Assembly Transportation Committee Kills Anti-HSR Bill

Apr 21st, 2015 | Posted by

On Sunday we told you about Assemblymember Scott Wilk’s effort to kill HSR and use its money for schools. On Monday the Assembly Transportation Committee wisely decided to kill Wilk’s bill instead:

The Assembly Transportation Committee said “thanks, but no thanks” to A.B. 6, legislation by a Santa Clarita Republican that would give voters the chance to overturn $8 billion in bonds meant to fund California High Speed Rail. A.B. 6 was defeated by an unofficial vote of 7-4 (which will likely be 11-5 when the official tally is released.)

Several folks in the comments to Sunday’s post raised the question of whether AB 6 was even legal given that some of the Prop 1A bonds have already been sold. If AB 6 were to pass, it would likely be struck down as illegally violating an existing contract.

But Wilk’s goal here was probably not to get the bill to pass. He is instead playing to his constituents. Santa Clarita has become cranky about the HSR project and is trying to get the route moved, preferring to dump it in the laps of residents in Pacoima, Sunland, and Lake View Terrace. AB 6 was one way to show those anti-HSR residents that he’s on their side.

Of course, the best way for Wilk to do that would be to come up with more state money so that a tunnel proposal that bypasses his constituents’ homes became feasible. But Republicans don’t think that way, and so the most likely outcome is that the route will remain in Santa Clarita.

  1. nslander
    Apr 21st, 2015 at 09:54
    #1

    Here’s a guy whose job description includes the ability to write laws, and his best shot requires the retroactive impairment of contracts. Its says even more about his constituency.

    Seriously, Republicans, we could a viable opposition party. Grow the **** up.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The overriding purpose of PB-CAHSR is the DeTour and the real estate exploitation it enables.

    They are going to want a sprawler station in the Sta. Clarita vicinity and at places like Acton. Of course all you need is BART 80mph top speed. So perhaps they will just get as far as Palmdale and forget about the rest.

    It won’t be that long before Jerry’s gone. And possibly a GOP Prez. And we’ll see what the Judge has to say about Prop 1a.

    Zorro Reply:

    Like I said, NUTS and Insane..

    J. Wong Reply:

    You should really apply Occam’s Razor to your fevered fantasies.

    Zorro Reply:

    The majority of people in CA think Republicans like this are NUTS or insane, their bills won’t and don’t go beyond the shredder..

    synonymouse Reply:

    The majority of people in California do not give a shit about HSR. Try to talk to them about it. I have and they are oblivious.

    They think it is exotic tech going down the Grapevine. They know more about Musk HypeLoop.

    nslander Reply:

    No, the majority of Californians do think Republicans are frigging nuts. That’s why they are shunted off to the corner of the yard and given a jump-rope. You can’t grasp that for reasons that should be obvious to you.

    Robert- where is the filter option on this thing?

    synonymouse Reply:

    420 California hardly know what planet they are on. Today they know more about William Shatner’s plan to put a pipeline thru the Tejon Ranch to pump in water from the Pacific Northwest.

    C’mon, Cheerleaders, apart from PB-Tutor employees and Democratic Party cadres, the general public does not have a clue or opinion and certainly not boosterite about the CHSRA scheme. About the only opinion on transport they have is they like freeways and want more and they like BART, which they, out of ignorance carefully nurtured by MTC, think is 21st century tech. That’s in NorCal; in LaLa surf’s up.

    What’s “NUTS or insane” is stumbling off to Mojave like Moses wandering in the desert.

    I wonder if Shatner will realize his $30bil is ready to grab, right there at Palmdale.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Of course, most people don’t really care at all about the technology. All they really care about is can I get from here to there in a reasonable amount of time. BART could be pulled by horses if it was feasible as far as they’re concerned.

    As far as CHSRA, the visionary part of it is putting a framework in place to service increased population in California as well as being good for business (in the sense that reducing friction in getting from NoCal to SoCal is good for business).

    nslander Reply:

    What’s nuts is somebody having to be reminded of that hackneyed definition of insanity. Applying your binary thought process: You lose at the ballot box. You lose in committee. You lose in the full floor. You lose in court. Repeatedly. The Washington Generals of transportation advocacy.

    More to the point- anyone possessed of such a demonstrably irresistible urge to speak exclusively in coded transit-geek language amusing only to oneself, while appealing to one’s own superior perspective, stale notions of regional division and constant allusions to palace intrigue has long since abandoned any credibility to accuse anyone of political disengagement.

    WTF about Shatner? Syno-Trek VII: So very tired. See- I can make vague, unfunny references also.

    synonymouse Reply:

    say what?

    Peter Reply:

    It’s actually a pretty good description of your weird, inane, comments.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The broken clock is right twice a day, though.

    Synonymouse’s perspective isn’t all that crazy at all, he just doesn’t have an optimistic outlook for various reasons. Sure, his schtick gets tiring, but the six years this blog has been around…isn’t everyone’s?

    Some of us have learned and evolved and some of us are right where we started.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    Oh come on, life is better for Syno.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    I’m a Republican and I think most of the party is insane. Less dangerous than Democrats, for the most part, but they’re trying to move up in the rankings.
    That’s why I voted for Swearingen. More sense in the Republicans should be rewarded.
    That’s also why I voted for Brown. I thought Kashkari should be suitably “rewarded” as well.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I think in general Republican candidates are much more dangerous than Democrats — recently, Republicans have a record of trying to *prevent people from voting* and trying (sometimes successfully) to *steal elections*. I think this is very dangerous. Also, many Republican candidates seem to really really hate the First Amendment’s separation of church and state — they want to impose a set of church-based sharia-style laws on the rest of us. Extremely dangerous. On average, Republicans also seem to be more gung-ho about illegal spying, illegal torture, illegal government-run kidnappings and imprisonments, etc. than Democrats, which I think makes them more dangerous (although both parties have officials who promote this sort of totalitarianism).

    That said, Ashley Swearingen is totally cool and I would have voted for her too. I would love it if she were running the Republican Party. Nationally. I’m not optimistic, though.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    The majority of people in California support the project and want it built, just as they have since at least 2008.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The majority would vote for Shatner’s scheme and veto PB’s hsr scheme.

    joe Reply:

    But you say a majority do know about or care about HSR.
    Now they’re going to Veto it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The US is a bandwagon country but in this instance the wheels came off and the hsr fad has petered out, undermined by incompetence at PB-CHSRA and an incoherent Prop 1a.

    Joe Reply:

    First “They don’t know”
    Then “They don’t care”
    They cared but fad is over….

    Blah blah blah

    synonymouse Reply:

    Their interest in hsr is minimal; their knowledge of it is minimal; but they still vote. And if it is on the ballot once again it is a new game.

    The propaganda blitz worked last time riding the bandwagon. Now the thrill is gone. Was thumbs up; now thumbs down. The mob is fickle.

    Alan Reply:

    The majority have proven you wrong several times since 2008. Anyway, Shatner’s idea and HSR are not mutually exclusive, just as HSR and schools are not mutually exclusive. While Shatner’s heart is in the right place, I think the money would be better spent on desalinization plants than on a pipeline. For one thing, the desalinization plants could probably be brought online faster. For another, they would avoid the need to make deals with Oregon and Washington to take their water into the pipeline.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Majorities are artificially produced by intensive and expensive propaganda blitzes. California voters are particularly naive. The dumb blond, airhead syndrome.

    Shatner should be forced to route his pipeline thru Mojave and Palmdale.

    Anyway the Pacific highs seem to force the storms so far north, to make the water source reliable you might have to tap Canada. But I am sure they would accept gringo dollars.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or just stop growing stuff in California that can be grown elsewhere.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Or stabilize the population so we can be self-sufficient.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    lost that chance 100 years ago.

    joe Reply:

    Neel Kashkari made HSR opposition a cornerstone of his failed campaign.

    The super majority requirement for passing a budget and taxes ruined the republican party. They catered to cranks like synonymouse and morris and used the supermajority to weld power.

    Prop25 removed the supermajority requirement for budget approval. CA’s now functioning and has a surplus. The only leverage the republicans have on tax legislation and they refuse to negotiate or compromise on revenue so the party is left totally out of the governance.

    Legislative stunts are all they can muster.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Not quite.

    Prop 25 was the compromise the CA GOP was willing to accept, but then in 2012, voters approved a big tax increase AND redistricting yielded a 2/3 majority for Democrats too. But as the economy improves and the election to re authorize Prop 30 draws near, the GOP will gain a tad more leverage. They just won’t be able to hold the budget hostage procedurally, which IS a vast improvement.

    joe Reply:

    Nope.

    Wikipedia for those with memory loss.

    “In an appearance at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce on July 26, Arnold Schwarzenegger signalled his opposition to Proposition 25: “Even doing the budget, I even don’t believe in doing the budget by a simple majority. Because if you do a budget by simple majority, again, there is one party that will make all the decisions. I think it needs the input of both of the parties because you can see the first thing (Democrats) did was come up with borrowing or a tax increase.”[11]”

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Clearly the name Abel Maldonado does not ring a bell with you:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/us/20california.html

    Schwarzenegger used the CA GOP during his tenure as the bogeyman when negotiating the budget with the Democrats. He (and Brown too) used the 2/3rds threshold as a way to prevent the Democrats in the Legislature from forcing his hand on the budget.

    However, once it became clear that the Democrats would supersede the 2/3rd mark anyway, Republican legislators let Prop 25 pass because it forced the budget to be passed on time and required a 2/3rds vote for tax increases…

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t need an unsourced retelling of what I lived through.

    I sourced the more liberal GOP gov as an opponent. If you think the GOP supported Prop25 dig up a link.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The Governor at any given WAS the major beneficiary of the 2/3rds rule, Joe. This is what seems to escape you. It’s a lot easier for a Minority to oppose than get something passed. The Governor lost a lot of leverage when it passed and that’s what Arnold was lamenting.

    Not my fault he promised voters a blockbuster administration and gave them a box office flop instead. Like LBJ said, “Politics ain’t beanbag”….

    Joe Reply:

    agreeing with me.
    Do You no longer think prop25 was a compromise the GOP Was willing to accept?

    “Prop 25 was the compromise the CA GOP was willing to accept”

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Joe, I think you need to slow down and think what I said through first.

    Prop 25 was not put on the ballot by the Legislature so we have no idea (unless they come forward) how legislators felt. If you look at vote tallies, it did better for the most part in counties where Democrats dominate, but also in places they didn’t. (Plumas, as an example.)

    So it comes down to inference, really, that between a ballot measure where the 2/3rd was eliminated totally or one in which its eliminated on the spending, but not the taxing side, that is the compromise position a Republican would be more willing to accept. Can’t promise I will get one on tape to admit to this, but will tell you it is a very safe assumption. The GOP in California is anti-tax, not anti-spending.

    Joe Reply:

    Well, you might want to explain how you were able to assert the Republican party could live with prop 25 as a compromise. You’re now telling me there’s no way to know.

    If there were only some media which we could search and find references or evidence. Hmmmmm.

    Any ideas ?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    So you’ll love this:

    Tom McClintock actually supported Prop 25 before he voted against it: http://www.teapartynation.com/page/tom-mcclintock-recommendations

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Thanks to the US Supreme Court decision in “Reynolds v. Sims”, most state governments are one party states with remarkably little political diversity given what other advanced democracies experience.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Reynolds v. Sims is the only reason we have any sort of democracy at all in state governments. They’d be autocracies if not for Reynolds v. Sims.

    In fact, many of our problems come from gerrymandering designed by the undemocratic upper houses of pre-Reynolds states. That’s the only reason there are useless, worthless, corrupt Republicans running the upper house of the NY legislature, for instance. Same with Pennsylvania.

    We need to improve our democracy, and we’ve known for over 100 years that that means *party-proportional representation* in the legislature — non-gerrymanderable, and ends two-party dominance. Every country which has written its constitution post-1945 uses it.

    But just try to get people to even pay attention when you start talking about election systems.

    MarkB Reply:

    U S A !!
    U S A !!
    U S A !!

    Nathanael Reply:

    :-) Yep, that’s one of the common responses when you start talking about election systems. Others include “Forget that, Game of Thrones is on!”

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I completely understand. Proportional representation in the States might work, but it won’t happen in Congress.

    The way to think about it is that we already have a multiparty system…with red state Democrats and Blue state Republicans occupying a middle ground between the more partisan elements. That way the only place you see a true three way race is for the only elected federal office: President.

    TomA Reply:

    Pretty much this.

    We have loose coalitions that change with time in the House and Senate.

    Im not sure why people think that at the house level espeically, you would get a different partisan makeup than we have now.

    You would still have a left coalition of non-Christians, non-whites, and liberal whites in the Northeast and West Coast against a conservation coalition of white religious people, rich white people, and white Southerners.

    Progressives might go under the name progressive, but they would still be a minority and would need to govern as part of a left of center government (assuming that the centrist parties didnt get together and form a coalition that excluded both the far left and far right.)

    TomA Reply:

    Just to follow on – it would tackle the problem of gerrymandering, which is the much bigger problem when it comes to the legislature not representing the population of the state.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s true, but gerrymandering today is more about Republican states cutting out “safe” seats for existing black Congress-people and then using that imbalance to satisfy the Voting Rights Act. The difference is with the VRA not subject to DOJ approval, you can have a situation similar to Texas where Joe Barton basically told the Legislature how many Dem seats to draw.

    More to the point, this is also why Democrats were all about the suburbs for the last 20 years. They knew if they became an urban-only party it wouldn’t matter how boundaries are drawn, the GOP would run roughshod over them except in States with lots of Jews, Catholics, blacks, or other groups who have a particular, historical fear of joining the GOP.

    Eric Reply:

    good points Nathanael, I like watching CGPgrey’s youtube videos on the subject.
    I can’t wait until we get rid of the electoral college

    Nathanael Reply:

    Thanks! I’m just glad *some* people (like you) are paying attention to the election system problem. Maybe we’ll eventually get some improvements….

    Edward Reply:

    “The county of Yorkshire, which contains near a million souls, sends two county members; and so does the county of Rutland which contains not a hundredth part of that number. The town of Old Sarum, which contains not three houses, sends two members; and the town of Manchester, which contains upwards of sixty thousand souls, is not admitted to send any. Is there any principle in these things?” Tom Paine, from Rights of Man, 1791

    Britain eliminated rotten boroughs with the Reform Act of 1832. There were later reforms too. I’m afraid we were a bit late to the party.

    If I were dictator I would apply the California redistricting plan to all the states…

    And watch the fun.

    Eric Reply:

    eliminate districting period, and have the party choose from lists according to the popular vote ratio.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    then how do you get representatives to care about local issues?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    If that’s so important (and I don’t think it is), then go MMP.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Well, the US eliminated rotten boroughs in the 1960s, with the one-man-one-vote Supreme Court rulings. Britain (and Canada) retains historic constituencies when possible, leading to serious mismatches in population per constituency, by a factor of perhaps 2 between the largest and smallest; the US redistricts every decade, so it doesn’t have that problem except in the federal Senate, but it has comic gerrymandering.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    The Senate isn’t supposed to represent the people. It’s supposed to represent the states themselves.
    The House represents the citizens.

    Edward Reply:

    Yes, that was part of the Virginia Compromise to get enough votes to bring the constitution into existence. The problem now is that it is recognized as being unfair but there is no way to get the low population states (with all the votes) to give up their excess of power.

    On the other hand, as has been mentioned, it is possible for enough states on their own to force the popular election of the president without changing the constitution.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Yeah, I guess Edward was pointing out that Britain proper eliminated rotten boroughs in the 19th century, and the US didn’t do so at the state level until the 1960s. (Australia took just as long as the US, with the “Playmander” being famous.)

    Britain has had yet more reforms: district lines are drawn by commissions which are fairly independent. In the US outside California, the district lines are drawn for crude partisan advantage, or worse, for crude incumbent protection (as in the extremely corrupt gerrymanders in New York).

    By the way, good for California for passing the independent redistricting law. It’s a step in the right direction.

  2. Roger
    Apr 21st, 2015 at 10:55
    #2

    Robert: The Santa Clarita route greatly impacts Pacoima far greater than an underground forest route. Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sylmar, and San Fernando are communities that will want the forest route in addition to Santa Clarita, Agua Dulce, and eventually Acton.

    Have you seen the new routes? Now they go underground through Shadow Hills. This controversy should go away and the forest routes should be the consensus at some point.

  3. Keith Saggers
    Apr 21st, 2015 at 11:36
    #3

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/japanese-maglev-testing-tops-600-kmh.html

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    . A ceremony was held on December 17 to mark the start of construction on the 286 km Tokyo – Nagoya section, which is expected to be completed by 2027 at a cost of ¥5·4tr.

    does anybody know how to convert these numbers to compare with HSR.

    J. Wong Reply:

    around ¥120 to the $ now. So divided 5.4 trillion by 120 = $45b

    EJ Reply:

    tip – to convert currency, just type [x] [currency1] to [currency2] into google, e.g. “5400000000000 yen to us dollars”

    the answer is about $45 billion. Of course this is just purely a current exchange rate number, not PPP.

    StevieB Reply:

    How much would that be in year of expenditure dollars? In other words how much will it cost with inflation by 2027.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It’s Japan. What inflation?

    Winston Reply:

    Also, remember to multiply any Non-US project cost by 3 because all US infrastructure is insanely expensive.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, Japan has had close to 0 inflation over the last 20 years. In the same time, the exchange rate has flucuated from 70 to 1 to 120 to 1, a 50% change in value.

    StevieB Reply:

    Materials cost inflation. Is the cost of steel in Japan the same as ten years ago and will the cost be the same in ten years? What about the cost of concrete and the oil to move construction vehicles? Have construction costs stayed the same in Japan over the last ten years while materials costs all over the world have increased?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The basket of goods that goes into inflation – steel, labor, machinery, labor, concrete, labor, electronics – is flat.

    StevieB Reply:

    Whatever inflation index you are using does not reflect real cost increases in the construction industry. Japan’s construction costs at 21-year high, July 16, 2014.

    The construction cost per square meter of floor space in May was up 9% compared to a year earlier, at 187,000 yen ($1,820). It is the 16th consecutive month of year-on-year increases for the industry…

    The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in February raised the labor unit price, used by the government and local municipalities to estimate the price of public works projects, by more than 7% nationally.

    Expanding construction demand is also increasing building materials costs. Iron frames used for building trade at more than 80,000 yen per ton, up 14% on the year. Steel reinforcing bars used in condominium construction stand at about 67,000 yen, up 9%…

    Public works tenders are also failing because of rising construction costs.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government in November last year called for bids for the construction of major facilities of the new fish market in Toyosu, Koto Ward, for the relocation of the famous Tsukiji location. But companies failed to show up. The metropolitan government was able to conclude the bid in February by raising planned construction prices by as much as 60%.

    How can you continue to claim there is no construction cost inflation in Japan?

    Joe Reply:

    For the price of goods will vary with demand.

    If I set my hot tub Time Machine back 10 years I land in 2005. I believe at that time bellbottoms were still not in fashion and we were in a building craze which was driving up the price of construction materials. We then went through a Bust and Now have a recovery.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Because this increase is a fluctuation in the cost of specific materials rather than a long-term trend.

  4. Reality Check
    Apr 21st, 2015 at 17:34
    #4

    High-speed rail escalates eminent domain legal battles for land

    • A bill to limit eminent domain for high-speed rail property was killed in the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday in Sacramento.

    • Fifty eminent domain lawsuits have been filed in Fresno County over property needed for high-speed train right of way.

    • Many — but not all — of the condemnation lawsuits are likely to reach negotiated settlements before getting to a judge or jury.

    Under pressure to deliver property to construction contractors, the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the state are increasingly taking off the gloves and going to court under eminent domain law to get the land needed […]

    […]

    Some property owners want to use the eminent domain process “as a way to kill the program,” Alley said. “If the property owner doesn’t want to participate in an appraisal or even entertain the conversation, we still have to move forward in the process, and that’s what we’re doing. That’s the position we’re in with some property owners.”

    morris brown Reply:

    The audio from the Assembly Transportation committee meeting hearing on AB-1138 (Jim Patterson) — (use of eminent domain by the Authority) can be heard at:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tSitXyavQo

    about 39 minutes.

    Bill failed to pass committee vote of 5 Yes 10 No, strictly a party line vote.

    Much interesting info in this audio.

    Zorro Reply:

    Good, I’m glad these attacks by the Radical GOP on HSR are being shot down, like the buzz-bombs that they are..

    joe Reply:

    The vote was 5 to 10 along party lines.

    European neanderthals were more self-aware.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course, the Democratic Party machine is the patron of PB-Tutor.

    Travis D Reply:

    Fine, I’ll go along with your conspiracy theory and embrace it. Except that I’m in favor of it.

    So, good.

    Joe Reply:

    10 is twice as big as five. This is a dying political party. It’s a dying political viewpoint. Your argument bounces around like a ping-pong ball in the back of a moving pick up truck.

  5. joe
    Apr 21st, 2015 at 18:19
    #5

    “Don’t Railroad our Communities.”

    http://www.signalscv.com/section/36/article/135898/

    “They need to listen,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean of the rail authority. “They need to understand that pitting one community against another is not going to fly with us.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    The approach is sound but the reach is way too limited. They will have to enlist opponents all along the Detour from Burbank to Bako. They need to get some thousand demonstrators to picket Jerry Brown in Sacramento to get some statewide media attention and counter PB propaganda. They need to focus on the fact that PB caters to the richest and most powerful and is looking for the poorest neighborhood to ram this thing thru.

    They have not even grasped clearly why this thing has been shunted off course by 50 miles. Changing the character of their communities is precisely what Jerry Brown has in mind. He wants to sprawl the entire region.

    Progress is an illusion.

    Zorro Reply:

    Thousands protesting against HSR in CA? That won’t be happening Cyno de berzerkarack..

    joe Reply:

    People don;ty care
    People don; tlknow
    poepie wil vlotte in mass
    people with … ….

    The guys completely nuts,

    synonymouse Reply:

    They will have to demonstrate en masse if they wish to overcome Jerry, PB and the Tejon Ranch.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Replace overcome with make any headway.

    Travis D Reply:

    They only demonstrate their own selfishness. Everyone knew some communities would be pissed about this and we don’t care. The HSR benefits the greater good so if they get the shaft, oh well.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Both Santa Clarita officials and DePinto said they’ve recently met and expressed interest in working together on the rail issue.
    Chief among their shared goals: Make sure the train is put underground wherever it runs.
    Officials from the California High-Speed Rail Authority are continuing to examine ways to run the bullet train from Burbank to Palmdale.
    One alternative calls for running the train in a tunnel virtually all the way through Santa Clarita. Local residents and officials say if the train runs through Santa Clarita, it needs to be put underground.
    In the other option, the train would come out of a tunnel in the Sand Canyon area of Canyon Country.
    The City Council’s preference, however, is for the train to travel an alternative “East Corridor” being looked at by high-speed rail officials.
    That route is a more direct path between Palmdale and Burbank, but would involve tunneling under the San Gabriel Mountains.
    signalscv.com

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Do they want to finance it with an income tax, property tax or a combination of both?

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    By Signal Staff Writer
    Luke Money

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/Palmdale_Burbank/Palmdale_Burbank_Fact_Sheet_Fall_2014_FINAL_120114_ENG.pdf

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks.
    Certainly a much better PDF.
    But why couldn’t they put the old train route on the much larger map and not just on the little segments? It would show how the old route was being vastly improved by eliminating all the old fashioned curves with a smoother more modern/faster/sleeker route.
    And also, will the old train route still be used?? Or will it be abandoned??
    If abandoned, it could be a selling point as a possible biking/hiking trail to the local communities.

  6. Jerry
    Apr 21st, 2015 at 18:50
    #6

    synonymouse: “I wonder if Shatner will realize his $30bil is ready to grab, right there at Palmdale.”
    Again. Another example of a, False Choice. Between water and HSR. The type of False Choices (and/or wedge issues) which Republicans like to use.

    Excess is the enigma of capitalism.

    Each tiny tiny tiny little almond nut, by the way, takes ONE GALLON of water to grow.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How many gallons of water are used to lay the foundations of Jerry’s tracts and strip malls?

    Jerry Reply:

    Don’t know.
    But it is still a false choice. Water usage is a separate category and it is not water pipe v. Palmdale.

    If you are against any and all growth, then advocate for Zero Population Growth thru birth control and various incentives.
    Investing in and rebuilding the infrastructure (ours, not Iraq’s) is necessary. Transportation is the backbone of any economy. And it cannot be just highways forever.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What you say is true but the tiny clique in charge of infrastructure is hopelessly incompetent, corrupt and venal. PB-Tutor will just take your billions and give you crap in return, which will take more billions to subvent and maintain.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Think BART.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    As opposed to Metrolink where there’s nothing to be had?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Pretty much the entire rich and middle-income world have negative natural population growth. In the first world, the only country with positive natural growth is Israel, which I give another generation before it ceases to exist.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Give poor women birth control and their birth rates drop too.

    Joe Reply:

    and access to education.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It doesn’t take a lot of explaining that kids are difficult to raise.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It takes basic literacy. (The countries with the really high TFRs generally have very low female literacy – sub-50% in all or almost all cases.)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Correlation is not causation. Make it free and word gets out.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They tend to cooccur. Programs to increase female literacy in developing countries have consistently led to reductions in TFRs, down to replacement level or not much above it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Societies that are stable enough to provide literacy programs are also the ones that are stable enough to provide basic health care. Including things like IUDs or hormone implants.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Alon: how are you measuring generation? 30 years is about what I give the state of Israel before it ceases to exist.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    Soylent Green!

    datacruncher Reply:

    Pipeline advocate William Shatner holds senior water rights
    ……..
    Shatner, it turns out, is a senior water rights holder in California, with rights along the south fork of the Kaweah River for a ranch he owns in eastern Tulare County, according to the state’s water rights database.

    Shatner has both riparian rights, which derive from property abutting the source of water, and pre-1914 rights, which were claimed by a former landowner in 1875.

    During 2011, Shatner reported diverting 560,000 gallons to irrigate 15 acres, water 10 cows and five horses, and meet the water needs of two houses, 40 fruit trees, gardens and a sequoia grove, according to his 2012 statement of diversion, the most recent available on the water board’s website.
    ……….
    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article19348656.html

    Shatner’s 2011 water report filed with the state is at:
    https://ciwqs.waterboards.ca.gov/ciwqs/ewrims_online_reporting/ssPrint.do?form_id=97441

  7. synonymouse
    Apr 22nd, 2015 at 11:21
    #7

    Upon reflection, I suggest the best recourse for the folks at Sta. Clarita and at Pacoima is to join together in litigation to force Tejon back on the table. To go directly up against Palmdale’s bullshit threat to sue.

    I dunno if it will dawn upon them at all or if in time but certainly claiming gross class discrimination would be a good place to start. The Tejon Ranch Co. has been accorded kid glove treatment and placed off limits due to their money and political connections. Plus the taxpayers’ right to the cheapest and most efficient alignment.

    The last thing PB et al want is the light of day to shine on their shenanigans in and around the mountain crossing. They cannot handle the truth.

    If the San Gabriel opposition groups cannot come up with moxie and the funds to sue they are probably dead meat. PB will just eminent domain and bulldoze them. Their best chance for any kind of deal and some justice is to sue to revisit Tejon. Putting together a coalition with other opponents along the route will take time and not so easy for political amateurs. But litigation will really get the fur flying and right away. Tempus fugit.

    Peter Reply:

    Ummm, wasn’t Santa Clarita also opposed to Tejon? You know, because a Tejon alignment would also pass through Santa Clarita?

    Joey Reply:

    Santa Clarita strikes me as the type of place that will oppose HSR regardless, but the I-5 adjacent alignment wouldn’t require many property takes (mostly part of a strip mall), and the freeway means that the noise impact would be less as well.

    Eric M Reply:

    But the alignment can’t parallel the freeway (as close as you are insinuating), as the grade is too steep and the turn radii too sharp.

    Michael Reply:

    You can between Calgrove on the south and Rye Canyon on the north. You approach via tunnel on the south from San Fernando Road and leave I-5 to a station site on the east of the freeway (across from Magic Mountain) before a short tunnel and then viaduct to the base of the hill and I-5. That puts the HSR in the I-5 alignment through the developed part of Santa Clarita.

    Joey Reply:

    What Michael said. The alignment wouldn’t hug the freeway perfectly – it would deviate a bit between Stevenson Ranch Parkway and Valencia Blvd to avoid a reverse curve, taking out a golf course in the process. The grade is pretty mild through the developed part of Santa Clarita.

    StevieB Reply:

    Gross class discrimination falls under what law, mister legal eagle?

    Travis D Reply:

    The cheapest and most efficient route doesn’t necessarily make the best route.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They’re not going to force Tejon back on the table especially given that Tejon goes straight through Santa Clarita. My money is on the East corridor tunnel. In the end, that will be the least objectionable to all parties including Los Angeles. Of course, they’ll have to put their political muscle (and that includes Santa Clarita’s) behind getting the funding for it.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Plus, it reinforces the “gee-whiz” factor of being whisked from the LA Basin to the High Desert….

    synonymouse Reply:

    But it eliminates potential commute halts and in the more valuable spots closer to LA.

  8. Keith Saggers
    Apr 22nd, 2015 at 11:36
    #8

    remind me again, who are Palmdale threatening to sue.

    Peter Reply:

    Years ago Palmdale sued in federal court to prevent the Authority from studying Tejon. The suit was tossed out practically immediately. There is no current threat from Palmdale to sue.

    Roger Reply:

    There is no threat from Palmdale to sue because Palmdale has kept their station they were promised–and advocated for–in Prop 1A.

    At a time when the project faced threats and lawsuits from every part of the state, it made no sense to screw over Palmdale which was suing to BRING HSR to their area.

    On top of that, the numbers work and the ridership will be benefitted by the station. The growth scheduled for that area is strong and having the HSR station in Palmdale actually will help reduce natural sprawl because the Antelope Valley has a lot of low-density parcels in its plan, but HSR allows for the area to centralize around the station and introduce density and location of businesses around the station.

    If Syno’s stupid Tejon idea was actually pursued, it would have been Santa Clarita suing!

  9. jimsf
    Apr 22nd, 2015 at 17:29
    #9

    Passenger Rail Article
    FRA issues grant for Amtrak service expansions in California

    The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) last week received a $2.89 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to increase Amtrak service to the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass.

    The grant will fund the completion of an analysis of route alternatives, an environmental impact report and a service development plan, RCTC officials said in a press release.

    “While we still have a lot of work to do, this is great news for Riverside County, the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass,” said RCTC Chairman Daryl Busch, who also is mayor of Perris, Calif. “Our desert communities are known throughout the world, but there needs to be another way to get there besides having to drive on Interstate 10.”

    Amtrak’s only current stop in the Coachella Valley is in Palm Springs, Calif., along its Sunset Limited route, which runs between New Orleans and Los Angeles. RCTC’s expanded service plans would provide at least one round-trip per day between Los Angeles and Indio, Calif., with a stop in the San Gorgonio Pass and two stops in the Coachella Valley.

    RCTC, the California Department of Transportation and consulting firm HDR are coordinating the effort.

    jimsf Reply:

    A stop at Morongo Csino and Premium outlets would be popular.

    Donk Reply:

    Looks like Cabazon (Morongo) is a proposed (future) stop. Who needs the train to Vegas when we have a train to Cabazon?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Oh man, Paul Dyson is going to jump out a window when he sees this.

    Metrolink’s days are numbered….

    Michael Reply:

    Ted, why do you say that? Just to make waves? How does a study of “Amtrak” service to Palm Springs area or even its couple-of-times-a-day implementation lead to the death of Metrolink?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Because the other counties are cutting funding for Metrolink, yet, we are expanding services for Amtrak California which… just so happens to have its funding realigned to local governments.

    The managing agency though, just happens to be OCTA (in the case of the Pacific Surfliner and LOSSAN) who … has seen passenger traffic rise through the 91 corridor from Riverside.

    OCTA’s all about expanding new Amtrak California service to the far reaches of Southern California…but it wants to do that at LA’s and MTA’s expense because Metrolink ridership to downtown LA is falling and because there is an inherent rivalry between the two counties.

    Ted King Reply:

    “Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio Pass Corridor Rail Service”  (Riverside Co. Trans. Comm. project page)

    Donk Reply:

    Thanks for the link. However, I get angry when I got to a site like that and there is not a map of the proposed route. I clicked on a couple of the reports, and it is not clear if the route would take the 91 Line, the Riverside Line, or the San Berdoo Line.

    Jerry Reply:

    It might help if such a ‘map’ would show which alternatives are aligned with a Metrolink route. And which alternative includes the Sunset Limited route.
    Also, while they are “studying”, the studiers should consider what the impact of the Union Station pass through will be.
    And if HSR ever gets that far, one of the alternatives could be aligned with that segment.

    Donk Reply:

    Alternative 1 (Dark Blue) = 91 Line and existing Amtrak route (thru Fullerton). This is a good choice because it has more capacity on it and the fewest delays. But route is longer.

    Alternative 2 (Red) = Riverside Line. This one has the most delays due to freight traffic.

    Alternative 3 (Light Blue) = This appears the most direct, but I am not sure if there is actually an existing track on the eastern (segment).

    Alternative 5 Pink = Existing San Bernardino Line. Western portion is single tracked in the 10 median for a portion and stops at Cal State LA. This has the heaviest Metrolink traffic with some constraints due to single tracking, and few delays due to freight.

    Alternative 4 Green = Deviates from existing San Bernardino line a bit on western portion, presumably to avoid the single track constraint along the 10.

    Donk Reply:

    Note, the new Perris Line is going to go thru Riverside and then use the 91 Line route to get to LAUS. This is another indication that the Palm Springs route will not use the Riverside Line route.

    http://www.perrisvalleyline.info

    Jerry Reply:

    So are they simply talking about extending one of the Metrolink routes another 50 miles to Palm Springs?
    and later, another 20 miles to Indio?

    Jerry Reply:

    The Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) is 85 miles long. Covering 3 counties.
    So it should be a piece of cake to go an additional 50 miles to Palm Springs.

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain covers three counties covering just over 77 miles.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    SEPTA serves five counties in Pennsylvania, one in New Jersey and one in Delaware. SEPTA.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The folks in the Coachella Valley want “Amtrak” service rather than Metrolink, primarily for tourist business. Metrolink cars are not comfortable for that distance. Service to CV has been in the State Rail Plan for years as intercity, not commuter.
    Of course the chances of it happening are slim to none, unless someone comes up with the funds for a third main track east of Colton. California passenger rail is controlled from Omaha, don’t ya know.

    Jerry Reply:

    ACE, Caltrain, SEPTA – The train to Palm Springs & Indio should have been running 10 years already.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Perris line track connection at Riverside, just checking my facts but as of this date there is no connection to the westbound 91 line. Reverse at San Bernardino?

    John B Reply:

    I it appears it the trains will reverse direction at the Hunter Park station, at the tail of a Y. The switch will then be thrown and the trains will follow a track joining the BNSF and proceed west to the main Riverside station.

    Reedman Reply:

    To Indio? They could probably cover the cost of all-year scheduled service by providing extra trains during the Coachella music festival. Surf Air (the new, members-only, all-you-want-to-fly airline) provides special flights to Coachella for it’s customers because the demand is so high.

  10. Keith Saggers
    Apr 23rd, 2015 at 15:05
    #10
  11. jimsf
    Apr 23rd, 2015 at 20:03
    #11

    meanwhile here in el dorado co the bike people are righting the train people over this right of way. Bike peopole are the most obnoxious people on earth. Why cant they just reide next to the freakin tracks why they gotta hog the whole thing.

    jimsf Reply:

    trail

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Removing the rails seems almost bizarre, given that there seems to be room for both uses… What would the point be?

    Eric Reply:

    To make sure the route is NEVER EVER AGAIN even considered for rail use which might upset the NIMBYs in the area.

    joe Reply:

    The Monterey Bike path that runs to Pacific Grove was a rail line.

    wikipedia
    “The tracks were removed in the 1980s in Pacific Grove and Monterey and the former right-of-way is now the Monterey Bay Recreation Trail.[2]”

    Ted Judah Reply:

    And just think of what could be possible if the Capitol Corridor used that path to serve Monterey….

    Reality Check Reply:

    TAMC Monterey Rail Line web page

    The Monterey Peninsula Fixed Guideway Service will provide light rail transit service using the existing Monterey Branch Line alignment, which was purchased by the Transportation Agency in 2003 for $9.3 million. The 16 mile corridor extends between Monterey and Castroville on the publicly owned tracks adjacent to Highway 1. The first phase of the project will run between Monterey and north Marina with key stations in Monterey, Seaside, Sand City, Marina/CSUMB, and connecting bus service to Pacific Grove and Carmel to the south and Salinas to the east. Later phases will extend service to the planned commuter rail station in Castroville and increase the frequency of trains. TAMC is currently in the environmental review process for this project.

    Unfortunately, the project currently lacks funding, and has been delayed until TAMC can secure the funds needed to complete the environmental review, design, and construction.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Why “unfortunately?” Where on earth will they find passengers to justify light rail?

    Michael Reply:

    I think it’s a DMU operation that they describe as light rail.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Correct, as can be seen in Monterey Branch Line (PDF) brochure.

    I have no problem with them calling it “light rail”, as I believe they were planning to use lighter, sleeker European (e.g.: Siemens or Stadler) type non-FRA-compliant DMUs, such as NCTD’s Sprinter does.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Even so, given they have to rebuild the track it’s not going to be cheap.

    Michael Reply:

    It’s about a 14-15 mile line, all the way from the old depot in Monterey to the Coast Line at Castroville, or nine miles from Monterey to “North Marina”. SMART says its project is $7.7m/mile, so if you figure 9m/mile for this, it’s around $150m, or less than Anaheim’s new station. Is it worth it? That’s another question.

    Jon Reply:

    Pretty close, the estimated construction cost from TAMC is $164.4m

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Even so, a two seat ride is way less lucrative than ending the Capitols in Monterey. I want to see a one-seat ride from Truckee to Monterey taking four hours or less.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Nice sentiment, Ted J. What we see over and over are expensive low productivity projects at the periphery (Perris line a prime example) with lack of attention to the core. How long does a Cap Cor train take between Oakland and San Jose, or a Surfliner between Fullerton and Glendale? Building a 15 mile track out of Monterey for a diesel railcar with the capacity of a couple of buses is pissing money away, and therefore just the kind of project the FTA and local pols love to build.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Paul, I’m completely aware that building a Sprinter-esque service from Salinas to Monterey is pissing away money in the wind.

    The problem with the “kind of project the FTA and local pols love to build” is that the Class I’s don’t really want a service that competes with them directly. Union Pacific’s resistance to HSR in part is that the operator will start doing freight and eat into their business.

    By contrast, if you give the Class I’s what they want, you get great rail service on their underutilized corridors for freight but terrible service where they make their money. And guess which stretches are actually sought by real passengers?

    And this is why some of us…yes even you…support CAHSR realizing that a railroad not beholden to the Class I’s is one that can actually break even on passenger demand. But so could an expanded Capitol Corridor…

    Joe Reply:

    Monterey county wants train service. CC would expand south if funded.

    CC will not follow the del monte route to pacific grove but instead service coastal cities like Watsonville Pajeto Castroville and terminate in Salinas. santa clara county vta has committed funding to modify track for service in gilroy and north.

    It’s not fully funded but imho when Caltrain electrifies CC should take over diesel service San Jose and south. Riders could Transfer on Caltrain to SF or continue to Oakland. More destinations than now.

    The Monterey del monte, now path, runs along a heavily used corridor from hw1 to pacific grove. Considering the tourist traffic a local transportation system would be heavily used.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    HSR in part is that the operator will start doing freight

    But where are they gonna get Wells Fargo wagons for the last mile of the deliveries?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=g8LHlJSBkg0#t=94

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Ted, you wrote the HSR operator “will start doing freight”.

    Really? I’ll bite.

    Like what? And specifically, what could they “do” that would have traveled by UP?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of all the things that might concern the class ones freight competition from PB FailRail is not it.

    Amtrak interfering with profitable ops has definitely gotten their notice to the point they might be happy to see it gone once and for all.

    But trucks, as ever, are the class ones’ real nemesis.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ah, Ted, once again slightly wrong. There is no traffic that HSR could handle in CA that the railroads currently move. UPS, Fed Ex etc use rail for 750 miles plus hauls but rarely for anything less. Railroad intermodal service is too slow. There is virtually zero merchandise type freight moved between northern and southern CA by rail, no competitive service is offered.
    The answer to the passenger service on Class One RoWs is capacity, e.g. 4 tracks between Redondo Jc and Fullerton.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You guys keep ignoring the obvious–HSR brings back the possibility all sorts of “freight” like mail, pets, etc. is delivered by train.

    The Class I’s aren’t worried even that CAHSR’s operator will challenge them for the freight market, what worries them is in the search for revenue, the Authority lets a new firm get a foothold out here, offering some really irrelevant freight service (like fresh flowers) only to see the challenger use the HSR contract as a flank that UP and BNSF can’t turn, and before you know it, the challenger is buying one of them.

    What really scares Omaha isn’t HSR, you see, but the need to protect territory by building new track, which isn’t part of their business model….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You are ignoring that R.E.A. went belly up decades ago.
    The package you paid premium prices to be delivered overnight to the other end of the state traveled by truck. Transloading it to a train would take too long.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Palmdale-Mojave “shoe-fly” is not compatible with freight ops. Only passenger and it is far from optimal and will be passed by and downgraded over time.

    Even long-haul Amtrak is not looking good; once Buffett is gone railroad people thinking like the UP will take over at BNSF. So the connection to the East at Mojave won’t benefit the DeTour the way it does freight.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Oh Adi,

    R.E.A. is exactly what scares these guys the most. Not because it would be viable today, but because they had to try very hard to get rid of the government monopoly it had. If we bring it back in any way shape or form, it’s bound to get people’s attention.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Nobody except you is expecting to come back. It’s not 1915 anymore.

    Joey Reply:

    Are the “bike people” in question people who intend to use the trail for recreational or commute purposes?

    joe Reply:

    We should close caltrain and make the ROW a bike path.

    Joey Reply:

    On a more serious note, has anyone considered installing bike share facilities and serious amounts of bike lockers at CalTrain stations to reduce the number of bikes on board?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Nope, nobody at Caltrain or on their bicycle advisory committe or in the bike share/station community or among the thousands who regularly take their bikes on the train has ever thought of or considered that. You are the first!

    joe Reply:

    Try the inter-tubes.
    http://www.bayareabikeshare.com/stations

    18 at San Antonio Station and a modest amount at the Mountain View station – which is next to the City transit hub and has extensive VTA and shuttle buses. other stations dotting the downtown area.

    Reality Check Reply:

    I can’t think of a major station that doesn’t have bike lockers. The problem has actually been horrible utilization rates because — with a few exceptions — they are either not assigned (and therefore empty) or assigned/leased to one user at a time. So even leased lockers sit empty all weekend, nights and whenever the assigned user goes on vacation or is traveling on business, drives to work, gets to the train a different way or decides to take their bike on the train anyway and just keep the locker as a backup.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Oh, forgot to mention, I know in the past there have even been some cases of people just using them for storage and homeless sleeping in ones that were broken or vandalized.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Are theft rates so high that you need bike lockers in particular…..? They seem less space-efficient, and more expensive, than other widely used bike parking devices….

    For security, underground robo-bike-parking seems even better. Maybe that’s too expensive for these locations, but aren’t these ultra-rich suburbs….?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Probably the biggest problem is that most riders who ride to the station want to have/use their bike at the other end of their train ride.

    The lockers are for those who don’t want to expose their bicycles to vandalism & theft, and to a lesser extent, weather.

    The lockers have a door at both ends, are stacked 2-high. Each stores 2 bikes since the box is bisected inside by a wall that runs between opposite corners the long way such that it forms two right-angle triangle shaped spaces.

    The solution to the utilization problem is to have them be more like first-come, first-serve street parking where you pay for what you use and anyone can slip right in as soon as you leave.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    If you don’t know if there will be space available then it’s not practical, can’t plan your journey. I suspect that a lot of the bike commuting is quasi recreational, not to say narcissistic. They would not want to be seen on a rent a bike for the last mile.
    Bikes take up space, they should be charged a fare.
    Perhaps there is a business here, with a bike attendant/cappuccino vendor etc. at least at busy stations.

    Joe Reply:

    Once an avid bike rider/commuter in Montana. Gave it up when in Bay Area mountain view, SF, Palo Alto after too many near misses. Took up waking instead. Still dangerous but less so than a bike.

    It’s an under rated choice.

    The old Noe valley commute to work was just under 10 miles total. Not that much slower than using a bus. Stanford shuttles are unreliable so either a long lead time to make the train or walk.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Agreed that “owned” lockers seem ridiculous, sure they’re nice for the small number that grab them, but you’re obviously not going to encourage much bike adoption that way. They sound more like a bit of green-washing…

    The busy train station near my house (in a suburb of Tokyo) has a large number of mass bike parking locations, with big multi-story / underground lots actually in the station, but also a large number of somewhat more remote lots a few minutes walk away, in pretty much every direction, from every exit; in certain areas practically every random nook and cranny is filled with bike parking devices. The result is you’re almost guaranteed to find _someplace_ to park your bike. However it’s also a culture with a lower bike theft rate, and less emphasis on flashy expensive bikes that are tempting for thieves. These lots are in part a simple response to practical demand: it _used_ to be the case that practically every empty piece of ground around the station was covered with parked bikes, and this was significantly impeding pedestrian flow…

    Reality Check Reply:

    Paul, you are so, so wrong! I didn’t realize you of all people could be so misinformed!

    <a href="https://www.sfbike.org/our-work/regional-advocacy/caltrain/&quot;?Bikes on Caltrain is *huge* … and precious little of it is recreational on workdays. I did it for many years. And people get “bumped” (denied boarding) all the time because the train already is over its 80 (yes, eighty) bike capacity … and yet, they keep trying. So much for planning one’s journey!

    Caltrain has the most extensive bicycle access program among passenger railroads in the nation.

    Edward Reply:

    The Downtown Berkeley BART station is adjacent to the Berkeley Bike Station. Bike parking
    is indoor, supervised and free. As their website says:
    “Free valet parking is super simple. Register online (coming soon) or in-person. Simply scan your card and hand us your bike. It’s free and totally secure, no lock required.”

    They can handle 268 bikes. There is also a shop there that does bike repairs. They do charge $5 is you leave your bike overnight. There are also locations at 19th St station and Fruitvale station.

    Self service parking using cards is available at Berkeley, Ashby and Embarcadero stations. These are accessible 24/7 and charge 3 cents per hour 8 am to 8 pm Monday-Friday and 1 cent per hour at other times.

    Car owners would kill to get rates like that in Downtown Berkeley. But then a bike is a wee tad smaller.

    Reality Check Reply:

    That bad link to the SF Bicycle Coalition’s Caltrain page should have been this:
    https://www.sfbike.org/our-work/regional-advocacy/caltrain

    joe Reply:

    Paul’s saying bikes use space. What was once an enticement to gain Caltrain ridership now takes up passenger space. “recreational” to me means it’s optional choice to use a bike.

    It’s huge which manes seats are taken for the free bike service.

    Caltrain switching to dual height doors take up passenger space which makes advocates very angry. Bikes take up space and bring in no additional revenue. Time to rethink space on a crowded system.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    “Bike trains” are a very poor solution in the long run, as they dramatically decrease capacity, and basically don’t scale well with increased usage. Maybe they’re the right thing at moment, but if California actually wants to promote bike usage and train usage, they’re going to have to start thinking about better methods used by other countries where bikes and transit have significant mode share.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Allowing bikes on Caltrain is not an “enticement” in that a bike is often the only convenient way to get to and from stations on the Peninsula or even in San Francisco, itself, so bike lockers are mostly useful where you have another way to get to either your destination or origination station.

    Re: @Joe The Stanford shuttles are much more convenient now and a significant number of Stanford employees (if not students) are riding Caltrain. To address increased traffic, Stanford agreed to encourage non-vehicular modes to get to work on the campus and its hospitals. Stanford pays Caltrain, and employees or students need only show their Stanford ID to ride the train.

    joe Reply:

    Caltrain is adding a car and it will be a bike car. 72 spaces for bikes.

    “The addition of a third car will increase bike capacity from 48 to 72 spaces per train set as well as add 2,000 seats across Caltrain’s Bombardier fleet.”

    Meanwhile HSR sucks because it will make Caltrain change cars for dual height boarding and reduce seating.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I’m not wrong about bikes using space, and even if all the bike commuters are valid and this is their only alternative, it won’t work in the long run. You can’t keep taking seats out to accommodate half as many passengers with bikes, it’s ridiculous. If you have too much demand you have to ration it. Start charging for it, and in the meanwhile develop viable alternatives for the first and last mile.

    joe Reply:

    Paul;

    Caltrain removes 20 paying customer seats per a bike car. With three bike cars that’s 60 seats per train. Bikes also take extra time to board and exit the train which slows performance.

    Many of the same who complain about reduced capacity with HSR blended service and dual height boarding trains are advocates of more free bike use.

    If the Caltrain community metric is seating capacity per train then I wish the metric would be evenly applied. This premise is bike commuters are awesome. Caltrain advocates support more awesome bike riders and cut down on seating capacity because bikes are awesome.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @joe wrote “recreational” to me means it’s optional choice to use a bike

    Ok, so I guess driving a single-occupant vehicle to work is “recreational” too then (“optional choice”) since there’s always a bike or a taxi or a bus or a train or a carpool. Now I get you.

    joe Reply:

    Let’s be honest here.
    The people I know who bike to/from don’t have to bike. That is they choose to not take the shuttle and rather ride their bike to/from home work.

    It’s no coincidence those same people ride on the weekends and have gear and take about bikes and gear and etc. at lunch and they’re active with caltrain and get free bike space to the tune of 20 seats per car.

    Others who do not ride bikes on weekends and talk about bikes and bike gear surprisingly get to from work via Caltrain with feet and bus.

    I wish it were option to not drive a car from south county but they expanded 101 and cut train service and plan to continue to expand 101 and meter 101 in response to the congestion. That’s the infrastructure Caltrans is building down here and when Joe asks to restore Caltrain service to give drivers options our resident Caltrain experts shout it down.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    We should look at the bikes on board in a different light.

    For each bike on board, there is one open parking space for drivers or one open space on a bus/shuttle to/from Caltrain. So it’s remove seats on the train or provide several thousand more costly parking spaces and / or several thousand more bus/shuttle seats, bike lockers, bike shares.

    joe Reply:

    For each bike car Caltrain loses seats for 20 paying customers.

    Reducing bikes shifts ridership to people that are now live near the station and can walk provided there is space for them.

    What was once needed to attract riders, free bike space, can be curtailed for servicing people. The new cars should not be Bike cars.

    Today, the north bound train will be uncomfortably packed at Sunnyvale. There are two bike cars.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    That’s correct, trains are now packed and a passenger + bike is in a sense taking 2 seats. There are alternatives for bringing a (non-folding) bike: shuttle; bus; walking; bike storage at station; bike rental; folding bike onboard; etc. So under today’s saturation conditions it makes sense that there be a fee for those who need seats to be removed on the train to accommodate their bike.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    Here is an image of bikes on Caltrain:

    I sincerely doubt the train could seat one person for every bicycle shown in this picture in the same amount of space. I think the ratio is probably around 1.3 to one. At times when I was a bike-on-train commuter, I would gladly pay 30% extra to bring a bike, and suggested this to the Capitol Corridor (who have far less bike space, and are more ruthless about bumping, and have much more dire consequences from bumping since trains are 1.5 hours apart).

    Let’s be honest here.
    The people I know who bike to/from don’t have to bike. That is they choose to not take the shuttle and rather ride their bike to/from home work.

    This statement makes no sense, or rather, I fail to see the distinction to anyone who takes any mode of transportation. Usually people choose the mode they would “rather” use.

    When I was biking to the train, it was because it was faster, more convenient and cheaper than any alternative means of accessing the train.

    Jerry Reply:

    @ Oliver Holmes
    The multitude of public transportation pay systems (by zone, by seating – 1st, 2nd, steerage) could include a % surcharge for GUARANTEE BIKE ACCESSIBILITY.
    An extra bikes only car on some trains would also help.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A surcharge of a buck each way, after few months you could buy an second bike and leave it at the station.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Jerry, how do you implement this “guarantee” and guarantee that when someone pays it (before the train arrives, before they even know which train they’re going to take on any given day) … that there’s a guaranteed bike space without having shitloads of empty racks rolling around the system.

    I implore people to think their knee-jerky shitty clusterfucky unworkable impractical proposals all the way through before casually offering them up as solutions to … er, something!

    Jerry Reply:

    @Reality Check responding to my comment which was to Oliver Wendell Holmes.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes said/wrote:
    “I would gladly pay 30% extra to bring a bike, and suggested this to the Capitol Corridor ”
    To which I wrote there are multitudes of public transportation pay systems.
    And for a GUARANTEED BIKE ACCESSIBILITY, Oliver Wendell Holmes said he would GLADLY pay a 30% surcharge.
    Perhaps you did not read that. And perhaps you are not aware that such GUARANTEDD BIKE ACCESSIBILITY pay systems ALREADY exist and are ALREADY working in the good old USA.

    Jerry Reply:

    @Reality Check
    So it is not a, ” knee-jerky shitty clusterfucky unworkable impractical proposal”
    Some trains similar to the Capitol Corridor will provide a BICYCLE RESERVATION for $10 and others will provide the BICYCLE RESERVATION for $5. I don’t know if $10 or $5 is the equivalent to the 30% that Oliver Wendell Holmes is willing to pay. But I am willing to pay $20. Which is cheaper than renting a bicycle in Sacramento when I get there.
    But you, Mr. Reality Check, ask how, “someone pays it (before the train arrives, before they even know which train they’re going to take on any given day)”
    Well there is an app for that. But if you are going to Sacramento, I hope you know which train you are taking and on what day. And as with any reservation, if you don’t use it you lose it. And the bike space can be filled by another lucky person. And you don’t have, “shitloads of empty racks rolling around the system.”

    Reality Check Reply:

    My comments were (apparently) misinformed … as they were made with Caltrain in mind since OWH said “when I was a commuter I would have gladly paid …” and then Jerry spoke of public transportation tiered pricing …

    Caltrain’s stacking rack logistics and heavy use / churn would indeed make a reservation system clusterfucky and unworkable. If the Capitols implemented centrally-controlled digital space reservation displays such DB has for each seat on their ICEs, then it might work OK on the Capitols. And I suspect pigs will fly before we see that happen.

    joe Reply:

    Look to the Caltrain FAQ. Jerry and OWH have an interesting suggestion.

    I suspect simply changing more for the option to carry a bike on board – bike rider ticket – would allow Caltrain to reserve seating and bike space for those paying the extra fee for a bike and seat.

    This doesn’t guarantee a seat but it makes seats exclusively available to any rider paying the higher price.

    Why can’t the seats in the Caltrain bike car be reserved for only bicyclists?

    To answer that, we look to guidance provided by the federal Department of Transportation.

    Department of Transportation Americans with Disabilities Act regulation 49 Code of Federal Regulations section 37.167(j) requires transit operators to request that riders move to allow an individual with a disability to sit in priority seating and requires the posting of signs identifying priority seats, also stating that able-bodied riders should make seats available to passengers with disabilities. The regulation then goes on to relieve operators of any requirement to force riders who say “no” to moving.

    Consistent with 49 CFR section 37.167, Caltrain doesn’t require people sitting in priority seats to move to accommodate individuals with disabilities – who are a protected class. So, to require such movement from non-bike users to accommodate bike riders would be inconsistent, essentially placing the rights of bike riders on a higher level than the rights of people with disabilities.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Caltrain floated a $1 bike charge back in 2009. To this, the following was raised in objection by some bikes-on-Caltrain advocates:

    It turns out that charging passengers for carrying a bicycle on a train is illegal under current state law, so Caltrain would have to change the law. They know that, but have conveniently omitted mentioning it while discussing this new proposal. The California Civil Code says:

    2180. A common carrier of persons, unless his vehicle is fitted for the reception of persons exclusively, must receive and carry a reasonable amount of baggage for each passenger without charge, except for an excess of weight over one hundred pounds to a passenger; if such carrier is a proprietor of a stage line, he need not receive and carry for each passenger by such stage line, without charge, more than sixty pounds of baggage.

    2181. Luggage may consist of whatever the passenger takes with him for his personal use and convenience, according to the habits or wants of the particular class to which he belongs, either with reference to the important necessities or to the ultimate purposes of his journey. Luggage within the meaning of this section shall include the samples, case, wares, appliances and catalogs of commercial travelers or their employers, used by them for the purpose of transacting their business and carried with them solely for that purpose, when securely packed and locked in substantial trunks or sample cases of convenient shape and weight for handling. No crate cover or other protection shall be required for any bicycle carried as luggage, but no passenger shall be entitled to carry as luggage more than one bicycle.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Here’s a link: California Civil Code §§2180-2181

    That issue aside, charging for bikes is more easily said than done since Caltrain is POP and I’ve yet to hear of a practical way of verifying “bike fares” have been paid.

    You are a Caltrain conductor, who, occasionally, is supposed to conduct fare inspections. You enter one of the bike cars, and are faced with up to 40 (or more!) densely-packed bikes such that you can just still walk down the aisle. Their associated riders are dispersed, with many out of sight or earshot … many in different areas of the same or adjacent cars (upstairs, other side of the vestibule, etc.) and mixed in with non-bike passengers and you cannot tell them apart unless they volunteer, “yeah, I have a bike back there” or “no, didn’t take the bike today” or “nah, no bike”. Most regulars use contactless “Clipper” cards … but some still ride on TVM-issued paper tickets, and a growing number use employer or university ID cards with a “Caltrain Go Pass” sticker affixed.

    So, how do you make bike fare payment scheme that is easy & painless to implement, use and enforce?

    My answer: Forget it! Totally not worth the hassle. Just look at the failed short-lived bright (stupid) idea of having lower off-peak fares to shift more riders to the more lightly-patronized off-peak trains. Pretty much every problem scenario imaginable happened … all the time. When it became obvious that there was a never-ending stream of problems and little or no obvious counter-balancing benefits, it was canned. What a disaster that was for everyone involved!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ll sling the bike on rack on the back of their SUV and drive to the trail for recreation. Sorta like people who drive to the gym to use the treadmill.

    jimsf Reply:

    recreation no doubt. whos going to ride 30 miles to work up and down and mountain with a 2000ft gain in elevation everyday and 100+ summer temps and winter snow
    Then again the train isnt for commuting either its just a tourist train.
    Highway 50 in EDC is horrible at commute time and caltrans has only the most paltry long range improvement plan for it. PReserving that track and bringing some basic commute rail to link with light rail at folsom could be an alternative to widening 50. EDC is growing and the job centers are Rancho Cordova and Folsom. Folsom is going to double in size.
    The current transit system in EDC is woefully bad. Even their webiste looks like it was designed by and old woman who lives with cats.

    There is additional right of way not shown that continues up to camino and beyond.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah Folsom wants to double in size, but their only water supply is drawn from Folsom Lake and the city gambled it could wrest improvements from wastewater leaks to furnish enough supply for the new developments the city wants to build south of 50. The bulldozers were supposed to be brought in this spring, but I think that the conservation target set by SWCB might be hindering them.

    Meanwhile in El Dorado, the residents want no growth, never because they know what has happened in Placer County and want a separate identity. Light rail isn’t much of an option, but Amtrak California type-service to Tahoe would be valuable in my opinion. (Thruway buses already make the trip.)

    The only problem is that in a drought like this, nobody is thinking what Tahoe needs is more business.

    jimsf Reply:

    Meanwhile I just read that EID El dorado irrigation district is going to sell millions of acre ft of excess water for profit from the tes ivories in the high country maybe they will sell it to folsom ?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If so, it would be to resell the rights to someone actually plugged in to EID’s system. Folsom can’t use water not in the lake, but since many jurisdictions pull from there (including EBMUD, I think) they could probably find a buyer.

    StevieB Reply:

    Water management in Folsom is evolving. They did not have water meters until 2013.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Oh it’s evolving all right.

    After the Supreme Court ruled on the Capistrano case, Folsom’s official response is that they were hoping to find ways to avoid water rates on everyone by letting grass on city medians and parks die.

    jimsf Reply:

    Cities like Folsom that have so much newly developed area- I dont know why these cities in california dont just stick with using native local plants for landscaping. Most of what grows native in the state looks good in its own way and blends much better into the surrounding environment anyway. OAk trees, granite, native grasses, can all make nice landscaping if done well.

    Joe Reply:

    Mail order even.
    http://www.laspilitas.com

    Try woolly blue curls
    http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/680–trichostema-lanatum

    Miles Bader Reply:

    They’ll probably just plant almond trees instead…. ><

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Folsom does have some neighborhoods which use more drought resistant plants…but as any native Californian can tell you…the illusion of lush, sub-tropical grassy areas is a huge factor in attracting people from the East to move here.

    Granted, not many people are moving from Iowa any more, but cities are reluctant to compel developers to use only xeriscape because both know that lusher foliage is very lucrative for both the developer that sell the houses and the cities that collect the impact fees.

    EJ Reply:

    The other challenge with using native plants is that a great many natural biomes in California naturally burn down every few years. Which is great for the ecosystem – clears out deadwood, gives new seeds a chance to sprout, etc., but not so good if you’ve got houses in the way. Drought resistant, CA native plants + an acceptable level of fire resistance is a tough combination to find in many areas.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Change the building codes so the houses are fire resistant.

    EJ Reply:

    Sure, that should be easy and cheap. Especially since they still would have to be seismically safe.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It is easy and cheap when you aren’t trying to reproduce the south of England in a desert.

    EJ Reply:

    Go ahead, explain how you do it then.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Concrete roof tiles instead of asphalt shingles. Aluminum or steel siding instead of wood. Or stucco. Metal framing if you want to get obsessive about it. Techniques the same contractors use in their commercial work.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s not as simple as it sounds, Adirondacker.

    Wood-frame houses are exempt from prevailing wage laws for contractors; commercial buildings are forced to comply except in charter cities (which usually have similar rules imposed by the City Council at the behest of labor unions.

    Part of the solution is also just less grass while keeping more fire resistant trees.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Metal framing witb tile facing is common in modern Japanese house construction, and the result can be absolutely gorgeous, as well as being pretty much everything-proof. There are tons of interesting tile textures out there…maybe it’s too much for conservative american housing tastes though …

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @Ted Judah Why such an odd connection between wage laws and building materials…?

    Joe Reply:

    There are examples of fire retardent construction in CA.

    What got my attention was EJ’s unilateral comment native CA plants are a fire risk.

    I have an extensive native garden and PhD in western forest ecology so I was trying to figure out what the hell he’s trying to say.

    If you have dry fuels near your home there is a fire risk. The more and drier, the greater the risk.

    Grasses, lawns, are a high fire risk when dry. Grasses are adapted to fire and it takes a lo tof water to keep them green. That’s what makes them ill suited for landscpaing in a drought.

    Natives can be kept wet/moist with less water and if selected for the region require less care.

    CA hillsides were green and only when invasive eurasian plants took over did the state dry our brown/golden. If we had natives, they’d be green and less prone to burning.

    Running humming bird sage along a home is far less fire risk than an decorative grass.

    Joe Reply:

    wildfire hardening a home. pretty much as Adrion wrote – maybe a bit less onerous.
    http://www.readyforwildfire.org/hardening_your_home/

    native ca plants you can mail order and those which are a fire risk are labeled.
    http://www.laspilitas.com
    Not that scary at all.

    Gilroy has wood shingle roofs which have curb appeal but there was the UVAS fire a few years back throwing embers in the air. It puzzels me to see homes reroof with wood but they do it.

    Peter Reply:

    And replacing your roof shingles is a LOT cheaper than replacing a house after its wood shingles caught fire.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Yawn…….

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Miles…

    The prevailing wage law has to do with contractors not being able to use coercive and low (read non-union labor) for pay scales for a public works project.

    It’s not actually the building materials…it’s that if you use certain materials you can avoid hiring certain types of workers, but I suppose a metal frame house would still qualify for the exemption. I know that the exemption is part of the reason construction firms used undocumented workers so frequently, and why housing is so lucrative for cities to zone for….

    Jerry Reply:

    There’s more water in Folsom Lake than last year, but it is still only at 59% capacity.
    If Folsom doubles in size, hopefully, the rains will come back.

  12. datacruncher
    Apr 25th, 2015 at 11:25
    #12

    A Hyperloop alternative: Honda proposes grid of accident-resistant, clean energy cars that go 180 mph

    As appealing as it sounds to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a tube running parallel to the I-5 and delivering you in less an hour, Honda argued at the 2015 SAE World Congress — a conference for engineers in the automotive and transportation industries — that there’s a much more practical and universal way to dramatically increase the speed of our travel.

    “[Hyperloop is] a pretty big idea. But here’s one that I think is even better because it’s centered on the human desire for personal mobility,” said Frank Paluch, president of research and development for Honda Americas, at the closing keynote of SAE. “How about a dedicated lane on the I-5 for highly automated, connected vehicles, using swarm technology to travel at speeds upwards of 300kph [180mph]. LA to San Fran in less than two hours. No drive to the train station, and no constraints on when you can come or when you go.”

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-hyperloop-alternative-honda-proposes-grid-of-accident-resistant-clean-energy-cars-that-go-180-mph/

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not a HypeLoop alternative but a FailRail alternative.

    This concept can be applied anywhere, including Palmdale, center of the known universe.

    Note that the Amtrak bus from Bako to LaLa goes via I-5. So the Honda scheme could be applied to the San Joaquin to LA corridor just as well.

    No 200k/yr. Amalgamated chauffeurs required.

    synonymouse Reply:

    See, people will still see and find their way around the gross stupidity of being forced to detour thru Mojave and Palmdale.

    Cheerleaders, wake up and take off your blindfolds, and support Tejon. That is if you want rail to work and survive.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Applied anywhere includes commutes according to the article. The concept also could mean Santa Rosa to San Francisco in 30 minutes; Gilroy to San Francisco in under 40 minutes if 101 gets the same treatment. People could live much further from work and developers would take advantage of the opportunity.

    Honda’s R&D president says in the article:

    “As mobility evolves, so does society. Speed will really transform society,” said Paluch. “With suburbs expanding, we can live farther away from the center of town. Now maybe with higher speeds you could live in another city. I could live in Cleveland and work in Columbus… My 35 minute commute now takes me 25 miles. A 35-minute commute in the future could take me 70 miles. It would be a totally different scenario.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    These would be self-financing toll operations so the cost of long distance commuting would be prohibitive for workers with typically low compensation so prevalent today. Getting the real estate and these high speeds in dense, high cost urban areas not so easy.

    So the some of the same people who are today commuting by air might switch to Honda “supercar” if the overall time expended is comparable and costs and hassle are less.

    What makes this idea and this tech possible is the evolution of the electric car and the ability of many people to own multiple vehicles. They could afford to purchase a HondaTech vehicle as another car to stable and probably get eco-tax benefits and a write-off if it is used for business.

    So the DeTour is going to succumb to new tech that goes after its built-in weaknesses. Queretaro redux. That is if the whole project does not implode shortly on its own.

    datacruncher Reply:

    I don’t see self-financing in the article. Instead it sounds to me like Honda wants the government to build it.

    From the article:

    It will depend on a U.S. government that has underfunded its highway infrastructure to change course and make a major investment.

    “[Governments] want to build something. So why not give them a dream of something to build?” said Paluch.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, and they don’t mention any guideway, coupling or current collection. They are assuming apparently software control over the steering of discrete units, and over the speed and spacing. That’s one approach and requires an adequate and reliable onboard power supply and everything mechanical and computer in excellent running order.

    I am thinking of a coupling system(incorporated into the autos) which would make up trains of cars connected to a lead vehicle with current collection. Wired power and wired steering control with possibly some sort of passive guideway assist to vehicle steering. Like the tapered wheel profile and flange in concept.

    The company provides the juice and the guided roadway and charges an appropriate toll. I cannot see getting around vehicle pay to play even with the Paluch concept.

    This concept could also be adapted to buses, which have the advantage of onboard toilets. With the cars you will have to deal with bathroom and lunch stops, especially with the coupled scheme.

    But I definitely see something along these lines coming and it will not play nice with hsr, which will need to be extremely fast, express, and direct to survive. Maglev has the advantage of possibly higher speeds than any other surface transport save theoretical HypeLoop.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If it worked on inner city commutes as you describe BART would be in a world of hurt.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    It would have nowhere near enough capacity to replace mass transit, as well as being very energy inefficient, and highly regressive in its effect on the urban form.

    Obviously Honda wants things like this, they’re a car company. But nobody else should.

    synonymouse Reply:

    cattlecar is pretty regressive IMHO

    MCI coaches are more comfortable and if they could be electric and automated to hell with swaybacked beercans and longitudinal seating and damn little of that.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Only if you straighten out the curves.

    Michael Reply:

    True. I’ve driven 280 (our fancy freeway in the Bay Area) fast late at night and 80mph is about the max speed before you’re wondering if you’re actually going to have a problem in some corners and 280 is lauded for its high design standards. 180mph claim ignores the interstate highway design standards. Even the curves in the west valley on I-5, few that they are, are not designed for much above 80mph.

    synonymouse Reply:

    One approach is to simply slow down occasionally. With the Paluch concept of totally separate and self sufficient vehicles you still have to deal with entering and leaving the hyperspeed lane. So you can either exit at top speed into a transitional lane or slow down and exitdirectly into regular traffic.

    That means some pretty sophisticated real time adjustments of the spacing of vehicles. To me that’s the inherent weakness of non-coupled, non-trains. You will need magnificent wireless communication, exquisite software and perfect maintenance.

    A Bugatti Veyron can do sustained speeds over 200mph but its sticker is, what, a couple million? The Honda speedster will be an expensive vehicle because of the need for standalone and that will slow down and limit deployment. The electric car that could be coupled would be much cheaper and would not have to be in pristine shape, just serviceable.

    I would wonder how much hunting would occur at 180mph of rubber tired vehicles? You might need some “dampeners” or “training wheels” to keep some modicum of a stable ride.

    Anybody out there ride a Bugatti at 230mph?

    synonymouse Reply:

    You might need quantum computing capacity and performance for the standalone Paluch concept.

    agb5 Reply:

    The challenge world be, could you get from SF to LA on a single set of tires, or world you need to make a $4000 pit stop half way.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Definitely. Would require tires designed for sustained high speeds.

    But then you could go for lesser speeds, closer to what is anticipated now from autos. Sustained speeds of 120mph would still chew up Valley distances in 3 hrs. A couple of movies and you would be “au seuil de LaLa”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Think aviation landing gear tires.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No matter what tires you put on it you can’t go through the 80mph curves at 120.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You either brake to 80mph or rebuild the curve. Stilts and such. You do not have to have access to the regular lanes all the time.

    With cars in coupled trains on a quasi-guideway idea you could possibly take the curve faster than regular autos. PRT training wheels are always a possibility and they could be incorporated into the vehicle.

    These all electrics would be in the Tesla price range but with no fossil engine and no salt they could last 20 years easy. Figure in enviro tax breaks and surely business use writeoffs.

    agb5 Reply:

    Sure you can, Formula-1 cars do this all the time, but you have to make some compromises on comfort, storage space, weight, operating cost, etc.
    Best to work out at the gym for a month before your journey so that your neck muscles can handle the G forces.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Short 2 lane tunnels would be another way of cutting the curves.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And remember auto, not truck, vertical clearances. Think a casino parking garage clearance.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so three or four pits stops between San Francisco and Los Angeles to replace the the tires? Slows ya down and sounds pricey.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suspect some reckless folks are hitting 120mph as we post on I-5 and their tires aren’t instantly failing.

    $100 each direction from, say, a portal in the East Bay to a portal in around Burbank. With 4 persons in the car that’s 25 bucks a head. This is the guideway train concept – no driving, no fuel cost, no cops, no exposure to accidents and traffic and of course electric motors on current collection just chew up the Grapevine, either way.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course one could easily do a test with a Bugatti doing a steady 120mph on a course with regular tires and see how much damage after 400 miles.

    agb5 Reply:

    And remember auto, not truck, vertical clearances. Think a casino parking garage clearance.

    But I want to travel at 180mph with a sofa tied on the roof using bungee cord.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They ain’t buying at Tires-R-Us with a 60,000 mile warranty.

    EJ Reply:

    Some, uh, guy I know used to routinely hit 120 on I-5. Back when he was younger and stupider. Speeds of 140+ mph aren’t uncommon on the rural parts of the German autobahns. Tire life isn’t the issue – F1, NASCAR, etc. tires don’t last a whole race because they’re designed to soften at high speeds to give more grip. The tires on your car don’t do that.

    Seems highly doubtful to me though that you could find a workable regulatory scheme for mixing automated vehicles going 120+ mph with regular car and truck traffic on I-5. You’d need a whole new multi-billion dollar freeway – whether that’s extra segregated lanes on I-5 or a new ROW it’s going to be hugely expensive. Add in whatever the cost of the guiding system is and you’re probably talking significantly more than the cost of a high speed train.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ EJ

    All due respect but I was definitely thinking totally segregated guideway. But I totally disagree with your higher figure for the automated freeway vs. FailRail thru Mojave and Palmdale.

    I suggest you could do hyperfreeway stilts all the way and still be at least comparable with the PB fiasco. You have not figured in the Pacoima quasi base tunnels and whatever blowout they do at Burbank.

    Hyperfreeway can climb Tejon with no problem whatever and probably at 100 mph. Ever see a trolley bus chew up a 15% grade? With a swinging load. Traction motors are powerful. Ergo we don’t need no blinking tunnels.

    Also you do not have to proceed from city center to city center – just collection portals. All you need is electric cars reasonably standardized to meld with the hyperfreeway coupled train tech.

    Something along these lines or the Paluch concept is inevitable. And it won’t play nice with FailRail.

    agb5 Reply:

    The express lane of the I-5 would look something like this:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LSFX9vrwJf8
    Folks on a budget would travel at midday when the air is thin.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …and once the curves are straightened out, where do you park it?

  13. les
    Apr 25th, 2015 at 12:56
    #13

    HSR vs HCP (Hard Core Porn)

    Below link is an interesting read on the status of some eminent domain proceedings and occurring litigation.

    “One is the ownership of land at Fresno and G streets that is home to the Wildcat Adult Superstore. “That is one of my cases that’s farthest along in the litigation process,” Block said”

    “In neighboring Kings County , where opposition to the rail project has been much more vigorous, “there is more of a propensity to dig in their heels.” The state has adopted 26 resolutions authorizing condemnation against properties in Kings County in the last two months, but it appears that no eminent domain lawsuits have yet been filed in Kings County Superior Court .”

    http://california.construction.com/yb/ca/article.aspx?story_id=id:iKyADQ8_2FK-Tzxn5krSAp_weB9An5z_olxMF5vXXOT3IJ5rAS-UPsThcN5kZAPU

    jimsf Reply:

    “Although I do oppose the project and I oppose using taxpayer money for it, my personal beliefs cannot stop the legal right that taxpayers have to take the property,” Mathys said. “We were pragmatic in our negotiations.”

    but he is not opposed to accepting the taxpayer money for his property…

    EJ Reply:

    So he shouldn’t accept compensation for his property because he opposes the project?

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I think the point is more that he’s saying all that stuff because he hopes it maximizes the amount of money he gets….

  14. les
    Apr 25th, 2015 at 13:55
    #14

    Nice to know color blindness is a factor in considering what color to make Caltrain’s new EMU fleet doors. I for one will be able to board:

    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-blue-doors-will-open.html

    Clem Reply:

    These are suggestions, not actual Caltrain plans!

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Caltrain doesn’t do “planning”. Just “spending”.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Hey, if they had unlimited money to randomly keep spraying about, they’d occasionally hit some good stuff by accident, right? :-(

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Excellent point. There must indeed be a plan.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    They might use door color as a nice concise identifier, but it’s hardly going to be necessary.

    They might as well just say “The doors not obviously hanging-high-up-in-the-air / blocked-by-the-platform will open”…. and since that much will be obvious even to new users and stupid people, they really don’t need to say anything at all (other than to make their insurance company happy)…

    Jon Reply:

    I’m not sure it will be obvious if you’re inside the train…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The ones that are open might be a clue.

    swing hanger Reply:

    LCD screens can be mounted above the doors, indicating whether those doors will open or the ones on the other side, or in the case of Caltrain, the other level. Example from a Hankyu train in Osaka (at 0:54):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb8RFtynLHI

    Peter Reply:

    Or you could just have an automated announcement, like those telling you which side of the train to exit on.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    LOL. This is Caltrain we are talking about. They have three employees to manually change the departure signs at 4th/King, because LCD screens are too old fashioned.

    EJ Reply:

    That’s… truly impressive.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I wonder how much it would cost to install a few classic LED-matrix signs there, of the same form factor as the manual signs, with some simple software to update them. That stuff has got to be bargain-basement commodity hardware…

    swing hanger Reply:

    whoa, hold your horses there! Before any installation, you need to have a two million dollar or so “study” done before anything happens.

    Eric Reply:

    I believe Philadelphia 30th St station installed a special custom automated tile-flipping departure timetable, because people thought a LED screen would not provide the right atmosphere in the terminal.
    http://www.trainweb.org/railpix/trn-info.jpg

    Jon Reply:

    There’s one of those in the Ferry Building as well. Nothing wrong with tile-flipping signs, it’s changing signs by hand that’s a waste of time and money.

    Eric Reply:

    Well, I’d say building a custom tile-flipper is also a waste of money, but that’s just me…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Apparently the photograph is from 1993.
    The alternative back then was hiring someone to go and slide signs in and out of a rack, crank the rollsigns or write stuff on a chalkboard.

    Michael Reply:

    LED, not LCD. LEDs have been around a lot longer than 1993. I don’t know where your 1993 technology examples come from or if it’s just a joke that is too sly for me to catch.

    As for tech, LCD screens now are the way to go. One flip sign is well into six figures.

    Peter Reply:

    The photo is from 1993. That doesn’t mean the tile-flipper was installed in 1993.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    But automated tile flippers are cute! I have fond memories of those at airports, and am a bit sad New Haven Union Station bagged the tile flippers and got a screen.

    Note: “cute” and “sad” do not mean tile flippers are the right technology to use. But still.

  15. Keith Saggers
    Apr 26th, 2015 at 13:10
    #15

    •Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds – The Governor’s Draft FY 2014-15 Budget conforms with SB 862 (enacted in 2014) which stipulates the appropriation of the projected proceeds from the Cap and Trade auctions to various programs. Specifically, the draft budget supplements the $25 million in the FY 14-15 budget for the Cap and Trade Transit/Intercity Rail Capital Program with an appropriation of $100 million in FY 2015-16 (based on 10% allocation from a projected $1 billion total FY 2015-16 Cap and Trade Program). The CCJPA plans to submit applications for a portion of the $125 million FY 2014-15 – FY 2015-16 Cap and Trade Transit/Intercity Rail Capital Program for projects that will improve the Capitol Corridor while meeting the key criteria of these Cap and Trade funds (Greenhouse Gas Reductions and benefits to Disadvantaged Communities

  16. Keith Saggers
    Apr 26th, 2015 at 15:30
    #16

    Select Committee on Passenger Rail (Senate and Assembly)
    The Assembly has established a Select Committee on Passenger Rail Staff to be chaired by Assemblymember Adam Gray, and the Senate reauthorized the Senate Select Committee on Passenger Rail, which will continue to be chaired by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. Both chairs recently released a notice that there will be a Joint Hearing of these two Select Committees on Tuesday, April 28 (3pm – 5pm, location to be determined). The intent of the hearing is to capitalize on principles previously approved by Senate Select Committee to promote the need for investment growth (from state and federal and local funds) to (1) maintain and continue the success of the state’s IPR services, and (2) ensure that investment also supports an integrated network with the other passenger rail services in the State – commuter rail and the planned HST system. RailPAC

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Keith, that post is out of date, the hearing was postponed because of scheduling conflicts. They are hoping to do something 5/14. We’ll see.

  17. tvacin
    Apr 27th, 2015 at 14:39
    #17

    Fresno open house for high-speed rail will field questions, concerns
    High-speed rail skeptics, supporters and those who are just downright curious about the massive public works project have an opportunity to learn more about the first rail construction section at an open house Thursday evening in downtown Fresno.

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/search_results?q=high+speed+rail#storylink=cpy

  18. Jerry
    Apr 27th, 2015 at 20:42
    #18

    Attention Synonymous:
    Palmdale and CAHSR enter into an agreement regarding its station.
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/2015_Authority_and_Palmdale_Enter_Into_Station_Area_Planning_Agreement_042715.pdf

    datacruncher Reply:

    Hanford is also getting a station area planning grant.

    Hanford Expects $800,000 To Plan High Speed Rail Station
    Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle says the city will go out to hire a consultant to plan the high speed rail station on the east side of town.” We are expecting an $800,000 planning grant from the High Speed Rail Authority so we expect to publish a Request For Proposals(RFP) by the end of this month.”
    Pyle says part of the planning effort will include a partnership with NAS Lemoore and the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) to connect both the naval base and Tulare County to the station with a possible light rail system.”

    http://sierra2thesea.net/business/hanford-expects-800000-to-plan-high-speed-rail-station

    Jerry Reply:

    A 25 acre station.
    Article also notes that, “Over 30% of Sequoia visitors are from overseas.”

    agb5 Reply:

    Is the design/build proposal to put the station at grade and sink the highway & light rail?

    joe Reply:

    TBD.

    The previous West of Hanford station used a trenched approach to reduce noise. A perched water table at the site was an issue.

    Gilroy’s trenched approach puts HSR in the trench but keeps the Caltrain/UP at grade.
    Gilroy’s at grade approach grade separates the UP and HSR tracks.

    Clem Reply:

    Not TBD. Read the EIR appendices. Hanford is an elevated station, the only alternative studied and cleared.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    I would actually say it is unknown at this point – the winning bidder has apparently proposed significant changes to original plans. We have done public records requests for proposal but they have been denied.

    Peter Reply:

    I don’t think it’s legal to make that sort of a change (where you build an alternative that was studied and then rejected in an EIR). That sort of change would have to go through a Supplemental EIR/EIS process.

    BTW, on what grounds did they deny your public records request?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    We don’t want to give it to you.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Apparently this is causing some issues…

    Joe Reply:

    City manager Pyle expects a change order.to cover city expenses.

    “In addition Pyle expects infrastructure costs being sought by the city to connect the HS station to city roads,water and sewer will be accommodated as a change order on the construction project.”

    datacruncher Reply:

    There are reports of an at-grade Hanford East station proposed. This article is also from the same website as above. The site is run by a stringer for several newspapers located in the Valley and along the Central Coast. I’ve seen his byline in print.

    Expected to result in thousands of jobs, DFS’s King County plan include construction of the new rail station east of Hanford where Pyle says ”construction will be accelerated because of lower costs and savings.”

    “Now they have decided to build the rail station at-grade instead of 50 feet high with 5 rail lines being elevated when they come through.” Instead the rail lines will be at ground level going over the San Joaquin Valley Rail line as well as Hwy 198 – each which will be depressed.

    In addition Pyle expects infrastructure costs being sought by the city to connect the HS station to city roads, water and sewer will be accommodated as a change order on the construction project.
    http://sierra2thesea.net/central-valley/hsr-contractor-expected-to-open-office-in-hanford

    Peter Reply:

    Interesting. They must have concluded they didn’t need to do an SEIR. Probably because the overall impacts would be less than with an elevated line.

    datacruncher Reply:

    When I look at Google maps, Freeway 198 already is below grade just east of the ROW to pass under Highway 43. They are proposing to extend the below grade portion of 198 a little further east.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Often station designs are explicitly listed as conceptual and the EIR doesn’t actually address them in detail, allowing for a fair amount of variation in the design.

    I suspect datacruncher is right about the design. It will still have the railway over the road; the land surface will just be a little higher relative to the railway. :-)

    jimsf Reply:

    I don’t think they need light rail just yet but there is plenty of old row around connecting all those cities and the NAS and beyond.

    Peter Reply:

    BRT should be more than enough for that route.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s all fantasy. There’s no demand for either.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    if I’m reading the schedule correctly there’s one bus a day between Visalia and Hanford! They should start painting lines tomorrow.

    Peter Reply:

    Touché.

    datacruncher Reply:

    I count three roundtrips per day.
    http://mykartbus.com/hanford-visalia/

    datacruncher Reply:

    It is every 30 minutes Hanford to Lemoore, just not all the way to NAS. Then looks like 5/day Hanford-NAS.
    http://mykartbus.com/hanford-lemoore-hanford-nas/

    datacruncher Reply:

    The east/west rail line was rehabilitated about a decade ago by the Cross Valley Rail Corridor Joint Powers Authority. 45 miles of work from Visalia, past Hanford and the NAS all the way to Huron.
    http://www.lemoore.com/special/2003/cvrc/
    http://hanfordsentinel.com/news/cross-valley-rail-work-is-complete-celebration-set/article_56e6fcfc-0e9d-57f7-a58d-1d92ee5ab17f.html

    les Reply:

    Do you think maybe he will volunteer input to help design it? Or could it be the day he takes up tagging?

    Jerry Reply:

    He will name/tag it, “Dog Leg Station.”

  19. morris brown
    Apr 28th, 2015 at 11:49
    #19

    Santa Clarita Packs House To Oppose High Speed Rail

    http://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-latest-news/santa-clarita-packs-house-to-oppose-high-speed-rail-150527

    One huge amount of opposition is not supremely evidently in Southern California, as well as up north and in the Central Valley.

    It will be interesting to see what position Harris takes as her run for the Senate proceeds.

    Eric M Reply:

    and neither is the majority of the California’s population that is for the project.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The report states that they are against the “western” alignments not that they are against HSR per se. Looks like they want the National Forest tunnel.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I think the event was orchestrated for that purpose. To argue that even if the design trough Santa Clarita is cheaper, litigation and opposition would push costs to be higher than the UberTube in Angeles National Forest.

    Jerry Reply:

    So in the long run, getting from Bakersfield to Palmdale might be the easy part when compared to getting from Palmdale to Burbank.

    Joey Reply:

    That’s true even if you don’t have NIMBYs.

    Jerry Reply:

    Current schedules show:

    Amtrak Bus from Bakersfield to Burbank – 2 hours 10 min.
    Amtrak Bus from Bakersfield to Palmdale – 2 hours
    Metrolink from Palmdale to Burbank – 1 hour 26 min.

    CAHSR from Bakersfield to Burbank – Not sure

    joe Reply:

    Well here’s a wag.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/BPlan_2014drft_Service_Planning.pdf

    Depart BFD at 6:45, arrive PMD 7:17 and San Fernando Valley (~BUR) at 7:33.

    Zorro Reply:

    Of course in some peoples limited experience, that is not possible, Me I think it is, since HSR does move that fast, a HST will move past a viewer in about 4 seconds or so, that is certainly impressive..

    Jerry Reply:

    49 minutes between San Jose and San Francisco.

    Jerry Reply:

    With a stop at Millbrae.

    joe Reply:

    Blended.

    This adds capacity to the peninsula with faster service.

    Clem Reply:

    Six minutes faster for triple the ticket price!

    Joe Reply:

    No bikes and comfortable seating.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Faster than BART, too.

    Clem Reply:

    BFD – PMD in 32 minutes, yes.
    PMD – BUR in 20 minutes via SR-14.
    PMD – BUR in 16 minutes via Angeles Forest.

  20. Keith Saggers
    Apr 28th, 2015 at 12:37
    #20

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/frecciarossa-1000-to-carry-passengers-in-june.html

    Clem Reply:

    Nice. Another high-floor train.

    Zorro Reply:

    Which is the normal floor height for HSR.

    Roland Reply:

    The Frecciarossa 1000 complies fully with the PRM TSI and is optimized for 550 & 760 mm (21.65 & 29.92 inches) platforms: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2015/brdmtg_041415_Consolidated_Comments_from_Public.pdf page 5 and page 11

    Clem Reply:

    Your diagram on page 13 is incorrectly labelled and leads me to believe that you don’t understand this train’s entry configuration, which is identical to say a Velaro or an AGV.

    The deploying step, when extended, is at 760 mm ATOR to allow three-step entry from 550 mm platforms. The bottom edge of the door is at ~1 m, to allow two-step entry from 760 mm platforms. Behind the door another interior step is hidden that allows you to step up to the vestibule floor at ~1.2 m ATOR.

    While this is TSI compliant it is not level boarding and these doors cannot accept a wheelchair. Boarding with a wheelchair requires a lift (which is what makes this train TSI PRM compliant).

    The relevance to California HSR is lost on me.

    Peter Reply:

    Here’s a picture of the hidden interior step.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Are you sure that’s the same train…?

    This Bombardier brochure for the Frecciarossa 1000: http://www.summit.clubferoviar.ro/prezentari_ZF2012/bombardier-fecciarossa1000.pdf

    … claims the floor height is 1240mm (page 10 in the PDF).

    Granted the wording in the letters you referenced, “optimized for …” is kind of vague; who knows what it actually means.

    Roland Reply:

    Yes, it is the same train. See http://www.slideshare.net/Transportforum/session-33-lars-zetterberg slide 20.

    Peter Reply:

    That still doesn’t change the fact that the floor height in the train is 1240 mm. While it may be “optimized” for 550 and 760 mm, it still requires climbing up or down steps for 550 or 760 mm platforms. If Caltrain is replacing its entire fleet anyway, there is no reason why Caltrain and HSR shouldn’t use the same platform height that also offers level boarding.

    Clem Reply:

    Right. Roland doesn’t appear to grasp the enormous difference between the European TSI for PRM and the U.S. ADA.

    Roland Reply:

    “HSR systems will need to be compatible with some existing North American equipment (height, width, crashworthiness) to allow for some sharing of track”
    http://www.railsafety.idaho.gov/Docs/High%20Speed%20Rail%20Equipment%20Design.pdf

    Peter Reply:

    Not sure the relevance to California HSR. HSR and Caltrain will be compatible with each other. No one is saying that HSR will be compatible with Caltrain’s “existing North American equipment” because Caltrain has the unique opportunity to coordinate its complete equipment replacement with HSR.

    And HSR and Metrolink will be compatible to the extent they share tracks (they cannot share platform tracks for obvious reasons).

    Roland Reply:

    So, if I understand this correctly, ACE, Amtrak, Capital Corridor, Metrolink and others should also replace their entire fleets and, if not, can you explain how the Santa Clara island platform, Diridon platforms 2-3, Tamien and Gilroy are supposed to work?

    Peter Reply:

    Santa Clara island platform – Rebuild platform for HSR/Caltrain level boarding, jack up height of Amtrak track so that it is at same height as before.

    Diridon platforms – no change needed if a couple of tracks are dedicated to Amtrak and ACE.

    Tamien – no change needed to accommodate Amtrak if Amtrak uses the freight track. Amtrak doesn’t stop there anyway.

    Gilroy – If need be to accommodate future Capitol Corridor service to Salinas, build an island platform with the same configuration as at Santa Clara. Ideally, ditch Caltrain service south of Tamien, and replace with Capitol Corridor service. Then no changes needed at all at Gilroy.

    These are all non-issues.

    Roland Reply:

    Have you ever been on a northbound Caltrain that had to use MT-1 (east side of the Santa Clara island platform) after a points failure in Diridon? The same train also had to stop at UP/Amtrak platform 2, one of the “couple of tracks dedicated to Amtrak and ACE”. So far so good (right?). Let’s now assume a different points failure (or some UP “event” blocking MT-1). How are ACE, Amtrak and Capitol Corridors passengers going to get out of the trains at Diridon and Santa Clara?

    Jon Reply:

    At Santa Clara, you would have one pair of high platforms for Caltrain, and one pair of low platforms for ACE/Amtrak. So you’d need to add a platform pair at this station only.

    At San Jose, you would convert the four existing platform pairs to three pairs of high platforms for Caltrain/HSR, plus one pair of low platforms for ACE/Amtrak. (HSR would rather build new elevated platforms here, which would work fine but is an unnecessary expense.)

    Tamien is and will continue to be Caltrain only, so you would simply convert the existing platform pair to high platforms.

    Gilroy is not planned to be electrified and would not be served by Caltrain EMUs, so does not require any platform reconstruction. Gilroy would either be served by an extension of ACE/Amtrak, or by a shuttle train using existing Caltrain diesel equipment. The HSR station at Gilroy would be completely separate from the existing station (even if it’s at the same location) so no compatibility is required.

    Peter Reply:

    You’ll never need more than one platform track for Amtrak/ACE at Santa Clara.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Trade the superliners for something with trapdoors. Like Amfleets or Horizons.

    Joe Reply:

    Gilroy’s station planning documents are on line.

    Downtown Station is the gilroy transit center and would be rebuilt. It would become both Caltrain and HSR. Also stops for the SV tech buses commercial and city buses and commuter shuttle buses from San Benito and Monterey counties.

    Caltrain plans to continue south county service however I would expect CC to extend south from San Jose to gilroy and on to salinas. Possibly take over service from Caltrain with transfers at San Jose to Caltrain and continued service to Oakland and beyond.

    Joe Reply:

    BTW Caltrain would operate diesel trains south county after electrification which is why I expect CC to take over.

    Joey Reply:

    I’m skeptical that Amtrak’s big diesel-hauled consists are the right fit for South of SJ service (the same could be said of CalTrain’s existing service of course). In order to balance ridership vs operating costs while keeping service levels at a reasonable minimum (say, hourly), wouldn’t DMUs make more sense?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    and diesel trains can stop at tracks with wires over them. The MBTA does it all the time. So does SLE, Metro North, NJTransit, MARC and VRE. Though it would probably be cheaper for Caltrain to just buy a few more electric trains and use the wires hanging over the tracks.

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker: Given the different service requirements it’s probably better to separate the two services, at least for CalTrain. Blending, and other capacity constraints (Transbay) north of SJ make OTP critical, whereas south of SJ, UP track ownership and long sections of single track make that much more difficult.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    HSR is going to have two tracks. With never more than 8 trains an hour on it. The other 4 an hour that hurtle between Fresno and Bakersfield will be going to and from Sacramento.

    Joey Reply:

    HSR will have two dedicated tracks south of SJ. North of SJ, it will have 2-4 shared tracks depending on the location. The number of 4 track segments will increase with time but Transbay will always be a big capacity constraint.

    Jerry Reply:

    The F-1000 covered 561 km (352 miles) in 2 hrs. 55 minutes.
    Is that distance similar to SF to LA?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No, it’s significantly shorter. LA-SF is around 700 km. Italian high-speed trains don’t have a very high average speed.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    I guess that’s the track distance. The driving distance is 382 miles.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The Palmdale detour adds 55 km. The east-west separation between I-5 and SR 99 is also quite large around Chowchilla, worth about 70 extra km (vs. 12 km at Manteca) – but switching to Altamont actually lengthens the route because it’s less direct because of the Dumbarton detour. These account for about 150% of the difference – the rail route is otherwise straighter than the roads, because it’s designed with a larger curve radius.

    Reality Check Reply:

    SF-LA via Dumbarton/Altamont is shorter — not longer.

    SP even called it the Dumbarton cut-off (vs. the SJ dogleg) for accessing the Peninsula & SF.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    There was never a railroad over Pacheco Pass.

    The travel distance via Altamont-Dumbarton is longer than via Pacheco. The travel time is 2 minutes shorter since more of the travel is done at high speed in the CV than at medium speed on the Peninsula. (All this is per the original EIR, excluding recent alignment changes like avoiding UP.)

    Reality Check Reply:

    Pointer to your distances source, please.

    That SF-LA is shorter (as in distance) was an unrefuted point mentioned here and on Clem’s blog many times in the past.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The original EIR? CAARD probably has it archived on their website.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    The ridership documents had the times in them.

    With a big grain of salt, Altamont express to LA was 2:35, Pacheco express to LA was 2:36. Let’s call it a wash.

    With the blended system, Altamont would probably be 10 minutes faster.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    See tables 2.15 and 2.16

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/ridership/ridership_revenue_model_LevelService0806.pdf

    Joey Reply:

    With the blended system, Altamont would probably be 10 minutes faster.

    Not to mention the fact that the program alignment meandered through Fremont and Pleasanton along the existing rail lines which have rather sharp curves. Along a more sensible route (SETEC) the time savings would be even greater.

    Clem Reply:

    I am getting close to being able to run all these cases in my performance calculator. I have a few track pieces missing… Tracy to Merced, and a re-jiggered Tejon alignment that serves downtown Bakersfield via 7th standard road. Look out for the Truth About Tejon II, and the Truth About Altamont!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Clem, how about a Truth About Angeles National Forest Tunnel I?

    Why not just mine straight thru the San Gabriels from Palmdale to the vicinity of Glendale? Bypassing Burbank altogether. I mean if California is prepared to blow tens of billions to fix Palmdale, why not go all out for a few tens of billions more? After all it is not about Burbank; it is about Palmdale.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well Robert does seem to need more posters these days…

    Although any post about the National Forest Tunnel should be set to the theme of “Journey to the Center of the Earth” or “The China Syndrome” for full effect….

    Zorro Reply:

    Reality is that Altamont will never happen, Check and double Check.

    Jerry Reply:

    Dear Zorro,
    You say that Altamont will never happen. I’m very sorry to hear that.
    My desire was always to see BOTH Altamont AND Pacheco.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Dan Leavitt, HSRA’s former longtime Deputy Director, is now heading up ACEforward which includes Altamont upgrades (a far cry from a true Altamont HSR alignment).

    Zorro Reply:

    Ok, I should have included ‘for HSR’, is that boo, boo better?

    Reality is that Altamont for HSR will never happen, Check and double Check.

    You do know that there is no edit function here at all don’t ya Jerry?

    Eric Reply:

    Italian HS trains make long stops, and relatively many of them, along the way. When moving, they maintain high speeds like 280km/h for long times though.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Okay, but even the nonstops are sub-200 km/h.

    Eric Reply:

    Rome-Naples and Rome-Florence are both just under 200km/h, while Milan-Bologna is just over 200km/h. These speeds are for entire trip, including slow urban segments at each end.

  21. Emmanuel
    Apr 28th, 2015 at 13:01
    #21

    Check out this video of a freight train falling off a bridge in New Orleans during a storm.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7WfeV01A4g

    You would think there would be a law that didn’t allow trains to travel in a storm or hurricane especially in the south. It will take millions to repair the damage.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s usual springtime weather in Louisana.

  22. Jeff Carter
    Apr 29th, 2015 at 04:46
    #22

    @Joe: “For each bike car Caltrain loses seats for 20 paying customers.
    Reducing bikes shifts ridership to people that are now live near the station and can walk provided there is space for them.”

    How many non-bike customers are denied boarding?

    Who says they cannot or don’t walk to the station?

    BTW, Caltrain suspended weekday service to the highest walk-to station: Broadway.

    They may not get a seat but they do get a ride on Caltrain. Many bike customers don’t get a seat either. BTW, there are many thousands of paying customers that don’t get a seat on BART and MUNI.

    How many paying bike customers are bumped/denied boarding?

    There are over 6,000 weekday bike boardings on Caltrain (3,000 people), many of which don’t get a seat.

    This means there some 3,000 parking spaces available for non-bike customers, parking lots are full to capacity also. So if a bike customer cannot bring their bike on board, they may take up a parking space that could have been used by a non-bike customer who may not use Caltrain if they can’t park at the station. Parking at the station is only half of it, having a bike available means customers don’t have to board crowded shuttles/buses/MUNI, allowing non-bike customers to use those services.

    So Caltrain can remove seats, build additional costly parking spaces, additional shuttles, bus, MUNI service, more bike lockers, etc. it all comes at some cost, what is the lesser of two evils?

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I suspect train capacity is a much bigger bottleneck, and costs more to expand, than bike parking at stations. Bike parking is vastly more dense than auto parking, and much more TOD-friendly…

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Caltrain riders who bring bikes use them at the destination end, not at the home end. Neither 4th and King nor any of the Silicon Valley stations is within easy walking distance of many jobs.

    Joe Reply:

    Who told you they used their bikes at the destination end ?

    The Silicon Valley stations have shuttles buses. Anyone remotely familiar with the stations knows this.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The commenters who jumped on Adi when he first proposed that commuters take local buses and trains at the destination end, years ago.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Joe, just stop. You are clearly profoundly ignorant about what people who take their bikes on Caltrain, and your comments are laugh-out-loud and head-shakingly wrong.

    I will never cease wondering why it is (evidently) so hard for certain people in this world to avoid making statements of fact they clearly know little or nothing about? Don’t they realize they look like fools in front of those who do know a thing or two about the topic?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s probably people who are too stupid to leave it at the station.

    Joe Reply:

    I am profoundly ignorant.

    “Caltrain riders who bring bikes use them at the destination end, not at the home end. ”

    Who can explain this obvious fact to me?

    I’ve ridden Caltrain for 2 1/2 decades. I see shuttle buses at train stations taking people from the train to their work destinations. I see free public shuttles at Palo Alto caring people around the city stopping at Caltrain stations.

    Why is the destination more difficult then the source? It’s painfully obvious that people are more distributed at the source and then are at the destination.

    The destination is a concentration of people at the station headed to work. There are shuttle buses moving people from the station to the office building. Free! There are companies that advocate for Caltrain so employees can be shuttled from Caltrain to the work destinations.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    Silicon Valley stations have shuttle buses.

    At my Silicon Valley worksite, getting from the train to the office took 15 minutes by bike and 30 minutes by shuttle bus. For the PM commute, it was 40 vs. 15, since the shuttle adds 10 minutes of padding to ensure people don’t miss the train.

    Reality Check Reply:

    A cheap-to-create bike space on the train is used by dozens of bikes per day with a super high occupancy & reuse rate.

    Its presence has dramatically increased ridership, with bike-on-train ridership being a loyal and fastest-growing rider type. Very costly-to-build station auto parking has long been exhausted for many years now. This, in turn, has contributed to major increases in bike use, constituency/advocacy and concomitant bike infrastructure and safety improvements all up and down the Peninsula. A great outcome and trend as our cities have been and are becoming ever more bike/ped conscious and friendly.

    An expensive station bike locker is used at most by one bike per day, and far less than that on average.

    It seems the non-bikes-on trains peanut gallery on this blog just doesn’t get it, and is speaking from far corners without having seen, used and lived the unique in the world Caltrain+bike success that it has been.

    Joe Reply:

    System requires more capacity so no bikes are not needed to draw ridership.

    Is it 20 seats removed per train car to accommodate free bike space?
    That’s 60 seats and 60 fewer paid riders on the new 6 car train sets.

    Bike locality you mean they are actively lobbying for a new bike car like green Caltrain. Sure, call that loyalty, now let’s charge for Bike space.

    The north bound bullet out of San jose will be uncomfortably packed at Sunnyvale this AM. I wonder if these people appreciate the bike space.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    Is it 20 seats removed per train car to accommodate free bike space?
    That’s 60 seats and 60 fewer paid riders on the new 6 car train sets.

    Wrong. 60 fewer seats does not equate to 60 fewer riders. There is a thing called standing.

    Joe Reply:

    Standing on the bikes?

    You do bring up a good point, besides the loss of seating these bikes remove space for standing.

    The total decrease in capacity is greater than 60 per 3 car train.

    Bike advocacy is okay but the accommodation reduces Caltrain capacity. It’s free service that is designed to encourage biking.

    It’s not about Caltrain capacity and if the community complains about reduced Caltrain capacity they ought to reconsider this policy.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    It seems clear that if Caltrain were ever to become a real high-capacity line, the bikes wouldn’t work. Presumably that won’t happen any time soon though.

    The real question seem to be what happens in the medium term, if ridership continues to rise. E.g. given their current infrequent schedule, you’d think there’d be room for frequency increases to increase capacity, but how true this actually is in light of things like the lack of grade separation, the pokey diesel trains, the pending CAHSR “blend”, etc, I have no idea…

    Joey Reply:

    You can always add more cars to a train (up to a point of course). That will increase rolling stock and operating costs though, so charging for bikes probably makes sense.

    Joe Reply:

    “How many non-bike customers are denied boarding”

    Well this morning on the northbound bullet train people will not be able to board at Sunnyvale because the train is uncomfortably packed. By comfortably I mean it is physically difficult to get off the train at Palo Alto.

    Back in the 90s Caltrain needed to attract ridership. Now Caltrain stations are areas of intense infill and the system turning people away on certain trains. And they’re losing paying customers because of this free space. There are employees shuttles public transit at the Caltrain station.

    Overall everyone agrees that the system needs to increase capacity to keep up with demand. Obviously losing 60 seats per train is going to cost ridership.

    I know someone who lives in Millvalley and writes his bike to Larkspar and then uses Caltrain and ride his bike to work.now our employer offers a free shuttle which this person chooses not to use because he likes the bike. If Caltrain didn’t allow bikes this person might have to drive but WTF is someone coming in from Millvalley down to Palo Alto. I mean are we going to give up his seat for pain passenger to accommodate someone that wants to buy again from Millvalley?

    That I know people that live in Menlo Park or other nearby areas that choose to drive rather than bike. there are other ways to get people on bikes than do give up seats on Caltrain. Charge for parking is one of them.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    You are implying that people are out there thinking that “I am not going to use Caltrain because they removed 60 seats for bikes.”

    Well there are significantly more relevant factors in people’s choice to use Caltrain…

    Caltrain only stops at my station once per hour.

    Caltrain fares are too high.

    Caltrain has crappy midday service.

    Caltrain has crappy evening service.

    Caltrain has crappy weekend service.

    These are more important to current and potential Caltrain customers than removing 60 seats for bikes.

    Even with those 60 seats and no bikes, trains would still be crowded and uncomfortable. Plus station parking would fill up much more quickly and buses/shuttles would be more crowded since people wouldn’t be able to bring their bikes on-board.

    The bottom line is that Caltrain needs to run longer trains and more frequent trains to handle the growing ridership.

  23. datacruncher
    Apr 29th, 2015 at 08:38
    #23

    I don’t understand why a Japanese researcher would decide out of all the politicians, reporters, opponents, engineers, bloggers, watchdogs, etc in California that he would call and discuss this with a Madera County Supervisor. But setting that aside, here is the article.

    Madera County Supervisor David Rogers Exposes Flawed High Speed Rail Design

    In testimony before the transportation committee of the California State Assembly, Madera County Supervisor David Rogers revealed a critical flaw in the design of the rail bed for the high speed rail.

    Rogers said that on April 15 he received a call from Dr. Yutaka Nakamura, an engineer who has real-world experience in observing high speed bullet train behavior around the world, including 14 years of service on the bullet train accident investigation team and partner in the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI).

    Between 1959 and 1964, Japan used ballast design rail beds for bullet trains, said Dr. Nakamura.

    Track ballast, made of crushed stone, forms the track bed upon which the railroad ties are laid. The ballast holds the track in place.

    “This design failed miserably due to seismic activity. Even under good circumstances, the ballast design rail bed cannot be certified for travel at speeds of more than one hundred sixty five to one hundred seventy seven miles per hour,” he explained, far short of the 220 mph required for the California rail.

    According to Rogers, the ballast design rail bed is highly susceptible to seismic activity and subsidence due to drought.

    “Bullet trains have been derailed by earthquakes,” Rogers said. In his conversation with Dr. Nakamura, Rogers also discovered that the ballast design is also maintenance heavy.

    More in this article:
    http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/3051-madera-county-supervisor-david-rogers-exposes-flawed-high-speed-rail-design

    EJ Reply:

    Doesn’t HSR use ballasted track pretty much everywhere outside of Taiwan, Japan, and Germany? Including seismically active areas like Italy and Turkey?

    Useless Reply:

    EJ

    Ballastless track is a must for a safe operation past 320 km/hr, because stones “pop up” and damage the train at higher speed.

    Any corridor running at 320 km/hr or high must be built with ballastless tracks.

    Randyw Reply:

    The TGV speed record was set on balasted track. 574.8 kmh (357.16 mph) is MUCH faster than 320kmh or the 220 mph specified for California. I suspect “pop up” is just back seat engineering…

    https://youtu.be/8skXT5NQzCg

    Randyw Reply:

    plus isn’t it easier to incrementally adjust ballasted track for subsidence?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Yes – this is why they are using it. It is not the best solution for some of the other challeges however.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    It wasn’t a 16 car train consist – apparently the longer the train the bigger an issue the ballast pickup is.

    Useless Reply:

    Randyw

    The track had to be repaired after the record setting custom TGV train set ran twice over it.

    Setting a speed record and actually running 352 km/hr 80 times a day are two totally separate things.

    Eric M Reply:

    Running steel wheel on rail trainsets at 574 kph vs 360 kph is a HUGE difference

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    I don’t know the specifics but high speed rail above 180 mph is technically a very different animal than at 125-160 mph, which is what makes up the majority of the systems labeled high speed rail.

    While slope is not an issue (to put it mildly) for CHSRA in the Central Valley, the geotechnical conditions are complicated. There are very soft, corrosive soils with significant and not predictable subsidence without any bedrock.

    Ballasted track is easier for some of these issues but 220 mph creates other issues – including flying ballast and other issues.

    The international rail operators have been sounding cautionary notes about only going at full speed if you have to – there are increasing challenges, costs and risks as speeds rise above 180 mph.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    There is a good image located here http://www.greeninfo.org/work/project/san-joaquin-valley-land-subsidence from a recent EIR of the subsidence and HSR

    Useless Reply:

    Elizabeth Alexis

    Indeed, the 350 km/hr is considered the sonic barrier of high speed train; just as there are subsonic and supersonic jets, there are sub-350 km/hr and super-350 km/hr high speed trains, because rail wear and tear, and pantograph aerodynamic behavior changes drastically around 350 km/hr.

    The CHSRA’s plan of buying a 300 km/hr design and upgrading it to reach a 352 km/hr revenue service makes as much sense as buying a subsonic jet and doing a supersonic dive. Whatever the CHSRA decides to buy must be specifically designed for that operating speed from scratch.

    But in that case, there is just only one bullet train in the world the CHSRA could buy if they insist on a 220 mph revenue service; the HEMU-430X.

    Peter Reply:

    Do you get a shilling every time you shill for Hyundai-Rotem?

    Eric M Reply:

    Probably. Useless disregards all other rail suppliers as if his/her word is law (with special hated towards the Chinese and Japanese) and rules can’t be changed or waived.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    It’s really a simple thing to understand.

    – Enforce FRA Tier-III crash standard : All Japanese, Chinese bids eliminated.
    – Insist on a 220 mph revenue service : TGV, Velaro, and KTX-II eliminated.

    The last train remaining is the HEMU-430X.

    Peter Reply:

    Again, there is no “insistence” on 220 mph revenue service, and there is no “FRA Tier-III crash standard” yet (they haven’t even made the draft public, as far as I can tell), so how can you tell what trains will qualify (do you have a direct line to the manufacturers’ engineers who have told you they can’t meet UIC crashworthiness standards?).

    All that’s happened so far is that on a powerpoint presentation made by the Authority for the REOI they wrote a couple of lines that you have taken as gospel. They are not “requirements”.

    Gain some perspective, for Pete’s sake.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    > there is no “insistence” on 220 mph revenue service

    California Prop 1a requires 220 mph revenue service, because of that 2 hour 40 minute travel requirement. It’s legally binding.

    > how can you tell what trains will qualify

    Train crash standards of Japan and China are well-known(there are none), and Tier-III train sets must share tracks with existing Tier-I trains. So there is no way in hell the existing models of tin-can Shinkansen and its Chinese rip-offs can meet the Tier-III standard.

    Eric M Reply:

    He is like the Korean version of Lewellan with the dual mode Talgo!!

    Peter Reply:

    Sorry, I thought this was about the 5 year revenue service “requirement” again. Obviously, the trains need to be capable of 220 mph revenue service.

    And while I agree with you that Chinese trains will never run in CA (partly because of patent infringement), there is no reason why engineers could not make the Kawasaki efSet Tier-III compliant (whatever those standards may be). Engineers are smart.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    > there is no reason why engineers could not make the Kawasaki efSet Tier-III compliant

    efSET doesn’t physically exist, there is no place to test it in Japan(too heavy), and lastly Japanese will never use it, which would mean that the CHSRA would be the first efSET operator.

    The whole purpose of buying “proven” designs off the self is to minimize the risk.

    Peter Reply:

    Why would they have to test it in Japan? There are a number of test tracks elsewhere. Trains get shipped all the time.

    Peter Reply:

    Hmmm, what is this? http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/daichan2010/GALLERY/show_image.html?id=33476895&no=3

    Is this the efSet? Seriously, I’m curious what this train is. Does anyone know?

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    > Is this the efSet?

    Sorry, that’s the E7 which is not eligible to bid in California.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/japans-new-series-e7-bullet-train-understated-luxurious/

    Peter Reply:

    That’s what I thought. Anyway, Japan still thinks it can bid the efSet, even if you say it can’t.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    > Also,

    Well, it is tad impossible to be evaluate the efSET since it does not physically exist. CHSRA evaluators expect to be able to ride the offered train model for evaluation in person.

    With the HEMU-430X, Rotem would be happy to take the CHSRA evaluators to 430 km/hr rides every night.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    > Anyway, Japan still thinks it can bid the efSet

    When you read Japanese newspaper articles in Japanese, you are amazed by how totally clueless Japanese are about the US and the outside world. Blame it on the language barrier, where English speaking is an exception, not a norm, in Japan.

    So Japanese hoping to convince the CHSRA to be the first efSET customer and test bed is a wishful thinking, because the last thing that CHSRA needs to do is to become the first customer of a never-built product from a vendor which never built a product similar to what it propose to sell before.

    Peter Reply:

    So you think CHSRA “evaluators” wouldn’t select the efSET because they can’t go on a junket to ride that particular train? That’s ridiculous. The ride on any other modern Shinkansen would be just about the same.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    > The ride on any other modern Shinkansen would be just about the same.

    The Shinkansen and the efSET are nothing like each other. The efSET is 50% heavier than the Shinkansen in order to be able to meet UIC crash standards(Might be even heavier to be able to meet the FRA Tier-III), yet it is supposed to be faster than the Shinkansen. That changes every variable of the equation, and buying the efSET would be the riskiest decision that the CHSRA would make.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Peter: Don’t disqualify CNR/CSR yet. There are reports floating around stating that Bombardier is in need of cash for their newest passenger jet, and that they are “looking at” selling (parts of) the railroad business. Now, who would be interested in a German rolling stock manufacturer?

    Hint: Hitachi now has their European base (AnsaldoBreda)…

    Now, assume that CNR/CSR would by Bombardier, they would become the holder of the patents and all that other crap…

    Of course, that is all speculation based on some economy paper reports.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the Europeans can throw their smorgabord of trains into a meat grinder and have a train for North America come out how come the Japanese can’t slightly narrow and strengthen the stuff they have been building for 50 years?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    What is the track record of Hyunday Rotem in the US? … or is it mainly their US subsidiaries producing xxxx?

    Clem Reply:

    I dunno, ask the MBTA. They have some recent experience.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So does SEPTA. And Metrolink. IIRC the major theme of the encounters was “late”.

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    > What is the track record of Hyunday Rotem in the US?

    Zero fatality in a crash that cost 25 lives in an earlier Bombardier crash at Metrolink.

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/feb/24/train-car-design-reduced-impact-in-southern/

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    > how come the Japanese can’t slightly narrow and strengthen the stuff they have been building for 50 years?

    Because that won’t meet the FRA Tier-III crash standard. The very existence of efSET is an acknowledgement on Kawasaki’s part that Shinkansen cannot be exported to markets that have crash standards.

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    > assume that CNR/CSR would by Bombardier

    ““Bombardier Transportation is not for sale,” spokeswoman Isabelle Rondeau said in an email Wednesday, responding to reports that Chinese companies CSR Corp. and CNR Corp. are interested in acquiring a majority of the business.”

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/transportation/chinese-acquisition-of-bombardier-inc-transportation-would-face-significant-opposition

    Peter Reply:

    Maybe we should wait for the NTSB’s report before tooting Hyundai Rotem’s horn. When was the last time that Caltrain, using the same rolling stock that Metrolink is retiring, had an on-board fatality from a grade crossing accident? They seem to have a lot of them, too, and none of their cars have CEM technology.

    Clem Reply:

    The Metrolink Rotem cars involved in that crash did not have any crash energy to manage, since they hit nothing but a small truck. Try a head-on with a freight train and you’ll have an apples-to-apples comparison. As for Caltrain, their clock is ticking, it could happen any day.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You really should use your clairvoyance for something more lucrative. Why wouldn’t the Japanese, who have lots of experience with the FRA be able to build something that meets them whatever they turn out to be?

    swing hanger Reply:

    @adi
    Japanese products are inferior, as they are not made of superior-engineered Corean steel made of a secret alloy containing a mixture of kimchi and Jinro, which also clads the most kickass MBT to exist, the K1!!!

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Useless:

    >Zero fatality in a crash that cost 25 lives in an earlier Bombardier crash at Metrolink.

    Yeah, the train driver does not count.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Hmmm… Metrolink crash… they fall over so easily…

    Roland Reply:

    @Mam Wyss Did your “economy paper reports” mention that GE announced that they had $27.5B burning a hole in their pockets the same day that Bombardier announced that they were putting BT on the block for $5.7B?

    Eric M Reply:

    AGV designed operating speed: 360kph = 223.694 mph
    Velaro designed operating speed: 360kph = 223.694 mph

    Both train-sets in revenue operation

    HEMU-430X = 1 prototype and NOT IN COMMERCIAL SERVICE

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    The AGV and the Velaro’s actual revenue service speeds are lower than designed operating speeds, because designed operating speed needs to be at least 10% faster than the revenue service speed. Both AGV and Velaro are 320 km/hr revenue service class trains. 320 km/hr + 10% safety margin = 352 km/hr minimum designed operating speed required.

    This is the reason why the HEMU-430X’s designed operating speed is 430 km/hr, so that it could safely run at 370 km/hr every day without overly stressing its tracks.

    Eric M Reply:

    “Designed operating speeds” are just that. Not maximum testing speeds. The train-sets need to perform testing at 10% above operating speeds. And if you can’t get past the fact the AGV and Velaro are designed to “operate” at 360 kph during revenue service, you clearly have no clue.

    By the way, the Siemens Velaro E was tested at 403.7 kph on the Madrid-Barcelona line in 2006 before entering service. Notice “tested”.

    Also, from the horses mouth, “Alstom suggested that (to the CA HSRA) the minimum test track length (for the AVG) should allow 25 mi (40 km) for acceleration and deceleration and 19 mi – 37 mi (30 km – 60 km) for running at the maximum speed. Thus, the total length of track should be approximately 44 mi – 62 mi (70 km – 100 km). ” This is to achieve 390 kmh for testing and 354 kph (220 mph) for revenue service.

    Eric M Reply:

    Might want to take off your South Korean blinders. The Germans make a train-set called Siemens Velaro along with the French that make a train-set called the Alstom AGV. Oh wait, there is another called the Bombardier Zefiro.

    All capable of 220 mph.

    But you already should know this because it has been told to you many times before.

    EJ Reply:

    Why would CAHSR use inferior, non-Korean technology?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The main reason to not going much beyond 320 km/h are economic. The increased cost (infrastructure and operation) does not justify the marginal gain in time.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The Tokaido Shinkansen’s top speed is indeed 270 km/h (soon to be raised to 285), but it’s because of curves and not seismic issues. France magically runs trains at 300 km/h in seismically active areas on ballasted track, and the limit there is again not about earthquakes.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    180 to 220 is a big difference for wear and tear/ ballast pickup issues. These are particularly an issue in soft ground at transition points – which there will be a lot of with this project. Example of transition – change from level ground to embankment.

    Useless Reply:

    Elizabeth Alexis

    > 180 to 220 is a big difference for wear and tear

    The wear and tear is even greater 320 to 350 km+.

    The Chinese tried to get their 300 km/hr trains run at 380 km/hr only to give up in a few months because the wear and tear was too great and unsustainable. And they did this with an up-powered Shinkansen E2, a train set much lighter than the TGV and the Velaro. Trying to do 352 km/hr on a TGV or a Velaro several times a day everyday is a non-starter as these train have too high axle road to make daily runs sustainable.

    Peter Reply:

    And the French have been using ballast at 200 mph with 16 car trainsets for years. These are not insurmountable obstacles.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Btw, it would be very useful if you could specify your units…. Especially when you’re using different units than the post to which your replying!

    MarkB Reply:

    Even better: for those commenters who use metric measurements, please always include Imperial equivalents. I’m a stupid American who uses God’s own Imperial system and I have no idea how fast 300 km/h is or 350 km/h or even 380 km/h, nor do I want to always whip out a calculator to do a series of conversions just to understand a comment.

    In case someone wants to go there: I have no interest in arguing the superiority of one system over another, but as a California-based blog in a country whose inhabitants use the Imperial system, this is Rome, so do as the Romans. Thank you.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    No.

    300kmh is an definite, comparable quantity.

    It has nothing at all to do with your football fields and Empire State Buildings and Olympic Swimming Pools and Linebacker Weight and Rhode Island units of measurement.

    There is no reason at all that any quantity of any type of CHSR should have been in non-metric units, other than the overriding reason that it gives PBQD consultants a reason to exist and to double or triple the cost of the project, as every single procured object above the ballast stones will have originally been designed in non-USA units.

    But since this project is purely and exclusively about the profits of utterly corrupt and purely rent seeking trade protected US corporations. … well, carry on!

    HSR will accelerate at over eight billion degrees fahrenheit as it delivers over two squillion square ounces of economic stimulus to the 38 million gallon per inch population of California, the eleventeenth most hypercharged volume on the surface of earth.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    On the subject of HSR speeds, it makes little sense to use anything other than metric units, even you ignore the obvious general advantages of these units. Essentially all HSR systems are in countries that use metric units, and so the great bulk of what’s written about them uses the same units.

    When Elizabeth wrote about “speed XX”, my natural reaction was to think “ok, how does that relate to existing HSR system speeds” …. which are all most widely known in km/h. She used (I think…there were not units specified) mph, requiring an annoying conversion. Even if you use mph for your everyday life, this probably still applies.

    The CAHSR organization is probably forced to use imperial units in all official material for political reasons, but that doesn’t mean we have to use them when discussing it.

    MarkB Reply:

    Yes, there is a reason to include other-than metric measures: it’s a “foreign language” in a country that speaks Imperial.

    Once again: I’m not asking anyone to NOT use metric; I’m asking to also INCLUDE Imperial equivalents.

    Yea Metric! It’ll solve world hunger, cause carbon to fall from the atmosphere and bring world peace, I get it. It’s still a foreign language on a blog of general readership in a state and country that uses Imperial.

    I promise you this: adding Imperial equivalents here will not put another penny into PDBQWTF’s pockets, no matter what RM says. And, there’s nothing HSR-unique about using the form “xxx km/h (yy mph)” or similar: It will cause no probes to fail on Mars and will cause no more autism than a MMR vaccine.

    joe Reply:

    Like an automobile’s analog speedometer also marks KM in blue.

    Jerry Reply:

    Each year the week in which October 10th occurs is National Metric Week.
    October 10th is National Metric Day. (The 10th day of the 10th month.)
    It was started in 1976. One year after the Metric Conversion Act of 1975.

    jonathan Reply:

    Point of terminology: the US does *not* use the Imperial system.

    The US uses “US customary units”. Length and weight are the same as Imperial units; but for liquids/volumes, the US uses the Queen Anne wine gallon, which is not an Imperial unit.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Honestly, it’s dialectical. In certain edge cases, like physics calculations, it’s better to stick to coherent units like m/s and avoid even km/h, but otherwise, people can infer from context either way. I learned the English system by talking to Americans on the internet enough that I got a feel for what things like “doing 65 on a 55 road” mean, same way I learned dialectical expressions like septic and tizzy.

    Personally I think the various alphabet soups we all use in these discussions are harder to keep track of; I try to limit using them in my blog posts, while liberally using them in comments, especially when responding to regular commenters.

    Edward Reply:

    I have to agree. I am an American, but I am an electrical engineer and physicist. With joy in my heart I discovered after graduation that I would never have to deal with slugs again, and I don’t mean the kind with wheels. I spent twenty years of my life working in other countries and worked for companies in the US that were as totally metric as they could get and that is damn hard here.

    On the other hand, I have tried to buy a 6-32 screw in the world’s largest Ace Hardware. No, we only have metric. It’s in West Java.

    Of course electrical engineering IS metric as it came along after the metric system. Another thing you can blame on the Americans – or an American – is the fact that the carrier of electricity is negative. Why? Ben Franklin guessed wrong. Not his fault really. He *thought* he could see which way the spark was jumping.

    So I am used to almost any system of units, but for work give me rationalized mks any day.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Blame on the” septics.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Ask for “computer” screws.

    Edward Reply:

    One inch computer screws?

    Yes, I know that dodge, but they are usually all about 6 mm long. :-o

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    if you asked them for 2.5 cm screws with the thread used on computer drives they would have understood what you wanted. If they had any in stock is a different answer.
    …. Ya shoulda bought the SSD packaged with brackets to mount it in the 3.5 inch bay…

    MarkB Reply:

    Just show consideration for readers who aren’t engineers and aren’t scientists and aren’t HSR “technicals” is all I’m asking.

    Edward Reply:

    It isn’t really all that hard. The thing being mentioned all the time is speed. Just memorize two or three speeds and you’ll get the feel. Just like degrees Celsius. If you live for a few weeks in a place with English news reports and metric units you pretty soon get a feel for whether or not you will need a coat.

    So (rounded within 1%) we have:

    250 km/hr = 125 mph, So called higher speed rail, another US term.
    300 km/hr = 187 mph, Typical HSR in Germany say.
    350 km/hr = 220 mph, Maximum design speed of California HSR.

    That is enough to get a feeling for what is being discussed. Few – if any – people here are actually designing this stuff and need more accuracy.

    Edward Reply:

    Ok, ok. So it isn’t so easy.

    That first one is 200 km/hr = 125.

    Peter Reply:

    I guess the French have been doing it wrong all this time.

    Wasn’t the Tokaido Shinkansen originally designed for lower speeds (lower speed rolling stock and very curvy?).

    Also, engineering solutions have been developed to sseismically stabilize ballasted track: http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/content/article/10.1680/gein.13.00023

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Yeah, the same rolling stock runs at a generally faster speed on the Sanyo shinkansen (Osaka – Hakata) than on the Tokaido shinkansen (Tokyo – Osaka). My recollection is that the Tokaido portion is slower because of a smaller curve radius and due to aerodynamic noise constraints as it runs through many built-up areas.

    morris brown Reply:

    This issue of using ballast rail beds, thus making the HSR project unsafe and being a poor “cheap” choice, seems to be bogus. I have corresponded with Clem and others on the issue, and they all discount this objection.

    Supervisor’s Rogers comments on this can be hear in the YouTube link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tSitXyavQo

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: this is an non-issue and the solution came from miniature railroad enthusiasts who had to deal with ballast the size of grains of salt: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Maja_Ahac/publication/272815590_Track_stability_using_ballast_bonding_method/links/54ef3ca10cf2432ba65630b8.pdf

    Leroy W. Demery, Jr. Reply:

    “datacruncher” wrote:

    “I don’t understand why a Japanese researcher would decide out of all the politicians, reporters, opponents, engineers, bloggers, watchdogs, etc in California that he would call and discuss this with a Madera County Supervisor. But setting that aside …”

    You would do well, “datacruncher,” not to set this aside. HSR opposition in Japan dates back a long time, and opponents include trained and experienced railway engineers. Nakamura’s area of expertise, based on a (quick) Google search (in English) appears to be seismic safety.

    “Between 1959 and 1964, Japan used ballast design rail beds for bullet trains, said Dr. Nakamura.”

    Please. There were no “bullet trains” in service in Japan until 1964. Moreover, a significant length of the San-yō Shinkansen was built with ballasted track. Track construction of the Shin-Ōsaka – Okayama segment, opened 1972, was described as “nearly the same as the Tokaido Shinkansen.”

    (Ref: Kerr, Arnold D. (ed.). 1978. Railroad Track Mechanics and Technology: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at Princeton University, April 21 – 23, 1975. Oxford: Pergamon.)

    Some segments of the westward extension to Fukuoka (Hakata station), opened 1975, were built with ballasted track. And so forth.

    It pays to remember that a Japanese with an axe to grind is likely to know – and well – that he can say or write whatever he wants in English, to an American interlocutor, without having to worry about fact-checking.

    KT Reply:

    1959-1964 is time of construction. The dates are valid.

    Also, Tokyo-Okayama is only route in Shinkansen with ballasted track greater than 50% of the route. Remaining routes are mostly constructed on slab track.

    Tokyo – Shin Osaka (0%)
    Shin Osaka – Okayama (about 5%)
    Okayama – Hakata (about 70%)
    Omiya – Niigata (>90%)
    Tokyo – Morioka (about 90%)
    Takasaki – Nagano (about 85%)
    Remaining new extensions (all >90%)

    (Ref. Railway Technical Institute of Japan, April 2014 [in Japanese])

    Leroy W. Demery, Jr. Reply:

    “KT” wrote: “1959-1964 is the time of construction. The dates are valid.”

    No, the dates are not valid. The initial San-yō Shinkansen segment, Shin-Ōsaka – Okayama, was started during 1967, and the Okayama – Fukuoka segment during 1970.

    With reference to track length, the Okayama – Fukuoka segment had 144 (of 796) km (18 percent) “improved track structure with ballast” (the primary improvement was the “Ballastmat,” laid beneath ballast), on viaducts and in tunnels. Of the remainder, 544 km (68 percent) was slab track and 108 km (14 percent) was ballasted track on embankments and in cuttings.

    It is true that Shinkansen planners decided by 1972 to use slab-track construction when possible to reduce maintenance cost. But that was not my point. Also, concerns regarding slab track (e.g. that it was not suitable where long-term “displacement” of structures was anticipated) were worked out by the time the Tōhoku and Jōetsu shinkansen lines were built. But that was not my point, either. The issue here is credibility – that of Yutaka Nakamura, as quoted by Madera County Supervisor David Rogers. Contemporary sources state that slab track was adopted to improve resistance to high axle loads, improving stability and and reducing maintenance costs. Contrary to Nakamura and Rogers, contemporary sources make little mention of “seismic” or “earthquake” safety – the papers presented at the 1978 symposium made none at all.

    Again: It pays to remember that a Japanese with an axe to grind is likely to know – and well – that he can say or write whatever he wants in English, to an American interlocutor, without having to worry about fact-checking.

  24. morris brown
    Apr 29th, 2015 at 09:19
    #24

    BART needs billions for new cars, operating system and maintenance complex

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28009415/bart-needs-billions-new-cars-operating-system-and

    BART will need voter help to meet more than $9.6 billion in capital needs through 2024, and it has no contingency plan if voters don’t come through to help, California’s state auditor says in a report released Tuesday afternoon.

    The report comes as the agency is replacing aged train cars that are at the end of their useful lives and working to replace a train-control system needed to operate new cars efficiently enough to take on the system’s steadily increasing — and less happy than ever — 400,000 daily riders.

    This is a classic example of this transit agency boasting for years about how wonderful their system was operating, and that the fare box recovery was recovering about 60% of operating costs. Those operating costs never included capital costs.

    Now 40 years later, we see that operating costs also did not include replacement cost for their cars either. Amazing the kind of accounting that these agencies employ and “get away” using.

    Relavance to HSR is , of course, what expenses are to be included in operating costs for the HSR operations. Remember Prop 1A demand no susbidy for operating costs of the train.

    Joey Reply:

    Farebox recovery is systematically better for intercity travel, and in particular for high speed operations tends to cover operating expenses at the very least. I believe there are a few regional lines worldwide which manage to cover their operating costs, mostly in East Asia, but they’re relatively rare.

    Roland Reply:

    How about some hard facts for a change? https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/345816/rail-subsidy-indicator.xls

    Jerry Reply:

    ” Amazing the kind of accounting that these agencies employ and “get away” using.”
    That cannot be repeated enough. About ALL government agencies. And, increasingly, private businesses as well.

    les Reply:

    By the way, where are we in the recovery cost for the 2 trillion in bonds and grants spent over the last 70 years on airport capital cost? Let me know when you have a number.

    Clem Reply:

    Those bonds were justifiably sold by government agencies seeking to increase mobility and stimulate economic growth. HSR, on the other hand, is a boondoggle.

    les Reply:

    Yea right, and HSR has had such a negative economic impact around the world.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “… if voters don’t come through to help,”

    What a joke. That notion and the audit itself. And they worked over Amalgamated too. If the union threatens to not support the election campaign BART can always start talking up driverless. That will bring the union around muy pronto.

  25. Reality Check
    Apr 29th, 2015 at 11:34
    #25

    O/T, but too sad not to share: Bay Bridge water leak clusterfuck deepens

    The continuing accumulation of water at the bottom of bolts anchoring the new Bay Bridge tower has led to a stiff exchange of hardening positions on what’s happening and whose fault it is.

    Despite attempts to dry out the sleeves holding the bolts, water keeps flowing, and in numerous places it cannot be removed, said Brian Petersen, American Bridge/Fluor project director, in an April 14 letter to Caltrans engineer William Casey.

    […]

    Clem Reply:

    Build some support bents under the suspension span, sever the cable, and keep the ornamental tower. Turn it into the causeway it should always have been. This bridge never “spanned” anything other than mud flats and political egos.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Only if that part of the Bridge is named after the other Brown Bro.

  26. morris brown
    Apr 30th, 2015 at 08:23
    #26

    Bullet train on Japanese PM’s agenda in California visit

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/technology/article19923402.html

    Traveling to San Francisco later in the day, the Japanese leader will meet with Gov. Jerry Brown and invite him to try the bullet train simulator that Abe is bringing, said Takako Ito, a foreign ministry spokeswoman. Brown has pushed for a $68 billion rail project that would connect San Francisco to Los Angeles.

    Those with long memories (good for Mike Honda)..

    While on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Abe declared “history is harsh” and offered condolences for Americans who died in World War II. He stopped short of offering an apology sought by U.S. lawmakers for Japanese conduct during the war, including sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Asian women by Japan’s imperial army.

    Congressman Mike Honda, a Japanese-American democrat representing the Silicon Valley, was among those pressing for a direct apology.

    Abe’s “refusal to squarely face history is an insult to the spirit of the 200,000 girls and women from the Asia-Pacific who suffered during World War II,” said Honda on Wednesday.

  27. Derek
    Apr 30th, 2015 at 22:10
    #27
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