CHSRA Releases Draft 2014 Business Plan

Feb 7th, 2014 | Posted by

Today the California High Speed Rail Authority released its draft 2014 Business Plan. Overall it is a very positive document showing that the cost estimates are largely the same (actually a bit smaller, but not by much) while ridership estimates are higher. It also quantifies the economic benefits of the system, which are an important yet often overlooked part of the discussion.

The highlights:

• The overall cost for the San Francisco to Los Angeles system is now estimated at $67.6 billion. That’s below the $68.4 billion projected in the 2012 business plan.

• 25% higher ridership than previously projected (for the medium scenario)

• 12% economic rate of return

• More than a 3 to 1 return in GDP for the state on their funds for the first construction segment near Fresno

The Authority also found that ridership may be higher for shorter segments, which might actually reduce revenues somewhat. The Low scenario includes a $50 million operating loss for the very first year of operation of the Initial Operating Segment, but that goes away in the second year, typical of rail routes which have a five year curve of fast growing ridership before reaching a plateau. The Medium and High scenarios both have an immediate profit for the IOS.

Of course, profit should be a curiosity, not a core element of analysis. The purpose of building HSR is not to turn a profit, but to carry passengers. The ridership estimates are clear that this train will attract a LOT of people to it.

And if you note, HSR opponents have been silent on ridership for a couple years now. From about 2009 to 2011 that was their go-to attack on the HSR project, that it would fail to attract riders. You don’t hear that anymore, a reflection that even opponents now agree that HSR will of course be widely popular with the traveling public in California just as it is everywhere else it exists.

The business plan did not break much new ground on the question of funding the HSR system. A new financing plan is due later this spring. The draft business plan does indicate the following about using cap-and-trade funds for HSR:

First, combined with the remaining Proposition 1A bond funds, it will allow the Authority to proceed without delay and continue construction past the initial Madera to Bakersfield segment – to tunnel through the Tehachapis to create the first dedicated passenger rail connection between Northern and Southern California. Connecting to the multi-modal transit center in Palmdale, connecting rail service will be available throughout Southern California initially via the Metrolink com- muter rail system.

Second, a committed, long-term source of funding will allow
the Authority to leverage both public and private financing and, depending on the level of commitment, potentially finance the completion of the IOS.

Third, establishment of a committed revenue stream will allow the Authority to immediately engage the private sec- tor in the delivery of the system, bringing both investment and significant cost savings. Other international high speed projects have proven that significant cost savings can come from having long term strategic partners with investment
in the project, that are responsible for designing the most cost effective solutions and responsible to build, install and operate major portions of the system.

Those are some significant, specific benefits of using the cap-and-trade funds for HSR, along with the larger purpose of keeping this important project alive.

I’m still reading through the document and will share more insights and notes in the comments and, if it’s really significant, in an update to the post. Feel free to do the same in the comments.

  1. synonymouse
    Feb 7th, 2014 at 20:50
    #1

    40 miles of tunnel on a detour to Mojave – sheer idiocy.

    Clem Reply:

    The lower revenue is simply a reflection of more Palmdale commuters displacing high-yielding long distance travelers, who will be slightly more inclined to fly because of the 13 to 18 minute delay. I also suspect that the authority is now planning to poach as much as they can of Caltrain’s 15 million peninsula riders. It’s easy to jack up ridership by serving short trips: Caltrain already has one third of HSR’s projected ridership today… which goes to show that ridership is a meaningless metric.

    joe Reply:

    “I also suspect that the authority is now planning to poach as much as they can of Caltrain’s 15 million peninsula riders.”

    Duh.

    And it would be hilarious if HSR provide an alternative for South County commuters at the Gilroy Station.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    13-18? Wasn’t it 11-13?

    jonathan Reply:

    Some people are constitutionally incapable of separating Tehachapi-vs-Tejon, from downtown-Bakersfield-vs-Bakersfield-bypass. Though that may have nothing to do with the discrepancy.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I thought West Bakersfield plus Tejon was supposed to be 13 minutes slower than Downtown Bakersfield plus Tehachapi.

    Eric Reply:

    You mean faster, not slower.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes. Sorry. Brainfart.

    Clem Reply:

    13 for no stop in Palmdale (+12 run time, +1 pad) and 18 with a stop (+5 stop penalty)

    joe Reply:

    The displacement of high-yielding, long distance travellers is premature.

    In developing these forecasts, the Authority’s consultants have not assumed any revenue optimization that would result from adjusting fares to optimize yields on specific markets such as short distance and commuter trips either in the San Francisco Bay Area and/or in the Los Angeles Basin.

    It seems ticket prices are not factored into the estimate and can be adjust to manage use.

    I would be very disappointed if HSR was a series of local rail trips much like DOT and Caltrans have become by local governments and focus on local trips at the expense of state-wide transportation.
    The National Academy and a recent CA study urge a less car centric less local focus for both the DOT and Caltrans. It is important that HSR be managed for state-wide travel, not commuter.

    Dropping he subsidy requirement would help.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Dropping he subsidy requirement would help.

    No, it would have the exact opposite effect.

    joe Reply:

    Go ahead and explain how.

    Without a subsidy, the authority has to sell full cost recovery tickets and they need enough riders to cover operating expenses. CAHSR would use the state to drive down competition (Caltrain express service for example) and then sell commuters tickets at higher prices to keep revenues.

    With a subsidy, there is no economic incentive to drive down competition and inflate ticket prices.

    StevieB Reply:

    The concessionaire will set ticket prices to make the most profit. If they see more profit potential from short trips with commuter potential they will set ticket prices to attract those trips.

    Joey Reply:

    They won’t. Catering to commute markets requires running lots of trains in the peak direction then parking them for much of the day. Intercity trips don’t peak as much and are more bi-directional, which in turn yields better equipment utilization.

    joe Reply:

    It would if the goal was to run sufficient commuter service. The goal is to avoid a subsidy while attracting ridership.

    HSR will take train capacity at peak commute time since that gets trains into the destinations for business travelers. As part of that service they will attract commuters between SanJose to SF. There is enough demand at peak times to pay the higher fare. Assuredly if they interfere with Caltrain service.

    Joey Reply:

    If someone rides HSR from SF to SJ then that seat is empty south of SJ unless there is someone else getting on at another station. If there aren’t many people traveling between SF and SJ then this works but if you cater too heavily to the commute markets then you get empty seats and start loosing money because of the short distance trips.

    Joey Reply:

    If regional agencies want to run fast commute services that’s fine, but it should be done with a dedicated fleet and a dedicated funding source rather than hampering intercity operations.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Joey, quite right. Then of course the issue becomes line capacity rather than seats on the train. Metrolink could run electric emus from Palmdale to LAUS and perhaps on to Irvine or Laguna Niguel. I am assuming also that trains will be limited in speed from Sylmar to LAUS just as they will be from San Jose to SF. We’ll see if the folks of Pacoima are as equal as those in Atherton!

    joe Reply:

    HSR can sell more tickets for trains running between SF and San Jose if Caltrain service was curtailed during peak demand and Caltrain were unable to run express trains.

    NIMBYs restricted the peninsula ROW and capacity which will restrict car reducing Caltrain during peak travel.

    NIMBYs are helping HSR at the expense local transit essential to reducing car trips. Caltrain is hardwired into every development’s EIR. None of the NIMBY cities has a HSR stop.

    Joey Reply:

    HSR service is a bad excuse for express service on the Peninsula. Compare 1-2 intermediate stops with 6.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Irrelevant, you can’t drop it. It is hard wired into the law

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Until somebody decides to change the law or somebody or time, decides to pay off the bonds.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Clem

    That would have a state owned and operated function taking over a regional commute op. Would that set a precedent for state appropriation of, say, BART or Metrolink?

    Seems like there could be a union fight over jobs and turf here.

  2. joe
    Feb 7th, 2014 at 21:02
    #2

    Page 60
    The quantified economic benefit of a HSR system.

    One report noted prominently in APTA’s business case is a case study of high-speed rail impacts in the Frankfurt-Cologne corridor in Germany. As noted in the lessons from international experience above, Ahlfeldt and Feddersen of the London School of Economics in From Periphery to Core: Economic Adjustments to High-Speed Rail, 2010,
    the following two findings are reported by APTA:

    Counties that are adjacent to intermediate rail stations in the Frankfurt-Cologne corridor were found to have a 2.7 percent premium in GDP compared to areas not having rail access.

    For the much larger economic area served by the Frankfurt-Cologne high-speed rail, the researchers found 0.25 percent growth in GDP for every 1 percent increase in access.

  3. Elizabeth
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 00:10
    #3

    oh my

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/BPlan_2014drft_Service_Planning.pdf

    Donk Reply:

    Are they seriously going to run dedicated trains to from LA to Merced once the Bay to Basin is complete? Sounds like an operational disaster to me.

    They should instead either just run a shuttle service from Fresno to Merced, or better, run conventional unelectrified rail between Fresno and Sacramento. It would be pretty ridiculous to transfer at Fresno to Merced and then again from Merced to Sacramento. What will they get, like 100 people per day getting off at Merced?

    jimsf Reply:

    They will run trains to merced because merced will be the transfer point for the norcal unified system. Merced will be the access to sac, the altamont corridor and the north end of the san joaquin corridor.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    I hear there’s another way for HSR to serve Sac.

    jimsf Reply:

    eventually hsr will go north to sac but until that happens the norcal unified services will fill the gap. the goal is to combine san joaquin capitol and ace into an integrated system with timed transfers and single ticketing /fare platform

    Derek Reply:

    The Phase 1 Blended service plan shows an end-to-end (SF to LA) transit time of 3h 8m.

    jimsf Reply:

    Thats a pretty good time for the blended plan. I expected it to be much longer. Once the bookends are fully upgraded there shouldn’t be any problem meeting the 2:40

    jonathan Reply:

    I’m waiting for the usual suspects to sue to stop sale of Prop1A bonds, on the grounds that the Plan doesn’t meet AB3034. 3h 8 minutes is not 2 hr 40m

    synonymouse Reply:

    Would the Judge buy into 3h 8 minutes?

    Quite possibly, particularly under duress. Stupidity and corruption are ubiquitous and invincible.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yes they are going to sue because they don’t meet the times.

    They knew the times going in. And they don’t meet them. The 2:40 overall time. The 30 min from SJ to SF time. Etc.

    Shouldn’t you, as a supporter, be pissed that they are ignoring the law and not providing what was voted for?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    2:40 is for a completed system. The blended plan is an incomplete system.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The authority has already stated publicly and in writing that the blended system must (and will) meet the 2:40 requirement (and the 30 minute SJ to SF requirement for that matter). that is an admission that they must meet the law with the current plan (which they can not do)

    There is nothing past the “blended” system” The Dems passed a law preventing the 4 track solution unless 12+ agencies (local and state) agree. There is no full system, not even on paper.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    and in 2030 they can unpass the law because the delicate flowers in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton don’t like waiting at grade crossings 20 times an hour.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You might see some grade separation, but with negligible effect on travel times.

    The substantive time losses are in Socal.

    joe Reply:

    *IF* opponents successfully block the Blended plan then the NIMBY cites will have a come to jesus moment.

    Menlo Park for example has already approved projects that use up 75% of the growth allowed in their **new** General Plan. They also settled a hosuing lawsuit and had to approve 1,900 new housing units.

    Meanwhile the City may have to rescind their NO ROW expansion vote to qualify for funds to plan an underpass near downtown. The funds for constructing a underpass would be contingent on a design to accommodate full build ROW.

    synonymouse Reply:

    political naivete

    Ritchie Riches of PAMPA always win

    Ritchie Riches of Tejon Ranch always win.

    You get your politicians to “qualify” you. If they know what’s good for them.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    when there’s ten trains an hour in each direction the richie richs in PAMPA will be screaming at the top of their lungs for grade separations. They’ll be able to schedule things so that a northbound and a southbound are in the crossing at the same time for one crossing a few times an hour but the rest of them will see 20 closings every hour in the middle of rush hour. They’ll be screaming for them.

    flowmotion Reply:

    The Richie Riches will eventually get their tunnels and trenches. For now, that’s 15-25 years in the future assuming HSR actually gets built (which is no sure thing).

    joe Reply:

    I doubt they’ll trench. San francisquito creek would flood the entire north section of the trench. Palo Alto City council knows it’s not possible.

    agb5 Reply:

    They don’t have to meet the 2h 40m reference time until the year 2029, by which time the next generation trains will be available with yet-to-be-invented technology which makes them lighter, slippier and faster, leading to reduced maintenance costs and less energy consumption at even higher speeds.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The bookends go slow because of the underlying track and infrastructure. It has nothing to do with the trains.

    PS. It is not like train technology is advancing at a rapid pace either, but that is besides the point, unless you upgrade the track, it does not matter what train you put on the track.

    PPS. If you were being sarcastic and I missed it I apologize.

    wdobner Reply:

    You haven’t been paying attention. SNCF reduced travel times on the Paris Sud Est over the same timeframe being contemplated by the CHSRA without changing the tracks.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    One word. Curves. Unless you eliminate or minimize them you can’t hit the times.

    It’s the track, not the trains. If it was as easy as buying 240 mph trains it would be done already

    morris brown Reply:

    @John Nachtigall and others.

    The Authority has already been sued on not meeting the trip time mandate. The present Tos et. al suit has only been heard on the writ part.

    There is a whole second part of the trial, the 526a (declaratory relief) part that has yet to be heard. One of the major complaint under 526a is not meeting the trip time mandate.

    That trial should be hear fairly shortly.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a is not worth the paper it is written on as far as Jerry, Richards, PB and Co. are concerned. They routinely ignore it and are trying to bully the Judge to go along with the farce.

    The blend is not going to be upgraded to the degree of any significant time savings. Most of the time lost is at the Mojave detour. And 220 mph – are you serious? This is California, not Switzerland or Japan. When DogLegRail continues to bleed losses maintenance will the first thing to go. And what maintenance performed will be by militant 13 undocumented no-show guys. Think BART or Muni. If anybody complains they will walk out on strike and the machine will back them up. The UP’s suggested 160mph is likely to be the general operating speed limit once costs and equipment failures are factored in .

    If the party bosses really insist on blowing a fortune on The Palmdale Crusade instead of other pet, more politically appetizing concerns, like social spending, they need to put this thing back before the voters. Let PB, Tutor, the Tejon Ranch, the construction unions, Amalgamated spend many millions on indoctrination and see if the lumpen buy into it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The reason Amtrak-NEC dropped the speed parameter in their solicitation of new trainsets to 160mph is because that will be the operating speed in California as well.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And if they hang any wire they will have to energize it straightaway; otherwise they will lose it.

    The initial segment will be an expensive operation losing money – a standalone Sta. Clarita to Bako line is the most sensible. You want the most direct, shortest, route that costs the least to maintain and energize and provides the most attractive, fastest travel times.

    Maintaining and powering electrification on a line that only hosts a few half empty trains a day?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    160 because until they straighten things out in Connecticut they need tilt trains and tilt trains don’t go much higher than 150 or so.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I disagree synomouse. Call me naive, but I believe the courts will stop a plan that does not meet Pro 1a. You didn’t believe Judge Kenny would both rule against them and impose a writ due to funding and they did both. I choose to believe that the courts will insist they meet the laws mandates or not build.

    Now they could change the law, but there seems to be little support for that.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I wish I could be as reassured and positive as you are about the judiciary. I guess I have been around too along places where the political machine has crowded out everything else, perhaps even to an extent the good ol boy establishment that historically ran the State.

    And then I remember painfully the massacre of electric transit after the war. You could never trust the “experts” after that. With them it is all about the money. Build it and then tear it down – the wheel of life of greedhead consultant-contractors.

    So I assume California is going to get screwed with a dysfunctional $30bil maginot line thru Mojave. Hey, a bike path, nature trail, mushroom farms of the future?

    John Bacon Reply:

    The Blended Plan: You loose 2 minutes because most of your top speed is 110 mph for lack of grade separations. Save 90 seconds with a straighter shorter route across the Mission Bay Development and raise the maximum HSR speed to 130 mph between Sierra Point and 22nd Street. Now you are back to 30 minutes for a non-stop run between SF and SJ. The Palm Dale Dogleg, slow-downs for express trains crossing Bakersfield, Fresno and for anyone else bothred by noise along the most densely populated corridor in the San Joaquin Valley plus crossing the width of the CV when leaving Fresno toward the Pacheco Pass will cost a lot of run time. A method to safely and rapidly descend from high mountain passes needs to be devised. Hint: Use air resistance in steep down-hill tunnels; dynamic braking could fail if the pantograph is swept away as sometimes happens in actual operations.

    agb5 Reply:

    With 3 intermediate stops: 3h 8m
    With 8 intermediate stops: 3h 41m
    Each stop costs about 6.6 minutes.
    A non-stop LA-SF Transbay would be about 2h 48m
    Maybe 2h 45m if the train stops at SF King St.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Stops in the lower-speed Bay Area are cheaper than in the higher-speed CV.

    John Bacon Reply:

    A stop will cost a CHSR train cruising at 220 mph no more than 120 seconds plus dwell. Derive the appropriate equations for time and distance from F = M*A. Calculate the appropriate speed wind constant from HSR balacing speed data. Available maximum traction power is assumed to be 27 kw/tonne above 100 mph and 20 kw/tonne below 100 mph.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Passenger trains have passengers and their spill-able drinks on them.

    John Bacon Reply:

    @ adirodacker12800:
    The equation P = M*V*A can immediately be derived from Newton’s second law of motion F = M*A
    The rate of acceleration (A) is equal to P/(M*V). At 100 mph when maximum power (P) is applied acceleration is approximately 2 ft/second squared. The is 46% of the transit industry’s normal maximum acceleration rate of 1.3 meter/second squared. Due to wind and rolling friction actual acceleration and braking rate performance would be plus or minus 9% that calculated depending on whether a well streamlined HSR train is accelerating or braking while passing through 100 mph.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so you wanna go from zero to 220 in 60 seconds and not have any one spill their drink. or 220 to zero in 60 seconds. Okay.

    Clem Reply:

    Closer to 180 sec plus 120 sec dwell (5 minutes)

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    120s dwell is unrealistic given CHSRA’s announced security theatrics.

    Passengers aren’t even going to be allowed onto platforms — via a single access point — until a few brief minutes before train arrival. Unattended humans in the secure airside train docking facility will be cited an cavity searched. Good luck distributing them along the length of a 400m train and getting them on to the TSA Flight Level Zero Airline within two minutes of train arrival time.

    Railway operations anywhere in the world (kmh! kPa! kg! EUR! MW!) are absolutely no guide to what PBQD has planned for California. Think “Flight Level Zero Airline” (all the hassle, half the air speed, hundreds of times the concrete), not “High Speed Rail”, every time. “This is modern America and we intend to keep it that way..”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I guess the places where the TSA doesn’t make people line up etc are in Unmodern America. Or maybe they aren’t in America even though they let the people there vote for President etc.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    “I enjoy typing. Secaucus! Montauk!”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I enjoy typing “fuck you and the horse you came in on”
    Fuck you and the horse you cam in on.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Derek, where did you find that?

    Derek Reply:

    Page 8. For example, leave SF at 6:00am, arrive at LA at 9:08am.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Of which document?

    agb5 Reply:

    From the example timetables here

    The suggested SJ to SF travel time is 49 minutes.

    agb5 Reply:

    DOH! I mean here

    joe Reply:

    Gilroy HSR service vs present Caltrain service

    AM trains that stop in GLY and make SJC/Peninsula/SFT stops. (BLACK)

    Caltrain 3 AM trains GLY to SJC @50 Min and ZGLY to SF @2:12

    HSR 7 AM trains GLY to SJC @ 18 min and GLY to SFT @1:07

    HSR is a 32 minute savings to SJC and 1:05 savings to SFT.

    Clem Reply:

    Gilroy – SJ: $5 Caltrain, $18 HSR
    Gilroy – SF: $13 Caltrain, $24 HSR
    They used a plain vanilla fare formula (base plus mileage) that will go right out the window the moment a for-profit operator starts to manage yields. Every seat used on Gilroy to SJ / SF is one less seat sold for high-yielding trips from the south; I doubt they will be interested in hauling empty seats across the state so you can commute!

    joe Reply:

    The schedule shows the earliest northbound HSR trains will be originating from Gilroy, then Fresno and then Palmdale. LA originating trains will not be stoping in Gilroy. So yes you are right – they will not clog up high-yield LA seats.

    Many of our employers subsidize transit as part of the deal they cut to expand in the Peninsula. (Thanks Morris Brown) For example, monthly unlimited access to VTA & Caltrain to Palo Alto costs $0.00 and there are other options for cash payments that reimburse clipper card expenses for a few hundred dollars.

    I expect by the time HSR is in place, the station and continued demand for housing and south county growth will attract better commuter service from either Caltrain or Amtrak.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    PATH fare Newark to Herald Square $2.25
    PATH fare Newark to Herald Square on a multiride ticket $1.70
    NJTransit fare Newark to Penn Station a block away from Herald Square $5.00
    Amtrak Regional Fare Newark to Penn Station $21 for reserve ahead and no changes to the itenary and no refunds. $28 for refundable with a 10% fee and $56 for travel anytime and refundable. For coach fares. The business class fare is $42.
    Acela fare is doesn’t have non refundable fares. The coach fares being sold as business class, with refund fees are $37, no fees $44 and $57 depending on the time of day. Some trains are sold out at $37 even though I’m checking a weekday two months from now. First class is $66, $73, $86 or $93 depending on the the time of day. Even really rich people would have to be desperate to save five minutes by taking first class on Acela on the train with the $93 fare versus the 5 bucks for NJTransit.

    On the same day the highest fare between NY and Philadelphia is $224 first class on Acela and it takes 1:07, the lowest fare is $39 for coach on the Regionals or the Keystones and the fastest trip is 1:20. NJTransit and SEPTA will cost you $24.50 and could take hours and hours. If you really want to save money there are cheaper all-rail alternatives. It would involve at least four transfers.

    Before New Jersey stopped subsidizing the Amtrak Philadelphia-New York express trains Trenton, Princeton Junction and Newark were on the list of Amtrak’s ten busiest stations. It was really nice to commute on train with a bar. Even better back when any coach ticket was good on any train with coach cars.

    Jon Reply:

    Interesting that they assume a Brisbane train storage yard, near Bayshore Caltrain station. They probably should let SF Planning know about that – there are redevelopment plans in progress for the site. Mind you, SF Planning would happily give Schenge Lock to HSR if Caltrain also moved there from 4th & King as part of the deal.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Please take a look at a map. Schlage Lock’s facility is in S.F., then there’s a tentacle of Daly City followed by Brisbane as one travels southwards. Also, the local transit foamers will rise up in a heartbeat to protect the proposed southern extension (a terminal loop that connects to Caltrain) of SFMuni’s T-Third LRV line.

    The proposed yard is in something of a dead zone between US-101 and Old Bayshore Hwy. There’s a dump / landfill nearby, a polluted lagoon, and a partially abandoned industrial zone. That whole area from near Schlage Lock on down almost to South S. F. used to have several railyards / support facilities. The main one was part of the meat packing district and basically straddled the SF / SM county line.

    That’s made the area prime real estate due in part to how well the soil has been compacted. Also, having housing that is linkable to downtown S.F., Mission Bay / UCSF, South S.F.’s business parks, and Silicon Valley is very tempting. It’s a mixture of unstable politics and nervous money that refuses to jell for more than a few months at a time that’s caused the extended delays.

    Jon Reply:

    I’m glad you know where the yard is going to be, seeing as it hasn’t been formally proposed yet.

    I was going off Clem’s assumption of where the yard would be, which does indeed cover Schlage Lock as part of the huge area it covers.

    Jon Reply:

    Link fail: Clem’s assumption

  4. agb5
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 07:28
    #4

    Falling rock the size of a house derails train, kills 2 tourists.

    This is a one meter gauge privately operated train through the French Alps: http://www.trainprovence.com
    While California is having a record drought, the south of France has had record rainfall/snowfall, causing many landslides & rockfalls.

  5. Keith Saggers
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 08:41
    #5

    CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED TRAIN PROJECT EIR/EIS DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS REPORT
    BAKERSFIELD TO PALMDALE SECTION FEBRUARY 2012

    Table A-2: Tehachapi Subsection – Evaluation Matrix

    Measurement Criteria

    Proposed New Alignment
    Preliminary AA Alternative T3-1 2.65% Average Slope, 2.75% Sustained Slope over 12 miles
    Preliminary AA Recommended Preliminary AA Alternative T3-2
    2.5% Average Slope, 2.5% Sustained Slope over 20 miles
    Preliminary AA Recommended
    Design Objectives
    Journey time (220 mph) Common to all alternatives
    Not a differentiator. Because of the slope in this subsection, the profile would affect rolling stock performance; a detailed speed model would need to be performed to accurately estimate the journey time.
    All alignments would generally have a maximum speed of 220 mph in vicinity of Tehachapi and less than 220 mph on incline sections, depending on slopes.
    Route length Total Length: 39.40 miles Total Length: 40.35 miles Total Length: 40.52 miles

    Capital costs  Lowest capital costs.
    New T3 has a significant reduction in viaduct length and height, as
    compared to Prelim AA T3-1 and Prelim AA T3-2.
    Includes:
     3.4 miles elevated structure
     10.9 miles of tunnel
     2 UPRR Crossings
     3 roadway grade separations
     Requires constructing grade separations at Bealeville Road, SR
    58, and Cameron Canyon Road.

     Moderate capital costs.
     Prelim AA T3-1 offers an overall reduction in length and height
    of viaducts, as compared to Prelim AA T3-2. Prelim AA T3-1
    has the greatest tunnel length.
    Includes:
     8.0 miles of elevated structure
     12.8 miles of tunnel
     2 UPRR Crossings
     4 roadway grade separations
     Requires construction grade separations at Bealeville Road,
    Cameron Canyon Road, Holt St, and Camelot Boulevard.
     Highest capital costs.
     Prelim AA T3-2 has the most linear feet of elevated track. The
    elevated track is considerably taller, and has longer continuous
    segments as compared to New T3 and Prelim AA T3-1. Prelim
    AA T3-2 has a greater capital cost than New T3 and Prelim AA T3-1.

    Includes:
     11.0 miles of elevated structure
     10.3 miles of tunnel
     2 UPRR Crossings
     3 roadway grade separation
     Requires construction grade separations at Cameron Canyon
    Road, Holt Street, and Camelot Boulevard.
    Operating costs Common to all alternatives
    Not a differentiator, operating costs across all alternatives would be very similar.
    Maintenance costs  Lowest Costs.
     For the New T3, the length of elevated structure is significantly
    reduced, as compared to Prelim AA T3-1 and Prelim AA T3-2,
    thereby reducing the overall maintenance costs.
     Moderate Costs.
     For Prelim AA T3-1, the length of elevated guideway is slightly
    reduced over Prelim AA T3-2, lessening long-term maintenance
    costs.
     For Prelim AA T3-1, the length of tunnel is the longest of all
    alternatives, thereby increasing maintenance costs.
     Highest Costs.
     For Prelim AA T3-2, the longer span and taller structures would
    result in the highest maintenance costs of all the alternatives.

    My comment
    All alternatives, 10-13 miles of tunnel, not 40miles

    jimsf Reply:

    hopefully they’ll build the cheapest one.

    synonymouse Reply:

    This document is 2 years old.

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed jimsf, T3-1 looks good to Me too.

    Clem Reply:

    Not T3-1. New T3.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am not seeing gradients for new T3.

    Clem Reply:

    New T3 is what I used for the Tejon / Tehachapi comparison. The gradients are in my charts (along with all tunnels and bridges etc). The top of rail profile is in the KML file for Google Earth.

  6. Paul Dyson
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 09:08
    #6

    Missing from the discussion as usual is the southern California part of the equation.
    Still in the plan for a probably lengthy period during construction: Trains to Palmdale connecting to Metrolink. Metro’s own study indicates that there is little that can be done to accelerate trains over the existing Soldad Canyon line. So what will the journey time be Bay Area to Los Angeles during this period, with connections at Merced and Palmdale? Will it be quicker than bussing from Bakersfield?
    Some years further on the line will be extended to the San Fernando Valley and an interim terminus. Three options are being considered but Burbank Airport is being forced along by Metro. Passengers again to be transferred to Metrolink, which as we know consists of lines on a map with diesel hauled 1960s thinking service.
    Here’s some questions:
    Does the CHSRA really think that people will show up and buy tickets for this?
    Do they think that Burbank will welcome another facility of similar capacity and throughput as the airport about a mile to the north?
    Given that Burbank has some of the worst air quality in the country (intersection of 2 major freeways, job center, airport, junction of 2 rail lines using diesel power) will we find an increased use of diesel trains acceptable? Where are the GHG benefits? What does this do for AQ? It makes it worse.
    Is there any possibility that Metrolink can be modernized to provide a 21st century regional service in the next decade, especially considering the lack of progress in the last two decades?
    I think that it makes more sense to build north from L.A. so that we have through electrified service from the beginning. Open L.A. to Palmdale, if you must go that way, and generate revenue from that while the gap is bridged to Bakersfield.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    EMD says the F125 is compliant with the US Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act’s 305-005 Next Generation Locomotive specifications and offers an 85% reduction in emissions compared with older Tier 0 diesel locomotives. This is achieved through the use of a selective catalytic converter-only aftertreatment system and electronic fuel injection

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Quite so. 305-005 is a much lower standard than the equivalent for trucks, largely because the rail industry lobbied for that. I’m looking for some data that I can post here. Plus of course we’ll see how they operate when built.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    again, i am out of my depth, can the techinicals weigh in?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The EPA standard for PM for trucks is 1/3 that of locomotives. The NOx standard is 1/5.

    jimsf Reply:

    Actually what i read in the plan id the IOS is merced to san Fernando Valleys don’t see an ios to palmdale. So traders at palmdale aren’t the plan

    Clem Reply:

    It’s interesting that they plan to build the entire southern mountain crossing in one go, without an interim terminus at Palmdale. This will make it harder to line up the funding.

    I have an idea that’s $5 billion cheaper…

    jimsf Reply:

    You better call them.

    jimsf Reply:

    They should really build Pacheco tehachapi san Fernando simultaneous ly

    synonymouse Reply:

    I was under the impression they would go for Bako-Palmdale as a ruse to defuse the obvious superiority of Tejon. The only fair comparison of the two alignments is Sylmar to Bako for the both. I figured PB and Richards would try to cheat on this and make the Mojave detour appear cheap and not so many tunnels.

    But re-enjoying your most excellent study slides I see Tehachapi New T-3 max gradient is 3.3% just slightly less than the contemplated max gradient of 3.5% for Tejon. Plus if you look carefully not only is Tejon cresting significantly lower the absolute number of tunnels is much less – they are a lot longer. Intuitively to this rank amateur this immediately suggests Tejon tunnels are really dictated by need and are more problem-solving, not incidental nor cosmetic.

    I know this is an unpopular position but I suggest 220mph is unrealistic in the context of publicly owned and operated transport in California. The BART record and experience shows repeated management inadequacy and this same lackadaisical mindset does not accord with 220mph. Remember this is not going to be a private concession – the unions will simply not put up with that. They can achieve much more compensation with the government and permissive to the extreme work rules. You are not going to get that level of quality maintenance out of guys you cannot fire. Operational “incidents” and equipment failure, high maintenance costs in general, will cause management to drop the top speeds right away. Especially when the deficits start mounting and deferred maintenance is instituted.

    If you re-plan for 160mph Tejon becomes mandatory for 2:40.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The slower you go the more water you can desalinate with the energy saved.

    wdobner Reply:

    If you go with 160mph it will be physically impossible to achieve 2 hrs 40 minutes, even if you were to build a straight flat route as the crow flies. It is unfortunate so many otherwise incisive minds have lost themselves in wishful thinking because the project is not what they originally envisioned. Still others take press releases at their word and inevitably look like fools.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s 337 miles or 543 kilometers from SFO to LAX. throw in 20 miles to shift the great circle route from SFO to Transbay and from LAX to Union Station even though it would be less. 2:14 at 160 MPH per hour, throw in another five to get up to 160 and slow down from 160 and it’s under 2:20.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    So true. It is a little more difficult with with current route of +/- 450 miles

    wdobner Reply:

    Because that base tunnel down the length of the Diablo Range isn’t going to break the bank at all. The thriving metropolises of Coalinga, Gilroy, and Taft will certainly keep those local trains absolutely packed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    that’s where the train would go on a straight line. I’m not the one who makes up the rules for geometry.

    jimsf Reply:

    So the way I read they plan to have full hsr electrified..merced to san Fernando by 2022. That actually sounds pretty good

    synonymouse Reply:

    They must be dosing Fentanyl.

  7. joe
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 10:20
    #7

    Yes people will transfer at Palmdale.
    Yes increased trains at Burbank will be acceptable.
    You are flailing about GHG emissions.
    No I and the rest of California are not paying for fully modernizing metrolink. Let the region decide how it wants to manage its local commuter system.
    Yes. There’s funding now from CAHSR to buy cleaner locomotives for metro link.

    Far better than nothing. Stop complaining so much. You never see any thing positive.

    jimsf Reply:

    +1

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Joe: Who says increased diesel trains at Burbank will be acceptable, are you the arbiter? Have you been here and seen the space available and the proposed footprint of the facility? We don’t have acres of garlic fields to build on.
    CA is paying for peninsula electrification.
    CA is paying for “new BART cars”.
    So called cleaner diesel locomotives are not very clean at all. Tier 4 for locomotives sets a very low bar indeed. They are selling them on the merit that they can run at 125mph! Very relevant to our needs.
    Sufficient people will not transfer at Palmdale to meet the ridership and revenue projections. People do not like to transfer, period. You think people will transfer twice?
    I want a modern railroad that takes people where they want to go conveniently and safely. This business plan, through the interim years 2020 to 2028, fails to do that and instead plans a service which commercially will be a failure.

    jimsf Reply:

    initially, prior to electrification, they can run trains through palmdale with no transfer.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    No they can’t because diesel trains will not be able to go through the tunnels and grades.

    wdobner Reply:

    So couple and uncouple the diesels at Palmdale. It’s what the French did.

    Clem Reply:

    The problem (steep grades and long tunnels) is the same on both sides of Palmdale. The isolated French example was on pancake-flat topography very much unlike Soledad Canyon.

    wdobner Reply:

    Except it isn’t. We run diesels to Palmdale every day. Tow the HST from Palmdale to LAUS behind the diesel over the Metrolink tracks. Once the HSL is completed to Sylmar, Burbank, or even LAUS itself the coupling at Palmdale would be obviated and eliminated.

    The same thing can be done over Altamont at the north end to provide a LA-SF trip as the IOS is being completed, a decade or more before those cities are to be connected as the system is currently planned. You know, the sort of thing that is actually going to matter to any private investor, of far more importance than any parochial concerns as to who should be excluded from the rail system on the basis of spite.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The bus is faster.

    wdobner Reply:

    Except it isn’t. The fastest bus trip I can find between SF and LA is 6 hours 50 minutes on Megabus (with most trips being in the upper end of the 7 hour range). If you allow 1 hour 45 minutes to get from LA to Palmdale, and another 1 hour, 45 minutes to get from Tracy to San Jose, as well as an hour to get from San Jose to San Francisco you have 3 hours, 30 minutes spent on conventional tracks. That means there’s another 3 hours 20 minutes to get from Palmdale to Tracy on the HSL to beat the bus. Getting a 6 hour travel time between SF and LA is well within the capability of a 200-220mph HST, even allowing for some padding as the locomotives are added and cut at San Jose, Tracy, and Palmdale. The old CHSRA website gave a 1 hour 37 minute travel time between Stockton and Palmdale, so a nearly 5 hour travel time using just the IOS between Palmdale and Tracy and extant commuter lines is a very good possibility.

    And of course it goes without saying that while the HSR may be marginally competitive with a 5 hour travel time, further improvements can be brought online to improve travel times as the system operates.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The bus from Bakersfield to Los Angeles is scheduled for 2:20. It’s 100 miles from Palmdale to Bakersfield. At 125 MPH between the two it would take 48 minutes. 1:45 plus 48 is 2:33. The train, unless you spent almost as much money as building a 220 mph route isn’t going to be able to sustain 125MPH between Bakersfield and Palmdale. The bus from the Ferry Building or the Hyatt to Emeryville is scheduled for 25 minutes, 5 minutes scheduled to change to the train and 1:47 to get to Stockton. That’s faster than 1:45 over Altamont and :45 from San Jose to 4th and King. 2:17 is less than 2:30. I suspect that running tilting trains over Altamont to save time would also save time if you ran them to Emeryville.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The bus doesn’t run on time (traffic, y’know). That plus rail preference (which almost everyone seems to have) means that lots of people will switch to the train even for Bakersfield-LA with an unimproved route from Bakersfield-Palmdale.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then why isn’t this unimproved route being used today?

    jimsf Reply:

    and after that with electrification, they can have a timed cross platform transfer at palmdale that takes all of two minutes. after which they will complete pmd-sfv

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Of course they can Jim, but will people buy tickets to do that compared to the alternatives?

    jimsf Reply:

    yes they already buy tickets with the bus transfer. and they continue to do so in ever increasing numbers year after year after year.

    jonathan Reply:

    timed cross-platform transfer? To and from what? Recall that CHSRA’s engineering standards require totally fare-gated, security-theater-compliant, separate “ground-side”/”air-side” terminals.

    Just what do you think you’re going to cross-platform-transfer to or from? Sure as heck not Metrolink. Not unless Metrolink switches from proof-of-payment, to fare-gated.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    One can go from a POP system, across the platform, through the turnstiles, to a fare gated system and vice versa. People do it all the time. Even in the US.

    jimsf Reply:

    true and muni uses turnstiles and pop.

    jonathan Reply:

    but then it’s *not* cross-platform timed transfer, is it?

    jimsf Reply:

    yes it is. exit train cross platform through turnstile, board train. it takes 30 seconds.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    300 people with luggage and wheelchairs, through one or two “funneled” transfer points (to catch them on camera) in 30 second? Eagerly rushing for the next (40mph) leg of their oh so convenient journey. 120 degrees ambient by the way, or a howling gale….Got to love the high desert.
    Start building north from LA…..

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    why isn’t it? Just because there’s fare gates in the middle of the platform doesn’t stop it from being cross platform. Doesn’t stop it from being timed either.

    Joey Reply:

    Does Metrolink’s primarily single track Antelope Valley Line have enough capacity to absorb HSR riders transferring at Palmdale?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Worry about that next century – Palmdale or bust. The Tejon Ranch demands it be cast in concrete lest any minds can change.

    jimsf Reply:

    right now it looks like trains are roughly hourly. add extra cars to existing trains?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I here SEPTA has some 50 year old cars they might be willing to get rid of cheap. They don’t have bathrooms but that should lower the price even more.

    Joey Reply:

    Hourly in the peak direction. An intercity transfer needs better reverse peak and off peak service.

    jimsf Reply:

    additional passing track here and there.

    Joey Reply:

    There’s not room for an additional passing track here and there in much of Soledad Canyon.

    Clem Reply:

    There’s also not much to pass to begin with, since speed is primarily dictated by track curvature rather than train performance.

    jimsf Reply:

    Well keep in mind that the palmdale transfer is an intermediate temporary step while the pmd-sfv seg is completed

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Any money put into the existing Soledad canyon route is a waste of money of course; it’s a completely obsolete alignment. Metro did a study of it last year, hunt around on metro.net and you’ll find some interesting stuff. Basically, you can add some d/t and sidings to run more trains but you can’t run them any faster. May as well keep busing from Bakersfield. That’s why I say if you’re going via Palmdale you should build north from L.A. first and leave Soledad as it is for UP freights and Metrolink as far as Princessa. That way once you start HS service you only use the new line and don’t make a laughing stock of yourself with 40mph running through the Canyon.
    I’ve always assumed that there would be HS commute service with appropriate emu trains on the HS alignment but separate from the “long distance” HS service. Why not? You can start that between LAUS and Palmdale as soon as built and while you are burrowing from Palmdale to Bako.

    jimsf Reply:

    They start construction on bfd-pmd and Sfv-pmd at the same time.

    jimsf Reply:

    Should

    synonymouse Reply:

    Alternately you could forget any Soledad Canyon route and proceed via Tejon. Divert the many billions to LA proper.

    Joey Reply:

    And even assuming you can get say, hourly frequencies with some additional track (not entirely unreasonable), you still have to purchase equipment and identify operating funds.

    jimsf Reply:

    Well at this point with all the delays it will never be of any use.to me so id just as soon spend the money on improving the states neglected secondary highway system 20 65 198 53 41 46 299 49 89 36 etc. although I support the project just because it’s worth 67 billion to annoy the haters.

    joe Reply:

    “Joe: Who says increased diesel trains at Burbank will be acceptable, are you the arbiter?”

    I did.
    If you care to show why not then I’ll pay attention to your counter argument. If you want to throw spaghetti on the wall and complain, I’m not at all interested.
    So what’s problem that you see increasing GHG emissions with rail?

    “CA is paying for peninsula electrification.
    CA is paying for “new BART cars”.

    and CA pays for Metro enhancements too. And CA isn’t paying to modernize Caltrain. HSR is *taking* the ROW and Caltrain is co-paying for the electrification with hundreds of millions in local money.

    HSR is buying clean diesels for Metro in support for the

    “So called cleaner diesel locomotives are not very clean at all. Tier 4 for locomotives sets a very low bar indeed. ”

    Bullshit – The emission comparison to the older locomotives shows a significant reduction in emissions: 80% – 95% depending on the pollutant.

    Train service will replace automobile trips – increase economic activity with less emissions per unit econoic activity.

    How pathetic that a rail advocate would whine about increasing rail service.

    joe Reply:

    Only 50% of the Caltrain electrification/modernization funds are State Proip1A.
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Documents/Executed+9+Party+MOU.pdf

    The HSR uses the track and pays for half the project costs. That takes capacity away form Caltrain and saves the project from building ROW through a high cost urban area.

    The modernization is for part of Caltrain. The south county section is left as is even though HSR and Caltrain continue on to Gilroy’s station.

    joe Reply:

    Tier 4 cut emissions of some pollutants by 85% over the current Tier 0 Metro locomotives.
    http://www.travelandtourworld.com/news/article/california-governor-brown-signed-bill-low-emission-tier-4-locomotives/

    The Metrolink Board of Directors authorized the agency to procure up to 20 Tier 4 locomotives at its December 14, 2012 meeting. The total project cost is nearly $130 million. Tier 4 locomotives are expected to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by over 85 percent compared to current Tier 0 locomotive engines. Metrolink is the first commuter rail system in the country to procure the new Tier 4 locomotives.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Cleaner than tier 0, what would not be? You can catch the shit from a tier 0 with a fishing net. But compared to EPA truck standards locos are about 5 times as dirty thanks to the AAR and pals. If electrification is good for the Peninsula then it’s good for Southern California too. The proletariat in Sun Valley and Pacoima are entitled to breath just as much as the patricians of Palo Alto (and Gilroy for that matter). We are not going to be held to a lower standard.

    joe Reply:

    Any time you want to use a number or pick up a calculator – go ahead.

    Tier 4 is the cleanest standard and you complain. You complain that the current, dirty, tier 0 being replaced are so bad that the tier 4 isn’t good enough to justify more trains. Trains that will remove cars from the road?!

    If Southern CA wants to clean up Burbank then they can stop polluting from nearby cities since the majority of the pollution is highway and due to the geography of the city.

    So Tier 4 standards sucks – fine give us the HSR funds back, keep the crap Tier 0 locomotives and fuck off.

    Or better yet – give us the Metro link ROW for HSR and pay half the cost to make it suitable for HSR. We’ll pay the other half. Then fuck off.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Dear Joe, so polite so eloquent
    Unfortunately you need Los Angeles , the San Fernando Valley and indeed Burbank for your project to be completed, and we will not be dumped on by misguided schoolboys like you

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    yes i have been there and seen your acres of dumpy of shopping mall parking lots

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ah, Keith, but they are our dumpy acres and we love them.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Go for it, Paul, but perhaps it is thought Socal got its cut of bookmark with the Palmdale money pit.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Sorry Paul, I just get frustrated when people don’t see that perfection is the enemy of progress

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    keith: I hope I know better than to seek perfection but I always look for ways to improve what is presented. Apology accepted, thanks.

  8. Paul Druce
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 11:43
    #8

    Point of consideration, opportunity costs: The $21 billion that the IOS is lacking in funding (an amount that I am extremely doubtful that they will receive within the 6-8 years required) would be enough to electrify every mile of railroad in the state of California. Alternatively, it would provide electrification and/or other major upgrades for all of the passenger rail services in California.

    jonathan Reply:

    Really? Even at Caltrain prices? remember that you’ll need new signalling, and substations, as well as the overhead catenary. Plus either new locos, or new EMU train-sets, for commuter/regional trains to use the electrification.

    Does that really come in at close to Caltrain’s cost-per-track-km?

    Paul Druce Reply:

    I assume some degree of sanity rather than whatever Caltrain is smoking. Cost is exclusive of locomotives (to be dumped on the local agencies and freight RRs), averages $4 million per route mile.

    Clem Reply:

    Transit agencies in the US are constitutionally incapable of doing things cheaply. There is an entrenched coterie of consultants and hangers-on (from engineering managers in suit & tie all the way down to the fat dude holding the W sign) that automatically inflates the price tag of anything by a factor of 3 over prices in the rest of the first world. The difference is primarily related to government structure, with centralization abroad serving the public interest of system users, versus outsourcing everything to the private sector here, serving primarily company owners and shareholders.

    You have to make peace with what can’t be changed, and this can’t be changed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    But Saint Ronnie said that outsourcing things to the private sector would unleash the invisible hand of free markets make to everything cost less. So that can’t be the problem.

    Clem Reply:

    The invisible hand of the free market is extremely effective at directing large streams of taxpayer funds into private pockets. We don’t need no stinkin’ government technocrats to impede the free flow of public wealth.

    jonathan Reply:

    You mean the “invisible hand” of the free market in elected representatives??

    Paul Druce Reply:

    90% of that trackage would be freight lines which should avoid the worst of the stupidity.

    wdobner Reply:

    Or, more likely, inflate the price further as the freight railroads demand their own pound of flesh on top of whatever the consultants receive.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Hire them to install it on their own ROW with a fixed sum available and a legal mandate for electrification. Do it under budget and they get a slight profit, do it over budget and they’ve lost some money.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Clem

    Transit agencies are not the only agencies “incapable of doing things cheaply”

    A friend who has been tracking the TBT in SF, says they make the Authority look like misers.
    Hard to believe, but most likely with a lot of truth.

    joe Reply:

    Transit agencies are not the only agencies “incapable of doing things cheaply”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_24674455/menlo-park-paid-consultant-30-000-four-freshened
    Menlo Park paid consultant $30,000 for four freshened up tree logo designs

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_24889832/menlo-park-could-end-up-spending-48-000
    Menlo Park could end up spending $48,000 for new tree logo that looks like old one

    http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_25023373/menlo-park-spend-another-24-000-finish-new
    Menlo Park to spend another $24,000 to finish new tree logo that looks like old one

    synonymouse Reply:

    “The $21 billion that the IOS is lacking in funding (an amount that I am extremely doubtful that they will receive within the 6-8 years required) would be enough to electrify every mile of railroad in the state of California.”

    Jerry Brown is not interested in or moved by this. He did not acquire the sobriquet Moombeam by accident. His is committed body and soul, heart and mind, to The Palmdale Crusade.

    It is not just his legacy; it is the auto da fe imposed upon the people of California.

    joe Reply:

    ” would be enough to electrify every mile of railroad in the state of California. ”

    95% of all facts are made up.

    Joey Reply:

    Okay, what numbers do you have for the number of route-miles of railroad in CA and the cost per mile of electrification?

  9. jimsf
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 12:29
    #9

    OT Middle class leaving San Francisco, census says
    Posted on February 7, 2014 | By kbrown@sfchronicle.com (Kristen V. Brown)

    and look where they are going…. El Dorado County. I am not alone.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They have been leaving SF since 1849.

    jimsf Reply:

    well thats true. And this is a wildly popular growth hotspot thanks to new tech jobs.

  10. Thomas
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 13:22
    #10

    Is the funding section in the Business Plan basically what the revised funding plan will be like? If so, how does this comply with Judge Kenny’s ruling?

    Zorro Reply:

    There won’t be any revised Funding Plan, since that is used to get an HSR Appropriation from the CA Legislature and the CA Legislature isn’t going to do another HSR Appropriation, since 1029 hasn’t been declared invalid.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Zorro and others.

    Presuming that the Appellate court refuses to issue a new writ, which nullifies Judge Kenny’s ruling, (and that is a very good presumption), then the Legislature must redo the appropriation. If they do not redo the appropriation than the Authority will not be able to spend any funds from that appropriation, since the Bureau of Finance and other State agencies, whose approvals are needed, for spending Prop 1A bond funds, will be unable to approve such spending. That is the real power of Judge Kenny’s ruling.

    The Legislature can appropriate anything they want from Prop 1A funds (they have already done that, but such appropriation must comply with a legal funding plan as mandated in Prop 1A. SB-1029 certainly doesn’t comply, since the only approved funding plan to date, has been ruled illegal by Judge Kenny.

    A new appropriation needs a new legal approved financing plan, for such appropriation of funds to be actually spent.

    Sitting on top of all this is that the Authority lost in court getting validation for any Prop 1A bond to be sold.

    joe Reply:

    Sitting on top of all this is that the Authority lost in court getting validation for any Prop 1A bond to be sold.

    http://www.dailybulletin.com/general-news/20140201/high-speed-rail-court-woes-could-spill-over-to-other-public-works-projects

    Two lower court rulings that have tied the proposed $68 billion high-speed rail train in red tape may snag other public works projects for roads and schools, according to the state Department of Finance.

    Palmer referred to the possibility of numerous court filings against projects during multiple bond issuances as “death by a thousand cuts.”

    Likewise, the Coalition for Adequate School Housing, a nonprofit group that lobbies for capital improvement funding for schools, said the court ruling could hamper what’s known as matching funds the state gives to K-12 districts that pass local school bond measures.

    Bad decision with broad implications.

    Thomas Reply:

    So what if the appeals court upholds the plaintiff’s side? Does that mean the Authority cannot use bond funds?

    joe Reply:

    They probably cannot access funds in time to match and spend the federal funds before the federal money expires. The Judge’s ruling means any Prop1A bonds the Treasure issues will be challenged and litigated. That litigation will happen ever time they try to issue bonds.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    which is specific to HSR and not other bond issues because the law underlying HSR specifically calls for a funding plan with specific requirements, the most important being that all money must be identified up front.

    Absent that law, these bonds would be the same as any other. The State is trying to make a mountain out of this molehill just so they can bully the courts into approving the HSR funds by implying great pain for all bond funds. But its not true and I believe the courts will see through the rouse.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Everything has a clause in it these days that a usable segement must have two stations or two exits in the case of highways.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    “all money must be identified upfront”
    No, money for IOS only

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not even that, they need to identify money for the first two stations if they want to start spending it this year. The funding for IOS can wait until the route selection and environmental work is done.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Second, a committed, long-term source of funding will allow
    the Authority to leverage both public and private financing and, depending on the level of commitment, potentially finance the completion of the IOS

    Draft 2014 Business Plan 9see Roberts post above)

    TRANSDEF Reply:

    You’ve just cited the key element of the Business Plan, which is dependent on finding a leprechaun with a pot of gold.

    BTW, note the use of the word “potentially.” They’ve got nothing!

    Clem Reply:

    ‘Potentially’ is an easier short-hand to say and type than ‘potofgoldentially’

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Go read the new business plan. They did not change the IOS. They still need 30 billon…and they are about 20+ billon short

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They need all of the funding in place for a usable segment. A usable segment is different from the initial operating segment.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really? I have posted the laws requirements for usable segments several times. Please post the separate IOS requirements. Because by my reading IOS does not even appear in the law.

    joe Reply:

    “Go read the new business plan. They did not change the IOS. They still need 30 billon…and they are about 20+ billon short”

    As he is repeating, the IOS is irrelevant to those requirements. The requirements pertain to a fund plan needed prior to an appropriation. It is not a mandate for all funding plans and business plan.

  11. jonathan
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 17:51
    #11

    OT: Pollitico has a piece on “Jerry Brown s train obsession”:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/jerry-brown-california-high-speed-train-103266.html?hp=t1#.Uvbe7vtGb_o

    joe Reply:

    Ugh not thanks.

    Maybe Politico should run a story on the GOP’s Obsession with stopping HSR or California’s obsession with Jerry Brown. Jerry’s a shoe in for reelection because he pushes popular and forward looking ideas like HSR.

    Too bad Jerry’s not a loud mouth bully or they be fluffing him up for a run at the Presidency.

    NoFortunateSon Reply:

    A loud mouth bully who killed a woman by shutting down infrastructure who better hope the big infrastructure project he killed isn’t needed during what’s left of his term to replace the 100+ year old Hudson tubes.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    she didn’t die, not right away anyway.

    NoFortunateSon Reply:

    Considering it’s from Tiger Beat on the Potomac, the article was remarkably fair and balanced.

    I’m sure Jerry a Brown is a complete mystery to them: a popular governor, a shoe-in for reelection, who actually thinks big, and believes government can still solve problems. No wonder everybody outside of the Beltway hates them.

    joe Reply:

    Written by DAVID DAYEN, that’s why.

    synonymouse Reply:

    perfectly innocuous article

    None of these guys ever seem to pick up on the central theme of PB-CHSRA: population growth and real estate development. And the thorough co-option of the project by the triumvirate of San Jose, Fresno and Palmdale-Tejon Ranch.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    He supports a train project with a small amount of funding; by this standard, pretty much all elected officials have a road obsession. However, the mainstream is never described by this language. A man and a woman kissing on the street are not called flamboyant, white opposition to immigration and affirmative action is not called identity politics, state violence against civilians is not called terrorism, and investment in roads is not called obsession.

  12. Emmanuel
    Feb 8th, 2014 at 20:53
    #12

    Wonderful. Now all we need to do is actually build something…

  13. TRANSDEF
    Feb 9th, 2014 at 16:49
    #13

    Dan Richard and Quentin Kopp appeared this morning on KCBS. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/show/kcbs-in-depth/#
    From my perspective, both of these Titans of HSR are off-base:

    Dan Richard, because it is profoundly irresponsible to build this $6 billion track in the middle of nowhere when there is no reasonable basis to believe that it will ever connect to anything. The so-called Business Plan that was released on Friday has a $21 billion hole in the financing of the Initial Operating Segment, from Merced to the LA Basin, with no concrete hopes of ever filling it. It can’t be a business plan if there isn’t a business and there isn’t a plan.

    Quentin Kopp, because he believes that running 10-12 trains per peak-hour is somehow reasonable. That is more like a Tokyo schedule than something that could be appropriate for CA. Had Kopp not been so committed to the earlier politicized route decisions, he would have seen that the blended system slowing things down isn’t the problem. The rest of the system is way too long to be time-competitive with air travel–and certainly not at a reasonable energy cost. Energy consumption goes up exponentially with speed, making 220 mph cost-prohibitive. (A blended system was contemplated in the original design guidelines.)

    All the latest court filings are posted on our blog, along with a story about MTC’s plan to kill the Dumbarton Rail Project, which would neatly prevent the public from ever finding out that the Altamont HSR route had always been feasible, contrary to the distortions spread by HSRA and its cronies at MTC.

  14. joe
    Feb 9th, 2014 at 17:57
    #14

    Save the date.

    High-speed rail opponents to hold fundraiser in Hanford

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/08/3758540/high-speed-rail-opponents-to-hold.html#storylink=cpyThe event at the Hanford Civic Auditorium begins at 11 a.m. for sponsors who contribute $7,500 to $25,000 to have a private lunch with state and federal legislators who have been invited as special guests.

    Guest legislators include Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford; Assembly Member Frank Bigelow, R-Madera; and Assembly Member Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point. Also invited are state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, and Assembly Member Jim Patterson, R-Fresno.

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/02/08/3758540/high-speed-rail-opponents-to-hold.html#storylink=cpy

    Meet the Grifters.

    jimsf Reply:

    Who in hanford is goodg to spend 7500 let alone 25000 dollars to eat lunch with a gaggle of two bit nobody politicians lol. Someones been drinking out of the irrigation ditches.

    joe Reply:

    Every crowd has a silver lining.

    joe Reply:

    Oh wait. Obama’s coming to the CV Feb 14th, this meetings the 20th.
    They’ll have 10K drop-ins wanting to talk about ways to get more water.

    http://www.news10.net/story/news/politics/2014/02/07/obama-to-visit-fresno/5304947/

    RESNO, Calif. (AP) – President Obama is set to make his first visit to the city of Fresno next Friday to discuss the California’s ongoing drought and the federal government’s efforts to tackle it.

    The Fresno Bee reports that a White House official said further details about the president’s trip to the San Joaquin Valley on Feb. 14 would be announced in the coming days.

    The Water Fight is going to suck all the air out of the HSR balloon. They really do have their priorities straight and water is more imprtant and a better issue to fight over than a popular train project.

    jimsf Reply:

    So these bottom feeding politicians are actually just Rishi.g in to demagogue using local people and their anti hsr stance to raise money and counter the presidents local appearance and local yokels with gobble it up.

    joe Reply:

    Yep.

    NEWS10 will cover it all.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s why they want HSR to NYC. So they can grift Wall Street and Madison Ave types and still make it back to DC for cocktails with K Street lobbyists.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    See you there Joe for the counter demo
    Ever walked a picket line?

    joe Reply:

    No dunk tank or hippy-protest show to help them grift for money.

    I do think they’re switching the fight off HSR and on to Water. Not only does mindlessly pumping more water from the north help big Ag and farmers but it pisses off the environmentalists and hippies even more than opposing HSR.

    In a few years they’ll even negotiate a deal to fund HSR for an agreement to fund the Water Project.
    Throw a few farmers under the bus for the greater good.

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