Pro-HSR Billboards Appear in Central Valley

Jun 26th, 2014 | Posted by

Californians For High Speed Rail is sponsoring pro-high speed rail billboards across the Central Valley, mostly on the Highway 99 corridor. Here’s one that recently went up in Bakersfield:

I love it.

  1. Observer
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 08:31
    #1

    I want one in my city! What is more, I want the jobs, clean air, and the opportunity that HSR will bring!

  2. Andy M
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 09:09
    #2

    A Bulleid Pacific. How nice.

    Eric Reply:

    should have some amtrak locos instead of the steamer.

    EJ Reply:

    Not sure that’s the message they’d like to send. People in the central valley like Amtrak.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They should have used the 4014 – to pique the Cheerleaders’ loathed Ewepee.

    Alan Reply:

    The UP probably claims trademark rights on the images of Big Boys, Challengers and GS4′s…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Normal people can’t tell the difference between locomotives. Steam, diesel, electric much less recognize that there’s different kinds of steam locomotives beside “small” “medium” and “large”, if that.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The UP does not seem to take much interest in locomotives that are not native to the road. NIH I guess. A lot of people wanted the SP 4294 in the CSRM to get the rebuild but it is reputed to be in poor shape. I guess it was chosen for preservation because it was the last in the order, but if you have seen that great video of the last run in 1957 of the cab-aheads to Reno it was the 4274 that got the call.

    Daddy Warbucks Buffett of the BNSF seems to have zilch interest in railroad history preservation. What’s going on with the Santa Fe 2926?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because Warren Buffet lives in the 21st Century? And is old enough to remember steam locomotives and understands they are best kept in museums. BNSF isn’t in the museum business.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, Warren, pony up some couch change to put those two mouldering Santa Fe locomotive in Sac in the CSRM under cover.

    synonymouse Reply:

    All the Ritchie Riches are phonies – Fox too. They totally censored the story on Aereo at the Supreme Court. Conservatives ought to know they are being played and gamed by Fox, just another Hollywood outfit pandering.

    Alan Reply:

    Better explain that to the UP, then. They see their steam program as quite a PR and sales asset.

    Anyway, I was being sarcastic in my original comment…

    Mac Reply:

    Yes, they do. In fact, most of the Valley travelers won’t be able to afford the high speed rail prices…and will be fine with a slower ride on Amtrak with a much more reasonable price to boot.

    jimsf Reply:

    “most of the valley travelers wont be able to afford”

    that is a pretty broad brush. No doubt they will be able to get low enough fares because low fares deals will be offered just like with the airlines. The entire valley is not on welfare.
    Has anyone here ever even been to the san joaqin valley?

    jimsf Reply:

    visalia The median income for a household was $53,975, and for a family was $61,823
    not bad

    joe Reply:

    No data for Visalia but the cost of living in Bakersfield is about 35% less than SF.

    $63,000 is equal to earning $100,000 in SF.

    EJ Reply:

    Median household income in Bako is 51.6K. http://www.city-data.com/city/Bakersfield-California.html

    Not poverty by any means, but still in the realm where you’re watching your pennies.

    And as far as I can tell, if you’re living on 100K in SF, you’re not really high on the hog unless you’ve owned your house for a long time and have a low mortgage.

    Nathanael Reply:

    FWIW, Fresno’s a lot richer than Bakersfield.

    blankslate Reply:

    A family of four earning 51.6 in Bakersfield would be significantly better off than the same family earning 100 in sf.

    Duende78 Reply:

    Thanks for that comment. I do get tired of folks not from the valley telling us who live in the valley all about life in the valley. You’d think we were all impoverished bumpkins panhandling the street corners just trying to get by, instead of professionals who actually do travel from time to time and most certainly will be able to afford train fares. The coastal-centric opinions here are maddening to me sometimes.

    Mac Reply:

    Yes, I live there. Business travelers will likely be the ones to use HSR if it becomes available. However, the average citizen who currently rides Amtrak from Bakersfield-north likely will not.
    They will continue to drive. And if they are low income (and do not have a reliable car–sadly,there are many in this category..) they will continue to use the current Amtrak system because they likely cannot –or choose not to afford the upgrade. I have ridden Amtrak many times and have noted who currently rides along the corridor, going north.

    Mac Reply:

    Note: I ride primarily to Fresno where I know someone who will pick me up –allowing me access to a car. Otherwise, I would drive.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why would the state continue to subsidize conventional Amtrak service when HSR is running?

    Mac Reply:

    Note well taken. do note, however that The SJJPA has been promising that conventional Amtrak will not go away in the valley.
    Most in the Valley don’t trust that promise…thus intensifies the resistance from the opposition who would rather have a upgraded version of the current Amtrak system route with additional grade separations and a faster train closer to Acela speeds. And have them work out a better less environmentally harmful HSR route that uses newer technology.

    Joe Reply:

    But those who want a “less environmentally harmful route” are full if crap.
    No such unicorn exists.

    They proposed no such alternative. There is no concensus where to route the train.

    Kern Co cannot even draw a line on a map for HSR.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then you have to eliminate the grade crossings and electrify. Which costs just as much for a 220 MPH train as it does for a 126 MPH train. Especially in wide flat places where there are more cows than people.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The real issue for the Valley is that all the major crops in the southern San Joaquin Valley: grapes, cotton, dairy, and oil are in the bullseye of climate change. Settlement patterns are going to change even if no HSR is built. It’s just a harsh reality that is tough to swallow.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The fares on Amtrak California are heavily subsidized.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Prices have still gone up and it’s not cost effective for a family over driving.

    EJ Reply:

    Probably not that different from the East Coast. When I travel on the NEC, if my company is paying, I’ll spring for the Acela; when it’s my own money, I stick to the Northeast Regional, Metro North, NJ Transit, or MBTA.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Fresno won’t have the equivalent of Regionals or commuter trains. Probably not conventional Amtrak trains either.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s going to be interesting if they really try to shut down the San Joaquins, which serve a bunch of smaller cities which will never have HSR service. Would actually be a relevant service if it could run through the valley on its current alignment and hook into the main HSR line to get to LA, perhaps using, GASP, lightweight dual mode diesel trains like the Talgo XXI. (or Siemens Velaro based DMUs, or…)

    (See, Lewellan, I don’t hate the idea of dual mode diesel trains!)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    http://www.amtrak.com/pdf/factsheets/CALIFORNIA13.pdf

    Take the annual ridership at the busiest of those very important small cities. Multiply by ten. Divide by 365 for an approximation of how many boardings and alightings there would be each day with ten times as many riders. Keep in mind that around half of them will be arriving and half of them will be departing. And that some of them will be going north and some of them south. Keep it easy and divide how many a day by four to approximate how many will be heading south, how many will be heading north, how many will be arriving from the south and how many will be arriving from the north. You need a bus once an hour. A small bus.

    That goes to the nearest HSR station because people aren’t stupid. They aren’t going to take a six hour train ride when they can take a 30 minute bus ride and 90 minute HSR ride.

    EJ Reply:

    Good thing we Californians have New Yorkers to explain our state to us!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not my fault that you can’t figure out someplace without a whole lot of people isn’t going to generate a whole lot of people at the station whether it’s a train station or bus station.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Remembering that the “bunch of smaller cities” in Phase 1 are actually three:

    Wasco, pop 25K 30-40 minutes by road from Bakersfield HSR
    Corcoran, pop 23K, within 30 minutes of Hanford East HSR alternative
    Madera, pop 62K, 30-40 minutes from Fresno HSR

    Remembering that the largest of those, Madera, also has the San Joaquin corridor furthest from the center of town ….

    … and that none of those would be make as strong a case for a regional rail corridor as Visalia / Hanford East, where if it were possible to run a regional rail corridor on the crossing line, then Leemore / Armona / / Hanford downtown / Hanford East HSR / Goshen / Visalia Oak Ave / Visalia Walnut Ave / Farmersville / Exeter makes a more appealing regional rail corridor than Madera / Fresno, Corcoran / Hanford downtown / Hanford HSR or Wasco / Shafter / Rosedale / Bakersfield West / Bakersfield HSR.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I drive from Ithaca to Syracuse (60 minutes) to catch the train (and lots of people drive there to catch planes). People will drive from Wasco (smaller than Ithaca) for 30 minutes (half as long) to Bakersfield to catch the (faster) train.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Bruce, there’s only 153,000 people in all of Kings County. They all own cars, the highways are uncongested and you can park anywhere. Something has to change radically to get them to take mass transit. There has to be something within walking distance of the mass transit on the other end. Otherwise they’ll drive. Even if they got the urge to use something other than their car there aren’t enogh of them to be filling trains. Single trolley cars would be a stretch. Short buses maybe.

    EJ Reply:

    You’d really have to look at a map of the central valley to understand what we’re talking about, but you tend to get cranky when you do that. But thanks for telling us about the central valley lifestyle. I’ve lived in Southern California for 20 years, and let me tell you, New Yorkers coming out here and bloviating about California really never gets old.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yer not gonna get 20,000 riders a day someplace that only has 153,000 people, It works that way in the rest of the world and it’s gonna work the same way in California.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    You’ve got this habit of presenting facts that support my argument as if they contradict it.

    Me: Even if they were considering local rail to connect to the HSR, this route (entirely in King County) would not be as attractive as this route (primarily connecting Tulare County to Hanford East HSR).

    You: Only 153,000 people live in all of King County!

    You’re making my point, since 451,000 people live in Tulare County. It seems likely that a large portion of the ~122K boardings at Hanford actually live in Tulare County.

    So, AS I POINTED OUT, a rail corridor that runs through Tulare County mostly East/West INTO King County to connect with the HSR station would be RELATIVELY MORE attractive, IF a rail service was being considered, than a rail corridor that was isolated to King County alone.

    As far as whether a population of 600,000 can get a rail service connecting to the HSR station ~ that depends on how many people decide they want it. Its not an easy task organizing the local support for something like that, and sitting back as a spectator and cheering for the efforts to fail so that a prediction of failure can be proven correct seems like a pointless exercise.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People in Tulare county who want to go to LA or SF have little need for a trolley car to Lemoore. How many people live within walking distance of the proposed rail line and will use to get anywhere while there’s a car sitting in their driveway? The people who don’t live within walking distance of the trolley line won’t even think about it. What destination is there in Tulare or Kings county that doesn’t have lots of parking and lots of uncongested road leading to it?

    JB in PA Reply:

    http://www.kerncog.org/transportation-history-timeline/transportation-history-1900-to-1950

    1900
    Ninety-five percent of people travel by train. Ninety percent of freight was shipped by train.

    A vote to approve $100,000 in bonds for the Bakersfield and Kern Electric Railway was approved.

    Not Tulare but close. 100 years ago. Worked then and there are more people now.

    JB in PA Reply:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visalia_Electric_Railroad

    Passenger service abandoned 1924

    JB in PA Reply:

    Used to be dozens of railroads in California. Same all across the 48 states.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many automobiles were there in California in 1900?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    That’s JB in PA’s point ~ you are projecting from the status quo like its locked in concrete, instead of being created by a combination of policy decisions and technical possibilities that are both subject to substantial change in the coming decade. Predicting that there won’t be major changes in how people get around is normally accurate over any five year period, but over a longer period its been wrong, time and again.

    Whether or not people have an excessive amount of subsidized parking available, as in much of NYC, or a obscenely excessive amount of parking welfare, as in much of outer suburban America, will of course affect how much operating subsidy alternatives to the heavily subsidized driving will require. But the idea that the transport preferences of everyone in an area all fall in line with the choices that people make when they have no effective alternative available has been proven false time and again in this country, when people have had an alternative made available, including in places that according to the unthinking prejudices of many “everybody would rather drive”.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How much of suburbia do you have to tear down and rebuild so there are enough people along the bus line that some of them for some trips use the bus? Where are they going to take the bus to?

    Alan Reply:

    Tracks require maintenance…

    Yes, they do. However, with the level of fast intermodal service on that part of the BNSF, I doubt that the additional expense of maintaining the line to passenger standards is great. In any event, it would be covered in the track access charge, just as it is now.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “How much of suburbia do you have to tear down and rebuild so there are enough people along the bus line that some of them for some trips use the bus?”

    Depends on how many people the service requires, which depends upon how the funding of the service is organized, rather than being some kind of physical engineering parameter. The funding system in the San Joaquin Valley is obviously favorable, since local fixed route buses already exist in Hanford and Visalia, with four fixed bus routes in Hanford (with a locked hub at Hanford Station) and twelve in Visalia, so a bus service from both to the Hanford East station is obviously going to happen.

    If you have a mental model in which those buses couldn’t possibly exist, its not the reality that has to give when when it disagrees with your mental model.

    But all the “zOMG they live in rural small towns and outer suburbia, they couldn’t POSSIBLY have ANY residents that go anywhere except by car” credo that you have faith in is still a red herring to the argument which you objected to, which made a comparison of the RELATIVE appeal of a rail service connecting Corcoran to Hanford East to one that included connecting Visalia to Hanford East.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    25 passenger buses that come once an hour are there to serve people who are too sick or too poor to have a car. Buses that come once every half hour are means there happens to be a lot of sick or poor people along the way.

    http://www.transitunlimited.org/Visalia_City_Coach

    Running it every ten minutes isn’t going to entice someone who would have a two mile walk from their house to the bus stop to use the bus.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    But above you were assuming away the very existence of people who cannot drive or cannot afford a car.

    And none of that actually supports your ongoing effort to argue against my position that there LIKELY WILL NOT BE a rail service provided between Corcoran and Hanford HSR, once the IOS commences.

    joe Reply:

    Running it every ten minutes isn’t going to entice someone who would have a two mile walk from their house to the bus stop to use the bus.

    Weird.
    People choose to live near transit for the financial savings. It can be one car family saving for college.

    Today we use a low frequency Caltrain and VTA 168 bus for the savings. It’s not hard to adapt to the lifestyle when it saves money.

    And the 2 mile walk – did it for years each way as part of saving money and getting exercise. Noe Valley to Caltrain 22nd St.

    Rent ate over half my income so ditching the car made it affordable, rent control and raises made it more affordable over time.

    It’s just a 40 minute walk.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people who don’t drive exist now and they are able to support once an hour bus service in thriving densely populated Visalia. What do you have to do to convince someone in Kings or Tulare county, who owns a car they have exclusive use of, to not use it for local trips? How much of the already built do you have tear down to make the two car household consider becoming a one car household? Or how expensive does fuel have to be before they consider one car instead of two?

    joe Reply:

    You don’t know that market.

    Our personal shift to infrequent public transit and walking was motivated by the benefit of exercise and saving money.

    My experiences in small towns like Missoula MT is a bus system it saved people from driving – gas and wear and tear. It fostered a urban core and qualify of life.

    You use words like “tear down” – why? Gilroy build new, affordable town-homes in the city core. I never heard that Cannery Row development described as tearing down the city.

    Our City encourages new 3 story work-live developments in the city core. Not ever described as a tear down.

    For the Central Valley they simply need to change zoning to allow 3 story along bus routes and remove parking requirements. Then stand back.

    Santa Clara’s done this along the main south county Monterey HW with VTA 68 service running along that rural areas. It works.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Great they built condos downtown Gilroy and that’s 0.1 percent of the population and half the people who live there get on the bus now and then. The bus system collects 10? 20? more fares per day? How many of those kinds of places does there have to be before there are enough of you to put in a trolley line?

    joe Reply:

    Look – admit you don’t care.

    It’s easy to infill even in rural areas along a bus route. I see it here and you mock that it’s a small fraction of absolute needs. Duh. It’s a real example from CA of a small town infilling along a bus line and train stop and they build rural, high density housing along a bus line. The Bus connects to Caltrain stations and on to San Jose’s station. In Missoula the city hall near the train station.

    The cost of living/housing is crushingly high here and in rural areas it is lower and the bus works despite your objections. Even rural places have small store(s) for daily shopping for necessities as do neighborhoods in urban SF which makes SF living so quaint and desirable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I don’t care if almost empty buses run past once an hour. There are people who don’t drive and they need to have something. Building a trolley line where the bus runs once an hour or not at all isn’t a good idea.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The people who move to a dense urban neighborhood to avoid paying for a car usually support transit frequencies that are far better than once an hour. Over here, the neighborhoods that have people who a) don’t own a car, and b) make enough money that they could afford a car, either have a subway/el or fill buses that come every 3 minutes to the gills.

    Joe Reply:

    Why can’t a person in an urban core walk to most places?

    Missoula for example. Urban core and walkable with less frequent bus service. Bike paths and riverfront paths.

    The world is bigger than dense urban core mega cities. Modest cities 50,000 plus can be car free places to live. They even have taxis.

    Joey Reply:

    Yes, there are lots of modest sized cities on this list.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Cities in the 50,000 region are going to miss a lot of services. Having lived in neighborhoods in the 30,000-40,000 range (Morningside Heights, Providence’s East Side, Kitsilano), I’ve routinely had to go out of neighborhood for some kinds of shopping. In New York, there is about one hospital per 100,000 people, so people in half of your cities of 50,000 have to go out of town to get medical treatment.

    Realize that in the Missoulas of the world, all of those out-of-town regional trips are done by car.

    jimsf Reply:

    The counties just got done forming a brand new jpa for the san joqquins I imagine they won’t let them go away.

    Michael Reply:

    How’s this for a thought… ACE and the San Joaquins will merge when the IOS is up and running.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s not a news flash: the last HSR Business Plan described just such a merged, Northern California Unified Service. But that’s not all: the new San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission now will rely more on local funding than state support. Just ask Dan Leavitt, former CAHSRA operative who works for SJRRC.

    What isn’t know is what happens to the San Joaquins south of Merced. My guess is that the at first the San Joaquin’s will stay with new rolling stock that let’s them go much faster on the HSR track. Over time, I think more traffic will route from San Jose and less to Sacramento. At some point though, they will have to decide what is viable and I bet the current Amtrak California routes are either eliminated or modified to serve HSR’s needs.

    Alan Reply:

    Ted, I see no reason why HSR and the San Joaquins cannot coexist. The comparison, of course, would be to the Northeast Corridor, where Acela and Northeast Regional services work together, with the Regionals making more stops than the Acelas. The difference between the NEC and California is that California HSR and the San Joaquins would operate on different tracks. The San Joaquins would continue to serve local intra-region needs as well as acting as feeders to HSR. Until HSR is built to Sacramento, the San Joaquins will continue to be the only rail link between that city and Merced and points south in the CV and beyond. Without going back through the documents, I believe that the HSR business plan and/or EIR’s touch on this subject.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Regionals stop places where there are lots of people.

    wdobner Reply:

    May as well lump the southern end of Caltrain and Capitol Corridor into the unified service. Make Caltrain the Tamien to San Fran electrified service and give the Gilroy, Salinas, or Monterey service over to some brand under Amtrak California. Gilroy would probably see an increase in rail service, and San Jose would provide the connection to Monterey.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    It marginally better for Monterey County residents to connect at Gilroy from a Salinas extension of the Capitol Corridor to an HSR southern alignment alternative than at Fremont / Union City to an HSR northern alignment alternative. For the highest demand trips, it seeems on the face of it that part (though perhaps not all) of the difference in travel time in the Capitol Corridor would be made up by likely connecting to the TransCal SuperExpress rather than to an all-HSR-stations Transcal Express.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Monterey County riders would probably be connecting on the faster 101.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    “…the only difference would be that in California you have separate tracks”.

    Exactamundo. Tracks require maintenance. Even if you have HSR passengers subsidize the cost of maintenance for legacy tracks, it’s still a lot of money for very few people not traveling to Corcoran Prison. Four tracks will be possible elsewhere in the system, but not through California’s Outback. The NCUS will go no further south on legacy tracks than Merced.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @Alon, you are right, by that time oil will be dear enough that putting the alignment on no longer needed highway lanes may be more cost effective.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Electric cars take up the same amount of space on the road.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, there’s always the electric cars techno-cornucopia future. They require the same lane-mile space subsidies, the same subsidized parking, and an electric-auto-uber-alles transport system requires the same sprawl property development as the gasoline-auto-uber-alles transport system which just experienced a bubble collapse in 2007.

    Vehicle miles driven per person are already declining with our current limited set of transport alternatives. Allow more people who would rather not drive to avoid having to drive, and it will drop further.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And the people who live in the infill downtown will be able to get away with being car free or a one car household. What do you do with the existing suburbs? The places that have one acre zoning aren’t going to have enough people within walking distance of the bus for there to be frequent bus service. The bus has to have a destination.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Infill is stealth sprawl

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, the sneaky part is that its not actually sprawl at all, making it completely invisible to people looking for actual sprawl. A lot more effective than the so-called “stealth” bombers which can be detected by people with low enough frequency radars.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course infill is sprawl. It is urbanization – same ramifications.

    HSR = Global Warming, just like pretty much everything else in its own way and time. There is no smart growth, no free lunch nor unmoved mover.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You don’t want them to live in the city, you don’t want them to live in the exurbs and if they suggested tearing down the dowdy 60s strip mall in your suburb and replacing it with a four story condo you’d freak out. Where are they supposed to live?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    If the SJ JPA is as cohesive and successful as SCRRA then don’t have too high expectations.

    Observer Reply:

    Note that put together the Fresno and Bakersfield airports handle about 3 million passengers a year. If San Joaquin valley residents can afford to fly, they will ride HSR, probably in greater numbers.

    francis Reply:

    or a bunch of old cars stuck in traffic on the 99

    Observer Reply:

    More comparative advertising would help perhaps.

    jimsf Reply:

    or “with high speed rail, you’d be in Burbank by now”

    of course, “high speed rail” is a term that has GOT to GO. ugh.. its dreadful from an advertising standpoint. There is nothing sexy or interesting about it. Its too clunky.
    They need to give this thing a brand name sooner rather than later, if they want to market it now.

    joe Reply:

    I’d probably reuse an old name of a successful rail line.

    Or something that explains what it does
    Trans-California Rail – TCR

    Or CalExpress.

    or change Caltrain back to Peninsula Commuter and name HSR CalTrain.

    Using that name could give one guy who posts here an embolism.

    jimsf Reply:

    lol. Well the name has to be something purley and deeply californian and The trains must have the bear flag emblem on them.

    joe Reply:

    The “BEAR”

    Betcha
    Expected
    Altamont
    Rail

    jimsf Reply:

    lol!

    Michael Reply:

    ICE – InterCity Express. Works for the Germans. The white with red stripe livery can easily accommodate some nice abstraction of the flag of the California Republic.

    jimsf Reply:

    yes I never liked white paint but in this case you are right white, red stripe, bear

    jimsf Reply:

    ICE IntraCaliforniaExpress

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I think a better avatar would be that other most famous California animal to go extinct, the Condor.

    Come up with a brand for intercity service and the commute ops and we are done.

    Eric Reply:

    Weren’t they using the name “Gold Rush” in early advertisements?

    Joe Reply:

    I like the Condor.
    Maybe an actual size outline of the wing span on the doors. The nose of the train painted like a beak.

    Texas can fasten long horns on the front of thier trains.

    Florida can use the manatee for thier slower speed rail.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Condor!? A swift or falcon — both super-fast birds — would be a far more appropriate bird mascot.

    Some species of swifts are among the fastest animals on the planet, with some of the fastest measured flight speeds of any bird.

    [...]

    Swifts are the most aerial of birds. Larger species are amongst the fastest fliers in the animal kingdom, with the white-throated needletail having been reported flying at up to 169 km/h (105 mph). Even the common swift can cruise at a maximum speed of 31 metres per second (112 km/h, 70 mph). In a single year the common swift can cover at least 200,000 km.

    [...]

    The peregrine [falcon] is renowned for its speed, reaching over 322 km/h (200 mph) during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive),[6] making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. According to a National Geographic TV programme, the highest measured speed of a peregrine falcon is 389 km/h (242 mph).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    There’s already a transportation service called Condor.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Turkey Buzzard.

    Somewhat slow and ungainly. Efficient scavenger of once viable and now putrid corpses (carbon mitigation taxes, or anything else PB rent-seekers can feast upon.)

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Instead of arguing which bird to use, go for a compromise and call the service Byakhee.

    Arguments for:
    - It’s out of copyright.
    - Byakhees are described as “not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor vampire bats, nor decomposed human beings; but something I cannot and must not recall.” Compromise solution, as noted above.
    - There’s a lot of preexisting artwork, much of it free.
    - Byakhees are known for making anyone who sees them go insane, which describes HSR pretty well.

    Arguments against:
    - The originator was a racist, a sexist, and a nativist.
    - The name is native to New England and not California.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Another option would be to call it the Shibboleth, but people might get the wrong idea…

    If you don’t like an animal avatar, what about giving a nod to Elon Musk and calling it a GigaTrain?

    jimsf Reply:

    Monarch. state butterfly

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Ooh Good one Jim! Monarchs travel up and down the state. Not sure how we do a orange and black paint scheme though! And calling the service “Monarch” would be very clever.

    jimsf Reply:

    and everyone likes butterflies the name has a lightness to it. butterflies aren’t stressful ( except for Mothra)

    jimsf Reply:

    and you don’t worry about paiting the train orange and black, you paint it white with the red stripe and grizzly bear like the flag, then have the monarch landing on the grizzly bear’s nose lol.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Mozilla Bugzilla Chipzilla Trainzilla…

    Alan Reply:

    Why not run a contest for the best name? Offer maybe $500 or a thousand bucks for the winner. Get the public involved in a positive way, and save 10 or 20 thousand that some marketing consultant would charge…

    Observer Reply:

    Very good idea. It should be done. Beat the consultants to it while it is possible.

    Howard Reply:

    Call it TIE “Tehachapi Intercity Express”, because it will “tie” the state together with a high speed train on tracks held together by railroad ties, and it will be the only passenger train to cross the Tehachapi Mountains.

    jimsf Reply:

    The out with the old pic should have been a pic of 99 at rush hour

    BruceMcF Reply:

    True that. A billboard in the Valley with a pic of 99 at rush hour and “Fresno to LA in 90 Minutes: The Valley / LA Express Train”. Call every service on the HSR an “Express Train”, since even an all-HSR-stations is an Express compared to the Amtrak-CA services. Call the limited station services “Super Express”.

    Instead of “Blended Operation” for the finished phase 1, which sounds like a fruit smoothie bar, call it the “Bay / LA Super Express Train”. The haters gonna hate no matter what you do, so may as well be brash and optimistic.

    jimsf Reply:

    It has to be named with a single word.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Acela seems to be working well for Amtrak, license that. And cross honor the perk card.

    jimsf Reply:

    i wonder if hsr will have “mtropolitan lounges” in the stations for first class customers

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s for the sleeping car passengers in hinterlands. The Acela passengers use the Acela Club lounges in South Station, Penn Station, 30th Street and Union Station. And the facilities at Citifield and Prudential Center and Verizon Center. And people who have the high end United frequent flyer card.

    jimsf Reply:

    oh I didn’t even know there was a difference. the things you learn around here!

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Superexpress is one word. If you say it fast.

    jimsf Reply:

    actually you have name it a single word, a noun that californians can put “THE” in front of. Cuz ya know we love to put “THE” in front of stuff.

    Take the bart, take th amtrak, take the 405 to the 10.

    That putting “the” infront of freeways started in socal, back when “hella” was a norcal thing.

    So I say call it “The Hella fast train”

    cuz ya know thats what we gonna call it anyway.

    Clem Reply:

    The Hyperloop

    jimsf Reply:

    the hyperloop sounds like a place for ADD kids to play

    synonymouse Reply:

    Supported DuoRail

    Reality Check Reply:

    CalSpeed

    jimsf Reply:

    CalSTAR california statewide train across regions

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    and they have those kewl helicopters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calstar#mediaviewer/File:Calstar_EC135.JPG

    jonathan Reply:

    Bullied Pacific? Spam-can, or rebuilt?? Enquiring minds want to know.
    And do you have something against timing chains???

    Besides, all I see is a duck-bill Shinkansen (700 series?) with a Photoshopped Cal livery.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Obviously rebuilt, Jonathan, a spamcan is recognizable at any distance. I signed on the year after they were taken out of service and Bournemouth electrification was completed. (sigh).

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Good eye Andy. Didn’t recognize the tender. Any idea which class?

    synonymouse Reply:

    When was the last time any steam locomotive(let alone a Bulleid Pacific) headed up a revenue passenger train in California? About 1957. A lot of the motorists looking at this billboard have NEVER even seen a steam locomotive other than an image, let alone fired up.

    What a crock. For “Out with the Old” they should have a Lexus, Tesla, BMW or a current Boeing or Airbus product. That is what LAHSR is supposed to replace. But Joe Paycheck is not interested in having those things replaced. He wants the Lexus.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    they’ve seen movies on TV. just like they’ve seen movies on TV with modern trains in them.

  3. J. Wong
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 10:10
    #3

    World Cup 2030 in California with HSR to get fans to stadiums in No. Cal. and So. Cal.

    Observer Reply:

    Good stadiums, world class tourist sights, perfect weather; HSR would make it easy.

    Eric Reply:

    If only Americans were interested in soccer (except for their team once every 4 years).

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Last time the US hosted the World Cup, they got people to the stadiums.

    Heck, when a US city hosts the Olympics, there are Americans who can’t get tickets to the 100m sprint finals who convince themselves that they are interested in the hammer throw.

  4. Brian_FL
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 10:51
    #4

    Off Topic: looks like plans for the private TX HSR project are moving forward. A notice put up yesterday on the FRA website:

    Central Texas High Speed Rail – Passenger Service from Houston to Dallas
    Environmental Impact Statement
    The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in cooperation with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Central Texas High-Speed Rail Corridor. The proposed corridor will connect Dallas and Houston with a dedicated High Speed Rail (HSR) system proposed by a private company, Texas Central Railway (TCR). TCR plans to build and operate a HSR system that will allow easy and convenient connections with other transportation services in Houston and Dallas. As part of the EIS, the impacts of various alternative HSR route alignments will be analyzed including shared corridors with an existing rail line and along electric utility lines. The TCR’s proposed high speed line will operate on a dedicated right-of-way and would not share track or infrastructure with existing trains and rail lines. In addition, the EIS will analyze the potential impacts of stations, power or fueling stations, and maintenance facilities to support HSR operations.

    http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0700

    EJ Reply:

    They still haven’t put a line on a map, which IIRC they had promised by April. Real curious to see what the public reaction is to that – once people see who gets served, who doesn’t, whose land gets taken, who’s going to end up with a HSR line by their house… The NIMBY problem *should* be less than California, since I believe they’re planning to follow the freeway most of the way, but we’ll see.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    From the Federal Register notice, it appears that TCR is considering a route along existing rail line or electric utility lines as well as highway ROW. Maybe they are waiting for the EIS comment period to commence before they put out a map of possible alternative routes.

    Not sure if you know about NIMBYS here in Florida making noise about AAF. No matter if private or public, any new passenger rail proposal will attract a lot of NIMBYS! Maybe because it is a “threat” to the way our society has done things for several generations? I don’t know the answer. Here in Florida, it appears the NIMBYS don’t want to compromise. And they are against a proposed system using an existing freight railroad ROW! It is an all or nothing fight they are waging.

    Lewellan Reply:

    California too is in an “All or Nothing” fight. The NE Corridor “All or Nothing” bill is over $100 billion. Wisconsin’s GOP-rejected Talgo trainsets are now running daily on Amtrak Cascades. Averaging barely 45mph, they serve an ‘actual’ market instead of a ‘pretend’ market.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so now the people in the Northeast aren’t real?

    In fiscal year 2013 Amtrak had 936,297 boardings and alightings in Oregon. And 1,281,739 in Washington State. For a grand total of 2,218,036.
    There were 4,125,503 boardings and alighting at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. 1,065,576 in Baltimore. Well Baltimore’s numbers are kinda low because people in suburban Baltimore can go to BWI. Where there were 710,513. More people get on and off the train in suburban Baltimore than get on and off the train in Portland which had 652.455 boarding and alightings in FY ’13. More people get on and off the train in Wilmington Delaware. 578,731 of them in Lancaster PA. Lancaster
    Shall I go on?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Don’t forget Boston, NY, DC, and Philadelphia are all larger than Seattle or Portland. If I recall correctly, NY’s ridership is around 8 million, with Philly at 4 and DC at 4. Either way, NY and DC metro population is larger than Philly. In other words, the City of Brotherly Love has probably the highest Amtrak ridership per capita.

    What are the chance some of it has to do with Amtrak being run out of 30th Street station?

    Lewellan Reply:

    I won’t forget the definitively higher demand of the NEC if you ‘others’ won’t haughtily dismiss the actual accomplishment that TALGO has achieved in the Pacific Northwest. I loved my visit to Philadelphia. I’m actually rather uncertain that NEC actually needs 200mph Bullet trains.
    Zippo Zip trains, so fast, wheeew!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It needs 200 mph trains so that all the people who fly from one Northeastern city to another will take the train instead. Along with many of the people who drive from one Northeastern city to another.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    An upgrade to 110mph corridors would indeed be an improvement for the Pacific Northwest, and would increase the mode share of the Cascade Corridor.

    But the NEC already has more than the mode share of the Cascade Corridor, and already has transit speeds roughly equivalent to an 110mph corridor, so upgrading the NEC to an appropriate transit speed for a 150mph trains while increasing capacity would increase the NEC’s mode share, and upgrading the NEC to an appropriate transit speed for 180mph-220mph trains while increasing capacity to suit would increase the NEC’s mode share yet again.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Almost none. People who can get on the subway to get to or from Union Station or Penn Station can use the subway to get to and from 30th Street.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    No, I meant if Amtrak counts its own employees in passenger counts. Or maybe there is just more pride in train travel locally and so they have a higher share.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Amtrak’s headquarters is in Washington DC.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes, but the back office and the majority of the workers are based in Philadelphia. Many federal agencies are like that.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Just like the car cleaner in Ivy City or Sunnyside or the ticket agent in Trenton or Baltimore doesn’t need to travel much on business the bookkeepers and power dispatchers in Philadelphia don’t need to travel much on business. Amtrak reports how many residents of each state work for Amtrak. There aren’t a lot of them.

    http://www.amtrak.com/pdf/factsheets/CALIFORNIA13.pdf

    Change the state name, using uppercase letters or DC for Washington DC if you are interested in how many thousands of them live along the NEC.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well you are still sidestepping my question…why does Philadelphia have better ridership per capita than NY and DC? Is it because there are still NY-DC flights that are cheaper than the Northeast Regional? Or maybe Amtrak’s access to BWI and EWR helps funnel connecting passengers who either fly Southwest or exotic international routes.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Philadelphia’s a second-tier city. NY is a first-tier city. People in first-tier cities don’t visit second-tier cities as often as people in second-tier cities visit first-tier cities, so there’s a fundamental asymmetry; you expect cities like Philadelphia to have higher per-capita ridership than cities like NY.

    The biggest wins in per-capita ridership come from connecting the second-tier cities to the first-tier cities. Bringing this back to California, the killer app for high-speed trains in California isn’t LA to SF, it’s LA to Bakersfield/Fresno/etc. and SF to Bakersfield/Fresno/etc.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    First, Philadelphia doesn’t have higher ridership per capita than DC. The Greater Philadelphia Amtrak stations (mainly Philadelphia, Wilmginton, and Paoli) have a total of about 5 million annual boardings + alightings, while the Greater Washington stations (DC, Baltimore, BWI, New Carrollton, Alexandria, Fredericksburg) have 7 million. Normalized to combined statistical area population, Philadelphia is actually slightly behind Baltimore-Washington, with 0.7 riders vs. 0.75 in DC.

    Now, New York does have lower per capita ridership – only about 0.5 annual riders per capita. But Nathanael’s explanation for that is more than enough: Amtrak connects Philly and DC to New York, whereas New York it only connects to Philly, DC, and Boston, generating lower per capita ridership. In the simplest case, a line that connects two cities and has no intermediate stops, by definition the ridership in both cities will be the same, so the larger one will have lower per capita ridership.

    (Boston has the same per capita ridership as New York, 0.5; this is because NEC-north has worse service than NEC-south.)

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    killer app for high-speed trains in California isn’t LA to SF, it’s LA to Bakersfield/Fresno/etc. and SF to Bakersfield/Fresno/etc.

    Fascinating, not to mention globally special theory, there.

    Similarly, Uber’s Killer App is worth $17 billion. Because, California.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Alon, you can’t lump in Baltimore with DC and compare to Phily or DC because many people take the train between Baltimore and DC and get counterintelligence totals. Not there’s an easy to subtract these riders out, but I would be fairly certain doing so would put Phily back on top.

    Another element I forgot: the Keystone Service might be pushing up The City of Brotherly Love’s numbers….

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I lumped in Paoli with Philly already, as I did Alexandria and Fredericksburg with DC.

    If you don’t do this lumping, then Philly has 4.1 million annual riders and DC 5 million. But then you need to look at metropolitan statistical areas or even metropolitan divisions rather than combined statistical areas. The Philly MSA has the same population as the DC MSA. The Philly MSA also contains Wilmington and its 750,000 riders (and again, Paoli), but then the DC MSA also contains New Carrollton, Alexandria, and Fredericksburg.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Philadelphians with cars, especially the ones in the northern suburbs can drive to Trenton or Hamilton to get to New York. If you live in New Carrollton driving that far gets you to BWI or Baltimore.

    jonathan Reply:

    Huh?

    for the state of California, people in California are real. For the state of California, when it comes to transport, people traveling in California are real. At least when it comes to CA cost/benefit analyses.

    But if you’re only responding to Lewellan… your time is yours, to waste as you see fit ;).

    EJ Reply:

    Well, they’re real, in the limited sense that any line that doesn’t operate TALGO equipment can be real.

    Alan Reply:

    Wisconsin’s GOP-rejected Talgo trainsets are now running daily on Amtrak Cascades.

    No they aren’t. The Wisconsin sets were either purchased or leased by the state of Michigan for Chicago-Michigan service, until the new bilevels which were recently ordered entered service. The Talgos in Cascades service were bult specifically for that service, and AFAIK weren’t part of someone else’s rejected order. IIRC, the Oregon-Washington order was the only order from the Talgo Milwaukee plant which was actually accepted by the original buyer.

    BTW, if you’re shilling Talgos for HSR service, “averaging barely 45mph” is nothing to brag about.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Oh no. NO….. Two Wisconsin-built Talgo trainsets and unmotorized cabs are indeed ACTUALLY operating in the Pacific Northwest AMTRAK CASCADES corridor. Get back jack.

    Peter Reply:

    Those were ordered by Oregon, not Wisconsin. The ones built for Wisconsin are NOT operating anywhere right now.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Last thing I can find is that they were sent to Amtrak’s Beech Grove facility until a buyer is found.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2014/05/29/talgo-trains-roll-out-of-milwaukee-ending-the.html

    joe Reply:

    “Michigan’s DOT is considering a purchase of the trains for its transit fleet.”

    And of course this was at great expense to the WI taxpayer:

    “Current Governor Scott Walker killed the project and gave back $810 million for the Milwaukee-Madison stretch. Wisconsin taxpayers shelled out $52 million for the Talgo trains, before the state ended the payments.

    The project would have created hundreds of construction jobs, and backers maintained it would have boosted the region’s economy.

    and Talgo is considering a lawsuit.

    On Monday, the Claims Board released its 4-0 decision, which said the board “concludes this claim would be best resolved in a court of law.”

    Talgo’s attorney, Lester Pines, said the board’s decision to reject the claim was expected.

    “Talgo is now considering what precisely it wants to do, and we’ll make that decision in the not-too-distant future,” Pines said.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    See, when the statement is “The Talgos in Cascades service were built specifically for that service”, its inappropriate to use the response “Oh no. NO…..” when what comes next is:

    “Two Wisconsin-built Talgo trainsets and unmotorized cabs are indeed ACTUALLY operating in the Pacific Northwest AMTRAK CASCADES corridor.”

    … which are exactly the Talgos that Alan was identifying as “built specifically for that service”.

    The “Oh no. NO….” is used when the following fact CONTRADICTS the comment you are responding to. When the fact you set out AGREES WITH the comment you are responding to, then it makes it look as if you do not understand the significance of the facts you have at hand.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Don’t confuse him with facts.

    Alan Reply:

    Indeed…

    Alan Reply:

    Shut up, jerk. You’re wrong, as others have pointed out.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Bragging rights. Talgo has them. Get used to it.

    jonathan Reply:

    If you need to change from Iberian gauge to standard gauge, Talgo has bragging rights.

    And that’s where the bragging rights end.

    EJ Reply:

    Trolling, Trolling, Trolling… Trolling about Talgo!

    Woody Reply:

    Confusion here. There are four Wisconsin Talgo train sets.

    Two Talgo trainsets were ordered for the Milwaukee-Madison
    110-mph line that Scott Walker killed. Oregon grabbed those
    two, using money when a highway project came in under budget.
    ( ! ! ! ) One train set is working the Willamette Valley route and
    the other is replacing a train set taken out for overhaul.

    Two Talgo train sets were ordered for the Hiawatha route
    Chicago-Milwaukee. I guess Scott Walker killed that too.
    Anyway, Talgo didn’t get paid for them and didn’t release them.
    Recently they were moved out of Wisconsin to Beech Grove.

    Apparently Talgo got Michigan DOT interested, and the state
    issued a RFP to obtain a pair of trains that would meet certain
    conditions, such that the Talgo train would seem to meet.

    Now there’s a period of analyzing the Talgo offer to be sure
    it will deliver what Michigan wants and needs. One thing
    Michigan wants is to get the Talgos in service by September.

    There’s an election in November. The incumbent governor
    Rick Snyder, Republican, may want to have something to
    show the voters for the hundreds of millions of (almost all
    federal funds but some state) dollars invested in improving
    the Wolverines route Chicago-Detroit, and countless hours
    of delays to the existing service. The Talgos can do that.

    Joe Reply:

    Walker killed Hiawatha upgrades when he rejected the entire ARRA rail funding award. Soon after Walker petitioned for funds for Hiawatha and this request was turned down.

    Joe Reply:

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/842481

    Woody Reply:

    But you do agree that there were four train sets, two went to oregon, two seem headed to Michigan. Others have been confused about the count.

    Peter Baldo Reply:

    Is it the government that prepares the EIS for the railroad, or the other way around? In California, I think the railroad is doing the work and bearing the expense and taking the flak. The article gives the impression that in Texas, the state and federal governments will do the work and bear the expense and take the flak.

  5. Keith Saggers
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 10:58
    #5

    http://www.fresnobee.com/high-speed-rail/k

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    woops,
    http://www.fresnobee.com/high-speed-rail/

  6. jimsf
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 11:35
    #6

    Ill be looking for these billboards on 99 on my next trip down to visalia. This is great.
    Next, they need to push better messaging too. There should be less focus on the environmental side of the project because that is always divisive. But what all californians can get behind is the convenient travel aspect

    Sell it purely as a complete transportation system that puts 30 million californian within 3 hours of each other door to door. That is what people will get behind.

    Observer Reply:

    Correct. The environmental benefits have been shouted out and are well known. But being that people and their cars are joined at the hip, people need to realize – they need to be told that HSR would be a much easier way to get between major metropolitan areas, not to mention the benefits that metropolitan areas would realize.

    Donk Reply:

    Seriously. The only relevant point of the 3 is Opportunity. They should have also had a point about Convenience/Comfort, like jimsf mentioned. Supporting HSR because it will bring jobs is shortsighted, but is a good marketing strategy for the Central Valley. The environmental impact is debatable, but over the long term will be there. At least they aren’t claiming that it will reduce traffic.

    MarkB Reply:

    For a highway billboard to be a success, it has to be seen, read and comprehended in about one or two seconds. I fear this one fails. There’s no pyramid of importance for the eyes to follow; the text is a mess of white against sepia, dark blue against sea foam green, and white against dark blue. UPPER CASE TEXT IS LESS LEGIBLE THAN lower case. The entire billboard is filled edge-to-edge and with contrasting color palettes — there’s no white space. Very amateurish.

    Eric Reply:

    Agreed

    Jerry Reply:

    Also, in advertising, the word “new” should be in there.
    The word “fast” would help also.

    Jerry Reply:

    The billboards, ‘learn more’ reference connects to a Facebook page with the billboard reversed.

    EJ Reply:

    The word “bacon” should be in there. People like bacon.

    jimsf Reply:

    I would do a clean solid background, with a high speed trainset across the bottom.
    ( and not this ugly blue and yellow that is so tainted now)
    Then in bold travel time.

    “Fresno to Los Angeles 90 minutes”

    And do a series of these which advertise travel times and on board comforts in simple terms

    Simple Clean Fast Comfortable Convenient etc.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Clem is going to point out all that would work if the destination wasn’t Fresno or Bakersfield. Maybe add Merced to IOS North and call it Yosemite Station?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Fresno to LA in 90 minutes is going to work in Fresno, Tulare & King counties.

    As Merced is the planned northern terminus of the IOS, “adding it” to the IOS would seem to be straightforward.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes but the moneyed elite of Fresno probably would prefer the investment and connection to the Bay Area over Los Angeles which promises little foreign investment.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Sorry “little direct investment”…Freudian slip there.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    2008 Prop 1-A was for “Safe, Reliable” HSR. On Caltrain tracks, HSR would be neither. End HSR to the Bay Area at San Jose, with seamless transfers there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, VTA Light Rail, and SV BART. Later upgrade UP/Amtrak East Bay Mulford route to a BART transfer station at their overhead in Oakland, 6 minutes from San Francisco’s downtown Embarcadero station with a train every 4 minutes or oftener.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    STOP
    UNSUBSCRIBE
    SPAM

    Clem Reply:

    Mulford Talgo!

    Alan Reply:

    STFU. Just STFU.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Dear troll,

    Alon Levy and Clem Tillier are the about only people who contribute anything worth reading (or, for that matter, anything that isn’t actively non-sensical) to this blog, with a couple interesting bits and bobs from some plugged-in Central Valley locals and from “Drunk Engineer”.

    It is a certainty that if none of us ever read another thing from anonymous “Alan” the world would surely be a better place.

    Robert Allen is completely wrong and has, over the course of his public service “career”, caused immense harm to the Bay Area. But at least he’s consistent, and at least he puts his name to his nonsense.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Well, I think there are places where focusing on the environmental benefits would be uncontroversial. But in the Oil Drilling Central Valley, yeah, not the best focus.

  7. Lewellan
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 12:28
    #7

    The last I heard, the mandate was reduced from 200+mph to 165mph, and the locomotive type resembling a freight train more than an aerodynamic bullet. Sorry I don’t have a link to reference.
    Correct me if I’m wrong with a link.

    Eric M Reply:

    Wow, you just make that up? No, you need to prove your point with a citation because that is utter BS.

    Lewellan Reply:

    I’m sorry about that. In my website newspaper article readings, the freight-style 165mph locomotive was ‘depicted’ as the new reality of blended system. Perhaps it was Caltrans? Probably, but will Caltrans do 165mph? I doubt it, therefore, it’s HSR. Clem reminds of ‘compatability’ often for the Peninsula and right about ‘compatability’ coming before locomotive type. I am a little mixed up about this, but frankly, I can explain my position more respectably than your idiot explanations of legal wrangling.

    I watched the Talgo arrive in town tonight, quiet cab forward. Amazing. Slow.
    My nickname for the Wisconsin design is “Toots” (short for Tootsie not ‘Little Toots’ – already taken nickname). Just humor me this time. Thanks. Find that 165mph link. I swear I saw it on some newspaper website, therefore credible I must assume. Also: You guys are so stupid. Fuhgetaboutid.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    This one perhaps ?
    http://www.interstatetraveler.us/

    Eric M Reply:

    Huh???? Would you please provide a coherent response. Heavy freight is not going to go 165 mph, with maybe the exception of a postal train like the SNCF TGV La Poste.

    Clem talks about compatibility, but the maximum speed on the peninsula without grade separations can only be 125 mph. And heavy style, US freight will most likely be restricted to only a few hours in the middle of the night.

    Also, would you please stop referencing Talgo, unless you are refering to The Talgo 250. The CA HSR system will be designed for ~250 mph, with operating speeds at ~220 mph, using transets such as Alstom’s AGV, Siemen’s Velaro, or the upcoming Bombardier ZEFIRO.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Mail is isn’t very heavy.

    Eric M Reply:

    That’s what I meant. I worded it wrong. Should have said: “Heavy freight is not going to go 165 mph. Maybe a just postal train like the SNCF TGV La Poste, which carries light freight, will run on the system.”

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Heavy freight is not often going to be going faster than 60mph.

    Indeed, they are currently doing research on higher speed trucks for medium freight (eg, single stack containers) to go regularly at 90mph.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Does heavy freight ever go 60 mph? In Europe, every time there’s a nontrivial grade, the minimum speed for freight trains raises operating costs and limits train weights, to a far lower maximum than what’s routine in the US. The trains that are allowed to go 100 km/h are still much lighter than American coal trains.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Double stacks sometimes do, when running on the flat sections of the Midwest, and I’d consider double stacks heavy freight. Running much faster on Class 4 track with normal trucks can lead to excessive hunting (that is, the wheel moving back and forth sideways across the track, not yahoos in orange vests looking for some critters to kill). Its not so much an issue on upgrades with the heavy freight, since they are equipped with locomotives for cost-effective transport per ton-mile, not to meet minimum speed requirements.

    If the trains you are referring to are somewhere around 22 tonnes per axle vs 30 tonnes or 33 tonnes, I’d consider that medium freight.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    With a few exceptions, the European maximum axle load is around 22 tonnes.

    Intermodal trains run at 100 to 120 km/h, and over the Gotthard line with 2.6% grades, they run at 75 to 80 km/h (the limit is not the grades, but the curves).

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, setting the break between fast medium freight and conventional heavy freight at around 24 short tons is oriented toward drawing on European experience in the coming regulatory tussles.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Also in the running:

    The first Shinkansen trains, the 0 Series Shinkansen, built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries—in English often called “Bullet Trains”, after the original Japanese name Dangan Ressha (弾丸列車?)—outclassed the earlier fast trains in commercial service. They ran the 515 km (320 mi) distance in 3 hours 10 minutes, reaching a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) and sustaining an average speed of 162.8 km/h (101.2 mph) with stops at Nagoya and Kyoto.

    But the speed was only a part of the Shinkansen revolution: the Shinkansen offered high-speed rail travel to the masses. The first Bullet trains had 12 cars and later versions had up to 16, and double-deck trains further increased the capacity.

    After three years, more than 100 million passengers had used the trains, and the milestone of the first one billion passengers was reached in 1976. In 1972, the line was extended a further 161 km (100 mi), and further construction has resulted in the network expanding to 2,387 km (1,483 mi) as at March 2013, with a further 776 km (482 mi) of extensions currently under construction and due to open in stages between March 2015 and 2035. The cumulative patronage on the entire system since 1964 is over 10 billion, the equivalent of approximately 150% of the world’s population, without a single train passenger fatality. (Suicides, passengers falling off the platforms, and construction errors have resulted in fatalities.)

    Since their introduction, Japan’s Shinkansen systems have been under relentless development, not only increasing line speeds. Dozens of models have been produced, addressing diverse issues such as tunnel boom noise, vibration, aerodynamic drag, lines with lower throughput (“Mini shinkansen”), earthquake and typhoon safety, braking distance, problems due to snow, and energy consumption (newer models consume half the initial ones despite greater speeds)…

    Wikipedia

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Extensive trials using the Fastech 360 test trains have shown that operation at 360 km/h (224 mph) is not currently feasible because of problems of noise pollution (particularly tunnel boom), overhead wire wear, and braking distances. On 30 October 2012, JR East announced that it is pursuing research and development to increase speeds to 360 km/h on the Tohoku Shinkansen by 2020.

    Wikipedia

    EJ Reply:

    Talgo makes a 220 mph capable train, the 350. It’s widely used in Spain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVE_Class_102

    Apparently the Saudis are going to use it on their new HSR line as well.

    Peter Reply:

    It doesn’t go 350 km/h. It was designed for 330 km/h. The name is misleading.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Railway Gazette International High Speed Rail Survey 2013

    First place goes to Chinese Railways, which operates three trains a day over the 383 km between Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou Dong in 81 min at an average speed of 283·7 km/h. Europe’s fastest trains remain SNCF’s TGV services on LGV Est linking Paris with Strasbourg and other towns in eastern France; TGV 5425 sprints the 167·6 km between Lorraine TGV and Champagne Ardenne TGV in 37 min at 271·8 km/h. Meanwhile, Spain overtakes Japan to take third place.

    The survey also throws up some startling comparisons, none more striking than Chinese Railways’ G79, which averages 263 km/h for the 2100 km between Beijing and Guangzhou with three intermediate stops. Compare this to Amtrak’s Silver Meteor, which ambles the 2224 km from Penn Station New York to Miami in 27 h 40 min at just 80·4 km/h with 18 stops.

    China continues to rewrite the rules on high speed rail, as trains compete with air over ever greater distances.

    wdobner Reply:

    There’s now the Talgo AVRIL, designed for 380km/h, and it’s 30″ platform height would simplify compatibility with Caltrain’s EMUs. But Lewellan has been arguing for either the Talgo XXI diesel hauled set or the Talgo 250 “hybrid” dual mode set. I’ve never quite been able to discern which one he’s referring to. Either way the ~150mph top speed make them a nonstarter for California’s system. IMHO if Talgo could field something with the performance of the AVRIL and the diesel engine from the 250H it could make the IOS much easier to implement. But that seems unlikely, and of course it locks the CHSRA in to a 30 inch platform height.

    Clem Reply:

    At some point, CHSRA will have to be locked into some platform height.

    Eric M Reply:

    My guess is they will pick between 45-48″. Right in the sweet spot for most HSR manufacturers, where height adjustments of a few inches shouldn’t be costly

    jonathan Reply:

    All the European manufacturers build for a platform height of either 550mm or 760mm, per TSI 2002/735/EC. Do you mean floor height. So I assume you’re talking about floor height.

    If so, then going *down* significantlywill be very very costly. Prohibitively costly. Those vehciles are designed to run at high speed, with the bogie and drive machinery under the floor. Raising the floor height should be inexpensive (look at the Sapsan); but reducing floor height by even a few inches may require a major re-design.

    Eric M Reply:

    @jonathan, have a read from Clem’s Blog (if you haven’t already). Good Stuff:

    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2009/09/platform-height.html

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Except when they don’t for the market in the Netherlands, UK and North America.

    jonathan Reply:

    Eric, yes I’ve read that entry on Glem’s blog. It doesn’t answer my point — though it also points out that (excluding Talgos) floor height is designed to fit over the bogies.

    Adirondacker: I guess this is an example of “civility”? But it”s not particularly civil. Partly because it’s bullshit. What is the floor height for both Alstom and Siemens HSR trainsets which serve the UK?? Hint: Eurostar bought Velaro 320s. DBAG bought off-the-shelf Velaro D (DB BR 407) to run into the UK. The international platforms on HS1 have an EU TSI-compliant height of 760mm; and HS2 is to be built to either 550mm or760mm. Oh, and the NS bought some the Class 406 (ICE 3 MF) units,though the NS-logo units are operated as a single pool with DBAG’s. So: bullshit.

    Perhaps you missed the distinction between platform height and floor height?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    platform height and floor height have a relationship. Especially when both of them have to conform to ADA regulations. In case you haven’t noticed the people in Europe are blissfully unconcerned with whether or not their train conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    jonathan Reply:

    iIn other words HSR vendors do *not* customize the floor height for the UK or the Netherlands.

    Is this the closed you can come to admitting that you were flat wrong? And uncivil about it?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I don’t know and I don’t care. Once they make the cars that run around in Europe wider and lot longer for the North American or Japanese market they ain’t gonna be ‘off-the-shelf” and making the floor height different is just going to be a part of the redesign.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Don’t the trains in China just have level boarding from 1,250 mm platforms?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @adirondacker: It is correct that European manufacturers give a rat’s ass about ADA. However, every European country has its own “people with disability” legislation, and that is about as binding as ADA in the US.

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker,

    i see. You don’t care about facts. and you don’t care about being uncivl. I’m glad we established that. Finally And now you’re caught out in one untruth, you’re trying to change the subject. but you stepped into more untruth.

    *no* HSR vendor needs to make cars “longer” to fit American practice. HSR train-sets are either articulated or semi-permanently coupled. No-one *cares* what length they are! Do the Talgos on the Amtrak Cascades make passengers claustrophobic? What *iis* your insane fetish with this falsehood? Will California passengers go into fits if their coach is 26.4m long? 28.5m long, like IC-x? No-one *cares*.

    jonathan Reply:

    @Max:

    yes, it’s a UN ocnvention now. Ironic that the US government wouldn’t sign the CPRD
    ; “UN ! Loss of sovereignty! black helicopters taking over”, that kind of partisan nonsense.

    jonathan Reply:

    Alon,

    Wikipedia says China has 4 different platform heights. The highest is 1250m. At that height you’d have to actively work at it ,to not get fairly level boarding into an HSR trainset
    I’m curious to know if China has that platform height for all HSR lines; and if they all have level boarding (into the various licensed trainsets).

    I believe the rolling-stock is partitioned between the various lines. It’s well-known that the the various lines have different , incompatible, signalling systems.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I don’t care about your fetish for European trains which would be an inappropriate choice for service in North America.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @jonathon, if I make it to China in September, remind me to find out.

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirodnacker,

    you really *don’t* give a damn about facts, do you? Here is a *fact*: trains which you claim are “inappropriate” are *ALREADY* operating in North America.

    jonathan Reply:

    …. specifically, Talgo 8s, which are 48ft 9.5in. Insisting that these cars are “unsuitable” for the North American market because they need to be (quote) “a lot longer” is *insane*.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Both of them on a low use isolated system.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    By the time of the IOS for sure, I would image, but even if building initially lower platforms for the stations on the ICS, it would be best to design them for easy adaptation to their final design use, so it ought to be locked in by partway through the construction of the ICS.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They can raise the platforms or lower the tracks. Put too much gravel down at first and then take it out later. Lowering tracks is a expensive but probably a lot cheaper than reconfiguring elevators, escalators and stairwells.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @adirondacker: Lowering tracks is what is normally done when a station is adjusted for a higher platform height (or a tunnel is adjusted for a higher loading gauge).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    North Americans seem to think that the tracks have to stay on one level for all eternity.

    jonathan Reply:

    Putting down excess ballast i(to future-proof for high platforms) s *clearly* well beyond the forethought horizon of Calrain.
    Or the Very Splendid and Worthwhile engineers designing the TBT. Mind you, it helps to have written the rules, as (clpse paraphrase): Okay, wei’ll do your fancy European sissy stuff on the actual high-speed line. But everything else will be by the AREMA book that Daddy and Grand-Pappy used, just like we’ve built every freight railroad i in this country for the past 60 years.”

    (Okay, the last sentence is freelance. But these people have *no* understanding of how to design and operate a passenger terminus. Or more to the point, how to design one *for* operation. *None*.)

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @adirondacker ~ true, its the physical platform height that is locked in, not the platform height above track. If they went with one of the EU directive heights, it would be either 22in or 14in of extra ballast to operate the pre-IOS at 8in above track height.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Blended” I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    “Blended” means that HSR would share tracks with commuter rail running (at least on the Peninsula) with electric motors _not_ with diesel.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “I swear I saw it on some newspaper website, therefore credible I must assume. Also: You guys are so stupid.”

    You take on faith what you read in “some newspaper website” (without even bookmarking the site to be able to double check later) and feel free to call OTHER people stupid?

    Alan Reply:

    I read on World Net Daily’s website that the President is a Kenya-born socialist Marxist who is going to send Nancy Pelosi to Mars with a ray gun to rule that planet. So it must be true.

    Sheesh.

    EJ Reply:

    Hi guys, here’s something I have no references or support for. Please provide a reference to prove me wrong.

    You’re truly an exceptional human being.

    Alan Reply:

    You pull something out of your ass and then expect us to disprove it? Go back to writing your Vogon poetry.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    You’re wrong. Link: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/about/business_plans/draft_2014_business_plan.html

  8. synonymouse
    Jun 26th, 2014 at 15:52
    #8

    You’d think Prop 1a is back on the ballot the way the Cheerleaders are so defensive. But neither is Jerry’s LA Water Grab nor LAHSR. He lacks the nerve to pimp Norcal water to Palmdale- but let’s if he has the hubris to shunt the next contract to Tutor. Kinda doubt it but then he is senile.

    Alan Reply:

    There’s nothing defensive about maintaining a positive public image, especially before real construction efforts become visible.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Ha Ha. So impressive. “Construction efforts” becoming “visable.” Whee!

    Alan Reply:

    Ha Ha. So impressive. “TALGO TALGO TALGO”. Whee!

    Lewellan Reply:

    Saw a great Palmdale movie this week: “The Land of the Lost”
    Wil Ferrel. Nuf said. Couldn’t not laugh.
    Final word: Blended System cost reduction applicable Central Valley.
    If Peninsula/LA County didn’t offer Blended, this discussion wouldn’t be happening.
    Fuhgetaboudit.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How much cheaper would it be to compared to the one you’d like to see built, up and down the Central Valley?

    Lewellan Reply:

    Answer: a lot ‘cheaper’ though the term ‘less expensive’ can depict how cost savings often produces higher value. Investing money is not the objective, as you should know.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not much cheaper. Laying railroad tracks in flat places for conventional rail isn’t that much less expensive than laying tracks for high speed rail.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Precisely ~ on a $’s invested per passenger-mile / year demand basis, the HSR is cheaper.

    jonathan Reply:

    You’re saying the Peninsula “offered” a “Blended System”?

    So much for words having meaning….

    Alan Reply:

    Not to mention the double negative: “Couldn’t not laugh”. There was a day when a kid would have flunked 7th grade English writing something like that.

    Lewellan Reply:

    “Couldn’t not laugh” can be considered creative writing, Alan. The most said in least words. And jonathan, the Bay Area Peninsula communities ‘offered’ as an alternative, the blended system that has kept this HSR project going, no thanks to people like you, corporate bandwagon flunkies.

    Alan Reply:

    No, it’s consider a very poor use of the language. Brevity is an admirable goal, but clear communication is more important in a forum such as this.

    What’s the difference between a “corporate bandwagon (flunky)” and a Talgo corporate shill? We flunkies understand the law governing HSR, and you don’t.

    jonathan Reply:

    Lweellan: no, the Peninsula communities did not offer “Blended” as an alternative.
    “Blended” is the brain-child of Eshoo, Gordon, and Simitian. Politicians, not conmunities or districts.
    And – at least to my jaunidiced eye — it wasn’t an “offer”, so much as horse-trading in the state Senate.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Though it was SNCF that did Blended Operations first, back in the 1980′s. So Eshoo, Gordon’s and Smitian’s reach is quite impressive.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Central Valley is where total dollar cost reduction per mile is the least, and the reduction in effective transit speed the greatest.

    The best Will Ferrell movies are funny on several levels, which allows people to enjoy them for the slapstick even if they aren’t quick enough to catch the satire.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Lewellan

    Forget “The Land of the Lost”. Try “Jack Reacher”:

    “They work one city at a time,
    acquiring a local construction
    concern just ahead of major
    civic redevelopment,
    they build bridges no one
    needs, highways no one uses
    they are like a cancer,
    a cell that won’t stop growing
    They moved 12 times in 15 years,
    Atlanta, Albuquerque, Austin
    Oklahoma City, Sacramento, always
    amidst allegations of corruption
    including millions of Dollars
    in missing public funds
    and yet never an investigation,
    never even an enquiry!”

  9. Eric M
    Jun 27th, 2014 at 13:55
    #9

    Federal Railroad Administration Issues Record of Decision for California High-Speed Train Fresno to Bakersfield Section

    J. Wong Reply:

    “clears the way to break ground on the project”

    Yay!

    jimsf Reply:

    the FRA selects the preferred alternative outlined in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which was issued earlier this year. The preferred alternative is comprised of the alignment alternative adjacent to the BNSF Railway bypasses of Corcoran, the Allensworth area, and the Bakersfield Hybrid alternative. The preferred alternative includes a Downtown Fresno Station, a Kings/Tulare regional station, and a downtown Bakersfield station. FRA selected this combination of route alignments because they are more compatible with the long-range development planning goals of the region, and will result in fewer potential impacts on wetlands and special-status species habitat

    have to go back and look at the maps. this is bypass corcoran and bypass wasco I assume

  10. John Burrows
    Jun 27th, 2014 at 16:55
    #10

    My entry into the Central Valley Billboard Sweepstakes—-

    In the Fresno area:
    The left side of the billboard would show a rendering of how Fresno might look in 2035 based on their Downtown Specific Plan. In the center would be the train, and above the train “59 minutes” would be written. On the right hand side would be a rendering of how San Jose might appear in 2035 based upon the Diridon Station Area plan.

    In the Bakersfield area there would be a different sign highlighting the link that high speed rail would establish between Bakersfield and Los Angeles.

    Getting back to Fresno—Their Downtown Vision calls for 7,000 residential units on 7,200 acres in the area around the HSR station. San Jose’s Diridon Plan calls for nearly 5 million square feet of office/R&D/industrial space as well as a substantial amount of residential and retail in a much smaller (250 acre) area. In other words anyone living in one of these 7,000 units in Fresno could walk or drive to the train station in 15 minutes, make the 59 minute trip to Diridon, and walk to their place of business in another 15 minutes—For a total trip time of 1.5 hr or less.

    Santa Clara County has the second highest rate of “mega commuters” in the country, with about 17,000 commuters taking 1.5 hr or longer to get to work each day. The median cost of a place to live in the Bay area is the highest in the country—the median cost of a place to live in Fresno is several times less, in fact it is lower than in cities such as Austin and Dallas. If the cost to rent or buy in Santa Clara County keeps going up, more potential employees will be priced out of the Bay Area, and if they had the option a fair number might end up working in Silicon Valley and living in Fresno instead of relocating to Texas or some other place.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or they just open an office in Fresno.

    jimsf Reply:

    either way people in fresno benefit though

    jimsf Reply:

    The beuaty of high speed rail is that it makes where you live, work,play, or locate your company, less critical as it brings everyone to within a short travel time of everyone else. With the cost of doing business being lower in the valley a lot of companies could move out there knowing that they could get employees either from the bay area, or, get employees to move to the valley knwoing they will have easy access to the bay ( and la) That happened in the greater sacramento area. Places such as Rancho Cordova and Folsom courted lots of big companies including Intel and other tech related companies and it has transformed and brought a lot wealth. PArts of Folsom look like the OC/newport beach area now.

    joe Reply:

    It’s a good thing for both CV and coast CA but there are some limitations.

    1. Workers want to live where there are choices since a layoff could mean a move. In the Bay Area it’s less likely and chaining jobs is easier. I’m not sure Folsom is an employer rich area.

    2. Commuting: A study of HSR in Germany showed it helped the GDP of towns with stations since HSR provided access to a larger pool of employers. Commuting daily in CA may not be cost practical without a subsidy. Prop1a maybe a wet blanket.

    3. A corporate HQ and/or R&D facility can be at the coast and satellite offices or manufacturing in the CV which is easily accessed by HSR. A manager or engineers can easily get to the HQ for a critical meeting and return.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Just some clarification about Rancho Cordova, Folsom, and El Dorado Hills:

    Blue Shield of CA, Waste Management, and Dignity Health all did what Joe described and seem fairly content with the situation. Intel, because it’s not feasible to expand their Folsom campus actually for R and D only for the whole company.

    Some of the area’s affluence is from developers and cities going nuts during the housing boom, not the employment base. But it’s important not to overlook that over the last seven years, Oregon has been on the top five states for GDP growth in no small part because of Intel’s growth in Hillsboro. A large part of the reason for Hillsboro being the site for this growth is the flight time and availability between San Jose and Portland. Make Fresno a one hour ride on HSR from Silicon Valley and companies like Intel will keep more of those jobs an tax dollars here in CA.

    jimsf Reply:

    Fresno needs to to two things. Clean the air and get rid of the crime. It would be a very attractive place to live. Clean the air so the crest of the southern sierra which is quite striking is visible daily, and do something about the fact that your car will be stolen in broad daylight when you go into a 7-11 to get a slurpee.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sprawl and Smog are like Love and Marriage.

  11. Donk
    Jun 27th, 2014 at 20:53
    #11

    I did a “ctrl-F” for the word “Talgo” and found 24 matches on this page. You guys are a bunch of nerds.

    Donk Reply:

    We are now up to 36. I think this is going to be a record.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    I do like the Talgo sets for Rapid Rail service on corridors where the tilting allows a 50mph minimum speed so that the tilt doesn’t have to be locked out. Indeed, Talgo is a possibility to consider when looking at a possible Coast Daylight.

    Plus, Talgo, Talgo, and Talgo. So what are we up to now?

    Observer Reply:

    And you probably not doing the manufacturer any favors either. If they are reading all of this, they likely would have a headache by now.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Tal–…just kidding.

  12. Donk
    Jun 27th, 2014 at 20:55
    #12

    OT: BUR Regional Intermodal Transportation Center opened today. More convenient passenger connection between Metrolink/Amtrak and BUR. Now all they need is better service outside of rush hour.

    http://thesource.metro.net/2014/06/27/bob-hope-airport-officially-opens-regional-intermodal-transportation-center/

    Clem Reply:

    Not so OT. This new facility is why all other HSR San Fernando Valley station options were recently withdrawn. This is the future HSR stop.

    Eric M Reply:

    Isn’t this on the wrong rail line to be a HSR stop? I thought the tracks are planned for running down San Fernando Rd./Blvd.

    wdobner Reply:

    It most certainly is. The RITC is on the Ventura County line.

    joe Reply:

    Yes, down San Fernando Rd./Blvd.
    1:28 into this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4reh8C6gqQM

    Clem Reply:

    Indeed, it’s not quite the same place, sorry for the confusion. The HSR stop is planned about a mile away, see Figure 4-4 on PDF page 54 of the latest Palmdale – LA Supplemental Alternatives Analysis.

    The proximity of Bob Hope Airport, RITC, and related services to this station location would benefit both the HSR project as well as the Airport. The RITC offers key HSR benefits at the Burbank Airport Station location not available at San Fernando or Branford: circulator connection with the airport itself, access to parking and rental car facilities, and circulator connection with the Ventura County Metrolink line.

    The point remains that BUR is now the only SFV stop proceeding into environmental review.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Lining up for the IOS to be Palmdale – Irvine, blended (Caltrain) south of Burbank.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Nope. What it looks like is that there will be no interoperability between HSR, Metrolink, and the Surfliner. My guess is that this is about securing enough real estate for parking and eschew any sort urban connection to downtown Burbank.

    Just more evidence we are way off track down south.

    Clem Reply:

    Caltrain could (if they are smart) set a precedent that will be hard for Metrolink to ignore. I happen to think it should be 760 mm (30 inches) with more generous lateral clearance than what is found on the NEC.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    That’s one of two EU 2002 directive heights (2002/735/EC) ~ 760mm (~30in +/-0.3%) and 550mm (~22in +/-1.6%). There’s enough variety in platform heights around the world that there is no single dominant height, but enough countries are converging on one of those two heights that picking one of those two that best suits California’s needs would seem to make a lot of sense.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    On the other hand, the Shinkansen platform height is 1,250 mm, and from watching a few YouTube videos, my own recollection at Shanghai and Shanghai South, and TM 2.2.4′s PDF-p. 17, China’s HSR platform height is 1,250 mm as well.

    Put another way, about two thirds of the world’s HSR ridership uses 1,250 mm.

    Nathanael Reply:

    That’s exceedingly close to the NEC’s 48 inches.

    Nathanael Reply:

    (I mean 1250 mm is.)

    Clem Reply:

    And probably most of the remaining third ride in trains with 1250 mm floors, since most of Europe does not have level boarding (and won’t for a long long time). Future European high-speed level boarding trains will most likely use 760 mm.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Sydney’s higher platform height at 1200mm is even closer to the NEC’s 48″.

    The way that the twin level Sydney trains are designed (and they have their own equivalent of the ADA to comply with) is that there is that there is a single level entry vestibule with seating and standing capacity at both ends of a car, and stairs up and down to the upper and lower level.

    This is a shot from the Wikipedia Machine of the Millenium Bug vestibule, you can see the fixed seating along the right side and the seating where wheelchair passengers can flip up a pair of seats at the left side.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Trains_M_set#mediaviewer/File:Millennium_train_vestibule3.jpg

    jimsf Reply:

    probably be a case of agencies protecting their turf. As much as we should have a fully integrated state rail system, it will be hard to pry any control out of existing hands.

    jimsf Reply:

    EVen with desert express seemingly on hold ( is it still pending or what) the hgih desert transportation corridor including row for high speed rail If desert express doesn’t use it it can be preserved for future ca hsr service.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    According to Mike Rosenberg on the Twitter machine, the FRA has “suspended” review of the RRIF loan application, and XPressWest says they are “continuing planning”, which sounds quite a lot like the FRA’s independent financial advisor wants levels of commitment from other investors that XPressWest can’t line up.

    https://twitter.com/RosenbergMerc/status/355769309315866624

    Ted Judah Reply:

    My guess is that this station plan means Metrolink is going to abandon service to the Antelope Valley and that there will be almost no sections where HSR tracks and Metrolink are at the same grade. My bet is OCTA cuts the Surfliner to LA-SD and dumps the northern section onto the state for a Coast Daylight.

    jimsf Reply:

    well metrolink would still have a duty to serve the local stations on the palmdale line i think. As far as surfliners. Ventura and Santa Barbara counties would probably have a big problem with octa trying to remove that service. actually octa wont have the power to do that. caltrans still has ultimate authority. octa will only provide management. thats my understanding.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Given that only four of the ten daily Surfliner trains travel north of LA, I think a Coast Daylight could more than absorb the demand that exists currently. Sure, there is this question of what happens to the smaller stations but Paul Dyson has indicated service on Metrolink is about to be cut anyone because of falling demand.

    It makes perfect sense really.

    jimsf Reply:

    octa will not have the authority to cut that service. and a daily coast daylight train will not provide the current frequency. There is more frequency planned not less. Santa Barbara and slo in particular want more not less. Salinas is going to be where surfliners and capitol corridor trains meet.

    Joe Reply:

    Metrolink will feed riders to the Palmdale and BUR HSR stations. A non subsidized HSR system is going to require more, not less local service. Most if this talk about cutting service makes no sense to me or a successful HSR system.

    Salinas is where the ccjpa will over lap with surfliners and it’s effective stop to reach monterey co but I can see surfliners stopping at GLY for the co-located HSR station and service to SF/peninsula.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Given that tangle between SLO and the tunnels, it seems equally plausible that a Daylight provides on of those extra services to Santa Barbara / SLO and one of the Salinas services, to give a direct SF connection, with the Capitol Corridor and Surfliner never actually meeting.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    But why would you guess that, when the current preferred alignment option from the end of the last HSR tunnel through to the LOSSAN corridor at Burbank airport is to share that corridor. There’s no particular pressure for Blended Operation there, as its single track for most of its length between Sylmar and the LOSSAN junction, and if the few segments where its triple track are problematic, the Antelope Valley line express pass could well be moved up into what is currently a single track section. …

    … and there’s nothing in the N. Hollywood Ave / N. San Fernando Blvd station location that is in any way hard to fit into that existing plan.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If they wanted blended operations, the Burbank station would be farther south. The Ventura line is viable long term, Antelope Valley is not viable without electrification.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    No, if they were looking to supplant the Antelope Valley line, they’d have pushed back against Burbank when Brlurbank wanted the station moved out of downtown. Trading Burbank Center & Sylmar for Burbank Airport implies the opposite of what you suggest, that they’ll be happy to connect with the AV line on either end for intervening stations and Burbank to the HSR.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Antelope Valleys train stop in downtown Burbank now and probably will in the future. People who take the intercity train to Burbank airport so they can change to Metrolink to get to Santa Clarita or Glendale can change trains at the airport and go to Burbank. It keeps the parking garages and car rental parking lots out of downtown Burbank.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    But at Downtown Burbank people could also change to a Ventura Line train. Or get off and walk to a destination in Burbank.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the can’t get off the intercity train and walk around in West Hollywood, or plain ol’ Hollywood. They can’t get off the intercity train and wander around in Oakland. Or Berkeley. They can’t get off the intercity train and walk to Harvard Square, Wall Street or Georgetown. One day they won’t be able to walk off the train in Chicago and walk to the Miracle Mile. The people who want to use the Ventura line can get off the intercity train at East Burbank Airport and use the people mover to get to South Burbank Airport or vice versa, It keeps the parking garages and car rental out of downtown Burbank.

    Joey Reply:

    Somehow I doubt BUR will ever be big enough to justify a people mover … maybe a semi-frequent shuttle bus if you’re lucky.

    Seriously, I don’t see any benefit to the north airport station location. It has fewer transit connections, fewer nearby destinations, you’re a mile from the terminals, and about 44% of the airport’s passengers are heading to locations which are going to be served by HSR.

    joe Reply:

    Benefit is Cost.

    Maybe a semi-frequent shuttle?!? A rental car company runs a shuttle now at BUR.

    Place the station where you think it should go. pop open a map and go for it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people who drive to Burbank Airport now, park the car, fly to a place that will have HSR, in the future can park the car and take the train to a place that will have HSR. Put the station in downtown Burbank there won’t be anyplace to park so they will drive to Burbank Airport and take a plane. Or there will be a huge ugly parking garage in downtown. The people who now take Metrolink to Burbank Airport will have twice as many trains to pick from ( Ventura Line or Antelope Valley line ). The people who now fly to Burbank Airport and rent a car can take the train to Burbank Airport and rent a car. The people who now fly to Burbank Airport and take a taxi to downtown Burbank can take the train to Burbank Airport and take a taxi to Downtown Burbank.
    Having a station, preferably one right at or very near the highway can be a better choice out in the suburbs.

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker: take a look at the current downtown Burbank metrolink station. It’s right next to I-5 (closer than the planned station location, in fact). It’s close to downtown, but there’s also a lot of industrial/redevelopable land. Some of it could be dedicated to a parking structure. It already has better transit connections (Ventura County Line/Surfliners), and the proximity to downtown makes it better for future transit improvements, since those lines can serve HSR and Burbank, rather than just HSR.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Joey, the Surfliners do not stop at downtown Burbank. They should, but that’s another story. It is also space constrained assuming we still have to accommodate non electrified UP, conventional VC line passenger rail and HSR.

    Joey Reply:

    Correct about the surfliners, and also correct that they should stop there. The space constraint isn’t really that bad – there’s nearly 300 feet of width to work with, which should be more than enough to accommodate everything that needs to be there. It’s also on a slight curve, but that curve is also wide enough that the change in platform gap across a car length is sufficiently small that it doesn’t matter, particularly if the curve is realigned slightly.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Paving the unused land next to the runways for parking lots, land that’s never going to be used other than for things like parking lots because it’s next to the runways, is a lot cheaper than building parking garages anywhere. Paving that is a LOT cheaper than building parking garages over a busy highway. How attractive is fare plus forty dollars a day to park in the garage downtown versus fare plus ten dollars a day to park a few miles away at the airport?

    I know California is special, I just want to check how special. People in greater Los Angeles are going to leave the car at home and get on a bus or train to go to the parking garage in Downtown Burbank? The ones who get on a bus or a train to get to the HSR stop are concerned about how much parking there is at the station? I know Californians are special but I would hazard a guess that they would be more inclined to get on a bus or a train and go to Downtown Burbank if that piece of land had something other than a parking garage on it.
    Again checking to see how special Californians are. In 2050 when there’s high speed rail service to San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego and Irvine people from the north and east of Burbank are going to take HSR to Burbank and change to a Surfliner to get to Anaheim? Why wouldn’t they just get on a train at the station where they parked their car or took a taxi, bus or train, and get on a train there that goes to Anaheim? If they want to go to San Clemente they are going to change to the Surfliner in Burbank and not in Irvine? Or change in Burbank for the Surfliner so they can avoid the awful high speed rail trip to San Diego? Or vice versa. People in San Diego who want to get to Sacramento are going to take the Surfliner to Burbank and change to HSR there?

    The people who want to take HSR to Burbank and then walk to their destination, how many of them are concerned about the parking in Downtown Burbank?

    ….Pick the same platform height etc for Metrolink and HSR the way you turn any Metrolink station into an HSR station is to wire up a ticket vending machine and hang a sign. But then if the Metrolink or Caltrain ticket vending machines can issue HSR tickets you don’t even need another ticket vending machine. all you need is the sign.

    Joey Reply:

    People will drive to their origin station, yes. Some parking needs to be provided. Why would it need to be over the freeway? Like I said, there’s plenty of undeveloped land in the area despite proximity to downtown.

    Re Surfliners, I was talking aobut Surfliner north, not south. LAUS is going to be the transfer point for south.

    The Surfliners are also not the only potential transit connection. The Orange line would be easy to extend and might be converted to light rail at some point in the future. By the same logic it could be extended north, but HSR+downtown is probably going to get more riders than HSR+airport. And that ignores the existing bus connections. People are likely to drive to their origin station, but at their destination they won’t have a car. Some will rent a car but not all. Transit connections are important.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How does building a parking garage for intercity passengers in downtown Burbank help downtown Burbank become a destination for locals? You want downtown to be vibrant and walkable and all sorts of oggly TODishness building parking garages for people who don’t live there to get someplace else isn’t a good way to do it. Paving a parking lot next to the runway that’s close to the highway is a lot cheaper than building a parking garage anywhere.

    Joey Reply:

    A station can cater to both origin and destination passengers. Origin passengers need parking (at least some of them) and destination passengers need convenient destinations. An airport station does basically nothing for destination passengers. A downtown station with a reasonable amount of parking serves both. A reasonably sized garage isn’t going to take up that much space.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    How much parking would it take to make Downtown Burbank a much less attractive destination?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A reasonably sized garage is much more expensive to build than paving nearly worthless land next to runways. If it cost more to build it they are going to have to charge more to use it.

    Origin passengers need parking. How many people who drive to the HSR station care that there is a hotel two blocks away that has a good restaurant next to it? Or that the movie theater four blocks away is across the street from a block of really nice locally owned shops? Or that the offices for Company Y are three blocks from the station in downtown Burbank? Or downtown Fresno? How many of them are going to drive to parking at the HSR station to spend the afternoon, in their car, whether that is at the airport or downtown?
    The people who now take a Surfliner to the airport so they can fly to San Francisco how much do they care about dining, entertainment, business and lodging in downtown Burbank? Or the ones who take Metrolink? Or whether there is parking at any place other than the station they boarded the Surfliner or Metrolink? Assuming they drove to that station. How many of them, when they can get an HSR train to San Francisco, San Diego or Sacramento at the station where they now board the Surfliner or Metrolink care about parking, dining, entertainment, business, how often the shuttle bus to the economy parking runs, etc. in Burbank,whether that is at the airport or downtown, when they are going to Fresno? The ones who drive from Downtown Burbank to the airport now or the ones who use a bus or train to get the airport care but there aren’t a lot of them and they can walk to the attractions in Downtown Burbank. Which is on of the reasons why they live downtown.

    There’s more to life than what’s going on in downtown Burbank. The people in the San Fernando Valley looked at the 287 things having an HSR station can do and decided that it would be better if was out at the airport.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How subsidized does the garage have to be to not begin affecting ridership. Parking lots are cheap.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Alon,

    Obviously you haven’t been to Burbank….

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker: Those are not invalid points, but what Alon and I are arguing is that the marginal added cost of parking in downtown Burbank is offset by the additional ridership that the downtown station would bring. If you locate the station north of the airport, you not only loose many of the riders headed for downtown, you also loose people connecting from the Ventura County Line, Surfliner north, the orange line which could easily be extended before HSR opens, and the existing buses. Having nothing but a parking lot at your destination station isn’t particularly useful.

    Joe Reply:

    We’ll count me out if the station is downtown Burbank. I’m am business traveler.

    I’ll fly and access the airport services. So will most other people which is what I think the ridership model told HSR planners.

    Single young dudes want HSR in Burbank. Why? More riders. To where ? What’s there ? Macy’s and the Mall.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Downtown Burbank already has lots of parking. The city has no shortage of incentive to build more parking if there’s an HSR station as well. But given the “embrace” of USR by Metro, obviously we got some work to do.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @Alon, Yes, they could, and in two decades people in Burbank will be cursing that they could have had a downtown HSR station but shortsighted people in Burbank fought against having it.

    @Joey ~ but given that Burbank opposed a downtown station and won that fight, isn’t it a moot point that it would have been better if they had welcomed it rather than fought it?

    Joe Reply:

    Oh. Who has driven there and thinks it will be an easy access?

    I’ve gone to downtown Burbank in a car to meet friends and it’s a bitch to get into and out of from the highway. A real pain with traffic backup, lights, and mergers.

    Just part of a plan to Eliminate zoning and build mega apts.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not marginal. If downtown Burbank is to become something more than a Johnny Carson punchline there’s better things to do with it than parking lots. If you want to put in parking garages, garages are really really expensive compared to paving over acreage no one wants out at the airport.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Joe: real pain, or pain in the same way Adirondacker’s neighbors think Glen Falls has traffic?

    Donk Reply:

    What are you guys talking about? There is no grand conspiracy here. Metrolink, Metro, and BUR simply decided to add another BUR station along the Antelope Valley line. There was no consideration for HSR. This is not about HSR’s turf or a move to cancel service on the Antelope or Ventura lines. You are giving them all too much credit.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    If HSR construction to Palmdale really is brought forward the new AV Metrolink station at BUR will be redundant. It never was a good idea and internal memos indicate that it was expedited to give Antonovich a “legacy”. As you know it’s on single track and it seems the Sun Valley stop will remain. Thus line capacity is further reduced as will be punctuality and reliability.
    In another shooting in foot moment San Bernardino has reduced funds to Metrolink and caused the removal from the schedule two midday round trips, thus breaking the interval service. They are the lowest patronage trains but students of the mode understand that this will further erode revenue.
    At the BUR RITC opening ceremony the politicians only talk about Metrolink in terms of the safety improvements. It really is a tainted brand with a dysfunctional management set up. Some one should take it behind the barn and deal with it.

    joe Reply:

    Huh?

    The Bob Hope Airport has a new transit complex

    The RITC will be a three-level structure housing a consolidated rental car facility and rental car customer service building and will include a bus transit station on the ground level. An elevated moving walkway will convey rental car customers and rail and bus passengers between the airport passenger terminal and the RITC, making Bob Hope Airport uniquely convenient and accessible via multiple transportation modes.

    Yes it has rail connections to existing Amtrak and MetroLink/Ventura stops. Also they are adding a pedestrian bridge between airport and stops.

    HSR will stop at Palmdale and then BUR to share this facility (Parking rental car transportation connections and etc) and connect to the airport. It’s going to be about a mile away.

    You claim internal memo’s show HSR-BUR is a homage to a politician. That’s silly – airport linking stations are common.

    The RITC is for the airport so politicians only take about safety improvements to metrolink it’s becuase not all proejcts are about railpac.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The biggest irony of this whole thread is that a fully built out HSR system makes Burbank airport obsolete.

    Paul, the problem with Metrolink is that it was designed with the goal of having partners spend as little as money as possible. Now that realignment is forcing costs back on the locals, there is no mechanism in Metrolink to stop richer counties from cutting service to poorer ones.

    OCTA is not stupid; they know LA- SD is the lucrative segment. The “tumbleweed” counties like Ventura and SLO have minimal leverage and will need the State to invest in new routes to preserve services.

    Things are so unsettled, I would seriously consider making the IOS San Jose-Bakersfield and let the dust settle down South. Recent developments, of course, make me think that there’s no chance in hell of that, and that this project is only going to get more politicized.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not for Denver, Portland, Seattle and New York, Instead of commuter flights to Northern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix they can have flights to Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Boston.

    synonymouse Reply:

    More politicized? Might not be a bad thing in that other voices other than those of LA, Palmdale, Fresno and San Jose might get a hearing.

    The biggest problem with LAHSR is the huge learning curve for the politicians. They know nothing about railroads. They probably think BART is standard gauge. Let them get their feet wet and perhaps it will dawn on them how incompetent and compromised PB and Richards and Morales are.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    BUR can have flights to New York and Chicago now. The problem is that those flights are centralized around LAX, and there’s no real reason for them to decamp to BUR.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    More politicization is the last thing HSR needs. Do the UCs need to be more politicized?

    For all the animus against MTC in the Bay Area, at least BART has a consistent, invisible hand in the process. There is no such guarantee with Metro or OCTA. It will be every city for itself, and the results will be anything but logical.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    joe, you really need to read carefully before sounding off. The new AV Metrolink station is not the HSR station for BUR, it is about a mile or so NW. Assuming some level of common sense (a stretch I know) and assuming continuation of some kind of regional service to Santa Clarita post HSR construction, one would hope for a combined HSR/regional station, not two stations a mile apart.
    If I were a politician representing Metrolink at the RITC ceremony I would have mentioned the LAUS run through tracks and the opportunity to take a one seat ride train from many more stations in southern California than is presently possible, not keep on about safety.
    Ted, as is often the case you have the issue backwards. It’s the poorer county (in this case San Bernardino) forcing the cut back. Metro wanted to keep the interval service on the San Bernardino line but was reluctant to create a precedent by bailing out S B’doo and paying for it themselves.
    And Ted, if you look at the stats in the State Rail Plan for LOSSAN revenues you will see that the biggest kick, and the best operating ratios, started when through service to Santa Barbara began. Something to do with longer journeys and higher per ticket revenue, strange how that works. Also strange that after a couple of years Amtrak suddenly realized that their cost formula was wrong (under 403b they would have owed CA money) so they upped the price and back we went into deficit. No wonder Indiana has chosen another operator as preferred bidder.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Paul,

    No I don’t have it backwards: I realize it was San Bernardino that cut back it’s contribution not vice versa. But that’s the vulnerability built into Metrolink’s funding scheme.

    As for the Surfliner, Santa Barbra is the best on paper because there is no competition. Add in Metrolink and Coaster riders to LA to SD on the Surfliner and it looks a little different. Rail 2 Rail also eats into revenues on the southern half of the Surfliner too.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    So ted, why claim LA-SD is the “lucrative segment?”

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB knows Caliente-Mojave-Tehachapi-Palmdale is the “lucrative segment”.

    joe Reply:

    joe, you really need to read carefully before sounding off. The new AV Metrolink station is not the HSR station for BUR, it is about a mile or so NW.

    Yes I know.

    one would hope for a combined HSR/regional station, not two stations a mile apart.

    I looked and saw an airport in the way. It’s a compromise.

    The HSR line and Metro could link up elsewhere, away from the airport. Like at the target/best buy shopping mall. That would push the airport services further away and require a people mover. Also that site is right on HW 5 and I’m not sure there’s enough room for a joint station with services.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The OCTA controlled Surfliner is going to replace Metrolink and Coaster on LA- SD. There would be one set of prices and one timetable that would be more about protecting Orange County’s role. That makes for a lucrative business.

    Ventura County line absorbed into Coast Daylight. Antelope Valley Line absorbed into HSR. Inland Empire lines abandoned.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The most common definitions of lucrative would all involve something that generates a positive cashflow. Taking over the Metrolink and Coaster role LA to SD would be the opposite, generating a bigger hole in the budget.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    What’s lucrative is that with no more Coaster or Metrolink, you can set a more dynamic pricing and costing structure. I also expect more service from the IE to OC line as a way to serve Orange County at LA’s expense.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Eh. Expensive intercity trains coexist with cheap commuter trains in both the US (Amtrak vs. NJT-to-SEPTA) and Japan (Shinkansen vs. parallel commuter lines).

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Joe, “I looked and saw an airport in the way. It’s a compromise.” There is no airport in the way between the AV Metrolink station site and the HSR station site.
    Ted, you are more or less out of your mind. OCTA does not “control” LOSSAN, they are the managing agency, just as BART is the managing agency for CapCor and Ace is for San Joaquin. L.A. has more votes on LOSSAN than OCTA and the counties together have far more votes than OC. The same is true for Metrolink. You go on to opine that the IE lines would be abandoned, then in your next posting you state that IE to OC service will be expanded. Does the word inconsistency come to mind?
    You either don’t know or overlook the fact that San Diego is extremely Xenophobic and will certainly not give up control of Coaster without a huge fight. Likewise, as the former managing agency for LOSSAN, they are not going to relinquish some degree of control over that service, and neither will L.A. or the other counties.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cheap commuter trains co-exist along the NEC and no one is particularly concerned that Acela doesn’t stop in New Brunswick or Bridgeport. Or Greenwich or Princeton. Or Attleboro or Odenton. Or North Elizabeth or West Baltimore. North Philadelphia used to be a happenin’ place when it came to intercity trains, no is particularly concerned that few stop there today. That might change someday. Pity that North Broad isn’t right under it. Being able to take a “Reading Side” train to North Broad to change to a northbound intercity train could be solved by running a north bound intercity train on the “Reading Side” to New York once an hour…

    No one finds it odd that the Regionals stop in Newark along with Acela and the Regionals stop at Newark Airport but the Acelas don’t. No one finds it odd that almost all the Regionals stop in Metropark and almost none stop in New Brunswick. No one finds it odd that there isn’t any intercity service in Needham, Waterbury, White Plains, Morristown, Plainfield, Wayne Junction, Elwyn, Jessup or Fredrick. “Downtown” Iselin survived having the station moved to Metropark.

    In Japan there are lots of places the Nozomi don’t stop and no one finds that odd….

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Here’s the thing about Metrolink: it is a voluntary arrangement that rests on the premise that counties and cities not named Los Angeles will pay for access to Union Station either by supporting service or buying building and maintaining stations. However, realignment has made some counties reevaluate what works best for them.

    In the end, OCTA doesn’t really have to worry about what The other counties do. It’s plan is to supplement Metrolink with the Surfline to the point where Orange just opts out. A Coast Daylight that bails out Ventura leaves LA holding the bag and likely abandoning service to the Antelope Valley upon completion of IOS and much reduced service from LA to the Inland Empire.

    Meanwhile, the 55 line from Riverside to the OC will expand at the expense of LA- Anaheim. NCTD will get railroaded out of existence by the Surfliner and the map is redrawn.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ted, you are just too funny. I guess you have a lot of maps and colored crayons to act out your fantasies. Starting at the bottom, NCTD and MTS own the right of way in San Diego County. How does the Surfliner, a “tenant” on their property, “railroad them out of existence” especially when they can effectively vote down OC with the help of VC and SLO. OCTA has no budget to increase Surfliner service and again needs the agreement of 5 other counties to do so.
    The one point of at least partial agreement is ref the Av line. There will be no Metrolink service north of Princessa once the IOS is operating.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I was talking less about Nozomi vs. Kodama and more about Kodama vs. express legacy trains. People in Odawara and Atami can ride Kodama to Tokyo or take the legacy Tokaido Line, which costs half as much but takes twice as long.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Paul–

    I understand that realignment and subsidiarity are academic concepts outside of Sacramento. But the State wants to realign funding for transit back to the locals. The outcome of this predictably is counties, districts, and cities jockeying for position.

    The reality is that this is a far more radical policy for Southern California than the Bay Area. And the biggest loser, absent skullduggery, is Orange County. Thus, make no mistake that all the Amtrak California routes are now political jump balls that will cement or undo empires.

    Moreover, although the managing agency isn’t political per se, their primary allegiance is to still to who pays their salary and that means insidious and subtle tactics through staff actions to further OCTAs goals.

    Just think about all the money being spent on ARTIC. Do you really think that investment is being made to coexist humbly with Union Station? Or the vast plans for Diridon Intergalactic. These are fortress hubs that each regional anchor is using to control access and funding. There isn’t enough revenue to sustain all these local government and in time, there will be winners and losers. Transit will go a long way in
    Determining those outcomes.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    But Ted, they are more useful to the intercities as passenger recruiters that someone else is subsidizing ~ and subsidizing because by far MOST of the local service’s patronage are, of course, for local trips. The intercity services put in their passenger miles with fewer trips but more miles per trip, so (with the occasional exception for marginal bus services in suburban area stations), a volume of transferring passengers that may be important for the intercity is relatively minor for local urban transit services.

    There isn’t likely to be much reduction in overall trip elasticity at all if the opportunity to take the local train is denied. Many of the people who have an opportunity to make a direct choice between a Metrolink or the Coaster and the Surfliner who do pick the local train instead would to switch to some express bus option instead, if the local train option was taken away.

    And any minor residual reduction in price elasticity wouldn’t be enough to offset the benefit from the passenger recruiter effect. After all, intercity rail tend to enjoy a stronger mode preference from local rail commuters than they do from the traveling population as a whole.

    The quid pro quo to the local transport service of tacitly subsidizing intercity transport connections is intrinsic, in that offering the intercity transport connection expands the political base of passengers of the local service beyond those who regularly commute on it or use it for other regular local transport trips into those who use it far less often but still value the access to the intercity transport.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I would urge anyone who disputes my opinion on this to review Metrolink’s most recent financial and ridership data. I am not describing anything that isn’t happening already.

    The main difference is that see fairly clearly what OCTA’s exit strategy is….

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @Paul ~ the Burbank Bob Hope / Hollywood Way AV station is the transfer station between the HSR Burbank terminus in the IOS and the Antelope Valley line. That adds to the AV line connections from Sylmar, Newhall & Santa Clarita the role as the connection from the HSR IOS to downtown Burbank.

    If through running at LA US is available and the LOSSAN has been improved between the AV junction and Anaheim, when the HSR takes over as the express option from Palmdale to downtown LA, an AV express from LA Union Station to Palmdale may be redundant and it could well make more sense for that to be an Anaheim / Santa Clarita express.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    My question is how does it work for the passengers connecting from Metrolink’s Ventura Line or Metro?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Bruce
    How can it be a transfer point if it is a mile away ?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The coming Metrolink station on the AV line at N. Hollywood Way Av. near San Fernando Blvd cannot be a mile away from an HSR station on tracks in the same corridor next to the AV line at N. Hollywood Way Av and San Fernando Blvd.

    Have you got the two different Bob Hope stations on the Ventura and Antelope Valley lines confused? Obviously since the AV station is just going through Environment Review this year, its easy to google for one and end up at the other.

    Donk Reply:

    Its a shame how virtually every airport has a faulty rail connection:

    SFO – useless for service south to San Jose
    OAK – a rail connection to BART that solves nothing and will cost $6/rider
    BUR – they are going to have two separate rail stations, one a mile away
    LAX – they just made it impossible to have a “Union Station West” by decentralizing what would have been one big integrated stop into 3 separate stops that make everything extremely inconvenient.
    SAN – they just built a new terminal on the Harbor Drive side of the airport instead of redesigning everything on the rail line side of the airport. They do have a somewhat viable plan in the works to have a drop off terminal on the rail line side, but this will take 30 years to complete.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You forgot San Jose and Ontario, which are both adjacent to rail lines with service into town.

    SF’s obsession with extending BART to the airport looks positively progressive in comparison.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART had an overweening ulterior motive, which was to undermine and destroy Caltrain. BART don’t play nice with the competition. No love lost there for LAHSR either.

    Donk Reply:

    Has anyone heard what SJC’s plans are? BART will go to Santa Clara and will be bypass SJC right? What is the plan, to build a gold-plated people mover to one of the BART stops?

    With ONT, unfortunately there are two rail lines that go past either end of the airport, but the airport terminal is adjacent to the wrong one. In the end they will probably connect the Gold Line to ONT.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    I’m stunned by the rapidity with which projects get done in this country! Imagine getting that drop-off completed in a mere 30 years instead of having to wait three-quarters-of-a-century for it!

    BruceMcF Reply:

    BUR ~ three distinct railways stations, with two next to each other and a mile away from the airport.

    Which seems OK since access to the Metrolink stops along the Antelope Valley line on either side of the Burbank Airport HSR station seems to be of more use than actual access to Bob Hope airport. Sharing the shuttle to the airport with the Metrolink N. Hollywood / Airport station seems reasonable. Its not like its LAX.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they had any clue instead of making the commuter system incompatible with the intercity system they would make them compatible and then there would be one station on the north/east side that commuter and intercity trains could use and another station on the south side the commuter and intercity trains could use. That way the station downtown would be one that commuter and intercity trains could use too. Or the one in Glendale. But Califorinia is special

    Clem Reply:

    Special in that the Pennsylvania Railroad never ran here.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It never ran a lot of places. That have trains that go to any platform any time.

  13. Reality Check
    Jun 28th, 2014 at 18:32
    #13

    China’s High-Speed Rail Diplomacy
    Having rapidly become one of the world’s premier (and fastest) builders of high-speed rail, China is now looking to export its know-how around the world.

    According to the report released by the International Union of Railways, there are ten countries or regions in the world with high-speed rail operations and another ten that have begun planning to build such networks. By 2025, the number of kilometers of global high speed rail tracks is expected to double.

    Experts in the industry see in China a country that has achieved from zero to more than 10,000 kilometers within four years, and is therefore particularly well-positioned in this expanding market.

    Undeniably, a sort of “high-speed rail diplomacy” has become an extra arm in the new Chinese government’s foreign affairs. During several overseas trips, Premier Li has not forgotten to take each opportunity to promote China’s high-speed rail technologies, thus earning his nickname as its salesman-in-chief.

    [...]

  14. joe
    Jun 28th, 2014 at 21:54
    #14

    Palo Alto pushing for sales tax money to improve Caltrain. Possibly seeking ROW funding independent of HSR.

    Palo Alto: Council backs three-eighths sales tax increase to benefit Caltrain
    The council, however, isn’t satisfied with the approximately $500 million Caltrain would receive under the proposal and on Wednesday night voted 8-0, with Mayor Nancy Shepherd absent, to send a letter to Guardino urging his organization to instead pursue a three-eighths-cent increase.

    The additional $1.75 billion generated would go exclusively to Caltrain, according to the letter.

    The money would be spent on a host of improvements, including grade separations and longer platforms that are needed to make the connection between BART and Caltrain seamless.

    “Caltrain is the spine of Silicon Valley,” Councilman Greg Scharff said. “Without Caltrain, we couldn’t have mobility. By having the extra one-eighth cent, we solve the issues of Caltrain for the most part.”

  15. Robert S. Allen
    Jun 29th, 2014 at 18:57
    #15

    Better yet: annex Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties to the three-county BART District, as SFBARTC’s 1957 “Report to the Legislature” showed, for a unified rapid transit network of the five major Bay Area counties with their six million inhabitants.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Did the 1957 SFBARTC report also mandate IBG?

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    I don’t recall any such mandate, or even mention of IBG, whatever that is. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Commission 1957 “Report to the Legislature” was lengthy and detailed, though it badly needs updating.

    synonymouse Reply:

    IBG was a conceit I came up with for Indian Broad Gauge.

    After all these years lets forget the cover story about winds and such nonsense and accept it was the SP what insisted on a permanent handicapping of BART. Why not 6 or 7 feet – that’s even more “hummer”.

    The kicker is that two Bechtels sat on the SP Board of Directors. Talk about conflict of interest.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And BART does not even take advantage of the extra 10 inches of width – the cars are only a little wider than the IRT design. The bulbous sides don’t provide any extra floor space in the BART cars.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Too bad. Riders could use the room.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/BART_Bay_Area_Rapid_Transit#Roster

    They are BMT/IND cars with funny wheels.

    Clem Reply:

    One Ring to rule them all. Precioussssss

    synonymouse Reply:

    Perhaps we should welcome Mr. Allen’s commentary. He is being candid, such a concept so alien to the BART Empire.

    What he is articulating is indeed BART’s tacit policy and attitude. It has as much use for LAHSR as the hated Caltrain and would very much like to see it deadended at San Jose Diridon Intergalactic.

    BART has never had to deal with any substantive competition nor an example of state of the art electric trains. Its screeching, hissing, rattling raw aluminum beercan cattlecars cannot brook the comparison. People just might start asking for unheard of luxuries like bathrooms. The $150k/yr. station agents might have to get off their duff once and again and check the loos.

    Clem Reply:

    I don’t know if that holds true. BART’s appetite for expansion is a manifestation of the transportation industrial complex’s desire to “build out” as many corridors as possible with maximal concrete infrastructure. What runs on top of that concrete infrastructure (whether HSR or “supported duo-rail”) is largely irrelevant to them, which is why I don’t think there is any animosity between BART and HSR. There’s just a careful strategy of designing the most inefficient and redundant regional-scale network, which leads to additional corridors developing a clear “purpose and need” for lots of new concrete.

    The Altamont vs. Pacheco game is a fine demonstration of this dynamic: it’s not so much HSR and BART duking it out over any particular corridor as HSR and BART collaborating to ensure as much redundant infrastructure as possible eventually gets built (BART to San Jose, BART Altamont to Stockton, HSR across Pacheco, HSR to Modesto / Sacramento, etc.)

    synonymouse Reply:

    As always your analysis is well composed and coolly rational.

    Mine tends to the polemical. The BART octopus is big enough to encompass divergent interests. Whilst PB and Tutor, etc. are just in it for the money and spend it on anything, Amalgamated and the local political bosses are bound to BART.

    In a more arcane sense there is exists a modal holy war that has been going on since BART’s botched inception. A mutant iteration of the NYC subway(3rd rail and stripped bare cattlecars) vs. OC 25kv mainline electric rail. Fat cats like the Swigs and Louis Lurie wanted to manhattanize SF and of course the SP loathed the idea of anything that could impinge on their plant.

    But the confrontation and conflict goes on. I hope I live long enough to see the BART crap shown up for what it is compared to what other places enjoy. Mr. Allen is afraid of Caltrain and its amenities like express service and bathrooms.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How does building a subway that should be a commuter line to far flung suburbs turn Geary Blvd into Central Park West? Geary Blvd should aspire to being the Grand Concourse or Queens Blvd first.

    Joey Reply:

    The Richmond district isn’t particularly dense, but the densest parts of Geary (Market to Van Ness) are about as dense as the densest parts of Queens Boulevard. Van Ness to Masonic is comparable to the moderately dense parts of Queens Boulevard.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The City paying big bucks to dispatch homeless to Sacramento:

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/S-F-spending-plenty-to-house-homeless-families-5588518.php

    I nominate Palmdale for the honour.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Mr. Allen is not afraid of Caltrain. He worked 30 years in engineering and operations on three major railroads now part of the UP, most of them on SP’s Western Division (Caltrain’s predecessor) and is a life member of AREMA. He was an elected BART director from 1974-1988. He loves trains!

    Lewellan Reply:

    The love of trains has limits, 200+mph in particular plow their way,
    over anything in the way while patrons of techno-fix barter hyper-science fiction;
    self-driving automobile-taxi-rental-internet proxy for organic living.

    Joey Reply:

    Yes, I’m sure Spain, France, and China would enjoy being told that their trains are fictional.

    Well, okay, Spain and France aren’t quite 200 mph, but 186 (300 km/h) is achieved all over the world and 199 (320 km/h) is easily achieved in real-world operations for new construction.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    In other words, agglomerate enough words together and then empirical observation is not required.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6D1YI-41ao

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Mr. Allen, you say you are not afraid of Caltrain… Then why do you advocate for annexing San Mateo and Santa Clara into the BART system? Why do you advocate for BART to eventually replace Caltrain?

    BART is overcrowded (as is Caltrain in some cases); it makes no sense to dump more crowds onto BART. Former Caltrain riders would have NO more express/ baby bullet service, NO monthly pass, fewer seats, less room for bikes…

    If Caltrain were run the way it should be run, it could provide frequent service at higher capacity than BART.

    Caltrain and BART should complement each other. By having Caltrain run as a frequent electrified “transit” service, it provides an alternative to very costly BART extensions. BART could then focus on improving the existing core system to become the best it can be.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Originally, BART was probably skeptical of what HSR could so, but slowly has realized that it has a strong ally lobbying for transit expansion. The key is that BART does not want to have to fight with HSR over any shrinking pots of money. Brown has done a good job of that although the increase in gas price next year could put a dent in these hopes.

    BART is one of the biggest advantages the Bay Area has in being the most important metro region west of the Mississippi. Why NorCal denizens put it down so much is a mystery, given what the alternative could be.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    LA would resent your remarks.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Mr. Allen

    I appreciate your love of trains; I like them too, especially steam and traction. Hold the diesel and 3rd rail, except for Norristown P&W. London Tube kinda cute for 3rd rail, especially the wooden escalators and really deep bores.

    Now if you can get BART to give up the Bechtelian aluminum sandwich wheels and paint the cars all over bright that would make BART more lovable.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And move to tapered contour wheelsets.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Like this, maybe?

    http://www.urbanrail.net/am/vanc/vanc-skytrain042-near-stadium1.jpg

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It is no accident that after controlling the lower house in the Legislature for 20 years, LA decided to take the upper house instead. Southern California is in irreversible decline and won’t get back on top on building light rail.

    Matt Reply:

    Very soon, LA MetroRail will become the largest train system in CA and the West by passenger volume leaving ole BART with its ancient cars and super expensive to maintain Indian Gauge track looking up.

    Matt Reply:

    With LAMTA overtaking BART, I think it will be an absolutely massive blow to the overinflated Bay Area ego. After all, they are the City and the urbane ones and will have a less used transit system than suburban LA. How they reconcile that in their minds is beyond me.

    Eric Reply:

    Their system is already much less used if you include buses.

    synonymouse Reply:

    good show

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Is LA projected to overtake SkyTrain? Because in 2016 SkyTrain is going to open a new extension, with a 6-figure ridership projection.

    Matt Reply:

    Not sure. When I say the West, I mean the US, not Mexico or Canada.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I know, I know, I just find it funny that the highest-ridership rapid transit system on the North American West Coast is in a city with 2.5 million people.

    Matt Reply:

    No doubt, the US is behind the world in transit, especially outside of the Northeast. I do find it a bit funny that SF is seen as some sort of transit haven though and LA is just a suburb. Kind of like how LA steals its water from the rest of the state when SF actually takes all their water from our most sacred national park utilizing less local groundwater than Los Angeles.

  16. Jos Callinet
    Jun 29th, 2014 at 21:07
    #16

    SO STRANGE the creators of this billboard advert for CA’s HSR should have chosen a steam locomotive to represent the “out with the old” portion of the appeal to the public to favor the new.

    It’s not as if the new system Governor Brown is promoting needs to convince today’s populace that steam-powered locomotion and trains are outdated. No such train has run in California on a regularly scheduled basis for more than half a century!

    Very odd imagery indeed!

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Besides, the locomotive portrayed is a creepy alien design never used in this country. Whoever fashioned this ad must have been smoking some illegal substance.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Gurunator was tapping his Viagra stash.

    Zorro Reply:

    I think most people wouldn’t know that.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Creepy alien indeed, Jos,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Bulleid
    Anyone who can design a double deck emu for the UK loading gauge has to have some smarts.

    Ted K. Reply:

    “regularly scheduled” ?

    You would have been better off using the phrase “mainline service”. Both the Skunk and Roaring Camp have a regular schedule for a good part of the year.

    synonymouse Reply:

    class 1

  17. synonymouse
    Jun 30th, 2014 at 19:36
    #17

    Interesting that MTA Gold Line cars apparently use sliding doors instead of plug, which latter BART is adopting:

    http://www.altamontpress.com/discussion/read.php?1,103888,103888#msg-103888

    Would seem to me lrv’s more appropriate for plug doors with lighter passenger loads and less intensive use. Plus subway trains are inherently noisy whereas light rail relatively quiet with resilient wheels. I would guess BART is going to plug to try to “plug” the noise out. Good luck with that if they keep the current wheel design.

  18. Reality Check
    Jun 30th, 2014 at 20:40
    #18

    Quentin Kopp has this defensive “BART-SFO” Op-Ed in today’s San Mateo Daily Journal. It’s largely a defense of what he may well consider his biggest accomplishment in life. But he also concludes by commenting on how screwed up CA HSR has become (it will force SF-LA riders to change trains twice, won’t be fast enough, won’t make Prop 1A required travel times, won’t allow 5-minute (!!!!) headways, etc.).

    He’s belatedly responding to this embarrassing March 10 “BART’s 10-year anniversary bash” piece by columnist and ex-San Mateo mayor and MTC commissioner Sue Lempert.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, Quentin Kopp’s dogged refusal to consider following the example of successful HSR systems overseas and his “throw more concrete at the problem!” approach to addressing NIMBY opposition threatened to push the budget for the project past the $150b or so (in nominal dollars) that it would cost to get the same capacity from road and air …
    … of COURSE the HSR would be doing just fine if he was still in charge of it.

  19. jonathan
    Jun 30th, 2014 at 20:49
    #19

    Hm. The 2nd article repeats the Big Lie, that BART-to-SFO is making money. But the numbers only work out for that if you include all trips to and from Colma. Which existed before BART-to-SFO. Unless ridership on BART-to-SFO mushroomed recently, anyway.

    BIIRC, BART never offered to give San Mateo any revenue from roders to or from Colma.
    How on earth do they manage to repeat the lie, wtihout being challenged?

    Reality Check Reply:

    There are guys around who can do so … who have a good memories, and good files and records at hand, and have the requisite command of all the various bullshit promises, numbers and tricks BART-SFO proponents/defenders/apologists used and continue to use to happy-spin it all as a huge success story … but they don’t like to write letters to the editor or their submit their own responses.

    There is a now-defunct Yahoo! Group called BATN (Bay Area Transportation News) which has a rich archive of the BART-SFO debacle (and many others) by virtue of archiving most published Bay Area transportation-related news stories until 2011.

    So using the advanced message search feature, a custom search on BATN postings (messages) with “BART” and “SFO” in the subject with “Kopp” in the body, just for example, yields a very rich set of news stories in reverse chronological order.

  20. synonymouse
    Jun 30th, 2014 at 21:37
    #20
  21. RubberToe
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 06:19
    #21

    L.A. Times front page story: L.A. County added to bullet train timetable:
    http://www.latimes.com/local/countygovernment/la-me-bullet-strategy-shift-20140701-story.html#page=1

    Robert will surely have a post concerning this. Can’t wait to read the story!

    synonymouse Reply:

    “But Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose district includes most of the area, has asked the rail agency to consider a direct route from Burbank to Palmdale under the mountain range, requiring a tunnel about 15 miles long, according to his staff.”

    It is a fucking multibil base tunnel, all for the purpose of sprawling Mojave. And the Sierra Club signed off on this mierda?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You gonna give up your backyard so a two family house can built on it?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “The Authority has agreed to consider the request”.

    They’ll “consider” it, not do it. Feasibility Studies come in at a tad cheaper than tunneling.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    “High-speed train service in northern Los Angeles County could help relieve traffic congestion in a key corridor. A Palmdale to Burbank bullet train trip could take 14 minutes to 16 minutes. By contrast, existing Metrolink rail service follows a winding route built in the 1870s and takes 90 minutes — which still can be faster than driving in rush hour.

    “It is a huge game-changer,” said Richard Katz, a former state Assembly leader and current member of the Metrolink board. “The visibility will make it real and people can see where their tax dollars are being spent”

    LA Times

    Jon Reply:

    Check out page 10 of LA Metro’s Draft Short Range Transportation Plan, due for board adoption later this month. “Los Angeles/Palmdale Corridor (Enhanced Metrolink Service)” is planned to open in 2019. There is no project cost noted for this line, but the line below shows $225mm for “High Speed Rail for Southern California Region”, with a TBD opening date.

    http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/srtp/report_srtp_2014.pdf

    Clearly Metrolink are planning on providing Palmdale – Burbank service using HSR tracks as soon as they are completed in (optimistically!) 2019. I’m guessing this Metrolink will service will continue after the HSR Burbank to Merced IOS starts running, and will ultimately be extended to LAUS. There will likely be no blending with the legacy ROW and no stops other than Palmdale – Burbank – LAUS.

    Regional commute ops. Looks like Syn was correct.

    Jon Reply:

    It’s also smart politics. Once people start doing 50 minute commutes from Palmdale to LAUS (15 mins “Enhanced Metrolink” + 10 min transfer + 25 mins legacy Metrolink), they will start clamouring for the tracks to be extended to LAUS, which will halve their total journey time.

  22. RubberToe
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 06:35
    #22

    So the bottom line is that house and senate democrats agreed to support the 25% cap and trade allocation to the bullet train, under the condition that the construction of the Palmdale-Burbank segment be accelerated. The C board will vote next month to do just that. Construction could start within “several” years. No cost estimate was given, but Palmdale to Union Station was said to be $13.5 billion.

    The train would get from Palmdale to Burbank in 14-16 minutes versus the current 90. I’m imagining they will run Metrolink initially prior to electrification. Real benefits, real soon, relatively speaking.

    RT

    Zorro Reply:

    House and Senate? That should be Assembly and State Senate. This might be an oversight, but I thought I’d clear that up for you RubberToe.

    Donk Reply:

    I was surprised by the relatively positive spin that Ralph put on this. Sounds a like a good political move for the project.

  23. Roger Christensen
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 06:55
    #23

    So I take the train to Bakersfield, then a bus to Palmdale, then a train to Burbank?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    You continue to take the bus from Bakersfield. Which is faster, build Bakersfield to Burbank or Burbank to Bakersfield? But if you build south to north you get some useful transportation as far as Palmdale.

    Clem Reply:

    And if you build south to north from Burbank to Bakersfield via Lebec, you get useful transportation years earlier and five billion cheaper, known as Bay-to-Basin. Granted, without the cross-platform transfer to Virgin Galactic at Mojave.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I don’t disagree, but it won’t happen. Mojave intermodal is the key….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You’re just pissed San Jose decided to be Trenton instead of Hartford. Or that Los Angeles decided to go with their version of Altamont.

    Donk Reply:

    I completely agree that we should bypass Palmdale and save $5B. But politically, it just doesn’t seem like it is possible. At least if they start building towards Palmdale, support for the project will start to grow and they will be able to find the extra $5B, as well as the rest of the ~$80B to build the whole thing out.

    Clem Reply:

    There must be gold in them thar’ hills, for this to be true. I figure there must be a tunnel boring machine that can pull out the nuggets from the conveyor.

    Eric M Reply:

    Yeah, two of them are located in North Beach in SF.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How did the mainstream environmentalists allow themselves to be scammed by this grotesquely obvious exorbitant real estate exploitation scheme? Where are they going to get the water for an overnite many manifold increase in the high desert population? Monterey? Gilroy?

    Cheerleaders, be sure you want what you are asking for.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    when a developer comes along and buys the two house to your right and puts in a 20 unit condo where are they gonna get the water from?

    Clem Reply:

    Those will be too small. High-speed tunnels require large cross-sections in order to minimize drag (and the associated heat that has no place to go).

    BruceMcF Reply:

    If there is Federal Funding for whatever they are calling it now ~ quality upgraded rail or some such ~ after Obama leaves office when “oppose it because Obama supported it in 2009″ drops off … then this would mean segments they could apply to build if they can assure independent utility, on reasonable state matches using CnT funds, and Prop1a bonds would then be used to close the gap and start up the IOS, eliminating the legal jeopardy of proving that “future” Federal funding to complete IOS will arrive by using the Prop1a bond funds to actually complete the IOS.

    Observer Reply:

    Clem, I would like your assessment on a hypothetical route. From Bakersfield – go to straight to Lebec, then from Lebec – straight to Palmdale through the Antelope valley basically along the periphery of the San Grabriel Mountains.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why mine a base tunnel on a detour?

    Clem Reply:

    As long as you also build the bit from Lebec to Santa Clarita, such a ‘T’ configuration would work fine. Let’s put it this way, the bit from Tejon Pass to Palmdale wouldn’t cost $5 billion and would require zero miles of tunnel.

    Observer Reply:

    Thank you. That is my point. From Lebec – take the most cost effective route out of the mountains – then a straight shot to Palmdale through the Antelope Valley. I figure Palmdale is a political reality. So in other words, why go through Tehachapi to reach Palmdale? I figure going through Tehachapi to get to Palmdale is more of detour than going through Lebec.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Is the base tunnel to be named after Antonovich?

    Its connection to CAHSR is strictly coincidental; it is purely an LA regional real estate development scheme. Thus the LA power brokers would not be interested in the “T” configuration, inadequate for their hypercommute plans.

    On the other hand if this huge money grab is too much for the other interests and parties to swallow PB could kill it pretty easily with some seismic bullshit similar to what they pulled on Tejon. Back to a less ambitious upgrade for Palmdale.

    Clem Reply:

    The “less ambitious” upgrade for Palmdale doesn’t have much less tunneling than this Angeles National Forest “base tunnel”… which is why this long tunnel is being considered in the first place. The NIMBY tunnels near Santa Clarita were going to tip the balance.

    James Fujita Reply:

    I would love to hear from an engineer the difference between a whole bunch of short tunnels versus one really long one.
    I have a hunch, but I don’t have the numbers to back up why “one really long tunnel” isn’t the standard mountain crossing configuration around the world.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The a priori requirement to cross faults at grade for one.

  24. Roger Christensen
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 11:18
    #24

    Wonder if accelerating Palmdale-Burbank could encourage Metro to include a rail to BUR connection on their 2016 R2 election wish list?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Burbank already has a rail connection.

    Donk Reply:

    I think Roger was referring to a Red Line extension from NoHo to BUR.

  25. Roger Christensen
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 11:28
    #25

    So does Palmdale.

Comments are closed.