CHSRA To Accelerate Burbank-Palmdale Segment

Jul 1st, 2014 | Posted by

Last week the Federal Railroad Administration issues its Record of Decision allowing the Fresno to Bakersfield high speed rail segment to proceed to construction.

That news was expected and is obviously welcome. This week we’re also getting confirmation of news that was expected and is, I hope, welcome: the California High Speed Rail Authority is accelerating the Burbank-Palmdale segment:

IIn a strategic shift to secure new funding for California’s bullet train project, state officials intend to accelerate their plans to build a Los Angeles County section of the $68-billion system.

High-speed rail officials said they want to start a segment between Burbank and Palmdale in the next several years as they continue working on a 130-mile stretch of the line in the Central Valley. The revised approach could be formally adopted by the rail board as early as next month.

Vartabedian’s article doesn’t address some crucial questions about this move, including how it would affect construction of the aforementioned Fresno-Bakersfield segment. Nor does it answer where exactly the $13 billion in funds would come from, though one could borrow against future cap-and-trade revenues for it.

Personally I’d rather see construction happen on the missing link from Bakersfield to Palmdale, but you know me, I’ll support construction on any segment, as long as it’s actually bullet train tracks.

There was one part of the article that offered some false hope (though it’s surprising that a Vartabedian article offered any hope for HSR at all):

The rail project has encountered stiff opposition from some groups in the Central Valley and Silicon Valley, triggering lawsuits and political compromises on the design of the system. By contrast, there has been little organized opposition in Southern California. No major city has attempted to block or significantly modify the plan. Indeed, Palmdale threatened to sue the state if the project did not include a stop in the city. Los Angeles officials say that the project is yielding a number of benefits for other rail services, including more grade separations and improvements at Union Station.

Yeah, that’s only because there hasn’t yet been a serious effort to build in SoCal yet. Go back through the archives of this blog and one will see opposition from all over the region. I’ve seen people in the Santa Clarita Valley, Burbank, Glendale, LA near the Taylor Yard, Buena Park, Anaheim, Alhambra, and Rosemead – just to name a few – raise concerns. Usually it’s NIMBYs, sometimes it’s elected officials.

But if and when the CHSRA does move ahead with planning and construction on this segment, opposition will come out of the woodwork. Peninsula NIMBYs and Kings County antis will be there to help fund a new round of lawsuits. Rinse and repeat.

Some design notes on this project:

The rail authority has focused on a roughly 40-mile route following the Antelope Valley Freeway, which goes over Soledad Pass at an elevation of 3,225 feet. 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. The authority has agreed to consider the request.

I’m all for a 15-mile long tunnel, as long as Antonovich can help find the funding. That would probably allow for higher speeds than an alignment along the 14 freeway.

Bullet train planners always expected to place a station in the San Fernando Valley, and Burbank was the most likely choice. Ultimately, the bullet train track would connect Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to the Transbay Terminal transportation hub in central San Francisco. But by stopping construction in Burbank, at least initially, the authority would postpone the more difficult political and engineering task of reaching the heart of Los Angeles.

Specifically, this helps avoid the question of what to do around the Taylor Yard and the LA River State Park, which has been controversial in the past.

  1. Mattie F.
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 14:07
    #1

    I can’t wait to see some estimates of how expensive it would be to tunnel under the mountains instead of going over them, as well as estimates of how much time it would save, and how that translates into both increased ridership and public benefit.

    I have no doubt it would be an expensive proposition, but amortized over the billions of riders across scores of years, the more expensive option that most increases utility can often win out.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Tejon has much greater utility. Ask yourself simply why I-5 is there and not thru Mojave.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    if it’s so much better why isn’t there a railroad there?

    Clem Reply:

    Because high-speed railroads with four percent grades were invented in the last 30 years.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    low speed railroads ewith 4% grades have been around much longer

    Clem Reply:

    and the moon even longer than that.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In the late fifties the Rio Grande 3 foot gauge line over Cumbres Pass enjoyed a fabulous traffic boom when all of the rest of the narrow gauge empire had been lost. A new oil field had opened up and they needed pipe and the road between Alamosa and Durango was not paved.

    They did not give a damn about the 4% at Cumbres; just use triple-headed K-36’s and K-37’s. The Rio Grande did not even bother to dump steam.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Foam alert

    synonymouse Reply:

    guilty

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Forgiven
    It’s the best train ride in the country IMHO

    synonymouse Reply:

    In the summer of 1960 the roundhouse guys at Alamosa let my brother and me up in the cab of the 491 on the table. They were putting the tender back on the 493 fresh out of the shop. They were used to fans coming around. The lawyers would never allow that these days. good times and great memories

    But the road to Chama was dirt and big rocks and we had to turn around and proceeded south to Santa Fe. The tank was still standing forlorn at Tres Piedras after 20 years. An empire lost.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Now that is the pot calling the kettle black….

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Santa Fe could not raise that kind of capital in the auto and air era. And after the Great War it got even worse for the rr’s. Ask yourself whether the Pennsy could have financed the catenary on its own. It would have been a bigger job than the Moffat Tunnel and LA was just starting to explode in 1910.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Southern Pacific managed to raise for Tehachapi.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The early 1870’s, absolutely halcyon days for US rail construction. 4% on the Narrow Gauge Circle.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi_Loop

    Rail was king.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And don’t forget the eastern connection at Mojave, to which LAHSR is oblivious.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Explain please

    synonymouse Reply:

    The route of the San Francisco Chief from Mojave thru Barstow and Needles and on to Flagstaff, which I rode in the winter of 1971. Over the celebrated Loop in the middle of the nite.

    This eastern link is very utilitarian to a freight rr and presumably was a selling point when the SP proposed to allow the Santa Fe the use of the Loop line for a price ca. 1910. That undermined the need for a new and different and expensive line over Tejon.

    But Amtrak to the East from Mojave is way over the head of Richards and Morales. Besides the mountain states AFAIK have not been able to agree on saving Raton. I assume the Transcon will be the default route of the LA-Chicago Amtrak train, whatever they call it.

    Clem Reply:

    Their east is the High Desert Corridor, and is now being used as the primary justification for the Palmdale routing. I suppose the next business plan might actually contain the words ‘Las’ and ‘Vegas’ unlike all past business plans.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Los Angeles’ Altamont. Though no one expects it to end world hunger, bring universal peace or carry people to the Navel of the Universe.

    Joey Reply:

    Please justify the comparison with Altamont, adirondacker. Compared to Tejon, Tehachapi is slower and more expensive. Compared to Pacheco, Altamont was projected to cost about the same (including the bay crossing) and offer comparable trip time for San Francisco. Slightly slower for San Jose-LA, but also vastly faster for SF and SJ-Sacramento. With some refinements that weren’t present in the program EIR (SETEC and water tunnel geological data), both the price and travel time could be brought down substantially for Altamont.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Just when I thought that Altamont , Gilroy and Bart would not be mentioned in this SoCal topic! Dang!

    synonymouse Reply:

    The news services are calling the closure of Atlantic City casinos falling like dominos. I suspect Vegas will resize in time too.

    What I have seen at Graton is not going to bring in any but compulsive gambling addicts. There’s like one video poker machine out of 3,000 I would play. One Game King nickel multi-game with an 8-5-4 paytable on double bonus in the “non-smoking” section. And 8-5-4 is still rated as player most always loses.

    Most nobodies like me don’t have enough discretionary funds to go to the casino as in days of old, especially if they do not want video poker players. And no free drinks in Indian joints.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Well Los Angeles and Las Vegas and the people who travel between the two are unimportant. They don’t have, insert a long plaintive sigh here, BART. For a place to be anything it’s gotta have BART.

    Donk Reply:

    “Just when I thought that Altamont , Gilroy and Bart would not be mentioned in this SoCal topic! Dang!”

    At least nobody has mentioned Talgo trains yet.

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker: Haven’t we been through this before? A wye near Lebec can serve Las Vegas just fine. If you want to build over the Cajon pass at some point in the future it’s completely independent of Tehachapi vs Tejon.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Its going to include “independent utility” and “flexibility in funding alternatives”. And then the Sylmar / Santa Clara and Santa Clara / Palmdale tunnels are distinct segments with “independent utility”.

    If only one community playing inside LA County politics gives a damn on the two options, their preference along with those who want it to go through and don’t care all that much how is going to carry the day.

    Lewellan Reply:

    TALGO to LasVegas, Donk, would continue past fabulous national parks to SLC, junction with the Zephyr there or continue to Denver. The all-electric TALGO once/still? planned would stop at LasVegas.
    Faster is slower.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If maintaining extra track between Palmdale and Sylmar is the end of the world is the track between Palmdale and Lebec going to be maintained by elves using pixie dust and gnat farts?
    If mixing commuter trains and intercity trains between San Jose and Redwood City is the end of the world as we know it why is it peachy keen between Lebec and Burbank?
    If it’s just awful the way sending the trains between San Jose and Redwood city is awful because it slows them down a few minutes why is slowing down someone who doesn’t start out in or end up in Los Angeles okay?
    You wanna spend the next 15 years doing new environmental studies and having them challenged in court and reissued which then gets challenged in court… the NEC can use the money that you won’t be able to spend because you’re still jerking around with draft environmental impact reports.

    Joey Reply:

    1) Who said anything about the cost of maintaining track?

    3) I don’t remember the exact Tehachapi/San Gabriel cost split, but given that the San Gabriel crossing is the expensive one, it’s not inconceivable that Bakersfield-Lebec-Sylmar could be built for a comparable amount of money as Palmdale-Sylmar … maybe give or take a billion or so.

    2) The CalTrain corridor has a lot of local stops, which demand high acceleration, lower top speed trains. Lots of stops also makes blending difficult. There aren’t all that many stops on the Antelope Valley line, and you could use rolling stock with a higher top speed.

    3) Feel free to contradict me on this, but it seems like getting funding together actually takes longer than doing the EIR. The time needed to scrape together another $5 billion is probably greater than the time needed to do the EIR for Tejon. The mountain crossing EIRs have progressed slowly thus far because the CHRSA prioritized the Central Valley EIRs. That doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

    Joey Reply:

    So apparently I failed at numbering, but you get the idea.

    Alan Reply:

    Talgo must be paying Llewellan by the word…

    Lewellan Reply:

    Alan, Talgo is not paying me a dime.
    Stick with what you are certain about,
    and won’t detract from a fair discussion.

    Alan Reply:

    OK…I’m certain you’re a blithering idiot with your constant shilling for Talgo.

    Rob Reply:

    I think it’s illegal and weird the FRA issued the ROD when Caltran’s is the Responsible agency with Oversight responsible for construction, ROW and all Environmental docs. Watch your mouth before you talk back to me. I know something you don’t know. Figure it out. I will start laying bread crumbs until someone figures it out. Caltrans Oversight for CHSR Project. FIRSTIAM

  2. JCC
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 14:22
    #2

    This is certainly a compromise that was worked out among the various parties involved.

    Santa Clarita will be the most likely place where opposition forms. The San Fernando Valley is very much pro HSR from what I observed at the Metro public meetings on the proposal for a Van Nuys Blvd LRT.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I believe that the problem with the “long tunnel” idea is how to route the line south of the tunnel with an acceptable radius to bring it on to San Fernando Road. I saw one dotted line that routed it south through or under the airport then east onto the Ventura line to Burbank Junction, but I can’t imagine anyone accepting that. I think the idea is Antonovich doing a CYA for the folks in SE Santa Clarita. He’s termed out in a couple of years anyway.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The problem with such a long tunnel is that undercuts much of the rationale for Palmdale over Tejon.

    Antonovich is not the major player here; it’s his silent partners who prefer their anonymity at this stage of the game. To me, this looks like an attempt by Brown to appease De Leon. It’s especially clever given that I think Brown has always know the courts would toss out using Prop1a money at the bookends.

    Clem Reply:

    There never was a rationale for Palmdale based on tunnel length. Tejon has about ten fewer miles of tunnel to begin with, and the difference only grows with a “base tunnel” through the San Gabriels.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The issue was using a tunnel to cross the San Andreas fault at grade.

    And this is a bookend project because it is outside the ICS.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Since when was a “bookend” defined as being outside the ICS? As usual you make stuff up as you go along.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    No I don’t. Obviously, I share my opinion here, but the business plan is fairly explicit.

    True HSR track will be built from Fresno out, not at the segments closest to the end with the goal of meeting in the middle. It is true that for the IOS, Burbank and Palmdale can be where construction starts. But there’s no federal match for Prop 1a funds yet, so it’s an academic point.

    It’s a mistake to use Prop 1a to rehabilitate Metrolink or CalTrain. There are other funding streams for that, we need the bond for the new track in the San Joaquin Valley.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    That was the business plan
    Business plans have a limited shelf life and can be changed as circumstances dictate . Thank you for admitting you were wrong

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Judge Kenny is putting an end to all this shortly.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The Business Plan is also explicit in what it defines as Bookends, which are the planned shared use corridor. Revising the planned schedule of work between Bakersfield and Burbank North Hollywood Av – Burbank Airport doesn’t change the status of the Antelope Valley junction to Palmdale segment of the main IOS corridor into Bookend, it just changes the opportunities for independent utility.

    As far as independent utility, the lowest San Fernando tunnel options from Sylmar to Santa Clarito surface right next to the Antelope Valley line, so either might allow use as an Express bypass for independent utility. The SR14 East, West and Hybrid options all connect to either, so that could be pursued as a freestanding project. The SR14 West and SR14 Hybrid options come out on the Palmdale side next to the Antelope Valley, so they could also be pursued with independent utility to connect to the existing transit center, while the SR14 East option would have to be extended through to the planned new Palmdale station then to where it hits the SR14 West option between Palmdale and Lancaster.

    Clem Reply:

    SR14 West was recently withdrawn from further consideration. See latest SAA documents

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Thanks, I hadn’t see that. That doesn’t change the segmenting ~ it makes for one option in the lower part of the Santa Clarita to Palmdale section, but the location where the SR14 West would have the opportunity to connect to the existing Antelope Valley line is carried forward in the SR14 Hybrid alignment.

    If they cannot actually run faster than 150-160mph in that section due to grade, then the notional speed advantage of SR14 East over SR14 Hybrid when running in Flatland would be a moot point.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You just have to love PB:

    “Because of operational, maintenance and safety issues and high capital and operational costs
    associated with tunnels, tunneling is only considered when the topography of the ground makes
    it necessary or there is a major significant impact which cannot be mitigated in any other way. ”

    I am no engineer so my description will be surely lacking but if you look at the overall curvature displacement proceeding north and east from Sylmar towards Palmdale it’s more than 90 degrees.

    What incredible stupidity and waste.

    Cheerleaders you really need to read this stuff. I stopped after the first section. I cannot conceive of how the local stakeholders aren’t going to court no matter what alignment PB selects.

    Clem Reply:

    And since when is a tunnel at grade?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Obviously, Tejon would have much more support if it didn’t require using tunnels to cross fault lines. That idea is a very easy way to spook non-technically savvy Californians. Even though I know, shaking is less underground, everyone fears being buried alive for some reason.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    But it doesn’t require using tunnels to cross fault lines!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thank you, Alon. PB has got the Cheerleaders spooked about Tejon. And they totally ignore the White Wolf, generating the second biggest temblor in the 20th century in California.

    Clem Reply:

    You need to study up on your remedial Tejon class. The number of faults crossed in tunnels is zero.

    On the other hand, ALL the Palmdale to LA alignments currently being considered cross the San Gabriel fault in a tunnel.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Just realize: the shorter the tunnels are for Tejon the better chance it has of being used.

    Clem Reply:

    Tejon has easily 10 fewer miles of tunnel than any of the Palmdale options, but I don’t see any signs of it being used. Could your paradigm be backwards?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s not how technologically superior your plan is, it’s how well you can market it to non technical people.

    Moreover, I am becoming less and less enamored about Palmdale as time passes but I am not sure how you deal with the shortcomings Tejon has: huge viaduct, no political support in Santa Clarita, and putting your eggs in one basket for rail and car travel of there’s problems through Tejon from snow, earthquakes etc.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Tehachapi route is no safer – you are ignoring the 7.7 on the Richter scale at Tehachapi in 1952. Unfortunately no such data on the 1857 Ft. Tejon quake to indicate the size and how widespread was the damage. I am conjecturing the Tehachapi region to the east felt that one too.

    Tehachapi is significantly longer – statistically a bigger window in space and time in which bad things can happen.

    Again why are not the Amtrak buses Bako to LA immediately relocated to Mojave?

    And why not try to run one blinking train a day over the Loop to LA?

    Clem, please elaborate on the viaduct issue – perhaps I missed out on that when I looked at your study.

    Clem Reply:

    I have to wonder where you get your facts, Ted. What is this huge viaduct of which you speak? Do you think the minor amounts of snow occasionally present on Tejon Pass would pose the slightest impediment to rail service? Would earthquakes be any less of a threat on the Palmdale alignment? Does Santa Clarita support the SR14 alignment through Sand Canyon?

    synonymouse Reply:

    My quick take on the base tunnel is that it is as much to avoid lawsuits as to please tract builders.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Ted, those aren’t the issues. Given that California has the capacity to build either, the issue is whether it can muster the political will to build either. Inside LA County, there didn’t seem to be any interest among any interests in the LA Basin supporting the corridor in getting into an alignment fight, while Palmdale/Lancaster was willing to fight for Tehachapi, therefore Tehachapi won.

    One part of the Tejon Pass post which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny is the economic reasoning at the end, that private investors won’t buy into a profitable endeavor because there was at one time an alternative alignment which, had it been pursued instead, would have been even more profitable. Relative comparisons with alternatives not taken don’t modify the invest / don’t invest decision.

    Clem Reply:

    I don’t see what’s flawed about it. Investment is commensurate with profit potential.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What is the estimated cost of the Antonovich Base Tunnel and how does it compare to the estimated cost of the entire mountain crossing via optimum Tejon, Bako to Sylmar?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe we should call it the San Gabriel Base Tunnel, make it sound cool like the St. Gotthard, even if it isn’t.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    This isn’t new ground: at 4% you still need a five mile viaduct from the Valley floor to crest Tejon and cross the faults at grade. HSR systems can obviously withstand snow but the catch is you have to build ok in to make sure riders don’t get trapped in a worst case scenario.

    What would more sense absent cost limitations is a tunnel that cut through Tejon diagonally from the Valley floor to Gorman and sidestep the Tejon Summit itself.

    Joey Reply:

    Ted: Where in Clem’s alignment is this 5 mile viaduct? All the faults are crossed at grade and the longest viaduct is 0.5 miles.

    Clem Reply:

    What study is he quoting from? It sounds even more ghastly than PB’s I-5 corridor sand-bagging job.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “I don’t see what’s flawed about it. Investment is commensurate with profit potential.”
    Clem, because the argument presumes that profit potential in terms of rate of return will be ignored, but instead the decision will be made by making a comparison between the investment on offer and another investment which, had previous events turned out differently, would have been on offer.

    Clem Reply:

    Private investors with deep pockets have an uncanny way of shaping what’s on offer in the first place. I wouldn’t consider the southern mountain crossing a done deal, not the least because we are about $25 billion short. I’m not trying to re-write the past, just pointing out that the future may still hold some very big changes for California HSR.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    I’ll count a segment as on its way to being a done deal when its funded, clear EIS and is under construction. Which is why the news here seems to imply an increased liklihood of locking in a Palmdale alignment, since there’s no independent utility in the Bridge the Gap segment short of actually bridging the gap, while after breaking Palmdale / LA into Palmdale / Burbank, Burbank / LA, additional sub-projects can be broken out of the Palmdale / Burbank section that have their own independent utility.

    I don’t expect to see any substantial private investor interest until its time to complete the segment that allows the IOS to start running, by which time its likely to be locked in on one alignment or another.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If you cross the the fault at grade, you have to build a viaduct that can raise the track from the valley floor to 4,000 feet on the north side of the Grapevine. My back of the envelope calculation was that at 3%, the viaduct would be six miles of stilts until reaching the summit.

    A 4% grade would shorten the distance but I don’t think it’s realistic to force all trains to take that route at full speed. There isn’t another example of that already in operation as far as I know.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What engineering study are you referencing for this alleged viaduct?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The same ones you use to figure out that going through Palmdale will be too slow and only need a train a day.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Synon-

    You don’t need a study to measure elevation. The Valley Floor is sea level gradually rising to 1600 ft right before the Grapevine. Tejon summit is just over 4000 feet. If you limit the grade on the track to a set percentage, you can calculate the length of structure you need.

    The other option would be to summit further south and dig a tunnel that would start at say 2000 ft up and require a much shorter viaduct.

    Clem Reply:

    Ted, have you ever ridden a bicycle up a steep hill? When the terrain is too steep, you don’t go straight up the slope, you go at an angle until the grade is shallower. If you go perpendicular to the slope, the grade is zero. The same select-a-grade technique can be used to great advantage when laying out roads or railways across difficult topography.

    Short version: there is no giant Tejon viaduct anywhere else than in your mind.

    Since you seem to know a thing or two about terrain elevations in the area, why don’t you open up this KML file in Google Earth and have a look-see at how to cross Tejon pass at 3.5% without giant or tunnels. Hint: you can right-click on any element to show terrain elevation along that path.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I am always touched by your level of condescension. I can’t open your file on my iPhone, but I do understand what you are proposing at least in concept. My question is, “why?” More deviation from the straight angle costs time and and money.

    So the answer I am forced to reconcile is that when there is additional cost and loss of minutes, it’s not okay if it’s Techahacpi and Palmdale but totally acceptable when it’s Tejon or Altamont.

    Clem Reply:

    More deviation from the straight angle costs time and and money.

    Tell that to the geniuses who want to route everything via Palmdale, putting 13 to 18 additional minutes between NoCal and SoCal.

    jimsf Reply:

    Why are people still arguing about something that has already been decided. Teh trian isnt going over tejon, for better or worse anymore than the earth is going to reverse its rotation. People with engineering skills should be talking about how to make the best of the actual route instead of talking about how a different route should have been chosen. It would be more helpful and more interesting.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    For the same reason they love to talk about how Altamont would have given everybody free ponies and Breck girl hair? You do understand that 75 years after HSR makes it Phoenix or even Tuscon they will still be having 300 page long back and forths over it on Railroad.net.

    jimsf Reply:

    lol do they still make breck?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Wikipedia says the brand was bought by Dollar Tree. So it’s gone from being THE shampoo to something you can get at the chain dollar store.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ JimSF

    “how to make the best of the actual route”

    There is no way to improve the Dogleg. Other than a base tunnel; and why would anyone but a cretin choose to blow a fortune on a base tunnel other than the shortest route?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Bookend doesn’t mean outside the ICS, it means a portion of the corridor planned to ultimately share operation with regional express trains ~ the Caltrain corridor SJ/SF (or Redwood City / SF in the other alignment) and the LOSSAN corridor Antelope Valley junction to Anaheim.

    If Metrolink Express trains are run on this section, its not Blended Operation, its simply independent utillity only until the IOS starts ~ to qualify a segment for Federal Funding which at this point is zero-ed out for the duration of the present administration and House GOP majority, but which may or may not start flowing again sometime 2017 or after.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    For clarification, what you are calling “Antelope Valley Junction” is properly called Burbank Junction.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    By “for clarification”, I presume you mean calling it by its proper name in lieu of clarification?

    After all, if I refer to the planned Metrolink Bob Hope Airport – Hollywood Way station by anything like its proper name, the response is that its a mile away from the proposed HSR station, when obviously an Antelope Valley line station at N Hollywood Av and an HSR station at N Hollywood Av are going to be close enough together to arrange some form of direct platform to platform pedestrian path.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I like the idea of a one mile platform to platform pedestrian path, Bruce. Very user friendly. Me, I prefer a cross platform connection under one roof.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m confused. Why would someone who wants to go to an Antelope Valley line station get off the HSR train in Burbank and go to the Ventura Line station? Why wouldn’t they just wait on the platform if the station they want is in the same direction of travel or go up and over ( or down and under ) to the platform for the trains in the opposite direction of travel?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The proposed HSR station is past the point in which Metrolink’s Ventura Line veers west already.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    They are distinct tracks there, even if they share a corridor, and the single track sections of the Antelope Valley corridor are just about in the middle of the corridor in that section, so its going to have to move over, once its time to extend the HSR tracks to connect over to the LOSSAN corridor and wherever they have placed the express tracks through to LAUS.

    But for someone bound to downtown Burbank, it would indeed make more sense to take the ramp or stairs to the pedestrian bridge and then down again to the Metrolink platform than to take a shuttle to the RITC and Ventura line station a mile away. Or to Glendale or to LA Union Station.

    Indeed, some might carelessly think that the connection to LA Union Station and the wealth of connections available there would be more important than Van Nuys, Northridge, Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Camarillo, Oxnard and East Ventura stations on the Ventura line, and there’s a risk that the HSR Alignment Alternatives people themselves lapsed into the “just because it serves a much larger number of people, its better” kind of mindset, as if people who do not live along the Ventura Line should have equal weight with those who do.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Paul, where they place the footprint in the SAA, the northwest edge of the footprint is within 500 of the corner of N Hollywood Av and N San Fernando Blvd. That is likely to be much less than 500 feet from the closest end of the Metrolink platform with a N Hollywood Ac and N San Fernando Blvd entrance.

    So when you are saying that a pedestrian path from the HSR platforms and Metrolink platform is going to be a mile long, it doesn’t make much sense.

    If you are saying that its a mile away from THE VENTURA LINE Bob Hope Airport station … of course it is, but that is why those people with destinations that can be reached from either station are likely to prefer the pedestrian bridge connecting the HSR and the Metrolink that run on tracks next to each other in the same corridor, over catching a shuttle to the RITC.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I think we need some definitions here. There are 4 different station sites in Burbank being discussed.
    1. Existing downtown station, SE of Burbank Junction, serves Metrolink AV and VC.
    2. Existing Burbank Airport Station on VC line, Amtrak, Surfliner and Metrolink VC.
    3. Proposed Metrolink station W of N. Hollywood Way on AV line. Actually straddles Burbank/Los Angeles city line. In advanced planning. Single platform only.
    4. Proposed BUR HSR station E of N. Hollywood Way which we hope will be combined HSR/Metrolink. When built I doubt if Metrolink or whatever it is then will go further than Princessa.

    Hope that helps….

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “4. Proposed BUR HSR station E of N. Hollywood Way which we hope will be combined HSR/Metrolink.”

    Yes ~ once they have provided a pedestrian bridge between the HSR platform and the Metrolink platform and, if they are particularly forward thinking about the sequence of work before and after realigning the Antelope Valley track, a pedestrian subway, it will function as a combined station with a Metrolink side entrance and an HSR side entrance.

    You do have to put the platforms to access the tracks that the trains are on, so if you have a three track corridor, as in that section, a single island with a platform on each side is going to leave you one platform short.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I thought it was supposed to create an explosion of all sorts of TOD-y transit using passengers, one platform for Metrolink isn’t going to be enough.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Its a one track line, in a section between a junction with a multi-track corridor, and an express passing track. That’s plenty of local capacity for the transit demands that the HSR system would generate, both to connect to through to Santa Clarita up the AV line and down to Burbank Downtown and Glendale stations …

    … but if LA and Burbank want more transit capacity for TOD-y development there, they either need a cross-connect link to the Metro Red Line, to build up Quality Bus services to give the needed transit capacity, or both.

    IMV of Transit-Oriented Development and intercity rail, an unstated footnote in all AA references to TOD opportunities is, “that is, if the local authorities get off their rear ends and provide the transit services and zoning support required to support TOD.”

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    This isn’t a “bookend”, it’s part of the main line.

  3. JCC
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 14:24
    #3

    When will Sin’o’mouse show up in the comments to tell us how this compromise is a vast left wing conspiracy?

    synonymouse Reply:

    A base tunnel on a detour to placate some tract builders?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Only in LaLaLand.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    That’s agreeing to “consider” a base tunnel on detour in order to placate some tract builders.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they don’t consider a base tunnel, on Railroad.net circa 2237, the foamers will be gnawing on a thread about how Altamont was going to cause the second coming and they shoulda just built a base tunnel to Los Angeles. Nah, even if they do study it they will still be gnawing on it. When they aren’t busy recreating the list of 53 things, if they woulda happened, would have allowed the Erie Lackanwana to break even in 1965 and make a very small profit through 1980 and the Staggers Act being enacted.

    In 2015 if they don’t study a base tunnel someone who is going to be 8 miles from the alternative will sue because all the noise will cause his chicken’s to stop milking, the cows to stop laying and curdle the the gravel in his driveway. And when he gets out the powerful binoculars he will be able to barely see the train glinting in the sun.

  4. Clem
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 14:37
    #4

    The quoted run time from Burbank to Palmdale is 14 to 16 minutes. As per usual, this time is over-optimistic and literally plucked from thin air. The true run time, based on a realistic numerical simulation, is 20 minutes due to a ~150 mph speed limit throughout the densely populated San Fernando valley as well as the long and steep (2.6%) grades encountered on the climb up the San Gabriel range. These steep grades will limit even the most powerful high-speed trains to about 150 mph. Downhill isn’t much better due to emergency brake heating limits; there’s no way they will safely bomb down that hill at 220 mph.

    Granted, 20 minutes is still far better than the existing 90-minute diesel scenic tour, but why do they lie when they don’t have to?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Clem: Agreed. They probably took the supposed running time of a non-stop passing Palmdale to passing Burbank.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The AA is at an early stage ~ on the power point pdf, the two Sylmar / Santa Clarita options are labeled 220mph and 200mph, the Action/Palmdale SR14 Hybrid is labeled as 175mph with a 20 second time penalty to the Action/Palmdale tunnels on SR East or SR West options, so they seem to be penciled in as 220mph. And the Agua Dulce to Action tunnels for the SR East and SR West have no speed notation at all, so they seem to be assumed to be 220mph.

    It looks very much like the speeds are based on curve alone and not on grade. So rather than being plucked from thin air, transferred over to our 3D world from Flatland.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    NB. Early last month they issued another Supplemental AA, confirming the Burbank airport HSR station location, the division of the analysis between the Bookend project between LAUS and Burbank HSR and the Burbank HSR and Palmdale section, and only advancing SR14 East and SR 14 hybrid (h/t Clem).

    However, I didn’t see anything about any of the speeds in the 3 June 2014 that indicated any consciousness of grade affecting speed.

  5. RobBob
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 16:48
    #5

    Well the central subway was $1 billion/mile, I am not sure what those mountains are made out of but would a $15 billion tunnel fly? Long tunnels sound like they bring a greater chance of cost overruns into play, like in Seattle.

    Eric M Reply:

    Central subway price also includes 3 underground stations, so the price/mile are going to be a bit different.

    aw Reply:

    The problem with the tunnel in Seattle isn’t with the length (it’s not actually very long), it’s because they’re using a TBM with a world record bore diameter. Maybe it’s something about the soils too.

    We have better luck with LRT tunnels up here.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The Seattle Big Dig road tunnel was a very poorly planned project, using the world-record-diameter TBM to go through glacial till underneath fill… and yet what did it in was the contractor failing to read the diagrams describing where the test bores were located, and not dealing with the metal linings associated with them.

    The Seattle rail tunnels, using normal-sized TBMs, being careful to avoid difficult geology, and being operated by *competent* contractors, are going fine.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    What happened in Seattle?

    Lewellan Reply:

    Seattle’s elevated double-deck waterfront highway SR99 was damaged beyond repair in the Nisqually earthquake of Feb 28th 2001. (The Alaskan Way Viaduct has been ‘derelict’ since 1980). By 2007, the State highway department conducted studies of replacement options but favored a larger elevated double-deck highway and skewed studies against any cut/cover tunnel option. Voters rejected both options. The FEIS Cut/Cover/Seawall option, though ready to show in 2007, was not released for public review until 2009. Following the vote, Wsdot also ‘skewed’ studies of surface street options and two additional cut/cover tunnel options that didn’t make to the FEIS.

    In 2009, Wsdot and Sdot selected a new “giant bore” 58′ tunnel option despite concerns about its suitability through unstable waterfront soils directly beneath vulnerable buildings above. Mike McGinn won the mayor’s office in November on the campaign promise of stopping the bore tunnel option and was hounded his entire term by Seattle business establishment and minnions seduced by grandiose visions of a waterfront playground and a cheap/weak seawall that didn’t inconvenience tourist trap waterfront businesses during construction.

    In December 2013, the bore tunnel machine, BERTHA, broke down at the 1000′ point along its eventual 9300′ length. Disruption of significant underground water table flows here reached its ‘point of no return’ – ie, further construction of the bore tunnel permanently places buildings above at risk of sudden collapse in future earthquakes. Bertha proceeds below sea level another 6000′, deeper and further inland disruption of water table flows than ever. The tunnel shell forms a conduit for water to reach this furthest depth to form a ‘maleable’ mud bed many feet thick in which the tunnel will swing, osscillate and ‘slam’ in the surround soil, transmitting destructive forces to buildings above. BERTHA will destroy Seattle.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Urban construction is invariably more expensive than non-urban construction.

    For example:
    Recent subway lines in Tokyo are quoted as $500 million per kilometer, e.g. the Mita Line extension was about $470 million/km.
    Subways in smaller Japanese cities are about $250 million per km – that was the cost in Sendai and the projected cost for the yet-again canceled line in Kawasaki.
    The Shin-Aomori Shinkansen extension, which was 50% in tunnel, including the longest rail tunnel outside the Swiss base tunnels, was $55 million per km.

    In California, the cost estimates for HSR tunnels are about $100-150 million per km, after taking into account contingencies and overheads. This is while LA subway costs are in the $300 million/km area and San Francisco costs, as you note, are more than twice that level. (San Jose is $500 million/km, in a much more suburban environment than the San Francisco CBD.)

    Eric Reply:

    By the way, why doesn’t Tokyo build more subway lines? They’re one of the richest cities in the world, from what I hear their current lines are shockingly overcrowded, and they have almost no metro construction in recent years compared to China or even South Korea.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Because all the major streets of Central Tokyo already have subways underneath them; building a new line that doesn’t follow the street network would require deep-level construction and be even more expensive. The actual subways built in the last 15 years – Oedo, Fukutoshin, Mita extension – weren’t even in Central Tokyo, but in the secondary CBDs, and were still very expensive.

    South Korea and Japan do not have the same urban rail construction costs. Seoul is one of the world’s cheaper cities to build subways in – recent projects have come in under $100 million per km underground, where Seoul isn’t much poorer than Tokyo nowadays.

    China’s construction costs are higher than South Korea’s and lower than Japan’s – all Chinese cities I’ve seen data for average about $160 million/km – but of course China is a lot poorer. But China also has very fast growth, which allows it to plug a huge share of its GDP into capital investment without people protesting why their current income is being reduced. (South Korea also has pretty fast growth for a developed country; Japan of course is very different.)

    Eric Reply:

    Good points.

    Many places are now building subways with TBMs for cost rather than depth reasons. So why shouldn’t a deep line in Tokyo – particularly a more regional line with infrequent stations – be less expensive rather than more?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    But a deeper tunnel is still more expensive than a shallow tunnel with the same tunneling technology and similar geology. It seems like it would only be cheaper if the geology is more favorable at that depth.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The recent lines are already done with deep-level TBMs. Unless there’s an overriding geological reason to go deep, what TBMs do is reduce the cost penalty of going deep, rather than eliminating or reversing it.

    There’s also the problem of stations. There’s the possibility of large-diameter TBMs, which largely eliminate that cost premium, at the cost of making tunnels more expensive. But these run into their own problems, especially when they have to thread between entire subway networks. The Fukutoshin Line had about 12 cm leeway when it was built, to avoid interfering with reserved future tunnel space for a Shinkansen extension to Shinjuku.

    When it’s possible to go above ground, there is some recent construction: JR East just six-tracked the four-track commuter rail narrows (ex. Shinkansen) between Ueno and Tokyo, building an el above a preexisting el at high cost. There are also long-range plans to tunnel under all of Central Tokyo to bring the Keiyo Line west as a relief line for the Chuo Line, but that’s going to be extremely expensive.

    Eric Reply:

    I notice all the subway lines downtown detour around the Imperial Palace. Is there a cultural taboo on tunneling under there?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Whether or not there is now, there surely would have been up through the 50’s and 60’s.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Or just security reasons. Perhaps there’s a bunker or something under there as well.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The mind ray control center that made them pick universal health care and carfree but suburban living instead of a carbon copy of what Real Americans(tm) get.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No clue.

    One possible counter-explanation is that the Imperial Palace is relatively low-density, so it’s more important to serve the neighborhoods around it.

    Eric Reply:

    True, but part of the reason that “all the major streets of Central Tokyo already have subways underneath them” as you say, is that they all detour around the palace and bunch together on the streets around the palace.

    I still don’t *really* understand why Brescia Italy can build a new mostly-underground subway, but Tokyo, whose population is 100 times higher, can’t.

    swing hanger Reply:

    I don’t understand your disbelief. Tokyo does_build_new_subway_lines, such as the Fukutoshin Line and the Namboku Line, as well as extensions of existing lines. However, railways such as Tokyo Metro are for-profit enterprises not public transport in the North American sense, so things such as costs and debt are scrutinised, so construction cannot be done willy-nilly. The network is already dense enough, and as I mentioned before, the private railways provide a connection for passengers to continue on to the suburbs. As far as new construction proposals, there is also the 1435mm gauge Asakusa Line bypass route, which if built will allow limited expresses to traverse more quickly through the center city between Narita and Haneda Airports.

    Eric Reply:

    The Fukutoshin Line is circumferential and was finished 6 years ago. The Namboku Line is circumferential to an extent also, and was finished 14 years ago. I’ve never been to Tokyo, but I’d assume that lines are most crowded in central areas, and there has been no construction there in a long time.

    If they hire people whose job it is to cram extra passengers into the train, and groping is such a big problem that they have separate women-only cars, then the network does not have enough capacity.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The Tohoku-Jukan line provides two extra tracks paralleling the single most crowded line in Japan (the Tohoku Line just south of Ueno, southbound in the morning peak).

    swing hanger Reply:

    Another common mistake made by outside observers regarding the Tokyo Metro, especially when comparing to other systems, is not taking into consideration the extensive run-through operations conducted with other railway companies. Also, JR East and the numerous private railway operators provide metro-like services around the periphery of the core city, that extend out to suburbs and exurbs (some of the trains actually are run-through Tokyo Metro trains that originate within the city, or even originate from a suburb on an opposite end of the Kanto region). In (ultra) hypothetical Bay Area terms, it would be akin to a one-seat service originating in Gilroy, using Caltrain to some point where it would take BART tracks (Millbrae?), go under the bay, and at Richmond switch to Amtrak (UP) rails, and terminate in Fairfield, given identical gauge and operating standards.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    For that hypothetical, maybe Amtrak’s 11/14 route via Mulford? No gauge or operating problems. The Amtrak Coast train runs through both Gilroy and Fairfield.

    jonathan Reply:

    Mr. Allen,
    do you still advocate a BART Anschluss? (yes, that word, with all its connotations.)
    And no, I’m not exaggerating; you have agreed to that word (Anschlusss) before.
    In this forum, and this context.

    synonymouse Reply:

    To carry out this blitzkrieg BART is going to mobilize its transit police force?

    BARTReich does have a certain zip to it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ll just use the mind ray antennae on the black helicopters.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I want to see BART deploy the Imperial Walkers in PAMPA.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Imperial walkers don’t have mind ray antennae. The universe Star Wars is set in is less fantastic than the one you live in. Even Yoda doesn’t use mind rays. Anyway they have been training the storm troopers in much more subtle and realistic ways.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5gCeWEGiQI

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s a good one.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It would have been much funnier if that was filmed on BART with riders headed to ST to see Lucas’s museum.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ah but if they did it on BART the people who aren’t sensitive to the BART mind control might figure things out…

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Jonathan, I don’t recall ever using that term Anschluss; it is not in my lexicon. My comment had nothing to do with BART. It dealt solely with Amtrak’s Coast Daylight between Los Angeles and Sacramento, which passes both Gilroy and Fairfield. swing hanger’s hypothetical made no sense.

    BrianR Reply:

    Since it’s just a hypothetical you can pretend Amtrak’s “Coast Daylight” (Starlight) doesn’t exist and I am sure you get the point otherwise.

    jonathan Reply:

    Remember? When you said that BART should take control of San Mateo County and force it to pay for more BART extensions?

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Jonathan, I never said that. BART runs in San Mateo County and is building into Santa Clara County. It makes sense for these counties to annex into the 3-County BART district and formally be a part of a 5-county regional rapid transit network. These five counties, with their six million residents, have the great bulk of the Bay Area’s population and jobs. That’s basically what the monumental SFBARTC 1957 “Report to the Legislature” proposed (but without its proposed line to Marin County) in the first phase of regional rapid transit. Of course planning and funding would come only after a favorable vote by the electorate of all five counties.

    jonathan Reply:

    Mr.Allen, that is factually incorrect. You wrote, on this blog, that BART should “annex” San Mateo county — whether San Mateo county voters wanted that, or not.

    jonathan Reply:

    Mr. Allen,
    .. while I remember: you claim to have experience in management of rail systems.

    Perhaps you can explain why BART is *stil.* yet to understand and adopt rail technology wihch was well known to Mr. George Stephenson (ather of Robert Stephenson, of “Rocket” fame)?

    I mean, it’s only 200 odd years old….

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Intercity trains aren’t really part of this through-running regime. In fact, a lot of them terminate at places like Ueno to allow more room for commuter trains and Shinkansen.

    (When Tohoku-Jukan opens, are any intercity trains going to use it, or just regional trains like Joban/Utsunomiya/Takasaki?)

    swing hanger Reply:

    There haven’t been any announcements of specific services yet, but it is likely a few limited expresses off the Joban Line (i.e. Super Hitachi) will continue on to Tokyo or even Shinagawa. Ibaraki Prefecture is lobbying JR East hard to enable timetable pathings for such services on the new line.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    I believe that the point of the hypothetical is that the intercity train runs through downtown SF and downtown Oakland, which due to a different set of choices made in the Bay compared to Japan, can’t be done with existing rail corridors. And the hypothetical requiring using the BART Bay crossing is how BART bashing got brought into it.

    Which is why the actual Coast Daylight work does indeed involve seeking to use the Coast Starlate route between San Jose and LA, and does look to terminate in SF. They’ve got about $50m funding for the project, UP is asking for work costing more, so its on the back burner.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It couldn’t be done with existing rail corridors in Japan either. Shinkansen is usually translated as “new trunk line”. Shin-Osaka-eki is “new Osaka Station”. Most of the conventional lines are narrow gauge. It couldn’t be done in Spain either because most of the conventional lines are broad gauge. It could be done in France and Germany and they came up with different solutions. As did the Italians.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    But as you can see from the context, nobody is proposing that California do it, either, Alon Levy just setting forth a hypothetical analogy to give people who are not familiar with the various Japanese places a sense of what is involved in that Japanese route.

  6. John Nachtigall
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 17:40
    #6

    Apparently “progress” is an optomistic press release and hope. They cant fund the existing IOS even with the new found cap and trade money and they are opening a new front that has the most complex engineering?

    Wow. Someone needs to invest in a project management 101 book. Belive what you say. The Authority said that the CV was the right place because the land is cheap and the engineering easy. Stick with 1 story, they just keep losing credibility.

    John Burrows Reply:

    May be missing something here but I thought that the Burbank-Palmdale segment was already in the existing IOS.

    Donk Reply:

    Obviously this is the political solution and is not what CAHSRA wanted to do.

    I don’t know who you mean by “they”. At this point, “they” includes a lot of people and entities – current and former CAHSRA staff, current and former governors, mayors, congressmen, senators, state senators, assemblymen, judges, NIMBYs, environmentalists, PB, voters, etc. All of these groups have shaped CAHSR to what it is now. You can’t pin this CAHSRA or anyone else at this point. Or maybe by “they” you just want to blame all Democrats.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suggest you could define “they” as the ones who got Van Ark fired post haste. Ultimately it is just a tiny cabal in reality running this thing. I’d nominate the CEO of the Tejon Ranch who sits on the Bakersfield newspaper board as a likely usual suspect along with Darth Antonovich.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They = the authority. The authority is responsible for planning and they are the ones that voted to open yet another front before the first one was done even when they don’t have the money for the first.

    Joe Reply:

    Donk is spot on.

    Project management 101 is to identify and mange the relationships with all project stakeholders.

    If the stakeholders want to change priorities, the well run project should accommodate the change.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Well-run project? Puh-leeze.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    a well run project works within the confines (prop1a) of the defined parameters
    a well run project does not over-promise and under-deliver
    a well run project does not run on hope and prayer

    The stakeholders in this project are the people of CA who voted for HSR that would not have stranded investments and would have the money and approvals before they started.

    This project does not have the money, the approvals, or even a plan on how to get said money and approvals for the initial IOS much less this politically motivated section.

    They have missed the groundbreaking date 4 times alone, they are so far away from well managed they could not see it from where they are.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yep. And we shouldn’t have built any of I-5 until all of the money to build it from San Diego to Seattle had been identified. Or I-80. Or I-25.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Those highways were not built under prop 1a. Why do you insist on ignoring the very parts of the law used to sell voters on that law

    Joe Reply:

    The federal appellate court recognizes the safeguards in Prop1a and how large projects routinely begin with out full funding. The public risk of waste and fraud when many projects were successful with fewer safe guards is considered in protecting public interests.

    And highways fave a crisis.
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/01/politics/highway-trust-fund/index.html
    “The Obama administration is sending letters to all 50 states warning that it will limit road construction spending beginning August 1 unless Congress acts to fund a dwindling federal trust fund that helps pay for such projects.”

    Maybe

    The appellate court understands the safeguards in prop1a and how projects routinely start with out all funds.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so you are giving up any pretense of following the law at this point then? Not even the fig leaf of “private money soon”?

    Now it just “full speed ahead” and damn the law. you have plenty of company.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-train-battle-20140609-story.html#page=1

    “The conditions were unnecessary and ill conceived,” said Rod Diridon, another former chairman of the state’s rail agency and now executive director of a San Jose State University transportation institute. The language in the law provides “guidelines, not hard and fast rules,” Diridon said.

    Richard Katz, a former authority board member and state legislator, agreed the conditions should not be taken too literally.

    “People voted for the concept of high-speed rail,” he said. “You have to view this in the larger context of whether the high-speed rail authority is substantially complying with the requirements.”

    BruceMcF Reply:

    I aint no damned lawyer, but in over two decades of talking about public affairs online, I seen a distinct tendency for multiple people to know without a shadow of a doubt that the law is on their side.

    Which is why most people who don’t have to guess the legal merits of an argument before its decided in court are better off waiting until the court decides, to avoid being taken in by plausible sounding online arguments on one side or the other.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    They = the legislative authority that voted to grant CHSRA 25% of the CnT funds.

    What, you thought that vote came with no political strings attached?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, that’s how political logrolling sometimes works. They, by which you surely mean the CA State Senate and Assembly, provided the CnT that would allow the ICS to be built independent of the progress of the Prop1a bond sale lawsuit, in return for CHSRA agreeing to advance progress from Burbank to Palmdale.

    Offered the choice between agreeing to advance the EIS on some independent utility section of the Burbank to Palmdale corridor and losing the $3.3b in Federal funding, I do not see how anybody would be surprised at the CHSRA agreeing to take the CnT money with that string attached.

  7. James McDonald
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 18:11
    #7

    Good for Los Angeles County Supervisor, Michael D. Antonovich. I’m glad I voted for him. I can’t wait for the California High Speed Rail to start building to and from Palmdale. I just wish construction on the first segment would get started. Come on, Judge! Let the High Speed Rail begin. Stop the delays.

    Donk Reply:

    Antonovich is the kind of politician who wouldn’t care if the whole country went up in flames as long as it benefited his district in the short term.

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    Indeed. He has spent his political career trying to stop the Wilshire subway and now he’s for the long tunnel in his own district.

    Observer Reply:

    I am glad that the Palmdale – Burbank section is being accelerated. I am also glad that Mr. Antonovich brought up the tunnel option. In Europe they routinely build tunnels to shorten transportation routes; here it seems when we hear the word tunnel – everybody freaks out and goes running for the exits. Say the non-tunnel option is chosen and we go over the San Gabriel Mountains; eventually into the future we may get to the point where we begin considering building tunnels to shorten the routes. Again, this is routinely done in Europe; it seems that it is a foreign concept here. Might as well study the tunnel option upfront. It may seem it would cost more, but when you think long term, it may well be worth it.

    Clem Reply:

    You are gravely mistaken if you think there is a way over the San Gabriel Mountains. Even without a long tunnel under the Angeles National Forest, the currently planned routes require nearly 20 miles of tunnel, including the longest tunnel in the entire state-wide system (the San Gabriel tunnel just south of Palmdale) at 7 miles long.

    Observer Reply:

    That is not quite what I ment to say. I merely said that options should be studied up front. If not feasible, fine, discard it.

    Observer Reply:

    In other words, anything that may be done later on, study doing it upfront, if ultimately – long term, it will save cost. Doing it sooner rather than later.

  8. Paul s
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 18:24
    #8

    The current SAA to date already has 3 to 4 separate tunnels totaling 10 to 12.6 miles of tunnels in the route. One or two longer tunnels with the reduction in length would most likely be equal in costs.
    And would avoid any disgruntle citizens of Santa Clarita area.
    Even if a tunnel was routed from the old gravel mine (East on Sand Canyon to Sylmar (Around the 210 118 junction it would be just a little longer than the current route tunnel from Sand Canyon following the 14 to Sylmar.
    Tunneling through the mountains would straighten the route, cutting the travel time and reducing the length of track that has to be built through neighborhoods’.

    Paul s Reply:

    “reduction in length” should read “reduction in over all route length”

  9. StevieB
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 18:34
    #9

    Vartabedian intimates that Burbank to Palmdale might be an operating segment. If so then could a profit be made running one train each hour between the two cities or if two trains were operating each every 30 minutes.

    Eric M Reply:

    The only way a profit is going to be made is the complete SF-LA system.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not with a detoured, hamstrung alignment.

    Eric M Reply:

    Just stop

    synonymouse Reply:

    What local commute op makes money?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How much money does the state make on the highways?

    synonymouse Reply:

    pullenty – the whole economy would seize up without roads. That’s why they are in the Constitution. Refer to your Roman history – the word is viae.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It got along just fine before there were cars

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, horses are cool and so the sound of hooves clapping on the cobblestones. But the piles of horseshit another matter.

    Freeways are an abomination but we are stuck with them. The pols love them including your beloved limousine liberals. Trains have to be efficiently designed or they will end up like all the streetcar and interurban lines after the war. The highway lobby can get away with almost anything as there are more cars than roads.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No one put a gun to your head and made you live someplace where you need a car. Why is it okay for you suck up subsidies for your transportation but not okay for other people?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I haven’t driven(except around the block)since 1965. I have been hoofing it ever since.

    Eric Reply:

    Nobody says our transportation has to be based on “tire roads”. Much of it could be based on “rail roads” just as well.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    There was some transportation history between the Roman Empire and the car, largely based on water.

    Joe Reply:

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/may/orbis-roman-empire-051512.html
    At this link is an interactive map of Roman Empire transportation.

    Roads were inefficient.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    They built a canal in NE England, Fossdyke. A horse can haul about 20 to 30 times as many tons in water as with a wheeled waggon.

    Joe Reply:

    Right. Water is the least costly mode.

    From the map author:

    “The Roman world was a product of the Mediterranean Sea and unthinkable without it,” said Scheidel. “In that respect it differed much from land empires like China, where communication had always been much costlier.”
    ..,
    Inland, the price-cost ratio increased much more rapidly than time cost: it was much easier for Romans to march to faraway places and conquer them than to move goods between different regions, unless they were on the coast.

    As a result, Scheidel said, “imperial expansion was much easier to accomplish than economic integration. That helps explain why all pre-modern empires were brittle and easily fell apart, and could easily be reconfigured.”

    “The Roman world was a product of the Mediterranean Sea and unthinkable without it,” said Scheidel. “In that respect it differed much from land empires like China, where communication had always been much costlier.”

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    But back to the plot, I don’t think the Palmdale Canal is going to attract investors, whether it uses tunnels or locks. The issue at hand is whether to continue to build the ICS southwards towards Palmdale and not have any utility until it is complete at least to Burbank, or build north and have a useful route in the interim. From the local point of view we are planning to build stuff in Burbank that will be redundant if HSR is built, so a decision now would be helpful.

    Joe Reply:

    Where would you put the BUR station. Precisely where?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    In both the formal Federal and the practical senses of the word, there is utility to the Close the Gap segment, but the faster the Metrolink from Palmdale to LA US is running when the Close the Gap gets to Palmdale, the more utility the Close the Gap has. So either of the two independent utility segments that the Palmdale to Sylmar alignment can be divided into would increase the independent utility of the Close the Gap segment. Scheduled Bakersfield/LA US has to match 2:20 to beat the bus.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    & what stuff in Burbank will be redundant if the HSR is built?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If we start at the bookends, the project never makes it outside the region’s footprint. Why would LA help Bakersfield compete against it for jobs? Metro wants money for nothing in this case and nothing more.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Joe:

    Burbank Intergalactic *should* be built between Front street and the 5 freeway between Burbank and Magnolia Boulevards.

    Joe Reply:

    2.7 miles from the airport

    Joe Reply:

    What’s not redundant are all necessary services: rental car and parking. Transportation to from airport can also service HSR.

    Joey Reply:

    2.7 miles vs 1 mile from an airport which a negligible number of HSR passengers are actually going to be connecting to…

    And yes, parking and rental cars need to be provided, but so do transit connections. It’s more cost effective to connect to downtown, the reason being that a new local transit link serving HSR and downtown Burbank is going to get much more ridership than one serving the airport and HSR, airports being relatively poor ridership generators and HSR stations being moderate at best.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So people from the far reaches of the San Fernando Valley are going to drive to a bus stop and take the bus to downtown Burbank instead of just driving to downtown Burbank? Or people one stop from Union Station are going to go all the way out to Burbank to catch an HSR train they could have caught at Union Station. Interesting. I knew California was special but I didn’t realize it was that special.

    The people who now fly into to Burbank and take a taxi to their hotel or book one that has a shuttle bus, they are going to find taking taxi or waiting for the shuttle bus in downtown, next to the hulking parking garage right next to the train station, more pleasant?

    The people who take the on-demand airport shuttle bus instead of driving to the airport and parking. Will they find the taking the airport shuttle bus to the airport – with some one headed to Chicago or Atlanta or New York or Dallas or Boston or… much more interesting and exciting because they get to see downtown Burbank when they want to take the train? Is it worth the extra ten minutes that is going to take.

    The people who fly to Burbank and rent a car, they are going to be clamoring for a much longer ride on the shuttle bus when they switch to the train that stops downtown?

    The people who live there looked around and decided that the best place to put the HSR stop was at the airport.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The BUR HSR station will be built just east of Hollywood Way. The not yet constructed “Antonovich” platform for Metrolink will be redundant and be demolished. There is insufficient room between Magnolia and Burbank Blvd, Ted, and the City does not want it there.

    There are those that are hopeful that the Red Line will be extended to the Airport and HSR and will act as the shuttle between them to feed pax from HSR to the Rental car facility and the Ventura line etc. There are about 540 acres of empty land east side of the Airport, former Lockheed property, that have a lot of potential for rail/air related business.

    A lot may, or may not, happen in the next ten years.

    Joey Reply:

    So people from the far reaches of the San Fernando Valley are going to drive to a bus stop and take the bus to downtown Burbank instead of just driving to downtown Burbank?

    Connecting transit is more for destination passengers (again!) than origin passengers. Is it inconcievable that people might want to get to North Hollywood or Los Angeles Valley College or the judicial complex near Van Nuys or Warner Center?Though given how 101 backs up, it’s not inconceivable that some origin passengers might park and take the Orange Line.

    Again, I am trying to maximize the total ridership of the station, which includes people driving, getting dropped off, taking a taxi, renting a car, taking transit, biking, or waking both to and from the station. The airport location is marginally better for some of those riders but much worse for others.

    And as a nitpick, BUR does not serve Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, or Boston. Burbank is a small airport – nearly 50% of its passengers are going to places that will be served by HSR. The small number of passengers who connect to the airport will already have to take a shuttle bus – a slightly longer bus ride is probably not significant compared to the transfer penalty.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How do they get to Los Angeles Valley College or Van Nuys or Warner Center now? The people who use Los Angeles Valley College or who want to go to or from Van Nuys or Warner Center along with the people in Pocoima and Canoga Park and Chatsworth looked at all the places people could be coming from or going to and decided that overall they want their one and only HSR station to be at the airport.

    Joe Reply:

    Downtown BUR, from personal experience, is difficult to get into and out by car. Maximizing riders should include access.

    BUR is far easier to access. Easier to exit. It will be a regional station.

    Please tell us your experiences driving in Burbank. Why is that a better place to access?

    Joey Reply:

    It’s a better place to access because not everyone will be arriving or departing by car.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The buses that can go to the station downtown can just as easily go to the station at the airport.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Paul Dyson: “The not yet constructed ‘Antonovich’ platform for Metrolink will be redundant and be demolished.”

    Seriously, the person who thought that calling the junction where the Antelope Valley line branches off from the LOSSAN the “Antelope Valley” junction when its “proper name” is the Burbank junction, figures that it clarifies what they are arguing to to a Metrolink platform as the “Antonovich platform”?

    I have no idea whether this is referring to downtown Burbank or Bob Hope – N Hollywood, but rather than either being rendered redundant by HSR, both will be made more useful. Bob Hope – N Hollywood will need to be moved to accommodate the HSR, which way depending on whether the existing Antelope Valley track is moved to the east or the west to make room, but with a modern platform that should only be a matter of placing new footings. Its more likely that older Metrolink platforms will have to be demolished and replaced by more modern platforms.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Ted: “Burbank Intergalactic …”

    Note that the references to “San Jose Intergalactic” refers to the efforts to have the HSR pass through San Jose (and in the Bay to Basin, terminate at San Jose) to connect with the Caltrain, the Capitol, the ACE, BART and I’m guessing probably a light rail line or two.

    Calling Burbank HSR “Burbank Intergalactic” because it will be the southern IOS terminus until LA US is ready and will offer a connection to the Antelope Valley line to the lower San Fernando Valley and to Burbank (and through to LA US until the HSR can run through to LA US) … is taking hyperbole that at least carries a grain of truth (after all, if San Jose became aware of a planned Northern California stop for the Galactic Express 999 you can bet they would make a run at it), into just hyperbole for the sake of being cute.

    Joey Reply:

    The buses that can go to the station downtown can just as easily go to the station at the airport.

    Yes they can, but it’s more cost effective to send them downtown, since downtown will generate more local ridership than the airport.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The San Jose Intergalactic is important because someday there will be a BART station there.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If there aren’t enough people who want to use the bus to get to the HSR station that it’s not cost effective to send the bus to the HSR station there aren’t enough of them to worry about whether or not they will tolerate transferring to another bus in downtown or Metrolink to get to the HSR station out at the airport.

    Joey Reply:

    I never said there wouldn’t be enough bus riders to justify sending them to the station. Consolidating transit hubs benefits all riders – if HSR and downtown are separate, you need to build two separate bus lines. They will both have less demand which means reduced frequency and increased operating costs. If they are together then you only need to build one line and the higher combined demand will increase frequency and lower operating costs.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I don’t know if we’ll be successful but Burbank will be doing everything possible to make sure the new HSR station is NOT a terminus. There ought to be a way to get the trains to LAUS and beyond (Caltrain anyone) until a dedicated line is built.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Bruce: “Not yet constructed” should have been a clue.
    I think we need some definitions here. There are 4 different station sites in Burbank being discussed.
    1. Existing downtown station, SE of Burbank Junction, serves Metrolink AV and VC.
    2. Existing Burbank Airport Station on VC line, Amtrak, Surfliner and Metrolink VC.
    3. Proposed Metrolink station W of N. Hollywood Way on AV line. Actually straddles Burbank/Los Angeles city line. In advanced planning. Single platform only.
    4. Proposed BUR HSR station E of N. Hollywood Way which we hope will be combined HSR/Metrolink. When built I doubt if Metrolink or whatever it is then will go further than Princessa.

    Hope that helps….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The parking garage next to the station will lower demand for the bus because very very few people want to leave their car at home and get on a bus to go to a parking garage. The parking garage next to the station will lower the demand for the station because people who won’t be caught dead on a bus but might consider a train will fly to places they could take HSR because the parking fees and airfare is lower than the parking fees in the very expensive garage and the train fare. Alternately the people who won’t get on a bus won’t be downtown either because the people who will pay the high parking fees to get on the train are out competing them for parking downtown. The people in and around Burbank looked at all the myriad origins and destinations and decided that putting the HSR station at the airport was the better choice. Not every station needs to be downtown and Burbank may be one of those places.

    jonathan Reply:

    BruceMcF:

    Regarding “San Jose Intergalactic”: you’re wrong. Just wrong. The appelation sticks because of the outrageously excessive plan: *multiple* 400m *elevated* HSR platforms, underneath a Signature Dome, with “legacy” trains using the 6 plaforms underneath.

    Sane people might ask why San Jose needs so many platforms. I guess San Jose has such an inferiority complex, it needs to compare itself to Berlin Hbf, or something.

    Joey Reply:

    1) The city of Burbank disfavored the downtown location because it was inconsistent with their redevelopment plans. You can read about it in the AA.

    2) How much does it actually cost to build a garage? Do you have any data on how this would affect parking prices?

    3) The EIR seems to suggest that the Buena Vista station site (BUR north) will get some redevelopment. Doesn’t that imply that you would need a garage there too and not just a surface lot? In truth there’s not a lot of surface lot near the station anyway – you’d need to have a parking shuttle either way.

    4) LA region traffic means that it is likely time effective for many people to take transit rather than driving. The Orange Line is fast and frequent and may get converted to light rail at some point. There’s empty ROW between North Hollywood and downtown Butrbank. The Buena Vista station site does not allow a transfer to the Ventura County line / Surfliner North.

    5) You’re still only considering origin passengers. The Buena Vista station site would allow arriving passengers to rent a car or take a taxi, but not everyone wants, or has, to do that. This is where the transit connections are so important.

    Joey Reply:

    By your logic would it be better if the Acelas stopped at Norton Heights or Darien rather than Stamford? There’s much more room for parking there.

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker? Logic??

    Joe Reply:

    Palo Alto estimated a parking structure costs the city 60,000 per parking spot.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Sending the Red Line to BUR is anti-HSR, because it improves transit connectivity to a competing mode of transportation. This is similar to the dip in KTX ridership that followed the opening of Seoul’s Line 9, which serves Gimpo.

    jonathan Reply:

    Palo Alto land prices are .. exteme, for almost anywhere in the US.
    not as expensive as VC-firm real estate on Sand Hill, true; but still outrageous, by most people’s standards. Including Mr. cant-tell-an-upper-bound-from-a-lower-bound Joe.

    Which reminds me: just *WHAT* fiield of science doesnt’ distinguish between upper-bounds and lower-bionds? Could it be (shudder) that you have different standards of honesty, integrity, and basic decency, for this blog, versus your career as a “scientist”?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Alon, we could throw a big rock in the pool and speculate that BUR will cease to exist. HSR will connect to a revitalized Palmdale Airport. The BUR terminal needs to be rebuilt anyway, the neighbors don’t like the airport there. The east west runway is short (and occasionally exciting), all together not the best spot for a modern facility. Maybe…..

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So Burbank, silly silly Burbank, wrote down why they don’t want a station and it’s associated parking garages in downtown. Silly Burbank. They coulda had people who won’t get on buses parking downtown to go someplace other than Burbank!

    The usual numbers bandied about are 5,000 for a parking space in lot and 40,000 to 60,000 for a garage depending on how many levels etc. Amortize that over 30 years. How much does parking cost? Parking lot doesn’t have stairs to be cleaned, exit signs to be maintained, as much security staff or lighting. How much does parking cost when amortizing the space costs ten times as much and the staffing and utilities are higher?

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker: I’m actually now skeptical that the Buena Vista location would allow just a parking lot, at least without a parking shuttle, which would make it a moot point anyway. There’s more room for a larger, wider, flatter structure, but it’s not just open land and apparently there are some redevelopment plans for the area.

    Joe Reply:

    60k per spot. If you build in downtown the cost is in tens of thousands per space.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    jonathan: ” BruceMcF: Regarding “San Jose Intergalactic”: you’re wrong. Just wrong. The appelation sticks because of the outrageously excessive plan: *multiple* 400m *elevated* HSR platforms, underneath a Signature Dome, with “legacy” trains using the 6 plaforms underneath.”

    How does any of that make me wrong regarding the comparison between San Jose’s plan for San Jose Station and the prospective Burbank HSR? It sounds to me like you added additional reasons why blindly the phrase from San Jose to Burbank HSR is silly.

    “I think we need some definitions here. There are 4 different station sites in Burbank being discussed.
    1. Existing downtown station, SE of Burbank Junction, serves Metrolink AV and VC.
    2. Existing Burbank Airport Station on VC line, Amtrak, Surfliner and Metrolink VC.
    3. Proposed Metrolink station W of N. Hollywood Way on AV line. Actually straddles Burbank/Los Angeles city line. In advanced planning. Single platform only.
    4. Proposed BUR HSR station E of N. Hollywood Way which we hope will be combined HSR/Metrolink. When built I doubt if Metrolink or whatever it is then will go further than Princessa.

    Hope that helps….”

    None of (1), (2) or (3) become redundant when (4) goes in. (1) avoids a rework to connect its platforms with however they would have ended up squeezing both an HSR station and dedicated Express through tracks through there, (2) keeps on doing what its doing, and (3) goes up substantially in utility …

    … which still leaves it as clear as much where this supposed redundant infrastructure is located. The only one where a poured concrete platform would have to be demolished is the one that isn’t built yet, so all they have to do is design it to be built as a modern platform on footings, and and she’ll be right.

    Joey Reply:

    60k per spot. If you build in downtown the cost is in tens of thousands per space.

    And build at the Buena Vista site and it will cost … also tens of thousands per space? Like I mentioned, there’s no room for large amounts of surface parking there, not that surface parking is a particularly good use of land near an urban or suburban station anyway.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    So Bruce, when we open 4 and Metrolink trains are stopping there, how does 3 go up in utility when trains are no longer stopping there? A station is not just a platform, there are such appurtenances as access roads, bus shelters, signs, ticket machines etc. And the platform doesn’t pick it self up and move on its own. “all they have to do is” sounds like a true academic. Try looking up “redundant”. While you’re at it look up money, taxes, scarce resources capable of alternative uses, etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The land between the runways and the tracks is nearly worthless for anything other than parking. It’s next to a runway.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, Paul, ticket machines, which proximity to an HSR platform does not render redundant. Bus shelters and access roads both become more useful through proximity to a HSR platforms, not less.

    As far as this: “So Bruce, when we open 4 and Metrolink trains are stopping there,”
    … which is to say, accessing Burbank-Bob Hope HSR via the N Hollywood Way station ///

    “… how does 3 go up in utility when trains are no longer stopping there?”
    … but you just said earlier in the sentence that they WOULD be stopping there.

    Or do you imagine that the Metrolink trains will jump across from the Antelope Valley track, onto the HSR track to use the HSR platform, and then jump back across onto the Antelope Valley track to continue up or down the Antelope Valley line?

    “Antelope” is the name of the Valley at the northern end of the rail corridor, not a description of the leaping abilities of the trains.

    Since they are not going to be on the same tracks as the HSR in that segment, they’ll need a platform at N Hollywood Way. And as long as they look ahead when they are designing it, they’ll already have one.

    And yes, OF COURSE it will require moving to the east or west side of the corridor, depending on which side the track for the Antelope Valley line is relocated to, just as Sun Valley and Sylmar are likely to have to relocate their platforms.

    However, if the final design of the platform is completed knowing that the platform will hopefully have to be shifted to one side of the corridor or the other within the decade, then when the time comes to shift the alignment of the Antelope Valley tracks within the corridor, that should be the easiest of the three platforms to move.

    Unlike the other two, it won’t have been designed assuming that its free to use all of the space from the current track edge to the edge of the corridor.

    Joey Reply:

    The land between the runways and the tracks is nearly worthless for anything other than parking. It’s next to a runway.

    The cluster of hotels and office buildings to the southeast of the airport tells a different story. Ditto Century BLVD at LAX.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, adirondacker12800, and there’s also the point that Burbank-Bob Hope HSR may initially need more parking when it is the terminus of the IOS than when the HSR is able to run through to LA-US. As they note, “As mentioned above, the selected station site for the IOS would operate as a temporary terminus with the IOS in 2022 until HSR operations are extended to LAUS in 2029. This would require investment in temporary parking facilities, and related services. Co-locating the HSR station near Bob Hope Airport would provide the opportunity for investments in station area improvements and temporary parking, which could be beneficial to the airport as well. The parking demand at the SFV IOS Station is likely to be higher than that needed for Phase 1 buildout. However, due to the adjacent intermodal connectivity at this location, the Burbank Airport Station would provide the opportunity for a shared parking program with the Airport, thus potentially reducing the number of new parking spaces by the greatest extent when compared to the other SFV IOS Stations. “

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then why isn’t the land northeast of the runaways just brimming with things?

    Joey Reply:

    Because there’s no reason for anyone to build anything there right now. That may change slightly with the opening of the Metrolink station and would change somewhat with HSR.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @adirondacker12800 ~ because availability of a temporary excess amount of parking until a large project is completed is not that high a priority in choosing a location for most developments.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Neither is where bus runs, not in the suburbs anyway. Make the parking so expensive it’s cheaper to drive to Bakersfield or Anaheim the suburbanites who live in the San Fernando Valley and all own cars drive instead. It does mean there has to be a lot less parking. And a lot less train. Because they are out on the highway.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Adi again, you remark on the empty property NE of the runways. You are probably referring to the Lockheed B-6 site which has been an ongoing issue between the City and the Airport for two decades, as is the need/desire for a new terminal. The site will most likely now be sold by the airport and is the subject of planning applications. Best look at the City and Airport websites if you are really interested.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The 165 connects to Burbank from Metrolink Burbank – Bob Hope Airport, and the 794 serves the terminal which is, of course connected to the RITC and that same Metrolink station, while the 94, 168 and 222 connect to the location of the coming Metrolink Bob Hope Airport “N San San Fernando Blvd”.

    So while neither is where “bus runs”, according to some mental model of LA/Burbank, both are where actual buses actually runs.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The ones that say “height restriction” on them? Gonna be difficult to build 20 story TOD-y-licious mixed used towers there.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Its true that if you were picking a mindless cookie cutter approach to Transit Oriented Development, picking on based on 20 story mixed use towers wouldn’t make much sense in an area where you can’t build twenty stories high.

    So if directly pursuing appropriate TOD design for the area is not on the table, it would be important to pick one of the mindless cookie cutter approaches to Transit Oriented Development that includes buildings of the height that they are allowed to build.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Mindlessly putting the train station downtown is equally cookie cutter.
    The San Fernando Valley is suburban, cheap easy parking is more important to them than having the station downtown. If they have the intercity train station near the intercity airport that works better for the non-automobile methods of getting to either, for them. Instead of having a six story parking garage downtown they can use the space for a destination the locals will want to go to more often.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Why are you flipping back and forth between arguing for the San Fernando Blvd – Bob Hope location and arguing against it?

    I argued that the planned HSR location at BHA / San Fernando Blvd is fine, so you flipped to arguing that its not, because the San Fernando Line wouldn’t allow in increase in frequency from the current 14 local services and one express per day, and because height restrictions at the airport wouldn’t allow building twenty foot towers which are associated with TOD in areas where twenty foot towers make sense.

    But the planned alignment would allow three locals each way per hour and one express each way per hour, which would be more service in four hours than the line currently gets all day, and it doesn’t matter for the planned TOD at the location behind the airport if there’s a height restriction near the airport, because TOD does not depend on building twenty story towers. TOD would involve building twenty story towers WHERE TWENTY STORY TOWERS ARE APPROPRIATE … if six story buildings are appropriate, you can do TOD with six story buildings.

    So I’m not persuaded by your objections to the location behind the airport or the planned alignment for that section. It seems fine to me.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s 1.7 million people in the San Fernando Valley. if you think four trains an hour is good enough… okay. If you are hoping to make Metrolink into something like the mediocre service Metra provides there’s gonna be more than 4 trains an hour passing through Glendale, even though downtown LA isn’t the Loop. If you are hoping for it to be a more lightly traveled version of the New Haven Line, because downtown LA isn’t Manhattan, you need more than four trains an hour.
    Burbank isn’t Manhattan, it isn’t the Loop, it isn’t even Stamford and probably never will be. The people in the San Fernando Valley looked at the 287 different things that can happen at an HSR station and decided that having that happen at the airport, just a few minutes outside of downtown Burbank, was the best thing to do. LA’s BWI or Metropark or Route 128. That’s okay because it’s out in the suburbs where almost everybody has a car and the people who don’t have cars have the skills to transfer to a second bus to get to the HSR station.

    If they don’t go out and build another smaller Warner Center at the airport there aren’t going to be enough origins and destination out there to make it any different than the rest of the Valley where almost everybody drives everywhere because the congestion isn’t that bad and parking is easy. If in 100 years Downtown Burbank resembles downtown Stamford they can have some of the HSR trains stop there.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Through GLENDALE?

    How do you jump from the the capacity to serve locals on the Antelope Valley branch past the Burbank junction to pretending I said the capacity of all services past GLENDALE should be four trains per hour?

    I specified explicitly the number of current services per day on the line I was talking about … how could you see that I said 14 local services per day at present and for any briefest instant in time confuse the Antelope Valley branch line with the LOSSAN through Glendale?

    And your description of the Valley seems like you are stuck in a time warp. According to your description of the valley, the car commute shares in this map should be sold dark blue all across the LA parts of the Valley, and the transit commute shares should be basically white.

    http://la2b.org/2012/03/27/commuter-mode-choice-2/

    I hope its the drink, since if that’s it, its possible to sober up.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many of those non automobile commuters are interested in how much parking there is in downtown Burbank. Or where they work?
    How many of them are gonna get the urge to get on the bus to visit the parking garage for the HSR station whether that’s in Downtown Burbank or at the airport? Put the parking garage downtown and that’s the destination they have in that block. How many of the give a fuck where the suburban HSR station is because it’s easier for them to get to Union Station? Especially when they are traveling south. How badly is the single track line that is delicately balanced for four trains an hour fucked when they need five? Or 6, How badly does it fuck the merge with the double tracked line it merges with? How badly is fucked during rush hour when someone gets the urge to be arrested?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    adirondacker12800: “How many of those non automobile commuters are interested in how much parking there is in downtown Burbank. Or where they work?”

    I think you have me confused with Paul. Its Paul that you are arguing against putting the HSR station in downtown Burbank, and saying that the HSR at the airport is fine.

    For me, ever since I entered the discussion to take the same position, that the HSR airport location is fine, you’ve been arguing against putting the HSR at the airport, saying that there are no TOD development opportunities there and that the Antelope Valley locals somehow need more than four trains per hour. As in:

    “How badly is the single track line that is delicately balanced for four trains an hour fucked when they need five? Or 6,”

    Why would 5 or 6 locals ever be required to serve Sylmar and local service in Santa Clarita plus a handful of smaller stations? You just aren’t thinking straight here … push transit mode share in Santa Clarita to 50%, and you still don’t need more than four locals per hour.

    After all, if there *was* substantially more demand, it would be straightforward to have double track from “independent utility” junction with the Antelope Valley line to Santa Clarita and electrify one of the tracks for an electric express from Santa Clarita that connects to the HSR for the tunnel and runs through to Bob Hope HSR and LAUS would be straightforward. The HSR is running on its own alignment between the lower tunnel and the upper pair of tunnels, and there’s room in the AV corridor itself.

    I assume your next objection will shift the goalpost on your own hypothetical that there is this massive increase in transit demand in Sylmar and Santa Clarita and object to that electric express on the basis of there not being enough demand to justify the electrification of a passenger track from the junction of the HSR corridor with the AV line through to Santa Clarita station. in which case, if there isn’t enough passenger demand to justify that project, then a capacity for four trains per hour is ample.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There aren’t any TOD opportunities at the airport

    adirondacker12800 Reply:
    July 2nd, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    The land between the runways and the tracks is nearly worthless for anything other than parking. It’s next to a runway.

    There’s a limited amount of airport motel a small airport can support. There’s a limited amount of bus traffic the few airport motels are going to generate. I’d hazard a guess that people who use the airport motel are using the airport motel because it’s close to the car rentals. Because people who are going to spend their time car free in Burbank use the hotel close to things other than airport terminal and car rental agencies. Which isn’t so close to the noisy runways.

    Airport motel is about the only thing you can put next to the runway besides parking, car rental agencies. and air freight. Everybody else who isn’t stone cold deaf wants to get away from the airport as fast as possible. The people who are inclined to go to downtown Burbank to go to Woolworth’s, whether by bus or car or bicycle very very rarely get the urge to go there to spend some time in a parking garage. Or the people who live in downtown Burbank and can walk there. The people who brave going into Downtown Burbank by car … have cars … and where the parking for the train is placed is less important to them. Their main concern is going to be how much it costs to park. Putting a garage in downtown doesn’t make them want to get on the bus and go to Woolworth’s. Putting Borders Bookstore next to Woolworth’s where the parking garage would have been might entice them. Putting cheap parking next to the intercity train station will make it more likely they will use the intercity train compared to putting expensive parking next to the intercity train station. The ones who own cars, who do take the bus into downtown Burbank, are very likely to want to drive when they have luggage. Or will call a cab. Just like they do when they fly today.

    It’s okay to put the suburban intercity train station someplace where it’s going to be cheap to park. It’s the suburbs. That suburbanites drive almost everywhere is not going to change very fast or very much. 50 years from now when it’s changed a bit and there are 10 intercity trains departing Union Station for points north half of them can stop in downtown and half of them can stop at the airport. Well 20 percent of the trains at the airport and 20 percent downtown. Except for people coming and going for business there’s not a whole lot to do in the San Fernando Valley that you can’t do in your hometown suburb. The few thing out there, aren’t at the airport and they aren’t in downtown Burbank. That’s not going to change because the intercity train station is downtown.

    Suburban train stations have different needs than urban ones. They serve different markets than urban ones. The people in and around Burbank looked at everything and decided that overall it’s better to put the intercity train station at the airport.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Romans managed to be relatively unbrittle. Partly because they had sea transport and river transport and canals here and there and an excellent road system. They didn’t depend on one mode.

    jonathan Reply:

    And the world’s best military, and no qualms about taking, or killing, hostages.

    And as it turned out, they were *very* brittle as their military ceased being a citizen army and became an army of barbarians (who, if they improbably survived a 20-year enlistment, might become citizens.

    And the relevance to HSR is?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Now everyone be nice. You’re supposed to be helping me out with suggestions as to locations and facilities at Burbank. Existing arrangements are far from ideal. We have a joint workshop with the City Council, Transportation Commission and CHSRA in a few weeks. I need some ammo.

    jimsf Reply:

    If the hsr station is on the opposite side of the airport from the new transit center would the best choice be an airtrain people mover in a loop terminals–rental car area–transit center–parking garage– hsr station–terminals

    Joey Reply:

    BUR is a pretty small airport and it very well might loose half of its traffic to HSR. I don’t think the cost of an actual people mover is justified. A frequent shuttle bus maybe.

    Joe Reply:

    JimSf. A people mover would work like at DFW or IAD or a set of propane buses which shuttle people around this triangular area such as at SFO or SJC use buses to get people around terminals. The BUR transit station, airport and HSR station.

    Funny that large airports have terminals so distant users have to ride movers. At BUR the distances are done how insurmountable.

    Michael Reply:

    SFO does have a peoplemover that connects the terminals to BART, airport back offices, and the consolidated rental car facility. Maybe one day it will also connect to Caltrain and HSR.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Paul, the San Fernando Valley isn’t Manhattan or the Loop. It’s not even Philadelphia or San Francisco. Ya’ have to get together and make the compromises that gets the most people out of their cars and out of airplanes for intercity trips. Since the Valley is mostly suburban having a station at the airport where all the services besides the city bus can be consolidated might be the lesser of all the evils.
    …. and if Metrolink and HSR go for compatibility 50 years from now when there’s fairly frequent HSR service one or two of trains an hour to and from San Francisco can stop downtown…. And one an hour to Sacramento and one an hour to Las Vegas and one an hour to Phoenix and one or two an hour to San Diego….

    Joey Reply:

    Yes, compatibility is the best policy because it means that the actual operating pattern can be determined by service needs and not clueless bureaucrats or people arguing on the internet.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Compatibility is number one objective. I have no desire to see a Burbank terminus and diesel shuttles. We need Electrolink at least to LAUS with a couple of wired platform tracks for interim service. Also wires to Princessa to serve the stub of the AV line. Of course UP will get excited about that. Maybe by then their will be some kind of hybrid capability which will limit the amount of catenary needed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If it’s electrified just send the HSR train to Union Station.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @jimsf ~ it depends on whether there is another fixed guideway available.

    The advantage of co-locating with the coming Metrolink Bob Hope – N. San Fernando station (not its “proper name”, but its proper name causes confusion with the Metrolink Station on W Empire, being not far from N Hollywood Av itself) is that with the people mover between the RITC and the airport terminal, there are two points to connect, not three, so if there is some form of fixed-guideway, whether an airtrain, Aerobus or extension of a longer light rail corridor, then routing it so that there is a stop for he RITC and Metrolink Burbank – BHA and a stop to serve the co-located Burbank HSR and Metrolink Bob Hope – N. San Fernando (and associated sheltered bus stops at both Metrolink stations) kills multiple connection birds with one stone.

    And if its not completed by the Burbank HSR opens, there is still the shuttle which can stop at the doors of the Metrolink BHA – N San Fernando Blvd, Burbank HSR stations, the RITC and Metrolink Burbank – BHA.

    And a common route can run Metro North Hollywood / Metrolink Burbank – BHA / Metrolink BHA – N San Fernando and back providing a range of useful connections where the airport itself may well rank quite low down the list. Indeed, if there wasn’t a fixed guideway to Metro N. Hollywood, it would seem to make sense to keep running a shuttle out there anyway, even if there was a people mover of some sort between the N San Fernando stuff out the back of the airport and the W Empire stuff near the terminal entrances.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Paul Dyson: “Compatibility is number one objective. I have no desire to see a Burbank terminus and diesel shuttles.”

    But the Burbank terminus is just transitory. If Bay to Basin were stalled, it would still make sense to push ahead with the southern bookend work to start running to the real southern terminus at Anaheim.

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker, Paul: Slightly problematic as UP has mandated a non-HSR, non-electrified track between Palmdale and LA. Not that adding a third track to the ROW would be that big a deal…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Burbank – Airport North and Burbank – Airport South? East Burbank Airport and South Burbank Airport? West Burbank – Airport and North Burbank – Airport? Just Airport South and Airport North or Airport East? Hooterville and Pixley? Nah there is a Pixley in Tulare County. San Ronaldo and Laffer? It’s Bob Hope Airport. Crosby and Lamour?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    One track isn’t enough capacity unless you are aspiring to keep the current Metrolink schedule forever and ever.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Joey, actually it’s a MoU with UP, I think not permanently binding. They don’t own the track and as long as they have clearance they should have no complaint. Back to the high pantograph debate. Or they can be bought out for their through trains and run them via Cajon. And as for station names, Adi, you can be sure Antonovich will try and get his name on something, even if this useless git did nothing for rail the first thirty years of his reign.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Bruce, “transitory” could mean a decade or more while the gaps are filled. Better to push for compatibility and through running, even at 80 – 100mph, and get people to where they want to go. No good reason to end the wires at Anaheim. OC service is built around Laguna Niguel.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Well, adirondacker12800, there’s no need to cut back the existing passing track on the Antelope Valley line, between Sun Valley and Sylmar station, since its in a section that has neither Metrolink nor HSR platforms. It would need to be moved to whichever side of the corridor the Antelope Valley line is moving to, but the HSR should be happy to do that to get corridor mostly at grade except for some overpasses.

    And if the express only ever runs to Palmdale when the HSR corridor is in nightly curfew (if it does so then), there’s capacity for higher frequency of service on the existing Antelope Valley line with locals LAUS to Lancaster and expresses Anaheim to Santa Clarita.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    When HSR is built Princessa to Palmdale will be freight only.
    Metro is working on double track Brighton to Sylmar. If CHSRA is serious about advancing construction from Burbank this may be put on hold.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why do the commuter trains have a “side”? Is it to keep their cooties off the intercity trains? Commuter train cooties don’t get on the intercity trains, they are highly evolved to only infest commuter trains.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Paul,

    The location for the Burbank HSR station should be Front Street just north of Magnolia.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Paul: “Bruce, “transitory” could mean a decade or more while the gaps are filled.”

    How long until the IOS gets running is subject to a lot of uncertainty.

    However, the extension to LA Union Station has no functional dependence on whether the train runs through to the Bay or you catch a connection to the Bay. And I don’t think it’s realistic to assume that HSR will be terminating at Burbank airport for a decade for want of a couple of year’s work to get it through to LA Union Station. Opening the IOS starts the pressure building to connect through, if it hasn’t started building during construction of the last IOS segment.

    Ted: Its not Paul you have to convince, its the political leadership in Burbank that fought to keep the HSR out of downtown Burbank.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    adirondacker12800: They could run an express service through to the HSR platforms if they like, if it skips Sylmar and Sun Valley, but putting the Metrolink Sylmar and Sun Valley platforms on the HSR corridor would reduce capacity and slow the HSR services.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    One track isn’t enough capacity unless you are aspiring to keep the current Metrolink schedule forever and ever.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Sun Valley will most likely close when Burbank Airport North opens, it’s the weakest station on the Metrolink system.
    BTW Bruce, the street you refer to frequently is Hollywood Way, not Hollywood Avenue. And it is North Hollywood Way, because it is north of Olive Avenue, nothing to do with “North Hollywood”.
    You’re a dreamer if you think it will only be “a couple of years” to construct HSR Burbank to LAUS. You need to get acquainted with the L.A. River fanatics and a bunch of other issues. If we build Burbank to Palmdale and get some real utility from it by electrifying Burbank to Laguna Niguel then we can cheerfully wait for the rest of the system to be built. I’d say at least a decade.

    Joe Reply:

    “Burbank to Laguna Niguel then we can cheerfully wait for the rest of the system to be built. ”

    Cheerfully wait is a interesting comment. I expect some commuter rail advocates would argue the gap building can be pushed back 20 or 40 years and repurpose finding for more LA Basin work.

    Mr. DeLeon had to explain his “tumbleweed” comment to his peers in the CV. I think the next steps will involve the CV. It’s the only way it will happen.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Opponents outnumber Cheerleaders in the Valley.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Paul: “You’re a dreamer if you think it will only be ‘a couple of years’ to construct HSR Burbank to LAUS.”

    Just a political pragmatist who has seen a number of tipping points get passed in my day. The political obstacles that they couldn’t overcome by asking nicely as part of the Bookends work when all the advantages lie with the obstructionists are going to be steamrollered when the obstructionists are standing between the IOS early terminus and the actual operating HSR being able to get to LA Union Station. No way that takes a decade.

    One hopes as many problems are solved in asking nicely mode, since when things go into steamroller mode, that also tends to steamroll legitimate technical concerns.

    And however long it takes, there’s no reason to get worked up into a lather over running the all-stations service of the Antelope Valley line on the freight line indefinitely, so whether its four or ten years is a moot point.

    “BTW Bruce, the street you refer to frequently is Hollywood Way, not Hollywood Avenue.”
    Happy I wrote with sufficient clarity that you knew which street I was talking about, unlike someone who thinks that Ansomethingvich Station is a clear way to explain what they are talking about. I’ll just call the damn BHA-SFBlvd.

    “Sun Valley will most likely close when Burbank Airport North opens, it’s the weakest station on the Metrolink system.”
    That’s good to hear, that cuts the harder-to-move stations on the shared part of the corridor from two to one. And if they get rid of that station, they could extend the two track section all the way to Metrolink BHA-SFBlvd.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes the few people who the use station now can tell all their neighbors how driving to the expensive parking garage in Downtown Burbank makes getting to Downtown Burbank so much easier.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Subways in Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taipei, for a start.

  10. Alon Levy
    Jul 1st, 2014 at 23:29
    #10

    Off-off-topic: this is part of what I mean when I talk about the Anglosphere as a coherent unit.

    http://www.vox.com/2014/7/1/5860484/map-the-193-foreign-countries-the-nsa-spies-on-and-the-4-it-doesnt

    Eric Reply:

    Cute, but I’m not really sure how this is connected to the market for infrastructure construction.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It’s not; for the infrastructure bit, there are the costs of recent actual road and proposed subway tunnels in Australia, which aren’t exactly Spanish. The NSA bit is entirely about needling Jonathan.

    jonathan Reply:

    You need to try harder, Alon. Knowing somthing about the history of NSA data-gathering in Oz and NZ might help, too ;)

    I mean, really. If Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber said one thing, and the OECD said another, you”d beleive Rush… right?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Why would I know what Rush Limbaugh says? ;)

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Alon, did you just realize this or did the Iraq War tip you off?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Canada didn’t participate in the Iraq War.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    No, but Canada’s largest trading partner is the US and they want the dollar to stay the world reserve currency as much as the British or Aussies. Besides, the US, Australia, and Canada are really just three versions of the same country.

    jonathan Reply:

    “Besides, the US, Australia, and Canada are really just three versions of the same country.”

    That is a *profoundly* ignorant and stupid statement.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    How many years have you lived in both Australia and the US to make the comparison?

    I’ve lived a decade in each, more in one of the two, and I think its BS, but if you have a couple of decades experience living in each, maybe you’ve got more in-depth local knowledge than I do.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Canada as a nation was more or less designed as a response by the UK to the American Revolution. Although each country in Alon’s “anglosphere” has its own unique characteristics, they are all siblings from the same parent. It’s important to realize Britain has a hybrid political system itself. In all of the successor nations, different parts of this same gene or expressed, but all are carried on.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I object to your use of the word “designed.” The formation of English Canada is a lot more spontaneous than you imply – the Loyalists who were politically cleansed from the US needed a place to go, and the nearest place was Canada. The main event galvanizing (Anglo-)Canadian nationalism, the War of 1812, wasn’t a British design either.

    There’s a huge difference between saying that the Anglosphere’s use of English common law and its more individualist interest group system both lead to less effective governance, and saying that the US, Canada, and Australia are basically the same.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They didn’t get around to becoming something that resembles what we think of as Canada until 1867 and Newfoundland didn’t get around to joining until 1949

    synonymouse Reply:

    We got rid of the monarchy and the titled and landed gentry – the primary accomplishment of the breakaway.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Syn, do you really think so? Maybe the titles have gone but the class system remains, not to mention the concentration of wealth.
    What I find hilarious are the media references to “The Queen”. Not the queen of England, just “The Queen”. As if there are no other monarchies around the world.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I would highly recommend Alan Taylor’s “the Civil War of 1812″ to understand the length the Crown learned from its mistakes with the US to produce a more collaborative and genteel colony and Commonwealth.

    In the end, the four siblings remain the US, Canada, Australia and South Africa as the remaining pieces of true creole republics and their viability going forward.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    …South Africa, but not New Zealand?

    What?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    New Zealand is still reaching full independence. It does meet the other criteria associated with Britian’s creole republics.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    …what?

    Key may be a lapdog, but a) he’s more an American lapdog than a British one, and b) he’s no more a lapdog than Harper.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It has nothing to do with Key. It has to do with the structure of the the New Zealand constitution.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    So, in other words, none, but you read about them in a book?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Canada wants the Canadian dollar to be weaker, especially compared to the US dollar, so that its exports become more competitive. Reserve currencies mean nothing to it; although Canada’s culture is more like the US’s than Canadians would like to admit, Canadians don’t brag about US global status the way Americans do.

  11. jimsf
    Jul 2nd, 2014 at 10:31
    #11

    I knew they were gonna find a way to accelerate the other segments. its all going to come together just fine. Yes there will be more delays, more lawsuits and so on, but in the end all that does it make the project, which will be completed as planned, more expensive.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    We can build all the segments simultaneously if we find new funding streams for them. Let’s see how much muscle the political establishment in Southern California has…

    Lewellan Reply:

    Whee! Happy! Everything completed as planned!
    Unicorns! Rainbows! Self-driving cars! Money growing on trees!

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The comment thread spambot theory gains weight.

  12. blankslate
    Jul 2nd, 2014 at 10:41
    #12

    So in 2020, is this what my trip from San Jose to LA will look like?

    San Jose – Stockton – Amtrak Bus – 2 hrs
    Stockton – Fresno – Amtrak San Joaquin – 2.5 hrs
    Fresno – Bakersfield – HSR – 40 min
    Bakersfield – Palmdale – Amtrak Bus – 1.5 hrs
    Palmdale – Burbank – HSR – 20 min
    Burbank – LA – Surfliner – 15 min

    Wow, only five transfers. Assuming an average transfer time 10 minutes, brings the grand total to 8 hours, only twice as long as driving! I’m sure glad I voted for this piece of **** back in ’08…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Can someone with more free time than me browse the blog archives and look for the post that says LA-SF will open in 2018?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    In 2020, blankslate will likely be able to take the San Joaquins from San Jose to Bakersfield with a short bus ride to Palmdale taking some service from to Los Angeles.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why would you take a 2 hour bus ride to take a 2 and half hour train ride when you could just take a three and half hour bus ride to Fresno?
    In 2022 when the section from Bakersfield to Palmdale opens you’ll be able to take the bus to Fresno and take one train all the way to Burbank. In 2023 when the electrification reaches to Los Angeles you’ll be able to take a bus to Fresno and take the train all the way to LA. In 2026 when the section between Fresno and San Jose opens you be able to take the train from San Jose to LA. It’s unfortunate it’s not all going to erupt instantaneously from the bosom of the earth but just like you can’t take the train from San Jose to LA until the ends are done you can’t take the train from San Jose to LA until the middle is done either.

    Clem Reply:

    when the section from Bakersfield to Palmdale opens you’ll be able to take the bus to Fresno and take one train all the way to Burbank.

    They’re only talking about fast-tracking Palmdale to Burbank. Bakersfield to Palmdale is still very much on the back burner, so the chances of it opening in 2022 are pretty much zero.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That doesn’t change that to get from LA to SF of vice versa the parts in the middle need to be completed along with the parts on the ends. Money fell out of the sky and the part in the middle was the part that was going to be ready to build before the money decided to fly away someplace else. California doesn’t want to spend the money there are plenty of places for it to perch before 2017.
    Ask Florida how well putting it off until the the mostest importantest part is ready is working out.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Though the order that different segments of the IOS are completed doesn’t imply a delay in finishing the IOS. If they build the lower San Fernando tunnel first, then Close the Gap, then build the connection from Santa Clarita through to the Antelope Valley, that could fit within the same viable project timeline (whatever that may be) for doing it purely north to south.

    IOS delay would be a consequence of Federal intercity rail grant funding staying in “oppose because Obama” lock, which doesn’t look like it will unlock until 2017 at the earliest, and its intrinsically uncertain what the prospects for it happening in 2017 will be.

    So its a good thing that California has something to build, so the time between now and 2017 doesn’t go to waste.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Nope, the HSR operations will not start until there is all electrified HSR corridor from Merced through to Burbank.

    In 2020, if the CnT funds allows the upgraded capacity between Oakland-JLS and San Jose, that could be:
    1: San Jose / Bakersfield, San Joaquin, running Rapid Rail on the HSR corridor from Merced to Bakersfield
    2: Bakersfield / LAUS, same Amtrak Bus as today.

    Or, if they prioritize the ACE extension to Merced instead, it could be:
    1: San Jose / Merced, ACE
    2. Merced / Bakersfield, San Joaquin, running Rapid Rail on the HSR corridor
    3: Bakersfield / LAUS, same Amtrak Bus as today.

    In 20xx, whenever the IOS launches, that would become:
    1: San Jose / Merced, via the San Joaquin or ACE
    2: Merced to Burbank, HSR
    3: Burbank to LAUS, Metrolink.

    One transfer to Metrolink for a quicker trip and no bus would be a clear upgrade.

    The question at hand is what happens between when the Close the Gap is completed but before the IOS is. Improving the Metrolink / Palmdale Express in speed and frequency with one of the two Palmdale to Burbank HSR sections would allow either the Metrolink to go to Bakersfield or the San Joaquin to go to LA Union Station.

    … and the proposal to do some of the tunneling for the Palmdale to Burbank section early would make that Palmdale to LAUS via both a faster and more frequent Express than is currently feasible.

    jonathan Reply:

    Nope, the HSR operations will not start until there is all electrified HSR corridor from Merced through to Burbank.

    Bruce,. that’s Mylnarik (sp) level craziness. Prop-1A -compliant , -funded construction, is underway i the Central Valley.

    Now, if you wish to make a distinction between a right-of-way with rails on it; and a Prop-1A compliant corridor ( the kind of thing which our local global-Internet village idiots, like “Hoe”) ,

    then…

    yes, CHSRA has funding for a “village-idiot” Initial Construction Segment. Which has no catenary Cannot run HSR trains. Cannot, in fact, run trains of *any kind*, because it has no signalling. *None*. None funded.

    Facts are such awkward things Aren’t they?

    Alan Reply:

    Yes, they are. And you continue to ignore them. I’ve pointed out to you repeatedly that the EIR for Fresno-Bakersfield specifically indicates the timeline for construction of that segment INCLUDING ELECTRIFICATION. I’ve also asked you, repeatedly, to explain how the Authority can operte the ICS as a test track–its initial function–without electrification and signals. You continue to duck the question, because you don’t like the answer.

    Just because the whole ball of wax isn’t wrapped up in the first construction contract doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.

    jonathan Reply:

    Alan, construction of he ICS does not include electrification. I
    t doesn’t even include signalling. There’s no money for it. No plan to find money. No identified funding sources.

    I see no point to your question. There’s nothing to respond to.

    Alan Reply:

    Jonathan, you’re full of it. Read the d*** EIR! We’re supposed to believe your delusions over the clearly stated plan in the approved document? There is no need to find the money yet, because it won’t be needed for a number of years–the tracks have to be built and laid before they can hang wire.

    As far as not answering my question–you’re a coward. You know damned well that I’m right, and you’re not man enough to admit it. They cannot use the ICS as a test track without wire and signals, and you know it. Act like a man and admit it.

    jonathan Reply:

    Alan,can you read what I write, or not?

    CHSRA has no funding to electrify the ICS. They have no funding to install a signalling system on the ICS. yes, the EIR includes electrification and signalling. California law *requires* the EIR to include those; CHSRA cannot ‘piece-meal” their way tyrough an EIR process by not including electrification in the EIR.

    CHSRA has no funding for electrification or signallng. CHSRA has no plan — no *dates* — for electrification or signalling.

    So, Alan, you’re not asking anything that *needs* an answer.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the law requires one for an HSR system. Not for a usable segment.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    They have dates for the electrification and signaling ~ its part of the works to complete for the IOS.

    Having it ready for service for some other user is a matter of doing it, but with the work in the EIS, there’s no obstacle to doing it if they reach a heads of agreement with the SJJPA on the issue. The first order of business is getting construction underway on the ICS … once it is, there’ll be ample time to sort out the details of how its going to be used between completion of the ICS and completion of the IOS.

    Alan Reply:

    Just so there’s no doubt that Jonny is lying, here’s the plain text from Volume I, page 2-113 of the Fresno-Bakersfield FEIR:

    CP 5 extends from the northern terminus of CP 1 in the Merced to Fresno Section (Avenue 17 in the city of Madera) to the southern terminus of CP 4 for the Fresno to Bakersfield Section (7th Standard Road south of the city of Shafter). CP 5 would include the railroad
    infrastructure, OCS, and positive train control and track and would be limited to the project
    footprint covered by CP 1, CP 2/3, and CP 4.

    Read this very carefully, Jonny: The “positive train control” IS THE SIGNAL SYSTEM. Is that clear enough for you? As far as the money goes–by the time we’re anywhere close to awarding CP 5, I’m sure the Authority will have determined how to best use the cap and trade funds to leverage the needed funding, and all will be explained (in little words for Jonny) in a subsequent business plan.

    jonathan Reply:

    “litlte words”? Here are some little words Alan seems to need assistance to understand

    *THE ICS DOES NOT CONSTRUCT ELECTRIFICATION*
    *THE ICS DOES NOT CONSTRUCT SIGNALLING*

    therefore there *IS NO ELECTRIFIATION OR SIGNALLING”on the ICS.
    yes, CHSRA *might* fund signalling or electrificaiton. But they have *NO PLANS* to do so.

    Alan, on the other hand, seems to think that reality will magially come to coincide with PR announements about how the ICS will be a “test track”. I’m sorry, Alan, but you need an adult to explain to you that PR annoucements often don’t come to pass. And more, that if the prognostications in a PR announcement *do* come to pass, that’s because active steps are taken to make them come to pass.

    Is the CHSRA doing *anyting* to make electrification of the ICS come to pass? No.
    is the CSHRA doing *aything* to make signalling on the ICS come to pass? No.

    Alan, do you need help understanding words like “Is” and “No”?
    (Note that EIRs which the Authority has completed, and which are legally required to include electrification, do not constitute current activity.)

    Okay, after writing that, i guess Alan probably *does* need help understanding the word “Is”.

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny, do you have to work at being an obnoxious lying asshole, or does it come naturally? I’m not talking about “PR announcements”, I’m talking about the published plans of the system.

    Is the CHSRA doing *anyting* to make electrification of the ICS come to pass?

    Yes. READ THE DAMNED EIR!

    *THE ICS DOES NOT CONSTRUCT SIGNALLING*

    Do you understand the phrase, “Positive Train Control”? THAT’S THE SIGNALLING, YOU TWIT.

    Do you understand the concepts of construction phasing and design-build contracts?

    Do you understand that a lot of people who are smarter than you understand these concepts, and are working to make it happen?

    Go ahead and live in your little delusional world. The rest of us live in reality. You can bury your head in your hands like a little 2-year-old and chant, “I’M NOT LISTENING” until you’re blue in the face, but the FACT of the matter is that electrification and signals are planned with the ICS, no matter what you say.

    And by the way, dimwit, the test track usage is not only stated in the EIR, not some “PR announcement”, it’s also evident to anyone who actually has a clue about how these things work.

    You’re still not man enough to admit being wrong.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    He’s holding onto a critique after events have passed it by. Where the funding was going to come from for the signaling included in the EIS was a live issue as recently as May. Its when the budget passed in June that it stopped being a live issue.

    Someone who may have been raising that point for a year or more may need a little time to get used to the fact that the point has been rendered obsolete by Gov. Brown’s success in getting an independent flow of funds for the project.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “There’s no money for it. No plan to find money. No identified funding sources.”

    Governor Brown fixed that for you ~ the CHSRA now has a funding source separate to whatever Federal grant money that it can obtain.

    jonathan Reply:

    CHSRA still hasn’t announced what they’re going to do with that funding.

    he fact remains that CHSRA’s Initial Construction Segment *DOES NOT8 construct eleectrification, and *DOES NOT* include construction or installation of a signalling system.

    Bruce, you might want to explain that to Alan, since it seems to be beyond his reading-comprehension.

    Alan Reply:

    Fuck you, Jonny. You’re too damned stupid to understand what people are explaining to you.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Why would I, when the point regarding whether the ICS included signaling or electrification stopped being a major issue last month?

    What remains an important issue is whether the EIS includes it, since if the ICS is constructed, completing the other elements in the EIS is ONLY a matter of funding, and funding at the scale of electrifying part of the ICS for testing or signalling all of the ICS for use by the San Joaquin is now available. OTOH, adding something that is NOT in the EIS would be more than just a matter of available funding, it would also required getting an EIS on the work completed.

    And, as Alan has repeatedly pointed out to you, both of those are in the two EIS, the one that has work already progressing and the other that received a record of decision just recently.

    By contrast, my preferred Bakersfield Express Bypass on 7th Standard Road would require going through an EIS process (though that wouldn’t delay work, since it would allow the through Bakersfield route to be completed with fewer impacts than the current EIS, and modifying the system design to reduce impacts is allowed, and would make the Close the Gap segment cheaper).

    Alan Reply:

    And just to reinforce Bruce’s point, a quick review of volume 1 of the Fresno-Bakersfield FEIS shows a discussion of electrification impacts in a number of places, and reaches the conclusion that the impacts are either negligible to begin with, or easily mitigated.

    It should also be pointed out that the CHSRA started publishing technical memoranda concerning the design of the electrification and signal systems five years ago, and the ground plans in the EIR’s clearly delineate locations for traction power facilities along the route. Obviously, in the view of certain people, these are nothing more than “PR releases”, and should not in any way be considered evidence that the Authority is building an electrified railroad.

    Alan Reply:

    One last thing…if the ICS is used for a day, a month, a year, or 5 years for conventional San Joaquin service, it will still have to be equipped with signals and PTC–the FRA surely would allow no less–and interlockings to get on and off the BNSF. So Jonathan’s raving about not installing signals is simply his fantasy, nothing more.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In theory they could do it without signals. In practice they won’t but they could.

    Alan Reply:

    A lot of things can be done in theory, but in practical fact there’s no way in Hades that the FRA will allow a newly-constructed line to operate passenger service without PTC. Nor should they.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Jonathon, I can’t find the part of your statement where you actually disagreed with what I said.

    (1) I said that the Initial Operating Service won’t start UNTIL there is a complete corridor from Merced through to Burbank.

    (2) You said that the Initial Construction Segment won’t be a complete corridor.

    Your statement comes closer to supporting mine than contradicting it.

    jimsf Reply:

    What the drama queen doesn’t understand, aside from lots of things, is that there are going to be additional direct san jojaquin trains – direct trains – between sacramento and bakersfiled so the trip will be

    sac-bakersfield train
    bakersfield -la bus
    just like ti is now.
    the only difference is whether the san joaquins will run some express trains on the hgih speed section to shorten the trip time.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    BNSF is very accommodating but they don’t let Amtrak use the tracks for free. It’s not worth it to run trains on those tracks for the amount of people who use the stations that won’t be on the new tracks.

    jimsf Reply:

    perhaps, but politically things are moving in the oppostie driection with new local control whos madate it is to increase san joaquin service. Forninastance hanford isnt going to give up there downtown amtrak service and now they have representation to make sure that doesn’t happen.
    so it will be interesting to see what developes

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    why would …. normal people… take a slow train ride from Hanford when they could go to the new station and take a fast train ride?

    jimsf Reply:

    normal people wouldn’t. All im saying is thes counties in the sourthern sjq valley have representation via the new authroity and will have to answer to local folks who may not be so gung ho about going to the dairy field station on the edge of town to take the demon train. They might raise a fuss to keep their existing services too. So it will be interesting to see what developes.

    Clem Reply:

    I doubt the CHSRA, which is bound by law not to be subsidized, will look kindly on heavily subsidized operations in the same corridor. Amtrak’s San Joaquin will be toast the moment HSR opens.

    jimsf Reply:

    Im not so sure

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Sounds like you shouldn’t quit your day job, Clem. You need a little more experience reading the tea leaves.

    Jim’s on the mark: the San Joaquins won’t disappear until HSR revenue service from San Jose to Burbank crowds out Amtrak California. The new JPA will increase service from the Bay Area to Modesto and Merced but Fresno and points south can’t be phased out until HSR frequencies increase with the opening of Bay to Basin ( or at least Gilroy to Burbank).

    HSR isn’t going to improve travel times that much between Fresno and Bakersfield compared to the San Joaquins. It’s the other segments where 220mph technology comes in most handy. That’s because unless you run the HSR through Fresno and Bakersfield without stopping, the act of stopping the trains at either end negates the utility of higher speed operations between Fresno and Bakersfield.

    Observer Reply:

    My concern with Amtrak California San Joaquin rail service between Bakersfield and Fresno is not so much whether it will go away after HSR is implemented, but whether or how resources will be redeployed after HSR. Tulare County could join the JPA, and work with the good folks in Kings County towards redeploying resources to implement a more cost effective type of lighter rail service between Lemoore, Hanford, the, HSR station and Visalia along the HWY 198 corridor. I hope that the folks in Kings County are more progressive than what they are given credit for, and not simply try to keep existing San Joaquin service going at all cost if it really becomes unnecessary after the implementation of the new HSR service. To me this is a no brainer, and would be win-win.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There aren’t enough people in Lemoore

    Ted Judah Reply:

    So the paradox is that while Tulare County has way more people now, it’s the most likely to lose population from climate change because of the main economic activity there is dairy farming which will be affected by cap and trade. Meanwhile, Kings county has Lemoore NAS, tourism, and cotton which are better positioned for the long run.

    There’s no point in building light rail in the San Joaquin Valley yet; the focus should be on downtown train stations for now.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “HSR isn’t going to improve travel times that much between Fresno and Bakersfield compared to the San Joaquins. It’s the other segments where 220mph technology comes in most handy. That’s because unless you run the HSR through Fresno and Bakersfield without stopping, the act of stopping the trains at either end negates the utility of higher speed operations between Fresno and Bakersfield.”

    You got to step the trains whether they are SJ trains on the freight corridor with a top speed of 79mph and a transit speed of 55mph, SJ trains on the HSR corridor with a regular maximum speed of 110mph and a transit speed of around 80mph, or the HSR trains. The HSR train doesn’t run with a transit speed of 220mph … but neither does the SJ run with a transit speed at its top speed either.

    In between the stops, the HSR is faster than the SJ on the HSR corridor which is faster than the SJ on the freight corridor.

    For the SJ on the HSR, its about 1 hour saved each way, which is 2hrs round trip, which on six round trips is 12 hours saved altogether, which is enough, given the travel time saving, for an extra San Joaquin from Oakland to Bakersfield and back.

    And not going at all saves 3hrs each way, which for six current services is 36 hrs. SAC/Merced is around 2:25, OAK/Merced is around 3:10, it seems like you could add two of one and three of the other, before having to add equipment.

    Its when the larger centers work out that they are being asked to do without new services with the same trains because of the “need” to run trains mostly empty between Merced and Bakersfield in competition to HSR trains traveling from Merced to Bakersfield and then on to the LA Basin, that’s when the fight will start.

    But the bell on the fight is not going to sound until the ICS is much closer to completion. Its when the ICS getting finished is looming as an actual fact that the pressure to use the ICS to offer more San Joaquin frequencies will begin to build.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I didn’t follow all of what you said, but the soonest you will see HSR trains running is when you can reach Palmdale from Fresno. And until we get Gilroy to Burbank, forget seeing the San Joaquin vanish.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “Seeing the San Joaquin vanish” is a real murky way to express what you are talking about.

    The questions are:

    The ICS is finished. Does the San Joaquin use it for some services, most services or all services? It’ll still be the San Joaquin for any of those three ~ so “the San Joaquin won’t vanishes” tells us exactly zero about which alternative you are saying will happen.

    Suppose the Gap is Closed before the IOS is ready to start. Does the San Joaquin continue to terminate at Bakersfield, or does it close the gap to Palmdale? No San Joaquin vanishing either way.

    And the IOS is finished. Does the San Joaquin still run some services through to Bakersfield, or does it turn all services at Merced and get the maximum number of Bay and Sacramento area connections to Merced and the HSR IOS? No San Joaquin vanishing in those options either.

    “The San Joaquin won’t vanish” fits every single option, making it a perfectly ambiguous claim.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Also, why would you build new light rail track instead of using the train tracks that already exist?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    A simple way to think about it–

    The IOS does not mirror a current Amtrak California service. So why would anything change when it is complete? If all we have is Fresno-Bakersfield, we will have Amtrak service on HSR track. If we get Fresno to Palmdale, we get the San Joaquins to Palmdale because the existing track for Metrolink can’t handle more trips and because it will be too long a ride. When we get Burbank to Fresno, the San Joaquins end at Merced and real HSR rolling stock runs from Frenso to LA. When we get San Jose to Burbank, the San Joaquin service is rebranded as something else.

    One possibility is a train that continues on to Yosemite from Merced…

    Clem Reply:

    Diesel will be verboten on the steep grades (3.3%) and tunnels from Bako to Tehachapi. The San Joaquin will not run to Palmdale.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Run it electric. Amtrak, Amtrak, manages to do that. Why you want to run 125 MPH trains on your 220 MPH track is a different question.

    jimsf Reply:

    Until the hsr is fully operational from sf to la, its likely that san joaquins will continue with increased frequencies as they serve a diffferent purpose and corridor. Eventually they will be adjusted to work in concert with hsr as needed. Im so sick of saying hsr. so Im calling the names I came up with. Monarch, because the same day I mentioned that here, I went home found a monarch flying around my house. Id did not land a grizzly bears nose but If I had found a grizzly bear in my yard I wouln’t be to thrilled.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Jim, it doesn’t make sense to run trains to places where no one uses them. Mostly because there’s not a whole lot of people in those places.

    jimsf Reply:

    I didnt say anything about what makes sense. Currently the plans are to continue to increase san joaqin freqencies per the goals of the new jpa/jpb (whichever it is) in addition to that the goal of the state rail plan is to have san joaquins supplement hsr as part of an integrated statewide system.

    Im just pointing out the stated goals.

    I realize everyone here seems to know everything the state of california doesn’t know. But im putting my money on the state doing what it wants, not on what people on this blog wish for.
    Ive just been in cali long enough to know how it works.
    Im not agreeing or disagreeing about whats best.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You wanna keep calling the train that runs from Sacramento to Fresno, where normal people get off the train and walk across the platform to the HSR train to Bakersfield and Los Angeles, the San Joaquin go right ahead. it doesn’t make sense to run it past there once there’s HSR service south of there.

    jimsf Reply:

    again missing my point.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    what is your point then? that the state should piss away it’s money so that empty trains can pass through Wasco and Corcoran?

    jimsf Reply:

    so im just going by the fact this new jpa was formed specifically to “protect” san joaqin service
    San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority

    To protect the existing San Joaquin Rail Service and to promote its improvement, in 2012, local and regional agencies throughout most of the San Joaquin Corridor (Bakersfield-Fresno-Modesto-Stockton-Sacramento-Oakland) sponsored and supported Assembly Bill 1779 (AB 1779). This bill enabled regional government agencies to form the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) to take over the administration and management of the existing San Joaquin Rail Service from the state. AB 1779 was passed by the Legislature on August 30, 2012 with bi-partisan support, and was signed by Governor Brown on September 29, 2012. The first SJJPA Board meeting was held on March 22, 2013 in Merced.

    AB 1779 defines the composition of the SJJPA, and extends the time for executing an interagency transfer agreement with the Department of Transportation to June 30, 2015. The earliest the governance/management of the San Joaquin Rail Service can be transferred to the SJJPA is June 30, 2014, and AB 1779 requires that the transfer must result in administrative or operating cost reductions. AB 1779 requires the SJJPA to protect the existing San Joaquin Rail Service and facilities and seek to expand service as warranted by ridership and available revenue. Increases in the San Joaquin Rail Service and ridership will result in more jobs, improved air quality, and will help promote sustainable development in the San Joaquin Corridor. Under the provisions of AB 1779, the state will continue to provide the funding necessary for service operations, administration and marketing. Furthermore, Caltrans Division of Rail will remain responsible for the development of the Statewide Rail Plan and the coordination and integration between the three state-supported intercity passenger rail services. AB 1779 was sponsored by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC), Sacramento Regional Transit, the Central Valley Rail Working Group, and the San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council.

    In addition to more cost effective administration and operations, there will be many benefits to regional governance of San Joaquin Rail Service. Train riders and San Joaquin Valley residents will have a stronger voice in deciding what happens with the service since local decision-making is more responsive and adaptive to passenger issues. The SJJPA, which is made up of elected officials throughout the San Joaquin Corridor, will be a strong voice in advocating for service improvements and expansions – particularly in Washington D.C. and in Sacramento. The SJJPA will take advantage of joint marketing and partnerships with local agencies throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Since the SJJPA’s board members are part of the communities in the San Joaquin Corridor, it will also be better able to engage local communities throughout the corridor to use and support the San Joaquin Rail Service.

    The ten Member Agencies that make up the SJJPA are: Alameda County, Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Fresno Council of Governments, Kings County Association of Governments, Madera County Transportation Commission, Merced County Association of Governments, Sacramento Regional Transit, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, Stanislaus Council of Governments and Tulare County Association of Governments. The SJRRC was selected by the SJJPA Board to be the Managing Agency at the July 26, 2013 SJJPA Board Meeting in Fresno. As Managing Agency of the SJJPA, the SJRRC will provide all necessary administrative support for the SJJPA. The SJPPA along with its supporters and sponsors are working with other partner agencies to advocate for conventional intercity rail service improvements throughout California

    jimsf Reply:

    Here is a link to the draft business plan. I haven’t read it all but there is mention of hsr in there too. Myabe this new jpa intends to oversee hsr operations.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    “protect the existing San Joaquin Rail Service and facilities and seek to expand service as warranted by ridership and available revenue.”

    Which means if nobody is riding it they decide that they don’t need to run trains and stop running them. Which is what would be warranted. And if nobody is riding they won’t have the revenue either.

    jimsf Reply:

    well here is the section that specifically addresses high speed rail and san joaquin service

    also addresses sj using hsr track

    jimsf Reply:

    in part:
    The CSRP includes the CHSRA 2012 Business Plan concept where San Joaquin trains would use the first construction section of the IOS between Madera and just north of Bakersfield. According to the 2013 CSRP, “In the near term, it is expected that some San Joaquin route trains will operate over the first construction section of the IOS.” The CSRP presents a couple of operating scenarios “for planning purposes”, but clearly notes that, “Additional work will be needed to determine the appropriate number of San Joaquin trains that would use the first construction section of the IOS and the BNSF line in parallel to the IOS once HSR service is initiated

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    “Additional work will be needed to determine the appropriate number of San
    Joaquin trains that would use the first construction section of the IOS and the BNSF line
    in parallel to the IOS once HSR service is initiated.”

    Well that means they can study it and study and determine that since there’s only two dozen people a day that want to use it they’ll stop running it.

    jimsf Reply:

    yes I knew you would say that….. but then as I read further down there is also this juicy tidbit..

    SJJPA supports the 2013 CSRP’s conclusion that “Additional work will be needed to determine the appropriate number of San Joaquin trains that would use the first construction section of the IOS and the BNSF line during the interim period until HSR begins to operate on the IOS…”.
    CHSRA has publicly stated, and SJJPA is in agreement, that it is preferable the San Joaquin service never has to utilize the first construction section of the HSR system. However, should it become a necessity due to a significant delay of the HSR program, SJJPA will work through the framework of the Joint Policy Statement to develop an appropriate contingency plan for interim use of the first construction section by the San Joaquin service. SJJPA and the local communities along the corridor believe that any potential interim use of the first construction section must not be to the detriment of continuing San Joaquin service from Merced to Bakersfield along the existing BNSF alignment and continuing through service along the entire existing BNSF alignment

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so the train that passes through Stockton takes two hours to get from Fresno to Bakersfield and the the train that passes through Stockton an hour later takes 53 minutes to get from Fresno to Bakersfield. Which one do you think people will book? Four years later when HSR gets from Burbank to Fresno the people who have been leaving Stockton an hour later and getting to Bakersfield ten minutes before the train that wandered around on the BNSF tracks, are they going to go Fresno and get on the train that gets them to Burbank in an hour and half or take the train that takes two hours to get to Bakersfield where they can catch the HSR train that left Fresno an hour and half after they did? How many of them are gonna be hoping to catch the bus that takes two and half hours when the stars align and the phase of moon is just right so that traffic isn’t awful anywhere?

    Why doesn’t the state keep on running the stage coaches that used to run up and down the Valley?

    jimsf Reply:

    I don’t know why we cut stage coach funding. I’m just reporting what I am reading directly from the newly formed jpa’s website. Im not here to judge. Judy.

    Joe Reply:

    The systems will help each other gain ridership by offering more choices for rail. These arguments are all hypotheticals and colored with personal bias.

    I know Express bus service on El Camino Real does not hurt local bus service. The 522 and 22 complement each other and the 522 is more costly and faster. It’s these are the most used bus line on the VTA system. We prefer 522 but the 22 will suffice if it s there when we get there. It makes the 522 more appealing to have a fall back 22 and 22 gets more use from people drawn to the 522.

    Bullet service on Caltrain helps ridership.

    The conventional rail and HSR will build ridership. More choices, grater reliability. HSR is not running when I want to leave or that train is sold out at my fare so I can use the other system.

    Lets see anyone argue that SF to SJ HW 280 will put SF to SJ HW 101 out of business or expanding 101 hurts 280 use? Or I5 hurts hw99 traffic. The choice encourages use.

    jimsf Reply:

    then they go to say
    The San Joaquins are in a unique position related to the proposed CA High Speed Rail (HSR) program. With the First Construction Segment slated for the Central Valley, there have been many differing opinions on the potential impacts to the San Joaquins. After much consultation with the affected communities and the CA High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), the SJJPA adopted and signed the “Joint Policy Statement” between SJJPA, CHSRA and Caltrans (shown as Figure 4.1). This agreement ensures SJJPA and the affected communities will be actively involved in any coordination, decisions, and/or service adjustments between the San Joaquins and the proposed HSR service. In addition, the CHSRA and Caltrans have acknowledged the importance of the San Joaquin service to the communities it services and have committed to working to “maintain and improve the San Joaquin Rail Service in conjunction with the implementation of high-speed rail.” The continued coordination with CHSRA and Caltrans is a high priority for the SJJPA as part of its efforts to advocate protecting and improving the entire San Joaquin service

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    http://www.canals.ny.gov/about/faqs.html#4

    The New New Erie Canal ( yes New New, the one that is still in use is the the third one ) actually carries freight now and then. Usually stuff that is too big for rail or road.

    datacruncher Reply:

    The more interesting part to me in that plan is the section “Consideration of Other Service Expansions and Enhancements.”

    That section includes this:

    Additional San Joaquin stations in key locations could improve access to the service
    and increase ridership. Working in partnership with local and regional agencies, SJJPA
    will assess viable new station locations, and promote the funding, design, and initiation
    of construction for new stations within the next three fiscal years. Additional stations
    discussed thus far include, Hercules, Berkeley, 65th Street Sacramento, Elk Grove,
    North Fresno, and Northwest Bakersfield.
    Contra Costa representatives have also
    suggested that another station in Eastern Contra Costa be evaluated in coordination
    with a mid-corridor start. Investigating potential additional stations in the San Joaquin
    Valley is particularly important to the future of the San Joaquin service considering the
    State’s plans for implementing HSR through the San Joaquin Valley. With the
    implementation of HSR, the San Joaquin service should stop at additional communities
    not directly served by HSR to better complement HSR and become an important feeder
    service.
    https://www.acerail.com/About/Regional-Governance-for-San-Joaquin-Rail-Service/Draft-Business-Plan/Draft-Business-Plan-Documents/Agenda-Item-6-Draft-CH-15-Consideration-of-Other-S.pdf

    Additional stations for the San Joaquins in both Fresno and Bakersfield (and other areas) in the near future is a goal. Sounds like the San Joaquins become even more of a local service run.

    jimsf Reply:

    Yes I saw that too. They want to have increased local service serving more, not fewer communites and not only that… in this section about station area deveoplemnt they are talking TOD at Corcoran and Wasco as “medium” potential when rating potential for TOD at all sjq stations

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes everything transportation agencies yammer on about get built.
    My favorite is the High Speed Ground Transportation Act. Passed the House 318-23. Gonna give us two hour trips betweeen New York and Washington DC. Real soon. Signed into law with great fanfare by the Predident. Lyndon Johnson, In 1965.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    http://ewh.ieee.org/cmte/asmeltc/hsr_plaque.htm

    ….. any day now. The track, signals, catenary and power supply should be up to doing it regularly in 2016. Pity that the trains won’t be able to.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The reality is that the endgame for the San Joaquins is becoming a commuter rail system that bolsters BART expansion through the Altamont Pass.

    All these side conversations and discussions are academic. It’s not financially viable in the long term to have diesel burning trains run for 300 miles with the ridership we currently have. Electrification is the only cost effective answer, and that requires faster speeds to attract higher paying passengers.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    jimsf, the SJJPA business plan is a wonderful thing. But let’s assume HSR is built and farebox recovery on the San Joaquins drops from I think about 55% to let’s say 40%. It then comes down to Sacramento politics whether the State will pony up to cover the increased deficit or if there will be the inevitable cuts. These JPAs are a marvelous creation. “We can do so much better than Division of Rail because we are responsive to local needs”. But will the locals pay to meet their own perception of their needs? Of course not. (See Metrolink for real life examples).
    It’s easy to make all these sanguine pronouncements at the launching of these agencies. They’ll find out pretty quickly what the real world is like.

    Joe Reply:

    Doom and gloom pronouncements are the easiest.

    Joe Reply:

    The real world… Hmmm.
    Fare box recovery for LA transit is what 30%-35%?
    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/55CF12C9-9D4E-4762-A27A-407A44546BE2/0/TrasitFareboxRecoveryandSubsidiesSynthesisKTaylorFINAL2.pdf

    55% fare box recovery in the CV is real world.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    L.A. Transit is in the low 20s. I don’t regard it as doom and gloom if you build a superior system and customers desert the older inferior system. Isn’t that the point of all this investment? Does the SJJPA think they’ll make up for the loss of the long haul riders with a TOD at Corcoran?

    Joe Reply:

    Different systems.

    The quoted text describes additional stations will increase ridership.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Paul, which level of “HSR is built” are you talking about?

    IOS: If the San Joaquin is cut at Merced and the schedule lines up well with the IOS schedule, I don’t see why farebox recovery would drop versus the present status quo. Prima facie, the boost in frequencies for the same train miles due to the shorter route would point to an increase in farebox recovery.

    It might drop versus a pre-IOS San Joaquin on the ICS, but that depends on which way the boost from more frequencies on the same total train-miles and the drop from losing the highest transit speed trip sections play out.

    Bay to Basin & Phase 1: Farebox recovery on the Merced/OAK leg seems likely to drop, suggesting a possible drop the frequencies of Merced/OAK legs, while farebox recovery on the Merced/SAC leg would seem likely to hold up. If the SJJPA can hold onto the same level of subsidy, there’s going to be some sustainable level of Merced/OAK frequencies at that level of subsidy.

    jonathan Reply:

    The reality is that the endgame for the San Joaquins is becoming a commuter rail system that bolsters BART expansion through the Altamont Pass.

    Ted, you should give us warning before you do a standup comedy routine.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Clem: “Diesel will be verboten on the steep grades (3.3%) and tunnels from Bako to Tehachapi. The San Joaquin will not run to Palmdale.”

    Your premise does not lead to your conclusion.

    If the French can hook a diesel locomotive to an HST to pull it to a destination where the corridor is not yet electrified, Amtrak California can hook an electric locomotive to an Amtrak CA train to pull it on a corridor that is not viable for the diesel locomotive.

    That’s one of the benefits of loco-hauled passenger cars, after all, versus EMU’s and DMU’s.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or one could just flip the switch or whatever it is they do, to raise the pantograph and shut down the diesel engine.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Exactly ~ dual-mode locomotives like the ALP-45DP are in revenue service in NJ on the Montclair-Boonton Line. So you have multiple options ~ pick the one that gives the best service for the buck and there you go.

    If its possible for LA to get its act together for electrifying regional corridors, and if its possible to arrange for an electric express track up the Antelope Valley corridor from the mouth of the lower SFV HSR tunnel, the option of extending a regional express from LA through to Bakersfield could be added to the options. That has more contingencies than running some of the San Joaquin services through to Palmdale if the Close the Gap segment is finished before the corridor is completed from Merced thorugh to Burbank … but if its feasible, throw it into the mix for consideration.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s all academic.

    ..it is California. it would be really really stupid to be aiming to complete the tunnel and not have the trains that can go fast through the tunnel…

    Running the HSR trains, fresh from the factory, in a tunnel, isn’t a good idea. It’s annoying to get stuck in a pasture. It can be dangerous to get stuck in a tunnel. So by the time they are thinking about completing the tunnel there will probably be wires from Fresno to Bakersfield. If it’s going to cause thundering herds of people to show up they have to go out and buy or lease equipment.

    Changing from the diesel train, on long trips, to the HSR train is faster than staying on the slow dual mode. Or loitering around while they change engines or add one to make a slow train. Making everybody change where the wire runs out means they have to buy or lease less. The train that isn’t running between Fresno and Bakersfield can be someplace else running where there aren’t any wires.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “..it is California. it would be really really stupid to be aiming to complete the tunnel and not have the trains that can go fast through the tunnel… ”

    It would also be more expensive to build all of the tunnels at the same time, rather than be boring one or two tunnels at a time and then move on to the next tunnel, which implies that some tunnels are going to be finished before the whole IOS is finished …

    … which raises the question of how best to benefit from that investment in the period before the IOS can be launched from Merced to either Burbank or LAUS.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Bruce, ordinary electric locomotives can’t really climb these grades, either. TGV power cars can, but they’re unusually powerful and carry a large fraction of the load on their drivers, and are permanently coupled to the coaches.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Alon: For sure, ordinary electric locomotive can climb such grades. The question is, however, how much can they haul, and how much can they brake reliably.

    TGV power units do indeed have a high power rating installed but they do get to the limits of how much power can be transmitted through 8 axles per train. For that distributed power has serious advantages, where you may have 50% or more driven axles. And you can continue operating even if 4 fail. There are good reasons why ICE-1 and ICE-2 trains are not allowed between Frankfurt and Köln (which does have pretty mean grades).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Getting on the really fast train in greater Los Angeles and getting on the slower train in Fresno is probably more attractive than taking the really fast train from greater greater San Francisco to Bakersfield and getting on a bus. Do the Southern one first. In the interim run conventional trains on it, it will cut an hour from the Fresno to Bakersfield trip. For the few months between the time the fast electric trains are accepted and the time the tunnel is ready for revenue service have everybody change at Fresno. It will be faster than staying on the conventional train and it give everybody some experience for when the hordes show up because the really fast train goes all the way from Fresno to where ever on the southern side of the tunnel.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    So since its been done before in this country for 3.3% gradients with fueled locomotives that aren’t permanently couple to their cars, and you are saying that there are electric locomotives produced for HST trains that can do it …

    … you’re saying it can be done, just wrapping it up in a “it can’t be done with any randomly selected electric locomotive” to make it sound like you’re saying the opposite.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Found this nice list of the steepest adhesion railway grades.

    Not HSR … but I’ve ridden the super-scenic loco-hauled Bernina railway between St. Moritz , Switzerland and Tirano, Italy a number of times over the years, and while I remember it being steep … I was surprised to see it tops out at 7%.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Reality Check: FWIW, the Bernina line has exactly three locomotives on their roster, one is a historic unit, and the other two are electro-diesels. Regular trains are operated nowadays by either a pair of 4-axle EMUs, or a single “Allegra” double-articulated EMU. The Bernina Express requires an Allegra with 7 panoramic cars. You don’t waste capacity with locomotives when you need every available seat in high season… and you need the 8 driven axles in the fall when the tracks get their “larches needles treatment”.

    OTOH, the MOB/Golden Pass line uses locomotives in their Panoramic and Super Panoramic Expresses (for hauling 6 panoramic cars (including 2 cab cars) on 7.5% grades.

    Of the list mentioned, with the exception of Cass Scenic (which I was not aware of the steep grades) and the Nilgiri Railway (which is a cog railway), the steepest lines are essentially streetcar or light rail operations. “Heavy rail” operation was on the Erzbergbahn (cog railway in steam era), otherwise gets to maybe 5.5% (Flambanan) or 5% (Swiss SOB).

    Max Wyss Reply:

    One more about the Bernina line: It was originally build as a seasonal “Strassenbahn” (in US terminology, it would probably have counted as light interurban). Nowadays, it is runs all year long, and has non-neglectable freight (mainly logs and fuel). There are no freight trains per se, but freight cars are added to the regular trains up to the allowed weight limit.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Bruce, the diesels that climb these grades in the US today don’t do so reliably, or need helper units.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Amtrak’s Coast Starlighter is also likely to end with any HSR route LA-to-Sacramento.
    Its absence would lead to altered/improved service between San Luis Obispo and Oakland,
    using trainsets from the San Juaquin. It’s another basic question that favors Altamont.
    The IOS are an embarrassment. Madera-to-Fresno? Even Madera to Bakersfield is half-baked.
    Palmdale to Burbank? The CAHSR Authority is corrupt.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “The IOS are an embarrassment. Madera-to-Fresno?”

    Are you a human or a spambot?

    “Initial Operating Service” would be singular, “is”. The IOS is Merced-Burbank.

    There is no Madero-Fresno IOS. There is no Madera-Bakersfield IOS. There is no Palmdale-Burbank IOS. You are confusing CONSTRUCTION SEGMENTS with OPERATING SERVICE, or if you are a pattern matching bot, your programmer has not got your pattern matching algorithm properly tuned.

    Alan Reply:

    And it’s “Coast Starlight”, not “Coast StarlightER”. Spelling algorithm isn’t very good either, except for “TALGO TALGO TALGO”…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People who think trains are a creation of Beelzebub to sap the vital fluids or Real Americans(tm) won’t be using the train. People who won’t use the train aren’t concerned about where the station is.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Well, if there’s no alternative in their price range many of them’ll use the trains muttering and cursing all the while, just as many people who hate driving are forced to drive anyway under our current system.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There are people in the world, who if the train ( or bus ) was free would still drive. And there are people in the world who think the traffic in Glens Falls is awful and won’t go there unless they absolutely have to. It’s beyond their imagination that someone would want to go to Albany and ya’ have to be nutZ to want to go to Boston or New York City. They can’t imagine that people would want to get from Bakersfield to San Francisco or Toledo to Chicago. They can’t imagine that someone would want to go to Toledo or Bakersfield from anywhere either.
    If you are a Real American(tm) since no one you know wants to go to Toledo or Bakersfield or Albany it’s very very hard to imagine why anyone would want to go to Los Angeles or Cleveland or Toronto.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Its obvious to me why some people might want to go to Toledo, since my Dad worked for Owens Corning Fiberglass and he had to go to Toledo sometimes. Its more of a struggle to imagine why anyone would want to go to Albany, but I’m willing to take it on faith that some people do.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People who work for General Electric get the urge go to Schenectady now and then. People who work for Global Foundries get the urge to go to Malta now and then.

    People in Ohio who have business to conduct with the state, in person, in the capital, don’t get the urge to go to Albany. People in New York who have to do that, do – go to Albany. And the people in Albany who wanna get outta Dodge now and then, want to come back. Most of them anyway. Just like the Midwest sales rep gets the urge to go to Toledo now and then because there’s a lot of people there who want to buy the stuff he has, the Northeast sales rep for gets the urge to go to Albany because there are people there who want to buy stuff.

    When I want to make czernina I have to go to Albany or Schenectady because that’s the only place I can reliably get the right kind of duck. For some some reason, I’ve never asked why, I can get the Scandinavian specialties in the Italian grocery store in Saratoga Springs. The nearest, decent, Asian grocery is on Central Ave in Albany. If my cardiogist says “we can’t do that in Glens Falls” chances are good I’m going to go to Albany to get it done. It all snowballs. Sometimes, like there will be late tomorrow, there’s even traffic.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    I see, a bit sensitive about Albany jokes because its one of the places that has the right kind of duck to make czernina.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Usually Schenectady because I don’t have to explain czernina to them. And they have five pound bags of frozen chicken backs and feet that I can’t find anyplace else.

    Jon Reply:

    Jim, what will happen is:

    1) CAHSR opens service from Merced to Burbank.
    2) San Joaquin ridership plummets south of Merced, and surges north of Merced as people connect to/from CAHSR
    3) The San Joaquin JPA decides to abandon service south of Merced and redeploy the resources to increased service north of Merced

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    High Speed Rail in the Central Valley

    Coordinated, simultaneous improvements to existing rail systems, including the Altamont Commuter Express, the Capitol Corridor and the San Joaquin service, will provide new, expanded, and improved rail service throughout northern California, connecting the Central Valley with the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento regions.

    Midwest High Speed Rail Association

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The San Joaquin will already have been running on the HSR Initial Construction Segment (and if the Burbank to Palmdale improvements are only partial segments when the Close the Gap section is finished, through to Palmdale) … when the HSR opens, and they lose access to that corridor, they’ll prefer transferring to HSR at Merced increasing frequency of service between Merced and the Bay, over returning to running over the freight corridor between Merced and Bakersfield.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The San Joaquins will not be running on the ICS.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    You are reading p22 of the final draft of the 2014 Business Plan, “We also continue to evaluate the potential for interim service, potentially with Amtrak San Joaquin trains, on the first construction segment with our federal, state and local transportation partners, consistent with the principle that each program phase can stand alone and have independent utility.”

    … as “but we won’t do it”?

    I read it as “the Governor has said we should, so we’re working toward it, but we aren’t going to say anything definite unless and until there are firm commitments from the SJJPA.”

    Jon Reply:

    If you read the SJJPA business plan and board minutes, you’ll see that they’re really not keen to run trains on the ICS. If they do, they’ll be additional trains added to the schedule with services maintained on the BNSF track. Either way they’ll truncate to Merced once HSR starts using the ICS.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The crew on the train gets paid by the hour not by the mile. If they can get between Fresno and Bakersfeild in half the time that’s an incentive for management to run trains on the new tracks.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    @Jon ~ of course they aren’t, at present, that’s just the normal politics at this stage ~ after all, there is no great pressure to run them on the tracks which have not been built, while Kings County and those served by the other two SJ stations without HSR stations are going to put pressure on to keep the service they have.

    When the opportunity comes to get from Fresno to Bakersfield, and back, in half the time with no delays due to freight interference, the pressure to run them on the HSR tracks will build.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Of course they are not keen because they don’t want to have to buy a lighter train set to comply with FRA rules. This is typical state-local politics for California.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    What does “lighter train set to comply with FRA rules” mean? Cite the FRA rule that you are referring to.

    It could well be that any trains that operate ALONGSIDE the HST will have some weight restriction imposed, but that won’t apply if services are time-segregated. And “we won’t run on this track any more once the IOS starts” would be ample time segregation.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I’m talking about existing FRA rules.

    For example, the Talgo trainsets that WSDOT uses for the Cascades are not FRA compliant, but are articulated diesel trains that could exploit HSR only tracks. But under current rules, they add an extra locomotives to protect the Cascades articulated cars.

    Now, let’s say the FRA issues a waiver of the current rules. SJPPA would be foolish not to buy new trains that are lighter and thus faster regardless of actual high speed service that might share the track.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The FRA is set to start using new rules for trains that travel on tracks with modern signals. In theory tracks with passenger trains on them will have modern signals on them soon.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “lighter trains needed to comply” makes it sound like the current heavy trains wouldn’t be allowed to run on the ICS. But under the CURRENT rules, there’s no regulatory obstacle to the current Amtrak CA cars running on the ICS, during the period before the IOS when there are no HSTs on the track except for testing (which can, of course, be scheduled to allow time segregation as well).

    So “lighter trains needed to comply” doesn’t make any sense. There may be a desire to HAVE lighter trains to take fully advantage of the ICS, which would have to wait on the ongoing regulatory changes to be able to be used on the Madera/OAK and Madera/SAC legs of the trip … but the current heavy trains which are already allowed on those legs would work fine on the ICS.

    The benefit of the Talgos in the Cascades is that when running faster than 50mph they can tilt, which allows a passenger train to run faster on tracks that are elevated for slower freight traffic. But on the ICS that won’t be an issue, since they’ll be elevated for FASTER HSR rail traffic.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The MTA, NJTransit and Metra aren’t going to go out and replace their fleets all at once. The regulations are probably going to be “trains with modern signals can mix freely when the speeds are similar” So the ancient Raritan Valley Line train can come in on track four in Newark at 5:26 and the new lightweight Acela II can follow it at 5:29 followed by a new Arrow V at 5:33 and the land cruise train can lumber through at 5:40. Followed by the new lightweight Acela III that runs express to DC only stopping at Philadelphia and Baltimore. That goes through the Wilmington bypass at 210 MPH…

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Whether its “worth it” or not depends on what the good folks of Kings County and Kern County are willing to pay to subsidize the services. If they pay for the operation from Bakersfield to Stockton, then it may well be that the other counties in the JPA will be willing to cover having the local run the direction which presently is served by a bus connection ~ to Oakland when the Express goes to Sacramento, to Sacramento when the Express goes to the Bay.

    If they “demand” service but won’t pay for it … well, that’s only “demand” in the “jump up and down and insist on other people giving them gifts” sense.

  13. Reality Check
    Jul 3rd, 2014 at 09:26
    #13

    California lawmakers, industry groups join to oppose ‘gas tax’ in emissions cap program

    Opponents are calling for a delay on the implementation of an air quality reduction program on Jan. 1 that is expected to allow diesel and gasoline to be traded on a California-specific carbon market.

    […]

    The lawmakers and industry opponents are being supported through an online campaign at http://www.tankthetax.com.

    “Almost everything in California is trucked in, so when you consider some of these trucks hold 60 to 80 gallons of gas and how much that’s going to go up … there’s studies done that they think it’s going to go up about 70 cents per gallon, not just in these trucks but in all of our cars,” Morrell said. “I think it’s gonna crush seniors on limited income, it’s gonna hurt low-income families, as well as middle class people who are paying the bills and their mortgage.”

    Veronica Zendejas, a representative for Torres, also spoke at the Wednesday press event.

    “This hidden tax unnecessarily places the burden of the cap and trade program on the customer, and it will increase the cost of gasoline to a point where it will become less affordable for the most vulnerable Californians,” Zendejas said.

    Observer Reply:

    The federal highway fund is about to go broke, and now this. This country can ill afford to further delay infrastructure spending. It will just make everything worst and even more expensive in the long term.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s not going to work. Arguing that everything we use depends on sooty diesel fuel trucks isn’t going to cut the fuel tax. It will focus attention on diesel emissions.

    In Chicago, the tribune just ran a headline on unregulated rail yard emissions when idling. People care.

    Observer Reply:

    Agreed. They are using as very dumb argument.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Dave Clegern, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, said there is no requirement in the AB32 cap and trade regulation that any kind of compliance cost would be passed on to the consumer.
    “That’s a call for the suppliers of the oil industry,” said Clegern, who added there are no full compliance obligations until November 2018.“They really don’t have to pony up anything until November, 2018,” Clegern said. “And the fact is that many (suppliers) have been buying carbon allowances since 2012.”Clegern said the transportation sector of California represents 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the state.“We simply will not be able to hit AB32 targets designed to protect residents without fuel suppliers being under the cap,” Clegern said.

    From the same article, Mr Reality Check

    Derek Reply:

    Raising the gas tax will give shipping companies an incentive to move more stuff by rail where it causes less traffic congestion and causes less road wear. So we’ll save money. Especially the poor, because the usual way to pay for the roads includes regressive sales taxes such as Prop K in San Francisco, Measure R in Los Angeles, and TransNet in San Diego.

    So the opponents of Cap & Trade should be ignored.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Your logic is backwards, the main losers in a gas tax increase will be the driving public and the moderate Dems who get their support from those voters and the Semocratic supermajority that is dependent on those moderate members and the laws like cap and trade which will be dismantled once the supermajority dissolves.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    So they have been really benefiting from the drop in the gas tax in real terms over the past two decades?

    Changes in the cost of gasoline due to carbon cap and trade are not what is going to kill the budgets of working families … its petroleum price spikes with no alternatives available that is going to do that.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah but there’s no alternative to driving; the only hope is more fuel efficiency, and more tax subsidies for plug in hybrids and electric cars.

    Until then, the problem is going to be as I described, working class people won’t elect the politicians who support cap and trade if all they get out of it is higher energy prices.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    So the solution to the massive subsidies to driving limiting the available alternatives to driving is more subsidies to driving?

    It seems like you are treating a five cent a gallon increase from Cap and Trade and a two dollar a gallon increase because we haven’t seriously pursued energy independence in over four decades of pollies giving it lip service as two equal burdens on working families, and ignoring those working families in the LA Basin who rely on public transport to get to work … and remember, those who can afford a car are, on average, higher income than those who cannot afford a car.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Uh, clever but no.

    The poorest in CA ride buses which run on gasoline which will need more fares or service cuts to absorb this tax increase. The majority of rail construction helps out wealthier riders who prefer rail. And even those in the working poor rely on someone to drive them somewhere, be them family or friends.

    I support energy independence and want the State to tackle the issue so that the middle class isn’t wiped off the face of the earth is all.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Sell the bus company red diesel instead of taxed diesel

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ted is right on his facts again? Not really! All the big bus fleets in So Cal use CNG or are being converted over the next few years. Before that they were diesel fueled, not gasoline.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    None of those fuels are going to escape the CnT levy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so what’s the difference between cap and trade and levying a straight carbon tax other than cap and trade needs a lot more bureaucrats and gives people things to extract some vigorish on? There’s gonna be people who consult on how to finagle your cap. And people who want to broker your trade.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The difference is that a Cap n Trade price targets a physical quantity of emissions, so it goes down in a recession and up in a boom. Even if a carbon tax was set at the right level on average, it would be higher than need be during a recession and too low during a boom.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    lower it during a recession and raise it during a boom? When people go out and invest in a hybrid car during the boom they will keep on using the hybrid car during the following recession even though the price of gas falls?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Cap and trade is attractive to certain people because it gives Goldman Sachs another avenue to engage in poorly regulated speculation. A carbon tax creates far less revenue, at least in the short term, because producers and consumers factor in the taxable costs.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry has turned your cap and trade into a simple gas tax to finance various and sundry transport projects he favors amidst a welfare sop here and there.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The poorest in CA ride buses which are part of the transit services receiving 5% of the CnT funds for operating expenses. And CNG doesn’t pay as much CnT on an energy-content basis as gasoline or diesel (since its CO2 emissions being charged, not fugitive emissions of the methane while producing the methane that was the source of the CNG). So there is prima facie case that the operating costs will rise more than the increase in operating funds.

    Indeed, if any of the 10% CnT that goes to transit and intercity rail capital investment goes into investments that improve the quality of service and therefore farebox recovery, that would tilt the balance further to a net benefit to public bus operations.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    The difference is that a Cap n Trade price targets a physical quantity of emissions, so it goes down in a recession and up in a boom. Even if a carbon tax was set at the right level on average, it would be higher than need be during a recession and too low during a boom.

    There iszero chance of a carbon tax being set “higher than [necessary]”. “Higher than needed during a recession”? Is that an attempt at black humour?

    California “Cap n Trade” targets nothing except a political slush fundery, no “physical quantity” of anything.

    jimsf Reply:

    raising the gas tax hurts the working class the most. They can least afford it. The more they pay for gas, the less they spend in the general economy. And if dems raise the gas tax they will lose the following elections.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Raising the sales tax to cover the stuff spent on roads hurts them just as much. At least with a gas tax the people who use get the benefits pay for it.

    jimsf Reply:

    its easier to opt out of buying merchandise, but impossible to opt of getting to work everyday.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    One can opt of living so far from work that a nickel more in gas tax puts a serious dent in your budget. Or opt for a car that doesn’t use as much gas. Or get to work without a car!

    jimsf Reply:

    do you have any idea how many people simply do not have the luxury of making those kinds of changes.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Most people don’t have the luxury of not being able to stop buying things either. Cars don’t last forever. If the next one gets much better mileage ten cents more in gas tax has the same effect.
    They are old enough to drive and get insurance on a car. If they are too stupid to figure out that living 50 miles from work is gonna cost more than living 10 miles from work, they should be really really grateful that they have a job.

    jimsf Reply:

    that is a really ignorant thing to say. If you have family who lives in community “a” because when they bought their house, dad was working at X and mom was worky at Z and the kids are in schools D and E, and then the shit hits the fan and now dad is unemployed and mom has to take a job at Q but they have a two cars that are paid off, and an affordable mortgage they are not going to pull up roots and disrupt the family to move nor buy a new car. Do you have any idea how strapped people are these days?

    Sure if you are young and single you may have more flexibilty. Or if like me, you have a job that allows you to be flexible thats one thing.
    most people dont have that.

    And the thing is those people who are stuck are the ones who are the great middle who vote sway policy.
    personally I don’t care much about their plight. Im just telling you they won’t put up with being the ones to take the hit cuz they are the ones who will scream at the representatives

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why should people who weren’t stupid enough to base their lives on gas being cheap forever, pay so they don’t have to buy a car that is cheaper to run? And it gets even richer when they whine people who were as stupid want smaller subsidies for trains and buses.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    yeah and the GOP are the heartless ones…wow

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    it figures that the only time you’d show a glimmer of empathy would be with stupid people.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Grumpy old men. A class that crosses all cultural boundaries.

    Everything always used to be better.
    All existing people are stupid
    the country is in a downfall.

    The same all over the world in every time period. It really gives me a warm feeling of consistency.

    Oh and for the record, while it is volitle, the cost of gas has remained the same (adjusted for inflation) for as long as there has been gas. Let me translate that to Grumpy Old Man Language.

    “A dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to when I could go down to the corner store and buy penny candy and have the soda jerk pour me a limeaid”

    jonathan Reply:

    Oh and for the record, while it is volitle, the cost of gas has remained the same (adjusted for inflation) for as long as there has been gas

    Factually incorrect. Citations to data for your clam, please. Be prepared to be justifiably called a liar if you do not provide adquate data.

    For crying out loud, John. Do you know enough history to know the relevance of the Texas Railroad Commission to historical US petroleum prices? Or are you just spouting Trickle-Down True-Beleiver factoids?
    (ooips, no pun intended)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No it hasn’t.

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/realprices/

    BruceMcF Reply:

    adirondacker12800 is exactly right on that, John … corrected for either purchasing power (CPI) OR corrected for overall price inflation on all products (Real GDP), the lowest annual average price of gasoline over 1975 to 1985 and between 2005 and the present is higher than the highest annual average price of gas from 1986 to 2001.

    The only way to make the real price of gasoline a constant over time is to take the nominal price of gasoline as your price index.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Here is your cite

    http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2012/02/27/how-high-have-gas-prices-risen-over-the-years/

    in 2012 dollar

    3.35 in 1919
    3.57 in 2012

    I could have argued the overall trend was downward, but I did not want to overstate the case.

    Bottom line, in 100 years it is the same price. Grumpy old men everywhere are screaming

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people who were buying gasoline in 1919 are dead. The people who bought a house in the exurbs 15 years ago because gas was a buck a gallon were very very naive, or just plain stupid, to think that gas was gonna be a buck or a buck and change for the rest of their working lives.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So What you are saying is I was right. Gas has remained the same price since we started using gas. Just wanted to make sure we all agreed on that. Because you were all so sure I was wrong, until confronted by this little thing I like to call data. The bane of Grumpy Old Men everywhere.

    But you got it wrong again. The people who bought houses in the ex burbs in 1980 are paying (inflation adjusted) what they were paying in 1980. Did you even bother to read the chart? They were not naive…they we’re right (and you were wrong again)

    Do you get tired of being either wrong or grumpy? I would think it is exhausting.

    jonathan Reply:

    o What you are saying is I was right. Gas has remained the same price since we started using gas.

    Bullshit. Total bullshit. Such bullshit that even an innumerate like *Joe* (someone who still hasn’t grasped the difference between “maximum” and “minimum”) would be embarrassed to repeat it

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So the graph is wrong? The data is faked?

    Because that is exactly what it says. Feel free to type “inflation adjusted price of gas” into Google and see yourself.

    So what exactly is the “bullshit” part?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s what I typed into google and picked that handy dandy inflation adjusted chart from the government. So either you full of shit or the government is lying. I went and got the numbers from the government because I’ve been buying gasoline long enough to know that you are full of shit without looking at a chart from the government.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/Gasoline_Inflation.asp

    It’s all the same data and it says all the same thing. Gas is the same price it was (inflation adjusted) 100 years ago. But if you prefer a shorter timeframe it is the same as 25 years ago also.

    But if you read this article the author goes into how humans mistake the data because they have such a short frame of reference. He doesn’t go into how Grumpy Old Men are particularly susceptible to this human failing

    ComradeFrana Reply:

    “But if you prefer a shorter timeframe it is the same as 25 years ago also.”

    And it’s 75% more than it was ~40 years ago and 133% more than ~15 years ago, what’s your point?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you do that you might notice that the prices were highest during the reign of Saint Ronnie and spiked again during George the Infallible’s administration.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “It’s all the same data and it says all the same thing. Gas is the same price it was (inflation adjusted) 100 years ago.”

    That’s not what you said … you said: “Gas has remained the same price since we started using gas.”

    “has remains” and “has returned to the price when the sale of gasoline was in it earliest days” don’t mean the same thing.

    And its an important difference, because if the average annual price from one year to the next is normally about the same price for a century, that suggests it will stay the same level.

    While if the real ten-year average price is on an extended downward trend, except for WWII, for over six decades, rises for over a decade because of supply cut-backs, falls back to an intermediate price for a decade and a half, and then begins rising again due to a global supply peak against rising global demand … that suggests the current long term upward trend will continue, unless we “succeed” in getting another massively destructive recession.

    “Volatility” is swings in price from day to day or month to month … referring to decades long trends as “volatility” is either somebody who has been deceived, or who is intent on deceiving others.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Nice to see you return to form. High gas prices are the GOPs fault. Although the recent spike is during Obama’s administration (during a recession no less) but I suppose you just throw out that data point.

    And Bruce you can play word games all you want and redefine words like volatility all you like. What I said was true. While year to year there is volatility, the price of gas (inflation adjusted) has remained the same for 100 years. You said it was bullshit until I posted data. Now apparently I am just deceptive. What you are is wrong. Despite common perception gas does not just rise and rise and rise. It is not higher than it was 25 years ago. And there is no evidence there is a long term trend of it going up

    Just like fracking caused the price of Nat gas to drop, the development of oil sands, tar sands, and fracking have opened up vast reserves of oil. So the price will remain around this level or below for the next 100 years. You see facts beat guesses every time

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “What I said was true. While year to year there is volatility, the price of gas (inflation adjusted) has remained the same for 100 years.”

    Its returned to the price it was it 100 years ago, after spending more than half of that time substantially below that price.

    Anybody who claims that “It started out here, it was lower than that for sixty years, then it jumped back up to that price, then it was lower than that for fifteen years, then it jumped back up to that price” is “remaining the same” is either misled or misleading. Since the facts have been pointed out to you and you persist, that tilts the table toward you being the one trying to pull the con.

    The price of gas 100 year ago, then after US Peak Oil when we lost the power to stabilize price between the Arab Oil Embargo and Saudi Arabia turning on the taps in the mid-80’s, and since we hit global peak oil have all been higher than the price of gasoline that we designed our suburbs for, Post WWII.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes it’s all the Democrats fault that the gas prices go up, the market tanks and very often the economy as a whole goes in the shitter when Republicans are in control.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    For what it is worth, gas prices are not above historical norms adjusting for inflation. However, from 1986 to 2003, gas prices were much below those averages because of overproduction by OPEC. Growing demand for petroleum from China, however, precipitated the Iraq War which was to stimulate demand for American goods by forcing countries like China to use dollars in Iraq’s oil market.

    However, since the war lasted long enough for the Russians and Iranians to damage Iraq’s oil production capacity, we have the worst of both worlds—more demand for oil with our weak dollar against China and less supply overall. Domestic production increases are covering the slack a bit, but there’s not enough to solve the problem totally. Add in that California is disconnected from any domestic production and you see why the state needs to be a leader in electric cars, shale oil extraction, AND high speed rail.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That’s why they call it an average Bruce, because about half the time it is above and half the time below that price.

    I know the Ruth hurts Bruce. I know you are embarrass because you jumped in with the bullshit comment thinking I did not have the facts on my side. It’s ok, it happens sometimes.

    Just admit you were wrong. Gas prices are not out of control, nor have they been for 100 years, and we will let it rest.

    Otherwise you will just keep digging the hole deeper. For example, you try to discount the price from 100 years ago, but ignore the fact that 25 years ago it was just as high. You refuse to comment on the fact that tar sands and oil sands are providing hundreds of years of reserves never counted before.

    It’s ok, it is a common misconception that gas prices are “high”. It’s selection bias, When they are high people remember and when they go down no one notices or writes about it

    BruceMcF Reply:

    If you think the truth hurts, that would explain why you won’t admit that a sixty year downward price trend is not “volatility” and its not “the price remaining the same”.

    It’s possible you have convinced yourself that “remain” doesn’t mean what it actually does, but anybody else seeing:

    True/False “sixty year downward price trend” EQUALS “the price remained the same”

    would know to circle “FALSE”.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I have a masters in engineering Bruce. I know how to read a chart.

    Now you are arguing that gas prices have been on a downward trend. Fine. Granted.

    As I said (in an earlier post) I did not want to overstate the case that it has actually been on a downward trend so I took the MORE CONSERVATIVE assertion that it has remained the same. But if you want to argue that gas is actually cheaper than it was a 100 years ago I will not argue with you.

    So we all agree, gas is equal to or cheaper than it was 100 years ago. Thanks. Appreciate you making my point which is that gas prices are not and have never been out of control or outrageous, They are volatile over some periods, but always return to an inflation adjusted average around $3 +/- 1

    As for you adirondacker. I don’t think you thought your argument through.

    1. You have stated many times you want high gas prices to discourage suburban spread.
    2. You asserted in this thread that high gas prices are caused by republicans.
    3. Since you want high gas prices you must agree/support the GOP on this issue.

    Are you sure you want to support the GOP. I thought they were wrong at all times on all things? Does not compute.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Though all of those things can take time, and some of them are not viable options for everyone until more and better transportation alternatives are made available.

    Which is why waiting until the next gasoline price spike and then politicians running around like chickens with their head cut off calling pointless “gas price gouging” hearings, which is the primary alternative policy that seems to be offered, is even worse.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    having the bus come by once an hour is not a viable option for people who work 40 hours a week.

    Even when gas is cheap and plentiful it costs more to live far away from work than it does to live close to work. I’m gonna be old enough to retire in a few years. The price of gas has been volatile all of my working life. Why should people who made the compromises to live closer to work pay for people who ignored that the price of gas can be volatile?

    jimsf Reply:

    yes well, ” i didn’t blah blah blah so why should i have to blah blah” ” is the new america.
    Everyone is so put upon because everyone else is getting over.

    Amercia, the whiny baby country@

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    like the ones that whine gas should be cheap forever so they can drive their 20mpg car until it dies a horrible death from old age?

    jimsf Reply:

    under what rock might they find the money for a new car? You think they don’t want one?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    use the gas money they aren’t spending to pay off the loan? But then they were stupid enough to think that gas was going to be cheap forever even though that hasn’t been the case for the past 40 years are probably also the kind of people that the car they bought is going to last forever and haven’t been putting aside money for a big down payment on a newer one.

    jimsf Reply:

    or maybe they will just vote for whats in their best interest and it will come down to who has the most political pull.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “Even when gas is cheap and plentiful it costs more to live far away from work than it does to live close to work.”

    In Northern Ohio, that’s certainly true ~ the challenge there is where husband and wife (or etc.) work in different places. You can’t both live in walking / cycling distance to work if one works in Cleveland and the other works in Akron.

    There’s lots of places in Southern California where its just not true ~ the cost of housing to live close to work is so high that the savings on transport do not always cover the extra cost of housing.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    “having the bus come by once an hour is not a viable option for people who work 40 hours a week. ”

    And yet there are people who use an hourly bus to get to work, so I’m going to assume that there are unstated assumptions their … “… assuming we are only concerned with people earning median income and higher, instead of actually talking about everybody’s trip to work”, or some such.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s what happens when you get another DWI conviction and they take your driver’s license away, you get stuck waiting for the bus instead of driving to work in 20 minutes. Along with the 6 other people in the 25 passenger bus who can’t drive for some reason and aren’t going to work.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Assuming that places you are not familiar with all fall into comfortable stereotypes only simplifies your model of the world. It doesn’t actually make the reality of the place any simpler. Its true that at once time most people who really wanted a full time job and were ready, able and willing to work had a full time job, but those days have passed. Plenty of people who are ready, able and willing to work are forced to take jobs with short and/or uncertain hours.

    And as far as lower San Fernando Valley bus service goes, you pulled this once an hour bus straight from your posterior … the 94 has 8 services, between 6am and 9am, 43 services between 4:48am and 1:06am; the 165 has 12 services between 6am and 9am, 46 services between 4:43am and 9:48pm, and the 222 has 6 services between 6am and 9am, 26 between 4:06am and 12:37am.

    Joe Reply:

    adirondacker12800 Reply:
    July 5th, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    That’s what happens when you get another DWI conviction and they take your driver’s license away, you get stuck waiting for the bus instead of driving to work in 20 minutes. Along with the 6 other people in the 25 passenger bus who can’t drive for some reason and aren’t going to work.

    Making shit up.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Bruce, I’m not sure about Ohio, but in cities with reasonable transit, a large majority of transit ridership is on trains and buses that come fairly frequently. For example, in Vancouver, with the caveat that there are transfers, two thirds of the bus ridership is on the frequent network or on supplementary rush-hour overlays of the network. Adding in SkyTrain, this is about four fifths of transit ridership in the region.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you’ve taken that job with odd hours and the bus stops running at 8 getting home from work when get out at 9:30 is rather difficult. A bus that runs twice an hour early in the morning isn’t terribly helpful if you need to be in work at 11 when it runs once an hour, you get out at 7:30 and the last one of the day comes by at 7:35.

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker,

    I’ve taken a job where I had to work late. Once in a while, I missed the last train home.
    After leaving work that late, I couldn’t get back in. So I waited at the train station until the first train — about 5:30am (an outbound train, to catch commuters coming back in the opposite direction).

    What is your point? Do you even have one?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    my point is that places where the bus runs once an hour are the kind of places where almost every adult has the exclusive use of their own personal automobile, there is no congestion and it’s very easy to park. Expect under extreme duress they are gonna get in their car and go places. Running empty buses past them every half hour instead of every hour isn’t going to change that because it’s also the kind of place where they can drive anywhere they want to go in 20 minutes.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Where “almost every adult” means, in many of those places, overlooking 10% to 20% of the working population, because this is the 2010’s, not the 1980’s.

    And of course, the same city that has hourly buses in one state that has anti-transit policies may well have half hourly buses if it was located in another state with pro-transit policies, and if they had half hourly buses, would have more people relying on the bus.

    The “running empty buses past them every half hour instead …” assumes the conclusion into the argument, since given that there will certainly be people being pushed into poverty by the cost of keeping a car in operation to get to work, and if any number of them can get by more easily with that half hourly bus than with an hourly bus, the half hourly bus won’t stay empty.

    And all of that distracting from how absurdly misplaced the whole “hourly bus” claim is when talking about Burbank, California.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    We were talking about people like Jim who move 20 miles past the middle of nowhere and bitch that gas isn’t a just over a buck a gallon like it was in 2001. Or earlier Lemoore and the hordes of people who want to go to thriving vibrant VIsalia. Where there are more parking spaces than people.
    People who are too poor to own a car don’t move to places where the bus runs once an hour. Or 20 miles past the middle of nowhere. One of the reasons places that have a bus come by every 15 minutes 16 hours a day is that there are enough people there to actually have passengers on it when it passes through every 15 minutes. They have someplace to go that isn’t parking lots that happen to have an abnormal amount of retail and services surrounding them.

    jimsf Reply:

    Fisrt of all I wasn’t complaining about the price of gas. I knew full well the price of gas when I moved and had I determined it wasn’t feasable I would not have bought the house where I did. My point was that many people are in situations that change and for them, up and relocating or buying new cars is not an option.

    Second, I most certainly will vote for what is in my best interest going forward.

    jimsf Reply:

    I continue to support hsr because I think it is good for the states economy even though at this point it doesn’t look like it will be of any use to me ever except to ride it as a novelty. But at the same time I will vote for increased spending on roads as well.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “We were talking about people like Jim who move 20 miles past the middle of nowhere and bitch that gas isn’t a just over a buck a gallon like it was in 2001.”

    If what you are doing is griping about your mental model of some specific minority share of the population, then don’t talk as if that’s “everyone”. “Everyone” is always a lot more varied and complex group than any simplified stereotype can fit.

    Joe Reply:

    “VIsalia. Where there are more parking spaces than people”

    Making shit up to get attention.

    Joe Reply:

    Maybe Wikipedia is broken

    Visalia CA would be the sixth largest city in NY state.

    Joe Reply:

    Use google search and extending the clear population trends since 1990, Visalia should pass Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo when HSR IOS is finished.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Just how hard is it to park in Visalia? is it so hard to park in Visalia that people who own cars will use the bus instead? When will it be so hard to park in Visalia that people who own cars will use the bus instead? Wide swaths of the rinky dink little cities in the Midwest and Northeast were developed before cars were cheap. That are are still easy to walk to the bus stop and go to places where they think it’s hard to park. They don’t get on the bus often. Why would someone in greater Visalia, who lives someplace where it’s not an easy walk to the bus, take the bus to someplace where it’s easy to park?

    jimsf Reply:

    It is not hard to park in visalia. Im there all the time. Its a dreadful place to take the bus. Its too hot.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Raising the gas tax to pay for a base tunnel on a detour to Mojave is a great idea. I mean you do not want to sully California’s rep as a kook state, do you?

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Translate: “Industry Groups that have been free riding on using the atmosphere as a Carbon Dump, and their bought and paid for Lawmakers, object to having that free ride taken away, and prefer that we all plummet headlong into catastrophic climate crisis in this generation or the next as opposed to any policy that will have any adverse impact on their quarterly profit and loss reports.”

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Thank you

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/taiyuan-xian-high-speed-line-opens.html

    Observer Reply:

    I am amazed at the infrastructure projects that China is building. And here we are – totally failing to address our infrastructure needs in any sort of comprehensive way. The highway trust fund is about to go broke, people want to dismantle Cap and Trade, and all reasonable ideas on how to address ours gets shot down by different parties interested only in themselves. So the question still remains – how on earth will this country begin addressing its infrastructure needs?

    JB in PA Reply:

    In China the NIMBYs are on a leash.

    Observer Reply:

    Our congress is on a leash too, to campaign donors.

    Observer Reply:

    Or I should say: our congress is on a leash too – expertly handled by campaign donors.

    Zorro Reply:

    Republicans are indeed on the Corporate payroll, that’s where most of the Republicans campaign money comes from, whereas the Democratic Party is from a mixture, like individual, unions and some corporate, though never right or right leaning corporate sources like KOCH Industries, who is spending over $100 Million just to defeat Senate Democrats.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Demos are as much on the corporate payroll as the GOP.

    You think the Tejon Ranch Co. does not have Jerry in its pocket?

    jimsf Reply:

    well the chinese built our last big rail project, maybe we need to give them a call.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    China is so ideal

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/china-toxic-air-pollution-nuclear-winter-scientists

    Plus a bonus of no freedom.

  14. Joe
    Jul 3rd, 2014 at 17:39
    #14

    Rookie DeLeon had staff apologize for HSR Tumbleweeds comment.

    DeLeón was unavailable Wednesday to comment for this story. His staff this week clarified DeLeón’s position on high-speed rail construction and offered apologies for his broad “out in the tumbleweeds” remarks.

    His Valley colleagues in the Senate, meanwhile, say they’re inclined to cut him some slack — and work to make sure he understands that there is more to the region than tumbleweeds.

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/07/02/4007991/la-senator-clarifies-valley-tumbleweeds.html#storylink=cpy

    The CV HSR project is not going to be undone by a rookie Senate Leader. He’ll learn to state the importance of HSR work in the CV.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The tumbleweeds comment is on the mark. Of course the real boondocks is Mojave.

    He is just being honest – the plan is to spend most all of the hsr money in and around LA.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Calling Fresno “the tumbleweeds” and taking the State Senators whose districts include urbanized areas with Fresno’s population or smaller and putting them in opposition to what you are doing is not a good plan to get things done in the California State Senate.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who cares? It is just political theatre.

    Now knock the Tejon Ranch Co. and he is in deep doo-doo.

  15. datacruncher
    Jul 3rd, 2014 at 22:55
    #15

    Fresno Chef Gets New Start With High Speed Rail
    Daniel Ruiz moved with his family from Seattle to Fresno to take care of his parents about a year ago. But found it really hard to find a job.

    “I pretty much was on the verge of going homeless.,” Ruiz says. “I’m a family man with three children.”

    He looked up and down the Valley for any descent paying job, but found none.

    “The job situation wasn’t looking good,” Ruiz says. “I started doubting myself. The jobs that were hiring were very part time at very low pay and I was starting to worry. I didn’t know where I was going to go week to week.”

    But thanks to one of the first construction jobs in advance of the much disputed initial stretch of California High Speed Rail, Ruiz’s luck turned around.

    In early June he was hired as a supervisor on a hazardous waste abatement team through Katch Environmental in Fresno. Their task? The 24 men spend their days clearing out unsafe material like lead and asbestos from sites that will soon meet the wrecking ball.

    More at
    http://kvpr.org/post/fresno-chef-gets-new-start-high-speed-rail

  16. Reality Check
    Jul 4th, 2014 at 08:17
    #16

    ‘Made in China’ high-speed trains going global
    Chinese high-speed train makers are increasingly selling their products to Western countries. Experts say the established European firms in the sector urgently need to develop strategies to counter the competition.

    Previously known as a manufacturing hub for low-technology and labor-intensive products, China has been increasingly moving up the technology ladder to become an exporter of hi-tech goods.

    […]

    the scale of domestic high-speed rail network construction has led to a decline in production costs for Chinese manufacturers, which has made them more competitive than their counterparts in places like Germany and France.

    […]

    In an bid to increase its impact on European markets, China has been “successfully closing deals with countries that have been hit hardest by the eurocrisis or are generally looking for ways to encourage growth spurts in their economies,” explained König, adding that China is widely perceived as a “relatively hassle-free alternative to the often unappealing bureaucratic processes the EU represents.”

    Observer Reply:

    Competition is good. I hope we are offered a good deal, by the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans.

  17. Larry Scheib
    Jul 4th, 2014 at 13:41
    #17

    Screw Keystone, California needs a pipeline built from West Texas. California’s major problem is it is more at the mercy of the middle east than middle america

    http://www.growthenergy.org/news-media/ethanol-in-the-news/gas-prices-wallop-wallets/

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I think you mean the pipeline from Canada that Obama refuses to kill or approve. The one carrying oil from tar sands.

    Yeah good luck with that. Apparently the “all of the above” policy does not actually include all of the above.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Its pretty strongly all of the above for US energy sources.

    The administration cannot make up its mind on whether to extend that to enabling Canadian energy sources reach export markets outside the US, but that does not modify their drill baby drill policy on US-based oil and natural gas.

    StevieB Reply:

    California does not have a pipeline to West Texas because oil companies would not profit building a pipeline. California imports oil to refineries because demand from too many automobiles outstrips what is produced in California and Alaska. California government will not build an oil pipeline to Texas but what it can do is increase public transportation and encourage more efficient urban growth to decrease the miles driven by automobiles thereby decreasing gasoline consumption.

    wdobner Reply:

    If CA needs oil that badly then they should contemplate replacing San Onofre and Diablo Canyon’s LWRs with high temp, low pressure Gen IV reactors. Make carbon neutral petroleum fuels from seawater using the waste heat from the reactors. Or it could desalinate seawater by reducing its fuel output.

    Green Freedom white paper.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It doesn’t make sense to use the heat to make stuff that we then burn for heat. It makes more sense to use the heat to make electricity which we then use to pump heat. Especially in someplace like California where the climate is moderate. Or charge the batteries in the car. It doesn’t make sense to make methanol, convert it to gasoline like substance and then burn that, when you can’t run the car on battery power, just burn the methanol in the car. Or if it’s something like a peaking power plant, design it to run on the first step of syngas production.

    wdobner Reply:

    It’s all energy storage. Whether it’s a battery, hydrogen, liquid petroleum fuel, or anything else. All we’re doing is getting energy from one point to another. What’s important for the widespread adoption of carbon neutral technologies is that they can be implemented without converting other infrastructure. We have a tremendous investment in the infrastructure to distribute liquid petroleum fuels. So if we want to get a carbon neutral transport fuel to the market quickly it’s best to utilize that distribution system and sell it as product otherwise homogenous with wellhead sourced fossil fuels. Eventually it’d be preferable to move toward battery powered cars and more directly utilize nuclear energy, but for now this gets us carbon neutral fuel without requiring a major change at the consumer end.

    And yeah, some have proposed on-site utilization of syngas in a peaker plant. It’s actually an interesting way to apply a small modular reactor to an area whose electrical demand can outstrip the capacity of the plant under certain circumstances. In those cases the peaker plant would burn fuel created at the adjacent nuclear reactor, while the nuke would take advantage of lower demand periods to build up the fuel for that peaker plant.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    ” What’s important for the widespread adoption of carbon neutral technologies is that they can be implemented without converting other infrastructure.”

    Why? None of our previous transitions to new energy sources as a base for our economy required implementing them on top of the old infrastrucure. We built new infrastructure for petroleum, for coal, for wind and water … going back to first applying animal power, we have been building new infrastructure to best use the new energy sources.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Precisely. In areas where the extremes of outdoors temperatures makes heat pumps with the outside inefficient, then geothermal assist heat pumps are far more efficient than multiple conversion steps to create methane that is less energy-efficient in heating the house … and with energy losses at each conversion step increasing the energy cost of the natural gas heating.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Wikipedia says the theoretical maximum efficiency for using electricity to make hydrogen out of water is 62%. The best you can hope for by burning things for heat is somewhere in the 90% efficiency range. If you try really hard a bit better but it can never be more than 100%. The cheap low efficiency heat pumps are 300% efficient and the mildly more expensive ones are 400%. Instead of making hydrogen out of the water so I can run my heat pump during peak give me an insulated tank that can store heat in the winter and cold in the summer and I don’t have to run my heat pump during peak.

    Give us a very smart grid and as demand falls in the evening it can start my dishwasher or dryer after the car batteries are charged and the storage tanks are up to temperature. Do those kind of things and you don’t need the peaking plant. If it’s really smart it can see that I didn’t take a shower or do any wash on a mild day here and not charge the storage tank until after the car battery is charged leaving more off peak for the people in Western New York and Ohio where it was much colder or hotter that day….

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Lots of people have become used to thinking about gross energy over the last century ~ ‘we found an oil field with this many barrels of oil in it! ~ and going back to thinking about net energy and conversion efficiencies takes some getting used to. “Take this, do this, do this, do this, and you’ve got a plug and play replacement for what we use today” quite often ignores the energy losses at every “do this” step.

    Extend this ~ size thermal solar panels so that they normally produce enough hot water in winter, and then in many temperate climates they will be producing far more than you need in summer. But that’s far more than you need for your current hot water uses. They make dessicant-based dehumidifiers that blow household air through a dessicant to dehumidify the air … and lower humidity allows the AC thermostat to be set higher.

    The dessicant is on a slowly rotating axis, and on the opposite side air that has been warmed by blowing it over hot water is blown through the dessicant to release the humidity and vent it outdoors.

    And now you have a use for the “extra” summer solar hot water when the solar panels are sized to produce adequate hot water in the winter time, to dehumidify the air and allow the thermostat to be set higher while still being comfortable in the house.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Solar thermal is never going to be more than 100% efficient. Couple my 20% efficient PV with a 400% efficient heat pump and I get 80 % efficiency. 22% and 450% and I’m almost at 100%. Installed price of PV gets close to the price of installed solar thermal I’m going to pick PV. I need the heat pump for those winter days when there isn’t enough solar to keep the house warm. The heat pump that keeps the house warm on the coldest winter days is grossly over sized for the hottest summer days. Instead of one big tank of hot water to allow me to just run the heat pump with PV or off peak at least two tanks. I can chill one in the summer with the PV and off peak.
    YMMV depending on where you are. Arizonans doesn’t need desiccant dehumidifiers. If they want to lower their cooling bill they can get what is politely called an evaporative cooler. It’s a humidifier more or less. Someone in New Orleans where their heating bill is minuscule might find a heat driven dehumidfier more interesting, they can use the heat storage tank to dehumidify during peak and sell the excess PV to the grid.
    …all of us need better insulation so we don’t need as much during peak…. Insulation never wears out if you take care of it along with the rest of the house.

    Joey Reply:

    You already have a heat tank – the ground under your house maintains a remarkably constant and comfortable temperature if you go down a few feet. All you need is a heat exchanger with the air in your house – usually just circulating water.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The temperature of the ground is more or less the temperature of the water coming out of your faucet. That’s not warm enough to heat my house. Or warm enough to bathe in unless I was desperate.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    It depends on where you live whether its a “comfortable temperature” ~ in some subtropical zones it would be, in most temperature zones its in the 50’s in the old money, so more useful as a heat source/sink for a heat pump.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You need a huge heat exchanger to heat your house with 72 degree water. The places where the ground is that warm are the kind of places where they are much more interested in cooling the house. You need a huge heat exchanger to cool the house with 72 degree water.

    http://www.greenbuildingtalk.com/DesktopModules/ActiveForums/viewer.aspx?portalid=0&moduleid=369&attachid=272

    I want ground source so I can suck heat out of it in winter. People who live in the kind of place with 72 degree ground sourced heat pump water are the kind who want to dump heat into it. Dump it into the water heater and the excess into the ground. The “dump it into the water heater” is cheap mature technology…. since I have the heat pump anyway I also want to dump the heat into the water heater during the summer.

    I want the relatively cheap insulated tank so I can avoid using the heat pump during peak. they want the insulated storage tank so they can avoid using the heat pump during peak. If most people who have heat pumps have storage tanks the peak is much more muted and the utility has load for the off peak that is more efficient than making hydrogen to burn in a peaking plant. And the storage tanks are probably going to be cheaper than the complex chemical plant the utility would need to make and store hydrogen and a peaking plant. Make ‘em outta plastic and they are gonna last a very long time.

    Joey Reply:

    If you live in a place where it snows, probably not, but it’s a viable alternative to air conditioning.

  18. RubberToe
    Jul 5th, 2014 at 15:27
    #18

    Construction underway?
    http://www.sbsun.com/business/20140705/fontana-steel-company-wins-contract-on-first-leg-of-high-speed-rail-construction

    StevieB Reply:

    Crews build test piling near Madera to advance high-speed rail design.

    jimsf Reply:

    yes slowly but surely things are moving forward. A slow start, like an old steam loco or the little engine that could… inch by inch shrugging off the naysayers and nnofn’s
    It will gradually build momentum. Then word will spread about the construction related jobs and suddenly green acres will be the place to be.

    Joe Reply:

    With steel made in Fontana CA.

    http://www.sbsun.com/business/20140705/fontana-steel-company-wins-contract-on-first-leg-of-high-speed-rail-construction
    The company was started in 1994 by Debbie Martinez and her husband Joe Martinez. Company executives say the company went through a tough time in the recession and is now doing much better thanks to the project.

    “Martinez Steel is very grateful for the opportunity that has arisen to have, as a small business, a substantial contract in this marketplace,” said Harry Williams, vice president of Martinez Steel.

    “A lot has happened in this marketplace,” Williams said. “The developers came forward in this recession and came up with places to continue on, as prices were downturned, to make arrangements with banking and lending institutions to stimulate the state again with construction. Now, it’s all starting to come to fruition. The economy is picking up better than what we’ve seen in the last six and a half years.”

    Officials with the California High Speed Rail Authority said they have an aggressive goal of hiring 30 percent of contractors from small businesses.

  19. Paul Dyson
    Jul 6th, 2014 at 09:57
    #19

    LA Times this morning
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-high-speed-rail-20140706-story.html

    Clem Reply:

    Paul, I would suggest that this turn of events requires someone (anyone?) to start an LA-focused blog to discuss the nuts and bolts of the project in the area. There are a huge number of details to be worked out, and believe it or not decision-makers do read blogs. This is an opportune time!

    synonymouse Reply:

    The decision-makers may have somone on their staff monitoring occasionally blogs but from what I see in the real world policy is not at all affected. A wink from the CEO of the Tejon Ranch has more clout.

    The rush to blow billions in LA County and environs will not go unnoticed elsewhere. A 15 mile tunnel constitutes a base tunnel or should. If it turns out to be significantly a “NIMBY” subway tacked onto a genuine tunnel under a mountain range that’s a luxury others will covet. If the rich and powerful of Sta. Clarita, for instance, can demand as tribute for co-operation a subway, why not PAMPA? You are conceivably looking at billions of extra dollars for these amenities on the road to Palmdale and on to Mojave. How could this extravagance not bloat the touted $68bil figure?

    As regional commute “boondoggles” go, double-decking the GG Bridge for light rail makes a lot more sense than a base tunnel on a detour to nowhere to pay off some tract builders.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ergo the mayors of PAMPA should be immediately asking why they should not be accorded the same largesse as Sta. Clarita, Sylmar, Palmdale if subways be forthcoming.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Or what’s the total cost of subway-surface light rail on Geary in relation to the Antonovich Base Tunnel going to podunk Palmdale?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Clem, the recent Times articles and editorial are not totally unconnected to a much despised (by some) rail advocacy group. As for a blog, maybe, if I could unload some other activities.

  20. Reality Check
    Jul 6th, 2014 at 10:52
    #20

    Gov. Rick Scott’s top adviser against HSR now lobbies for All Aboard Florida rail plan

    Hollingsworth became one of Scott’s most trusted advisers, a position he used to influence the administration’s rejection of billions in federal high-speed rail money, then later lobby for a rail project that would benefit his employer, emails, text messages and administration documents obtained by the Scripps/Tribune Capital Bureau show.

    Hollingsworth, through his office, declined to comment.

    After the November 2010 election, Hollingsworth was brought on to serve as a transportation adviser to Scott’s transition team.

    His role was not ceremonial. As adviser, Hollingsworth penned a draft letter informing federal administrators Florida was rejecting $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail line between Orlando and Tampa.

    “Please find attached a draft letter for the governor to send U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood on high-speed rail,” Hollingsworth wrote in a Feb. 13, 2011, email to a handful of Scott advisers.

    Hollingsworth’s letter included links to a study authored by the Libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation that found cost overruns could cost state taxpayers $3 billion, a number later cited by Scott.

    After the state rejected the federal money, Hollingsworth became an executive at Parallel Infrastructure, a company owned by Florida East Coast Industries. That company also owns All Aboard Florida, now pushing a Miami-to-Orlando rail project.

  21. jimsf
    Jul 6th, 2014 at 17:46
    #21

    So we end up with, merced to bakersfiled Burbank to Palmdale and San Francisco to San Jose. All by when, about 2020? That only leaves bakersfield-palmdale and merced-san jose to complete. Maybe this will all be said and done sooner than we know.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    If enough people get behind it, which could happen if there is progress in the three main population areas, something for people to touch and feel, and some kind of improvement in mobility while the gaps are being filled. It’s a tall order, with a lot of pitfalls, but hell, I don’t have anything better to do than to keep nudging it along.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “a segment” between Palmdale and Burbank does not specify which segment, and it certainly doesn’t imply Palmdale / Burbank all at once. And there are two segments which would either of them might allow dramatically improved AV line service for the people on the other side of the tunnel.

    I don’t know which of the upper tunnel and lower tunnel have people pulling for it, and if both, which side has more weight on their side.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    2008 Prop 1A bonds were for “Safe, Reliable” HSR. Caltrain has dozens of grade crossings. HSR needs secure track – grade separated and fenced. HSR on Caltrain tracks would be NEITHER SAFE NOR RELIABLE.—

    Don’t squander more HSR money on a Caltrain “Bookend”. End initial HSR to the Bay Area at San Jose, with seamless transfers there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, VTA, and BART.—

    Later upgrade the UP/Amtrak East Bay Mulford route to Oakland and on to Sacramento for HSR. Add a transfer station at the BART overpass in Oakland – 6 minutes from San Francisco’s downtown Embarcadero station with trains every 4 minutes or oftener .—

    Far better, safer, more reliable, and less costly. The new station – San Francisco Bay Rail Hub – would be at a freeway interchange very close to the Bay Bridge, convenient for inter-city, commuter, and local transit buses as well as trains, an ideal locus for transportation, port, and regional governmental offices with prime transit access for employees and the public.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hell, why not? More money to spend on Palmdale.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Lancaster and Palmdale together now about 300,000 and no air service. Growing.
    San Francisco, formerly an important city, 900,000.

    synonymouse Reply:

    One bazillionaire is worth 300,000 of Antonovich faithful.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Worth what? To build a hyperloop? They are not interested in the needs of the working class. Nor is Antonovich for that matter but he will soon be termed out.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    I always see numbers for Palmdale & Lancaster (AV, e.g. Wikipedia) as 475k with projections of 1m. It seems well worth serving, including the option to link to Vegas.

    Meanwhile building BUR-Palmdale next sounds great. It’s immediately usable and will build momentum in the Southland, and gets us down to one manageable gap that private investment may well consider helping with.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    For the 947th time why is Caltrain safer than HSR in a grade crossing?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Mr. Allen wants the state on the hook to spend $Billions on an additional BART tube when instead HSR can approach by land, and the region can deal with BART needs. But first thing BART needs to stop expanding in the hinterland — would Mr. Allen agree?

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    adirondacker: It’s not. But Bourbonnais involved 79 mph track, as does Caltrain. HSR bonds were for “Safe, Reliable” HSR. HSR, with faster trains, on Caltrain tracks would be NEITHER SAFE NOR RELIABLE. HSR needs grade separated, fenced, secure track.—

    Neil: What I propose involves no additional BART track or tube. It avoids super-costly HSR tunneling and tube in going later to Sacramento. The major new facility would be a rail hub transfer station at the BART overhead in Oakland. And I strongly advocate extending BART to Livermore and later over the Altamont in eastern Alameda County.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why is shooing the people off the HSR train from Los Angeles in San Jose and forcing them to get on a Caltrain train is safer? Or a bus?

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    2008 Prop 1A bonds were for “Safe, Reliable” HSR. With dozens of grade crossings, Caltrain tracks are neither safe nor reliable for HSR even at 79 mph, let alone at higher speeds HSR needs grade separated, fenced secure track to be safe and reliable.—

    Upgrading the UP/Amtrak East Bay Mulford route later to Oakland and on to Sacramento would be far better, safer, more reliable, and less costly than the plan proposed. With a transfer station at the BART overhead in Oakland, San Francisco’s Embarcadero station would be six minutes away with a train every four minutes or more often.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I think a herd of winged pigs flying people from San Jose to San Francisco would be safer and faster. Each pig could go right to the passenger’s destination without making any stops.

  22. jimsf
    Jul 6th, 2014 at 18:05
    #22

    how do bfd-pmd mountain crossing and mcd-sjc mountain crossing compare. cost and difficulty. pacheco doesn’t have the elevation that palmdale does. Im just wondering which would be done first

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I always called for the hard parts to be done first but lost that argument so now advocating the opposite. To get useful transportation earlier I’d do the north end first. I’ll leave it to better informed people to counsel which route to take.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    They give costs by service stages in the Business Report, so IOS includes ICS, Bakersfield/Palmdale and Palmdale/Burbank. If the ICS is around $8b YOE, then the other two segments through to Burbank would be $22b YOE, Cowchilla to San Jose $19.5b YOE, and the Bookends from Burbank HSR through LA US to Anaheim and San Jose to SF Transbay $17b YOE.

    Since the bottom tunnel on the Palmdale / Burbank is supposed to be hairier than they originally expected, it doesn’t seem such a large share of the Bakersfield / Burbank could be in the Bakersfield / Palmdale section to make it more expensive than Cowchilla / San Jose.

    jimsf Reply:

    i see. well. someone just hurry up and build something please.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I would expect Burbank – Anaheim to be last

    synonymouse Reply:

    The elevation of Tejon, Tehachapi, and Pacheco crossings would depend on the final alignment, i.e. civil works. IIRC Clem’s route over Tejon has a lower highest elevation than PB’s Tehachapi.

  23. jimsf
    Jul 6th, 2014 at 20:18
    #23

    If they are going to have a rail connection to an airport as in the hsr station at the burbank airport then for the love of god put the damn station in or on the airport terminals instead of half a mile away.
    At least bart got that right. a train that goes right into the terminal and doesn’t stop on the other side of the freeway.

    In chicago I rode an el train and it went directly into the airport terminal at ohare.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    JIMSF, that really isn’t possible. You might get into the terminal area from the north, how would you emerge from the south end? We’re not talking about a terminus here like SFO, it will be a through station.

    jimsf Reply:

    well i guess you could veer off the row at the north end of the runway run at grade along the runway until you approach the terminal, tunnel under the terminal and emerge, merging onto the surliner row and continue south

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Very low speed curves, not HSR compatible.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not very cheap to build either.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The hope long ago was that Ontario would have an airport HSR to help its expansion plans to being SoCal’s second biggest airport. If you know how much traffic has collapsed at Ontario since 2006, you will understand why that won’t happen there or Burbank.

    El Toro if converted to an airport, has good access to LOSSAN, but is extremely unpopular in South Orange County. SFO meanwhile, knows LA has this tactical disadvantage and is ecstatic that it will own the only airport in the state with an HSR stop….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You only go right to the terminal at SFO if you happen to be using the terminal it goes to.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    The equivalent of taking the El to the Bob Hope is taking the Ventura Metrolink, but since they use diesels, a tunnel station under the terminal isn’t really a live option. Being next to the place where people pick up and drop off rental cars, with a travelator to the terminal, isn’t a bad second best.

  24. Paul Dyson
    Jul 6th, 2014 at 21:43
    #24

    Will someone please write a new blog. Or is Robert going for a Guinness record? I’d rather have the Guinness myself.

    jimsf Reply:

    agreed. where are we with station design for fresno

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Cardboard replica of Penn Station

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Fresno is never going to need 21 platforms.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I wrote a post about why it was wrong to give CAHSR so much cap-and-trade funding!

  25. jimsf
    Jul 6th, 2014 at 22:05
    #25

    OT for angelinos

    I have two guests visiting from Lyon in August and after SF and Palm springs we will drop them off to do LA on their own. They have long wish list of sights to see. Will they be able to see much in four days or does it take a full day on the bus to get from one part of town to the other?
    In the 80s I took a bus from hollywood to santa monica that I swear felt like an 8 hour trip.

    jimsf Reply:

    htey have this list of things to do
    LA :
    santa Monica, Venice, Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, boutiques de Beverly Hills, Malibu, Rodeo Drive, El Pueblo de Los Angeles, Hollywood, Universal, studios, Farmers Market and The Grove, Knott’s Berry Farm, Civic Center, Chinatown ‘n Little Tokyo, Griffith Park, Bradbury

    Ive never even heard of some of those things. They want to know if they can swim in the ocean at santa monica…. I told them only in a hazmat suit

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Your friends need to be strategic of they use transit. Riding the bus across town will blow off half a day easy.

    bixnix Reply:

    Lately, they might need a shark-proof suit for swimming around LA. As long as it doesn’t rain, the ocean will be fine. Four days should be alright as long as they don’t try to see everything – it’s not enough time, and they’ll be worn down from commuting. Divide the sights into clusters to cut down on the traveling. Maybe spend 2 days in Santa Monica beach / Venice / Getty Museum as August tends to be hot, and that’s good beach weather. One day could be Hollywood / Griffith Observatory / see if anything’s at the Hollywood Bowl. Another day for downtown (Bradbury building!) / El Pueblo / Chinatown / Lil’ Tokyo / see a Dodgers Game, concert at the Disney Music Center, performance at the Chandler, or see the Shuttle at the Cal Science Center. Could also go off the wall and head to Catalina, go whale watching, tour Warner Brothers, or be in a TV show audience.

    Donk Reply:

    Doing all of that by bus sounds miserable. When I lived in LA until recently, I was a fantastic tour guide, but it required a car. When I didn’t have time to drive people around, I would just tell them to hit the sites that they could hit on the Red Line/Gold Line and the Wilshire Rapid Bus. Otherwise, you are just going to spend way too much time waiting or in transit. Red/Gold/Wilshire will get you to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, Universal Studios, El Pueblo, Civic Center (not worth it), Bradbury, Little Tokyo, Chinatown.

    This leaves Venice, Sunset, Melrose, Malibu, Farmers Market, Griffith Park, and Knotts. Sunset you need a car or a long bus ride. Malibu could be combined with Sunset bus, but would be a realllllly long bus ride – car is much better. Venice you need a car or a long, crowded ride from downtown on the 330 (not worth it). Melrose and Farmers Market/Grove are close by one another and could both be reached from Wilshire/Fairfax if they can walk and maybe take a cab back.

    Instead of Griffith Park, I would go to Runyon Canyon, off of Fuller St. in Hollywood. You can potentially walk there from the Hollywood/Highland Red Line stop if you are really up for it, and you get great views all around LA and see lots of weird people and their dogs.

    Knotts is way out of the way.

    Donk Reply:

    Forgot to mention that Gold also gets you to Pasadena, which is worth visiting. It’s not worth taking the Blue Line to LB unless you want to sit on the train for like an hour each way.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    AAA tour book has an excellent walking tour of downtown, but if not updated you should add the Cathedral and Disney Hall. Best done on a weekday. Otherwise limit transit to rail and Rapid bus routes, which are actually quite comprehensive now for most of the sites listed.
    Warner Bros Studio tour in Burbank is very good, weekdays only.

    EJ Reply:

    Swimming in the ocean at Santa Monica should be fine that time of year. It only gets real bad when we’ve had lots of rain to wash the schmutz into the sea.

    But yeah, if you’re a tourist, get a car. There’s still too many places transit just doesn’t go. Plus they’ll get lots of horror stories to share about LA traffic and parking, which is part of the authentic LA experience. Some of that stuff like Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills – seems a bit of a waste to come all the way from France. There’s probably more interesting high-end shopping in Paris, if that’s something they’re really into.

    Catalina if they’ve got time. Even they ferry ride out there is fun; they’ll probably see flying fish and dolphins. Downtown for sure, and the Bradbury building – little Tokyo is probably worth a gander. The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City is weird and delightful. Malibu is pretty, but like Donk says, it’s a looooong (and not particularly frequent) bus ride. You’re gonna want to drive up PCH anyway to get the proper experience. Honestly if they’re going to Malibu there’s no reason to really bother with Santa Monica – maybe pop into Venice Beach for an hour or two for some people watching.

    If they really want to get around on transit I’d say honestly take the train up to Santa Barbara or down to San Diego. Both scenic trips in of themselves and at either end you’re much better fixed with transit and/or cheap taxis. Plus you still get to do downtown LA.

    jimsf Reply:

    ok thanks Ill copy and paste all of those posts and email them over to france. quite useful. they are going to have to really pick and choose.

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