CHSRA Loses One Appeal, Others Remain

Apr 16th, 2014 | Posted by

The California High Speed Rail Authority had asked the 3rd District Court of Appeals to delay or reverse Judge Michael Kenny’s decision to allow a trial on the question of whether the “blended plan” and other elements of the high speed rail phasing process violated Proposition 1A. Their argument was that they were appealing other parts of the case, where Judge Kenny found that the financing plan violated Prop 1A, and that those appeals should be exhausted before having a new trial.

Unfortunately the appeals court did not agree and ruled today against that request. As Tim Sheehan explains, here’s what’s at issue in the looming trial:

• That the blended system is substantially different than a line of fully dedicated tracks only for high-speed trains that some hard-core advocates and project opponents both say was what voters were promised in Prop. 1A.

• That sharing tracks with the Caltrain commuter line between San Francisco and San Jose 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.

• That the system would not be able to operate without a public subsidy.

The alleged shortcomings collectively add up to an illegal expenditure of public funds for the high-speed rail program, according the lawsuit. In early March, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny denied a motion by the rail agency to dismiss this portion of the Tos/Fukuda/Kings County case.

These are all very thin reeds for the Kings County folks to clutch. Their strongest argument was indeed the financial plan and though they won a victory in Superior Court, it will either be overturned on appeal or the Legislature will simply write a new one that satisfies the ruling. And the Steinberg cap-and-trade plan gets a really long way toward that goal.

So this ruling is unfortunate but something of a sideshow for now. The main event is the appeal of Judge Kenny’s ruling, and there is still plenty of reason to believe the Authority will prevail there.

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  1. Emmanuel
    Apr 17th, 2014 at 00:37
    #1

    Well, he does have point on all those three points. Seems like topics that have been discussed to death here as we saw CHSRA do one bad decision after another selling out to Caltrain. How long would it take to just comply and change the business plan appropriately? Would it even be possible?

    Jerry Reply:

    Will every HSR train be running the complete route from SF to LA?
    Will some HSR trains start in Fresno and go to SF?
    And will it be possible for some HSR trains to start in Gilroy and go to SF?
    At what point would CAHSR as a long distance carrier become a commuter rail system?
    Why not eliminate CalTrain completely and just call it CAHSR all the way on the peninsula?
    Why all the duality and blending?

    joe Reply:

    Will every HSR train be running the complete route from SF to LA?
    Will some HSR trains start in Fresno and go to SF?
    And will it be possible for some HSR trains to start in Gilroy and go to SF?
    At what point would CAHSR as a long distance carrier become a commuter rail system?
    Why not eliminate CalTrain completely and just call it CAHSR all the way on the peninsula?
    Why all the duality and blending?

    The ridership and revenue modeling produced schedules. They show both “all stop” trains starting at various cities such as a 6am train north from Gilroy. Also trains north starting at Fresno and Palmdale to SF and Express trains starting LA north to SJ and SF. Each local makes local stops at GLY, SJC, RWC SFO and SFT.

    It is possible if not probable that Caltrain’s Express trains defer to the HSR express service along the ROW from GLY SJC, RWC SFO.

    Caltrain loses money so the probable arrangement would consolidate both under one operator and coordinate service to attract express trips to the HSR system.

    Blending on the Caltrain ROW will allow service sooner and helps electrify Caltrain.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why not eliminate CAHSR completely and just call it Caltrain all the way on the peninsula?

    That is what is going to happen with Caltrains jammed with affluent voters and Boonies BART commute runs in from Mojave with mostly empty seats and huge operating deficits.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Why? Money!

    To comply they need to build the full non-blended system which is 100 billion. Since they have yet to indentified all required funds for top even the IOS, 100 billon is just out of reach

    joe Reply:

    It would be cheaper than extending BART along the same ROW. This full build is simply adding more track and fixing the crossing and possibly a few tweaks to the ROW.

    joe Reply:

    Also, the cost is a red herring.

    The blended ROW is a political compromise to appease NIMBYs that don’t want the ROW touched. The strategy is to run blended service on the ROW and build out when needed. That’s why the EIR will consider the full build.

    Spending money to separate and add track to the ROW, make it safe, reduce car congestion at crossings and improve the heavily used Caltrain commuter service is not going to be a negative.

    Alan Reply:

    That would matter if there was a statutory requirement to fully fund the *IOS* before construction. Fortunately, the law does not mention the IOS–that’s a creation of the Authority. The law requires a *usable segment* to be fully funded. Since the Authority has redefined its “usable segment” to be a section which does have funding, the matter is somewhat moot. However, it will be good to have the court of appeals overturn Kenny on the point.

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed on all points as the IOS can be uncreated by the CHSRA at will and then recreated, since the IOS doesn’t exist in Prop1a at all, only ‘usable segment’ with ‘2 stations’ does and ‘usable segment’ appears almost all over Prop1a, I believe Judge Kenny is in error, as I think He has not read the law at all, unlike most here.

    Alan Reply:

    I don’t think I’d go quite as far as to say that the judge never read the law. From all I’ve seen, Judge Kenny is an experienced and well-respected jurist. He just happens to have made a mistake in this case. That’s what appellate courts are for.

    It’s not necessary for the Authority to “uncreate…and then recreate” the IOS, and I don’t believe they have. What they’ve done is redefine the current “usable segment” as one which meets the statutory requirement for at least two stations, and has funding. Once the Authority completes environmental review for Fresno-Bakersfield (this summer, IIRC), Laurel & Hardy’s major arguments are basically toast.

    On that last point: It was interesting to note in one of the state’s briefs that the AG’s office has called attention to the number of suits filed against the project by Brady and Flashman for the current *and other* plaintiffs. One has to wonder if the AG is laying the groundwork for something else, like a complaint to the State Bar. We can only hope.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Alan and others:

    Alan wrote above:

    Since the Authority has redefined its “usable segment” to be a section which does have funding, the matter is somewhat moot. However, it will be good to have the court of appeals overturn Kenny on the point.

    Believe me Judge Kenny read and correctly interpreted the law. Please show me in the 2012 Business plan (or elsewhere) where they selected a “usable segment” other than the IOS. They didn’t. They could have, but they didn’t. The Judge ruled on what was presented to him, including not only the deficiency of funding for the IOS, the only “usable segment” identified, but also because the Authority had not done full environmental work on the complete IOS.

    So much talk and writings without any substance in this blog.

    If anyone has a complaint to the State Bar or elsewhere about conduct, it would be the Tos et al petitioners complaining about the Authority and the AG sending up frivolous appeals, which get summarily dismissed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ah think of all the billable hours…. they can grift their marks for…

    jonathan Reply:

    Yes. Which is exactly why that blithering idiot Joe said the Authority can “fix the problem with a word processor” — by deifning the first “usable segment” to be the “ICS”.

    however, that rather begs the question of whether a judge will *accept* such a definition, given that the Authority has already defined the IOS as a “usable segment”, and lost in court based on that definition. Heck, does the Authority have all the EIRs for the “ICS” in hand, yet?

    Alan Reply:

    The judge will have to accept the new definition, as it’s well within the Authority’s power to do so. Show us where Prop 1A states that the Authority’s decisions, once made, are irreversible. The fact is, changes like that are exactly what the judge was looking for. In every ruling he’s ever made concerning HSR, Judge Kenny has given the Authority the room to correct what needs correcting, *without stopping the project*.

    You and Morris don’t want to accept the fact that the Authority can define a “usable segment” to be whatever it chooses, as long as it includes at least two stations. The “blithering idiot” here, Jonny, is you.

    And Morris, you’re just making yourself look even more foolish. It’s been discussed on this blog, with links to appropriate news sources, that it’s clearly the Authority’s intention to redefine the usable segment exactly as I’ve stated, if it eventually is required to redo the initial funding plan. I doubt seriously that you’ve even read the Authority’s briefs, and even if you did it wouldn’t matter, since you’ve long since deluded yourself into your little fantasy land. The way you keep defending Laurel and Hardy, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’re one of the PAMPA NIMBY’s who are bankrolling them.

    joe Reply:

    I still think a fix is easy to do – edit a document and change the usable segment to Fresno and Kings Co stations. That’s it. that doesn’t affect one thing. I don’t see why it has to be done. It’s an out of date and useless document now.

    Once the Vote was held it became a useless document. The State’s position is that any fix changes nothing since Kenney did not invalidate contracts or the appropriation.

    The next Funding Plan is due to inform the Legislature prior to their next appropriation.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Except a useable segment also has to have no subsidy. So yeas they can make it a short segment, but if you don’t run service on said segment, and do any maintenance, you are in violation of the law

    Same with having power systems. A requirement of the usable segment.

    So you can define it as short as you like, but how do you propose to “run” without a subsidy?

    jonathan Reply:

    Ahhh, but any such plan has to also meet the “independent utility” criteria of PRIIA.
    Which would mean the “usable segment” would have to be connected to legacy rail.

    And do take the time to *read* Prop1A. Not only must a usable segment have funding and EIRs in place: before bond proceeds can be spent on a “usable segment”, the Authority needs to have an .. auditor, more or less.. (financial services firm, &c) sign off that the planned usable segment will be ready for HSR trains; and that an HSR service can be run on the usable segment without subsidy.

    Do *read* Prop 1A, Sec 2704.08, subsection (d). Here’s a hint: it starts right after sub-subsection (c) , 2 (K) — right after the “(K)”. (the (K) is the requirement to have all project-level EIRson hand. Before bond proceeds can be spent.

    The Authority’s ICS does not include electrification. So the ICS is (by Prop 1A’s definition) not ready for HSR. And just who is going to certify that an HSR service can run from Kings County to Fresno, without requiring any subsidy??

    joe Reply:

    The Federal ARRA is not bound by Prop1a.
    For example the current “usable segment” is an IOS but it is not the Initial Construction Segment.

    John’s interpretation of the useable segment re is of little interest.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Except a useable segment also has to have no subsidy.

    No it doesn’t. Just because there are two stations doesn’t mean they have to use them.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It’s not my interpretation, it is a direct quote from the law posted here many times.

    It clearly says usable segments must (not should) be HSR ready, no subsidy, etc. you know this but refuse to acknowledge because it sinks your “word processor” solution

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No john, you connect a whole bunch of clauses into paragraphs that don’t exist in the law. If the legislature had intended to define a usable segement to have 149 characteristics that you imagine they would have defined them. They didn’t. A usable segment has two stations.

    jonathan Reply:

    John’s interpretation of the useable segment re is of little interest.

    Joe, I told you *exactly8 where in Prop 1A (formerly AB 3034), to find the requirements John has talked about. I’ve talked about a couple more.

    jonathan Reply:

    Except a useable segment also has to have no subsidy.

    No it doesn’t. Just because there are two stations doesn’t mean they have to use them.

    Adirondacker, stop making up facts out of whole cloth. Or stop lying. It’s one or the other, and either way, stop it. Prop 1A clearly states that a “usable segment” has to be *ready for HSR* and *has to support non-subsidised operation.

    The Authority doesn’t *have* to run trains on a “usable segment”, but they *do* have to have an independent financial consultant’s report, confirming that the “usable segment” will be ready for HSR operation — electrified, signalled, ready for operation — and that a service can be run without requiring subisdy*. You are correct that the Authority does not *have* to operate trains. on a “usable segment”. But the Authority *does* have to show, via an independent report, that the “usable segment” will be ready for HSR trains, and that the HSR trains can be operated without subsidy. So yes, a “usable segment” *DOES* have to be capable of supporting HSR service without subsidy. The ICS doesn’t cut, not on either count.

    Below is the very subsection I mentioned.

    (d) Prior to committing any proceeds of bonds described in
    paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04 for expenditure
    for construction and real property and equipment acquisition on each
    corridor, or usable segment thereof, other than for costs described
    in subdivision (g), the authority shall have approved and
    concurrently submitted to the Director of Finance and the Chairperson
    of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee the following: (1) a
    detailed funding plan for that corridor or usable segment thereof
    that (A) identifies the corridor or usable segment thereof, and the
    estimated full cost of constructing the corridor or usable segment
    thereof, (B) identifies the sources of all funds to be used and
    anticipates time of receipt thereof based on offered commitments by
    private parties, and authorizations, allocations, or other assurances
    received from governmental agencies, (C) includes a projected
    ridership and operating revenue report, (D) includes a construction
    cost projection including estimates of cost escalation during
    construction and appropriate reserves for contingencies, (E) includes
    a report describing any material changes from the plan submitted
    pursuant to subdivision (c) for this corridor or usable segment
    thereof, and (F) describes the terms and conditions associated with
    any agreement proposed to be entered into by the authority and any
    other party for the construction or operation of passenger train
    service along the corridor or usable segment thereof; and (2) a
    report or reports, prepared by one or more financial services firms,
    financial consulting firms, or other consultants, independent of any
    parties, other than the authority, involved in funding or
    constructing the high-speed train system, indicating that (A)
    construction of the corridor or usable segment thereof can be
    completed as proposed in the plan submitted pursuant to paragraph
    (1), (B) if so completed, the corridor or usable segment thereof
    would be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation, (C) upon
    completion, one or more passenger service providers can begin using
    the tracks or stations for passenger train service, (D) the planned
    passenger train service to be provided by the authority, or pursuant
    to its authority, will not require operating subsidy, and (E) an
    assessment of risk and the risk mitigation strategies proposed to be
    employed. The Director of Finance shall review the plan within 60
    days of its submission by the authority and, after receiving any
    communication from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, if the
    director finds that the plan is likely to be successfully implemented
    as proposed, the authority may enter into commitments to expend bond
    funds that are subject to this subdivision and accept offered
    commitments from private parties.

    See those points under (2) (E)

    Learn to read, for crying out loud. As i said before:

    joe Reply:

    No interest in arguing a misinterpretation.

    I know the language, have experience understanding such language and have a very different understanding.

    jonathan Reply:

    It’s been discussed on this blog, with links to appropriate news sources, that it’s clearly the Authority’s intention to redefine the usable segment exactly as I’ve stated, i

    The Authority can try and do that. And they’ll still be found in violation of Prop 1A. Because the Authority’s ICS is not ready for HSR –it’s not signalled, and it’s not electrified — and it’s not capable of supporting non-subsidised HSR service.

    Joe /Alan are as incompetent as the Authority. Prop 1A says thet a “usable segment” has to have funding identified; have all the project-level EIRs in hand. Prop 1A also says that a “usable segment” has to be capable of supporting HSR service (in the sense of Prop 1A: electrified HSR trains).

    The Authority’s 2012 plan, with “usable segment” the Authority’s planned IOS, might pass the “support” part, but the Authority doesn’t have funding.

    The Authority may have a new plan, where they define “usable segment” as the ICS. The Authority has funding for almost all the ICS, and has EIRs for almost all the ICS. But there’s no way the Authority can fool anyone into believing that the Authority’s plan for Fresno to Kings County (or Fresno to Bakersfield) is ready for HSR operation: it *can’t* be, because the Authority’s plan doesn’t include electrification; and Prop 1A defines HSR as electrified. And the Authority can’t fool anyone into believing that a Fresno-Bakersfield HSR service can operate without a subsidy. There just isn’t the demand, the passenger volume. Fresno-Kings County is even more absurd.

    Yes, Joe. Anyone can make global-substitute changes with a word processor.. The trick here is to understand what those changes *mean*, and whether the changes meet the requirements of the law.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I know how to read, asshole. If the legislature had intended a usable segment to be an HSR system they would have specified that. If they had intended it to erupt instantaneously from the bosom of the earth as trainloads of revenue generating passengers glide down from the sky they would have specified that. On this planet things get built step by step by step. Someone is gonna grade the earth and then someone else will come along and dig holes and yet another person or persons will start to build things. It doesn’t say when those things have to done. If it takes weeks it takes weeks. If it takes months it takes month. Or years or decades. A usable segement has two stations. It’s doesn’t have electricifaction. Or signals. Or is connected to anything else. Or trains. Or passengers. If they chose to not run trains they don’t need subsidies for train operations. I hope you will be very very happy when they have two stations that don’t get used so that the holy writ is complied with.

    joe Reply:

    The document is the funding plan.
    The funding plan is only required for the legislature to inform them prior to their vote.

    The Appeal is over the pointless action of compliance for the 2012 funding plan that no longer serves any purpose. If Kenney had invalidated the Appropriation, it would matter because they’d need to rework one for a re-vote.

    The interpretation of funding in hand and required to build an electrified system with service and etc is all a creation of the blog comments – not at all in the Kenney ruling. It’s ungrounded speculation.

    Alan Reply:

    Jonathan, you’re a fucking idiot. In case it has escaped the dense rock on your shoulders (there sure isn’t a brain up there), one of the stated purposes for starting with a CV segment is to have a test track available–not only for trainsets, but for electrification and signal systems as well.

    Tell us, O Great One: How in the hell do you test electrification and signals unless they’re built? And they will be–Union Pacific is requesting that CHSRA determine that the HSR electrification will interfere with UP’s signals.

    Nothing in Prop 1A mandates that the contracts for every piece of work–substructure to contact wire–be let at the same instant. Prop 1A requires that the segment meet certain standards *upon completion*. And it will.

    And if you’re trying to claim ignorance of the clearly stated plan that the ICS can connect with and be used by Amtrak, thus providing “independent utility”, you’re even dumber than I gave you credit for.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Tell us, O Great One: How in the hell do you test electrification and signals unless they’re built?

    Same way anybody outside the US would do it: buy something that is known to work, turn it on, check that nothing blows up, run a weeks of test trains, run a few weeks of test service, start service.

    Only a rent-seeking fraud-abetting scam corporation would go down the route of inventing its own globally unique “standards” and then paying itself, with some larding of its sole-source cartel buddies, to “develop” and “test” and “verify” (and “ECO”, “ECO”, “ECO”, “ECO”, “ECO”, …) them.

    Joe Reply:

    What a lair.

    China has a large new HSR system and did NOT do what you claim is done everywhere else but in the US.

    They don’t have US corporations or transpirationsk professionals to blame either.

    They do have a new HSR industry and operate product build in China with Chinese taxpayer dollars

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There are no “known to work” trains available or a place to test them unless they decide to buy Shinkansen.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Gentlemen please…
    Put yourself in the place, not of an attorney or judge but the humble California voter in 2008. Remember that “a bridge to nowhere” was very much on people’s minds when 1A was drawn up. Many were cynical that the project would be started but not completed so much ado was made about guaranteeing that whatever would be built would have “independent utility”. Now you may argue forever about what that means, but I doubt if the taxpaying voter would be thrilled to know that it was being interpreted as an un-electrified bypass track to an existing Amtrak route that would save 20 minutes on a journey that only a few hundred thousand people use in a whole year.
    Now of course it is convenient to forget what the taxpayers were promised and indeed there are many on this blog who know what is good for the people and are quite happy to see these promises ignored.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan,

    Regarding “indepenent utility”: you need remedial reading. I already *commented* that an ICS needs independent utility. And (duh) spending Prop 1A money, on non-electrified, FRA-compatible, dino-train “tail tracks” to connect an HSR “usable segment” to UPRR or BNSF is .. illegail. Against Prop 1A. By virtue of Prop 1A’ definition of HSR. Unless such interconnecting tracks are built to HSR specifications, and *signalled* and *electrified* and “ready for hSR operation”.

    As far as not having a brain: you’re funny. Even as an apparent “bad Joe” alter-ego, you’re funny.
    I have read, and worked through, and even implemented (in model form) an interlocking, from Joern Pachl’s book (Herr Prf.-Dr Ing). And I have my own doctorate, in an engineering field, and my research has been described as “seminal”.

    I’m certainly not a member of the club of regulars on this blog who can’t distinguish between maxima, and minima. Which club certainly includes Joe. And Adirondacker.

    That says words for Joe’s vaunted “understanding”, doesn’t it?

    And I see you are *NOT* going to answer either question: *Why* did you imply that the Appellate Court woulde rule against Judge Kenny on the facts (rather than the issue of relief)?

    But *do* take the remedial high-school reading classes you need so desperately. And you will find out that before the Authority can spend *one cent* of Prop 1A HSR bond-money on a “usable segmetn”, it has to have a plan to make the “usable segment” ready for HSR operation. (By a concessionare, if that’s what the Authority chooses)

    I mean, I’ve only quoted that text twice, so far Going on prior evidence, it will take at least 5 more times, and probably 10, before liars like Joe and you shut up. Yes, I do mean shut up. Not concede you were wrong; never concede you were wrong; you’re not adult enough to manage that.

    Just ask Mr. “We should call diesel locomotives electric diesels”.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Put yourself in the place, not of an attorney or judge but the humble California voter in 2008.

    I would hazard a guess that almost all of them have seen things built sometime in their life and did not assume that the system would appear all at once everywhere.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART was not built in one fell swoop, but it was constructed and put into operation in a timely and determined manner.

    CAHSR can be done similarly even with the challenge of the legacy sections. In the north you get rid of a big chunk of blend by doing Altamont and Dumbarton. In the south it would appear lots and lots and lots of money will be required to “acquire” LA. Obviously Prop 1a was underfunded and they knew it because expensive sections like LA to San Diego were deferred. But it still could have been accomplished roughly like BART if the optimal express route had been preserved from the outset.

    Madera to Palmdale as phase 1 and proof of concept is utterly stupid and doomed to fiscal failure every bit as much as Borden to Corcoran. The crude reasoning behind the folly is clear: lock in Palmdale at all costs. How dumb and ineffectual even for Palmdale, which will get nothing of what it really needs for decades. How is accessing Mojave at the cost of mucho billions going to aid Palmdale’s cause?

    If the Judge lets Richards move ahead with this nuttiness Newsom will have plenty of opportunity to crow I told you so even before Jerry’s checkout.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    BART was not built in one fell swoop

    No it wasn’t. I suspect that someone came along and dug some holes and then sometime later someone else came along and poured some concrete and then even later someone laid some tracks and then someone laid other tracks and after many years some trains ran.

    jonathan Reply:

    @Adirondacker:

    [[ Synon reference to BART construction ]]

    I would hazard a guess that almost all of them have seen things built sometime in their life and did not assume that the system would appear all at once everywhere.

    People with an above-room-temperature IQ (and that’s even allowing for Farhenheit!) are asking:

    So what in “seven purple Palanian Hells”, does BART construction have to do with Prop 1A, and its requirements for letting CHSRA spend bond-proceeds on HSR “usable segments”?

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny…you really need a new schtick. Anytime anyone provides facts to disagree with you, you claim that they need “remedial reading”.

    And for someone who claims to have a doctorate, you’re still pretty stupid. The funding for the connecting tracks between the ICS and BNSF–if they are needed–is set aside in the ARRA grant documents–NOT Prop 1A funding. You might try reading that before you make yourself look like a pompous ass… Wait a minute–it’s way too late for that. There is no requirement in the ARRA grant for electrification, although signals are a given.

    Now, Dr. Dumb Ass, how about answering my question about how signals and electrification can be tested without actually building them? Or are you too much of a coward to admit that you’re wrong?

    There’s no need for the appellate court to rule on the merits of the funding plan decision. It’s irrelevant in view of the fact that that the remedy ordered has no basis in law, and there is no lawful remedy available. The court has better things to do with its time than rule on moot points.

    And adirondacker is right–the electorate at large is smart enough to realize that the completed system would by necessity be built in segments. Jonny-boy is one of the few people stupid enough or conceited enough to fail to realize it.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Alan: The “electorate at large”, an unscientific sample of which I communicate with regularly, wonders why the heck the project is starting in the middle of the route when common sense dictates that you can provide useful transportation more rapidly by building out from the end points. Building a new line parallel to the existing San Joaquin route, and spending millions to connect it to BNSF to run Amtrak trains is NOT what they signed up for. Yes it will be needed eventually but first the gaps in existing service are what we need. As for testing signal and high voltage interference, you don’t need 100 miles of track to do that, nor do you need to do that this early in the project. Probably UP will have PTC and other system changes by then anyway.
    We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks. Brother Brown needs GOP support for his rainy day fund. The GOP likely will say yes, but drop HSR, or put it on an unlit back burner for 5 years.

    Joe Reply:

    The appropriation was not invalidated. The contracts were not invalidated.
    Work continues uninterrupted.

    Toss try to amend their complaint to include the legislature. Tos needed to include the legislature on the complaint so they could challenge the legality of the appropriation.

    They were too late. The authority objected and the judge upheld the objection.

    The sole purpose of the funding plan is to inform the legislature prior to their vote on the appropriation. Since the appropriation is valid, there is no need to redo the funding plan. Fixing the paperwork is a meaningless act without any meaningful remedy.

    Kenny was worried about issuing a abstract remedy and held a hearing in November 2013. He made a serious mistake requiring the states to rework the funding plan because it has no impact on the appropriation which she had to leave standing because Laurel and Hardy screwed up the lawsuit.

    I am quite confident his ruling will be overturned.

    Alan Reply:

    The important thing here is this: Laurel & Hardy requested an injunction preventing the construction contracts from moving forward. Kenny denied that request. Generally, injunctions are granted when the court finds that the requesting party has demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success in their case. The fact that Kenny could not make that finding should say something to those grounded in reality (that excepts Morris and Jonathan).

    The biggest problem with L&H’s 526a case: Their entire hope for success there is to get the court to believe that the 2012 Business Plan, which adopted the “blended” plan, was an informal staff action, not an exercise of the Authority’s quasi-judicial power. The problem with that argument, as the state points out, is that the Business Plan was adopted by a formal record vote of the Authority board, in public session, and after receiving public comment and peer review. The facts prove conclusively that the Business Plan was indeed an exercise of the Authority’s quasi-judicial power. That being the case, the exception to 526a does not apply, and even L&H have admitted that in such a situation, they cannot prove a violation of 526a, because the court can only decide based on evidence in the administrative record.

    jonathan Reply:

    Since the Authority has redefined its “usable segment” to be a section which does have funding, the matter is somewhat moot. However, it will be good to have the court of appeals overturn Kenny on the point.

    Alan, are you seriously suggesting the Appellate Court will overturn Judge Kenny’s ruling because the Authority’s 2012 business plan, somehow, meets the requirements of Prop 1A? Why would the appeal court overrule Judge Kenny on those facts?

    Joe Reply:

    Kenny will be overturned because his remedy to redo the 2012 funding plan serves no useful purpose.

    Funding plan is only one purpose. That purpose is to inform the legislature prior to their vote on the appropriation.

    The legislature voted and approved the appropriation. Kenney held a court hearing and did not invalidate the appropriation.

    The appropriation is valid and the contracts were not invalidated. editing the funding plan serves I useful purpose. Kenney should have invalidated the appropriation but could not because Laurel and Hardy forgot to include the legislature as a party until it was too late.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Even if you are right, what is the argument on the EIRs which were also not done?

    joe Reply:

    Good question – I’d have to re-read his ruling.
    My first thought is to ask why the EIR requirement did not invalidated the Appropriation or hold up the project.

    IMHO Kenney should have invalidated the Appropriation if he wanted to stop the Appropriation.

    He’s interfering with the Legislature’s duties by allowing the Appropriation to stand and requiring additional work to the Plan and prerequisites to the Legislature’s vote and on what they voted.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    He is interfering…because they are not following prop1a.

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe, I was asking Alan if he was seriously saying judge Kenny was wrong on the facts, because that’s what he seemed to imply. Are you Alan?

    joe Reply:

    Kenney can invalidate the appropriation for not following the Law – he did not.

    That’s the crux of his problem.

    He let stand what they appropriated but wants the Legislature and the Authority to “correct” the precursor work which has no bearing on the appropriation’s legitimacy or any contract.

    joe Reply:

    Joe, I was asking Alan if he was seriously saying judge Kenny was wrong on the facts, because that’s what he seemed to imply. Are you Alan?

    Oh
    Did I break your train of thought? Sorry.

    jonathan Reply:

    Not at all, Joe. Don’t judge me by your own limitations. But you’re tryng evade the point, by changing the subject. Don’t assume that the rest of us are too dumb to notice.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Still have nt addressed the lack of EIRs which are also a direct requirement of the law

    joe Reply:

    Okay. It’s a requirement of the pre-appropriation funding plan, not the project. [See 2704.08. (c) (1) ]
    (2) The plan shall include, identify, or certify to all of the following:
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_3001-3050/ab_3034_bill_20080826_chaptered.html

    All court mandated changes to the Funding Plan are useless acts enforcing an abstract right. Those are not legal remedies and therefore not allowed under the law.

    Kenney did not invalidate the Appropriation. He wrote: i) Prop1a provided him no provisions or guidance to invalidate the Appropriation. ii) Case law did not provide him andy option. Laurel & Hardy failed to include the Legislature in their lawsuit.

    The Legislature’s vote stands and the funding plan is no longer needed.

    His remedy to modify the funding plan to make it compliant enforces an abstract right and is not a legal under the law.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Judge Kenny, an actual judge and lawyer disagrees with you.

    We will see if the appeals court judges agree or disagree with you.

    But since no stay was issued, as it stands at the moment, your (and the State’s) interpretation that the funding plan is a useless act is not the current state of the law.

    Judge Kenny quite rightly recognized that the letter and intent of the law was to make sure the funds were identified and the EIRs were completed prior to beginning construction. He did not invalidate the appropriation, but he did enjoin them from spending the money which means all they can do is sit and stare at the bank account statement. If you cant spend the money then it is not worth much.

    joe Reply:

    “Judge Kenny, an actual judge and lawyer disagrees with you. ”
    It’s the AG’s position – I think it’s the right one.

    I think youre on to something but need to see it more precisely.

    Judge Kenny quite rightly recognized that the letter and intent of the law was to make sure the funds were identified and the EIRs were completed prior to beginning construction. He did not invalidate the appropriation, but he did enjoin them from spending the money which means all they can do is sit and stare at the bank account statement. If you cant spend the money then it is not worth much.

    This is the problem for Kenney’s ruling – it’s described in the Appeal and worth noting you see it too.
    His ruling is de facto siding with HSR opponents. It blocks the intent of the Legislature’s vote to proceed with this high priority project. It doesn’t invalidate their vote because the law does not allow him to but he’s doing it anyway.

    Also, the intent of the Law is written. A Funding Plan must be be provided to the Legislature Prior to the vote to appropriate funds. It’s not a project requirement.

    The purpose of the Plan is in the Law – to Inform the Legislature. Kenney noted Prop1a has no enforcement mechanism or legal recourse if the Plan is not correct. If the Legislature accepts the Pan and votes for funds, it’s done.

    He can invalidate the Appropriation but did not. He couldn’t since the Leglisature was not a party – his attempt to provide relief is

    Alan Reply:

    As far as the EIR’s go, it’s well understood that even with money in hand nothing can be spent until FRA issues a Record of Decision. That’s already happened on the Fresno-Merced section, so construction is proceeding there. No one has ever said that construction will begin on Fresno-Bakersfield until there’s a ROD.

    The Authority cannot spend the appropriation not because of the ruling on the funding plan, but because of Judge Kenny’s ruling on the bond valildation action. Because of that, it’s much more difficult, though still technically possible, to sell the bonds. Kenny did not enjoin the Authority from spending Prop 1A funds, the Authority simply can’t spend money which is not yet in the state treasury. Once the bonds are sold, the Authority can proceed with using the appropriation.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Joe and Alan

    Your position (and that of the authority) is that the funding plan is used only to inform the legislature and if it is non-compliant to the law (a fact that is not in dispute) that is irrelevent after the legislature has voted. I get the logic of the position. It is wrong.

    Extended out, that would give the legislature unfettered authority to ignore any part of any law as long as they vote. So they could use cap and trade funds to build oil refineries in direct contradiction to the letter and intent of the law because once they vote, it is beyond dispute, even if they are ignoring the letter and intent of the law.

    That is why Kenny ruled against them. For all the legal technicalities that you want to hold on to, the bottom line is that the law states (and was sold to voters) as ensureing that funds and EIRs would be done BEFORE the usable segment was started. They defined the usable segment as the IOS and did not meet those requirements. Its not a technicality, its an important part of the law and not something that should not be ignored.

    Yes, the world changed since the vote.
    Yes, it is hard to get the money because congress is controlled by a hostile GOP.
    Yes, the cost of the project has increased.
    Yes, if they dont spend the federal money they are going to lose it.

    But none of that excuses the authority from complying with the law. It was written that way on purpose to protect from a stranded investment. A risk that is real now that the funds have not been indentified.

    You realize that the ends do not justify the means right? You realize that complying with the law is more important than 1 HSR system, that rule of law is one of the most important principles of a civilization? I dont care if they build HSR one way or the other. I care very much that the rule of law is followed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    that is irrelevent after the legislature has voted. I get the logic of the position. It is wrong.

    You logic is based on the system erupting instantaneously and simultaneously, which is wrong.

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny, you don’t need to be such a prick in your response to Joe. He’s correct; the appeals court will overturn Kenny on the basis of ordering an idle act.

    Joe Reply:

    The court has the power to invalidate a law.

    Youre way over the top with this unfettered authority comment.

    The court did not exercise that power and let the appropriation stand.

    A remedy that is a meaningless act is also illegal. The rule of law applies the courts too.

    That’s the problem for the judge. His remedy is not within the law. The law was broken then he should stop the appropriation.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why should the judge concern himself with retaliation from the patronage machine when Newsom has already called for a pullback? Clearly there is a lot of worry amongst the bosses that PBHSR will bomb on their watch.

    The class ones have complained bitterly about vacillation and confusion on the part of Richards & co. They’re expert railroaders and know way more than this judge about the nuts and bolts of this project. If the UP and BNSF are not clear about plans why should not this judge demand concrete answers and explications in detail about how this scheme complies with Prop 1a. The majority of the voters opposes PBHSR now so so the judge is just getting with the program like Newsom.

    jonathan Reply:

    Alan, why don’t *you* answer the question I asked. Above, you seem to be saying that the Appellate Court will overrule Judge Kenny on the facts, not on the issue of whether Kenny’s judgement grants substantive relief. I don’t buy that at all, so I asked.

    Joe had no need to start being insulting. But since your reading comprehension is as damaged as Joe’s, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that you can’t see that.

    As for an idle act: requiring the Authority to come out with a new business plan is hardly an idle act. Joe thinks the Authority can fix the 2012 business plan “with a word processor”. But, as anyone who bothers to read Prop 1A can see, the funded, EIRs-in-hand ICS isn’t a viable “usable segment” either. On at least two counts. It’s not ready for HSR, because it’s not electrified; and it doesn’t have the population base, and thus the travel volume, to support HSR service which doesn’t require subsidies.

    When that happens, the Executive will sit where they currently sit: not issuing bonds, because the Authority doesn’t have a plan which meets the requirements of Prop 1A. Legislature vote or not, the State can’t give bond proceeds to the Authority until the Authority has a plan which meets the requirements of Prop 1A. The Authority has no such plan, as currently ruled by Judge Kenny. And the “amended” plan Joe proposes also cannot meet the requirements of Prop 1A.

    However the Authority slices-and-dices its “IOS” and “ICS” into a “usable segment”, it can’t meet the requirements of Prop 1A. What happens when the Authority wakes up to the fact, and realizes it’s not going to get Prop 1A funds to match Federal PRIIA dollars? The (so far hypothetical) cap-and-trade funds aren’t enough to meet the expended Federal funds, never mind further construction.

    Now, which one of Joe and Alan was insisting the Appeals court was going to rule for the State and the Authority? Didn’t one of you claim that the Sec 526a issues wouldn’t even go to trial?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    retaliation from the patronage machine when Newsom has already called for a pullback?

    How Republican of you. Democrats don’t have to toe the party line, regurgitate the dogma and stand shoulder to shoulder against the onslaught. They are free to disagree with each other.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Repubs would never take me as I have about zilch use for the rich.

    But Jerry, what a disappointment. Supermajority is pure patronage machine. Look at how the party cadres and camp followers spurned Newsom in public. But in private they know Jerry is in the second childhood. Followed closely by the 3 crones. They’ll die in office, like most popes.

    jonathan Reply:

    Also, the intent of the Law is written. A Funding Plan must be be provided to the Legislature Prior to the vote to appropriate funds. It’s not a project requirement.

    The purpose of the Plan is in the Law – to Inform the Legislature. Kenney noted Prop1a has no enforcement mechanism or legal recourse if the Plan is not correct. If the Legislature accepts the Pan and votes for funds, it’s done.

    NO, Joe. That’s false, It’s contrarty to the facts. Prop 1A still has conditions which must be met *after* the Legislature votes. I guess it’s too much to expect Joe and his side-kick (or is it sock-puppet?) Alan to read.

    But here is a relevant part of Prop 1A, yet again:

    (d) Prior to committing any proceeds of bonds described in
    paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04 for expenditure
    for construction and real property and equipment acquisition on each
    corridor, or usable segment thereof, other than for costs described
    in subdivision (g), the authority shall have approved and
    concurrently submitted to the Director of Finance and the Chairperson
    of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee the following:
    (1) a
    detailed funding plan for that corridor or usable segment thereof that [..]

    .. and goes on to list various requirements on the Authority’s plan, including items which John Nachtigall has mentioned. Then it continues:

    and (2) a
    report or reports, prepared by one or more financial services firms,
    financial consulting firms, or other consultants, independent of any
    parties, other than the authority, involved in funding or
    constructing the high-speed train system, indicating that [...]

    and *another* list of requirements, where the independent financial-services firm have to report that the “usable segment” will be *READY* for HSR when the plan is complete, and that the “usable segment” *CAN* support HSR service without subsidy.

    It should be apparent to anyone who can read (which seems to exclude Joe and Alan), that the Authority cannot meet part (1), because a Judge has ruled that the Authority’s current plan-of-record does not meet those requirements of Prop 1A. But – and here is the rub — the Authority can’t just submit a new plan for a smaller “usable segment”, because it’s impossible to get a ridership study which says Fresno-to-Kings-County can support a non-subsidized HSR service.

    Yeah, perhaps Flashman and Brady should’ve named the Legislature, for passing authorization to spend bonds, based on a report which doesn’t meet the legal requirements of the report required to authorize spending bonds. But if the bonds aren’t being sold, I don’t see how that matters.

    I *do* wonder what Joe and his sidekick Alan will say, when and if the other appeals are rejected. Seeing as one or other seemed sure the recently-rejected appeal would succeed. And I’m pretty sure one or other asserted that the Sec 526a claims would never come to trial.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    can support a non-subsidized HSR service

    It doesn’t have to be HSR service to usable. A usable segment has two stations.

    agb5 Reply:

    A “usable segment” is not an HSR system.
    A “usable segment” is defined as some components (a portion) of an HSR system (with 2 stations)
    Specifically one or more of the following components:
    — right-of-way, track, power system, rolling stock, stations, associated facilities.

    A usable segment can be the “right-of-way” component built in manner that is suitable and ready for HSR operations after the remaining components have been added.

    A “portion of” an HSR system cannot mean a short length of an HSR system, because an HSR system is not defined as having any specific length or start/end point.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “A usable segment can be the “right-of-way” component built in manner that is suitable and ready for HSR operations after the remaining components have been added.”

    Not a priori operational therefore not usable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    All it needs are tracks to usable. The state already owns locomotives and cars.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not usable as definable hsr.

    Does Prop 1a call for hsr or FRA diesel Amtrak?

    The whole purpose of the various and sundry provisos was to ensure the project would not be dumbed down to diesel boonies commute ops bleeding money. Not in the beginning, not later. It will be up to the Judge to find for and impose that principle.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It says a usable segment has two stations. One can infer from that “segement” and “stations” that there needs to be tracks. To use the tracks one can also infer trains of some sort. You don’t need electricity, signals etc to use trains on it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Under whose rules and regulations are you going to operate scheduled service without signalization? This slipperiness is precisely what the class ones have been complaining about.

    The Judge had the chance to go along with PHBSR’s jedi mind tricks but took up the case. Why cave to such obtuse casuistry at this late date? He may indeed crack heads. I hope so.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker, either learn to read; or stop lying. Prop 1A *clearly* states that CHSRA cannot spend bond-sale proceeds until certain conditions are met Those conditions include a fully-funded plan for a ‘usable segment”. Completion of the plan is *required* to result in a ‘usable segment” which is ready for HSR operation. Prop 1A defines HSR as electric trains capable of sustained service operation at speeds of at least 200 mi/hr (or words to that effect).

    So. unless the ‘Plan’ includes electrification — and anything else that an operator requires to safely run HSR trains, such as a signalling system — the State — the executive — *cannot* give the Authority money from Prop 1A bonds. True, it doesn’t matter whether trains are actually run or not; but the plan has to be *ready* to run trains. And the plan has to be certified as such, by an independent financial-services or consulting firm. You know, like McKinsey or KPMG.

    Which part of that is hard to understand? Or are you just making facts up out of thin air, without reading Prop1A, and then asserting those “facts” in the face of evidence? As I think you did with the claim that a one-off “cannonball run” could satisfy the run-time requirements of a different section of Prop 1A?

    Jonathan Reply:

    All it needs are tracks to usable. The state already owns locomotives and cars.

    For crying out loud, *learn to read for comprehension*! Prop 1A stipulates that, before the state can give bond-proceeds to CHSRA, the Authority has to have a plan showing, amonst other things, that the “usable segment” being funded will, on completion of the plan, be *ready for HSR*. Not ready for diesel operations. HSR is clearly defined in Prop 1A; it means electrified trainsets running at high speed.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ah but Jonathan, we have to build it “at all costs”. What is the value of 6 year old promises to doubtful voters? Remember “High Speed Rail is profitable”, even from Merced to Palmdale. “Oh Ye of little faith”.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Paul, it’s the functional illiteracy which disturbs me. Either that, or the absence of intellectual integrity required to stick to one’s guns, for a made-up-on-the-spot argument, in the face of black-and-white law.

    But then again, we’re talking about “Diesels [[locomotives]] should be called electric diesel. Please follow correct usage in future” Joe.

    Joe -and his side-kick, or sock-puppet Alan — are very disturbing on that score. They’re such True Beleivers that they’re totally blind to the fact that I *want* to see HSR, and I *want* to see electrified Caltrain. Anyone who punctures their internal-talk-bubble is (apparently) an Enemy of HSR, by definition.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I wanna drink what you been smokin’. It says that a usable segment has two stations. Here on planet Earth when we build things some parts get built first and then other parts get built later. It’s possible to run without signals under FRA rules. Not very likely but possible. It’s even more possible that the first trains that run over the tracks are not electrified. For instance the ones they use to check the catenary after it’s hung and before they energize it. Or the ones they use to hang it. And the ones they use to test the signal system will very likely have a few runs where the signal system stops working, nah thats very likely as one of the acceptance tests. The only thing they need is two stations and some tracks to come up with a usable segment.

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker,

    I don’t knowwhat planet you are on. But here on Planet Earth, in the State of California, Prop 1A sec 2074.08 states *very clearly* what the Authority has to produce, to the Executive (note, Joe and sidekick Alan: *Executive), is a plan which, is fully funded, and at the end of the plan, yields:

    * a “usable segment” *READY* for HSR operation. (HSR is already defined in Prop 1A to be electric trains capable of 200 mi/hr in service). Since you patently can’t read for yourself, Prop 1A defines “high speed rail” as:

    [[Sec.2704.01 ]]
    [...]
    (d) “High-speed train” means a passenger train capable of
    sustained revenue operating speeds of at least 200 miles per hour
    where conditions permit those speeds.

    And I’ve *already* quoted the letter of the law, from Sec 2704.08, And yes, Virginia (or illiterate Adirondacker, as the case may be) that upon completion of the Plan — which the Authority must submit to both Executive and Legislature before the Authority can spend Prop 1A bond proceeds, per Sec. 2704.08 —

    Yes, Virginiadacker, the “usable segment” *DOES* *HAVE* *TO* *BE* *READY* *FOR* *HSR* *OPERATION*.

    Learn to read, for crying out loud. Then read Prop 1A (formerly AB 3034) Sec 2704.08.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I know how read asshole. I’ve read the part where it says a usable segement has two station. Judges will read that too. They also live on Planet Earth and have seen how that things don’t appear instantaneously, they usually get buiit bit by bit by bit. Just because it appears that way when they let you out doesn’t mean that’s the way it works.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the legislature wanted it be ready for HSR operation they could have written that. They didn’t.

    Resident Reply:

    idiorondacker – they did write that. Its called a list. All the things on the list count and and have meaning. They define usable segment, they define segment, and they define HST – they define ALL of it. You don’t get to cherry pick one item on the list and say that’s all they wrote. Read the whole list. Or have your mommy read it to you since you seem to be in that pre-K reading comprehension stage.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They could have very easily written “a usable segement are defined above” they didn’t.

    jonathan Reply:

    I know how read asshole. I’ve read the part where it says a usable segement has two station.

    Unfortunately, I will have to take you at your word: you know how to “read asshole”.
    As it happens, and has I have quoted more than once, a “usable segment” must meet many other criteria — as demonstrated to both Legislature and Executive, by a fully-funded plan, per Prop 1A.

    I can’t comment on your abilities to ‘read asshole:. Demonstrably, you have issues with reading and comprehending the text of Prop 1A.

    I’m professionally and personally embarrassed to have “Resident” repeating and emphasizing my point Yet, the point stands.

    I’ve been counting how many times I cite Prop 1A Sec 2704.08. I hope Adirondacker is counting his dismissals, so that he knows how many apologies he owes.

    And as for:

    They could have very easily written “a usable segement are defined above” they didn’t.

    Words fail me. Prop 1A defines ‘usable segment”. in the “intrudction: Article 1, sec 2704.0.1.
    What are you looking for? An explicit “andhereinafter”??

    You’re just making this shit up as you go along. it’s not the first time. We’ll know you have run out of fecal matter when you give up on fecal matter, and say: “You need to get laid”.

    The world would be a better place if Adirondacker learned to read for comprehension.
    (And, even if he can’t explicitly acknowledge that he’s in the wrong, at least learn to be silent, and hope the being-in-error blows away; instead of loudly repeating the same error)

    jonathan Reply:

    They could have very easily written “a usable segement are defined above” they didn’t.

    Adirondacker, you have my personal pledge to pay for night-school classes, until you earn your GED.
    Subject to reasonable performance metrics.

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny, for being the little boy who claims that everyone else lacks reading comprehension, you have a few problems of your own.

    You don’t seem to understand the difference between “funding plan” and “business plan”. The “funding plan” is what is required before the Legislature can appropriate funds. The “business plan” is something which is required by law to be updated and reissued every two years. The Authority is in compliance with that law, because the 2014 *Business Plan* has just been released, superseding the 2012 *Business Plan*. The *funding plan* required before the vote of the Legislature is irrelevant now, because the Legislature has voted. Forcing the Authority to revise and reissue the *funding plan* is an idle act.

    Jonny, you’ve already made yourself look pretty stupid by claiming that the ICS-BNSF connector tracks, if built, would be funded from Prop 1A. Please take your alleged brilliant mind and go read the f***ing documents before you make yourself look stupid again. All you’re doing now is acting the part of the playground bully.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    So if take the argument Mortis makes at face value: the Authority is screwed because it wants to build north and south of Fresno at the same time and put off construction at the bookends as long as possible.

    I don’t actually think that will carry the day.

    Instead the courts will come back and say:

    To build in either IOS you need to identify all the funding sources.
    To build a usable segment you need all the cash in hand.

    Thus, the Board will have to reauthorize the IOS and then abandon the bookends because of no federal match. The Kings County crowd are really hoping that shifts us from IOS South to North but it backfire as the Feds could always award other funding to allow construction outside of the IOS simultaneously with work on the IOS.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A usuable segment has two stations. The initial operating segment is not the same thing.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Exactly.

    The courts won’t require all $68+ plus billion to be in the bank to work on a usable segment. But they will require funding to be committed for the IOSes…before using some of the cash on hand to build out a usable segment.

    joe Reply:

    The Prop is not that rigid.

    Work authorized for a usable segment can also include construction beyond the two stations. That is the useable segment is not limited to the area between station “end points”.

    The Initial Construction Segment authorized by identifying a useable segment between Fresno and Kings Co Hanford can go to south Bakersfield and not include Bakersfield’s station.

    Zorro Reply:

    The IOS doesn’t exist in Prop1a Ted Judah, IOS = CHSRA Creation and is Fiction, all funding for the usable segments have been identified, EOL.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The usable segment is restricted to a portion of the corridors listed in 2704.4. Fresno to LA and SF to Fresno are both corridors. This is why they had to decide between IOS North and IOS South. The usable segment has to be between two stations on the same corridor.

    Alan Reply:

    The appellate courts will overturn Judge Kenny because he read something into the law–the IOS–and made it the basis of his ruling. And I’d imagine the appellate courts will realize the foolishness of ordering the Authority to undertake an “idle act”–rewriting the first funding plan. But the Authority now knows what must be done to make the *second* funding plan–the one that comes after appropriation but before construction–compliant.

    joe Reply:

    The CAHSRA made a mistake in the 2012 finance plan (IMHO). They did call out a usable segment and named the IOS as their usable segment. Richard made this observation under testimony to Denham this January. He said that plan was what was inherited from predecessors. To the prop, an IOS is not defined. By making that link in the 2012 plan they told the Legislature it was. They voted to fund HSR and the Plan became useless.

    IMHO Kenney had a problem with the way the Tos case was litigated. Tos’ strategy seemed too focused on the finance plan to undermine the appropriation but later Tos decided to include the Legislature in their complaint to directly invalidate the appropriation.

    The authority objected to the amendment and Kenney agreed it was too late to amend the lawsuit.

    Kenney wrote he had no legal basis to invalidate the Appropriation. He noted he could not enforce an abstract right as a remedy and asked for the Nov hearing on remedies.

    His mistake was to try to offer remedy by requiring a new funding plan. I think he tried to give Tos what they wanted – to attack the appropriation by the finance plan. that remedy is an abstract right – or useless act since it fixes nothing. The practical effect stalls the funding but the fix itself is not a remedy to the complaint. The appropriation and contracts were not invalidated. He wanted the state to redo their intermediate work but not change the end result.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s also the case that Prop 1a implies independent review of the request by the Board for funding. The parties mentioned didn’t produce any sort of analysis which the Legislature could review. Using Prop 1a cash for the bookends was an overreach, Kenny wants to make sure next time the same process doesn’t have Prop 1a being used for Ring the Bay, the Subway to the Sea, or Desert Xpress….

    synonymouse Reply:

    The bookends may be somewhat overreach but they are a direct part of the alignment, unless you change, say, to Dumbarton in the North.

    Alan Reply:

    Joe–

    I agree that the CHSRA made a mistake on the 2012 plan, and I’ve said that before. What some people are trying to argue now is that the mistake is carved into stone, final for all time, and that the Authority cannot fix that error. That position is absolute nonsense.

    And I agree that Laurel and Hardy are throwing things against the wall, hoping to find a few that stick, and praying that the judge will allow them to change their arguments yet again. I think we’re starting to see the judge losing patience with that tactic.

    joe Reply:

    First, The authority argued (in appeal) the Tos complaint about travel time is not “ripe” – the authority has not definitively designated the entire system. It’s to soon to litigate. and there should be no trail on this topic.

    The Judge decided that determining “ripeness” would be decided at trial. Rejecting the appeal did not validate Tos’ complaints about travel time OR that they could prove travel times were determinable at this point.

    Admissible evidence will be very important. If Tos can drag their “experts” into court then every technical decision will be litigated and this is going to be a circus.

    Alan Reply:

    Exactly right. This was a technical issue, not a decision on the merits. The AG’s office has pointed out that Laurel and Hardy have conceded that if extra-record evidence is not allowed in the 526a part of the case–and the law forbids it–they cannot prove their case.

    Robert is absolutely correct–the project opponents see their arguments growing weaker by the day.

    Joe Reply:

    The State used this Appeal to set the record straight as a see it.

    Kenney will be careful to follow and know case-law to assure that any ruling he issues will not be overturned.

    Case law favors the state of California and not the plaintiffs. Better informed and more cautious the judge, the better the case for the state of California.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The authority and the peer committee both agree they can’t hit the time requirements, Tos does not need any outside experts, the authority is providing all the evidence against itself

    Alan Reply:

    The problem is, John, if that evidence was not part of the record before the Authority voted to approve the 2012 Business Plan, it doesn’t matter. The court cannot consider extra-record evidence concerning a quasi-legislative action. The case law makes that quite clear.

    The other problem, of course, is that as Joe and I, and others have repeatedly pointed out, the courts cannot pass judgement on something which is not yet fully designed. That makes sense to everyone except Tos and Fukuda, Laurel and Hardy and their Peanut Gallery.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    in the Case currently under appeal, the court ruled that lack of evidence (in this case discussion on the merits of issuing the bonds) was counted against the authority.

    So either they are in an interesting decision. They can claim there is no analysis, which makes for an interesting argument as to how they are complying. Or they can produce the documents that show they dont meet the times.

    I am confused, however, about this logic of “not fully designed, so they cant sue”

    So it is my understanding that the state has filed a lawsuit that basically says “If you have a problem with the system, bring it forward now or forever hold your peace”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22885008/california-high-speed-rail-sues-everybody-invites-people

    So lets say I dont think the system will meet the time requirements. I want to sue. But the state says I should not be able to because they havent designed it yet. But if I wait 5-7 years for the final final final design, it is too late because the “all comers” suit is done and gone.

    So by your logic it is sue now and lose because it is not designed, or sue later and lose because I didnt file soon enough.

    Its an excellent strategy for the HSR authority, but it is not what I would consider fair. Luckily, neither did both the judge and the appealete court. The Tos suit and these issues is moving forward now.

    Alan Reply:

    John, once again you’re conflating two separate court cases.

    The link you cited refers to the bond validation action. The alleged lack of evidence in this case has nothing whatsoever to do with the Tos 526a action. The claim is that there was not sufficient evidence for the bond committee to find that there was a “purpose and need” for issuing the bonds. The court failed to account for the fact that the members of the committee were appointed specifically for their knowledge of bond law and the HSR project, and didn’t need to have everything spoon-fed to them. The court did rule, correctly, that project opponents cannot use a bond validation action to fling their mud against the project.

    The “sue now or forever hold your peace” bit applies *only* to the bond validation action. The judge pointed out in his ruling that the opponents retain their right to challenge the actual spending of the money, once the bonds have been issued. Nothing except the State Bar will stop L&H from filing suits until the trains actually start rolling.

    Now, the other lawsuit: The 2012 Business Plan, which refers to the “blended system”, was adopted by a formal action of the Authority board, on the record, and including consideration of whatever comment and evidence the public wished to bring forward. Now we have Laurel and Hardy, and their sock puppets Tos and Fukuda, who blew their chance to participate in the deliberations on the Business Plan and try to convince the board that it wasn’t a good idea. The state, in its appeals brief, correctly points out the unfairness of allowing L&H to bring new evidence in, extra-record.

    Two very different cases, being considered at the same time because so many of the same players are involved.

    It’s hard to see why you’re confused about the design issue. As long as it’s possible to incorporate changes into the design that would save a few minutes, as Clem points out, no competent person could say that the design absolutely, positively will not be compliant. Which leaves out L&H, Jonny, and a few other people.

    joe Reply:

    So lets say I dont think the system will meet the time requirements. I want to sue. But the state says I should not be able to because they havent designed it yet. But if I wait 5-7 years for the final final final design, it is too late because the “all comers” suit is done and gone.

    Suing for waste and fraud means the plaintiff has to prove in court there is waste and fraud. If you think CA will not meet requirements but they haven’t finished designing the system then what will you admit in court as evidence?

    Tos cited a case where the County was sued after openly admit admitting they would not spend funds on what was approved by voters – plaintiffs had evidence and it was produced from County records. They were able to due prior to expenditures.

    There are too many degrees of freedom in the undetermined HSR design to prove in court the system will not comply with end to end time requirements.

    Given they have not yet built anything and use design build contracts, total system travel time is going to be a difficult way to prove fraud and waste.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    But the all comers case is happening now. So if I wait 7 years do I get to sue then? Because it was my understanding that it is a now or nothing proposition.

    And I would not call it waste or fraud. It is a deliberate ignoring of the law due to lack of funds

    joe Reply:

    The Bond Validation lawsuit is a one time challenge over issuing bands for Prop1A.

    526a statute allows citizens to sue for waste and fraud. It is permissible when there is evidence of waste and fraud. If waste and fraud is a non compliant SF-LA travel time, plaintiffs must have evidence it’s violating the law and to the extent necessary under the statue 526a. The AG is arguing there is no determined route and no evidence is possible..

    The term they use is ripeness. The AG says their claim is not ripe. The Judge ruled to hear the argument in court. The AG argued it was determinable without a trial.

    jonathan Reply:

    It’s very simple — though we all acknowledge that’s beyond Joe’s reading comprehension.

    Prop 1A requires, amongst other things, the Authority to have EIRs, and funding, in place, before the Authority can send Prop 1A bond proceeds.

    Now, let’s look at the “Bookends”, specifically the Caltrain right-of-way “bookend”.

    The Authority’s own simulation shows, that *EVEN WITH A HUMUNGOUS HSR VIADUCT*, into an unwarranted, unaffordable, pointless “Ron Diridon Cahilll St Intergalactic” HsR station, that the Authority’s plan *CANNOT* meet the time requirements of Prop 1A. And that’s even assunming that the HSR train blasts through the separate-level, not-on-any-EIR-ever, dual-level Ron Diridon Cahill Str Intergalactic Tran station.

    Anyone who can use a search-engine can see, exactly how grandiose a station is required for a well-engineered HSR system. The insane viaduct required for the final-record SF-SJ run is not even a contender.

    It is, literally, *high school science* to put together a simulation of the maximum acceleration and braking functions of a trainset; and apply those to the speed-limtis of the Peninsula corridor.

    There is no need to wait for “detailed design”. There is an existing physical corridor . Tracks within that corridor have physical limitations on speed, at certain points — as dictated by cuve radii. Physical train-sets have limitations, on obht braking and acceleration, leading into, and accelerating beyond, these speed limitations.

    Joe likes to wax about his knowledge as a “scientist”. At the same time. Joe lies, and prevaricates, and changes the subject, about high-school, pre-calculus, physics constraints on any rail line — high speed or not — on the Peninsula.

    Joe claims to be a scientist, but prevaricates, and lies, to suit Joe’s political agenda.
    There is a word for scientists who do exatly that. It’s particularly appropriate for scientists who lie, and ignore data, and falsify facts, for ideological reasons.

    Joe might, just might, know what that word is. Here’s a hint: it begins with “L”.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    You have it pretty much exactly backwards with the “selling out to Caltrain” business.

    What happened is that PBQD came in and said “we demand BART to San Jose and we demand HSR to Los Banos and we demand two dedicated flight-level-zero HSR-only tracks San Jose to San Francisco, and fuck you.”

    What didn’t happen (and isn’t happening) was “We propose to build this amount of carefully-tailored high-quality new infrastructure that is going to deliver this improved rail service to your town and your suburban environment; and here are the different cost and service trade-offs of building more or less or different things in some key locations.”

    There’s never been any “selling out to Caltrain”: what did happen is that “here’s what we’re doing fuck you” resulted, completely understandably, in, a “no, fuck YOU” response from those along the line of fuckage. And that’s where we are.

    Well, played, 1950s highwaymen of PBQD.

    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals.

    morris brown Reply:

    Richard Mlynarik wrote above:

    There’s never been any “selling out to Caltrain”:

    That is certainly true. But what is also true is

    CalTrain sold out to the Authority

    The original agreement was that the Authority would build dedicated tracks, along the CalTrain ROW; these track would not interfere with CalTrain operations; these tracks would be grade separated; these tracks would be electrified. Thus CalTrain gets electrification and grade separation. All the infrastructure improvements they wanted and claim they need.

    What CalTrain now has, is funding to only electrify their tracks, no funds for grade crossings, and they have to share their tracks with HSR trains. CalTrain in their dreams hopes HSR fails; that HSR fails only after they have been able to electrify their tracks, but never have to deal with the impossible increase in traffic that the blended system will bring. Yes, CalTrain you have surely made a great deal.

    trentbridge Reply:

    What HSR trains? Caltrain did what makes perfect sense – take the money! There aren’t going to be any CAHSR trains for at least a decade and this is an agency without dedicated funding. Electrification helps them deal with rising demand since it helps grow capacity. Ten years from now – the people who made the decisions will be ten years closer to retirement or out of office. You can’t expect possible problems ten years down the road to impact current thinking.

    Joe Reply:

    That’s exactly right.

    Morris is upset because high-speed rail can go forward with minimal impact and then California can expand the right of way as needed.

    Opponents want to force a full build now and then get all the cities along the right-of-way to oppose the project because they’re doing the Phil full build before it’s needed.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    You can’t expect possible problems ten years down the road to impact current thinking.

    You have a bright future ahead of you as one of America’s Finest Transportation Planners, son.

    trentbridge Reply:

    Planners? We don’t need no stinkin’ planners. We’re politicians thinking about the next election and there’s no votes in telling the electorate that they’ll thank us in ten years time. Where’s the second transbay tunnel for BART? I’d say it was an obvious need now but do you see any concrete plans for this?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    No politician is driving this.
    Fronting this, yes.
    Quid pro quoing this, yes.
    Being a useful idiot for this, yes?
    But electoral politics? Totally irrelevant.

    PS The “second transbay tunnel” was just built, 55 billion over-budget and a decade late. It’s called the Bay Bridge. There’s lots of space for buses, and that’s all that you’re going to get. You can personally thank Larry Dahms and Steve Heminger of the MTC for this outcome, for the cost, and for the fundamental design flaws of the bridge. It’s incredible that they are not serving lengthy sentences.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suggest what you have here – transit industrial complex, consultant-contractor-union welfare, represents “soft graft” as opposed to hard, relatively easy to identify and indict. The kind that net Rizzo 12 years in jail.

    It’s unlikely any will have the moxie to investigate those at the very top since these latter are the very same ones who sign the checks, do the budget appropriations for the cops and the courts, and take loving care of the unions, be they prison guard, construction or teachers.

    Joe Reply:

    This rant was brought to you by the letters P, B, Q, D and the number 0.

    I loved this:
    “carefully-tailored high-quality new infrastructure”

  2. synonymouse
    Apr 17th, 2014 at 10:15
    #2

    One homely bulbous doodlebug:

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140416/articles/140419603

    Sports the BART bulge but does not look like plug doors. I like the clutter on top tho – it is still a train. How much extra does it cost to bend those doors?

    Jon Reply:

    The problem with this train is that it’s FRA-compliant, not that it’s a DMU. Your obsession with “doodlebugs” just marks you as a century out of date.

    synonymouse Reply:

    say what?

    If you just have to keep freight ops, even tho there is essentially one customer, go with loco hauled and screw San Rafael. And use heavy locomotives that can clear out the intersections of BMW’s and hunker monster pickups and not derail.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And lay down 136# rail – you’ll appreciate it later.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART bulge is FRA inspired?

    Jon Reply:

    Personally, I care more about performance than aesthetics.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If it looks like BART that blesses it and makes it go faster.

    Joey Reply:

    Don’t worry. Performance will be equally terrible.

    jonathan Reply:

    .. where “FRA-compliant” means grossly overweight, and therefore low-acceleration, which means long trip-times for start/stop commuter service. Am I reading between your lines correctly?

    Jon Reply:

    Yes

    William Reply:

    Certainly looks more “professional” than Colorado Railcar’s effort. The article also said TriMet purchased options of these Nippon-Sharyo DMU from SMART, whose WES service currently runs Colorado Railcar DMUs, which means they are either planning for expansions or ready to dump the Colorado Railcar DMUs.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe they can buy SMART’s too. And we can hang some wire.

  3. Paul Dyson
    Apr 17th, 2014 at 10:32
    #3

    The green front should blend nicely into the background
    Safety first?
    Are they really plug doors or recessed?

    synonymouse Reply:

    They certainly look like sliding doors to me. I do not know how the Japanese deal with the noise issue with aging sliding doors – a real problem for BART which probably motivated the operationally questionable move to plug doors.

    The biggest unknown is how the front end will handle collisions at many, many grade crossings and self-entitled get out of my way motorists so common in the Northbay.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    That’s simple sliding doors. IMHO not really needed for a low-performance line, but it is very likely that they were using a standard product they use for Japanese vehicles as well.

    Just from the looks, it seems that there are not many energy absorber elements in the front (as you see in the newest European designs), but they may be hidden, and there may be such elements out of view.

    jonathan Reply:

    “We’re FRA compliant, we don’t need no wimpy steekin’ Euro crash-energy management”….?
    Do the designs for the local Japanese market have CEM? Or do they rely on not having collisions in the first place?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    A good question. For one, collisions between rail vehicles seem to be pretty rare, which can be assigned to an advanced signalling system. And it also seems that Japanese automobile drivers are obeying the rules much better, and actually stop when there is a stop sign or a red light for a grade crossing.

    Eric Reply:

    Americans don’t follow rules. That causes the occasional train crash, as well as a great deal of economic and technological innovation. Overall it’s worth it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Like Rizzo and Yee.

    “In 2005, in a little-noticed election, fewer than 400 voters turned Bell into a charter city and cleared the way for higher salaries for council members.”

    Stroke of machinative genius, right up there with the big kahunas, like Jerry & Nancy.

  4. Clem
    Apr 18th, 2014 at 08:41
    #4

    This lawsuit over a few minutes lost on the peninsula is causing us to lose sight of a far more important issue. Those few minutes, and then some, can easily be recovered by routing the HSR main line over Tejon Pass. Express trains would save 13 minutes by the timetable, and locals would save 18 minutes by not having to make a stop in Palmdale. Palmdale itself should be served by a spur off the main line.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Quite so, and you have to wonder why the litigants are so focused on the Peninsula Blend when the projected travel time loss at the mountain crossing is so much greater and you are looking at cumulative bore mileage comparable to a base tunnel. Perhaps it is mostly Kopp, since he apparently did not object to Tehachapi when he was on the inside at the authority.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Think of how much time they would save if they didn’t stop in Burbank or SFO or Redwood City or San Jose or Fresno or Bakersfield or..

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Or if they flew?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Depends on where you are going. Expedia says it takes 3:34 to fly between Fresno and Bakersfield. That’s on the flights with only one change of planes. There’s other ones that take over ten hours and involve changing planes twice.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Drawing upon the Cheerleaders’ fondness for transit welfare the State could set up its own airline and run subvented flights between Fresno and Bako, etc., etc.

    Basically TehaVegaSkyRail is a ground level subsidized airline, just slower.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Adi: The post was about time between endpoints, not between Fresno and Bakersfield. You’re out of your depth with CA geography and transportation in general

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What part of Fresno or Bakersfield or Palmdale is an endpoint?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Dear Adi: Read Clem’s post. He was discussing total journey time, not intermediate points.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’ll reread once you grasp the concept that the train needs to go through SFO, San Jose, Bakersfield, Burbank and other sundry places to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles or vice versa.

    Joey Reply:

    It does, but it doesn’t need to stop, and in fact the fastest travel time is for a train which makes very few intermediate stops.

    synonymouse Reply:

    With I-5 routing SF to LA runs do not go thru Bako nor Fresno. They would be on spurs.

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker,

    Your grasp of facts lacks opposable thumbs. HSR does not need to go through SFO. HSR is not going through SFO. HSR is going *past* SFO, on the other side of a freeway. Equally, HSR does not *need* to go through Bakersfield; it could go *past* Bakersfield.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’d tell ya go fuck yourself but ya need a dick for that.

    EJ Reply:

    Ain’t no stupid like New York stupid.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    tell us oh wise asshole how does the train get from San Francisco to Los Angeles or vice versa without going through the rest of the state?

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker, “O wise asshole”, the track will go through much of the state to link SF and LA.
    But it does *NOT* going through SFO. It is *NEVER PLANNED* to go through SFO. It’s planned to go to Millbrae, which a good distance the *other* side of a big freeway.

    Equally, HSR does not heed to go *through* Bakersfield. It can sidestep *around* Bakersfield.
    And this is exactly how Clem gets a significant-share-but-he-refuses-point-blank-to-say-how-much, of fhe savings from a Tejon mountain crossing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’d tell you to blow it out your ass but your ass is too tight for that.

    wdobner Reply:

    And that’s the crucial failing of the self proclaimed advocates here. The focus on express travel time will result in their much derided ground level zero airline coming to pass. If they have their way then by the time it gets built there won’t be any stations left for the locals to stop at.

    The rest of the state may be inconvenienced going through Palmdale, but the political support the project has experienced in the Antelope Valley will evaporate if the alignment avoids the area. Why turn supporters into opponents for the sake of a few minutes of travel time?

    synonymouse Reply:

    PBHSR has the knack for turning supporters into opponents wherever it treads.

    How many airports are there for the “locals”? At each end there is one that thoroughly dominates.

    CAHSR is all about the Bay Area and the LA area. That’s why it does not go to Truckee nor Eureka. The two megalopolises make hsr possible. Get real. Je m’en fous de Palmdale et de ses conneries.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Which is why Amtrak is going to close 30th Street in Philadelphia. No one wants to go there.

    Clem Reply:

    C’est si bien dit!

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Wdobner,

    The answer to your question reveals more about the political and social culture of Californians than it does about high speed rail. This is simply not a place that fosters homogeneity and shared sacrifice.

    The Golden State is a divided kingdom, and the dominant voices on this blog are older and more suspicious of government thanks to the typically Reaganesque attitudes of many Californians who were born after the Great Depression but before the L.A. Riots.

    God forbid we actually build a system to unify the State.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Shared sacrifice? Give me a break. Ditto homogeneity. Both are tools that tell people to be glad that the people stealing everything they have do so, because at least they’re Our Kind of People. It has very little to do with Reaganesque attitudes and a lot more to do with (for the older generation) Vietnam and Watergate and (for the younger generation) Iraq and comic cost overruns and deficient results on public projects. If the government wants people to stop spitting at it, it needs to be more competent. And wasting a couple billion dollars on the Palmdale detour is not competent, not in this context.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Bluntly, the Palmdale routing is gonna be necessary for the Las Vegas line, which is gonna get built sooner or later — make no mistake, the casino interests will demand it sooner or later.

    Maybe it’s cheaper and more effective to build a Tejon crossing *and* a Cajon crossing than to build a crossing to Palmdale. I have my doubts.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Bakersfield to San Bernandino is roughly the same distance whether you go over Tejon or Cajon. In 2050 or 2060 when there are capacity constraints in Los Angeles Tehachapi and Tejon keeps people out of downtown Los Angeles. And since Bakerfield-San Bernandino will be all new build at very high speeds it means trips-not-to-LosAngeles are faster than trips not-to-LosAngeles that would otherwise have to go through Los Angeles. And it keeps people out of Los Angeles. And people not going to Los Angeles won’t have to go through Los Angeles.

    Clem Reply:

    I do believe that it was Carnac the Magnificent who first foretold of these impending capacity constraints, way back in 1967. After all, keeping the people of Los Angeles out of Los Angeles so they don’t have to go through Los Angeles on their way to Los Angeles makes a whole lot of sense. Using equally implacable logic, it almost makes as much sense as cutting $5 billion by taking the Tejon shortcut!

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Vegas is the rail. California is the dog.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Of course, I meant tail.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes, the only people who count in California are the people in Los Angeles.

    Joey Reply:

    How much of Lebec-Barstow could you build with $5 billion? I’m guessing a lot. And by Lebec I really mean the I-5/SR-138 junction. Stick a station north of Lancaster if the AV is so desperate for service.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They could almost certainly build Victorville-San Bernardino for less than $5. It’s 65 km, but only about 25 is really mountainous. Those 25 don’t need a tunnel the whole way, and if compromises are made on curve radius (say, 1 km, for 160 km/h) then it may even be possible to build a Cajon route with only viaducts and open cuts and no tunnels.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Las Vegas – SoCal is a weekend market and doesn’t pencil. That doesn’t mean it won’t be built but right now the application for an FRA loan has passed it’s legal expiration date, and there is no sign of it being re-submitted. The only justification for building the CA project via Palmdale should be that it is a net contributor, i.e. the additional revenue it generates should offset the additional cost and also the lost revenue from those that would have traveled but for whom the extended journey is no longer competitive. Furthermore the additional mileage via the Antelope Valley means that the linking of the end points will come later due to the added construction time, which in itself adds to the cost. By the CHSRA timetable there is an added 4 years between service to the SFV and LAUS, which means 4 years of subsidized service and lost revenue compared to building direct.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Yes, the only people who count in California are the people in Los Angeles.”

    Jerry Brown lives that dictum.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Las Vegas – SoCal is a weekend market and doesn’t pencil.

    People in Las Vegas don’t have any reason to go to Los Angeles I suppose. Unlike people in San Fransisco. Or Bakersfield. And even though Las Vegas is one of the world’s top convention destinations people in California don’t have the urge to go to them. Or people in Las Vegas that need the services business travelers will be leaving Los Angeles for San Francisco or Hanford for.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Adi: Of course there are people making those journeys, and of course a percentage of them would take the train, if offered. You choose to forget that there are adequate air services from 5 airports in So Cal, also that convention attendees come from all points of the compass. Not to mention the fact that it will be at least 15 years before the route into So Cal is complete. The question is, do we invest billions in meeting the desires of those travelers? Where would you spend your next $10 billion on transportation?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes. Population growth is going to stop in California. So is income growth – people with more disposable income travel more. Everything that California has now will be good enough forever and ever and ever.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    … and population and income growth in Las Vegas.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, people in Vegas travel to LA. So do people in the Central Valley. The population of Clark County is 2 million; the population of Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, and Madera Counties is 2.5 million. But Vegas isn’t between LA and SF, so the Vegas-to-LA market would have to stand on its own, and to be honest, it’s not worth the $5 billion plus inconvenience to LA-SF travelers.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Las Vegas has problems that HSR won’t solve, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-las-vegas-drought-20140421,0,5098010.story#axzz2zYoqfLGK
    Unless they want to take a train somewhere to have a shower.
    Income growth is so concentrated among the few that it doesn’t create travel demand among the many.
    What we’ll need in the future is difficult to project but I doubt if 1960s HSR will be the best solution in 2030.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes California is special enough that the drought in Nevada is going to stop at the state border.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Vegas-to-LA market would have to stand on its own

    Like the Hartford Providence market has to stand on it’s own? Providence is on the way to New London and Harford is on the way to Springfield. Neither of them is along the way between Boston and New York. And Philadelphia and Baltimore are going to be very very expensive to put “along the way” for NY-DC traffic. Vineland and Annapolis are right along the way if you want to go for cheap.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The need for LA to Las Vegas rail all rests on the demand from Asia. As air travel consolidates, more and more Asian passengers will get routed through either SF or LA with a connection to Las Vegas. Adirondacker’s assertion is false: the line will have to stand on its own but that might exceed current LA to Vegas travel demand.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People in Bakersfield like to go to Las Vegas and vice versa. San Bernandino too. San Diego. Fresno. Even San Francisco.

    joe Reply:

    Oh a Drought? SoCal is Las Vegas on steroids. Or Pot calls Kettle black.

    Pop-poo intermediate station trips? Newest HSR Ridership model show more than anticipate riders and revenue form shorter trips. Not sure where RailPac’s data come from but maybe it’s opinion of a guy interested in moaaar money for SoCal commuter rail.

    VP Joe Biden’s not making a mistake by linking California HSR to Las Vegas – he’s probably taking to the Senate and Reid often about rail and how to build a national system. It’s probably why Palmdale isn’t going away.

    http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/02/25/42444/biden-gives-a-public-nod-to-california-s-high-spee/

    “You know, we’re trying to get a high-speed train going from California into Las Vegas, where Jerry Brown is leading the country in having high-speed rail. I mean by high-speed rail, rail that can go 230-240 miles an hour. It’s environmentally more sound. It is economically more sound. It makes sense in every way, and it’s about time we get up and do it,” Biden said, to loud cheers and applause from the audience.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yeah, the fact that Hartford-Providence adds 9 minutes to everyone else’s trips is why I think it shouldn’t be built.

    Providence is not on the straight line between New York and Boston, but it’s close to it, and is in the middle of an existing HSR segment from Boston to Kingston. The straight line between Penn Station and DC Union Station actually passes through the city limits of both Philadelphia and Baltimore, and in both cases there’s legacy infrastructure to hook into, which is hard to bypass because endless sprawl. Same reason why nobody should ever build a Paris-style New York bypass for DC-Boston traffic.

    California doesn’t really have that. Bakersfield and Fresno are on legacy lines, but those are freight-primary lines with grade crossings, and conversely it’s relatively easy to pass a few km west of Fresno on flat unbuilt land. Bypassing Bakersfield is of course hellish for Bakersfield access. Vegas is not in between anything and anything, or even sort of in between anything and anything: SLC is too far, so a branch serving Vegas would be for Vegas alone.

    The California equivalents of New Haven, Trenton, New London, etc. are Fresno and the upper Central Valley cities. The equivalent of Virginia cities is Sacramento. Once LA-SF preexists, Sacramento generates a large number of passenger-km to LA and SF for not many route-km of new track, and this new track would be in easy terrain; this is especially true under Altamont, but still true under Pacheco. And the same is true of the cities on the Southeast corridor – you’d expect NEC extensions into Virginia and North Carolina to not perform that great, but actually they’d be very strong because lots of people would be traveling from those areas to New York, paying not just for the new Southeast tracks but also for NEC tracks.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Hartford-Providence adds 9 minutes to everyone else’s trips is why I think it shouldn’t be built.

    It’s a low volume city pair that would be very expensive to build is it’s major problem. It’s other problem is that it’s not along the way when other alternatives are considered.

    Providence is not on the straight line between New York and Boston

    Neither is Hartford or anything else between New Haven and Boston.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Boswash.png

    The shorter of the two existing alternatives is via Springfield. It has more people along it than via New London. Not that Amtrak latest iteration of their 2050 plan goes to either. It goes through Hartford and Providence.

    Vegas is not in between anything and anything

    Neither is Boston. Or Sacramento. Unless you want to count the thriving vibrant metropolises of Halifax and Portland. Augusta? Moncton!…Chico? Reno? Airport traffic is a rough surrogate for a destination’s attractiveness. Las Vegas is almost as busy as San Francisco. Busier than Boston and much much busier than Sacramento.

    Sacramento generates a large number of passenger-km to LA and SF for not many route-km of new track,

    If Altamont was going to bring world peace and eliminate hunger because it would make it faster to get to Sacramento from San Francisco or San Jose getting to San Bernardino or San Diego from San Francisco or Sacramento will end war and feed everyone… with Tehachapi and Cajon. San Bernardino to Bakersfield is roughly the same distance whether you go over Cajon and Tehachapi or Tejon. It’s going to be lot faster to go over Cajon and Tehachapi.

    ..New London..

    There’s twice as many people in the Antelope Valley right now as there are in metro New London. Within 20 years there will be four times as many. Personally I think they should get together and consolidate their suburban sprawl into one city so that when there are over a million people living out there they can use the argument that they are California’s third largest city the way San Jose does now.

    because lots of people would be traveling from those areas to New York, paying not just for the new Southeast tracks but also for NEC tracks.

    Last thing I saw was that Virginia riders are going to DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and DC and DC. They fly to New York and Boston. If the train was a lot faster they probably wouldn’t.

    If people are gonna schlep 600 miles/1000 kilometers from New York to Charlotte an extra 13 minutes between Los Angeles and Northern California isn’t going to matter much. If they are gonna schlep from New York to Charlotte they’ll schlep from DC to Montreal and Boston to Toronto. And Philadelphia to Atlanta. 20 or 30 minutes off Sacramento or San Francisco to San Diego deserves consideration.

    Tejon alone eliminates lots of trips. Like all of the ones to Las Vegas. Tehachapi alone adds 13 minutes that aren’t going to matter much and gets Los Angeles to Las Vegas in the deal. Tejon and Cajon solves that problem for Southern California but adds time to every trip not beginning or ending in Los Angeles. Someday far far in the future when they are reaching capacity Tehachapi and Cajon gives them more capacity in Los Angeles.

    Joe Reply:

    ” Yeah, the fact that Hartford-Providence adds 9 minutes to everyone else’s trips is why I think it shouldn’t be built.”

    As a resident of CA I accept compromises that bring a majority needed to build HSR.

    Las Vegas matters to the national politicians who also bring compromises to the project. Las Vegas is very important to NV senators who we will need to back the project.

    If raising real money didn’t matter then we could save a bunch of imaginary money by cutting out “inefficient” communities.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Burbank and SFO are directly on the express route, as with St. Clarita. It all depends on the loadings. If the demand level is truly great economics will demand stops thereabouts for most all trains.

    Conversely the backwoods detour thru Mojave will attract so few customers you will need to stop all over the place to look for bodies to fill all those empty seats and by a little bit reduce the groaning operating deficits.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sta. Clarita

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    there’s a lot more people in greater Palmdale than there are in Santa Clarita

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sta. Clarita will the collector and transfer point for the north LA basin. Taps Ventura and Sta. Barbara. As well as beknighted Palmdale via a spur or bus.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The LA basin is miles and miles away from Santa Clarita. Which is why they call the greater area the San Fernando Valley. For many of those people getting to Burbank will be easier.

    synonymouse Reply:

    From my hopelessly Norcal perspective once you crest the Grapevine and look south that is the LA basin nestling down there in the smog.

    Palmdale of the future:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140418-egypt-population-heritage-conservation-threats-world/?google_editors_picks=true

    Go, Jerry & Barry, go.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The L.A. Basin’s north rim is Santa Clarita; the San Fernando Valley is within the area roughly described as the Basin. It’s a vague term to be sure, especially as the “basin” has no rim on the SW side.

    joe Reply:

    It’s a geologic term. http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0420a/report.pdf

    USGS has a definition. 50 miles long and 29 miles wide. “sometimes called the coastal plain”

    and this shows https://archive.org/details/geologicmapofely101cali

    that the San Fernando Valley is not in the LA Basin as the USGS define it. The Elysian hills is a boundary.

    Now it may have a political definition.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    “It may have a political definition”. The CHSRA thinks the SFV is in the basin. They refer blithely to “Bay to Basin” as if that means something specific in transportation terms. The news media, never very accurate, refer to just about everything south of Castaic as the basin. The coastal plain better sums up the geological definition, at least in terms of what is visible on the surface. I prefer to use city names when we are discussing HSR as there is something quite specific about the location of a railroad passenger station.

    joe Reply:

    Okay.
    BTW – for those car trips. A rode-side geology book. Maybe someday the HSR route will have a chapter.
    http://geology.com/store/roadside-geology.shtml

    Donk Reply:

    True “LA” is the LA Basin, which is the contiguous low lying area that is cooled by the coastal breeze and not subject to hellish smog and 100 degree summers. Anything with the word “Valley” in it (San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Antelope, San Gabriel, Apple, hell even the lower San Juaquin) are THE VALLEY. Those areas can all go f themselves (after they pay their tax dollars to LA City/County). By this definition, Orange County is more LA than the SFV is.

  5. Reality Check
    Apr 18th, 2014 at 15:07
    #5

    Council to weigh in on Dumbarton Rail loan forgiveness proposal

    On Monday, the Palo Alto City Council is expected to join its counterpart in Menlo Park in objecting to a proposal that would strip funds from a commuter rail project linking the mid-Peninsula and East Bay.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is looking to wipe out a $91 million loan that was made to a BART extension project using funds earmarked for the Dumbarton Rail project.

    See also: City Council Staff Report (ID #4664): Dumbarton Rail Funding

    Title: Discussion and Direction to Staff on Additional Action the City Should Take on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Proposed Changes to the Regional Measure 2 Program Specifically Related to Dumbarton Rail Funding

  6. jonathan
    Apr 18th, 2014 at 19:24
    #6

    Robert Cruickshank,

    I submit, in good faith, the following:

    there is no real separation between “technicals” and “non-technicals”. (substitute your own word, if you wish) on this blog.

    The real, the meaningful, the overarching distinction, is between those who can both read for comprehension; and are numerate, to the extent of understanding and applying Newton’s laws — the kinematics and dynamics from _Principia Mathematica_.

    I am appalled, literally appalled, to realize that “read for comprehension” is, by far, the narrower criterion.

    Alan Reply:

    THE PROFESSIONAL’S RULES FOR MAKING FRIENDS AND INFLUENCING BLOG DISCUSSIONS:

    1) Assert an overarching air of moral superiority.
    2) Insult anyone whose views differ. Repeatedly claim that anyone who disagrees “lacks reading comprehension”.
    3) When he can’t come back with evidence, demonstrate his clear ability to cut-and-paste.
    4) Claim some kind of dubious academic credential. What the heck? On a blog, nobody can see your CV.
    5) When someone asks a legitimate question, the answer to which would undermine his position, refuse to answer the question. Repeatedly.
    6) When someone points out specifically how he’s wrong, start whining.
    7) When the discussion turns against him, cry and whine to the blog owner.

  7. jonathan
    Apr 18th, 2014 at 20:55
    #7

    Where is Loren Petrich? Who else is going to see the marked resemblance between Joe, and Earl Curley?

    joe Reply:

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/comments-policy/
    2. Ad hominem attacks. This has been a standard rule at the California High Speed Rail Blog dating back to 2008. Personal attacks are out-of-line here. Feel free to disagree with people based on their ideas – vehemently if warranted. But keep it civil. If Robert can disagree civilly with Morris Brown at a Peninsula HSR meeting, you can easily disagree civilly with someone on this blog. This includes attacks based on race, age, sex, orientation, etc.

    jonathan Reply:

    Joe, do tell us what you think the ad-hominem is. Shall I cite the ad-hominem arguments you’ve used against me?

    Meanwhile: in response to my asking Alan (not you) to respond to a question:

    Oh
    Did I break your train of thought? Sorry.

    Methinks that, just perhaps, the owner of the sock protests too much. I could be wrong, though.
    You do seem very, very *very* sensitive to an observation of a resemblance.

    jonathan Reply:

    Oh, here’s another goodie:

    Jonathan, you’re a fucking idiot. In case it has escaped the dense rock on your shoulders (there sure isn’t a brain up there),

    Consitency is the bugaboo of small minds Mind you, observation and attention to detail is *absolutely requied* for scientists. And Joe *so* loves to remind us that he’s a scientist…

    joe Reply:

    I did not write that quoted text so don’t try to attribute to me. It’s easy disproven with a google search.

    If you have a complaint make it to the owner of the blog.

    Joe likes to wax about his knowledge as a “scientist”. At the same time. Joe lies, and prevaricates, and changes the subject, about high-school, pre-calculus, physics constraints on any rail line — high speed or not — on the Peninsula.

    Joe claims to be a scientist, but prevaricates, and lies, to suit Joe’s political agenda.
    There is a word for scientists who do exatly that. It’s particularly appropriate for scientists who lie, and ignore data, and falsify facts, for ideological reasons.

    Joe might, just might, know what that word is. Here’s a hint: it begins with “L”.

    I am tired of your trolling – sure I am aware not to feed the trolls but this is moderated comment section and I fail to see the purpose of the lengthy insults.

    jonathan Reply:

    I said it was a “goodie”. I think it is.

    Joe, of all people… well, one day perhaps you will recognise the difference between a 25 kV rail-electrification line; and a national-grid 500 kV line. It is a *fact* that, on this blog, you defended a statement about one, as answering a question about the other. I stand by my statement that *your* statement shows you can’t tell the difference between them.

    jonathan Reply:

    … and I do wish to suggest a cognomen for Joe: one which reflects Joe’s knowing and willful ignoring (specificaly not to say, “ignorance”) of facts, of law, of Newtonian mechanics and dynamics. And that’s just for beginners.

    There is one figure which stands out, in the history of science, as ignoring data, ignoring facts of using ad-hominem (not to say “liquidation”) against anyone who disagreed with him. I am referring, of course, to Lysenko.

    I hereby state my intention to refer, on this blog and elsewhere to refer to Joe as “Lysenko Joe”.
    A cognomen which Joe has worked hard for, and richly deserves.

    Alan Reply:

    But you’re as pure as the driven snow when you repeatedly accuse people of “lacking reading comprehension”, or being “sock puppets”? Spare me.

    You’re just proving my suspicion that you’re part of the PAMPA elite.

    jonathan Reply:

    “Joe”does seem awfully — irrationally, even — bothered, by the mere comparison of his name, to Earl Curley. Just *how* does Joe explain that’ that’s ad-hominem? And what toes (never mind legs) does Joe have to stand on, when it comes to complaining about ad-hominems?

    Does it support the hypothesis that, perhaps, the sock-puppeteer doth protest too much?
    After all, this is Joe the Scientist, “the proper term for diesel [ sic: -electrics] is electric diesel; please use the correct term in future”, that we’re talking about.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Who’s Earl Curley?

    Jerry Reply:

    He’s the father of Larry Curley and the uncle to Moe.

    jonathan Reply:

    A now-deceased Toronto psychic the orignal person for whom the Usenet term “sock puppet” was inventd. Check the Jargon File.

  8. synonymouse
    Apr 19th, 2014 at 10:46
    #8

    Instead of thinking of CAHSR as a ground level airline think of it as a very, very fast Megabus on rails. The principle is to link city centers with lots of motivated to travel patrons and money for tickets.

  9. J. Wong
    Apr 20th, 2014 at 15:42
    #9

    Note that losing the appeal has no bearing on what the trial will actually find. The Authority tried to short-circuit the process, and the appeals court denied that. You can’t read too much into that as to which arguments will prevail at the trial.

Comments are closed.