China Prepares Its Pitch to Sell HSR Trains to California

Oct 22nd, 2014 | Posted by

CNR Corporation, a state-owned enterprise of the Chinese government, is planning to pitch California on purchasing its high speed trains:

CNR, its unit Tangshan Railway and U.S.-based SunGroup USA are submitting an expression of interest to California’s $68 billion high-speed rail project for a contract to supply up to 95 trains that can travel as fast as 354 kilometers per hour (221 miles per hour), SunGroup told Reuters.

“We believe that high-speed rail is something that China does very well, and it’s a product that we can export across the world,” SunGroup spokesman Jonathan Sun said in a phone interview, adding that SunGroup, CNR and Tangshan Railway had been working together for four years….

Project details published on SunGroup’s website show the consortium is putting forward the CRH380BL train, a model used on the Beijing-Shanghai line, which can travel up to 380 kph.

Sun said an initial order would probably be about 18-20 trains and that they would open a factory to make the trains in California if they won the bid, as required by U.S. law.

The consortium also intends to bid for the next available contracts to build track sections of the line. A group led by Tutor Perini is building the first segment, while consortiums that include Dragados and Samsung are bidding for the next construction package.

“In the future we want to be involved in all aspects of the project,” Sun said. “Because by undertaking a package you can showcase the true value of the high-speed technology that China has created and manufactured.”

CNR just won a bid to deliver trains to Thailand for intercity rail service, with speeds up to 320 km/h, and California is their next big target.

The more bidders the merrier, I say. Bids from companies based in Germany, Japan and Spain are likely, and Germany’s Siemens already has a factory in Sacramento with room to grow to add capacity for building high speed trains. But China can pretty quickly scale up manufacturing capabilities in California if needed.

You can read more about SunGroup’s proposal to use the CRH380BL in this report – though it helps if you read Mandarin. I don’t, but you can at least see some interesting photos of the CRH380BL.

  1. Useless
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 12:53
    #1

    Just remember that Siemens lawyers would be busy at work ensuring that the CRH380BL would not be running on California’s high speed railway.

    Personally I am puzzled by what led CNR executives to think that they could sell a Velaro clone outside of China.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    And how would Siemens look if the propaganda makes them look as if they want to keep their overpriced stuff in the market?

    It really depends on the fine print in the RFP, and then the weighting of price etc.

    Contesting an order based on “not adhering to the RFP” has about a 50% chance in court, but, unless properly communicated, causes damage in reputation.

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    Siemens would be seen as a company trying to protect its product from a cheap Chinese knock off. Beside, there is plenty of competition, so the loss of an unauthorized Chinese knockoff from a contest won’t affect it. Actually, California would be seen as foolish if it were to buy an unauthorized Chinese knockoff, when California depends so much on Silicon Valley and Hollywood for its economy where intellectual property and copyrights protection is essential.

    This Velaro knock-off has no chance in California.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Useless: That’s all a question of propaganda.

    With all due respect, but I have serious doubts whether a price difference of 50% would be worth the sign to “support intellectual property”.

    On the other hand, Siemens worldwide has some reputation issues. Well, we can say it like this, you may count on an extra trainset for free (DTZ for SBB, Velaro for DB) as compensation for delays. The only advantage Siemens has in this game is the factory in California, which may be worth 30 to 40 Million Dollars.

    We will see who actually shows interest, and then who will get shortlisted. It could be interesting…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Siemens and Kawasaki would have to litigate in federal court as Jerry Brown has his thumb on the California courts. With the patronage machine it is entirely a factor of who payolas the most.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    Mouse you know I like you, but these remarks are getting repetitive….

    synonymouse Reply:

    Well, I assume Siemens and Kawasaki people in charge read the newspapers. California Courts routinely rule in favor of the State. See Tos, et al.

    If you think Prop 1a is a can of worms the judges do not want to open, try the fine points of railcar design and construction and reverse engineering. They will follow the path of least resistance and rule for whatever PB-CHSRA wants and has approved. Especially when it involves relations with a foreign government, properly the prerogative of the Feds.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    yep un huh sure, California the home of the movie and television industry and the home of almost all software development is totally uninterested in intellectual property rights.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Aereo case went to the Supreme Court in short order.

    How do you think the Chinese proceeded in Mexico, the sacred homeland of the Mordida. California is every bit as corrupt as Mexico, just in denial.

    For the two Chinese bidders, they have an ideal coverrup for whatever careful kickbacks they may distribute – they for sure will be the lowest bidders. Hard to overcome that – check out Mass.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s illegal for officials to be corrupt. Federal offense kind of illegal. The kind that the FBI is interested in hearing about. Feel free to call them. I’m sure whoever you are talking to will resist the urge to giggle. And very politely listen to what you have to say. And wait until after you are out of earshot to mumble “his tinfoil is wrapped too tight”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    uh, it is illegal to pull people off the street and rendition them to Guantanamo.

    I’ll let you let test that one out on the cops.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    yes it is unless you are a Republican playing to the Republican base and then it’s just fine because it didn’t happen in the US and they aren’t US citizens.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Siemens bribery scandal:
    Siemens bribery case spreads to Brazilian politics

    German engineering firm Siemens reported itself to Brazilian law enforcement authorities. It unveiled its involvement in a price-fixing cartel, and admitted to paying bribes in order to win contracts to build the Sao Paulo Metro.

    […]

    Evidence had already emerged in 2008 that Siemens representatives in Brazil had paid millions in bribes to win public tenders. And just two years earlier, in 2006, Siemens was involved in the biggest corruption scandal in German corporate history, when it was fined 201 million euros for engineering a global system of kickbacks. The entire board of the company resigned over the scandal.

    Cartel accusations against Siemens in Brazil
    German engineering giant Siemens self-reported to avoid criminal proceedings for its alleged involvement in a railway price-fixing cartel in Sao Paulo and Brasilia.

  2. les
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 13:08
    #2

    do Chinese choo-choos come with airbags?

    Eric Reply:

    Chinese trains might be slightly less safe than European or Japanese trains. They are much safer than the cars that Americans are forced to use because US government paralysis and corruption prevent a quality rain network from being built.

    Marc Reply:

    Slightly less safe than Japanese trains, perhaps, but do keep in mind that the two HSR accidents with the greatest death tolls occurred in Europe.

    Useless Reply:

    HSR Fatality Count

    Japan : 0
    Korea : 0
    France : 0
    Germany : 101
    Spain : 79
    China : 40(Disputed as some allege cover ups)

    Scramjett Reply:

    How much you wanna bet that China number is missing one or two zeros.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    However, the accidents in Germany and Spain did NOT occur on the High Speed network per se.

    Also, fatalities do not show the whole picture; it would also be helpful to list incidents, such as derailments etc.

    Eric Reply:

    the accident in germany was a result of a wheel failure, and had nothing to do with the track. I”m not familiar with the spain accident though.

    Winston Reply:

    It was due to excessive speed around a corner on track that did not have PTC.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I thought it did have automatic train protection, but only from SPAD rather than overspeed. (That was the case at the Metro-North accident last year, and if I remember correctly it’s also true of the Spanish accident.)

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Correct, speed was not verified at the critical signal. Speed protection does not need PTC; it can be implemented with simpler means. So, the cause of the Spanish accident was “operator’s error” which could have been prevented with more extensive signalling.

    Eric Reply:

    ah, OK, now i remember this one…I saw video of it on youtube…as I understand it the train driver was trying to catch up with his schedule? ignoring speed restrictions in town?

    Eric Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43-WlKMT0X0

  3. Alon Levy
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 13:37
    #3

    Off-topic: why are Italian HSR lines so slow? Looking at schedules on the Trenitalia website, the major city pairs all seem to top a little below 200 km/h average speed. On Turin-Milan, which is shorter, the fastest regular train takes 54 minutes for about 135 km, so it only averages 150 km/h. This is all for lines that have a top speed of 300 km/h, on the fastest trains available every 1-2 hours, which run nonstop or with just one stop, for example Bologna on Milan-Florence.

    Now, German HSR lines are also pretty slow, but that’s because most of them only cut off a portion of the trip, leaving a substantial amount of time spent on legacy track. The Italian lines are for the most part not like that – nearly the entire length of the route is new. The Shinkansen manages to top 200 km/h average speed, even on the 270 km/h Tokaido Shinkansen, and of course the TGV and AVE routinely run at average speeds of 230 km/h or more.

    So what’s really going on here? Is it Italy’s terrible schedule adherence? Or is it something more fundamental to how these lines are laid out?

    Joey Reply:

    Schedule adherence is an issue, but it’s not the only one. In stations where the trains reverse out (Milano Centrale and Firenze SMN), they sit in the station for around 10 minutes even if they’re through trains. On Milan-Bologna, I know there are curves around Modena which restrict the top speed, but that shouldn’t matter too much. The urban sections are also not particularly fast, particularly in Milan and Florence (I would expect Bologna to be faster now that it’s all undergrounded). That probably doesn’t explain it fully though…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Sure, but when I click on the schedule, Trenitalia says the fast Milan-Rome trains run nonstop. Or do they crawl through the built-up area of Florence without stopping?

    Joey Reply:

    They do, since both of the high speed lines connect only to legacy tracks at the edges of Florence. They’re building a new tunnel with a through station in Florence, but the tunnel will still have sharp curves so I barely see the point. Plus the distance between the old and new stations will make HS-local transfers a PITA.

    flanker Reply:

    there is only a part of the line can get the top speed,it is the same situation all over the world ,excep China,in China HST can run over 300km/h from to to the end ,with an average of 280 if you stop at some station.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    It is essentially getting in and out of the termini, and Milano has quite a few kilometers of legacy lines.

    And there is the old rule of any motion technology that it is the slow sections which are time-critical.

    Mike Jones Reply:

    Speed costs, when the TGV opened 200kmph was considered fine, now we appear to start at 300+. All this increases energy consumption and infrastructure costs. The UK, HS2 has gone for 320 even though distances are short and the project is theoretically predicated my on capacity then reduced trip times.

  4. les
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 13:43
    #4

    a sign of things to come:
    http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/11747793/china-lowballs-mbta-bid

    les Reply:

    Chinese’s CNR snagged this one:

    since “it is CNR’s first contract to supply heavy metro cars to the North American market, MBTA has negotiated a number of contract provisions designed to mitigate risk”

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/urban/single-view/view/china-northern-wins-boston-metro-car-order.html

  5. Jonathan
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 16:17
    #5

    Except the CHR3 and CHR380B contains intellectual property owned by Siemens, and the joint-venture/technology-transfer contract which allows CNR to make the trains, expressly forbids exporting the trains. (Or so I recall from when they were announced.)

    China claims to have “reverse-engineered” the entire train, so they can export the CR380 derivatives. Siemens doesn’t agree with that. Messy litigation. Kawasaki gave up its claim that Chinese HSR had violated Kawasaki’s patents; but in this instance, any case would be tried in a US court.

    Andy M Reply:

    The Chinese may well diffuse Siemens’ threats of a lawsuit by tabling the option of subcontracting certain high-value components from Siemens and having Siemens manufacture these in the US to better compy with Buy-USA requirements. Siemens would then be foolish to burn bridges with them. The Chinese are very smart with this type of maneuvering and can make a win out of a loss. Popular conceptions of the Chinese as die-hard plagiarists often tell only part of the story.

    Useless Reply:

    I thought about that possibility, but the giving the Chinese a foot in the door is far more damaging in the long run than to profit by subcontracting.

    > The Chinese are very smart with this type of maneuvering

    This doesn’t work in the US and this is why Xiaomi, so called the new king of smartphones in China where Apple’s like no. 5 player, doesn’t even bother entering the US and EU markets out of fears of Apple lawsuits.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    You may say the big mistake by Siemens was to do a JV with Chinese builders.

    Andy M Reply:

    Absolutely.

  6. Reality Check
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 16:46
    #6

    Palo Alto to seek public input on trenching train tracks
    City Council rejects idea of submerging roads and taking properties, but remains open to trench

    The council did not vote on the trenching proposals, but several members vehemently rejected another design that would place roads under the train tracks. Doing so would require the acquisition of 32 privately owned full parcels and seven partial parcels, a prospect that many agreed was a deal-breaker, even though the price tag — about $320 million, according to the study — was favorable.

    Councilman Marc Berman called the idea of taking properties an “absolute nonstarter” and said it would be “devastating to the community,” a view widely shared by his colleagues.

    Mayor Nancy Shepherd agreed.

    “The only option I would consider would be trenching because it does not take homes,” Shepherd said.

    Palo Alto: Council favors trench option for railroad tracks

    The firm found that digging a trench between San Antonio Road and Oregon Expressway could cost as little as $488.2 million and as much as $1.05 billion.

    The price tag depends on whether the grade is 1 percent or 2 percent, with the latter option being the least expensive but potentially a problem for trains that haul freight up and down the Peninsula.

    On the other hand, running Churchill Avenue, Meadow Drive and Charleston Road under the railroad tracks would cost less than $277 million. But it would force the city to acquire 45 full and 12 partial private properties, according to the Hatch Mott McDonald study.

    Submerging the roadways would also eliminate several turning movements along Alma Street, which runs parallel to the tracks. Some of the movements could be preserved by lowering the thoroughfare, but the move would increase the cost of the grade separations and require the taking of even more land.

    “At least for me one option is totally eliminated, which is undergrounding the grade separations underneath Caltrain tracks,” said Councilman Marc Berman. “I don’t think there’s any way in any community that you’d have a taking of that many properties. That would be devastating.”

    Mayor Nancy Shepherd agreed. “I am willing to say out loud that I feel the only option I would consider would be trenching,” she said.

    Councilwoman Gail Price also voiced support for a trench but wondered how it would be funded.

    So Palo Alto council is OK with up to $1.05 billion for TWO (2!) grade-separations?! Just remember that the next time they complain about how HSR is too expensive or whatever.

    Joey Reply:

    You need space to construct a trench. If the ROW is barely wide enough for 4 tracks you’re not going to be able to construct a trench and be able to maintain service without additional space. That means property takes. Their irrational fear of elevated tracks seems to be getting in the way of their reasoning.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Makes sense. Is there a better “no-parcel take” path to elevating?

    Joey Reply:

    I think so. Sections of viaduct can be fabricated off-site. Retained fill absorbs noise better but it might be a little bit more difficult since you need retaining walls. Still, building retaining walls above ground isn’t going to be as hard as building retaining walls below ground.

    EJ Reply:

    Well, they claim it doesn’t require property takes – I mean the study was done by a civil engineering firm, I assume they know what they’re talking about.

    Reality Check Reply:

    So I’ve since read another article in the not-freely-available-online Palo Alto Daily Post in which Palo Alto’s city manager explains they would narrow Alma (the parallel 4-lane road running to the east of the tracks) to maybe only 2 lanes to accommodate shoofly tracks.

    If that’s the case, they should be able to avoid residential takes to the west of the tracks regardless of whether they trench or elevate the tracks.

    The permanent takings are all associated with leaving the tracks at grade and dipping the roads underneath since there are homes all along the west ROW boundary. Running the roads up and over the tracks as as San Antonio Road seems (wisely) to be totally off the table.

    Joe Reply:

    Calling CARRD!
    We need a price check in Palo Alto.

    EJ Reply:

    Oh good! Are you going to keep repeating this again? It was so interesting the last time.

    Joe Reply:

    I am going continue to comment on CARRDs hypocrisy.

    Joey Reply:

    Is there a need for them to oppose it if the CHSRA isn’t actually studying it?

    Joey Reply:

    There’s also the matter of San Friciscquito Creek. Trenches and stream crossings don’t mix well.

    EJ Reply:

    Just put the creek in a culvert over the trench – the London Underground goes under numerous rivers this way, some of them considerably more substantial than San Francisquito Creek. I’m sure if the Victorians could make it happen even PB can probably handle it.

    Joey Reply:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing that most of the river-crossing lines are bored tunnels rather than cut-and-cover.

    EJ Reply:

    Not really, there’s a circle line station, which one escapes me, maybe Blackfriars, where at one end of the platform you can hear the river Fleet happily gurgling above your head. And that’s just one I happen to know – London is mostly one big bog, so there’s tons of rivers and streams running through it. Regardless, all over the world there are bridges used to take rivers and canals over obstacles – some big enough to host boats. Taking a little creek over the top of a trench is not a major engineering challenge.

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

    EJ Reply:

    Should clarify the Circle Line is all cut and cover.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Taking a little creek over the top” except sometimes when it rains it is not a little creek. I’ve seen the entire watercourse full almost up to the bottom of the existing rail bridge.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    There are aqueducts everywhere, the Romans built lots. I used to traverse one regularly when I worked on the Grand Union Canal in West London, it crosses the North Circular Road near Alperton. And of course there’s always the siphon culvert.

    EJ Reply:

    Well make it big enough to handle whatever the theoretical maximum flood that creek is capable of. It’s not draining a huge basin, should be easy to calculate. It’s an easily solvable problem, anyone who tells you differently is engaging in FUD.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No it’s not a easily solved problem or they wouldn’t fail as often as they do.

    Joe Reply:

    Residents already objected to a flood barrier because it looks like a wall and blocks views.

    This isn’t a aqueduct that can spill. It’s a structure that keeps all water in all the time under changing blunted and increasing storm intensity. If flooded the structure will keep water from returning to the stream bed.

    EJ Reply:

    Not sure what “changing blunted” means translated from autocorrect English. The intensity of any potential flood on that creek is predictable, and it’s possible to build a structure to contain it. This isn’t a major river like the Sacramento.

    EJ Reply:

    Cool, so all flooding expected to be well to the East of Alma Avenue and the Caltrain ROW.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Yup, it looks like Zuck’s neighborhood gets pretty soggy. Of course, if a logjam-prone culvert is added upstream at the Caltrain ROW, the flood map could look very different, with overflows streaming down Alma toward downtown on the Palo Alto side, filling the upper Willows on the Menlo Park side, etc.

    EJ Reply:

    Or what if terrorists blow it up?? Like I said, it’s FUD.

    Joe Reply:

    Flooding is no longer predictable given historical data is no longer representative.
    Even if predictable, a solution for a 100-500 year flood would be massive.

    EJ Reply:

    @Richard

    So, according to that site, even with a 10 foot sea level rise (at which point TBT is underwater), any flooding is well away from Alma and the Caltrain ROW.

    @Joe

    Give it a rest. This isn’t the Mississippi delta we’re talking about here. It’s just a little creek. Yes, it floods. It floods in predictable ways and not anywhere near the Caltrain ROW.

    EJ Reply:

    I mean, it doesn’t matter to me personally how CAHSR gets through Palo Alto. But acting like that creek is a huge issue is just FUD.

    Joe Reply:

    Sorry EJ but you’re wrong in both the physical and political aspects.

    Spent two years studying post graduate aquatic ecology and did a dissertation that included hydrology.
    The fixing needed to solve the flooding problem is not acceptable to the local community.

    Maybe you can dial up the ridicule.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It floods in predictable ways

    No it doesn’t. That’s the point of 100 year flood maps and 500 year flood maps and 1,000 year flood maps. And there’s no reason why in any given year there won’t be a 100 year flood, 500 year flood and 1,000 year flood. Especially if you have 100 tear rainfall on Monday and 100 year rainfall on Thursday. And the crews haven’t had time to clear the trees out of the culvert by Thursday.

    EJ Reply:

    @joe

    So, do tell. What’s needed to solve the issue and why won’t it be acceptable to Palo Alto?

    Reality Check Reply:

    A fool’s errand that is! Since the 1998 flood, the creek JPA specifically formed to “solve” (reduce/minimize) the risk of flooding has had a hell of a time getting anything done with consensus and approval from “the community.” Palo Alto is the kind of place — and there are plenty of others like it — where almost any change will not be acceptable to some. With the creek, there is widespread agreement (although also probably not unanimous either) that the status quo is also unacceptable.

    joe Reply:

    @EJ Reality Check nailed it. There is no acceptable solution which is why they are exactly where they are.

    The current “solution” is an early warning system to prevent loss of life and local sandbag distribution centers. Sandbag locations near San Francisquito Creek. ttp://sfcjpa.ehclients.com/documents/Sandbag_locations.pdf

    There is also no acceptable solution to routing HSR along the ROW. CARRD’s solution is move the ROW to Altamont which does not solve the northern peninsula NIMBY objections but good enough for Palo Alto based CARRD.

    The Blended plan was genius in that it gave HSR access to the ROW by funding Caltrain Electrification. Enough carrot to claim victory and a small enough initial impact to blunt opposition.

    With electrification, Caltrain frequency increases, gate closures shift to 15 minutes per hour, traffic backs up at crossings and a new set of residential priorities might allow at grade ROW with under passes.

    EJ Reply:

    @joe

    You mean the map that shows the 100 year flood, where none of it is near the Caltrain ROW? You don’t get to play the “I’m a scientist and my dissertation was in hydrology” card unless you’re willing to show your work.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Posting on a blog means Joe never, ever, ever has to show his work. And never, ever, ever admit when he’s wrong.

    Joe Reply:

    What units are you reading off that flood map to calculate the size of your aqueduct ?

    I’d want to look at the hydrograph and estimate streamflow during and after storm events. That’s going to tell me the volume of water per unit time. How do you calculate screen flow from the flood map?

    Path of the degree
    is installing stream guages in mountains, recording flow and calibrating discharge curves over the year and for storm events. Never used a flood map. Also experienced recording flow profiles in western rivers by wading actods measuring substrate (Rock) size in a transact. Big rocks mean faster water.

    @johnathan. You crack me up.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Where are you finding weather records going back to the end of the last ice age to predict the floods?

    EJ Reply:

    @joe

    So, you’ve described what you would do if you actually were evaluating the project. So all your earlier statements that it would be impossible to mitigate were just pulled out of your ass. Thanks for confirming! Man I love science.

    joe Reply:

    @EJ

    J Wong, Reality Check, and adirondacker12800 all tell you the size of structure needed to fully mitigate flooding is large and an unacceptable solution in Palo Alto.

    A Flood Map indicates you haven’t thought about the about the problem enough to argue your solution would work and be sufficiently small enough.

    Showing you the correct units where to get the data and time frames necessary to size the aqueduct doesn’t invalidate the political problem. I shows I’ve thought about the size and am confident it’s not knowing to pass local scrutiny.

    EJ Reply:

    @joe

    Well, how big is it?

    Joe Reply:

    @EJ Larger than the 7′ concrete wall proposed for the outdated 100 year flood.
    That wall is not acceptable to the community. Flow rates exceed 7,100 cubic feet per second.

    How big is your easy peasy solution?
    Be sure to use the flood map.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I said that’s it’s nearly impossible to predict floods. Leave the creek where the creek wants to be and leave the tree where the tree wants to be and keep the tracks where they are, maybe elevated a few feet would probably be the most rational solution. Somewhat above the 1,000 year flood which will mean that service interruptions, unless the creek gets so out of control it undermines the bridge piers, will be very very infrequent.

    EJ Reply:

    @joe

    Did you forget we were talking about how to get the creek over the caltrain ROW if it were trenched, not about how to mitigate the conditions that caused the 1998 flood?

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s just what the NIMBYs in Palo Alto want: A huge concrete viaduct that’s mostly empty (except when there’s a flood) to replace the lovely natural creek they have now. And no, I don’t expect them to be consistent in wanting both a tunnel and somehow not changing the creek watercourse, which goes to show how there is no satisfying them. The Marie Antoinettes of Palo Alto want their cake and they want to eat it too.

    EJ Reply:

    NIMBYses! We hatess them!

    Joe Reply:

    Do youse ignoressss them.

    The better LoR meme would be “You Cannot Pass!!!”

    J Wong is trying to explain why the creek currently floods and why the proposed Bib Atherton Builder solution for a HSR tunnel will not pass the city’s review.

    IKB Reply:

    I wrote a reply last week per an underground station in London with a river running through an iron pipe over it. Sloane Square Underground has just that. The Westbourne river that used to flow through Hyde Park and is now the Serpentine lake. Said reply sat in abeyance for a week under “waiting for moderator’s acceptance” and has now disappeared. Simple question, are you entertaining additional input, or is this a closed shop with opinions and often lack of respect for other opinions restricted to those in the club. just thought I’d ask before trying again, thx,

    IKB Reply:

    thank you – I’m happy to contribute. I’ve followed the blog for a long time, and appreciate all those who provide their input and links to interesting information I may not have found elsewhere. I offer one thought I discovered many years ago – it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts – cheers

    Jonathan Reply:

    and El Palo Alto is nearby. Despite what upstate New Yorkers may think, it’s going to be very, very hard to do anything which endangers that tree.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes it would seeing that the tree is rather far from the tracks.

    EJ Reply:

    The problem is that Coast Redwood roots aren’t like typical tree roots that go deep down and don’t much exceed the branch spread of the tree laterally. They’re shallow and spread out widely. There’s an excellent chance that significant roots underlie the railroad ROW.

    Jerry Reply:

    Does that make them the ultimate ‘tree huggers’?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Curious how the Cheerleaders get so exercised about PAMPA and trenches but nary a word about Sta. Clarita which does not want any trains at all and Palmdale demanding a base tunnel.

    jimsf Reply:

    the should put the tracks on a raised earthen berm with noise mitigation features and abundant landscaping for visual appeal and leave it at that.

  7. Webster
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 19:25
    #7

    I think the biggest problem for CNR is that the other competitors may be able to offer a more comprehensive package (i.e. signaling/etc systems).

    I don’t know whether this is the case, but it seems that it takes a while to fully work out the kinks in such a system?

    Though any transit from CNR should hypothetically work with any other signaling and information systems, Siemens or JNR may be able to offer a comprehensive package, and ensure future support?

    Or is this not much of a concern?

  8. jimsf
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 20:11
    #8

    How long does it take to build the trainsets that we will need. We won’t need them about when, ten years from now. It probably doesn’t take ten years to build transets. So there will probably be further innovation prior to our needing to place an order.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes, but not necessarily by the Chinese. So far, there is no original trainset design they have made on their own.

    I’m hoping for a Japanese-Spain joint bid that creates a hybrid model and design like Taiwan High Speed Rail. I also think those two firms have the most experience with California like conditions in regard to heat, dryness, and earthquakes.

    Useless Reply:

    Ted Judah

    > I’m hoping for a Japanese-Spain joint bid that creates a hybrid model

    The CAHSRA is trying to minimize risks by demanding a sped up version of existing model in service for 5 years, thus any hybrid model is not eligible to bid.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I don’t think that requirement is as flexible as you think. The Authority could waive it, but if not, stipulate five years from when the trainsets are delivered.

    I think consolidation will eventually leave us with four major HSR manufacturers– Alstom, Siemens, Bombadier and one other. Both Talgo and Kawaskai have pluses and minuses, but I think together they could create a superior product.

    Useless Reply:

    No, France will continue to buy from Alstom, Germany will continue to buy from Siemens, Japan will continue to buy from its three Shinkansen vendors, Korea will continue to buy from Rotem, China will continue to buy from CSR/CNR. That would leave Bombardier and Talgo as odd man out because Canada has no high speed rail while Spain appears willing to buy from overseas vendors.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    In Sweden, the publicly-owned 200 km/h trains (i.e. not the Arlanda Express) are made by Bombardier since one of the companies that merged into it was Swedish. It’s essentially the same reason Trenitalia buys from Alstom.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    France may continue with Alstom for HSR (but for regional trains not necessary; the AGV concept of Bombardier simply blew away the proposal of Alstom, for example, and Bombardier is also making a good share of new trains for the Ile-de-France.

    Germany too will also buy from Bombardier (particularly after the bad experience with Siemens); they may also require that a certain percentage of the work is subcontracted to the other one.

    I agree about Japan; their market is pretty much closed up, and accessible at the moment only for components.

    Now, forget Bombardier to be a Canadian company when it comes to rail. Bombardier essentially got the rail business by acquisistion of Adtranz, a German/Swiss company (their headquarters were in Zürich). Adtranz itself was a conglomerate with extensive manufacturing in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Belgium etc.. Main development occurs in Berlin, Kassel and Zürich, plus Strommen for the Scandinavian market. All Canadian, isn’t it?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes. Apparently it’s important where the CEO keeps an office. Doesn’t matter that Bombardier ships stuff assembled in Kassel to the U.S. fairly frequently, with parts from all over the world. Or that Kawasaki assembles stuff in Yonkers from parts from all over the world. Or that Siemens assembles stuff in Sacramento from part from all over the world. What’s important is where the CEO keeps his main office. Or that Rotem assembles stuff in Philadelphia from parts from all over the world or …

  9. Jerry
    Oct 22nd, 2014 at 20:58
    #9

    The referenced article said, “an initial order would probably be about 18-20 trains and that they would open a factory to make the trains in California if they won the bid, as required by U.S. law.”
    My question is – How many employees does it take to build a train set?
    Shouldn’t the CAHSR authority emphasize the number of employees involved in a new factory and the impact on the local economy in the California area?

    Useless Reply:

    Buy California rule applies. While not requires, vendors that commit to Buy California will get bonus points. So do expect all bidders to include California final assembly in their bids.

    Donk Reply:

    Requiring the train manufacturer to build a factory in the U.S. must add 20% to the cost, not including the higher cost of U.S. labor and regulations.

    jimsf Reply:

    But the money comes back in the form of local jobs economic stimulus and tax revenue.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Nope. It’s in the realm of hundreds of thousands of dollars per job created, far in excess of anything that would be made back by taxes and economic growth.

    jimsf Reply:

    how do you know? a. and b. so what. to have people working and have good manufacting jobs here at home.

    Joey Reply:

    It’s always a calculation. You can (1) Spend the money to bring the job here or (2) Leave the job elsewhere and spend the money on creating other jobs. If it costs more to bring the job here than the value of the wages, taxes, and other economic activity generated, then you’re better off spending the money elsewhere.

    jimsf Reply:

    depedns though, say this were to jump start an ongiong hsr manufacturing industry here at home that lasted for decades into the future, it would be hard to say what the cumalitive positive economic impact would be.

    Joey Reply:

    Will it though? Domestic demand for high speed trainsets is almost nonexistant right now. The only places that are actually going to need trainsets in the foreseeable future are California and the Northeast. The market is going to be driven by international demand and international technology. If we were pushing massive investment in passenger rail then maybe there would be a reason to create some local manufacturing base, but until that’s the case it’s really just going to be a money sink.

    les Reply:

    and Hexas

    Joey Reply:

    It’s difficult to treat Texas’s plans as anything more than vaporware at this point. Maybe they’ll come through but it’s certainly not guaranteed.

    les Reply:

    sounding less like vaporware than you think

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/20141022-proposed-routes-for-dallas-houston-high-speed-rail-revealed.ece

    Neville Snark Reply:

    Well, one likes to think that once other states see the benefits to California of HSR, they’ll want it. And the the place to get the trainsets is a place that is already up and running in the US. And the Chinese are well-place to take such a long term view.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Alstom, Siemens, Kawasaki, Bombardier, all the usual suspects, Rotem! Ansaldo Breda, all have plants in the US. Only one in California but Federal buy American rules don’t think California is especially special so that doesn’t matter much.

    Joey Reply:

    sounding less like vaporware than you think

    Well, given that they’re backed by JR Central they may have a chance. I suppose XPressWest’s failure is still in the front of my mind.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    More like the failure of JR Central in Florida. At least in the Sunshine State, the environmental movement is strong, lots of jobs rely on it and offshore drilling is unpopular. And still, Scott killed the project.

    Now multiple that by 100 times with Greg Abbott as Governor in Texas, and then the scent of vaporware gets stronger.

    Joe Reply:

    Well then China continued to make mistake after mistake given thier economic policy of establishing domestic industries.

    Joey Reply:

    China decided to put the money into a massive new HSR network which justifies building the trainsets locally.

    joe Reply:

    And we’re not ?.

    Joey Reply:

    Not at the moment, no. We’ll be lucky if we can get CAHSR funded, and outside of CA. The Northeast Corridor is improving but at a glacial pace because of funding constraints. If all of the high priority HSR corridors were fully funded federally (say that ten times fast) then we could compare out HSR investment to China but as it is they’re building a lot and we’re building almost not at all.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Nlo, we’re not. China has built 6,700 km of high-speed lines, capable of 300-350 km/hr. CA HSR hasn’t built *any* since Prop 1A was passed. We still haven’t identified funding to finish the 183 km from Fresno to Bakersfield — and have no actual plans for construction of electrification, or signalling.

    Joe claims to be a scientist. What kind of “science” doesn’t distinguish a factor of 40?

    Joe Reply:

    Yes the U.S. is a large, undeveloped market for HSR Trainsets.
    The U.S. will be building HSR systems and US content is critical for gov assistance. The loan for the NV HSR system is held up for lack of domestic trainsets.

    Joey Reply:

    Joe, having demand for HSR doesn’t create demand for trainsets if there are not tracks for them to run on. When we start actually funding HSR construction on a large scale I’m all for establishing a domestic industry, but until then it’s just a waste of money. At least unless you’re one of XPressWest’s backers…

    joe Reply:

    No Gov’t Loans without US based HSR manufacturing. Gov’t funds construction investments and accepts risk. We’re not doing it in any other order.

    Joey Reply:

    So once again, it’s up to California to subsidize XPressWest’s investors.

    joe Reply:

    Once again, the rules are US content is needed for ANY Fed funded project. I did not know the CAHSRA was exempt from buying US content train sets.

    Joe Reply:

    He’s full of hot air. If they build here like NUMMI / Tesla then count thousands of jobs including parts suppliers who relocate when an area reaches critical mass of demand

    Mercury news just covered the 5000 or so jobs Tesla anchored or brought into California.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, that’s the theory of industrial policy. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t quite work that way. In Japan, the top export industry, cars, never benefited from MITI’s industrial policy; on the contrary, the government encouraged transit construction in part because cars and oil were imported whereas transit vehicles were made domestically.

    Joe Reply:

    Well in CA government saved the NUMMI factory and they build Tesla’s with the trained labor and facilities / equipment.

    Suppliers are establishing a US presence in the bay area.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah but LA is where manufacturing is being lost and not coming back. Tesla colonizing NUMMi is the rich getting richer while the low wage portions of the State keep struggling.

    joe Reply:

    Why we need HSR. It connects the coastal R&D and Finance centers with the Central Valley.

    Tesla has a second facility in Lathrop CA connecting to Fremont’s facility by a conventional rail line.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, Tesla has benefited richly from American industrial policy, using lush subsidies for manufacturing luxury cars. With the lure of future profits, Musk is trying to bend social policy for his private gains, by launching a fraudulent attack on California HSR using the Hyperloop vaporware.

    joe Reply:

    Musk helped HSR with his advocacy for non-auto/air based, high speed transit.

    I see no lush subsidies. I do know of a NUMMI employee who got his job back.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    When did Musk ever advocate for non-auto/air transportation, except when he launched an initiative specifically targeted at drawing support away from HSR, which he constantly bashed in his statements?

    Jonathan Reply:

    Musk helped HSR with his advocacy for non-auto/air based, high speed transit.

    Musk’s HyperLoop statements repeatedly trashed HSR as obsolete technology. In Joe’s world, that somehow counts as “helping” HSR. Mind-boggling…. Oh, I see Alon commented too.

    Alon, do you really expect any rational, coherent answer from Joe?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If Musk was really smart, he would patent a battery/capacitor that could be used on HSR trains to eliminate the need for full electrification using overhead wires. That would produce construction cost significantly and at the same time also provide the Americans with a valuable patented technology that they could export.

    Joe Reply:

    First of all hyper loop is a competitor to automobile an airplane. Must reinforce the notion that those modes of transportation are not the solution for tomorrow’s problems.

    Hyper loop certainly made high-speed rail look more plausible. He talked about a immature technology it would compete with high-speed rail.

    Jonathan Reply:

    If Musk was really smart, he would patent a battery/capacitor that could be used on HSR trains to eliminate the need for full electrification using overhead wires.

    But he’d have to invent it first. Two words: power density.

  10. les
    Oct 23rd, 2014 at 09:25
    #10

    off topic but I thought these guys were left for dead:

    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/news/X-Train-begins-engineering-of-proposed-western-alignment-for-LAtoVegas-route–42361

    Alan Reply:

    Have you looked at their stock price lately? If they’re not dead, they’re barely breathing.

  11. Eric M
    Oct 23rd, 2014 at 09:33
    #11

    Second Chinese high-speed train maker to bid in California’s tender

    Looks like they will be offering the CRH380A

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    CRH380A rips off Kawasaki Shinkansen E2, so this one too is not eligible to bid in California. CSR talks about designing a new train just for California, but that’s a non-starter because CAHSRA wants a existing proven train model to minimize the risk.

    synonymouse Reply:

    All PB-CHSRA wants is a mock-up to put on a flat-bed and truck around to PR stunts in California.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Bingo.

    Well, that and a hundred million or so for “specification” and “design” and “testing” and “acceptance” consultant services.

    And then the ultra-high-priced, Proudly Made In Murka, ultra-high-speed trains can quietly rust away their entire lives while waiting for tracks to run on or any sort of passenger demand.

    Another win-win synergy from America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals.

    Joe Reply:

    The world does not work the way you want.
    Big sad face.

    les Reply:

    Yes, I think the turnaround will be a month or two on the train order.

    synonymouse Reply:

    This thing is Bayconic Bridge redux.

    All the usual suspects.

  12. Reality Check
    Oct 23rd, 2014 at 13:24
    #12

    Alameda Co. transportation sales tax increase attracting more money, interest

    Alameda County’s second election battle in two years on doubling its transportation sales tax to 1 percent is proving more intense and expensive this time around.

    More than $1.1 million in campaign funds had been raised by Sept. 30 to promote Measure BB, which would raise $7.8 billion over 30 years to improve roads, freeways, bike and walking paths, and public transit.

    […]

    Meanwhile, opponents reported raising less than $1,200.

    In the camp favoring the tax measure, many donors giving $1,000 to $25,000 apiece include road and rail car builders, paving contractors and public transit and building unions, according to campaign finance reports.

    […]

    Supporters say the spending plan for the tax provides a balanced approach to improving transportation by filling potholes, improving freeways, funding bus and para transit systems, providing free youth bus passes and funding a $400 million down payment on a BART extension to Livermore.

    […]

    “They are hammering on everyone who is benefiting to give money,” said Bob Feinbaum, an Oakland resident opposed to the measure. Among the large contributions for the tax measure are $60,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council committee, $25,000 from the Bombardier company hired to make new BART cars, $25,000 from the Comco concrete contractors and $10,000 from Gillig LLC bus making company.

    […]

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    I’m against it because of the 580/680 interchange

    jimsf Reply:

    why what happened to the interchange?

  13. Reality Check
    Oct 23rd, 2014 at 14:36
    #13

    Officials, Business leaders to Celebrate 10 Years of Caltrain Bullet Service

    Caltrain will celebrate 10 years of Baby Bullet service with a special news conference at the San Francisco Caltrain Station. Since the express trains were introduced in 2004, passenger counts on the system have more than doubled, with ridership records being broken each month. The service has provided commuters with a reliable and efficient transportation option and has helped businesses in the region flourish.

    The introduction of Caltrain’s Baby Bullet service made the system an essential transportation resource to help Bay Area employees commute between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. As the region continues to grow, the popular service is expected to be in even higher demand as an alternative to traffic jams on Highways 101 and 280.

    Looking forward to the next decade of Caltrain service, leading community organizations and employers will be announcing the formation of an innovative public-private approach to advocating for policies and funding that will help the system evolve to meet the challenges of regional job and population growth.

    When : 11 a.m., Monday, October 27
    Where: San Francisco 4th and King Caltrain Station, 700 4th Street

    Speakers for the program will include […]

    jimsf Reply:

    Looking forward to the next decade of Caltrain service, leading community organizations and employers will be announcing the formation of an innovative public-private approach to advocating for policies and funding that will help the system evolve to meet the challenges of regional job and population growth

    community organizations and employers? what are they cooking up – google trains?

  14. jimsf
    Oct 23rd, 2014 at 22:55
    #14

    zefiro still the best looking hst

    EJ Reply:

    I’m still partial to the AGV as well as the original TGV. I’m a child of the 80s, I like them square and wedgy.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Has the Zefiro 380 actually been in service for long enough to qualify? And does service in China, built as a joint-venture, qualify Bombardier to offer the Zefiro 380 on its own?

  15. jimsf
    Oct 23rd, 2014 at 23:43
    #15

    yep —

    like this

    and this

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah the original TGV was just about the most 1980s design ever. Complete with its bright orange paint scheme. Not actually the most comfortable train from a passenger perspective, but I still love the way it looks.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    It was called Train à Grandes Vibrations until they replaced the primary suspensions with airbags. And then they became pretty good.

    For a car with strong and straight lines, go for the Lamborghini Countach… radical in style and radical in performance at the time. Or the Lagonda from the 1970s… a car which made even me, at the time not seeing any reason for a car at all, want it.

    EJ Reply:

    I remember when I rode one in the late 1980s the interior was fairly spartan and the seats weren’t too comfortable – at least compared to what they’ve got now, or even what was available on standard European Intercity trains at the time. I distinctly remember it being sort of underwhelming considering it was the pride of SNCF and one of the most modern trains in the world. It was a while ago, I could be remembering it wrong.

    Joey Reply:

    It shouldn’t take years, let alone any large number of months, to test everything.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not a Chevy that they can just drive away.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I may be off by a few, but I believe remember reading that the commissioning and testing phase of the train sets and the first segment of the HSR took about 18 months. But that included testing and approving all systems. Some of the testing actually included running the sets in ordinary schedules, replacing loco-hauled Corail stock.

    However, nowadays, with independent certification organs (as opposed to the railroads doing everything in-house), things are much more tedious.

  16. Max Wyss
    Oct 24th, 2014 at 03:33
    #16

    Railway Gazette just brought out the list of companies who expressed interest (http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/10-expressions-of-interest-in-california-high-speed-fleet.html).

    Quoted from the message:

    Responses were submitted by:

    Alstom Transportation;
    AnsaldoBreda;
    Bombardier Transit Corp;
    CSR Corp;
    Hyundai Rotem;
    Marnell Transportation;
    Kawasaki Rail Car;
    Siemens Industry;
    SunGroup USA & World Harmony City/CNR Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co;
    Talgo.

    The only one not directly connected with a rolling stock manufacturer is Marnell Transportation, who appears more like an Engineering/Consulting company. They are involved with XPressWest, however.

    Observer Reply:

    I would guess that if Marnell Transportation is involved with XpressWest, they may interested in piggybacking with CAHSRA for their HSR transets, thereby meeting buy america requirements.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Yeah, but with whom will they team up to build the rolling stock?

    One of the missing ones?

    Yeah, who is missing on this list?

    les Reply:

    Hitachi ?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Hitachi may come in via AnsaldoBreda, as they have been shortlisted as buyer.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Tony Marnell is CEO of XpressWest.

    Useless Reply:

    Observer

    There is a massive cost difference between a 140 mph train and a 220 mph train. 220 mph is sort of like being a supersonic jet, while 140 mph is subsonic jet.

    Thus there is no reason for XpressWest to buy CAHSR bullet trains.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    There is no reason for CAHSR to buy bullet trains, not for 15 to 20 years.

    Maybe “massive cost” is actually in somebody’s interest?

    les Reply:

    5-7 years to manufacturer, 1-2 testing
    final bid received 2016
    LA to SF opens in 2029.
    4 years too soon isn’t too bad
    Will sets be used on earlier segments?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Special Olympics!

    Why not 18 years to manufacture and 3 years of testing and a further 9 years until full inheritance of the family fortune? You can never be too careful. And think of all the jobs jobs jobs!

    Meanwhile in the real world …

    les Reply:

    “In December 2008, Siemens was awarded a €500m ($666.6m) worth order by Deutsche Bahn (DB) for the delivery of 15 Velaro D train sets. Delivery is expected to be completed by 2012.”

    4 years for 15 trains manufactured in Germany.

    The Authority’s initial procurement is expected to be for a base order with options for production of up to 95 trainsets. At least 5 years is not unreasonable mister REAL WORLD know it all.

    les Reply:

    and if Chinese get bid they’ll have to build a plant over here, that is at least another year.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Special Olympics Extra Participation Effort Award!

    les Reply:

    Hey your entitled to your anti-CHSR agenda, but don’t let your anger create a pseudo reality.
    I hear Congressmen Denham is looking for staffers, maybe you should give it a shot.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    And those 16 trains by are still not fully operable.

    Yes, 16; instead of paying penalties, Siemens built an additional set at their cost…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Okay, so it’s five years. If the current schedule is for LA-SF to open in 2029, then the winning bid should be chosen in 2023 or 2024. It’s well after 2016, and there’s likely to be substantial improvement in the capabilities of HSR trainsets in the intervening 7-8 years. For example, there are only four years between the N700 and the E5 Series, which has a nose optimized for higher speeds and 2 degrees of tilt rather than just 1 as on the N700.

    Of course, California doesn’t really need tilting trains, but it’s an example of a feature where there’s noticeable technological progress. On the NEC, where the only alignment that doesn’t need tilting trains is Amtrak’s tunnel extravaganza, the difference between 1 and 2 degrees of tilt on a more reasonable alignment is several minutes.

    Useless Reply:

    The Merced to Palmdale corridor will start operating in 2022. This means that the initial train sets must be delivered by 2019 and be chosen by 2015. The schedule is actually pretty tight.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Merced to Palmdale in 2022 in your dreams.

    Howard Reply:

    Xpress west could buy all of the initial 150 mph trains, and then CHSRA could lease a few for a few years for the initial operating segment. When the Bay to Basin is built or Xpress West needs the 150 mph trains for increased ridership, Xpress West gets them back and the CHSR operator buys 220 mph trains then.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Merced to Palmdale doesn’t need full-speed trainsets.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Merced to Palmdale doesn’t need full-speed trainsets.”

    Not for the 20 or so passengers.

    les Reply:

    synonymouse what do they serve on your planet. Maybe some Friday afternoon Musk will fly me there to sample it.

    Construction Package 5: Merced to Bakersfield – track completed in 2018, Bakersfield – Palmdale by 2022. Amtrak will be able to run to Palmdale and connect to Metrolink at this point.

    “The company’s San Joaquin corridor from Bakersfield to Sacramento logged 1.22 million passengers in the last year compared to 1.14 million the year before, a 6.6-percent increase.

    Only Amtrak’s Lincoln Service from Chicago to St. Louis did better, increasing 9.7 percent to 655,465 riders.

    The San Joaquin corridor, which includes stops in Stockton, Madera, Fresno, Hanford and Corcoran, was Amtrak’s fifth busiest in the country during fiscal year 2013, behind California’s Pacific Surfliner route with 2.7 million passengers, the state’s Capitol Corridor route with 1.7 million passengers and the Keystone corridor in New England with 1.47 million passengers.”

    http://thebusinessjournal.com/news/transportation/9173-ridership-strong-on-amtrak-s-san-joaquin-corridor

    synonymouse Reply:

    No Sac, no Stockton. If the Valley turns into a dustbowl lucky to get 20.

    When they finally get around to telling the public whose property is getting cut by the DogLeg the lawsuits will begin in earnest. There have to be some Ritchie Riches up there in the Tehachapis, tho maybe not as flush as the Tejon Ranch.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Amtrak diesels on the DogLeg?

    Or are you going to sell the DogLeg to Amtrak? PB already backed out of the joint bid with Amtrak-NEC.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe “China Rail” will operate the DogLeg for Governor Newsom, in his second term in 2022.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Les,

    If you buy a train that’s already been in successful service for 5 years, as CHSRA requires, it does *not* take 4 to 7 yeas to build. The builder has already got the kinks out of hte design. That’s *why* PB spec’ed a trainset that’s been in service for 5 years as a requirement.

    Velaro D is a significant change from earlier Velaro sets. None of the others have qualified to run through the Channel Tunnel or in the UK, for example. They’re suposed to be quieter, more reliable, and more energy-efficient. Plus, as Max noted, DB has to get the trainsets certified by several national bodies. Siemens’ delivery of an extra trainset was partly to compensate for late deliveries *AND* partly to compensate for delays in certification.

    Comparing delivery and certification dates for Velaro D, a signficantly “new” trainset not yet fully certified for international service, to a train that has been *in service* for *five years*, isn’t just apples-to-oranges; it’s a bait-and-switch. Almost worthy of Joe.

    les Reply:

    there’s a lot of ifs now so nobody knows until the proposals come forward. then we can pass judgement. And who’s to say what timeline the authority will put on the order? I know Boeing puts airplane orders in queue based on different criteria including slot availability.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    nobody knows until the proposals come forward.

    Garbage.

    The main thing we know is that there is a Request for Proposals, which is insane to be doing.

    You can stop right there.

    Beyond that, the world market for ultra high speed trains is a small one, and the RFP from America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals is a crazy constraining one, so the only possibe unknowns involve unusual consortia, “novel” financing, kickbacks, bribes, sweeteners, and the particular kickback-driven locations of Potempkin train assembly “factories”.

    It’s like saying you are going to a hundred F-35 military aircraft but somehow “there’s a lot of ifs now so nobody knows until the proposals come forward”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Well, flaky requests trawl flaky proposals.

    But strictly off the top of my head I would say the Chinese are playing a good hand with a job in Mexico seemingly in the works. Set up a Potempkin factory in the hispanic east side of LA and bring your already trained and experienced people back and forth from your factory in Mexico.

    The unions cannot bitch much as the Party is committed big time to open borders and so long as scale is being paid on this side of the border .

    les Reply:

    Can you guarantee that the track will be ready by 2022? Can you guarantee the time it will take to build the maintenance facilities and a manufacturing plant per buy America clause? Can you guarantee all the bidders will be in business in 2016? This is just an assessment process. In 2016 CHRS can have a better idea of date determination and whether they are jumping the gun or not. Then is when they’ll have a better idea of when they’ll need the stock.

    les Reply:

    Richard Mlynarik you need to get your facts straight. This is not a Request for Proposals.

    “The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) issued a Request for Expressions of
    Interest (REOI) today regarding the first high-speed trainsets and maintenance facility in the United States. The announcement allows the Authority to open up conversations with high-speed rail trainset manufacturers, which will help shape the Authority’s upcoming Request for Proposals (RFP) for trainsets.”

    les Reply:

    I seem to recall something called a battery which was made in Japan costing Boeing 1/2 to 1 year in delays on a recent jet.

    Jonathan Reply:

    And had that jet been in service for 5 years? *No*.

    les Reply:

    you don’t know what technology is going to be used. you can speculate is all.

    Jonathan Reply:

    les,

    I know more than you. CHSRA’s Technical Memorandum specifies that any tarinsets bought by the Authority have to have been in service for 5 years. Same goes for signalling systems and other key technology.

    les Reply:

    see below

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Les

    This is nothing like an airplane, which actually has to fly and not come out of the sky. PB-CHSRA is just a big BART and its rolling stock only have to do maybe 100mph over Mojave. Prop 1a is inoperative. Who precisely is going to stop PB from doing whatever expedient? Whatever the machine and politics du jour allow. It is Cairo. So the NEC is likely about default and what to expect in terms of performance.

    I suspect about 20 years from now the Cheerleaders, if there be any around, will suffer from acute buyers remorse. Mediocre and problematic rolling stock(Chinese), sketchy and depreciating civil works(Tutor), third rate route(PB).

    les Reply:

    yes, but Boeing manufacturing has done it’s share of bone-head international outsourcing and it has caused years of delays. it’s not as if the Chinese or whoever lands the contract will be working out of their backyard.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ll probably be outsourcing stuff to the same plants all the suspects outsource their stuff to.

    les Reply:

    Like what was stated before, Siemens took 4 years for a train order which was so full of defects they had to redo the order, as somebody stated above sets are still unoperable. Got to put in time for problems, doesn’t matter if it is airplanes, boring tunnels (Bertha approaching 1 year behind schedule) or train sets. And like i said this is not a Request for Proposals (RFP) but is a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) which is a big difference. Judge CHSR in 2016 when the RFPs go out and they have a better understanding of where the project is at construction wise and they know what the manufacturers have to offer. No need to double our meds dosage.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Les, the BR 407 is a *new design* derived from pre-existing Velaro technolog.

    yes, there are risks with new technology, especially if you’re the luanch customer for the new technology. Which is why CHSRA ‘s own documents require that they buy trainsets which have been in service for *five years*.

    Has the Boeing 737-900ER been in rvice for 5 years? Yes. has the Boeing 787 been in service for 5 years? No, the 787 will have been in service…. three years, tomorrow, according to Wikipedia.

    is that clearer?

    les Reply:

    Jonathan, don’t tell me, you freelance for Wikipedia, I’m in awe. Please tell me more and explain to me the differences between REOI and RFPs and how CHRS has to be absolutely committed to a 2016 date for a RFP when they can’t even know exactly when C1, C2-3 and subsequent packages are to be completed. You think maybe we can wait and reassess 2016? Oh and do tell me exactly how long 90+ trains will take to manufacture along with a potential new manufacturing facility and 4 support stations. Oh, and don’t forget we’re assuming everything will go 100% as planned because train manufacturing is a science remember, so no delays. Let me know if I need to increase my meds because the thought of CHRS being premature on a REOI is unimaginable. And perish the thought tracks are ready by 2022 and they get their trains on time. Can we be 1 year premature, 2 years maybe? If it’s 5 year old technology is it really going to matter? Mr. Wiki please explain more. My friends who help design the 787 just can’t do it like you.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Les,

    what, exactly, is your point? Brand-new designs often have flaws, so if you’re buying a brand-new design, you have a risk of it being late, not working as promised, or both. But if you buy a proven design, you don’t have that risk.

    Why are you insisitng CHSRA needs to leave years and years for the risk of the former case, when CHSRA’s own documents say they have to buy a product that’s been in service for over five years?

    les Reply:

    my point is how can CHRS be premature with a REOI is all? makes no sense.

    Jonathan Reply:

    here’s an example. Amtrak gave Siemens a contract to build new electric locomotives in 2010.
    Simemes took an existing, proven design, the ES 64U. Siemens added structural metal to meet FRA crashworthiness reqiurements, added grab-irons, and painted an “F” on one end of the locomotive. They added support for the weird mix of frequencies and voltages uses on the NEC.

    Siemens manufactured that variant, the ACS-64, in California. In 2013, they shipped units to the FRA facility in Colorado. In 2014 the units were in revenue service.

    I guess no-one told you that CHSRA’s current design/build Construction Packages are for “civil works” only? No track, no electrification, no signals.

    Yes’ it’s premature to start the process of procuring train-sets.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    yes, but Boeing manufacturing has done it’s share of bone-head international outsourcing and it has caused years of delays

    But nothing like that could ever possibly happen without outsourcing train manufacture to a third world trade-protected “Buy American” country with massive hypocritical anti-competitive trade barriers, could it?

    Nobody would ever do anything so “bone-headed” would they, what with the massive historical precedent of cost blowout, schedule blowout, quality control cratering, and rampant bribery, would they?

    Next thing you know you’ll be telling us “they hate us for our freedom”, won’t you?

    Alan Reply:

    I guess no-one told you that CHSRA’s current design/build Construction Packages are for “civil works” only? No track, no electrification, no signals.

    *sigh* CP5 will be the contract for trackwork, signals and electrification. No matter how much you want to deny it, it’s all clearly spelled out. The rest of us understand the construction process and how not everything is awarded in one contract package.

    So no, it’s not premature to begin the procurement process.

    Jonathan Reply:

    No funding. No construction plan. So yes it *is* premature. CP5 is vaporware.

    Look, Alan: try some of that hard stuff”: *Arithmetnic*. CHSRA is expressly forbidden from running services which aren’t self-sustaining, which require state subsidy. Even CHSRA says that is Fresno-Burbank. So, CHSRA has *NO NEED* for HSR trainsets in operation until then.

    So.. allow 3 or 4 years for construction and rampup; and a year for testing. So CHSRA needs a contract about 6 years before completion of the IOS. And the IOS is, as yet, vaporware: no timeline, no identified sources (except using cap-and-trade funds); no fucking *idea* when the money will be spent, or how much.

    So yes, it *is premature to start the process of acquiring HSR trainsets.
    The only reason CHSRA went out so early with Amtrak, is that Amtrak needs to extend Acela service, and then replace the Acelas well before CHSRA is ready to start operations. And now that CHSRA is decoupled from the Acela-replacement acquisition, there’s neither need nor reason for CHSRA to pursue procurement yet.

    *None whatsoever*. Unless you’re an Authority FanBoy who believes the Authority cannot make mistakes, ever, about anything.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan,

    It has been widely reported that CHSRA has identified funding for *trackwork* on the ICS, but has *not* identified funding for electrification or signalling.

    If you have actual information that CHSRA has funding for electrification and signalling, then give us a citation to the public record where CHSRA identifies that funding.

    Jonathan Reply:

    .. meanwhile, let’s see what the Authority says its own plans are. Hmmm. RFP for Right-of-Way Services, June 2014:

    [… definitions of “Authority” through “Construction Package 1” and “Construction Package 2-3” elided…]

    Construction Package 4 (CP 4)– the portion of the First Construction Segment bounded by a point approximately one mile north of the Tulare/Kern county line in the County of Tulare to the north, and Seventh Standard Road in the County of Kern to the south.

    Construction Package 5 (CP5) — the portion of the First Construction Segment that involves installing rail throughout the CP 1-4, from Avenue 17 in the County of Madera to Seventh Standard Road in the county of Kern.

    Contractor — [….]

    See, Alan? No *Track*. No* electrification*. No signalling. Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to tell barefaced lies? I pity her, and I pity you, for being so stupid as to lies which are so transparent, so easily exposed.

    Robert, at what point do you blacklist people from your blog, when they tell bald, barefaced lies?

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny, you’re the liar. You always have been. You’re twisting the geographic definitions of the Construction Packages and lying about what they imply. The definition of CP4 you cited includes nothing except the geographic bounds. Using your warped illogic, the lack of any specific work in that definition would mean that CP4 DOESN’T BUILD ANYTHING AT ALL!

    Besides, little boy, to quote you, the RFP IS NOT A PLAN! And the RFP for “Right-of-Way” service involves going out and acquiring real estate–not construction.

    And tell us–how does “installing rail” equate to “no track”? You’re so desperate to make people believe your fantasy that you can’t keep the lies straight!

    Let’s see what the Authority’s actual plans are, shall we? Fresno-Bakersfield FEIR, section 2.8:

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

    Let’s also look at the “Scope of Work” in RFP1, which covers CP1:

    Contractor shall design and install structural embedments such as anchor bolts, embeds, grounding, and bonding, foundations, etc., as needed, in structures, walls and subsurface infrastructure to accommodate future CHSTP systems components not in the Project scope.

    Those are things that are necessary to provide for later installation of ELECTRICAL and SIGNAL systems. But if we believe Little Jonny, those things are just for fun, since, you know, they’re really not ever going to run electric trains.

    Once again, Jonny, you’re the pitiful liar. Before you cast any aspersions on my family, you should realize how you humiliate your family with every post you type. Or do they even associate with you?

    It has been widely reported…

    Where? Fox News? CAARD? CCHSRA? I don’t have to prove anything–cite your source or shut up.

    Robert, at what point do you blacklist people from your blog, when they tell bald, barefaced lies?

    You’d better hope that the point is a long way away–you’ve lied far more than everyone else on this blog put together.

    Once again, little boy, you’re desperate, and your desperation is making you look even more foolish. You’re grasping at straws. You’re seeing actual construction beginning, and you’re in a panic. There’s no other reason for the desperation and lies that drip out of your posts.

    Let’s review, shall we? The law presumes that the Authority is carrying out its duties in a lawful manner. That means that those of us who support the project don’t have to prove anything–you do, and you have nothing.

    I can’t wait to see Flashman (could that be Little Jonny’s real name?) make a fool of himself again before the Court of Appeal:

    LITTLE JONNY:They don’t have any plans! They aren’t going to electrify or build signals!

    THE COURT: The record shows quite clearly that the Business Plan and the various EIR’s all discuss the cost, design, and placement of electrification and signal facilities, and the construction schedule.

    LITTLE JONNY:THAT’S NOT A PLAN! JUST BECAUSE THEY SAID IT, IT’S NOT A PLAN!

    THE COURT:OK, what would you consider to be a plan?

    LITTLE JONNY:I don’t know! But they don’t have a plan!

    At which point, the court takes the case under submission, and the nice court officer leads Little Jonny out of the building, while Little Jonny weeps and waves a TRAC newsletter…

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan,

    there you go again, confusing an Environmental Impact Report with a *plan*.

    An environmental impact report describes what CHSRA want to *end up with*. It describes the end-state. It is a “plan” only in the sense that it describes the target end-state. It is not a *plan* for how to get there. Getting the EIR certified means CHSRA has permissoin to go ahead and do that.
    When I use the word “plan”, I mean a plan for how to *get* to that final state.

    Alan, little boy, you need a dictionary. Look up Plan, P-L-A-N. Look up Report, R-E-P-O-R-T.
    Look up Permission, P-E-R-M-I-S-S-I-O-N. Under CEQA, the completed FEIR gives CHSRA *permission* to build what’s in the FEIR. The EIR is not a *plan*. That’s just *deifnitional*.

    And as for “distorting”: what the Authority says; how in God’s name is a *direct quote* of the Authority’s own Request for Proposals a “distortion”? The Authority’s own documents from 2014 say that CP-5 is *trackwork*.

    Q. Does the Authority’s 2014 definition of CP-5 include “electrification”?
    A: No.

    Q. Does the Authority’s 2014 definition of CP-5 include “signalling”?
    A. No

    Q. Does the Authoirty’s 2014 definition of CP-5 mention “overhead catenary”?
    A. No

    Q. Does the Authority’s 2104 definition of CP-5 mention “electrical substations”?
    A. No

    Q. Has the Authority identified *funding* for electrification or signalling?
    A. No.

    Q Does the FEIR mention electrification?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Is the FEIR desecription of electrification a *plan* for how the Authority is actually going to *do* the electrificaiton?
    A. No

    Q. Does the Authority *have* any such plan?
    A. No

    Q. Has the Authority identified funding sources for electrification and signalling?
    A. No

    Q. Do the current design-build contracts for Civil Works mention civil-works which must be done, as part of the design-build contract, to prepare for later electrification and signalling?
    A. yes.

    Q. Is such civil-works preparation for future electrification and signalling, a plan for how to install that future electrification and signalling?
    A. No. it’s not “electrification”, it’s pouring the concrete now so electrification and signal systems can be added at a later date.

    Q. Has the Authority decided on electrification standards, and had those standards — heights, celarances, etc — approved by C-PUC?
    A. No.

    Q. Are there any current allowed standards for 25kV AC electrification in California?
    Al. No. The only CPUC standards in GO 26-D apply to DC trolley poles.

    Q. Have the existing railroads given their permission for CHSRA’s electrification program, insofaras 25kV AC electrification may impact and adversely effect current freight rail signalling and safety systems?
    A. No.

    Q. Is “Alan” as cluless and factually incorrect as the CalTrain staffers who insist CBOSS is compatible with HSR signallng because “if it wasn’t compatible, CHSRA wouldn’t have given us the money”?
    A. You be the judge.

    Q. Does Alan understand the difference betweeen an EIR for a project, and the plans to acutally *CONSTRUCT* that Project?
    A. No.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan, little boy,

    I don’t have to prove anything–cite your source or shut up.

    No, Alan. That’s not how the world works. *YOU* made the positive statement that the Authority has actual plans for electrification and signalling of the ICS. I see no such plans. Show us plans.
    And no, little boy, ask your mother; a “Report” is not a “Plan”.

    if you want to stipulate that the Authoirty has FEIRS for electrification and signaling, sure, i will stipulate that. But — excluding the FEIR — then the Authoirty has no plans an no funding sources. If you claim otherwise — then the onus is ON YOU to show EVIDENCE.

    And appeallng to the burden-of-evidence in a courtroom is not EVIDENCE . Did your mummy never tell you that arguing *facts* outside of a courtroom is not bound by the requrements of law? Poor little boy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so it’s premature to be planning for trainsets but it’s absolutely postively awful that they aren’t actually building electricity supply. Okay.
    It’s difficult for the train filled with revenue generating passengers to glide down from the sky as the tracks and all it’s associated infrastructure erupts instantaneously from the bosom of the earth isn’t it?

    Alan Reply:

    Jonny, little baby, go find the b—- that sired you and ask her to tell you a bit about how reality works. Have her bark to you about it.

    I don’t have to disprove your delusions. The Authority has not redefined CP5, your pitiful whining notwithstanding. What CP5 is or isn’t is absolutely irrelevant to the tasks defined in that RFP.

    BTW, Jonny, what was the definition of CP5 in 2011, when Laurel and Hardy filed the Tos action?

    And appeallng to the burden-of-evidence in a courtroom is not EVIDENCE .

    In Jonny baby-speak, that means that he has nothing. And since all this ends up in the context of the Tos 526a action, yes, evidence DOES matter. The party claiming waste bears the burden of proof.

    I see no such plans.

    It’s not our fault you’re too stupid to open your eyes.

    But for the record, even Brady and Flashman, California’s Worst Lawyers ™ have admitted that the Authority has funds to complete the ICS. They acknowledge that the state has $6 billion available for the ICS. (Tos Second Amended Complaint) The FRA, in the ARRA grant documents, estimates the cost to be less than $6 billion. Ergo, the state has funds to COMPLETE the ICS.

    The RFP’s for both CP1 and CP2/3 both include the then-current editions of the CHSRA Design Criteria Manual, which spends well in excess of 100 pages discussing the traction power supply system, OCS, and grounding and bonding, not to mention quite a bit on ATC. But in JonnySpeak, they’re just playing around with that. Just because they gave that data to potential bidders doesn’t mean anything will really happen with it.

    No. it’s not “electrification”, it’s pouring the concrete now so electrification and signal systems can be added at a later date.

    The “later date” will be when CP5 is awarded, which will be in short order after CP4 is done, if not sooner. (Nothing prevents the CP5 contractor from starting at Madera and working south, while CP4 is still in progress…)

    Under CEQA, the completed FEIR gives CHSRA *permission* to build what’s in the FEIR.

    That’s right. And the electrification and signal facilities are in the FEIR, both on the ground plans and in the descriptive material. CEQA requires that an EIR include a description of the *project to be built*. The description in the Authority’s EIR’s includes electrification and signalling. It’s good to see you admit that much.

    You simply refuse to grasp the concept–an easy concept for intelligent, non-delusional adults–that a project of this scale requires a multitude of different documents which relate to each other, do not and should not duplicate each other, and which in the end, constitute THE PLAN.

    A choir of angels could descend from heaven, holding Dan Richard in their linked arms and blowing trumpets, while Richard holds a scroll of finest parchment bearing the words, “THE PLAN”, and Little Jonny would still deny it.

    Bottom line: The evidence is overwhelming that the Authority is planning and beginning to build an electrified, high-speed rail system. Only someone who is completely delusional, and/or has as much invested in the lie as do the Tosplaintiffs and their “counsel”, could continue to insist otherwise.

    Adirondacker gets it. Little Jonny doesn’t.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Usually, “to sire” means “to father.”

    Do go on, though. The Israeli-Palestinian Twitter fights are getting quiet these days.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Alan, little boy,

    you really, really *REALLY* need some some remedial reading lessons.

    CEQA requires that an EIR include a description of the *project to be built*. The description in the Authority’s EIR’s includes electrification and signalling. It’s good to see you admit that much.

    I have never, ever, ever said anything else. I simply state a fact, that the EIRs and even FEIRS are not “plans” which show *how* the project is to be built. An EIR is not a *plan* to achieve a project, as the word “plan” is used, for example, in Prop 1A, as “detailed funding plan”. That’s a tautological fact: it’s definitional.

    You can’t challenge that, so you resort to (a) citing EIRS, and (b) resorting to personal attacks.

    I also say that CHSRA has not identified any funding source for electrification of the ICS, or for signalling hte ICS. I have read that here, cited to Dan Richard. Presumably you don’t even belive what Dan Richard says about the Authtority’s plans — not when Richard’s statement

    Bottom line: The evidence is overwhelming that the Authority is planning and beginning to build an electrified, high-speed rail system

    Yes, they are beginning to build a system. There is abundant evidence for that.
    But there is *NO EVIDENCE* that the Authority has identified funding sources to electrify or to signal the ICS. And there is *NO EVIDENCE* that the Authority is pursuing either actually electrifying or signalling the ICS. *NONE AT ALL*. And you never, ever present any. When challenged, you whine that, in law, the Authority is presumed to be in compliance with the law. I don’t give a rat’s ass about your legal whining, little boy.

    Show *actual evidence* that the Authority has plans to install overhead catenary on the ICS.
    Show *actual evidence* that the Authority has plans to build substations and power equipment for hte ICS.
    Show *actual evidence* that the Authoirty has plans to install signalling on the ICS.
    Show *actual evidence that the Authoirty has identified funding sources for any of the above.

    And, for the umpteenth time, no an EIR is not a plan. No, an FEIR is not a plan. No, Dan Richard standing up and saying “Yes, we’re going to build a wonderful HSR system, really we
    are!” DOES NOT COUNT.

    And now you cite the Authority’s design/build contract plans, insisting that CP -5 will include electrification and signalling. Then i cite the Authority’s definition of CP-5 in their latest RFP; and guess what, CP-5 does *NO*T include electrification work, does *NOT* include OCS, does *NOT* include signalling.

    But Alan cannot admit that. It would burst the bubble of his lawyerloy weasel-words.
    Well, guess what, Alan, this is not a courtroom.

    You claim the Authority has plans. SHOW US THE PLANS. Or go away, little boy.

    Alan Reply:

    Then i cite the Authority’s definition of CP-5 in their latest RFP; and guess what, CP-5 does *NO*T include electrification work, does *NOT* include OCS, does *NOT* include signalling.

    The Authority has not redefined anything. The definition you cherry-picked was a brief description intended to inform a contractor bidding on right-of-way services. And you still can’t acknowledge how foolish you look when you try to claim when “laying rail” is somehow different from building track.

    And you can’t acknowledge how stupid you look when you continually contradict yourself. When someone presents actual legal documents which disprove your claim, you cry and whine, “THAT’S NOT A PLAN”. But when you find one comment that you can cherry-pick to supposedly prove your point, “IT’S A PLAN! IT’S A PLAN!”. You can’t have it both ways. It’s either a plan or it isn’t.

    You see, Jonny, grownups who plan big things like this know some things without having to have it spelled out on every piece of paper. When grownups who do these things for a living bid for work on a “High Speed Railway”, they know that there will be electrification and signals involved. They don’t need to have these things spoon-fed to them, as you obviously do.

    And there is *NO EVIDENCE* that the Authority is pursuing either actually electrifying or signalling the ICS. *NONE AT ALL*. And you never, ever present any.

    Actually, I have. It’s not my fault you’re too stupid to understand it.

    You can’t challenge that, so you resort to (a) citing EIRS, and (b) resorting to personal attacks.

    Now that’s funny. You try to bully everyone into giving up and accepting your perverted “reality”, and then start whining when someone gives it back to you. As far as EIR’s go–they, by definition in Prop 1A, are incorporated into the funding PLANS by reference–so yes, they ARE part of “the plan”.

    I have read that here, cited to Dan Richard. Presumably you don’t even belive what Dan Richard says about the Authtority’s plans — not when Richard’s statement

    Dear boy…a blog is not a plan! Cite a link to an actual news media report or Authority release, or we’ll assume that you’re lying again. If the Authority took action to abandon electrification plans, there certainly should be something in the public record. CARRD undoubtedly would have harassed the Authority with yet another public records request to get it.

    No, Dan Richard standing up and saying “Yes, we’re going to build a wonderful HSR system, really we are!” DOES NOT COUNT.

    But you just said that Dan Richard allegedly saying that there is no funding for ICS wire or signals DOES COUNT! Can you even keep track of your own lies and hypocrisy?

    I simply state a fact, that the EIRs and even FEIRS are not “plans” which show *how* the project is to be built.

    And yet again, you’re lying. The entire purpose of a EIR, per CEQA, is to “show *how* the project is to be built.” You simply can’t admit that the description in the EIR’s clearly shows electrification facilities.

    You’re completely, totally desperate. You’ve seen your side losing lawsuits left and right, and the one lawsuit left looks bad. You find something that you think you can fool people with, and desperately try to twist it to make it look bad. But let’s look at facts:

    Laurel and Hardy have been claiming, without merit, since at least 2012 that there will be no electrification or signalling on the ICS. But even they have given up on that claim, since it will not be heard in the 526a action. You might get a clue from that–if California’s Worst Lawyers(tm) have given up on that, take the hint.

    I’ve shown you the plans, and I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be right here when the Authority issues CP5, so I can see your reaction when you read the facts.

    les Reply:

    X has been working closely with CHSR recently so must be getting some benefit. Maybe they plan to upgrade their trainsets? Currently they are listed at 150 mph.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Source for “X has been working closely”?

    les Reply:

    DATE: September 16, 2014

    “XpressWest has been coordinating with the High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Los
    Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Caltrans, and the California High-Speed Rail
    Authority (Authority) on the EIS/EIR for the multi-purpose corridor that is planned to connect
    Victorville, CA and Palmdale, CA with a multi-purpose freeway and high-speed rail corridor”

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2014/brdmtg_091614_Item3_Status_Updated_on_the_XpressWest_Project.pdf

    les Reply:

    Oct 2, 2014

    “Authority officials want to cooperate with DesertXpress Enterprises LLC to make it happen. The company, operating as XpressWest, plans a 150 mph train that would connect Palmdale, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles, with Las Vegas, Chief Executive Officer Tony Marnell said in a telephone interview.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-03/california-rail-project-pursues-deal-with-las-vegas-train.html

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Something weird about this article, Tony Marnell is quoted, not CHSRA.

    les Reply:

    Is it a last hail mary for Marnell?
    Xpresswest was part of the CHSR meeting agenda about a month ago. There is something going on just not sure what Marnell has in mind.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    OK, CHSRA and Xpresswest are cooperating on the EIR for the proposed rail connection between Palmdale and Victorville. Pleased to hear it but it doesn’t really equate with billion dollar investments.

    les Reply:

    but what is odd is Marnell is on the list for CHSRA rolling stock bidders. What does this have to do with an EIR?

    les Reply:

    The only way XpressWest flies is if they get a RIFF. The only way they get a RIFF is if they get the ridership numbers achieved by a Palmdale transfer and if they can claim American made rolling stock. Somebody above suggested CHRS (for Amtrak) buying 150 mph trains for temporary use on initial stretch until XpressWest is ready for the higher speed trains.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @les Maybe they take “buy californian” literally and intend to build their own train. But that would not fit the “5 years in service” request. Eventually they have to reveal their builder.

    Observer Reply:

    Again, Marnell could simply be interested in buying rolling stock with CAHSRA to meet buy america requirements. Siemens for example in its Velaro series offers speeds from 155mph to 220+mph. It should not be much of a problem for CAHSRA to get 220+mph and XpressWest to get 155mph in same contract. Cost may be different for each type of trainset because of different speeds, but could be done in same contract. Other manufactures should also be able to accommodate this.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Observer,

    the Velaro RUS — Sapsan — is “derated” to 250 km/hr and “upgradable” to 350 km/hr. I don’t know the details but it’s not imposslbe that the upgrade is electronics and software (and new signalling) rather than mechanical. Velaro RUS holds the speed limit for a train in Russia, at 290 km/hr. Personally, I’d guess that Velaro RUS top speed is limited by the state of Russian track and signalling, not the trainsets.

    RZD signed a contract in 2011 for eight more dual-current (3kV DC, 25kV AC) 10-car sets. Cost was 600 million Euro. That’s more than the cost of the 10 Velaro 320 sets bought by Eurostar for 500 miilon euro; or the 7 Velaro sets bought by Turkey for 285 million Euro. (Though the Turkish purchase only included 7 years maintenance; HSR trainsets are commonly sold with maintenance for the life of the trainset).

    So… No, it doesn’t look like buying Velaro trainsets derated to 250km/h will save much at all.

    les Reply:

    I’m not the sharpest shed in the tool, but what your saying on the surface is that Marnell wins the procurement then puts out a bid(s) for 220 and 155 train sets so that the possibility of the Chinese getting the 220 and 155 bids or Chinese the 220 and Siemens the 155 bid or some variation can happen.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “HSR trainsets are commonly sold with maintenance for the life of the trainset).”

    Jerry and Nancy’s pet unions will not go for that at all. Get out the picket signs.

    les Reply:

    No worries, winning bidder will set up shop in Reno next to Tesla with a coffee stand in Fremont then everybody will be happy.

    Positroll Reply:

    If you want a 250 km/h train from Siemens you should look at the ICx, not the Velaro …
    http://www.mobility.siemens.com/mobility/global/en/interurban-mobility/rail-solutions/high-speed-and-intercity-trains/icx/Pages/icx.aspx

    Observer Reply:

    The point is ICx or Velaro, in order to meet strict buy america rules, they will have to be made in the same factory. It simply may be the most convenient option for Marnell: they may be just keeping their options open.

    Observer Reply:

    There is also the separate Amtrak contract for the NEC, that may be another way for Marnell to meet buy america rules. But working with CAHSRA may make more sense for Marnell, and be more convenient. Again, good business people need to keep their options open.

    Useless Reply:

    les

    No, Chinese do not make any UIC compliant rolling stocks, thus it is not possible for Chinese to make 155 mph rolling stock bids unless the buyer accepts that it is the first . UIC rolling stock is required for blended traffic. UIC compliance for vendors whose home nations did not adopt UIC is hard, just as Hitachi has demonstrated with its struggles in UK. In Asia, only Korea adopts UIC(Actually UIC+) safety standards in its intercity rail rolling stocks.

    les Reply:

    Like Observer said, it’s a matter of Marnell keeping their options open. maybe the Chinese can work a deal with the Koreans to deliver both types. I assume both outfits would have to setup a plant in the US, maybe they share space with Tesla over in Reno.

    Useless Reply:

    les

    > maybe the Chinese can work a deal with the Koreans to deliver both types.

    Why would Koreans do that when they could deliver both types themselves. There is no incentive for any of non-Chinese bidders to cooperate with Chinese bidders in this case.

    les Reply:

    Just doing hypotheticals on what Marnell might be up to. “Like Observer said, it’s a matter of Marnell keeping their options open”

    les Reply:

    If player 1 can provide options A and B for the best price then super. If two players need to cooperate for the best deal then great. I’m no expert on train technology just trying to get a feel on potential bidding dynamics.

    Useless Reply:

    les

    All non-Chinese/non-Japanese vendors can supply models for 150 mph and 220 mph services. Even then, Marnell would get a better pricing buying separately from CAHSR Authority because the most competitive 220 mph bullet train vendor is not the most competitive 150 mph train vendor.

    Doing a 220 mph revenue service is a very difficult task, there is only one bullet train model in the world expressly designed to run at more than 220 mph everyday and that’s Rotem’s HEMU-430X which is designed for a 230 mph revenue service. Rotem engineers will tell you a long list of problems that come with a 230 mph revenue service, such as excessive wear and tear on wheels and tracks(weight reduction becomes critical to minimize wear and tear), cooling, pantograph stabilization due to aerodynamics, etc. Accordingly, I don’t believe in CAHSR A’s plan to upgrade existing 187 mph hours rolling stocks to do 220 mph service; a 220 mph service is best served by rolling stocks expressively designed for that purpose and these do not come cheap.

    Observer Reply:

    As I understand it, the trainset provider is to build the Heavy Maintenance Facility. If the trainset provider can offer both the CAHSRA and XpressWest one Heavy Maintenance Facility and one Light Maintenance Facility in Los Angeles for both to use, thereby saving the cost of building and operating 2 such facilities for each, this trainset provider would be at an advantage because of the reduced cost of one HMF and LMF instead of 2 for each. Any trainset provider that could not offer this will be at a disadvantage. In other words I think all trainset providers will offer the sharing of the HMF and LMF.

    Jonathan Reply:

    …What no-one is mentioning, is that 250 km/hr (which is where “155 mph” comes from0 is late 60s technology. SNCF was running Captiole at 250km/hr with purpose-built modified BB 9200s.

    An off-the-shelf Taurus (EuroSprinter ES 64 U) is certified for 230 km/hr, or 140 mph. A bog-standard O”BB Taurus hit 357 km/hr in testing. And OeBB sometimes use these for *freight*. They’ve got quill drive, decent bogies, it’ shouldn’t be at all hard to get one certified for 250 km/hr. They’re clearly not near the bleeding edge of having the bogies “hunting” ;)

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Jonathan: Le Capitole never ran at 250 km/h in regular operation; it ran at 200 km/h. There was an original batch of locomotives set up for that speed, and SNCF asked the builder to enable the last two of the series for 250 km/h. But that speed was never exploited commercially.

    The ÖBB Taurus with the 357 km/h record was seriously modified for those tests. It is, however, correct that the Taurii are General Purpose units and regularly used for freight services (not “sometimes”). They are good pullers because of their high weight (axle load 22 t), and the control electronics being able to operate in the micro-slip zone.

    Certification for a given speed requires proof of stable running at given speed +10%.

    Jonathan Reply:

    hi Max,

    Some series BB 9200s were modified to run at 200 km/hr, and two were purpose-built to run at 250 km/hr, and I believe SNCF certified them for that. And _that_ was on 3kV DV electrification, and so drawing! 8x as much current as 25kV AC electrification at the same power. My point stands, 250 km/hr is achievable with late 60s technology.

    By Tauruses being “sometimes” used for freight, I meant only that they are used for both freight and passenger traffic. Much like the DB BR 120s were intended to be “universal” locomotives.

    If certification for 230 kim/hr requires demonstrating stable running at ~250 km/hr, then clearly ES 64Us run stably at that speed. It’s not much of a stretch to verify they have stable running at 270 km/hr.

    250 km/hr is *not* high-speed rail anymore. It’s at the top end, or just tiptoes above the top end, of off-the-shelf technology. That’s my point. Heck, Siemens ICx is slated for 250 kim/h, and that’s not HSR, it’s standard IC/EuroCity. (We’ll see if they enter service in 2017 or not!)

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Correct, the last two of the BB 9200 order were built for 250 km/h (essentially more powerful motors; probably also a few improvements in the running gear). And, of course, it is impressive what those litlle engines produced under 1500 V. Well, “liitle” is relative; they were quite heavy (82 t), and — for the time — really high powered with roughly 4000 kW. At maximum power, they were therefore drawing about 3000 A (actually more towards 3500 A, taking into consideration HEP and auxiliary drives). On the other hand, they were horrendously old fasioned, using leaf springs for secondary suspension, and standing operation only. And they were horrendously noisy (if you google for “BB 9200”, you will find a short movie of a cab ride, and there, at somewhat higher speed, you hear the sound clipping).

    I agree that commercial 250 km/h would have been possible with late 60s technology. Actually, it was close on the Shinkansen. However, trackwork and signalling had to be appropriate.

    Well, certification for 250 km/h requires stable running at 280 km/h (in tests). The high speed test with that Taurus proved stable running. Actually, a higher speed might have been achievable, but that was the maximum they could get out of the line suitable for the speed.

    In Europe, there is actually a threshold at 250 km/h, which has more stringent requirements (essentially documentation to be produced, and, of course, constructive requirements too). That’s why the SBB ordered recently train sets for 249 km/h… So, yes, 250 and higher is its own category. When it gets in commercial use on legacy lines depends heavily on whether the infrastructure managers are willing to invest in according signalling. This should be a little bit less of an issue with ETCS, but it will take its time. It may be possible that most can be taken by the rolling stock (distributed drive EMUs, high braking performance, soft tilting etc.), but the tracks must also be upgraded.

    Observer Reply:

    Does anybody know the regular operating speed of Seimens’ Velaro-E that operates between Madrid and Barcelona? I thought it was near 220mph.

    Useless Reply:

    Wiki says 310 km/hr revenue service. Upgrading current stock of 300~320 km/hr rolling stocks to do 350 km/hr revenue service is a big engineering risk. The CAHSR Authority would be better served by buying rolling stocks designed to do 350 km/hr revenue service insead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVE_Class_103

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    310 is correct.

    http://www.adifaltavelocidad.es/gl_ES/infraestructuras/lineas_de_alta_velocidad/madrid_barcelona_frontera_francesa/madrid_barcelona_frontera_francesa.shtml

    See also the well-informed enthusiast site: http://www.ferropedia.es/wiki/LAV_Madrid_-_Zaragoza_-_Barcelona#Velocidades_m.C3.A1ximas_y_limitaciones_de_velocidad.5B10.5D
    and http://www.vialibre-ffe.com/noticias.asp?not=8102

    Note that the 310 limit is only for 60km of the line (Guadalajara-Yebes PK 64.4 to Las Inviernas PK 124.4) and 300 is exceed barely and mostly by trains attempting to recover from delays. Most of the 621km line has a limit of 300kmh.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Useless,

    Oh, *please*. The AVE 103s are *certified* for 350 km/hr revenue service. During trials, one trainset ran just over 400km/hr. (That speed has been widely reported, not least due to Siemens marketing efforts). The restriction to 310 km/hr is a *track* restriction, not a *trainset* restriction.

    There is *NO* engineering risk in running Velaro-E trainsets at 350 km/hr, on track which is signalled, designed, and certified for 350km/hr.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Hmmm, I see. Thanks!

  17. Paul Dyson
    Oct 24th, 2014 at 07:53
    #17

    OT and shameless pitch, RailPAC/NARP Steel Wheels Conference will be held at the RR Museum, Old Sacramento Saturday 15th November. Details and registration at railpac.org. Includes presentations from Chad Edison, Siemens, and CHSRA.

  18. Elizabeth Alexis
    Oct 24th, 2014 at 13:21
    #18

    OT

    Friday fun for historians
    https://ia601900.us.archive.org/13/items/memorandumtojame1360proc/memorandumtojame1360proc.pdf

    https://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk3/1976/7609/7609.PDF

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thanks for the link, but anything about BART is just too depressing to read on. Elevated on Geary? – now that sounds like BART-Bechtel-PB-think.

  19. Reality Check
    Oct 24th, 2014 at 16:03
    #19

    Chinese rail company won MBTA contract over objections of other bidders

    The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board unanimously awarded a $566.6 million contract to CNR MA, a subsidiary of the world’s largest manufacturer railcar manufacturer in China who plans to use the MBTA project as an entry point to the North American manufacturing market.

    […]

    The bid from CNR MA came in significantly lower than any of the other bids, with the closest coming from Hyundai Rotem for $720.6 million. Bombardier bid $1.08 billion, and Kawasaki $904.9 million.

    […]

    CNR has supplied rail cars for more than 13 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Lu said he was able to under-bid the other companies because CNR hopes the MBTA project will be the start of a larger expansion into the North American market.

    “We are committed to be here. I want to enter this market. So I don’t calculate all the investment in one project,” Lu said.

    CNR MA plans to build a $60 million manufacturing facility on Page Boulevard in Springfield to serve as the company’s U.S. headquarters with assembly and office space and a test track for the new MBTA cars. The company estimates creating 100 construction jobs in the city and 150 new manufacturing jobs that will remain after the MBTA project is complete as CNR seeks additional domestic contracts. Work on the new plant will begin in the fall of 2015.

    The contract also calls for 60 percent of all parts to come from the United States.

    James White, from the Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA, testified in support of the contract and the specifications of the new subway cars, which include larger doors and passenger capacity. “These will be the most accessible vehicles in the T’s history,” White said.

    […]

  20. Reality Check
    Oct 24th, 2014 at 16:10
    #20

    China’s Rail Ambitions Route to Lasting Growth

    When the going gets tough, the tough make tracks. Railroad tracks.

    At least in China, that is. As officials in Beijing struggle to keep economic growth from slowing, they’ve been accelerating investment in new railways, a trend that’s likely to boost earnings at the handful of mainland companies that build them and the trains that ply them.

    China’s railroad building spree isn’t likely to stop once Beijing’s stimulus does, either. Its railway network is still far smaller than in industrialized countries. Railways are also part of a strategic push to build shortcuts over land to markets in Europe and South Asia that bypass territorial squabbles in the South China Sea and the mighty U.S. Navy. And railway building is key to China’s efforts to promote development of its poor, politically restive, western hinterland.

    […]

    Foreign sales are therefore one of the fastest-growing sources of growth for China’s railway companies. CRCC said its overseas sales rose by a third in the first half, representing just 4% of total revenue but 25% of new contracts, including a $13 billion contract announced in May to build a high-speed railway in Nigeria.

    CSR’s overseas sales more than doubled in the first half, and now account for roughly 9% of its overall revenue. When China’s president, Xi Jinping, went to India in September, he left with a deal for China to help upgrade India’s railway networks, including high-speed railways and a RMB300 million contract for CSR to supply cars and maintenance to Mumbai’s subway system.

    With Xi as their traveling salesman, China’s railway companies are likely to see those kind of big-ticket contracts keep rolling in.

    joe Reply:

    Sounds successful or as Mlynarick writes:

    Special Olympics Extra Participation Effort Award!

    I’d pay to watch Richard compete in the Emotionally Challenged category in Special Olympics Judo. It’s in LA.

    The Games also are a chance for spectators and volunteers to have their preconceptions about people with intellectual disabilities changed forever. Getting involved with the Games by cheering from the stands or handing out cups of water to thirsty athletes is a sure way to change your view of people of all kinds.

    Nothing like having one’s ass-kicked to change an bad attitude.

  21. Gag Halfrunt
    Oct 25th, 2014 at 03:26
    #21

    CNR just won a bid to deliver trains to Thailand for intercity rail service, with speeds up to 320 km/h, and California is their next big target.

    I’m afraid you misunderstood the article. The reference to 320 km/h trains relates to the CHSR tender, not any order from Thailand:

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority this month sought expressions of interest in supplying its first high-speed train service and the deadline for submission is today, according to the authority’s website.

    This tender is for up to 95 train sets with speeds of more than 320km/h.

    The Thai order is for “115 passenger train carriages” for the existing national rail network, which is metre gauge.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Gag Halfrunt? “Well, Mlynarik’s just tthis guy, you know” Halfrunt?

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    Forget Hyperloop. With the Infinite Improbability Drive we can do LA-SF in zero seconds, although you’ll have to allow five hours to get through security.

    Alan Reply:

    That’ll work until the Krikkit robots come back for the Ashes. What then?

    Jonathan Reply:

    But.. where are you going to get a Bambleweeny 57 submeson brain, and a fresh cup of really hot tea?
    They don’t make submeson brains like they used to.

    And LA-SF passengers probably don’t want to get turned into penguins.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The critics are all people with one degree in mathematics and another in astrophysics; for us, it’s that or the dole queue on Monday.

  22. StevieB
    Oct 25th, 2014 at 12:53
    #22

    The high-rise community at San Francisco’s Transbay District will greatly change the city skyline. An article by 7×7 describes the amenities.

    The result is a civic-minded urban planner’s dream: Broad sidewalks with plenty of trees; a vibrant mix of shops and restaurants; walking trails and bike paths that crisscross the zone; and modern green space concepts

    The community promises residential increases.

    And there’s lots of housing—35 percent of which is set aside for low- and middle-income families—terraced housing, ranging from human-scale townhouses to high-rise buildings, promising an area that will be open and filled with light.

    jimsf Reply:

    looks good. would be nice if they can make a seemless flrom transbay neighborhood to south beach

  23. Joe
    Oct 26th, 2014 at 12:06
    #23

    Proposed routes and station sites for Texas HSR.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/20141022-proposed-routes-for-dallas-houston-high-speed-rail-revealed.ece

    Observer Reply:

    I am glad for Texas, (they get it – about HSR that is). I think that they may need some public funding to build it at some point. But regardless if it is privately or partly publicly funded, I wish them all the best. If successful there, and I believe that it will be, it will only help the California HSR project, and will help promote such projects in other states.

    Joe Reply:

    Curious where they put the stations. What do you think? City core or city edge?

    Note, the private venture will have eliminate domain power.

    Joe Reply:

    Emanate

    EJ Reply:

    Eminent

    Observer Reply:

    I do not know Dallas and Houston, but city core stations always seems to work better for train stations.

    Observer Reply:

    Not everybody thinks this way, but for me anyway, city edge stations – in this country anyway may end with a big box store type atmosphere to them with box store traffic and surroundings – yuk. The way I think anyway, city core stations would promote more walking, and public transit and the like – always preferable.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Though a city center station is desirable, I don’t think it’s a requirement for a profitable venture in the near future. Being a privately-funded, this railway has researched the potential markets, and judging by their statements, a peripherally located station (or one just outside downtown) is likely to serve their potential customers better (i.e. the 99% who rely on cars and neither ride buses/bicycles nor read transport blogs). These are customers who are currently flying between DFW and Houston, who will likely rent a car to get around the city and not take public transport- given the dispersed nature of sprawl cities and concentration of businesses in low-rise industrial parks located near freeway off-ramps. Of course, later on, the line can be extended further into downtown, but this requires more complicated property takings and considerable expense.

    Eric Reply:

    Here’s a better map: http://dallashoustonhsr.com/maps-and-pictures/

    If there is one station, better city core than city edge. The core is accessible to many more people. You’d need an absolutely gigantic parking lot/garage to equal that capacity, even if you were willing to abandon everyone who’d use transit at either end of the trip. But once you have a core station, adding another station at the city edge is not a horrible idea, if you think it will make you more profit. The extra stop will only add a couple minutes to the journey.

    Eric Reply:

    The more I read about this project, the more I like it. No politics, no bureaucracy, no entrenched interests, no corruption, no stupid people in positions of power. Just competent people choosing and implementing the best possible transportation solution. They are on track to begin construction within two years. How many people here think CAHSR will begin construction of even the first segment within two years?

    https://dallashoustonhsr.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/dal_hou-hsr_timeline.jpg

    Jonathan Reply:

    Technically, CHSRA (or rather their contractors) already “began construction”, if you count demolition in preparation of future positive construction, as construction activity.

    What’s your definition of “begin construciton”? A dignitary (Jerry Brown) and a symbolic gold-plated trowel doing a ceremonial “ground-breaking”? First concrete pour? Something else?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They can’t be doing any construction because it’s illegal to spend any of the money until they have final engineering drawings for every last fastener on every last piece of every last section.

    Observer Reply:

    We here in California are high maintenance, we demand perfection; that with the intricacies of political compromise and CEQA assed in – we will trip all over ourselves. But in the end, HSR is something that we will get, and we will all be proud of it. I just hope I live to see it.

    joe Reply:

    “”We believe that high-speed rail is the biggest game changer in transportation since the federal highway system was established,” Hill said.”

    ‘Nuff said

    synonymouse Reply:

    “we demand perfection”

    And get BART and Bayconic Bridge.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you don’t know about anything other than BART it is perfect.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Spot on.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Nobody likes to eat at the restaurant where they work, guys. Life is all about the presentation, not the reality.

    Observer Reply:

    I will be glad if they begin construction other than demolition in CA by June.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Eric

    That’s sarcasm, right?

    Eric Reply:

    Well… “No politics, no bureaucracy, no entrenched interests, no corruption, no stupid people in positions of power.” was an exaggeration. These factors are always present to some extent. But I’m serious that I can’t see any evidence of these factors in the plans so far.

    EJ Reply:

    Finally a semi-detailed map! Let’s see whose ox gets gored by this and let the games begin!

    datacruncher Reply:

    This is the presentation being used at the Texas scoping meetings this week.
    https://dallashoustonhsr.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/2014_scoping_meeting_presentation.pdf

    PDF pages 28 to 30 show the alternative station locations.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I think it’s strange that they didn’t try getting out of Houston on an alignment that passes near the airport.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    There’s actually a very good reason, at least in official documents, to avoid Houston’s larger airport in the proposed routing:

    It’s very close to the county line and a place called “the Woodlands”, a place that on te surface looks the same as any suburban city with a large commercial center: Reston, Virginia; Walnut Creek, CA; White Plains, NY.

    The difference is that under Texas law, if they were inside Harris County, where Houston is, property owners would have to pay Houston for all the public utility services needed. Being outside the county gives the Woodlands a big advantage.

    Naturally, the City wants to expand the rule farther out to keep other jurisdictions as vassals but developers and others within the Texas Legislature don’t like the idea. Putting any more development near the airport, however, would in turn spur more development outside Harris County and push tensions closer to a head.

    Eric Reply:

    How many Dallas people are going to take the train to Houston for a flight connection, when DFW is a bigger hub than Houston Intercontinental?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or vice versa. The foamers love to froth about how great it would be if Philadelphia International was on an Amtrak line. Why would anyone not in Philadelphia want to fly out of Philadelphia? It’s not like there are only a few flights out of the New York airports. Or the DC airports.

    Eric Reply:

    NY flights are expensive because capacity is limited. Probably DC too, though I’ve never flown there. A nearby reliever airport would be useful. However, I’d think that PHL is not a good reliever airport because its capacity is also limited. If more airport capacity is someday needed, perhaps a new airport could be built, I’ve thought in the industrial lands across the river from Trenton NJ, and this site is adjacent to the Northeast Corridor.

    Dallas and Houston are worse as reliever airports for each other, for the following reasons: 1) they are much further apart, so that train journey times approach the time of an additional flight, 2) I don’t think either has a capacity problem or the high prices that result.

    EJ Reply:

    What would the market be? DFW and Houston are both major hubs, seems unlikely there’s a huge market for people who would fly to one city and take the train to the other.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They’re hubs of different companies, though…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so? how many people are going to get on the train to fly out of the airport in the other city to get to Atlanta or Chicago or New York or Los Angeles or….

    Joey Reply:

    City center stations are probably more important but there’s no reason the two can’t coexist, especially since not every train has to stop.

    Joe Reply:

    The investors may want to buy and develop land around their stations. That was the first plan.

    I would build to city core since it is a two stop system between cities BUT for any extension I’d branch off the line which would make the within city station a spur.

    Joey Reply:

    Given how sprawling the Houston area is I would be surprised if they didn’t include one suburban station.

    Eric Reply:

    I can’t imagine any conceivable extension past Houston.

    As for Dallas, it’s a huge area and I’m not sure a long detour just to speed up Houston-OKC would be worth it.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Texas article reported:
    Government officials estimate that the drive from Dallas to Houston, which now takes about four hours, could take six hours by 2035. They estimate the average speed on I-45 between the two cities will drop from 60 mph to 40 mph over that time.
    So does that mean they are taking into consideration what might happen if they don’t build HSR??
    Gee. How might that happen in California?

    Jerry Reply:

    Is that the part of considering the cost of doing nothing?

    EJ Reply:

    It’s called the “no-build” alternative, it was considered. Has to be, by law.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    In the world of project pushing, you’re missing a few quotation marks there.

    Corrected: The “no-build” “alternative” has to be “considered” by law.

    No large capital-intensive construction project gets to to the EIS/EIR state without the “alternatives” “evaluation” being a stitch-up (for better or worse, but generally worse.)

    There Is No Alternative.

    joe Reply:

    Project pushing. Right.
    Just drove to & from Gilroy/Pasadena. I’d like that train now please.

    You don’t.

    That’s kool because the “alternatives” and “evaluation” are as skewed for your self-interests as they are for the majority of people who want the system.

    Donk Reply:

    So there are no intermediate stops at all between the burbs of Dallas and the burbs of Houston? I bet Synonymouse loves this project – just like his dream of the the I-5 racetrack.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. The economic case for California hsr is stronger. Would we had the Sperminator back – his contact with Earth and California geography is better than the geriatric Brown, totally out of it.

    Michael Reply:

    Ha! Arhnold more in touch than Jerry? Your most outrageous claim ever.

    Eric Reply:

    They raise the possibility of one midway stop (about 20 miles east of College Station). I think a low-speed spur to College Station might be a better idea, but that can always be constructed later.

    Their presentation envisions the populations of the Houston and Dallas areas both doubling by 2035. If that happens, the economic case would be much stronger.

    Donk Reply:

    One one hand, I am a bit jealous that TX will have HSR before CA. But on the other hand, it is pathetic that TX hasn’t done this yet. This project, with its easy geography and lack of density, is basically a layup and would have been built in CA by the 90s at the same time when they upgraded the Amtrak corridors and built out Metrolink.

    Eric Reply:

    On the plus side, successful HSR anywhere in the US will increase the support for HSR anywhere else in the US, due to positive word of mouth, plus refutation of the idea that HSR can only succeed in a place like Europe.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Indeed, what something like this will do is to provide a tangible “proof of concept” in the minds of the (largely uninformed) public. Heck, I’m looking forward to seeing the not-quite-high speed AAF project change some minds.

    Donk Reply:

    On the other side, if the TX and FL projects are built using private money, Republicans will expect that all HSR projects be built privately.

    StevieB Reply:

    Republicans currently expect that all HSR projects be built privately so no change.

    joe Reply:

    Read the TX papers and you see the first proposed system is not what people ewant.

    Private money is not gong to build a system to service College Station or connect to Fort Worth or build to the city core when they need to contain costs and derive the profit off the land development at and round their stations.

    This project will seek and receive public money.

    Eric Reply:

    Those are all relatively short and cheap additions of medium-speed rail. Not a big deal to build them publicly if necessary later on.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Short yes, but cheap? I’ve seen estimates of $2.5 billion to $4 billion to connect Dallas and Fort Worth.

    For the leg to Arlington and Fort Worth, it has been suggested that overhead tracks along the Interstate 30 right-of-way could be used. Still, that 30-mile stretch could cost about $4 billion.

    Although the focus now naturally is on the Houston-Dallas phase, planners must keep Fort Worth and the rest of the state in mind.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/10/22/6222855/fw-must-not-be-forgotten-as-dallas.html

    swing hanger Reply:

    Yes, I read that stretch between Dallas and Ft. Worth is costly due to the need to cross an interstate and river(s) (i.e. involving bridges/viaducts)

    Steven H Reply:

    Why not just electrify and 4-track the Trinity River Express? It wouldn’t serve Arlington directly, but a station near (or–via a spur–at) DFW would serve Arlington indirectly. It isn’t as if a viaduct over an interstate serves Arlington directly anyway….

    The TRE ROW can’t be any more constrained than that of Caltrain.

    Eric Reply:

    Grade-separating and electrifying the TRE would provide a connection to Fort Worth for pretty cheap, and be quite useful for commuters too. It would also provide the beginning of a DFW spur (or northward continuing track).

    There is a second existing rail ROW from Dallas to Fort Worth which directly serves Arlington. I really don’t know why it’s not currently used for passenger service. Maybe there is simply too much freight traffic.

    Compared to those options, I don’t know why anyone would consider a new elevated alignmene along I-30.

    datacruncher Reply:

    There is a presentation from August about a Fort Worth-Dallas HSR line here:
    http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/rail/chsr-dfw/082714-presentation.pdf

    Page 22 has a cost comparison of various alternatives. A regional rail line with a 79mph max speed is estimated under $0.5 billion. HSR is estimated at up to $4 billion.

    But there is a long rivalry between Dallas and Fort Worth (search for “Dallas Fort Worth Rivalry” if you are not familiar with it). I think those politics would impact a proposal that is seen as giving Fort Worth something significantly less than the Dallas-Houston HSR line.

    Eric Reply:

    Well, nobody’s giving Dallas anything – the project is being privately funded (potentially, as far as downtown Dallas). So why should Fort Worth be given anything?

    I really don’t understand why the travel times in that document are so long. The TRE is 34 miles long. At a constant 79mph that distance should take 25 minutes, then add a couple minutes for starting and stopping at each end. So why do they forecast a 40-45 minute travel time for the 79mph option? And why are current travel times 55 minutes with just 6 intermediate stops? That’s a 37mph average speed. Ridiculous.

    datacruncher Reply:

    I think the politics and rivalry don’t care about private vs public. Look at the media coverage and even the cover of that August presentation above. The media says nothing about a slower speed option, everything is about a high speed Fort Worth-Dallas connection and its costs. The August presentation is from the “COMMISSION FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL IN THE DALLAS/FORT WORTH REGION”. Every item I see says lower speed options are not really in play.

    Personally I think Dallas-Houston is likely to see the stations outside the city cores unless a government agency steps up with some incentives. Their scoping meeting presentation I added a few days ago indicates they want land to develop around the stations plus they indicate last mile costs is a station site criteria.

    My understanding is that parts of TRE is single track which leads to delays and waits for passing.

    Eric Reply:

    If Democratic states like CA want to throw in a few billion of their own money, I don’t see which Republicans could object. Federal money might be scarce though.

  24. Reality Check
    Oct 26th, 2014 at 18:07
    #24

    Report seems to back the SNCF/TRAC approach to CA HSR:
    France’s high-speed TGV trains ‘running out of steam’ – official report
    Audit Office blames pressure from local authorities for creation of ‘incoherent’ network that often failed to meet necessary criteria

    Many of France’s high-speed TGV trains, long hailed as the standard bearer of the nation’s rail revolution, are travelling in the slow lane, an official report has revealed.

    The Cour des Comptes (Audit Office) blamed local authorities for pressuring the state to allow the TGV to pass through their towns, creating an “incoherent” network. As a result, there are now a total 230 TGV stations across France, many on lines which are loss-making for the state-run SNCF company.

    The report contains clear lessons for the UK [and California! -RC], with chancellor George Osborne due to announce plans for HS3 between Leeds and Manchester on Monday. According to the French report, 33 years after the first TGV was launched, 40% of TGV trains still travel on conventional track rather than the specially built high-speed lines.

    Suggesting that the high-speed model was “running out of steam”, the report said that high-speed rail often failed to meet the necessary criteria. These were “to link large population centres, within one and a half to three hours, few or no intermediate stops, a frequent service, a high user rate and good connections to other forms of transport”.

    Pointing to examples where the social and economic viability of new high-speed lines had been overestimated, the Audit Office highlighted a steady drop in TGV profitability since 2008. The decision-making process had been only “partly rational” in the cases of the Tours-Bordeaux line, which is due to open in 2017 at an estimated cost of €8.8bn (£6.9bn), Bordeaux to Toulouse and Poitiers to Limoges.

    The Audit Office recommended a gradual reduction in the number of TGV stops, better planning and more transparency in passenger statistics.

    […]

    Joe Reply:

    230 stations versus less than 30 for CA.

    I think were okay.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Actually 30 station in CA is pretty bad; there is a rule of thumb which says that stops should be not much less than 30 minutes apart (there are some exceptions, where you have a terminal in the city, and a “Parkway” stop a bit outside, serving the region around the terminal; an example for this is Marseille and Aix-en-Provence TGV).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    11 between San Francisco and Los Angeles including the stations in downtown SF and LA.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Compare that to the 9 between Paris and Marseille (where no train serves all the stops).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The Tokaido Shinkansen has 16 stops (counting one terminal) over 515 km, the Sanyo Shinkansen has 18 over 555 km, and the Tohoku Shinkansen has 22 over 675 km. On Tokaido and Sanyo some trains make all the stops and some run express, making at least 5 stops on each.

    swing hanger Reply:

    It must be said that shinkansen trainsets are optimized for this type of service pattern, with their distributed traction and high acceleration rates. I am not knowledgeable about TGV operations, but isn’t the original service pattern based on single-seat long-range journeys, rather than a mix of long/short journeys facilitated by cross-platform transfers at intermediate stations?

    Useless Reply:

    swing hanger

    TGV are basically airliners on rail, going from point A to point B.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Post-bovine grass… There are not many point-to-point TGVs. Most do serve some intermediate stops. The biggest number of point-to-point TGV (and similar) services are between Paris and London. There is maybe 1 or 2 pairs nonstop between Paris and Marseille, and between Paris and Strasbourg.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    TGV operation patterns are quite irregular. So, you can have some rather long runs, such as Paris-Barcelona, or Marseille-Lille, but also relatively short sections like Paris-Lyon Part Dieu. Changes at the same platform are, however, more kind of a random event. But somewhat timed connections are possible. Keep in mind that intercity and regional/interregional traffic are pretty much independent, and cooperations may or may not happen (regional/interregional operations are in the responsibilities of the Régions; some are active, some less so).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    This is where I point out that, at least four years ago, the TGVs to Nice and the TERs going farther east were timed to just miss each other.

    Eric Reply:

    Alon: good for tourism? :)

    EJ Reply:

    Surely that’s 230 stations that are served by TGVs at one point or another, including those on lignes classiques? There can’t possibly be 230 dedicated TGV stations.

    synonymouse Reply:

    France has over 100 regional airports, many of which were constructed in recent decades and a number of which are semi-abandoned.

    France 2 carries a lot of transport themed news items, much more than US media. A few days ago they aired a fairly long segment on the SNCF scrap line, which I believe they said was located in Rouen. Whole lines of what seemed modern stuff getting cut up. A lot newer than BART crap.

    Punch up France2 jt 20heures – the primary broadcast. It’s free.

    @ Reality Check

    Of course PB-LAHSR is screwed up. Fuggedaboutit – Jerry Brown and co. insist on its failure. See BART.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    FWIW, this is the current direct link to the segment (shortened): http://goo.gl/b4W1ZK . The rolling stock cut up in this yard, indeed near Rouen, is at least 30 years old. Don’t be fooled if they look “fresh”; with the sectionization of the SNCF, they started a heavy repainting action of the vehicles assigned to the individual sections. And you see the tragedy with freight on the SNCF, which went completely down the drains.

    The main reason for scrapping passenger stock (some of the vehicles are assigned to the RATP, the Paris transit operator, is that the capacity of these vehicles is no longer sufficient, and that they are asbesto contaminated. It has apparently not been considered to be worthwhile to clean up the vehicles and to put them back in service somewhere else.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I dunno. Is Gare du Nord a dedicated TGV station or not? I thought one of the reasons the French picked what has become known as TGV was that they didn’t have to build dedicated stations in places like Paris and Lyon.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Okay, but we’re not just talking about Gare du Nord, which is a few km away from an LGV. We’re talking about things like Nice-Ville, 250 km on a slow legacy line away from the LGV Mediterranee.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How much more expensive is it to run a train with a TGV logo on the side of it versus a train without a TGV logo on the side of it? Is anyone suggesting that they stop running trains on the slow lines or is the complaint that it cost a lot to run slow trains and the logo on the side does affect the costs much?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I am not quite sure how the access charges are calculated by the infrastructure operator, but I think they are about the same as for a conventional train.

    About access charges. They have been raised considerably within the last few years, and that is (according to the TGV branch of the SNCF) the main reason why the profitability went down.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The extensions to the Côte d’Azur are repetitions of the pre-TGV service patterns where there were several trains offering an one-seat ride from Paris. In the sense of “old habits die hard”, that through-running has never stopped (and there are some justifiable reasons to do so).

    OTOH, I see a little bit less economic reason for running a TGV on the ligne classique between Avignon and Valence or Lyon (even if I would be somewhat affected, as I’d have to drive to Avignon TGV instead of Orange… but then, for my needs, Orange does not provide sufficient service levels with TGV, so I have to drive to Avignon TGV anyway).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Oh, do you live in the Vaucluse now? I thought you lived in Zurich.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I did live in the Zürich area, and then for a short time in Zürich Oerlikon. But now, you concluded correctly, I am in the Vaucluse.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Just a rough guesstimate, there are about 20 or so stations which have TGV access only. That number does, however not contain the termini, which are all accessed via a more or less long stretch of mixed use tracks. That also answers adirondacker’s question about the Gare du Nord. It is not a dedicated station. Neither is the Gare de Lyon, nor is the Gare de l’Est.

    Of those 230 places served by TGV, there are quite a few which have one or two services per day (and are, of course, on a ligne classique, and with some exceptions, caused by political pressure than by economic requirements.

    One has to note however, that the SNCF is a loooong way away from an integrated fixed interval schedule (which appears to be the default for CAHSR).

  25. synonymouse
    Oct 26th, 2014 at 21:33
    #25

    TGV – haussement de tarifs:

    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-jt/france-2/20-heures/

    26 octobre 2014

  26. Useless
    Oct 27th, 2014 at 07:41
    #26

    Seems that CSR and CNR are merging. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-27/china-trainmakers-cnr-csr-suspend-trading-in-hong-kong.html

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    They were a single company before 2000.

  27. Reality Check
    Oct 27th, 2014 at 10:01
    #27

    CC-HSR Community Update (10/27/2014)

    HSR Litigation: It’s Not Over (Not Even Close)

    Here is a statement from Mike Brady, a member of the CC-HSR Board of Directors, and the lead attorney in the Tos v. Authority lawsuit that is challenging the state’s ill conceived and badly managed high-speed rail project:

    There is a major misperception out there that the recent Supreme Court decision, declining to review an appellate court decision in our HSR litigation, “clears the decks,” and that the Authority has no further legal obstacles to overcome, and can commence construction whenever it chooses to do so. That is definitely the impression given by a number of recent news stories. However, this impression is absolutely wrong for the reasons set forth below.

    The recent Supreme Court decision not to hear the case allows the appellate court decision to stand. All that the appellate court said was that the Preliminary Funding Plan, though the appellate court acknowledged it was inconsistent with Proposition 1A, was meant as a report for the Legislature only, and thus did not have to comply with Proposition 1A’s restrictive provisions at that time. BUT, the appellate court also said that when the Authority seeks to sell the bonds and spend the bond money, the Authority must first go through the rigorous requirements of the Second Funding Plan contained in Proposition 1A, and must comply with all the strict provisions of Proposition 1A at that time.

    The Authority cannot start construction with Proposition 1A bond funds until it has enough money in the bank to COMPLETE the so-called Initial Operating Segment, a 300-mile segment of the proposed project costing $35 billion or more. What does the Authority actually have to spend? About $6 billion! That is not nearly enough to comply with what Proposition 1A requires.

    In addition, the Authority cannot start construction or spend Proposition 1A money until it gets all environmental clearances for the entire 300-mile Initial Operating Segment. At the present time, the Authority lacks clearances for about 180 miles of that segment! Getting the required environmental clearances could take years!

    Furthermore, since the appellate court decision, evidence has surfaced from the Authority itself that the entire Southern California route, south of Bakersfield, is not workable for high-speed rail, and will have to be redone. This means that the project cannot be approved at all, and must go back to the drawing board, to see whether a viable route can be designated.

    The opponents of the current project are about to go to trial on several issues that are totally unrelated to the appellate court decision and that are not affected by it. For instance, will the Authority be able to transport a passenger from LA to San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes, as specified in Proposition 1A? Will a subsidy be required for operating costs? Does the “blended system” itself violate the promise of Proposition 1A that we will get a genuine high-speed rail system?

    If we win on any of these issues, and we think our arguments are good, this project will be stopped dead in its tracks! We are in this fight for the duration. HSR faces insurmountable obstacles if the courts, as we expect, uphold the strict restrictions of Proposition 1A, which the voters enacted to protect themselves against bad fiscal and project management.

    THANK YOU For Your Support For CC-HSR!
    CC-HSR has been working through litigation, lobbying, and public outreach to make sure that the state’s High-Speed Rail project does not bring devastating impacts to the San Francisco Peninsula, or to other parts of California. We truly appreciate your help!

    CC-HSR is totally supported by the community. Please follow the link below to contribute.

    Thank you again for your help!!

    Visit Our Website
    The CC-HSR Main Page
    To Make a Contribution

    The Community Coalition on High Speed Rail is a grassroots, non-profit corporation, working through public advocacy, litigation, and political action to make sure the proposed California High Speed Rail project doesn’t adversely affect the economy, environment, or quality of life of California’s existing communities.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not a chance. The courts had a chance to send a shot across PB-LAHSR’s bow and totally demurred.

    PB is going to try to procrastinate as long as possible with the details of the DogLeg alignment because they know there will be lawsuits from some deep pockets. The more they attempt to detour around the wealthy and connected the more circuitous the route. So Tehachapi does not avoid the Tejon syndrome, that is butting up against powerful interests. Odds are the route they are forced to dumb down and meander will be godawful, considerably worse than they counted on, and not anywhere close to 2:40.

    To try to compensate they will push the Antonovich base tunnel at enormous extra cost.

    But no worries, mate. Prop 1a is indeed vacated.

  28. Reality Check
    Oct 27th, 2014 at 10:06
    #28

    Business, Caltrain group looks to improve rail commute system

    In a move that could eventually take tech workers off the controversial corporate shuttle buses and put them on fast electric commuter trains, big Peninsula employers — including tech giant Google — and business groups will announce a joint effort to speed modernization of Caltrain.

    The Caltrain Commuter Coalition also includes the 49ers, Oracle, LinkedIn, Stanford University, HP and other firms yet to be named. The effort is being coordinated by the Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and San Mateo County Economic Development Association.

    The group will work with Caltrain — a partnership of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara county transportation agencies — to press for funding to expand the commuter railroad’s capacity, replace its trains pulled by diesel locomotives with electric trains, extend the tracks to the Transbay Terminal and make other improvements.

    “This is the result of conversations we’ve have had for years with these companies,” Seamus Murphy, Caltrain’s director of government and community affairs, said Sunday. “They realize that they can’t continue to rely on shuttles or expand shuttles, and they’ve been frustrated, frankly, that they can’t rely on Caltrain or public transportation.”

    Caltrain and coalition members plan to announce their push at an event Monday commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the popular Baby Bullet express train service, which added tracks that allow trains to bypass stations, make fewer stops and cut as much as 30 minutes from a trip between San Francisco and San Jose.

    […]

    Caltrain hopes the coalition can help lobby in Sacramento and Washington for funding to replace the rest of the diesel trains, to build the downtown extension to the Transbay Terminal and to expand stations and build more separated rail crossings.

    “We have no doubt this coalition will be able to deliver funding,” Murphy said.

  29. hatsutane
    Oct 28th, 2014 at 13:53
    #29

    Haha,
    The Turkish high speed train built with a Chinese technology has stopped running in its inaugural course with many officials inside including the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Check the following article:
    http://news.yahoo.com/erdogan-suffers-delay-turkey-high-speed-train-194911107.html

    synonymouse Reply:

    It were NIMBYS what done it.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Yes, but exactly what point are you trying to make about “Chinese technology” by citing this old news story about a 30-min. delay suffered on a July VIP run due to a catenary glitch?

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