Drill, Baby, Drill (for HSR tunnels)

Sep 29th, 2015 | Posted by

The California High Speed Rail Authority is seeking permission to drill in the San Gabriel Mountains as part of their study of a possible tunnel from Palmdale to the LA basin:

The California High Speed Rail Authority has asked permission to test-drill deep beneath the Angeles National Forest to determine the feasibility of digging a rail tunnel through the rugged San Gabriel Mountains near Santa Clarita.

If allowed to perform its tests, the rail authority will drill down 900 feet to 2,500 feet below the surface in up to eight locations of the northwestern portion of the Angeles, a federally protected wilderness. Borings will only be allowed on existing forest roads, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

By examining the test borings, the rail authority can determine the soil, water content and locate earthquake faults — all important geological information needed to complete an Environmental Impact Report on the high-speed train’s alignment from Palmdale to Burbank airport station.

All of the proposed routes to get the tracks from Palmdale to LA have been controversial, whether it’s the route near the 14 freeway or the tunnels under the mountains. Reflecting that controversy, the US Forest Service will be taking public comment, and as Curbed LA points out, that’s unusual:

Concerned citizens who don’t want the rail authority digging around in the Angeles will have their chance to voice their concerns about the tunnels with the U.S. Forest Service: “In what only can be described as an unusual process,” the USFS has decided to open up to public input on whether or not the preliminary drilling should be allowed. (Any complaints or issues with the test-drilling and the feasibility study can be sent to Comments can be sent to gfarra@fs.fed.us.)

The CHSRA hopes to be able to present a draft EIR for the Palmdale to Burbank segment in mid-2016, and the test drills would help determine the feasibility of constructing the tunnel.

What will they find? Will the tunnel be feasible from a geologic perspective? Stay tuned!

  1. JB in PA
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 12:54
    #1

    Next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire.

  2. Clem
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 13:17
    #2

    For reference, the proposed holes are 4 inches in diameter. Tailings from a 2500-foot-deep hole amount to eight cubic yards, or one dump truck load.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    I’d love to see the behind-the-door correspondence that led to the USFS decision – it’s bat-shit crazy and there’s no rationale to open this up to public comments. (And what do they expect will be the outcome – they’ll get lots of objecting correspondence, and some supporting correspondence [from the silent majority who recognize that a tunnel won’t impact the forest at all] – and then any decision the USFS makes will be subject to litigation and claims of political manipulation.)

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I’m gonna guess it started with a call to some higher-up in the FS from “a friend” (who may or may not be a politician… are lobbyists allowed to talk to the civil service directly?) to “discuss some of these things he’s heard”…. ><

    Joe Reply:

    Allowed to talk ? Yes.

    And they’ll be directed to contact the public affairs office.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/about-agency/contact-us/office-communication

    Same holds for a university if the faculty follow protocol.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “allowed”? Who’s gonna stop them? Judge Kenny?

    They do whatever the **** they want.

    Joe Reply:

    Better to allow the public to provide commentary and proceed than to operate without public input. That way any decision can be shown it was made with consideration of all viewpoints.

    CYA.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who cares? Jerry is going to order PB to do whatever the Tejon Ranch Co. tells him to do.

    MarkB Reply:

    So the conspiracy is to put lots of commuter stations between Palmdale and L.A. (surface route)

    So the conspiracy is to put no commuter stations between Palmdale and L.A. (tunnel)

    Must be hard to keep your balance when you live in a house of mirrors.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah. But I suspect the developers are a little schizzy on the issue. Pros and cons either way.

    It would appear PB has opted for the base tunnels to offend the least number of richies. Possibly too they are just going thru the motions on the way to picking up the check.

    PB wants to maximize its profits; the Tejon Ranch wants to maximize its profits; and Jerry wants to maximize the kickbacks to the patronage machine A marriage of convenience..

    joe Reply:

    Who cares? Jerry is going to order PB to do whatever the Tejon Ranch Co. tells him to do.

    It would appear PB has opted for the base tunnels to offend the least number of richies.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Perhaps I should have couched it more a posteriori.

    The Tejon Ranch has total veto power over any route in its bailiwick. It is not concerned about Gilroy.

    Zorro Reply:

    Crank alert, Cyno is off His/Her meds again.

    Lewellan Reply:

    It’s better to not let a person considered ‘crazy’ know they’re considered crazy.
    Aggravating an actually crazy person can lead them to do something crazy.
    Call me crazy, but I still say TALGO is the way to go.

    Zorro Reply:

    Cyno is a Crank, He/She isn’t crazy, but whatever.

  3. Roland
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 13:25
    #3

    Letter to Jeff Morales Re Burlingame Meeting: http://tinyurl.com/qyalrwk

    Clem Reply:

    Short version: we demand that you turn your meeting into an embarrassing fiasco for you.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    This is the exact same shit that opponents of AAF have tried to raise here. Last fall with the FRA sponsored meetings to get public input on the DEIS and this year with the FDFC meetings. The FDFC meetings were about the issuance of PAB’s for AAF by that state agency.

    In both cases, the public was invited to hear presentations or get answers but not permitted to raise questions or make statements in front of a public meeting. Here, the opponents desperately wanted the meetings to turn into anti-AAF rallies. When the opponents did get to ask questions of the FDFC board when the bonds were approved, they pretty much accused the board of corruption and cronyism! Much like what is going on in CA now as well. I swear the anti-passenger rail groups are connected somehow across FL, TX, and CA. They all have similar strategies and make the same bullet points.

    Aarond Reply:

    Probably because they have a similar NIMBY agenda. Not that I disagree with anything you’re saying, but we both know that they just don’t want their neighborhoods touched at all and will make up any excuse to justify it. The “boondoggle” angle doesn’t work with AAF because it’s privately funded (hilariously, by the same developers who built all the NIMBY’s homes). So they go with the “corruption” and “big X” angle. Their world view simply does not allow for trains. And the whole time they scream “safety!” and try to “protect the children”.

    For a similar episode, but over bike lanes, see this:

    http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/09/24/the-worlds-nuttiest-bike-lane-nimbys-live-in-a-san-diego-beach-community/

    Of course that begs the question, *what is actually in their world view*, which is to say their suburb as it was built and advertised to them in the pamphlet they got at an open house. Anything that deviates is heresy. The most they’ll tolerate is perhaps another school or maybe an office building.

    Jerry Reply:

    And they keep trying to say that it will all decrease property values.
    Yet the property values keep going up. Even next to the tracks.
    Many real estate ads advertise that the property for sale is within walking distance to the train station.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    Re: their 5 “concerns:
    1) Will HSR displace Caltrain service, to commuters’ detriment?
    ANSWER: No, it will in fact improve Caltrain service through electrification, elimination of grade crossings, and addition of passing sides.

    2) Will HSR increase noise issues? Will CEQA be followed for this?
    ANSWER: To some extent, re: noise (though elimination of grade crossings will reduce horn soundings), and of course CEQA will be followed.

    3) Will HSR not impact surface auto traffic.
    ANSWER: It will not not impact it… LOL. By eliminating grade crossings and auto interactions, and by eliminating auto trips along the Peninsula corridor, it should improve auto traffic in the area.

    4) Will HSR cause blight along the Caltrain ROW?
    ANSWER: You mean, more than already exists? Hard to imagine that…

    5) Will HSR increase “the genuine epidemic of suicide” in the Caltrain corridor?
    ANSWER: Epidemic? 10 people died from Caltrain impacts last year, very unclear how many were suicides. 12 have died so far this year, ditto re: suicides. Regardless, there’s little you can do to stop a determined suicide, but by adding fencing and eliminating grade crossings, presumably the HSR improvements will decrease, or be neutral as to, the risk of suicide by train.

    (Mic drop; dusts off hands; walks off stage.)

    joe Reply:

    4) Will HSR cause blight along the Caltrain ROW?
    ANSWER: You mean, more than already exists? Hard to imagine that…

    Blight – like their current living situation.

    Many if not all of the CC-HSR critics live at/near the Caltrian ROW because that’s where the property values were the lowest due to train impacts. These critics afford to buy into high cost zip codes and apparently they naively thought the trains would eventually go away.

  4. Roland
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 15:09
    #4

    Network Rail don’t need any help translating “On Yer Bikes!”. Santa Clarita anyone?

  5. Roland
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 15:42
    #5

    CCHSR is an anti-passenger rail group???

    Peter Reply:

    Yes, it’s a NIMBY group.

    J. Wong Reply:

    An anti-HSR group that pretends to be in favor and is simply offering criticism to make it better that if addressed would mean that the project would be stopped entirely.

    Danny Reply:

    did someone say “Goodmon”?

    Joel Reply:

    If a planning-oriented group has “community” in its name, that’s a pretty strong indication it’s a NIMBY group.

    Joe Reply:

    Members who live within feet of the ROW is another give away.

    Jerry Reply:

    The group DOES NOT represent San Mateo, San Carlos, or South San Francisco.

  6. Trentbridge
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 17:31
    #6

    Dear National Forest Service:

    It’s a liberal hoax! I have heard from reliable sources that CA HSR is planning to lower tiny Tunnel-Boring Machines (TBMs) down these “research holes” and start tunneling without getting proper permits. I believe “Roto Rooter” has been given a super secret contract to begin the Palmdale to Burbank section. Sure you say, it’s only four inches diameter now – but as we conservatives know – Government projects always suffer from mission-creep. It starts out as a four inch TBM project, then they discover they need forty foot diameter TBMs to finish the job, and finally forty-foot diameter TBMs!
    Signed
    Disgusted of Sylmar!

  7. les
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 18:22
    #7

    This is a underover fracking scheme. PB isn’t paying Jerry enough so he forced to buddy up with chevron. Howd i do mouse?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Fracking is today; sprawling is forever.

    les Reply:

    Isn’t sprawl added to sprawl just density.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Also, the word “sprawl” is both vague and loaded… American style endless strip-mall sprawl is horrible, but railway-generated “sprawl” in the form of dispersed streetcar suburbs and the like is typically not nearly as objectionable. Put another way, sprawl refers to low large-scale density, but the density at smaller scales can vary dramatically.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What they are planning the high desert won’t be vague. This is LA we are talking about, way beyond streetcar suburbs. Cairo.

  8. Eric M
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 19:12
    #8

    The list of companies/firms from around the world that has responded to the CA HSRA RFEI has been released.

    o Acciona Infrastructure
    o ACS Infrastructure Development, Inc./Dragados USA, Inc./Cobra Industrial Services, Inc
    o Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc.
    o AECOM
    o AirTrain, Inc.
    o Ashurst LLP
    o Barclays Bank PLC
    o Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation/Arup North America Ltd./SYSTRA Consulting Inc.
    o Beijing National Railway Research & Design Institute of Signal & Communication Group Co., Ltd.
    o Bouygues Travaux Publics S.A.
    o Chinese High Speed Rail Delivery Team
    o Cintra Infraestructuras, S.A./Ferrovial Agroman, US Corp.
    o DB International GmbH
    o Ericsson Inc.
    o FCC Construccion S.A.
    o Fluor Enterprises, Inc./Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc.
    o Globalvia Inversiones S.A.U.
    o INABENSA
    o Indra USA, Inc.
    o Italferr S.p.A.
    o Japan California High Speed Rail Consortium
    o John Laing Investments, Ltd.
    o Kiewit Corporation
    o lsolux Corsan LLC
    o Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc.
    o Meridiam Infrastructure North America Corporation
    o OHL Infrastructure, Inc.
    o Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
    o Plenary Group
    o Sacyr Concesiones S.L.
    o Siemens Industry, Inc.
    o Skanska
    o Thales Transport & Security, Inc.
    o TYPSA Group
    o VINCI Concessions

    And a little article to go along with it.

    The details of interest should be released soon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    window dressing. There is only one name on there that counts.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Tim Sheehan’s article about the expressions of interest.

    Global firms weigh in on high-speed rail development in California

    Almost three dozen firms or teams of companies from around the world have put their names into the hat for potentially participating in the development of California’s high-speed rail program.

    The firms, ranging from international construction conglomerates to global financial institutions, all submitted responses to the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s request for input in how to bring its ambitious bullet-train plans to fruition. Businesses were asked to offer their ideas by early this week on financing, building and delivering a ready-to-operate system of electric-powered passenger trains by 2022. Those responses will form the basis for the rail agency to determine its next steps for its first operational segment, a 300-mile route from Merced to Burbank estimated to cost about $31.2 billion.

    Seeking companies’ interest “is not a formal procurement but is instead a means for the authority to gather practical feedback from the private sector, based on their experience and expertise, on how to structure upcoming procurements,” said Jeff Morales, the rail authority’s CEO, in a memo to the agency’s board members in advance of their meeting next week in Sacramento.

    Among the issues for which the authority sought input were cost savings, schedule acceleration, innovation and attracting private-sector investment.

    …………

    When the authority issued its request for responses in June, it raised the curtain on one potential strategy for getting the Merced-Burbank segment up and running: Seeking a developer to finance, design, build and maintain the 300-mile route, in exchange for a 25- to 50-year repayment of the developer’s capital investment. The presumed source of repayment would be a stream of cap-and-trade money – funds paid by industries to the state to buy air-pollution credits under California’s landmark greenhouse gas-reduction program. The rail authority is scheduled to receive 25 percent of cap-and-trade money on an ongoing basis – anticipated to amount to about $500 million this year.

    Remaining money from Prop. 1A, about $4 billion of which remains uncommitted, would be used to make incentive or “milestone” payments when the developer reaches certain benchmarks and match a portion of the developer’s investment. But the developer would be expected to finance the remaining costs in return for the long-term repayment.

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article37139691.html

    john burrows Reply:

    We might know a little more tomorrow—

    The monthly CAHSRA meeting gets under way Tuesday, October 6 at 10:00 AM. Item #3 on the agenda, “Update on the Request for Expressions of Interest for the Delivery of an Initial Operating Segment and Outline of Next Steps” will be presented by Morales.

    Tim Sheehan is saying “Industry ideas on developing the first operational stage of California’s bullet train through the San Joaquin Valley will be among the highlights of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s meeting Tuesday in Sacramento”.

    Tomorrow’s meeting might be quite interesting.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Tutor wants a change order.

    Joe Reply:

    Grandpa Sympson wants a diaper change.

    Morales sez CA received over twice the expected responses. Kevin McCarthism opposition is irrelevant since he is offering nothing for the project the Congress can pull back or cut.

    Tutor can try to game the system but they know McCarthy will hold hearings to embarrass the project and thus scarce them off.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What does Volkswagen have in common with PB-CAHSR? Let’s see.

    1. Inherent conceptual failure, both technical and political.
    2. Hardware under-performance covered up by gimmickry, cheats and disinformation.
    3. Incestuous relationship with high government officials.
    4. Obstinate loyalty to long-time ,in-place, legacy, obsoleting tech and unwillingness to seek, even investigate optimal.
    5. Both CEO’s summarily fired, one deservedly and the other unfairly.
    6. Future and survival of both uncertain, with large amounts of money lost.
    7. Reputation of the overall industry tarnished.

    And as to the their GHQ’s – Volfsburg getting shafted whereas Palmdale has earned its ghetto karma and status right atop the San Andreas.

    joe Reply:

    2. Hardware under-performance covered up by gimmickry, cheats and disinformation.

    What PB-CAHSR hardware?
    The system is electric, not diesel.
    CAHSR CEO resigned.

    Like the Simpson’s Character, our Grandpa Sympson

    ….”is known for his long, rambling, often incoherent stories…. ”

    “Almost all of Grampa’s biographical information is supplied by himself. Many of his stories seem to be wildly inaccurate, often physically or historically impossible, and occasionally inconsistent even with each other, …”

    “Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, wanted to have a character that was “really cranky” and old, and who complained a lot and invented stories…”

    synonymouse Reply:

    The hardware underperformance is due to blending with legacy. I favor a totally separate line – at this point – like BART but not sabotaged with bizarro tech specs.

    SFO to Sta. Clarita via Dumbarton, Altamont, I-5, Tejon with forced transfers for the time being until you either expropriate some class one property or build new lines. Screw FRA regs and interstate commerce.

    **** Prop 1a – it is Prop-aganda. Jerry and PB routinely ignore its substance anyway.

    Joe Reply:

    Blended HSR in the urban corridor;the alignment and prop1a have nothing to do with VW’s scandal.

    Just like grandpa Simpson, our Grandpa Synopson contradicts Confused and makes incoherent refer s to our Governor

    Underperform hardware means You want 220 mph in the urban peninsula.
    Blended is temporary until they add track which means your other complaint against blended is inaccurate.

    Roland Reply:

    Tutor would like to make a couple of minor changes to the downtown Fresno alignment to facilitate the introduction of cutting-edge technology capable of delivering this project on time and on budget: https://www.youtube.com/embed/B6X82g2UZOs

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Tutor would like to make a couple of minor changes to the downtown Fresno alignment to facilitate the introduction of cutting-edge technology capable of delivering this project on time and on budget”

    Yeah, not, but an interesting video nonetheless. FYI, likely this is dependent on not being able to get either a crane or the sections into the area where the viaduct is being constructed. Note that this not likely to be the case in any urban areas that have plenty of roads.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    “Self launching” viaduct construction (there are various types of machinery that accomplish it) is not exotic and is pretty standard outside the USA, increasingly so even in areas where hoisting sections from below is not completely impractical.

  9. synonymouse
    Sep 29th, 2015 at 22:41
    #9

    http://kron4.com/2015/09/28/video-bigger-buses-faster-routes-coming-to-san-francisco-muni/

    Looks like some new articulated trolley coaches for Muni in the 7200 series. The KRON story does not indicate where the new maintenance facility is located but it looks bayside industrial.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    The new maintenance yard is on the north side if Islais Creek, directly east of 280. (It also happens to be the site that the anti-Warriors Arena people recently proposed as an alternative arena site. Ah, S.F. politics…)

  10. Emmanuel
    Sep 30th, 2015 at 08:46
    #10

    I’ve lost track and interest in how this gets built as long as it gets built within its budget and timeline.

    Jerry Reply:

    I will ride.

    Zorro Reply:

    I will ride too.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    ill be dead but maybe my ashes can ride.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Between 1993-98, Portland went through the tiresome political process of planning its MAX light rail South/North line. Oregon’s main rail advocacy group AORTA opposed it and argued it should go back to the drawing board. Naturally, Portland’s transit agency Tri-Met, the regional planning agency Metro, the city remained committed to the project with main environmental advocacy group support. After Vancouver voted down their share of funding, then Oregon State voters voted down funding, Portlanders were given the chance to vote on it and likewise voted against the project. Only months later the next year, the proposal (Interstate MAX) came off the drawing board much improved – far less impact, reduced cost, more ridership with 3 additional stops, new sidewalks/crosswalks and streetscape, more development potential that followed soon after the new improved line was finished.

    The learning experience allowed Portland to build the PDX Red Line, the Green Line, the recent Orange Line and several streetcar expansions. In other words, rejectiing a rail proposal can result in getting more than imagined learning from the experience. Perhaps the analogy isn’t perfect, nor apples-to-oranges, but the greater need for electric transit is inner-urban, not intra-urban. I’m satisfied that the fight for light rail was worth the effort, especially because productive results occurred soon. I wish the same would occur in California, but a bullet train would serve a luxury market more than a daily travel necessity. And like Synon, I fear California will continue its car-dependent suburban sprawl that will more than completely cancel any benefit of HSR.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Yeah, but you have to start somewhere. Interstate MAX was *not* Portland’s first line.

    It’s worth voting against *really* badly designed projects like Austin’s Red Line. But if you’ve got a half-decent line for your first line, it’s worth building it even if it’s compromised, as a *proof of concept*. You’ll get better results on your second line because the people with really deranged ideas about rail will be marginalized after the first line starts operating.

    synonymouse Reply:

    JerryRail is truly badly designed.

  11. agb5
    Sep 30th, 2015 at 10:06
    #11

    A tunnel is almost certainly feasible.
    The test bores should narrow down the rock type and therefor the appropriate tunneling technique and therefor the cost and duration.

  12. Spencer Joplin
    Sep 30th, 2015 at 12:06
    #12

    Here’s hoping one of the borings punches through and discovers a 50-foot-diameter cavern that stretches from Palmdale to Burbank.

  13. Reedman
    Sep 30th, 2015 at 12:16
    #13

    China won the bid to build HSR in Indonesia. Japan lost. $5.5 billion for a 93 mile line. It will require $0 in government money or loan guarantees. Ground breaking will be this year, with operation beginning in 2019.

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/its-official-china-not-japan-is-building-indonesias-first-high-speed-railway/

    les Reply:

    Any idea what trainsets they’ll be using? I see where the Chinese used Spanish trains in Turkey.

    Useless Reply:

    les

    CRH6

    I see where the Chinese used Spanish trains in Turkey.

    Chinese did not use anyone in Turkey. Chinese were simply contracted to construct railway. Turkish operator then selected separate contractors for electrical and rolling stocks.

    Peter Reply:

    Are they going to use the high-speed or medium-speed versions of CRH6?

    les Reply:

    “China has been figuring on a train capable of traveling 350 kilometers an hour, but Ms. Soemarno said companies were now discussing possible savings from lowering the speed to 250 kilometers per hour”
    WSJ

    Reality Check Reply:

    The first China-built HSR in Turkey (story includes embedded video)

    The ticket for first class costs $30, much cheaper than air. The journey between Istanbul and Ankara by rail is 4 hours. And most of the riders are business people.

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    This is the Ankara-Istanbul high speed line. A Turkish-Chinese consortium won the construction contract, but there was no Chinese involvement in rolling stock or signalling.

    Joseph E Reply:

    Whoah! That is a surprise. I thought the Indonesian government had decided to go with medium-speed trains (125 mph / 200 kph) instead of full high-speed rail, but it looks like the Chinese companies plus the national railways system are planning for full financing without any Indonesian government money invested, so the deal is on for a system with 150 mph top speed. I hope they design this line to fit with a future, longer system all the way east to Semarang and Surabaya, sharing tracks on the way into Jakarta with the trains from Bandung.

  14. JimInPollockPines
    Sep 30th, 2015 at 15:22
    #14

    ot but the first of the SMART trains has arrived and they actually look pretty nice Something I didn’t know what that they have also ordered “c” cars which expand the trainssets to three cars instead coupling together multimple cars together the way light rail in sacramento does. and looking at the doors, I guess smart is an all high platform level boarding system.?

    William Reply:

    3 two-car sets are on SMART property.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    trains bart used to operate…

    SMART’s first two two-car train sets have arrived and are currently undergoing rigorous testing at the SMART Operations and Maintenance Facility and on the SMART corridor. Testing will include full implementation of the new state-of-the-art in train safety system – Positive Train Control.
    All seven of the two-car train set SMART Train vehicles will be delivered later in the fall of 2015. Additionally, SMART recently received a grant from the State of California to purchase three middle (C-cars), enabling SMART to operate three-car train sets during peak commute hours
    Looking ahead, 2016 will bring final operating and service plans and schedules, completion of regulatory testing requirements and the ramp-up to the start of service.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The trains cannot be very long or San Rafael will be very unhappy.

    Edward Reply:

    The original idea was to buy unpowered C-cars in the future as ridership required. These C-cars are powered, which keeps the power to weight ratio the same as all cars will have a diesel engine.

    The differences between the three types of car:

    Sloped end with cab, toilet.
    Sloped end with cab, bistro.
    Flat ends, only simple operator controls for use in the yard.

    These cars have an unusual amount of space for bicycles and/or wheelchairs. They are accommodated with both vertical racks and flip-up seats and bungee cords. With the exception of a few flip-up seats, every seat has a power outlet.

    There’s lots of stainless steel on the interior. Nice fit and finish.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    power outlets too? sounds nice. ( well its marin and sonoma so I guess they expect nice)

    William Reply:

    @Edward, if SMART’s C-car is similar to UPExpress’s, it will have a full functional cab in one end, and therefore allow it to be run as an end car in normal operations.

    The capability to be tow one unpowered coach must have been an initial requirement but dropped in the final RFP, as other FRA compliant bidder offered cars with two engines. The every-car-powered arrangement is more efficient in short consist, as 4-engines would be running on any length of train less than four cars, while single-engine, every-car-powered scales with train length.

    Edward Reply:

    To answer a few questions:

    SMART is level boarding with high platforms and gantlet tracks where needed. There is no freight service on the southern part of the system and no gantlet tracks.

    The original idea was to have the capability to have one unpowered car sandwiched between two power cars. The existing cab cars are supposed to be able to handle that situation. Of course powered C-cars improve acceleration.

    A three car train is fifty feet shorter than the street spacing in downtown San Rafael. It fits.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If any bollix occurs a street could be blocked. The solution is a viaduct, electric light rail on shorter headways and the doodlebugs sold to BART for something TBD. And freight shitcanned.

    Aarond Reply:

    >freight shitcanned

    Funny you bring that up. SMART’s ROW is owned by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, a state government-owned short line that serves the north coast up to Eurkea. Or they did, up until 1997 when a major storm destroyed most of their track (the line was built right on the banks of the Eel River, in a similar fashion to other logging railroads like the route that the Coast Starlight takes through Dunisimir).

    Anyway, NWP has been trying to rebuild their line up to Ukiah mostly to move lumber-related products in and out. They’re being sued by a greenie group because (in the plantiffs words), *the NWP did not abide by the California Environmental Protection Act by not filing a proper EIR*. The same stone that was throne at both Caltrain and CHSRA.

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

    http://www.willitsnews.com/general-news/20141022/north-coast-rail-authority-clears-court-of-appeal/1

    (biased article, but bear with me)

    http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2015/apr/14/state-owned-north-coast-railroad-asserts-its-right/

    It’s a strange situation, but it pretty much means that as long as CHSRA is successful, so will NWP. But SMART’s line doesn’t have much freight period due to it’s extreme isolation from the rest of the rail network (NWP’s line dead ends in Eureka, extending it up to the nearest connection up in Coos Bay, OR would probably cost as much as an SF-LA HSR line).

    synonymouse Reply:

    1964 was much worse.

  15. joe
    Oct 1st, 2015 at 06:46
    #15

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/traffic-transportation/nevada-high-speed-rail-authority-sets-framework-choosing-operator

    The appointed five-member board zipped through its agenda in 25 minutes Tuesday, appointing a chairman and establishing a process to select a franchi.see to build a steel-wheels-on-rails train system connecting Southern Nevada with Southern California along the Interstate 15 corridor. Ten people attended what someday may be considered a historic meeting.

  16. Elizabeth Alexis
    Oct 1st, 2015 at 08:28
    #16

    OT Safety problems so bad at WMATA (DC Metro) that the NTSB is recommending that they reclassify it as a commuter rail so that the FRA can be responsible for safety http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/09/report-metro-overseen-federal-agency/

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    (a) “Something must be done!”
    “Doing [this] is something!”
    “Therefore [this] must be done!”

    (b) You have a problem.
    Yon involve the FRA.
    Now you have two problems.

    Steven H Reply:

    We have three problems, actually: Metro, the FRA, and Congress. WTOP made a huge grammatical error when it used a CVO (Congress-Verb-Object) sentence structure in that article.

    More oversight isn’t going to help Metro. It needs a massive top-to-bottom culture change, and a funding level appropriate for the second busiest rapid transit system in the country. It really will be a commuter rail operation if Metro can’t get its act together: there are now sometimes up to 19 minute headways on a third of the lines because a fire took out a transformer that can’t be replaced until the spring.

    Zorro Reply:

    Actually We have only two problems in the US, the GOP and the GOP’s owner, the KOCH Bros(Crane Koch and David Koch), everything else is fixable given the political will to do so.

    Nathanael Reply:

    There are several more problem billionaires. In addition to Charles and David Koch, there’s also Sheldon Adelson, the Walton heirs (Jim, Alice, S Robson, and Christy), Carl Icahn, Ray Dalio, Steve Cohen, Ronald Perelman, Stephen Schwarzman, John Paulson, Philip Anschutz, and of course Rupert Murdoch… among others.

    Roland Reply:

    Q: Who is in charge of replacing the track circuits for the Caltrain electrification?
    A: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070102369.html
    What could possibly go wrong???

    synonymouse Reply:

    Can Indian Standard Gauge be far behind?

    Joey Reply:

    Interestingly, the DC Metro isn’t even standard gauge – it’s off by a few mm.

    Domayv Reply:

    same with the gauges in Finland and Russia yet cross-border trains operate without difficulty

  17. Elizabeth Alexis
    Oct 1st, 2015 at 16:54
    #17

    New proposed alignments for Bakersfield to Palmdale

    Someone sent us a picture of the pictures presented at a community meeting yesterday
    http://i.imgur.com/tWeByAA.jpg

    For reference, here is the map from May http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/Bakersfield_Palmdale/Bakersfield_to_Palmdale_SectionMap_05272015.pdf

    It looks like they have narrowed it down to variations on the Oak Creek Pass alignment – more direct and avoids some wind turbines – but very, very steep.

    Eric M Reply:

    What is the gradient?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    We won’t know exact numbers until full Revised Supplemental AA is released (scheduled for Nov 17), but the alignment is a variant on Oak Creek Pass which had 3.5% for over 9 miles, 2.95% for 20.

    Eric M Reply:

    That will definitely require some leveling off areas.

    Clem Reply:

    Not so sure. I never understood their requirement for flat gradients in phase breaks. Presumably to allow a train to coast through the break on the way up the pass even if it doesn’t carry much momentum. Have they really thought this problem through? Why build billion dollar tunnels and bridges to conform to a flatness requirement? If a train stalls in the break, let it coast backwards into a siding just below the break. Then switch the siding from one phase to the other, and restart up the hill! Note this is a very unusual case; most of the time an uphill train will be “coasting” through an uphill phase break at over 100 mph. It’s just to mitigate (cheaply!) the corner case where a train enters the phase break at an unusually low speed.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    The stated reasons for the phase breaks is to switch between electrical supplies. None of the alighments have had much of a phase break for awhile.

    The grades, at least up to now, have been pretty continuous. They do not make CHSRA’s own requirements – not clear what is going on.

    Clem Reply:

    All of them have electrical phase breaks. The grid has 3 phases and they must be loaded evenly. As for grades, I was pointing out their requirements might be silly, which could explain why they are being violated with impunity.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    The problem is that they are violating the gradient rules that aren’t about phase breaks but more about braking capacity.

    Mac Reply:

    At the Edison meeting this week, they are saying that this new alignment will have no more than 2.8% gradient….no longer 3.5%. Reinforced by their engineers and Michelle Boehm in her presentation.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How so?

    Mac Reply:

    More tunnels in general. They did not give really any details…..passing on that until the EIR I presume

    Mac Reply:

    Also saying HST will be going full 220 up and down the Bako-Palmdale route. Also 220mph through urban Bakersfield if a nonstop run.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Multiply BART by a factor of 3.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    2.8% still has a speed restriction

    Grade between 2.2% and 3.0%: Vmax = 270 km/h (168 mph)

    and doesn’t meet requirements

    The average grade for any 10 km (6.2 mile) long section of the line shall be under 2.5%.

    We will see…

    Mac Reply:

    I don’t disagree, Elizabeth. They insist on 220 regardless…which seems to defy even simple logic. Yes, we will see. Given the legal battle going forward, this stance (if believed by a judge) helps their argument that it can meet time requirements whether true or not.

    synonymouse Reply:

    So, Mac, if the Peninsula had been saddled with the 4 track Embarcadero Freeway on rail PB wanted Palo Alto would have experienced thru running of 220mph.

    Morris seems pretty smart now, doesn’t he? How close are jets flying at 220mph. allowed to residential property. I wonder if those burgs – even stupid cheerleader Fresno – can slap on a speed limit now on nuisances and blights going thru their town.

    Hell if trains can go 220 in backyards, cars should be legal for at least 100.

    Mac Reply:

    :-) Yes syno…….. they think 220 mph through neighborhoods is “not that bad”…nothing like “freight train noise”. Please………………

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @Mac
    The noise of HSR is indeed nothing like “freight train noise”… (because the main sources of noise are completely different)

    Mac Reply:

    Yes Miles…different. But 95db of HSR train noise is still quite a nuisance….even if it is completely “different”.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @Mac
    Where do you get 95db from? Where is it measured?

    Japan, by law, limits shinkansen noise to 70db (residential area) / 75db (industrial area) at 25m from the track center.

    Obviously current shinkansen meet this standard, running at 300km/h.

    JR has measured the noise increase, for an unmodified train, running at 360km/h as being 6db greater than running at 275km/h. This is basically as expected; by the sixth-power law for aerodynamic noise, you’d see a 7db increase, but the noise profile consists of more than just aerodynamic noise. So that’s a baseline, with no modifications.

    JR plans to increase shinkansen speed to 360km/h on the Tohoku route (because distance), and as shinkansen noise is limited by law in Japan, they will need to do so while maintaining 70db/75db noise levels at 25m. To this end, they have done extensive research into noise reduction, and apparently are confident of meeting this goal through some combination of train modifications and track treatment.

    joe Reply:

    95db is hyperbole.

    Mac can play with the FRA noise calculator as implemented by Clem.

    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2010/09/train-noise-calculator.html

    synonymouse Reply:

    California is not Japan. Especially the Valley, semi-desert.

    Think BART on Daly City aerials multiplied by three. 220mph in dense urban areas will go to the politicians and the courts. Count on it. Jerry will be pushing daisies and his replacements in the machine won’t be so deaf and dumb to complaints from the public and the little people affected by a train losing money.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @synonymouse
    Wait, you think physics works differently in California…? oO;

    swing hanger Reply:

    For context, typical noise levels for a highway are 70 to 80db at a distance of 15 meters from the highway. Of course noise from a high speed rail line is not constant like a busy road, and many HSL are shut down between midnight and 5am.

    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/03jul/06.cfm

    synonymouse Reply:

    In cold, wet places people stay inside where noise is muffled. When you are shoveling a foot of snow you tend to ignore other ugliness.

    Where it is mostly always warm and sunny people live in the street so to speak. And they notice what is going on around them. They won’t be happy campers when the ground is shaking and their ears ringing. This could have been avoided with the I-5 alignment. So fast and direct you do not have to eff with any neighborhoods with 220mph.

    swing hanger Reply:

    I would think people who live in semi-desert would prefer to spend most of their waking hours inside where it’s airconditioned.

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s why there is nobody outside in Vegas. Strip’s deserted, right?

    J. Wong Reply:

    The Peninsula speed limit is 125mph proposed for HSR. (The actual speed limit is is 79mph right now.)

    So there is no plan to run 220mph on the Peninsula.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @synonymous
    You have an extremely odd idea of what Japanese weather is like…

    Anyway, based on my experience, I’d say Japanese probably spend more time outside than Americans… Japanese actually walk places, bicycle around, hang out in public common spaces, etc, and in general there’s a sense of “public space” that’s sort of gone missing in the U.S. in the last half-century or so.

    joe Reply:

    And people go outside in cold and wet climates.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Are there streets in Japan you would not want to walk down?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Peninsula speed limit is due to the blend.

    What is the difference between 220mph on grade separated thru Bako and 220mph on grade separated in Palo Alto? Jerry Hill and Morris.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The proposed Peninsula speed limit for HSR was and always has been 125mph even before the blend. I think the blend’s speed limit is 110mph.

    @synon You are wrong! They were never going to run 220mph on the Peninsula.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Where did they specify 220mph thru Bako Hauptbanhnhof?

    Joe Reply:

    No rational person thinks trains will operate at 220 mph between San Jose and San Francisco.

    synonymouse Reply:

    No rational person is not PB.

    Why do you think they wanted the Embarcadero Freeway on rails? Apart from the addiction to pouring hollow-core.

    Roland Reply:

    So that HSR could be slightly faster than the VTA light rail on Highway 87: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCcvsFNhJgs

    joe Reply:

    No trains @220 MPH between SF and San Jose. Like Carly Fiorina, you keep repeating the same falsehoods.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB’s stilts in places like Fresno and Bako will need to be strong enough to support a concrete sound box to wall off the noise. Caissons, kinda like MuskTube. An above ground subway. They can cover the boxes with murals and graffiti.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ swing hanger

    Electric vehicles are apt to significantly reduce highway noise. I dunno how much wind resistance is involved but you can assume roaring internal combustion engines are a major factor.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @synonymous
    At highway speeds (and even at much lower speeds), the dominant factor is tire noise, not engine/drivetrain noise.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How come rubber tire is quieter than steel wheel? And how come electric cars are so quiet nannies want to add noise?

    Eric M Reply:

    Didn’t realize Tejon ranch goes so far north-north/east, to the point where the CA HSRA has to cross it regardless of alignment (Tejon or Tehachapi). So much for the conspiracies of Tejon ranch dictating things.

    Jon Reply:

    Tejon Ranch were concerned about impacts on Tejon Mountain Village, which is right in the path of the most promising Tejon route. It’s fine for them to be concerned about that, it’s not fine for PB to take avoiding TMV as a constraint (which is what they did) when no other private property holder received such a courtesy.

    I don’t believe this came about because of Tejon Ranch exerting pressure on PB or CAHSR. The pressure was exerted by LA county, who want an LA – Palmdale rail connection, and Santa Clarita, who don’t want a route through their city. Adding avoiding TMV as a constraint was just a useful way to sandbag the study and ensure that Tehachipi came out as the winning route.

    joe Reply:

    horrible? no.
    I’m skepcitcal it was sandbagging but let’s say it was.

    democratically elected interests wanted a palmdale alignment.

    Without it the project would have failed to pass and we would all be like New Jersey with transit hobbiests happy a needed project was terminated because Hobbyist Optimized Solutions Rock.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yeah but when there is a problem at 3 in the morning they can run trains through Penn Station and loop them around out in Queens, instead of reversing them!!

    Jon Reply:

    It’s fine to make decisions based on political considerations, but be honest about what you’re doing. What PB did with the Tejon report was sandbag the technical analysis, and then claim that Tehachapi came ahead on technical grounds.

    That’s much worse than being honest and saying ‘Tejon is technically better, but we’re going with Tehachapi because it has the most political support’. Such political decisions should be left to CAHSR; the role of PB is to provide impartial technical analysis, which they failed to do.

    Aside from the detour round TMV, the other clear biy of sandbagging was adding more contingency to the Tejon routing than the Tehachapi routing, resulting in them coming out roughly the same in terms of cost. If you look at the numbers without contingency applied, Tejon is a clear winner.

    I was never a supporter of the Tejon routing until I read that study, but seeing how blatantly they had sandbagged the analysis made me change my mind. Such things can happen when you approach information from an impartial point of view.

    Clem Reply:

    The sandbag study pissed me off to the point of a blog post!

    Joe Reply:

    I understand why it would piss you off. That’s what makes you dingos at what you do which is engineering.

    1. The system is public and has to include political considerations.
    2. Tejon would not have gotten LA county backing and died in the legislature.
    3. Las Vegas friendly alignment kept Reid’s backing and protected the ARRA funding.

    The issues is integrity not outcome. You were never going to have a Tejon alignment and a funded project.

    Frankly this state is the only one where the process would mandate a suicidal March to tenon.

    Joey Reply:

    1) Does anyone in LA county other than Antonovich actually care about serving Palmdale?
    2) Tejon is plenty Vegas friendly. I get that Reid was probably too busy to look at a map, but that’s why decisions can’t be purely political.

    Joe Reply:

    1) yes. Why wouldn’t you know ? This is HSR 101.
    2) smugly wrong. Nevada’s legislation is proof enough.
    3) the seltion is not purely political. The objections the secretion is not pure engineering.

    Joe Reply:

    A notable Palmdale advocate http://sd24.senate.ca.gov

    Joey Reply:

    Nevada’s legislation puts Victorville as the endpoint, which only makes sense under XPressWest’s defunct scheme. If your goal is to actually connect with the California system as soon as possible rather than a Park-and-Ride, then you build directly from Barstow to Mojave (assuming Tehachapi) in order to minimize the amount of track built and also reduce travel time from NorCal (while not really affecting travel time from SoCal).

    Useless Reply:

    Joey

    Since it is the Chinese that is funding XpressWest in full, I do expect it to each to Palmdale and allow a train change there.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why would the Chinese want to underwrite a lossy rail line that does not operate their equipment? Simply does not compute.

    The project will fail financially and they did not even get the opportunity they paid for to show off their rolling stock, etc.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Why would the Chinese want to underwrite a lossy rail line that does not operate their equipment? Simply does not compute.”

    If it does not seem to “compute” maybe the initial assumptions are incorrect, like that it would be “lossy”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Was the Desert Wind lossy?

    joe Reply:

    @joey

    Nevada’s legislation puts Victorville as the endpoint, which only makes sense under XPressWest’s defunct scheme.

    When did you stop paying attention?

    Joe Reply:

    Dingos is the iPhone interpretation of “So good”

    EJ Reply:

    I like it. I’m gonna start using it to mean that. “Oh man, you gotta see The Martian. It’s dingos!”

    Joe Reply:

    As I can tell, Jon wrote that the study created such a negative emotional reaction that it pushed him to support Tejon.

    Jon Reply:

    No, the facts on the analysis led me to change my opinion. Once you peel away the sandbagging, there’s a reasonable comparison between the two routes to be gleaned from the study, and Tejon clearly wins.

    Joe Reply:

    Okay.

    Now we select the superior alignment and can’t get it funded. We also lose the ability to align with Nevada’s system which is going to happen

    I’m perfectly okay with the current alignment because it is real and address the reality inter ground and in the legislature both local and federal.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Going via Tehachapi serves many more people today and probably several million more in thirty years.

    Trains need to serve activity centers. Let the Musker has the SF-LA direct market with his imploding straw.

    Nathanael Reply:

    ‘we’re going with Tehachapi because it has the most political support’

    They ended up saying exactly that, if you read the last report. Very very clearly.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ jon

    LA County can still score good commute service to Palmdale with Tejon.

    I offer the granite obstacle is indeed the Ranch. Jerry and PB are susceptible to their jedi mind tricks. The weak-minded.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Neither Jerry Brown nor likely PB were involved in the Tejon Ranch’s “jedi mind tricks”. Seems like it was the CAHSR on their lonesomes that decided the threats offered by Tejon Ranch were enough to route through Palmdale.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who fired Van Ark?

    Quentin Kopp?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Seeing that he resigned, no one.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    To spend more time with his family… he resigned the day after the Tejon route dismissal. It wasn’t looking good for him after he hinted it didn’t make sense to go north of the wye to Merced where there wouldn’t have even been a way to transfer to trains north to Sacramento (Amtrak across town from where HSR would go)

    Joe Reply:

    Richard said van Ark’s resignation was voluntary, and that the executive had planned to leave once the business plan was produced. Richard and other observers said van Ark, who has an international background in high-speed rail projects, may have been overwhelmed by the rigors of navigating state politics.

    “It’s been a very hard job, very intense,” said Richard. “He came here to build a train, and ended up in the middle of political controversy.”

    But he credited van Ark with moving the project forward despite the controversy and the sagging economy.

    http://m.sfgate.com/news/article/Roelof-van-Ark-high-speed-rail-CEO-resigns-2501004.php

    synonymouse Reply:

    You have a choice of departing “voluntary” or being escorted out.

    joe Reply:

    that would be what is often said to you.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Eric M

    The east side of the Tejon Ranch Co. empire is the ghetto part that already has a rail line nearby. It is significantly farther from LaLa than the Grapevine and much less accessible. Besides the Ranch is figuring on the DogLeg faring very poorly financially(correctly)and will prove a maintenance burden with a terrible cost-benefit ratio and no marketability to class ones.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Why does Tejon Ranch even care about how CAHSR fares?

    synonymouse Reply:

    If one is viscerally opposed to CAHSR on the optimal part of their property(even if the reasoning does not make much sense)a failed CAHSR is much easier to cope with.

    The DogLeg has genuine Queretaro potential. Who will buy it? What you have left is money losing commute ops thru exorbitant base tunnels. Execrable planning.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Corporations don’t have emotions.

    synonymouse Reply:

    CEO’s do. Or has the Ranch, Inc. metamorphosed to AI?

  18. Useless
    Oct 1st, 2015 at 20:50
    #18

    FRA Tier III static buff strength requirement is indeed 800,000 lbs(362 ton) after all. In an exchange between vendors and AMTRAK/CHSRA dated March 17, 2014, a vendor asks if it was possible to reduce the buff strength to 440,000 lbs(200 ton). AMTRAK/CHSRA replied No, 800,000 lbs stands for the Tier III. http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/doing_business/RFP_X034_14024/Amendment_No_008_QUESTION_ANSWER_MATRIX_DATED_050914.pdf (Line 226)

    A vendor asks

    According to the 49CFR Part 238.703, each vehicle in a Tier III Trainset shall resist a minimum quasi‐static end load as 800,000 pounds. Please confirm if this minimum load can be changed into 440,000 pounds

    AMTRAK/CHSRA replies

    No. The draft requirements of 49CFR Part 238.703 stand as specified.

    Useless Reply:

    The only way to meet the 800,000 lbs buff strength requirement while keeping until 17 ton max axle load is to go locomotive-pulled, because most EMUs are already approaching 17 ton axle load limit with a 440,000 lbs(200 ton) buff strength standard.

    William Reply:

    Think about it, the locomotive itself would have axle load of more than 17 ton, so trainsets with dedicated power cars will not meet it. But articulated trainset, such as KTX-II, would definitely be out, as it would less axles in same length

    Also, 800000 lbs is the horizontal compression strength requirement, the easiest way to meet this is of course heavier beams along the length of the car, but there are other ways to meet it without significantly increase the weight. Just for reference, the EMU Nippon Sharyo made for NICTD has a weight of 53.5 metric ton, divided by 4 axles it would have axle load of 13.375 t, and it is Tier 1 compliant.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Think about it, the locomotive itself would have axle load of more than 17 ton

    Actually no, both TGV and KTX II locomotives stay under 17 ton axle load.

    Their coaches are currently 13~14 tons in axle load, so they have 6~8 ton margin to upgrade their coach cars from 200 ton buff strength to 360 ton.

    The EMUs are out of luck, unfortunately.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    As for Nippon Sharyo EMUs, the ones without local transformers indeed weigh 55 tons, but they draw power from locomotives pulling them and do not carry transformers. For ones operating without the locomotive, the weight is 65 ton each. Beside, these Nippon Sharyo EMUs are 79 mph slow trains and transformers and propulsion for high speed trains are much heavier.

    Indeed, none of off the shelf EMUs can meet both 17 ton axle load limit and the 362 ton static buff compression as required of a Tier III rolling stock without a total redesign, only the loco-pulled ones could.

    William Reply:

    What are you talking about? These are one car EMUs. No locomotive required.
    http://www.nipponsharyousa.com/products/pages/znictd-emu2000.htm

    Also, mind cite where you got the weight data for the TGV and Korean power cars, as their manufacturer only provided the total weight of the trainset.

    Acela power car, which is Tier 2 compliant and therefore meets the 800000 lbs compression load, weights 92 t, therefore has an axle weight of 23 t.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    FRA Tier II required a much higher strength for locomotives, something like 2 million pounds(960 ton), and this is the reason why Acela locomotives were so heavy.

    All that FRA Tier III seems to do is to bring down the front end cab car’s strength down to 800,000 pounds(362 ton), to give EMUs a chance. But the real beneficiary of this change would be TGV and KTX-II, as their locomotives are designed to 600 ton standard and can be sold relatively unmodified. The TGV and the KTX II coach cars are designed to 200 ton standard and they need a structural upgrade to meet 362 ton requirement, but there is a margin in the coach car axle road to do this.

    This maybe the reason why the FRA is not backing down from the 362 ton static buff strength requirements for Tier III high speed train, because there are vendors that could meet them.

    Domayv Reply:

    @ also, this: https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/11062113_916765248365800_4270582371491428977_n.jpg?oh=edd95001ceb53a5741707eaf17d7f74e&oe=561FE1A7&__gda__=1445093283_378edb52d23311433d783b12dc6ecf62 (It’s what a Siemens Velaro would look like if given to amtrak)

    Max Wyss Reply:

    A bit of nitpicking, and artist’s freedom… the train in the picture has the pantographs on cars 4 and 5, which is technically not reasonable; the pantographs would have to be on cars 2 and 7, or cars 3 and 6, considering the three electrically non-separable cars (non-driven transformator car (with the pantograph(s) and transformer, between two driven cars with traction equipment).

    But as said, we have artist’s freedom here…

    Roland Reply:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF03325734

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Thanks for the link. They come to the conclusion that a distance between pantographs of 200 m is suitable. That’s the length of a train.

    Problems happen when the pantographs are too close (as shown in that picture).

    So, how do current train solve that problem? By connecting the transformer bearing (and therefore pantograph bearing) units with a high-voltage cable. OTOH, the Japanese way is to not have a high-voltage cable, but indeed a pantograph per transformer-bearing unit. The consequence is a much more complicated pantograph with real-time control of the pressing force (and therefore the height of the pickup palette).

    Roland Reply:

    The phenomenon is described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV_world_speed_record#Catenary_modifications
    The contact wire wave generated by the front pantograph is fairly consistent regardless of speed but the rear pantograph will hit a different (ascending/descending) section of the wave depending on train speed. The end result is premature contact wire and rear pantograph wear as depicted in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yICOxZCs-EQ#t=55
    Distance between pantographs. Eurostar +/- 350m. Javelin +/- 250m

    William Reply:

    Again, like I said, there are currently EMU operating in the US that meets the 800000 lbs Tier 1 requirements, just with transformer sized up in relation to power draw for 300 km/h operation, which, BTW, can be smaller and spread to each motor cars in each EMU car.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Both Amtrak and CHSRA require that vendors submit “service-proven” in-service and in-production models as basis of bids.

    None of high-speed EMUs in service today can meet both 17 ton axle load limit and the 362 ton static buff compression load. The EMUs with 200 ton static buff loads are already at near 17 tons.

    Clem Reply:

    KTX has the same problem. Near 17 tons. Are we done?

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    Yes, we are done since I have disproven you.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Current bullet trains have 8,800 ~ 9,600 KW of power output for a 200 m train set.

    Trains like M8 has less than 3,000 KW total. Heck, many electric locomotives have only 4,400 kw.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    if you were to hitch up few hundred M8s or Silverliners or even MP54s…. they’d blow the circuit breakers at the substation…

    Clem Reply:

    Not much margin when you’ve got two axles per 18.7 m of train length, which is like four axles per 123 feet (compare to a conventional 85 foot car). TGVs have short cars precisely because the axle load is limited to 17 tons. They cut it close to the limit. The KTX is no different, knock-off that it is.

    Useless Reply:

    Clem.

    An unpowered Kawasaki M8 car weigh 44 tons, full 21 ton less than M8 cars carrying transformers and electric motors.

    Then consider the Talgo Series 8, which is FRA Tier I Compliant yet has only one axle per 13 meter car. So how hard would it be to be FRA Tier I/III Compliant by having two axles per 18 meter when the car is unpowered and does not carry any electrical motor and transformer?

    Clem Reply:

    There is no advantage. An EMU like the Velaro could just as easily meet Tier III with 4 axles per car.

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    Nope. Currently the Velaro has an axle load of 16 tons. It cannot be modified to meet the 362 ton compression load standard without exceeding 17 tons.

    Clem Reply:

    I don’t buy that argument, sorry. KTX passenger cars have an axle load quite close to 17 tons and would probably suffer the same issue.

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    KTX passenger cars have an axle load quite close to 17 tons

    They do not. KTX II passenger coaches have 13~14 ton axle load with passengers onboard. It’s the locomotive that approaches 17 ton.

    BTW, Korea’s axle load standard too is 17 tons.

    Clem Reply:

    No. The KTX II weighs 434 metric tons loaded. It has 26 axles. That’s 16.7 tons/axle on average. Assume the power cars are maxed out at 17 tons/axle and the passenger cars will still average 16.55 tons/axle.

    Korea’s standard is 17 tons because they essentially run TGVs… surprise surprise.

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    It has 26 axles.

    Wrong. 30 axles.

    2 bodies per loco x 2
    1 bogie per end car x 2
    9 bogies in between 10 passenger cars.
    ==========

    15 bogies, 30 axles.

    434 tons – 68 ton locomotive x 2 = 298 tons across 10 coach cars.

    298 ton / (11 bogies * 2 axles) = 13.55 ton average load per axle.

    Yup, there is still 3.45 ton of extra margin left per axle, or 6.9 ton per coach.

    BTW, that 434 ton assumes 12 standing passengers per coach, so there is one extra ton margin available if CHSRA bans standing passengers.

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless,
    Nope, the KTX-II has 26 axles.
    2 power units and 8 passenger cars, not 10

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    the KTX-II has 26 axles.

    Ok, but the math clearly shows that the axle load issue could be solved by using shorter coaches. While the locomotives will be kept mostly stock, the coaches will have to be redesigned anyway, a lot simpler because coaches are unpowered and do not carry any electrical equipment.

    William Reply:

    The newest Velaro D has an average axle load of 14.1875 t (454 / (4*8))

    Useless Reply:

    William

    The newest Velaro D has an average axle load of 14.1875 t (454 / (4*8))

    With an empty car. When loaded with passengers, it must still stay below 17 tons. Let’s say 60 passengers with their luggage weigh 110 kg(245 lbs) average per person or 6.6 tons in total, that’s an additional 1.65 ton of load per axle for Velaro D.

    Now do you see why there is almost no margin for Velaro to increase the buff strength from 200 tons to 362 tons.

    Clem Reply:

    Let’s compare KTX II and Velaro D.

    KTX II: 434 tons loaded / 26 axles = 16.7 tons/axle
    Velaro D: 495 tons loaded / 32 axles = 15.5 tons/axle

    Which train has more margin against a 17 ton/axle limit?

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    Which train has more margin against a 17 ton/axle limit?

    KTX II. Why? Both must be partially modified anyway. and KTX II’s modification can be limited to unpowered coach cars where as in case of the Velaro D, the whole trainset must be heavily modified.

    I already have shown you how introducing shorter coach cars greatly alters the axle load figure for the KTX-II. Taking out motorized turn seats(Standard on local market KTX-II) would also save a ton or so per car.

    William Reply:

    assuming 454t is empty weight, with published capacity of 460 passengers fully-loaded X 110 kg, the average axle load would still be 15.75 t, and some weight can be taken off each car for a 25kV60Hz only version, so I believe there is enough margin to strengthening the car-body.

    Clem Reply:

    Mathematics. Some people get it, others don’t.

    Eric M Reply:

    Holy crap!!! Really?? Did someone forget how to do basic math?

    Useless Reply:

    William

    KTX-II is using 33 tons passenger load in calculating its max load.
    Velaro D is using 41 ton passenger load in calculating its max load.

    So that’s a difference of only 8 tons for the whole train set.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    the average axle load would still be 15.75 t, so I believe there is enough margin to strengthening the car-body.

    Good luck in trying to increase the buff strength by 80% with only a 4 ton budget.

    some weight can be taken off each car for a 25kV60Hz only version

    Velaro D at 8000 KW is underpowered relative to KTX-II at 8800 KW, so it needs bigger transformers and motors. Sorry, a weight increase, not a saving.

    William Reply:

    @Useless, KTX-II 0-60 km/h acceleration is 0.45 m/s², Velaro D is 0,53 m/s², so tell me which one accelerate to 60 km/h faster? Slower acceleration is a common problem for trainsets with powercars, and due to more unsprung weight in the trailer cars, need more power to achieve the same speed.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @William, and it is getting more interesting in the higher range; the acceleration of the ICE-3 from 80 km/h to let’s say 160 km/h is still around 0.5 m/s2. I don’t know, however, how the KTX-II performs in that range.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @William: Fact is that a Velaro has roughly twice the tractive force of a KTX-II.

    One would see that by comparing the v/t diagrams; the speed range where the full tractive force can be developed corresponds to the horizontal line, which then turns into a hyperbolic curve. That happens when the maximum power is developed.

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    Fact is that a Velaro has roughly twice the tractive force of a KTX-II

    KTX-II 0~300 km/hr acceleration : 316 seconds Wiki
    Velaro E 0~300 km/hr acceleration : 318 seconds Siemens Brochure

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    You need to understand that KTX service is run like a high-speed subway service, with a 10 minute train interval and frequent stops every 25 minutes. It must be able to accelerate fast and stop fast to cope in Korea’s operating condition, unlike airline on rail models of TGV and Velaro.

    Acceleration wise, the KTX II can compete with most Japanese and European EMUs, so the KTX-II offers the performance of an EMU with a safety of a loco-pulled train. The only EMU that’s significantly faster than KTX II is Shinkansen N700i.

    Eric M Reply:

    So a rehash in performance for the brain-dead: The Siemens Velaro is almost 61 more tons heavier (loaded weight), holds almost 100 more people and still does 0-300kph in about the same time (2 seconds difference, big whoop), all while having a lower weight ratio per axle. Ding Ding Ding…..we have a winner!!

    Eric M Reply:

    ….61 tons heavier….

    William Reply:

    Keep in mind that Velaro E is an older product in the Velaro family. The newest Velaro D does indeed have acceleration performance close to double of Velaro E, making it more suitable for the “high-speed subway” environment Useless claimed Korea has than KTX-II.

    William Reply:

    Another example, the Metro North M8 weights about 65.5 t or an axle load of 16.375 t, and it’s three electrical standards capable, so it would only be lighter if it only need so take one supply voltage and frequency.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Not by much.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Just a rough guesstimate, you may slim it down by something around 3 tonnes (lighter transformer, fewer auxiliary components, etc. because of not having to deal with 25 Hz).

    William Reply:

    Right, but I expect the weight would be a wash since a 300 km/h capable, 25kV60Hz only M8 would need its transformers and motors to be sized up for the increase in power draw and speed.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    M8 would need to increase its power output three fold. In other word, a massive weight increase.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    It would in any case lead to married pairs (or better married quadruplets). I take the analogy from the ICE-3 15 kV/16.7 Hz variant. Here, the transformer (rated at roughly 5 MW) is in one (non-driven) car, and the two adjacent cars have the traction equipment and are driven. (note again that a 16.7 Hz transformer is bigger and heavier than a similarly rated 50 or 60 Hz transformer).

    The motors are rated at 500 kW, and weigh 750 kg. Such a set up allows to keep the axle load at the required 17 t.

    The specific power of this type of ICE-3 is 19 kW/t (and it is said to be about twice of the loco-hauled ICE-1/2).

    So, back to a 300 km/h “M-8”, you’d need at least a triplet, and in order to get the roughly 200 m length, you would need two of them, plus two intermediate non-driven cars.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It doesn’t deal with 25Hz, it’s 750 volt DC from third rail, 12.5kV or 25kV from catenary, both at 60Hz.
    The third rail shoes can use either kind of third rail found in metro New York.
    There is a tiny little gap, hundreds of yards/meters, in Queens where the only electrification is 25Hz. And a really big gap, without any electrification, along the west side of Manhattan.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    In this case, as far as I remember from the Eurostar trains, the 750 V DC third rail equipment comes in with about 2 tons per train. The voltage does really not matter much, as long as it has the same frequency.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The voltage is important. Volts times amps equals watts. Less voltage means more amps for the same amount of watts. You need thicker conductors. A lot thicker if you are comparing 750 volts to 12,500. Or use less watts.
    There are myriad solutions for running Metro North trains to Penn Station. Using M8s on 25hz isn’t one of them.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Note that when comparing the equipment weight, a 12.5 kV/25 kV unit will be only marginally heavier than a pure 25 kV unit. Yes, power will be lower, but considering the 12.5 kV line is legacy with limited maximum speed, this is acceptable (in analogy to TGVs, it may be something around 25 to 30 percent less); your high-voltage equipment would have to be set up for maybe 700 A instead of 400 A. On the secondary side, there would be no difference.

    William Reply:

    Both Euro Sprinter and TRAXX weights over 80 t, and I doubt TGV and KTX-II power cars would be much lighter than this, as both TGV and KTX-II requires more than 8.8 MW for 300 km/h operations.

    Clem Reply:

    TGV power cars weigh 68 metric tons.

    Domayv Reply:

    so in other words, FRA is forcing CHSR to have a locomotive-pulled train rather than an EMU (which the former isn’t as good as climbing grades nor as energy-efficient as an EMU, which will be a problem with crossing the Tehachapi pass).

    Useless Reply:

    Domayv

    Korea is a heavily mountainous country yet they don’t have any problem sustaining 190 mph with loco-pulled bullet trains. So climbing grades won’t be a problem at all.

    Domayv Reply:

    they just tunnel through them entirely like what Europe does. The US, on the other hand, isn’t as accepting of Euro-style tunnels because supposedly it would damage the environment even though it would do a lot less than crossing it at grade for the most part (anyone thinking of a Donner base tunnel that would bypass the existing UPRR alingment if a high speed line between Sacramento and Reno gets built).

    Aarond Reply:

    I reckon that the freight RRs never went with base tunnels because most used steam and never electrified, unlike europe. Almost every railroad west of the Mississippi used steam, the three notable exceptions being the Great Northern RR (who built the 8 mile Stevens Pass Tunnel), the Milwaukee Road (which operated the famous electric “Little Joe” EF-4s) and the Sacramento Northern railroad. Everyone else used steam, ie locomotives that can’t be used in tunnels, until they all switched to diesel. Base tunnels are expensive as well, and tunnels that are long enough to go below protected lands would be ridicously long. For example, a Donner Base Tunnel from Auburn to Reno would be about 80-90 miles long. If it were built, it would be the single longest base tunnel in the world. Same for other mountain passes, either up north near Dunismir or Oakridge or east in the Rockies (say, between Rifle and Denver Colorado).

    The tl;dr is that tunnels cost lots of money, and realistically would require electrification. The freight RRs don’t see much benefit given the large price tag. And of course Amtrak can barely get enough money to operate trains let alone do any sort of real projects.

    Domayv Reply:

    about the Donner Base Tunnel, my proposal was that it would go from around Alta to Truckee, which would be around 30+miles long. Just search “Donner tunnel” on this website and you’ll se wbat I nean

    Aarond Reply:

    thanks, I should have checked that first

    Domayv Reply:

    also about this Oakridge-Dunsmuir base tunnel, it would be impractical (175 miles combined with being in proximity to a volcanic mountain range means no good). If I was proposing a Sacramento-Eugene line, I would have it follow the I-5 aingment (i.e. gloing through Siskiyou), not the existing alingment that Amtrak uses

    Aarond Reply:

    I wasn’t clear, I didn’t mean Oakridge-Dunsmuir, it would be two tunnels one in Oakridge and the other in Dunsmuir. My idea is almost exactly the same thing as to what you’ve suggested.

    Realistically, you could do a 5-10 mile tunnel with a 2% grade between Dunsmuir (just about where the high school is) and Azalea (just about where the Shadow Mtn trailer park is) which would eliminate the big loop there. Ideally, the state would also build a proper three or four track Dunsmuir-Redding line above Interstate 5, so that the new line would be both straighter and not be susceptible to washouts.

    The Oakridge tunnel could also possibly be done between the intersection of Hills Creek Rd. and Salt Creek Rd. and the Crescent Highway RR grade crossing with only a 2% grade. However, it would be 24 miles long.

    Or so my amateur calculations using openstreetmap suggest.

    Now, the only reason why I’d suggest this route over a new one is because a newer route would have to deal with more environmental litigation, and that the existing areas serviced by Amtrak doesn’t want their service touched. Dunismuir would need a new station but it would still get service. Also, the newer line would require more engineering as there’s more loops and turnouts, especially in Glendale, Ashland and Weed. The existing route still needs a lot of work for even reliable 50mph service, but it’s much straighter than the I-5 route.

    Aarond Reply:

    >Ideally, the state would also build a proper three or four track Dunsmuir-Redding line above Interstate 5, so that the new line would be both straighter and not be susceptible to washouts.
    >above Interstate 5

    To be clear here, by “above” I mean exactly to the west of the freeway higher up on the hillside not a viaduct above the freeway.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Aarond: There is an existing rail line that follows I-5: the UPRR Siskiyou Line (inherited from SP). However, It’s extremely winding and twisting (particularly in Oregon), but a new modern line following I-5 going through the Cascades isn’t iut of the realm of possibility. Also the I-5 alignment would serve more cities than the existing Amtrak alignment (Ashland, Medford,.Grants Pass, Roseburg, Cottage Grove). There would be at least two major tunnels (the Yreka-Hornbrook tunnel, which is about 12 miles long; and the Holbrook-Ashland tunnel (a.k.a. Siskiyou Tunnel), which will be about 20 miles long; the Gold Hill-Grants Pass segment will have multiple tunnels; and there will be numeroud small-long tunnels between Pleasant Valley and Latham)

    Anyways, I like to see what your alignment would look on Google Maps

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There aren’t enough people out there to be building long tunnels. There aren’t enough out there to be building short tunnels.

    Domayv Reply:

    @adirondacker12800: There have been talks of revitalizing, upgrading and reopening the Siskiyou rail line and reviving it for freight service to lower freight traffic on I-5 between Weed and Eugene (the rail line is 296 miles long whilst I-5 between the cities is 253 miles). Just revitalizing the existing line would cost around $10 million. However, due to how slow, steep and winding it is, making it entirely unattractive for both freight and passenger rail, a better solution would be to create a new, modern line from the ground-up (this would involve creating new tunnels, bridges and viaducts, and only electric multiple units can use it due to grades being too much for locomotives. In the case of freight, a freight multiple unit like the CargoSprinter would have to be used (A new freight station would be made near Mt. Shasta and Eugene for northbound and southbound freight, respectively, where a weight station would be used to inspect the weight of the cargo being transported. The lightest cargo that is bound between either of the two cities, depending on direction, will be loaded into specialized freight containers designed for the freight multiple units)). However, this would cost much more but in the end could work (for one thing, this would provide an good transportation alternative for the people in the Eugene-Grants Pass region, as the only other mode of transportation aside from the automobile is the bike, but the only main route of that region that accommodates bikes is Interstate 5, as few or no alternate routes exist (I-5 was built over US 99, which in turn was built over historic trails); not really safe for pedestrians (cyclists included)).

    http://www.altamontpress.com/discussion/read.php?1,88836,88849,quote=1
    http://www.onerail.org/sites/default/files/documents/success-stories/project-pipeline-list-onerail-12-1-14.pdf

    Anandakos Reply:

    Jesus H Christ! A “Donner Base Tunnel” would be nearly 100 miles — 160 KM long. That is insane. I once had the amazing experience of riding the Italian side down from the Brenner Summit through their pretty much arrow straight tunnel. We stopped at the summit station and then entered the tunnel and I was looking out the window when I saw a sign that slowly crept by saying 38000. I wondered what that was until I saw one that went by considerably more quickly that said 37000. Then 36000, 35000 and by the time they got down to 30000 they were going by what seemed like every twenty-five or thirty seconds. We were going somewhere around 120 KM/HR UNDERGROUND! For 30 kilometers!

    Eventually we burst out the end of the tunnel just screaming down through the Dolomites.

    Best amusement park ride I’ve EVER had.

    But 38000 meters is a LONG way from 160000 meters. A long way. Aside from the fact that there will never be enough traffic from the Bay Area to Reno to justify such a project, the technological challenges of drilling a tunnel which is 11000 meters below the surface at its center is quite unthinkable. I know, I know, the Gotthard Base is about that, but it has deep valleys in which shafts from which multiple faces can be drilled. There really aren’t any transverse valleys in the Sierra; there’s the American River Canyon which certainly goes the right way, but there are no roads at the bottom of it and nobody would allow them to be built, even for an HSR tunnel.

    So, no San Francisco-Reno Base Tunnel.

    Oh, I see you don’t mean a “Bae Tunnel”. You mean an ordinary railroad tunnel halfway up the grade which just happens to be super long. OK, maybe that.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Well, I just looked at the “official” map of the Brennerbahn, and for sure I am misrembering the signs. There are two tunnels on the Italian side, one 7900 meters and the other 16800. It must have been the second one I was remembering.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Anandakos: to be more precise of this “new Donner crossing”, the tunnel starts near Baxter and ends near Truckee (https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zWLI5V544xAc.kdethM-MxOeA; the black part is the tunnel)

    Clem Reply:

    Does Korea’s HSR network rise above 1100 meters altitude? Or have 3% grades that go on for more than 25 km? No train can maintain 300 km/h on mountains like this. Not even the mighty KTX II, which is compliant with Newton’s Laws.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Clem, the Gyeongbu and Honam high speed lines have a max gradient of 25 permil. Can’t find the specific lengths of those grades though.

    Clem Reply:

    Korean mountains are a joke compared to the Tehachapis. Califonia’s HSR system will top 1100 meters (rail level, terrain is even higher). I don’t think that exists anywhere in the world, not even in Japan.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Indeed. The “most extreme” example for Japan I could find is the section of the Akima Tunnel on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. 3% gradient, rail level elevation rising from a bit over 300m to just under 600m.
    http://www.shield-method.gr.jp/eng/pdf/ecl/04_kanaoka.pdf

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    There is one more extreme example – the tunnel on the Nagano Shinkensen to replace an extreme train route through a mountain pass between Karuizawa and Tagasaki – this has a 3% gradient for 20 km. It should be noted that a special version of the E2 train was developed to be able to do this – it was light and could not go top speed.

    KT Reply:

    Elizabeth Alexis,

    FYI, special version of E2 series was used in Nagano Shinkansen (now Hokuriku Shinkansen) because this line has dead section with 50/60Hz transition, which does not exist in Tohoku line. The performance of each motor car is same for 8-car “N” set used in Hokuriku and 10-car “J” set used in Tohoku.

    Also, station name is “Takasaki.”

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    1300 meters

    Clem Reply:

    Rail elevation of 1100 m is correct @ Tehachapi.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    check email I sent you direct

    Clem Reply:

    I’m so sorry, I was confused. Thanks for the correction. About 1100 m is where HSR would crest through Tejon, not Tehachapi. Some guy wrote a detailed article about that, and his numbers set me straight. So, yes: California will have the most spectacularly mountainous HSR line in the world.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    And yet…certain posters think that crossing various mountain ranges is best done at grade…

    Max Wyss Reply:

    However, with locomotive-hauled trains, the tractive force is not sufficient for maintaining long steep grades. An example, the German NBS between Frankfurt Airport and Köln, having (rather short) grades of 4% is not allowed for ICE-1 and ICE-2 trains, because just of that. Or the ICE-1 is not allowed to operate the Geislinger Steige 2.2% grade (I think) between Stuttgart and Ulm when one locomotive is inoperational.

    However, this discussion here is pretty moot, because prejudices and FUD are involved.

    Domayv Reply:

    because mr. friggin clueless brought this whole “Son of Acela” topic again

    agb5 Reply:

    Why is this relevant now that the joint procurement proposal has been abandoned?

    Domayv Reply:

    because mr. friggin clueless brought this whole “Son of Acela” topic again

    Useless Reply:

    agb5

    The CHSRA rolling stocks are still Tier III, governed by same basic regulations.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Or not because the reg’s haven’t been finalized yet.

    I get it, you’re assuming the initial straw man proposals are unlikely to change even though the document says to not rely on what has been published to date.

    Also CAHSR RFI specifies EMU. You might argue that FRA will prevail but I think it more likely that CAHSR has more insight into what they can expect from FRA than you do.

    Useless Reply:

    J Wong

    Or not because the reg’s haven’t been finalized yet.

    That reply was seven months prior to AMTRAK taking bids for Tier III Acela replacement rolling stocks.
    So Tier III is probably frozen at 800,000 lbs(362 ton), because bidders haven’t had the time to adjust their proposals.

    Also CAHSR RFI specifies EMU. You might argue that FRA will prevail but I think it more likely that CAHSR has more insight into what they can expect from FRA than you do.

    There are no EMUs out there that could meet both a 17 ton axle load limit and a 800,000 lbs static buff compression. The loco-pulled bullet trains could meet this via enforcing their coach cars.

    William Reply:

    We’ll let manufacturers determine that.

    As I cited above, many current US mainline EMU examples has axle load less than 17 t and meets the buff strength requirement, showing it can be done on HSR trainsets.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Those are low speed trains. High speed train sets need much bigger and heavier transformers and motors.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Somebody other than us (for variety sake):

    Email records@hsr.ca.gov

    Politely make a request for the RFEIs received in response to http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/Programs/trainsets/EOI_Recieved_for_Trainsets_020915.pdf

    and comments received in response to
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/Programs/trainsets/Industry_Notice_2015_01_09.pdf

    agb5 Reply:

    There are no EMUs out there that could meet both a 17 ton axle load limit and a 800,000 lbs static buff compression.

    So if CAHSR are specifying EMU, it strongly suggests they know something that you don’t.

    Eric M Reply:

    Crash Energy Management (CEM)

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Crash Energy Management (CEM)

    Tier III already requires both 800,000 lbs static buff compression AND CEM. CEM CNNOT be used in place of 800,000 lbs buff strength.

    Nathanael Reply:

    WTF is wrong with FRA? Nobody is going to press down on a train with 800,000 pounds of static force. As opposed to one-time shock in a crash.

    Useless Reply:

    Nathanael

    WTF is wrong with FRA?

    FRA is trying to make Tier III rolling stocks co-exist with Tier I rolling stocks. This is why the same buff strength rule is applied to both Tier I and Tier III.

    EMU vendors were hoping that the FRA would accept the 440,000 pound UIC buff strength rule so that they could bring in European EMUs without major modifications, but we now know CHSRA said no because FRA told them to say no.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    I think you are confusing RFI(Request for Information) with RFP(Request for Proposal).

    RFI is for merely testing the water. So they are asking if an EMU is possible.
    RFP is for asking actually binding bid proposals. Notice that AMTRAK changed from EMU to “Tier III train sets”. There is a reason for that.

    Useless Reply:

    I am not saying that a fully custom Tier III EMU cannot be done. But both AMTRAK and CHSRA are asking for proven in-service and in-production models that could be lightly modified to comply with Tier III. That pretty much eliminates current stock of existing in-service EMUs, leaving only loco-pulled train sets as possible candidates.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[L]eaving only loco-pulled train sets as possible candidates”

    which is only your interpretation. What actually transpires remains to be seen.

    Eric M Reply:

    As Clem pointed out to you, loco pulled train-sets have a heavier ton per axle than EMU’s. This leaves EMU more room to add weight, not loco pulled. You seem to have a hard time doing math.

    KTX II: 434 tons loaded / 26 axles = 16.7 tons/axle (loco-pulled)
    Velaro D: 495 tons loaded / 32 axles = 15.5 tons/axle (EMU)

    J. Wong Reply:

    You’re misinterpreting this. The official could not answer the question without revealing what the safety standards are going to be. That cannot answer yes or no as to whether the standard stands.

    Sort of like how a CEO cannot answer whether the quarterly numbers are going to come in above or below guidance. All they can answer is the guidance.

    Useless Reply:

    Looks like the FRA Tier III buff strength standard is still 800,000 pound as of Feb 25, 2015. In a Federal Register dated Feb 25, 2015, FRA lists the NPRM dated March 25, 2013 as the bases for rule considerations. Federal Register Vol 80 Recall that this date is past AMTRAK’s Tier III rolling stocks bid proposals submission date.

    Peter Reply:

    There is no reference to buff strength in your link. ETF_002 does not refer to buff strength.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    ETF_001-02 — Proposed Ruletext for NPRM 1.docx

    § 238.703 Occupied volume integrity (OVI).

    (1) Each vehicle in a Tier III trainset shall resist a minimum quasi-static end load of either:
    (i) 800,000 pounds applied on the collision load path without permanent deformation of the occupied volume;

    Nathanael Reply:

    Ha. *occupied volume*. That means it’s legal to have a crash-absorbing nose. And only quasi-static should mean that they won’t require it to sit there permanently….

    Max Wyss Reply:

    And IMHO, non-*occupied volume* may also mean an equipment section behind the cab, as long as the cab itself does not get deformed.

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    as long as the cab itself does not get deformed.

    That only applies to a locomotive. In case of EMUs and loco-pulled coach cars, it’s the whole length of train car that’s “occupied” and must not deform under a 800,000 pound load.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Probably the ends of the passengers cars, where the doors are, too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUpUJrk4QBE

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Vestibules can count as “non-occupied”, as well as equipment sections (however, it might be a good idea to protect the transformer and its cooling system for environmental reasons; mineral oil is not really a good thing to have leaking after a minor impact…).

    Useless Reply:

    Final FRA Tier III’s buff strength number will be 800,000 pound if it is still 800,000 pound as late as Feb 25, 2015. This is three months AFTER AMTRAK took price and technical bids for FRA Tier III Acela replacements., and AMTRAK is petitioning the FRA to let its new Tier III rolling stocks to share tracks with Tier II rolling stocks(Acela) at a speed above 125 mph.

    Peter Reply:

    Sorry, but what part of “draft” do you still not understand? An FRA advisory committeehas adopted ETF_001-02, not the FRA. ETF_001-03 is still outstanding. And may or may not be the same as 001-02.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    1. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-02-25/html/2015-03763.htm

    Secondly, in Docket Number FRA-2014-0124, Amtrak requests approval
    to operate, on the “spine” of the NEC between Washington, DC and
    Boston, new trainsets that would be built to “Tier III” standards
    proposed by the second Engineering Task Force (ETF) of the Passenger
    Safety Working Group of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC).
    Those standards were accepted by the full RSAC on June 14, 2013, (see
    “ETF_001-02–Proposed Ruletext for NPRM 1.docx,”
    available on the
    RSAC Web site at https://rsac.fra.dot.gov/meetings/20130614.php.).

    2. https://rsac.fra.dot.gov/meetings/20130614.php

    Handouts:

    RSAC Membership List
    RSAC Organizations Summary
    Draft NPRM Rule Text for RSAC VOTE
    Draft Glazing Rule Text for RSAC VOTE

    3. Draft NPRM Rule Text for RSAC VOTE

    ETF_001-02 — Proposed Ruletext for NPRM 1.docx

    § 238.703 Occupied volume integrity (OVI).

    (1) Each vehicle in a Tier III trainset shall resist a minimum quasi-static end load of either:
    (i) 800,000 pounds applied on the collision load path without permanent deformation of the occupied volume;

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[This document contains strawman text of selected, potential amendments to the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards. Among other things, these amendments are intended to make the operating speeds for the Tier II safety standards consistent with those for Class 8 track in FRA’s Track Safety Standards (§ 213.307), and also add Tier III safety standards for crashworthiness and occupant protection. These amendments are being provided in draft form, and not all potential amendments have been included. Nonetheless, this document should help guide the understanding, discussion, and development of regulatory requirements for these safety tiers.]”

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    AMTRAK took Acela II technical and price bids based on this draft.

    J. Wong Reply:

    And Amtrak NEC applies how to CAHSR?

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Both AMTRAK Acela and CHSRA trains are Tier III.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Both AMTRAK Acela and CHSRA trains are Tier III.”

    So? Amtrak used the draft proposal and got a waiver to do so from the FRA. How does this apply to CAHSR since the draft proposal will likely change? How does it prevent CAHSR from asking for a waiver from whatever proposal is actually approved?

    Useless Reply:

    You can kiss EMUs good bye in California, hello loco-pulled bullet trains.

    J. Wong Reply:

    tl;dr

    But from what Amtrak was asking for was a waiver. So why don’t you think that CAHSR won’t also ask for a waiver?

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    AMTRAK was asking a waiver of its new Tier III rolling stocks also having to meet Tier II regulations, since Acela I(Tier II) and Acela II(Tier III) would co-exist for sometime.

    Without this waiver, the new Acela II would also have to be Tier II compliant and weigh as much as Acela I.

    But the 800,000 pound buff strength requirement of the Tier III stands, for a crash compatibility with Tier I rolling stocks sharing tracks below 125 mph.

    J. Wong Reply:

    For Amtrak in the NEC. You can suggest that it might also apply in California, but there’s nothing preventing CAHSR for asking for a waiver of the buff strength requirement. Sorry.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Sez you. Metro North decided to go with ACSES compatible signals, everything that even thinks about going near the NEC will have PTC.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong.

    CHSRA can ask to buy non-Tier III compliant rolling stocks not meeting that 800,000 pound buff strength requirement and then ask an FRA waiver, which will certainly be denied because of interoperability with Tier I rolling stocks in Metrolink corridors.

    CHRSA asked to buy Tier III rolling stocks, meaning it is in compliance with all Tier III requirements including the 800,000 pound buff strength rule.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[C]ertainly be denied” says who? You? You do not know that it will be interoperating with Tier I in Metrolink corridors.

    The eventual Tier III requirements may not include the “800,000 pound buff strength rule”. You can assume they will, but that is your assumption.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    The hard learned lesson is that PTC doesn’t prevent all train collision; it merely reduces the probability of it.

    Metro North, NEC Regional, and NJ Transit rolling stocks are all Tier I, and the Tier III rolling stock must have same buff strength in order to be able to survive a collision against Tier I rolling stocks.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    The eventual Tier III requirements may not include the “800,000 pound buff strength rule”. You can assume they will, but that is your assumption.

    It did when AMTRAK took its Tier III rolling stock technical and price bids.

    Bidders working on CHSRA Tier III rolling stock bids are also assuming the 800,000 pound buff strength to stand. Heck, CHSRA specifically said no when a vendor asked if it could reduce the buff strength from 800,000 pound to 440,000 pound.

    J. Wong Reply:

    And again, how does Amtrak apply to CAHSR?

    “Heck, CHSRA specifically said no when a vendor asked if it could reduce the buff strength from 800,000 pound to 440,000 pound.”

    Okey-dokey, that said no to 440,000 pounds, but how does that imply that 800,000 pounds will stand? (Maybe the vendor should have asked if it could be reduced to 700,000?)

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Maybe the vendor should have asked if it could be reduced to 700,000?

    Ok, why didn’t that vendor ask if they could design to 450,000 pound rule after denied a switch to 440,000 pound? Beside, what’s the weight difference between a 800,000 pound car and a 700,000 pound car? Certainly not as drastic as the difference from a 440,000 pound car?

    William Reply:

    No matter what’s the compression load standard is, distributed power trainsets will always have lighter axle load than concentrated power trainsets. So distributed power trainsets still win out over his preferred KTX-II, a concentrated power trainset.

    Remember, 800000 lbs is the standard train car body must withstand without damage, perhaps changing this to “damage only to CEM sections” is more reasonable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Which train collisions doesn’t it prevent?

    Clem Reply:

    Here is one example of a crash that PTC would not have prevented.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Sport utility vehicles aren’t trains. The rubber tires give it away.

    Clem Reply:

    two of the three examples given to you involve train on train collisions (one even a three-way train collision) Was that not apparent to you?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I didn’t realize train control systems prevented Darwin Award competitors from competing.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    So distributed power trainsets still win out

    With a loco-pulled bullet train, only an unpowered coach car need to be modified to meet the 800,000 pound buff rule. With an EMU, it’s the whole thing, from beginning to the end.

    Remember, 800000 lbs is the standard train car body must withstand without damage, perhaps changing this to “damage only to CEM sections” is more reasonable.

    In that case, the passenger area becomes CEM while the 800,000 lbs CEM is the structure that comes out intact. Is this what you want?

    Eric M Reply:

    2.0 Minimum Project Qualifications

    The trainsets are anticipated to meet the following minimum characteristics:

    1. Is a single level EMU capable of operating in revenue service at speeds up to 354 km/h
    (220 mph), and based on a service-proven trainset in use in commercial high speed
    passenger service at least 300 km/h (186 mph) for a minimum of five years.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Is a single level EMU

    This provision is so easy to meet, just add a couple of powered bogies to the first and last coach right behind the locomotive drawing power from the locomotive, and blah, you have technically an EMU.

    based on a service-proven trainset in use in commercial high speed
    passenger service at least 300 km/h (186 mph) for a minimum of five years.

    This would eliminate Bombardier, Kawasaki, and CSR, leaving just Alstom, Rotem, and Talgo to bid.

    Siemens Velaro has a problem because of difficulty of meeting 800,000 pound buff strength while staying under 17 ton axle load.

    Eric M Reply:

    Siemens Velaro has a problem because of difficulty of meeting 800,000 pound buff strength while staying under 17 ton axle load.

    Last time, since you apparently have a problem with math and/or a learning disability?

    KTX II: 434 tons loaded / 26 axles = 16.7 tons/axle
    Velaro D: 495 tons loaded / 32 axles = 15.5 tons/axle

    Siemens Velaro has LESS weight per axle than the KTX-II, which means, there is more leverage to add weight throughout the train and stay under 17 tons/axle. If your average weight per axle is more (KTX-II), YOU CAN ONLY ADD LESS WEIGHT. This has been provided to you time and time again.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Siemens Velaro has LESS weight per axle than the KTX-II

    Not after KTX-II uses shorter coach cars to add a couple more axles to the train set.

    Remember, it’s a lot easier to just redesign the unpowered coach cars than to redesign the whole EMU.

    William Reply:

    @Uesless, TGV and KTX trainsets doesn’t have seats over the articulated junctions, so more junctions, as the result of shorter passenger cars, will lead to less passenger capacity given the same length, requiring longer platforms. So you’ll get a heavy trainset that carry less passenger, go figure.

    Eric M Reply:

    Straight from the CA HSRA:

    The operating plan is based on procuring and operating service proven trainsets capable of a maximum in service speed of 220mph with a capacity of between 900 – 1000 passengers per 400 meter unit

    Which leads to this:

    With the exception of the Alstom TGV, and Rotem KTX-II trainsets, all of the candidate trainsets would satisfy the CHSTP system requirement of 900 – 1000 passengers per 400m trainset, dependant on the seating density chosen.

    Bye Bye TGV and KTX-II train-sets

    William Reply:

    @Eric M, Useless is again rehashing his “belief” that has been proven incorrect with hard numbers in this forum.

    The current TGV and KTX-II axle load is already at 17t, and he thinks the weight won’t increase to meet the 800000 lbs compression requirements.

    Distributed-traction trainsets, such as Siemens Velaro D, has more margin to add weight than concentrated-traction trainsets, as given by Clem and I, due to lower axle load.

    And the inherent advantage of distributed over concentrated traction trainsets still exist. Having so much traction power concentrated on so few axles will inevitability led to wheel slippage issue, so to combat this concentrated-traction trainsets must bring power up gradually, thus will always have slower acceleration than distributed-traction trainsets, given the same total power.

    William Reply:

    Missing one word here:
    The current TGV and KTX-II “power car” axle load is already at 17t, and he thinks the weight won’t increase to meet the 800000 lbs compression requirements.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    The current TGV and KTX-II “power car” axle load is already at 17t, and he thinks the weight won’t increase to meet the 800000 lbs compression requirements.

    No they don’t, those power cars are designed to 600 ton buff standard, or 1.2 million pounds.

    The power locomotives can run in the US as is. It’s the coach cars that must be redesigned to comply with the 800,000 pound buff strength rule, which is a trivial task compared to the task of modifying the whole EMU faced by Siemens.

    Clem Reply:

    California needs EMUs to tackle the mountains. This whole discussion about TGVs and KTXs is irrelevant, since those are all 1980s vintage technology.

    William Reply:

    @Useless, if TGV power car already were designed for 600 t buff standard, than why Acela power car had a different, heavier, design? If you said it true, than Acela could have just use TGV power car as-is, otherwise you are just making things up.

    Clem Reply:

    Not TGV, but KTX, designed using Koreanized secret alloys that have the correct buff strength and highcrashworthyness. Something about the valence electrons giving the lattice structure atomic-level CEM properties.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    why Acela power car had a different, heavier, design?

    Acela power car required a 2,000,000 pound buff strength.
    Additionally, 1,300,000 pound buff strength power cars from Alstom and Rotem came in mid to late 2000s, after Acela. A TGV locomotive of the late 90s had less buff strength.

    The latest TGV/KTX-II design standard is 600 ton locomotive/200 ton coach, plus CEM on KTX-II as required on all new Korean intercity rail trains.

    A Tier II(ie Acela)’s design standard was 960 ton locomotive/362 ton coach, and this is why a brand new AMTRAK Tier III rolling stock designed to 362 ton standard still require a waiver to coexist with Acela on NEC.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    designed using Koreanized secret alloys

    I don’t know about Korean secret alloy(I believe it is some aluminium-magnesium alloy with composite reinforcement they are using in their high speed train sets), but Rotem being a top-tier main battle tank manufacturer helps to design a tank on rail.

    Joe Reply:

    Korea uses s Mithril-Adamantium alloy.

  19. Reedman
    Oct 2nd, 2015 at 10:45
    #19
  20. Anandakos
    Oct 2nd, 2015 at 23:32
    #20

    A tunnel means that Palmdale/Mojave suddenly becomes only six or so minutes slower than The Grapevine, and serves a LOT more people. Given modern tunneling equipment I expect it might end up less expensive than the crazy twisting alignment up the Santa Clara Valley. Let Metrolink give those town service while HSR slices through the mountains.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not if you take the many billions saved at Tejon by not requiring base tunnels between Palmdale and Sta. Clarita-Burbank and the extra tunnels required at the Oak Creek Canyon to achieve 2.8% ruling gradients and spend that on tunnels between Sta. Clarita and LAUS.

    More than six minutes saved and then how many more minutes would you save by the direct I-5 alignment, where you could operate non-stop at 180mph with impunity?

    Joe Reply:

    You save no time what so ever. The I-5 alignment is an unacceptable alignment and would not have passed the legislature.

    It’s reciprocal, no one listens to people who do not listen to others. I-5 was and is unacceptable.

    EJ Reply:

    A direct I-5 alignment violates prop 1a, which is something you seem to be very concerned about.

    les Reply:

    “very concerned about” prop 1a when it’s convenient.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a is propaganda.

    Joe Reply:

    “No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Synonymous, age 6, who lives in a village called Peaksville in a place that used to be California. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Syno you can be sure of one thing: you have entered The Twilight Zone.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    You’re traveling through another dimension,
    a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind;
    a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.
    That’s the signpost up ahead– your next stop . . . Palmdale!

    Zorro Reply:

    Into the Cyno-Zone.

    Joe Reply:

    Syno-Bun

    Ridiculousness on a sugar drizzled white-bread pastry.

    Domayv Reply:

    then what would happen if CHSR creates an I-5 alignment as an express route after the Bakersfield-Palmdale-Burbank alignment has finished construction (this would eventually become a necessity seeing that traffic on I-5 between Santa Clarita and the Grapevine gets very clogged during winter and often even closes due to heavy weather, making people take a detour by going to Palmdale via CA-14 and then CA-58/future I-40 to Bakersfield, making those two freeways heavily clogged since CA-14 north of Lancaster and CA-58/future Interstate 40 only have two lanes per direction)?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They could do whatever they want since they wouldn’t be using money from those bonds.

    Domayv Reply:

    then that would probably be the next thing they would do aside from the Prop 1A-necessitated segments after finishing the IOS (i.e. Frenso-Burbank), which the funds that will be used for the “extra” segments will come from revenue of those completed segments. Here are the things CAHSR should do after completing the other Prop 1A-backed segments.
    * IOS (Fresno-Burbank)
    ** Create the Tejon HSR line (this line will follow CA-99B and CA-204 as it approaches Bakersfield and will complement Amtrak San Joaquin by creating a new 4-track rail line in tandem with the HSR line. Note that due to high grades, Amtrak will have to order bi-level electric multiple units)
    * Phase 1 Blended (San Francisco & Merced-Los Angeles/Anaheim)
    ** Create a new dedicated high-speed line that mostly follows I-880 (avoiding the Don Edwards marshlands that the existing trains go through) and will go from San Jose to a new station in Oakland that will replace the existing Jack London Square station. This will also call for complete grade separation of the existing UPRR tracks that run through the street to improve overall safety.
    ** Create a new dedicated high speed line that starts at Capitol Caltrain station and goes through Downtown San Jose all the way to San Francisco (see this for more details: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zWLI5V544xAc.kps6PIgTbaaI). It will also connect to the new dedicated line that will run to Oakland.
    ** Expand the track capacity of the Transbay Terminal because 6 won’t be enough
    ** Create a new high speed line following US-101 to serve the California central coast region (it will also complement the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner by creating a new 4-track rail line that will replace the old UPRR Coast Line)
    * San Diego and Sacramento extensions (Phase 2)
    ** Create a dedicated high speed line between Los Angeles and San Diego (https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zWLI5V544xAc.kXYCPG04HKNw; the line in blue is HSR)
    ** Create a new high speed express line that follows I-5 from Wheeler Ridge to Sacramento (see this for more details: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zWLI5V544xAc.kXYCPG04HKNw). This will also include rerouting the existing Phase 2 HSR line (which will follow CA-99/future I-7) south of Elk Grove to connect with the new I-5 alignment.
    ** Create a new HSR line that follows I-80 from San Francisco to Reno (https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zWLI5V544xAc.kdethM-MxOeA) and another that goes to Carson City via US-50/future I-70. Both of them will go through Sacramento Union Station
    ** Create a new HSR line that goes through the Cascade mountains from Sacramento and San Francisco/San Jose to Eugene via I-5. (via detour on I-505 and I-80 for San Francisco; I-505, I-80 and I-680 for San Jose). This also includes an HSR line serving the CA-99 corridor north of Sacramento (Yuba City, Chico).
    * Create an I-15 HSR line from Temecula to Victorville to connect with XpressWest (due to differing infrastructure requiring a transfer of trains, as shown with Palmdale)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There won’t be any conventional intercity service.

    Domayv Reply:

    what I was meaning to outline was that there would be separate tracks with no chance of intermixing save for when they go to the maintenance facilities (4 for intercity/commuter and 2+ for high speed rail), much like with the Shinkansen and the preexisting lines that it follows (i.e. Tokaido Shinkansen and Tokaido Main Line). the intercity service would complement the HSR lines.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s not enough people or destinations in California.

    Domayv Reply:

    @adirondacker12800: then how else would the Surfliner, which goes all the way to San Luis Obispo, be the most traveled service and growing outside of the Northeast Corridor? Besides this new US-101 high-speed and intercity rail lines will serve more towns (and therefore people) than the Surfliner. Also, there are no major airports in the region, so high speed rail will probably come as something good to them since it will spur up development over there (the only other intercity services that serve the region are the Greyhound buses, which are rather infrequent compared to what the rail lines will offer).

    Zorro Reply:

    Domayv, There won’t be any Amtrak Joaquin with HSR and Tejon isn’t happening, HSR would replace any conventional lines that are in the area that go the same direction as HSR. Most of what you propose has no money and 4 tracks is expensive as hell, forget it.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Zorro: Yeah I know that HSR and Amtrak won’t be mixing and that Tejon HSR isn’t happening anytime soon. Besides what will become of the NEC once a dedicated HSR line gets built? Will the new HSR line replace all of those regional lines that millions use regularly (MARC, SEPTA, NJT, MNCR, Shore Line East and MBTA).

    Also not all stations served by Amtrak San Joaquin will be served by HSR

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Besides what will become of the NEC once a dedicated HSR line gets built? Will the new HSR line replace all of those regional lines that millions use regularly (MARC, SEPTA, NJT, MNCR, Shore Line East and MBTA).

    In both the Northeast ( cue someone yelling “chow-dah” in the background) and California, what happens after HSR becomes operational is that commuter or regional trains will be re-purposed. But there will be a tension between both commuter and interregional needs and between various jurisdictions. In the East, various State are going to spar over funding and access…over here it will be the counties who tussle over various transportation dollars.

    To be more specific, what *should* happen is:

    1) CalTrain is absorbed by a combination of BART and CAHSR. (Go ahead, groan all you want.)

    2) Capitol Corridor is expanded from San Jose south to Monterey and east to Truckee.

    3) The Surfliner is replaced by the Coast Daylight north of Los Angeles, which would run along the Coast route from SF to LA.

    4) The Surfliner would continue south of LA as a service that feeds primarily Orange County from central LA and the Inland Empire and down to San Diego.

    5) The San Joaquin is converted into an Super Altamont Commuter Express, which trains from Oakland and San Jose feeding into Modesto, Merced, and Fresno, and potentially Yosemite for some trains.

    What *actually* happens is anyone’s guess. But combined with Metrolink’s demise and continue light rail and subway construction, these regional services will help HSR realize its true potential and help the state grapple with density in the most appropriate way.

    Useless Reply:

    Domayv

    what will become of the NEC once a dedicated HSR line gets built?

    I don’t ever expect to see a dedicated HSR track on NEC in my life time. Not even in a hundred years.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How about JerryRail Northern Region is absorbed and run by BART?

    EJ Reply:

    I can see them building an I-5 alignment through them valley at some point bypassing Bakersfield and Fresno, that would be relatively cheap. Another mountain crossing is less likely. Either way, as adi says, none of this would be governed by prop 1a since the bonds would have already been spent.

    Domayv Reply:

    and CAHSR will get the funding needed for the Tejon/I-5 alignment through their own surplus revenue from their services plus some private funding.

    Joe Reply:

    Look at Clem’s post on Tejon. It’s well over 20 billion to cross the mountains.

    That’s not fundable with operating revenue.

    Domayv Reply:

    then how else would CHSR get the funding since Prop 1A funds cannot be used for those project then?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There won’t be any because the will have all been spent.

    Domayv Reply:

    then what’s the most CAHSR can do after completing its system since those freeways will eventually become clogged in the future then?

    joe Reply:

    what else?

    There are zuggeztions galore on the internet.
    Some I like:
    Stop prioritizing freeways for short commuter trips. Meter access 24/7.
    Prioritize Bus traffic.
    Convert lanes to bus/BRT.
    Charge full cost recovery for parking and relax parking requirements for new development.

    Domayv Reply:

    @joe: only problem: the regions that I’m talking about (California Central Coast, California north of Sacramento, the Cascade region, and the Sierra Nevada region) have at most regular buses. Plus, much of the freeways serving those regions are two-laners; not enough space for bus/BRT.

    I also am talking about intercity services, which buses won’t be enough.

    Also what exactly do you mean by “Meter access”?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You don’t need dedicated bus lanes in places where there isn’t any traffic.

    Joey Reply:

    You don’t need dedicated bus lanes in places where there isn’t any traffic.

    Definitely true. In many cases, priority signals would provide a greater benefit (and for less money!) than dedicated lanes. Of course, that’s not to say that dedicated lanes aren’t a good idea in higher traffic areas, though I’d say that they should usually come with priority signals as well.

    beetroot Reply:

    I remember reading once that every extra minute between SF and LA represents a loss of $10 million in yearly revenue? Am I remembering this incorrectly?

    Travis D Reply:

    As part of an algorithm that makes sense. Real life people, however, tend to stick with things until they reach a tipping point. For example models may suggest that raising gas prices causes X amount of people to stop driving for every ten cents in increase. But in real life people will actually power through a whole chunk of increases until all of sudden it reaches a tipping point where a huge mass of people drop off all at once.

    Personally I do not think the Palmdale time added crosses any tipping point. So, as such, I expect ridership will actually be the same as the Tejon alignment or possibly even better.

    StevieB Reply:

    The State of California is building High Speed Rail to increase economic development within the state. Maximizing profits from operations would be the goal of the concessionaire operating the trains but not the goal of California as the builder.

    Eric Reply:

    That’s a bad comparison. People tend to stick with their existing behavior when circumstances change. But with CAHSR there is no existing behavior so there will be no sticking.

    joe Reply:

    Maybe it’s a junk survey but maybe it’s not.

    Nearly two-thirds of all Americans would use high-speed rail if it was available, based on the findings of a new survey from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). To be more exact here, 63% of those surveyed stated an interests in utilizing high speed rail service if it was available.

    Also worth noting here is that this number jumped 4% to 67% when survey respondents were given information detailing cost + time savings benefits accompanying high speed rail use.

    The survey also found that 71% of those surveyed are in support of the reduction of regulatory hurdles for the development of real-estate development near high speed rail. “

    http://gas2.org/2015/10/02/23-of-americans-would-use-high-speed-rail-network/

    EJ Reply:

    If the algorithm doesn’t reflect the real world, it doesn’t make sense as an algorithm. Usually when you see something like that it’s a model that’s been dumbed down for the average teevee news viewer. But your larger point is right – that’s why, while I think they Palmdale routing is a poor choice, I’m more sanguine than some that the extra 6-7 minutes won’t really matter in the end.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Each person has a different tipping point.

    Joe Reply:

    I’m about there by the third glass of wine.

  21. Roland
    Oct 3rd, 2015 at 02:05
    #21

    Second crash @ Broadway in 6 days (right after the Caltrain Board meeting that discussed last week’s crash at length): http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/10/01/caltrain-hits-car-in-burlingame-crossing/
    StreetView of Broadway level crossing as designed by America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals: http://tinyurl.com/ovnbwe2.
    What could possibly go wrong???

    J. Wong Reply:

    Pretty clear Burlingame is going to get elevated grade separations fairly soon. And they’ll approve it no matter they’re objections to HSR.

    And look, the Broadway crossing has always been there. What no one anticipated (nor could have) is the tremendous increase in traffic over its life.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What do you think would have obtained in the early 90’s had the money not been stolen by BART to SFO?

    Joe Reply:

    Stolen?!
    Call the police. Maybe you have, repeatedly as you repeat yourself here, and they now block your number.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You think that if JerryRail implodes BART will not try to grab every loose farthing, just like Dumbarton?

    William Reply:

    The light from Broadway westbound will go green first when the crossing gates is activated, so the car waiting on the track should not be a problem unless:
    1) manual car driver getting too nervous and stall the car on track
    2) car mechanical issue
    3) traffic light and crossing gates sync issue

    Yes, the best grade separation option for Caltrain through Burlingame should be split-grade. If necessary Caltrain can close the crossing without the need to seek approval because the crossing is entirely built on Caltrain land.

  22. Reality Check
    Oct 3rd, 2015 at 14:05
    #22

    @William, Redwood City’s Whipple Ave. crossing works the same way. WB Whipple gets a green to cross ECR when RR Xing gates activate. However, a guy on WB Whipple stopped on the tracks was hit and killed by a Caltrain a few years ago when traffic ahead didn’t move despite the green light due to a “code 3” fire truck on ECR coming through the intersection at the same time.

    Without even trying, I frequently see drivers illegally (CVC 22526(d)) stopping their cars and trucks on the tracks up and down the Peninsula.

    Roland Reply:

    2.64 The sequence of events to close the crossing to road traffic, once the lowering cycle has been initiated, is:
    (a) the amber light on each of the road traffic light signals immediately shows and the audible warning begins. The amber lights show for approximately 3 seconds (up to 5 seconds to suit road conditions);
    (b) immediately the amber lights are extinguished, the intermittent red lights should show;
    (c) approximately 4 to 6 seconds later the left-hand barriers should start to descend. Once the left-hand side barriers are lowered, a scan of the crossing area is performed by the obstacle detector. If the crossing is clear, the right-hand barriers will begin to descend immediately. If an obstacle is detected, and in order that it may clear the crossing, there will be an interval before the right-hand side barriers may begin to descend. The time for each barrier to reach the lowered position should normally be 6 to 10 seconds. At skew crossings, where the crossing distance can be greater, barrier timings may need to be lengthened accordingly;
    (d) it should not be possible to lower the barriers unless at least one red light in each road traffic light signal facing approaching road traffic is working;
    (e) once the barriers have started to descend, the lowering cycle should be completed in the normal sequence even if all the red lamps in any one of the road traffic light signals facing approaching road traffic fail. The barriers may then be raised when it is safe to do so. Where, in these circumstances, the barriers have not started to descend, they should remain in the raised position;
    (f) the audible warning for pedestrians should stop when all the barriers are fully lowered;
    (g) the intermittent red lights should continue to show; and
    (h) the crossing is again scanned by the obstacle detector. A clear scan, confirming ‘crossing clear’, is required before railway signals can be cleared for the passage of trains.
    http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/2158/level_crossings_guidance.pdf

    Stupid Brits!

    Roland Reply:

    The latest crash occurred approximately 3 hours after the end of the Burlingame HSR meeting.
    “This is the sixth time since the beginning of September that a train has hit a car”
    http://www.mercurynews.com/traffic-old/ci_28938941/burlingame-caltrain-hits-vehicle-tracks

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Or rather, “This is the sixth time since the beginning of September that a driver has managed to get his car hit by a train”….

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_junction
    Stupid Brits!

    Reality Check Reply:

    Stupid indeed. What an unsightly waste of paint.

    Just pass a law making all intersections “box junctions” by default. Done.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actually, @Roland is trolling. He is essentially saying that rather than being stupid, the British have implemented a solution that seems to solve the problem! The reality of course is that drivers especially Americans ones are stupid.

    Roland Reply:

    California Vehicle Code Section 22526.
    (c) A driver of a vehicle shall not enter a railroad or rail transit crossing, notwithstanding any official traffic control device or signal indication to proceed, unless there is sufficient undercarriage clearance to cross the intersection without obstructing the through passage of a railway vehicle, including, but not limited to, a train, trolley, or city transit vehicle.
    (d) A driver of a vehicle shall not enter a railroad or rail transit crossing, notwithstanding any official traffic control device or signal indication to proceed, unless there is sufficient space on
    the other side of the railroad or rail transit crossing to accommodate the vehicle driven and any railway vehicle, including, but not limited to, a train, trolley, or city transit vehicle.
    (e) A local authority may post appropriate signs at the entrance to intersections indicating the prohibition in subdivisions (a), (b),and (c).
    (f) A violation of this section is not a violation of a law relating to the safe operation of vehicles and is the following:
    (1) A stopping violation when a notice to appear has been issued by a peace officer described in Section 830.1, 830.2, or 830.33 of the Penal Code.
    (2) A parking violation when a notice of parking violation is
    issued by a person, other than a peace officer described in paragraph
    (1), who is authorized to enforce parking statutes and regulations.
    (g) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Anti-Gridlock Act of 1987.
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=22001-23000&file=22500-22526

    EJ Reply:

    Sorry, are you under the impression that anyone believes that it’s legal to stop your vehicle on railroad tracks?

    Reality Check Reply:

    I doubt many believe it’s legal … but from the number of Peninsula motorists who can daily be seen stopping their cars and trucks on (or afoul of) Caltrain’s tracks at congested crossings, it appears an alarming number drivers are unaware it’s illegal.

    I’ve long thought the white “DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS” signs should — like some other signs — cite the CVC section (22526) and something like “$300 minimum fine” (or whatever it is).

    Reality Check Reply:

    This story has video. A woman turned her SUV onto the tracks as if were a cross street. She apparently got hung up as she stupidly attempted to turn around on the tracks. At least she had the good sense to get out before northbound #197 hit the SUV at low speed.

  23. Reality Check
    Oct 3rd, 2015 at 14:29
    #23

    Morales: McCarthy as House Speaker would not hinder CA HSR

    The possible appointment of a long-term critic of California’s high-speed rail plan to Speaker of the House would not hinder the $68 billion project, a leading official told Reuters on Friday.

    California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, favorite to succeed John Boehner as House Speaker later this month, would have much greater say in shaping Congress’ federal spending agenda, if appointed to the post.

    But Jeff Morales, Chief Executive of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said the project would not be affected despite McCarthy’s loud opposition to it.

    “Our current plans do not assume any new federal money,” he said in an interview.

    […]

    joe Reply:

    “Our current plans do not assume any new federal money,” he said in an interview.

    I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)
    A little better all the time (It can’t get more worse)

    les Reply:

    I’m sure most Republicans don’t know the difference between a Valaro and a Talgo train so best they sit this one out anyway. They are too preoccupied de-funding PP and export-import bank, and also sniffing through opponent emails to make themselves available for studying advanced transportation systems.
    Besides who needs American capitalism when we have Chinese interest to finance projects. We just need to put out a few more hundred-thousand EB-5 visas and we’re golden.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Besides who needs American capitalism” ?
    Bingo. Les, you hit the nail on it’s head.
    The enigma of capitalism has always been ‘excess’. For many years only certain countries had ‘excess’ capital. Now more do. And that is changing the world in more ways than one. Excess labor/workers. Get an EBAY-5 visa. Have excess money, invest it in America, and get more visas.

    Jerry Reply:

    EB-5

    Roland Reply:

    Specter of sex scandal injected into GOP leadership race: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2573563/

  24. Trentbridge
    Oct 5th, 2015 at 09:31
    #24

    There’s a proposition at the California Secretary of States Office named “No Blank Checks Initiative” which looks like it has enough valid signatures to make the November 2016 ballot. It aims to prevent California or any agency from issuing any bonds in excess of $2 billion without voter approval. It is aimed at CA HSR and prevents any bond for any project being broken down into segments to avoid this restriction. This could be a nuisance.

    http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov//ballot-measures/pdf/1667-randomsample-10-02-15.pdf

    Jerry Reply:

    And most of the signatures were from Los Angeles.

    Eric M Reply:

    Should not change anything with regards to HSR. Current issuance of $10 billion in bonds are already approved by the vote of the people and can be issued when needed. The next step will be HSR taking a loan backed by C&T to finish the project.

  25. J. Wong
    Oct 5th, 2015 at 09:49
    #25

    O.T., Geary BRT draft EIR open for public comment.

    Jon Reply:

    The recommended ‘Hybrid’ alternative has been watered down to the point where it’s essentially just bus-only lanes. Wonderful. So glad we spent decades of time and millions of dollars planning for this project.

    Muni light rail on Geary would be fantastic – there’s plenty of street space, existing and potential ridership – but Muni simply doesn’t have the vision to plan transformational transit projects. Just put in BART already and be done with it.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    The imperial SF County Transportation Agency and its perma-temp consultants got to spend years and bill millions, while accomplishing nothing. Tons of future potential for do-overs, and over, and over agains.

    So, mission accomplished!

    What’s the problem you perceive, exactly?

    The system is functioning exactly as designed.

    Onward to the next triumph with America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals.

    Jerry Reply:

    Lawyers for the AFTPP insist their clients performed all the work for which they were paid. It was the politicos. They were the ones who did nothing.
    Their clients, by the way, are very much available for all future studies.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    They should be re-branded as “FUTILE Transportation Planning Professionals.” Their FUTILITY is precisely their UTILITY – therefore, as Richard states, “Mission Accomplished!” LOL

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Jon

    Precisely why they won’t do anything: BART. And a desire to sell off Presidio Yard.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How many of those millions could have been directed to trolley bus overhead lines.

    Little old ladies are going to get run over trying to run out into that median BRT. Geary is insane.

  26. Joe
    Oct 5th, 2015 at 19:44
    #26

    Looks like an Awful idea died today. San Jose wants to build a ballpark at San Jose HSR station site to attract the Oakland As.

    San Jose’s Legal bid against MLB failed at the US Supreme Court.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28923445/san-jose-loses-legal-fight-against-mlb-over

    Now they have to do something boring like housing and offices.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Three Strikes and You’re Out??

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    And, with all the crying surely taking place after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on this matter, it must by now be a “bawl-park”!

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Thank god…

    WTF cities do this crap is beyond me…

    Jon Reply:

    There’s nothing wrong with downtown sports stadiums, if you do it right. (Of course they won’t, but that’s a separate issue.)

    Cardiff, Wales has not one but two rugby stadiums right in the middle of downtown – one for the national team (capacity‎: ‎74,500) and one for the local team. The city’s retail center is directly to the west, the main rail station is directly to the south, the historic castle is directly to the north, and there is residential buildings over the river directly to the east. There is no parking, aside from a couple of private garages.

    https://goo.gl/maps/6Yzm7W8tXnx

    Reedman Reply:

    MLB has told San Jose that the Giants “own” San Jose, and the Giants can tell San Jose whether or not it is allowed to have an MLB team. The Oakland A’s are in Oakland because MLB and the Giants won’t let them move to San Jose, not because they want to be in Oakland.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hollywood(entertainment, inc.) owns the Supremes. The Aereo ruling reconfirmed that political reality.

  27. Rob
    Oct 5th, 2015 at 23:30
    #27

    Tunnels are brilliant infrastructure. More expensive at the beginning but they pay off on the long run through environmental benefits along with the potential for decreased energy usage by keeping gradient changes shallow. Maintenance might be lower too as less track is exposed to the elements.

    Wished some of that HSR money would find it’s way to the north bay to upgrade Capitol Corridor.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    capitol corridor upgrades

    William Reply:

    Or this one: http://capitolcorridor.org/downloads/CCJPAVisionPlanFinal.pdf

    Rob Reply:

    Hopefully they can get this done – a station in Benicia would be excellent for North Bay commuters working in SF / Oakland.

    Still think they should electrify it all the way to Truckee so we can have a ski train like they have in Europe (Eurostar goes direct to the alps – fantastic).

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Although I agree a tunnel is a good idea…what is really needed is more ferries. It doesn’t affect freight traffic and can supply nonstop service to SF or Oakland.

    The freight train traffic around the Oakland port means a BART extension to Martinez is going to make more sense than a short tunnel that doesn’t bypass cities like Richmond or El Cerrito.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Although I agree a tunnel is a good idea…what is really needed is more ferries. It doesn’t affect freight traffic and can supply nonstop service to SF or Oakland.

    But …. ferries are generally just not a great transportation method for urban rapid-transit use…

    They’re slow in absolute speed, have a long slow docking process on either end, are very constrained as to terminal locations (must be on the water), and for most riders entail two extra transfers which due to terminal siting are typically very inconvenient compared to train transfers. They’re unusually weather-sensitive and the number of passengers is often fairly constrained; a very large ferry can carry as many passengers as a long subway train, but the amount of time required for docking and loading/unloading is much greater, and they’re very hard to make frequent.

    [Having lived on Bainbridge Island for many years, I’ve spent huge amounts of time riding ferries, and actually have quite a soft spot for them (the BI ferries are/were quite awesome)… but they aren’t competitive with a train in a tunnel…]

    Domayv Reply:

    @Ted Judah: Not to mention, a better idea is to completely grade-separate the freight tracks in a tunnel between Adeline and 5th Avenue (That street-running heavy rail over at Oakland is a problem) and create a new passenger-only tunnel that will run between 5th Avenue to Emeryville (underneath the Mandala Parkway)

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Freight tracks in tunnels? No, our friends at Union Pacific don’t want to electrify.

    Passenger trains in tunnels? No, our state leaders don’t want to subsidize freight operations by electrifying the Capitol Corridor route without the railroads pitching in.

    But measured as pure infrastructure projects sans the inherent politics, your proposals are inherently sensible, if a little costly. In fact, just about any rail capacity project in Oakland is going to make a serious improvement in the state of affairs. The only exception are the contingent of armchair planners who think the Capitols should have a station right underneath the BART viaduct that crosses over the 880. Such an idea is absolute crazy talk.

    Domayv Reply:

    Come on, that freight tunnel would be shorter than the Newhall Tunnel (which the UPRR uses).

    Also, how would the freight railroads be subsidized if much of the new Capitol Corridor I’m talking about would be passenger-only, completely separated by freight to ensure 200 km/h operations throughout.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    To get a dedicated track for passenger rail, the State or JPA would have to either a) buy it from the UP outright (that’s a subsidy) or get a master lease which would mean paying even more money over time and then shelling out money for upgrades that UP gets to use for free. (This also a subsidy, and a lucrative one at that.) This is especially true if you opt for electrification along that route.

    As for tunnels, were you talking about the one under Adeline, or the one under Mandela Parkway???

    Domayv Reply:

    actually there would be two: one would be a freight-only tunnel that runs from 5th Avenue to Adeline, right at the freight yard. This would be only for the UPRR and will be owned and operated by it upon completion. It would also not be electrified. The other is a passenger-only line that runs underneath and parallel to 3rd Street before turning right onto the Mandela Parkway and exits at Emeryville. It would be electrified (thus necessitating electric trains. It would also require a new passenger-only ROW)

    Ted Judah Reply:

    But …. ferries are generally just not a great transportation method for urban rapid-transit use…

    Whether people drive to a ferry station or a BART station, the impact on transit planning is more or less the same. The point remains that once you get far enough away from SF to need an hour or more via commuter rail or BART…ferries start looking good again. Also, given how jam-packed the bridge is these days along with the Tube and the fact that ferries have no such constraints…it’s quite apparent that these services should expand.

    Forum had a great segment on this recently: http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201509091000 that really changed my opinion on this.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I’m not saying they shouldn’t expand the ferries, ferries have a place, and are one way to add a bit of capacity in the short-term.

    I’m just saying that ferries are never going to be an adequate alternative to a train in a tunnel…. they don’t even come close.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s all based on travel time. If it’s quicker to go from Antioch on a ferry to the Embarcadero than BART…guess which one gets higher mode share.

    Think of it like this. BART is the preferred way for all traffic until its over its carrying capacity, at which point you use ferries and bridges as a safety valve. Since many workers that use BART still park at the station, it’s not that much of a transition for commuters to use a boat instead…

    Reedman Reply:

    Ferry economics: $14 ticket = $100 subsidy.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/South-San-Francisco-ferry-loaded-with-subsidies-3659513.php

    synonymouse Reply:

    DogLeg not far off that.

    J. Wong Reply:

    And where can we see your detailed analysis that led you to that conclusion?

    Oh, we can’t because you just pulled it out of your a**.

  28. Eric M
    Oct 6th, 2015 at 10:54
    #28

    Anyone have any info from the meeting regarding Requests for Interest?

    Eric M Reply:

    Never mind. Now on #3

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    https://youtu.be/1cHIEZ5ydtY

    The first part is just Morales going over presentation that is online
    At 16:15 Dan Richard and the board clarify

    Summary: there is no new money but some good new ideas

    Eric M Reply:

    Thank you for that. I wonder when they will release copies of the responses, as they should be interesting to read.

    Clem Reply:

    Quite curious to find out the extent to which Tejon / Palmdale / Las Vegas will be discussed. Ditto for Altamont.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I was under the impression that at the PBbunker, Tejon, like Valdemort, was a name that cannot be spoken. Omerta.

    Travis D Reply:

    I don’t know if any will offer a change for the southern mountain crossing but I could forsee some of them wanting to create a station in Livermore interfacing with BART.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They can just let BART assume operations from there. Knock the speed back to 80 and lock up the W.C.’s.

    Eric M Reply:

    As Dan Richard insinuated, one entity dangled a big carrot to build out the whole thing. Pretty easy to guess it was probably the Chinese, but possibly the Japanese too, as both offered billions in financing a little while back. I would bet if the Chinese offer to build segments, they will want to go through Palmdale, as the Chinese are already getting in bed with XpressWest (or whatever they are going to call it now). Altamont could possibly be a different story, as they might want capture more of the east bay market. Plus the WAY shorter travel times from SF to Sacramento. Should get interesting.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The difference between Xpress West and CAHSR is pretty simple here: under absolutely no circumstances will California’s service be a non-union crew that are almost a guarantee with Chinese sponsorship of Xpress West. There is literally no political person west of Mississippi that has enough muscle to get a non-union crew through, especially after the Metrolink crash in Chatsworth.

    The Japanese, meanwhile, will offer less money but will only require that we buy a certain amount of trainsets in exchange. However, the Japanese manufacturers do not have any factories in California and that would also be a big sticking point. The company that does is Siemens, but they are battling the European debt crisis right now, and can’t offer that lucrative terms as the Asian countries.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Don’t count on it. It would appear that the socialist government of France is going to the mat with the Air France unions. Call in the cops and all after the riot with management where the cops merely stood by.

    There are those who believe PTC is the prelude to engineer only freights on the class ones.

    The economy is I believe in slow motion recession. My guess is Chrysler Fiat will just let the UAW go on strike and ride it out.

    And with BART all you have to do is seriously talk driverless. For the Chinese the problem is not the unions – it is realizing this thing will bleed money. Vegas is losing slot machines – what does that tell you?

    Trentbridge Reply:

    “The economy is I believe in slow motion recession.”

    Under President Obama’s leadership, the economy has added private sector jobs for 64 straight months. During this span, 12.8 million private sector jobs have been created.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 275,000
    for the week ended Sept. 5, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the 27th straight
    week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is usually associated with a strengthening labor market.

    yeh – that recession…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Pretty soon the return and refund counter at Home Depot will be staffed by a robot. Retail jobs in general are disappearing due to internet sales.

    The consumer economy is being dampened by much higher costs of living that are not counted nor indexed. Reagan started that but the Demos are in on it too.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Pretty soon”? CAHSR will be up and running before a robot can staff the return and refund counter at Home Depot.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are not very optimistic about tech. First step is to have a big screen where you are talking up your refund to the return staff outsourced to India. You’ll need your credit card with the chip in it.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I work in tech @synon so I think I’m closer to the realities than you are. You’re being stupid: “return staff outsourced to India” is not a robot.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    No way…joining a union in China gets your arrested. Why do you think the Schwarzenegger people loved the idea having them be the partner for the project? Do you really think they could dump so much manufacturing in the U.S. if workers got paid a real wage?

    I can’t wait until Chinese companies bring their own crews to build Xpress West like something you would see in Dubai or Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa. In California, they wouldn’t be able to hire a catering truck that isn’t union…

    synonymouse Reply:

    If you cannot use your own people and you can’t sell your equipment and the thing is going to lose money big time, why blow your foreign exchange? The construction loan is payola to the political machine to secure the rolling stock contracts. Will not work for PB-CHSRA but building Deserted Express to Victorville might serve the purpose of rattling some cages in DC. But to accomplish that setting up a Chinese military base in Latin America would be much more effective.

    Blowing much smaller amounts in 3rd world countries with raw materials to supply is quite another matter.

    EJ Reply:

    It resembles English, but it just doesn’t make any intelligible sense.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    If you eliminate american jobs and replace them with tech, then americans wont have jobs. how is that good for anybody? a couple hundred million people with nothing to do and no income. I guess with 90 million baby boomers retiring, you could train the gen xers and millineals how to change dipaers and make beds.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Wikipedia says there were 76 million of them born. They’ve been dying off since. The last of them doesn’t retire until 2031.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I think I heard the 90 million on a radio show on finance. They were talking about a economic boom coming in the 2020s when millennials start buying homes and having families- real estate values will go up. So they predict. Lets hope that is true since I want to sell in the 2020s.
    Time for those 20 somethings to get to baby making for the good of the country.

    joe Reply:

    Student debt will slow house buying.
    The cost of college outpaces inflation. Student debt is high and the loans cannot be erased by filing bankruptcy.

    http://www.wxow.com/story/30211270/2015/10/07/a-multigenerational-hit-student-debt-traps-parents-and-kids
    Financial website… WalletHub says that beside mortgages, student loan debt accounts for the largest portion of household debt for Americans.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    well somebody better have a plan to bring back prosperity cuz thats depressing.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    One of the candidates should propose that all existing student loans be purchased by the federal government and converted to zero interest, principal only payback. All that extra money would go back into the econonmy as disposable income. Then expand low interest first time buyer programs since homeownership is a good stimulus.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Student loans are already a huge drag on the economy and the number one reason the suburban growth we saw a decade ago hasn’t come back. We are basically importing our middle class now through visa programs. That is the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Trump and the anti-trade tirades by Bernie are so popular….

    The 2020s will indeed be a boom time. But the price is going to be massive inflation like we saw in the 1970s…

    Travis D Reply:

    In the follow up questions he said that some consortiums were willing to fund and construct the remaining sections in exchange for a guarantee of many decades of operation.

    agb5 Reply:

    He says private industry wants either a history of ridership, which CA does not have, or a guarantee of revenue, which Prop 1A forbids. It is the role of government to bridge that gap to get the first system up and running.
    So that narrows the field down to the Chinese government or Japanese government.
    There is still hope that a serious economic recession hits next year which provokes the U.S. government to stimulate with infrastructure spending.

    Useless Reply:

    agb5

    So that narrows the field down to the Chinese government or Japanese government.

    If they are hoping to make a pure financial investment without conditions, sure.

    You do know that the Japanese and Chinese rolling stocks are already disqualified in California due to Tier III’s 800,000 pound buff strenght(3.6 times the Japanese and Chinese train’s buff strength) and the 5-year in-service rule of the proposed models, don’t you?

    J. Wong Reply:

    It’s seems so nice we have our own administrative judge here capable of making rulings about FRA rule compliance. Oh, wait you’re not a judge and your interpretactions are both non-binding and non-professional?

    les Reply:

    12 billion in pocket. 10 billion from chinese for exclusive LV to anywhere rights. 10 billion from c&t. Jerry puts 2nd 10 billion bond to voters on way out door. Japan 6 billion for all Sacremento to anywhere rights. Democrats are back in power in 2020 and cough up 10 billion in grants/rr loans. Ridership is off the charts and funds remaining cost.

    Useless Reply:

    les

    Well, high speed rail operation is subsidized by property development at the station in Asia. Ie, multi billion dollar shopping malls and hotels sitting on top of a train station. Japanese and Chinese are probably eying property development rights as conditions of their HSR construction investments.

    les Reply:

    Development comes with ownership. Let’s see what properties they can get there hands on. Eminent domain isn’t going to cover it. I know AAF is counting on it but they are building stations also. Are the individual cities going to relinquish these rights.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Malls are not doing well, according to the SF Chron, particularly ladies apparel, the longtime mainstay of retail.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I’ll quote myself from a comment on Streetsblog NYC:

    Traditional U.S.-style car malls are a completely different animal from station retail, and trends related to one do not apply to the other.

    Car malls depend on being a destination, and typically an inconvenient one at that. As soon as they fall out of fashion, people stop going there, and that makes them even more unfashionable, and from there it’s a quick descent into oblivion.

    Station retail, on the other hand, has a built-in captive market. It can be a destination, but even should a shop fall out of fashion, there will always be potential customers, they’ll always be on foot, they’ll always walk by your storefront, and in many cases (commuters after work) they’ll be tired and your shop will be the easiest and quickest place to go should they need something.

    From the passengers’ point of view, station retail a very convenient way to shop.

    From the transit-system and community’s point of view, convenient retail makes stations more inviting and busy places, attracts development near them, and thus encourages denser and more transit-friendly development in general.

    It’s a mutually-advantageous feedback loop.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    What if we cut the costs of constructing hsr by letting china or japan or whomever, have the station land and let them build all the stations and any associtated retail, hotel, residential or otherwise that they wanted to build and collect those rents and profits in perpetuity. Then califonria would be off the hook for the cost of the 20 something stations, which should subtract a nice chunk of money from the total.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That preempt a a city’s urban planning power, which is protected by the California Constituiton, I think. And even if it’s possible, every city will sue for giving up prime real estate that they could tax.

    There was a bill, however that passes in 2013 that allows the Authority to sell land it acquires through eminent domain to support the project, but the land acquisition process is moving so slowly, they have almost nothing in the inventory to offer to an investor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hillary losing?

    Yeah, ridership dropping off the charts.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Infrastructure spending does not have the stimulus effect of yore. But wars still do.

    EJ Reply:

    As with everything you write, [citation needed].

    les Reply:

    So your saying we need a Sino-Japan war, therefor trading bombs for trains. Seems kind of drastic doesn’t it?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jeez, we’ve been doing police actions since forever.

    Who knows what Asia is up to, but for sure China wants the US out.

    les Reply:

    yes, but creating a war for economic gain….. I guess I need to buy you a shotgun so you can do a duck hunting trip with Cheney.

    Jerry Reply:

    And Truman’s ‘police action’ in Korea contributed to the later rebuilding of the S. Korean infrastructure and economy. We still have 38,000 American soldiers there. Korea is an economic competitor to Japan, which we also helped rebuild.

    Jerry Reply:

    Some people use this as an argument that 300 years of peace in Switzerland has only produced the cuckoo clock. But war, even a cold one, has produced countless advances.

    EJ Reply:

    And it’s bullshit. Swiss inventors produced the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, the first commercially practical LCD display, the Reichstein process for isolating vitamin C, velcro (Oh you thought that was invented by the US space program? nope, they were just the first large-scale users of it), cellophane, LSD…

    It’s the headquarters of CERN. Euler, Bernoulli, Auguste Piccard, Albert Freakin’ Einstein; all Swiss. 25 Nobel laureates since the prize was created. All this and it’s the wealthiest country, per capita, in the world. No doubt partly due to never having had to tax the hell out of its citizens to pay off war debts.

    Not bad for a tiny little country (even today the population is only about 8 MM).

    EJ Reply:

    The chief technological product of war is more effective weapons. Which occasionally involve advances in basic science or result in useful spinoffs for peaceful technology.

    swing hanger Reply:

    S. Korea was dirt poor for quite a long time even after the war as its economy then was largely agricultural (its per capita GDP was actually lower than N. Korea until the early sixties). It was not until large injections of economic aid from Japan and the U.S. in the mid-sixties that it began its ascent as a manufacturing economy.

    agb5 Reply:

    Neither does lowering interest rates or giving free money to banks.
    There is growing opinion that in the coming recession infrastructure spending will be the least worst option.

    synonymouse Reply:

    incorrect opinion – vastly underused and expensive to maintain infrastructure the lumpen will have to subvent.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Nope, @agb5 is correct. “[V]astly underused and expensive to maintain infrastructure” is exactly equivalent to the stimulative effect of a war, which is building stuff to throw away [in combat].

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Even underused infrastructure, the Gravina Island Bridge to nowhere for instance, has some utility.

    Joe Reply:

    CA high speed rail is economic stimulus in California helping small business, disadvantage business enterprise and disadvantage veteran’s business enterprise.

    http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/high-speed-rail-authority-selects-hntb-to-oversee-next-phase-of-construction-in-the-central-valley

    HNTB meets the Authority’s aggressive 30 percent goal for Small Business participation, with a commitment of 33.72 percent. In addition, the company surpassed the Authority’s 10 percent Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and 3 percent Disadvantaged Veteran Business Enterprise goals; reaching a 22.78 percent and a 3.66 percent commitment, respectively.

  29. Reedman
    Oct 7th, 2015 at 11:58
    #29

    The latest update from BART says the Warm Springs Extension won’t open until 2016.
    Note: the follow-on question/response says there will be 2000 parking places at Warm Springs.
    [Also note: the Super Bowl is Feb 7, in Santa Clara/Levi’s Stadium.]

    http://www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow/ci_28929100/roadshow-opening-bart-warm-springs-station-pushed-back

  30. JimInPollockPines
    Oct 7th, 2015 at 23:00
    #30

    There are some great ideas here for bettering air travel – and it would be great to apply them to HSR

    Danny Reply:

    these proposals are all about middle seats, passengers swarming gates, weight, “classic interior cabins,” endless airport waits, differentiation through service, and allowing ticket refunds–very tightly-relevant only to US airlines; only seamless ground-transport integration, apps, and baggage tracking with RFID tags are applicable to HSR here: the *Pacific Surfliner* already has most of what Poppi’s proposing in this ad-disguised-as-news

    perhaps the closest analogue to “Uber in the sky” would be the business jet, so crossing that with all-business-class Acela might give you a short private-varnish “business train” with a conference room/office car with seats available as-needed; but unlike business jets it’d run semi-regularly and between very-specific points (à la TGV Poste), and it’s also a rideshare since CAHSR won’t allow one-car trains …

    but we do have plenty of precedent for luxing up regular and bullet train service: this is nothing ICE and TGV haven’t already had for decades (that’s another advantage of being an HSR backer–it’s not all CGIs of physically-illegal gadgetbahns): brand partnerships and geek boxes are pretty easy if you want to polish up a line, but Moët and Lanvin seem a tad excessive for something ridden for 3 hours at most

    the airlines’ “salami tactics” of multiplying the various passenger classes (“economy minus,” now!) seem to fit better with the transcons, where you can afford to provide the lobster-and-caviar experience, so those cars you load up with all the Balmain slippers and Tokay they can hold

  31. joe
    Oct 8th, 2015 at 09:54
    #31

    So much for House Speaker McCarthy stopping CAHSR.

    GOP’s McCarthy [Bakersfield] dropping out of race for House speaker.
    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/08/gops-mccarthy-dropping-out-of-race-for-house-speaker-reports.html

    Donk Reply:

    Haha, this is great theater. If they can’t agree on McCarthy, who are they going to agree on? It would be great if the house is unable to elect a speaker until after the 2016 election.

    joe Reply:

    I agree with you. McCarthy,who worked behind the scene previously, was an unprepared boob in front of the camera. Who will want this job given the infighting over governance?

    Can this House pass a debt ceiling bill.

    les Reply:

    No, this House can’t pass a kidney stone.

    joe Reply:

    Well passing a stone ain’t easy.

    McCarthy apparently isn’t that smart or liked by the conservative caucus.

    He was supposed to be The Man to bring down CA HSR leading a coherent and disciplined GOP to undermine the project part by part.

    datacruncher Reply:

    I posted here two weeks ago that the far-right considered McCarthy not conservative enough and too closely tied to the GOP establishment. His Benghazi gaffe didn’t help.

    My guess is unless the GOP moderates are ready to battle the far-right wing, the Speaker will be someone more conservative and more acceptable to the Freedom Caucus.

    Joe Reply:

    No one is liked by everyone.

    He lost the job when he admitted Benghazi was a political hit and could not correct his gaff.
    Clearly he’s a dolt who rose to his level of incompetence as majority whip. Retrospectivly we can understand Bohner’s problems with gaining and counting house votes. HisWhip couldn’t count or whip.

    datacruncher Reply:

    No one will be fully acceptable to everyone is true.

    But Benghazi was simply the final straw on McCarthy. His election as speaker was already in trouble weeks before that.

    Two weeks ago, Rep. Tim Huelskamp was saying ““We have enough votes in the House Freedom Caucus to prevent anybody from being Speaker. We will be a voting bloc,” Huelskamp said.”

    The forty-some member Freedom Caucus is lined up to oppose anyone for Speaker who is not willing to push their agenda and be confrontational to the Dems and the White House. They are also opposed to the GOP establishment and further right than the House Tea Party Caucus.

    The Freedom Caucus already disliked McCarthy due to his ties to Boehner and party establishment. McCarthy was also disliked by some in that caucus who suspected he was too California influenced (they probably think the California GOP in general are RINOs since even McClintock resigned from the Freedom Caucus).

    With 40-some Freedom Caucus votes opposed to him, McCarthy was already going to need Dem votes to be Speaker. Benghazi simply meant he would not be able to line up enough other support.

    The Freedom Caucus will likely vote as a bloc for a Speaker candidate they think is willing to shut down the Federal Government over Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, immigration, etc. That is going to make it difficult for any reasonable candidate for Speaker.

    Donk Reply:

    It’s time for the GOP to abandon the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party and to select someone more moderate by using some moderate Democrat votes. And then to start passing legislation the same way. And then to throw anything that has to do with religion or “values” the hell out of Washington.

  32. Reality Check
    Oct 8th, 2015 at 12:15
    #32

    I went to last night’s show. Saw Mr. Bob “no thugs” Allen and Roland there too …
    Burlingame: HSR officials discuss San Francisco-San Jose corridor

    More than 100 people filled an auditorium in the Burlingame Recreation Center to hear an update on the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s plans for running bullet trains on a 51-mile segment of track between San Francisco and San Jose.

    The most common concern among the skeptical audience was how the increased train traffic along the Peninsula corridor will affect automobile traffic at the many signal crossings where the railway intersects with surface streets.

    Ben Tripousis, the authority’s director for the northern region of California, answered that a new automated system for coordinating the movement of trains will alleviate backups. He added that the authority will work with local communities to build grade separations — i.e., tunnels or bridges — at key intersections.

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