Japanese Maglev Test Reaches 500 km/h

Nov 20th, 2014 | Posted by

Japan has built a 27-mile long maglev test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, and last week began running a series of new tests with passengers. These trains achieved speeds of 500 km/h, or just above 300 miles per hour. The BBC sent a camera crew to record one of the journeys, which included winners of a contest to ride the test train:

My invitation must have been lost in the mail.

Before people start whining about how California should be doing this instead of its current HSR plan, Japan already has built out a national high speed rail network. California should do that first before considering anything like maglev.

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  1. synonymouse
    Nov 20th, 2014 at 11:36
    #1

    Rolling out high speed rail or maglev Japan in California would be going over Tejon.

    The Tejon Ranch Co. and Palmdale would be put in their place in short order.

    agb5 Reply:

    The test line is designed with a minimum radius of curvature of 8,000 m and a maximum gradient of 4%.

    JB in PA Reply:

    8000m = 397 chains 44 feet 8 inch

    JB in PA Reply:

    8000m = 0 degree 1 minute 5.5 sec?

    Eric Reply:

    8000m=4.32 Nautical Miles

  2. Max Wyss
    Nov 20th, 2014 at 11:49
    #2

    In tests, they have reached 581 km/h (which may be about what can be reached on that short test stretch). We will see what speeds will be reached when the first full segment gets operational.

    Whether the Chuo Shinkansen becomes a commercial success will depend on how well connected the stations in Tokyo, Nagoya, and eventually Osaka will be.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And the costs of operation and maintenance.

    Everything seems to be at the tinkering level now. Big science-engineering seems to be treading water. Where are the hyped break-thru’s? Say room temperature superconductivity, fusion reactor power generation, cold fusion, warp drives, immortality, yada yada? Instead what you get is I-gadgets and boner pills as big tech and big med. Even IBM is giving up its fab. Progress faltering?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    IBM gave up it’s fabs because they don’t make money anymore. It’s cheaper to let all the people who thought making chips was going to be the way to get rich compete making commodity chips and focus their efforts on the systems and software the big users need.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Those with the fabs will be making the supercomputers. As I see it IBM will be reduced to competing for the enterprise with outfits like Oracle and will eventually be out of here. Like DEC, Wang, etc. Dell and HP too. All is consumer gadgetry and how much can you add to a cell phone? A vibrator?

    Maybe I am wrong somehow, but I cannot see trendies who are so lazy they want everything tightly packaged like Apple stuff getting into fabricating or modeling with a 3-d printer. Seems like the regular printer market is smaller than it used to be. Once you have a good laser you are set. The toner does not dry out like inkjet cartridges.

    And I see the guvmint slapping all kinds of cripples on what you can fabricate with a 3d printer. LIke firearms, etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cell phones and before that, beepers, vibrated. And still do. Even the cheap disposable ones at the drug store. Having the phone ring while it’s on vibrate has been a sit-com joke for decades.
    Why would you need a printer when you have a smart phone with you? When you want to send snapshots to grandpa ya go down to the drug store and have them print a few off.
    They’ve been saying IBM is dead for almost 40 years. Warez kiddies cobble together supercomputers out of commodity parts these days. It’s the software that makes things useful. And the skilled staff to put it all together. something IBM has. And has had for almost a century.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Yeah, track wear is particularly one of the unknown dimensions.

    synonymouse Reply:

    We assume in Japan they have good control over the payroll, which is not the case with government operation in California. So that would be an issue here.

    jimsf Reply:

    oh please just stop.

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s why BART did the OAC – no operators. Same for HAR,T pseudo-BART but driverless.

    Labor costs a major factor in transport profitability.

    Joe Reply:

    Walmart too. Labor is a big part of thier costs too.

    Cut the pensions. Starting with yours.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ending with yours. BART’s 150k/yr station agents make my pension look tiny.

    jimsf Reply:

    U.S. Department of Labor statistics indicate the median pay for subway and streetcar operators of all kinds in the U.S. is $30.16 an hour, and $31.62 in California – right about what BART pays its train drivers and station agents, $30.58 an hour.

    jimsf Reply:

    try living in the bay area, let alone buying a home, with take home pay of 37,000 a year.

    By todays standards, where the top income brackets – the one percent – have made a killing since 1980, and the middle class, thanks to offshoring and the demise of unions, has declined to the lower class/working class, and the minimum wage not being tied to inlfation and cost of living, – todays minimum wage workers are straight up “poor” in its turest since.
    Anyone ordinary american who can still keep their head above water with a decent union job should be celebrated. Or will we not be happy until everyone is part of the working poor. Is that the goal- a nation of serfs? Whom does that benefit.

    Its a lie that everyone can be at the top. capitalism is nothing more than a giant pyramid scheme- which in any other situation would be illegal in the US. From are political system, to every company and corporation and small business – the design is the same. A pyramid. One at the top, many at the bottom. The top can never accommodate all of the bottom. = no matter how well they perform. Some must always stay at the bottom. The question them becomes, do we want a dickensonian america were the bottom knows no limit, while we look the other way, or do we value those who do honest work? How long does the country function when the garbage stops being taking out and the food rots in the fields? And just how many people in a nation can you disenfranchise before they start burning your houses down?
    Soem people are just not very bright. What do you do with them? let them starve under a bridge? you have to answer to that.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    30 bucks an hour for a 40 hour week is 63k a year. He’s got his and everyone else should go fuck off, it’s pointless to try to tell him anything else.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The 1% aren’t why the Bay Area is expensive.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    As neighbors no, as investors that create market asymmetry that trickles down to the local economy yes.

    The Bay Area’s problem is almost like Dutch Disease.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    …as investors? What?

    synonymouse Reply:

    American liberals, especially of the limousine stripe, need to have the experience of a lengthy, entrenched leftist dictatorship with a statist central control economy. The country is going to have to go thru this. Maybe another depression and some more lost foreign wars.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “And just how many people in a nation can you disenfranchise before they start burning your houses down?”

    Yeah, sure, when they start burning down Beverly Hills. That’s what robocops are for. With cameras. Elon Musk will be building them when his crowd is threatened.

    jimsf Reply:

    Alon Levy Reply:
    November 21st, 2014 at 7:26 am

    The 1% aren’t why the Bay Area is expensive.

    The bay area is expensive because it is desirable.
    Biloxi is cheap because its undesirable.

    Eric Reply:

    The Bay Area is expensive because it has a combination of low supply (zoning and geographic constraints) and high demand (desirability). Biloxi is the opposite.

    There are two ways to make the Bay Area affordable – to increase supply or to decrease demand. We don’t want to make the Bay Area a less desirable place just to lower prices, but there is no reason not to loosen zoning rules in order to increase supply. Of course it is politically hard to do that…

    joe Reply:

    Most expensive station agent I can find in the BART Salary Database.

    Bay Area Rapid Transit Khashabi, Sandy Station Agent
    M-Line Station Operations

    Salary : $57,428
    Overtime: 28,257
    other: Lump payments sick leave cash out bonus and other taxable $10,021
    $22,007

    About 105 K

    Other costs
    medical contributions $7,381
    Pension payments 4,314 & $2,195

    total cost including pension 401/403 k contributions $133,913

    Not close to 150K.

    The welfare queens are driving Cadillacs

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Just to answer Alon above:

    The issue with the 1% in the Bay Area is that housing usually correlates to about a third of annual income. So as wage earners go, while The Bay Area isn’t that different from Seattle or Boston, the trump card is when IPOs happen, causing people with modest and not so modest incomes to buy real estate (usually as a owner occupied residence) outright with their stock receipts to avoid higher tax rates.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Okay, but you’re still talking about a very small proportion of the Bay Area population, one that, because of this propensity to buy, is more likely to be in the suburbs than in SF anyway.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Alon,

    You need to buy a ticket and actually visit here one of these days… When a big company goes public out here it’s like 1849 all over again. San Diego’s housing boom in 2000 happened when just Qualcomm quadrupled in stock price and energy prices were at record highs.

    Joshua Cranmer Reply:

    You’re basically complaining “Why isn’t science fiction reality yet?”–and the answer there is that it’s science fiction.

    There have been loads of major engineering developments. The humble cellphone could easily do as much for poverty reduction or health improvements as the loads of aid given to poor countries each year, to give just one example. It may not be flashy, but modern computer technology is so far advanced compared to the 1950s and 1960s that when you go back and look at projections of computers 50 years in the future from back then, the terminology in those predictions doesn’t even make much sense anymore.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Computers are basically electronics enhanced with mathematics and language – great and will probably lead to sophisticated robots, some AI, etc.

    But still no big engineering successes. Europe has blown some big bucks on the ITER project and the LHC with mediocre results compared to the hype.

    But at least maglev is something intrinsically different. What are gadgetbahns – SkyBus, Skytrain, monorails, Paris-Montreal-Mexico City rubber-tyred metros – other than a captive trolley bus mu’d on a guideway powered by 3rd rail? Their only innovation? Maybe quieter than rail and since no street operability possibly driverless.

    How could putative Japanese hubris match that of Bechtel with its idiotic IBG, cracked truck-wheel design and A-B cars? And Bechtel claims superiority. And how about PB with a humongous gratuitous detour on supposedly express high speed line? Now that’s hubris. Mixed with corruption.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    “Europe has blown some big bucks on the ITER project and the LHC with mediocre results compared to the hype.”

    —– mmm, the LHC has been a smashing :) success. They have found the Higg’s Boson (the raison d’etre) and now further particles. Its doing exactly what it was supposed to do. “What is the payoff?” .. ha ha, knowledge, my boy. Nothing you can put in the bank.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    yeah, and the hype has come from the media, not from CERN…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Some are debunking the Higgs claim.

    EJ Reply:

    He’s complaining because that’s all he does. Bitch, moan, and whine.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And what do the Cheerleaders do when someone has the temerity to question your scheme?

    So long as this thing is publicly financed we all have the right to question. So if you can’t handle the truth turn it over to a private entrepreneur to finance, construct, operate.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You had the right to question and sue if you didn’t like the answers years ago.

    EJ Reply:

    You have the right to say whatever you want; it’s a free country.

    Plenty of people, myself included, have issues with the current project and many people have offered intelligent criticism, both in this comment section and elsewhere. There’s a difference, though, between that and just being a bitter old reactionary who hates Democrats and unions. There’s no rhyme or reason to your criticism. BART is terrible because it’s broad gauge and incompatible with existing railroads. SMART is terrible because it uses existing freight trackage. Jerry Brown is alternately a clueless, senile old goat or a mastermind of corruption and graft.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You like BART; you like SMART; you like Jerry Brown.

    I’d put that almost in the category of flagellation, like the penitentes.

    BART sucks for a plethora of reasons; others can fill you in on its manifold botches and iniquities.
    SMART sucks because it wastes money and time waiting for decades to get rid of non-paying freight.
    You have described Brown’s decline pretty well – his handlers take care of the fixes and influence.

    EJ Reply:

    I like some things about them.

    BART is useful for what it does. Doesn’t mean I’m unaware that its capital costs are way too high. Doesn’t mean I think building it to broad gauge, with totally novel rolling stock, was actually a good idea. Yeah, it is fairly ridiculous that a few BART drivers make over $200K/yr and some BART cops make over $300K. But, when I’m in the Bay Area, it often serves my needs, as it does several hundred thousand other people every day.

    You, however, are just a simplistic reactionary. If BART had been built with FRA-compliant standard gauge rolling stock and was compatible with caltrain, you’d find something wrong with that.

    EJ Reply:

    $200K/yr is salary + benefits + pension contribution, to be sure; no BART driver is taking home a paycheck that size.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It has to do with the fact that BART didn’t need drivers to operate their trains and that the drivers can rack up serious overtime.

    However, if you compare BART costs to Highway spending in the Bay Area, it’s still way more efficient.

    Nathanael Reply:

    ” Where are the hyped break-thru’s?”

    I know some people who have made one of the actual breakthroughs. There’s some trouble getting it commercialized. Even if they weren’t having trouble it would take a while.

    swing hanger Reply:

    @Max
    The maglev stations in Tokyo and Nagoya should be fine- the former will be located near the present Shinagawa Station, while the latter will be located directly under Nagoya Station. I don’t know about Osaka, it still seems uncertain what direction the route will take- JR Central favors a direct routing via Nara, while the city of Kyoto wants it routed dogleg style through their locale- they have mounted a prominent local poster campaign towards that goal.

  3. Zorro
    Nov 20th, 2014 at 16:35
    #3

    The speed record is 357 mph(574.54 kph) for HSR with the TGV in 2007(YouTube Video) in France on track that normally has trains going between 200kph and 300kph, Maglev so far can’t beat more than 501kph(311.30mph)… The TGV went thru a station at 535 kph(no one got hurt at all), the objective was 540 kph, just after the station they announced another 10 Km to go… This train has twice the normal horse power of a normal train, this train has about 25,000hp…

    KT Reply:

    JR Maglev speed record is 581 km/hr.

    Zorro Reply:

    And how much is this Japanese maglev going to cost? Lets see in 2011 that was supposed to be 9 Trillion Yen or ¥ 9,000,000,000,000 = $76,405,219,325.4268 That’s $76.4 Billion in 2011 US Dollars, no telling what that would be today… But whatever…

    JR Central Maglev Construction schedule and costs
    Convert Japanese Yen to US Dollar

    Max Wyss Reply:

    But then, keep in mind that around 80% of the line is supposed to be in tunnels.

    Zorro Reply:

    Now that’s a whole lotta time in the dark alright…

    Useless Reply:

    This is why it’s called the world’s fastest subway.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And what do you presume will be needed to achieve your 220mph in urban areas?

    Face up to the truth: you are not building true hsr but a sort of TEE thru backwaters. No way it will pay for costs of operation and maintenance. Another welfare Amtrak.

    Do you plan to tack on noise walls on your 12 mile viaducts thru towns? An aerial subway. Bargain basement Musktube.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And let’s not forget the Antonovich Base Tunnel.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    450 miles in 2:40 minutes is an average speed of 168. They can go 100 for 100 and 220 for 1:40 and get and average speed of 168.

    Eric Reply:

    Maglev is faster, but if it’s only marginally faster, it’s better to use a HSR train which is compatible with existing infrastructure.

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed Eric and HSR might be able to go faster than it has already, the TGV was pushing 31kV instead of the normal 25kV… Who knows what the French will think up next…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV_world_speed_record

    The train used for the speed record was code named V150, and comprised three modified Duplex cars, fitted with two powered bogies similar to the AGV prototype, marshaled between a pair of TGV power cars from POS trainset 4402.

    “POS” stands for Paris-Ostfrankreich-Süddeutschland (German for Paris, Eastern France, Southern Germany).

    Between 15 January 2007 and 15 April 2007, the V150 train traveled at 500 km/h and above for a cumulative distance of 728 km(452.36 miles). For each high-speed run, another TGV performed a sweep of the track before the V150 train was cleared to start. This sweep was performed at a sustained 380 kph(236.12mph), incidentally the peak speed reached in the record of 1981, with TGV POS trainset 4404 in a standard 8-car configuration. The acceleration of the V150 train took place over a distance of 70 km(43.49 miles). During certain runs, including the official record run, the V150 train was chased by an Aérospatiale Corvette airplane to provide data relay and uplink of live television images.(I read that the fastest Helicopter they had could only do 400kph/248.54 mph, not to shabby)

  4. jimsf
    Nov 20th, 2014 at 17:12
    #4

    maybe maglex would be best suited for something like an LAX LAUS connection that could get people from downtown to lax in a few minutes. I dont think it would be worth the cost anywhere else in california

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    I dont think it would be worth the cost anywhere else in california

    Then you must not like the CHSRA plan, because it has comparable cost.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB’s Tehachapi crossing will be so spendy that maglev probably is comparable in cost.

    But I see Pena Nieto and Jerry Brown as soul brothers when it comes to smarts about hsr. Hopeless. The peons are going to get screwed. Que sera, sera.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Have Ratched wind the tinfoil looser next time.

    jimsf Reply:

    the cost to build maglev in california would far exceed the cost of hsr and it would be less effective

    synonymouse Reply:

    OAC cable car. And no Amalgamated.

    Joey Reply:

    The best option for a LAUS-LAX link is conventional rail which can host HSR trainsets.

    jimsf Reply:

    true since high speeds are not really needed – if you have a regular train at standard speeds with no stops and no delays you can cover the distance in a reasonable time.

    Maybe LAMetro could run some express light rail trains along that new line to the airport

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    except for those pesky pesky local trains clogging up the tracks.

    Donk Reply:

    I am all for a direct LAX-LAUS train, but this will never happen. Only way the locals will allow it is if it serves their neighborhoods with local stops. The best we can hope for is a limited stop train along the Harbor Subdivision, with stops at LAUS, Blue Line, Harbor Freeway, Inglewood, and then merging with the Crenshaw Line. It would probably end up being light rail.

    jimsf Reply:

    There needs to be an lax connection to long beach area too.

    jimsf Reply:

    one that doesnt take forever

    jimsf Reply:

    they should continue the green line south from redondo to long beach

    Donk Reply:

    The South Bay Green Line extension might reach the Galleria Mall by 2030, Torrance by 2050, and Long Beach by 2100. And it will be light rail, so it will take forever.

    I am more interested in the Green Line-Metrolink/HSR connection at Norwalk. This is the biggest missing link the system after they get started on the 405 line from the Valley to Westwood to LAX.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Then serve it with both local and limited-stop trains, with timed overtakes. Instead of copying the Chuo Shinkansen, copy the Chuo Rapid Line.

    Joey Reply:

    The line might be short enough that overtakes wouldn’t be necessary, though it depends on the exact combination of frequencies and number of stops.

    Donk Reply:

    Metro isn’t capable of running trains with timed overtakes. It can barely handle having two lines merge together.

    They tried express service on the Pasadena Gold Line for a while, but canceled it. Since they didn’t have any overtakes, all it did was reduce headways. They really need overtakes on the Blue Line

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Then maybe they should fix that inability first and build new lines later. Sheesh.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    This is the biggest weakness in Light rail throughout California. BART meanwhile could double track but it would be pricey.

    EJ Reply:

    The best option for LAUS – LAX connections is the current Flyaway bus. Clean, comfortable, non-stop; uses HOV lanes in order to not get bogged down in traffic. It works great.

    jimsf Reply:

    yes the flyaway bus works very well actually

    EJ Reply:

    I don’t understand the obsession in some quarters with an express rail connection between LAUS and LAX when the flyaway bus is perfectly good. It would be nice, but IMHO there are probably at least 20 higher priority rail projects in LA. I mean, once you’ve built rail in the 405 corridor, converted the Orange line to light rail or subway, built the subway to the sea, finished the crenshaw corridor, extended the green line to Long Beach, extended the green line to Norwalk, figured out the long term future of metrolink, etc, etc, etc, then maybe it’s worth talking about express rail between DTLA and LAX.

    Joey Reply:

    It would be nice, but IMHO there are probably at least 20 higher priority rail projects in LA.

    I never said It should be a priority, only that if it is built, it should be conventional rail rather than maglev.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Agree about Flyaway bus except it would be great to have some kind of priority lane from the N end of the 110 carpool lane into LAUS. The bus experiences considerable delays during rush hour. An increased frequency would also help. It would be interesting to find out what the is the cost of operation, and the farebox recovery. So far I have only found the total cost of all the Flyaway routes. Anyone have the answer??

    Howard Reply:

    I think the only place Maglev will make sense in long non stop routes where the only competition is air. Example include:
    Denver to Salt Lake City (through Wyoming)
    Las Vegas to Salt Lake City
    Denver to Kansas City
    Salt Lake City to Sacramento
    These would also be the last high speed rail lines built.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not enough population motivated to take a train. The market is SF-LA.

    And Fresno? What a joke. My wife drives there all the time and she would never take a train. Fuggedaboutit. She wants her car here and there. The Valley is car-centric. Why fight it? Get this thing back to the sensible express route and save billions now and later on.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not enough population. Being generous there are 11 million people in Nevada Utah and Colorado. It’s over 500 miles from Denver to Salt Lake City and over 400 between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. 750 from Las Vegas to Denver. Salt Lake City is 150 miles away from that route. Just not enough people to be building more than what they already have for intercity travel.

    StevieB Reply:

    If the goal is to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability then Fresno and stations other than the endpoints is a necessity. An express route between the endpoints only benefits the corporation who purchases the concession to run trains to the detriment of millions and millions of Californians who would not be provided access to a station.

    Jerry Reply:

    syno
    Your wife may want, “her car here and there”, but some people may prefer having their bicycles here and there. Or having a ZipCar there.
    Or as it recognized, the Millennials are less likely to buy cars. So computer tech startups like ‘Getaround’, appeal to the younger consumers who will be part of the car-sharing market.
    In the future, No Need to Have Your Car Here and There. Anywhere.
    PS Fiat offers $1,000 off new cars to buyers who rent them out on GetAround.

    Jerry Reply:

    The new Ford Motor Company Super Cruiser is now available at your Pedego dealer.
    The E-Bike market now has a Ford brand name on it. Over 30 million electric bikes were sold worldwide in 2011.
    Erica Klampfl, Ford’s Future Mobility manager, said, “We can no longer just think about being an automotive product company.”

    datacruncher Reply:

    The younger generations (I admit to being a boomer) look for things like Uber and Lyft, both of which are available in Fresno. They would not look at things the same way as your wife. I’d rather use a taxi or transit myself instead of Uber/Lyft but that is probably being more comfortable with traditional modes.

    Fresno was ranked earlier this month as #1 in California and #3 in the US “on the regulatory environment surrounding car services, from taxis to limos to transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.” The rankings were done by the R Street Institute which refers to itself as being on the political right.
    http://www.ridescore.org/
    http://www.rstreet.org/about/why-r-street/

    Jerry Reply:

    And Las Vegas was last.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Hi. Millennial here. I know of exactly one instance in which a family member or close friend of mine rode Uber (there are probably more, I just don’t know them), and that was for moving; public transit is far more popular. Uber is mainly competing with taxis on price.

    Emily Reply:

    And Fresno? What a joke. My wife drives there all the time and she would never take a train.

    Well, that settles it. If Mrs. Synonymouse doesn’t want to take the train to Fresno, there should be no train to Fresno.

    synonymouse Reply:

    None of my kids would take it. Or my friends. I don’t know anybody that would.

    Please describe to us your demographic of the mobs that will crowd Mojave-Palmdalebahn. Who they are; how many of them there will be and how much money they have to spend. Go into some detail why they would eschew the use of their autos.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And why they would turn down faster and/or cheaper plane or bus alternatives.

    Joe Reply:

    I’m comforted to know we’ll not encounter your kind on HSR.

    Do you resupply the family compound by shopping excursions or are supplies shipped by truck to the gate?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not everybody wants to be friends with bitter old men who think everybody is like him.

    les Reply:

    isn’t the valley a top 5 amtrak route. people like trains in the valley. why this won’t translate to faster rail is beyond me.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    isn’t the valley a top 5 amtrak route.

    Special Olympics!

  5. Donk
    Nov 20th, 2014 at 20:51
    #5

    Why is Japan bothering with Maglev? Is it because they need to prove that they are better than the Chinese? All this will accomplish is that it will get more clueless people foaming about maglev.

    swing hanger Reply:

    JR Central is building the line on their own dime as a relief line to the at-capacity Tokaido Shinkansen- which has a train every three minutes during the rush hours (i.e. like a subway, but at high speed rail speeds). The primary target customers for the new line are business travelers going between Tokyo and Nagoya/Osaka, not intermediate destinations.

    Donk Reply:

    So you are saying that they actually plan to use maglev for its intended purpose, i.e. to travel long distances without stopping?

    Still seems like just building a parallel conventional track makes more sense. But then what the hell do I know about the Japanese rail network.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Guess what, yes.

    The first segment (Tokyo – Nagoya) is supposed to have intermediate stops (politicians still have influence, and therefore, there will be one stop in each prefecture passed… It looks, however, as there will be Express (non-stop) trains between Tokyo and Nagoya, making it in 40 minutes.

    The extension to Osaka is, however, not yet fully settled as JR Central wants to stop in Nara, but Kyoto is trying to persuade them for a detour serving their area.

    Triple- or quadruple-tracking the existing line would probably be even more expensive. And, besides, one of the arguments for a different line is to have a backup (of some kind) in case of a severe earthquake.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    For what it’s worth, in both Japan and France, building HSR was touted as the alternative to quadruple-tracking the legacy line.

    Zorro Reply:

    Here HSR is the alternative to expanding or building new Freeways, the population is going up according to the Census, like to 65 million, CA is already at 38 million now, freeways just can’t cut the demand anymore… The French and Japanese have their reasons, in CA we have a similar reason…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Zorro, they are going to build the freeways anyway; and PB-Tutor will be swilling at that trough.

    BART is the classic example – it is the friend of the auto, the freeway and the airport. BART charges for the blinking parking and has no use for surface transit. BART is the enemy of surface transitops like AC and Muni and steals their lunch money.

    les Reply:

    3 lane each way and not 4 though

    Zorro Reply:

    No one is going to build a freeway going north and south, dotted lines(Proposed Routes) have been on the map for decades, show Me a link when they break ground, then I’ll believe one is being built, until then, talk is cheap and so are You.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Show me the money accruing from your bodacious detour thru Palmdale and Mojave.

    Half empty trains rattling by the Loop – unless tickets are free.

    les Reply:

    dude, build it and they will come! you and Jeff Denham will be the first in line like giddy teenagers waiting for a Michael Jackson concert.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @syn Do you really think that most passengers care that HSR is “detouring” through Palmdale? All they care about is “3 hours to LA sounds okay”. And someone who says “3 hours is too long” is going to fly anyway (they’d probably think 2 hours is too long too). Fifteen extra minutes (8%) isn’t going to be a deciding factor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course they would and will. Just as they would with a flight from SF to LA scheduled to stop in Fresno on the way. The public has no idea this thing has been shifted way to the east in the wrong direction. Unless you want to proceed to Barstow and Flagstaff from Mojave.

    It is a a bomb guaranteed. SF to LA will still fly or drive. PalmdaleRail is like 20 botched Bay Bridges but does not enjoy anything remotely like the Bay Bridge monopoly. Who cares so long as the checks keep getting cut to PB and Tutor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But I do appreciate your honesty about 3 hours and not the 2:40 nonsense that Brown and Richards are peddling.

    Musk is wrong; killer robots could have a use, I guess, if they wipe out the crooked, lying politicians first off. But some one would have to re-wire their terminator priorities because the military would put instead dissident civilians and critics at the top of their hit list. The elite and the one percenters would like that so I am at a loss why Musk is upset. In a world this corrupt killer bots are an inevitability. To ensure “progress” and “smart growth”. No more need for elections and propaganda. Better than jedi mind tricks.

    les Reply:

    3 hr ride for something that does get built or 2 hour ride for vaporware. “The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 21-16, just one vote shy of defeat.” Back to carriages and horses is best I guess.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @syn “The public has no idea this thing has been shifted way to the east”, and yet you argue that said shift will cause them not to take the train. You can’t have it both ways. Either the public knows or they don’t. And arguing that a direct flight via Fresno is equivalent is complete hogwash! How can a 15 minute detour == at least 40 minutes for landing and takeoff.

    SF to LA will take it whether it goes through Palmdale or over Tejon. The passengers don’t really care. How can you possibly argue that Tejon would be the deciding factor?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Tejon, I-5, Altamont express would cut off a half hour and be reasonably competitive with air. This can be accomplished with service still to Bako and Fresno via spurs.

    The best alternative over both the short and long run. It saves money in construction and operation. SNCF was correct.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It wouldn’t cut off a half hour. Even with an extra half hour it’s faster than flying. It doesn’t have to be fast as possible. Just faster than the competition.

    les Reply:

    spur to bako, spur to fresno, spur to modesto, spur to stockton, spur to sacramento. here a spur there a spur everywhere a spur spur.

    Regarding optimal distance for HSR: “Distance between city pairs, confined to distances
    between 100-500 miles…….250 miles receives the highest value”
    all the below populations centers fall in this category in a multitude of segments hence there will be high volume between all generated city pairs let alone their connections to the larger cities. For instance Bakersfield/SF is 283 miles, fresno/LA 219, LA/LV 270

    Stockton pop: 298,118 (2013)
    Modesto 204,933 (2013)
    Fresno 509,924 (2013)
    Bako 363,630 (2013)
    Sacremento 479,686 (2013)
    las vegas 603,488 (2013)
    palmdale/victorville 278,261 (2013)

    Value increases immensely when you consider the distance of valley cities to: (Oakland 400,000/SF 837,000/SJ 998,000/LA 3.8mil)

    joe Reply:

    CAHSR hub in Sacramento, Capital City, with spurs to all other CA cites. FedEx model. Also Altamont.

    Howard Reply:

    When thinking about where to locate high speed rail stations only the future Metropolitan area matters. The current population of the city the station will be in is completely irrelevant. Future county population is a good indicator. High speed rail stations are like airports. Do people only from the City of Sacramento use the Sacramento Airport (owned and operated by Sacramento County)? No! People from all of Sacramento suburbs use it to. It is used by the entire six county region (SACOG)! What the current population does not matter because the high speed rail station will not open tomorrow. No one expects full potential ridership until at least five years after the station open. Skeptical people need to hear from there friends how great it is before they try it. So look only at the projected population five to ten years after opening of the station (not just ISO but full Phase 1 or 2). Below is a list of year 2035 Central Valley Metropolitan populations (Phase 1 opens 2029).
    Sacramento – 3,065,000
    Fresno/Madera – 1,580,000
    Bakersfield – 1,485,000
    Stockton – 1,111,000
    Modesto – 715,000
    Merced – 402,000
    Hanford/Visalia – 902,000
    I included Phase 2 station areas in the year 2035 just for comparison. Higher year 2040 or 2050 population projections should be used for those stations because Phase 2 will not be built until after 2030.

    les Reply:

    point being, every one of the pair’s distances result in greater distances if put as spurs as oppose to being along the backbone.

    les Reply:

    i’m almost willing to wager that trips from valley cities to/from LA and SF and within themselves will provide as many or more riders as a LA to SF would. 400 miles is near the 500 mile “not interested threashold”, ie, do i really want to do that long trip, or maybe i should fly, or lets just stay home this christmas.

    John Bacon Reply:

    The greatest potential for a viable IOS is probably a convenient CHSR connection between the San Joaquin Valley with the San Jose and SFO international airports. Airline passengers’ desire to avoid the extraordinary high costs and delays incurred by arriving late to catch a flight could be met with highly reliable CHSR runs not effected by heavy traffic, fog, or rain. Shifting the present Caltrain Santa Clara right-of-way to a subway station directly below the San Jose Airport passenger terminal and splitting CHSR local through the Central Valley runs at Millbrae would enable CHSR one-seat-rides to both the SF and SJ airport terminals.

    joe Reply:

    Disembark HSR at SanJose and take BART to Oakland Airport. Oakland Airport now has the BART connector which is a 9 minute trip to OAK from BART’s Oakland Coliseum Station with 5 minute train frequency.

    John Bacon Reply:

    @ Joe: The best way to effectively compete in a highly competitive travel market; automobiles and freeways are not going away for a long time; is to develop a public transport system designed to directly address travel market segments where a cost-effective system can provide an extremely fast and convenient service. One flight of stairs between a train-seat and the center of San Jose’s main airport terminal would be quite attractive for a business rider determined to be on-time for a flight home after a full day of work in Silicon Valley. Alternatively the Pacheco Pass-CHSR transfer to BART at the currently proposed San Jose BART/Caltrain Station would require a 50 minute ride with a 15 minute headway on BART to the start of the Oakland/Coliseum to Oakland Airport passenger Terminal Shuttle or 40 minutes with a 10 minute headway if BART were to be operated as swiftly as was the case during 1972.

    joe Reply:

    I’m all for easy access. Just consider HSR also allows airline/airport competition. All flights are not equal. Oakland offers additional choices and more access to lower cost airlines like SW.

    A SF bound traveller isn’t that disadvantaged by using OAK / BART.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    i’m almost willing to wager that trips from valley cities to/from LA and SF and within themselves will provide as many or more riders as a LA to SF would.

    Sure, “les”,

    I’ll wager my entire lifetime net worth (plenty of trailing zeroes) against whatever yours is.

    Are you feeling lucky?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Les: actually, no, the projected 2:40 (or the more likely 3:15) trip time between LA and SF is perfectly sufficient for rail to obtain a large majority of the air/rail market and a majority of the total travel market. It’s the shorter distances of Fresno-LA and Fresno-SF that are more problematic, because there rail is less competitive with cars.

    At distances up to about 700 km, i.e. Paris-Marseille or LA-SF, intercity HSR ridership does not depend on distance. The lower volume of trips and the competition with air at the high end of the range balance out the competition with cars at shorter distances. (This is based on comparing travel volumes for a small set of city pairs in Japan, France, and Spain, since I couldn’t find larger data sources.)

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I’m curious how much money UC plans to generate out of its tuition hike and how it compares with the HSR price tag.

    joe Reply:

    Why float failed GOP talking point; pitting eduction against HSR?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Because UC is raising tuition, and Robert, who thinks of California’s government as progressive, has no better reply than “Jerry Brown opposes this” (which of course means UC will not raise tuition at all and will if anything cut tuition, right?).

    synonymouse Reply:

    Brown is a poseur.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No, he’s not. He’s an American center-left politician who has certain priorities, in line with those of the party. It just so happens the party’s priorities do not match the social democratic rhetoric of certain quarters of it regarding health care (4 years of full Democratic control in California and still no universal health care), education (tuition keeps rising), and the environment (the cap-and-trade carbon cost is very low). And I’m deliberately picking topics on which the Democratic base, as well as social democratic parties in multiparty European systems, is relatively unified.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Robert wants free tuition using modern monetary theory.

    The real subplot is that local governments are waiting to see if the State will bail out the UC’s separate pension fund. The public safety unions apparently know Napolitano was US Attorney and state attorney general in her former life.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, I know what Robert wants. And yet when the state moves in the exact opposite direction, he says “Brown opposes this” as if Jerry Brown is some powerless activist writing articles on Guillotine.

    EJ Reply:

    They’ve been researching the technology since 1962, before the first Shinkansen even opened for business. I doubt China entered into the calculation much. If anything it may be to demonstrate that 50 years of R&D wasn’t in vain.

    Eric Reply:

    consider also that China’s maglev is a German product as well.

    Wells Reply:

    What donk said, “It will only get more people foaming about maglev,” is spot on. Consider the way ‘commute systems’ create more demand for commuting than they can handle. Those here who like to call BART a commuter system aren’t using their own personal thinking system.

  6. Joey
    Nov 22nd, 2014 at 01:24
    #6

    O/T SBB gets free trains in exchange for delivery delays. What do we get when our contractors don’t meet deadlines?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    That depends on the contracts. In the case described here, the delay is already 3 years; some caused by the manufacturer, some by the customer (changes in design after order, to some extent imposed by some obscure “disabilities support group”).

    The delivery of three additional trains is apparently the result of negotiations to get things done. Keep in mind that the customer wants/needs good trains, and it is not the goal to prove who is right and who is wrong.

    The result is now that the first two trains are soon available for testing, and if SBB accepts the quality by mid next year (or so), Bombardier will increase the production rate, so that the final delivery will be according to the schedule (and to compensate for the penalty, produce three additional train sets).

    BTW, this is not the first time that SBB gets an additional train set; Siemens had considerable delays with the DTZ (bi-level EMU) for the S-Bahn Zürich, and instead of a cash penalty, they delivered an extra train.

    So, as said, it is all a question of contract and negotiations…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No, no, no Max. Everything in Europe is off-the-shelf and it’s like surfing through an Eddie Bauer catalog. Ya just order some trains and they get delivered via DHL overnight.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Not quite, adirondacker12800. The trains deliver DHL overnight (multi-purpose trains).

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    What do we get when our contractors don’t meet deadlines?

    Hardly a hypothetical question.

    The historically proven answer is “hugely larger contracts, awarded without any whiff of competition.”.

    Just ask PBQD!

  7. Keith Saggers
    Nov 22nd, 2014 at 10:29
    #7

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/infrastructure/single-view/view/chinese-sign-us12bn-contract-to-build-nigerian-coastal-railway.html

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    keith-saggers-posts-link-to-irrelevant-foreign-rail-infrastructure-news

    Useless Reply:

    Chinese began testing of its first 250 km/hr train with a locally developed electric drive. Until now, all Chinese train sets above 200 km/hr depended on foreign electric drives. 250 km/hr is where Chinese technology is really at in 2014. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/893666.shtml

  8. joe
    Nov 22nd, 2014 at 16:31
    #8

    BART’s Oakland Airport shuttle gets rave reviews
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-airport-shuttle-gets-rave-reviews-5911538.php
    “It was great, it was wonderful, it was easy, quick and cheap,” said Susan Krones, a Lake County prosecutor who took the eight-minute ride to the terminal while headed for a flight to a conference in Anaheim. “I was going to have to pay for parking, I found out it opened today, and it worked out perfectly.”

    “All I can say is awesome,” said Stacey Cook of Dallas, who flew to San Francisco for a family gathering earlier and used the train to meet up with her sister, who was arriving at Oakland. “This saves our family time, effort and money.”

    Robin Lee of San Francisco agreed. “It was so easy and fast,” she said, comparing the service to the old shuttle. “It’s easier, there’s no traffic, it wasn’t crowded and I got here in less than 10 minutes. It was faster than the bus, which is crowded. There’s always a line.”

    Joey Reply:

    Too bad it cost so much to construct.

    And what did the final fare end up at? $6? Maybe a little on the expensive side but not out of line with other airport surcharges.

    joe Reply:

    Analysis and the models dicated 6 fare would maximize revenue.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Nope. Shutting OAC down and replacing with bus service would maximize revenue.

    joe Reply:

    Oh how clever. And of course shutting down the bus service would maximize revenue.

    Given they have a fast, convenient system in place, the are should foster public transit to from OAK.

    They’ll lose some riders with the $6 fare but make up in higher revenue per rider. I would prefer a fare that increases ridership and also generates revenue which would be the $3-$4 fare BART considered.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Go Amalgamated.

    joe Reply:

    You need a sandwich board and picket the BART extension:

    “It was great, it was wonderful, it was easy, quick and cheap,” said Susan Krones, a Lake County prosecutor who took the eight-minute ride to the terminal while headed for a flight to a conference in Anaheim. “I was going to have to pay for parking, I found out it opened today, and it worked out perfectly.”

    “All I can say is awesome,” said Stacey Cook of Dallas, who flew to San Francisco for a family gathering earlier and used the train to meet up with her sister, who was arriving at Oakland. “This saves our family time, effort and money.”

    Robin Lee of San Francisco agreed. “It was so easy and fast,” she said, comparing the service to the old shuttle. “It’s easier, there’s no traffic, it wasn’t crowded and I got here in less than 10 minutes. It was faster than the bus, which is crowded. There’s always a line.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    Amalgamated loves it.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    And of course shutting down the bus service would maximize revenue.

    Wrong again. The bus service generally didn’t require operational subsidies; in some years it was profitable.

    joe Reply:

    Oh no.

    Nice hand grenade. Throw it out there and see what happens. “generally” and “some years”.

    The AirBART bus didn’t run a profit. It required a subsidy and was crowded. You want to maximize something then maximize it.

    Winston Reply:

    The Air BART bus was roughly a break even proposition. Some years it required a small (~10% of operating costs) subsidy, others it made a small profit. Had fares been raised with inflation, it would have been profitable the whole time. But the Port’s objective wasn’t to maximize the bus’ profit, it was to maximize airport usage.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    And BART’s goal was to ensure it takes as much time or money to reach SFO or OAK from Embarcadero…

    Edward Reply:

    For all you penny pinchers:

    http://www.actransit.org/faq/which-ac-transit-bus-can-i-take-to-get-to-oakland-international-airport/

    And the 805, part of the Bay Area late night service, gets you there when BART isn’t running.

  9. Jon
    Nov 22nd, 2014 at 20:40
    #9

    This is how SFO should have been connected to the BART, with the Airtrain crossing 101 to a BART/Caltrain station directly opposite. Good that they learned their lesson from that debacle; pity that the optimal solution was in place at an airport with less than a quarter of the passengers of the airport with the botched connection.

  10. James M in Irvine, CA
    Nov 23rd, 2014 at 19:58
    #10

    Is the clip at the beginning of this thread just an image? When i click on it I get a “VIDEO REMOVED BY USER” notice. Any other links, I did not find one searching at Youtube.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    Jerry Reply:

    In Japan, members of the public were able to take a 27 mile trip on their new maglev train which reached a speed of 501 kmph.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/First-passengers-on-Japanese-maglev-train-travel-at-speeds-of-500kmph/articleshow/45168120.cms
    The USA media does not care to report on these sort of public transportation items.

    Jerry Reply:

    James M
    Scroll down for the video in the above reference.

    Jerry Reply:

    James M
    You may also be interested in a much faster maglev experimental train in China.
    A Chinese professor has built a scale model of a SUPER Mag Lev Train which eliminates aerodynamic drag by operating in a vacuum tube with proposed speeds up to 1,800 mph.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2622516/Forget-high-speed-rail-future-train-travel-SUPER-MAGLEV-says-China-one-day-1-800MPH.html

    Eric Reply:

    ETT is literally, a pipe dream.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Every time you link to the Daily Mail, a kitten is run over by a UKIP-voting driver who thinks the EU is making England wage war on the motorist.

  11. Ted Judah
    Nov 24th, 2014 at 01:05
    #11

    Listening to KQED in my car earlier this evening running errands I heard them ask New Assemblywoman Cathy Baler if she was pro HSR and she said “hell no”….

    Kind of surprised me as Sbranti probably never knew this.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Excuse me Cathy Baker. Siri grievously regrets the error.

    Zorro Reply:

    Not surprising really, She’s a ‘bagger’, who wants smaller government, that She’d like to drown in a bathtub(now where have I heard that before…), hates taxes(taxes are not theft, Congress has constitutional power to lay and collect taxes, as does the state of California), under Gov Brown the state has a surplus, spending is not out of control. HSR will be built.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    She won’t get re-elected. Her victory in 2014 was a fluke.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah but I was kind of surprised that with the Legislature no longer a 2/3 majority, she would burn that bridge with Brown so fast. Her district has always been the part of the Bay Area with highest GOP registration since at least the 90s.

    Her strategy also seemed to be caving on social issues but staying fiscally conservative.

  12. synonymouse
    Nov 24th, 2014 at 09:52
    #12

    http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francisco-are-bart-employees-overpaid

    Michael Reply:

    Yelp. Yes, that’s where I go for solid analysis. Here are some five-star reviews for Olive Garden…

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/olive-garden-italian-restaurant-fremont-2?sort_by=rating_desc

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