Appeals Court Stays Judge Kenny’s Ruling

Feb 15th, 2014 | Posted by

Late Friday, Governor Jerry Brown and California’s future got some good if temporary news when the Third District Court of Appeals (state, not federal) granted Brown’s request for a stay on Judge Michael Kenny’s ruling blocking the release of more bond funds while the court hears the governor’s appeal:

In a brief announcement, the appeals court said it was granting the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s request for a fast-track review of a decision by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny, in which he ruled that the state had violated safeguards established in a 2008 bond act and did not have the right to issue any more bonds. A second decision by Kenny found that the state failed to follow proper procedures in issuing the bonds. That ruling will also be reviewed by the appeals court….

An actual order to rescind the funding plan that failed to meet state law was issued last month by Kenny. The appeals court stayed that order but did not reverse the earlier decisions that the order was based on.

The state is still restricted from issuing bonds. The appeals court asked the original plaintiffs, Kings County and two farmers, to file a brief by March 17 and the state to respond within 15 days.

This doesn’t mean that the governor has won this case, far from it, but it’s at least a sign that we can expect a speedy resolution to the issue. If the courts rule in HSR’s favor then that grants some breathing room while the governor and legislators figure out long-term HSR funding solutions, and gives activists time to press the case for using the cap-and-trade funds. If the courts don’t rule that way, then the pressure will be on for quick action.

  1. jonathan
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 08:50
    #1

    Robert,

    The good news for Jerry Brown and CHSRA is that the Appeals court has agreed to an expedited review. They could instead have let Judge Kenny’s lower-court ruling stand.

    The Appeals court will have briefs from both sides by April 1. That gives very little time for the court to rule before by “April”, which is when CHSRA says they need to start spending bond money, to keep the project financing viable.

    I think the bigger news is that on Friday, Judge Kenny heard arguments from both sides about whether the “Blended” plan can actually meet the time requirements of Prop 1A.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    here is a news story on the “time” trial

    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/02/14/california-high-speed-rail-foes-challenge-actual-speed-of-trains/

    Most interesting point for me. From the story, they never actually say they will meet the times. The closest they get is

    the agency is “committed to building a high-speed rail system that will meet the requirements of Prop. 1A.”

    which is to say they are really going to try, but at no point do they come out and say “Yes, we are going to hit the times”

    This is really getting to the level of farce. Why don’t they just admit they can’t meet the requirements of the law and work to modify the law rather than shoehorn in a defecient system. Most likely because Gavin is right and Brown does not have enough Democrats in the legislature to pass a new law.

    It is really sad because it did not have to be this way. They had political support at one time, if they had not managed the project so poorly and faced up to the challenges directly (no money coming from the fed, cost was severely understated, etc.) they could have made the changes necessary to keep the project going. Now they are attacked on all sides, support is eroding, and they have few options to address the critical shortcomings.

    Alan Reply:

    Why don’t Laurel and Hardy and their clients just admit that they can’t prove anything? Given the fact that large parts of the system do not yet have final alignments determined, to say nothing of final design, there’s no way that the Tos plaintiffs can meet their burden and prove that the plans, as they currently exist, do not comply with Prop 1A. The law says that the project must be designed to meet certain criteria. It does not say that the state must prove it beyond all doubt before construction may commence.

    There is also no language in Prop 1A which gives a court authority to restrain construction just because a group of NIMBY’s think they know better than the professionals who have spent millions of dollars and more than a decade working on studies and plans.

    Finally, unless Judge Kenny also has a degree in civil engineering and the experience to back it up, to go with the law degree, I don’t see where he has any real choice but to accept the expertise of those who do.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because Laurel and Hardy don’t care if their suit has mertis. They get to charge billable hours. Their clients may not care. Delay it long enough and it may not get built.

    Clem Reply:

    Does that also imply that Parsons Brinckerhoff cannot prove that their plans can meet the requirements of the law–unless they build it first and find out?

    Simulating travel times is not rocket science, and it most certainly isn’t the sole province is so-called “industry experts”

    jonathan Reply:

    “Industry experts”? Does that have the exact same denotaoitn as Richard’s “America’s Finest transportation Professionals”?

    joe Reply:

    Does that also imply that Parsons Brinckerhoff cannot prove that their plans can meet the requirements of the law–unless they build it first and find out?

    Or maybe plaintiffs will need to find uncorrectable counter-examples in the plan and/or a willful lack of commitment to achieve the requirements.

    This isn’t an engineering review, its a lawsuit. I would expect a different standard then in a review to assess a design. The later which puts more onus on the developer to show they can achieve success.

    jonathan Reply:

    Poor Joe. The plaintiffs don’t need to find their own counter-exampes.
    Clem has already produced the counter-examples for them.

    Did you know that the Authority has conceded, in writing, that Caltrain (PJPB) owns the “blended” right-of-way, and will control the “blended” right-of-way. That means the Authority’s plan has to fit within whatever constraints Caltrain sets. Those constraints are part of what the HSR system has to deal with, just like terrain, sharp curves, and other speed restrictions.

    So, does the Authority’s plan deal with those constraints? No, it diesn’t: the Authority’s plan yields a guaranteed-not-to-be-less-than trip fime for SF-SJ of 40 iminutes. During some parts of the day.

    40 minutes is exceeds 30 minutes. So the “blended” plan does not meet the requirements of the law, which are for a _maximum_ servce travel-time exceed 30 minutes. And you will stipulate that 40 is greater than 30, surely? I truly cannot comprehend how anyone can be either so stupid, or so willfully, *obviously* *pointlessly* dishonest, as to deny that. Yet you do.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so 1822 seconds was cause for stopping the project and now it’s 2400. you sure it’s not 2389?

    joe Reply:

    You are “dialoging” like a Saturday morning cartoon villain. Do you rub your hands together.

    Design requirements are not operational requirements. When you evaluate operational service times, please stick to the operational requirements – such as no operating subsidy.

    jonathan Reply:

    The constraints which Caltrain places on the Authority for use of Caltrain’s track *is* a design constraint on the Authority’s plans. It’s not an “operational” constraint, because it’s not the Authority’s choice, or even the choice of a franchise operator chosen by the Authority. Constraints imposed by Caltrain are constraints the Authority has to plan to deal with, just like the Authority has to deal with tight curves or other speed restrictions.

    Joe, do you *still* not understand the difference between “maximum” and “minimum”?
    Or are you just so profoundly immature and dishonest to admit when you’re wrong?

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    I didn’t know that Prop 1A overturned judicial review in California.

    Alan Reply:

    It didn’t. Judicial review extends only so far as the Legislature or the Constitution grant the authority to the courts.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Maybe Judge Kenny can refer to the civil engineering experts who built the iconic Millbrae BART station.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It has to meet 2:40 when it’s complete. It won’t be complete with the blended plan.

    jonathan Reply:

    No. The blended plan *is* complete, for the “blended” segments. That’s the official position.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then give up. If the blended plan isn’t an interim step just give up. No one is ever going to be satisfied that it meets the requirements of the Prop unless it erupts simultaneously from the bosom of the earth while trains filled with revenue generating passengers glide down from the sky.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Agreed. Give up. The current plan is fatally flawed. I am glad to see you finally saw the light

    jonathan Reply:

    No, Adirondacker, you don’t understand. The “blended” plan, officially *is* the final plan.
    There is nothing more to erupt spontaneously from the forehead of Jove, or the bosom of the Earth, or anywhere else. The Authority swears that the “blended” plan *is* the final plan, that “blended” meets the requirements of Prop 1A.

    You seem to be under the misapprehension that the “blended”plan is some interim step towards a greater plan. That’s simply not true anymore. Officially, and also as a matter of local law.

    joe Reply:

    “The “blended” plan, officially *is* the final plan.”

    Officially means what? It has a stamp on it – “Final and do not ever change?”

    Peer review and CAHSRA documents describe blended as a low cost way to initiate service to SF, a law was passed describing how the blended alignment can be expanded to increase capacity if/when needed. The authority is committed to improving travel times by improvements to the ROW and trains.

    Ca we finally debunk the myth the blended is the final plan.

    jimsf Reply:

    its ridiculous to suggest that blended is final. There is no prohibition to expanding and upgrading the project. Are you suggesting that its illegal to, once the initial phases are complete, to ever touch the system again. No upgrades, no extensions into new territories, no improvements to rolling stock, no new stations..Since when do we do that with infrastructure. Ridiculous.

    Clem Reply:

    Have you heard of this law that is now on the books?

    jimsf Reply:

    not worth the paper its written on.

    jimsf Reply:

    Sure there is oppostion now, but that opposition will fade as demographics change. Nothing is permanent in california. just as someone demanded this now, someone else will demand the opposite later and it will happen at about the same time that capacity/demand calls for it. Californians want what they want, until they decide they want something else, then they get that too.

    Have you people not been paying attention to how things work in this state for the past 50 years? Well I have. and I know exactly how this is going to play out over the next 50.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Laws can be repealed. Especially when the 98 % of the people in San Mateo and Santa Clara county, who aren’t paying attention now, are stuck in traffic because the grade crossing gates are down again and begin to demand something be done about it.

    joe Reply:

    With the current ROW, PAMPA cities will have longer gate down times with Blended electrified HSR and Caltrain service. Growth continues and trains are filling.

    Any funds for improving grade crossings (such as Ravenswood/Menlo Park) will require accommodating additional track.

    http://www.almanacnews.com/news/2014/01/14/tonight-high-speed-rail-loan-on-menlo-park-council-agenda
    Menlo Park’s City Council has a lot on its plate tonight (Jan. 14).

    Among the items up for consideration:

    Changing a policy that currently limits the Caltrain corridor in Menlo Park to two tracks.

    The discussion about rail tracks stems from the city’s application for $750,000 in county money to study ways to improve the train crossing at Ravenswood Avenue. County Transportation Authority officials said they can’t fund the project unless the city is willing to say it might someday consider a third set of tracks in the city, which could support future development of high-speed rail.

    A position statement adopted by the council in October 2012 specifically rules out a set of “passing rails” through the city.

    joe Reply:

    Mr A;
    I agree. The blended plan is an interim step – it was proposed as such. Improvements between blended to a full build will have greater impact on improved capacity than in speed but this memo concludes 1) blended is compliant and 2) travel times can continue to improve.

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/final-docs-7-9-13-meeting/memo-phase-1-blended-travel-time.pdf

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe,

    the facts disagree with you. That document is headed “Phase 1” of CHSRA is the “full build” from SF to LA (or possibly Anaheim). “Phase 2” adds HSR routes to Sacramento and/or San Diego.

    It’s also one of the “drag-race”, pedal-to-the-metal, all-braking-at-emergency-stop simulations which are not achievable in practice. And it’s one of the simulations where PB has the trains going through urban areas at 220 mi/hr.

    You don’t even read the web pages you cite. You call yourself a scientist. Do you cite papers you’ve never actually read, too?

    joe Reply:

    Joe,

    the facts disagree with you.

    You don’t even read the web pages you cite. You call yourself a scientist. Do you cite papers you’ve never actually read, too?

    Such a petty and insecure thing to write.

    Okay hot-head:

    Based on the CHSTP computer model simulations and stated assumptions, a 2hr 40 min travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles and 30‐minute travel time between San Francisco and San Jose can be achieved for the Phase 1 Blended service.

    When you wrote this

    That document is headed “Phase 1″ of CHSRA is the “full build” from SF to LA (or possibly Anaheim).

    Can you help clarify what you were quoting beyond peppering your comments with snippets of text?

    It is not the full build from SF to LA.

    Assessment of Phase 1 Blended Modeling
    Phase 1 Blended infrastructure consists of proposed full high‐speed rail only improvements between San Jose and Los Angeles combined with blended service alignments on the Caltrain Corridor between San Francisco and San Jose. Travel times are generated from the California High‐Speed Train Project (CHSTP) computer simulation model1.

    Are you a muppet or man?

    Clem Reply:

    Interestingly, they also admit for the first time that they won’t run at 220 mph through urban areas, contrary to all the run time simulations that Parsons Brinckerhoff has produced. This is about a two-minute hit per urban area traversed. Gilroy, Madera, Fresno, Bakersfield (already cut to 115 mph), Lancaster, Palmdale, Sand Canyon, Sylmar, San Fernando, that’s a whole lot of places that used to show 220 mph… that’s a lot of minutes!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Highlighting the great upside to the I-5 racetrack. And probably one of the main reasons, correct or not, why I liked the median. It is already an environmental no mans land that would drown out the decibels of 160-180mph quite nicely.

    jonathan Reply:

    So about 16 minutes total? Clem, do you have a more accurate number?

    Alan Kandel Reply:

    What I haven’t heard anyone yet say is that the planned train’s top speed is absolute. What if speed wasn’t limited to 220 mph? Provided the system gets built, might top sustained speeds reach 225 mph, or 230 mph or faster by 2027, the expected date of Phase 1 completion? Why speed needs to be held to 220 mph, absolutely, is beyond me. Witness the 357 mph TGV test run a while back.

    jonathan Reply:

    Okay. Suppose the operator decides to eat the extra electricity cost, and the faster depreciation.

    Suppose that there is a total of 150 mles of track which is dead straight, dead level, signalled for 250 mi;hr, *and* where the trains are neither slowing down nor accerleating for a turn, or to pass through a station. Sppose that the operator increases speed, on that 150 miles, from 200 mihr to 250 mi/hr. You just saved a total of (200/250) hours, or 12 minutes, per 200-mile stretch of 250 mi/hr running.

    With the assumption of 150 miles where the trains can run at top speed, you just saved a total of 9 minutes. If you recalculate for a current top speed of 220 miles, you save only about 60% of that; call it 6 minutes. Do you want an exact calculation?

    6 minutes is not a whole lot, for a route which is heading for a scheduled time of 3 hrs or more.
    Doesn’t get you a whole lot closer to 2:40.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    1 mile at 220mph 16.36 seconds.
    1 mile at 225mph 16.00 seconds.
    1 mile at 230mph 15.65 seconds.
    1 mile at 250mph 14.36 seconds.

    Starting to understand why top speeds don’t matter and why increasing top speeds has rapidly diminishing return?

    To make up, say, two minutes lost by sub-moronic alignment choice by the work-harder-not-smarter technique of upping top speed from (an already completely unrealistic in an energy-constrained world) 220mph? That would be 330 miles of running at a higher 225mph speed … excluding the many additional miles required to accelerate and decelerate. 169 miles of 230mph. 61 miles of 250mph.

    Oh, and your peak power consumption just went up by 29% … (Send the overage bill to PB. Good luck!)

    And, meanwhile, America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals plan on parking “high speed” trains running at 0mph for 40 minutes at congested terminal stations. You can’t make this stuff up!

    joe Reply:

    Slide #3 of http://www.cahsrprg.com/final-docs-7-9-13-meeting/pc-explanation-report-for-prg-130709-vf2.pdf


    Update to Peer Review Group of work in
    progress on Train Performance Calculation
    (TPC) Trip Time Analysis

    July 2013

    Infrastructure inputs are based on a 250 MPH design

    Although no assumption are made for operating speeds in excess of 220 MPH, the system is
    being designed to handle operating speeds of 250 MPH over much of its length. This will provide
    an opportunity to improve trip times and keep pace with technological improvements as the
    system grows

    ha ha ha.

    Design and operation are different. A design to accommodate 250 isn’t a requirement to operate at 250 MPH. So the design is saving 2 seconds a mile, a minute every 30 miles. Thanks.

    jonathan Reply:

    Dear Joe,

    what you need to consider is a “design” for track with a shared tenant, where the shared tenantl’s plans restrict the *best achievable* speed during rush how to 33% above what the law requires.

    I have already stated, several times on this blog, that the Technical Memoranda which PB wrote for CHSRA specify that, where geography permits and it would not add excessive cost, the track shall be designed and signalled for 400 km/hr.

    You need some remedial lessons on “greater than required’ and “less than required”.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Where does it say all of the trains have to do it in 30 minutes. Where does it say they have to offer that service at all?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The basic problem is that given the curves and the station throat, it’s unlikely any non-tilting train that currently exists will be able to achieve that. Tilting trains, sure, but there are only 2.5 of them that go above ~250 km/h.

    Joey Reply:

    In practice it’s much less than a minute every 30 miles because acceleration is very low near the top speed, meaning that it will take a huge distance just to accelerate to 250 from 225. You need a very long section of uninterrupted straight track for those kinds of speeds to bring any appreciable time savings.

    joe Reply:

    huge distance ….
    appreciable time savings.

    Every second counts.

    Joey Reply:

    You save much more time per dollar spent by speeding up the slowest sections rather than the fastest ones.

    jonathan Reply:

    Every second counts.

    .. Except, of course, when Joe decides the seocnds don’t count. Like the 22 seconds in PB’s 30:22 bullshit 4th-and-King to SJ simulation.

    joe Reply:

    For Design?!?

    How much does increasing the track design from, 220 to 250 MPH cost?

    Operationally it costs more to improve travel times by operating trains at 250MPH but no case has ben made that the cost of building 250 MPH over 220 MPH track is any more — they will need straight track which of course improves safety and operational efficiency at lower speeds.

    250 MPH track helps meet design requirements – capacity for travel. Every second counts in the court room.

    joe Reply:

    Except, of course, when Joe decides the seocnds don’t count. Like the 22 seconds in PB’s 30:22 bullshit 4th-and-King to SJ simulation.

    The authority hasn’t begun the blended construction and will be running a long series of experiments, tests and simulations to design and construct a compliant ROW.

    As they do this engineering, fuck-tard people will be very confused and find proof and conclusive evidence there is law breaking and illegal-isms. I expect you to be in the front leading the way.

    “Hey, Clem can you compute a poop index for me?”

    jonathan Reply:

    Richard,

    Why are you saying I don’t unerstand diminishing returns? Did you mean to reply to Alan Kandel instead? I’m well aware of diminishing returns from increasing speed. I even know what a hyperbolic looks like. And on the off-chance you were replying (and condescending) to me: please do look elsewhere in this post of Robert’s. Hint: search for “numerator” and “denominator”.

    And if you didn’t intend to reply to me: no offense taken, no harm done, I trust.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Following on what you replied to Alan Kandel’s misconception, that’s all.

    Clem Reply:

    Higher speeds bring ever-diminishing returns at greater energy and maintenance cost. Higher top speeds are almost always the wrong answer. The way you optimize a rail system is by speeding up the slow parts first.

    For example, our good friends at PB have engineered a slalom through downtown Bakersfield with a 115 mph speed limit, costing a full two minutes for an express. This is exactly the sort of bottleneck that should be engineered OUT of the high-speed rail system, but these incompetents are doing the opposite and contorting this train to the point that it won’t ever be high-speed.

    Higher speeds are the wrong answer and cannot make up for fatal flaws of the current plan.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then why stop in San Jose? That slows down the train. Why stop anywhere? The great circle route saves many miles and lots of time. Doesn’t serve anything except downtown San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles but it would be fast.

    Clem Reply:

    I’m glad you mentioned San Jose. All trains will be slowed down in San Jose by 50-mph reverse curves on an “iconic” viaduct that is fully in compliance with all Visual Design Guidelines (VDG). Another fine example of our civil engineers so brilliantly adding obstacles and speed restrictions to California’s (formerly-)high-speed rail system.

    Joey Reply:

    And despite San Jose being a slow zone, the still plan to put bypass tracks in the 60′ high elevated station.

    jonathan Reply:

    No surprise there. The CHSRA technical memoranda say that in all stations, a train must be able to by-pass the station at main-line speeds.

    As Richard M. has observed, the key to getting very very rich, as a transport-industrial contractor, is is writing the rules so as to maximize profits.

    Clem Reply:

    That’s just paint-by-numbers adherence to the design manual. It can be done blindfolded, which helps so you don’t have to behold the crappy outcome.

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem,

    Yep, it’s pretty brainless to just follow the brainless manual. But what do you mean by behold? Beholden? Oh, you mean if you design whilst blindfolded, you don’t have to *see* the misbegotten abortion of a design you come up with? Or do you mean not seeing the final, finished product?

    …. while I remember: the DTX/Transpay station result is also the result of mind-numbingly bad design rules. One of the Technical Memoranda says that high-speed portions of the track can follow those garlic-eating European-style high-speed rail design rules. But, yard and station track, and track below some high-speed threshold, shall follow the AREMA manual.

    Which is why the designs for the Transbay terminal throat can’t have abominations like curved turnouts. They’re “stations” and they have speed limits below the HSR threshold.

    He who writes the design-manual, gets very very rich.

    joe Reply:

    Higher speeds bring ever-diminishing returns at greater energy and maintenance cost. Higher top speeds are almost always the wrong answer. The way you optimize a rail system is by speeding up the slow parts first.

    The project is tied up in a court room, not a engineering review.
    The goal is not to speed up HSR – the goal is to use whatever including contradictory attacks to kill it off.
    Recall the “illegal” blended plan was recommended by the independent peer review to save on costs. It’s illegal according to opponents who were the same that demanded cost cutting.

    Morales gets it. They need to straighten HSR’s alignment but also not have the proejct delayed and lose the funds.

    Tandy [Bakersfield’s argumentative City Manager] pointed out that rail officials can’t alter the existing Bakersfield to Palmdale alignment through downtown without redoing their environmental analysis to reflect the changes.

    “It’s not the kind of thing where you can have one line drawn on a map and say that was going to be it,” Tandy said. “Restarting the environmental analysis, going through different alternates, was what we were requesting.”

    Morales noted that there are people in Bakersfield who support bringing the project through downtown because of its economic benefits.

    He added that his agency is open to local suggestions on where the train should run. But at this point, he said, they should pertain to how to “straighten” the route from Bakersfield to Palmdale.
    http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1210656900/High-speed-rail-agency-rejects-idea-of-bypassing-downtown-Bakersfield

    Clem Reply:

    The humor isn’t lost on me: Morales said this weeks after they selected the 115-mph Bakersfield Hybrid alternative as the only alternative to be carried forward for the FEIR. Way to “straighten” it!

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.greengauge21.net/publications/hs2-how-will-it-affect-my-town/

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem writes:

    For example, our good friends at PB have engineered a slalom through downtown Bakersfield with a 115 mph speed limit, costing a full two minutes for an express. This is exactly the sort of bottleneck that should be engineered OUT of the high-speed rail system, but these incompetents are doing the opposite and contorting this train to the point that it won’t ever be high-speed.

    Exactly.
    And more to the point ihere, people like Robert Cruickshank are cheerl-eading for these bottlenecks, because they will “renovate city centers” and encourage “transport-oriented development”.

    The question of just who wants to live in an apartment complex across the street from a 115mi/hr train line, seems not to occur to them.

    John Burrows Reply:

    When I hear about “midnight specials” the freight trains that come lumbering by the front of our apartment in the late night hours at a speed of around 11.5 mph come to mind. The grinding of metal on metal, the fact that our place shakes a little, especially when the strings of gravel cars come through, you might think would be a big problem, but you get used to it. For years now we have slept with the windows open.

    As far as running trains through Bakersfield at 115 mph—I don’t know. Maybe those apartment complexes across the street would sell out

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’d probably do as well as the ones in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts that are next to even faster trains.

    Derek Reply:

    The way you optimize a rail system is by speeding up the slow parts first.

    The economically optimal way to optimize a rail system is by speeding up the sections with the greatest potential ROI first. Straightening a curve in LA or SF will speed up a slow section, but at a very high cost compared to speeding up an already fast section in the Central Valley.

    jonathan Reply:

    Derek, do *try* to keep up with the play. There is only so much you can gain from speeding up already-fast sections. You may even have heard of this, under the name “diminishing returns”.

    In case it needs to be said: I absolutely agree with you, about getting the best-speedup-for-your-buck first So does Clem’; *read* his blog page about speeding up curves, for crying out loud. . But the discussion has already moved way past the graphs-with-no-units-on-the-axes which are your stock-in-trade. Years ago. Gotta love that damn signal S-bend in San Carlos.

    Clem Reply:

    One of my favorite de-motivator posters

    jonathan Reply:

    Ouch! You *had* to do that, didn’t you?

    I just realized I could never put that in a model railway. Anyone with a clue would point it out as thoroughly unrealistic. It osts more, in time and money, to put the kink in, than to move the signal.
    Dunno if that holds true for Caltrain, though. (Did Caltrain actually save money somewhere for once? It’d have to be something tear-jerkingly insane like this, wouldn’t it?)

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Raising the top speed costs more than you imagine, in energy and maintenance.

    jonathan Reply:

    Huh? You think Derek has an actual cost estimate in mind? What makes you think that, Alon?
    I’d be very surprised if Derek had so much as an order-of-magnitude estimate.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I don’t know; it’s just that it’s very easy to think that you can cheaply retreat up to higher speeds on straight track, since the costs of concrete don’t seem to be very high. (Seem is the operative word; the noise mitigations get more expensive.) At lower speeds, it’s actually true – going from 250 to 300 km/h doesn’t actually raise energy costs too much. So it’s not just diminishing returns at higher speed, but also a concave-downward cost curve.

    Thomas Reply:

    So if the HSRA wins the appeal, would that affect the 2nd part of the Tos/Fukuda case? Would whatever ruling from this 2nd part likely be appealed as well?

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/02/14/california-high-speed-rail-foes-challenge-actual-speed-of-trains/

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    what is the impact on kings county landowners and farmers of the speed of high speed trains?

  2. joe
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 10:25
    #2

    A

    the agency is “committed to building a high-speed rail system that will meet the requirements of Prop. 1A.”

    B

    This is really getting to the level of farce. Why don’t they just admit they can’t meet the requirements of the law and …[blah]

    How you can quote A and interpret B is beyond my comprehension.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    There was a middle part to that logic stream you left out. The part were I pointed out that saying “committed” is not the same as saying ” we will comply”. Committed =trying and as Yoda would say there is no try or don’t try. Only do or don’t do

    They don’t need to be committed to building a compliant system, they just need to do it. Which they have not so far

    joe Reply:

    “They don’t need to be committed to building a compliant system, they just need to do it. Which they have not so far”

    You are very imprecise and sloppy in your terms and pedantically picking at the authority’s words.

    They need to just do what? They are committed to building a rail system tomeet the requirements and you instead jut want them to … build? “just need do it”

    The words committed and build are defined and you need to use them correctly – committed is a dedication. It’s a stronger word. Perhaps you want them to quote Romans. The Centurion with the sick servant and Jesus perhaps? Is that the right religious lesson we have tonight? The correct way to make a vow.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    We are going to have pedantic arguments now.

    Fine, joe. Allow me to re-phrase.

    I do not believe the authority is committed to building an HSR system that is compliant to prop 1a. Why? For the IOS (usable segment) that they have self identified and re-identified less than 2 weeks ago…

    1. They have not identified all the funds for the IOS which is not only a requirement of the law but a feature that was used during the campaign to help pass it

    2. They have not completed all the EIRs for the IOS which is again not only a requirement but a selling point of the law

    3. They can not meet the time requirements given the current plan. They even admit that under impossibly optimistic assumptions that can not be true they still miss the SJ to SF time by 22 seconds. More realistically, they will not be able to achieve the times in either a single “idealized” run or standard operations.

    4. They have created a Harvard Business Study on how NOT to conduct community relations with the communities along the route.

    5. The management formally worked on the Bay Bridge which was way over budget and has serious safety violations.

    6. They continue to ignore the reality that the federal government will not be providing 70-90% of the funds for construction.

    In short, I have seen no commitment in actions beyond press releases.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They aren’t using money from the current round of bond sales for the IOS.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They would have if Kenny hadn’t stopped them. Without that bond money they are 28 billon short not 21

    joe Reply:

    I do not believe the authority is committed to building an HSR system that is compliant to prop 1a.

    They even admit that under impossibly optimistic assumptions that can not be true they still miss the SJ to SF time by 22 seconds.

    Belief and misinterpretations.

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/final-docs-7-9-13-meeting/pc-explanation-report-for-prg-130709-vf2.pdf
    Slide 15 – San Francisco to San Jose can be achieved with a 30 minute trip time.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Go ahead and read slide 15 there sport. Zoom in on the graph. It says 30:22. Which is 22 seconds beyond the maximum time AND they didn’t stop the train. Do you expect to throw people out as they wisk by?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So you are the one joe that wants precise use of language.

    Maximum means they can’t go over by a second much less 22 and they are supposed to be operational non-stop times so they have to stop in SJ, unless you definition of a non-stop train is throwing people out as they go by.

    But thanks for posting proof of my point, I appreciate it

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The law doesn’t say 1800 seconds is says 30 minutes. Some days they’ll have a tail wind and make in 1799.998

    jonathan Reply:

    Actually, Adirondacker, the law says *service* *travel* *time*.

    The simluation which PB did for the Authority — where the Authority obviously told PB to come up with a number under 30 minutes – is flatly impossible as an in-service time. PB’s simulation also doesn’t actually give an SF-SJ time The law defines the SF terminus as Transbay, and the Authority’s simulation leaves from 4th and King.

    Why? Because there’s no fucking way to come up with the SF-Sj trip time that the law requires which is anywhere even close to 30 minutes. Not even at drag-race, all-braking-at-emergency-stop-application, throw-the-passengers-out-of-their-seats ride. No way at all. None.

    So even if we accept the Authority’s bullshit numbers –which aren’t achievable in real life– the Authority isn’t making the 30 minute number. Which part of that is unclear to you? Which part do you think will be unclear to a judge? Do you seriously think the Judge will accept a drag-race, all-braking-so-hard-we-throw-riders-from-their-seats, as a “service number”?

    Do you really think the Judge will confuse a “minimum” with a “maximum? Kenny hasn’t already committed himself in public to a stupid, untenable position like that.
    Judge Kenny has no reason to insist that black is white, or that 40 “does not exceed” 30.

    jonathan Reply:

    Here we go again. The CHSRA simulation is a _lower bound_: it’s not pssible to go any _faster_ without breaking the laws of physics, or exceeding the limits of the fastest possible trainset.

    And, as Clem notes, even that number is not actually obtainable: the Authority ignores some S-bends in Palo Alto, for which the train has to slow down.

    That number is a _lower bound_. A _minimum_ The law specifies a _maximum_ which _shall not be exceeded_.

    Joe, just which branch of science do you practice, where no-one distinguishes between minima and maxima?

  3. Alan
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 10:42
    #3

    I think the Court’s announcement is a good sign for the state, as it clearly indicates that the Court rejects the argument of Laurel and Hardy that a multi-year appeal process is an adequate remedy, and accepts the state’s argument that the bond validation issue is a matter of public importance going beyond HSR.

    joe Reply:

    Neither Laurel or Hardy were available for comment.

    Two of those attorneys, Stuart Flashman and Michael Brady, did not immediately return messages seeking a response.
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/14/3770215/high-speed-rail-foes-seek-hearing.html#storylink=cpy

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really? Accepting you will hear the argument = the case is already decided. Isn’t there something in the oath about impartial?

    jonathan Reply:

    In the California appellate courts, in 2009, about one case in five is overturned Slightly over two-thirds are upheld. About ten percent are affiirmed with modification. Three percent were dismissed without considering the merits (late filings, failure to file briefs, or appealing non-appealable orders).

    Yes, I’m lazy, I looked at a secondary source which quoted the 2010 Court Statistics Report, which is published by the Judicial Council of California. If you care, you can find the 2013 report – which covers cases in 2012 – at http://www.courts.ca.gov.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Not good odds for the state

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    its not a casino

    synonymouse Reply:

    Actually you should hope it is a casino, that Jerry owns. And in Nevada where the casino most always prevails in court.

  4. jimsf
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 10:44
    #4

    Too many people are assuming the blended plan is permanent and once in place the system will never change expand evolve improve after that for all eternity.

    The blended portions can be improved for higher speeds segment by segment. In fact the entire system can over time be upgraded as needed for higher speeds, new technology, trainsets etc.

    highway 99 started as a two lane cowpath 80 years ago. And has never stopped evolving, and never will. Same goes for hsr.

    240 can be met. It may not be met this year or next year but it will be met eventually. The law only requires that it be able too. It doesnt say specifically when it has to be able to. And they are allowed to use, the portions that are built for any purpose in the meantime.

    jimsf Reply:

    Keep in mind that even before the blended bookends, the top speed on the bookends was still listed at 125. So if they improved the blended portions to support 125 blended, the nothing changes. There may be capacity issues and other issues. But the law only requires that it be possible to make a trip in 240. It does not require every trip to be 240. It has to be doable, but it doesnt have to be done.

    jonathan Reply:

    jimsf, you need remedial reading lessons. Specifically, you need to learn the meaning of the word “maximum”, and the phrase “shall not exceed”.

    In point of fact, AB 3034 *does* require that any non-stop SF-LA service does have to be less than 2:40. More, every SF-SJ service has to be *not more than* to 30 mins.

    CHSRA’s numbers for an SF-Sj trip are, for all reasonable purposes, a *minimum* time. It’s not feasible to make that trip any faster than the Authority’s time. And the Authority’s number does not “stop8 at SJ, so it’s not a ‘service”. For a “service”, you need to actually stop in SJ.

    Add any reasonable allowance for delays due to Caltrain operatiing — for example, during peak hours — and even the Authority’s SF-SJ number is unattainable.

    […]
    2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant
    to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following
    characteristics:
    (a) Electric trains that are capable of sustained maximum revenue
    operating speeds of no less than 200 miles per hour.
    (b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that
    shall not exceed the following:
    (1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40
    minutes.
    (2) Oakland-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes.
    (3) San Francisco-San Jose: 30 minutes.
    (4) San Jose-Los Angeles: two hours, 10 minutes.
    (5) San Diego-Los Angeles: one hour, 20 minutes.
    (6) Inland Empire-Los Angeles: 30 minutes.
    (7) Sacramento-Los Angeles: two hours, 20 minutes.
    […]

    See those words “Maximum” and “shall not exceed”? One-time speed-stunts , for which the track is closed to other users, are irrelevant.

    jimsf Reply:

    and you can meet those times once full build is complete to 125 on the bookends. That doesn’t prohibit using whats built with slower trip times in the meantime.

    jonathan Reply:

    what “full build”? The “blended” approach is the current official plan. There *is*no plan for any future development on the Peninsula. The local cities have even forced an agreement that they’d all, unanimously, have to apprpove any proposal to quad-track the Caltrain corridor on the Peninsula.

    Claiming that CHSRA’s official JSR plan does not have to meet Prop 1A;s rime requirements because that plan not a “complete build”, is lying. End of story.

    Zorro Reply:

    There was also no plans to expand the 15 freeway from 2 lanes each way to 3 between Victorville and Barstow CA, or the 10 freeway from 4 lanes to 6 lanes near Colton CA, yet it was done in both cases, so never say never on the Caltrain corridor expansion from 2 to 4 tracks, as never is a very long time and people are riding trains more and more everyday.

    jonathan Reply:

    Did Caltrans, and all the municipalitis and counties between Victorville and Barstow agree that 2 lanes each way was the final configuration? And that all the above parties would have to agree, *UNANIMOUSLY*, to expand SR-15/I-15 (whichever it is for that stretch) from 2 lanes to 3?

    If not, then your comparison is irrelevant.

    jimsf Reply:

    and when you consider the final alignments and station locations haven’t even been determined yet you can’t say that those times can’t be eventually met. Again I don’t see where there is a prohibition to using available infrastructure in the meantime so long is eventual end result is to meet the trip times. In fact they are suppose to use the infrastructure ( useable segments) in the meantime.

    Even the planned Merced- San Fernando Valley IOS obvisouly does not meet the la-sf trip time of 240. But they aren’t prohibited from running service from merced to the valley in the meantime.

    Trying to stop it now based on travel time would be like saying,
    “we are putting a halt to the la-san deigo segment because it can’t make the trip time” when we don’t even know what the alignment and station locations are yet.

    you can’t make that determination.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    The station locations relevant for 2:40 have already been determined.

    Zorro Reply:

    And to meet 2:40 one also only needs just 2 stations(SF and LA), not all of them of course.

    Clem Reply:

    when you consider the final alignments and station locations haven’t even been determined yet

    They have been narrowed down to a handful of equally poor options. There is no way that they can hide behind the argument that nothing has been decided yet and we won’t find out what the run time really is until everything has been decided.

    Run times can already be determined to the nearest minute before anything is ever built.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    IF they don’t build anything they don’t have to meet the run times.

    Clem Reply:

    That would be a neat way to skirt the 30 minute requirement for the peninsula: let Caltrain build any overtake tracks as needed for blending under separate environmental process and funding, and just don’t call it part of the HSR system. The fact that high-speed trains would accidentally run through to Transbay would not attract anyone’s attention.

    jonathan Reply:

    CHSRA is already giving money to Caltrain for the “blended” corridor….

    jonathan Reply:

    Jimsf,

    Please learn to read for comprehension. Look at the Authority’s own numbers for SF-Sj.
    That run-time makes several requirements which, in the real world, are un-fulfillable.

    Now take Clem’s analysis of those numbers. Any competent lawyer would look at Clem’s numbers, and ask the Judge: okay, so what’s the best non-stop *service* SF-SJ (DTX to Cahill St), which HSR can make during peak commute hour? The only honest answer to that, is that it’s the same service time as a service which stops in Millbrae. Any “:non-stop’ service is going to have to sit at Millbrae (or just outside the station) with the doors closed. There aren’t slots on the track for it to do anything else.

    And, bingo. You get a perfectly realistic non-stop service time which is grossly over 30 mins.
    It’s irrelevant whether a 3am “special” can make Sf-SJ in 30 mins, with the track otherwise empty What matters is the maximum non-stop service time. In fact, the maximum non-stop service time for which the line is <b.designed

    Any halfway decent lawyer can quote the numbes from Clem’s analysis: that if CHSRA’s assumptions were reasonable, the existing Caltrain diesels could make an SF-Sj run in 39 minutes. Anyone can find the actual *service* times by checking a Calrain timetable.
    See Clem’s blog post from Feb 2013, just after Lynn Schenk voted against the “blended” plan, for exactly these reasons.

    Unlike you or Joe, judges actually understand words like “maximum” and “shall not exceed”.

    Clem Reply:

    This was my analysis a year ago. The argument now revolves around the meaning of “shall be designed”

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem,

    Actually, I think it revolves more about he meaning of “maximum” and “shall not exceed”.
    Far too many people misread that, and interpret it as meaning that the travel-time numbers are a *minimum* which can be satisfied by a one-time, rigged, demonstration run. In fact, the law clearly and plainly states that the stated numbers are a *maximum* which cannot be exceeded.

    I don’t see how anyone can argue with a straight face that the said “shall not exceed” numbers can be met by the operator carefully choosing when and where to run the trains, so as to avoid time-windows where the “shall not exceed” numbers will clearly and unavoidably be exceeded. And by flagrant margins, too.

    But that’s just me.

    Clem Reply:

    It really depends on what the meaning of “is” is. I think precedent for that was set circa 1998

    StevieB Reply:

    It seems you are confusing the design time of nonstop travel on a corridor and the operators scheduled time of travel on a corridor. The two need not be the same.

    jonathan Reply:

    Who are you saying is conflating design time and operator’s schedules?

    joe Reply:

    If it’s illegal t run a train greater than 30 minutes, do they arrest the crew for defrauding the taxpayers when any train’s travel times exceed 30 minutes?

    I see this

    […]
    2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant
    to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following
    characteristics:

    Not this:
    […]
    2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant
    to this chapter shall be designed to operate with the following
    characteristics:

    joe Reply:

    or really they could have written it this way but they didn’t

    […]
    2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant
    to this chapter shall operate with the following
    characteristics:

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe, have you learned the difference between “minimum” and “maximum” yet??

    joe Reply:

    Scrat found an acron

    Joe, have you learned the difference between “minimum” and “maximum” yet??

    &

    Adirondacker,

    Which part of “maximum” and “shall not exceed”do you not understand?

    Lets see how long you hammer on this important insight.

    jonathan Reply:

    So you still insist that the Prop 1A requirements can be met by a one-time “Cannonball Run” demonstration? I guess you then also agree that the maximum sentence for an offense with a mandatory three-to-five years, is three years. That is *exactly* your reasoning.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You are right Jonathan, but they are never going to admit it. They know you are right, they still won’t admit it. They have let the dream of HSR blind them to the reality of the law that was passed. They believe the ends justify the means so they are willing to compromise the principle of law to achieve that vision.

    The sad part is that even if they prevail in court, the lack of funds and the lack of political support beyond Brown, and most importantly the lack of management competence is going to doom this project, regardless of the court cases

    joe Reply:

    So you still insist that the Prop 1A requirements can be met by a one-time “Cannonball Run” demonstration?

    There are different ways to verify a requirement. A demonstration is a more rigorous way to do requirement verification. Requirements can be verified by calculations or simulation. They may use Caltrain to validate that their analysis techniques for the peninsula are reliable.

    Slide 8
    http://www.cahsrprg.com/final-docs-7-9-13-meeting/pc-explanation-report-for-prg-130709-vf2.pdf

    Caltrain has performed simulations of the
    “blended service” on their corridor in a
    mixed use environment.
    Their simulation
    plan did not call for operation of a SF to SJ
    express trains.

    Caltrain TPC runs for express trains
    between San Francisco and San Jose
    confirmed run times as calculated by the
    Authority

    I guess you then also agree that the maximum sentence for an offense with a mandatory three-to-five years, is three years. That is *exactly* your reasoning.

    No. I don’t agree with you at all. You just need to understand the implication(s) of your interpretation.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It’s possible that this is how it’s judicially interpreted, but it’s weird. Consider the following (hypothetical) situation:

    1. Caltrain is ignored for the purposes of this exercise.
    2. The technical nonstop time from SF to LA, without padding, is 2:31.
    3. If there are no overtakes, then the required padding by experiment and simulation is 4%. This makes the runtime 2:37, which is legal.
    4. If there are overtakes, then the required padding rises, and if there are 12 tph in total including both locals and expresses, then the padding is 7%. The nonstop travel time is now 2:42, which is illegal.

    Now, the frequency is written into 1A, so if the padding depends only on frequency, it’s obvious that the design is illegal. However, stopping patterns are not. Presumably 1A implicitly requires locals, and then the situation is illegal. However, consider the following modification of assumption 4:

    4′. If there are 6 tph each of locals and expresses, then the required padding is 6%, which is 2:40, legal. If instead the frequency is 8 tph of one and 4 tph of the other then it rises to 7%, since more overtakes are needed.

    Under 4′, some clearly-legal, clearly-reasonable service pattern exists, but the traffic demand may be such that the frequency is 8/4 or 4/8 and not 6/6, and then the nonstop travel time will grow beyond the legal limit.

    joe Reply:

    Show the operational requirements. I don’t see them.

    The design requirements are not operational requirements. A design capability is not a operational mandate.

    This is not in the proposition:
    2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant
    to this chapter shall operate with the following
    characteristics:

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    its not designed to meet the time requirements either. The simulation they did between SJ and SF was 22 seconds short of the goal and they did not stop the train in SJ. Even with your interpretation of the law and using theoretical (not actual) tests they still fail themselves

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Start timing from 22nd Street then. It will be under 1800 seconds that way.

    Joe Reply:

    The design is compliant.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I want to put you both on a non-stop plan from Chicago to Denver. It actually starts in Pittsburg and lands in LA but a adirondacker is going to jump on in Chicago and they are going to both jump off in Denver!!

    Doesn’t it bother either of you that you are looking for loopholes rather than demanding excellence from the authority in planning? Doesn’t it bother you that the voter and law intent is being bastardized to build some half assed system instead? It bothers me that the law and intent is not being respected, I don’t understand why it does not bother you.

    Alan Reply:

    John, let’s be honest. You would oppose this project no matter what. Even if the state came up with funding plans and construction plans which met Prop 1A to the very letter, you’d find some way to object to it. The project is not being “bastardized” simply because it does not meet with your approval.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    actually, no. My objection is the the fact that they are not following the law and the management of the project is beyond poor. While it is true I believe the money could be spent in a wiser fashion, there was a vote and the citizens voted to build the system. As a citizen of a democracy I can live with that. I would be happy to ride the train rather than fly, I am no fan of airline travel.

    When they can out with the 100 billion plan, I think that was the cost of the law that was actually passed. I would rather see them fund that plan and actually build a system that was compliant to the law that was passed then some politically expedient interpretation. And I say that knowing that if they built the 100 billion system they would raise taxes on me again, the 1% guy.

    joe Reply:

    This is one of the most watched projects in the world. Every aspect is being litigated by individuals seeking to file before project even beings certain actions.

    A major theme of the political opposition is to stop HSR and they have held multiple hearings and even sent the GAO after the project.

    Sadly, the GAO found the project was using many best practices. They recommend the authority adapt more and the CAHSRA committed to improving.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The law says from San Francisco to Los Angeles Union Station, If they had intended it to be from Transbay Terminal, a place they refer to in other parts of the law, they could have specified it.

    jonathan Reply:

    The design is compliant

    No, Joe, it isn’t. Which part of 180 > 160 do you not understand?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The judge will have to make a series of decisions in relation to the 2:40 proviso.

    Certainly is this meant to be a regular service capability or a one time in the history of the universe burn out a trainset extravaganza performance with a phalanx of cops lining the route from end to end?

    Certainly what is a realistic and effectively legal time frame in which CAHSR must be completed? Sort of like the expected service life used in computing depreciation.

    Of course if a obsequious higher up machine court buys into PB’s jedi mind trix the debacle will grind on. And Jerry will guarantee the label “Moonbeam” will be his Legacy.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Gavin and Van Ark are going to win in the court of history .

    Ted Judah Reply:

    …along with William Mulholland and Fred Eaton?

    HSR WILL happen in CA because the short haul flights will become so economically infeasible that there won’t be any other options left. Gavin is turning against HSR because he realized there is no seat left for him in the musical chairs that is California politics. He and Nathan Fletcher should run as “independents”.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    HSR IS happening in California, CHSRA IS buying over a 1000 parcels of land in the Valley, Caltran IS moving 99 in Fresno.

    jonathan Reply:

    Synon,

    Certainly is this meant to be a regular service capability or a one time in the history of the universe burn out a trainset extravaganza performance with a phalanx of cops lining the route from end to end?

    which part of Maximum nonstop service travel times and shall not exceed is unclear? Which part of the preceding … shall be designed to achieve the following characteristics: is unclear?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Brown, Richards and PB are going to argue that once in history is compliant. The question is whether such jedi mind trix will work on up the judiciary. I am a pessimist; I expect the worst. That way I am not too disappointed and somewhat prepared.

    jonathan Reply:

    Keep in mind that even before the blended bookends, the top speed on the bookends was still listed at 125. So if they improved the blended portions to support 125 blended, the nothing changes. […]

    Jim, the pre-blended plan for the Penisula was to have separate-and-unequal, segregated HSR tracks and Caltrain tracks. In that plan, capacity constraints between Caltrain and HSR do not exist (well, okay, except at the terminal, but that’s a story for another time.)

    jimsf Reply:

    and that can still happen. its not going to happen right away.

    you aer assuming that nothing ever changes.

    jonathan Reply:

    But the law only requires that it be possible to make a trip in 240. It does not require every trip to be 240. It has to be doable, but it doesnt have to be done.

    Jim, you need to be more careful and more precise. It’s true that the law says that non-stop services between the specified points, have to be made within the specified times. It’s also true that the law does not require all trips between those points to be non-stop service.

    However, the law clearly does require that the system shall be designed such that anynon-stop service between the designated points, (I quote) shall not exceed the following [[stated times]].

    So, if CHSRA runs a service which travels the Peninsula corridor during peak rush your, the system mustpermit a non-stop service time, during that Caltrain peak rush, which shall not exceed 30 mins between SJ and SF.

    If the system design doesn’t achieve that, then ipso facto, it fails to meet the requirements of Prop 1A.

    And that’s not playing hardball. If I wanted to play hardball, I’d ask: what’s the best-case SF/SJ time, if an HSR train, scheduled to not stop between SF and SJ, happens to leave right behind a stops-at-all-stations Caltrain local? That’s the relevant system-design parameter for the requirements of Prop 1A.

    I don’t get it. Is the difference between “maximum” and “minimum” really so hard to understand? Why else do you, and others, treat the Prop 1A service-time requirements as a *minimum* that has to be met, and not the *maximum* allowable?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    don’t run non-stops during rush hour. Problem solved

    jonathan Reply:

    Wrong.

    Does the current design allow for non-stop service during rush hour to be within the “shall not exceed” service times stated in Prop 1A No? Then that design does not meet the requirements of Prop 1A. It’s that simple.

    If the current design allows for rush-hour non-stop service of (say) no less than 50 minutes, it doesn’t matter whether the operator runs a train at that time, or not. It doesn’t matter whether the rush-hour trains are non-stop, or stop at all stations. If the current design can’t meet the “shall not exceed” maximum service times, then the design is in violation of Prop 1A.

    Do read AB 3034 Sec. 2704.09. That section specifically limits the *design* of the system to meet certain characteristics. Amongst those characteristics are maximum, shall-not-exceed service times for non-stop services. If the design can’t guarantee that non-stop service times are equal or less than the stated shall-not-exceed times, then the design does not meet the requirements of Prop 1A. Specificaly, if the current design means rush-hour non-stop SF-Sj service exceeds 30 minutes — which it does, by a very large margin — then the design does not meet the requirements of Prop 1A.

    There’s no exemption for “at peak times” or “we decide not to schedule a service at peak times, because it won’t meet the required service times”. . Prop 1A says the system *design* has to meet certain maximum — that means, worst-case — non-stop service times which shall not exceed the stated values. There are no loop-holes for a design which flagrantly fails to guarantee the worst-case non-stop service times are within the Prop 1A numbers, but where the operator (or Authority) says “oh, that doesn’t matter, we don’t plan to run non-stops during rush hour”. Such weaseling is specifically *disallowed*

    Which of “the high-speed [..system…] shall be designed to … ” , … “maximum non-stop service travel times”, and “shall not exceed” do you not understand? I’m guessing it’s “design”, as you are appealing to operational choices to bypass the required conditions. But the law explicitly disallows that.

    I wonder if Tos et. al. are smart enough to make that argument. I also wonder if they’re smart enough to subpoena Lynn Schenk, a CHSRA board member who refused to vote for the “blended” plan — would in fact have voted against it, until Dan Richard withdrew the MOU vote from that Board meeting.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It doesn’t say how often the non stops have to run. How often does it have to run? If it has to run once an hour during rush hour does that mean it has to run once between 3AM and 4AM even though no one is on it half the time and the rest of the time they sell a dozen tickets on busy nights?

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker,

    Which part of “maximum” and “shall not exceed”do you not understand?

    It seems very clear that CHSRA asked PB for a simulation which would show SF-SJ could be done in 30 minutes or less. PB obliged, with a simulation showing a 30;22 run-time. But, as Clem’s analysis shows, that 30:22 is a “best-case” number, and not one which could actually be achieved in service, never mind at rush-hour. Clem’s analysis is that a rush-hour, nonstop service between SF Transbay (which is where the law says the SF station is) and San Jose, is *not less than* 40 minutes. (Clem states that a timetable will show “not less than” 42 minutes, because a timetable shows departure times).

    And that’s a *best-case* scenario during rush hour, driving the train “pedal to the metal” all the time it’s moving. Tell me, just how does a 40-minute travel time “not exceed” 30 minutes?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why does the non stop have to run during rush hour? What part of that don’t you understand?

    jonathan Reply:

    Wrong. *You* have to show why the law’s clear requirement for a “maximum”, “shall not exceed” service time, somehow magically does not apply during rush hour.

    The fact is that the blended corridor *CANNOT* run a 30-minute non-stop during rush hour. The best it can do is 40 minutes. Are you arguing that 40 “does not exceed” 30?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s for non stops. If they aren’t offering that service they don’t have to meet it. What part of that don’t you understand?

    jonathan Reply:

    Oh really? Let’s try this on for size.

    Authority attorney:
    Your honor, our SF-SJ corridor allows for a simulated travel time of not less than 35 minutes, measured from the legally-defined terminus. Actual in-service travel times will be even greater, perhaps 40 minutes, because no operator will actually drive the trains at their maximum-allowed acceleration and braking Such acceleration will be too uncomfortable for the passengers and wil cause too much wear and tear.

    We asked our engineering consultants how we could get a non-stop run time of 30 minutes. And our ocnsultants came back and told us that *if* we run the train at maximum-allowed acceleration, *and* we ignore places on the track where we can’t run that fast, *and* we start measuring from 4th and king, not the TransBay terminal which the law defines as the San Francisoc terminus of the system. .. and furthermore, if we don’t actually *stop* the train at San Jose… then we can make the run in 30 min 22 seconds. That’s the best our engineers can come up with.

    The Autorithy futher stipulates that during rush-hour, travel-time will be at least 3 minutes 30 seconds longer, because we have to slow down or stop the trains in order to avoid running into Caltrain services in front of the HSR train. But we submit that this time meets the legal requirement for a non-stop time of 30 minutes, because we plan to never actually offer non-stop service during rush-hour.

    Therefore, Your Honor, the Authority submits that the “Blended” plan for the San Francisco-San jose corridor meets the legal requirements of AB3034 for a maximum service travel-time between SF and SJ, of not more than 30 minutes.

    I am not a lawyer. But when you put it like that, I wonder if Judge Michael Kenny might not hold the Authority’s attorney in contempt.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    how many times as day do they have to offer non stop service?

    joe Reply:

    Mr A;
    My understanding is that below clearly qualifies the design, not the operation

    …]
    2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant
    to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following
    characteristics:

    A operational requirement would be written like this :
    “high-speed train system … shall operate with the following characteristics. ”

    Would a crew operating a train making an illegal trip, one taking 31 minutes, be arrested or just fined? Should passengers be refunded?

    Alan Reply:

    Jonathan, you’re absolutely full of s***. You read things into the law that are not there, and then through a combination of arrogance and outright bullying, try to force everyone to accept your view as fact.

    The fact is, none of the things you claim are in the law are really there, except for the phrase, “shall be designed to achieve…” That phrase means exactly what it says. The phrase does not require the Authority to operate an express, non-stop service at rush hour, at the 2:40 timing. In fact, it does not require the Authority to *operate* anything. It does not require the Authority to operate a certain number of 2:40 expresses, to operate them for a certain period of time, or to operate them during rush hours.

    There are good reasons for that. The Legislature clearly intended to give the Authority the flexibility necessary in a project of this magnitude. The Legislature clearly understood that in a project of this size, changes would be necessary. What you’re trying to suggest is that the court should lock the Authority into a design today, in 2014, and require that every little change order that might affect running time be submitted for judicial approval. That’s absolute nonsense.

    Your surname wouldn’t be Tos, would it? Your arguments are about as lame as his (or at least the arguments that Laurel and Hardy submit in his name). Whether or not that’s the case, you don’t get to impose your will on the entire state.

    Eric M Reply:

    Alon, he is probably from the group on the peninsula, not CARRD, but derail HSR, which has an active campaign to spread negativity in all online article via the comments thread. Here is no different. The more they try to post, they hope people will believe.

    Eric M Reply:

    Ooops. Alan. Sorry to misspell your name.

    Alan Reply:

    No worries, Eric. And you’re probably right, “Derail HSR” has definitely taken the Joseph Goebbels approach to their propaganda and scare tactics.

    jonathan Reply:

    Alan, please restrict yourelf to facts. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own fats. I already quoted the relevant section of AB 3034: Here it is again:

    2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant
    to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following
    characteristics:
    (a) Electric trains that are capable of sustained maximum revenue
    operating speeds of no less than 200 miles per hour.
    (b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that
    shall not exceed the following:
    (1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40
    minutes.
    (2) Oakland-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes.
    (3) San Francisco-San Jose: 30 minutes.
    (4) San Jose-Los Angeles: two hours, 10 minutes.
    (5) San Diego-Los Angeles: one hour, 20 minutes.
    (6) Inland Empire-Los Angeles: 30 minutes.
    (7) Sacramento-Los Angeles: two hours, 20 minutes.

    See there, right in black and white. “Maximum nonstop service travel times”. Right there in the law.

    Note the :maximum, which i have emphasized. Note the “service”, which means actual in-service times, not pedal-to-the-metal peak acceleration at all speed-ups, followed by emergency-stop braki applicationfor all slow-downs. Those are simply not acceptable as routine, everyday parts of commercial revenue service. (When was the last time you were in a commercial aircraft or bus which braked at emergency-stop rates?) Note the “shall not exceed”, which means. that 31 minutes exceeds 30 minutes, and that 2hr 43 exceeds 2hrs 40 mins.

    There is _noting_ that am reading into the law which is not there. Nothing. Not a single thing.
    It’s all there in black and white. You may not read it the same way I do, and that’s your privlege.

    But please don’t repeat that I am reading things into the law that aren’t there. They are there in black and white, and being called a liar often offends.

    agb5 Reply:

    When a new highway is built, the taxpayers will be assured that it is “designed to achieve” 70mph. It is unreasonable to expect that a guaranteed rush hour commute time could be promised for 21 years in the future.
    There must be some legal precedents for how design performance was specified for previous infrastructure projects. What is the industry standard?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It doesn’t say they have to run in under 30 minutes during rush hour or that they have to offer the service during rush hour or that they have to offer the service at all.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    What is the industry standard?

    Nothing involving miles, feet, miles per hour, tons, pounds, Buy American, PB North America, AREMA turnouts, CBOSS, 40 minute turnbacks, 350kmh through city centres, project lead operations planners who are unfamiliar with the word throughput and have never ventured beyond the US except for one trip to London (true story!), or a billion dollars spent without a single piece of project delivered, that’s for sure.

    joe Reply:

    Safety requirements for an Off Ramp design: Designed must allow safe travel of a vehicle at speeds no less than 70 MPH.

    Operational requirement: Vehicles must operate at speeds no faster than 55 MPH.

    jonathan Reply:

    Design requirement for California HSR in Prop 1A: maximum service non-stop travel times between San Francisco and San Jose shall not exceed 30 minutes. *Minimum* service non-stop travel times between San Francisco and San Jose exceed 40 minutes.

    Doesn’t matter what operational requirements an eventual HSR operator requires, or whether they choose to run nonstop service during peak hours, or not. Tthe “blended’ system doesn’t meet the requirements.

    jonathan Reply:

    Alan,

    Let me try one more time to explain what the law actually says.

    In the phrase, “maximum nonstop service travel times”, the key word we’re arguing over here is “maximum. You, and that buffon Joe misread the “maximum” and treat it as if it said “minimum”.

    If the law actually said “minimum”, then the 30;22 simulation by the Authority would be *almost* good enough. We’d be arguing about the 22 seconds, and whether the Authority was legally required to include the extra three minutes needed to run from Transbay, rather than 4th and King. And we’d be arguing over the acceleration and braking profiles.

    But the law doesn’t say “minimum”, it says “maximum”. So what matters is the *maximum* nonstop service time that the system can achieve between San Francisco and San Jose. Now, since we know that a nonstop at rush hour cannot have a travel-time less than 40 minutes without breaking the laws of physics (or using a faster permissible trainset, which doesn’t exist!), then we *know* that the maximum nonstop service time is *at least* 40 minutes. (That is why I ridicule Joe; The law says “maximum, but Joe keeps treating the 30min22 secs simulation as a *minimum*, and claims that 30min22 secs meets a *minimum of 30 mins. But it’s not the 30:22 which I’m arguing; it’s the 40 minute time.

    I agree with Adirondacker: it doesn’t particularly matter whether the HSR operator schedules a non-stop during rush hour, or not. The key point is that such a nonstop *has* to take at least 40 minutes. And, whether you like it or not, 40 minutes exceeds 30 minutes. So, whether an HSR service is scheduled during rush or or no, a rush-hour nonstop SF-SJ cannot meet the legally required “shall not exceed” time of 30 minutes.

    Therefore the Authority’s “blended” plan for the Peninsula does not meet the requirements of Prop 1A, in AB 3034 section 2704.09. It’s that simple.

    That’s not reading anything into the law that isn’t there. It’s not bullying anyone. It’s simply what the law says, and the results of simulations.

    Clem Reply:

    240 can be met.

    Not by any timetable ever in the future, even in 2040 when Phase 1 is built. As currently planned, 2:40 can only be met on a one-time only stunt that features (a) zero timetable padding, (b) the most aggressive, energy-inefficient acceleration and braking, (c) no intermediate stops, (d) no impeding traffic… all green, all the way.

    If you get rid of the Palmdale detour (saving 13 minutes by the timetable) it might be remotely possible to timetable a 2:40 SF – LA express.

    jimsf Reply:

    the original plan included palmdale with 240 and showed the google map route with speeds of sections and total.

    Clem Reply:

    Yup, assuming (a) zero timetable padding, (b) the most agressive, energy-inefficient acceleration and braking, (c) no intermediate stops, (d) no impeding traffic, and (e) 220 mph through urban areas. Don’t believe every Google map you see on the internet because the underlying assumptions are not always stated.

    Joe Reply:

    How would a defense contractor meet the requirement?
    Exactly as you described.

    The time requirement can be met with a one time demonstration.

    Clem Reply:

    In systems engineering terms (you’re a systems engineer, if I recall): Verification passed, validation failed

    jonathan Reply:

    Enigneer? Joe claims (repeatedly and sometimes condescendingly) to be a scientist. I do wonder, what field of science doesn’t distinguish between minima and maxima?

    joe Reply:

    Yes. A good summary Clem.

    The Authority will argue they are committed to and can meet all requirements.

    Opponents also also argue the system fails to achieve the desired outcome, in system eng terms, a validation test. They’ll argue the intent of the voters is X and HSR fails to achieve X.

    Kenny’s standard for judging HSR’s funding plan, all funding identified, was a high bar but he had specific language in the law he referenced to set that bar. Also, the discrepancy between the ICS and IOS cost is 10’s of billions – huge.

    If the travel time is requirement is 2:40 and they can show a “stunt” meets that time and they can show operational express service can achieve 2:50 or 3:00 then that’s going factor into his decision in favor of HSR.

    If they show the business plan and simulations runs service at realistic times like 3:00 then the consistency will help HSR. If the plan uses unachievable times, they’ll be contradicting themselves.

    jonathan Reply:

    Dear Joe,

    The “stunt”, drag-race time of 2:40 requires running through urban reas at 220 mi/hr.
    If I understand Clem correctly, he’s saying that the Authority’ latest numbers, from the 2014 draft business plan, are still *drag-race* times. The change is that the Authority’s simulations are now slowing down to reasonable speeds in urban areas.

    What the law requires is *service times*. Those are going to be well over 3 hours, LA-SF, because real paying passengers don’t like “drag-race” acceleration, or emergency-stop braking.

    Judge Kenny’ recent opinions are long (38 and 40 pages, IIRC) and closely reasoned. I think he may well be wrong on a point of law, that requiring the Authority to issue a new business plan grants no relief. But that’s what Courts of Appeal are for.

    But, since Judge Kenny is capable of close reasoning, I’m confident that he can figure out that an SF-SJ time of 40 minutes — a rush-hour “drag-race” – or a non-drag-race time of say 45 minutes — is 33% to 50% in excess of the required *maximum*, not-to-exceed service time of 30 minutes.

    Clem: what do you think is a realistic SF-LA *service* time for the Authority’s current route (Tehachapi, Palmdale, S-bends and all)? Where by “service time”, I mean a simulation using acceleration and braking typical of in-service, for-revenue HSR service world-wide; and with typical schedule padding for contingencies. Doing all braking at emergency-stop application rates need not apply.

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe, you need some remedial lessons on: system design and service time, and the difference between minimum and maximum

    The one-off demonstration run you describe establishes a minimum time. But the law requires something else: a maximum service time, which shall not be exceeded.

    If the design doesn’t ensure that non-stop services *never* exceed the shall not exceed times, then the design does not meet the requirements of the law. Endit.

    jimsf Reply:

    where is that map

    Clem Reply:

    They took it down when they redesigned the web site. I have all the KML files stashed away.

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem is totally correct about the assumptions behind a “stunt” run. And such a “stunt’ run, by definition, does not meet the clear requirements of the law.

    Alan Reply:

    Please point out exactly where Prop 1A specifies the method by which the Authority will prove their design. And please specify exactly where in Prop 1A your “definition” appears, which a “stunt run” does not meet.

    agb5 Reply:

    What would the SF-LA travel time be if they upgraded to 250mph trains for the first run in the year 2029?

    jonathan Reply:

    Doesn’t help the Peninsula one iota, since even the “full-fat” quad-tracked plan for the Peninsula llimited speeds to 125 mi/hr.

    For the broader system: it really does’t help much. CHSRA’s standards (the Technical Memoranda written for them, at great cost, by PB) say that where the terrain is flat and level and straight, the track should be desgned and signalled for 400km/hr. But, due to facts of arithmetic, the travel time is dominated by the segments where the trains travel slowly.

    Here’s a made-up but illustrative example, which can help give you some intuition. Suppose the HSR trains travel at an average speed of 100 mi/hr for half of a ~600 mile route, and travel at an average speed of 150 mi/hr for the other half. The train spends just over 3 hours on the slow part, and 2 hours on the fast part. Now suppose the trains travel at top speed for 50 miles of the “fast” part. Increase that top speed from 200 mi/hr to 250 mi/hr, and you save …. *three minutes* (50 miles takes 15 mins at 200 mi/hr, 12 mins at 250 mi/hr)..

    Or, to put it another way, travel time = (segment length) / (segment speed). to get significant gains in total time, you need to speed up the route segments where the “denominator is small”. In the fast segments, the denominator is aready big, so increasing it makes relatively little difference. It’s the medium segments where you’re limited to 30 or 50 miles or 80 miles per hour, where speed-ups make big differences. (Unless the numerator — the length of these semgments — is really, really tiny).

    To significantly improve the running time, you need to either get rid of those slow segments (as Clem does, amongst other things, with route changes like bypassing downtown bakersfield). Or you have to spend a lot of money to reduce the curve radii.

    That’s why, where Clem’s blog talks about speed on the Peninsula, he focuses on the “gorges”, the deep notches, in the speed-limit-versus-distance graph. See here:
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2009/01/top-10-worst-curves.html

    Clem Reply:

    The other trick is to shorten the route. Palmdale is an extra 34 miles.

  5. Keith Saggers
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 11:39
    #5

    Yahoo answers. Why is Gov. Brown called Moonbeam?

    As Governor, Brown proposed the establishment of a state space academy and the purchasing of a satellite that would be launched into orbit to provide emergency communications for the state—a proposal similar to one that would indeed eventually be adopted by the state.

  6. jonathan
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 17:36
    #6

    … I really, truly, cannot believe some of the responses here.

    The first one I can’t believe is the people who can’t tell the difference between “minimum” and “maximum”. These people think that a “maximum” time can be established by a one-time, “CannonBall Run” scenario, where all the stops are pulled out, the train is run at full speed, and always accelerates and brakes at the maximum rate for which the train is rated. Let’s call this the “drag-race” scenario.

    There are two things wrong with the “drag-race” scenario. First, it’s not a service time, but I’ll deal with that below. The second thing wrong with the drag-race scenario is that it’s not a *maximum* time; it’s a *minimum* time. Think about it: under any operating conditions, the actual run-time will be *slower* than the “drag-race time. So the drag-race is a minimum: what you can do in the best possible case. But that’s not what the law regulates. The law requires that the *maximum* time not exceed stated bounds.

    Here’s an analogy.which should make the difference clear. Consider someone who’s just been ocnviicted of a crime which carries a mandatory three-to-five year sentence. Under the best possible conditions — first time offender, otherwise of good character — the judge may sentence them to the *minimum* of three years (Heck, the judge might even make it a suspended sentence.)

    In that analogy, Joe and others here are claiming that the three-year sentence is a *maximum*. Somehow they are blin to the point that the “best-case” time is, in fact a minimum: any other (different) sentence will actually be *more* than three years.

    judges are used to sentencing, and they understand that “three” is the minimum, and “five” is the maximum. Judge Kenny will surely understand this: he’s served as a prosecutor as well as a judge. Similarly, Judge Kenny will understand that the Authority’s simulated SF-Sj time is a *minimum* which cannot be bettered.

    Which brings us to the other point: “service” times. Judges are not dummies; they understand the difference between a one-off spectacle stunt, and actual service times. And we can all be very, very sure that Tos et. al. will make the case that the Authority’s simulations are not achievable in any real service. Why can we be sure?

    We can be sure because — unless Tos et al. (by which I mean their lawyers; Brady and Flashman, iirc) are absolute, incompetent dummies — they will have researched the case. They’ve had years to do so, after all. They will have found Robert’s blog, and Clem’. They will have seen Clem’s analysis from a year ago (less three weeks). Tos et al. will therefore make the point, that the Authority’s 30:22 number is bogus: that the law defines the Sf terminal as Transbay. Even a “drag-race time for SF-SJ is what, ~36 miutes? Tos et al. can make the point that a rush-hour time will be at least 40 minutes.

    And I certainly wouldn’t bet that Tos et al. are incapable of making the point, to Judge Kenny, that both the ~36 minute (non-rush-hour) / 40 minute (rush-hour) times are, in fact “drag race” times. An actual service time has to account for in-service acceleration and braking being within passenger’s comfort zone

    I have no idea how much additional time is added for the SF-SJ run, if you change the acceleration and braking from “drag-race” levels, down to something which won’t upset cups of tea or coffee on tables But it’s going to be a few minutes.

    And I really, truly think that if an attorney tries to persuade a judge that 40 or 45 minutes is somehow less than 30, then the judge is going to throw the book at that attorney. Judges are very, very unforgiving of disrespect — to the point where some judges will tell attorneys, “I can’t hear you” if they think the attorney is not well-dressed enough for their court.

  7. Thomas
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 18:02
    #7

    So what if the state loses the appeal? Would the Authority lose access to the bond funds? Also, since the appeal hearing probably won’t be heard until late spring, what would happen to the federal funds requiring state matching funds by April 1?

    jonathan Reply:

    Executive SUmmary: If the Authority loses the appeal, then they have to continue working on, and produce, a new business plan which meets Judge Kenny’ requremens. Judge Kenny specifically says he’s not challenging the Legislature’s vote to issue bonds. As I understand it, Judge Kenny is saying the AUthority can’t spend (or can’t issue?) those bonds until they come up with a business plan which meets Judge Kenny’ reading of Prop 1A.

    New business plan means delay, which (as you note) could put Federal funds in jeopardy. If the Authority loses the appeal, they could then claim the delay is hurting them, and sue (or appeal?) for relieffrom the delay.

    Judge Kenny says the courts don’t have the authority to second-guess the Legislature’s approval to issue bonds. What Judge Kenny ruled, is that the Authority has to come up with a new business plan, showing that the Authority has identified funding for a “usable segment”, as Prop 1A defined that term.

    Until Judge kenny’s ruling, the Authority had defined the “usable segment” as their “Initial Construction Segment”, or ICS, Madera to Fresno. Judge Kenny’s ruling is that the Authority has identified the “Initial Operating Segment” (IOS) as the usable segment. Therefore, the judge ruled that before the Authority can spend bond money, the Authority had to have “identified” (in a special sense defined by Prop 1A) the funding for the entire IOS; and that the Authority had to have completed EIRs for the entire IOS. Last I checked the Authority didn’t even have the EIRs fro the last few miles of the ICS completed yet. That’s one hurdle; the other hurdle is that the current IOS will cost over 30 billion dollars. The Authority has identified only $6 bn.

    Some people say the Authority can fix the problem with a word processor: just change the “usable segment” from the IOS to the ICS. I really doubt the Judge will buy that.

    More importantly, the Judge has acknowledged that the Legislature has the right to issue bonds, and that the judiciary can’t overrule that (at least not without meeting a much higher bar than the current case).

    Re financing and meeting Federal matching requirements: the Authority says they will be in troubl by the end of April. I don’t know how much trouble. The Authority has already played games with how fast they spend the Federal money, whilst waiting for the State matching funds to be approved and issued. I vaguely recall that the FRA had set some limits on that, but I don’t recall what they were.

    Do note, though, that 6he Appellate court will have briefs from both parties by April 1. As I understand it, part of the appeal was over whether Judge Kenny’s ruling actually offered substantive relief to the plaintiffs. The grounds for the appeal is that the law cannot enforce an “abstract right”: a court cannot make a ruling which offers no substantive (read “meaningful”) relief to the plaintiffs. (In this case, the plaintiffs are Tos and Fukuda.) Do Tos &c get substantive relief from Jugde Kenny forcing the Authority to redo their business plan — while, at the same time, Judge Kenny acknowledges the Legislature’s right to issue the bonds? That’s a technical legal issue which an Appeals court could decide quickly.

    Some people here claim that Flashman and Brady screwed up by not challenging the Legislature’s auhorizaton of bond sales. But that hadn’t happened when the suit was filed, two years ago; and Judge Kenny has said pretty plainly that the plaintiffs have not shown any reason to invalidate the Legislature’s vote.

    Thomas Reply:

    Thank you Jonathan for the overview. Helps clear this complicated situation up for some of us.

    jonathan Reply:

    You’re welcome. And thank you for saying so.

    joe Reply:

    Some people here claim that Flashman and Brady screwed up by not challenging the Legislature’s auhorizaton of bond sales. But that hadn’t happened when the suit was filed, two years ago; and Judge Kenny has said pretty plainly that the plaintiffs have not shown any reason to invalidate the Legislature’s vote.

    Amend the lawsuit. Laurel & Hardy the crack legal team tried to amend the lawsuit. Why did they try to do this if it were not to their benefit?

    Their attempt was to late in the process.

    How much time passed from the date the Legislature pass the Appropriation and when L&H try to admen the lawsuit?

    Did they wait hours, days, weeks or months?

    The appropriation passed
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-oks-funding-for-high-speed-rail-line/
    July 6th 2012.

    jonathan Reply:

    Fine. Go ahead. Amend the lawsuit. Challenge the Legislature’s right to appropriate and to issue bonds. See where that gets you.

    Didn’t Judge Kenny’s written opinion say he didn’t think the judiciary had the right to overturn the Legislature on that? (That’s a genuine question; I thought it did, but I might be wrong.)

    Resident Reply:

    Well, here’s the real point. SB1029 doesn’t need to be challenged. It just needs to be enforced. And the lawsuit to enforce SB1029 (the appropriation) hasn’t even been hatched yet. SB1029 specifically requires compliance with AB3034 and it requires a second business plan in compliance with AB3034, before the appropriated funds can be spent or obligated. So the outcome of the current appeal isn’t even the end (or even the beginning) of the story. SB1029 creates a whole new enforcement opportunity.

  8. synonymouse
    Feb 15th, 2014 at 23:01
    #8

    Required reading for every traction fan, courtesy of a poster on the Altamont site:

    http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rpt_155.pdf

    I just wish I had the math, physics, and engineering background to understand the equations.

    I was not aware truck design, in particular low floor, had progressed this much.

  9. jonathan
    Feb 16th, 2014 at 09:25
    #9

    .. There’s one further thing here, made by the innumerate True Beleives in anything CSHRA publishes, which literally defies belief.

    That’s the claim that Prop 1A’s required times don’t actually matter. The law says the HSR sysem must have an SF-LA service travel time with a maximum not to exceed 160 minutes. That’s not achievable, not with actual service conditions. (it may be achievalbe in “drag-race” mode, where every acceleration is “pedal to the metal”, and every braking is an emergency-stpo application of brakes. (Try that in a bus or a plane!!).

    But some people here — Joe, explicitly; jimsf, implicitly, and others — say, oh, 2h4s 40 mins is just a guideline. 3 hours is close enough, the judge will allow that.

    The only thing I can say to that is: go drive on 101 on the Peninsula at 75 miles per hour. You *will* get pulled over, and you *wlll* get ticketed. Then, when you go to court, try telling the Judge that the Judge can’t ticket you, you’re within 15% of the speed limit, and that’s close enough.

    Better yet, try getting pulled over for a suspected DUI. When the blood-alcohol measuremen shows you are 12.5% over the legal limit, you get arrested. When you go to court, again, try telling the judge that you’re within 12.5% of the limit, and that’s close enough.

    That is _exactly_ the reasoning Joe uses, when he says that an SF-LA time of 3:00 hours is, somehow, close enough. If one is laughable — would get you cited for contempt of court if you pushed it — then surely so is the other one.

    That’s how legal reasoning works. The law is the law. It’s not a rough guideline that a judge can arbitrarily or capriciously change, to suit their whims. If the law says 2:40, it means 2:40. 3:00 does not meet the law. End of story.

    synonymouse Reply:

    One way to tackle the 2:40 issue is to consider the purpose of the proviso, which is what the framers intended. Ergo to establish a solid benchmark for the slowest travel time that would be competitive.

    So the conflict here is between the constructionists(say, Kopp)and the revisionists(Cheerleaders). The competing camps envision 2 different kinds of railroad. Kopp wants bleeding edge bonafide hsr whereas the Cheerleaders want a welfare commute TEE serving rural redoubts. So it is really HSR vs. Palmdale commute ops.

    In order to even attempt 2hrs and 40 minutes with the DogLeg the Cheerleaders would have to suspend all safety and environmental regs. Are not there constitutional issues with a law contravening existing regulations and practices_

    Prop 1a should go back on the ballot so the voters can choose between Palmdale real estate developers and the Tejon Ranch or CAHSR.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They want to sap your precious bodily fluids too.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who precisely are “they”? Pushing 70, I doubt anyone wants my “precious bodily fluids”.

    But are you so daft as to not see the issue here? Are you going to grant the testing parties(for instance PB, Amtrak, Bombardier?)a priori, or retroactive exemption from any existing laws?

    This is beyond “stunt”, which would something like a Wallenda high-wiring across the Grand Canyon. If he falls, that is the extent of it. Who is going to be held liable if your 2:40 attempted stunt climbs a rail and lands on top of a house?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    they are going to impurify them too. Then fluoridate the water.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKR32ImWYzw

  10. jimsf
    Feb 16th, 2014 at 11:02
    #10

    Seems to me they don’t have to worry about sf la trip times or sf sj trip times for quite a while since the ios will be merced to san fernando and then bay to basin – which will be san jose to san fernando. That gives them many years to work on making sure the san fernando to la and the sj to sf portions get upgraded properly to meet the trip times.

    Clem Reply:

    Sounds like a fine approach. We should give them dozens of billions of dollars, with the proviso that they save the last $10 to purchase a stop watch to see if the trip times can be met.

    jonathan Reply:

    Provided it’s a stop-watch which is graduated only to increments of 5 minutes. Or maybe ten. Or twenty. Or even more.

    jonathan Reply:

    Sorry, not good enough. The Authority’s position is that the “blended” plan on the Peninsula *IS* the final, “full build” proposal for Prop 1A’s “Stage 1”, Sf to LA/Anaheim.

    The Authority *has* to say that. If they didn’t, there’s no way they could justify pissing away the highs-peed-rail money on suburban commuter infrastructure at the “book-ends”. And the Authority has to spend the HSR money on non-HSR, suburban commuter pork, er infrastructure, because that was the pork deal cut by back-scratching politicians like Simitian, to get the bond authorization vote through the Legislature.

    the Authority is damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

    jimsf Reply:

    ;youre full of it. If californians decide they want to upgrade the bookends, we can and will upgrade the bookends. Just like if californians decide they love the hsr and want it to go more places, they will insist it go more places ( extensions) and if californian who previoulsy didn’t want a station in their city, change their minds, they will demand a station in their city and get it.

  11. jonathan
    Feb 16th, 2014 at 11:28
    #11

    .. thinking about it, here’s a really good strategy for anyone who wants to stop CHSRA’s current plan — particularly the “blended” plan for the Peninsula.

    File a complaint with the California State Board for Professoinal Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. The complaint will charge the PB employee who signed the report to CHSRA stating that a train can make an SF-SJ trip within the requirements of Prop 1A. The complaint should include any and all Professional Engineers, and other unlicensed persons, who produced the simluation and stated that it met the requirements of Prop 1A.

    The complaint should list charges of : fraud; deceit; misrepresentation; and violating the Code of Professional Conduct, in that the simulation knowingly misrepresents the achievable service trip times, inasumuch as the report presents a trip time as in compliance with the requirements of Prop 1A, whereas in fact the simulation relies on acceleration and braking profiles which are unachievable and unacceptable in commercial service.

    More, the complaint should charge that PB’s report does so in a knowingly deceitful way. Such deceit is fraudulent, in that it will deffaud California taxpayres by allowing expenditure of bond funds which violate the law; and also, that the consulting engineering firm has defrauded the California High Speed Rail Authority by producing knowingly inaccurate, mis-representative, and deceitful engineering documents. The ethics violations follow from the same causes.

    Then, make a press announcement. Wait for someone to admit that the Authority told PB that the Authority needed an SF-SJ trip time of 30 minutes or less. if you’re really lucky, someone may say that renewal of PB’s contract depended on them showing an SF-SJ trip time of 30 minutes or less. If you get *that* lucky, it’s time for criminal prosecutions of both PB and the Authority staff.

    Elizabeth, did you get that? ;)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    whereas in fact the simulation relies on acceleration and braking profiles which are unachievable and unacceptable in commercial service.

    No they aren’t. Clem, who runs the Caltrain-HSR blog, working with the the parameters they use in commercial service, came up with similar numbers.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Once again the real travel time loss is in Socal, at the mountain crossing, not on the Peninsula.

    They should have encouraged Palmdale to continue with its litigation; we would be a lot further along. It is probably going to be revived any way.

    If there is a violation of law it is the Tejon Ranch’s unconstitutional embargo at the Tejon Mountain Village, attempting to impose a “toll” on a natural and unique transport choke point.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    I think Jonathan may be referring to some documents that we posted on our website that show

    http://www.calhsr.com/uncategorized/negotiation-over-a-few-small-words/

    the Authority asked PB, after the fact, to justify an assertion they pinned on PB and that PB may not have had much of a choice but to make certain changes that may border on the edge of professional standards, given that their contract (which is one of the largest if not largest that have) was up for renewal.

    We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

    We do know that the current system of revolving doors and consultant-heaven is concerning.

    I personally could give a rat’s tushy whether it will take 2 hrs 38 minutes or 2 hrs 42 minutes.

    It is very concerning however that the Authority either does not understand or doe not care that a series of decisions are being made that make the chance for under 3 hr service very, very slim.

    Blending service for 50 miles is insane when you have other options. Either the people running this are insane or they are being disingenous about intentions.

    We as a state have no business building out the core FIXED infrastructure for a train system until we find a way to get back in charge of this process.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Blending service for 50 miles is insane

    What are the other options? Putting the train over on the other side of the Bay where all those unwashed East Bay residents live? That keeps it out of your backyard doesn’t it?

  12. Thomas
    Feb 16th, 2014 at 12:08
    #12

    If Part 2 of the Tos/Fukuda case is heard, when may that be? If it is determined that the Authority will not meet the travel times and no subsidies rule, would that stop access to Prop 1A funds, no matter how the appeals court rules?

  13. Keith Saggers
    Feb 16th, 2014 at 12:28
    #13
Comment pages
1 2 3
Comments are closed.