After Court Defeat, HSR Opponents Set Sights on Tehachapis

Oct 19th, 2014 | Posted by

Having been resoundingly beaten in the courts once again, opponents of the California high speed rail project are now shifting their attention to another part of the project in hopes they can derail it. Their new claim is that the route from Bakersfield to Tehachapi Pass is too steep:

A grassroots group of Central Valley residents called the Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability presented a letter to the authority Tuesday that charges the agency with covering up the fact that any route selected through the Tehachapis would violate the terms of Proposition 1A, the 2008 rail bond measure.

“What’s most important is that the public and elected officials know that what they’ve been told all along is unachievable,” said Frank Oliveira, a Hanford-area private investigator and co-founder of the citizens’ group….

In response, a spokeswoman for the authority said program operators are still in the early stages of considering possible routes, but are confident that a suitable route will be found to meet all program requirements.

“There are engineering and design challenges in the Bakersfield to Palmdale section but they are challenges we will overcome,” Lisa Marie Alley said in an email. “I must say that there is absolutely no story here.”

HSR opponents will desperately try to prove her wrong, and their case rests on a section of the track between Bakersfield and Tehachapi, as was first reported by the Bakersfield Californian recently:

It comes as no surprise that the Tehachapi Mountains are a tough climb, even for a train that can travel up to 220 mph. The primary alternative, the Grapevine, also has steep grades that agency officials have said would require extensive tunneling and viaducts, both of which would be very expensive.

Newly released progress reports engineering firm URS Corp. sent the rail authority in fall 2013 raise concerns about a stretch of more than four miles southeast of Tehachapi near Oak Creek Road where the mountain grade is greater than 3.5 percent. That exceeds the rail authority’s self-imposed limit of 3.5 percent average grade for sections measuring about four miles.

The worries evident in those reports aren’t necessarily limited to the difficulty of going uphill. Just as formidable, observers say, is the challenge of going down a steep mountain….

Alley, the project spokeswoman, dismissed the notion that a 3.5 percent incline would stop the project, noting high-speed rail in Germany crosses 4 percent grades.

The Bakersfield Californian article is more than a little slanted against the project’s choice of Tehachapi over the Tejon Pass route. It argues that the reasons for choosing Tehachapi were political – a desire to appease Palmdale, which had threatened to sue, and a desire to appease the developers of the Tejon Ranch project.

But that wasn’t the full story of the California High Speed Rail Authority’s decision to reject a Tejon route. First of all, Prop 1A – which the HSR opponents sued to uphold – includes Palmdale in the alignment. So choosing an I-5 alignment via the Tejon Pass would violate Prop 1A.

Second, the I-5/Tejon alignment brings its own uncertainties, including grade. Clem Tillier’s research – which, it must be stated up front, led Clem to conclude that that Tejon is the better choice – does indicate that the maximum grade for that alignment is 3.5%. That’s coming close to the level of concern that the HSR opponents voiced about the Tehachapi route, though not quite at 4%. Clem and others have pointed out that estimates prepared in 2012 suggested that Tejon was up to $5 billion cheaper than a Tehachapi alignment, but that’s before any detailed engineering had been done for that tunnel-heavy route, and it doesn’t include lost revenue from abandoning the half a million people living in the Antelope Valley.

The Bakersfield Californian report has certainly fueled a renewed call to examine and choose the Tejon option. Personally I’m just fine with going via Tehachapi, in order to serve Palmdale, on the basis of the idea that HSR should go where the people are. But if a Tejon option is chosen, I could probably live with it, assuming that questions about ridership and revenues absent a Palmdale alignment are answered. And of course, the plan to connect LA to Las Vegas with high speed rail currently assumes a connection at Palmdale.

We’ll see if this new attack gets any traction. Everything I can see suggests that the Tehachapi option remains the solid choice of the Authority, but until construction begins one can probably never completely rule out a switch to Tejon, however unlikely it may seem.

  1. Zorro
    Oct 19th, 2014 at 20:22
    #1

    Sounds desperate to Me, grasping at straws…

  2. synonymouse
    Oct 19th, 2014 at 21:30
    #2

    This story goes back now, what, a couple of weeks.

    But it will keep coming up because Tehachapi-Mojave is a third-rate route. The only reason behind it is a scheme by Palmdale to get an enormously expensive commute rail line and Tejon Ranch snobbery that a train, even mostly in tunnel, will bring in the wrong demographic for their toney golf course and tract development at Lebec.

    The mendacity of PB has only made it worse. An honest presentation would have sped up the process of selecting the route. Instead they lied and continue to refuse to identify the optimum alignment absent any embargo from the Tejon Ranch Co.

    The people of California vote every day when they travel from NorCal to Socal. Their choice is Tejon.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “The people of California vote every day when they travel from NorCal to Socal. Their choice is Tejon.”

    ??? There’s another choice? Let’s say they never built the Grapevine over Tejon. Then the people of California would vote every day on another route so that should be the same route for HSR. Your logic is abysmal.

    joe Reply:

    And the critics attacking Tehachapis want to stop the project. They would oppose a Tejon alignment.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Please elaborate. AFAIK they have no problem with I-5.

    joe Reply:

    They have a problem with I-5.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suggest you are projecting. The Cheerleaders have a problem with I-5.

    joe Reply:

    No. The I-5 alignment is also opposed. Opponents want to stop the project, not push a I-5 alignment or Tejon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB gratuitously enraged so many all along the route. From the very beginning the least intrusive, most default route should have been mooted on a proof of concept scheme that remains borderline.

    French TGV’s are not doing that well financially. You have to keep it fast and express.

    Zorro Reply:

    You want an I-5 alignment and whine about it, I-5 isn’t going to happen no matter how much you whine, you don’t have the power of the people to back you Syno…

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is not the power of the people, Zorro.

    It is the power of the Party.

    Zorro Reply:

    So says the LOSER, syno…

    synonymouse Reply:

    neener neener neener

    Lewellan Reply:

    Wow. I only suspected Zorro had nothing to say.
    Proponents of Tejon rest their case on its engineering feasibility.
    Proponents of Tehachapi rest theirs on “We’re just doin it. Done deal, whatever.”
    Not a stimulating discussion, unless proponent’s objectives are more or less monetary.
    Cheap rides, supposedly. A day on the beach. A lazy evening return. Board meetings the day after.
    However it can be done, do it. That from an opponent of this status quo power structure.
    No doubt it can and should be done better than as proposed for Madera-Fresno-Bakersfield.
    A Talgo-type dual-mode can do it better, of course, obviously. Upgrade existing track corridor for (I knew it, I knew it), the new stadiums on every stop. The LosBanos el Americano futbol Teemboyz Stadium!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Talgos can’t do it better.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But with Prop 1a out of the picture, Jerry can do Talgos if he so chooses. That is the point the Cheerleaders are missing.

    Lewellan Reply:

    A dual-mode trainset system offers a more useful 1st Phase by directing funds to more productive upgrades along segments of existing track and corridors. Madera-Fresno-Bakersfield achieves very little.

    Alan Reply:

    No, Syno, Talgos still will not comply with Prop 1A, and neither would diverting Prop 1A money to non-HSR purposes (other than those provided for in 2704.095). You can whine all you want, but Prop 1A is still the law.

    Talgos are not going to happen in California. Period.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Running diesel trains at 125 between Madera and Bakersfield cuts over an hour out of the trip between Madera and Bakersfield. That would be useful for the people who want to travel between Madera and Bakersfield. Since the people who travel from Emeryville to Bakersfield will be using the same track it cuts an hour out of their trip from Emeryville to Bakersfield. They would also find that useful.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a is not the law. PB is the law.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Let’s say they never built the Grapevine over Tejon.”

    The Division of Highways was not that stupid. And not afraid of the Ranch, even with the Chandlers.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Did Tejon Ranch even exist in the 1960s?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I believe the Chandlers purchased the lands in 1913, around the time the Santa Fe capitulated on the Tejon crossing idea and took up the SP’s cheaper offer of route sharing over the Loop.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes

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

    J. Wong Reply:

    According to your logic, @syno, the American people are voting for GMO-foods because they eat GMO-foods everyday. The simple fact the people drive over Tejon everday is not a vote for Tejon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Motorists can choose to travel via Mojave from NorCal to SoCal. They don’t.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Americans can choose to buy only organic food. They don’t.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Real Americans(tm) drive everywhere. What they do is what counts.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What they do is travel via Tejon.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes it was very very silly of the Federal and State government to spend all that money on I-15 when people coulda just gone to Bakersfield instead.

    datacruncher Reply:

    I’m hearing Tejon Ranch Co. is discovering tenants at its new outlet shopping center at Grapevine are having a tough time hiring enough workers. There is no nearby housing and travelling 20 or 25 miles one way from Bakersfield for a retail job is not attracting enough job seekers.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe Ms. Voss’ suggestion to offer the Ranch a station merits a look.

    datacruncher Reply:

    To serve the new town of 12,000 housing units that Tejon Ranch now wants to build at the base of the Grapevine nears its outlet center and industrial park?
    http://kvpr.org/post/tejon-ranch-launches-plan-new-grapevine-city-12000-homes

    synonymouse Reply:

    yeah

    “Paris vaut une messe.”

    jimsf Reply:

    The reason they can’t get workers is because the jobs don’t pay enough to make it worthwhile.

  3. Howard
    Oct 19th, 2014 at 22:14
    #3

    Why not study the Old Tejon Pass route (Tejon Creek alignment)? It would allow a shorter route between downtown Bakersfield and the Palmdale Transportation Center.

    James McDonald Reply:

    I like your answer, Howard.
    If a freeway can get to Bakersfield, then so should the CA High Speed Rail. Is there a way of going around the Tehachapi Mountains? I’m all for any route as long as it doesn’t cancel Palmdale out of the plan.

    Paul s Reply:

    This looks like a logical alignment. It uses the existing geography to climb to the highest point in the valleys and will need a minimum of tunneling. It is not much longer then Tehachapi route and does not bypass Palmdale.
    This alignment needs s to be looked at as a serious potential alignment.

  4. Clem
    Oct 19th, 2014 at 22:26
    #4

    I’m glad this issue is starting to get more coverage. The mountain crossing, wherever it is ultimately built, will be a spectacular feat of engineering without equivalent anywhere in the world. It has to be engineered with great respect. That’s why the I-5 Corridor Study Report from PB was an embarrassment to California high-speed rail.

    synonymouse Reply:

    quite so.

    But thus far I see no indication of those presently in charge up to the challenge you lay out. I mean they treated Van Ark in the most shabby way.

    Joey Reply:

    I’m glad it’s being talked about too, I just wish the people taking about it had a clue what they were saying.

  5. Darrell
    Oct 19th, 2014 at 23:00
    #5

    As I commented to the previous post, it’s pretty hard to follow Prop. 1A and not go through Palmdale.
    Ballot text 2704.04:
    “(b) (2) As adopted by the authority in May 2007, Phase 1 of the high-speed train project is the corridor of the high-speed train system between San Francisco Transbay Terminal and Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim.” Which goes through Palmdale.
    “(b) (3) (D) Fresno to Bakersfield to Palmdale to Los Angeles Union Station.”

    Darrell Reply:

    All these comments with nothing about grades at Tehachapi.

    CHSRA February 2, 2012 Board Meeting Agenda Item 5: Attachment Supplemental AA Report Volume 1 (pages 15-19), New Alternative T3 cites, “Average grade of 2.85% over 20 miles and Sustained grade of 3.3% over 8 miles” (link at http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Statewide_Rail_Modernization/Project_Sections/bakersfield_palmdale.html ).

    What’s different in the URS route?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, and as I’ve noted, the same “___ to ___ to ___” language is also used in the same paragraph for a route in which the three cities are not on the same line but on three spokes of a Y.

    Darrell Reply:

    Citation? Here are the named segments, again:
    “(A) Sacramento to Stockton to Fresno.
    (B) San Francisco Transbay Terminal to San Jose to Fresno.
    (C) Oakland to San Jose.
    (D) Fresno to Bakersfield to Palmdale to Los Angeles Union Station.
    (E) Los Angeles Union Station to Riverside to San Diego.
    (F) Los Angeles Union Station to Anaheim to Irvine.
    (G) Merced to Stockton to Oakland and San Francisco via the Altamont Corridor.”

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Merced, Stockton, and Oakland/SF are on three spokes of a Y according to the main Altamont alternatives studied in the EIR.

    Darrell Reply:

    But how are those about Palmdale?

    EJ Reply:

    Because if (G) can describe three spokes of a Y, then so can (D). Personally I think your interpretation is more logical, but that’s not the one the authority went with.

    Darrell Reply:

    Don’t forget the ballot text both describes segments and references maps of a route through Palmdale in existing environmental documents: “consistent with the authority’s certified environmental impact reports of … 2005 and … 2008.”

    Full paragraph: “2704.04. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature by enacting this chapter and of the people of California by approving the bond measure pursuant to this chapter to initiate the construction of a high-speed train system that connects the San Francisco Transbay Terminal to Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim, and links the state’s major population centers, including Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, Orange County, and San Diego consistent with the authority’s certified environmental impact reports of November 2005 and July 9, 2008.”

    Joey Reply:

    I’m pretty sure you’re grasping at straws here. The things you refer were intended to validate the CHSRA’s studies, not enshrine their conclusions against future unforeseen circumstances.

    Darrell Reply:

    But they were pretty specific about what the bond proceeds could be used for.

    Although one could make an argument that if construction of the Tehachapi Mountains crossing is not funded by Prop. 1A bonds — because those will have been used for other segments, which is probably the case — then the restriction doesn’t apply.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a is no longer operative.

    Darrell Reply:

    Oh? CHSRA is beginning construction as specified in Prop. 1A, for a larger phased SF-LA project that is consistent with Prop. 1A.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Inconsistent:

    1. Cannot meet 2:40 in revenue operations.

    2. Will require large and perennial subsidy.

    Darrell Reply:

    1. Show how its ultimate build-out cannot. “No way a deficit ridden DogLegRail will be able to afford 220mph” does not count.
    2. Documentation?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course it counts. People are constantly arguing against maglev as not affordable.

    Commercial airlines could fly faster than 500mph but they don’t on a lot of routes.

    If it could why is PB trying to conceal the information that would prove it? Because their route is a piece of mierda vaporware.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They don’t break the sound barrier on any route. Even when they did it was only on a few routes with lots of traffic and then only for customers willing to pay a premium.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Others argue against Maglev as energy-wasteful operation, construction, other various limitations.
    Affordability is the strawman issue to distract attention elsewhere. The existing rail corridor is being dismantled/rebuilt for reuse. Not a bad start. Make sure all rail operations benefit on this early leg of Fresno construction. It’s less valuable than Peninsula electrification. Talgo could do it half/price.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s costs as much to grade seperate for 126 MPH operation ( or 55 MPH ) as it does for 220. There wouldn’t be a much cost saving. Half the speed will not attract people who don’t have a Talgo fetish.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Significant cost savings are possible with 125mph dual-mode system. The average speed of both system types is much less than their top speed, roughly averaging 100mph for Talgo dual-mode and 150mph for Bombardier sardine can coaches.

    Darrell Reply:

    So nothing a court would actually consider evidence of not meeting Prop. 1A, eh, syn?

    orulz Reply:

    Will require a large and perennial subsidy because … ?

    Let’s separate the issues here.
    1. Tehachapi instead of Tejon will result in higher costs of construction, most likely true.
    2. Tehachapi instead of Tejon will result in longer end-to-end travel time, most likely true.
    3. Tehachapi instead of Tejon will result in higher operating costs, most likely true, but marginally.
    4. Tehachapi instead of Tejon is NOT the route that the private sector would build, without public money towards construction. Probably true.

    And then we have:

    5. Tehachapi instead of Tejon will result in lower ridership. To the best of my recollection, studies to date indicate this to be false; rather, the increased ridership by adding Palmdale exceeds the ridership lost by additional travel time.
    6. Tehachapi instead of Tejon will prevent the line from operating in the black. False. When the public sector finances most of the construction, the extra cost incurred to build it becomes irrelevant to the private sector operator. The only factor that affects them is the few extra minutes of travel time, which will not make that much difference in the bottom line, especially when the ridership will actually be higher.
    6. Tehachapi instead of Tejon will kill the project entirely. False.

    EJ Reply:

    6. Tehachapi instead of Tejon will kill the project entirely. False.

    I think that’s a key point. Tehachapi is sub-optimal by almost every measure, but it’s hard for me to see how it dooms the project.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are assuming the State will be able to afford perennial subsidies to a DogLeg mired in red ink.

    It will be divested.

    EJ Reply:

    I’m sure Jerry Brown, BART, and ATU would find a way to ruin Tejon as well. Their whole goal is to make everything in California awful.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I don’t think you need “Jerry Brown, BART and ATU” to eff up Tejon as PB-Tutor, the Tejon Ranch Co, Antonovich, Palmdale and Sta. Clarita real estate interests, and LaLa are already doing a fine job of it, thank you.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Well since he made a series of awful decisions he wants everyone else to be as miserable.

    Owen Reply:

    The red ink is on the construction side, which is and will be heavily subsidized, perhaps to the tune of 75%. Not the operations side.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course, Amtrak and BART make money.

  6. Eric
    Oct 20th, 2014 at 01:13
    #6

    “But if a Tejon option is chosen, I could probably live with it, assuming that questions about ridership and revenues absent a Palmdale alignment are answered.”

    This is so backwards. The LA area is over 20 times bigger than the Palmdale area, and LA to NoCal will be less convenient with Tehachapi. But you think the profitability of the route will be determined by the relatively tiny number of Palmdale riders?

    les Reply:

    Palmdale ridership becomes significant when one considers it as a junction to Las Vegas. However a
    Las Vegas-Palmdale-LA line can still materialize in lieu of a Tejon option. Reed will just need to dig a little deeper into his pockets.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The soon-to-be minority leader isn’t all that influential; Xpress West never got its RRIF loan.

    joe Reply:

    Beyond not understanding the US Senate, if Reid’s not influential then why is HSR running through Palmdale?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Because Antelope Valley wants it, LA County listens to Antelope Valley, and California listens to LA County.

    jimsf Reply:

    that’s just democracy. same reason la gets all the freeway investment and the north gets crumbs. same reason la gets everything and the north gets crumbs. we are outnumbered. otherwise the the IOS would be bakersfield to san francisco.

    Joey Reply:

    The fact that there are more people in the south is a legitimate argument for IOS-South. Not because they have more influence, but because more people generally leads to more ridership (which will be important at the beginning). But like you say, politics. Why should we try to figure out the best solution when I can get what I want at everyone else’s expense?

    jimsf Reply:

    thats the american way. Im used to it.

    jimsf Reply:

    the first thing out of any americans mouth is
    ” are there any discounts” “are there any execptions” “whats the cheapest thing I can get” “what are the loopholes” essentially is there anything i can get for nothing.

    the system is designed to encourage that. you have to play that way or risk getting left further behind.

    Lewellan Reply:

    So says EJ, jimsf is a professional victim?
    Or, more a private party public servant?
    The Fresno construction is along an existing rail corridor.
    Is this something (proponents/opponents) can work with?

    Joey Reply:

    Sure, and it’s mostly harmless most of the time. But as far as big public projects with far-reaching implications go, I think it’s reasonable to take a less selfish approach.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Things south of San Jose don’t count. There won’t be any BART stations there.

    EJ Reply:

    jimsf, Professional Victim.

    jimsf Reply:

    how so EJ? I wasn’t complianing about anything, I was pointing out to Alon, per his snarky california listens to LA, comment, that that is democracy. More people more pull. how does that make me victim? you little bitch.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Because it’s not actually democratic. It’s almost feudal: some baron influences his liege count (sorry), and the count is powerful enough to sway the kingdom. In California, as a whole, Palmdale is not all that important – Antelope Valley is 1.5% of the state’s population. There are plenty of regions with that approximate population that are not getting any HSR service: the North Bay, the Sacramento Valley north of Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Ventura. Palmdale happens to be in a unique position to badger LA on this issue. Put it to a statewide referendum, in which the options are “serving Palmdale and allowing a slightly easier tie-in to Vegas” versus “saving $5 billion and providing a 12-minute boost in LA-SF trip times,” and I’m confident Tejon is going to win.

    Now, of course, putting that sort of engineering decision to a referendum is problematic, because there may be unforeseen difficulties (as there were with Palmdale, which was supposed to cost the same as Tejon back in 2008 or so). But it’s a thought exercise that’s useful for realizing what democracy in California would actually entail.

    jimsf Reply:

    yes alon, but all that is meaningless. the bottom line is that the politics works the way it works. I mean its just pointless to belabor it.
    Ill say it again.

    people with the skill here should be discussing how to make lemonade out the alleged lemons. Insteading of complaining about it. move one.
    its not the end of the world, the end result, no matter what they build, is not going to be perfect. The current route map is what was voted on. And its eventually going to be built.

    it would be far more intesting to come here and read about exciting ways to make the best of it. right now, the blog is not interesting at all because its the same tired tirades going round and round.

    This must be what it sounds like inside the republican house.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I am at a bit of a loss about the feudalism remark; American government is a lot closer to classic European feudalism than classic Athenian democracy.

    I understand Jim’s frustration. At a certain point, the debate has to move to solutions and not just challenges.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Jim, making lemonade out of lemons is precisely switching to Tejon now that the Soledad Canyon route is understood to be a lot more complicated than previously believed.

    And no, there was never any vote for Tehachapi. There was a vote for a plan that included several alternatives, of which Tehachapi was favored since at the time it seemed geologically easier than Tejon.

    Ted, in the sense that the US does not practice slavery anymore, it’s nothing like Athenian democracy. Its national politics is standard for a modern democracy with universal suffrage and all, but on local issues, including some of the national spending questions on matters that are below the level of partisan debate (including earmarks, although Congress is moving away from them), it’s not really democratic. The US political system provides a reasonable amount of democracy on the national level, but tends to break down in areas without the same ideological mixture as the national average.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Alon, you democracy and republicanism confused. Democracy is assembling people to vote on the various duties and tasks as a group people will share. Republicanism is voting for representatives to make decisions on your behalf.

    The American Revolution always rejected the sort of French style of democracy for a decidedly more limited one dominated by large landholders. To make matters worse, to retire its war debt the U.S. Often sold federal land to new immigrants creating the illusion everyone could be wealthy.

    As for slavery, apparently that had an outsized impact on Californios because it motivated them in the 1849 California Convention to include all of the Southern counties instead of splitting up the State…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    First, in most non-US developed countries, republic means not having a monarchy. Canada and Sweden are not republics, because they have constitutional monarchs; however, they are very clearly representative democracies. I think the notion that democracy must mean direct democracy is just a quibble made by some Americans, mainly Republicans who have to convince themselves that democracy is bad because the rival party calls itself Democratic.

    Second, the American Revolution predates the French one. If anything, the French rejected the American style, in the sense that both the Girondists and the Jacobins opposed federalism and supported concentration of power in the unitary state.

    TomA Reply:

    The Americans certainly considered the more direct democracy when they made our Constitution (and the Articles of Confederation before it.) IN the end they went with a very restricted franchise, with part of the legislature not even directly elected at all.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Sure. But more precisely, they didn’t even try defining the franchise. The early European constitutions – the Polish one and the Norwegian one – say who has the right to vote. In the US, the states decided the franchise, and the tendency was toward loose property requirements (my understanding is that nearly half of white men could vote before property requirements were eliminated, compared with 10% in pre-Peel Reform Britain). Even later on, the various suffrage amendments resorted to circumlocutions, instead of saying directly, “all adult citizens who have not been convicted of a crime shall have the right to vote.”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There weren’t enough people in California in 1850 to form two states. If California had come in as two states Texas would have come in as two states.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Number of times “Las Vegas” appears in any CHSRA business plan: 0

    joe Reply:

    Numbers of times “Las Vegas” appears in Senator Harry Reid’s Letter to Governor Brown.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Number of dollars Nevada has contributed to the project: 0.

    joe Reply:

    Federal matching ARRA money came from the Money tree.

    You’re not a dumb guy, just stubbornly refusing to admit the most obvious of facts. Who is Harry Reid and why is he California’s Train Daddy?

    Joey Reply:

    Correct me if I’m weong, but who gets federal HSR funding is decided by the USDOT, not congress, right? Congress only decides how big the overall pot is.

    And you don’t think there’s a chance that Reid could be convinced that his “Tehachapi is necessary for Vegas” argument simply isn’t true?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I don’t think Reid is clean enough for arguing merit to have any chance of swaying him. But it doesn’t matter; Congress isn’t giving HSR any money until there’s a Democratic House, and that’s a fight for another day. Plus, if the Democrats flip the House, then Nancy Pelosi becomes important again, and she doesn’t give a crap about Palmdale, or Vegas.

    Joe Reply:

    When did NAncy start telling you her inner thoughts?

    She has openly allied with Reid to bring HSR to CA and benefit Nevada.

    Schoolhouse rock has a cute video on law making. The head of the same political party in the house and senate cooperate.

    Joe Reply:

    You are wrong.

    Congress can specifically fund a project or forbid a project from being funded in law.

    Congress can allocate finding with an agree with the executive branch to fund projects.

    What gets silly is arguing that Reid’s letter is unimportant or go pedantic.

    Joey Reply:

    Congress can prevent particular uses, but they rarely will at the whims of a single member of congress. All of the federal HSR funding thus far has not been allocated to specific projects by congress. While I’m sure that members of congress can influence that process, they are not the primary decision makers and the process is at least nominally based on merits rather than earmarking.

    joe Reply:

    Joey, you are way.off.

    Single members of.congress earmark.
    They sit on committees and have massive influence on spending.

    Dudes like Reid coordinate spending with the President, chief executive.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Didn’t they basically abolish earmarks 2 elections ago?

    joe Reply:

    Lawmakers now haggle with executive branch officials for funds rather than each other through a process known as “letter-marking” or “phone-marking.”

    Instead of inserting earmarks in legislation, congressmen use letters and telephone calls to pressure executive branch bureaucrats to fund projects back home in their districts.

    Pork spending secured directly through federal agencies requires no vote, no public explanation and no reduction in spending.

    Joey Reply:

    joe, I didn’t say earmarks didn’t happen. I said that none of the federal HSR money that has been allocated so far has been earmarked. But you’re telling me that Reid has enough influence to not only influence but entirely sway the FRA’s decision making process in a way which wouldn’t look suspicious from the outside?

    joe Reply:

    Correct me if I’m weong, but who gets federal HSR funding is decided by the USDOT, not congress, right?

    Wrong. Congress can earmark and Congress can call the Executive Branch the oversee and direct money to an interest.

    In letters obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2007, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid implored Dirk Kempthorne, then secretary of the Interior, to support pet projects in Reid’s home state of Nevada, such as a $200,000 “science center” in the Mojave Desert.

    Reid signed the bottom of his hand-written note with a personal invitation for Kempthorne to “Call if I can ever help.”

    Reid penned some of his letters to various agencies just days after boasting the new Democratic majority had cleaved all earmarks from Republican drafts of the $463.5 billion spending bill Congress ultimately passed that year.

    The projects Reid and others letter-marked in the months following the “earmark-free” spending bill’s passage were the same ones Democrats proudly eliminated.

    What’s the problem accepting Reid’s influence ?

    Joey Reply:

    I accept his influence, I just think you’re overstating it. But you think that he has enough to convince the FRA to deny California funding? Do you think that future HSR funding will be allocated based on earmarks even though none has so far?

    This is noting that there aren’t that many HSR projects around right now, and even fewer that are anywhere close to construction. The FRA has to justify their decisions beyond “This guy told us to do that.”

    Peter Baldo Reply:

    Yes, this is just a discussion on the optimal location for the Y. With the expectation that Harry Reid would pay for the section between the Y and Las Vegas. Palmdale would either be the Y (which can be messy in terms of land taken), or on the Las Vegas leg. It boils down to whether Palmdale needs a one-seat connection to northern California.

  7. les
    Oct 20th, 2014 at 09:07
    #7

    RIFF wasn’t rejected but was postponed until the buy in America clause is addressed. Working with California and its’ political/monetary clout this shouldn’t be an issue going forward.
    It will happen. And maybe not in our lifetime but it will happen. The Republicans will squander trillions on misguided wars and increase class division and the voting populous will soon come back to their senses. Meantime Western states will continue to plan and do what they can on their own dime.

    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/high_speed_rail/news/FRA-unveils-study-on-Southwest-highspeed-rail-planning-effort–42298

    Alon Levy Reply:

    There are no HSR sets manufactured in the US; delaying the project on Buy America grounds is about as credible as when an elected official resigns to spend more time with their family.

    Reedman Reply:

    Speaking of both Palmdale and train manufacturing in California …

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-newton-column-palmdale-rail-cars-20141020-column.html

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Lawsuits already are being filed, and courts will sift through the arguments for months, maybe years.”

    Any prospective bidder on a PB-LAHSR contract should add on a percentage for likely litigation. Like a breakage fee.

    Palmdale’s karma coming home.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And this is the Japanese. Can you imagine how the unions would react to the Chinese?

    EJ Reply:

    I’m sure “the unions” would vehemently object to having good jobs assembling railcars for “the Chinese.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    Perhaps I should have phrased more carefully. If Chi-Con bids on Jerry’s railcars the unions will be highly alarmed, as they really don’t have unions in China of the American type. And the Chinese regime actively resists that kind of organizing.

    The Japanese have a lot more experience in dealing with American manufacturing conditions, going back some decades.

    EJ Reply:

    Well then any Chinese bidder will have to figure out how to work with American manufacturing conditions, won’t they?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    LOL do you really think the Chinese will adhere to OSHA and general American regulations? Just ask Duke Energy how their new barge unloaders went at Crystal River here in Florida. During construction, the Chinese manufacturer brought in Chinese workers, didn’t follow OSHA safety rules (such as working with lanyards and tie offs) and to top it off, both unloaders actually collapsed due to poor design/construction when the clam shell buckets grabbed too much coal! I was told that the structure of both unloaders collapsed 10 feet! Yea sure, the Chinese know how to design and construct things! NOT!!!

    California should be very afraid of buying Chinese HSR “technology”….

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Chinese trains are safer than American trains.

    jimsf Reply:

    If the chinese can do it for the right price then let them do it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Chinese bidding is a good thing in that it will force attention to the whole sordid affair and in the end the courts will have to get involved. The exigencies of international diplomacy will force them to actually evaluate and interpret rather than just wave everything by.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Just like they do for the Japanese. Or the French. Or those Evil Canadiens. Or the Germans.

    swing hanger Reply:

    maybe ansaldo breda could come back, the unions loved them.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The carbuilder shitlist is getting longer.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    This may be possible… A few days ago, I read about Finmecchanica’s shortlist of buyers: Hitachi and one of the Chinese builders.

    les Reply:

    Reed has recently met with CHSR to discuss their work around. http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0686

    La Hood is the one that suspended it not your tea-bagger buddies:

    “On June 28, La Hood sent a letter to Anthony Marnell II, chairman of DesertXpress Enterprises, saying the company had not complied with the Buy America provisions necessary to secure the taxpayer loan to build its XpressWest train.

    “After several years of engagement with no resolution to the threshold issues addressed in this letter and the significant uncertainties still surrounding this project, we have decided to suspend further consideration of XpressWest’s loan application,” LaHood wrote.”

    “Further, the statement said that XpressWest would “continue to work with” an international group of companies “expert at developing, constructing, operating and financing high-speed rail projects.” Who they are, what they would do and the sources of the all-important money remain mysteries.”

    “http://www.reviewjournal.com/transportation-insider/prospects-dim-high-speed-rail-link-la-vegas”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s plenty of people in the U.S. who know how to assemble trains.

    Joey Reply:

    As long as the directions are written by the Swedish…

    Mac Reply:

    It was rejected…read La Hoods actual letter referenced in the article.

    les Reply:

    Can you provide a link? I don’t see a link but I am only finding articles that say it was suspended and not rejected.

    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/high_speed_rail/news/Federal-financing-rejection-wont-halt-highspeed-rail-project-XpressWest-says–36893

    les Reply:

    Sessions and Paul wanted it rejected but they are not what matter.

    Mac Reply:

    Sure Les..Here it is: https://www.scribd.com/doc/154207442/Ray-LaHood-s-letter-to-XpressWest

    les Reply:

    it says what I’ve stated before.

    les Reply:

    Foxx will give Reid another couple years. After 2016 it is anybody’s guess.

  8. Ted Judah
    Oct 20th, 2014 at 09:27
    #8

    Based on the model I devised, passenger flow should not be diverted to Vegas before Orange County. I can understand the logic of Palmdale on paper for this wye, but it’s not viable if you want to minimize operational costs.

    I think the bigger issue Tejon-istas need to confront is what happens to Metrolink if Palmdale is bypassed and there is no funding for electrification? Are the same people demanding CHSRA update CalTrain for using its ROW not seeing the latent hypocrisy here?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Palmdale can be placated, especially now that it has been slapped back to reality thanks to its greedy unions.

    The real obstacle is the Tejon Ranch Co. The solution is to hire some really good, creative engineers to identify an excellent route that also impinges the least on the TMV. Alternately you could relocate the TMV.

    Mac Reply:

    They already have one alignment alternative identified that missed TMV altogether.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I believe it was a quite poor route, sandbagged to compare badly with Tehachapi-Mojave.

    Clem Reply:

    It was a horrible alternative that required an extra tunnel, the cost of which exceeded the Tejon Ranch Company’s entire market cap. If there ever was a situation where eminent domain takings made sense, HSR through TMV is it!

    synonymouse Reply:

    The actual takings could be very small indeed. A golf course can be shifted. The Authority would have to absorb their extra planning costs.

    Why does the Tejon Ranch Co. have such dread of CAHSR? I mean haven’t Barry Zoeller and Mr. Stine et al traveled to Europe?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The parallel I-5 is certainly no rose garden.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Conspiracy theories aside, you are avoiding the question.

    What happens if Tejon is resurrected and Metrolink dies a painful death? What is the plan when there nothing but a terminus at Burbank and a lot of disillusioned Surenos ready to chop funding for Muni and CalTrain up north?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Truthfully there is no more link of hsr to Metrolink than hsr to BART. They are regional responsibilities. Unless you want the State to take them over.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Politics does not exist in a vacuum. If you only pay attention to your niche perspective, of course you won’t see the connection.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Electrolink!

    EJ Reply:

    So you’re saying that Metrolink would be saved because they could run a few high speed trains between Palmdale, Burbank, and LAUS? Seems pretty doubtful – the Antelope Valley is hardly a major source of ridership for Metrolink in the first place. Metrolink succeeds or fails based on its ability to service the IE and Orange Country. The Antelope Valley is an irrelevance.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    EJ, the Antelope Valley is not an irrelevance, neither is it of primary importance, but it is part of the network and AV originating passengers would travel through to other destinations than LAUS given a rational service. You made a lot of words out of my one! I don’t think Metrolink can be saved and I hope it isn’t. The institutional relationships and the internal conflicts make it unworkable. The brand is permanently tainted. OC and LA are tired of subsidizing Ventura County, San Bernardino wants to contribute less. Having noted that, it is really hard to see what could replace it barring some SCAG level organization and those people are not business oriented. I plan on being at the Metro Board meeting Thursday and Metrolink friday and see what the reaction is to the widely reported comments of the OC Board members. No doubt there is a lot going on behind the scenes, especially between OC and LA.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    This blog is sort of like the California electorate, Paul. Mostly Northern Californians who are vocal and parochial and untold number of lurkers from the South who read and say nothing in the shadows.

    Notice how little traction I get from el nortenos when equating Palmdale to CalTrain…

    As to your point about the Board meeting, I couldn’t tell you what Metro’s plan is. OCTA on the other hand, has made it real clear what’s going down. Orange County will craft a deal with San Diego to replace Coaster and Metrolink with the Surfliner. BART subjugates the Capitol Corridor, ACE, San Joaquins, CalTrain, and ACE into BART Express, shuttling passengers to and from its Brutalist architecture.

    Watch as both LOSSAN and BART attempt to obscure the boundary between intercity rail and transit as a way to offset collapsing fuel tax revenue. I dunno what Metro does, but again, registering a Southern California event on this blog is akin to a segment on Fox News praising Hillary Clinton….

    Darrell Reply:

    Metro receives 1.5 % sales tax revenue, and likely will be proposing a “Measure R II” in 2016 to cover what Measure R doesn’t (also see movela.org ).

    There are parallels of Metrolink to Palmdale with CalTrain but also a lot of differences. Yes, I’m in L.A. and not always a lurker.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You are also new, Darrell.

    The dead-Enders on this blog will not concede any ground.

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    Odd to hear referred to as “new” in any context. He is a long time warrior for liveability and mobility and the father of the legendary Friends4expo group that managed to flip the LA County political landscape to favor light rail to Santa Monica.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Excuse me, I mean new to the blog commentariat.

    The people who have been posting for *years* are remarkably inelastic in their arguments. Some people have seen their viewpoints evolve, but not nearly as many as you think given how tireless Robert has been publicizing developments.

    Welcome, Darrell. Don’t let the lifers scare you off.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Ted, your oh-so-paternalistic-sounding free advice makes you sound pretty impressed with yourself: “maybe I can infuse you with my extraordinary fortitude, resilience and understanding, as without it, I’m afraid you might be scared off by the stubbornly inelastic bullies you’ll find here …”

    Darrell Reply:

    Thanks, Roger and Ted!

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s not paternalistic–there seems to be a relationship between how long you have posted here and how set your opinions are.

    Nevertheless, the dynamics of power in California are changing. There’s been less than effective messaging but that doesn’t change the end result.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Notice how little traction I get from el nortenos when equating Palmdale to CalTrain…

    Perhaps because it’s a totally bogus analogy? HSR has no route to get to TBT other than the Caltrain corridor, from at least Redwood Junction (if the Altamontistas get their way) or from the southern end of the Caltrain right-of-way. Palmdale is *nothing* like that. More accurate to compare Palmdale to Stockton or Tracy!

    Ted Judah Reply:

    In terms of geography yes, but I mean in terms of funding.

    CalTrain has no money but Prop 1a dollars to electrify. It’s a zombie operator, gnawing on the brains of other operators with dedicated funding sources. Metrolink is in the exact same boat with Palmdale. No money to upgrade for the future, no future without upgrading.

    You are correct that geography gave CalTrain and Jerry Hill a leg up to negotiate a bailout of CalTrain with Prop 1a money BUT De Leon as Pro Tem I am sure is ready to fix that shortly.

    Joey Reply:

    Given goings-on at Metrolink lately I’m not convinced they want to hsr a future.

    jimsf Reply:

    How useful is metrolink? Do they have high ridership or is commuter rail in southern california outside of la metro, a losing proposition in the end? The lines on the maps and the bones of the system are there but I wonder if the infrastructure is being used to its greatest potential.

    EJ Reply:

    @jimsf The fact of the matter is that the entire Metrolink system, with 7 lines, gets less average weekday ridership than Caltrain. Its core competency is Inland Empire (Riverside, San Bernardino, etc.) to LA and OC to LA – that should be its focus.

    Notice how little traction I get from el nortenos when equating Palmdale to CalTrain…

    @Ted I’ve lived in SoCal, all over the region, from the Valley to San Diego, for the last 20 years and I don’t buy Palmdale = CalTrain either.

    Joey Reply:

    That was supposed to say “have a future”…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    EJ,

    I recognize that the publicity around CalTrain makes it difficult to equate anything to it. But Metrolink was always thinly capitalized and had only a handful of true assets–the Antelope Valley Line being the crown jewel.

    Just like CalTrain, the Palmdale line is partially in disrepair because Union Pacific will neither pay to upgrade it, nor relinquish its rights completely.

    Joey Reply:

    Why is the AV line the “crown jewel?” It’s ranked third in terms of ridership (and only about half that of the San Bernardino line) and half of the route is essentially rural. Comparing CalTrain to the San Bernardino or OC lines would be reasonable, but not the Antelope Valley line.

    Jonathan Reply:

    You are correct that geography gave CalTrain and Jerry Hill a leg up to negotiate a bailout of CalTrain with Prop 1a money BUT De Leon as Pro Tem I am sure is ready to fix that shortly.

    Interesting, Ted. So you are saying that Prop 1A HSR funds have stopped being about building HSR, and have turned into a political pork-barrel for non-HSR commuter rail.

    “brain-eating zombie”? Don’t you think that’s going a little too far?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    All interesting comments about the AV line. My opinion has been stated before but in brief:
    The existing line above Santa Clarita has no value for passenger service because of the alignment, which is circuitous and slow. It is also handicapped by the trackage rights retained by UP.
    If HSR is to be built via Palmdale then it presents an opportunity to upgrade regional service to the AV along the lines of the East Kent service in the UK. As a stand alone project it wouldn’t pencil. That I think is what Ted Judah was getting at with the analogy to Caltrain.
    EJ is correct, Metrolink as a whole performs poorly in terms of ridership in comparison with Caltrain. The revenue passenger mile comparison, or the passenger mile per train mile, probably looks better but is still not good. I’m too busy at the moment to crunch those numbers but I imagine Metrolink’s average passenger travels further than Caltrain’s by a reasonable margin.
    So Joey, it’s not necessarily a bad thing if “half the route is rural” as long as trains are not slowed by unnecessary “political” station stops, and as long as the fares are commensurate with the distance. In the case of the AV, as noted above, the trains are slowed by the physical limitation of the line, and is therefore uncompetitive with automobile or motor coach along the parallel SR-14/I-5 other than during peak congestion. Once the I-5 carpool lanes are complete even peak hour train journeys may be slower, at least for a few years while highway traffic builds. Certainly as far as Burbank (the destination for a lot of AV passengers) I foresee Disney, Warner and Dreamworks following the “Google” pattern and providing direct bus service for employees.
    As for Metrolink as an institution, it will be hard to unravel, but I think it will soon fall apart and may well be condensed to fewer routes. You can be sure that, whatever may be sensible from the transportation policy point of view is unlikely to be the end result.

    Peter Baldo Reply:

    I’m having trouble imagining what the Palmdale train station will look like. If Palmdale will be the new center of the universe, the track arrangement will need to be something like the wye planned for Chowchilla. I don’t see how that is suitable for a station – it would be the size of a small airport, and would need shuttle buses to take people to their platforms.
    If Palmdale wants a station like Palo Alto has, or Fresno will have, they’re better off being on a single line – say the one between Las Vegas and Los Angeles – with the wye some distance to the west of Palmdale.

    EJ Reply:

    Perhaps the Palmdale advocates should look at some of the high speed TGV junctions on Google earth and check out how huge those things are.

    jimsf Reply:

    a desert express line could be routed to come in above the palmdale station putting the station on the both lines bleow the wye. Further, since the trains would be stopping in palmdale, thus traveling at low speeds, the wye could be much smaller.

    jimsf Reply:

    actually the high desert corridor wiht hsr included aligns with avenue p8 above the palmdale station and curves south at 15th towards the station where it would merge with the mainline from the north.

  9. Reality Check
    Oct 20th, 2014 at 12:26
    #9

    Central Valley farmers refuse to give up fight vs. high-speed rail

    Frank Oliveira says that he and a group of Central Valley farmers who oppose Gov. Jerry Brown’s “bullet train” plan are getting really good at playing whack-a-mole.

    The co-chair of Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) says that with every setback they soldier on.

    […]

    I believe legally we can still do our part so this thing is fully aired out .. .so if they do go forward, we’ll be able to show they’re breaking the law.”

    Oliveira is referring to the second part of the Kings County lawsuit, which is set for trial in early 2015. He says the first part, which the Supreme Court declined to review, challenged the rail authority’s funding plan. The second part focuses on four key issues, all requirements of the 2008 Proposition 1A ballot initiative and bond measure that allocated funds for the rail authority. The issues are:

    * whether or not the train can go from L.A. to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes;

    * whether it can it operate without a subsidy;

    * if it is even logistically possible to operate the train on the routes that the state is laying out under the plan;

    * and whether or not the so-called “blended plan,” which utilizes existing rail lines, is in violation of the ballot initiative since the voters never approved a blended system.

    In addition to the Prop. 1A lawsuit, there are more litigation challenges, including environmental impact and eminent domain challenges, and the legality of using cap-and-trade as a financing device.

    Fukuda says his group intends to persevere.

    We’re a bunch of farmers, and farmers are the ultimate testament to living through adversarial and tough conditions,” he says.

    “We’re going through a drought, and we’ve been attacked by regulations. We still get food to the markets everyday. It’s a greater good we represent. We’re just asking if you’re gonna build this train, do it right.

    “If the project dies, it’s not because of us. It’s because the high speed rail authority has a bad plan. They come out, pistols blazing, and a lot of times it’s pointed down at their feet.”

    […]

    jimsf Reply:

    Farmers in kings county are full of shit. The farms down there are not growing food to feed us in california. They are big AG growing food, in a desert, on bad soil, using an abundance of artificial means including poisons and government subsidies, government subsidizes water, delivered in a water system built by taxpayers, so they can make profits by selling food overseas.

    This is all about a perceived threat to their welfare gravy train where the people of california pay so the big ag can reap profit at our expense. They complain about “their water deliveries” well “THEY” dont have any water because “THEY” used all theirs up and poisoned what’s left to the point that some communities can’t even drink it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And Mexico sell food to us.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Places east of the Sierra Nevada are not “overseas”.

    http://railex.com/train-schedule/

    jimsf Reply:

    yes they are. the great basin was an ancient sea. which should be refilled to the easterners can’t get in.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I guess your great grandparents swam to Califorinia from Europe.

    jimsf Reply:

    they did, and they wore those long black one piece wool swimsuits and swam ashore at ocean beach.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Is Frank Olveira really a farmer?

    Frank Oliveira
    Private Investigator at X-Count/Special Projects
    Lemoore, California
    Security and Investigations
    Top Skills
    Government
    Public Speaking
    Private Investigations
    Executive Protection
    Skip Tracing
    Undercover
    Counter Surveillance
    Research
    Strategic Planning
    Surveillance

    Qualified Managers and Principals
    MANAGER/OWNER OLIVEIRA FRANKLIN
    BUREAU OF SECURITY AND INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES
    Licensee Name: X-COUNT/SPECIAL PROJECTS
    License Type: Private Investigator
    License Number:26318
    License Status: CLEAR Definition
    Expiration Date: March 31, 2015
    Issue Date: March 13, 2009
    City: LEMOORE
    County: KINGS

    Is Aaron Fukuda really a farmer?

    Once upon a time, Aaron Fukuda was just another resident of the Ponderosa neighborhood off East Lacey Boulevard. A civil engineer who works for an irrigation district in Tulare, he went about his daily routine, buttered his bread like the rest of us and lived happily out of the public eye.

    Then, in January 2011, he discovered his property was in the path of a California High-Speed rail track alignment.

    “One day, [my wife] and I were planning a custom home and a family,” said Fukuda. “[Then] I find out it’s going through my property.”

    […]

    synonymouse Reply:

    Is Jerry Brown really a green guru?

    datacruncher Reply:

    Frank Olveira probably could be considered a farmer.

    Another protester was Frank Oliveira, 53, who with his siblings owns more than 400 acres of orchards and cropland near Hanford. He said the latest rail route will bisect four of his properties.
    http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/bullet-train-route-absolutely-worst-farmers-say-10580

    It is not uncommon in the Valley for someone to also have a second job off the farm or to supplement income with another job if farm income is shared between several family members.

    As far as I’ve ever read, Fukuda only owns 2 acres that he lives on. That sounds more like just a rural residential situation to me.

    synonymouse Reply:

    As I said, is Jerry Brown a hippie or a developer lobbyist?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Is he “Moonbeam” or Barry Zoeller’s evil twin?

    jimsf Reply:

    hes a pragmatist.

    synonymouse Reply:

    translation: opportunist

    jimsf Reply:

    well, america is the land of opportunity. so as I pointed out early, it is of course, a county full of opportunists. That is how our system is built. And the people who are the best at it, are the most successful. So whats the problem?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Does merely co-owning land on which food crops are grown make you a farmer? Technically it might, but I imagine one who takes an active hands-on role in the day-to-day operations and management of the business.

    When I think about what I’ve heard and seen from “real” farmers (long, hard hours, etc.), Mr. Oliveira seems way too busy with anti-HSR advocacy (co-chairing CCHSRA, litigating, writing letters, public speaking, etc.) and his private investigator sidelines to be a “real” farmer. Also, his “Top Skills” listed on his LinkedIn profile don’t include anything even remotely farm-related.

    So I’m comfortable thinking of him as a non-farmer who likes to play the “I’m a besieged farmer” card because he thinks it makes him a more sympathetic figure in his war on CA HSR.

    jimsf Reply:

    Its really unfortunate that hanford and not visalia is getting the station.

    Joey Reply:

    Blame Union Pacific. Although it hardly matters at this point since the FRA is mandating huge separation between HSR and freight tracks anyway.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The railroad companies are insisting on it. Though it seems that in states where the tax assessors can have a little chat with the real property managers at the the railroad they are a bit more flexible.

    Joey Reply:

    BNSF was willing to go with less separation before the FRA decided that it was their business. That’s one of the main reasons the BNSF route was selected.

    jimsf Reply:

    well at least they are going to the east side which puts the station kind of in the middle of hanford-visalia-tulare easily accessed from all.

    jimsf Reply:

    I would hope they name it sequoia station. sounds better than kings tulare

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What’s the FRA regulation? There’s lots of froth on the intertubes about how the evil FRA is putting the kibosh on it all with their ridiculous regulations but no one ever has a specific cite.
    One does have to have wider than normal spacing on tracks that serve trains going faster than automobiles but that’s mostly so the windows don’t get sucked out when the fast train passes another train. It’s not a whole lot of extra separation.

    Clem Reply:

    Read TM-2.1.7. We’re not talking about 15-foot track spacing, but 100-foot buffer zones to allow UPRR and BNSF trains to derail and pile up without killing any HSR passengers.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    100-foot buffer zones

    Existing Transportation Corridors!
    Minimized Impacts!
    Vibrant Urban Communities!
    Development Partnerships!
    Visioning Process!
    Transit Oriented Development!
    Stakeholder Buyin!
    Multi-Modal Facilities!
    Synergies!
    World Class!

    EJ Reply:

    Well, it’s not how they do things in the Fatherland, but then again they don’t have mile-long double stack container trains there, either. I sure wouldn’t want to be too close to one of those things if it derails.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Unique Conditions!
    Special Olympics!
    Exceptionalism!
    Homeland Security!

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Are longer trains a bigger derailment risk?

    Same question about double-stacks.

    I’m curious, independently of this particular pissing contest.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Longer trains are insofar a bigger derailment risk, as the risk of train separation increases. Double-stacks have a higher center of gravity.

    It does depend big time on how good the track is, meaning how well aligned and maintained.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Joey, do you have a reference for that?

    Joey Reply:

    Preliminary AA, Appendix E, PDF page 51. UPRR recommended 200′ track separation, not that they would necessarily be able to get that. The same AA mentions ROW-sharing with much smaller (~50′ based on diagrams) separation for BNSF.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Ironic in a way.

    Visalia in 1871 thumbed its nose at railroad demands for a subsidy payment to route through the town (it was already the county seat). So instead the railroad made its money by obtaining title to and subdividing land in new towns it founded like Tulare. That is why when you look at a map the railroad south of Fresno is headed toward Visalia but then changes direction south of Kingsburg to pass miles west of Visalia.

    Fast forward to today, Visalia was willing to give HSR land for a station but the line was instead routed toward Hanford (which doesn’t want HSR).

    Mac Reply:

    Note this quote also from that article: “If the project dies, it’s not because of us. It’s because the high speed rail authority has a bad plan. They come out, pistols blazing, and a lot of times it’s pointed down at their feet.”

    J. Wong Reply:

    The problem with the plaintiffs’ (the farmers) arguments is that they are premature. On what basis are you going to argue any of them? “Oh, it’s my opinion and the opinion of this expert I dug up.” The courts have already said you can’t do this.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The courts have thrown out Prop 1a. Premature = we’re too lazy to do our job.

    J. Wong Reply:

    So according to you the courts job is to try to determine technical issues that they have no expertise in evaluating? They might as well flip a coin to make their decision. Sounds like a plan. Let’s go!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Precisely, otherwise they should quit. Don’t plead ignorance. Otherwise the government or big business will win every case as they have bottomless pockets and/or gravitas.

    In the case of California’s courts Jerry has direct control on their budgets and that power fixes the jury in favor of the executive branch.

    Lazy judges are worse than useless. Look at the Aereo case, the “liberal” Hollywood shillls totally ignored what every ordinary citizen knows: OTA only reaches a fraction of those in the legal viewing area and the networks lobby to keep it that way.

    Seize their frequencies, cut off the people in SF under Sutro and let them bitch to Nancy.

    J. Wong Reply:

    So you’re arguing that the courts should just flip coins to determine their judgements? Really?

  10. Mac
    Oct 20th, 2014 at 13:02
    #10

    This article that came out over the weekend in SF is also worth a look:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/california-supreme-court-declines-review-on-california-bullet-train

    Mac Reply:

    “Judge Quentin Kopp predicted last month that the State Supreme Court would deny review at this time. He thought it was premature since the Appellate court allowed the Authority to delay compliance of very specific stipulations of Prop 1A at the time of the second funding plan just before spending bond funds. After learning of the court’s decision, Kopp’s new prediction is the Supreme Court will take the case later if actions were challenged at the time of the second funding plan.

    Indeed, the Appellate decision allows the High-Speed Rail Authority more time to comply with the Prop 1A bond act requirements. Those requirements included finishing all environmental work from Madera to the San Fernando Valley and pointing to real sources of funding the 300-mile segment and finding approximately 25 billion dollars more in funding to start building the first segment.

    Though the Appellate Court reversed the adverse ruling of the Superior Court in the Validation action, the Treasurer is not bound to offer the bonds for the program for sale and the Rail Authority still must comply with the terms in the bond act by the time a second funding plan is filed immediately before bond funds are spent for construction.” from above article

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    “Bottom line the High-Speed Rail Authority still has its own very real challenges before it begins to construct the first segment of the rail project even if they dodged a bullet by the State Supreme Court denying review”
    Bottom line, they already started construction.

    Alan Reply:

    Actually, no it’s not. It’s the far-right-wing “Examiner” amateur blog, not the real SF Examiner. The article is nothing more than a CARRD propaganda piece. It’s biased and expresses an opinion–unlike real journalism.

    There’s nothing in the law which requires all of the environmental work between Madera and the SFV to be complete before any construction can begin. The environmental work on the usable segment for which funds are requested must be complete. If the CHSRA defines the usable segment as Madera-Bakersfield–which qualifies, per the Legislative Counsel–that’s all that is needed. Then, when Bakersfield-Palmdale and other segments are ready–environmental review, funding,etc.–the Authority submits new funding plans for those segments. Rinse and repeat until the project is complete.

    … the Treasurer is not bound to offer the bonds for the program for sale

    Um, no, I don’t think so. Government Code section 16754 is pretty specific:

    (a) The bonds specified in the resolution shall be sold by the Treasurer, at the time fixed by the Treasurer, and upon the notice that the Treasurer may deem advisable, or at the time to which the sale shall have been so continued, at a competitive sale to the bidder whose bid will result in the lowest interest cost on account of those bonds.

    Note the word “shall”. Since the Authority’s finance committee has passed a resolution authorizing issuance of the bonds, and the courts have validated those bonds, it becomes a mandatory duty of the treasurer. As I recall, the treasurer was reluctant to sell the 1A bonds without a validation ruling. That excuse is now gone.

    Mac Reply:

    It’s only a “usable segment” if you have an unelectrified Amtrak train running on it. That kind of usable segment does not qualify for Prop 1A funds…nothing in Prop 1A allows for temporary use of diesel passenger trains on HST track. That kind of “usable segment” is allowed for federal funding perhaps… not the 1A bonds. Again…more for the courts to decide… Legislative Counsel is just an “opinion”, one that can be contested.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The law says a usable segment has two stations. It doesn’t qualify it further.

    Alan Reply:

    Well, it does, really.

    “Usable segment” means a portion of a corridor that includes at least
    two stations.

    “Corridor”, in turn,

    means a portion of the high-speed train system

    Finally,

    “High-speed train system” means a system with high-speed trains
    and includes, but is not limited to, the following components: right-of-way,
    track, power system, rolling stock, stations, and associated facilities.

    So, a “usable segment” which is part of a “corridor” which is part of the “High-speed train system” must have all of those things. Despite the repeated whining of a few people who say that even though the Authority is planning all of those things for the ICS, they really don’t mean it and it’s just going to be a super track for the San Joaquins.

    And as I’ve just as repeatedly pointed out, the ICS is intended to be the system track–not only for trains but for the electric traction and signal systems. UP, among others, has been demanding to know how HSR’s OCS and signals would interfere with UP’s signal and other systems. How do you think they’re going to do it? The test track.

    So, per the Legislative Counsel’s opinion, the ICS is a usable segment and eligible for Prop 1A funds. Laurel and Hardy will no doubt bring suit, but ultimately, they’re going to be no more successful than they have been so far. The nice thing is that we’re starting to see binding appelate precedents going into the books that will make future lawsuits much more difficult to win.

    And yes, the Legislative Counsel’s opinion can be contested, but it still carries a lot more weight than Mac’s opinion or mine.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    only if you stand on one foot and chant subsection 27 paragraph z while wearing a tin foil hat. The legislature has staff that dedicates their whole career to assuring legislation is clear and occasionally concise. If they wanted it to read “usable segment has two HSR stations” they would have.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Even when faced with direct quotes from Prop 1A, you can’t admit you were wrong, can you?

    jimsf Reply:

    Alan, go back to English 1A.

    Alan Reply:

    Jim, I’m not disagreeing with your position. I realized after posting that last comment that I didn’t phrase it as well as I could have. When I wrote, “… it’s just going to be a super track for the San Joaquins”, that was sarcasm. Of course I realize that it’s much more than that.

    Jonathan Reply:

    “High-speed train system” means a system with high-speed trains
    and includes, but is not limited to, the following components: right-of-way,
    track, power system, rolling stock, stations, and associated facilities.

    In point of fact, the Authority *has no plan* to electrify the ICS or to signal the ICS. No money, no contracts, no timeline, *nothing*.
    You need to learn to to distinguish the word “plan”, from the words “press release”.

    Show us the plan, Alan. Show us the funding sources. Show us the timeline. (Isn’t funding all in year-of-expenditure now?) And *no*, a press release is *not* a plan. An EIR is *not* a plan.

    Or admit you need remedial lessons, and don’t understand what you’ve been saying.
    L

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They didn’t say a useful segment has to run HSR trains.

    Alan Reply:

    Poor Jonny…just as delusional and in denial as always. I’ve pointed out the PLANS. The 2011 Funding PLAN, which references the Draft 2012 Business PLAN. And EIR’s don’t count only in your delusional little mind. They are legal documents that state what the Authority plans to build. The EIR’s quite clearly lay out the order of construction. Yes, the money is there for the ICS, and yes, it will be electrified. The Authority is not required to bid and award every contract for a segment prior to preparing a funding plan. I’m not going to repeat myself any further just because you refuse to accept facts.

    So sorry, little boy, but you’re the one who needs the remedial help.

    Mac Reply:

    Alan. Following your comments….the ICS is to ONLY be used for testing the HST that will be used over the first IOS (merced to Palmdale). Once the ICS is built, there will be immediate focus to electrify the ICS so this can happen. Additionally, the Bakersfield to Palmdale segment will be the next high priority segment to be built. REALITY…the HSRA doesn’t plan to electrify the track to start testing a HST as a priority. They plan to put Amtrak on it. HSRA is skipping over construction of Bakersfield-Palmdale segment (although they will proceed with the EIR process) in order to focus on their next construction goal (Palmdale to Burbank). They’ve already admitted that they plan to build it before Bakersfield-Palmdale.

    Alan Reply:

    REALITY: You and Jonathan and others are reading far too much into the comments about the POSSIBLE use of the ICS for Amtrak service. Far, far too much.

    Prove your claim that the CHSRA doesn’t plan to electrify the ICS for test track use.

    And prove that the “usable segments” must be constructed consecutively. The REALITY is that the Authority has stated that the next priority after the ICS is to close the Bakersfield-Palmdale gap.

    Alan Reply:

    One other point here: Under the law (Evidence Code section 664) the Authority is presumed to be discharging its duties according to the law. The persons bringing the complaint bear the burden of proving otherwise, with real evidence. Guesswork and suppositions don’t cut iit.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan, please grow up and learn to read before you try and argue with adults.

    I am well aware of the “independent utility” requirement attached to ARRA federal funding for CA HSR. In simple terms, if CHSRA builds nothing beyond the ICS, the ICS has “independent utility” because it can be used by Amtrak California passenger trains.

    Jonathan Reply:

    The persons bringing the complaint bear the burden of proving otherwise, with real evidence. Guesswork and suppositions don’t cut iit.

    Presumably the Authority’s own simulations do.

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny, you’re the one who can’t get along with grownups. We’re discussing, you’re arguing. Actually, you’re whining, shouting hysterically, and trying to act like the smartest person in the room when you’re not.

    The Authority’s “simulations” are not admissible in the Tos case, as Judge Kenny ruled. They were not part of the administrative record. In any event, the simulations are not part of the final design of the segment, which does not yet exist and probably won’t for several more years. The simulations are part of the process by which the designs are created.

    Try to remember, if your pea brain will allow, that Prop 1A requires that the system SHALL BE DESIGNED to meet the specified characteristics. IT”S NOT FULLY DESIGNED! Please try to understand that. I know it’s hard for you, but please try.

    I love how you whine to high heaven how THE AUTHORITY HAS NO PLAN, except when it suits your purpose, as when you say that their plan can never be compliant with Prop 1A.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan, you need remedial reading lessons again. An EIR is not a *PLAN*; it is environmental approval. It is permission, it is not a *plan*.

    A business plan is not a construction plan. Face facts, Alan: the Authority has *NO* construction plans ot electrify or signal the ICS. None. No construction plans *at all*. The Authority has not identified *ANY* funding sources for electrification or signalling of the ICS. Yes, you can point out that the Authority now has 25% of Cap-and-Trade proceeds; but the Authority has already said that it wants to use those funds for IOS-South.

    Face facts, Alan. The Authority has *no plans* to *actually* electrify or signal the ICS. The Authority has not identified any funding sources. And no, for pity’s sake, a “business plan” does not count as a construction plan.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Wrong. The construction blueprints from the Authority specify the details of where the posts for the overhead electrification will go, specify the clearances of bridges and tunnels to fit the catenary, etc. The Authority has very definite engineering plans to electrify and signal the ICS.

    Funding? You can argue about funding. But they definitely have *plans*.

    Alan Reply:

    Face facts, little Jonny. The Authority is planning an electrified railroad, there are documents demonstrating that they are building an electrified railroad. Your pitiful whining that any document which contradicts you is not a “plan” means nothing.

    And those of us who are actually capable of understanding the English language recognize that the Authority has stated clearly that there is funding available to *complete* the ICS. Including wire and signals.

    But just keep sticking your head in the sand, Jonny. You’re only making yourself look ever more foolish.

    agb5 Reply:

    So, a “usable segment” which is part of a “corridor” which is part of the “High-speed train system” must have all of those things

    Can you point me at a legal definition of the word “portion” which shows that it must mean ALL of these things and not just SOME of these things?
    Does “portion” have some legal definition other than “part of a whole”?

    The requirement that “(I) One or more passenger service providers can begin using the
    tracks OR stations
    “, suggests that not all components need to be there for a segment to be “usable”.

    Mac Reply:

    One or more Electrified HIGH SPEED TRAIN (already defined) passenger providers can use ( lease, whatever…) the electrified tracks built by the HSRA under Prop 1A. NOT diesel passenger services. Californias would never have voted for it otherwise.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    So if you ask someone who voted for 1A whether Amtrak or another might use a section of completed track while the rest of the system is being built, I’m sure they would say, “Why not?”. Better than having it sit there.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    where thelawhastobereadallinonebreath it’s better that it sit there gently rusting in the sun than to have it get used.

    agb5 Reply:

    Now you are just making stuff up.
    If the intent was to run a high speed passenger train service on the usable segment, they would have just said that:

    (I) One or more passenger service providers can begin a high speed train passenger service on the usable segment.

    or

    (I) One or more passenger service providers can begin using the
    tracks AND stations AND power systems AND associated facilities

    But they did not say that, so that is probably not what they intended.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Actually, that’s what Prop 1A *does* say. Both suggested versions, pretty much. From 2704.08, yet again:

    (G) Construction of the corridor or usable segment thereof can be completed as proposed in the plan.
    (H) The corridor or usable segment thereof would be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation.
    (I) One or more passenger service providers can begin using the tracks or stations for passenger train service.
    […]

    See that “suitable and ready for high-speed train operation”? AB 3034 defines “high-speed trains” as electrically-powered trains capable of sustained service speed . And the FRA mandates advanced ATP (PTC in US-legalese). So yes, the tracks *AND* stations *AND* power systems *AND* associated facilities *ARE* required.

    And from the requirements of the independent financial firm’s “audit” of the required detailed funding plan:

    (A) construction of the corridor or usable segment thereof can be
    completed as proposed in the plan submitted pursuant to paragraph
    (1), (B) if so completed, the corridor or usable segment thereof
    would be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation, (C) upon
    completion, one or more passenger service providers can begin using
    the tracks or stations for passenger train service,

    See there, right in black and white, upon completion of the detailed funding plan, passenger service providers can begin using the tracks or stations.

    I don’t understand why literacy is in such short supply amongst diehard CHSRA defenders. Or did I miss some very heavy irony?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Youaremissingthatthelegislaturedecidedthatitdidn’thavetobereadallinonebreath.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Adrondacker, do you have an actual point to make?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m not sure, I don’t speak autistic.

    agb5 Reply:

    A Usable segment is defined as “Bits” of a high speed corridor.
    The bits of a high speed corridor will be suitable and read for high speed operations (after the remaining bits have been added later)
    Any kind of train passenger service can use some of the bits of high speed corridor (station OR track).

    joe Reply:

    The authority shall have approved and
    concurrently submitted to the Director of Finance and the Chairperson
    of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee the following:

    […..]

    The Director of Finance shall review the plan within 60
    days of its submission by the authority and, after receiving any
    communication from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, if the
    director finds that the plan is likely to be successfully implemented

    as proposed, the authority may enter into commitments to expend bond
    funds that are subject to this subdivision and accept offered
    commitments from private parties.

    agb5 Reply:

    So your argument is that:

    (I) One or more passenger service providers can begin using the
    tracks OR stations

    means “pretty much” the same as:

    (I) One or more passenger service providers can begin using the
    tracks AND stations AND power systems AND associated facilities

    Alan Reply:

    “Portion” refers to geography, as in “Madera-Bakersfield is a portion of the San Francisco-Los Angeles corridor.”

    jimsf Reply:

    it depends on the what the meaning of is, is.

    agb5 Reply:

    There is no language limiting “portion” to geography.
    A portion is just an undefined “bit” of a high speed train corridor. It can mean the North bit, the middle bit, the bottom bit, or the associated facilities bit.

    jimsf Reply:

    You are reading too much into useable segment. usable just means you can use it. for something. something while you wait for it to be completed. The completed system is what has to be 220 electric service. Until there is 220 electric service between sf and la metting the 2:40 time, any portion can be built and used, for something else in the meantime. so long as the public is getting some kind of use out of it.

    the two requirements are separate from one another.

    joe Reply:

    The point is the State doesn’t start to build something that is not useful and then run out of money.

    Jonathan Reply:

    ….,.. well, except when you’re arguing that the State *has* started building something, and *is* going to run out of money before they lay track, electrify, and install signalling. But whatever the CHSRA proposes is DoublePlusGood. Anyone who disputes that is somehow anti-HSR.

    joe Reply:

    No one has shown the state will run.out.of.money.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Show us the detailed funding plan, Joe. The Prop-1A compliant detailed funding plan

    joe Reply:

    So you can’t prove anything. Typical for you to make a nutty comment and assert it true.

    CAHSRA’s Richard explains the useable segment and funding to Congressman Jeff Denham.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=81tM-ghbvfw

    He’s under oath explaining what is the useable segment. It is no longer the IOS but the Central Valley segment under construction for which Richard says (under oath) CA has the funds.

    I think someone used a word processor to redefine useable segment from the IOS to the CV construction segment.

    Jonathan Reply:

    jimsf: Nonsense. Prop 1A defines clearly what it means by “usable segment”. Prop 1A also has a requirement for a “detailed funding plan” which must be submitted to various Legislative commmittees and to the Director of Finance, and the peer review group. All the requirements of those “detailed funding plans” apply to each “usable segment” (or corridor).

    The requirements on those detailed plans are quite explicit. I suggest you read AB 3034 sec 2704.08.
    Though I have quoted sections here often enough, going back to when bumbling fools were claiming the Authority could resolve its legal problems “with a word processor”, by defining the ICS to be a “usable segment”. Except each “usable segment” requires its own ridership analysis and report; and appears to require each completed usable segment to support non-subsidized HSR operation.

    jimsf Reply:

    well they don’t plan to use it until its merced to burbank at which point it would be electrified.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Doesn’t matter. They need a detailed funding plan, which when completed, will result in a usable segment ready for high-speed train operation. Prop 1A defines HSR as electrified; and you can’t legally run high-speed rail without in-cab signalling and advanced ATP.

    joe Reply:

    Does matter. CA is not required to operate service on any useable segment so JimSF’s scenario is compliant.

    HSR’s Richard, under oath, testified the State redefines “useable segment” in the next plan to be the Valley Construction segment for which they have identified all funds. IOS “useable segment” funding problem solved. IOS is no longer the “useable segment” defined under Prop1a.

    Joey Reply:

    No, but the “usable segment” is required to be ready for HSR service which will not require subsidy.

    joe Reply:

    …And?

    One would need to explain what “ready” means such that a Court will force the Authority to stop building the project because it’s legally not going to be “ready”.

    I watched the Richard video. He testified to Denham’s committee CAHSRA simpley redefine the useable segment to be the CV project under construction and they have the funds. He doesn’t foresee see any problem.

    jimsf Reply:

    usable segment doesn’t even even have to be used at all. It just has to be potentially useful for something in case the system doesn’t get finished.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Joe, that’s pretty simple “ready for high-speed rail operation” has to include track, electrification and signalling at the very least. And stations for passengers to board an dalight. And where, pray tell, has Dan Richard identified funding for electrification and signalling of the ICS? Does he say that under oath? How on Earth is the CHSRA going to persuade the Finance committees of state legislature and Senate, and the Director of budget, and an independent financial-services company, that there is a ridership projection and revenue forecast showing that the “usable segment” which is the ICS, can support high-speed rail service without state subsidy?

    Are we back to GiloryLogic(tm), and Humpty-Dumpty redefinition of words??

    jimsf: you’re just plain wrong. You have confused, on the one hand, the requirement for ARRA funding that each ARRA-funded segment have “independent utility” if CHSRA never does a thing beyond the ICS; and on the other hand, Prop 1A’s requirement that each “usable segment” be fully funded, have a detailed funding plan, will be ready for HSR (electric HSR) on completion; and can sustain non-state-subsidized service. Those requirements hold whether or not the Authority decides to run trains on the usable segment at completion.

    (E) The projected ridership and operating revenue estimate based
    on projected high-speed passenger train operations on the corridor or usable segment.

    joe Reply:

    I’m “ready” for action. “Ready” is a word.

    The key to unravelling your argument is found in this enjoyable school house rock video. Conjunction Junction.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODGA7ssL-6g
    You need to be clear about the conjunctions joining these snippets and if they pertain to the plan needed for the Legislature to vote to appropriate or later plans.

    CAHSR Dan Richard testified under oath in front of a hostile sub-committee chair. I’ll take his interpretation of events and path forward as the best estimate of what’s to come.

    Notice he specifically testified the IOS isn’t in Prop1a and that te Surface Transportation Board and CAHSRA defines the usable segment as the CV segment. Instead of funding billions, they redefined the segment. I bet t this was done with a word processor.

    Jonathan Reply:

    This is the same Dan Richard who “assumed” that CHSRA didn’t need STB approval, correct?

    And in case you continue to play dumb: the definition of “usable segment” cannot be changed “with a word processor”, by simply changing a few words as you implied. Changing the definition of “usable segment” changes the unit on which ridership projections and revenue forecasts has to be done.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The legislature defined a usable segment. It has two stations.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It says a useful segment has two stations. No mention of anything else. What are they building that will not include two stations some place when it’s completed?

    joe Reply:

    A useable segment is not required to be put into service when completed.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Perhaps, perhaps not. But it *HAS TO BE READY* for high-speed train operation.

    That requirement must be met by the detailed funding plan submitted in accordance with 2704.08. The same requrement must also be certified in the report required from an independent financial firm — auditors, in effect.

    It’s also far from clear that any “usable segment” NOT need to support non-subsidized service.
    The “detailed funding plan” to be reviewed and certified — audited — by an external financial firm, also HAS to include “projected ridership and operating revenue” report, on the “corridor or usable segment thereof”. Before spending Prop 1A money on a “usable segment”, Prop 1A requires projected ridership and operating revenue forecast *for the usable segment*.

    joe Reply:

    Well now you’re back to lawyer mode. Not a strength.

    There are multiple paths forward. All indications are CA will select the path that brings ridership to the segment and run non-subsidized rail service.

    Still, subsidized service is not allowed but the State is not mandated to run service.

    From that fact CA can claim the ability to build and not use a segment. That is a plaintiff can sue to stop subsidized service but not the segment construction since the segment is not mandated to run service.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Not a strength? Hardly. Both Judge Kenny and the California state court of appeals agree with how I read Prop 1A: a fact which you and Alan prevaricate and avoid. OTOH I don’t pretend to know California constitutional law.

    You are ignoring the fact that Prop 1A requires *ridership projections* and *revenue projections* for each usable segment, as a pre-requisite for spending Prop 1A funds on a usable segment. here we go:

    (E) The projected ridership and operating revenue estimate based
    on projected high-speed passenger train operations on the corridor or
    usable segment.
    […]
    (J) The planned passenger service by the authority in the corridor
    or usable segment thereof will not require a local, state, or
    federal operating subsidy.

    and from 2704.08 (d) 1:

    (C) includes a projected
    ridership and operating revenue report,

    and from 2704.08 d (2):

    (B) if so completed, the corridor or usable segment thereof
    would be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation, (C) upon
    completion, one or more passenger service providers can begin using
    the tracks or stations for passenger train service, (D) the planned
    passenger train service to be provided by the authority, or pursuant
    to its authority, will not require operating subsidy,

    The wording of Prop 1A 2704.08 d (2) clearly requires the Authority to plan to operate trains on the usable segment.

    I find it hard to imagine any judge buying the argument that “Our plan is to run no trains on this Usable Segment, therefore our projections show no expenditure and therefore no subsidy”. I mean, *think* about it — if you or Alan can ever get past GilroyLogic(tm). Even unused track requires upkeep and maintenance. Where is that money going to come from?

    As for reading Prop 1A: are you *ever* going to learn the difference between a lower bound, and an upper bound? A minimum and a maximum?” Or at least admit you got that simple thing wrong, and then lied about it for *months*?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He’s back to “everything has to spring out of the ground as soon as the first bulldozer passes” mode.

    Joe Reply:

    Back to making up straw man arguments with paraphrasing rather than quoting.

    Blockquote please.

    Alan Reply:

    a fact which you and Alan prevaricate and avoid.

    Little boy, you’re lying again. I’ve stated before that I acknowledge problems with the 2011 Funding Plan and the 2012 Business Plan. However, you’re the one who refuses to acknowledge that the Court of Appeal agreed that there could not be a remedy in this instance, and that the courts cannot and will not invent remedies that are not provided in the law.

    The wording of Prop 1A 2704.08 d (2) clearly requires the Authority to plan to operate trains on the usable segment.

    However, it does not specify a time frame for when revenue operation must begin after completion of construction. The Legislature wisely allowed the Authority to make that decision.

    I find it hard to imagine any judge buying the argument that “Our plan is to run no trains on this Usable Segment, therefore our projections show no expenditure and therefore no subsidy”.

    Nobody has made that argument, and nobody will.

    Even unused track requires upkeep and maintenance. Where is that money going to come from?

    While the track is being used for testing purposes, the money obviously comes from the construction budget.

    if you or Alan can ever get past GilroyLogic(tm).

    Infinitely preferable to living in your world of lies, hypocrisy and delusion.

    Admit it, Jonny–you’re desperate. You’re seeing your legal hopes going down in flames with every court ruling adverse to the PAMPA Mafia. You’re seeing the money becoming available for Caltrain electrification, which will be a step toward HSR on the Peninsula, and you’re in an absolute panic. You see people pointing out the plans, with chapter and verse, pointing out the clear intention to electrify the ICS, and all you can do is close your eyes and say, “I’M NOT LISTENING! I’M NOT LISTENING”.

    Sad, really.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan, little boy, you really *should* stop lying.

    The Court of Appeals did *NOT* say that there could be no remedy. The Court of Appeals agreed with the plaintiffs on the facts. But the Court of Appeals said that the Legisislater had voted, and that that vote was a bar which the plaintiffs could not reach.

    Alan is wrong on not one but *two* points.

    You really should learn to read, Alan. Or grasp the native wit that you *dont* know what is going on in my mind. I *DO* want to see high-speed rail in California in my lifetime. I don’t want to see Prop 1A turned into a slush-fund for political patronage, wasted on commuter rail which barely even pretends to meet the requirements for Prop 1A.

    As for ”

    Nobody has made that argument, and nobody will.

    Alan, if you’re going to tell lies, at least try not to tell lies in the same blog-post which refutes your lies. Joe is making *that exact argument*.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Most of us don’t want to know what is going on in your mind.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Which is not relevant to Alan telling lies about my desires or motivations.

    Alan Reply:

    But the Court of Appeals said that the Legisislater had voted, and that that vote was a bar which the plaintiffs could not reach.

    Which meant that IN THIS CASE, there could be no remedy such as the plaintiffs sought. I was correct. The court could not and would not order an idle act. Thus, no remedy.

    What’s going on in your mind is very easy to grasp. You’re lying about being an advocate for HSR. Every word you’ve written opposes HSR. You’ve done absolutely nothing to suggest alternatives that could bring the project, at least in your mind, into compliance.

    I don’t want to see Prop 1A turned into a slush-fund for political patronage, wasted on commuter rail which barely even pretends to meet the requirements for Prop 1A.

    Have you ever thought about becoming a writer for Conan O’Brien? You’re quite funny. More to the point, Prop 1A specifically authorizes funding for non-HSR transit funding, for one thing.

    But you really make your motives clear–the “bookend” funding, which among other things will electrify Caltrain, moves us that much closer to HSR on the Peninsula, and that sends you into an absolute panic. Your desperation is obvious. No one who is an advocate for the project would write with the vitriol that you use.

    Nobody has made that argument, and nobody will.

    Alan, if you’re going to tell lies, at least try not to tell lies in the same blog-post which refutes your lies. Joe is making *that exact argument*.

    No, he isn’t, and neither am I. The point, which your tiny mind refuses to accept, is that the Authority is not required to commence service in any specific timeframe after completion. There is nothing in Prop 1A which prohibits use of the ICS as the test track while Bakersfield-Palmdale is under construction, and then beginning revenue service when the second usable segment is compoete. That position is backed by the clear language of Prop 1A, where the Legislature clearly anticipated, and specifically mentioned, the use of the firs construction segment as a test track. No one with any intelligence would expect testing to proceed at the same time as revenue service on the same segment.

    Alan Reply:

    Why don’t you explain it to the Legislative Counsel, because obviously you know more than they do.

    nothing in Prop 1A allows for temporary use of diesel passenger trains on HST track.

    Nothing prohibits it, either.

    It never ceases to amaze me how a few people have deluded themselves into believing that a state agency, the Legislature, the Governor, the Attorney Genera, a Federal agencyl and a few others have all conspired to do something which is *so* obviously illegal. Give me a break.

    joe Reply:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=81tM-ghbvfw

    Richard explains.useable.segment to Jeff Denham and how the revisited plan redefines the useable segment from the IOS to the valley segment. Revision done with word processor.

    Alan Reply:

    It’s important to remember that this testimony was from January of this year, when the appeal hadn’t yet been heard.

    Mac Reply:

    You just don’t get it.
    Prop 1A intent (read it again folks) is to fund ELECTRIFIED usable segments for 220+ capable HSTs. There shouldn’t be any talk about running diesel trains on it at all. The Amtrak backup plan was something to write into the Federal fund contract to satisfy them and their investment. It should be considered WORSE CASE SCENARIO..(.i.e, the project stops dead in its tracks and never gets built beyond Shafter…no other option than to rust in the weeds..)
    The passenger trains mentioned in 1A were to be all electrified HSTs…as all usable segments were to be fully electrified to be considered complete. I say if you want to build this ridiculous plan…take the public 1A bond funds out of the equation…find another source of funds. We didn’t vote to spend the bonds on this project that no longer resembles what Prop 1A outlined.
    With the 1A funds out of the equation, proponents can build without worrying about adhering to it.

    Mac Reply:

    The Merced-N. of Bakersfield alignment (no electrification) is slated to take 6 years to build (2020+). Then they will still need to build the electrical components etc. thereafter. Meanwhile, a trainset will need to be decided upon and purchased. It will take 2 years to test the train on the track. This doesn’t take into consideration other track controls, safety measures/regulations and RR agreements that need to be done.
    While that is being done….they SHOULD be working to build the segment connection over the mountains to Palmdale/LA Basin.

    Running Amtrak on that CV track only delays the possibility of ever getting a true IOS to the LA Basin.

    Alan Reply:

    Mac, I get it completely. “It’s the people who whine that THERE IS NO PLAN FOR ELECTRIFICATION” who don’t get it. You’re correct that the scenario where Amtrak would run on any HST trackage is a worst case scenario. The scenario was discussed at some length in the EIR’s because that’s what CEQA requires. I agree that the Amtrak scenario is unlikely, but the Authority has to discuss it up front.

    I don’t think your timeline is correct. Unless you have more recent information, the Fresno-Bakersfield FEIR doesn’t get that specific on its timeline. The timeline in the current Business Plan is to have the IOS up and running to the SFV by 2022. The process of procuring trainsets has already begun, so that ideally, the first sets will be available for testing around the time when the infrastructure is ready for them. And yes, the Authority *is* working on Bakersfield-Palmdale-SFV, and says so in the BP.

    However, you’re wrong when you say the project no longer resembles what Prop 1A outlined. The Authority is still building a high-speed, electrified railway between SF Transbay and LA Union Station. People may disagree on the construction sequencing, but that doesn’t change the project.

    Mac Reply:

    Actually Alan, the Fresno to Bakersfield FEIR clearly states 6 years to construct just the tracks. Other documentation discusses 2 years to test a HST. Additional documentation (will see if I have the link) show that it will take YEARS to develop policy and plan for electrical/control with CPUC/utilities since we are starting at ground zero on that. There is no existing US HST rules/regs on much of this.
    While I would hope that most people would deem the Amtrak scenario unlikely….it is especially grating that Dan Richard continually brings this up as “a benefit to the CV”. If built, the CV better get an electrified HST running on those tracks. It is too high of a price to pay (tearing up the Valley, multiple adverse impacts and loss of precious land etc etc.) to get a faster Amtrak trip to Fresno. Dan Richard is an idiot to even mention it to anyone in the CV…unless he just enjoys ticking people off.

    joe Reply:

    “(tearing up the Valley, multiple adverse impacts and loss of precious land etc etc.) ”

    Hyperbole would be an understatement.

    It’s just a Right of Way so not tearing up the land unless the water project will also tear up the land need to be stopped and Fracking seems okay in Kern Co. The station is no being put out of town to prevent “loss precious land”.

    It’s a wired way to argue. There’s no proportion of impact to other allowed impacts or coherence to what’s being argued.

    Mac Reply:

    Joe, you are so wrong that I am not even going to bother to refute. You wouldn’t change your mind on this even if you knew you were wrong.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many acres of precious land? Or are you just spreading FUD?

    Alan Reply:

    the Fresno to Bakersfield FEIR clearly states 6 years to construct just the tracks.

    Incorrect. The first paragraph of section 2.8 of the FEIR states:

    The Initial Operating Section (IOS) first construction (also known as
    the Initial Construction Section (ICS)) is to be completed by December 2018.

    December 2018 is 4 years and a couple of months from today–not 6 years.

    it will take YEARS to develop policy and plan for electrical/control with CPUC/utilities since we are starting at ground zero on that.

    And it’s reasonable to believe that the Authority is working with CPUC, PG&E, Edison, and whoever to begin developing those policies and plans as we speak. You know, it *is* possible for more than one thing to be going on at the same time. No reasonable person would expect the Authority to wait until the last spike is driven between Madera and Bakersfield, and *then* say, “You know, we really ought to start talking with CPUC about that electric stuff.”

    Other documentation discusses 2 years to test a HST.

    That brings us to the end of 2020. In the meantime, work should be well underway from Palmdale south.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Mac,

    Joe and “Alana” are pathological liars. Once they take a position, that position is true forevermore. No matter how unfounded and baseless the original position was, no matter how infantie a misreading of Prop 1A it was based on.

    Alan doesn’t even know the difference between an EIR – a *report*, and a plan for construction.
    Whatever the Authority sais is true. Pay no attention to facts.

    This is the Authority which didn’t bother to contact STB about its rail system, because it saw no need. What would a reasonble person assume that the Authority is doing with CPUC about platform heights? Absolutely nothing.

    Alan Reply:

    Leave it to Jonny to continue to rebut facts with ad hominem attacks.

    Poor little Jonny doesn’t understand the reason and purpose of an EIR, and the fact that it does constitute a plan for moving forward. All he does is keep bleating, “I’M NOT LISTENING”.

    Once they take a position, that position is true forevermore. No matter how unfounded and baseless the original position was, no matter how infantie a misreading of Prop 1A it was based on.

    Pot calling the kettle black. Once Jonny takes a position, it is true forever more, no matter how many facts he’s confronted with. Jonny continues to lie about the Authority’s alleged intention to skip the electrification.

    For Little Jonny’s benefit, here’s what the CEQA Guidlines have to say:

    15124. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
    The description of the project shall contain the following information but should not supply
    extensive detail beyond that needed for evaluation and review of the environmental impact.

    (c) A general description of the project‟s technical, economic, and environmental characteristics,
    considering the principal engineering proposals if any and supporting public service facilities.

    So you see, Jonny, the EIR *does* cite the Authority’s PLAN to electrify the ICS.

    I was going to ask Little Jonny what would constitute an acceptable plan, but it really doesn’t matter, and he’d lie about it anyway.

    Pay no attention to facts.

    Jonny’s mantra and game plan, in one short sentence.

    “Alana”

    Clever, little boy. How long did it take your feeble little mind to come up with that? Doesn’t really matter–I’ve been called worse things by far better people than you. Doesn’t make a bit of difference.

    Remember, Jonny, we’re laughing at you, not with you…

    Jonathan Reply:

    However, you’re wrong when you say the project no longer resembles what Prop 1A outlined.

    Factually incorrect. Or at least, clearly debatable. Quentin Kopp says the exact same thing.
    Now let’s see those kooks Joe and Alan, squirmking to try and define Quentin Kopp as “anti-HSR”.
    Because in their twisted eyes, anyone who criticizes the Authority must be anti-HSR.

    it”s almost like a weird form of fundamentalist religion….

    Alan Reply:

    Factually correct. Judge Kenny has stated that the “blended” plan does not render HSR a different project than that disclosed in the Program EIR, but simply a different method of implementing the same program.

    Quentin Kopp is a bitter old man, angry because he won’t be remembered as the “Father of HSR”. Nothing he said matters any more.

    joe Reply:

    Anything’s debatable – look at the what you try to debate. You can debate if Prop1a is substantially different. Maybe Trix are better than Cheerios.

    What do the courts say? That case law grants projects latitude. No stoppage. Hmm. What’s the point here?

    So Kopp’s your guy. Fantastic. And everyone falls along a 1 dimensional line – pro or con. Another insight. Can’t even make it a 2D space can you?

    And I’m a liar because … trolling.

    synonymouse Reply:

    One of the better informed articles on PB-LAHSR. Certainly better than any I have seen emanating from the LA Times.

    Another option is to scratch the current route and change direction and go through the Grapevine, a route they turned down after a re-study in 2012. Here’s the study done in January 2012. Look at the map on the cover of the report, certainly more direct and supposedly shorter. While the Grapevine route does have earthquake faults so does the current route, in fact more than anticipated. If the Authority changed the route at this point, they face two sure lawsuits one from the City of Palmdale for changing the route and eliminating service through their city and the other from the Tejon Ranch Company who doesn’t want the rail line near their developments. See article written back in 2012 with the threat of legal action from the Taejon Ranch Co. Barry Zoeller, VP of Tejon Ranch pledged that “should (high-speed rail officials) make the decision to move ahead with the Grapevine alignment, they would find a strong opponent in the Tejon Ranch”

    I like the “Taejon” misspelling. And she mentions they have identified some new faults on the Tehachapi route. Purportedly newly discovered. Come on, Palmdale and Barry, sue, sue, sue.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes lets study it and study it until the original study is so old it’s no longer of any use because things have changed. And study it some more. Until they come to a conclusion you agree with. Or we all die of old age.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What are you talking about? It is PB that is studying it to death because they do not want to release the gruesome details. How long did it take them to “study” Tejon. About 5 minutes.

    What I can’t figure out is why the Cheerleaders want an hsr that is a guaranteed failure rather than a success.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m talking about how you want to study it again because it’s not the outcome you wanted. Like the way the judges are stalwart defenders of everything good and true until they make a decision you don’t like.

    Marcus Reply:

    If Palmdale is excised from the system, there will be no HSR project. Advocating otherwise is a fool’s errand

  11. Reality Check
    Oct 20th, 2014 at 18:14
    #11

    Plans unveiled for new $230b high-speed rail link from Moscow to Beijing

    China and Russia are considering building a high-speed rail line thousands of kilometres from Moscow to Beijing that would cut the journey time from six days on the Trans-Siberian to two.

    The project would cost more than $230bn (£144bn) and be over 7,000km (4,350 miles) long — more than three times the world’s current longest high-speed line, from the Chinese capital to the southern city of Guangzhou.

    […]

    joe Reply:

    NPR did a story today on riding the trans Siberian rail 3rd class in the dead of winter

    http://www.npr.org/2014/10/20/356945871/theres-never-a-dull-moment-on-this-trans-siberian-adventure

    On the Trans-Siberian versus Amtrak

    Amtrak is boring now. There’s really never a dull moment [on the Trans-Siberian]. There might be a Russian guy who has gotten way too hot in his compartment and has come out into the aisle. And he’s in, essentially, his underwear — you know, boxer shorts and a tank top. And hiding a cigarette that he’s sort of taking puffs of when no one’s looking — because you’re not supposed to smoke on the train — and gazing out into this empty landscape. But I don’t get that on Amtrak. It’s just these moments, and the food sharing and the conversation. There’s just so much life.

    EJ Reply:

    Amtrak is boring now.

    Obviously he’s never ridden the Pacific Surfliner on a race day at Del Mar. Things get fairly, um, festive.

    joe Reply:

    6,000 miles in dead.of.winter 3rd class. In Russia passengers step on your sleeping face to reach top bunk.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    In Russia, train rides you.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You know what the key is to riding mass transit and trains in America is?

    Low expectations….

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I know, I know. It was worst when visiting after living in Vancouver, where, for all the many problems of transit, the buses are reliable and consistently faster than walking. I missed a train because I forgot that the 125th Street crosstown buses are slower than walking at all times of day, not just at rush hour.

    EJ Reply:

    The nice thing is when you do take mass transit you can tell all your friends and co-workers and they act like you’ve had an adventure.

    For a little while back in the 1990s I lived in Torrance and worked in downtown LA and whenever someone found out I took the bus to work they’d have a million questions. “Really? How long does it take? Where do you catch it? What’s it like? No way, it REALLY joins up with the freeway and runs express all the way downtown??”

    Eric Reply:

    I’m not really sure what the advantage of this is over the existing airplanes, except to help keep the Chinese economy growing at 9%/year.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It’s useful for freight rail. Russia already has plans to upgrade the Trans-Siberian to medium speed, allowing trip times of about 3 days, for faster freight shipping from China to Europe.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The Chinese want to get to their European markets. They’re pursuing *multiple* fast land routes, actually (they don’t want to be dependent on Russia).

  12. Robert S. Allen
    Oct 20th, 2014 at 21:56
    #12

    Its very title said Prop 1A (2008) was for “…Safe, Reliable…” HSR. It must be totally grade separated and securely fenced. HSR on Caltrain tracks, with its many stations and dozens of road crossings, is unsafe and vulnerable to severe delays. CHSRA ought not squander HSR funds to electrify and extend Caltrain, but terminate initial service to the Bay Area at San Jose, with near seamless transfers there to Caltrain, Capitol Corridor, Amtrak, VTA rail, and the planned SV-BART.

    Any corridor for HSR trains must be grade separated and fenced, else it would be neither safe nor reliable. Accidental – or even deliberate – mishaps can occur on 79 mph track, as Amtrak found in 1999 at Bourbonnais, Illinois. More recently an ACE train hit a gravel rig near Livermore, but with the rig being empty and the ACE train in pull mode, nothing serious happened.

    Upgrading the UP/Amtrak line from San Jose to Oakland and extending HSR north to Sacramento would be better, safer, more reliable, and far less costly than the ordained alignment into the mis-named Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. (TBC doesn’t serve by far the largest trans-Bay transit operator, BART.) Four downtown San Francisco BART/Muni stations are six to ten minutes from a potential San Francisco Bay Rail Hub station at I-880/7th Street in Oakland, with 16 trains per hour.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You’re forgetting the most important question: is it going to allow thugs to walk near stations? Or will it have lots of parking as is right and proper?

    Reedman Reply:

    If someone would find the money to extend (grade-separated) BART from Berryessa to Diridon ….

    Ted K. Reply:

    Mr. Allen’s dream, a “San Francisco Bay Rail Hub” station, is roughly six-tenths of a mile (thirteen [13] minute walk per Google Maps) from BART’s West Oakland station. Of course, the hub will have to be fully enclosed with heavy duty HVAC systems due to the local air pollution (especially diesel particulates from trucks).

  13. joe
    Oct 21st, 2014 at 09:22
    #13

    China Wants To Sell High-Speed Trains To California
    http://www.businessinsider.com/r-china-to-pitch-high-speed-trains-to-california-2014-10#ixzz3GnTsVYga

    Recall the-world’s-smartest and most angry-man thinks the US should not try to foster a domestic rail industry and instead buy product on the world market.

    If the US tries to establish in country skill, we might end up like China. Look how horrible that is.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Bombardier is going to have to up its payola. The Chinese are sitting on a mountain of foreign exchange to “win friends and influence people”.

    EJ Reply:

    We do have a thriving domestic rail industry, just not HSR. GE and EMD export diesel locomotives all over the world, including to China.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    China is a corrupt state with full collusion between big business and the government. Liberals in China want China to look more like the US, on matters like air pollution, government transparency, government accountability, and living standards. Hell, on the last part, the government in China wants to look more like the US. Why would the US want to look like China?

    Nathanael Reply:

    China’s been trying to copy Britain’s Industrial Revolution period step for step. I don’t know if this will continue; the guy who was in charge of this for a long time was recently replaced.

  14. Reality Check
    Oct 21st, 2014 at 11:10
    #14

    SJ still trying to grow up … or something:
    Construction underway to attract young professionals to San Jose

    Downtown San Jose is busy with a lot of new construction and the goal is to attract young professionals to stay in San Jose instead of moving out.

    […]

    “The city has really great potential,” said Lisa Rosenbaum of San Jose.

    […]

    The city is working to boost its transportation system so, similar to San Francisco; people could ditch their cars and use public transportation.

    The city is working on bringing BART, high speed light rail as well as making improvements to Caltrain and the Bus Rapid Transit system.

    Tony D. Reply:

    That was actually a great piece on downtown SJ. But as an obvious SJ hater you tried to spin it with some “trying to grow up” crap. Nice try moron! (Maybe you should try growing up..)

  15. Useless
    Oct 21st, 2014 at 20:53
    #15

    Chinese bid for california high speed train set unveiled, Chinese are offering CRH380BL, which is basically a Velaro clone. Siemens is not going to be very happy about this. http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2014/oct/china-california-high-speed-rail.cfm

    Useless Reply:

    At least even Chinese seem to understand that any train set offered to California must be UIC compliant, and is offering a train model with least Chinese content of only 14% instead of the Shinkansen clone CRH380A. The only problem is that Siemens lawyers are not going to be happy. As for UIC non-compliant Shinkansen E6 that the Japanese consortium is offering, good luck.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Obsess much over Japanese and Chinese stuff?- your han in showing…Anyway discussion of trainset designs is way too premature, as the trains will go into operation, what, 20 years from now, which is at least one and likely two design generations away…

    Useless Reply:

    swing

    > as the trains will go into operation, what, 20 years from now

    The prototypes are supposed to be delivered by 2018.

    Useless Reply:

    CNR won the Boston subway bidding today. The MassDOT Board of Directors is expected to vote today on whether to award China CNR Corp. the $566.6 million deal in what would be the first rail contract the company has landed­ in the United States. Other bidders included Hyundai Rotem at $720.6 million, Kawasaki at $904.9 million and Bombardier at $1.08 billion. http://www.bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2014/10/china_lowballs_mbta_bid

    Reality Check Reply:

    Bombardier’s bid at 1.9x was almost double CNR’s. Wow!
    China lowballs MBTA bid
    Critics cite raw deal for U.S. companies

    […]

    The MassDOT Board of Directors is expected to vote today on whether to award China CNR Corp. the $566.6 million deal in what would be the first rail contract the company has landed­ in the United States. Other bidders included Hyundai Rotem at $720.6 million, Kawasaki at $904.9 million and Bombardier at $1.08 billion.

    The Alliance for American Manufacturers — a national labor group — blasted the deal in a letter yesterday to Gov. Deval Patrick, warning that he will put other companies across the country at a competitive disadvantage in future contracts if the China contract is signed.

    “By making CNR’s entry into the U.S. market possible, this procurement opens the door to unfair, state-owned competition on other rail and transit procurements throughout the United States,” executive director Scott Paul wrote. “Government-backed entities are able to undercut market prices that privately owned businesses are able to offer. It is cheating, plain and simple, and should not be rewarded using taxpayer dollars.”

    MBTA officials yesterday insisted their own investigation “revealed no record of violations of human rights against workers by China CNR Corporation Limited,” known as CNR MA Corp. in the Bay State subway deal.

    State officials claim the project will be an economic boon for Springfield, creating 250 new manufacturing and construction jobs at a new 150,000-square-foot factory. CNR MA will invest $60 million of its own money in the facility, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

    […]

    Useless Reply:

    Well, the Boston subway car bidding is the preview of California high speed train set bidding with all the relevant players(CNR, Rotem, Kawasaki, Bombardier), unless Siemens can stop CNR from bidding via lawsuits.

    joe Reply:

    We’ve seen this state-supported complaints with Airbus.

    Where China might win this is if they actually commit to growing more good jobs in the US and have high US content. China wins by blocking competitors while they establish a US base and taking the long view.

  16. Reality Check
    Oct 21st, 2014 at 21:46
    #16

    Peninsula anti-HSR columnist: For HSR foes, Nov. 4 election is important

    For critics and outright opponents of the California high-speed rail project, last week’s news that the state Supreme Court had handed backers a victory was a downer. But fear not. Hope is on the horizon.

    The Nov. 4 election just might see Republicans take back the U.S. Senate. And most, if not all, of them would be fiscal conservatives. The House of Representatives figures to remain in GOP hands as well.

    The outlook for a very tough stance on any further federal funding for the fast-train plan may be brighter than ever as of early next month.

    The great concern is that HSR cannot be financially successful, not even close. Its construction, and especially its operating costs, runs the logic, will saddle the Golden State with a fiscal albatross for generations to come.

    This issue also is important along the peninsula because the high-speed proposal envisions the use of the Caltrain corridor as its route north to San Francisco. The impact of that would be significant and far-reaching.

    But federal dollars are absolutely crucial. Without that money, HSR would be stymied.

    […]

    Joe Reply:

    ARRA funds carry to Sept 30 2017 at which any remaining must be returned.

    That would be the year after this 2014 elected congress retires in late 2016.

    The amount of funding to spend between now and then is enormous and represents ambitious construction schedule.

  17. Keith Saggers
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 06:07
    #17
  18. James M in Irvine, CA
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 09:23
    #18

    CEQA Used to Drive Away Jobs From California

    Kinkisharyo is not going forward with its plan for an assembly plant in Palmdale, Ca., per
    L.A.Times due to union pressure. The plant would assemble, and eventually, construct new light rail vehicles for Los Angeles Metro light rail lines. The plant just had an unveiling October 19th .

    The 60-acre Palmdale site that Kinkisharyo chose, however, came under fire this last summer when local activists — including members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 — presented the city with a 588-page appeal claiming violations of state environmental law

    While this is not about High Speed Rail, it is about attracting good paying jobs. This is just one more reason to sensibly reform CEQA

    Jim

    Alon Levy Reply:

    If the unions were against it, then CEQA was a fig leaf and the real source of opposition was Kinki’s presumable use of non-union labor.

    James M in Irvine, CA Reply:

    The unions were pushing for a “card” vote, while Kinkisharyo wanted a legal election. Sometimes, push comes to leaving.

    Jim

  19. James M in Irvine, CA
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 10:14
    #19

    If Kinkisharyo is paying a good wage and treating employees fairly, there is no need for a union. Hence, the reason for the union’s decline, laws now prevent many abuses that caused workers to organize in the early day.

    joe Reply:

    This is so silly. Wages have not kept pace with productivity, wealth is concentrating in the top, and worker earning power has declined with decreasing unionization.

    There have been changes to federal law that makes union organizing more difficult.

  20. J. Wong
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 10:36
    #20

    O.T. For all those who believe self-driving cars are just around the corner: Google Self Driving Car: It May Never Actually Happen

    I’d be the 1st to love it if it actually happened, but when you realize how they’re actually doing it, you might feel a little disappointed that it’s not actually very practical.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Link is bad. Did you mean this?
    The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yes, thanks.

    joe Reply:

    The Autonomy R&D community has been cautioning about the google project for a while. Many hard problems are not yet resolved.

    Their approach requires extensive mapping rather than dynamic environmental sensing and modeling. They have that capacity. It plays to their technical strengths.

    What they are building could work in controlled environments like warehouses. As a side benefit they’ll also have a collection of patents and this entire effort is not a huge cost burden.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Warehouses have been automated for years. So automated that if the power goes out or the computer systems fail no one knows where specific items are beyond “somewhere in the warehouse”.

    Howard Reply:

    I see a Google Bus long before a Google Car for the reason that a bus follows the same route many times a day every day. Bus systems only need to map their routes to replace expensive drivers with cheap self driving buses (operations). Drivers are most of the cost of operating a bus system; therefore, removing the drivers could make bus transit profitable (fares greater than operating costs). Self driving buses and trains will radically transform transit.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Traffic congestion is mostly within metropolitan areas – rush hours especially, off-rush hours as well. Investments in electric mass transit are needed along those lines more than in HSR. Trips between LA and SF are a luxury. California needs a better passenger-rail system, but it does not need 200mph HSR. I’ve seen rail projects collapse because their proponents won’t consider lower-cost alternatives.
    Hurricane blew the roof of your house off? Build a swimming pool in the back yard. (Rough analogy).

  21. Reality Check
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 12:52
    #21

    Jobs & housing sprawling eastward into Tri-Valley Altamont Pass corridor:

    Silicon Valley sprawls East: How tech jobs, housing and transit are shaping a megaregion

    Joey Reply:

    Probably not the best outcome.

    john burrows Reply:

    That Tri-Valley quality of life does not necessarily come cheap. The median home price in Pleasanton is around $850,000 and and the median household income is $113,000. If you work in Santa Clara County the good life in Pleasanton is probably out of reach unless you have a pretty decent monthly income.

    jimsf Reply:

    Good to see jobs moving to where the housing is. There needs to be more of a jobs housing balance in all of californias cities so that people don’t have to live in one and work in another.

    Tech in eastern sac county has led to growth eastward into el dorado county and there is now talk of brigning more tech jobs and maybe a new campus of some kind ( i forget the proposal) to el dorado county so people can work closer to home. instead of driving to sacramento.

    Scramjett Reply:

    When it comes to Mega-Bedroom communities, Elk Grove’s got that one nailed. The city council keeps talking about bringing in jobs, but all they ever talk about is low wage retail. Those guys would basically live in South Sac and commute to Elk Grove. But hey, it looks good on the “jobs balance” sheet even if it means nothing since the people who work there don’t live there!

  22. Oliver Wendell Holmes
    Oct 31st, 2014 at 14:25
    #22

    test test

Comments are closed.