CHSRA Visualizes Palmdale to LA Segment

May 22nd, 2014 | Posted by

The California High Speed Rail Authority is hosting open houses this week and next across Los Angeles County to discuss proposals for the Palmdale to Los Angeles segment. And as part of the outreach, they’ve developed this video showing the different alignments on that route. Note that it starts off looking south from Palmdale, and follows the 14 freeway (more or less) into the San Fernando Valley and, ultimately, to Union Station:

The remaining meetings will be held at the following dates and places:

Burbank Holiday Inn
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
150 E Angeleno Ave., Burbank, CA 91502

Chimbole Cultural Center
Thursday, May 29, 2014
38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale, CA 93550

William S. Hart Regional Park
Thursday, June 5, 2014
24151 Newhall Ave., Newhall, CA 91321

Each one lasts from 5 to 8 pm.

  1. Emmanuel
    May 23rd, 2014 at 00:05
    #1

    Seems like that segment will max out at something around 180 mph. I don’t see how a HSR can go through all those curves maintaining anything above that. Of course it will only reach top speeds in certain areas such as….. hmm…. but maybe… No. I’m all for Tejon. The major reason to go through Palmdale is because it’s in the Proposition unfortunately.

    I know it’s too early to think about it, but having lived in the Anaheim area, I can say that it would be very possible to add Anaheim to the LA-SD segment. HSR has to do this massive roundtrip from Riverside to LA Union anyway so you might as well make a stop in Irvine or Anaheim instead of the ridiculous Industry and Ontario Airport.

    For a visual reference, see the cover page: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/LA_San_Diego/LA_SD_Preliminary_AA_Executive_Summary_and_Report_3_3_11.pdf

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Anaheim is supposed to be part of Phase 1.

    joe Reply:

    The Peer review’s draft comments on the latest Business Plan ’14.(via Clem Tiller’s site) http://www.tillier.net/stuff/hsr/cahsrprg_letter_draft_2014_business_plan.pdf

    Service to Anaheim. For a number of reasons, including the high cost of constructing a new, separated high-speed line from Los Angeles to Anaheim, the Authority removed the link to Anaheim from their demand projections and program plans in the 2014 Business Plan, leaving the connection to be provided by Metrolink. While this may be appropriate for the 2014 Business Plan, we believe it should be reconsidered in the 2016 Business Plan since the demand generated by Anaheim and Norwalk in earlier demand modeling was actually greater than Los Angeles Union Station. While we understand that the issue is under discussion with Metrolink, we believe that, as with the blended service between San Jose and San Francisco, the Authority should evaluate conventional speed electrification from Los Angeles Union Station to Norwalk and Anaheim. There appears to be a reasonable possibility that single seat conventional service through to Anaheim would generate enough additional demand and revenue to justify the added investment and operating cost.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    LAUS is also supposed to be part of Phase One but it grows daily more remote. Just as the Peers pointed out that HSR to Anaheim was too expensive and conventional speed plus electrification is a more realistic aspiration, so we’ll see the same sticker shock for Burbank to and including LAUS. CHSRA is quietly dumping that segment onto LACMTA and hoping they will come up with a solution. Of course Burbank is in L.A. County. Close enough for government work, as they say in America.

    joe Reply:

    Quietly? The solution is money and with it they’ll build.

    Building in urban areas is costly. Tunnelling is uncertain.

    The peer review group consistently advises CA & Legislature to blend service (and to let CAHSRA build blended service) to establish single seat rail service (and revenue) sooner than later. CA should build out to full HSR as and when needed.

    This approach is under legal attack in the courts. It’s being litigated right now and a way to attack the project’s compliance with prop1a. Blended service requires flexibility on the part of the State including ways to coordinate blended local with HSR service and of course acceptance of the CAHSRA’s plans to use blended.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Remember Bourbonnais! Demand total grade separation and secure fencing for HSR – no “Blended Rail”. End initial HSR to Bay Area at San Jose; transfer there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, and planned SV BART. Later upgrade Amtrak East Bay San Jose/Sacramento line to HSR, with a BART transfer at the BART overhead crossing in Oakland. BART runs every 4 minutes to San Francisco’s Embarcadero station in 6 minutes. Much better, safer, more reliable, and cheaper than the ordained “one-seat-service” via Caltrain. Don’t squander any more HSR funds on Caltrain!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, let’s squander the farm on more IBG.

    Hey, how about that 7 foot gauge? It tells the whole story; why did not the Bechtels go for that, since it is so superior in every way rather than piddling 5.5′. The reason is obvious: gigantism has its limitations. That is why we do not have 20 foot tall humans. Inherent physical limitations and characteristics.

    They should have grasped immediately that the putative advantages would be minimal as soon as they had to compromise on the supposed benefits of size. Something about the Planck Constant. The Bechtels, B.R. Stokes, Biaggini et al should have been flogged thru the fleet for screwing the Bay Area so badly.

    Eric Reply:

    11 people were killed in Bourbonnais. In actuarial terms that’s a cost of about $100 million. Why would anyone spend billions on grade separations to prevent a Bourbonnais-like accident? There are ways of spending billions of dollars that would save many more lives.

    EJ Reply:

    It could have been a lot worse. Which is why since then new rules have been put into place on high speed lines with passenger service requiring things like 4-quad gates, better intrusion detection, etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why does the logo on the side of the train make it less dangerous or more dangerous?

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    New rules help. But who could have foreseen a couple of years after Bourbonnais that terrorists would commandeer civilian aircraft and taken down New York’s World Trade Center? High Speed Rail needs secure fencing and total grade separation, or it becomes a terrorist target.

    jonathan Reply:

    Mr Allen, that is a flat lie. Aircraft become targets for terroirsts because they are huge, relatively fragie objects which are full of kerosene (as well as people). Plus if anything causes the engines to fail, the aircraft fall out of the sky. Neither of these is true for a train.

    Please face facts: high-speed rail is *no more* of a target for terrorists than commuter rail.

    EJ Reply:

    Robert S. Allen actually responded! I win!

    Seriously though, terrorists attack commuter trains and subways a lot more often than high speed rail. Commuter lines are more crowded, so you kill more people. Madrid 2004, London 2005, Mumbai 2008. Grade separation wouldn’t have prevented any of those. Get a bomb aboard a transbay BART train and you’ll cause a lot more havoc than derailing a high speed train.

    Fearmongering about terrorism usually means you’re out of real arguments.

    EJ Reply:

    It also should be noted that high speed train derailments, Eschede and Grayrigg notwithstanding, almost never result in fatalities to passengers.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    HSR was a terrorist target, in the 80s! Carlos put a bomb on a TGV; 5 people died. I suspect that since then the BART police has killed more civilians than that.

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah, I know about that one – have there been any other terrorist attacks on high speed trains? It’s the only one I’m aware of.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people who actually keep track of things like zealots flying airplanes into things had thought about it. They had anticipated that it wouldn’t be pretty if it was the World Trade Center or the Willis Tower or the Transamerica or .. or… Just because you live under a rock doesn’t mean that people who do this for a living don’t imagine those kind of things.
    The World Trade Center had a history of being attacked. So has Wall Street in general. The events of 2001 are the third attack that I can think of, off the top of my head, that have happened down there. Four if you count the one that was bit farther away but targeted at Wall Street types. It was big, it was dramatic but it wasn’t unimaginable. It had happened before. It’s probably going to happen again. Until “Wall Street” goes all electronic. Which probably won’t happen. There are advantages to having bankers rub elbows. Or disadvantages depending on you viewpoint.

    jonathan Reply:

    @Alon: yes, it was tried once, and it didn’t work. Terrorists found out quickly that metros/subways were a better target.

    Mr. Allen seems not to have read his Cliff Notes that far, though.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Speaking of, the Beijing subway seems to have taken the security state idea to its logical conclusion (link). Good thing China doesn’t have an actual terrorist threat, or else the lines would be prime bombing targets.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Billions for grade separations? Eric, what world are you in?

    A first phase HSR to the Bay Area just to San Jose avoids Caltrain grade crossings, and the costly HSR funding for Caltrain tunneling, electrification, etc. Transfer at Diridon to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, the planned SV BART, and VTA Light Rail.

    A next phase up-grading the Amtrak/UP East Bay Mulford route to a BART transfer at the BART overpass in Oakland would put HSR just 6 minutes from San Francisco’s Embarcadero, with a train every 4 minutes. Further extension to Sacramento would be a cakewalk.

    EJ Reply:

    Caltrain is far too dangerous, what with all its grade crossings. Remember Bourbonnais! It also could be attacked by terrorists.

    What about the billions of dollars it’s going to cost to actually get SV BART built? Or the billions it will cost to upgrade the East Bay Mulford line to keep it safe from terrorists?

    Do you in fact have any good-faith arguments?

    EJ Reply:

    Typical Northern California elitism – you’ve got to go all the way to Illinois for your fearmongering. What about “Remember Glendale 2005.” No love for So Cal at all.

    jonathan Reply:

    Mr.Allen, do you ever reply to the points raised to you?

    You appear to be in “write only” mode, like a “Bot”.

    As for “squandering”HSR money on Calrain: what do you want to do, illegally spend HSR money on a non-standard system which is so badly engineered, it’s *TWO HUNDRED YEARS* behind the times?!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Intentionally sabotaged by people who hated trains.

    jonathan Reply:

    What on Earth are you on about now?

    synonymouse Reply:

    supported duorail

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    2008 Prop 1A was for “The Safe, Reliable…” HSR. The first words in the Prop 1A title. Vehicular and pedestrian access to their tracks makes HSR – indeed all passenger trains – vulnerable to accident and train delays, and, face it, terrorism does exist. HSR needs a secure, grade-separated, and fenced track. No vehicular or other public access. HSR on Caltrain would be NEITHER SAFE NOR RELIABLE. Hence initial HSR to the Bay Area should stop at San Jose, with easy transfer there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, and the planned SV BART.

    Later, HSR should up-grade the Amtrak East Bay route to Sacramento, with a transfer station in Oakland at the BART overhead. A train every 4 minutes for a 6-inute trans-Bay ride.

    Much better, safer, more reliable, and far cheaper than the “Blended Rail” proposal of CHSRA.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    that was “6-minute”. Sorry.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People aren’t going to rent jet packs and go to San Francisco when they get off the train in San Jose. Why does the logo on the side of the train make it less safe?

    EJ Reply:

    Please explain how BART is is immune to terrorism.

    joe Reply:

    BART claims it can unilaterally shut down cell phone service to stop acts of terror.
    http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/bart-defends-cell-phone-shutdown-fcc

    “A temporary interruption of cell phone service, under extreme circumstances where harm and destruction are imminent, is a necessary tool to protect passengers and respond to potential acts of terrorism or other acts of violence,”

  2. Joey
    May 23rd, 2014 at 00:16
    #2

    All I can say is that is a lot of tunneling. We know some of the fault crossings are going to be below-grade too.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah that is not realistic. I suspect the route will get revised to use the median of the 14, perhaps with multiple tracks to aid Metronlink and the Surfliner ( I mean, uh, OCTA’s new service). At some point, Tejon does become cheaper.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    If HSR is built there will be no conventional Metrolink north of Princessa, it would be redundant. There may be “Javelin” type commuter service on HSR tracks from Mojave to L.A. Surfliner? OCTA?

    wdobner Reply:

    That’s a depressing commentary on the state of passenger rail “advocacy” in SoCal that were contemplating the curtailment of redundant services rather than formulating arguments to retain the service and improve connectivity. But the Coast Daylight and 110mph trains on the LOSSAN corridor will solve all ills.

    And what’s Acton, chopped liver?

    No wonder nobody bothers discussing Southern California’s interaction with the HSRA. There isn’t any and you’re actively looking to make service worse after the introduction of high speed service.

    Joey Reply:

    The SR-14 median is useless as far as HSR is concerned, unless you want to make the entire journey at 50 mph.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Remember the High Desert Corridor proposal. My guess is that Measure R money will get thrown into highway funds and the like to build a dual mode project that expands the 14, extends the High Desert Corridor and reserves the median for both conventional and HSR. I expect to see the Surfliner repurposed to do Lancaster to San Diego, with the State picking up the Coast Daylight.

    Joey Reply:

    The High Desert Corridor ROW might be useful as far as Palmdale-Victorville is concerned, but south of Palmdale the SR-14 median will never be useful for passenger rail.

    StevieB Reply:

    The San Andreas Fault runs along the north edge of Lake Palmdale and is visible in the opening all the way across the top of the screen from left to right in front of the mountain range. The crossing is at grade before the rails enter the first tunnel.

    Joey Reply:

    That’s not the only fault that needs to be crossed.

    JB in PA Reply:

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/products/conterminous/2008/maps/us/3hzSA.usa.jpg

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3195/

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/qfaults/imsintro.php

    This one lets you zoom in:
    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/qfaults/map/

    Nathanael Reply:

    The route very carefully crosses almost all the faults at grade.

    The exception is the river in Soledad Canyon, which has to be bridged, and runs straight along the fault line.

    Interestingly, the route is only at grade to cross faults — it’s pretty much in tunnel or bridge except at the faults.

    Clem Reply:

    Carefully crossing faults at grade is hardly a grand achievement. It’s the price of entry, a basic criterion. Tejon alignments cross all faults at grade with far less mileage of tunnels and bridges.

    Note that all the HSR alignments shown in the video cross the San Gabriel fault in a tunnel.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Could a Las Vegas line be routed through Palmdale to Bakersfield?
    And at Bakersfield is a transfer to HSR along the Tejon alignment possible?
    Wouldn’t such an alignment through Palmdale/Lancaster benefit Bay Area as well as LA rail patrons?
    The CAHSR Authority dances a jig around supposed voter intent, but won’t admit that cost-cutting and impact-reducing measures would also be approved. Follow the money.

    EJ Reply:

    What would be the point? It’s a hugely roundabout route from LA, and SF-Las Vegas is too far to be economically viable on its own.

    Lewellan Reply:

    It’s about 40 miles roundabout, near the same additional distance via Tehachapi for HSR. But that extra distance only applies to LA-to-LV route. North of Bakersfield, all rail patrons bound for LasVegas gain a more direct route. If possible, it’s economically viable. More important, Tejon reduces both cost and trip time for HSR LA-to-Bay Area. I’m hoping Clem will offer the particulars on compatability. My preference for HSR is still Talgo XXI hybrid trainsets.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Some here have argued that a spur line from Tejon to Palmdale would be far more economical than trying to cross the Tehachapi.

    Looking at CA-58 versus CA-138 on Google terrain view, I have trouble disagreeing with them.

  3. Keith Saggers
    May 23rd, 2014 at 08:45
    #3

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/urban/single-view/view/los-angeles-metro-extension-secures-federal-funding.html

    Donk Reply:

    Funny how federal funds are easier to come by for local projects than for state-wide projects.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    All projects are local now that the transportation dollars are funneled through the counties. If you’re really lucky you’ll find a county that looks beyond its borders at regional needs, but don’t hold your breath with most of them.

  4. Reality Check
    May 23rd, 2014 at 15:57
    #4

    The Truth About High-Speed Rail
    By Dan Richard
    Chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority

    What we are building is precisely what the voters called for — a fully electric, clean fast rail system. Exactly as set forth in the Bond Act, what we are constructing will be designed to achieve sustained speeds in excess of 200 mph, it will be designed so that non-stop train between LA and San Francisco can be done in 2 hours 40 minutes and it will operate without a subsidy.

    [...]

    No one can expect to have a 520-mile high-speed system unveiled all at once. This isn’t a train set under the Christmas tree. We’re building it in stages, just as the highways and other transportation systems have been built.

    And we’re building it with complete fidelity with the Proposition 1A. Suggestions to the contrary are just hokem.

    jonathan Reply:

    Oops. Someone else who can’t do arithmetic.

    Donk Reply:

    Dan Richard had a great comment in the comments section. It would really be tough to be in his shoes. Here it is (sorry I didn’t memorize how to properly enter quoted text):

    “Profit from it? I get $500 per month for serving on the High Speed Rail Authority, if I attend five meetings. No, on the contrary, it’s been a fairly significant financial sacrifice for me personally. I’m not complaining, however, because it’s an honor to work on this transformative program.

    Yes, the costs have gone up. There is no question about that. By the way, we’re the ones who came in determined to tell the truth about the costs and we have. When Gov. Brown appointed Mike Rossi and me, our first task was to determine if it is still worth it despite the higher costs. We believe it is, for the simple reason that expanding highways or trying to build new airports, just to handle the equivalent mobility, is estimated to cost two or three times as much. So, take your choice.

    Critics of the program seem to believe that if we don’t do high speed rail, we won’t have to spend money on anything. That’s not true. It will be more costly and take more farmland to expand current road networks. Note, the recent seven mile Caltrans expansion of Highway 99 near Arboleta in the Central Valley takes FIVE TIMES more farmland per mile than high speed rail.

    Where is the private sector? It’s there. We’ve met with them and there is huge interest. It’s just a question of timing – both theirs and ours. Our numbers show that the private sector will ultimately invest the 1/3 share of the system contemplated in the bond act. If we bring them in too soon, they’ll price the risk differently and discount the value of their investment. We’ve got ex-bankers and finance people on our Board and we know exactly when to bring in the private sector. Day One is not the time.

    Finally, the latest polls, specifically the PPIC poll, show that in fact 52% of all Californians support the project and 67% say it’s either very important or somewhat important to the future of the state. Check it out.

    I don’t expect to change people’s mind who don’t want this. Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion. All I’m saying is that we should stick with the facts. It will be more expensive, but it will have the system performance people expected when they voted for the Bond Measure.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    absolute total garbage

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Moje vozilo na zračni blazini je polno jegulj

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Neću kupiti ovu ploču. To je izgreban.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    More from Dan Richards in the Fox and Hounds

    Of all the challenges we face in building the nation’s first true high-speed rail system, perhaps none is greater than overcoming the misinformation and gross distortions that have attended the project in recent years. Mark Twain once said that “a lie is halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Nothing about traversing the Tehachapis, spanning rivers, protecting habitat or carefully treading a path through cities is anywhere near as difficult as trying to rebut the distortion campaign now underway.

    So where did all this nonsense come from that we’ve departed from the bond act? First, it’s because of a deep misunderstanding of the so-called “blended approach” that we’re using in urban areas. For 90% of the system, we will be laying brand new track. In urban areas, where the train does not go 200 mph in any case, we’ve been asked to consider using existing track. As noted, that’s only for about 10% of the system and it covers that portion where trains slow down because they are in densely populated areas (and thus cannot easily build the big curves needed for ultra high-speed operation). Early business plans of the Authority, before our team got there, clearly showed that speeds in urban areas would be lower.

    However, after long consideration, we concluded that we could save billions using existing tracks without sacrificing the design times, sustained high-speeds on the bulk of the system or ridership necessary to operate without a subsidy. A non-stop high-speed rail will still be able to go from LA to San Francisco in 2 hours 40 minutes, regardless of the use of a portion of blended track. The independent Peer Review Group agreed with this approach. By the way, other high-speed rail systems do share tracks in certain areas, so it’s not a radical idea.

    Also, we have indeed entered into agreements with local transit agencies. That’s a good thing, because what we need is for all those systems to work together. A case in point is Caltrain on the San Francisco peninsula. We will help fund the electrification of Caltrain as an early investment in infrastructure that we will use eventually. All of these agreements are predicated on the notion that money must be spent in accordance with Prop 1A, i.e., to build the high-speed rail system. Mr. Johnson is a lawyer. If he reads the documents, he’ll see this is true.

    The other basis for this mischaracterization is that we’re proposing to build the project in stages. This in fact was contemplated by the Bond Act, which refers to useable segments. The dispute we have with Judge Kenny is that we believe we proposed and the Legislature appropriated funds for a segment that meets this test. Mr. Johnson goes very far afield when he suggests this was all done in some hazy way; both we and the Legislature had months of open, public hearings where all these issues were discussed. Moreover, the Legislative Counsel was asked if our program met the criteria of the Bond Act and they said it did.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Remember Bourbonnais, on 79 mph track like Caltrain. And terrorists a few years later. Demand secure, fenced, and totally grade separated track. Forget giving San Francisco “one-seat-service”.
    2008 Prop 1A demands “Safe” and “Reliable” HSR. Those words trump “Blending”.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Remember Attica!

    jonathan Reply:

    Mr. Allen,

    Prop 1A *legally* *requires* one-seat service on the HSR system. It’s a shame that inability to read for comprehension is destroying whatever reputation your public service has eanred.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Well… people will be getting a one seat HSR ride. From Burbank to San Jose. The parts south of Burbank won’t be HSR and the parts north of San Jose won’t be HSR either. It’s pointless to point things out to him because he has a spam-blogs fetish that doesn’t include making responses.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    “Safe, Reliable” in 1A should trump “one-seat” and “World Class” San Francisco service. To achieve it, CHSRA could just defer HSR to SF until the next century.

    joe Reply:

    CAHSR did defer HSR to to the next century – and you’re now in it dude. Step aside.

    EJ Reply:

    Remember the Maine!

    Judge Moonbox Reply:

    …Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!

    Lewellan Reply:

    Remember the Alamo!
    (the kind applied atop apple pie!)

    jimsf Reply:

    What we are building is precisely what the voters called for — a fully electric, clean fast rail system. Exactly as set forth in the Bond Act, what we are constructing will be designed to achieve sustained speeds in excess of 200 mph, it will be designed so that non-stop train between LA and San Francisco can be done in 2 hours 40 minutes and it will operate without a subsidy. No one can expect to have a 520-mile high-speed system unveiled all at once. This isn’t a train set under the Christmas tree. We’re building it in stages, just as the highways and other transportation systems have been built And we’re building it with complete fidelity with the Proposition 1A. Suggestions to the contrary are just hokem

    Exactly. And this was clear from the beginning and has always been very clear. All the hoopla and drama stating otherwise is in fact “hokem:

    synonymouse Reply:

    Pure posturing and poppycock.

    Richards must have raided Jerry’s viagra stash.

    The DogLeg cannot do 2:40; will hemorrhage money and require permanent taxpayer life support.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Romney in a landslide

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Mitt does not stand a chance.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B5o6-qNk6Q

    joe Reply:

    Donnelly !!

    “I want my state back,” he said in an interview. “I want my sons to have the same chance I had to live the California dream without having to move to some other state to do it.”

    While everyone wants clean water, state and federal rules on California water are “a diabolical scheme,” Donnelly said.

    “When you control the water, you control the people,” he warned. “There’s a little fish that has more rights than you, even though you were made in God’s image.”

    A human body is approximately 57% water.
    He’s cracked the code.

    EJ Reply:

    “Mandrake, have you ever wondered why I only drink spring water and pure grain alcohol?”

    Alon Levy Reply:

    >wants his sons to have the same chances he did

    oldeconomysteve.jpg

    >supports Prop 13

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course Palmdale real estate developers and the Ranch hold exactly the same opinion as Donnelly in private.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    but the rest of us can’t see that because of the dead Chandler mind rays. I dunno how Ross and Monica, Joey, Phoebe and the all the others were able to block them.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Kudos on forgetting Rachel.

    Zorro Reply:

    Donnelly and Kashkari will never be elected Governor in 2014.

    EJ Reply:

    Please, tell us again how increasing journey times by detouring through the antelope valley will doom the project, but increasing journey times by ripping out BART and putting in trolley cars is a great idea.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Certain parts of the BART Empire may be needed for other rail lines, which would be heavy rail OCS 25kv, not 750vdc light rail.

    No more IBG.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The Transbay Tube doesn’t have the clearance for any kind of catenary, let alone high-voltage catenary. I guess if you really cared you could regauge it and run dual-mode trains like on the Boston Blue Line – third rail in the tunnel, catenary outside – but what’s the point? In the East Bay, the current BART lines are okay at feeding the Tube; the only mainline that would be any useful is the Capitol Corridor line, which south of Oakland is a spit’s distance from BART, and north of Oakland serves industrial areas and water. From the west, it would be interesting to be able to interline Caltrain with the Tube… except that the connection wouldn’t be able to serve Montgomery, only Embarcadero, making the crowding problem there even worse than it already is. (Geary, in contrast, could connect in a way that serves both, which is a lot less problematic.)

    synonymouse Reply:

    Alon, no I would not try to regauge the Transbay Tube. But the second tube definitely standard gauge OCS.

    Basically what I am saying is that if BART is in the way of hsr or new suburban standard gauge OCS lines, have at it. Show the BART Empire the same mercy it has shown everybody else. Those who live by the sword…

    No more IBG, most particularly on Geary or Van Ness, as intimated by Clem. What the hell is going on with TWU 250A? – BART and Amalgamated are going to steal all their jobs. And of course all grade separated could end up driverless in time. Especially since Amalgamated is so greedy. Absolutely no excuse Geary is not being converted to trolley coach immediately and Presidio Yard expanded to handle the buses.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How come eastern Ukraine can afford trolley buses all over the place? We’re more 3rd World.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yep.

    As for Ukraine, generally if a city has trolleybuses or mixed-traffic streetcars, it’s a legacy system. (The newer light rail systems in Europe have dedicated lanes, and often run in a grassy median.) The communist bloc kept the legacy streetcars and trolleybuses much better than the capitalist bloc. A couple of North American cities kept trolleybuses too – I think SF actually has the largest system, but Vancouver has the second largest. Nearly all local radial buses in Vancouver run under trolleywire. The crosstown buses, the limiteds, and the suburban buses run diesel, though.

    EJ Reply:

    And a standard gauge, 25Kv OCS transbay tube, if it’s ever built, would obviously hook into Caltrain on one end and an electrified capitol corridor on the other. Again, no reason to involve BART.

    Again, I’m not defending a 50 year old decision to build BART as an isolated, broad gauge system. Obviously it should have been built to standard gauge mainline standards with OCS like the Paris RER. But it’s water under the bridge at this point – there’s no upside to standard-gauging BART.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course, but imperial expansionist BART is totally involved as it will try to stop any second tube that is not IBG at all costs.

    There is no skullduggery or chicanery to which BART will not stoop. It is toxic.

    EJ Reply:

    BART gets the job done; it’s farebox recovery isn’t bad; it works as a commuter metro to San Fran from the East Bay.

    It’s a decent option as an airport connector from SFO or OAK to downtown SF. Airport connectors are over-rated, but as a fellow who lives in SoCal and has to go to SF frequently on business, sure, I use it. Not the best system in the world; given a clean sheet of paper, most transit planners would do better, but it’s what you guys have, and it works.

    EJ Reply:

    I mean compared to muni, which, for a city as small, dense, and transit friendly as SF, not to mention as wealthy, is just a travesty.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is ugly; it is noisy; it steals all the other transit ops lunch money.

    Calling Godzilla.

    jonathan Reply:

    BART suckis. It costs too much. It’s too slow. Its payment system is atrocious.
    Its technology is *TWO HUNDRED YEARS* out of date. Its capital costs are *far* too much per kilometre, even by inflated Bay Area standards. The cost of new rolling stock is exorbitant, thanks to its unique-in-the-world combination of track gauge, loading gauge, and axle load.

    The BART Board has an enviable record of total incompetence: look up AATCS.

    I’m not saying we should rip up what’s there. But extending BART technology, or BART board management, to “Ring the bay”, is insane.

    EJ Reply:

    The cost of new rolling stock is exorbitant, thanks to its unique-in-the-world combination of track gauge, loading gauge, and axle load.

    AFAIK the new batch of cars costs about $2MM each, which is comparable to NYC and DC.

    joe Reply:

    Also I looked at BART vs DC METRO speeds.

    Both average 33 MPH with stops. BART has a much high max speed.

    BART “Speed 80 mph maximum; 33 mph average, including 20-second station stops.”

    DC METRO: “Metro trains run at an average speed of 33 miles per hour, which includes stops. The maximum speed trains can travel is 59 mph.”

    flowmotion Reply:

    > Its capital costs are *far* too much per kilometre, even by inflated Bay Area standards.

    Any other bay area project would be run through the exact same enigneer/contractor/union-industrial complex, so this is certainly not the case. You must be a tea-partier who is against jerbs.

    I remember all the naive claims that HSR would be much cheaper to build than BART because (reasons). Building shit in this environment involves paying the pipers. It has nothing to do with BART And everything to do with politics. Deal with it.

    > The cost of new rolling stock is exorbitant

    I thought that was proven to not be case and the new cars were not that expensive?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s important to note that BART’s technical eccentricity is mostly a product of Southern Pacific’s desire to avoid having competition and/or responsibility for commuter rail service.

    Given the capacity of the Bay Area’s freight railroads in 2014, it’s a little frightening to imagine what would have been the result if the town fathers had elected for Metrolink instead of BART. Yes, you read that correctly.

    It’s great to compare European and Asian transit systems to the US, but that sidesteps the main difference between urban planning in the New and Old World. Namely, European cities didn’t build transit or highways to fuel population growth and land development (because you know, that’s the whole point of why people immigrated). In the US, it’s exactly the opposite and BART’s carrying capacity is very favorable to a dense, efficient urban footprint.

    It’s Muni, VTA, and AC Transit that are the weakest links because they ultimately have to feed BART.

    But yeah, sure, lay everything at BART’s feet because it’s the most politically contentious and technologically difficult system to run. Ignore that WMATA and MARTA have similar struggles related to serving different jurisdictions and having funding streams that are less than perfect.

    I know it’s not a convenient explanation…much easier to believe that BART Vader clenches it broad-gauge fist on the innocent people of the Bay Area.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PBHSR could be cheaper to construct if it were not as much a victim of incompetence and idiosyncratic conception as BART.

    PBHSR could be cheaper to operate with a private concessionaire, but that will not be possible with a non-viable route. Without a private operator the unions will take control, as at BART and Muni.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I thought that was proven to not be case and the new cars were not that expensive?

    You can’t have “not that expensive” together with any or any of Buy American, bid preference to exceeding “Buy American”, bid preference to California.

    Nice if it were true, or even possible.

    And that’s before getting “BART” (the agency, the staff, he should-have-been-put-out-to-pasture-decades-ago staff, the hangers-on) and “BART” (the consulting contractors who really run the show) involved. And before sweet, sweet “lobbying” of local, state, and national political figures.

    The publicly advertised, non-agency-burdened cost of the contract is not out-of-this-world expensive, but it’s no deal, the specified vehicles aren’t going to anything but pedestrian, and there are eight digit numbers of public dollars that are disappearing without anything being gained by the public.

    Not too far off par for the booby trapped course.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Richard, the market for EMUs manufactured at domestic factories owned by foreigners is large enough that there’s no longer a cost premium. Subway cars in New York aren’t unusually expensive, commuter EMUs on the LIRR and Metro-North aren’t unusually expensive, etc. For a random example I looked, in Singapore, the new subway cars, manufactured in China, are about US$1.9 million each in exchange rate terms.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Alon, if that were the case there would be no law-writing, rule-making and lobbying and we’d all be slip-sliding away on perfectly frictionless barrier-free markets. So well lubricated!

    But there is, and those costs must be borne somewhere by somebody.

    It’s the “free market” hypocrisy that burns. (That and the crippling of the “inefficient” public sector for private ends.)

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, and these costs are a rounding error. This isn’t the SMART one-of-a-kind DMU for twice the international price; here the prices are within international norms. The lobbying is already present: the manufacturing has to be done in the US. This imposes a cost in terms of siting a new factory, but when many cars come out of the factory, either because it’s a large order or because there are many medium-size orders, the cost is spread so thinly it doesn’t matter much. Hence, BART’s $2 million/car order.

    EJ Reply:

    You can’t have “not that expensive” together with any or any of Buy American, bid preference to exceeding “Buy American”, bid preference to California.

    While your sneering, incoherent rage is as always a valuable contribution, in real life the AFL-CIO has actually criticized BART for going with the low bid and not maximizing the amount of made in USA content in the new cars.

    http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/passenger/rapid-transit/bart-taps-bombardier-us-content-at-issue.html

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Whatevs.

    EJ Reply:

    Cute.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Incoherent.

    Eric Reply:

    Hey Richard, try not to shoot up any sororities, OK?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Eric, not funny.

    jonathan Reply:

    Synon, reality-check time.

    BART cars weigh about 60,000 lb. Which means an axle loading of about 15,000 lb.
    In standard units, that’s about 6,800kg, or just under 7 tonnes.

    Look, Synon. S-Bahn rolling stock counts as “light rail” in the USA. S-Bahn rolling stock has axle loads of 15 to 20+ (maybe 24) tonnes. that’s *two* to *three* times the axle-loading of a BART car. You *CANNOT* run that rolling-stock on a largely-elevated structure designed for an axle loading — and a mass-per-unit-length– of one-third that of an S-Bahn car.

    And if by”heavy rail” you actually mean FRA-compatible trains.. like an Amtrak Cities Sprinter, at 25 tonne axle-load — you might as well go and play in traffic.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I think that this has a 7.5 t axle load: 60 t for a 2-car train with standard bogies. This has 10.5 average, with slightly higher maximum since one bogie is unpowered, but this is with Jacobs bogies, so the mass per unit length is actually a bit lower – a bit more than 1.5 t/m, the lowest I know of on a mainline outside Japan. It’s a bit heavier than BART, which is about 1.3 t/m, but I don’t think they’ve built the structures on BART based on the assumption that trains will forever be made of aluminum rather than stainless steel.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    LIRR on the IND. All the fantasy about this that and the other thing is just fantasy, the place you want to put the other trains already has trains cluttering it up.

    jonathan Reply:

    Alon, what’s “this” that has a 1.5 t axle-load??

    Joey Reply:

    Not axel load, but mass per unit length of train, which also has to be considered.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Nothing! But the DBAG Class 423 weighs 1.5 t per linear meter.

    EJ Reply:

    Again with the tram-trains! The FRA may be considering allowing UIC compliant rolling stock on American railroads, but there’s no way they’ll let light-rail and freight trains mix, whether or not you or anyone else thinks that’s a good idea.

    And mixing trams and trains on the capitol corridor, with its existing frequency of trains, isn’t very practical.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The Class 423 isn’t a tram-train. It’s a mainline train, which runs on S-Bahn systems because the specs are based on the needs of urban service, but could run on intercity tracks. S-Bahns are legally railroads, and follow German railroad law. U-Bahns are legally trams, but I’m not bringing up U-Bahn rolling stock, only S-Bahn rolling stock.

    I’d bring up Japanese rolling stock, which is even lighter – and the Tokyo subway is legally mainline rail, and interlines with commuter lines – but Japan uses different regulations from UIC, and for the needs of American commuter lines, the European trains have better performance anyway.

    jonathan Reply:

    Yes, mass per unit length is important. No-one is making BR 423s any more; you might be able to get a BR430, but not a BR 423. Which is… 1.75 t/ m, using Wikipedia’s numbers. And *drum-roll* it’s powered by overhead catenary. 15kV/16.7 Hz, but could probalby be easily adapted to 25kV. 1kV DC side-paddles?? Ummmm…….

    I thought the entire point of “alternate certification” was precisely so that rail vehicles designd to UIC standards, with crash-energy management – which makes them SAFER than FRA-compliant behemoths — would be able to operate on the same tracks as freight trains.

    However, no-one, not even Synon, is proposing to run US FRA-compliant dinosaur freight trans over BART aerial structures. . . .

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I thought it was easier to adapt AC to DC (at the cost of performance) than the reverse, but I could be overrating the importance of the transformers that make AC trains heavier.

    jonathan Reply:

    Oh, and as for repurposing BART for standard-gauge: that must mean I was too cryptic in my allusion to Great Western broad gauge.

    Like the Great Western, BART lays tracks on baulks Concrete baulks. Concrete baulks with a big pit between them. A pit which screams out as being chosen so as to prohibit standard-gauge track.

    No wonder BART costs a quarter-billion a mile. And that’s official pre-construction figures.
    Richard M. will, no doubt, enlighten us as to the true cost.

    I’m not a civil engineer. I do wonder how much it costs to dig out a gigantic trench; put in forms for baulks (sole purpose; to prevent standard-gauge), and then lay rails. Versus standard ballast-and-prestressed-concrete ties. Heresy, I’m sure, to Mr. Allen.

    Joey Reply:

    BART actually does use ballasted track for most of their at-grade construction (not in most stations though oddly). There’s just so much slab track in the system because so much of it is in a tunnel or on a viaduct.

    jonathan Reply:

    Joey,

    thanks for the info. I’ve only ever gotten to see BART track in stations. Hence my comments above.

    I can only conclude that BART realy, *really*8 doesn’t want platforms like the extra ones at Millbrae converted to standard gauge. And that the BART board is willing to piss away taxpayer money, to make sure that can’t happen.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    there’s ballastless subway all over the world.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Sure, but the point is that the slabs used on BART (or on the subway in New York) make it harder to regauge. It’s not an issue normally because regauging track is a once in a century kind of effort, but it does make it harder to regauge the extra BART track at Millbrae.

    That said, I’ll be surprised if regauging the extra Millbrae track is more than one twentieth as expensive as the Millbrae tunnel.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Nothing a that one of those things that look like a backhoe with a grinding head instead of a bucket couldn’t get rid of an afternoon.

    jonathan Reply:

    One machine in an afternoon? Order of magnitude check!!

    No, Adirondacker. You need to *add* concrete into the BART mega-trench. Which means grinding down the existing concrete. Possibly enough to fit new rebar to the existing rebar. And then putting in new forms, and pouring new concrete, so the baulks are close enough for standard gauge.

    As for Alon’s guess: One-twentieth of a billion dollars is *still* an awful lot of money: Fifty million dollar.s I’d guess signficantly more, given recent Caltrain station “improvement’ costs.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …welll.. if they are too far apart that leaves plenty of space to add a bit without grinding anything down

    jonathan Reply:

    I find it hard to beleive you are genuinely that ignorant…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You know, coming to think of it, it shouldn’t even be that hard, since the track that needs to be regauged is useless for BART, and could be shut down, so it would be just like building a new station track from scratch.

    On the other hand, I don’t want to think how much it costs to build a new station track from scratch in the Bay Area.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the concrete is too far apart you add some more concrete. I grasp the concept of level boarding and assumed top-of-rail would more or less be in the same place. All you have to do is pour more concrete. That’s even faster than tearing concrete out. But since the people who use BART now, even if it shuts down for long periods, will still want to use BART when it reopens there won’t be any room for exurban commuter trains so the whole conversation is a circle-jerk.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Right now we’re talking specifically about Millbrae, which has three BART tracks where it charitably needs two.

    EJ Reply:

    While they’re at it they should rip out the silly Millbrae-SFO BART link and extend the airport people mover along the existing bridge to Millbrae. There’s a repurposing of BART infrastructure I can get behind.

    EJ Reply:

    Which parts? How is regauging it going to improve service? It’s a simple question, which you never seem to have an answer for.

    jonathan Reply:

    EJ,

    you *can* get rational answers out of Synonymouse; but IMO only after pounding relevant facts him, at every opportunity (i.e., when he misses said facts) for a good six months.

  5. Reality Check
    May 23rd, 2014 at 16:06
    #5

    HSRA wins Kings Co. court case over soil testing

    On Friday, visiting Kings County Superior Court Judge Leslie Nichols sided with the California High Speed Rail Authority in a dispute with Kings County.

    The county last year denied access to HSR engineers wanting to do soil testing at 58 sites along the proposed HSR route. An encroachment permit had been refused last summer forcing the state to seek a court order to allow street access for its geo-technical testing.

    [...]

    Replying to the county’s assertions, Caltrans attorney John Fredrick Smith argued that the public right-of-way is land held by the county “as the State’s agent, subject to the State’s right of use of same.”

    “It is regrettable that the county’s enmity toward the high speed train system has colored its approach,” he concluded.

    With the judge doing that Friday, soil testing is likely to to begin along the proposed route in a few weeks, sources say.

  6. Reality Check
    May 23rd, 2014 at 16:09
    #6

    Bakersfield council votes 6-1 to sue HSRA over Fresno-Bakersfiled EIR

    jonathan Reply:

    They’re going to be in deep trouble when Mr. Tandy’s repeated failure to respond comes out in court.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What are they going to do? Call in the military and throw a coup, set up a junta, as in Thailand.

    Duce Jerry

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No, they don’t have the same fantasies of living under a dictator that you do.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Cruickshank treads the line at times. And he might be the least unreasonable of your mouth-foaming logorrheic choo choo cadre.

    NIMBY Fifth Column Hidden Agenda Enemies of the State must be Crushed beneath the Steel Wheels of The People, who have Spoken.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry would have to work on his pout to come up to duce standards.

    But a coup once again after all these years? I was in Thailand very shortly after the bloody coup in late 1976 when a lot of students and dissidents met very brutal ends.

    To my mind the mindset of the Thai military is to preserve the monarchy and the interests of the very wealthy. Any pressure for a revolutionary stance would come from the ethnic Lao northeast.

    I think the Pathet was correct in letting their monarchy die off in Luang Prabang without any replacement. Just when you thought Asia was all that stable there it is, deja vu all over again.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You really have to have them adjust your meds if you think the other 49 states would stand around and do nothing if a coup was successful in California.

    synonymouse Reply:

    regional warlords

    Hunger Games – they even have a noisy maglevey sorta hsr.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You do understand that Hunger Games is a dystopian fantasy, like Orwell’s 1984 or Rand’s Atlas Shrugged?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …silly me. I assumed that you understand that 1984 and Atlas Shrugged are fiction. and that they are dystopian.

    jonathan Reply:

    The Randroids might disagree with you about “dystopian”….

    synonymouse Reply:

    A civil war could never happen in the U.S.

    Oh…..

    Alon Levy Reply:

    โฮเวอร์คราฟท์ของผมเต็มไปด้วยปลาไหล

    synonymouse Reply:

    I did have some success in learning the 44 Thai characters but that was almost 40 years ago. Totally forgotten now.

    Currently I am trying to read the quasi-Carolingian script of the Codex Traguriensis with its numerous abbreviations. At first I thought the scribe really was an idiot, leaving out a bunch of letters. The realized what are these funny little marks? They gave up on trying to make a “u” with I guess a quill pen. Two small “i’s” without dots. Actually the none of the i’s are dotted.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Then I realized

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I know basically nothing of the Thai script.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They all say

    Mea navis volitans anguillis plena est

    or

    Navis volitans mihi anguillis plena est

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Except the one that says,

    Non voglio comprare questo disco. Si è graffiato.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Oggi ci sono uova e pancetta; uova, salsiccia e pancetta; uova e spalmella; uova, pancetta e spalmella; uova, pancetta, salsiccia e spalmella; spalmella, salsiccia, pancetta e spalmella; spalmella, uova, spalmella, spalmella, pancetta e spalmella; spalmella, spalmella, spalmella, uova e spalmella; spalmella, spalmella, spalmella, spalmella, fagioli in umido, spalmella e spalmella; o aragosta o crovette con salsa e guarnita con funghi e sopra un uovo fritto e spalmella.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Nessuno si aspetta l’Inquisizione spagnola! La nostra arma principale è la sorpresa… sorpresa e paura… paura e sorpresa…. Le nostre due armi sono paura e sorpresa… e spietata efficienza… Le nostre tre armi sono paura, sorpresa, e spietata efficienza… e una devozione quasi fanatica al Papa… i nostri quattro… no… Tra le nostre armi… Tra il nostro armamento… sono elementi come paura, sorpresa…

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Bakersfield City Council voted to sue over CHSRA EIR, they did not file a lawsuit.
    City Attorney Ginny Gennaro said it’s still possible the city can settle its dispute with the Authority

    joe Reply:

    But the city contends the EIR is inadequate and does not sufficiently address mitigation measures.

    The alignment through Bakersfield would impact numerous city and private properties.

    City Attorney Ginny Gennaro said it’s still possible the city can settle its dispute with the Authority

    How would they settle a dispute if Bakersfield has no counter-offer?

    I know of no Bakersfield alternative or preferred route. The city has not provided much guidance beyond the previous Mayor asking HSR to build a down-town station. City Manager Tandy has complained they don’t know enough and want more options but offers no suggestions where place the alignment.

    He has an aggressive and combative style but to what purpose?
    Bakersfield can’t stop the project and they have no consensus with Kern Co or neighbouring cities.

    If Bakersfield sues over the EIR, the CAHSRA will defend the EIR and fix any non-compliance just as they did in the Peninsula. Then CA can go ahead with the alignment as they planned it. Bakersfield loses any chance to influence the project.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Bakersfield loses any chance to influence the project” when it supported it in the first place.

    They have had to learn the hard way they should have turned thumbs down decisively on this thing from the get-go. Nothing positive can occur under this corrupt uniparty government.

    Vote no on every money issue.
    Vote for Leland Yee and Gavin.
    Free Rizzo and Shrimp Boy.
    Jerry Brown – too big to jail.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thai coup leader: Don’t protest, it’s no use

    Now that could have come right from the mouths of the unreconstructed PBHSR Cheerleaders. Or Gen. Moonbeam himself.

    joe Reply:

    “Nothing positive can occur under this corrupt uniparty government.”

    The GOP should put you old cranky guys in a holding pen and modernize.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They are the GOP.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The GOP would not have me – I have no hard-on for the wealthy.

  7. Reality Check
    May 23rd, 2014 at 16:17
    #7

    State argues right to sell high-speed rail bonds

    Two lower court rulings that have complicated efforts to begin construction on California’s $68 billion high-speed rail system are premature and should be overturned, attorneys for the state argued before an appellate court panel Friday.

    [...]
    The lawsuits filed by Kings County and landowners there are premature because the state is not yet seeking to spend any of the bond money and only the state Legislature can determine whether there was enough detail in the funding plan, Deputy Attorney General Ross Moody told a three-judge panel of the California 3rd District Court of Appeal.

    “We can’t get this project off the ground. We’re stopped because of this misreading of Proposition 1A,” Moody said. “… We’re at the precipice of actually getting this project into the next phase and we are stopped, we’re being told to go back. We don’t think it’s a proper reading of the law.”

    [...]

    The panel seemed skeptical about overturning the Legislature’s decision, noting that an updated funding plan would be required before the money is spent.

    [...]

    Moody argued that the law required the state to act quickly, which it can’t do while the project is tied up in litigation.

    “We have this big pot of federal money that’s sitting out there that we need to spend by 2017,” he said. “… If we take a time out every time we file a preliminary funding plan for a couple of years of litigation over it, this process is going to drag on forever.”

    joe Reply:

    I thought this comment by Justice Raye was significant. He questions the ripeness of the claims against the CAHSRA. AG argued it is too early to litigate the project’s alleged non-compliance over travel time and blended alignment. It’s too early to make any such claim against the project.

    “You could be correct that at whatever point in time the project that’s planned doesn’t begin to resemble the project that the people authorized,” Presiding Justice Vance Raye told Tim Bittle, an attorney who argued on behalf of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “The question is are we there yet, at this point when there’s been no construction and the only expenditure of funds has been of federal funds, not bond funds.”

    Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/05/23/3483179/state-argues-right-to-sell-high.html#storylink=cpy

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is “ripe” when it is to be auctioned off at liquidation.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why would the government sell off something that is making money? If they are gonna sell off things that lose money why do they own all those roads? Airports? Sewer plants? Airports? Schools? Police stations?…

    synonymouse Reply:

    priorities in the face of bankruptcy

    cops and prison guards, teachers, welfare lobby come first. They vote.

    PBHSR can never hope to achieve the artificial monopoly BART enjoys. Even if the party bosses outlaw Megabus.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Making money? Yeah, like BART.

    flowmotion Reply:

    How is the so-called “railroad to nowhere” making money? AFAICT, there aren’t even firm plans to run Amtrak on this line.

    Travis D Reply:

    It is an interesting definition that would describe the Bay Area and LA as “nowhere.” If those places are “nowhere” than what is “somewhere”? Beijing?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Mojave to Palmdale is nowhere to nowhere.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So is Aberdeen MD to Newark DE

    jonathan Reply:

    “Railroad to nowhere”? Huh? Is someone still describing the first construction segment as “Borden to Corcoran”?

    Alan Reply:

    I’ll be glad to see Judge Kenny overruled on the bond issue, so that these idiot reporters can stop conflating the two cases…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not necessarily.

    What judge wants to take up this type of thankless case and put real effort into a considered decision, only to have it thrown out. You’d have to think the judiciary takes care of its own as well as the party bosses. Why not have thrown it out a priori, as in there is no judicial redress?

    Besides, it is clear Jerry Brown is on his own on this one. The rest of the hierarchy is worried this thing could blow up in their face. Where is the choo-choo in panem et circenses?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Pãmporea-a mea-i ãmplinã di uhelji

    joe Reply:

    Bloomberg reported
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-23/california-s-68-billion-train-seeks-bond-sale-approval.html

    “The court doesn’t have any right to question an appropriation made by the Legislature,” Justice Ronald Robie said during a hearing in Sacramento, the state capital. “I think there is a serious separation-of-powers issue here.”

    Justice Vance Raye today questioned the timing of efforts to halt the project before bonds are issued.

    “The proper time to raise those objections is at the time that the money is going to be spent,” Raye said.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Aka there is no proper time.

    “[Republic]credits will do fine.”

    I am still amazed and pleased that Judge Kerry had the fortitude to stand up to the raw muscle of the Brown-Pelosi patronage machine.

    Vote for Leland Yee and Gavin.

    therealist Reply:

    DONE !!

    Alan Reply:

    The fact that at least two of the three justices seem to be leaning toward the state’s view is encouraging… Considering that Judge Kenny already stated in his ruling that project opponents cannot use a bond validation action to block a project, there isn’t much left for L&H to stand on in that action. Hopefully, the justices will take the same dim view of the idiocy of the Tos action.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Who knows, they’ll get Abbott, Costello, Martin and Lewis to come in and consult and come up with something else to generate more billable hours.

    joe Reply:

    I was most encouraged by the “separation of powers” comment. Kenny could not invalidate the Appropriation (Laurel and Hardy blew their lawsuit by failing to add the Legislature as a party).

    Kenny then created procedural requirements for the Legislature to follow that de facto blocked the appropriation and required them to redo the work. This creative solution is only possible if he asserts a power to review and micromanage HOW the Legislature (and the Authority) conduct and document their constitutionally assigned duties.

    Take this micromanagement power away from Kenny (as the high court should) and he’s stuck with a higher bar which is to invalidate the law. Kenny could find no legal basis which means game over for Tos on this critical line of attack.

  8. datacruncher
    May 26th, 2014 at 15:51
    #8

    From the Bakersfield newspaper web site this afternoon:
    How the council changed course on bullet train
    http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/x954481406/How-the-council-changed-course-on-bullet-train

    joe Reply:

    In 1999 Bakersfield voted to bring HSR to downtown.

    On June 30 of that year [1999], the Bakersfield City Council unanimously approved Resolution No. 97-99 “supporting a downtown location for the high-speed rail station.”
    On a 7-0 vote, the council challenged the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s recommendation to locate the station about seven miles west of downtown.

    2014 they want HSR to go away – no suggestions where to place the station – just go away.

    HANGING OPINIONS
    The “them” is the Bakersfield City Council, ….
    … will challenge the rail agency’s environmental report for the Fresno-Bakersfield route, approved May 7, which Tandy has said is deficient and badly prepared.
    Ward 6 Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan was on the council in 1999 and is its only member to have voted both times.
    She said 15 years ago, the bullet train was just a concept, one the council thought could help a struggling downtown.
    Tandy agreed in a recent interview and said in 1999 the train wasn’t funded and “was kind of a phantom.”

    With downtown reviving, Sullivan said, the council has changed its mind.
    “We don’t need it and now we don’t want it,” she said. “Things have changed and now we need to protect our downtown.”
    Ward 7 Councilman Russell Johnson said he’s worried the state will fund the train on the backs of its cities.
    “The fact that their funding issues continue to be a major issue — the state is only going to have a number of opportunities to go and get that money, and those are going to be from local governments,” Johnson said.

    HSR is being built. It’s happening and they have had 15 years to think about it. Where does Bakersfield want the alignment?
    Why should CA wait longer or spend money studying new alternatives where there are none offered and the City may change its mind yet again?
    City Manager Tandy’s was on the job in 1999 when they approved downtown. He thinks the EIR is deficient and badly prepared – well good luck with that tactic.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You are assuming that unanimously voting for it to be built downtown they were voting for it to be built. They may have been voting for “lets pick the most expensive option which makes it less likely to built”.

    joe Reply:

    Inconceivable. Which cup has the poison?

    My crappy town voted to hold a HSR envisioning study and outreach activity with residents because the City knew they could not stop the project if it went forward and the City wanted to influence the design.

    The alignment may change after CAHSRA come back with more detailed studies and addition work by the Coty.

    Bakersfield never followed up because phantom.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Joe, it was a “Who likes ice cream!!?” vote. Your own politician quote is correct, it was meaningless until there were specifics.

    While you could say out Bakersfield wasn’t sufficiently proactive..
    (1) The original “RR grade” plan was a complete lie.
    (2) Every CAHSR proposal there has been an orgy of massive concrete viaduct and flyovers.
    (3) The Bakersfield-Palmdale connection makes it far more destructive than Bakersfield-LA directly.

    No offense, but your “crappy town” is going to get bypassed. Bakersfield doesn’t have that option, HSR is planning to build over right them.

    joe Reply:

    First Bakersfield’s option was to have it bypass the city and they wanted it moved into the city.
    Second, they didn’t do anything to study the option and reaffirm their decision.

    Here’s our first crack at an alignment and we did outreach.
    http://www.gilroyhighspeedtrain.org/
    Additional work is needed and maybe we change our mind after details are provided or time passes. Maybe the alignment is moved to East Bay (fat chance) but if not – we are actively involved in recommending station locations to focus CAHSR resources.

    Our mayor and city council took the project seriously. No phantom and no procrastination.
    Where’s the Bakersfield URL about their preferences or citizen outreach?

    Bakersfield refuses to tell the Authority where to study an alternative alignment. They can’t cooperate with other cites or Kern Co. to establish a consensus or set of options to study.

    Andrew Reply:

    Nice work Joe. Some ideas:

    Gilroy should have one line going around town for express trains, and another going downtown, at slower speeds, for trains stopping in Gilroy:
    http://goo.gl/maps/hjbaL

    There should be a Gilroy-Monterey feeder line, which connects with a Salinas-Santa Cruz line (sharing tracks between Castroville and Watsonville):
    http://goo.gl/maps/OxTFc

    Gilroy-Monterey line
    Total distance: 41.98 mi
    Provides access to seacoast for residents in the South Bay and Central Valley. Boosts tourism to Monterey peninsula. Latent demand for Monterey Bay-South Bay commuting route would provide significant ridership. Timed transfers to/from Santa Cruz (at Watsonville/Pajaro) and Salinas (at Castroville).

    Salinas-Santa Cruz line
    Total distance: 36.91 mi
    Timed transfers to/from HSR Gilroy Sta. at Castroville (for Salinas passengers) and Watsonville/Pajaro (for Santa Cruz Co. passengers). Schedule subordinated to that of Gilroy-Monterey line; ie, priority given to timed connections with HSR, which may create some inefficiencies in the Salinas/Santa Cruz schedule. Future TOD at downtown Santa Cruz, Monterey, S. Watsonville/Pajaro, Castroville, Seaside, etc. will expand ridership base. Main purpose is connecting people to HSR, but also Serves as a commuting route into Santa Cruz area for workers from Watsonville, Castroville and Salinas; also connects these communities with HSR. Together with the Gilroy-Monterey line, fully connects all communities in Monterey Bay area.

    joe Reply:

    Gilroy should have one line going around town for express trains, and another going downtown, at slower speeds, for trains stopping in Gilroy:

    Yes. Maybe that would save some money allowing for a less costly city alignment along the UP ROW.

    There should be a Gilroy-Monterey feeder line, which connects with a Salinas-Santa Cruz line (sharing tracks between Castroville and Watsonville):

    CCJPA proposes to extend service on the UP ROW which now stops at SJC. service would be commuter to GLY (double track ROW to San Martin) and Salinas with stops at Castroville, & Pajero. Not all funding is in place. This service could coordinate with HSR trains.

    Currently there is the MST 55 which runs from the Monterey Transit Center to GLY Caltrain (no connections) and SJC for connections to Amtrak.

    Salinas Santa Cruz was proposed but opposed by anti-growth advocates. The consequent of not having that service is Caltrans expanding lanes on HW 1 and more traffic jams.

    jonathan Reply:

    *Two* routes through Gilroy? You think the rest of the State should pay for *two* routes through GilroY?!

    joe Reply:

    Just one throughout Gilroy, the other is a bypass around the city.

    jonathan Reply:

    Yes, exactly.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Can you explain 3 more? I thought Bakersfield-LA was less destructive only in that it would bypass Bakersfield completely, several tens of km to its west…

    Travis D Reply:

    Bakersfield has offered no alternatives. As far as I’m concerned they have therefore negated any right to complain. They should just shut up and deal with it now. Screw ‘em.

    Observer Reply:

    If Bakersfield does not want HSR going through their city or downtown, fine; it is their loss. Skip Kings County also. Instead of putting a HSR station near Hanford, put it in Visalia; run the HSR line south towards the east of Bakersfield, and instead of a HSR station in downtown or west of Bakersfield, put it at their Meadows Field Airport, and on to Palmdale from there.

    jonathan Reply:

    Actually, not going through downtown Bakersfield sounds like a win/win proposition to me.
    The real fight would be which side to bypass on ;) ;)

    synonymouse Reply:

    The alternative is Tejon and I-5.

    Andrew Reply:

    Right on, LA-SF in 2:15 baby:

    http://goo.gl/maps/qyCV0

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    When you figure out how to get Keebler Elves to build it with pixie dust. It’s a lot cheaper to build one line instead of two.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Thank you

    Andrew Reply:

    @adirondacker12800 “It’s a lot cheaper to build one line instead of two.”
    Unless the one line is so long that it might as well be two!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    well add the mileage and see what you get if you don’t think the map you drew has twice as many miles as what is being proposed by people who can get google to give them road mileages

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s not just an issue of mileage. It’s that whichever route carries your SF to LA passengers will be the only one to pencil. The other route will not break even operationally.

    Bakersfield is probably starting to get worried because they realize if Los Angeles is an hour away, the town is going to change fundamentally.

    joe Reply:

    “Bakersfield is probably starting to get worried because they realize if Los Angeles is an hour away, the town is going to change fundamentally.”

    Yes Bakersfield will change fundamentally. The reported complaints never focus on the economic development. Always what they are losing -kern Co’s only homeless shelter with soup kitchen for example – where will the homeless sleep and get their soup if HSR comes to town. Sick children will be displaced which means HSr is the villain, not Kern Co. which can’t or will not try to move the services and would rather stop HSR.
    http://article.wn.com/view/2013/04/05/Proposed_HighSpeed_Rail_leaves_Bakersfield_Homeless_Center_i/

    BAKERSFIELD, CA -The High-Speed Rail train is on track to demolish the only shelter for homeless families in Kern County. The Bakersfield Homeless Center lies in the path of the project, but the facility is stuck in limbo. The majority of people who stay at the shelter come from the surrounding neighborhood. It’s unclear if the shelter would be able stay in the neighborhood if the bullet train puts its tracks down in Bakersfield. Danny Miller spent his 6th birthday Thursday at the shelter. “We’ve been here off and on for about a year,…

    datacruncher Reply:

    Ted, They are not “starting to get worried”, Bakersfield has been concerned for a decade about LA being only an hour away.

    Time and money clearly are not the only factors influencing route selection: In 2005, the rail authority board rejected the Grapevine option after taking into consideration the route’s challenging terrain and seismic conditions, potential impacts on farmland and fears that it would turn Bakersfield into a bedroom community of Los Angeles. (The commute from Bakersfield into downtown L.A. via the Grapevine would be less than 50 minutes.)
    http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/grapevine-route-emerges-cost-saver-high-speed-rail-10491

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are admitting then that the Palmdale detour would be so slow and circuitous it would be a failure.

    synonymouse Reply:

    An intentional failure

    jonathan Reply:

    Observer:

    if the HSR line goes through Bakersfield, that portion is no longer hSR. …

    BTW, Clem’s so-called “Tejon” route bypasses Bakersfield.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then neither is the approach to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Or Gare du Nord. Or St. Pancreas or Tokyo Station or…

    jonathan Reply:

    Exactly. But at a terminus, you have to slow down *anyway*.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How fast will they be going through Didron Intergalactic Intermodal?

    jonathan Reply:

    That really depends, doesn’t it? Are they going to stop? Does “Diridon intergalactic” include the miles-long viaduct into the 2nd floor of the Intergalactic?

    You’re missing the point (by all appearances, delberately). Pre-existing, 19th-century staitns are in the middle of cities. Gare Du Nord and St. Pancras just as much as LAUS or 4th and King (TBT is new but even further). The only way to get HSR lines into the middle of those cities is horrendously expensive tunneling. HS1 was what, 20km of tunnel to get to St Pancras?

    A reasonable person would be aware that the San Francisco Bay Area extends from San Francisco city all the way to San Jose. That part of the SFBA grew around the existing SP line, *because* the SP line was there. By the time you’re in San Jose, you’re inside the San Francisco urban area. So your question about San Jose is … irrelevant, to a discussion of by-passing smaller urban areas along the route, to save travel time *and* money.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Bakersfield isn’t all that much smaller than Navel of the Universe San Jose and what we build now will be around for a century or so. Put in it the middle of Bakersfeild 50 years from now it will still more or less be in the middle of a bigger metro Bakersfield. Why is slowing down for Bakersfield so horrendous but slowing down for San Jose, Palo Alto or whereever they decide to put that and SFO the cat’s meow?

    jonathan Reply:

    Because you don’t *have* to go through Bakersfield. But — if you decide to go along the Peninsula — you *have* to go through San Jose.

    HSR *already* *has* to slow down along the *entire* Peninsula. It’s not going to run at 350 km/hr.

    EJ Reply:

    San Jose is over twice the size of Bakersfield. You’re out of your element. Besides, it’s a separate issue. No one’s arguing the planned SJ alignment is perfect, just that forcing all trains to slow down in Bakersfield is a bad idea.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You don’t have to go through San Jose to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles a nice BART to Fremont does just as good, or a nice Caltrain ride to Redwood City.
    If you are gonna include Palo Alto and Gilroy in greater Naveltainia then there shouldn’t be a station until you get to San Francisco or Fresno.

    jonathan Reply:

    Narrow-radius S-bends are just *great* for HSR.

    Adirondacker, on a slightly different topic: what’s your obsession with SFO? Nobody, but *nobody* is proposing that HSR go to SFO or that there be an SFO station. Millbrae, maybe, but not SFO. Are those really so indistinguishable from where you are?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because that’s what normal people call the fucking station that is going to be less than mile from the property line of the airport asshole.

    EJ Reply:

    You’ve got nothing to say and you’re saying it too loudly.

    joe Reply:

    We’ve traveled this path before. Think what you like about Tandy….but don’t be fooled into thinking Bakersfield hasn’t been trying to negotiate specific routes bypassing Bakersfield. Bottom line CAHSRA refused. Just because you don’t see a slick report showing what has been proposed behind closed doors, doesn’t mean those proposals don’t exist. In case you haven’t noticed, the CAHSRA doesn’t believe it needs to release information/meeting notes with cities/stakeholders.

    I see Fresno is using HSR to improve their city and they have constructively guided the project and received HSR funding to afford the time and effort to make recommendations.

    Possibly Tandy’s playing 3-D chess and working a back room deal with CAHSRA but more likely is he’s not.

    Deals require the power to deliver when the negotiation is finished. He’s has no such power as City Manager which means the Authority doesn’t have a party with which to deal in secret. The City council has given no commitment to uphold with any deal Tandy negotiates in secret.

    In his weekly memo Friday afternoon, City Manager Alan Tandy apologized to city council members for not telling them sooner about a new High Speed Rail alignment being proposed for downtown Bakersfield.

    Tandy and city staff reviewed the alternate alignment in January but didn’t disclose it publicly. The city manager told The Californian he hadn’t told council members about the new plan because he considered it “incomplete” and missing key details.

    http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/city-beat/x1538235724/City-Manager-apologizes-to-council-over-High-Speed-Rail-plans

    Tandy is argumentative and stubborn which might work in a peer relationship where an outcome MUST happen but not State to City. The State has the power and he’s losing influence and frankly shows poor faith.

    Observer Reply:

    Wow. The operator of the CAHSR system will know when to slow trains down for urban areas; that is a given in any HSR system around the world. Having train stations in downtowns or at least centrally located usually is preferable. But if Bakersfield refuses to get its act together and foolishly refuses to cooperate with CHSRA, and does not want trains running through its city, then run the route towards the east of Bakersfield so that the station could be at their Meadows Field Airport. There is already land for a station, parking etc. Build additional terminal capacity for trains, parking structures, whatever. Also from looking at google maps, Meadows Field Airport seems to be at the edge of the city, you would not have to go through much of Bakersfield. Then you can go on to Palmdale or Tejon, whatever.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s the kind of decisions they discussed years ago. Change plans now what’s to stop them from demanding they change plans back to a downtown station? Which would be ten years from now because if they don’t do the whole step by step by step process of community outreach they’d sue over that they didn’t do the community outreach. And then demand that it be moved back downtown. Which need new plans start from the beginning of the multi step process because the plans they developed in 2012 are hopelessly obosolete. Rinse repeat until 2090. They’ve had multiple opportunities to voice their opinion and decided not to, it’s too bad some of them are unhappy about it.

    joe Reply:

    I’m all for blowing them off but in this case it’s maybe not best for the State. Further, there is no guarantee that alignment would avoid a lawsuit and an out of town alignment might reduce ridership.

    The City would be responsible for supplying the Station and subsequent surrounding development with infrastructure (roads, water and sewer) and the change in location may impact COx reductions.

    Best to make Tandy do his damn job. Given the profiles I’ve read, it’s by pushing back and hard. In this case it’s by not delaying the project or doing new analysis of an alignment in absence of a commitment to use that alignment if pre-conditions are met in the EIR,

    Observer Reply:

    P.S. Meadows Field Airport is owned by Kern County, not the City of Bakersfield. If the City of Bakersfield does not want to cooperate, perhaps the Kern County Will??

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The yeoman burghers of Bakersfield are citizens of Kern County and if the county decides to sell some land to the railroad they have the right to demand that there will be 27 community outreach sessions for the Major Investment Study and the Draft Environmental Impact report and sue over the effect it will have on the historic and cultural significance of the parking lot that will be moved and. and.. and…

    Mac Reply:

    We’ve traveled this path before. Think what you like about Tandy….but don’t be fooled into thinking Bakersfield hasn’t been trying to negotiate specific routes bypassing Bakersfield. Bottom line CAHSRA refused. Just because you don’t see a slick report showing what has been proposed behind closed doors, doesn’t mean those proposals don’t exist. In case you haven’t noticed, the CAHSRA doesn’t believe it needs to release information/meeting notes with cities/stakeholders. Even their Board minutes are a joke. Since they changed their website last May, they have dumbed down their website so much that it is nearly impossible to find half the information that was on the original one.

    Bakersfield isn’t quite as dumb as you portray it to be on this issue.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Sorry but if it’s not submitted in the way we all have decided to use. over the past 40 years, to submit things it doesn’t exist. Thems the rules. If they can’t figure out how to do that they can hire some high school senior who has been taking business classes instead of college prep classes, to handle the paperwork.

    joe Reply:

    Observer

    Any station will require water, sewer and roads supplied by local government.
    Pushing the BKS station out of town would require the County or city, possibly Oildale, CA, to participate in the project and build these services. It would also lower, IMHO, ridership.

  9. Keith Saggers
    May 27th, 2014 at 09:50
    #9
  10. Keith Saggers
    May 27th, 2014 at 10:32
    #10
Comments are closed.