Texas HSR Gets a New Leader and New Money

Jul 30th, 2015 | Posted by

Some good news for the Texas Central high speed rail project this week:

The board of directors of Texas Central Partners appointed Tim Keith of Dallas as the new CEO and announced the closing of a round of development funding that brings $75 million dollars in new capital, all from Texas-based investors, into the company. The offering was oversubscribed and the funds will be used to support ongoing development activities.

The new funding comes just two months after the proposed Dallas-to-Houston bullet train system was almost derailed by opposition in the state legislature.

So they won an important legislative fight, have a new chief executive, and got some more capital. All great news. Sure, California HSR has over $4 billion in capital in the door from state and local government, but that’s cool Texas, you need money too.

Their estimate is that they need $12 billion to build the project. But they’ll also need administrative help from the state to get environmental clearances done, and maybe land acquisition, which gives opponents some leverage to try and stop it from happening.

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  1. keith saggers
    Jul 30th, 2015 at 09:42
    #1

    The project is undergoing a federal environmental review and could be completed as early as 2021, its proponents have said. Dallas Business Journal.

    JJJJ Reply:

    Could be. The New York subway could also be extended to Fresno by 2025.

    Eric Reply:

    I LOLed :)

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    no, the NY subways are going to connect to the Cincinnati subway.
    New York knows how to deal with water in the tunnels.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You crazy?

    BART and PB have already drawn up the plans.

    Fresno Area Rapid Transit.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Indian standard gauge.

  2. J. Wong
    Jul 30th, 2015 at 09:59
    #2

    I’m happy for Texas (damn them!). It would be to CAHSR’s benefit if Texas did get HSR up and running since then politically I think California would have to step up to fund it.

    Danny Reply:

    TX vs. CA are some of the top state rivalries anyway–“you’re gonna let TEXAS get away with 210 mph?”

    TxHSR will also smash the eternal whine that it’s some sort of impossible extraterrestrial vaporware (they’re getting it in Morocco and Malaysia, FFS), or just that it’s impossible in ‘Murka: OTOH they’re going to learn the hard way that a consortium needs really hefty guards against a methhead-heavy Lege and a system where Southwest has liberum veto over any proposal

    Useless Reply:

    Danny

    TEXAS get away with 210 mph?”

    The Texas Central HSR is a straight transplant of its parent JR Central’s N700i Nozomi with a top design revenue service speed of 200 mph. The California High Speed Rail requires 220 mph revenue speed so it is guaranteed to be faster than the N700i.

    Danny Reply:

    oh, my joke was that it’d set off a sort of speed-obsessed arms race

    Useless Reply:

    Danny

    Japanese aren’t interested in speed arms race, they have Maglev for that.

    Danny Reply:

    which they’re building because their HSR is at capacity

  3. TomA
    Jul 30th, 2015 at 10:39
    #3

    Also – if in fact it takes off in Texas, where lots and lots of influential Republicans call home, they might actually give up their fight, and eventually push for more HSR elsewhere.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Those Congresscritters have to beg for money from rich donors in Manhattan and to some extent Philadelphia. They know how to get on a train. Their story is that Real Americans ™ drive everywhere and trains are a communist plot to turn us all into subway commuting high rise dwellers. It must be true, George Will said so.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    well, he probably said it cuz there are actually people, maybe even some right here on this blog, that do think we should all be subway riding high-rise dwellers.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He said it because he’s hypocritical zealot who likes his paycheck.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/diminished-individualism-watch/?_r=0

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    well there’s that too.

    JJJJ Reply:

    Youre ignoring rule 1 of being a republican “fuck you I have mine”

    synonymouse Reply:

    rule 1 of TWU and Amalgamated as well when they go on strike.

    TomA Reply:

    But they wont have theirs. There are plenty of Republican lead states that could have HSR and dont – the Great Lakes right now. Florida, Georgia, and NC. In time Arizona could probably benefit from a link to LA.

    And to get theres, they will also have to give some to liberal states.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    GA, NC, VA, have signed on to communicate and build HSR. SC will probably be a free rider because it’s in the way.

    Florida’s proposal just sucked- it did. It maybe shouldn’t have been turned down (free fed money to a donor state? Why turn that down?), but it wouldn’t exactly be a positive start to HSR in the US. Acela-speed All Aboard Florida shows a lot more promise at this point.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Texas Republicans don’t really care about the rest of the country. On the other hand, other Republicans (like California’s) might give up and start pushing for HSR at least in their home states.

    Reality Check Reply:

    If HSR “succeeds” in Texas, it’ll ruin the popular old saw that HSR can’t/won’t/doesn’t work in the USA.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Bay-Sac to LA-SD is far and away the most promising corridor for new HSR in the US if done optimally, which luckily happens to also be the cheaper.

    Texas HSR could quite possibly disappoint financially big time. Lone Star State profoundly auto-centric just like the San Joaquin Valley and new automotive tech will make the private car more competitive and enviro-green.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    IF you think there aren’t any people east of the Sierra Nevada. Otherwise not so much.

    Domayv Reply:

    and that’s what the CaHSR’s going to do: break the auto-centric trends that the San Joaquin Valley has, and the same will be done in Texas with its own HSR system (in this case between Dallas and Houston, especially considering that I-45, which links the two cities, is among the most congested in the state and has an insanely high rate of fatalities and accidents, even earning a nickname in one section “The Texas Killing Fields”)

    Also, even if cars do become more green, it isn’t going to change the fact that America will still be enslaved to gridlock and that the freeways are becoming increasingly congested lest we add more lands (which isn’t going to do much in the long run).

    synonymouse Reply:

    Automated freeways will alleviate the gridlock. At least that is the scenario.

    No more outrageous than the notion Palmdale to LA will mint money.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Automated freeways will alleviate the gridlock. At least that is the scenario.

    Nobody believes that except you (and the Reason Foundation, of course, but at least they’re paid to believe it)….

    synonymouse Reply:

    Except all the auto manufacturers and a bunch of techies.

    joe Reply:

    Cheerleaders may think it’s possible.

    Not the techies at MIT who do robotics and automation. It’s a very hard, unsolved problem.

    Adaptive cruise control is an assisting system. Self driving automobile is a human safety system – the cost of building a safe system and testing it to deploy exceeds the software development capacity of the automobile makers.

    You’re in the realm of aviation software which can cost $200 per line of code to build and deploy.

    Cars will not self drive – they’ll assist the driver and also mitigate potential collisions but the system must able to be over ridden – and that’s why congestion is not going away cheerleader.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The auto manufacturers believed that in 1939, too.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It will just a bit and avoid a lot of the rubbernecking at the fender benders. Partly because automated cars don’t have morbid urges to rubberneck and there will be less fender benders. The automated cars still take up the same amount of space when they are parked.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Certainly it will improve things a bit, but syno’s faith that it will solve all problems and begin a new age of happy auto wonderland (like people imagined in the 1950s) is … misplaced… ><

    Andy M Reply:

    Why?

    I would assume automated cars can park far more precisely than humans and furthermore with humans not needing to access them while parked, the space between them can be reduced massively.

    Furthermore, in human-operated car parks, all cars need access to the aisles at any time as you never know in which order they will leave. This leads to inefficient use of space with maybe half the space not being used for parking. Self-driving cars and self-organise and so move around to permit cars to leave as required.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Waiting an hour and half for your car to pop out the other side of the parking lot will annoy a lot of people.

    agb5 Reply:

    Automated freeways will alleviate gridlock when your car is intelligent enough to refuse to leave your driveway until the road is clear.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The highway lobby will be re-invigorated with another whole set of freeways, and bridges, optimized for intelligent cars.

    See Barbara Boxer, the model liberal who never met a new freeway lane she did not like, especially in Marin County.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Which do you think the voters would favor at the polls, intelligent freeways or JerryRail?

    To use the cyber-freeway travelers will not have to payola Amalgamated. And politically what happens when the transport unions are no longer powerful due to driverless and public opposition to crippling strikes? No more contributions for politicians and propaganda campaigns.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ll still have slower trips, get stuck in traffic and find a place to park. But then again self driving cars solve the problem on the other end of a train trip. If the car is truly autonomous the taxi companies can use them. Instead of Uber finding you a car and driver it can just summons the nearest driverless cab. And if you can do that, why own a car?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Your own car will also be able to travel on intelligent freeways at high speeds. The uber cab won’t be free but you have already paid for the licensing and insurance of your own car and its operation and maintenance will be cheap since it is electric.

    Why do travelers today rent cars instead of riding in cabs?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They won’t be able to travel on intelligent freeways at speeds much higher than what they are now. Unless you want to abandon them and try to build ones that are more amenable to higher speeds. Even then the speeds would be lower than the trains.
    They ride in cabs, that’s why there are taxi stands at airports and bus terminals and train stations. Just like the autonomous car doesn’t get the urge to rubberneck the autonomous taxi doesn’t want a tip either. Get rid of the driver’s wages and tips the taxis will be cheaper.
    Why would you own a car when the autonomous taxi will be there in a moment or two? Why would you use the autonomous taxi that takes hours longer and can get stuck in traffic when you can take a faster train?

    J. Wong Reply:

    They’ll be operating HSR before they have driver-less cars running on a freeway.

    “Which do you think the voters would favor at the polls, intelligent freeways or JerryRail?”

    That is a false equivalence mostly because intelligent freeways are no where near to existing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ve been operating HSR trains in Japan for over 50 years….
    …. People said they would never be able to do it. Then they said they’d never be able to keep doing it. We need something new like maglev. Anyway self driving cars powered by synthetic fuel created using cheap fusion energy were just around the corner. Once we build enough superhighways and enough parking we wouldn’t need trains.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Dallas and Houston do have walkable portions. I’d imagine that TCR would be primarily business travelers between Dallas’ downtown and within the 610 loop. It’s a shame it looks like it’s unlikely to stop in The Woodlands, because that’s an emergent CBD/Edge City where there’s no air travel competition.

    I think TCR will do just fine. I don’t think it will spur a walkable revolution in Texas, Texas is incrementally developing walkable areas on its own.

    Andy M Reply:

    I see evidence of a massive influx of residents into downtown Houston. Only 10 years ago nobody wanted to live there but now many of the old builings are being refurbished and converted into appartments and the empty plots are being built on.

    And the very fact that people are clamoring to live there proves they want to be part of a walkable community.

    Even the former Texaco building is being made into appartements – the irony of it.

    Andy M Reply:

    “If HSR “succeeds” in Texas, it’ll ruin the popular old saw that HSR can’t/won’t/doesn’t work in the USA”

    No it won’t. Texas will just secede from the Union and normaility will be restored.

    Domayv Reply:

    but the secession won’t happen because the US won’t let it happen. At most, America could grant it autonomous status (Texas just has emough industries to leep itself afloat) like what China does with Hong Kong or what the UK does with Wales and Scotland (but then of course Texas would begin to do weird shit like close it borders with Mexico).

    EJ Reply:

    Well, also, only about 30% of Texans even believe that Texas has a right to succeed, and only 18% actually want to.

    EJ Reply:

    *secede* – damn auto-correct.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No they won’t once someone explains it to them in small words. All those military bases will be closing. Johnson Space Center will relocate to someplace in the U.S. Half the corporations in those glittering office towers in Houston and Dallas would want to keep their offices in the U.S. Having to get a visa when they want a weekend escape to New Orleans. Or the weekend escapes they don’t tell anybody about to New York or San Francisco or Chicago. How the number of flights at their airports will collapse because people will want to change planes someplace within the U.S. How they won’t be getting extended unemployment benefits as their economy oscillates between boom and bust. Or food stamps or medicaid. Or highway aid for those lovely Interstates. Or even the lovely US Routes. Or..

    Danny Reply:

    heck, there’s 45 Republican Senators who’ll shriek up and down when they suggest cutting Amtrak’s transcons to improve its profitability–because they know their states have a reliance on the service

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    And because when pressed Amtrak has already admitted that the cost of the long distance trains isn’t the train, it’s the corporate overhead.
    When they eliminated the five worst performing trains in 1979 they eliminated the revenue without materially affecting the overhead. Losses went up $150 million. The trains were operating at a profit, but being loaded down with assigned costs from corporate headquarters.

    Danny Reply:

    that’s why nobody can manage like Neutron Jack in real life: corporate operations just don’t work that way

  4. Roland
    Jul 30th, 2015 at 11:56
    #4

    OT: BART Loco contract
    CONTRACT NUMBER: 15TD-220
    TITLE: 66” Wide Guage 50 Ton Locomotive
    PRE-BID MEETING: August 5, 2015
    BIDS DUE DATE: August 25, 2015
    ESTIMATED COST: $2,675,000 to $2,925,000
    SUMMARY OF SCOPE: Provide and manufacture single unit non-articulated Locomotive, per specifications for on-track roadway machines with either 4 (four) or 6 (six) axle trucks, including loading, shipping, handling, unloading and on-track testing.

    William Reply:

    Any specific reason for posting this?

    Nick Reply:

    Maybe he just went loco

    Roland Reply:

    Just wondering if there is such a thing as a 50-ton 66″ gauge loco for $2.7M?
    Next question: can BART tracks take the axle load?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The reason for posting – IMHO – is once again to illuminate the consummate stupidity of BART eccentritech.

    EJ Reply:

    There are in India. Or, EMD could regauge one of their existing shunting locomotives – they do that sort of thing all the time for overseas customers. Considering BART already has diesel shunting locomotives, I’m sure they can find one with the appropriate axle loading.

    I’m not saying that it wasn’t a poor decision to build BART to a gauge used nowhere else in North America. But BART critics tend to make way more of a deal out of it than is really warranted. Locomotive and rolling stock manufacturers build broad gauge products all the time when they want to sell to Ireland, or Spain, or Australia, or Brazil, or India, or Pakistan, etc., etc.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why not Brunel’s 7 foot gauge?

    Domayv Reply:

    this isn’t WWII-era Germany, syno

    synonymouse Reply:

    I can’t grok the reference.

    “In the beginning Bechtel created the heavens and the earth.”

    Peter Reply:

    This is the reference: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breitspurbahn

    EJ Reply:

    Always makes me a little sad that that magnificent thing never got built. Of course, it would probably have been built using slave labor, so it wouldn’t have been great in reality, but what an amazing thing it would have been to see.

  5. les
    Jul 30th, 2015 at 15:22
    #5

    I don’t understand why attaining 75 million is such a big deal. Only 11.925 billion left to go.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Because it was obtained from private investors, who are making a supposedly informed “bet” (which is what an investment is), hence its importance.

    TomA Reply:

    Sure – but they are doing the equivalent of throwing $50 on your team to win the Super Bowl as you pass through a Vegas on a connecting flight. They are making a bet, but its not a big one.

  6. trentbridge
    Jul 30th, 2015 at 16:38
    #6

    Texas will turn Democratic in a Presidential Election before it completes it’s first five miles of HSR track.

    Useless Reply:

    trebdbridge

    Let us remember that it is the Japanese government that’s funding the Texas HSR.

  7. Useless
    Jul 31st, 2015 at 09:24
    #7

    A good article on why the Shinkansen is an impossible sell in the US with the sole exception of Texas. The Shinkansen bid is also found to be non-viable in California.

    Torkel L. Patterson, vice chairman of International High-Speed Rail Association in Japan and a special advisor to Central Japan Railway Co., acknowledges the same limitation. Japan can only expect to compete for projects that are building up entirely new systems, he says.

    Among the various high speed railway projects in the U.S., the high speed rail link between Houston and Dallas planned by the private company Texas Central High Speed Railway is the only one intended to be a closed system.

    https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/finding-the-silver-bullet-for-japans-train-dilemma/

    Useless Reply:

    Another interesting bit from the upenn article is that any Shinkansen model strengthened for the US market will be slower than its Japanese counterpart, due to weight increases. Shinkansen already has a relatively low top speed at 320 km/hr, and FRAed model will almost certainly not meet CHSRA’s requirement of 354 km/hr minimum revenue service speed. Japan has zero experience with high buff strength high speed train, the fastest they ever went was 150 mph on the British Rail Class 395.

    StevieB Reply:

    The conclusion is politics will determine when High Speed Rail is built in the US and public opinion will drive the politics. Rick Harnish, executive director of the Chicago-based Midwest High Speed Rail Association, in the final paragraph details the problem.

    “It is very difficult to build the high speed train, politically. The market is not the problem; the geography is not the problem; the population density is not the problem. The only problem is the politics and an inability to change policy quickly,” Harnish says. But a key project like the one in Texas could provide the “tipping point” needed to nudge policy in the direction toward acceptance of high-speed rail as a modern infrastructure needed to make the U.S. economy more competitive.

    Eric M Reply:

    NO WHERE in that article was it written what you quoted here.

    Just stop with the ant-Japanese HSR and the FRA rules you know nothing about.

    Eric M Reply:

    ….anti-Japanese HSR…

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    NO WHERE in that article was it written what you quoted here.

    Sorry to prove you wrong.

    “In the U.S., they may want to use freight trains or commuter trains on the same tracks as the bullet trains. This kind of customization can be done, but it will impact the speed of the bullet trains,” Chhaya notes.

    Eric M Reply:

    You didn’t, as what you wrote is not in the article. You are insinuating, which means, diddly squat.

    Eric Reply:

    All US HSR will be on dedicated tracks. So no customization is necessary, in TX or CA or anywhere else.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No it won’t. It would cost far too much money to segregate it in the Northeast and MIdwest. Where most of the passengers will be.

    Eric Reply:

    Either it will be segregated, or it won’t be built at all. No HSR operator is going to let their trains get stuck behind 60mph freight trains. TXHSR is already proposing segregated elevated tracks at their own expense, there it no reason why that wouldn’t work everywhere in the Midwest. The Northeast is already passenger-focused.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    In addition, any track with freight on it is fairly useless for high-speed operation, even if they’re not running at the same time, because heavy freight trains tear up the track and quickly push it out of the high spec required for high-speed running…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Freight(FRA-AAR boilerplate)is part and parcel of The Blend, AFAIK.

    Eric M Reply:

    Another interesting bit from the upenn article is that any Shinkansen model strengthened for the US market will be slower than its Japanese counterpart, due to weight increases. Shinkansen already has a relatively low top speed at 320 km/hr, and FRAed model will almost certainly not meet CHSRA’s requirement of 354 km/hr minimum revenue service speed. Japan has zero experience with high buff strength high speed train, the fastest they ever went was 150 mph on the British Rail Class 395.

    Just making up lies now. NO WHERE was this written in that article. Just speculation you know nothing about.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Just making up lies now. NO WHERE was this written in that article.

    “In the U.S., they may want to use freight trains or commuter trains on the same tracks as the bullet trains. This kind of customization can be done, but it will impact the speed of the bullet trains,” Chhaya notes.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Some of the things they can customize is the size of the motors, power electronics and the software that drives both. .

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    The 50% weight gain required to make Shinkansen FRA compliant greatly increases vehicle wear and tear, and changes vehicle dynamics. Any resulting vehicle from such modification will no longer be a Shinkansen, but an entirely new beast unproven and never operated anywhere on earth on which the CHSRA would be the launching customer, the very situation that CHSRA is desperately trying to avoid. CHSRA wants to buy something that is basically off the shelf and complete with 5 years worth of revenue service record to examine, not a custom made train.

    This is why both Shinkansen and Chinese offerings are ruled out as non-viable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Sez you. What part or parts of the Tier III regulations makes you think that?

    les Reply:

    And yet CHSR staff continue to meet with Japanease representatives.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Until they have the Relevtion the only Truly Qualified Competitor is Korea they are going to talk to a lot of vendors.

    Useless Reply:

    les

    More competitors mean a stronger pricing pressure on vendors, even if some of vendors have no realistic chances of winning as suggested by the UPENN report of writing Shinkansen off for California project.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    It doesn’t need to meet FRA buffer strength if it is running isolated from other mainline trains. TC is running on it’s own rails.

    Eric M Reply:

    “California is under construction and is going to do a mix and match project, so Japanese companies are offering to sell train systems or signaling systems and training. They may end up buying Japanese cars and using German signaling system,”

    Domayv Reply:

    you mean ERTMS Positive Train Control (since the Shinkansen system doesn’t even use Positive Train Control; they use the less-advanced Automatic Train Control). For the Japanese cars, I doubt they would use them since the FRA waiver now only permits European trains on lines that share track with legacy cars (the HSR is going to share tracks with Caltrain) and that CHSRA has singled out Shinkansen trains from their selection process (most likely they’re going with European trains for this). The most from Japan they could get would be their earthquake detection systems, considering that CA is an earthquake-prone region just like Japan.

    Eric M Reply:

    It was just a quote from the article

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    A heavily reinforced Shinkansen with ERTMS

    1. Is No longer a Shinkansen.
    2. Was a operational nightmare, just ask Taiwanese with their Euro-Shinkansen. In the control room, French engineers and Japanese engineers sit in the same room, each responsible for their own systems.

    Domayv Reply:

    then couldn’t Japan just modify the shinkansen to use ERTMS or at the very least adopt positive train control for their rail systems (I’m surprised that they haven’t even adopted it yet)

    Useless Reply:

    Domayv

    The UPENN article speaks of the Galapagos Syndrome sweeping across Japan, which Japanese made product use Japan-only standards and international interoperability is not considered.

    So the only place in the US where Japan could possibly sell Shinkansen is Texas, where a completely new railway is built using 100% Japanese technology. Japanese bidders have 0% chance in California, where you can say it will be anyone but Japanese that will supply the rolling stock.

    While Chinese chances are also slim, I can’t say 0% in this case because of rumors of Chinese takeover of Bombardier Transportation.

    Domayv Reply:

    and that’s only because the tracks are completely isolated from the regular tracks. Had TCR shared tracks at its terminus cities (Dallas and Houston) with other trains, then they wouldn’t have been able to use the Shinkansen.

    On a side note, is it me or is it that I’m getting anime vibes because Texas’s HSR is from the Shinkansen and that it links Dallas and Houston (where most of the anime dubs are being recorded at since that were Funimation and Sentai Filmworks are, respectively, located there)

    Xerxes Reply:

    Hitachi’s A-Train designs(the Class 395, 800 and 801) seem to be interoperatable with the rest of the British network. They also have some experience with ERTMS. As part of the consortium that wants to build the trains here, they could deal with building a shinkansen train that could work with the standards California wants to incorporate.

    Useless Reply:

    Xerxes

    Hitachi’s A-Train designs(the Class 395, 800 and 801) seem to be interoperatable with the rest of the British network.

    The Class 395 is really an express train and NOT A HIGH SPEED TRAIN. The Class 395 initially suffered from stability problem because of Hitachi’s inexperience of running a heavy train at 150 mph, much less 220 mph required in California. The Class 395 stability debacle shows the effect the weight gain has on a train’s vehicular dynamics, and the last thing the CHSRA would want is an FRAed Shinkansen. I repeat the fact that Japanese vendors have never and ever designed a high-speed train set with crashworthiness better than UIC.

    they could deal with building a shinkansen train that could work with the standards California wants to incorporate.

    What you are suggesting is basically like modifying a Toyota Camry to reach a Ferrari speed. If you want a Ferrari class speed, then you buy a Ferrari, not a modified Camry.

    swing hanger Reply:

    You’re full of sh*t as usual. The 395 series riding problem was solved and now are some of the most reliable trainsets in Britain. Hitachi and other railcar builders are engineering companies that employ engineers to build products for specific markets and that perform to specifications. There is no doubt outside of the Joseon inferiority complex bubble that they will be successful at it.

    Useless Reply:

    Swing Hanger

    The 395 series riding problem was solved

    The problem existed and Hitachi didn’t know about it because it had no place to test the train sets in Japan extensively. This is the risks with any Japanese custom solutions, because they cannot be tested in Japan.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The rest of the world uses 50Hz electricity, except for a few places that bought North American stuff back in the 1890s, so there isn’t anyplace outside of North America to test the trains. One of the places outside of North America that uses 60Hz is in Japan.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    > One of the places outside of North America that uses 60 Hz is Japan…

    And only half of the country is; the other half uses 50 Hz…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Half the country is a place….
    Wikipedia says the other places are Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

    EJ Reply:

    Again, where are you getting this stuff? The foreign engineers were there for about a year to train their taiwanese counterparts – they’re not a permanent part of the operation.

    Useless Reply:

    Chinese are trying to pull in Minnesota what JR Central is doing in Texas. A privately funded 100 mile long HSR from Minneapolis to Rochester using Chinese money and equipment(CSR). I guess Chinese too like Japanese are getting the picture that they cannot sell their equipment in FRAed markets in the US and is trying to create its own markets. The scary thing is that CSR is promising to run its trains to 280 mph.

    http://www.postbulletin.com/news/politics/private-company-seeks-exclusive-rights-for-high-speed-rail/article_050bb56d-d9fd-53f1-80f6-27bb6df0b97a.html

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There aren’t enough people in Minnesota. In nice round numbers there’s 5.5 million Minnesotans and 3.5 million of them live in metro Minneapolis-St. Paul. Only 211,000 of them live in metro Rochester.
    stopping in Rochester when the trains go all the way to Chicago would be nice but it’s not worth it for the Minneapolis-Rochester market.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    There aren’t enough people in Minnesota.

    Chinese government officials don’t mind blowing several billions of infrastructure projects with no prospects of a return, as long as such projects can be used to spread Chinese influences around the globe. Remember, something like this is the only way to sell Chinese bullet trains in the US, since Chinese trains like their Japanese counterparts cannot be made to comply with FRA regulations.

    stopping in Rochester when the trains go all the way to Chicago would be nice

    The moment the train crosses the state line, it becomes “interstate” and drags the FRA into the equation, and Chinese and Japanese do not want FRA breathing down on their backs. Thus the Zip Rail corridor must be contained within the state boundary of Minnesota.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ll never make money hauling people to Rochester MN. Or even Rochester NY. They have to haul them to Chicago, New York etc. where there isn’t any room to dedicate tracks for intercity trains.

    EJ Reply:

    where there isn’t any room to dedicate tracks for intercity trains.

    Say what? Once you get out of downtown, Chicago isn’t any denser than any other large, built-up American city.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Union Station isn’t miles outside of downtown.

    EJ Reply:

    I know where union station is. Please try to make an actual point.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How do the intercity trains get from their segregated tracks miles and miles away from downtown?

    EJ Reply:

    A tunnel? Like they do in NYC and London?

    Eric Reply:

    More likely elevated, like is planned in Texas.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    The distance from Minneapolis to Chicago is like the distance from Boston to Washington DC.

    Now imagine a completely new Northeast Corridor and that’s what you are proposing to build.

    EJ Reply:

    Now imagine a completely new Northeast Corridor and that’s what you are proposing to build.

    Not necessarily. It’s a comparable distance, but MPLS-Chicago is overall much less heavily urbanized (it’s dense at both ends, but mainly rural in between), and also flatter, than BOS-NYC. Property acquisition and engineering works are likely to be considerably less expensive.

    Eric Reply:

    If Dallas-Houston is $12 billion, then Chicago-Minneapolis might be $25 billion. Which makes it about the lowest priority among the plausible US HSR routes.

    After Houston-Dallas, the next obvious corridor will be Chicago-Detroit/Cleveland. These corridors are very similar in terms of population and building costs. If this too is successful, we’ll see a flurry of building on all the Midwest corridors including Chicago-Minneapolis.

    At that point, chances are that the Northeast Corridor will be right about where it is now. Maybe the Portal Bridge or new Hudson tunnels will be finished, but the rest will be unchanged. CAHSR will do somewhat better, with some sections built, but the whole system nowhere near finished.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s plausibly on the way to Chicago – my guess is they want to get it done as a proof of concept, and figure once its done it will be politically and financially easier to make the full build to Chicago happen.

    It’s less than 100 miles from MPLS to Rochester and they claim they could build the thing for just over $4b. Rochester may not be large, but it’s considered a pretty desirable place to live, so I could envision some significant revenue from high-end commuters to the twin cities. MN has been talking about a rail link for like 30 years now.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Minneapolis ain’t Los Angeles. Why would someone commute 100 miles when they can get real estate that’s just as cheap a lot closer to work?

    Eric Reply:

    It would not be the only useless rail segment built with the goal of encouraging a profitable extension.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Maglev_Train#Construction
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_%E2%80%93_Washington_D.C._Maglev

    Eric Reply:

    To be clear, only the first of those ended up being built. The Baltimore-DC maglev was a Japanese proposal which they hoped would lead to a Northeast Corridor maglev.

    Reedman Reply:

    Rochester has two distinctions versus its modest size:
    it is the home of the WFMC (World Famous Mayo Clinic)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayo_Clinic
    and, Rochester also has a very large IBM development and manufacturing site
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Rochester

    A lot of visitors and economic activity for city of 120k population on the prairie ….

    One complication is that Amtrak (Empire Builder) stops in St. Paul (Union Station)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Paul_Union_Depot
    even though Minneapolis is where the airport is, where the Target Center is, and is the more populous of the Twin Cities.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People who are going to the Mayo Clinic for whatever reason fly into Minneapolis and rent a car. Or they change planes in O’Hare or Hartsfield and fly right into Rochester where they rent a car. Same thing for IBM. The people who live in greater Minneapolis drive. Because they’ll need their car once they are in Rochester.

    EJ Reply:

    Why would someone commute 100 miles when they can get real estate that’s just as cheap a lot closer to work?

    Maybe they already live in Rochester and get a good job in the Twin Cities, but it’s not easy for them to move? (spouse has a job in Rochester and doesn’t want to leave it, don’t want their kids to have to change schools, etc., etc.) Or the reverse? Maybe they get recruited to come work at the Mayo Clinic but their spouse can only find a good job in the Twin Cities? A 40-50 minute commute via high speed train makes this kind of thing doable. Maybe they just want to live in Rochester? I’ve never been there but it routinely makes “best quality of life in the US” lists – there must be something to it. C’mon, ask a harder question.

    One complication is that Amtrak (Empire Builder) stops in St. Paul (Union Station)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Paul_Union_Depot
    even though Minneapolis is where the airport is, where the Target Center is, and is the more populous of the Twin Cities.

    Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul are like 6 miles apart, and MSP (the airport) is pretty much equidistant from both of them. And the Empire Builder runs once a day in each direction, it’s hardly relevant to commuters.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s only 211k of them. Wikipedia says Minnesota has a high percentage of college graduates. 31.4 %

    The majority of other 68.6 % have the kind of jobs that don’t make commuting long distances worthwhile.

    Eric Reply:

    HSR does tend to disproportionately attract rich/educated (they overlap heavily) people wherever it is built.

    But, there’s no way to get around that 211k number. There isn’t even a freeway right now between the Twin Cities and Rochester, even though both areas are car-centered sprawl.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    RIch people have the money to afford to move closer to work. Or are decision makers in management who have work move closer to where they live.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m not the one proposing to build brand new tracks to Union Station. Or in Union Station. There’s perfectly good ones there already. Whether that’s Union Station in Chicago. Or Union Station in DC. Or Union Depot in St. Paul. Or Indianapolis or New Haven or Portland take your pick Oregon or Maine or…

    EJ Reply:

    “I enjoy typing!”

    Useless Reply:

    EJ

    Again, where are you getting this stuff?

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8F%B0%E6%B9%BE%E9%AB%98%E9%80%9F%E9%89%84%E9%81%93
    http://taiwanshinkansen.web.fc2.com/tvo.html

    The foreign engineers were there for about a year to train their taiwanese counterparts – they’re not a permanent part of the operation.

    At least 38 French engineers were confirmed to be working for Taiwan High Speed Rail as late as April 2013 during the Taiwan High Speed Rail outrage. They blamed the incompatibility between ETRMS and Shinkansen based rolling stocks as the reason for Taiwan High Speed Rail’s outrages and operational troubles.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    > They blamed the incompatibility between ETRMS and
    > Shinkansen based rolling stocks as the reason for
    > Taiwan High Speed Rail’s outrages and operational troubles.

    And you believe that???

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    And you believe that???

    Well, Taiwan High Speed Rail is not fine, it is actually bankrupt and somebody has to be blamed for it.

    Anyhow, Taiwan High Speed Rail makes a very poor example of Shinkansen trains running on ETRMS tracks and must be avoided at all cost in the US.

    William Reply:

    Taiwan HSR does not use ERTMS, it uses a version of Shinkansen’s D-ATC modified for regular bi-directional running, and it was this modification that caused delay in completion of Taiwan HSR’s signaling system.

    Taiwan HSR is operational profitable, it was only under the threat of bankruptcy due to a clause in its by-laws, if exercised, that allowed Taiwan HSR’s initial five private share owners to force the company to buy back their special shares, and caused a cash flow problem. So this is a problem on how Taiwan HSR was financed, not on its profitability.

    The Japanese builders are quite proud of Taiwan HSR, not only as the first Shinkansen export example but for their ability to meet a customer’s special needs.

    William Reply:

    Also, Shinkansen trains can accommodate other non-Japanese signaling systems. The Chinese CRH-2A, which is derived from E2 Series Shinkansen, uses China’s own CTCS signaling systems without issue, so Shinkansen-derived trains should have no issue using ETCS or any other signaling systems.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    uses China’s own CTCS signaling systems without issue

    Duh, never heard of the Wenzhou disaster. That’s two for two. Don’t even try to put an alternative PTC system into the Shinkansen other than Japan’s own, Japanese train builders just don’t understand foreign PTC system.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    If they had used Korea K-1 tank technology, the Chinese signalling system would have worked perfectly!

    Because “Korea K-1 tank technology does not yield to any foe! It is stalwart!”

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It was Korean know-how that got Sony hacked. The ultimate proof that Koreans are better than Japanese.

    Useless Reply:

    Miles Bader

    If they had used Korea K-1 tank technology

    Indeed, Rotem being a main battle tank manufacturer has helped them greatly in their bullet train structural strength engineering, and this may be why Rotem was the only confirmed bidder of the Acela replacement while all others shied away.

    EJ Reply:

    Indeed, Rotem being a main battle tank manufacturer has helped them greatly in their bullet train structural strength engineering

    LOLWUT

    Besides, Hitachi and Mitsubishi also make tanks and other military vehicles.

    William Reply:

    @Useless, the Wenzhou disaster would have happened on other makes of train as well. The onboard signal equipment functioned as intended, so the blame was not assign to the train design. The cause was assigned to faults in the central signal system software that gave the wrong signal aspect to the trains in time of wayside equipment malfunction.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Stick poorly designed signals into any train it will perform poorly.

  8. Domayv
    Jul 31st, 2015 at 18:38
    #8

    And now it seems that Bombardier’s looking to sell all or part of its railway division: http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKBN0N113220150410

    Domayv Reply:

    and Hitachi is going to buy AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS, and given that Hitachi’s involved in the Shinkansen and that over half of all high speed lines worldwide (excluding Japan) are equipped with Ansaldo STS signaling solutions, this could finally provide the Shinkansen and possibly the remainder of JR Railways Positive Train Control (ERTMS for that matter; http://www.ansaldo-sts.com/en/activities-and-services/business-segments/high-speed)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/24/finmeccanica-hitachi-sale-idUSL5N0VY0Z220150224, http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/business/single-view/view/hitachi-agrees-to-buy-ansaldo-sts-and-ansaldobreda.html

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    Positive train control is just the North American term for automatic train protection. In Japan it’s called ATS and all Shinkansen lines have it.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    ATC, not ATS. What’s called ATS in Japan is also called ATS in the US, and enforces protection against SPAD but not against overspeed. Amagasaki happened on a line with ATS but not ATC.

    swing hanger Reply:

    ATS in Japan comes in many versions stretching back to the early 1960’s- all utilize lineside signals. The latest versions, typically called ATS-P, include overspeed protection and is equivalent to ertms level 1. ATC in Japan refers to cab signal operation, and includes overspeed protection by default.

    Useless Reply:

    Domayv

    The potential buyer of Bombardier Transportation is Siemens, not Chinese. http://www.wsj.com/articles/siemens-bombardier-held-talks-over-train-merger-1438159513

    Domayv Reply:

    I didn’t say anything about the Chinese looking to buy Bombardier’s transportation assets. All I said was that Bombardier’s going to sell part or all of its transportation business.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    What’s interesting is that these consolidations are creating a sort of continental-based rail firms.

    Although I understand why Siemens might be the buyer for Bombardier, I don’t see it as a typical merger where the fallen company is just absorbed in. Instead, Siemens would use it to move even more of its production to North (and South) America figuring that Europe is built out and doomed to be dominated by SNCF.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    > figuring that Europe is built out and doomed to be dominated by SNCF.

    Huh??

    EJ Reply:

    Well, I mean, if you overlook Siemens’ success in selling to Spain, and winning the contract for the next generation Eurostar away from Alstom, and DB’s continued expansion…

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    Bombardier Transportation is headquartered in Berlin. Its products for European markets are designed and built in Europe. It is a major rolling stock manufacturer in Germany and in France, and is the only comoany still building passenger trains in Britain, at least until Hitachi open their UK factory.

    Rail networks being “built out” is not an issue. There will always be a demand for new trains to replace old trains.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s true, but as publicly traded companies, you have to remember the value to investors of locking in technological standards to more or less ensure continued demand for services. Why do you think automobile manufacturers in the US contracted into the Big 3?

    What I’m getting at here is that in the end, per EU rules, a market with no less than four major firms is not subject to anti-trust designation. In the U.S. the standard is three. The Japanese and French will be two of the three international players, if Siemens gobbles up Bombadier, there’s an opening for a fourth OR there is a chance that Bombardier digs into North America and stakes its claim. Siemens has been very aggressive in winning light rail contracts using their presence in Sacramento. Would not surprise me if Part 2 of that strategy is coming.

  9. Reality Check
    Aug 1st, 2015 at 00:26
    #9

    Tri-Rail adds its first bike car

    Tri-Rail passengers toting bikes now have more room to store them on board.

    The commuter train recently unveiled its first-ever bike car with storage for 14 bikes and eventually there will be one on every train.

    Until now, passengers bringing bikes on board have had access to only two bicycle straps per car. But at times there have been as many as 41 bikes on a single train, making it difficult for passengers to manuever at rush hour.

    “Bike racks have become a necessary amenity,” said Tri-Rail spokeswoman Bonnie Arnold.

    […]

    Joey Reply:

    Development mostly in a narrow(ish) corridor around the rail line? Check.

    Flat terrain? Check.

    Weather amenable to biking? Maybe not during the summer…

    Job sprawl putting jobs outside walking distance of stations? Check.

    All the factors contributing to high bike demand on CalTrain are there, though perhaps to a lesser degree. My cursory Google Earth Tourism (TM) examinations also suggests that there are fewer bike lanes.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Is the weather really a problem for biking in the summer? I looked at some temperature charts for the area, and it seems to stay pretty much the same temperature year-round, and seems more pleasantly warm than blisteringly hot….

    Alon Levy Reply:

    If it’s warmer than 20 degrees then it’s too hot to bike, and if it’s cooler than 24 degrees then it’s too cold.

    Joe Reply:

    yes weather is a problem if you don’t want to be sweaty at work. You’ll have to shower.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Biking doesn’t need to be a balls-to-the-wall road race, and at “pleasant dawdle” speed, getting all sweaty isn’t such an issue as long as it doesn’t get too hot…. and afaics from Google, that particular area doesn’t really.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It is an issue when the humidity is 100 percent. That happens in places that get as much rain as Florida does.

    EJ Reply:

    But at times there have been as many as 41 bikes on a single train, making it difficult for passengers to manuever at rush hour.

    So Tri-Rail is mistaken? There actually isn’t a demand for more bike space on their trains?

    joe Reply:

    I biked in the Google/Stanford area for the commute and got sweaty.
    Office buildings in mountain view and palo alto have showers. We sweat to dissipate metabolic heat.

    Walking is less strenuous but you still can work up a sweat or get wet in the rainy season.

    Steven H Reply:

    Which is why my office in DC has showers. In fact, many government agencies in DC have them, and private buildings can get parking variances if they install showers (not that we should have parking minimums, but that’s for another day).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    it’s a tad humid in Florida.

    Joe Reply:

    When was the last time you rode Caltrain ?

    In 2015 Caltrain Ridership grew 10% and it isn’t because we are adding bike ridership.

    Joey Reply:

    And where did I claim that?

    Joe Reply:

    Do you understand the implications of what you write?

    There’s a high demand for Caltrain without bike ridership.. you hold s misconception about the area. People are coming to riding Caltrain without bikes and getting to and from work just fine. The evidence is at the ridership continues to increase because the area is changing.

    Bikes are free. If the world high demand for bikes Because it’s a free service. When you give something away for free people take it. If there’s demand the people would be willing to pay for it and pay well

    Joey Reply:

    There’s a high demand for Caltrain without bike ridership.. you hold s misconception about the area.

    No, I never said or implied that.

    Bikes are free. If the world high demand for bikes Because it’s a free service. When you give something away for free people take it. If there’s demand the people would be willing to pay for it and pay well

    I have outlined in several posts ways to deal with bike demand, most of which are not adding on-board bike capacity. But apparently there’s not room for middle ground or compromise solutions in this debate.

    Joey Reply:

    To make this explicit: I never said, nor implied, that Caltrain ridership growth had anything to do with bicycles. I never said, nor implied, that bicycle riders constituted the majority of Caltrain’s demand.

    My claim is that Caltrain has elevated bicycle demand compared to other transit lines. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Joe Reply:

    It doesn’t have elevated demand than “other systems.”

    Bikes are free and not limited from peak trains.

    Other systems prioritize people and limit bikes. The bike industry even makes Folding bikes for train riders.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …. if the other systems didn’t have any demand they wouldn’t have to have a bike policy…..

    Joey Reply:

    It does have elevated demand relative to other systems. I listed the reasons why this is, but far all you’ve been able to offer in response are blanked dismissals. Apparently even acknowledging the existence of this market segment is tantamount to joining the evil bicycle lobby and condemning all righteous fare-paying riders to a life of standing room only. No room for mitigation measures, or compromise solutions, or longer trains, you’re either with us or you’re against us.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How do you determine that? Other systems decided that living breathing human beings are more important than small package freight service and decided that they would carry passengers exclusively. And to encourage bikes for the trip to and from the station, provide free parking for bicycles.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes you say the peninsula is suburbia which drives bike demand.
    You say it ten times and it becomes fact.

    It ain’t suburbia. Steady annual 10% passanger growth shows the area is changing and infilling work and residences along the row.

    People use the system without bikes and put peak trains over capacity.

    Bart and every other system limit or bar bikes off peak trains. Systems Refuse to allow bikes in crowded trains.

    Ergo I am evil bike hater.

    If I didn’t use the system and live work in the area I might hold a different opinion.

    Joey Reply:

    See, there you go again with the blanket statements. “Suburban” is generally a correct characterization of development patterns along the Peninsula (changing slowly, yes), but it doesn’t fully capture the extent to which jobs are available outside of walking distance from Caltrain stations.

    I acknowledge that there is a capacity crunch right now. But why does the solution have to be banning bikes as opposed to adding capacity. As far as I can tell, every station could accommodate 8 car trains with simple platform extensions. With adjusted passing sections and a more streamlined schedule, frequency could be increased as well. Maybe when Caltrain starts to look like BART, where people actually can’t board the train because there is no standing room left, and the system is at capacity in terms of both trains per hour and cars per train, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate whether there’s room for bicycle racks on board trains, but that’s not the current situation (at that point you’re also re-evaluating seats though, which is exactly what BART is doing in their new rolling stock purchase).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There are suburban office parks set in parking moats surrounded by enormous lawns nobody uses all over the world. People have written whole books about it.

    Joey Reply:

    There are suburban office parks set in parking moats surrounded by enormous lawns nobody uses all over the world. People have written whole books about it.

    And do people access these office parks by means that don’t involve driving?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes, some of them from train stations. Like they do from Caltrain stations.

    joe Reply:

    Caltrain is filling up with people despite all these legendary problems that limit ridership.

    The system has a capacity problem right now. Everyone talks about adding capacity.

    No one is talking about office park access problems limiting ridership. No one is talking about low ridership because people can’t get to their remote workplace.

    Both the Palo Alto and Mountain View Caltrain stations have a bus terminal for public and there are private bus services. There are taxicabs at the Caltrain station .

    I propose that when people take jobs at office Parks far away from the Caltrain station they are making a choice. They are Deprioritizing mass transit. We should talk to their employer about moving or providing access to public transportation.

    If a shuttle bus from the Caltrain station is an inconvenience that I propose people put their butts in the cars with massive traffic jams all day. Life is hard we have to make choices. riding in a shuttle bus doesn’t seem that difficult when compared to the alternatives of massive traffic congestion and expensive automobile maintenance.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Sure feels like suburbia to me especially since anything but travel by car is inconvenient and limited. My work is slightly over 2 miles from Hillsdale. How do you suggest I get there and back?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Walk, bicycle, have your employer run a shuttle bus, have the employers in your area run a shuttle bus, have the people who run the public bus service run a bus. have a coworker who drives past pick you up, rollerblade, skateboard. If you are bicycling from the train station to work why do you need to take the bicycle along on the train?

    joe Reply:

    Drive JWong. True suburbia is designed for car transportation.

    if you worked in the pennisula I would would suggest asking your empolyer about their alternative commute program.

    if you want to bike then take the J muni to civic center and visit warmplanet. pick a folding bike and problem solved.

    after a few months in traffic you can calibrate what is inconvenient.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If he’s bicycling to Caltrain in San Francisco because Muni service is lousy one of the solutions to that problem is to make the Muni service less lousy. They could even aim for ‘fair’. It still doesn’t explain why he needs a bicycle on the train.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Drive JWong. True suburbia is designed for car transportation.”

    I hate driving, and yes, the Peninsula is designed and favors car transportation. My employer is very good but doesn’t have an alternative commuter program that would work for me. As it is, I take the shuttles, but if I miss one it is extremely inconvenient. Taking Caltrain and shuttles requires precision timing because of the infrequency. (If only Caltrain and the shuttles were as frequent as BART! Or course, if Caltrain were more frequent they wouldn’t have any capacity problem.)

    I could leave a bicycle at Hillsdale, but then it would be at Hillsdale when I would want it in San Francisco. You do know that even a folding bicycle impacts capacity and certainly cannot be taken on BART when they are at standing capacity.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cabs and guaranteed ride programs? One could have a bicycle in Hillsdale and a bicycle in San Francisco.

    Joey Reply:

    Sure, if there’s secure bike parking at all stations and it’s not a too expensive bike.

    Joey Reply:

    8 car trains can be done without too much expense. When those fill up, the corridor will be grade separated and you can do 12 car trains. I hear adirondacker is a fan of those.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I hate ’em. It means 2,000 people try to go up stairs designed when the sleeping car passengers would filter in over a few hours. And you can’t take your bike on the train during rush hours in places that run 12 car trains.

    joe Reply:

    http://www.bart.gov/guide/bikes/bikeFAQ

    Folding bikes allowed on all cars at all times. no they do not impact seating capacity.

    and this
    For many passengers getting a seat is strong personal preference. Removing upwards of 60 seats from every train means at the end of the day that thousands of passengers who would have liked a seat will not get one. A significant portion of BART’s riders during peak commute periods are people traveling more than 20 minutes one-way so seats are valued.

    Joey Reply:

    Apparently not valuable enough that BART will keep seats at any cost. The new rolling stock will sacrifice seating capacity in favor of standing room and another door on each car.

    Joey Reply:

    And you can’t take your bike on the train during rush hours in places that run 12 car trains.

    Sure, because the trains are full and they can’t add trains per hour or cars per train due to various capacity constraints. That’s not the case on Caltrain.

    joe Reply:

    “At any cost”
    hmm

    “Six seats are being removed from some cars to create more space for people to stand and to accommodate the growing number of on-board bikes and the luggage hauled by passengers heading to and from San Francisco International Airport.”

    Joey Reply:

    According to BART’s website the new rolling stock will average 4.6 fewer seats per car, i.e. 46 fewer seats per 10 car train. Evidently seats are not their number one priority.

    Joey Reply:

    The new rolling stock will also have 3 dedicated bike storage spots on every car, interestingly enough.

    joe Reply:

    interesting – dedicated.
    dedicated except if the train is crowded bikes are not allowed.
    how about a quote.

    I found one a above that contradicts what you think.

    they even explain their crowded trains need more passanger space near the door – a compromise for people.

    lastly riders are riding reverse on bart to snag a seat.
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-s-upstreamers-chase-rare-commodity-an-5926345.php
    hmmm

    Joey Reply:

    The same policy applied to Caltrain would not have the same result. BART’s crowding at present, is to the point of bumping standing passengers from some rush-hour trains. Caltrain is just SRO, which of course isn’t to say that capacity shouldn’t be added (8 car trains!). BART specified that the primary reason for distributing the spaces throughout the train was because constantly adding/detaching cars they cannot guarantee a bike car on every train (implying that they would otherwise) – of course not having semi-permanent 5 car sets is insane for other reasons, but that’s a separate discussion.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    how are bikes handled on the subway in new york? just wondering.

    Joey Reply:

    how are bikes handled on the subway in new york? just wondering.

    Let me Google that for you. TL;DR the NYC Subway has no explicit rules but discourages bikes on “crowded rush hour trains” (which are much more crowded than Caltrain can ever hope to be).

    joe Reply:

    Greenpoint/Brooklyn Brother says one can take just about anything that will fit on the subway.

    Our transit experts who compare crowding on a Caltrain car to BART cars or the Subway cars crowding seem very confused as to the Caltrain car interior layout and intended design.

    If I wanted to make a non bay area comparison I would uses similar rail service like the Chicago METRA.
    No bikes at peak commute. Oh the trains service suburbia.

    Joey Reply:

    Metrolink, Coaster, and Sprinter, however, allow bikes on all trains. It must be a California thing…

    les Reply:

    Why we’re at it lets eliminate bike lanes because cars can’t afford the lost space. Lets just allow people more seat time on their fat asses because we can’t tolerate people who actually want to stay fit and utilize minimal resources to get to the office. To encourage such behavior is socialistic and should be limited to European cities. Heaven forbid we emulate European transportation modes. We’re a one size fits all society with no room for alternatives. Hell, why are we pushing for trains in the first place. We need solely concentrate on the auto according to above logic.

    joe Reply:

    Metrolink: Three bikes per train car.
    Limited Number of trains have bike cars for 18. Looking at the schedule, 5 out of twenty trains San Bernardino to LA daily.

    note metrolink has the space. Annual ridership contunies to drop.

    It is smart to use bikes to draw riders and smart to limit or end the policy when ridership puts trains over capacity and the system struggles to keep up with passanger demand.

    logic not dogma.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They don’t do much pedaling on the train. Why does their parking space need to be on the train?

    joe Reply:

    les trolls.

    Sad that bike advocates think tolerance means adding free space on peak commute trains.
    we hate bike riders for your fitness and tight buns.

    Removing bike lanes is utter ridiculousness.

    Folding bikes shute bus and walking. Not every can walk and not everyone wants to use a folding bike.
    Not everyone gets everything they want for free.

    Joey Reply:

    Joe: Caltrain isn’t over capacity, it’s over seated capacity. If you want more seats, that’s fine, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of something else. Sure most people want a seat, but it’s no more a right than anything else, unless you’re a senior or disabled. And as far as politically practical solutions (don’t you always like to talk about those?) I don’t think eliminating bikes is feasible. Adding cars to the train is probably a better bet.

    Adirondacker: Many probably don’t, but that’s contingent upon ample, secure bike parking being provided at all stations. Of course, there are legitimate reasons why that might not work for some people. But accommodating that small number of bikes should be more than reasonable.

    J. Wong Reply:

    So your argument is that Caltrain is struggling with the demand? And your solution is to take out the bicycle spaces and put seats in even though on Caltrain that effectively eliminates bicycles all the time even when most trains are no where near capacity?

    Joe Reply:

    Oh noes.

    Your argument is the null set.

    If I say yes accommodating more passengers will improve ridership advice and fares I get told the added space is too small To matter.

    If we add this third bike car as we did and cut out 20 sets I’m told it helps bike ridership which is important traffic reduction.

    Basically the solution is to encourage folding bikes, improved shuttle, bus connections, allow further infill to improve density at stations and obviously bike services at the station.

    As for Caltrain off peak bike riders – what the fuck ?! Are bikes needed for commuting at peak or is off peak this something new to explain. That’s going to be sved by landuse change, not bikes.

    Obviously you will ask where did you ever write X or imply Y or really make any point. Indeed where.

    Joey Reply:

    But you don’t care about accommodating more riders. You care about accommodating more seated riders. And all of the other things you suggested are important but I don’t see how that adds up to a ban on bikes on any trains. Particularly since with mitigation measures, the demand for bikes on trains could definitely be reduced significantly.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Bike haulers care about dragging an inanimate object along with them.

    Joey Reply:

    So what? So do airport travelers.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The vast majority of them are going to be away from home for more than a few hours. All sorts of rules, regulations and fees about what you can carry, where you can carry it and how much that is going to cost. Bicycles have to be checked, with a hefty fee.

    joe Reply:

    “But you don’t care about accommodating more riders. You care about accommodating more seated riders. And all of the other things you suggested are important but I don’t see how that adds up to a ban on bikes on any trains. ”

    I care about maximizing human ridership.

    Bikes take up space no matter what nonsense you spin. Just stop pretending they don’t.

    The system carries riders long distances 22 at a min on the locals and longer on the limited and bullet trains. It’s in the annual ridership report. Try reading it.

    You have an objective function buried in that arguement Joey but are to chicken to state it.

    If seated riders are not important to maximize for Caltrain then a maximizing policy would remove more seats for standing space and bikes off peak. That’s not they policy. It’s impaired with you but then you are careful to not state anything.

    BART’s got the same problem only worse and they’re recognizing it – they have so many riders they are pulling seats near doors to try to increase human capacity and reduce dwell time but they recognize that seat removal works against keeping and attracting riders.

    Riders are going counter commute upstream, disembark and take a train back just to find a seat.

    People like to sit and use their smart phones or read or relax and have the personal space.

    les Reply:

    Tri-Rail got it figured out:

    http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12097406/tri-rail-unveils-first-bike-car

    Joey Reply:

    I never implied that bikes didn’t take up space. I implied that Caltrain has the ability to add capacity to accommodate them as well as more seated passengers.

    BART absolutely has the problem worse. When (if) Caltrain gets as bad as BART (i.e. running out of standing room and no way to add more trains/cars), then I am absolutely fine with getting rid of bicycle space. But that’s not the case now, and it’s not going to be for a while.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @les: Looking at the Tri-Rail bike car image, it appears Tri-Rail didn’t achieve the 1-bike-space-per-seat-removed tightly packed efficiency Caltrain has achieved on its gallery cars. Of course, Tri-Rail’s bike car appears to offer random (independent) access to bikes while Caltrain’s bungee-cord-secured maximally-space-efficient 4-bike LIFO (last-in, first-out) stacking racks are a bit of a pain in the ass when clueless newbies put their bikes on top of other bikes with destination tags prior to their destination.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Compared to BART Caltrain does not have a capacity problem. Limiting bicycles will do very little toward increasing capacity on Caltrain.

    joe Reply:

    Then there should be no problem applying BARTs rules on Caltrain.

    Peak hour trains will impacted asthey should prioritize people.

    Every bike displaces 0.833 seats. that is significant. if not significant then stop arguing for more bike space because it will also have little positive impact.

    J. Wong Reply:

    There is no problem applying BARTs rules on Caltrain. Bicycles get bumped all the time so they do apply BARTs rules on Caltrain even more restrictively since bicycles can only ride certain cars and only if there is sufficient room. What more do you want? On both BART and Caltrain, bumping bicycles doesn’t increase seating capacity only standing capacity. And Caltrain is no where near standing capacity.

    I’m not arguing for more bike space, but I also don’t begrudge the existing bike space because it would not really make a dent in capacity.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @adirondacker12800 and @joe.

    Caltrain plus the commute shuttles on the Peninsula is just barely convenient. (Public transportation on the Peninsula is no ones definition of convenient, and with once an hour service, proves the Peninsula is not urban by any stretch of the imagination.) By further limiting bicycles on Caltrain, you would make it even more inconvenient, while adding very little convenience for everyone else. None of your statements have shown that limiting bicycles on Caltrain would significantly increase the convenience for the other passengers.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I thought there were hordes of disappointed bicycle riders yearning to haul their bike along on the trains. If there are so many of them they can band together and demand that they install some bike lockers. Or run more frequent bus service. That would help the people who don’t get the urge to bring their bicycle everywhere with them. Might even encourage some people who don’t want to bicycle or haul with them everywhere to leave the car at home now and then.

    Joe Reply:

    Bart rules would not significant increase capacity on Bart so that’s a red herring argument. Room for 40-60 more people on peak trains matters and counts.

    Bart rules restrict bikes more aggressively at peak commute and would NOT permit bikes on the top overcapacity Caltrain trains. They would make that bike space standing space.

    Folding bikes are always welcome so this isn’t anti bike, it’s pro people.
    You need to bike, get a commuting bike that folds and bike. Problem solved.

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain plus the commute shuttles on the Peninsula is just barely convenient.

    Then drive. Why take an inconvenient shuttle bus or use an inconvenient folding bike? Just drive.

    The truth is that even with a shuttle, Caltrain is far better than 101.
    Or get a folding bike.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Derp.

    Eliminating bicycles would not create room for 40-60 more people on peak trains since they are no where near standing capacity. Those 40-60 people can easily ride the train now even with the bicycles. And your numbers are a stretch. The freed up capacity is only 20 more seated passengers not 40 since every bicycle rider counts as one.

    It is unfortunate that derp is so prevalent in arguments today on both the right and the left. Instead of throwing adjectives around use numbers, correct numbers (unlike @joe who uses inaccurate numbers that favor his arguments).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    okay, since a bike and it’s rider takes up the space of 1.8 bikeless people, bike riders get a deep discount, only 25 % more than the passenger not demanding space for their freight. They have to stand within sight of their bikes. Which they should be happy to do since standing is such fun.

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain should not take seats out of cars. In particular, for trains that needed additional cars for passengers.

    Given they have pulled out 20 seats per bike car, for 24 bikesBart rules would disallow bikes on those cars.
    That would make additional room for standing.

    And if you think there’s no crowding then why is Caltrain adding cars and increasing capacity.
    The contradictions make no sense.

    Joe Reply:

    Confused.

    Caltrain needs to add capacity but there’s no over crowded trains,even at peak, so bikes are cool on all trains.

    Bikes are so few that removing them has no positive impact on capacity but removing bikes has a big OMG impact on ridership.

    20 seats taken out for only 24 bikes.

    No numbers needed to see the contradiction.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You’re putting words in my mouth. That’s not fair.

    Caltrain should add capacity, but they don’t really need to at the moment. The trains are not at standing capacity. However, adding cars will increase their seated capacity, which is what you seem to be interested in. The increase in seating capacity by adding a car is 4x the increase by removing bicycles.

    BART removed seats to add both standing capacity and bicycle space. Are you suggesting BART should replace those seats and never allow bicycles? If a train is going to be at standing capacity, Caltrain should not allow bicycles to board. There, are you happy now?

    I never claimed disallowing bicycles would have a large impact on ridership. (Point to the post where I said that.)

    Joe Reply:

    They lose ridership before reaching standing capacity.

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Marketing/pdf/2015+Annual+Passenger+Count+presentation.pdf

    joe Reply:

    “I’m not arguing for more bike space, but I also don’t begrudge the existing bike space because it would not really make a dent in capacity.”
    “I never claimed disallowing bicycles would have a large impact on ridership. (Point to the post where I said that.)”

    Good then the elimination would not have an impact. it would however add 600 seats across the top ten trains twice each day AM and PM. that’s nearly 650 which is like adding two free trains.

    “The freed up capacity is only 20 more seated passengers not 40 since every bicycle rider counts as one.”

    2 to 3 bike cars per train equals 40-60 seats. 20 per train car.

    joe Reply:

    metrolink can afford to repurpose space to attract ridership. Also cutting revenue to fill seats.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-california-commute-20150609-story.html
    Faced with declining ridership and revenue, the Metrolink commuter railroad that serves Southern California will try to attract new customers by experimenting with lower fares on the Antelope Valley line and big discounts for certain pass holders systemwide.

    JB from SV Reply:

    Just use smaller bikes.
    Problem solved.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPBwuP73SK8

    Reality Check Reply:

    But then what would Joe rattle on about if tiny bikes or SoloWheels really caught on?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Oops, I goofed the SoloWheel link.

    les Reply:

    Who said anything about free? I would support a system like the bike capitol of the world has:

    http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/transportation/what-are-you-allowed-bring-public-transportation

    Any really Joe, fold up bikes. You’re obviously not a bicyclist.

    les Reply:

    I like everything except for the metro part that is. Unless their headways are maxed and absolutely no room for expansion then not much choice.

    Jerry Reply:

    A one way ticket on the six zones of the 72 mile Tri-Rail is $6.90.
    A one way ticket on the six zones of CalTrain is $13.25

    Joe Reply:

    Imagine the increase in caltrain use if multi zone fares where halved.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Not really as significantly as you imagine.

    joe Reply:

    magic eight ball.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Zones seem arbitrary. Maybe they should get rid of zones.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Caltrain’s zones are a hold-over from the days of on-board ticket sales and hat checks. Conductors would punch zones on both tickets and “hat checks” tucked under small clips on or near each seat. Hat checks would allow them to see whose tickets they had checked, and how far they were riding.

    So the zone concept was just to keep things reasonably simple and manageable under that long-gone regime. Nowadays, there’s nothing preventing Caltrain from going to a far more equitable distance- or station-to-station-based fare matrix similar to BART’s. The present zones discourage many short trips because of the horribly punitive effect of crossing a fare boundary. For example: a very short 1-station stop ride RWC-MP costs the same as a long 12-station stop ride RWC-SF. The same nonsense happens with various station pairs up and down the line. How many riders are willing to pay the same as a 12-station stop commuter for their short 1- or 2- station stop trip on a monthly basis? So a bunch of short trip commuters are discouraged from using Caltrain.

    Jerry Reply:

    When All Aboard Florida is up and running it will be in competition with Tri-Rail from West Palm Beach to downtown Miami. It will be interesting to see what the fares and ridership will be. One problem is that Tri-Rail ends at the Miami airport and you have to transfer to MetroRail to get to downtown Miami.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Tri-Rail coastal link will use FEC tracks to bring tri rail downtown.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s exactly the point.

    FECR wants a shiny new track to get government subsidized rail operations like Amtrak and Tri-Rail to switch to being their tenant. CSX wants to build a more modularized freight operation and not have to worry about trains filled with humans.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    AAF was forced by the FRA to sign an agreement that their fares would not compete with TriRail. That is because the FRA/USDOT wants to protect their investment in TriRail.

    @Ian Coastal Link only exists on paper for now. The new service to downtown Miami will be operated by the existing TriRail agency.

    @Ted well CSX is no longer a credible player in South Florida freight. They have no access to ports. They are focused on central Florida for intermodal. I wouldn’t be surprised if CSX sells its line to Miami in the near future. Also, FDOT owns the former CSX line south of WPB.

    The plan is for FECR to shift traffic to the SFRTA (former CSX) line south of WPB. CSX and NS use FECR for most south Florida intermodal now.

  10. Reality Check
    Aug 1st, 2015 at 03:05
    #10
  11. JimInPollockPines
    Aug 1st, 2015 at 20:19
    #11

    well, the caltrain bike arguments are more tolerable than the tehachapi arguments.

    Travis D Reply:

    The obsession with bikes on trains here borders on the absurd. Of course the fact that I’ve never been on Caltrain and probably never will leaves me to only view it with bemusement.

    MarkB Reply:

    What do you expect? This is the official Caltrain blog, which occasionally gets diverted into talking about high speed rail. You’d think that someone, somewhere would start a blog dedicated to high speed rail, but it seems there’s not enough interest.

    joe Reply:

    Caltrain – HSR compatibility will set the project’s train sets and platform heights system wide.

    HSR Platform height compatibility and HSR door height should be driven by what is best for HSR and not Caltrain needs.

    Bikes interests what the HSR standard to be compatible with Caltain so new electric caltrain EMUs can accommodate bikes.

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

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    we could argue about how much bike there should be on hsr

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I think in the long term, bikes on any well-used passenger train just don’t make much sense, but in the short term, I do feel for the caltrain-bikers … they’re stuck in a crappy car-obsessed strip-mall-parking-lot-hell, with very few good choices for many common transportation scenarios. They’ve found something that kinda sorta works for them, and it’s pretty understandable that they’re loathe to give it up. Even something which is good for the system and the population in the long run may still make tbeir lives miserable in the short run…

  12. Joey
    Aug 1st, 2015 at 21:26
    #12

    Somewhat off topic but does anyone know where to find the most updated plans for the Transbay train box? I’m curious what the length of the (shorter) northernmost track is planned to be.

  13. les
    Aug 2nd, 2015 at 11:17
    #13

    Since Japanese trains are off the table, this must be Morales on vacation. Yea right.

    http://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaHighSpeedRail/videos/vb.273053429858/10153465232649859/?type=2&theater

  14. les
    Aug 2nd, 2015 at 11:21
    #14

    And for those who keep saying XpressMess is off the table:

    http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20150730/NEWS/150739973

  15. keith saggers
    Aug 2nd, 2015 at 12:39
    #15

    Southwest regional rail study
    https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0723

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Get excited when they actually get the money to build something

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_Ground_Transportation_Act_of_1965

    The FRA and state DOTs, whatever they are called, are bursting with studies on how better rail service is a good idea. Not much gets done.

  16. datacruncher
    Aug 2nd, 2015 at 18:20
    #16

    Fresno County’s Measure C may aid land purchase for high-speed rail maintenance site
    by Tim Sheehan

    Fresno County leaders and the California High-Speed Rail Authority are forging ahead with plans for facilities to support the state’s bullet-train line through the central San Joaquin Valley, with some important steps toward developing passenger stations and a major maintenance station potentially being taken by the end of this year.

    For more than five years, county leaders have cast covetous glances at about 510 acres at Fresno’s southern edge, along Cedar Avenue between Malaga and Adams avenues, as a proposed site for a heavy maintenance facility. Such a facility, which would serve as a central work site for assembling, testing and maintaining electric train sets for the statewide high-speed rail system, is coveted by Valley communities as an economic golden goose because of the estimated 1,500 jobs it would provide and its effect in attracting rail-related support industries to the region.

    Now the county may be getting ready to put its money where its mouth is, and to do so sooner than expected. The Fresno County Council of Governments, or Fresno COG, gave an informal green light Thursday night to a plan to advance $750,000 from Measure C transportation sales tax money to reimburse a local developer for buying options on the property needed for the site.

    …………..

    “Basically, there’s a concern that Kern County is back in the competition with a site that’s under one ownership, and that might put us at a competitive disadvantage,” said Tony Boren, Fresno COG executive director. “Fresno Works believes this is one thing we can do to level the playing field.”

    In a July 8 letter, Fresno Works leaders — Perea, Fresno County Economic Development Corporation CEO Lee Ann Eager, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and San Joaquin Mayor Amarpreet Dhaliwal — said Kern County’s proposed one-parcel, one-owner site makes “development significantly easier for the Authority.”

    “Currently, the site identified by Fresno Works consists of 17 independently owned parcels, adding to the complexity, cost and timing of overall development,” the quartet wrote. They said a developer is willing to purchase options on the individual pieces of property for the proposed maintenance facility — if the private money he uses for the deals is reimbursed up to $750,000 from Measure C money.

    ……………

    More at
    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article29816752.html

    Roland Reply:

    1) 1,500 jobs??? How about 300? http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/about-eurostar/eurostar-careers/eurostar-careers-work-with-us/eurostar-careers

    “In 1921 the works employed 800 men, producing 10 new wagons and repairing 500 wagons every week.”

    “In the 1960s the works was responsible for the design of early freightliner and cartic (car carrying) wagons. This was also a time when a lot of older wagons were being scrapped and Temple undertook this work.[8] At this time the works employed around 400 people”

    2) 510 acres??? How about 23 and 487 acres for TOD once they figure out that they did not need that much land for a maintenance facility (honest mistake!!!)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mills#Wagon_worksMills
    http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=51.560531&lon=-0.023303&z=16&m=b

    Eric M Reply:

    Well if they purchase Korean Hyundai-Rotem high speed train-sets, they just might need all 1500 employees, as those trains are plagued with problems, unreliable and need constant work.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    they just might need all 1500 employees, as those trains are plagued with problems

    Not anymore as problems are ironed out. This is why it is so critical that the bullet trains for CHSRA has to be in service for 5 years and not be a custom made one like the efSET, because these bugs have to be ironed out by somebody else and not by the CHSRA as is being proposed by Kawasaki.

    Peter Reply:

    Read more carefully. The 300 employee number is only for the Temple Mills International depot. Eurostar has three other engineering locations.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct. Eurostar has 4 maintenance depots: two in France and one each in the UK & Belgium.
    California HSR will probably have two depots in Northern California (Oakland & Sacramento?), one in the Central Valley and one or more in Southern California (LA & ???).
    Going back to Fresno, what are the other 1,200 jobs for? Landscaping the remaining 487 acres or ???

    Peter Reply:

    Why Oakland or Sacramento? There are currently no plans for service to Oakland, and Sacramento is many years away from service (even though it will be one of the easier and cheaper extensions).

    Some type of overnight stabling is likely near SF and LA, but no major maintenance facilities are planned beyond the HMF.

    Roland Reply:

    So the 2016 Business Plan is to use diesels to lug the 79MPH IOS North Baby Bullet killers back to Fresno via Altamont for servicing?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Oakland is Amtrak’s Western yard, I think.

    You bring up a great point, but there’s two reasons why you could end up seeing depots in the big cities. First, if an earthquake ripped the track up, the HMF might not be where you want to store all your trains. The Central Valley will always be the most remote part of the HSR network, no matter how much Fresno expands.

    Secondly, given the open secret that the Authority wants to run a ton of commuter services in the Bay and Southern California relative to the number of statewide trains…it would make sense to have the trains parked in close vicinity.

    Peter Reply:

    Again. The Authority is studying running HSR service on the peninsula and in the LA area before those areas are connected to the remaining network.

    That does NOT equate to any concrete plans.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    1,500? In Soviet Kern County, rail yard provides 2,500 jobs!:

    http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2015/02/07/county-may-push-bid-for-bullet-train-facility.html

    All we need now is for Castle Expert to jump back in the fray and propose a facility outside Merced and watch the sparks fly.

    agb5 Reply:

    The various conceptual layouts of the HMF take up only a small part of the 700 acres of earmarked plots. Plenty of room for subcontractors to set up shop on the remaining acres.

    http://www.fresnocog.org/sites/default/files/publications/high_speed_rail/fresno_works_final_proposal.pdf

    datacruncher Reply:

    A Fresno Bee editorial supports purchasing options for land for the HMF.

    The Bee also says some land will be for a high speed rail oriented industrial park, but does not indicate if that is part of the 510 acres mentioned in the original article.

    To its credit, Fresno Works is looking beyond the immediate boost to the local economy that the heavy maintenance facility would deliver. Leaders envision Fresno becoming the national center for high-speed rail testing, development and innovation. To foster that, the group has identified land that would become an adjacent high-speed rail industrial park.

    Full editorial at:
    http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/editorials/article29890816.html

    Joe Reply:

    Fresno State proposes to develop a curricula around HSR rail engineering.
    This is an opportunity for Fresno to build a center of expertise and economic activity around HSR rail.
    Sure beats tax breaks for a Super Walmart.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    So did UC Merced and so could Cal State Bakersfield.

    Truth be told, not all universities in California do as good of a job in being a catalyst for industry. Everyone know about Stanfurd and its role in Silicon Valley. But UCLA for example, is far from the center of the movie-making universe in Hollywood. UC Davis has a lock on agricultural innovation. But Riverside, home of the original UC Citrus Station, not nearly as influential.

    Joe Reply:

    Let us see.

    First mover is Fresno State
    http://www.yourcentralvalley.com/sports/bulldog-insider/engineering-students-learn-about-high-speed-rail

    Joe Reply:

    BTW film moved to So Cal for the weather and the academics followed.
    USC film school is where Lucas and Spielberg studied.
    And Pixal Easter Egg Room A113 is Ca Inst. of Arts in Valencia founded by Walt Disney.

    Location helps:
    Merced is strong in environmental sciences due to proximity to sierras which was strategic decision at startup and faculty, a few of my peers, wanted that easy access to field sites.

    Davis pushes Ag and they have a strong viticultural dept for wine making / enology emphasis and dedicated library. Proximity to Napa Valley.

    And Silicon Valley also gets a boost from UC Berkley which is a top CS and world class R&D institution.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Joe,

    I don’t know if you can find “Understanding Silicon Valley” at your local bookstore in Missoula, so I pasted the link to its Amazon page for you: http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Silicon-Valley-Entrepreneurial-Stanford/dp/0804737347

    Needless to say, this subject has been studied to death and when I saw Dr. Kenney give a lecture recently he pointed out that UC Davis and Stanford were very well integrated into local industries, giving Davis credit for Napa Valley, for example, but citing how little UCLA and USC were connected to Hollywood.

    Keep in mind, I’m an alumnus of both schools and realize how many graduates end up in “the industry”. But that’s part of Kenney’s point…if you look at the entertainment industry, the same things happen as in tech, but they have nothing to do with what class George Lucas passed notes to Tom Selleck about an archaeologist fighting Nazis. (Spielberg, btw, is a Cal State Long Beach grad). The probable reason for this is that UCLA and USC weren’t as instrumental in creating Hollywood in the 1920s as Stanford has been in later years incubating Silicon Valley.

    So, going back to HSR…the obvious school to partner with would be Cal Tech. But my guess is the political pressure to make a “jobs program” out of it will ensure the school least prepared to handle this newfound responsibility will be the one to get it….

    datacruncher Reply:

    Cal State Bakersfield’s engineering program has a heavy emphasis on Petroleum Engineering. It receives large support from the oil industry and might be discouraged from getting involved with HSR.

  17. Roland
    Aug 2nd, 2015 at 20:12
    #17

    OT: Michael Burns headed for Honolulu for +/- 20% of Jim Hartnett’s salary:
    “Burns is currently working as an Independent Consultant with engagements in the San Francisco Bay area on the Electronic fare card (Clipper) and for Caltrain assisting with their coordination with the California High Speed Rail project.”
    http://www.metro-magazine.com/rail/news/294963/former-santa-clara-vta-chief-hired-to-oversee-honolulu-rail-project

    synonymouse Reply:

    Bring a little taste of BART to Paradise. But hold the Amalgamated and its strikes.

  18. datacruncher
    Aug 3rd, 2015 at 18:17
    #18

    Trial date set in Prop. 1A lawsuit over high-speed train plans
    by Tim Sheehan

    A trial date has finally been set in Kings County’s long-running lawsuit challenging whether California’s high-speed train project complies with the 2008 bond act for the system.

    Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny will hear arguments Feb. 11 in the case filed in late 2011 by John Tos, Aaron Fukuda and the Kings County Board of Supervisors against the California High-Speed Rail Authority and a raft of state government officials, including rail authority CEO Jeff Morales, Gov. Jerry Brown, and the state’s treasurer, finance director, controller and transportation secretary.

    More at:
    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article29894194.html

    Joe Reply:

    Who’s providing the facts ? If history repeats, arguments will be limited to evidence in the public record.

    The trial will likely be a battle of expert opinions, but those opinions will be on paper in declarations and arguments submitted to the court rather than in-person testimony in the courtroom. A year ago, Kenny granted a motion by the state to limit evidence in the trial to administrative records submitted to the court for a hearing in May 2013 and for the authority’s decision to approve a 2014 business plan. On Friday, the judge heard arguments for, but did not rule on, a motion by attorneys for Tos, Fukuda and Kings County to add more documents to the administrative records that will be considered at trial in February.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article29894194.html#storylink=cpy

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    a motion by attorneys for Tos, Fukuda and Kings County to add more documents to the administrative records that will be considered

    More ways to milk billable hours out of their client’s quixotic quest.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The trial is so drawn out as to be irrelevant. I thought it was supposed to take place this last spring. Jerry’s puppet higher courts will merely overrule any negative ruling. Some oversight. Don’t yes on any money issues. Unless you are a crony company.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Just because the court doesn’t confirm your notions doesn’t mean they are corrupt, incompetent, both, either etc.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, it does. Kerry was correct and doing his job for the people; the higher courts are “connected”. I like the story of about how apparently one banger commented the cops are just another gang. The guvmint is just another mafia, only legal.

    I watch Italian news all the time, TGR from Campania. They are always showing campaigns against the Camorra, in favor of “legalita”. What’s legal about a corrupt government, and worse, a corrupt government class? That’s the crux of the problem: a corrupt government class in league with the one percent. The functionaries are honorary one percenters.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes, we know, the incompetence you ramble on about is just a clever ruse to hide the conspiracy.

  19. Jerry
    Aug 3rd, 2015 at 19:44
    #19

    @Reality Check. ” Looking at the Tri-Rail bike car image, it appears Tri-Rail didn’t achieve the 1-bike-space-per-seat-removed tightly packed efficiency Caltrain has achieved on its gallery cars.”
    Thanks for providing the photo of the Tri-Rail bike car.
    My 1st thought when I saw the photo was that bikes do not need to be looking out the window.
    There is a lot of wasted space at the window level where more bikes could be inserted perhaps at a more horizontal level.
    But then again, a truly train manufactured “Bike Car” just for bikes (and maybe a few standees) could more efficiently pack the bikes on a “Bike Car.”

  20. Reality Check
    Aug 3rd, 2015 at 22:55
    #20

    @Jerry, Caltrain with its stacking bike racks fitted with bungee cords, has the densest, most space-efficient packing of bicycles you’ll find anywhere. This older photo shows a Caltrain gallery bike car back when they only had eight 4-bike racks (gallery bike cars have since all been expanded to ten 4-bike racks for a 40-bike nominal capacity … cyclists can and do often easily fit 5 slimmer racing/street bike per rack). Note that racks correspond to windows, which correspond to two 2-person bench seats removed. So a 4:4 ratio of seats removed to bike spaces provided in the case of 4 bikes per rack, and 4:5 (or 1.25) in the case of 5 bikes per rack.

    Jerry Reply:

    Another good photo which supports the old adage that a picture says a thousand words.
    As you say, the racks correspond to two 2-person bench seats removed. OK
    I’m no engineer/designer, but what I’m trying to say is that if the upper level seats were also removed, you could also put in a comparable amount of bikes at a higher level. Now the big problem is – how do you get the bikes onto the higher level racks??
    With pulleys? With pneumatic lifts? I don’t know.
    But professional engineer/designers can troubleshoot and brainstorm the problems in order to build a railroad car exclusively for bikes. A true, “Bike Car.” Not just a reconfigured passenger car.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Unbolting seats from the floor and installing the very spartan/utilitarian “racks” (really just bars with bungee cords attached) was and is trivially easy and dirt cheap.

    Bikes upstairs on re-engineered gallery cars!?

    Not only is that ridiculous and maybe two orders of magnitude more costly to design and implement on a per bike space basis, it’s just not going to happen. Caltrain is on the verge of ordering EMUs to replace all the gallery cars and, sooner or later, the Bombardiers too.

    As you may have seen on page 15 of the July board meeting minutes (page 18 of the linked PDF) the board passed a motion for an initial 8:1 seats:bike space ratio on the EMUs. They reasoned they could, as before, always pull out more seats later.

    joe Reply:

    Note “Many” and Bike Advocates which are called out as not many.

    Stakeholder feedback – car space
    Many comfortable with 9:1 seats/bike ratio onboard
     Bike advocates not supportive of 9:1 ratio, asking for:
     6:1 or 5:1 ratio
     System-wide bike access mode policy of 20 percent
     Many support wayside bike improvements
     Many support comfortable and safe standee space
     Many said at least one bathroom onboard (especially for special
    events and unexpected incidents)

    Looks like many don’t want more bike space and instead want improved wayside accommodations.

    Joey Reply:

    In general, competing interests will argue for very different things, and the result will ideally be a reasonable compromise. Of course bike advocates want more bike space, and of course the numbers they want are somewhat unreasonable. If you think 8:1 is still too low, then that’s perfectly legitimate, but this far your arguments have tended toward the side of “get rid of all bike space” rather than “increase the ratio.”

    Joe Reply:

    so bikes advocates are gaming the system by over reaching for 5:1 ratio.

    I agree and that’s why many are happy with the way things are and what more off bike train accommodations.

    You argue for a bike centric view point and can lose.

  21. Reality Check
    Aug 3rd, 2015 at 23:49
    #21

    Video from earlier today: Watch an idiot get pulled out of his car at Caltrain’s Sunnyvale Mary Ave. crossing shortly before NB Bullet #345 clips his car by a SMCo. Sheriff’s deputy who said they just happened to be doing “enforcement” in the area.

    Here’s NBC11’s TV news report on the incident.

    Roland Reply:

    The real idiots are America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals CURRENTLY in charge of Caltrain management AKA SamTrans the single most dysfunctional transit agency in all 9 Bay Area Counties.

  22. synonymouse
    Aug 4th, 2015 at 00:41
    #22

    tracteur contre TGV

    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/transports/sncf/collision-entre-un-tracteur-et-un-tgv-la-sncf-veut-porter-plainte_1027687.html

    Joey Reply:

    It’s a risk when high speed trains anything runs on non-grade separated track. Whether it’s worth the cost to grade separate depends on a lot.

    Joey Reply:

    And apparently strikethroughs don’t display properly. Is there a list of supported HTML tags?

    joe Reply:

    Someone pulled it off recently.

    strike this

    joe Reply:

    Bingo That’s it.

    Wikipedia tells me there are two tags: and

    I’ve failed with but works

    joe Reply:

    Hilarious.

    There “s” and “strike”. “strike” works.

    “s” and “strike”

    and

    Joey Reply:

    Testing…

    s tag

    strike tag

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Test:

    <strike>Like this

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes!

    <strike>Like this</strike>

    synonymouse Reply:

    AFAIK this section of the SNCF was grade separated – the tractor came running over an embankment with the operator claiming lost control.

    I mean a helicopter could crash into a BART stilt. Murphy’s Law.

    Roland Reply:

    Vache contre Electrostar
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/network-rail-warned-cow-track-6150311

    EJ Reply:

    Say what you like about overbuilt FRA-compliant rolling stock in the US, at least our trains can run over livestock without derailing.

  23. JimInPollockPines
    Aug 4th, 2015 at 09:53
    #23
  24. datacruncher
    Aug 4th, 2015 at 17:21
    #24

    High-speed rail agency seeks consultant for Bay-to-Valley studies
    by Tim Sheehan

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority is looking for consultants to help it secure the environmental clearances it needs for its rail sections between San Francisco and the central San Joaquin Valley.

    And it has set forth an ambitious schedule for accomplishing that task.

    On a 7-0 vote Tuesday in Sacramento, the rail agency’s board authorized the release of a request for qualifications from companies interested in seeking the three-year, $36 million contract. Whoever wins the contract this fall will be expected to crank out two comprehensive draft environmental impact reports in about a year and shepherd them through a yearlong state and federal process of public hearings before final approval, according to Ben Tripousis, the authority’s Northern California regional director.

    One report will evaluate the San Francisco-San Jose section of the statewide bullet-train system that will be sharing upgraded and electrified tracks with the Caltrain commuter rail line on the San Francisco Peninsula. The other will encompass the rail segment between San Jose and Chowchilla, including Pacheco Pass through the Diablo mountain range on the Valley’s west side.

    More at:
    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article29991213.html

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Apparently the trial date for the Prop 1a lawsuit has been set for February 2016. I think the Business Plan will be delayed until after that time.

    datacruncher Reply:

    The article talks about preparing environmental reports with administrative draft due dates in Aug and Oct 2016 along with final certifications in Nov/Dec 2017. I didn’t see any mention of the Business Plan in the article.

    Joe Reply:

    Gilroy’s station study (downtown and green field) will wrap up just about the time this report is due. 28 months from April 2015 if I recall.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I wasn’t trying to be deliberately vague– the Authority seemingly is speeding up the EIRs for the CalTrain corridor figuring they need to start building at the bookends, the “spine”, and in LA all at once.

    However, if the trial early next year strikes down the ability to use Prop 1a cash on the bookend portions, the Business Plan will have to be amended to think of something else. And if so, you can only imagine what the impact might be in the EIR process….

    StevieB Reply:

    I can easily imagine $36 million for environmental reports funded regardless of trials.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Sure, but the article hinted at a tight deadline which is supposedly tied I know to the federal money expiring.

    StevieB Reply:

    The article speaks of a more efficient environmental process producing reports in two years which is shorter than the time spent on completed reports. A shorter process would reduce costs but I see no connection to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding.

  25. datacruncher
    Aug 4th, 2015 at 21:36
    #25

    Alternate high-speed rail route through Bakersfield ready for public inspection

    Members of the public will get their first chance later this month to take a close look at how California’s high-speed rail project might run through Kern County under an alternative route being worked out with the help of Bakersfield city officials.

    The proposed alternative unveiled in concept late last year would run parallel to the Union Pacific railroad instead of along the BNSF Railway Co. tracks, as envisioned earlier. It would move Bakersfield’s bullet train station from the existing Amtrak station to the area around F Street and Golden State Avenue.

    Local officials say the new alignment, if approved, would be 1 1/3 miles shorter and less disruptive than the earlier route, affecting fewer properties and likely costing taxpayers less money.

    …………

    Shafter and Kern County still have lawsuits pending against the rail authority. While a county representative could not be reached for comment Tuesday, Shafter City Manager Scott Hurlbert said he is concerned the alternative alignment would hurt the city’s bid for a maintenance facility that would serve the rail project and give the region about 1,500 good jobs.

    ………………….

    The alternative route would still take out some industrial property and storage uses, she (Bakersfield Planning Director Jacqui Kitchen) noted. It would affect up to 150 buildings, none or very few of which are homes. By comparison, the older, hybrid route would impact 526 structures, including 231 residences.

    She noted the alignment city officials are working with the rail agency on would be raised on viaducts in such a way that its ground footprint would be minimized.

    ……………

    More at:
    http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2015/08/04/alternate-high-speed-rail-route-through-bakersfield-ready-for-public-inspection.html

    trentbridge Reply:

    A mile and a third shorter is not a trivial improvement.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Tell that to the Cheerleaders in re Tejon.

    Clem Reply:

    Worth about 20 seconds. More importantly, the new alignment does not suffer from a severe speed restriction as the Bakersfield Hybrid alignment does– not having to slow down to 115 mph for a tight reverse curve can save non-stop trains a full two minutes. So this new alignment could cut trip times by 2 minutes and 20 seconds, which is a large and desirable improvement.

    Michael Reply:

    This UP route seems to be a better alignment for Bakersfield. I assume it was left out originally because UP was being very “hands off/stay away” to the Authority. Now that the project is real, I assume there’s some sort of grand mitigation in discussion with UP. That, in turn, probably thawed the perceived prohibition on using UP in Bakersfield.

    datacruncher Reply:

    It was originally dropped as an option because Bakersfield leaders said they preferred a station located near the current downtown Amtrak station. After a public outcry the City leaders did an about face and said they wanted a different station location.

    James Fujita Reply:

    So this new route actually would be shorter and faster? That’s good to hear. I would have thought getting from the BNSF route to the UP would require a few extra curves.

    Also, having the station near the existing station and near the downtown convention center/ hotel was not a bad idea. (I still think some sort of regional rail should have a role to play even after HSR comes to the Central Valley.)

    Of course, you could always move local transit to the new station and build a new transit-oriented neighborhood around the new station. That’s probably what will end up happening at Hanford and other stations.

    Eric M Reply:

    That is a big improvement

  26. Roland
    Aug 5th, 2015 at 00:21
    #26

    Caltrain August 6th Board meeting Item #10

    The proposed delegation of authority will provide greater administrative efficiency, responsiveness and flexibility relative to the design and construction of all improvement projects (new construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance) within the JPB’s right of way, stations, property, facilities, or infrastructure, or that otherwise affect Caltrain operations, while allowing the JPB to enjoy the benefits of design immunity under California law.

    Specifically, California Government Code section 830.6 provides that a public entity is not liable for an injury caused by the reasonable plan or design of an improvement to public property where such plan or design has been approved in advance by the governing board of the public entity or by an employee exercising discretionary authority to give such approval. Similarly, where such a plan or design is prepared in conformity with standards previously by the governing board or by an employee
    exercising discretionary authority to give such approval, the public entity also enjoys immunity for any injury caused by the plan or design.

    Design standards change with some frequency and returning to the Board for approval of every such change diverts attention from more significant Board items. Also, when projects are underway, waiting for additional Board approvals on specific designs or design changes can insert unwanted delays into project delivery. This is especially true in the newer regime of design/build projects, during which designs are not finalized before construction but, rather, during construction.

    Removing these potential distractions and delays will allow staff to tackle both amendments to the JPB’s design standards, as well as changes and modifications to the design of specific projects, will increase staff and Board efficiency.

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2015/2015-08-06+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf

  27. Roland
    Aug 5th, 2015 at 09:50
    #27

    Caltrain August 6th Board meeting Item #11 Quint Street “replacement” project:

    http://sfmea.sfplanning.org/2013.0858E_PMND2.pdf

  28. datacruncher
    Aug 5th, 2015 at 11:46
    #28

    Hanford council nixes rail station planning grant
    by John Lindt

    By a 3-to-2 vote, the Hanford City Council turned down a chance to secure a matching grant to begin planning for a regional high-speed rail station.

    Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle had urged the council to consider the planning grant, but opposition to the project remains strong in this Kings County community. The Tuesday vote was a continuation from a June 5 council meeting.

    More at:
    http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/government-and-politics/18819-hanford-council-nixes-rail-station-planning-grant

  29. Roland
    Aug 5th, 2015 at 13:14
    #29

    Clicking on Exhibit B: http://www.sfcta.org/transportation-planning-and-studies/current-research-and-other-projectsstudies/caltrain-oakdale-station-study may help:

    “The Quint Street Underpass has been under design through PCJPB to be upgraded to current seismic criteria and is programmed under the Caltrans Local Assistance Program. It is likely that due to the overall poor condition of the structure, the Quint Street Underpass will be considered for replacement, instead of retrofitting the existing structure.

    Replacement of the bridge would offer an opportunity to combine work that is required for the station, such as widening it to accommodate the future station platforms, and meet track spacing and road clearance requirements. The replacement structure could be shortened from the current structure’s present length of 326 feet to an 85-foot structure that just spans the existing roadway.”

    http://www.sfcta.org/images/stories/Planning/CaltrainOakdaleStation/PDFs/bayviewoakdalecaltrainstudy-finalv2.pdf page 47

    Mark Duncan Reply:

    The City of San Francisco wasn’t able to come up with the money to do the Quint Street Station. They took so much time in doing so that the 100-year old Quaint Street bridge reached its end of life with structural members having severe rust and corrosion. Replacing it with a berm using light weight concrete (the same as used in the San Bruno grade separation) was the lowest cost solution to keeping the Caltrain line operational.

    Roland Reply:

    How about facts for a change?

    1) SamTrans deliberately neglected periodic maintenance of the Quint Street bridge after acquiring it in remarkably good condition from Union Pacific.

    2) America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals refused to consider the 2004 Oakdale Caltrain station study recommendation that “The replacement structure could be shortened from the current structure’s present length of 326 feet to an 85-foot structure that just spans the existing roadway” and duly quoted a ridiculous $25M replacement cost when the station underpass could have been built for +/- $10M: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cow+lane+bridge.

    3) The SFCTA refused to get ripped off by the single most dysfunctional transportation agency in all 9 Bay Area Counties so Don Scanlon retaliated by transferring all funding from the Quint Street Bridge to the San Mateo Bridges “grade separation project” back in 2009. http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/transprog/ctcbooks/2009/1209/085_2.1c.7.pdf

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Roland… “How about facts for a change?”

    “….the single most dysfunctional transportation agency in all 9 Bay Area Counties…”

    So you think VTA-BART uber alles-light rail to everywhere, would be better at managing Caltrain than Samtrans? VTA, one of the least efficient (if farebox recovery is any indication), agencies around? VTA which has been called one of the worst light rail systems in the country? Better than Samtrans?

    How do we know your “facts” are accurate?

    How do you know it was acquired in “remarkably good condition”? From Southern Pacific / Denver & Rio Grande Western, NOT yet Union Pacific.

    The Southern Pacific peninsula commute service was taken under management of Caltrans District 4, and the three counties in 1980 during Jerry Brown’s first governorship and continued to be operated by Southern Pacific. In 1982, anti-rail, George “Dukes-A-Hazard” was elected governor. During the Deukmejian era Caltrain suffered through trying times as there were a number of threats to withhold funding for Caltrain. Service and ridership remained fairly stagnant; there was no real marketing to speak of. So it is possible that bridge maintenance was at the bare minimum.

    The JPB/Samtrans, purchased the line in 1992, and this was during the era of Samtrans/San Mateo counties fixation on BART to Colma and then to SFO/Millbrae, but we will pay some attention to Caltrain so it can get by… There were some politicians who really wanted the Caltrain ROW so that it could be turned over to BART. Roland, you weren’t around then, but believe me we are many times better now than we were in the 1980’s/1990’s.

    Only since about 2000, has there been significant attention / efforts to improve Caltrain. The politics of bay area transit sucks, but the problem is not so much Samtrans as it is the whole bay area 24+ transit agencies fiefdoms led by the MTC.

  30. Brian_FL
    Aug 5th, 2015 at 18:44
    #30

    In latest news on All Aboard Florida. Final EIS released yesterday showing impacts that are not significant and can be mitigated. Tonight within the past hour, AAF received approval from the Florida development agency (FDFC) to sell $1.75 billion in private activity bonds (PABs). So things are looking up here in the sunshine state. I was in WPB last week, station foundation work is well underway and major track work is just beginning. I saw a lot of survey markers trackside as well as new track near the station site.

    Of course the desperate NIMBYS of the areas north of WPB are going to sue to try to delay the project, just like in CA. But from my perspective it is nothing that can’t be overcome.

    Also, AAF expects delivery of the first 2 Siemens Charger locomotives next July for testing. Initial 5 train sets to be delivered from Siemens in late spring 2017. I wonder if the AAF locomotives will be the initial units produced? Not sure when the first of the multi-state order will be delivered. Last I heard was sometime in 2016.

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