forged ahead – apparently hoping that once construction began, there would be a psycho-political commitment to see it through.

    But last week, a Sacramento judge declared that if the law approved by voters says certain things must be done before construction begins, the state cannot simply ignore them.

    “Having exercised its independent judgment in this matter as authorized by law, the court concludes that the authority abused its discretion by approving a funding plan that did not comply with the requirements of law,” Judge Michael Kenny ruled in a lawsuit brought by San Joaquin Valley opponents, adding that the agency had failed to identify “sources of funds that were more than merely theoretically possible.”

    What happens now is anyone’s guess. Kenny will impose some remedy, and there will be appeals. But if it holds, the ruling could be a death knell because there’s simply no way to comply with the ballot measure’s plain language.

    Something more than the fate of a dubious public works project is at stake. If officials can ignore laws that protect the governed, then the underpinnings of a free society are destroyed.

    What a contrast between his opinion and that of his employer, the Sac Bee, Editorial position

    VBobier Reply:

    An empty ruling with no teeth so far, since teeth would be for the legislature to do something about and no State Judge can make the State Legislature do anything, if the legislature does nothing, then nothing will change. That’s called separation of powers

    VBobier Reply:

    Anything when it comes to money that is, I think that’s a power reserved for the legislature. Now a Judge can interpret laws and make Judicial rulings, but is not supposed to make laws on their own that apply to more than the case at hand and sometimes legislation leaves a Judges hands tied…

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are correct; it is “an empty ruling with no teeth so far”. It is like a cry for help. It is as if he wanted to give it his unconditional blessing and score some points with the machine but just could not bring himself to do it. The plan is that effed up.

    It is definitely the Bayconic WillieBridge redux, except without the structural monopoly the bridge enjoys.

  11. CaliforniaDefender
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 08:53
    #11

    Fortunately, it’s the judge’s opinion that matters, not CHSRA’s or the Governor’s. Their arrogance and hubris will bring about a big fall, and it’s a very well deserved one. In a country governed by rule of law, you can only flout it for so long.

    JJJJ Reply:

    Well, maybe the HSR people should hire the experts at Bank of America. Because they’ve proven the law means nothing.

  12. morris brown
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 11:10
    #12

    Orange Co. Register Editorial:

    Editorial: This train should not leave the station yet

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/authority-521794-rail-judge.html (access by subscription only)

    Note this comment from Stuart Flashman who along with Mike Brady represented the plaintiffs in the Tos. et. al case against the CHSRA.

    It remains to be seen how the rail authority will respond to the judge’s ruling in the interim. It may just decide not to wait on him to hold a follow-up hearing (and prescribe remedies) before breaking ground on the Madera-to-Fresno section.

    Indeed, rail authority board Chairman Dan Richard stated Friday that the “ruling is that the Legislative appropriation for high-speed rail, based on the authority’s 2012 business plan, remains valid and our work on the project continues.”

    Mr. Richard’s reading of Judge Kenny’s ruling differs from that of Stuart Flashman, the attorney who represented Kings County and two of its residents in the legal challenge to the rail authority’s plan.

    Mr. Flashman doesn’t believe the judge gave the rail authority the green light. In fact, he told us, he may seek an injunction against the rail authority if they attempt to break ground before Judge Kenny holds his next hearing.

    Resident Reply:

    Morris! Its not just ground breaking that they need to get an injunction for!! What about land purchases, hiring, entering in to all sorts of contracts large and small that are commitments of the AB3034 funds? They need to ask for an emergency injunction tomorrow if not sooner while the next phase is in court.

    Resident Reply:

    It doesn’t really remain to be seen, its already seen.

    Jerry Brown, one of the defendants in the case has already gone on the public record saying the ruling “didn’t stop our spending, so we’re continuing. As we speak we’re spending money, we’re moving ahead.”

    Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/08/jerry-brown-says-high-speed-rail-ruling-wont-stop-project-spending.html#storylink=cpy

    And they go out to media today aided by their biggest chearleader of all, with big trumpets blaring about their spanking new $1B contract signed with TP, and CAARD tells us they may already have entered contract with Caltrans to get hwy 99 moved?

    Good grief, hopefully the lawyers have something more swift in mind in terms of emergency injuction.

    VBobier Reply:

    And what would happen, if there is NO emergency injunction?

  13. morris brown
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 11:40
    #13

    Transportation expert Ken Orski as just posted his latest Innobrief Vol 24 No. 12.

    His title is:

    A Major Court Rebuke for the California Bullet Train

    It contains an impressive compilation of comments made concerning Judge Kenny’s ruling.

    It can view at:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/161709868/A-Major-Court-Rebuke-for-the-California-Bullet-Train

    Eric M Reply:

    We get it Morris, every article that speaks against the project you are going to post. Maybe it’s time you get your own blog instead of spamming this one.

    nslander Reply:

    Who the hell would read that?

    rick rong Reply:

    Yeah, Morris, don’t confuse us with contrary opinions.

    YesOnHSR Reply:

    Please this lawsuite is by NIMBYS …PA and Menlo..and I guess PaloAlto online must not be covering this because there are a few of the nimbys from that Rag on this board…so yes they do need a blog of there own

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    including ones he agrees we cant open

    StevieB Reply:

    The whole story: Richard thinks that some media outlets are telling only half the story, telling audiences that judge ruled the authority violated Prop 1A but not that he supported the state legislature’s decision to release the money. “To me this is somewhat reminiscent of CNN on the Affordable Care Act,” Richard told MT, alluding to the network’s botched coverage of the Supreme Court ruling that found the health care law unconstitutional under one section of the Constitution — but constitutional under another section.

    Another point of view from Politico Morning Transportation.

    StevieB Reply:

    Richard in this case being Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

    VBobier Reply:

    Plus opponents have a Hollow Victory, which is Worthless.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are most likely correct in your opinion on this.

    But I sense something in the air emanating from thumbs down on Deserted Xprss and this ruling. Call it phantom menace. I believe the bureaucracy in general does not share Jerry’s zeal and blind faith in Detourrail and are concerned this project is too big to fail but still might. The public is already in a anti-incumbent mood and the politicians in general have never been held in such low regard.

  14. datacruncher
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 14:46
    #14

    UC report explores high-speed rail challenges, opportunities
    A report issued Tuesday by two California universities describes the state’s embattled high-speed train proposal as an opportunity for environmental and economic benefits in the San Joaquin Valley. If, that is, the region can overcome the fractious politics that surround the controversial bullet-train plans. Tuesday’s report was produced by the law schools at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California at Los Angeles.
    Link to full Fresno Bee story
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/08/20/3451545/uc-report-explores-high-speed.html

    Direct link to the Cal/UCLA report
    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/760487-high-speed-foundation.html

  15. Keith Saggers
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 15:26
    #15

    I am delighted Ian Birrell gets to Liverpool 37 mins quicker to watch Everton. However, that’s thanks to a £9bn upgrade of the west coast mainline track paid for by taxpayers, £2bn in franchise subsidies to Virgin Trains paid in the past 15 years, new rolling stock bought as a result of these payments and the share of Network Rail’s annual direct subsidy of £3.5bn allocated to the west coast. So Mr Birrell is deluded if he thinks his faster journey is one of the fruits of privatisation, which are as sparse as cherries in January.
    Christian Wolmar

  16. Jerry
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 16:50
    #16

    So when does the groundbreaking take place?

  17. SL
    Aug 20th, 2013 at 17:22
    #17

    As a young person, I see this project as inevitable. There’s no other way to accommodate growth or meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. It’s sad to see people that are selfish and without vision fight it, when it’s only a matter of time. It’s bewildering that they are willing to waste so much of their personal energy and money on a battle, when the war is being lost with each day that passes.

    It reminds me of the people that fought so hard against highrises in San Francisco in the 1980s. They put weekends and nights and ballot propositions and so much effort into it, and now San Francisco is experiencing a highrise boom that would horrify them.

    I guess if everyone could see the big picture, the world would be boring.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Thank you for a breath of fresh air

    Neville Snark Reply:

    It’s complicated. I see three general reasons for criticism: (a) Nimbys, short-termism, loving your life as it is, some agriculture interests; (b) technical objections; (c) frustration at political reality, ie swallowing or being made to swallow things cooked up the Unions, powerbrokers such as PB, the ‘patronage machine’ etc. I think (correct me of course) the best representatives on the board (ha ha) of each are, respectively, the sharp Elizabeth Alexis, the invaluable Clem, and the ever maddening (but brilliant) Synonymouse. Supporters who waive (a)-type objections, and think that one should do everything possible to adapt, to change plans or answer, (b)-type objections, are still going to be faced with (c)-type objections: At one extreme one declares that such projects should not go forward, what with all the sin required; at the other extreme, one will accept any sin to get the thing built. The middle ground is to accept that political institutions are almost never clean (not just in US or California!), that one is going to get dirty, ie will have to sin (!) if one is going to take part in this game. There is no choice, one just has to fight and stay as clean as one can. If the fact is the law for the bonds was mis-written,, for example, one might conclude that it would be better ‘technically’ to violate it (in a way that can be concealed with lawyerese) than to give up and start over (if that is the dilemma).

    synonymouse Reply:

    What if institutions are not only “almost never clean” but prove to be incapable?

    Japan, one of the “firstest” amongst the first world, appears to be incapable to deal with Fukushima. What do you do, how do you proceed, when the triumvirate of government-industry-engineering geniuses fail? In our case, PB-CHSRA, now you have the phenomenon of senile dementia introduced as well.

    Back to Palmdale, center of the known cheerleader universe, where the dust has yet to settle on cutting the mountain crossing in half. This represents a major political defeat for Antonovich after you discount all the defensive spin.

    1. Palmdale does not get neo-BART to LA.

    2. It gets what Santa Clarita abhors: major transfer point. I can’t believe Palmdale could be that different from its neighbor to the west and there have to be lots of Palmdalians who won’t care for this either.

    3. It is doomed to failure so they will have to put up with the disruption and still face crappy service.

    jonathan Reply:

    1. Palmdale does not get neo-BART to LA.

    Hmm. So, Palmdale gets standard-gauge, electrified track to LA, which by the time it’s built, can run essentially off-the-shelf UIC trainsets. Standard gauge. Standard loading gauges. What’s your beef with that? How does it constitute “neo-BART”?

    Clem Reply:

    Electrified? And have you sen the curve radii? Pop it open in Google Earth.

    jonathan Reply:

    Is Synon talking about a complete HSR system, or IOS (South), or what?

    Clem Reply:

    IOS South with terminus in Palmdale, as will be featured in the upcoming 2014 business plan.

    Jonathan Reply:

    IOS-South doesn’t give “neo-BART” to LA. In context I thought Synon was talking about an actual Palmdale-LA HSR route as “neo-BART”. In context, Synon is clearly talking about Palmdale getting something it doesn’t already have.

    But I might well be wrong. What do you think “neo-BART [from Palmdale] to LA” means?

    synonymouse Reply:

    What Antonovich and his real estate developer friends want is an 80mph frequent service electrified commute rail line to LA to enable sprawl on steroids in the high desert.

    They are not getting that by cutting the mountain crossing in half and building the boonies part. What he has been promising his insiders is the fast track to LA. Instead Brown is screwing him over. What did the Chron call it: “empty promises”? He deserves the shaft he has been trying to give the rest of the State.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Electrons don’t care about curve radii.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    1. You’re uninformed on every topic, including but in no way limited to LA—Palmdale.
    2. Bremsstrahlung

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    and the horse too

    Derek Reply:

    There’s no other way to accommodate growth or meet greenhouse gas reduction goals.

    Except, of course, to convert existing freeways to express tolling instead of widening them. How many freeways in this state are running at more than 50% daily vehicular capacity? At more than 10% daily people capacity? (A freeway lane full of buses can carry a lot of people.)

  18. morris brown
    Aug 21st, 2013 at 06:53
    #18

    Neville Snark above writes:

    If the fact is the law for the bonds was mis-written,, for example, one might conclude that it would be better ‘technically’ to violate it (in a way that can be concealed with lawyerese) than to give up and start over (if that is the dilemma).

    The fact is that Prop 1A was certainly not “mis-written”. As was the point in a recent article Titled:

    Bullet Train: Judge Shows Taxpayers Might be Saved by Prop 1A.

    Prop 1A was written with provisions that were to ensure the voters would get they were being promised, a HSR train, delivering a trip from LA to SF in 2 hr 40 minutes, completion by 2020, cost of $33 billion, no subsidy allowed, passengers not having to change trains for a trip, and others.

    Five years later, we no longer have a real HSR project. The Authority has morphed the project into one of “rail modernization”. Despite numerous objections from State oversight authorities, it has up to this point moved forward. Hopefully Judge Kenny’s ruling will stop it from going any further forward.

    VBobier Reply:

    $33 Billion is unrealistic as the value of the dollar since then has fallen against other world currencies, also steel and other materials being in such high demand in China have skyrocketed in price since then, that it’s no surprise that the cost would have rose, plus there were a lot of unknowns back then since no engineering studies had been done, since the legislature would not fund any and then theirs the cost of land which has risen since 2008 and of course to the anti rail types(CHEAPSKATES), they believe the $33 Billion was in fact a fixed price, immutable in fact, like a piece of lumber off of the shelf, which is totally unrealistic…

    “Usable Segment” could be construed to be Vague…

  19. Keith Saggers
    Aug 21st, 2013 at 09:58
    #19

    I think shortening the IOS to Merced-Palmdale has the potential to bring forward its completion date at which point the CHSRA can start requesting Statements of Interest from potential operators/investors.

    Joey Reply:

    The problem is that it wouldn’t generate much ridership and you certainly don’t have the justification to buy actual high speed trains at that point. The priority now should be getting to LAUS as quickly as possible.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Don’t underestimate the ability of the Cambridge Systematics ridership model currently in use to predict phantom riders. All business travelers will of course take a two hour bus ride from SF to Merced to take the train to Palmdale where they will take another 2 hour bus to Irvine.

    morris brown Reply:

    Elizabeth: You are really being unduly optimistic on the bus ride times.

    Driving from Palmdale to Irvine is 102 miles and during the day time will never be done in 2 hours. Think more like three hours and above. (Bus + amtrak = $31 and 3 hours 29 minutes_

    Driving SF to Merced is estimated at 2 hours and 16 minutes for the 130 mile drive. Possible I suppose at 1AM, but certainly not during rush hour. Bus schedule is estimated at 3 hr. 10 minutes. ($21 fare)

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    With the completion of the IOS from Merced to Palmdale train riders will be able to travel from Oakland to LA on a one seat ride.

    Joey Reply:

    You’re capacity limited to a handful of trains per day by UP on the Oakland-Martinez segment. You also have the problem of the Amtrak diesels on the Tehachapi route – you have to worry about fumes in the tunnels and you have to worry about their ability to climb the grades. I think seem to remember the number 35 mph being thrown around. At that speed, you’d have trouble competing with the bus from Bakersfield.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Hitch ‘em to an ALP45DP or whatever Bombardier is calling them a decade or so from now and use electricity in the tunnel.

    Joey Reply:

    NJT’s order clocks in about $9m each for each of those. That’s a lot.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    asphyxiating the crew makes getting crews very very difficult and asphyxiating the passengers means they never come back.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Everybody onboard gets comped with a pillow and dropdown oxygen.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Can the ALP-45 even climb these grades? There are no 3.5% grades in NJT territory.

    Derek Reply:

    With the right gear ratio, any train can climb any grade.

    Jonathan Reply:

    No, Derek. Back to high school for you. *think*: Can a car or truck climb a near-vertical slope? Of course not!

    Do a Google search on why it’s easier to pull a wheelbarrow behind you, than to push it in front of you. Apply the same parallelogram-of-forces diagram to a locomotive climbing a grade. Weight (ignoring variations in the local gravity field from mass concentrations) is a force acting vertically downwards, a vector.

    Now, apply the parallelogram-of-forces to that vertical force and the slope of the rail. You get a resultant perpendicular to the rail, and a resultant parallel to the rail. Simple trigonometry gives you the answer.

    This is why Rack engines (with a cogged third rail); and Fell engines (with two opposed horizontal wheels, gripping a center rail between them) were invented.

    Sigh — it takes so much *longer* to type that than the instant eye-blink reaction to the asinine claim.

    Clem Reply:

    I guess you totally got busted, Derek. Trains can’t run on the ceiling!

    synonymouse Reply:

    But a drawbar will fail being pulled before being pushed.

    jonathan Reply:

    Model trains, however, can and do run on ceiling-suspended track.
    What they can’t do, is climb up the wall to get there. Or up stairs.

    I’ve driven up a 38 degree incline. It’s really, Really REALLY steep, and I wouldn’t want to tow anything up that hill. (I was once a passenger in a car when the clutch died going up the next-steepest street in that city.)

    To be fair to Derek, the parallelogram-of-forces and basic trig isn’t quite enough; you also need some feel for a tractive- effort -versus-adhesive-weight curve. But drop your effective adhesive weight by half or more, and wheels are going to spin. It’s that simple.

    @synon: Different issue. Hint: think of a concrete drawbar. Concrete is really strong in compression, but weak in tension. Though steel is more-or-less the same. I’d guess drawbars get different shear forces in compression versus tension. Synon, whereabouts in the drawbar do they fail??

    Clem Reply:

    Here are some simulated Bakersfield to Palmdale times (via HSR alignment through Tehachapi). They include pure run time plus 7% pad plus a two-minute dwell, which is the departure-to-departure time that you would find in a timetable.

    1 F59 + 5 California cars, limited to 110 mph (despite any asphyxiation issues): 75 minutes
    1 ALP-45DP in electric mode + 5 California cars, limited to 125 mph: 57 minutes
    2 ALP-45DP in electric mode + 6 California cars, limited to 125 mph: 51 minutes
    AGV high-speed train, limited to 220 mph: 33 minutes

    The AGV climbs the worst part of the hill at 130 mph. A double ALP-45DP consist bottoms out at 80 mph. A single ALP-45DP bottoms out at 58 mph. The F59 drops down to 35 mph. 3+ percent grades suck.

    Michael Reply:

    I assume the ALP+ 6 Cal Cars goes faster because of braking issues on the downhill??? Or is there a typo lurking…

    Clem Reply:

    Bakersfield to Palmdale is a very severe uphill climb. About 3500 feet of vertical climb to Tehachapi Pass, most of it on 3+ percent grades. You can see the vertical profile on page 4 here. Throwing in a helper locomotive increases uphill speed, but probably not enough to be worth it… although that story might change for the diesel-only climb in the other direction, out of Sylmar up to Palmdale. I don’t have the Metrolink Palmdale line in my database yet, so I can’t do that particular simulation.

    jonathan Reply:

    Michael: Clem is saying 2 ALP-45DP’s for 6 Cal cars.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There is the longshot possibility they could go loco-hauled in the interim and change locomotives at both ends of the orphan segment, diesel to electric, electric to diesel. But I think they will buy the same neo-Acela stuff the NEC gets and just force the transfers. Befitting a geriatric and flinty mindset reminiscent of Henry Ford and his black model T’s.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No need to change locomotives. Just put a locomotive in front of the permanently coupled EMU set. When the TGV went beyond electrified territory, it didn’t decouple the power cars, but attached a diesel loco in front of them.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But then your EMU will have to meet FRA-AAR requirements and presumably have the blessing of the class ones.

    Joey Reply:

    You might be able to get away with putting an FRA locomotive at one end and a block of concrete at the other. That’s what happens with the Cascades trains – the intermediate cars are non-compliant. Though the new ones being delivered (the ugly ones) have compliant driving cars at the end.

    Michael Reply:

    Oops, thanks jonathan. I read it as (option) 2. Now it makes total sense.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    citation needed

    Joey Reply:

    It’s Clem’s analysis. I don’t know the assumptions that went into it, but it’s entirely believable: The EMD F59PHI outputs 2.4 MW, and weighs about 130t and the passenger cars weight about 68t each. For a 5 car train, that’s a P/W ratio of 5.2 kW/t, compared to upwards of 20 for most high speed trains.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/Bakersfield_Palmdale/B_P_Supplemental_AA_Feb_2012_Board_Mtg_Staff_Report_to_CHSRA.pdf-page 4 tunnel

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    I cant open the documents but they talk about tunneling

    Joey Reply:

    Links are dead. What were you trying to say anyway?

    Joey Reply:

    Okay, the links were broken because they were malformed. Neither document relates to the feasibility of diesel trains on this segment.

    Joey Reply:

    Unless you were talking about the capacity limitations which come from here (agreement between UP, CHSRA, CCJPA, SJRRC, and CalTrans).

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    The MOU’s are flexible documents that can and do change, for example the UP MOU for the Capital Corridor will change when the third track is completed from Roseville to Sacramento

    Joey Reply:

    As usual, UP’s cooperation is tied to large infrastructure improvements, usually additional tracks. That’s difficult in an area like Hercules-Martinez where there isn’t physically room for additional tracks.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    http://www.randomwebsite.com

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    and cheaper

    Reedman Reply:

    Out of curiosity, I just looked up the Greyhound fare one-way from San Francisco to LA. If you buy your ticket on-line, it costs $36. The Megabus costs $37.

    I doubt CAHSR will ever be able to compete with that.

    Joey Reply:

    Nor will airlines. Doesn’t stop people.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I suppose that means that Amtrak should just close down the Northeast Corridor services and let them take the bus. How does sitting on a bus, with a bucket of blue stuff under the restroom seat, for 5 or 6 hours compare to around three hours on a train with flush toilets and a snack bar?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I think shortening the IOS to Merced-Palmdale has the potential to bring forward its completion date at which point the CHSRA can start requesting Statements of Interest from potential operators/investors.

    Shorten it Merced—Bakersfield and the potential is even higher!

    Potentializificate it further by truncation to Merced—Fresno.

    Potential investor/operators will be falling over themselves with excitement and the completion date will be brought forward into the past after the IOS is stubbified to Merced—Merced.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Richard, please stop responding to my posts and post your own comments

  20. Derek
    Aug 21st, 2013 at 10:00
    #20

    What HSR critics claim never happens with rail projects:

    The Draper TRAX line…was completed two years ahead of schedule and $300 million under budget, according to [the Utah Transit Authority].

    synonymouse Reply:

    You know matter and anti-matter? Utah is like the anti-California.

    trentbridge Reply:

    Well “anti-Gay Marriage” California anyway.

  21. datacruncher
    Aug 21st, 2013 at 11:05
    #21

    From Bakersfield:

    Downtown Business Association supports downtown bullet train station
    Downtown Business Association officials said Tuesday that they will speak to the Bakersfield City Council at its Sept. 11 meeting in support of a high-speed rail station in downtown.

    http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/special-sections/rail/x740580002/Downtown-Business-Association-supports-downtown-bullet-train-station

  22. Keith Saggers
    Aug 21st, 2013 at 12:03
    #22
  23. Emmanuel
    Aug 21st, 2013 at 12:59
    #23

    I’m happy that they signed it. That’s the most badass thiing the authority has ever done. Show them that you are seriously doing this. No more games. Eminent domain Tejon! Stop letting local governments trump a statewide project that has been approved by a popular referendum!

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is Jerry that won’t eminent domain Tejon. The Ranch is more powerful than local government.

    Firing an hsr engineer and plugging in a hack from BART-PG&E – is that badass enough for ya?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    no, no, no. It’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.

    Mike Reply:

    Syno, you really believe that it all comes down to Jerry being afraid of Tejon Ranch? How powerful are they anyways (more than, say, the California Teachers Association, or UP)? Jerry strikes me as a dude who is not at all afraid of a big fight over something that he thinks is important. Isn’t it possible that he doesn’t agree with you about Tejon being massively preferable to Tehachapi?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am sure his handlers have Jerry convinced Tejon is the devil’s work. Practically elder abuse.

    Jon Reply:

    The opposition of Tejon Ranch had nothing to with the rejection of the Tejon routing. That would be like the tail wagging the dog. Tejon was rejected because the state wanted Tehachapi; Tejon Ranch was just an excuse.

    The various state agencies are sold on Tehachapi because they see a beneficial synergy between Tehachapi HSR, DesertXpress, and the High Desert Corridor that could help get all of them financed. They decided that the I-5 conceptual study had to be sandbagged, and so the ‘necessity’ of avoiding Tejon Ranch was added as a constraint in order to hamper the most promising routes.

    This map illustrates the vision quite nicely: http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/hdc/images/hdc_regional_map.pdf

    synonymouse Reply:

    Interesting argument that I hadn’t heard before exactly put that way.

    If true the “various state agencies” are truly delusional. The private model LV Rail is incompatible with BART-model DogLegCommuteRail PB-CHSRA is deploying, with high taxpayer subsidy and militant house unions.

    Their vision of the future San Joaquin Valley is manifold LA’s end to end and rooted in the hallucination of unlimited population growth. I guess they have not been monitoring Cairo recently.

    But they aren’t the only ones smoking the herb of imperial expansionism; BART is crowing about its house polls showing locals just itching to pay more taxes for more BART. Perhaps the Cairo scenario is the only outcome to that degree of congenital stupidity.

    Jon Reply:

    Conspiracy theories are routed in a failure to understand who has the the power. CAHSR, Caltrans, LA Metro, the Governor’s office, the city of Palmdale, PB, Tutor Perini and all the other contractors have a stake in Tehachapi. You think Tejon Ranch is more powerful than all those combined?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suggest that apart from Palmdale the others’ stake in Tehachapi is nominal. They can be made whole easily with Tejon. In other words bought off, placated.

    Why does Amalgamated have such inordinate juice with the Burton patronage machine? Other interests are bigger and have more money. It is a question of reliably coming up with the money and the cadres over many years. That is why “old” money is more valued. Somehow the Ranch has managed to maintain a Rasputin on Jerry’s handlers; my best guess is some serious payola.

    All this could be remedied by a Governor who wasn’t senile and pining for a legacy. We would be better off with a Schwarzie.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Using your power paradigm it would be easy to demonstrate and illustrate how the Maginot Line got built.

    They were afraid to stop paying everybody involved.

    jonathan Reply:

    No, no no. The question about the Maginot line is: why didn’t the French build it along the Belgian border too? It wasn’t building it that was the problem; the problem was not building it far enough.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    no the problem was that warfare had advanced beyond fixed defenses.

    Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man. George Patton

    Jonathan Reply:

    No, John. Wrong. Factually incorrect.
    In fact, the Wermacht *outflanked* the Maginot Line. If the Line had continued all the way along France’s borders with its allies, the Wermacht would have been unable to outflank the Line. They would have had to attack head-on. Attempting that, in the Mk. 1 Panzerkampfwagen — which Guderian describes in his memoir as f”or training only” (sic) — is a recipe for suicide.

    There’s a reason the Germans invested a couple of divisions’ worth of resources (each) in the Schwerer Gustav and Dora guns.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Antoine de Saint Exupery wrote shortly thereafter that the Germans had 10 tanks for every one of the French army.

    But the real problem, discretely swept under the rug, was the deep political division within France, unlike ’14. There were many who hated the Popular Front and would sympathize with Vichy.

    jonathan Reply:

    Fair enough on the politics: the decision to not build the Magnot line up the Belgian border was a political decision.

    But the French tanks: bullshit. France had 4,000-odd tanks in 1940; Germany had ~2,500.
    Go read some relevant history to compare the relative quality. Any decent history will also tell you that the main strength of the German tanks was tactical radio; and superior tactical doctrine (due to Guderian; e.g., using said radios to co-ordinate attacks).

    VBobier Reply:

    Yes that’s very true Syno, there was also one other problem, the French before the surrender used their tanks as infantry support before the Battle of France, not in massed numbers like the Germans(Le Bosch/Bosh back then) used them, static emplacements aren’t a good idea, except for maybe ICBMs or the indestructible sub pens at St-Nazaire, building underground was a good idea, but it didn’t help, nor did it help the slave labor who built it, but that’s a different matter…

    Jon Reply:

    I suggest that apart from Palmdale the others’ stake in Tehachapi is nominal.

    CAHSR want an IOS, and it costs less to get to Palmdale via Tehachapi than it does to get to San Fernando via Tejon. Plus, maybe DesertXpress will help fund Palmdale – LA! Jerry Brown also wants CAHSR to get an IOS, because legacy. LA Metro want fast rail service from LA to Palmdale. They also want the High Desert Corridor, along with Caltrans, and that has a much better chance of happening if they can link it to CAHSR and/or DesertXpress and give it a nice coat of greenwash. PB want to design all of the above, and Tutor want to build all of the above; they both realise that they can’t get that work if the projects don’t get funded in the first place. Did I miss anyone?

    Why does Amalgamated have such inordinate juice with the Burton patronage machine?

    They don’t. Unions don’t mean shit in America anymore. See above re: conspiracy theories.

    Somehow the Ranch has managed to maintain a Rasputin on Jerry’s handlers; my best guess is some serious payola.

    No, they haven’t. That’s the fucking point. The state isn’t scared of Tejon Ranch, they’re just more interested in Tehachapi. Again, conspiracy theories.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Unions don’t mean shit in America anymore

    They do if the Pelosi mind rays are blinding everybody to their power.

    Jon Reply:

    Oh, I missed Harry Reid and DesertXpress. Unlike CAHSR they need private investors before construction can begin, and they know they won’t get them with a terminus in Victorville. So they’re pinning their hopes on the High Desert Corridor + CAHSR via Palmdale to get them all the way to LA and give themselves a solid business case.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “the problem was not building it far enough” – no doubt that will be PB’s cover story when CAHSR fails to meet promises.

    The FuhrerBunker was not a “fixed fortification”? Where do you think Obama would go if DC were attacked? Stay in the White House? Even Hollywood sci-fi writers know better than that.

    Unions mean a lot to the Burton patronage machine, which could not have been built without them. The house unions can be counted to deliver and they are sacrosanct.

    LV Rail cannot be private without being totally standalone. Jerry’s house unions will not stand for private operation nor any cheap union nor non-union. Besides the rise of Strip quality gambling resorts in California will stagnate Vegas. Reid is in the walking dead category just like the political hierarchy in California.

    How come Musk did not buy into PB’s detour? A standard gauge BART detouring thru Valley backyards and almond fields and no magnet destinations in sight. Even Sac does not need a BART.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people going to destinations have to come from somewhere. There are millions of them along the line. not so many along I-5.

    VBobier Reply:

    Syno the POTUS has a flying command center on call nearby He can board, after flying to where it’s based on a helicopter.

    Oh and the bunker is a rotting and sinking cesspool these days, Berlin being a former swamp wouldn’t have worked for the ugly buildings He’d planned.

    Why do you hate unions so much Syno?

    Oh and Musks Hyperdoodle is half baked junk, though His cars are ok, just too expensive for most.

  24. Keith Saggers
    Aug 21st, 2013 at 15:14
    #24
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