December Was an Eventful Month for California HSR

Dec 29th, 2014 | Posted by

Some of the stories that broke over the last two weeks that I wasn’t able to write about:

• The California High Speed Rail Authority and the City of Bakersfield reached a settlement in Bakersfield’s lawsuit against the Authority. One of the key outcomes is that the CHSRA will study a completely new alignment in Bakersfield, shown in green on this map. It’s a diagonal alignment from northwest to southeast along the Union Pacific corridor and is projected to cause much less loss of housing and businesses. It would include a new station location well to the north of the current proposed site at the Bakersfield Amtrak station.

• I’ll write more about David Siders’ important story on cap-and-trade funding for HSR that appeared on Christmas. Today I just want to note that it includes this interesting item: apparently Mike Genest, head of the Department of Finance under Arnold Schwarzenegger, was dead set against HSR, but the Governator was insistent that the project go ahead. That would explain quite a lot of the politics around HSR in 2007-08, and during the Schwarzenegger Administration more broadly, when the Governor’s office appeared to have an inconsistent approach to the HSR project. This would also explain why Arnold included funding for new Amtrak California cars in 2006’s Prop 1B but the DOF refused to release that funding for several years, delaying the arrival of the new cars. I had numerous battles with Gov. Schwarzenegger, but it looks like we do owe him a greater debt than I expected when it comes to HSR, and for refusing to let the DOF kill the project. That said, Governor Jerry Brown has been far, far better for HSR than Arnold ever was.

• Ted Rall had a great op-ed in the Los Angeles Times saying that “we owe it to our grandchildren to get this right”, calling for a blended solution that would allow a single seat ride to LA Union Station and avoiding a forced transfer at Burbank, at least in the system’s initial years of operation.

• On the other hand, Tom Elias, who usually writes good columns on California politics, calls for HSR to bypass Fresno and use an I-5 alignment in the San Joaquin Valley. This zombie idea might finally die once steel is put in the ground next month, but its persistence shows just how many people still treat inland California as the Golden State’s own version of “flyover country.”

• Texas Central is still telling people that they can build HSR without government money, but others are skeptical, like Yonah Freemark:

“The biggest issues that will have to be confronted is that no high-speed rail system in the Western world has been built without significant government subsidies,” said Yonah Freemark, creator of the Transport Politic website, which examines transport infrastructure projects.

Getting a project built requires a long-term political commitment, Freemark added, which has been difficult to find in a bitterly partisan country. A previous high-speed rail plan in Texas died in the 1990s under what many saw as political pressure from a major airline.

What remains to be seen is whether the oil crash, which is about to hit Texas’s economy extremely hard, will have any impact on Texas Central’s plans.

OK, what else did I miss?

  1. Dennis Lytton
    Dec 29th, 2014 at 22:12
    #1

    Groundbreaking next Tuesday January 6th apparently. Time and location still not announced.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    My vote would be the bridge over the San Joaquin as a good metaphor for the beginning of the project. It also happens to be in Costa’s district I think…. Wouldn’t be surprised if Biden or Obama and other heavy hitters show up.

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    Fresno’s ABC30 reports that the groundbreaking appears to be the site of the recently demolished Del Monte plant on G St. between Tulare and Kern.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Here are the details.

    WHERE: Site of Future High-Speed Rail Station 1625 Tulare Street Fresno, California 93706

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/Updated_GB_Media__Advisory_123014.pdf

    It mentions there are also media tours of some of the building demolition sites, probably to give visuals of work being done.

  2. Donk
    Dec 29th, 2014 at 22:29
    #2

    George Skelton also had a positive article on HSR. That makes two positive HSR articles in the LA Times in one week – a record.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Right, I saw that one when I was in OC.

  3. john burrows
    Dec 29th, 2014 at 23:11
    #3

    Regarding cap-and-trade funding—

    In the California-Quebec November 2014 joint auction the California cap-and-trade program sold 31.3 million carbon allowances at about $12 per ton for a total of $376,000,000.

    In the California-Quebec joint auction now scheduled for Feb. 8, 2015, a total of just over 84 million carbon allowances will be offered for sale of which the California share is likely to be around 76 million. The big number difference is due to the addition of motor fuels in 2015. The reserve price for this auction is to be $12.10 per ton. If this auction sells out at or above the reserve price as the previous auctions have then the proceeds going to California would amount to around $920,000,000. High speed rail gets 25% or $230,000,000, and since there will be four auctions in 2015, the cap-and-trade proceeds going to California would be $230,000,000 multiplied by 4 or $920,000,000 assuming proceeds for the 4 quarters are roughly equal.

    If cap-and-trade proceeds can indeed supply close to $1 billion per year in funding to CAHSR, this would I think be good news.

    Observer Reply:

    That would be good news. And as David Siders’ good article in the Sacramento Bee pointed out – potentially interested parties called the availability of Cap&Trade funds a turning point, I can see why.

    If CP-4 comes in under estimate as 1-3 have, there may be enough funds left over for a CP-5. The fact that the City of Bakersfield and the CAHSRA came to a settlement on a route that may be less expensive would help too. Perhaps CP-5 could be the section through Bakersfield??

    Electrification of the CalTrain corridor is being planned. It appears now perhaps that the next section that they will be begin planning is going to be Palmdale to Burbank/LA. It will be awhile, but I am looking forward to a section where some serious engineering/design/construction will take place – tunnels/viaducts and like.

    Personally I am glad that Spanish and other experienced firms are on board now, and probably will be in the future; the same design/construction techniques that will be used on the more challenging sections were honed in Spain and in other parts of the worlds. Learning from their challenges will make dealing with our challenges that much easier. We are in a better position that cynics would lead you to believe.

    les Reply:

    CP-5 is track, electrification and etc for CP 1-4. CP-6 will be next section, most likely something between Bakersfield-Burbank? I’m guessing CP-4 & 5 will run less than 2B.
    CP-1 1B , CP-2,3 1.2B , CP-4&5 2B
    I can’t imagine they’ve spent over 1B on scoping, acquisition, legal, environment work, management contracts and etc. That’s 5.2B. Will have spent 3.2B fed grant, .3 C&T funds and 1.7 bond money for CP-1,5. Leaves 7.3 of Bond monies for 2015. 8.3 with C&T included. They got some serious funds to do some serious damage in 2015. Note disclaimer: I am not an official accountant for CHSR.

    Observer Reply:

    I am hoping that they can readily complete CP1-6 including electrification through Bakersfield. I am thinking that the Bakersfield section should not cost anymore than the 30 mile CP-1 section through Fresno, maybe a little less; and that they can make some sort of progress with the Palmdale – Burbank/LA section.

    I am guessing that Merced – San Jose, and Bakersfield – Palmdale are each about 100 miles (give or take)?? And Palmdale – Burbank about 50-60 miles??

    It will be fascinating to see what serious damage they could then do with any remaining funds, and with Cap&Trade funds; and if they will be able to leverage any private funds with Cap&Trade?? I think we all should understand by now why they began in the Central Valley.

    Observer Reply:

    Also, screw the I-5 alignment, and put a stake through it once and for all.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Elias article must be filler copy. I-5 really is a package deal with Tejon and Altamont. The only chance to sell it from the outset was to systematically optimize distance and travel times via a vis the Detour. I believe it could be brought up to a half hour for a mostly express.

    You’d thing Fresno and Bako were in another state in the Cheerleader’s mindset. They can be accessed via spurs and enjoy faster service to LA and SF.

    Sorry, Mr. Elsas, it is too late for CAHSR to be anything but a welfare-workfare boondoggle. A great feast for the Infrastructure Industrial Complex. But as I have said before future generations have not signed any loyalty oath to Jerry’s Crazy Train. Sooner or later the Beeching phenomenon will resurge and deal summarily with a system that is irrationally meandering, expensive to ride, and worn out. Think Amtrak.

    Or think BART without the San Francisco Financial District destination and its artificially created monopoly on bay crossings.

    And the mean streets of BART:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_27227293/richmond-three-severely-beaten-robberies-near-bart-station

    Geary gets to look forward to this with “BT”.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Geary gets to look forward to this with “BT”.”

    As if there aren’t muggings in the Richmond already.

    You make a lot of claims without any evidence, @Syn, which means it’s only your non-expert opinions.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Experts make up cover stories and get well paid for it.

    Brutalism begets brutalilty.

    Beautify ugly-ass BART. Paint the trains with images of flowers. Anything. Advertising.

    Free earplugs.

    les Reply:

    you brought this up just to egg syn on….never going to learn.

    Observer Reply:

    Another reason that we need to understand why Tehachapi/Palmdale was picked over Tejon/I-5 is to just look at a map of Los Angeles County. It is no secret that Los Angeles County needs more room – that is a future growth area; from their point of view, the Palmdale area would be their next logical growth area. Look at the two alignments: Tejon/I-5 runs along the western edge of their county, Tehachapi/Palmdale runs right up the middle of their county. From their point of view, they would naturally prefer Palmdale to accommodate their future growth area, something I-5 really could not do for them. Los Angeles County is the 800 pound gorilla in the room, what they want – they get.

    Observer Reply:

    Also, having a station in a future growth like Palmdale means higher ridership numbers in the long term.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Deficit bleeding regional commute, the proper responsibility of SoCal region.

    synonymouse Reply:

    LA needs to be smaller, not bigger. Ditto for California.

    Observer Reply:

    In that case, we can start sending people to Texas. We can send them our blue voters.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Californians have been relocating all over the place.

    With escalating taxes, nanny laws and and a constant influx of wealthy from all over the world snapping up real estate and driving up housing costs, they have to consider the option. With a one party patronage machine for a government it is just going to get worse. A zombie electorate that no doubt thinks JerryRail is going down the Grapevine.

    Unless you are a wunderkinder or have a lot of money to bring with you would do best to remain in the state where you are and forget about California. It was different 50 years ago. That option dried up.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Most Californians don’t even know where it’s going. which is why every month or so one wanders through and screams they didn’t know it was going to come up the Peninsula or go through Bakersfield. Or nobody told them nothing about nothing.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And I think you have got your latter-day colors mixed up. But I agree blue should represent the right and red the left, as it has traditionally.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Pity that your parents weren’t discouraged when they immigrated, even though the Californians living there at the time didn’t want anyone to move in.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Oh no, I came by myself. When I made my way downtown from SFO and arrived at Powell St. and saw the cable cars, I practically got down and kissed the sidewalk.

    So happy to be out of the old country where shortly before I had watched them cut down the trolley bus wires.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so it’s okay that you invaded California but not other people.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If I were younger and had more money and energy I could see relocating to Nevada, but all the kids are here and everything is familiar.

    Moving is for when you are young.

  4. Jerry
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 01:14
    #4

    “A previous high-speed rail plan in Texas died in the 1990s under what many saw as political pressure from a major airline.”
    OK, what “major airline”?
    I thought airlines wanted to drop short haul flights because there was not that much money/profit in them.

    Eric Reply:

    I think the airlines changed their stance in the last 20 years. Possibly in reaction to the rise in oil prices. Of course, now oil prices have fallen…

    Joe Reply:

    There are limited number of gates at airports which have not kept pace with air travel demand. SW can freeup a gate used for SJC/SFO to BUR for a more profitable SJC/SFO to MDW.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The reality Joe, is exactly the opposite. I did a study on this about ten years ago and came the exact opposite conclusion.

    In the pre-deregulation era, airlines built their own terminals and usedthem for however many flights they were allowed to fly. After deregulation, there was a desire to increase competition and “level the playing field” so Congress implemented a passenger facility charges (PFCs) that airports could use to build more gates and thus allow for more competition at big airports in the 90’s.

    The outcome, which I took as a larger guide to what the impact is of true deregulation in American markets, was that airlines deliberately hoarded gate space to make it very difficult for newcomers to challenge existing carriers. But moreover, rather than fight for a “level playing field”, Southwest’s strategy was always to convince local jurisdictions to convert Cold-War era air fields into “reliever airports” which would charge much lower landing fees and PFCs…

    However, it is true that Southwest wants to offer trips that are more lucrative than its bread and butter and would happily trade some capacity in California for something else. But that has more to do with the population being poorer than they were ten years ago and not having as much money to fly to Vegas. (If you doubt me, pull the FAA statistics and you will see how flights from Southern California to Vegas are waaay down from 2005-2006). Also, as labor and environmental costs increase, there’s only so much any airline can do to keep serving LA-SF….

    Jerry Reply:

    So how would that impact the Dallas to Houston airline v. train route?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s the biggest irony– Houston is a hub for United, Dallas is a hub for American. Even if you deal with any other obstacle, it’s like both airlines are going to kill the project until both of abandon Texas. (Remember, lower energy prices are about to hit the economy there…)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People aren’t going to br using the train to get from Chicago to Houston or Dallas to Atlanta. Or instead of the puddle jumper from from Abilene to the hub. Where they change planes to get to Chicago or Atlanta.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    There are no puddles between Abilene and either Dallas or Houston.

    (Sorry.)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s gotta be a Federally funded reservoir or two that they got people in the Midwest and Northeast to pay for.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The airlines may charter space on the trains instead of running their own puddle jumpers between Houston and Dallas…

    les Reply:

    Once SW became a national airline they felt they no longer needed Texas as a binky anymore.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[W]hat ‘major airline?'” That would be Southwest.

  5. les
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 03:23
    #5

    Texas continues to demonstrate their California envy. They’re shooting for 2021 opening date vs CHSR’s 2022 (assuming HSR). I don’t see either happening.

    http://www.topix.com/news/california-high-speed-rail/2014/12/long-delayed-u-s-high-speed-rail-plans-may-ride-on-texas-express

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Texas is going to get hit very hard by the oil crash. That may reduce ridership and revenue projections and make it more difficult for Texas Central to get private funding.

    les Reply:

    Yep, I think they are pretty naive myself. Europe has a station in every city well integrated and 90% of tracks are passenger tracks and easy to tie into, we have the opposite of here. I figured California would manage to stay under 20m Euro/k for construction on first leg. For Texas that comes to about 10B US. Include stations, the greater intrusion into denser urban areas than Modesto/Fresno provide, mitigation and environmental work I can easily see this ballooning to 12B. Good luck finding the cash. I don’t see the Japanese government doing so.

    Eric Reply:

    Texas has rail ROWs leading to each of its downtowns, like Europe. Europe has many more passenger ROWs than Texas, but they are too curvy to be useful for HSR, you have to build from scratch in either case.

    les Reply:

    yes, but the passenger track already exist in european cities. not so in Texas which only has freight track.
    They will need to build backbone at every step.

    les Reply:

    case in point, a new line for Poitiers-Limoges. Both towns have stations and plenty of points to connect on the city out-skirts. no need to do much work in city cores where the cost can be higher.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Kern County also is starting to take a hit from the oil price crash. One of the oil field services companies there filed a WARN notice with the California EDD. Ensign United States Drilling (part of Ensign Energy) told the state it plans on layoffs of 700 workers.
    http://sierra2thesea.net/business/big-layoffs-in-kern-oil-fields

  6. les
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 04:07
    #6

    Also some great news for the industry.

    “The U.S. Department of Transportation has provisionally approved $1.75 billion in private activity bonds for All Aboard Florida , an unprecedented amount and a move that reduces a major financial obstacle”

    http://www.topix.com/news/california-high-speed-rail/2014/12/florida-high-speed-rail-to-remain-privately-funded

  7. TomA
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 06:48
    #7

    TCR will be interesting. When it was burb to burb it was certainly possible that it might get built cheaply and in relatively quick time. But once you decide you are going downtown even in Texas, you end up with alot more issues and expense.

    That being said – Houston to Dallas is basically the ideal demonstration HSR project. Perfect distance. Two very large cities. Lots of existing travel between the two. Lots of open space between them, but a few potential intermediate stops. Relatively lax state government as far as NIMBYism being able to halt a project like this (particularly a private one). The only thing missing is good transit at the end of the lines. Perhaps having HSR will spur Dallas nad Houston to put more money into intracity rail.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many airports have failed because they lacked mass transit?

  8. Alan Kandel
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 10:46
    #8

    Regarding the proposed Bakersfield realignment, this would result in a somewhat shorter routing L.A. – S.F. meaning if in using the previous identified alignment express trains running the length of the corridor could do so in 2 hours, 40 minutes, by virtue of using the proposed new alignment, this would be even added assurance that this running time could be met, that is barring any other changes affecting running times one way or the other.

    Joey Reply:

    The new route isn’t that much shorter, certainly not enough to make much of a difference. More substantial time savings could be taken from the elimination of the 115 mph curve in downtown Bakersfield.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    If only somebody were to do some calculations instead of dream, speculate, and free associate.

    Oh hang on, somebody did: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2014/12/the-hyperloop-cant-be-built-between-sf-and-la/#comment-243472

    Mattie F. Reply:

    Thanks for the link.

    J. Wong Reply:

    So Clem figured the new alignment did eliminate the 115mph reverse curve and would be faster for a total savings of 2’20”.

    You know, I’ve been involved in a lot of (software) engineering projects and you can’t just tell them “do this, it’s best” you have to let them come to that conclusion themselves even if it’s always been obvious to you.

    Oh, well, that’s the way humans work.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Weren’t the original plans to use something parallel to the UP ROW? Then the city whined that they wanted on it the BNSF ROW? And then complained that the noisy electric trains would be too noisy next to the existing diesel freight. And using the BNSF ROW would mean three bungalows would have to be torn down? Then said nobody told them nothing about nothing?

    Joey Reply:

    The original plans were adjacent to UP all the way from Fresno to Bakersfield, then UP started whining and it was switched to BNSF.

    Donk Reply:

    Huh, so now it is going to go along UP? So they settled with Bakersfield, but what about UP? Have they agreed to anything?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Weren’t the original plans … Then said nobody told them nothing about nothing?

    No.

    UpstateNewYorkGeography™

    Lewellan Reply:

    Would you dorks please drop this 2hr 40min BS? I’m sick of it. Oh the LAW written in stone said it MUST be so! Voters approved getting some kind of passenger-rail project started. Fricking techofix weirdos here mentalmasterbating over getting from nowhereburg to nowheretown faster in the dark.

    Eric M Reply:

    No. Travel time is of the utmost importance when it comes to high speed rail, with regards to competing with of other modes of transport. Voters approved a high speed rail project in which trains top travel speed will be 220 mph (minimum) and have a travel time (express train) from SF-LA in two hours and forty minutes, which was written into law with the passage of Prop 1A. If you cant grasp that concept, you need move on.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It isn’t the “utmost importance”. Important, yes, but like anything not exclusively so. HSR is by definition “high-speed”. So will they make the 2hr40min? Given how it’s been going, I expect so. As for Prop 1A, we’ve seen that the courts recognize that it didn’t specify any enforcement mechanism. So even if HSR doesn’t exactly meet 2hr40min, it’ll be close enough.

    synonymouse Reply:

    To people who have veto power over route selection, say Michael Antonovich and Barry Zoeller, 2:40 is of zero importance.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Could we get a working hierarchy of all these shadow figures secretly controlling things behind the scenes? Would this be a fair representation:

    Borg Queen
    Barry Zoeller
    Bildabergs
    Antonovich
    Rothschilds
    Tom Steyer
    Feinstein

    Etc….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Senators who used their mind control powers to shutter trolley systems before they were born. Land owners who died 75 years ago using theirs. Undocumented no-shows, who if we all know about them are documented….

    synonymouse Reply:

    An undocumented no-show is you don’t have to call in sick or whatever and no excuse required.

    I guess HART would not have any of it. T.S., Amalgamated.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You wanna get paid for the day, whoever is doing payroll is gonna want to know why you are getting paid.

    synonymouse Reply:

    At Muni this knowledge is instinctive.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Un huh, the people in payroll know instinctively where everybody is and don’t need time records for the hourly employees. Whether that’s a time card or a swipe of an ID card or some other method for determining someone showed up for work and how many hours they worked.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You don’t take your bus or streetcar home with you. They are based in facilities with management responsible for timecards and payroll.

    Muni’s and BART’s militant union operators have a very high rate of absenteeism. HART plans to pass that mess up. But they should have gone with rubber tyre in all aerial system in a tourist destination to way reduce the noise.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If I don’t fill out my time card, however I do that, I don’t get paid. Unless my supervisor fills in whatever it is that gets recorded for sick time.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who do you think got Van Ark fired for suggesting revisiting Tejon was in order? The Tejon Ranch Co. has effective veto power over the mountain crossing route.

    Essentially Tejon is out of the picture because rich people do not want it. It will be interesting to see who are the richest people around the Sta. Clarita vicinity and who get the Crazy Train moved away from their duchy.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    For the last time– Van Ark was let go because he wouldn’t drop the idea Alstom had to use the i-5 alignment. At a certain point, Van Ark was so insistent I would bet others suspected there was some sort of quid pro quo, which earned him his walking papers. After all, I think the van Ark hire was more about convincing Asian investors there was a technical person in charge.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And now they have hacks from PG&E in charge.

    At the time of Van Ark’s departure there was no mention of Alstom. Besides the Tejon Ranch does not care about Alstom; they just don’t want any blighting train in their trendy “Village”.

    The wealthy are NIMBY, but anything is ok in downscale Palmdale. Wonder if they’ll ram the Crazy Train through Acton? Watching PB try to bullshit those richies will be the most fun. The lies will be coming as thick and fast as when they dismissed Tejon.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Honestly, your opinions tend to get less credible the further away from Rohnert Park you are talking about.

    Part of the issue with Tejon is the Kern Valley Water Bank. It’s an important underground reservoir for Los Angeles and if you put HSR there, and the development uses the water..LA has to get more storage from somewhere else. Palmdale poses the same problems, but it’s at a higher elevation which only can usurp water from the LA Aqueduct which is the smallest pool of water LA draws from…

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Tejon Ranch Co. is going to develop their barony no matter what over the course of decades. They have already started.

    And clearly they have a handle on Kern Co. and Bakersfield, not to mention Jerry Brown.

    HSR can be routed thru Tejon strictly express and a significant part in tunnel so as to not induce development. I-5 gives the Ranch ample access for their toney development for the highend. Palmdale is more isolated and the DogLeg and particularly the Antonovich Base Tunnel will enable very profitable sprawl there. Low-end appropriate to the heavy industrial installation the Ranch considers HSR.

    We’ll find out what is the poorest part of that Sta. Clarita crossing area because that is where the Crazy Train will be moved. Good for some laughs – those rich people won’t put up with PB’s disinformation.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You have got it backwards…Santa Clarita is going to milk CAHSRA for upgrades to Metrolink’s track as as soon as the dust settles. They aren’t throwing anyone a rope, while the Tejon Ranch developers keep only relying on 1990s vintage land use studies.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am in NorCal so no feet on the ground in Sta. Clarita but I have the distinct impression that the natives are genuinely restless thereabouts. The city fathers may have to keep quiet about Metrolink with the vast majority up in arms about the very idea of a train in their midst.

    Jerry Brown is clearly motivated to ram this thing thru at any cost on the backwoods route. Any other option appears to be absolutely off the table. I mean they did not even look at Tejon in truth. So if the residents along the route from Burbank to Palmdale rise up in protest he is going to be forced to mitigate the impact. That means tunnels. Long and expensive ones.

    Others, like say PAMPA, will take notice of the extraordinary largess of PB towards Sta. Clarita-land and demand equal treatment. Should be fun.

    Politicians generally don’t like to get into ugly and prolonged conflicts with organized neighborhoods. So this should be a real donnybrook. Hope that Sta. Clarita realizes they can throw down an embargo just as the Tejon Ranch Co. already has done successfully.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course if Sta. Clarita hates the Tejon option more than what PB is currently dropping on them they will be a disadvantage in negotiations.

    Otherwise they could say to PB if you won’t give us what we want go via Tejon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    at a disadvantage

    Joe Reply:

    There is possible court enforcement of a 2:40 travel time but not easily argued. Opponents have to show evidence the system under construction cannot, when completed, meet the 2:40 requirement in a demonstration test. If they have evidence, which must be in the official record, of a violation the court could issue an injunction. CAHSRA does not have to show it will meet 2:40, only evidence the system under construction can, to the degree it is possible with the current state of completion, support that travel time.

    Case law cited by plaintiffs lawyers( laurel and hardy) referred to a public project that was intentionally violating the bond act terms. There were emails showing an intent to not comply. That is a high bar for opponents.

    Jonathan Reply:

    SF-LA in 2:40 is hard to argue. But a challenge to the SF-SJ time is a slam dunk.

    CSHRA’s own simulations, *applying Prop 1A rules*, show that the legally-required *service time* is not going to be met. Even the independent peer review group agrees that actual *service time* will be about 40 minutes. And, duh, the prior drafts are in the public record, thanks to CARRD.

    the Authority has already conceded that the Caltrain ROW belongs to Caltrain, and HSR operates on that corridor under the auspices of Caltrain. Ergo the proviso in the document that Frank Vacca signed, stating that Caltrain will get the heck out of HSR’s way, no longer holds. So the Autnority’s overly-optimistic simluation results no longer hold. Any real trip time is going to be substantially longer.
    Clem has analyzed that thoroughly. Numbers don’t lie.

    Not only that, but the final CHSRA simulations assume a magic speed-restriction-lifting on the approach to San Jose. AKA, a viaduct. Are there environmental clearances in hand for such a viaduct? No. So. Go directly to jail, do not collect any Prop 1A money.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He thinks that 7 hours between SF and LA would generate as many passengers. And for some reason, an idiot going around the gates will cause mayhem if it’s an HSR train but be safe if it’s got a Caltrain logo on the side.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Dacker, I think a 5 hour LA-to-SF trip is possible with 125mph ‘dual mode’ trainsets. I believe that trip is more a luxury than a necessity. I believe the electricity would be more productive dedicated to metropolitan area light rail and electric bus systems. Speed is not first on my list of priorities. I have difficulty imagining 12 trains hourly at any speed anytime of day, how stations are designed for this capacity, etc. 4 trains hourly seems doable, and 125mph trainsets the suitable match. But you carry on pretending you know better.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California is special so things that have happened all over the world don’t apply?
    A five hour trip between SF and LA means people who don’t get a chill up their spine when they see a train will fly.

    Jonathan Reply:

    In Lewellan’s case, it’s more a question of:
    “people who get a chill up their spines when they see a Talgo”.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Cruickshank lists comic artist Ted Rall’s complaint about Burbank transfers. While I consider transfers an important consideration for any transit system, 220mph all-electric HSR necessitates transfers there and Bakersfield and Madera/Merced. I’ve always tried to promote the fair consideration of dual-mode technology which sacrifices speed for the flexibility of blended operation and a one-seat ride where appropriate. This perspective does not rule out total electrification and higher speed eventually. Those who can’t appreciate that perspective are responsible for obstructing progress.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    We tried that back in the 30s. By then lots of people owned cars and it wasn’t a big of a success as people were hoping it would be. Then almost everybody bought a car and the railroads that had been electrified went bankrupt.

    Alan Kandel Reply:

    I don’t see this issue going away any time soon, not as long as there remain pending lawsuits challenging such. But, I could be wrong.

    Joe Reply:

    The issue might not go away but the case is stacked against plaintiffs. The judge issued a ruling limiting evidence to the official record. No plantiff expert witnesses entering evidence. Basically plaintiffs need to find evidence the CAHSRA is knowingly not going to comply, or knows it cannot comply, with the 2:40 time.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I think the courts determined that there wasn’t any enforcement mechanism. They also aren’t going to listen to competing “experts” about it. Plus they won’t even want to hear it until there are facts, which means the trains are running at some non-stop schedule that isn’t 2’40”.

    Joe Reply:

    The ruling regarded Enforcement over the legislatures vote to proceed with a non compliant plan.

    The judge required the legislature to redo work which was unconstitutional. No enforcement over them for approving the project.

  9. leemell
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 11:43
    #9

    My letter to the LA Times published on 12/26. I am tired of politicians calling the initial segment the “train to nowhere”. I pointed out there were very good reasons to building it there and they are not political.

  10. Reality Check
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 21:10
    #10

    Rival China trainmakers merge to boost HSR push abroad

    China’s top two trainmakers said on Tuesday that they will merge, creating a $26 billion company able to compete with the likes of Germany’s Siemens and Canada’s Bombardier for global rail deals.

    […]

    Most recently, both firms have separately indicated their early interest in supplying trains to California‘s proposed $68 billion high-speed network.

    In October, China CNR won a $567 million contract to supply trains to Boston, the first win for a Chinese railway equipment maker in the U.S.

    Observer Reply:

    That would make them the only manufacturer with the ability to offer two trainsets. Ideally, any merger (done right) brings the opportunity to share technology, best practices, components, more flexibility.

    Eric M Reply:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if both of the companies, CNR & CSR, proposed to the CA HSRA that one will finance the construction from the IOS north to the bay area if half the train-sets are purchased from CNR. Then CSR will offer to finance from the IOS south to the LA basin, if the other half of the train-sets are purchased from them.

    Eric M Reply:

    I should have added: All to get a foothold inside the United States and drum up more business by locking out the competitors.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I could see that happen but with a different partnerships…Maybe Bombadier-Siemens, Kawasaki-Talgo, Alstom-Rotem.

    Of those, I would pick a Spanish-Japanese consortium as they would have the most applied institutional knowledge applicable to California, both because of climate and seismic issues.

    Observer Reply:

    Just a note on consolidations: Hitachi and a Chinese consortium were both looking to buy Ansaldo Breda. If the Chinese end up with Alsaldo Breda, Hitachi in turn is looking for other rail vehicle manufacturers to buy, notably Vosslah and CAF.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Bombardier and Siemens have been and are cooperating in Germany (in the form that one is subcontracting for the other).

    @Observer: Vossloh is on the market (or coming), indeed, but they have no high speed products (unless you count diesel locomotives doing 200 km/h as “high speed”). I don’t know whether CAF is on sale, but they don’t have any high speed products either.

    Among the Japanese manufacturers, it is only Hitachi which has (and had) interest in overseas markets. The others did not show much interest (as far as I know).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    CAF has the Oaris, no?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I stand corrected, yes, they have the Oaris. A 4-car prototype has been certified for the spanish network. So, not in commercial use, but their advertising animation is kind of “interesting”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rK97JitjrE

    Donk Reply:

    I just don’t see CAHSRA approving anything from China. Imagine the political backlash for a “high tech” project that is this prominent. Sorry, but people in this country just don’t want to have anything to do with Chinese technology, until that technology becomes a commodity. They certainly don’t want to have anything to do with Chinese technology when their lives are potentially at stake.

    observer Reply:

    The merged entity will be known as CRRC: China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation. Personally, I favor Siemens, I think they are the ones to beat; they would be a good sensible, safe choice. But they have got to be looking over their shoulder at CRRC now. I would not underestimate the Chinese.

    Pity that this country does not have the ability to offer high speed trains.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Well, with Siemens it is likely that you may get an extra train because of delay penalties… 

    Max Wyss Reply:

    When it comes to “fleet miles racked up”, CRRC has nevertheless the best records…

    synonymouse Reply:

    They would have to overturn a very low bid and come up with some excuse.

    JerryRail is beginning to look more and more like the Bayconic Bridge.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I could see it happen, but I think it would be a poor decision because any accident or problem would come right back to that decision even if it was a flaw that had nothing to do with the sourcing. General experience is that Chinese manufacturers are not as keen on quality as those in other places.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is totally in keeping with the pervasive mediocrity and misconception of the entire CAHSR scheme.

    The Mojave Detour paralleling the 1870 Loop Line cannot be repurposed to anything. Palmdale will get its exorbitant tunnel and Caltrain some money but that’s about it.

    They will need the money they save with Chinese trainsets to blow on the Antonovich Tunnel, especially if they find so much opposition from the wealthy of St. Clarita and environs they have to offer up a much longer tunnel. Talk about misappropriation of State monies.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Did you use a teletype machine to type that? HTML looks really ugly on a teletype, you are to be commended.

    The Chinese are quite capable of producing goods with excellent quality.

    https://www.apple.com/iphone/

    They give the customer what they want. If you want cheap shit poorly made, they’ll make poorly made cheap shit. If you want something well made and well designed they’ll build it. It costs more than the cheap shit.

    les Reply:

    I thought Foxconn does most of apple manufacturing (Taiwanease)

    les Reply:

    who probably manufactures them in Mexico

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s about the worst comparison you can draw. There is no inherent advantage to build high quality products in China that are subject to rigorous health or safety testing. iPhones don’t have this problem so it makes sense to produce them in China.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    They all laughed at Japanese products 20, 30, 40 years ago…

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    > They all laughed at Japanese products 20, 30, 40 years ago…

    Only people who really don’t understand either Japanese or Chinese culture would say that. Japan had a cultrue of quality for hundreds of years, where people were willing to pay top yen for the highest qualty swords, china(ceramics), and silk. China has no such culture of quality where cheap price rules, and those rich people who could afford quality prefer foreign brand goods over Chinese brand goods.

    joe Reply:

    Quality as in craftsmenship isn’t the same as manufacturing quality.

    Japanese post war adopted statistical approaches to manufacturing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming

    From June–August 1950, Deming trained hundreds of engineers, managers, and scholars in statistical process control (SPC) and concepts of quality. He also conducted at least one session for top management (including top Japanese industrialists of the likes of Akio Morita, the cofounder of Sony Corp.)[17] Deming’s message to Japan’s chief executives was that improving quality would reduce expenses while increasing productivity and market share.[4] Perhaps the best known of these management lectures was delivered at the Mt. Hakone Conference Center in August 1950.

    A number of Japanese manufacturers applied his techniques widely and experienced heretofore unheard-of levels of quality and productivity. The improved quality combined with the lowered cost created new international demand for Japanese products.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    That may be so; but Japanese products (e.g. cars) really were viewed as cheap and low-quality in the West until around the oil crisis. Ditto Korean products a generation later, if I’m not mistaken.

    Useless Reply:

    Alon Levy

    In China, Chinese auto brands are all but dead and foreign brands rule Chinese auto market with a 80% market share. Chinese consumers do not trust Chinese brands on products on which one’s life and health depends on, such as automobile, milk, baby formula, medicine, and cosmetics.

    Japanese automakers have 95% share of Japanese auto market. Korean automakers have 85% share of Korean auto market, even though European and American made vehicles(Which include Japanese brand cars made in the US and Canada) are imported tariff free thanks to FTAs. Chinese auto brands have a 20% market share of Chinese auto market, and their market shares keep shrinking each year as consumers who previously bought Chinese brand cars as their first purchases are ditching them in favor of foreign brand cars as their second purchases. As you can see, Chinese auto industry and market is evolving very differently from Japan and Korea before it, and China will never become an auto export power like Japan and Korea.

    Accordingly, a statement saying that China will follow footsteps of Japan and Korea in putting out quality product in the future is the dumbest thing one could say, because China is being China, with a culture very different from its neighbors.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Cars are Japan’s top export and one of South Korea’s top exports; it stands to reason they’d also be an important domestic industry. In Taiwan they aren’t – Taiwan exports other things, like electronics, and achieves comparable living standards to Japan and South Korea.

    Useless Reply:

    Anyhow, this is what happens when Warren Buffet invests in a Chinese automaker; he got blooded. Warren Buffet subscribed to that “Chinese will become auto manufacturing powers just like Japanese and Koreans before them” theory and invested hundreds of millions, only to find out that Chinese are not like Japanese and Koreans.

    $1bn blow for Buffet: Chinese car maker backed by mogul inexplicably loses 47% of its value
    Electric vehicle manufacturer saw $1.2bn wiped off its value

    A Chinese car manufacturer that billionaire Warren Buffet has a significant stake in suffered a mysterious plunge in share value.

    Shares in BYD Co Ltd posted their biggest-ever single-day drop in Hong Kong on Thursday, wiping $1.2 billion from the Chinese car maker’s market value and prompting it to hold emergency analyst calls.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2883461/1bn-blow-Buffet-Chinese-car-maker-backed-mogul-inexplicably-loses-47-value.html

    Max Wyss Reply:

    LOL.

    My late father-in-law was a very early Salaryman sent to the UK and the US to sell his company’s products (miniature ball bearings). From what he told me, in the UK, it was not that difficult to do business, but in the US, it was very tough to begin with, because of “Japanese equals cheap shit” prejudices. And the quality of their products was more than adequate (maybe not quite the level of RMB, but sufficiently close).

    Useless Reply:

    The iPhone makes a poor example of “Made In China”, as it is engineered entirely in the US, 90% of parts come from outside of China, and a Taiwanese firm assembles it in China using cheap Chinese labor.

    The best example of “Made In China” is Xiaomi, which has so so quality but is banned outside of China due to patent infringements including in India. The Chinese train models are almost certainly banned in the US because of IP rights issues. Unlike subway cars that CNR recently sold to Boston MBTA, there are no Chinese designed high speed trains, the fastest Chinese designed train to date is CRH6 with a top speed of 250 km/hr, but was not designed to comply with European crash standards much less the FRA one.

    Jonathan Reply:

    Technology from either company is almost certain to spur legal investigation by Alstom or Siemens (or both). The Chinese companies licensed technology from existing European designs, under the condition that they couldn’ export that techology. The Chinese companies claim to have “reverse engineered” all the technology, and thus claim they are no longer bound by that agreement. I can’t say whether Siemens or Alstom would decide to sue in a US coulrt, if CRRC wins a contract with CHSRA. But I wouldn’t rule i tout.

    This is a different situation than the partnership Alstom has with CNR: a joint-venture to build “mass transit” for China and “targeted export markets”. Same goes for Siemens’ joint-venture with CSR to make locomotives for Chinese domestic use and certain export markets.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Hence the reason Schwarzenegger could never seal the deal with the Chinese in 2010. Too many questions.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Ahem… where in China do you see Alstom-lookalike high speed trains?

    As stated, there are Joint Ventures for urban transit, but not for high speed (not even Pendolino).

    Useless Reply:

    No TGVs in China, but the CRH5 is an Alstom Pendolino.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Well, we can’t consider the Pendoliono high speed, as the fastest model I am aware of (ETR 610) is in the 249 km/h category.

    Also, all the non-japanese patents for tilting trains are in the hands of Alstom (via Fiat).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Does Bombardier not have any of its own?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    If so, then dormant ones originating back to ASEA / ABB (applied in the X-2000). ICE-T(D) is using Fiat (original Fiat); ICN is using Fiat (original SIG); BR 610/1/2 is using Fiat (original Fiat). That said, with the takeover of Fiat, Alstom got all the patents etc. originating from Fiat (electro-hydraulic system), and SIG (electromechanical system; originating from the cannon stabilizers for tanks).

    Jonathan Reply:

    Max,

    you’re quite right, the CSR offering to CSHRA is an E2 derivative. I was thinking of the CRH5.
    But that isn’t fast enough to count as HSR.

    Will Kawasaki have legal issues with China selling the E2 derivatlve? i dont recall the details of that deal.

    Useless Reply:

    Jonathan

    > Technology from either company is almost certain to spur legal investigation by Alstom or Siemens

    CSR’s model on offer is a sped up Kawasaki Shinkanse E2, nothing to do with Alstom. Unfortunately, this particular Kawasaki model did terribly at the Wenzhou crash.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Chinese will sue if their low bid is rejected. Not a pleasant prospect for the very politically correct party bosses. No more trips to China for Jerry.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    > The Chinese will sue if their low bid is rejected.

    That is if the Chinese can survive legal challenges on their offered models by Kawasaki and Siemens in the first place.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I assume any proprietary design theft charges would be in Federal court. But the trainset bid would involve a state contract, albeit with some federal money I should think.

    But ethnic politics are involved, all important for the party bosses. If the Chinese bid is rejected even tho much lower, Rose Pak et al will not be amused ergo Nancy Pelosi will not be amused. There a lot of Chinese voters in California.

    Everything about CAHSR is politics and money.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Besides do you think anybody with a pulse at Kawasaki and Siemens sold their stuff to China not knowing the tech would be surely poached?
    .

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    Siemens and Kawasaki were counting on US and European courts in ensuring that their licensed train designs would never show up in developed countries.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, and Stalin was counting on his pact with Hitler. uh huh

    And the voters were counting on the courts to enforce Prop 1a provisions of 2:40 and no subsidy. uh huh

    When in Rome. Don’t fake naivete. In the East any shit gets pirated. End of story.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    > Yeah, and Stalin was counting on his pact with Hitler. uh huh

    The US and EU courts are far more predictable when it comes to intellectual property lawsuits. It is not possible for CSR and CNR to get around Kawasaki and Siemens IPR.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    Maybe you are not thinking of the bad publicity that Chinese bids would generate from intellectual property theft lawsuits filed during bid evaluation process? From the same state that threatened to ban Alstom and the Japanese companies for their ties to WW2 atrocities?

    You think the Californian politics which demand twice the cage space for egg-laying hens than elsewhere in the US in the name of animal welfare would ignore intellectual property rights in order to save a few tens of million dollars, especially since the Sillicon Valley and Hollywood depends so much on intellectual property rights as bases of their existence?

    joe Reply:

    I would expect a US based manufacturer like CA’s Siemens would file a complaint with the ITC.
    http://www.usitc.gov/ and claim harm.

    Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Commission makes determinations in proceedings involving imports claimed to injure a domestic industry or violate U.S. intellectual property rights; provides independent tariff, trade and competitiveness-related analysis and in­formation; and maintains the U.S. tariff schedule.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sure. IBM allowed the PC to be reverse engineered. **** Apple.

    The Chinese should expect to have to bribe much better than the others to get the foot in the door. If their bid is rejected all that payola to the bosses will be cut off. No more invites for Jerry Brown to China. Pols love money.

    Besides California is corruption. 12.5 years for one half a Bay Bridge? JerryRail should be able to surpass that. So what if they get a latterday Chinese iteration of the Boeing Vertol but expected to go 4 times the speed? They are just going to sit around in storage; a few trucked around to PR op-eds; and a few rattling back and forth on their ARRA nowhere to nowhere.

    And what obtains if they indeed build their 3rd rate Mojave Detour traipsing after a 150 year old freight route because some rich people want it there and not next to them? After a month of novelty the trains will be mostly empty. Jerry does not care about this so why should he care if the Chinese submit the lowest bid(likely far lower)and get it?

    He is going to need the money to get thru his screwed up mountain crossing. The good people of Sta. Clarita have got to realize at some point(maybe that local Repub who entered a bill to kill CAHSR)they have got Jerry by the cojones. Jerry hates Tejon more than the Sta. Claristas so he cannot threaten them with that. If they organize, really unify, start marching, they can force PB to give them a huge tunnel. The Palmdale real estate developers(who are effectively running this thing) would love that as it would just increase the value of their tracts and ranchitos.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    > IBM allowed the PC to be reverse engineered.

    Very little part(BIOS) of IBM PC was of IBM intellectual property, the rest were off the shelf and any one could build legal PC compatibles as long as one could write compatible BIOS.

    The case was very different for Apple’s product, which had significant chunk of Apple code and this is why there were no successful unlicensed clones of Apple products ever.

    > The Chinese should expect to have to bribe much better than the others to get the foot in the door.

    And Chinese will learn that the US is nothing like China in terms of public official ethnics code.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Humble question: how much of medical equipment is “made in China”?

  11. Joe
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 22:01
    #11

    In California’s high-speed train efforts, worldwide manufacturers jockey for position
    TIM SHEEHAN
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/12/27/4303458/in-californias-high-speed-train.html

  12. datacruncher
    Dec 30th, 2014 at 22:09
    #12

    High speed rail groundbreaking set

    The official groundbreaking for the California High Speed Rail project is just one week away. The event in Fresno’s historic Chinatown district will mark the symbolic start to the nation’s largest construction project. California Governor Jerry Brown and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be among the dignitaries to launch the nearly $70 billion project.

    ***********************

    In addition to the initial construction Perea believes Fresno is on track to be selected as the site of the heavy maintenance facility for the project, and potentially the manufacturing center of a nationwide high speed rail system.

    “There is no doubt in my mind that it is ours to lose in terms of the maintenance facility,” said Perea. “We’ve done all the right things in the past five years to be awarded that contract. In 2015 we are very, very optimistic the authority will award it to Fresno County. We will transform the economy of this Valley.”

    http://abc30.com/news/high-speed-rail-groundbreaking-set/456330/

    joe Reply:

    Recall the Fresno County vote of no Confidence. Poochigian lead the way.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/welcome_page/?shf=/2014/07/29/4045777_fresno-county-supervisors-vote.html

    Supervisors Andreas Borgeas, Debbie Poochigian and Phil Larson supported Poochigian’s resolution to oppose California’s bullet-train plans. Supervisors Judy Case McNairy and Henry R. Perea voted against the motion.

    The action rescinds earlier county votes dating to at least 2009 to support high-speed rail, and asks that the state Legislature place the issue back on the ballot. California voters originally approved Proposition 1A, a $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure, in 2008.

    datacruncher Reply:

    There are not many HMF sites along the IOS south of Merced, are you saying you think it will go to Kern County? Or Kings County? Or Madera County? (Merced’s site is north of the city and would require additional track to use) Those counties have been in opposition even as some cities have been strong supporters.

    It looks like both Larson and McNairy are retired from the board as of Jan 5.
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/12/29/4306610/judy-case-mcnairy-and-phil-larson.html
    I don’t know how that changes the politics on that Board of Supervisors.

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    Recently in a radio interview, Judy Case’s hand picked County Supervisor replacement Buddy Mendez complained about Tim Sheehan’s Bee article re HSR train manufacturers jockeying for California as “fantasy”.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Interesting because I found an article that during the campaign Mendes said ““I’m against poor bond integrity. I’m not against high-speed rail. I’m against borrowing money with no clear vision on how you’re going to complete a project. There is not enough money to finish this project. We’re going to end up with what I call a monument to nowhere.”
    http://hanfordsentinel.com/kingsburg_recorder/news/county-supervisor-candidates-seek-th-district-seat/article_2091557d-3b40-5e49-ace2-a170bb95fd5e.html
    So maybe he tried to play to both sides to get elected.

    If I remember correctly, most of the Fresno HMF site was already either inside the Fresno City Limits or inside the Fresno City Sphere of Influence.

    Of course, as I said before which county gets the HMF. Kern? Kings? Fresno? If it is based on county-level opposition where has the most and least opposition been.

    joe Reply:

    I think Fresno’s got the best chance to land the facility. They have been the most reliable and cooperative CV County.

    Politically opponents are in a hard place. Debbie Poochigian had to push very hard to get the symbolic no vote passed. http://abc30.com/news/fresno-supervisors-reject-call-to-renounce-high-speed-rail/191129/

    July 14 she tried and failed but went on the record as opposing the project’s job creation without any counter evidence.

    Poochigian wanted her fellow board members to renounce their two year old declaration of support for the project and challenged the authorities’ claims about the number of jobs the project would create.

    “It talks about 160,000 construction related jobs, and 450,000 permanent jobs,” said Poochigian. “That’s not accurate.”

    Morales responded, “Why is that not accurate. It is accurate.”

    “You think it’s accurate?” Poochigian asked

    “Yes,” Morales responded.

    Supervisor Henry Perea then asked Poochigian, “What are your facts supervisor?”

    “450,000 permanent jobs,” said Poochigian. “You believe that’s accurate?”

    “Yes,” Morales responded, again.

    Apparently flustered Poochigian responded, “Okay, alight.”

    “What are your facts?” Perea asked, again.

    Poochigian responded, “I’ll go through my stuff I’ve got a whole list of stuff.”

    ..
    The discussion and debate went on for more than four hours. Finally, three supervisors, Phil Larson, Judith Case McNairy, and Henry Perea indicated they wanted to save all this talk for another day. But Poochigian did not want to stop.

    “I have lots of things I would like to talk about the time is running, but I’d like to go on for a couple more minutes, unless you tell me right now there’s three people that want to push this off,” said Poochigian. “Seven years isn’t enough to make a decision today, then basically.”

    “Let her keep going, let her keep going,” Perea added.

    “Don’t waste my time,” Poochigian continued. “If you don’t want me to waste your time is what I mean.”

    After the meeting Morales told Action News, Fresno County’s endorsement was not necessary, but important.

    “I think it’s important for the program,” said Morales. “This is where we are starting, we’ve had a good partnership with the county before we want to maintain that partnership and we will take every opportunity to answer questions, and keep them on board.”

    On July 29 She got her No Vote.

    The votes revealed sharp differences in how board members view high-speed rail. The contentiousness of the issue was illustrated when Perea, an ardent supporter of the train project, questioned whether Borgeas and Poochigian had bartered for support of each other’s resolutions during a short break in the meeting.

    “Unbelievable,” Borgeas said, shaking his head. “The answer to your question is not only no, it’s hell no.

    “That’s a low blow,” Poochigian added.

    Poochigian noted that county supervisors voted in 2007, before she was on the board, and in 2009 to support the concept of high-speed rail. But, “We have an entire list of promises that have not been kept. … The current project doesn’t resemble Prop. 1A.”

    http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/07/29/4045777_fresno-county-supervisors-vote.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

    Now Tim should stop writing articles about good paying jobs coming to California. It will make the County Supervisors look bad.

    The Lyles College of Engineering at California State University, Fresno is planning course work in rail transportation. http://www.fresnostate.edu/engineering/hsrworkshop.html

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/Updated_GB_Media__Advisory_123014.pdf

    synonymouse Reply:

    Another Jerry Brown groundbreaking, January 29, 2002:

    http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/saunders/article/Bridge-retrofit-needs-a-retrofit-4769638.php

  13. Keith Saggers
    Dec 31st, 2014 at 10:38
    #13

    Official High-Speed Rail Groundbreaking Ceremony
    WHEN: Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    12:00 p.m.
    WHERE: Site of Future High-Speed Rail Station
    1625 Tulare Street
    Fresno, California 93706

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