The Other Anti-HSR Lawsuit Moves Forward

Mar 6th, 2014 | Posted by

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled on Tuesday that the other part of the anti-high speed rail lawsuit brought by a few Kings County residents can go ahead. Judge Kenny ruled for the plaintiffs last year that the California High Speed Rail Authority has to redo its financing plan because the federal government is being blocked by Republicans from adding new funding to the project. This second part of the suit focuses on claims that the so-called “Blended Plan,” where bullet trains will share Peninsula tracks with Caltrain for a few years, violates Prop 1A:

Key issues at a trial in Part 2 of the Kings County lawsuit are likely to be the rail agency’s proposal for a “blended” train system to share improved, electrified tracks on the Caltrain commuter line between San Francisco and Los Angeles — something that some hard-core high-speed rail advocates like former judge and state Sen. Quentin Kopp say is different than what voters were promised in Prop. 1A.

Rail opponents add that the blended system will keep high-speed trains from achieving Prop. 1A’s ultimate mandate for a 2-hour 40-minute nonstop ride from downtown San Francisco to Los Angeles’ Union Station.

The suit also alleges that the system will not be able to operate without a public subsidy, as the ballot proposition required.

Representatives for the rail authority said they believe the proposed system does comply with Prop. 1A and characterized the Kings County lawsuit as a tactic to stall the project.

First, it’s important to note that these rail opponents are concern trolling here. They do not support HSR and do not want trains connecting SF to LA at any speed, no matter how fast they get there. If it turns out that the CHSRA did this right and the 2:40 requirement is met, rail opponents suddenly won’t become quiet. They are simply fishing here for ways to stop a project they hate.

Second, the Blended Plan is not intended to be the final end of HSR between SF and LA. It’s a phase. Prop 1A is explicit that the system can be built in stages, just as the interstate freeways were in the 1960s and 1970s. The Blended Plan is an interim phase until the Peninsula rail corridor is expanded to accommodate dedicated HSR tracks. In fact, Peninsula NIMBYs know this is the case and have been continuing to try and stop that corridor from ever being expanded. I have never really liked the Blended Plan, but I’m willing to live with it since the project was always going to be built in phases anyway.

Third, pretty much every HSR system in the world operates without a public subsidy and the ridership projections continue to show that the California HSR system will as well.

Looking strictly at the merits of the case, one would expect Judge Kenny to rule for the state and the high speed rail project. But that was also what I expected of him last year, and instead he handed down a troublesome ruling that has caused financial problems for the project.

Today the CHSRA announced it will appeal Judge Kenny’s decision to go to trial on these issues. The Third District Court of Appeal is already hearing the state’s appeal of Judge Kenny’s previous ruling in the other part of the lawsuit, so for the time being, that court is where the HSR legal action is.

  1. Donk
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 20:47

    I just don’t understand why one judge basically gets to make all of the decisions for projects like these. So is this guy going to get every HSR case for the next 30 years?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Perhaps it was a punishment because no matter how he rules a lot of people are going to be unhappy. And the higher court justices would just as soon not take it on. They sense the Party machine is going to pressure them to wave it on, jedi mind trick style; but they also sense it is a hopeless turkey bound to implode. And then the bendover judges will get blamed for letting the debacle proceed.

    And believe it, this thing is the Bayconic Bridge fiasco on steroids. It is not genuine hsr by any means but rather rural commute ops that will require mucho subsidy in perpetuity.

    Eric Reply:

    Welcome to dysfunctional California.
    Welcome to the dysfunctional US.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Everybody loved him when he ruled for HSR in like 5 cases in a row.

    It just makes sense to put it all under 1 judge since he knows the project and players

    joe Reply:

    Which five cases ? It be nice to keep track.

    Certainly not the PAMPA EIR lawsuit. Kenny made the CAHSRA withdraw the entire EIR.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It is the same thing at the federal level. DC Circuit judges get a disproportionate amount of cases involving government administration.

  2. Donk
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 20:55

    They should force the plaintiffs to prove that what they are suing about actually has a significant impact on them. For example, the nitwits in Kings County should have to prove that the decreased travel time due to the blended plan will have a significant economic or emotional impact on the lives of their residents. At least if PAMPA sued it would be somewhat legitimate. Why doesn’t Modoc county join in on the lawsuit – they have a lot at stake here as well.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Modoc County wants a revote to throw it out.

    jimsf Reply:

    Modoc is spectacular country. We should have hsr to get us up there faster

    synonymouse Reply:

    They want to secede – cannot say as I blame them.

    jimsf Reply:

    Twelve of the sixteen of them are from la

    joe Reply:

    The law they are using to sue the Authority has a standard. The proposed project must be “significantly different” than what was in the proposition. Looking at JimSF’s legacy images of the proposed system and the current route – they are nearly identical.

    jimsf Reply:

    And the only difference I
    Two tracks instead of four on the Penn. And even there. Much of it is already four tracks anyway. And switch to blended on the LA Anaheim section happened long ago

    joe Reply:

    And resistance to improved grade crossings which will impact some homes but cut down on congestion.

    Here’s Palo Alto where a 12 year old with bike and confused visitor in an car died.
    Here’s the next one with Caltrain passing
    and here with a typical traffic backup.

  3. jimsf
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 21:11

    Maybe these developments will result in finding s better source of state funding and a guarantee of future four track on the penn

    Observer Reply:

    Both would be nice.

    Alan Kandel Reply:

    The Caltrain corridor between San Jose (Diridon Station) and San Francisco (47.5 miles) currently sees commuter and freight service. My hope is, after implementation of electrification and positive train control, the tracks are upgraded to accommodate substantially higher train operating speeds, that is, beyond 110 mph capability – something on the order of the Northeast Corridor between Boston and D.C. which, itself, is a blended system. I realize this is not the ideal operating platform, but barring installation of dedicated high-speed rail tracks along this corridor, this is obviously the next best thing. As I see it, four tracks running the full length of the corridor is not essential, whereas higher-speed service is.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The NEC is totally grade separated except in Connecticut.

    Alan Kandel Reply:

    In Connecticut, absent grade separation, crossings are four-quadrant-gate protected I would think. At the end of the day, higher peninsula speeds would still be achievable, grade separation or no.

  4. jimsf
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 21:39

    Union station is no more convenient to Angelinos thanlax. The vast majority of them live and work somewhere other than dtla or el segundo

    Donk Reply:

    Union Station is pretty convenient. Almost every rail line goes straight there.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    yes that’s usually why it’s called Union Station…..

    EJ Reply:

    We’re talking 2030 at the earliest before HSR makes it to LAUS, no? By then you’ll have expo out to Santa Monica, regional connector, subway to Westwood, Crenshaw line completed, maybe even the “Orange Line” down to the OC via the old PE line. Not to mention upgrades to all the existing metrolink lines that currently converge there, and a new bus terminal to properly rationalize all the existing bus service.

    jimsf Reply:

    They would rather drive to their nearest suburban station Fullerton Burbank Covina Ontario whatever

    EJ Reply:

    Well, yeah. That’s what I do. So HSR should serve a decent number of suburban stations, right?

    Joey Reply:

    That’s at the origin end. Destinations are much more centralized.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    LA’s kind of weird in that they’re not, at least not around downtown.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Los Angeles as a city was competing with other rail suburbs at the start of the 20th century thanks to Henry Huntington. However it was relatively compact until racial covenants were banned. Then Midwestern transplants found themselves cheek to jowl with blacks from the South and promptly fled to cities that were not economically viable in terms of land use but subsidized through indirect transfer payments by the State budget.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Alon, L.A. is far from unique. When I traveled on business extensively I would go weeks before actually going to a downtown meeting in any city, even NY and Chicago. The dispersal of offices to suburbs and near airport locations is widespread throughout the country.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    And yet the concentration of hotels in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco is still around the traditional CBD. Offices have dispersed, but intercity destinations haven’t. In LA, too, the issue isn’t so much dispersal to the suburbs as dispersal to the Westside.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    If you are traveling on business your hotel is usually the last stop of the day, not the first. The Westside is “suburban” to downtown L.A. although by any standard of course it could be a city unto itself, but for the lack of government offices. I don’t follow your argument “Offices have dispersed, intercity destinations haven’t”. When traveling on business an office, (someone else’s), is most frequently one’s destination, no?
    A passenger transportation system has to deliver people to where they need to go. The paradigm currently is plane plus rental car or perhaps taxi for business travel. It is so ingrained that I see people inconveniencing themselves with a car when it would be easier to use public transport but such is the mindset. We have to change that to make rail a successful alternative.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    These intercity travelers manage to get from the even more suburban airports to their destinations. They are wily, they’ll figure out how to get from the train station to their destination.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The hotels are an indicator species – they’re placed next to the actual destinations. People traveling to suburban offices stay at suburban hotels. But tellingly, the hotels are deeply concentrated in the traditional CBD, with very few exceptions (Westside, sort of Silicon Valley). The issue is that not all offices are equal when it comes to generating long-distance travel, and the CBD ones are more likely to generate it than the edge cities. For a small-scale version of this, look up any county-to-county commuter volume database and observe that the CBD county has a higher share of jobs that require out-of-county commuting than of jobs that do not. For example, Manhattan has 22% of jobs in the New York metro area, but if you only count jobs that involve out-of-county commuting, this proportion rises to 36%.

    Incidentally, this is something I wrote about two years ago.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    hotels are an indicator species


    And if we look at the 2012 Hotel Occupancy Tax by County (PDF pages 110–111, document pagination 102–103) and normalize the county tax rates, we discover the following about four potentially HSR-adjacent counties of the Bay Area (those being Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties):

    Santa Clara: 21.5% (of 5 county total normalized occupancy)
    San Mateo: 14.0%
    Contra Costa: 3.3%
    Alameda: 10.9%
    San Francisco: 40.3%

    Hotel occupancy receipts are an outstandingly good simple proxy for inter-regional travel demand.

    State-wide, arbitrarily normalizing rate-adjusted receipts to SF = 1, we see the following fascinating relative numbers:

    California total: 8.06
    Los Angeles: 1.65
    San Diego: 1.08
    San Francisco: 1.00
    Orange 0.90
    Santa Clara: 0.43
    Riverside: 0.32
    San Mateo: 0.28
    Monterey: 0.26
    Alameda: 0.20
    Santa Barbara: 0.18
    San Bernadino 0.16
    San Luis Obispo: 0.15
    Sacramento: 0.14
    Sonoma: 0.13
    Napa: 0.11
    Ventura: 0.09

    Contra Costa: 0.07
    Kern: 0.07

    Fresno: 0.06

    San Joaquin: 0.03

    Tulare: 0.03

    Madera: 0.02

    Merced: 0.01


    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people filling the hotel rooms in San Francisco and Los Angeles had to come from somewhere. It’s not Oakland or Burbank.

    Joe Reply:

    Pre HSR travel patterns must be preserved!! It’s an axiom.

    Bonus – only build stations at destinations. Except monterey ca. A bus from Livermore CA is better:

    synonymouse Reply:

    That somewhere was not Mojave.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There isn’t going to be a station in Mojave.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Oh yeah, unless via Tejon

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many people have to move to Mojave before it makes sense to build a station in Mojave? The population has been growing by leaps and bounds stands at 4,238 in the 2010 census.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Once you start down the path to perdition…

    Think corrupt LA politics. How do you think they wrote Palmdale into Prop 1a? It is rural commute ops and contractor welfare.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Census Bureau defines rural as places with less than 500 people per square mile. Palmdale has 1,400 and Lancaster 1,700. They aren’t rural. Whining about morals doesn’t answer the question about how many people there need to be in Mojave before it makes sense to build a station.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Data. Ignore it.

    Just keep typing, don’t ever do any research or analysis.

    Wank away, dim fan boys.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Richard’s data does tell us that Alameda + Costra Costa combined are roughly half of Santa Clara, and about the same as Monterey co. which Altamont doesnt serve.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Richard’s data overlooks the fact that hotel tax is ad valorem and skewed disproportionately to where nightly rates are higher. Hence the reason SF at 800,000 souls pulls in as much as San Diego or Orange at 3 million.

    jonathan Reply:

    […] and normalize the county tax rates […]

    Richard, if you care about HSR ridership, the thing to count is *heads*. Is that what your “normalization’ does? Translate county hotel-tax revenue, via county per-night hotel tax rates, to per-county nightly heads?

    Ted Judah: Uh, see that “normalize the county rates”…..

    Elizabeth Reply:

    I think it is normalized to account for difference in tax rates.

    It is correct to leave it unadjusted for price >> this weights it for higher end business and tourist travel which is your market for high speed rail.

    Joe Reply:

    If not normalized, revenue still tells us something about demand for hotels. Destinations tend to heavily tax entertainment rental cars and hotels. Rates Also vary with season.

    And joe did something like this when arguing for Monterey co as a popular travel destination. I think commuter service was deemed more important to the Aaaaaaaltamont and Sacramento crowd.

    Glad to see its cool to use this data to smack the CV.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The issue with Monterey isn’t that it’s not an important destination (it is), it’s that the the Gilroy-Monterey legacy rail infrastructure is so horrible that trains would have a shitty mode share. San Francisco has not only the hotel concentration but also the ability to generate high HSR ridership out of the people filling those hotels.

    The issue with Santa Clara County is that its hotels aren’t concentrated near Cahill Street or Palo Alto, so people getting to hotels would have to rent a car at the station or go on a long taxi ride. This vastly reduces the advantage of HSR – the station wouldn’t be that much closer to the hotels than the airport is, and many people would keep driving in. In contrast, SF hotels are concentrated in the CBD, a walking distance from Transbay or at worst a short taxi ride, unlike the long ride from SFO.

    Destination centralization works at all levels: within a country there’s centralization around the global cities (London in the UK, Paris in France, etc.); within a metro area there’s centralization around the central city; within a transit-oriented central city there’s centralization around the CBD. So there’s a lot of centralization in downtown SF but not much around Palo Alto, RWC, or San Jose, just like there’s a lot of centralization in Manhattan south of 59th but not much around other regional secondary destinations like Newark and Downtown Brooklyn. In Manhattan, nearly all hotels are south of 59th, whereas in Brooklyn the hotels are all over, with relatively little downtown concentration.

    jimsf Reply:

    In the case of san jose though, that city is going to change rather dramatically so there will be a greater hotel concentration and more “there” there.

    It actually makes sense because what happens when places become out of reach like sf, other places, oakland, san jose, take up the slack as choice b and c. It the same thing that happens when junk yard and old railyards eventually become “the” place to build the chic new ‘hood.

    you can’t judge san jose by yesterday, but by tomorrow and it is poistioned, with great location and great weather and access, to become a hot spot. ( some would argue it already is)

    joe Reply:

    Amtrak proposes to improve the tracks to Watsonville Castroville Salinas.
    Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) already runs a daily Amtrak Bus to Gilroy ($12)
    Rental Car is an option as are private shuttles.
    Historically, Gilroy was the gateway to Monterey. This is not a novel route.

    Centralization. TBT in SF is a good example – stuff is going up all around the station.

    Gilroy for example envisions a built up core -they plan to zone for this.

    Massive In Fill in happening along El Camino Real in the Peninsula. Palo Alto for example is centralized. VTA 22/522 takes you near hotels. Conferences are held along that corridor.
    Cabs at Caltrain stations.

    John Burrows Reply:

    When it comes to downtown hotels, San Jose is a bit more than a wasteland. There are at least nine hotels within roughly a mile of theDiridon Train Station with a total of around 2500 rooms. The Fairmont with 800+ rooms is the largest.

    For the year 2012 hotel revenues for Santa Clara County increased by over 20% from the previous year, the biggest percentage increase of any county in the state. For Downtown San Jose hotels I don’t have the number, but an indication might be the fact that another 190 room hotel is in the planning stage.

    An indication of whether San Jose is going to have more”there” there may come next year when we see how fast the two new downtown high-rise apartment buildings rent out. Additional downtown high rise apartments and two additional North Side hotels (More than a mile from Diridon) are planned. What’s planned in San Jose does not always get built in San Jose, but by the end of next year we may know if there is going to be some real change downtown. The last I heard was that high speed rail might still make it here by 2026 and by then downtown San Jose may indeed have changed dramatically.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    From the same data source, some breakdown of cities within counties, again normalized to the City of San Francisco = 1, and only showing cities with ≥ 1% of tax-rate-normalized SF receipts:

    San Jose: 0.13
    Santa Clara: 0.07
    Sunnyvale: 0.05
    Palo Alto: 0.05
    Milpitas: 0.04
    Mountain View: 0.03
    Cupertino: 0.02
    Campbell: 0.01

    Burlingame: 0.07
    South San Francisco: 0.05
    San Mateo: 0.03
    Redwood City: 0.02
    Millbrae: 0.02
    Half Moon Bay: 0.02
    Menlo Park : 0.02
    Foster City: 0.01
    San Bruno: 0.01

    Oakland: 0.06
    Pleasanton: 0.03
    Fremont: 0.02
    Berkeley: 0.02
    Newark: 0.02
    Livermore: 0.01

    San Ramon: 0.01
    Unincorporated: 0.01
    Walnut Creek: 0.01

    Los Angeles: 0.66
    Santa Monica: 0.15
    Beverly Hills: 0.12
    West Hollywood: 0.07
    Unincorporated: 0.06
    Long Beach: 0.06
    Pasadena: 0.05
    Torrance: 0.04
    Burbank: 0.03
    El Segundo: 0.03
    Glendale: 0.02
    Rancho Palos Verdes: 0.02
    Culver City : 0.02
    Manhattan Beach: 0.02
    Redondo Beach: 0.02
    Palmdale: 0.02
    Avalon: 0.02
    Westlake Village: 0.02
    Arcadia: 0.01
    Santa Clarita: 0.01
    Inglewood: 0.01
    Hawthorne : 0.01
    Lancaster: 0.01
    Hermosa Beach: 0.01

    The case is clear, ladies and gentlemen: HSR from SF to West Hollywood.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Joe, I’m writing this comment from a hotel on El Camino Real. It’s a lot of things, but walkable TOD it ain’t. Just crossing the street can take several minutes of waiting for a pedestrian green light phase.

    So it’s not the same as SF, and neither is Gilroy. The issue is car access. In Gilroy, or Palo Alto, you can drive anywhere, so the advantage of being at the center is reduced. In SF, there actually is a CBD where you don’t need to drive; because of preexisting centralization of destinations like the Ferry Building, Market Street, the piers, and Chinatown, hotels have a reason to stick to such an expensive location. It boils down to the same observation that Manhattan hotels are more centralized around the CBD than Brooklyn hotels are around Downtown Brooklyn.

  5. jonathan
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 21:41

    First, it’s important to note that these rail opponents are concern trolling here. They do not support HSR and do not want trains connecting SF to LA at any speed, no matter how fast they get there.

    While that’s almost certainly true, it’s immaterial to the law and to the merits of the case.
    If the Authority loses, it’s because the Authority simply isn’t designing to the time requirements of Prop 1A.

    Robert, when are you going to bite the bullet, and admit that the “Blended” plan isn’t up to snuff, at least on the Peninsula?

    Donk Reply:

    Robert just said in this post that he doesn’t like the blended plan. Most people around here, including Robert I presume, realize but don’t give a crap that the blended plan won’t make the 2:40 time cut-off. Most people around just want the damn project to get done and to get done in a marginally efficient way.

    jonathan Reply:

    Robert has said that if events warrant, he’ll come out against the “blended” plan.
    I’m asking what that’d take.

    Most people around here, including Robert I presume, realize but don’t give a crap that the blended plan won’t make the 2:40 time cut-off.

    So you expect Judge Kenny to pull the plug on HSR dollars going to the “Blended” plan?

    Most people around just want the damn project to get done and to get done in a marginally efficient way.

    Oh my. You’re calling Caltrain Modernization “marginally efficient”?

    Donk Reply:

    I don’t know what to expect with Judge Kenny. But I don’t care that it will take 2:42 instead of 2:38 and therefore not be in compliance. It is irrelevant except to the lawyers.

    Yes, Caltrain modernization will be a failure to most people. It will get a little bit better. You guys are putting too much hope into this.

    I live down and San Diego now and have basically lost hope that the Surfliner will ever be a useful service unless you are going somewhere directly adjacent to a Metro stop. Maybe once they finish the Purple Line it will make sense to use the Surfliner since it will actually go somewhere useful, or if they ever connect the Green Line to LAX and LOSSAN, that would also be a convenient way to get to LAX. I only use the Surfliner when I am not in any sort of hurry, since it is often delayed, and then I need to catch the subway and often a bus.

    The Coaster really has no value, unless maybe you are commuting to Downtown SD and parking is expensive. But since parking and driving are so subsidized in CA, the economics of taking the train just don’t add up. The Coaster and trolley in San Diego are marketed more to the old white guy in the Tommy Bahama shirt (ie, 75% of the male population in San Diego County) who is willing to spend some time on the train going to the game or to the race track since it is fun (but not cheaper nor faster).

    The only reason Metrolink is viable is because traffic sucks ass in LA and because parking in DTLA is usually not free. If parking in DTLA were free, I bet Metrolink would lose half its riders.

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t know what you think we expected. Sf and SJ are independently in the top 10 of worse traffic congested cities.

    Caltrain runs between the two cities.

    Faster service matters now, express trains are packed.
    Modernization is an improved ROW, better cars, smoother ride, faster service and more frequent service, less noise ….meanwhile traffic sucks and the hybrid-plug in stickers are nearly exhausted.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I actually disagree, Donk.

    Now that OCTA controls the Surfliner and Metro rules Metrolink, expect more competition between the services.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    The issue is not 2:42 . On a practical level, you are now north of 3 hrs – and this is before speed limits are imposed going through cities.

    Donk Reply:

    So what? I would also support bypassing Palmdale to shave off additional time, but at this point I will take a non-optimal solution over a perfect one. Perfect is the enemy of good, especially considering that we are dealing with America’s Finest Transportation Professionals.

    And your response is not genuine. You don’t actually care that it is going to take 30 min longer to travel from LA-SF. You want to stop the project for other reasons. At least be up front up about it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is beyond “non-optimal”; beyond self-limiting; it is self-terminating

  6. jimsf
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 21:44

    The convenience for travelers that is gained by being able to disperse them to so many places and other than dtlaand tbt trumps the end point travel time. Comfort and convenience trumps speed

    jonathan Reply:

    Jimsf, you really *really* shouldn’t conflate the public you see — Amtrak travellers — with the travelling public. Selection bias, and all that.

    jimsf Reply:

    that’s ridiculous. They are the traveling public.

    jimsf Reply:

    I guarantee you that 100 percent of the current flying public, would tell you they would gladly trade, in a heartbeat, and for the same price, fifiteen minutes of travel time for more civilized comfort, amenities, convenience and absence of hassle.

    100 percent of them would.

  7. jimsf
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 22:02

    Since the transets haven’t been chosen.. or even designed yet and who knows what will be available in ten years…the thirty minute SF SJ time could be met at 110 depending on the as of yet non existant trains accelerating and braking capabilities

    Donk Reply:

    Great, here we go with another discussion about trainsets. I think we should go with the Talgo tilting Pullman Sleeper JR Central dual-mode EMU with cafe car and Trans-Siberian railway livery, using the Darjeeling narrow-gauge and compatible with the CBOSS signaling system, with parts manufactured in Wisconsin and assembled in the Sacramento Tesla factory, using union labor of course.

    jimsf Reply:

    As long as they aren’t painted white.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    There are people in those trains. Unless they design a better human than the g-forces are fixed at human comfort levels around 2g.

    Besides, It’s a non-stop time. There is only 1 period of acceleration and 1 of braking. 110 just does not get it done.

    joe Reply:

    Simulations and test runs between SF and SJ all show multiple train acceleration and breaking along the run – the speed limit is not uniformly 110.

    Better performing trainsets would help and the Authority also comments that train performance improvements can help travel times.

    jimsf Reply:

    The problem there then is that the route needs to be able to sustain 110, or actually future 125 consistently from sf to sj without slowing down. So straighten some curves and do whatever else needs to be done short of elevating four tracks and then there is no reason the train can’t go 47 miles in 30 minutes at 110.

    Joey Reply:

    Straighten some curves … like the one they just built in San Bruno with zero consideration for HSR?

    jimsf Reply:

    fix it.

    Joey Reply:

    Someone will be profiting handsomely, to the tune of a few hundred million, from having to rebuild that grade separation.

    Joe Reply:

    So? They’re rebuilding the road at 85 and 101 again. Third time since I’ve been here.

    Joey Reply:

    The only modification to urban highways I support is slimming or removing them. That doesn’t mean that transit projects shouldn’t be held to a reasonable standard.

  8. John Nachtigall
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 23:05

    It is just not true that there is a plan after the blended plan. There is no official plan to 4 track the peninsula. They bargained it away to get the appropriation passed.

    jimsf Reply:

    Makes no difference at all. Today is today tomorrow is tomorrow. Have you not been paying attention to anything for the past fifty years?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    In this case it makes a difference because they have a law that hems them in. Usually you are right bit in this case the plan matters

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Make a public record request. There are alternative plans out there. What do you think some of us do for a living?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    then it is simple enough to incorporate the “new” plan into the official plan and win the case. Why is the authority not doing this?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Van Ark attempted the obvious and the elementary – put together a bonafide menu of viable options and lay them on the table for the stakeholders. Nothing polemical at all but he was promptly ousted for his efforts. Clearly the momentum of stay the backwoods course is still with PB-CHSRA. They continue to believe the higher courts will simply accord them carte blanche. Prop 1a inactivated.

    But TehaVegaSkyRail is a foetus that cannot survive outside the womb. It will always be on intensive taxpayer support until the worthies tire of it and pull the plug. It will never leave ER.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You forgot the Ambart screed, the bit about mind rays and black helicopters.

    jimsf Reply:

    The steps of the capitol are littered with discarded laws that used to hem people in.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I have to say jim, this is the kind of attitude that really pushes my button. To suggest you just discard, not just a low, but a ballot initiative is just infuriating.

    The restrictions that we are talking about were used to pass the law. No subsidies. True HSR. Service to all cities. No possibility of abandonded track because the money will be indentified up front. These were not incidental things, they were prominately featured in the campaign and the letter of the law. To ignore them now is to disrespect the entire process and the basis of civilization, that the law is what matters.

    I get that the world has changed. i get that the assumptions built into the law are no longer true. But that is no reason to ignore the law.

    The authority and government could say…

    Look, we underestimated the cost, we made the requirements of the law too restrictive, we overestimated our ability to raise money. We are sorry. Here is a new law, we have corrected those things, we respect the will of the people and belive you will make the right choice in continuing to support HSR but we are not going to continue to try and shoehorn in a system that is outside both the intent and letter of the law.

    But that is not what they are doing, they are trying desperatly to make it fit, and all their efforts are doing is drawing more and more support away from the project. When Robert, a man so passionate about HSR he runs a blog and lobbies for the program, states he is having trouble supporting your plan, you need to reasses.

    In short, stop trying to discard the law. Follow it or change it, but disrespecting it will just lead to more delays and court room losses. yes, Tos et al would be against any law. But if you were following the law then it would not matter because they would lose. They are winning because HSR is not following the law.

    jimsf Reply:

    No one is discarding the law. The system will eventually meet the requirments. Just not from day one. Everyone understood this would be a segment by segment, phase by phase project.

    If you didn’t understand that then thats your problem.

    You are ideologically opposed to such projects anyway. So I don’t take your crocodile concern seriously.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yes I am ideologically opposed to boondoggles. In retrospect we should have rebuilt the existing Bay Bridge and saved the billions for more important use elsewhere.

    **** iconic

    Pouring concrete is global warming.

    jimsf Reply:

    your use of the word boondoggle eliminates you from the bonus round. Thank you for playing. You may claim your years supply of Rice A Roni on your way out.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Rice A Roni isn’t a San Francisco treat, it’s a plot by Uropeens to subvert Real Americans ™ from eating potatoes.

    synonymouse Reply:

    $6.4bil Bayconic Bridge a boondoggle from its heart.

    PB should be able to do outdo that easily with 40 miles of tunnel from Bako to Sylmar. Longer than the St. Gotthard base tunnel. That’s boondoggle, baby, in spades.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I dont have a great care about HSR either way. I am ideologically opposed to not following the law.

    You say it will “eventually” meet the law, but one of the tenets of the law is that it will comply at the beginning. The money will be there at the beginning. The design complies at the beginning. That was a feature of the law that was sold.

    Do you think I am stupid? That I dont understand you want to build the system, any system, because once the money is sunk then all bets are off. Once it is built, if it requires subsidy then it wont matter because they wont tear it down and they will run it anyway. Once the line in CV is built, they will shove through non-HSR service across the whole project just because no one wants to see it sit unsued?

    I see your strategy and I object. That is not what was sold. That is not what was voted. What was promised was a true HSR system, built in segments, where each segment was pre-funded and was HSR from the day it was opened. What was sold was a 40 billion dollar system with no subsidy and an investment from CA of about 10 billion with the rest coming from private and federal sources.

    At least do me the courtesy of being honest. You want to build any system labeled HSR because you know once the camels nose is under the tent, the requirements of the law, the intent of the voters, all that is moot. You think the ends justify the means. I do not.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then you must be absolutely choleric over Guantanamo Bay.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Guananamo Bay is legal. The people held there are enemy combatents that are out of uniform and therefore are not soldiers and therefore are not POWs.

    The position has been validated by both Democratic and Republican Presidential Administrations going back to before GitMo was even created. In WWII they executed spies out of uniform, they dont fall under the international laws of war.

    Now if you want to argue that it is immoral or beneath the dignety of the United States to run such a prison then that is your perogative, but the legality of the situation has been estabilished and endorsed by the Supreme Court.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If some isn’t Article 4 they are Article 3. We don’t get to make up rules and not give them a speedy trial.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They are enemy combatents, they are not covered by the whole document other than the definition that excludes them.

    They are not covered by the Constitution because they are not on US soil or US citizens.

    Again, it is legal The Supreme Court agreed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Enemy combatants aren’t defined anywhere. The definition is you are Article 4 you are and everyone else is covered by Article 3 no matter what the slimy lawyers they found say.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Taxi to the Dark Side
    The Road to Guantanamo
    Check ’em both out, John! Taxi is among the best documentaries I’ve ever seen.

    jimsf Reply:

    I would like to know though, were you so outraged when the supreme court handed the election to george bush instead of letting the people re vote, or least re count all the votes?

    Were you so outraged when we engaged in a very expensive war in iraq based on conjecture and lies?

    I hope you are least consistent with your concerns for democracies survival.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    again, the supreme court did not hand the election to bush. The votes were legally counted and the votes that were legally made were counted. The only way Gore wins if if they counted the ballots were they voted for 2 people. You cant vote for 2 people, its illegal. We had this argument before, look up the recount numbers, Bush won.

    Now again, if you want to argue he only won because of the butterfly ballot (that a democrat designed) then I wont argue. But as far as legal, there is no argument here, the legal votes were counted and Bush had more.

    Iraq is a really easy argument. The constitution establishes the legal way for the US to go to war. The legislature voted in favor of the war with Iraq. You claim it was conjecture and lies, others say it was facts and analysis, but the legality of the war is not in question. You would have a much better argument with the vietnam war which did not receive that formal approval. And for the record I would be against that, I think the president should not conduct a war without legislative approval as intended by the constitution. The president has the power to react quickly, even limited strikes, but not a full war. And before you say it, Afganistan also got approval so it falls into the same catagory as Iraq

    All your examples so far were where the law was followed, you just disagreed with the law. Those are completly different things.

    jimsf Reply:

    Both situations stunk to high heaven and you and everyone knows it. But the outcomes satisfied your ideology. You are very typically conservative. Just a completely disingenuous

    Donk Reply:

    Guantanamo was a brilliant idea. The only problem with it was that Democrats ruined it by trying to make a spectacle out of it for purely political reasons.

    The 2000 election would have stunk either way. If Gore had won, you would have had the Republicans whining for the next 4-8 years instead of the Democrats.

    The Iraq war was legal but just bad execution.

    Reality Check Reply:

    A well researched documentary on why we fought the the Iraq war just came out a few days ago:

    Yes, of course, it was all about the oil … but this lays it out chapter & verse with proof in the form of secret documents and interviews with some of the key actors who were working behind the scenes in the administration, in Dick Cheney’s office, on the ground in Iraq, etc.

    Donk Reply:

    The first sentence you wrote was intriguing. But then you linked to a video on MSNBC. MSNBC has no credibility, just like Fox. You are wasting your time with that liberal blather.

    Jerry Reply:

    You forgot the part about paying for the Trillion Dollar War.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    We didn’t pay for it. The Republicans borrowed money to do it. With interest it’s going to be more than a trillion. With medical payments and pensions for the veterans a lot more.

    James in PA Reply:

    What is amazing is just how narrow was the sequence of events on the presidential election. Starting from the primaries all the way to hanging chads is comparable to a hole-in-one.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so the Supreme Court was correct in the Dred Scott decision then?

  9. jimsf
    Mar 6th, 2014 at 23:27

    I’m not a fan of the blended plan but it’s temporary. It buys time and keeps the project moving forward

    jonathan Reply:


    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Jonathan, does that mean you disagree with jimsf?

    jonathan Reply:

    Yes. calling the “blended” plan “temporary” is bullshit.

    jimsf Reply:

    jonathan you need to take a sedative.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Quite. The “blended plan” is what we should have started with of course. It was a mistake to be boxed in with overly specific requirements as to speed and frequency, but of course the prime objective was to get votes.

    jimsf Reply:

    It should have been proposed to start by blending with upgrades as travel demand increased. That would have been the common sense approach.

    Some people here ( I suspect mostly younger, more idealistic, more impatient and more technically oriented) are a little too obsessed with time and speed details. I mean who doesn’t love to go really fast!

    But as I say again and again. The real value of this system, is that it is expandable and upgradeable well into the future to meet needs.

    It would be a mistake not to locate an hsr station in as many cities as possible initially and in their cores as much as possible.

    Putting more trains closer to more people in more locations, and giving those people as many destination choices as possible creates the most useful system for the largest number of californians.

    non stop flights from sfo to lax will always be there for those who insist on a 55 minute travel time and who are oblivious to what they are going through at the ends, but the majority of travelers business and leisure, will gladly trade the longer travel time on hsr, because it will be located closer to where they live than the nearest airport is, it will drop them off closer to where they are really going than the airport is ( unless they are really visiting aunt bea in el segundo) and, as long as you make the train comfortable, quiet, with food and beverages, available, and plenty of at seat conveniences, and you offer an awesomely outfitted business class car, everyone will make the switch. In fact, they won’t want to get off the train.

    jimsf Reply:

    The posters here are so entrenched in their disappointment with not getting their pet way, that they have shut down any of their creative thinking and their ability to compromise.
    Learning to compromise and let go, comes with age though.

    All the bickering here by the same 10 people about the same 6 topics has made the blog very tired.


    ITs one the have the right wingers blathering on about their predictable and oh so tired ideology, but to have so called hsr supporters so blinded by the fact that they didn’t get exactly what they wanted is disappointed.

    The sooner you get used to lifes disappointments the happier you will be.

    Donk Reply:

    I mostly agree. The only reason I support one way or the other is because lower cost = better chance of getting it done. I will happily throw Palmdale out with the bathwater if it means that the project gets done 10 years sooner.

    BTW, left wingers also blather on about their predictable and oh so tired ideology. I hate right wing blather and left wing blather equally.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    tossing aside what little environmental work has been done and starting fresh means waiting ten years longer.

    EJ Reply:

    If you’re so above it all, why do you keep reading and commenting here?

    jimsf Reply:

    I’m waiting for the thrill to return. I keep hoping the tone will change. Makes me yearn for the old days of aguing about shinkansen versus TGV.

    No its all kooky conspriacies and bitterness.

    You know the real opponents love it. Its the oldest tactic in the book to turn your enemies against each other.

    Donk Reply:

    jimsf misses the firebird discussions.

    jimsf Reply:

    ca HSR preferred livery

    EJ Reply:

    If the CAHSR livery doesn’t include flames, I’m gonna ask for my money back.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Brutalism calls for raw corroded aluminum. Don’t want to upstage BART-Bechtel.

    jimsf Reply:

    Trains by harley davidson with the california grizzly bear in leather.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Only on the last weekend in September for Folsom Street Fair.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The blended plan was simply the 1991 plan resuscitated and always the default.

    The crafters of Prop 1a did not grasp the full degree of inconsistency. That would be left up to PB, and they failed miserably.

    jonathan Reply:


    No. The Authority has spoken. the Legislature has spoken. The *final* Phase 1 (that’s SF-LA, excluding Anaheim and Sacramento) is the “blended” plan. It’s not a “temporary stage”. It’s officially the Authority’s final plan.

    SB 557 embeds that in current law.

    Jim: one thing that comes with age, is putting up with slow service. You continue to stereotype the general travelling public, as that small segment of the travelling public which is prepared to put up with Amtrak in California. That’s simply not a tenable position.

    I’m *so* glad that you have so much contempt for the law, that you’ll accept any-old-thing instead of what the law actually specifies. Unless, perhaps, it impacts you personally.

    jimsf Reply:

    You are very naive.

    Alan Reply:

    Indeed. Believing that any design at this early stage is “final” is naiive. Plans can be updated by a vote of the CHSRA board. SB557 can be repealed with one sentence attached to a budget bill. Acts of the Legislature are not permanent.

    The Authority accepted the blended plan, for now, because it was essentially forced into it. It was a political compromise, one that can be changed as circumstances warrant.

    jimsf Reply:

    everyone’s deep concern for the letter of the law is so impressivley sincere! My my my!
    Hey if you turn out to be wrong and they go ahead and upgrade the thing later then woo hoo, you get your super fast fast trip to la afterall ( of course you wouldn’t dare ride the illegal train gasp!)
    One thing you can count on though, if you try to alter the system to eliminate the majority of intermediate city pairs, you will lose whats left of the political supoort and the whole thing be cancelled. And will never be resurrected in another form.

    So if you want that, just for spite, knock yourself out. Cuz it won’t affect me. Im voting for freeway improvements from now on.

    I only support hsr as is proposed because I know what a great benefit , travel and economic, it will be for all those places that have been left behind when it comes to public investment in infrastructure. I support the good, likely union, jobs it will create. I suuport giving people in merced and visalia and palmdale and gilroy, the same access that people in la and sf get.
    Take that away and you lose the suipport and you lose the system. It will not be replaced.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    hat have been left behind when it comes to public investment in infrastructure

    Hardly. All those lovely roads you flit around on were paid for by people in those urban hellholes you dislike.

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny, since you’re so gung-ho about the letter of the law, here’s another one for you: Prop 1A states that the State Treasurer *shall* sell the bonds authorized. Not *may*. Not *if he thinks it’s a good idea*. *Shall*. (SHC 2704.10(b)) Why aren’t you up in arms about the Treasurer’s failure to obey the mandatory command of the law?

    I’m sure you’ll find some excuse, which just makes you a hypocrite.

  10. Amanda in the South Bay
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 05:21

    You know, switching to Altamont would stop those Peninsula NIMBYS…

    joe Reply:

    Well the route would probably cross the Bay at Dumbarton Bridge at Menlo Park (southern San Mateo County) and runs up the Caltrain ROW with stops at RWC and SFO.

    It just clips the corner of Atherton but still pass through all of San Mateo Co: Menlo Park, Redwood city, San Carlos, Belmont, San Mateo, Burlingame, Milbrae, San Bruno…..and several of these cities oppose HSR. That route adds tri valley and east bay NIMBYs and new EIR lawsuits.

    Joey Reply:

    SETEC avoids all of the populated areas except Fremont, which would be easy to do cut-and-cover, since it’s not an active rail corridor.

    Joe Reply:

    Flippant comment.

    Tos & Fukuda are not urban or suburban home owners.

    East bay NIMBYs not only exist but there are searchable newspaper articles written about their objection do to HSR.

    Joey Reply:

    You forget that the program alignment went straight through downtown Pleasanton and Livermore. With that there’s plenty to complain about. Off by Vallecitos Road there really aren’t many people to complain.

    Joe Reply:

    It doesn’t matter. Tos isn’t a hipster from a urban hellhole. The cranks are in the boonies.

    Joey Reply:

    And you think that a couple of people out in the middle of nowhere have the same resources for a lawsuit as PAMPA? People are going to complain regardless of where you put the route. If there aren’t many people there then they can’t really do much about it.

    jonathan Reply:

    It doesn’t matter. Tos isn’t a hipster from a urban hellhole. The cranks are in the boonies.

    Wow. Like, wow. HSR opponents == cranks == boonies. Ooops. HSR opponents == PAMPA.
    rearrange them any way you want, Joe just surpassed himself.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Great troll factor on the post BUT:

    Tos and Fukuda would have brought this suit no matter which alignment was taken. And it wouldn’t meet the time requirement, so the end result would be the same: court order mandates full grade separation, CalTrain goes under, CAHSRA gets the ROW, BART runs track on top.

    joe Reply:

    BART requires full grade separation – that means intrusive infrastructure. Same problem as now.

    Ted Judah Reply:


    Joe Reply:

    Probably a factor of ten more expensive to put in BART between SF and SJ.
    I think 15 billion.
    And Clem sez BART would have to build and grade separate the entire system BEFORE any service starts.

    Currently they can run service and incrementally improve the system.

    Alan Reply:

    Tos and Fukuda are puppets. I’d be willing to bet, if the State Bar were to investigate, we’d find that Laurel & Hardy, being paid by rich Peninsula NIMBY’s, went shopping for a CV plaintiff or two, found Tos & Fukuda, and got them all worked up into a lather. Not far fetched when you remember that anti-HSR billboards in the CV, supposedly paid for by locals, were actually bankrolled by Peninsula interests.

    joe Reply:

    Atherton gave 10K to a CV lawsuit – small but symbolic.

    I expect L&H will be paid by the taxpayers as part of a settlement.

    Alan Reply:

    I see no reason to reward a couple of bottom-feeding ambulance chasers who have tried to make a living out of undoing a vote of the people.

    “Settlement” implies compromise. I see no reason for the state to offer a compromise on the 526a action. The claims simply are unripe, as the design is nowhere near a stage where such assessments can be made in a way that would stand up on appeal. And as you and I have both written here, the law provides the means and the promise for the manner in which the plans will be evaluated. That promise has been kept.

    Joe Reply:

    Compromise may mean CA offers to pay the legal bills to date and you go the f away agreeing to no longer sue on the HSR project. Or bring it on and we’ll never ever make this offer again, ever.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The authority can make the suits go away tomorrow. Comply with the law. They are only suing based on non-compliance to the law, not the project itself.

    If the authority can identify the funds for the IOS, finish the EIRs, design a system to meet the time and other requirements for that IOS then the suits go away. They would not have to pay any settlement.

    Eric M Reply:

    “They are only suing based on non-compliance to the law, not the project itself.”

    Oh please, stop being ignorant. If you truly believe that statement, you should just stop posting.

    jonathan Reply:

    I see no reason for the state to offer a compromise on the 526a action. The claims simply are unripe, as the design is nowhere near a stage where such assessments can be made in a way that would stand up on appeal.

    Factually incorrect. As has been explained multiple times.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Actually, the CHSRA could come very close to meeting the time requirement, just by deleting the Paldale detour, and using Altamont.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    but then San Jose, third largest city in the state, center of Silicon Valley and navel of the universe gets a connection via BART in Fremont. Or a connection via Caltrain in Redwood City.

    Tony D. Reply:

    Uhh, no. $an Jose/$ilicon Valley would have a dedicated HSR link as well. Heck, as basically an upgraded ACE (Altamont HSR commuter Overlay), you’d see an Altamont alignment terminate at Diridon SJ before you’d see a Dumbarton crossing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No they wouldn’t, unless they want to pay for it themselves. BART to Fremont would be good enough.

    Tony D. Reply:

    Yes they would. Again, see Altamont HSR commuter Overlay proposal. It’s a REAL proposal for a completely upgraded ACE.
    BART to get East Bay commuters to $J / $V, Altamont HSR to get Central Valley commuters to $J/$V. Don’t like it because it doesn’t fit your world view on San Jose, oh well!

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    see Altamont HSR commuter Overlay proposak

    You mean the one cancelled by PBQD=CHSRA?

    It’s a REAL proposal for a completely upgraded ACE.


    Tony D. Reply:

    It wasn’t cancelled you idiot! It’s future implementation is pending available funding, just like everything else proposed re HSR. Studies, community workshops, and EIR’s complete. Any questions?!

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    It’s dead, Tony. Dead dead dead.

    And it was never alive, except in the wishful imaginations of Robert and other PB cheerleaders.

    Mission accomplished.

    Money spent on useless studies. (And no “EIRs complete”.) Funding zeroed out.

    (Kind of like MTC and Dumbarton rail: funding zeroed out and diverted to Steve Heminger’s very very very very very very special BART contractor friends.)

    “Future implementation” (pending “available funding”, as if!) will be decades hence. All the “studies” and “workshops” will have to be done over again from scratch. Ker-ching! If there were any complete EIRs (there aren’t) they would be obsolete and would need to be completely redone again.

    I don’t think this is good — as you may recall, I believed that SJ to Tracy ought to be the very first section of HSR constructed in the state — but it is reality.

    You’ve been played.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Many will recall that the HSRA Altamont overlay thing was correctly labeled from the start, according to many cynics (realists) like me, an exedient vaporware sop hastily dreamed up and thrown out there by HSRA/MTC to quiet down the growing chorus of Altamont-not-Pacheco chants which were beginning to make SJ-über-alles Diridonista/Pachecoheads a bit uncomfortable. “Don’t you worry, we’ll do Altamont too … someday (never).”

    Joe Reply:

    How do they reach SF if there is no Dumbarton Crossing?

    Tony D. Reply:

    A hypothetical Dumbarton crossing (be it new bridge or tunnel) would come later as funding became available. In the interim, SF bound passengers would either transfer to BART in Livermore or take ACE/HSR to Diridon and transfer to Caltrain.

    Joe Reply:

    So HSR doesn’t make it to SF is not better than Pacheco.
    Avoid service to the job centers along the peninsula – double transfer to ACE then Caltrain.
    Bay crossing and SF sometime later at huge cost.

    Shit just run to GilRoy and connect to Caltrain for the final leg.
    Run the train to GLY and have the conductors change hats. Now it’s express Caltrain. Run electrified Caltrain from HSR terminus at GLY to SJC RWC and TBT.

    Far cheap and compliant. No change in seat. Two tickets needed.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    40 minutes faster to SF CBD (which is, to a zeroth-order approximation, where all the SF Bay Area ridership is and so, to a zeroth-order approximation, is the only thing that matters, like it or not, but that’s reality.)

    50 minutes faster to Oakland/Berkeley.

    10 minutes slower to SJ Cahill Street (a non-destination), meaning really meaning 0 minutes slower to downtown SJ and 15 minutes faster to Milpitas.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Calp harder or Tinkerbell will die!

    Joe Reply:

    This superior solution, from what I see, uses a 1:45 time to go the 77 miles between Gilroy and SF.
    That’s 45 mph.

    If we just electrify Caltrain to Gilroy, then the trip requires no transfer. That saves time.
    And before you whine about electrifying, we’re extending BART at far greater cost than full Caltrain electrification.

    Oh and we don’t spend tens of billions expanding BART to circle around the bay.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    This superior solution, from what I see, uses a 1:45 time to go the 77 miles between Gilroy and SF.
    That’s 45 mph.

    Dear “Joe”,

    That’s what you get With America’s FInest Transportation Planning Professionals On The Job.

    Their highly advanced revolutionary world-beating year 2040 (2040!) timetable promises an hour and 18 minutes fastest peak limited-stop service from SJ Taminen to SF Transbay. I understand Gilroy is a little south of Tamien — do correct me if you have special local field knowledge to the contrary.

    So yeah, perfectly consistent with what Clem (who, you know, actually does some research and thinking and doesn’t just type random shit) claimed.

    World Class!

    Joey Reply:

    Electrify CalTrain go Gilroy? Perhaps you’re unaware of the fact that Gilroy-SJ is freight primary and UP-owned? HSR on existing tracks south of Tamien is not happening. Ever.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The HSR trains are going to be able to manage to get themselves all the way to San Francisco sharing tracks with more frequent Caltrain service but they can’t share the tracks south of San Jose where there will be far less of them. Okay.

    jonathan Reply:


    Meet Joe. Joe is special. Joe is from Gilroy, and Gilroy is special, too.
    Joe says that HSR through Gillroy should be trenched, and that HSR should pay for that.
    Joe is also vehemently against giving that same courtesy to Peninsula cities.

    Joe Reply:

    Cool story Rich-bro.

    A 45 mph ave speed and a transfer.
    Got it.

    I proposed something else but WTF.

    joe Reply:

    Their highly advanced revolutionary world-beating year 2040 (2040!) timetable promises an hour and 18 minutes fastest peak limited-stop service from SJ Taminen [sic] to SF Transbay. I understand Gilroy is a little south of Tamien — do correct me if you have special local field knowledge to the contrary.


    Caltrain #329 Northbound departs Tamien 7:56 and arrives 4th and King 9:02.
    That’s one hour and six minutes, 12 minutes faster than your best case scenario for 2040.

    Today a ride from Tamien to San Jose Diridon is 7 minutes.
    Subtract that time from your 1;18 and the uber express service in 2040 on electrified & blended tracks between SJ and SFT is 1:11 minutes.
    Today the 305 does SJ-SFK in 57 minutes.

    Joey Reply:

    joe: Correct – the results of the current plan are slower CalTrain service.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Dear “Joe”.

    I’m using the 2040 timetables from Caltrain’s eletcrification DEIR.

    Caltrain, you may or may not be aware, is the project proponent.

    Project proponents, as you may or may not be aware, use EIRs as sales documents, bigging up all the benefits and minimizing any downsides, in order to score the big big big pork.

    The contractors and staff of Caltrain, as you may or may not be aware, seek to land $1.3 billion (before inevitable “unpredictable” cost overruns) for their electrification project.

    As such, as with all such sales documents, you can be guaranteed that their projections of project benefits in their “environmental review” documents — train run time being right up front in their public sales pitch — will be of the “guaranteed not to exceed” variety.

    78 minutes is the Caltrain consultant+staff maximum project benefit “guaranteed not to exceed” run time from SJ Tamien to SF Transbay 24 years from now. (The “guaranteed not to exceed” level of service is 6 trains per direction per hour, limited to 6 cars per train. Fucking futuristic.)

    So, “Joe”, that’s what Caltrain says, as the project proponents of an extremely lucrative (priced at 3 to 5 times the going global rate, note, extremely, extremely, extremely lucrative) project. It would be highly unusual for anybody involved in the process to have sandbagged the benefits when so much lovely lovely beautiful cash is at stake.

    It’s fascinating that you find yourself in possession of better data. Perhaps you should make the DEIR preparers aware of the superior, above-45mph, benefits that a $1.3 billion ($1.3 billion!!!!!!) spend on Caltrain electrification will deliver after 24 years, and that in conjunction with many billion more on other corridor “improvements”.

    jonathan Reply:

    Richard M. writes:

    I’m using the 2040 timetables from Caltrain’s eletcrification DEIR.

    Caltrain, you may or may not be aware, is the project proponent.

    Richard, you seem to be unaware, that Joe is so totally clueless about the HSR “Blended” plan on the Peninsua, that this very week, he asked, rhetorically, whether “Caltrain Modernization” was using a CHSRA-style design/build contract. Joe seriously believed that, because that’s how CHSRA let the existing contracts, that that must be how “bookend” money was managed.

    One has to pity Joe. And, very nearly, wonder if he’s missing socks.

    Peter Baldo Reply:

    San Jose has made provisions for a fairly large station, for interconnecting with buses and regional trains. Presumably Fremont and Redwood City would have to share this role if the Altamont Pass route is chosen. Are Fremont and Redwood City agreeable to that? Are there suitable sites, with room for parking? The Redwood City station would become much larger in this scenario, and the Fremont station would be similar (at least in function) to what is now planned for San Jose.
    East Bay NIMBYs are head and shoulders above the peninsula ones you guys complain about – more ideological, less centered on protecting bucolic scenery, but all-in-all more deadly. They’re the reason nothing much has been built in Berkeley or Oakland in 50 years, despite some of the highest land values in the world. You will get to know them well, if this Altamont Pass thing gets revisited.

    joe Reply:

    “Caltrain, you may or may not be aware, is the project proponent.”

    Compare Livermore/BART to HSR trains stopping at Gilroy and running on an electrified/modernized Caltrain ROW starting in Gilroy. Single seat. Legally the HSR ride ended at girloy and the train continues as a Caltrain Express operated by the HSR operator staff.

    Travel times would certainly not be not slower that today. Two or ten paragraphs of how you’ve been mind-fucked by Caltrain don’t make the ROW slower.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Electrified, modernized Caltrain from Gilroy to SJ requires picking a huge fight with UP.

    See? It doesn’t take ten paragraphs.

    Joey Reply:

    It’s simpler than that – UP won’t allow it because they own the tracks.

    Clem Reply:

    UPRR is a major player in how the regulations for 25kV overhead electrification are being developed. For entertainment, see CPUC docket number R1303009. (There is no direct link, you have to punch it in here).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Electrified, modernized Caltrain from Gilroy to SJ requires picking a huge fight with UP.

    Why would UP have any say about what trains are or aren’t running on the HSR tracks?

    Clem Reply:

    You don’t know UP, it appears.

    Joe Reply:

    Eminent domain.
    It’s a big country with UP benefitting from taxpayer money on many projects and this is a significant project at the federal level. Hard ball over blended along a stretch between SJC and GLY makes no sense.

    Is this far fetched?
    The state mid term plan is to double track UP row to gilroy for improved commuter service.

    Joe Reply:

    Well done Alon.

    Joe Reply:

    They’ll make the travel time now as planned.

    CA is anchoring an economic corridor to HSR line and also linking two of CAs most traffic congested cities. Cost is 1.5B for SJ to SF and it pays for both HSR and Caltrain.

    Doing this Caltrain upgrade and building HSR via altamont and a bay crossing saves money how? Same nutcases would oppose Caltrain modernization. They don’t want trains in their backyard.

    NIMBYs think the Caltrain ROW is a green space, forest preserve or historic landmark.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “NIMBYs think the Caltrain ROW is a green space, forest preserve or historic landmark.”

    You mean like every millimeter squared of the Tejon Ranch property?

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Drunk Engineer

    Of course, we have recognized this from the beginning. Prop 1a is roughly doable once you reform the non-conforming provisos, namely the Pacheco and Tehachapi alignment requirements.

    The great advantages of I-5 are minimal environmental impact, vastly less discontent amongst the locals and a guaranteed speedway amounting to hundreds of miles. If it is discovered, as I believe it will, that over 180mph is not practicable and supportable under California conditions, you will need that long stretch of no stations. I like the median, absent its other shortcomings, because no one will notice the noise no matter how fast the hsr trains and it is much harder to build a station in the middle of a freeway. You do not want any stations there to to achieve the requisite travel times and indeed in places like Tracy every effort should be made to secure a highly walled-off ROW so that very high speeds can be achieved by run-thru trains, should there be any.

  11. UN
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 06:33

    San Fernando to San Jose is good enough for me as long as it connects to other rail. When will Jerry and the CA HSRA take a stronger handed approach with the obstructionists?

    Italy: In January, three members of the movement against the high-speed train line were ordered by a court to pay close to 200,000 euros ($A310,400) in damages for blocking construction work. Leader Beppe Grillo and several other radical activists attempting to halt construction of the high speed rail project were sentenced anywhere between 4 and 9 months.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Italy – the place run by pervy Berlusconi and the Camorra.

    UN Reply:

    Sad to say but California is now home of the philanderer-in-chief. I wouldn’t even want the former governor babysitting my kids, let alone in charge of the state, as he has destroyed so many lives of Californians along with his ex-wive, his adultress, and his legitimate and illegitimate children.

    That is all besides the point. Some of us have been taking Amtrak and Bart everyday and we are just fine with San Jose as the North Hub. Problem is that an assembly bill requires ARRA funds be spent on the SF Transbay Terminal which is already under construction.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Sperminator always wanted to be a Kennedy so what kind of behaviour do you expect.

  12. Eric Knight
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 09:56

    Bottom Line:

    The blended plan violates the travel times set forth in Prop 1A.
    The non-blended plan violates the costs set forth in Prop 1A.
    The HSRA’s funding plan violates the terms set forth in Prop 1A.
    And, the HSRA does not have the environmental approvals to start building as set forth in Prop 1A.

    Whoever wrote Prop 1A put in lots of iron clad conditions that will ultimately derail HSR.
    I don’t see how the courts will see it any other way.

    Gavin Newsom and lots of Democrats are beginning to realize this.

    Why waste anymore time on this one?

    Time for a new HSR initiative using all private funds and get politics out of this.

    UN Reply:

    Gavin NewSONG only cares about his election chances in 2018. He is now reducing the probability of getting votes from any progressives. As Obama keeps repeating, Gavin NewSong will be on the “wrong side of history” on this one. Whether in this election cycle, or the next, obstructionists will be thinned from the heard who are preventing us from bettering our society, with publically financed smarter, cleaner transportation systems, it is our destiny.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “progressives” – you mean shills for Palmdale real estate developers and the Tejon Ranch Co.

    So eco-green

    Gavin is cagey and you know Willie Brown is advising him. Jerry Brown is cloistered and surrounded by his handlers and toadies. He has lost touch with the “street”.

    Alan Reply:

    “The blended plan violates the travel times set forth in Prop 1A.”

    Wrong. There is a simulation in the public record showing that it can be done in 2:40. However, with only a few sections at 15% design, and the rest not even that far, it would be difficult for a court to reach a conclusion at this point.

    “The non-blended plan violates the costs set forth in Prop 1A.”

    People who believe this don’t understand the difference betwen “year of estimate” and “year of expenditure”, and also don’t understand the enormity of a project like this.

    It’s a myth that Prop 1A specifies a maximum cost for the system, or for any segment thereof, just as it’s a myth that Prop 1A mandates a completion by the year 2020. Even Laurel and Hardy had to back off on the 2020 thing.

    “The HSRA’s funding plan violates the terms set forth in Prop 1A.”

    Still being litigated, but despite that the CHSRA is working on a compliant plan.

    “And, the HSRA does not have the environmental approvals to start building as set forth in Prop 1A.”

    The Authority has a FRA Record of Decision for Merced-Fresno–a “usable segment” under the law. The rest will follow before construction on each segment.

    “Whoever wrote Prop 1A put in lots of iron clad conditions that will ultimately derail HSR.
    I don’t see how the courts will see it any other way.”

    If you were right about this–and you’re not–Judge Kenny would have shut things down. He has not done so, and I don’t believe he can or will.

    “…and lots of Democrats are beginning to realize this.”

    Names, please.

    “Time for a new HSR initiative using all private funds and get politics out of this.”

    Rule of the Blog: If you’re hallucinating, bring enough of the funny stuff to share with everyone else.

    Thanks for playing, but you don’t even get the Rice-A-Roni.

    Joe Reply:

    Proposed Schedules ridership and revenue are using actual planned travel times which differ from designed to achieve times that comply with prop1a.

    They are being upfront and I noticed the CARRD smoking gun memos about SF DJ travel times uncover nothing significant about SF to SJ simulations.

    In fact the IPRG read the memo agreed with the Project and clearly stated what CARRD claims was hidden or doctored, that the planned scheduled times are longer and that the important consistency between schedule and ridership and revenue are consistent.

    No doctoring or manipulation. The peer review group is on it. The system works. It’s compliant and consistent and clear.

    wdobner Reply:

    Time for a new HSR initiative using all private funds and get politics out of this.

    Ha! Ask Texas how the lack of politics is going with that with that “private” JR-lead HSR project they want. Every city along the line wants something different from Texas Central, they want funds to do highway improvements unconnected to the project, and there appears to be no long term plan to ensure the current project meshes well with future expansions. They’re even more mired in politics than the CHSRA, and it’s only going to get worse as they get closer to construction.

  13. Keith Saggers
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 11:29

    “lots of Democrats”- citation needed

  14. jimsf
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 12:40

    you know what would be less disappointing here…. if the engineering types on this blog would address some solutions for noise reduction which I’m sure are out there.

    So one complaint is that you “can’t run trains through downtowns and stations at 220.

    We of course you can.

    Let’s look at this. There are actually only 3 stations ( 4 if you count the optional hanford greenfield) that are located on an otherwise 220 mph stretch of track.

    Gilroy, Fresno, and Bakersfield. All the other proposed stations in phase one are located on segments designated for urban speeds.

    So for Gilroy, Fresno and Bakersfield you simply need to engineer a sound proofing solution.

    If the approach to these three stations is where two tracks become four, a mile or so on either side of the station, and the center two tracks are the express tracks, you just have to enclose them with a sound proofing material.

    yes some additional cost but it allows you to keep the 220 speed consistantly all the way from south of san jose to palmdale. while at the same time not having to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    its not rocket science.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    At 60 mph you are traveling a mile a minute. At 180 you are traveling at 3 miles a minute and at 220 3 and two thirds mile a minute. The trains have to be 5 minutes apart. How long does it take a train to slow down and stop from 220? How long does it take to accelerate to 220. It can’t do that on the main tracks because there’s another train traveling at 220 bearing down on it. It’s not a mile of tracks on either side of the station.

    jimsf Reply:

    Point being use sound reducing technologies in areas as needed..

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or only run the 220 MPH train once a year to satisfy the anal retentive types who want the trip to 9,600.,000 millseconds and not 9,600,001. The rest of the year run it slower through the urban parts of the Fresno and Bakersfeild and the train takes a few minutes more 9,600,000 milliseconds.

    Joey Reply:

    Sound barriers of all sorts are already in existence. You can greatly reduce the noise impact in exchange for higher construction costs (building the barriers) and more visual impacts, particularly where the tracks are elevated.

    And in the case of Bakersfield specifically, the CHSRA has engineered in a 115mph curve which has nothing to do with noise.

    jimsf Reply:

    Now here’s where we agree. If htey in fact put in a 115 mph curve at bfd, then that should be redone to increase the speed. That is the kind of tweek the project needs here and there to optimize the existing the route choice without throwing the whole thing out which is not practical.

    There is also the question of the chowchilla wye. There are several alternatives, some longer than others. There is room there to shave some corners and turn south on a broader curve, sooner, and shave a minute or two.

    Thats why they can’t say you can’t meet the 240, when these details haven’t even been finalized yet. One alternative has the route going clear out east of chowcilla unecessarily.

    Clem Reply:

    They just recently put in the curve. That was their “tweak”. It costs two minutes for any train not stopping in Bakersfield.

    jimsf Reply:

    well they better untweak it. Thats the kind of thing they should be called out for. It they are already pushing not making the time, they shouldn’t be doing things like that to make it worse.

    Keep the route, but fix the curve in san bruno, modify the chowchilla wye, the curve ( wherever it is ) in BFD ( Im assuming its a curve where the track head east towards downtown?) and I don’t see why they can’t be more direct from below tehachapi to palmdale further south of mojave

    Fis those things and you can keep all the cities on the route including the downtowns ( with noise mitigations) and still amke the required time.

    If thats what some propose Im all for it. but taking a hatchet to it and cutting out gilroy san jose palmdale 99 or sf-sj then forget it you lose the whole thing

    jimsf Reply:

    Which of these makes the most sense

    jonathan Reply:


    You just contradicted yourself several times over. That’s a fact.

    jimsf Reply:

    take a pill.

    JF Reply:

    Make the cities pay for that. BART is underground in Berkeley because Berkeley paid for it to be underground.

    Reedman Reply:

    Back when dinosaurs roamed the land and I was in engineering school, I did an investigation on available options for cheap, durable sound absorption. My favorite: a sound absorbing cement block (not making this up). I have seen these used for divider walls in the New York subway system.

  15. morris brown
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 14:54

    In a very pro HSR article just published:

    old friend Rod Diridon, who calls peninsula opponents “rotten apples”, has plenty of quotes:

    I really like this one:

    Brown’s plan to fund the rail project using cap-and-trade also sits well with Diridon. “[You can find] the money in the state of California.” Diridon told the Guardian enthusiastically. “Cap-and-Trade is generating over $800 million a year from selling carbon offsets. That’s not committed money. You can commit half that to build the high speed rail system over 30 years and you’ve got the money.”

    so he says 30 years of $400 million /year from Cap and Trade and the State can self finance. 30 x $400 million = $12 billion. Add in the $9 billion from Prop 1A and you have a grand total of $21 billion. Even add in the $3 billion from the Feds and you get a total of $24 billion.

    Since the low estimate is $68 billion, he is still $44 billion short.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Could we say Mr. Diridon and Mr. Allen belong to the “broad gauge generation”, the ones born in the Depression?

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    As always Morris you are looking at the total price for the whole system being available up front, please look at previous posts where this subject has been discussed time and time again.

    Joe Reply:

    Cap and trade is expected to generate 5-10 billion in 2015 and onward.

    The purpose of a dedicated stream like cap and trade is to Obliterate legal challenges to find the money. Slow build or not, it’s the end if the courtroom argument about needed a dedicated source of money.

  16. Derek
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 15:33

    Since the low estimate is $68 billion…

    $53.4 billion in 2011 dollars.

    …he is still $44 billion short.

    $29.4 billion in 2011 dollars.

  17. Derek
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 15:37

    Study dispels the myths of high-speed economics
    By David Briginshaw, International Railway Journal, 2014-03-07

    One of the myths dispelled by Civity concerns the widespread belief that operating costs rise in line with the maximum speed. Civity says this is inaccurate: “On corridors suitable for very high speed travel, operation costs of modern purpose-built trains are lowest at design speeds of between 250km/h and 300km/h and only increase gradually beyond 300km/h.” Civity says this is mainly due to the higher train and staff productivity made possible by short journey times which means labour and capital costs decrease with higher speeds.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Use teh googles:

    Not remotely as cut-and-dried as portrayed. Efficiency only “jumps” due to higher speed when an entire train and crew is saved, which only happens when time savings due to higher (and more energy inefficient) speeds jump below one hour/30 minute/20 minute/15 minute “takt” thresholds. Otherwise, all you’re buying from higher speed (and more energy) is more time idling at terminals.

    Derek Reply:

    If there’s only ever one train headed in the same direction (SF->LA or LA->SF) at the same time, then you’ll run into that issue. Hopefully the trains will run more often than once every 3 hours.

    Clem Reply:

    That’s exactly what each train does in a day of its life, go back and forth. If you get the trip time under the next takt boundary, you can operate the same number of services with fewer trains.

  18. nat
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 16:52

    Run express routes with limited stops. I don’t remember stopping between Madrid and Barcelona, I may be wrong about that as it was some time ago. The system could allow for additional tracks so express routes could pass and easily make the trip from San Jose to San Fernando valley in less than two hours with half the stops. These people are engineers, they will figure it out.

    Joey Reply:

    They are already planning a variety of services, the fastest of which may or may not stop in San Jose. Most trains won’t make all stops.

    jonathan Reply:

    Bullshit. CHSRA is not the train operator. The train operator makes those decisions.
    CHSRA is responsible for building the route, and ensuring that an operator can run it without state subsidies.

    jimsf Reply:

    its likely that the state will have a say in what the operator can and can’t do when it comes to service.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The State will shortly have a 100% say in the operation details as the house unions will immediately go on strike and force out any private concessionaire. The party bosses will back up the unions.

    The unions can obtain a much richer compensation package and loose work rules with a government management, especially with one so incompetent as BART’s.

    jimsf Reply:

    no one is going on strike. When was the last time anyone other than nurses or bart workers went on strike? And bart workers have never gone on strike just to support some other union.

    And no one going on strike in a system that isn’t even built yet.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And BART and Muni are going to be franchised out to a private operator. Yeah, sure.

    The unions will never accept a government owned railroad in California to be run by a private operator. Not so long as the patronage machine is tied to them.

    Concessionaires on a public entity using privately owned tracks are a different matter. But on a government owned property in supermajority California, no way. The unions will put the run on the concessionaire with complaints and grievances one after the other. Let the concessionaire try to fire a union brother. Wildcat time. And the unions will be supported by the politicians.

    jimsf Reply:

    whats the name of those clocks, the german ones with the little bird…

    synonymouse Reply:

    The unions will attempt to stop any private operation from the outset – vastly preferable to having to force out a franchisee later on. And why not? Prop 1a has been mostly neutered so far and clearly Jerry and Richards count on appeals to grant them effective carte blanche.

    Moreover I suggest that deteriorating geopolitical events will revive transport security fears and make passenger scanning delays a permanent part of travel times. Stolen passports on the downed Malaysian flight – not good in any case. Civil wars all over the place.

    Surface travel modes are going to have to enjoy sustained high speeds to make up for slower boarding. That’s why you need genuine express hsr not AmBART. AmBART is going to have to compete with autos on freeways. If you can drive from Santa Rosa to Anaheim in 6 hours and still have your car when you get there and you have carried, say, 4 passengers instead of having to pay for 4 tickets. This poses a problem and then add on smart, automated cars by the time you have your AmBART in the boonies up and running.

    Driving from Santa Rosa to Anaheim you don’t have to detour thru Mojave and Palmdale.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes the security theater for getting on the Acela in Trenton is awful. The interrogation at the Quik Trak machine takes seconds. They want your credit or debit card. Tis awful.

    I watched the World Trade Center collapse. Without the help of technology beyond my corrective lenses. On any given Acela it’s likely you’ll find a few people, like me, that watched it happen with our naked eyes. And one who was in the dust cloud. Or if they didn’t see it with their naked eyes, people who are one degree of separation away from some one who died there and at least once day someone who knew someone well enough that they went to memorial service. Or like me, both. If they are over 30 they are old enough to remember the shooting rampage on the LIRR and the first bombing of the World Trade Center. They probably don’t remember the fire bombs on the subway, They weren’t particularly effective. If, like me, they are over 50, they remember the terrorist bombings that happened fairly frequently in the 70s. There was one that was accidental and they’ve done a very nice job of blending the new townhouse into to the old townhouses. Last time it sold it went for 9.25 million. I betchya they have an alarm system. Or at least central station monitored fire detection.
    What makes Californians so much more valuable that there will be security theater but the lowly Northeasterners don’t need it? Or Chicagoans. Though I suspect the people who ride BART, LA’s Metro, Caltrain, Metrolink, Coaster, Surfliners etc are mostly Californians. What makes them less valuable? Or is it that you think most Californians piss their pants every time someone says BOO like you do?

    jonathan Reply:

    These people are engineers, they will figure it out.


  19. Thomas
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 16:58

    In order to begin construction on the 24-mile Fresno-Madera section, does the Authority have to have agreements with BNSF and UP for just that section, or the entire SF-LA route?

  20. Lewellan
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 17:42

    Look guys, I’m gonna try again to make my case:
    I believe the CAHSR PROJECT will succeed.
    Yeah yeah, I got disagreements,
    and I don’t make my case respectfully, so sue me.

    (I’m SanDiegan BTW and in 1994 promoted the Red Trolley Mission Valley Line,
    also restored the SD River & salt marsh estuary at Mission Bay. you’re welcome),

    What I want and what most want is “accountability”. Get that, you get the line.
    Madera-to-San Jose, Palmdale, Gilroy-San Jose. The entire line can be justified!

    I have ALWAYS tried to leave room in my argument for ‘improved’ alignments.
    But I gotta give it to you boys & girls, yupsters, yokels & gerimandering route wranglers
    LIKE ME are on YOUR side. The entire line can be justified! Good for you!
    Governor Jerry Brown will get the HIGH SPEED RAIL started within 3 YEARS!

    Don’t forget the “ACCOUNTABILITY” everyone needs.
    Go for cost reductions along the ‘proposed route’.
    Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz get access through Gilroy, winning point for Pacheco.
    Palmdale, Lancaster slow the train down, so, go slower through Bakersfield/Fresno/Madera too.
    Forget electrification for Madera-Bakersfield in the 1st Phase.

    Minimize viaduct construction through Pacheco thru to Gilroy.
    Shrill noise through mammal habitat and poor watercrossings are unacceptable.
    Bring cost and impact down. That would be the sign of accountability.
    Do that. Make improvements like that, and I will make my best case for THE ROUTE.

    Help me out here. Don’t get me started on Bertha.
    As predicted at the August start – Jackson the point of no return.
    Bertha MUST NOT go further. ONE BIGGER BIG MISTAKE
    on the part of “over-confident” planners ruining rail projects.
    Seattle rail is sub-standard IMNSHO.

    Good job on the CAHSR. You are winning your case.

  21. Robert S. Allen
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 22:01

    Suggested to CHSRA: Consider re-phasing HSR as follows:
    Phase 1 (IOS) Merced to LA.
    Phase 2 Merced to San Jose. Cross-platform transfer at San Jose to Caltrain & Capitol Corridor.
    Phase 3 San Jose to Oakland: upgrade* Amtrak/UP East Bay Mulford route to BART overhead.
    Include new transfer station at BART overhead (I-880/7th Street).
    Phase 4 Oakland to Sacramento: upgrade* Amtrak/UP route.
    Phase 5 San Jose to San Francisco: Defer, pending plans for total grade separation and funding..
    * Upgrade: Grade separate, fence, and multi-track.

    Better, safer, more reliable, and far less costly. Stop further subsidy to Caltrain.

    From new transfer station (“San Francisco Bay Rail Hub”?) BART trains about every four minutes would reach all four downtown San Francisco BART stations in six to ten minutes.

    2008 Prop 1-A was for “The Safe, Reliable High Speed Passenger Train Bond Act…” HSR on Caltrain tracks, with their many commuter station platforms and 43 grade crossings, would be NEITHER SAFE NOR RELIABLE for HSR. HSR needs a secure, grade-separated trainway.

    Robert S. Allen
    BART Director, District 5, 1974-1988
    Retired, SP (now UP) Western Division, Engineering/Operations

    jimsf Reply:

    makes some sense but won’t happen.
    phase one ios mcd-lax yes
    phase two mcd-sjc yes
    phase three sjc-sfc
    phase four lax-ana
    phase five mcd-sac
    phase six lax-snb
    phase seven snb-san
    phase eight sac-cic

    Lewellan Reply:

    Phase 1: Merced to San Jose. Transfer (cross-platform) San Jose to Caltrain & Capitol Corridor.

    THAT Phase 1 (instead) takes longer considering habitat routes/designs/impacts.
    Bakerfield-to-LA County Phase 1 is most productive, but schedule arrangments difficult.
    Perhaps Phase 1 Sacramento-to-Merced (electrification where it’s needed?)
    (connections to Altamont?) PHASE 1: Sac-to-Bak
    Nice ring to that one, Phaze Won.
    Fixing the old lines back to whare they done work’d once, yesiree.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Robert Allen, FYI, BART gen manager Grace Crunican was ‘fired’ from the Director position at ODOT in 2000 for violations of ADA federal mandate and state code on the Ross Island Bridge rebuild (surface, sidewalk & balllustrade). Sidewalk width was left at 5’4″ on this major state hwy bridge crossing the Willamette River Portland southside. The 45mph 4-lane bridge has no room for bike lane, thus sidewalk is shared. An 18″ catwalk removed from one side of the bridge was added to lane width instead of sidewalk/bikeway. Heavy traffic speed inched up a bit, mere inches from the sidewalk. To pour salt on the wound, Crunican installed guard rails on the ballustrades instead of between sidewalk and traffic lanes. Portlanders were furious and Crunican was fired (politely informed her services no longer needed/wanted). One year haitus later, she lands in Seattle and commits herself to worse projects, the Deep Bore Tunnel, Mercer West, Seawall replacement with insubstantial “Drill-Fill Sea-Fence” method, lackluster Lk Union Streetcar, Link light rail, Sounder commuter-rail.
    Grace Crunican will only do her worst as BART general manager.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals.

    Watch and learn.

  22. Robert S. Allen
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 22:19

    My suggestions to CHSRA were really for the IOS and north. I am not familiar with the Southland. Quite obviously phases there should be blended in to those I proposed. Thanks for the ideas, jimsf.

    Alan Reply:

    You’ve been spamming this board so often, few people take you seriously.

    Please read Prop 1A.

  23. Robert S. Allen
    Mar 7th, 2014 at 22:36

    And yes, mcd-sac should rate highly. I was looking at HSR from a Bay Area viewpoint. HSR should link Sacramento, the Southland, and the Bay Area.

Comments are closed.