Twenty Years Later, Palo Alto Claims HSR is Moving Too Fast

Oct 17th, 2015 | Posted by

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that Palo Alto believes that high speed rail planning is moving too fast.

No, really, that’s what they believe:

In a special meeting devoted exclusively to transportation, the City Council criticized the California High Speed Rail Authority’s recent decision to launch an environmental analysis for the Peninsula segment of the proposed rail line — a review that the state agency expects to conclude in 2017.

This schedule, the council argued, would unnecessarily expedite the planning process for the hugely controversial line, precluding any real collaboration between the state agency and the communities on the northern portion of the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles line.

The fact is that planning for high speed rail on the Peninsula began nearly twenty years ago, when the state legislature created the California High Speed Rail Authority and charged it to develop a plan that could go before voters in 2000. That plan eventually went to the ballot in 2008. Immediately after it passed – with unanimous support from all nine members of the Palo Alto City Council, calling it an opportunity of a lifetime – the city promptly freaked out and attacked HSR rather than try to make the project work for them.

That was six years ago, and debate over how to build the system through Palo Alto has been going on ever since then. For anyone in Palo Alto to say the Authority is moving too fast is absurd when, in reality, the pace has been much too slow. Of course, for those opposed to HSR, the only speed they’ll accept is “stopped dead in its tracks.”

In reality, the Authority is going out of its way – more than they should – to be responsive to Palo Alto:

At a meeting in San Francisco last month, the rail authority’s Northern California Regional Director Ben Tripousis called the series of meetings the “beginning of the conversation” with the Peninsula communities and stressed that the goal is to make high-speed rail an asset, “not an eyesore,” for the cities along the proposed line.

He also told the audience that as a safety measure the rail authority plans to install quad gates at each grade crossing to limit auto access. Eventually, Tripousis said, the agency plans to consider grade separation (an under- or overpass) for the rail line and to work with each community individually to discuss this long-term change.

In other words, nothing is going to happen anytime soon. That’s too bad, but it shows that Palo Alto is being ridiculous when it cries that things are happening too fast. They’ve had 20 years to figure out how to build rail in their city. The Authority is planning to give them many more years to answer that question.

What happened was when the Authority decided a few years ago to press the pause button on planning the full HSR buildout on the Peninsula, cities like Palo Alto decided to treat that “pause” as a permanent end to a project they decided they no longer wanted. Palo Alto dismantled its rail committee and stopped talking about things like “Context Sensitive Solutions.” Instead they supported lawsuits and legislative action in order to try and stop HSR, all of which failed just as we predicted it would.

Now that Palo Alto is being reminded that the state still plans to fully build out HSR on the Peninsula, they’re caught flat footed, through nobody’s fault but their own. They should have used the last few years to reach a consensus with neighboring governments on how to build and how to fund a 4-track rail corridor.

I hope they do figure out the answer to those questions – and “no” isn’t an answer today, just as it wasn’t an answer in 2009 or 2012.

  1. Roland
    Oct 17th, 2015 at 05:41
    #1

    San Francisco to San Jose Section
     Project Scoping – Spring 2016
     Circulate Draft environmental review document (for public review) – Fall 2016
     Authority Board and FRA ROD final decisions– December 2017
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2015/brdmtg_080415_Item2_Consider_Issuing_RFQ_EE_Services_SFtoSJ_and_SJtoMerced_Proj_Sections.pdf
    Kindly help the rest of us understand which part of “too fast” it is that you do not understand.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Kindly explain how “six years” is “too fast”.

    The problem with PAMPA is that they want their cake and to eat it too. They want the Caltrain ROW grade separated by being trenched with someone else paying for it. Fuck those “Richie Riches”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Just as Palmdale demands a commute op to benefit sprawlers paid for California taxpayers, mit base tunnels that dwarf PAMPA’s trench.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Oh, I didn’t realize there was an existing operating ROW through Tejon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Status quo is always an option, tho unpalatable to the Cheerleaders.

    It is all politics – Prop 1a is hardly holy script. For sure Jerry plans to kill the no-subsidies proviso.

    Fortunately he’ll be out of office before you know it.

    Joe Reply:

    Rail study initated in 2010 shows the city had ample time to prepare and failed to follow through.

    There’s obviously many good outcomes for the city to improve the rail corridor communities with HSR alignment and grade separations. many are mentioned in this study.
    http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/pln/advance/rail_corridor_study.asp

    The city has a bad habit of bullying to get thier way. Be it blocking a retirement community with residential outrage, holding a Stanford project until they can extorted millions for “mitigation” or you name it.

    The comments section in the paper, always funny, tells me the city and many residents think Santa Clara county transportation tax should fund their trench and it will be awesome and turn the row into a park.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And why not – look at Palmdale and Sta. Clarita. The former demands base tunnels to a podunk and the latter imposes an embargo.

    But PAMPA will have to hire its own engineers, lotsa lawyers and lobbyists to fight PB and Jerry tooth and nail, until Jerry is outta here.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You do realize that there is an existing operating ROW through PAMPA?

    Joe Reply:

    CARRD and other Pennisula NIMBYs have a simple plan:

    Force a full build HSR alignment and then attack the full build and stop the project at San Jose.

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s the BART-MTC simple plan.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Don’t be so sure about that.

    BART and MTC’s main concern (as if they are monolithic organizations) is making sure CAHSR is not a rival for its most lucrative passengers. (See supra. BART to SFO).

    At most, HSR will have four stops along the CalTrain ROW on the Peninsula: San Francisco Grand Central Station , I mean uh TransBay Tube Terminal , Milbrae San Francisco International Airport , Palo Alto/Atherton/Silicon Valley, and of course, Diridon Intergalactic Cosmic Spaceport Train Station.

    If BART rings the Bay ™ it will be responsible for all the intermediate stations that act as feeders to HSR. The concern will be that if the cost of doing that exceeds the revenue that service generates, extra money has to come from somewhere else the transit nerds also won’t like , not Steve Heminger’s buried treasure chest off the Farallon Islands, as commonly assumed.

    One solution to this might be to not run service at all between TBT and SFO so that BART can continue to slurp up those passengers and originate service only at either TBT or SFO and then continue on with all trains stopping along the way, or perhaps skipping Palo Alto/Silicon Valley too. You see, the solutions are there, you just have to build consensus to reach them….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why does BART want more trackage they can lose more money on?

    From dictionary.com:

    [loo-kruh-tiv]
    1.profitable; moneymaking; remunerative:

    Ted Judah Reply:

    No, what’s lucrative is Santa Clara County and San Mateo County voting to join the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District and inject all more sales and property tax revenue into its coffers.

    As it stands, with BART reaching San Jose from the east and Milbrae from the west, BART could put this to a vote right now, but doesn’t because they know not that many people use BART…yet.

    But again, the question isn’t why BART wants to Ring The Bay ™. The reason is why does it hold CAHSR at arms’ length, instead of seeing it as a potential partner. The answer, as I stated before, is that there’s a fear that HSR will siphon on the most lucrative station pairs and leave the Ring the Bay ™ project under water.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No one is going to run empty seats between Los Angeles and San Jose so there is room for local traffic on the trains.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ adi

    You really have no idea as to how the Bay Area works. BART is like God around here.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Los Angeles isn’t in the Bay Area.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @synon ” BART is like God around here.”

    And why do you think that is? F*** s***, there is no other way to get around in the Bay Area.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    @Adi: You are making the presumption that CAHSR will have to stop at every single station along the way to fill trains. I think that is really unlikely.

    Remember, Northern Section Director Tripousis has already said attracting commuters will be part of the plan. The number of commuters able to make that switch is very small without connecting service on BART or CalTrain. But once HSR precludes Baby Bullet service, CalTrain isn’t going to be financially viable any more and BART will be the last man standing. However BART can’t do this for free and thus CAHSR has to strike a deal to make sure system does kill the other one off…

    Moreover, since commute flow will be the opposite of intercity flow (commuters head north in the morning, south in the evening, while SF – LA goes the reverse direction, not sure how you can avoid HSR not skipping some stations to reflect this service plan…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I can’t help it if you can’t do fourth grade arithmetic.
    HSR does outrageously well it will have 36.5 million passengers a year. Ignoring for a moment that travel demand isn’t perfectly even all year that’s 100,000 a day. How many empty seats have to run between Palmdale and Gilroy so that people in San Jose can use the HSR trains to get to Palo Alto? Keep in mind that Caltrain, shitty old Caltrain, is approaching 60,000 a day.

    Intercity flow isn’t the reverse of commuter flow. People in San Francisco want to get to Los Angeles. And people in Los Angeles want to get to San Francisco.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Ahhh. Now I understand:

    CAHSR isn’t running any seats to subsidize commute operations–they are going to use commuter traffic to underwrite the statewide service. Again regardless of how popular statewide HSR is, it runs counter-flow to the commuter trains.

    BART, again, isn’t worried about this. What they would sweat is passengers in Palo Alto and SF not using BART to get to SFO or even SJC instead of taking our favorite transit system. But again, if one train stops everywhere but SFO and one train only stops at SFO before San Jose, that won’t create empty seats between Gilroy or Bakersfield because lower passenger counts on the SFO train will means more passengers on the SF-bound one….

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Ted Judah

    How is HSR going to preclude Baby Bullet service? All the discussion seems to assume that Baby Bullet is primarily San Jose to San Francisco service, but the numbers show that is not the case. So how is HSR going to replace a Baby Bullet unless it stops at all the other Baby Bullet stops?

    Joe Reply:

    I would bet HSR needs the bullet revenue and takes that business.

    Why?
    Recall there are three train types: 100 or local, 200 or limited service and 300 which are bullet.
    Faster stop and start service with electrified EMUs should decrease stopping penalties for limited service. Limited EMU trains should be competitive with today’s diesel bullet. Increased demand and limited capacity also work against bullet service and favor more service via limited trains.

    Comparing bullet to limited the time Penalty is 3 minutes per stop and 8 stops more for 24 additional minutes.
    Level boarding and faster stop start will help.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The problem is that HSR would have to make all the bullet stops including stations that aren’t scheduled for HSR service. Are they going to do that? For example, Palo Alto gets more bullet boardings than San Jose.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    J. Wong:

    It’s not. Baby Bullet service can only continue if you four-track the Peninsula and get some nifty FRA waivers. I have heard for a long time in the Chronicle that HSR would preclude (assuming two tracks) having any more Baby Bullet service.

    This is why I think it’s a forgone conclusion that BART Rings the Bay ™ to compensate for the variability offered by Baby Bullet you mention. As Joe mentions, I think at the core this about revenue and the fact that CalTrain might be (not at my desktop right now) more expensive fare wise than HSR will be per mile, unlike BwhahahahART.

    Note my comment to Adirondacker12800 above: if HSR can’t have an operating subsidy from tax revenue, it can still use commuter services to subsidize statewide service. And that’s something even BART, for all its power and might, can’t do…

    Joey Reply:

    if you four-track the Peninsula

    A modified express service can work with additional four track segments but doesn’t require full 4 tracking. Additional passing segments will be necessary for any level of HSR service, in any case.

    get some nifty FRA waivers

    Caltrain was already granted a waiver.

    Joe Reply:

    Bullet revenue for the HSR trumps all interests. They’re not going to compete with Caltrain.

    Palo Alto is already skipped by one of the three south county trains so BFD if they drop bullet. The city has an offer for a station and there are consequences for refusing.

    The limited Clatrain via EMU will run, start and stop faster and with level boarding dwell times shorten. the travel times will be competitive with today and for more trains than the bullet.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Joey,

    I know all that. But the amount of four-tracking isn’t as important as that fancy little law that doesn’t allow four tracks on the Peninsula, they tell me. And the FRA waiver I was talking about is for the train sets being able to share track with heavier freight and legacy passenger trains.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[It’s a] forgone conclusion that BART Rings the Bay ™ to compensate for the variability offered by Baby Bullet”.

    Except it’s not. There are no plans to build BART up the ROW, and even if they did plan it, how soon could they do it? With no funding? 20 years? At least as long as BART to San Jose. So all the Baby Bullet passengers are left with no alternative?

    The idea of HSR capturing Baby Bullet service is ridiculous. Just look at the numbers! San Jose to San Francisco is not a majority of the Baby Bullet riders, less than 5000 per day. (Anyone with actual numbers? I’m estimating based on San Jose boardings, which is only an upper bound since some [most?] of those are not going to San Francisco).

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The idea of HSR capturing Baby Bullet service is ridiculous. Just look at the numbers! San Jose to San Francisco is not a majority of the Baby Bullet riders, less than 5000 per day. (Anyone with actual numbers? I’m estimating based on San Jose boardings, which is only an upper bound since some [most?] of those are not going to San Francisco).

    Don’t shoot the messenger. Remember that HSR operation is slated for 2030, which gives BART another 14 years to find the money to Ring the Bay ™. See this excerpt from the Technical Advisory Panel last January:

    The [Technical Advisory]Panel discussed the Northern California segment in particular. The panelists suggested that analysis of the choice behavior between existing local and express Caltrain service could inform the assertion of the mode choice HSR constant in the assessment of (at least) the Northern California segment. The panel discussed whether HSR will be perceived as sufficiently different from the Caltrain express service to warrant this approach, concluding that the two services would probably be perceived differently. It was noted that the existing Caltrain express service allows bicycles to be carried aboard, which is an important service characteristics not accounted for in the mode choice models and is not foreseen in the current plans for High Speed Rail. This could possibly reduce the value of the mode-specific constant for HSR relative to the Caltrain express service.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/ridership/RTAP_Findings_and_Recommendations_Oct_Jan_2015_Review_Period.pdf

    J. Wong Reply:

    “HSR operation is slated for 2030”

    That’s full service from San Francisco to Burbank at which point San Jose to San Francisco would be a minor concern. The consideration of San Jose to SF express service via HSR is being looked at as being operational sooner. The whole point for the Authority is to have HSR in service sooner than 2030.

    As it is, I don’t see any necessity for HSR to eliminate Baby Bullet service. HSR can leave San Jose first, closely followed by the Caltrain express (Baby Bullet), which in turned would be followed by the limited service, and finally the local. And yes, they’ll need to plan for overtake of the previous hour’s local just as today the bullet overtakes the local. So you’d see 4-track mid-Peninsula for that.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    As it is, I don’t see any necessity for HSR to eliminate Baby Bullet service.

    Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m not endorsing this idea, per se. Just saying that is the current plan.

    J. Wong Reply:

    There is no “plan” at the moment only some speculation by the Authority.

  2. Paul H.
    Oct 17th, 2015 at 07:33
    #2

    Chinese firms want to build, finance California high-speed train

    By Robin Respaut

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A team of Chinese firms, along with the Export-Import Bank of China, wants to build and finance a large part of California’s proposed 800-mile high-speed rail project.

    The firms expressed their interest last month in a 23-page document sent to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The authority asked private companies from around the globe to help shape the state’s strategy to launch the first stage of its train line, considered the most ambitious infrastructure project in the United States.

    Led by China Railway International, the Chinese team proposed it could provide big elements of the project, including design expertise, construction, equipment procurement, and rolling stock. It also proposed financing from the Export-Import Bank of China.

    By packaging large pieces of the high-speed rail line together, for delivery by a single contractor, the project’s cost and construction timeline would be greatly reduced, the team proposed.

    “To the Chinese team, a relatively large-scale contract is proper and reasonable,” said the letter, obtained by Reuters through a Public Records Act request.

    California’s high-speed rail line would run trains at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour between Los Angeles and San Francisco by 2029 and, later, expand to San Diego and Sacramento.

    The United States is a key target for China’s rail industry, even though policymakers have been split over the need for high-speed rail and some have taken a dim view of Chinese involvement. Last month, a unit of China’s CRRC Corp, the world’s biggest train maker by revenue, agreed to a deal to help build a high-speed link between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

    California still needs a large amount of funding to complete its rail line. About $13.2 billion of the estimated $68 billion has been raised through state and federal funds, plus a pledge of cap-and-trade proceeds, or funds paid by companies to offset carbon emissions.

    The Chinese team proposed that under “appropriate loan conditions,” the Export-Import Bank of China could “satisfy the financing needs of the project.”

    But the Chinese also warned that California should provide additional public financing and guarantee future project debt to appease uneasy investors.

    “Due to the huge financing gap of the project, potential private investors and lenders may be cautious,” the Chinese team wrote.

    China has recently clinched contracts in Russia, the latest in an aggressive push to procure high-speed rail deals overseas. It faced hurdles in Mexico and Indonesia due to bureaucratic flip-flops in those countries.

    Useless Reply:

    Chinese team proposed it could provide big elements, including design expertise, construction, equipment procurement, and rolling stock.

    Proposal rejected because Chinese rolling stocks are banned on FRA Tier III corridors. Stick to non-FRA closed circuit corridors like Palmdale-Las Vegas corridors, not CHSR corridors where the tin can Chinese trains would be run over by beastly Rotem Metrolink cars and torn to pieces at a mere 60 mph collision(The collision speed of Wenzhou).

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Proposal rejected because Chinese rolling stocks are banned on FRA Tier III corridors.”

    Oh, I hadn’t realized @Useless was granted the authority to decide to reject the Chinese proposal, not.

    Just maybe there’s information that you’re not privy to, huh?

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Just maybe there’s information that you’re not privy to, huh?

    Actually all open public stuff. Chinese never have built a high crashworthy train set before, and most importantly, none of Chinese bullet train models have been in service for 5 years.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Actually all open public stuff.”

    We keep asking you for an actual reference to a public decision that explicitly states that the Chinese proposal is unacceptable, but instead you keep pointing to the existing documents and it is only your interpretation of them that a Chinese proposal is “rejected”.

    There are no documents that explicitly reject such a proposal. (I admit there is also no formal Chinese proposal either.)

    If it is so obvious that a Chinese proposal would be rejected, why are they still moving forward? Just maybe they have a better understanding of the requirements than you.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    If it is so obvious that a Chinese proposal would be rejected, why are they still moving forward?

    Because they are clueless about FRA regulations, and think that selling rolling stocks in the US is like selling rolling stocks in Africa?

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[C]lueless about FRA regulations”. I think it is more likely that they have more insight to the FRA regulatory process than you. Also note that no official or final FRA regulations have been published. (The FRA documents that you keep referencing explicitly state that they are not final.)

    Clem Reply:

    On the other hand, there are official public documents that explicitly rule out locomotive-hauled trains such as the KTX-II.

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    there are official public documents that explicitly rule out locomotive-hauled trains such as the KTX-II.

    Where?

    Roland Reply:

    Ici: http://tinyurl.com/od628kx

    BrianR Reply:

    Compared to whatever was submitted by Airtrain Inc. from Tijuana, Mexico I am sure whatever those Chinese firms submitted is highly credible.

    http://www.airtrainisthefuture.com/

    This firm (if it’s even a serious venture) was listed in the Fresno Bee as one of 35 firms that submitted proposals to the CHSRA. I was curious as to what HSR technology would be based out of Mexico but I wasn’t at all expecting this.

    Useless Reply:

    Speaking of FRA Tier III, there is now a good idea of how much weight need to be added to a UIC car to meet FRA buff standard. When Talgo converted its UIC spec Talgo 7 cars to FRA Tier I spec Talgo 8 cars, the conversion added 1.7 tons to each 13 m car. Talgo Series 8. Accordingly, it would add roughly 3.27 ton to each 25 m UIC-spec EMU to make it FRA Tier III compliant, when all other things being equal. While trailing and power cars are much of a problem, transformer cars are the heaviest and already approach 17 ton axle limit, so weight has to be reduced by using material other than aluminium for two transformer cars. In case of Talgo Series 8, the FRA compliance forced its cars to go over the 17 ton axle load limit and they now stand at 18.7 ton.

    As for loco-pulled bullet trains, the FRA Tier-III compliance appears to be easy because their locomotives are already Tier III compliant and their coaches already have a low axle weight of 11 tons for TGV-R and 12.25 ton for KTX-II, so there is ample room to add 2.5 ton of weight needed to reinforce their 18.7 m long coach cars into FRA Tier III compliance.

    Clem Reply:

    Nonsense. Articulated trains like the TGV-R and its Korean clone KTX-II have an axle load close to 17 tons, not 11 or 12. We’ve already explained to you that conventional EMUs like the Velaro, Zefiro or their Chinese clones have greater growth margin against the 17 ton limit.

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    TGV-R and its Korean clone KTX-II have an axle load close to 17 tons, not 11 or 12.

    KTX-I wiki

    Axle load
    Locomotive : 17 t
    Coach : 11 t

    I would assume that the 11 t axle load figure for coach cars is empty ones, but there is a still enough margin for 15 standing passengers after all the passengers are seated, and KORAIL came into heat at parliament for allowing standing commuter passengers during rush hours, and the KORAIL’s response is that the KTX II coach cars are still under 16 ton(yes 16 ton, not 17 ton) axle load limit after loading those 15 extra passengers.

    Therefore there is plenty of margin to add weight to turn KTX-II coach into FRA Tier III compliance. After all, Alstom even did a double decker under a 17 ton axle load. This is the advantage of unpowered coach car, there is no extra hanging weight other than the car body(11 ton) and single bogie.

    Eric M Reply:

    Holy crap, you still don’t get it do you? Push/pull is not going to happen with the gradients of the CA system. CA already specified an EMU and the push/pull TGV and KTX-II do not fit the qualifications.

    CA HSRA specified:

    Single level EMU
    Maximum train length of 672.6 feet
    17 ton/axle weight limit
    450 Minimum passengers, including a first class. That means SEATS
    220 mph revenue speed

    KTX-II: Push /pull > Loaded 427 long tons > 24 axles > 659 feet long > 363 maximum capacity > 190 mph revenue speed

    Fails under multiple specifications.

    *Not EMU

    *Trainset is already at 17 ton/axle weight before any modification (For axle weight, take the WHOLE TRAIN-SET WEIGHT and divide it by TOTAL NUMBER OF AXLES)

    *Not enough seating capacity (Not enough seats)

    *Does not meet speed requirements

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry Brown will not go for loco-hauled – too unsexy for his shirt.

    But as far as the ruling gradients PB is apparently claiming they have found the holy grail of Tehachapi alignments.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    *Not EMU

    It is very easy to turn a KTX-II into an EMU.

    Trainset is already at 17 ton/axle weight before any modification

    12.25 ton

    Not enough seating capacity (Not enough seats)

    The one without a diner car seats 410 passengers.

    The US market version could add 4 more seats per car via relocation of entry door to the back, because it will be high-platform only unlike the low-platform Korean market version which require the door to be placed ahead of the jacobs bogie. By adjusting the seat pitch, more seat could be added.

    Does not meet speed requirements

    No train in service does.

    Eric M Reply:

    Do you really think removing unpowered Jacobs bogies and inserting powered ones wont add weight? Nice try. Traction motors weigh MORE.

    The KTX-II loaded weighs 427 long tons and has 24 axles = ~17 tons/axle DO THE MATH!!!

    Add more weight per axle if you replace unpowered bogies with powered ones (with your illusion of an EMU KTX-II that will never exist). ADD MORE WEIGHT

    Still following along??

    The one without a diner car seats 410 passengers.

    STILL NOT COMPLIANT WITH NOT ENOUGH SEATs. 410 is less than the minimum 450.

    First class seating shall be provided with spacing equivalent to 1067 mm (42 inches) of Pitch. Business class seating shall be provided with spacing equivalent to 991 mm (39 inches) of Pitch

    Seat pitch is already specified, sorry, try again.

    And last but not least, Siemens Velaro, Chinese Velaro and Alstom AGV all meet the revenue speed requirements of 220mph.

    The CA HSRA has already come out and said, which I have quoted before, THE TGV, KTX-I AND KTX-II DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF CA SYSTEM.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Do you really think removing unpowered Jacobs bogies

    Jacobs bogie will stay, but the unpowered normal bogies of first and last coach cars will be replaced with powered bogies lifted from the locomotive to create intermediary power cars as used in TGV-K. Thus you have four of 10 cars in the formation providing traction and that meets the definition of an EMU.

    STILL NOT COMPLIANT WITH NOT ENOUGH SEATs. 410 is less than the minimum 450.

    You can add four seats per car by relocating doors toward the end side, which no longer need to be in the center because of high platforms used in California and NEC. 4 x 8 = 32 more seats. That’s 442 seats. Finding 8 more seats is not hard.

    Seat pitch is already specified

    Current KTX-II seat pitch is 980 mm. So it’s 11 mm per passenger, or 140 mm(5.5 inch) per car. Again, an insignificant figure.

    And last but not least, Siemens Velaro, Chinese Velaro and Alstom AGV all meet the revenue speed requirements of 220mph.

    Actually no, they were tested to 360 km/hr but the revenue service is restricted to 320 km/hr, and 310 km/hr for the Chinese copy.

    To do a 354 km/hr(220 mph) revenue service, a train must be tested to the speed of 390 km/hr or higher along the entire length of corridor. None of current trains in service can sustain 390 km/hr for hours.

    There is only one train in the world able to sustain that speed, that’s Rotem’s HEMU-430X with a design revenue speed of 370 km/hr and a top sustained speed of 430 km/hr.

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless,

    Straight from the CA HSRA’s mouth:

    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.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Straight from the CA HSRA’s mouth:

    That assessment came out in September 2009.

    Things have changed a lot greatly.

    Beside, why would CAHSRA need two restaurant cars depicted in that hypothetical 400 m version of KTX-II?

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless,

    That assessment came out in September 2009.

    No, the final REOI No.: HSR14-30 camoe out on October 1, 2014

    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.

    2. Is compliant with all applicable U.S. laws, regulations, advisories, and standards, and assuming the application of the draft regulations identified in ETF_001-03 – Proposed Rule text for NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making).

    3. Has a width of 3.2 m (10.5 feet) to 3.4 m (11.17 feet) and a maximum train length of 205m (672.6 feet).

    4. Has static axle loads that do not exceed 17 tonnes as shown in 2008 HS RST TSI.

    5. Has a nominal Vehicle floor height above top-of-rail (TOR) of 1295mm (51 inches) under
    all loading conditions.

    6. Has a minimum of 450 passenger seats. First class seating shall be provided with
    spacing equivalent to 1067 mm (42 inches) of Pitch. Business class seating shall be
    provided with spacing equivalent to 991 mm (39 inches) of Pitch

    No matter what you say, the KTX-II will not work with the CA system.

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless,

    12.25 ton

    What does 427 tons divide by 24 axles equate to?

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless,

    12.25 ton

    Okay, so what does 427 tons divided by 26 axles equate to?

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    That figure came from an engineering paper discussing the crosswind stability of KTX-II, so it is not a marketing number.

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless

    Still not answering the question for the complete weight of the KTX-II train-set.

    What does 427 tons divided by 26 axles equate to?

    Clem Reply:

    Loaded weight of the KTX-II is 434 tons (metric! Don’t use long tons!) divided by 26 axles equals 16.7 tons/axle on average. The end cars (axles 5, 6, 21 and 22) are more lightly loaded, so intermediate axles of the Jacobs bogies are loaded above 16.7 metric tons.

    The KTX-II does not meet Califonia’s stated needs.

    Are we finished with this?

    Eric M Reply:

    Thanks Clem. LOL

    Eric M Reply:

    I was just trying to go over some basic math with Useless, as I wasn’t sure what grade he is in :)

    Useless Reply:

    Clem

    so intermediate axles of the Jacobs bogies are loaded above 16.7 metric tons.

    Too bad KORAIL testified before parliament that they didn’t reach 16 tons axle load even with 15 extra standing passengers.

    Peter Reply:

    http://www.multibody2015.org/admin/files/fileabstract/a83.pdf

    Power car weight is 56.183 tons. Axle weight of 14 tons.

    Assuming a 434 ton train, the remaining cars then have an average axle weight of 17.87 tons. Someone double check my math, please.

    Useless Reply:

    Peter

    Power car weight is 56.183 tons. Axle weight of 14 tons.

    That’s just for the body. Plus two power bogies.

    Peter Reply:

    Ok, then how much do the power bogies weigh.

    KT Reply:

    According to the document Useless cited in my response below, Carbody weight is 54.96 T and bogie weight is 2.42 T for “P-car,” which should be representing Power car. This source has lighter carbody weight than your cited reference, which I do not know why (I couldn’t read the document).

    Anyways, using the power car weight of 61.003T (56.183 T + 2.42 T*2) , then remaining cars would have average axle weight of 17.333 T when using loaded weight of 434T, still greater than 17 T.

    Useless Reply:

    KT

    still greater than 17 T.

    KORAIL claimed before parliament that they weren’t exceeding the 16 ton limit by selling 120(15 per car) standing passenger tickets on top of a fully loaded train when the parliament transportation committee accused KORAIL of a reckless business practice.

    Peter Reply:

    There are two options here.

    1) The “real” numbers on KTX-II weight are not public, and it’s lighter than any of the numbers we have here; or

    2) KORAIL lied to parliament.

    Eric M Reply:

    @Useless,

    The one without a diner car seats 410 passengers.

    Is 410 less than, equal too, or greater than 450?

    Clem Reply:

    The Korean wiki is wrong, so don’t assume too quickly. You should fix it, anyone can!

    KT Reply:

    Based on that wiki info, you cannot get 11T axle load for KTX-I. Where are you getting this information?

    max load = 771T for PC+MT+16IT+MT+PC formation.
    PC has 4 axle, and MT+16IT+MT has 38 axles.

    If i remember correctly, PC weight is 65T (16.25T/axle), so remaining weight on MT and IT is 641T on 38 axles, or 16.87T/axle. I could be underestimating the PC weight, but that would not drop MT and IT axle load to 11T.

    Useless Reply:

    KT

    Where are you getting this information?

    From the wiki, of course? Google translate filtered version

    Axle load Locomotive 17 t
    Carriages 11 t

    Clem Reply:

    Incorrect data, unsourced.

    Eric M Reply:

    Besides, the KTX-I is:

    Not an EMU
    Too slow
    Train-set too long

    KT Reply:

    That info only exist in Korean wiki.

    It also does not seem to match with the information available from Alstom’s “The High Speed Rail System in Korea” used as reference for formation and weight in the same wiki.

    Clem Reply:

    While Wikipedia is generally an excellent resource, this wouldn’t be the first time that an error slips in. Sometimes it’s innocent, other times it is deliberately introduced by someone with a point of view.

    Useless Reply:

    KT

    Fortunately, I have found the exact weight of an empty KTX-II coach car, it’s 25.69 ton.(22.67 ton car body + 3.02 ton jacobs bogie) It’s on 4th page(Page no. 540) of this engineering pdf dated 2012. This will confirm that the wiki number is accurate, since KTX-I(TGV-K)’s coach car is known to weigh 2.5 ton less than a KTX-II’s coach car, so its empty axle load is indeed in 11 ton class.

    The actual weight increase of a KTX-II coach car required to reach FRA Tier III compliance maybe less than 2.5 ton, because the Korean intercity rail crash standard is tougher than Europe’s UIC standard and this is why European vendors long complained this tougher than UIC crash standard as a trade barrier.

    So it does appear that the KTX-II is all set for easy FRA Tier III compliance, because their is enough weight margin in coach car designs to allow car body’s structural reinforcement without changing anything else.

    Eric M Reply:

    So please tell me, when the COMPLETE weight of the KTX-II already weighs 427 long tons loaded and has 24 axles, what will happen to the axle weight/load when you add more weight to each passenger car?

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    24 axles

    13 bogies, 26 axles.

    what will happen to the axle weight/load when you add more weight to each passenger car?

    Nothing. CHSRA cannot have 15 standing passengers per car as is allowed in Korea, as that extra margin is used to strengthen the chassis. This is what KORAIL meant when they testified before the parliament that the axle load stayed under 16 tons with 67 people onboard. While the legal limit is 17 tons, KORAIL’s voluntary limit is 16 tons.

    Eric M Reply:

    Nothing.

    Didn’t realize the Koreans have magic steel that doesn’t weigh anything and defies gravity

    KT Reply:

    According to Hyundai-Rotem’s website, KTX I weighs 773.8 T (20-car unit).

    http://www.rotem.co.kr/Eng/Business/Rail/Business_Record_View.asp?brid=58

    Please tell me, how are you going to achieve axle road of 17T for locomotive car and 11T for carriage car from this weight?

    Useless Reply:

    KT

    11 ton class is an empty coach weight of KTX-I. The KTX-II coach car has an empty axle load of 12.8 ton due to extra weight of motorized seat turners and extra crashworthiness.

    Then you load up all passengers and you have an axle load below 16 tons. Add 15 more standing passengers to each coach car and you still stay below 16 tons.

    KT Reply:

    So how is that going to sum up to the unit weight of 773.8T when 20-car unit KTX-I has 8 axles in P-cars and 38 axles in M- and T-cars combined?

    Emmanuel Reply:

    If the Chinese were allowed to build it, we could build the whole system at such a low cost that we could actually afford full grade separation and maybe even those ridiculous 11 mile long aqueducts through the desert. In other words, collisions with ancient machines would be off the table.

    Useless Reply:

    Emmanuel

    If the Chinese were allowed to build it

    The Chinese bid price in Indonesia HSR project was actually $500 million higher than Japanese bid price.

    And no, Chinese cannot send its PLA troops to take people’s property at gunpoint and bulldoze them over to lay railway tracks like they do in China, you are watching Red Dawn too much.

    In other words, collisions with ancient machines would be off the table.

    How are you going to reach San Francisco and LAUS without blending?

    morris brown Reply:

    @Paul H.

    How the author of the Reuters article could come the conclusions reached from reading the document submitted by the Chinese team is nothing short of amazing.

    The headline Chinese firms want to build, finance California high-speed train was apparently gathered from this sentence in their submission:

    Furthermore, the six companies enjoy sound relationship with the Export-Import Bank of China which also expressed interest in participating in CAHSR and providing financing.

    But just as many of the other submissions from other parties stated, providing financing will come only under certain circumstances. Thus from their submission we also read:

    If the project’s financing can be guaranteed by public sector or business company of high
    credit rating, the debt repayment risk of the project will be greatly mitigated, and….

    According to the 2014 Business Plan, the project’s operation revenue can cover its
    operation cost, system renovation and updating expenses, and there is certain surplus cash
    flow which can be used to repay the project construction expenditure. However, the
    aforementioned content bases on a certain amount of transport volume and service level.
    Due to the uncertainty of the project’s economic intensity, potential investors and lenders
    need to make decision after a more detailed financial and economic analysis.

    . What changes, if any, would you recommend be made to the existing funding
    sources?

    What impact would these changes have on raising financing?

    Relevant recommendations and impact analysis:
    (1) Increase the percentage of public funding and enhance private investors and lenders’
    confidence in the project.

    As mentioned so many times in the past, any guarantee to private parties that their investment would be secure, is illegal and cannot be provided.

    I read all of the 36 submissions; many indeed carry on with the same theme. But none of them said anything that was really new to the Authority and none of them was willing to invest without conditions which simply are illegal, or do not exist in this project.

    Here this author concludes and would have you believe this submission is the solution to the financing. Well the Authority Board did not come to that conclusion. Director Rossi said it best when he said .. (with regards financing), there is nothing new in any of these submissions.

    The AP and the LA Times came to opposite conclusions as well.

    Eric M Reply:

    @ Morris Brown,

    Care to share a link to 36 submissions you read?

    J. Wong Reply:

    What makes you think he read it online? Morris is retired and probably has plenty of time to trundle to Sacramento to read actual documents.

    joe Reply:

    Relevant recommendations and impact analysis:
    (1) Increase the percentage of public funding and enhance private investors and lenders’
    confidence in the project.

    If so then the project now has an explanation as to why additional funds are needed before lawmakers can expect to attract private investment.

    This is a success. The information gathered indicate great interest given additional state investment.

    Paul H. Reply:

    I see this Chinese offer as a loan offer to build the IOS than anything else. A loan backed by proceeds from the Cap and Trade fund over 30-40 years. Once the IOS is operational and turning a profit, then we’ll see a private investment to finish building from Merced to San Jose. It’s really not that complicated, and it’s pretty obvious to see that this is where things are headed.

    I don’t expect any foreign government or private company to invest any substantial amount of money into the IOS. The IOS is to show that the system can run an operational profit. The private investment will come in after the IOS has proven its potential and that SF to LA will be very lucrative.

    This Chinese agreement just shows that the IOS is likely to get built. If not by our federal government, than by a cap-and-trade backed Chinese loan. Either way, HSR in California is happening.

    synonymouse Reply:

    operational profit like BART but with no monopoly like BART.

    keith saggers Reply:

    Once the IOS is under construction and work has begun on blended improvements in Northern and Southern California, the Authority will begin to build the remainder of the IOS with initial attention on closing the passenger-rail gap between Bakersfield and the Los Angeles basin. Development of the IOS will be funded through government sources, while private-sector capital will fund future construction segments once the system is generating positive cash flow. CHSRA

    keith saggers Reply:

    Contract Awarded to Oversee Next Phase of Construction in Central Valley

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) Board of Directors announced today that HNTB Corporation was awarded the Project and Construction Management contract for Construction Package 4. The purpose of the Project and Construction Management team is to provide design and construction oversight for the next 22 miles of construction in the Central Valley

    Clem Reply:

    Where can we read these? Did any of them call into question routing decisions such as Palmdale and Pacheco?

    Eric M Reply:

    I asked Elizabeth Alexis on here to share a link to what she read (she claimed to have read the responses) but she never replied. All these articles/commentary keep coming out with the authors claiming to have read the responses (Morris Brown and Elizabeth Alexis included), but none have provided copies. Only the list of companies that replied the the authority.

    K.H. Reply:

    All were obtained by public records requests including mine. Write to the Authority and you too can have your very own copy.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Clem, would any of them have the moxie to question routing decisions after what happened to SNCF and Van Ark?

    A little OT but do you know more about PB’s 2.8% Tehachapi alignment and out of curiosity do you think mudslides for I-5 and CAHSR can be “solved” at Tejon, say, by grabbing more ROW and sloping hillsides?

    Clem Reply:

    Why would they be sensitive to this? Those with the money call the shots.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There are some truly byzantine politics behind this. My take is that circumstances will have to get much dire and critical for the bunker to consider any change of route.

    I could be wrong but it appears to one about as far removed from the seat of power as possible that PB has settled on their last best route offer with 2.8% and base tunnels. Think Bay Bridge – money is no object to them. They’ll come up with more taxes, like CnT.

    synonymouse Reply:

    One total long shot would be the Tejon Ranch Co. finds it does not like PB’s last best 2.8% route offer.

    But of course the Ranch would have been the first to know and outreached so highly unlikely.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Clem of course, will deny this perhaps, but the mudslides make any proposal to cross the Tehachapis or Tejon at grade a way harder sell to any without a PhD. in engineering.

    These “1000 year floods” are going to become far more common as climate change becomes more evident and more subtropical air gets trapped by the Coast Ranges and flows down rapidly along the hillsides.

    In fact, I posted about the opposite (snowfalls cinching off both HSR and the I-5 at once in a comment years ago and was denounced by Mr. Tillier as starting a “fact-free discussion”. On the other hand, these massive landslides are going to build even more consensus for the tunnel through the Angeles National Forest, for what it is worth….

    synonymouse Reply:

    But why blow numerous billions on base tunnels with an atrocious cost benefit ratio when that money could be spent on subways in LA with orders of magnitude more patronage?

    My surmise from afar is that Tejon is much more amenable to preparing for heavy rainfall than Tehachapi, which presumably gets more rain(1932), is more mountainous overall and much longer.

    At the Grapevine take a bigger footprint out of the Tejon Ranch and perhaps others. Better, just buy the Ranch and convert it to parkland. For one thing the highway lobby is powerful enough to take on any of those property owners.

    Domayv Reply:

    @syno: there is no direct passenger rail service between LA and CV. UPRR won’t let any passenger rail systen use the Tehachapi rail line since it is way at capacity. Also I-5 (Tejon) and CA-58 (Tehachapi) are constantly at capacity, so that’s why CHSRA is thinking of the Tehachapi crossing as among the first that will be constructed

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Why blow billions on a base tunnel?

    A government program or expenditure (i. e. subway construction in LA) that benefits a small number of Congressional districts is an earmark. Having a functioning HSR network that connects to other states and more members’ districts is how you build support for something parochial like more subways in Los Angel-eze… Federal programs are successful when they have broad applicability and adoption in every state. Something more arcane is always a tougher sell….

    datacruncher Reply:

    If the project’s financing can be guaranteed by public sector or business company of high credit rating, the debt repayment risk of the project will be greatly mitigated, and….

    And? What else did the sentence say?

    I realize you were focused on the “If…guaranteed…” but I’m curious what the rest of their thought was in that statement even if not possible.

    morris brown Reply:

    @datacruncher who wrote

    If the project’s financing can be guaranteed by public sector or business company of high credit rating, the debt repayment risk of the project will be greatly mitigated, and….

    And? What else did the sentence say?

    I realize you were focused on the “If…guaranteed…” but I’m curious what the rest of their thought was in that statement even if not possible.

    here is the complete statement:

    (4) Financing Assurance Conditions
    If the project’s financing can be guaranteed by public sector or business company of high
    credit rating, the debt repayment risk of the project will be greatly mitigated, and
    borrowers will tend to provide favorable financial terms thus lower the project’s
    financing cost. If there is none or insufficient assurance, the financing amount and cost
    will be affected.
    (5) Economic Intensity of the Project
    According to the 2014 Business Plan, the project’s operation revenue can cover its
    operation cost, system renovation and updating expenses, and there is certain surplus cash
    flow which can be used to repay the project construction expenditure. However, the
    aforementioned content bases on a certain amount of transport volume and service level.
    Due to the uncertainty of the project’s economic intensity, potential investors and lenders
    need to make decision after a more detailed financial and economic analysis.

    morris

  3. morris brown
    Oct 17th, 2015 at 07:47
    #3

    Robert is completely off base here. I suggest he view the video from the meeting of Councilman Pat Burt’s remarks, and get up to speed.

    Link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c678G-1sf8c

    Here we have the Authority again saying, Palo Alto (and the rest of the Peninsula Cities), really we are going ahead with our plans; this is our timeline and you can’t do anything about it.

    This approach failed before and this approach will fail again.

    Here we have Robert writing:

    Now that Palo Alto is being reminded that the state still plans to fully build out HSR on the Peninsula, they’re caught flat footed, through nobody’s fault but their own. They should have used the last few years to reach a consensus with neighboring governments on how to build and how to fund a 4-track rail corridor.

    Such nonsense. Just remember Robert, Prop 1A passed with the voters being assured that the $9 billion from this bond measure would be the only funds that would be asked from California residents to fund the system. Now the cities are being asked to fund the needed grade crossings, since the Authority is only willing to pay for “quad gates”, with the Authority and Caltrain caring not at all about the local traffic congestion this project will inflict on these cities.

    High Speed Rail, does not belong on the Caltrain Right-Of-Way period.

    In the meantime, while Robert was telling us the wonders of riding on passenger trains, really big events were taking place that show just how silly it is for the Authority to expect investment from private parties.

    AP article spread wide across the country.

    Private firms question California HSR funding
    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article39574965.html

    and

    LA Times article:

    Funding and subsidies worry potential partners in California’s bullet train project

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-1017-bullet-train-reality-20151017-story.html

    The quote from Elizabeth Alexis at the end of the article is so on target:

    “Everybody who is anybody responded to the authority, but the bad news is that everybody is telling them as kindly as possible they are nuts,” said Elizabeth Alexis, co-founder of Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Development, a Bay Area watchdog group that has long criticized the state’s plan.

    les Reply:

    Give this man a handkerchief.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “High Speed Rail does not belong on the Caltrain Right-Of-Way”

    An existing and operating ROW perfectly suited for HSR? Obviously, you’re completely biased because the ROW runs near your house. Guess what? You decided to purchase your property near an existing and operating ROW. That’s your bad. Now you want the rest of us to pay for your regret about the decision. Screw that.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Morris, you have Steve Hemminger, Quentin Kopp, Willie Brown to blame for CAHSR expropriating and trashing the SP ROW. The Peninsula needed to kick BART-MTC in the teeth ca. 1990 and did not. BART to SFO needed to be put on the back burner to Caltrain electrification and the TBT Tunnel, with a vastly superior cost benefit ratio and many, many more patrons.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Actually I agree with Morris that Caltrain should enjoy the SP ROW in solitary splendor. Terminate CAHSR at SFO and come in via Dumbarton.

    That way CAHSR can be segregated from FRA diktat.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It would still be blended north of Redwood City. Try and make some sense, @synon!

    synonymouse Reply:

    They would have to do some BART style Daly City terre brulee to achieve SFO. Embarcadero Freeway on 2 rails.

    synonymouse Reply:

    2 tracks

    J. Wong Reply:

    So you’re against viaduct except when you’re for them?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Precisely

    synonymouse Reply:

    How can you blight SFO?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, luckily the world doesn’t cater to your fickle nature.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Just as a rule PB does not mine tunnels thru a fault. Except when it wants to.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is what “An existing and operating ROW perfectly suited for HSR” looks like:
    http://prr4ever.blogspot.com/2013_05_01_archive.html
    Has it ever occurred to you that the majority of this crap is not even worth electrifying?
    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheChilternMainline. Stupid Brits!!!

  4. Robert S. Allen
    Oct 17th, 2015 at 07:57
    #4

    Quad gates help, but HSR needs fencing and total grade separation. Caltrain tracks are still vulnerable to accidents, suicides, sabotage, and ensuing train delays. Raising Caltrain speeds from 79 mph to 110 or 125 mph, and adding many more trains at the higher speed, increases the danger. CHSRA needs prior approval from CPUC (which has jurisdiction over rail safety) before it moves ahead.

    2008 Prop 1A was for “Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train”; HSR north of San Jose/Santa Clara needs to await total grade separation. Until then, make a nearly seamless transfer at San Jose. The “one-seat ride” for San Francisco before that comes at too high a price.

    J. Wong Reply:

    HSR will get fencing and total grade separation. Why can’t you realize that? Also, terminating HSR at San Jose is no more safer for passengers then continuing on to San Francisco since as you admit Caltrain itself is “still vulnerable to accidents, suicides, sabotage, and ensuing train delays”.

    Danny Reply:

    I was on Metrolink in ’09 when a guy jumped under it: the area’d just been fenced

    he climbed it

    Miles Bader Reply:

    The Shinkansen ROW around here uses razor-wire on the fences…

    Danny Reply:

    just toss your car’s floormat over it, bada bing bada boom

    Zorro Reply:

    Or a small length of carpet over the razorwire.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I don’t think a car floor mat will work well, as razor wire is used “volumetrically”, not in a thin strip under tension like barbed wire traditionally is, and isn’t going to be stable if you put any weight on it, so you have to be careful. You’d have to use a much larger carpet or something as Zorro suggests, and that could be a challenge to toss accurately up high above your head.

    Anyway, I’m sure no matter what they do, somebody can get through with enough thought and preparation. I think the intent is more to prevent casual impulse invaders (which it probably does pretty well), and to slow others down enough that there’s more time for them to be noticed….

    Roland Reply:

    There is no need for floor mats or carpets in Palo Alto. SamTrans “forgot” to add the razor wire…

    James Fujita Reply:

    Law of Attrition + Darwin Awards = Trespasser problem solved, given enough time

    Reality Check Reply:

    Wrong: new suicidal “trespassers” are being minted all the time.

  5. Clem
    Oct 17th, 2015 at 10:37
    #5

    I find that the discussion in Palo Alto has become much smarter, with all participants better informed than they were in 2009. Progress is that nobody questions that grade separations are needed. The only detail that needs to change (and will be done for Palo Alto by the CHSRA if Palo Alto fails to do it themselves) is to have a full discussion of the pros and cons of elevated or split grade separation designs.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The same issues that would have been taken up in 1990.

    One does reserve the right to a change of opinion. I initially supported Pacheco and the 99 route when I voted for Prop 1a, tho never thought Tejon would be killed. I did not think the experts could be that stupid.

    Darrell Reply:

    Tejon was killed when the Program EIS/EIR was adopted in 2005, which Prop. 1A’s section 2704.04. (a) explicitly references: “consistent with the authority’s certified environmental impact reports of November 2005 and July 9, 2008.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    Politicized studies with an a priori outcome.

    Darrell Reply:

    That’s not the point. When you “voted for Prop 1a, tho never thought Tejon would be killed” Tejon was already 3 years in the grave, as memorialized in the ballot measure.

    datacruncher Reply:

    “I initially supported Pacheco and the 99 route when I voted for Prop 1a, tho never thought Tejon would be killed.”

    Surprising you would say that. The media was reporting the current route back in 2008 pre-election.

    From the SF Chronicle, September 11, 2008:

    The 800-mile system would resemble the letter “Y,” with a long tail, placed in the center of the state. The initial line would start in San Francisco, head down the Peninsula along the Caltrain right-of-way with stops in Millbrae, Palo Alto, San Jose and Gilroy. It would zip across the Pacheco Pass to the San Joaquin Valley, stopping in Fresno and Bakersfield, with a possible station in Visalia. It then would bypass the Grapevine, heading instead to Palmdale with stops in Sylmar and Burbank before reaching Los Angeles and, possibly, Anaheim and Norwalk. Extensions are planned to Irvine, to San Diego through Riverside County and to Sacramento.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/High-speed-rail-plan-a-key-ballot-measure-3195678.php

    LA Times and others were reporting the same route.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I figured it was just some bullshit the worthies had scabbed together to sell the megaproject. The Tehachapi detour is so ridiculous I paid it no attention.

    But see I thought it was supposed to be real HSR not a TEE. I loved the idea of horning BART out of the Peninsula and of hanging some catenary. Anything to make BART look like the crap it is.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I assumed the crooked politicians would turn it over to the engineers to fix. They did but changed their mind and fired the competent engineers and brought in some hacks from PG&E.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You blather on endlessly about how incompetent they are or how senile they are. Why would you expect them to do anything?

    morris brown Reply:

    @Clem:

    All the CHSRA is offering are “quad gates”. They are not going to provide grade separations.

    Roland Reply:

    True but they made a breakthrough discovery that delaying the lowering of the exit barrier until the entry barrier has been lowered is safer that lowering all 4 barriers at the same time. Pure genius!!!
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/CAC/Presentations/2015/2015-08-19+JPB+CAC+CHSRA.pdf (page 7)

    Clem Reply:

    That may be an astute way to transfer the onus for grade separations to the cities.

    Joe Reply:

    CAHSR will propose the basic, compliant design and let the cities counter with alternatives that suppert within a time constraint.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “All”? Initially. Once HSR is up and running, grade separations will follow to enable higher throughput.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Once electrified Caltrain is up and running grade separations will follow. This was always the plan.

    BART-MTC-Bechtel-PB did not like that plan.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yes, it has always been Caltrain”s plan to grade separate regardless of HSR. How do you know any of those organizations oppose or even care about the plan?

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART-MTC hate Caltrain and want it replaced by BART Indian Standard Gauge Tech and BART is PB’s special client.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I asked for supporting evidence not word salad.

    synonymouse Reply:

    MTC did a study opposing the TBT Tunnel as a waste of money.

    J. Wong Reply:

    TBT tunnel is a minuscule part of the ROW. They could stop that but still not stop grade separation on the Penisula.

    Peter Reply:

    Study was flawed. They since corrected the error and TBT tunnel went from “not worth the money” to “best use of money possible”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There was no error in MTC’s mind. It constituted a political setback for MTC-BART, for now.

    Clem Reply:

    It compromised ring-the-bay.

    Domayv Reply:

    and how did it?

    Aarond Reply:

    Well, for starters BART is more or less locked out of Caltrain’s ROW. Look at how BART got built on the east bay, as you’re probably already aware they built two tracks directly next to UP’s tracks. As a result, you get the Capitol Corridor running alongside BART. Caltrain will run HSR within their system, blended.

    Basically it means that BART can’t ever complete their loop now. Or at least not along Caltrain’s ROW, perhaps they could do it down 101. But, that would require lots of money and political capital all of which is being put into Caltrain modernization right now. Personally I’d love bayshore BART + inland Caltrain, but I don’t see it happening within my lifetime.

    Roland Reply:

    Ever thought of Bayshore HSR and inland Caltrain? If not, check out the PG&E ROW in the Bay.
    220 MPH+ is a breeze meaning that we could connect gates in SFO and SJC in less than 30 minutes and reroute planes from SFO to SJC in case of bad weather or accidents without significant passenger delays.

    As far as BART is concerned, who other than America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals would ever consider linking 2 cities 50 miles apart with a subway system maxing out @65 MPH off a freaking third rail resulting in a 70-minute Diridon to Embarcadero trip time without seats, AC or toilets???

    Miles Bader Reply:

    @Roland

    As far as BART is concerned, who other than America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals would ever consider linking 2 cities 50 miles apart with a subway system maxing out @65 MPH off a freaking third rail resulting in a 70-minute Diridon to Embarcadero trip time without seats, AC or toilets???

    Remember, the total length of the route is irrelevant as long as there are enough viable subroutes along the way. Whether this true or not in this case I have no idea, but with all the commute traffic between both cities and the various places in between, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

    Even the entire trip doesn’t seem all that bad, it’s within the reasonable range for subway-style operation, though you’d obviously want some expresses for people going longer distances.

    Roland Reply:

    @Miles
    People need different modes of transportation based on the distance of travel (this is why Fresno is so keen on HSR to the Bay area).
    As far as viable subroutes along the way, there currently aren’t any in the east bay but the south Bay has alternatives. As an example, people do take the VTA light rail to Tamien and transfer to Caltrain to Mountain View where they get back on the VTA light rail to NASA (faster than driving). Same with Google who pick up passengers at Ohlone Chynoweth. Meanwhile northbound VTA light rail is packed with SJSU students all the way to Paseo de San Antonio and then carries on empty because driving to North San Jose is less slow than the light rail.
    Bottom line is that a subway system between SF and Oakland or between north San Jose and Cupertino makes sense but linking SJ to SF via Oakland with BART is not going to cut it (people will take BART to Diridon and transfer to Caltrain or HSR).

    Jerry Reply:

    Split grade separations.
    10 up, 10 down.
    Now pay for it PAMPA.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Rich people want poor people to pay for infrastructure – it is no different at Sta. Clarita-Palmdale.

    Joe Reply:

    Smarter in that residents see the need to grade separate the ROW given car traffic and accident frequency.

    Everything depends on whether the Surface Transportation Board has Federalized the project and Feferal EIR apply.

    There is less leverage litigating the EIR with a Federalized Project.

    Palo Alto fancies a trench and some think a covered trench with parkland on top and they are not expecting to pay for anything.

    There’s gong to be mass hysteria if CAHSR doesn’t follow CEQA.

    snogglethorpe Reply:

    Palo Alto never struck me as being anywhere near poor… why not pony up some money? They could probably get their trench (and a park or whatever), better transportation, and save themselves a shit-ton of trouble/annoyance/bad-publicity…

    joe Reply:

    Not poor, cheap. Atherton and Menlo Park are even cheaper.

    The usual game is to obstruct and extract money from the developer. It’s often Stanford, but whomever wants to proceed ends up paying millions in “mitigation” fees. It’s nice racket.

    Palo Alto and other peninsula cities think they control the ROW and can block construction to extract concessions or simply refuse to allow the project access.

    They are running out of time. the delays are going to limit what can be planned and studied. Look to Bakersfield for an example.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s because it’s been done in both Belmont, San Carlos and San Bruno now. The safety argument is finally coming around. And since it’s all tied into Caltrain and not a 2+2 split system (like BART is on the east bay) more people are supportive.

  6. JimInPollockPines
    Oct 17th, 2015 at 16:42
    #6

    revisting the row sf-sj isnt most of it already wide enough for four tracks with just a few sections constrained to two track width and couldn’t they do a blended service butput four tracks in as much as possible and work around the two track portions with sheduling at least until the row can be widened later at the chocke points.

    Joe Reply:

    Along Alma st in Palo Alto is a narrow stretch where full-build grade separations will require property acquisition.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    As for the original four track elevated plan – I thought chsra has emininant domain. How did pampa stop it?

    joe Reply:

    They didn’t stop it. The NIMBYs were, IMHO, fooled and I believe that’s what they have come to realize – hence the freak out. It’s been delayed.

    Caltrain electrification, increased ridership and more trains per hour along with increased car traffic will keep gates down ~15 minutes an hour at peak time and congest the peninsula. Residents want this problem fixed which runs counter to obstructionism.

    As I recall, PAMPA litigated the HSR EIR including the elevated alignment and local politicians when ballistic. Wisely the Authority switched attention to the central valley as they went to court with PAMPA. The ARRA and prop1a funds were for CV construction.

    Meanwhile local Peninsula political interests pushed for the blended solution which would electrify Caltrain and even mandate some HSR money be spent on the peninsula for blended HSR electrification. This is when the NIMYs lost. HSR is coming.

    Full grade separations are needed and will be built 4 track compliant or they’ll have quad gates and long traffic jams.

    CAHSR has the money, staffing and political backing to built litigate and complete a full EIR for the Peninsula including 4 track full grade separation.

    If the Surface Transportation Board federalized the project, CEQA will probably not apply and the Federal EIR will be far easier and quicker.

    Palo Alto hasn’t realized what happened.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Dream on – PAMPA has way more clout than the Tejon Ranch Co.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[W]ay more clout”? Except HSR is not going via Tejon but is still going to share the Caltrain ROW. Waiting… any minute now they’re really going to show us how powerful they are.

    Your musings seem completely divorced from any actual evidence but apparently you’re clueless about how stupid you come off.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Inanity is the notion that PB or Jerry Brown will importune PAMPA in any way. Barack goes there to beg for money.

    J. Wong Reply:

    And most of your “Richie Riches” don’t really care about HSR one way or the other. There’s a reason most opposition has come from those relatively down scale residents near the ROW like Morris.

    synonymouse Reply:

    At the time the Peninsula got blighted with a lot of LA style infrastructure the real estate was worth a fraction of what it is currently.

    Even Richards was forced to admit there is such a thing as an “eyesore”. Ritchie Riches don’t want eyesores in their backyard – bad for business and property values.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Very few of the Peninsula residents have the ROW in their backyard. And claiming it is an “eyesore” is very much in the eye of the beholder.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Think of BART in Daly City – the blighting impact, visually and audibly, extends for miles.

    And of course wealthier individuals are relocating closer to the tracks with gentrification.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The impact of BART in Daly City does not extend more than half a mile, and a large part of the impact is on the adjacent 280 freeway. And of course, HSR will be nothing like BART anyway as far as noise or visual impacts.

    Most of PAMPA does not care one way or the other about HSR. You keep predicting they will, but there has been no evidence for a groundswell of opposition.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If i was so awful they wouldn’t be moving closer to the tracks.

    Zorro Reply:

    The more you protest, rant and rave, the more you sound like a Republican, a Bagger…

    Zorro Reply:

    The more you protest, rant and rave Cyno, the more you sound like a Republican, a Bagger…

    Aarond Reply:

    The Teabaggers live up in the north and eastern parts of the state, far away from the few train tracks up there. They don’t live on the Penninsula due to the lack of shooting space (and close proximity to people that look and think different from them).

    I only bring this up because the Teabaggers for the most don’t care about rail right now when they got other battles to fight. Why bother with boondoggles when they want to launch their own state entirely? It sounds insane to us of course but it makes more sense if you’ve spent time upstate.

    Though in an ironic twist of fate, you’d find the most hardcore Teabaggers tend to be railroad employees that store their brand new $5000+ rifles next to their reverser keys.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actually, in the aggregate, PAMPA does have more “clout” than Tejon Ranch, but PAMPA rarely acts in aggregate so that in practice Tejon Ranch as a private company exercises more clout than PAMPA.

    Is there any evidence that PAMPA is going to act in aggregate in regard to HSR? Not so far.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They didn’t exactly stop it but Senator Jerry Hill came up with a law that limited what the Authority could do on the Penisula with the Prop 1a monies. Specifically they cannot use them to 4 track on the Penisula except unless approved by 9 local agencies specified in the law (SF, San Jose, MTC, Caltrain JPB, Santa Clara transportation board, etc. but none of the PAMPA cities or counties).

    Of course if the Authority finds another source of funding other than Prop 1a they can do whatever they want. See Text of SB 557.

    The PAMPA cities lost leverage with the passage of the bill as well as the Authority proposing and agreeing to the blend. They also thought IOS South was the focus and didn’t think anything would be happening on the Penisula until the initial IOS was finished.

    StevieB Reply:

    Section 1 of SB 557 pertains to Prop 1a money and terminates when the bond money is spent. Section 2 requires approval from 9 agencies to expand beyond the blended system.

    SEC. 2. Section 2704.77 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:
    2704.77. Any track expansion for the San Francisco to San Jose segment of the high-speed rail system beyond the blended system approach identified in the April 2012 California High-Speed Rail Program Revised 2012 Business Plan and approved by the High-Speed Rail Authority in April 2012 shall require approval from all nine parties to the Bay Area High-Speed Rail Early Investment Strategy Memorandum of Understanding…

    J. Wong Reply:

    The reality of it is that I don’t see any of those agencies having a problem with 4 track expansion on the Penisula.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Re: Alma St. Don’t they have a plan to trench along there using money from a South Bay tax similar to the one that was allocated to BART to San Jose?

    Joe Reply:

    No. In fact he city has previously recognized the northern section cannot be trenched at any “feasible” cost due to the San fransicito creek which will flood this winter as usual.

    “They” may refer to Plao Alto residents. They have no hope of getting the rest of the county to pay for a trench. None. This project is not a problem in mountain view or Sunnyvale, Santa clara or San Jose or Morgan hill or gilroy. These are other impacted cities.

    The city has a plan to improve this alma Caltrain corridor and community with HSR funded underpasses and grade separations. It concluded in 2013.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Not clear about whether they can get tax money to pay for it, but their argument is that South Bay got all the money for the last transportation tax (BART to San Jose) and North County got none. The proposal is to actually allocate 15% of the revenue to grade separations across the county.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.envisionsv.org/challenge

    Joe Reply:

    North county aka Palo Alto didn’t want the money. They’ve refused to do anything constructive with the ROW for years because of HSR opposition. Mtview has benefitted with VTA light rail which terminates there.

    Historically Palo Alto has neglected public transit.

    This interest in transit money is a change and while Im happy to see them interested, they’ve got a long ways to building consensus with other Santa clara co cities. Relationship building should start with Palo Alto fixing their housing deficit. They are not approving state mandated housing.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART-MTC commandeered all the money.

    Clem Reply:

    Measure A (2000) was passed on a promise to electrify Caltrain and double track to Gilroy. Guess what happened next?

    Joe Reply:

    I know because as I wrote, cities such as Palo Alto did at care for any improved Caltrain service and Caltrans double the highway between Gilroy and San Jose from 4 to 8 lines and added an exit to nowhere – Bailey Ave.

    In 2000 ridership was nearly three times today’s volume and there are probably 200,000 more people here than in 2000.

    Roland Reply:

    1/2 of the double-tracking money went to TAMC to connect the UPRR tracks to the rear of the Gilroy station (instead of bypassing it) in preparation for the Capitol Corridor extension to Salinas. The rest went to the Mountain View light rail…
    We will know exactly what happened to the rest of Measure A in the coming weeks…

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s sounds like exactly what the blend means: Initially sharing but with eventual 4 track & full grade separation. I wouldn’t call PAMPA fooled but they were really obtuse about not recognizing what the blend really meant.

    By the way, my understanding is that 9 agencies have veto over 4 track on the Peninsula but that is limited to where it would require takings to expand not where the ROW is already wide enough, or am I mistaken about that?

    Joe Reply:

    Fooled as in fooling themselves. Once blended was approved the eventual capacity limits would force a expansion.

    Yes 9 agencies have to give unanimous consent to increase the row.
    How can this happen?

    The MTC or the State can withhold city funds unless the rail corridor expands and reduces auto trips and pollution. Individuals can sue to block development / expansion until transit is expanded.

    Menlo Park approval of Facebook campus was litigated because the city was behind housing as regulated by a regional agency and had to permit 1900 new housing units.

    Joe Reply:

    How pressure can be brought to bear and force a 4 track solution. Example
    Is how menlo park was forced to approve housing.
    http://www.publicadvocates.org/press-releases/city-of-menlo-park-settles-housing-lawsuit

    J. Wong Reply:

    Apparently I was mistaken: the law requires approval by the 9 agencies for 4 track using Prop 1a bond money only.

    agb5 Reply:

    IIRC the agreement was for it to remain “largely” two tracks, so up to 49% could be quad tracked.

    Joe Reply:

    When time comes to add capacity, Widening the ROW to four track will increase capacity and have zero impact on Pennisula residents. The crossings will all be full separated from traffic by that time.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s going to cost more and be more disruptive.

  7. J. Wong
    Oct 17th, 2015 at 23:45
    #7

    Actually Robert, Palo Alto seems to have assumed that the Authority was focused on IOS South and wouldn’t be planning anything on the Penisula until that was underway. I think we all were surprised by the Authority’s new interest on the Penisula, which they are hinting might begin construction in 2018 (I’m guessing as an HSR from San Jose to SF).

    les Reply:

    Clock is ticking on fed money. Spending on construction bids in the valley has been slower than expected and the only components to spend money on are planning, EIRs and land acquisition.

    Roland Reply:

    They are about to re-baseline the CP1 schedule by about 2 years. Expect an announcement at the January board meeting. The reason they are back in the Peninsula is because “they need an IOS”.
    The problem is that they are desperate which means that they are likely to do some seriously stupid things (4-track level crossings anyone?).

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    CPUC is explicit that it will not permit any new level crossing with more than two tracks, nor allow any existing crossing to be amplified to more than two tracks.

    (How did Common Street in SF get approved? Good question.)

    It is still the case that “they are likely to do some seriously stupid things” because I can’t think if a single example of anything they (Caltrain staff, Caltrain consultants, CSHRA=PBQD) have done which isn’t seriously, mind-bogglingly idiot and harmful, but they’re not going to be allowed to go down that particularly stupid and harmful route.

    Un train peut en cacher un autre.

    Roland Reply:

    “Overlapping trains at crossings (which can be described as “2‐for‐1” events) occur when two trains on separate tracks pass through the at‐grade crossing at the same time. Such an event triggers one gate event versus two. In the tested scenario with passing tracks, there is a four‐track section where “3‐for‐1” and “4‐for 1” events can be realized. Furthermore, with additional tracks at‐grade, as in the case of the Long‐Middle passing track section, the probability of multiple trains passing through crossing at the same time increases. All of these factors have an effect of partially offsetting the gate down time increases such that down time is not always proportional to the change in train service level.”
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Blended+System/Caltrain-HSR+Blended+Grade+Crossing$!26Traffic+Analysis-Final.pdf (page 3-2)
    What could possibly go wrong???

    J. Wong Reply:

    You walk into your bathroom. What could possibly go wrong???

    Roland Reply:

    My bathroom has only one door and I usually knock first.

    J. Wong Reply:

    And then you slip on the floor.

    Roland Reply:

    People in my house don’t P on the floor.

    Clem Reply:

    As Richard said, the CPUC will demand grade separations on any 3- or 4-track sections. The study was based on unrealistic assumptions.

    Roland Reply:

    “The study was based on unrealistic assumptions.” You are so kind…
    Kindly refer to http://www.caltrain.com/assets/_engineering/engineering-standards-2/criteria/CHAPTER7.pdf page 7-29:

    “Caltrain’s current design warning time of 25 seconds is sufficient for pedestrians to cross a distance of up to 37 feet 6 inches, based on the ADAAG recommended walking speed of 1.5 feet per second (FPS) to allow for the mobility impaired individuals. Most of the Caltrain pedestrian crossings are less than 37 feet 6 inches in length measured from the automatic gate arm to clear point. This distance is based on two (2) tracks at 15 feet track centers, and clear point of 8 feet 6 inches from the nearest
    track center.
    Where the crossing consists of three (3) tracks, the design warning time shall be increased to account for the additional travel distance. Caltrain does not have and does not allow at-grade crossings where there are four (4) tracks (passing tracks).”

    Conclusions:
    1) Caltrain allow 3-track level crossings and that’s precisely how Common Street in SF was approved.
    2) America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals figured out that they would get away with a single (third) passing track without having to grade separate and that’s how they ended up with this half-baked half bi-directional “dedicated” HSR passing track (for the record, there is no such thing as a “dedicated” track in a “blended” system).
    3) They conveniently “forgot” to add 10 seconds to the gate warning time (CWT) for each additional 15-foot track (10 seconds for 3 tracks and 20 seconds for 4 tracks), guaranteeing the extermination of the disabled, the elderly and mothers pushing strollers.

    How are they going to get away with murder? Simple: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Minutes/2015/2015-08-06+JPB+BOD+Minutes.pdf page 6
    “AUTHORIZE DELEGATION OF APPROVAL AUTHORITY FOR JPB ENGINEERING AND DESIGN STANDARDS AND ALL ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF PROJECTS THAT MODIFY OR OTHERWISE PERTAIN TO THE CALTRAIN RIGHT OF WAY, STATIONS, PROPERTY, FACILITIES, OR THAT AFFECT OPERATIONS
    Joan Cassman, Legal Counsel, said the Board is being asked to approve the current engineering and design standards that govern improvements and capital projects, and to delegate the authority to amend and update the standards as and when appropriate, and to approve all aspects of design and construction in the projects. This provides administrative efficiency to maintain standards as state of the art, the ability to be more responsive and flexible as design changes are needed, and legal predicate or foundation for the JPB to assert the defense of design immunity when appropriate in lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege they have suffered injuries or damages as a result of faulty design.”

    Criminal indictment time?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Source?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s consistent with pushing back the 2016 Business Plan later into the year.

    I always thought IOS North made more sense given the strength of the Bay Area economy versus that of the Central Valley. Southern California, meanwhile, is not doing so well.

    Paul H. Reply:

    It would be really dumb to change the IOS at this point. There are lots of rail options for Northern California to Central Valley travel, there are currently ZERO options for Central Valley to Southern California rail travel. If the Authority changes to IOS-North, they will have just alienated all of their political support in So-Cal. The state doesn’t need another rail line between the Bay Area and Bakersfield, it does need to bridge the So-Cal rail gap. It would be suicide for the Authority to change their plans now.

    Joe Reply:

    They move to IOS North if the South Cal cities and politicians can’t find an acceptable alignment and hold up the project.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Tehachapi Detour bridge the So-Cal rail gap? No gap exists – the Loop line is there; it is just everything goes via Tejon, the vastly superior route.

    The Megabus will still be plying the Grapevine, solvent, whilst JerryRail will…quoi…what’s that sucking sound?

    Domayv Reply:

    except that Tehachapi loop line is freight only and will be so as it is the busiest stretch of freight rail in America. The only reason CHSRA is going with Tehachapi is to serve Palmdale and to provide a link to XpressWest. Once the full set is complete (save for the expansions to Sacramento and San Diego, CHSRA can look for additonal private funding for a Tejon high speed line as an express route)

    synonymouse Reply:

    If the demand were substantial there would be a passenger train over the Loop.

    The fiscal failure of JerrymanderedRail will set back the cause of electric traction in the US.

    Jerry Reply:

    Due to a detour the Coast Starlight had to go over the Tehachapi loop a few years ago and the train was sold out.

    Michael Reply:

    Because, train nerds.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Everyone agrees that trains that are slower than driving have very little demand. They aren’t building slow trains.

    Zorro Reply:

    Two-thirds of Americans likely to use HSR if available, survey says

    If high-speed rail were available today, two-thirds (63%) of Americans are likely to use high-speed trains and this jumps to nearly seventy percent (67%) when respondents were informed of the costs and time saving benefits of high-speed rail service, according to a 2015 survey released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

    “People want high-speed rail in America and we are seeing support among various ages and in different regions of the country regardless of political party,” said APTA President/ CEO Michael Melaniphy. “In addition, the millennial generation and younger adults will lead the way with their preferences to have a multi-modal transportation system that supports their lifestyle. It is critical that we include implementation of high-speed rail as we look to plan for the nation’s future transportation needs.”

    In the survey “High-Speed Rail in America 2015”, conducted by Techno Metrica for APTA, the likelihood of respondents using high-speed rail for their work and leisure travel increases as they were informed that it will be less expensive than flying and that it will take less time than driving to their destination. When told of these cost and time saving benefits, Millennials and young people (18 – 44) strong likelihood of use at 71% jumps to 76%. Those respondents who identify as Republican represent the largest growth of intended use, their likelihood of using high-speed rail increases from 58 to 65%, followed by Independents, 61 to 67%, and Democrats’ already strong likelihood of use goes from 73 to 75% when informed of the savings of time and costs.

    “A high-speed rail network will have a tremendous benefit to our entire transportation system,” said Melaniphy. “It will enable America’s air, rail, bus, ferry and highway systems to each function effectively and efficiently as we face a dramatic population growth that adds more travelers than our current capacity can accommodate.”

    The survey also revealed that Americans overwhelmingly support efforts to streamline government regulations that will promote real-estate development near high-speed rail. This development could include amenities such as popular retail shops, walkable neighborhoods, and unique dining experiences. Overall, nearly three quarters of respondents (71%) support reducing regulations so that amenities can be built near high-speed rail stations.

    “High-speed rail not only provides a great transportation option, but the public’s interest in amenities near high-speed rail stations is another way to create economic growth and jobs in local communities across the country,” said Melaniphy. “If we have strong investment in high-speed rail, it will be an opportunity to generate real-estate and land use income for the private sector as well as local tax revenue for communities for decades to come.”

    High-Speed Rail in America 2015 survey was conducted by Techno Metrica for APTA. The survey includes 1,005 interviews using random digit dial sample of both landline and cell phone numbers. At the 95% confidence level, the margin of error for the respondents’ overall sample is +/-3.2 percentage points.

    joe Reply:

    Because humans – It is a scenic area.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi_Loop

    J. Wong Reply:

    @synonymouse

    If the demand for Tejon is so substantial why isn’t there a passenger train there today? Your logic does not follow.

    Yes, Tehachapi is not as optimal than Tejon, but that doesn’t mean HSR over Tehachapi will fail. Build it and they will ride.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The answer is quite straightforward – the era of rail monopoly ended with internal combustion. At the time when the Loop was constructed LA was nothing and Mojave featured a connection to the east.

    By the time the Santa Fe laid out the basic Tejon alignment, ca. 1910, auto, truck and airplane were coming on strong and railroad expansion went into orderly retreat and then effectively shutdown. It was cheaper to cut a deal with the SP for trackage rights over the Loop line when the Santa Fe did not have access to the money that would have been there in 1870

    Note very little was done to the Loop line over the years. No cheap electricity so nothing like the Milwaukee Road electrification in California.

    In a government directed economy like China’s spending lots of money on hsr tertiary routes can be justified as a welfare project out of fear of social instability. Here you want and need the strongest alternative. That’s Tejon. Palmdale is just welfare commute and an ecological mistake.

    The reality is embedded in popular culture and song:

    “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane
    Ain’t got time to take a fast train”

    J. Wong Reply:

    So you admit your proposition, “if there is no passenger train, then there is no demand” is wrong”. So why did you claim that with respect to Tehachapi. The fact that there is no passenger train over Tehachapi says nothing about demand, stupid @synon.

    Domayv Reply:

    @sunonymouse: show me what this tejon AT&SF alingment would look like if it was built

    synonymouse Reply:

    The CSRM was given the plans. Someday I’d like to get up to Sac and take a look at the originals in their library.

    synonymouse Reply:

    JerryRail is using the BART template: a huge California population increase along with legislating out any competition will leave the throng with no alternative. But nothing but major subsidies of construction, maintenance and operation.

    No panacea. The big losses will prompt demand from reform governments to impose driverless so war with the unions. You already see the conflict in France between Francois Hollande and the CGT over work rules, pensions, automation, etc.

    J. Wong Reply:

    What counts as “major” to you @synonymouse? Also, we should limit the discussion to operations, which includes maintenance by the way.

    Per Wikipedia, BART has a farebox recovery rate of 64.5% (2008). Is 40% a major subsidy? Also, it comes from a sales tax paid for by the counties that are served, don’t you know.

    You claim HSR will lose money, but fail to back up that statement with any actual numbers (because you don’t know and are just guessing).

    datacruncher Reply:

    There was also a plan by a company organized in 1913 called the Los Angeles & San Joaquin Valley Railroad Company. The July 1, 1913 edition of Contractor magazine (page 57 & 58 at link) described that potential route as an electric railway from Los Angeles over Tejon Pass to Maricopa, Taft, North Midway, McKittrick and Olig.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=6N1aAAAAYAAJ&dq=tejon%20pass%20olig&pg=RA6-PA57#v=onepage&q=tejon%20pass%20olig&f=false

    synonymouse Reply:

    I believe 1913 was the year the Santa Fe gave up on the Tejon project and sold off the properties it had bought along the proposed ROW. Also the year the Chandlers put together the Tejon Ranch, IIRC.

    Domayv Reply:

    @datacruncher: still no map of what it would look like though.

    datacruncher Reply:

    @Domayv, I didn’t imply there was a map for that plan. I was simply reminding Syno of a little history about a later proposal after the Santa Fe plan he mentioned. Syno also forgot that Santa Fe revisited Tejon plans about 1922/1923 but then the SP offered a renewed lease for using Tehachapi.

    I’ve heard part of the 1922/1923 proposal ran along Piru Creek, it would now be underneath Pyramid Lake. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard that complete route.

    Over the years many routes were proposed for crossing from Los Angeles to the San Joaquin Valley. There was also a proposal in about 1908 by the Bakersfield & Ventura Railway for a route that went Los Angeles-Oxnard-Fillmore then followed Sespe Creek to the Frazier Park/Gorman area and then down to the SJ Valley. Basically a kind of Tehachapi West out of LA but also serving a wharf area at Port Hueneme.

    As Synonymouse says, all of the Santa Fe materials related to their Tejon Pass proposals are housed at the State Railroad Museum. Unfortunately they have not been digitized and placed online, someone has to go old school and physically look at paper documents in the reading room.

    According to the Online Archive of California, the Santa Fe collection in Sacramento includes:
    Folder 3 – Surveys of Tejon Pass and agreement with the Southern Pacific, 1904-1911
    Folder 4 – Surveys of Tejon Pass, 1910-1923
    Folder 5 – Summary of files relating to Los Angeles-Bakersfield surveys, 1918-1946
    Folder 6-8 – Correspondence and reports regarding surveys of the Los Angeles- Bakersfield route of the proposed California Main Line Railroad, 1921-1923
    Folder 10-11 – Correspondence and reports regarding surveys of Los Angeles-Bakersfield routes, 1923
    Folder 14 – Clippings regarding Los Angeles-Bakersfield surveys
    Folder 15 – Correspondence and summary reports on proposed Tejon Pass line
    http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf387002k4/entire_text/

    If you or someone else has time to spend in the Railroad Museum library and can describe the Santa Fe’s surveys or get permission to publish copies of the survey info I’d also be curious about it. But I for one don’t have the time to visit Sacramento to look at whatever maps/routes might be included in the collection.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thanks for the the very interesting details of the “California Main Line Railroad”. Good name.

    I either forgot about the 1920’s entente between the Santa Fe and the SP or never came across it. By that time the automobile and building highways were preeminent in the public mind and it sounds like a bluff by the Santa Fe. On the other hand land would have been cheap and some interurbans were that long.

    Anybody know what Caltrans has in mind as a longterm footprint for I-5 at the Grapevine? I-5 is not going away and nothing right next to it is going to remain pristine. Is the Ranch holding out for more money? Or a stop at Lebec?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not even close to being the busiest freight route. The double and triple track ones are busier.

    joe Reply:

    The line, which sees an average of almost 40 trains each day, is one of the busiest single-track mainlines in the world.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Syno: When you research CSRM in sac (Oct 20,12:04 pm) – or maybe you know – how much shorter would Tejon be than current plans? About how much less cost to construct? How much savings in run time? (Assume Palmdale service on the Los Angeles-Las Vegas HSR, with some direct Las Vegas runs from the Bay Area also via Palmdale.)

    Intuitively a route along I-5 looks much shorter and more direct. Maps showing HSR via Tehachapi cast doubts about HSR for northern Californians used to driving via I-5 to the LA area.

    Many HSR doubters could be assuaged with a more direct route on the map south from Bakersfield. I’m one of them. You write so persuasively about going via Tejon.

    Peter Reply:

    @ Robert S. Allen

    Synonymouse does not know how to do fact-based analysis. That is, he makes up “facts” hour-by-hour, often nonsensical and contradictory. He cannot give you the facts you’re asking for.

    If you want to find run-time and cost comparisons, I encourage you to read stuff by Clem. He has actually done the math regarding Tehachapi vs. Tejon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Mr. Allen

    I do not possess the technical background(math, physics, engineering) to put together that kind of study. French major with a minor in art history and then 40 years as a civil servant.

    But let’s consider some troubling “facts”:

    1, BART was botched. Had it been standard gauge OC 25kv we could repurpose some of its lines to accommodate CAHSR.

    2. The Jerry Brown Bay Bridge was botched. It ranges somewhere between extravagant mediocrity to profound disappointment to genuine failure.

    3. PB-CAHSR is being botched. From the TBT to the Palmdale detour it is “tormented”. Base tunnels to Podunk? It is only fair the voters be accorded the chance to reconfirm their willingness to spend so many billions on something nobody paid that much attention to. We missed the devil in the details on BART and the Bay Bridge let’s not make the same expensive mistake with CAHSR.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Syno, we know you hate Brown, and while Jerry and Willie Brown certainly both had a hand in the years of delay, doesn’t the blame for the ongoing $6+b and growing Bay Bridge east span debacle lie almost entirely with MTC and Caltrans?

    synonymouse Reply:

    There is plenty of blame to pass around, including to me. In retrospect much more attention should have been given to retrofitting the existing eastern span and/or another bridge with bus and rail lanes.

    The whole issue is complicated by the question of what you do when you get to SF. That plagued the Southern Crossing and the damage it would inflict with so many cars and so many on-ramps.

    I too got caught up in the iconic bullshit somewhat, thinking of how ugly is the Richmond-San Rafael bridge. But a more utilitarian bridge, cheaper and more serviceable, with reserved bus lanes was clearly indicated.

    Once again we did not pay enough attention. That’s why I am obsessing on Tejon. It is a no-brainer but attempting to change minds entails boring repetition.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It would be really dumb to change the IOS at this point. There are lots of rail options for Northern California to Central Valley travel, there are currently ZERO options for Central Valley to Southern California rail travel. If the Authority changes to IOS-North, they will have just alienated all of their political support in So-Cal. The state doesn’t need another rail line between the Bay Area and Bakersfield, it does need to bridge the So-Cal rail gap. It would be suicide for the Authority to change their plans now.

    I’ve always been a closet supporter of IOS North for the simple reason that the Silicon Valley economy is red-hot and Santa Clara County’s urban growth boundary combined with a high speed train would fuel a development boom faster than you can say “Los Banos”. Fresno will become the new Oakland if you go with IOS North and allow HSR revenue service to begin with service that actually generates, you know, revenue.

    Linking LA to the Central Valley is a moral victory, but Southern California’s economy is hardly dynamic enough these days to inject much hope in Hanford.

    Growing up in the South and living in the North now, I see this contrast very clearly and recognize the old school industries that made the Valley and Southern California great (like warplanes, oil, dairy cows) are being blown away by the winds of climate change and replaced by the beating heart of the knowledge based economy that radiates from the waters of the San Francisco Bay like the blinding sun.

    Sure the South still has more people, and the political clout associated with that. But not the jobs, not the potential, and not the weather it once had….

    J. Wong Reply:

    Except that even today more people travel between the Central Valley and southern California than between the Bay Area and the Central Valley. (Of course, that could change given IOS North.)

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I would hope more people travel from Southern California to the Central Valley than from the Bay Area since Los Angeles and environs have 3 times the population of the Bay Area.

    What would be more interesting (if you know) is what the per capita rate for travel is…

    synonymouse Reply:

    On the other hand the Tejon Ranch Co. would be most pleased, like the SP with Indian Broad Gauge BART.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Peter: Thanks. How do I contact Clem? Is it proper and safe to leave an email, address, or phone number on this blog for him to contact me? I’m kind of new at this.

    Clem Reply:

    I’m right here, I read you loud and clear.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Thanks, Clem. Peter (Oct 21, 9:01 am) suggested I read some of your studies comparing Tehachapi and Tejon. Where can I find them? For example, how much shorter is Tejon than Tehachapi, and what is the difference in travel time. I realize that the decision may be irreversible, but I-5 looks much more direct than the highway equivalent over Tehachapi. The twisty adopted line is hard to justify when HSR opponents use it to scoff at the adopted route. Palmdale could well be reached from both north and south as on the leg of a wye to Las Vegas.

    I still don’t know if it is proper and safe to leave an email, address, or phone number on this blog, or how else to get your info.

    Clem Reply:

    A good start is to read the Truth About Tejon blog post accompanied by presentation slides and a Google Earth map file. There is also an article in the August 2013 California Rail News from TRAC. You can reach me at clem at tillier dot net.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They Authority might revisit Tejon once tracks are laid in the Central Valley. At that point, Tejon Ranch would have lost most of the leverage that they had, and voters would not look too kindly at Tejon Ranch’s obstructionism costing the voters an extra $5b.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    while closing the gap on the south makes obvious sense, I can see how they would consider iOS north because it can be completed more quickly… if in fact the central valley portion is done by 2019 or 2017 or whatever, and with the caltrain electrification done by 2019 and the transbay terminal done by 2019, ( or at least with access to 4th and townsend) and with bakersfield palmdale burbank la lagging and being a much larger combined project, they could get hsr to two major cities, sf and san jose up and operating via pacheco faster then they can complete bfd=pmd=bur=lax basically iOS north is just further along…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Very limited patronage potential.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They’d still have to get Pacheco planned and built. I think what they’re considering is maybe Gilroy to San Francisco (or just San Jose to SF) to get some HSR trains running. (My opinion is that the Authority board members are grasping at straws for this!)

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    just seems that gilroy to chowchilla is an easier lift than bakersfield to burbank

    J. Wong Reply:

    They haven’t really looked at it so maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Obviously, the focus on IOS South was because closing the gap is super important because the potential ridership for the southern crossing would be more than that for the Central Valley to San Francisco via Pacheco. More passengers would be willing to take a bus to Merced from SF and then onto HSR rather than HSR to Bakersfield and a bus to LAUS.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They need to focus on Bako to Burbank. Make or break. Van Ark grasped this and now the rest are just catching up.

    I estimate that when Jerry is gone there will be an agonizing reappraisal, a term from the Eisenhower era.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I expect if there is any reappraisal (of which I would approve) it might be before Gov. Brown leaves office. Contrary to your “secret” (meaning fictional) knowledge, Gov. Brown does not care one iota about whether HSR closes the gap via Tehachapi or Tejon.

  8. Roland
    Oct 18th, 2015 at 00:30
    #8

    “HSR will get fencing and total grade separation.” Kindly help the rest of us understand which part of the slide on page 8 of this presentation it is that you do not understand: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/CAC/Presentations/2015/2015-08-19+JPB+CAC+CHSRA.pdf

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Roland

    Apparently you don’t understand or can’t read: it says long term: total grade separation.

  9. jedi08
    Oct 18th, 2015 at 03:02
    #9

    A closer look , it seems to you to be slow to build your high-speed train :

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV_Duplex

    Miles Bader Reply:

    CAHSR will not use TGV-derived vehicles, they simply have too many negative points.

    Useless Reply:

    Miles Bader

    they simply have too many negative points.

    And what would that be?

    Roland Reply:

    By “too many negative points”, do you mean double-deckers with low-level boarding and Jacobs bogies or something else?

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Sure those are negative points, but the obvious biggie is that it’s loco-hauled….

    Domayv Reply:

    loco-hauled trains cannot climb grades as well as EMUs, and since Tehachapi will be at 2.8%, it’s simply no-go for loco-hauled trains.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.railfaneurope.net/tgv/map.html#pse

    Clem Reply:

    Sustained grades. For dozens and dozens of miles. Unlike any HSR line currently operating.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The longest more or less continuous grade on the LGV PSE is about 400 meters in altitude. But even that is not a continuous 3.5% grade. And on top of that hill, the train speed is more in the 200 km/h range (as opposed of 280 for which the line is certified).

    Max Wyss Reply:

    And an afterthought… why are trains without distributed power banned from the Frankfurt – Köln HSL in Germany (with relatively short 4% grades)? All which is allowed are (what is now) Velaros.

    Roland Reply:

    Rain, mud, snow and ice.

    Useless Reply:

    Max Wyss

    You will get to see how the KTX-II performs reaching the Pyeongchang station(altitude 700 m) in 2017, the site of 2018 Winter Olympics.

    Domayv Reply:

    they’ll just tunnel under it

  10. Zorro
    Oct 18th, 2015 at 11:20
    #10

    Blockade to speed Chicago – St Louis upgrade

    USA: Amtrak services between Chicago and St Louis have been suspended for 15 days from October 16 to permit major track and signalling renewals on the 455 km(282.72 miles) corridor, which is being upgraded for 177 kph(110mph) operation. This follows four previous eight-day blockades in 2012-15, with further closures expected in both 2016 and 2017.

    Under the $1·9bn project, which is largely being funded through the federal government’s high speed rail programme, much of the track is being relaid, and several sections totaling 91 km(56.54 miles) are being double-tracked. Around a third of the route is being fenced, and 234 of the 256 level crossings are being upgraded. In total, $757m is being spent on track and structures and $218m on level crossing works, with a further $414m being invested in new rolling stock capable of 200 kph(124mph) operation.

    Roland Reply:

    The people who run and operate Union Pacific clearly do not understand the logical steps necessary to increase line speed. America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals know that this kind of crappy line has to be electrified first so that it can be ripped up and done all over again later.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s a heavily used UP freight line that has be improved for faster diesel train service and improve grade separations.

    You are an unreliable actor.

    Aarond Reply:

    UP’s trains top out at 60mph, 40mph if it’s bulk unit trains.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The people who run and operate Union Pacific do not want to increase the line speed. They want something that sacrifices their freight needs for passenger travel.

    Zorro Reply:

    Ted, Ted, Ted, I think that you missed the following, if UP as you suggest, is against this effort, then the UP would not be involved…

    Blockade to speed Chicago – St Louis upgrade

    The infrastructure work is largely being undertaken by Union Pacific, which owns and operates the bulk of the line between Joliet and St Louis. UP has been deploying its TRT909 automated track renewal train and has already laid more than 350 km of concrete sleepers, according to Patrick Halsted, General Director, Design & Construction.

  11. Nadia
    Oct 18th, 2015 at 16:04
    #11

    If you want to see the RFEIs – you should contact Lisa Marie Alley at Lisa.Alley@hsr.ca.gov or (916) 431-2934 and request that they be posted on their website.

    LEGALLY, under Bagley Keene, the RFEIs SHOULD have been posted on their website for the September board meeting when they were distributed to the board.

    Having a board meeting where the board discusses reports that have been made available to the board and NOT the public is not only a waste of time, it is illegal.

    CARRD had several tough conversations with the Authority staff about the importance of releasing these documents on their website. After several days, we were sent a CD. (yes – a CD!!)

    It should be on their website – so whether you love or hate this project – please take the time to let them know that this should be posted…….And while you’re at it, you might want to tell them that they should also post the Monthly Progress Reports on their own website.

    As we’ve tried to explain to them in the past, their failure to post important information only drives more people to our website. They’re only hurting themselves.

    OK – end of rant. phew….

  12. Nadia
    Oct 18th, 2015 at 16:05
    #12

    If you want to see the RFEIs – you should contact Lisa Marie Alley at Lisa.Alley@hsr.ca.gov or (916) 431-2934 and request that they be posted on their website.

    LEGALLY, under Bagley Keene, the RFEIs SHOULD have been posted on their website for the September board meeting when they were distributed to the board.

    Having a board meeting where the board discusses reports that have been made available to the board and NOT the public is not only a waste of time, it is illegal.

    CARRD had several tough conversations with the Authority staff about the importance of releasing these documents on their website. After several days, we were sent a CD. (yes – a CD!!)

    It should be on their website – so whether you love or hate this project – please take the time to let them know that this should be posted…….And while you’re at it, you might want to tell them that they should also post the Monthly Progress Reports on their own website.

    As we’ve tried to explain to them in the past, their failure to post important information only drives more people to our website. They’re only hurting themselves.

    OK – end of rant. phew….

    (PS – if this comment shows up twice, my apologies but I haven’t posted in a while and I must have put in a different email and it was stuck in moderation…)

    Jon Reply:

    If you already have the responses, could you post them on Google Drive or Dropbox?

  13. morris brown
    Oct 18th, 2015 at 17:58
    #13

    Copied below is an excerpt from one of the submissions to the expressions of interest invitation. I am quite sure the Authority would just as soon this comment not see the light of day.

    The submission from Cintra Feffoval includes this:

    Farebox/Operating Revenue

    Comment: We have reviewed data from the International Union of Railways (Sept. 2014) which analyzed all 111 high speed rail lines in the world. Of the 111 train lines, only 3 make an operating profit and one breaks-even. (footnote 2)

    The remaining 107 high-speed rail lines require large government subsidies from both general taxpayers and drivers. The HSR lines that break-even or turn an operating profit have a different dynamic than CHSR, in that these lines are 30-50 years old and have much higher density of population in the areas that the train would serve. We believe it is highly unlikely that the CHSR will turn on operating profit within the first 10 years of operation. More likely, CHSR will require large government subsidies for years to come.

    (footnote 2) Make an Operating Profit: France/TGV (Paris Sud), Japan (Shin Osaka), US (Acela Northeast Corridor). Break-even: Japan (Hakata)

    How many times have I (we) heard or read from Chair Richard or CEO Jeff Morales, that the HSR lines around the world turn profits.

    As approved by the voters in Nov 2008, this project must operate without a subsidy.

    Nadia commenting above is right: These 36 submissions really belong on the Authority’s website. The total amount of data is less then 100 Mbytes, really trivial in this day and age.

    I got my copy by submitting a request under the California Public Records act. Anyone who wants a copy should be able to get the Authority to send them a copy, by doing a similar request.

    keith saggers Reply:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/doing_business/UPDATED_RFEI_HSR_1502_Responses_093015.pdf

    Nadia Reply:

    That is just the list of responders – we are referring to the actual responses those people sent in…

    Joe Reply:

    Morris Brown would selectively edit the Little Big Horn Battle to make onlookers if Custer had won.

    This exercise was not a review of the project but private interests commenting. The basic summary is that there is vast interest in the CA project and the It will need more government investment.

    This explanation of interest and investment is exactly what will be given to lawmakers to justify the next round of government funding.

    Nadia Reply:

    @Joe – No one should rely on anyone’s selective edits – we should all have equal access. I hope you requested a copy

    Joe Reply:

    I’m not a HSR opponent so I see no need to order the submissions and search for fault with the project.

    Texas and Nevada systems are moving forward with private funds as is Floroda’s system. That’s sure not aborted in his editing. These projects are counter evidence to a piece of paper. It’s embarrassing to see him selectively edit reality.

    Too much is being made of these comments as if the Authority’s loan application was rejected.

    This project needs to complete the EIRs and it needs more public investment before private sector will commit. Anyway, CAHSR should be a public system funded by public tax and debt so I’m glad we’re moving ahead with my tax dollars.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Interesting response considering:

    Farebox/Operating Revenue

    Comment: We have reviewed data from the International Union of Railways (Sept. 2014) which analyzed all 111 high speed rail lines in the world. Of the 111 train lines, only 3 make an operating profit and one breaks-even. (footnote 2)

    The remaining 107 high-speed rail lines require large government subsidies from both general taxpayers and drivers. The HSR lines that break-even or turn an operating profit have a different dynamic than CHSR, in that these lines are 30-50 years old and have much higher density of population in the areas that the train would serve . We believe it is highly unlikely that the CHSR will turn on operating profit within the first 10 years of operation. More likely, CHSR will require large government subsidies for years to come.

    (footnote 2) Make an Operating Profit: France/TGV (Paris Sud), Japan (Shin Osaka), US (Acela Northeast Corridor) . Break-even: Japan (Hakata)

    The Acela is 30 years old, really? The Northeast has a higher density of population? Even if these are both true, it would make much sense to more address what couldn’t be replicated in CAHSR by the Acela…

    Since they didn’t discuss that…despite acknowledging the “profitability” of the Acela…I suspect they were never serious about putting in money to begin with.

    Zorro Reply:

    Population density when it comes to HSR is a Myth…

    Sunday Train: Breaking Free of the Population Density Myth

    Sunday Train: Breaking Free of the Population Density Myth(Daily KOS)

    HSR Myths vs. Facts

    U.S. high-speed rail ‘myths’ debunked(CNN)

    High Speed Rail Works – Myths / Facts

    Claim: Unlike Europe and Asia, the U.S. does not have the population density to support high-speed rail.

    Fact: The U.S. population is densely clustered in the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, and California – precisely the areas where high-speed rail projects are advancing.

    The Paris-Lyon high-speed rail line serves a combined population of 11.7 million people 255 miles apart. The population density along the Chicago-Detroit corridor closely resembles this, serving 14.5 million people 304 miles apart.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    … and I love (ok, “love”) the way anti-HSR people always mention NYC-LA to argue against HSR anywhere in the U.S…. (“Ok, maybe HSR works great in Europe and Asia… but do you know how big the U.S. is?!” >< )

    swing hanger Reply:

    “I love Denmark, but we are the United States of America”…sentiments not just on the right…

    Zorro Reply:

    Some statements from Anti-HSR types border on Madness, especially the Conspiracy types who should be sent to a Mental Institution to get some therapy.

    Zorro Reply:

    Of course and I never mentioned NYC-LA, that is really for airlines, since current HSR technology is not fast enough to go from NYC-LA in a reasonable length of time. HSR is just as feasible in the US, as HSR is anywhere else in the world.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Yes, I agree… :]

    My point was just that NYC-LA is a strawman anti-HSR types often use.

    [Of course, even very long lines can be viable with rail if there are enough viable subsets of that line. It’s not clear that would ever be true with NYC-LA, but it is many other places.]

    Roland Reply:

    “In 2014-15, HS1 Ltd generated net income of £11.5m, which is £9.1m higher than assumed in Access Charges Review (“ACR1”) covering the period from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2015. This is driven by an increase in passenger train paths and HS1 Ltd being able to better manage its cost base. Cumulatively over the first control period, HS1 Ltd generated £20.8m net income, against £1.3m assumed in the ACR, for the same reasons.”
    http://orr.gov.uk/what-and-how-we-regulate/high-speed-1/annual-reports-on-hs1-ltd

    “The business also achieved year-on-year growth in underlying profitability with like-for-like operating profit up 2% in 2014 to £55.0 million (2013: £54.0 million).”
    http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/about-eurostar/press-office/press-releases/2015/eurostar-reports-continuing-growth-in-2014

  14. keith saggers
    Oct 18th, 2015 at 19:27
    #14

    Next steps

    One on One Meetings with Respondents
    Summary to the Board in Coming Months
    Potential Development of Next Procurement(s)

  15. Jerry
    Oct 19th, 2015 at 01:25
    #15

    Another article from Palo Alto regarding the more than 100 year old railroad tracks through their community:
    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2015/10/18/palo-alto-seeks-1-billion-for-train-trench-from-vta-tax

    Jerry Reply:

    The Palo Alto Online article reports that:
    Joshuah Mello, Palo Alto’s chief transportation official, wrote in a report that given all the other competing projects, “it is unlikely that Palo Alto grade separations could be expected to receive more than $50 million from a VTA sales tax measure.”

  16. morris brown
    Oct 19th, 2015 at 08:56
    #16


    HOPELESS STATE OF HSR

    Dave Price, editor of the Daily Post has penned an opinion piece with the above title. It appears in today’s (10/19/2015) edition of the paper on Page 8. If you are in the local area where the Post is distributed, make sure to pick up a copy. The Post is not on the internet.

    Joe Reply:

    Typo

    “HOPELESS STATE OF HSR OPPOSITION”

    Zorro Reply:

    Morris Brown, you’ve lost, just like Germany in 1944, you can’t admit that the anti-HSR effort is hopeless and is Doomed to Failure

    Reality Check Reply:

    Here’s a scan of the opinion piece by the editor of the Palo Alto Daily Post:
    Hopeless state of HSR (in Palo Alto)

    J. Wong Reply:

    The “Hopeless State of HSR” is editorial spin and a bit of misdirection. What the piece really states is that Palo Alto’s desired solution to the Caltrain ROW is trenching and that is what is hopeless given its cost.

    Jerry Reply:

    Hopeless in reference to a $3 Billion bond issue to be paid for by property owners in Palo Alto just for trenching.
    So the much cheaper alternative would be similar to the underpass they already have on University Avenue.
    Raise the tracks 10 feet, and lower the roads 10 feet at all the crossings.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How much cheaper and how much property would have to be taken by eminent domain? You know this process would have been much cheaper in 1990. Palo Alto should blame BART to SFO for that.

    Another possibility is just Caltrain on the SP ROW.

    Perhaps PAMPA made an honest mistake buying into Prop 1a. BART was perceived as more ghetto than Caltrain but now with no W.C.’s and PB demanding aerials a BART subway may be less ghetto after all.

    Going to be interesting. Maybe more support for a re-vote.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Stupid statements again @synonymouse.

    “Another possibility is just Caltrain on the SP ROW.” — Not. They’re going to require grade separation even if it’s only Caltrain.

    “[N]o W.C.’s] — Also, not.

    “PB demanding aerials” — A big NOT. No one is demanding aerials. The cheapest solution is what @Jerry said: Retained wall berms with the track raised and the roadways lowered.

    “Perhaps PAMPA made an honest mistake buying into Prop 1a. BART was perceived as more ghetto than Caltrain” — No PAMPA did not make a mistake. They weren’t trading or setting HSR against BART. They made the decision entirely on whether HSR would be a positive to the state of California.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The solid opposition to the PB scheme in PAMPA would seem to belie that notion.

    PB wanted massive aerial structures and of course they still do. “B” Walls, fuggedaboutit.

    Property values is always the main concern.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Caltrain only does not require as massive a fixed plant.

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain gots no money. They can’t keep the lights on.

    HSR and Caltrain is peanut butter and chocolate. Funding and ROW. Perfect marriage that even the local pols approve.

    PAMAPA wants to extract money from the Authority, not stop the project. Same M.O. for every other project in their ‘hood. Ask Stanford which can build *anything* including a superbowl compatible stadium provided they pay the PAMPA thugs off.

    This is about “payoff” money. Come to the Don of Palo Alto and kiss his ring with thick envelop of “mitigation” money.

    NIMBYs are useful stooges.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Luckily, they have less leverage against HSR than they do with local entities.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[S]olid opposition”? But HSR hasn’t been stopped, which kind of implies the opposition is not “solid”.

    PB will do whatever the Authority wants, and per cost it is not aerials. Can you point to any evidence that they want aerials and will insist on them? No, I don’t think so.

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting to note that the Embarcadero Underpass in Palo Alto was built after two students were killed at the, at grade crossing, on October 26, 1927.
    http://www.paloaltohistory.org/embarcadero-underpass.php

    Joe Reply:

    Full grade separation with road underpass at
    – University Ave
    – Embarcadero which is a residential area and
    – Page Mill/Oregon Expressway

    They know what needs to be done and how it works. Just too scared to anger one of their neighborhood special interests.

    Reality Check Reply:

    From yesterday’s Palo Alto Daily Post:
    Gordon tells Palo Alto council he’s seeking state funds for HSR grade seps

    […]

    Menlo Park resident and high-speed rail opponent Morris Brown said that when voters approved the $9.95 billion Proposition 1A bond measure in 2008, starting the high-speed rail project, there was no question that funding for grade separations was included and high-speed rail would pay for everything.

    […]

    It’s unclear when grade separation funding dropped off, but Brown said he understood that in 2011 when the blended system was proposed, the rail authority was still obligated to provide them.

    Jerry Reply:

    “there was no question that funding for grade separations was included”
    But Palo Alto in Santa Clara County, and Menlo Park and Atherton in San Mateo County want a tunnel or trench.
    They have turned down simple grade separations. Which Palo Alto already has in some locations.
    Simply raise the rails 10 feet, and lower the road 10 feet. And you can grade separate the remaining crossings. They did it in 1927, and they can do it again.
    10 up and 10 down.

    Jerry Reply:

    San Carlos, Belmont, and San Bruno put in grade separations in the last several years.
    If they can get it done, so can PAMPA.

    Jerry Reply:

    And they did it without HSR money.

  17. Howard
    Oct 19th, 2015 at 09:34
    #17

    Siemens aims to make Sacramento a hub for bullet train

    Local train builder says it’s preparing to bid for high-speed rail contract

    Company has operated a manufacturing plant in south Sacramento for 30 years

    Plant recently added a 125,000-square-foot facility to build bullet trains

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article39709233.html#storylink=cpy

    les Reply:

    And in regard to claims companies don’t wants to put up cash:

    “Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Industry Inc.’s mobility division, said his company didn’t propose private financing because the state’s request wasn’t specifically set up for a financial proposal. But, he said, Siemens could be interested in making a financing pitch at some point.

    “We didn’t propose anything concrete in terms of private money going in, because there wasn’t an opportunity to do that,” he said. “Which doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be interested. Quite the opposite.””

    Zorro Reply:

    Now that sounds interesting and this means Siemens means business, since they already have a factory in California, expansion could be done.

    keith saggers Reply:

    High-speed rail officials said last week they would like to begin testing trains on the initial Central Valley rail segment by 2019. They said trains should be running from L.A. to San Francisco before 2030

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article39709233.html#storylink=cpy

    Eric Reply:

    They’ve done the expansion. They acquired the property to build this new factory years ago with HSR in mind. With a factory IN California they’re far ahead of the game in terms of getting a contract for train construction.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The Siemens factory has been a boon given that most of the Western United States is using them for light rail cars.

    However, the financial terms are likely to be the least generous of all the various suitors precisely because of the tax revenue that the plant already generates.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    are they going to come out with some new designs?

  18. morris brown
    Oct 19th, 2015 at 12:20
    #18


    href=”http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-19/banks-may-balk-at-financing-68-billion-california-bullet-train”>Banks May Balk at Financing $68 Billion California Bullet Train

  19. morris brown
    Oct 19th, 2015 at 12:22
    #19


    Banks May Balk at Financing $68 Billion California Bullet Train

    Zorro Reply:

    So what? Who cares about the Banks, Morris, they ain’t the only ones in town. And if financed all at once CAHSR could and would cost less, like maybe between $43bn and $53bn.

    Eric M Reply:

    If they really balked, the banks would never have submitted an expression of interest in the first place.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Business courtesy and political etiquette.

    They know Jerry will be gone soon.

    Meantime:

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Big-donors-back-moderate-Democrats-in-Sacramento-6576751.php

    paywall but these Demos might go for a re-vote of Prop 1a if PB makes more enemies.

    Zorro Reply:

    And yet HSR will still be built, Gov Brown or not Cyno.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Fools and PB rush in

    http://www.altamontpress.com/discussion/read.php?1,124292,124337#msg-124337

    Zorro Reply:

    You ought to know Cyno.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, I’ve come to know PB, depressingly.

    datacruncher Reply:

    The same article is accessible at many newspapers in the state or straight from the source’s site at CALMatters.
    https://calmatters.org/articles/rise-of-the-business-democrat/

    I noticed the article said “Many of these Democrats represent poor inland areas like Fresno, Bakersfield and San Bernardino and say they make policy decisions based on what’s best for job creation.” That might cut into your theory.

    synonymouse Reply:

    True. On the other hand these same pols might not like Jerry’s environmental laws that chase away manufacturing, etc. to other states.

    High taxes caused by subsidies for poorly conceived make-work infrastructure are death to job creation. These taxes are mostly paid by the low level employees, the typical non-limousine liberal Democrat. Rich people invest in the machine crony companies and get it all back.

    Joe Reply:

    Debunked on the 30’s

    The people you target with outdated jingoisti are your peers and they’re dropping off.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The working class is dropping off? In high tax states that may be true.

    So liberals of your generation are not really proletarian. So liberalism just a fashion, a fad. Watch out they might turn to the right like Reagan.

    joe Reply:

    Nope, we’re better off here than elsewhere just as you know. You’re once again retreading old crap fed to the geritol genration while collecting a union protected pension and liberal state benefits.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop. 13 is allowing me to stay in California.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I was under the impression the geritol generation had progressed to Viagra.

    Hef and Jerry.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    …or you could look at as Prop 13 is forcing you to stay in California….

    If your cheapest option is to stay in your house until you die, or buy another house in a county that will honor your exemption…you aren’t leaving.

    But that’s an odd policy if you think about it. Especially if you have a bigger house, you could downgrade to a smaller place, sell your house and invest the difference in the stock market, which would have a greater rate of return than housing. In fact, if you lived on the East Coast, you would have probably already moved to Florida at this point.

    Prop 13 was more about entrenching white (and hypothetically conservative) homeowners who had been supportive of overturning the Rumford Fair Housing Act. And indeed, Democrats would have gained control of California much more quickly had Prop 13 failed.

    Joe Reply:

    Syno is in California because he’s dependent on the union protected pension, state benefits and public infrastructure.
    Prop13 low taxes allows him to stay – does not force him to stay.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Talk about conspiracy theories.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Joe,

    Synonymouse could get his pension deposited no matter where he lives. Lots of pensioners retire and then move out of State. It’s almost a running joke in Sacramento when people declare what their next destination is.

    He likely stays because his family lives close by. (Which is often the most reason people choose to live in a metropolitan region.)

  20. Jon
    Oct 20th, 2015 at 11:14
    #20

    There’s some now information available on the LA – Anaheim section: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Statewide_Rail_Modernization/Project_Sections/losangeles_anaheim.html

    Most notable is that the section “Proposes building two new tracks that could accomodate future shared services with other passenger rail systems (Metrolink, Amtrak, Surfliner)” with “Grade separations at most railroad intersections”. It appears that the approach into Anaheim will use existing tracks without grade separation, the approach into LAUS will use the SCRIP, and the rest of the section will be grade separated. It’s not clear which conventional passenger rail services would use the new tracks and which would remain on the existing. The dedicated HSR option is not mentioned anywhere and appears to have been dropped from consideration.

    Domayv Reply:

    they probably felt that building a dedicated high speed alingment that would entirely follow I-5 would be too expensive and wouldn’t get enough riders. But if they’re going to fund a LA-SD high speed line that follows I-5 once the set is complete, they should consider making dedicated tracks between the two cities. Once that happens then they can retool the SD-Imperial Valley section of the other line and extend it to Victorville, creating the Cajon Pass HSR.

    beetroot Reply:

    I had no idea the authority had started showing XpressWest in its own maps.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/LA_Anaheim/LA_Anaheim_Fact_Sheet_Fall_2015.pdf

  21. Roland
    Oct 20th, 2015 at 13:32
    #21

    Meanwhile in Texas…
    “DHC is offering its services at no upfront cost to our Texas project, for the opportunity of later being selected as the preferred builder,” Keith said in a statement. “This is a unique partnership, and another example of how our private project is advancing in creative ways and attracting wide interest from companies wanting a role in its development.”
    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/high_speed_rail/news/Texas-Central-selects-joint-venture-for-highspeed-rail-lines-preconstruction-work–46200

    Jerry Reply:

    Upfront services at a value of $130 million.
    Could the CAHSR Authority request such a creative way as that?
    For maybe the San Jose to Merced segment broken into smaller sections.

  22. Reality Check
    Oct 20th, 2015 at 14:26
    #22

    South Korea ready to export HSR trains & services overseas; starts with Malaysia

    South Korea is set to expand their expertise in high speed rail (HSR) and related services to other nations, beginning with Malaysia, reported New Strait Times Oct. 4.

    According to Yoo Il Ho, South Korean Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister, the planned HSR project between Malaysia and Singapore is being prioritized by the South Korean government to allow the country to expand its expertise on technology.

    […]

  23. Rob
    Oct 20th, 2015 at 16:45
    #23

    They just don’t deserve it down there – bring it up via north bay / Vallejo and branch out to Sac from there. This area deserves actual investment and there’s way less nimby’s to worry about (well less who can litigate for fun with the change in their back pocket).

    Just done a trip all the way to VC on the I-5. Why isn’t it planned for the HSR to go north to at least Redding? Would lay the ground for future expansion north towards Shasta (more ski trains), Portland, Seattle and finally Vancouver (assuming Washington State, Oregon and British Columbia are up for it of course)…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In nice round numbers it’s 600 miles from Sacramento to Portland and almost no one lives along the way.

    Eric Reply:

    Except for you know, Chico, Redding, Salem, Eugene, Medford…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many of them are there? Just because there is a dot on the map doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile sending a train there conventional or HSR.

    James Fujita Reply:

    you could make an argument for upgrading the Cascades as far as Salem or Eugene for the state capitol and the university students. Certainly, south of the Willamette Valley it gets harder to justify.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Eric

    Compared to the Bay Area of even Sacramento, still almost no one.

    Zorro Reply:

    Still all that area could be more popular to live at if there was Dual Track HSR, maybe HSR there could in the future be at a faster speed, since R&D on HSR will most likely advance in the future, and It would make the state a bit smaller, since the sense of distance would not seem as remote as it is now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Actually LA does deserve rail transit more as they are trying to make up for the loss of the PE and the LARy. And LA did not commit the gross stupidity of BART bizarrotech.

    The entire focus of CAHSR from the beginning should have been the mountain crossing at Tejon, the escape from LA to the Valley and NorCal. From the get-go the amount of money and mitigation required from Sta. Clarita to LA was overlooked. Once again a further great advantage of the Tejon route is that the savings i generates can be directed to Sta. Clarita and cities south to get them on board.

    The cost of this project has been systematically underestimated. The travesty of the Palmdale detour and its gross extra cost should have been caught very early on. I suspect that Van Ark, clearly the smartest guy in the room, recognized the difficulties of pulling off the entree into LA and that the most effective way to the hearts and minds of the stakeholders is the best route. The sensible one everyone uses.

    Maybe the prospect of more floods with OMG Global Warming and El Schmeenyo will convince the Ranch to sell the necessary ROW at Lebec and move the damn golf course.

    Joe Reply:

    The entire focus of CAHSR from the beginning should have been the mountain crossing at Tejon, …

    The entire focus of your life is Tejon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is the key issue of this project, far and away. The best analogy is BART and how it was profoundly damaged by its founders thru egregious policy mistakes.

    Do you really want CAHSR to be an aberration, a white elephant, like BART?

    joe Reply:

    TEJON,
    BART.
    Lord knows what you mean.

    What do I want? I want to age gracefully and not get hung-up complaining in bojango-sterotypes.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I dunno how anything could be clearer. BART was seriously handicapped by planning mistakes by its engineers and administrators. Many in the industry questioned these decisions but their well-intentioned and correct input was spurned.

    Same thing is happening with CAHSR.

    Donk Reply:

    I just took a trip up to the bay this weekend and rode Caltrain a few times. Definitely not my first time, but it just reminded me what a clickety-clack system Caltrain is. Metrolink seems like a more advanced system and a smoother ride.

    It is astounding how the wealthiest area in the world doesn’t have the money to invest in its own rail infrastructure. Can’t they just create a tech-tax or something and complete the whole wish list of Bay Area projects in like 5 years? Aren’t people up there embarrassed that LA is going to leapfrog them within the next decade?

    Jerry Reply:

    Embarrassed?? It seems as though the rest of the country and the world has leapfrogged us in more ways than one.

    Mark Duncan Reply:

    Clickety-clack? Almost all of Caltrain’s rail is continuously welded 136 lb rail.

    You do have cars with flat spots on the wheels from emergency stops due to suicides. These are removed at CEMOF with a wheel truing machine.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Even with freshly trued wheels, the Caltrain cattle gallery cars deliver a pretty bumpy, noisy, shitty ride.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, nobody rides BART it is so screwed up.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What other choice do they have?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Well since you seem to be arguing that BART must be destroyed, you must believe that they do have another choice.

    synonymouse Reply:

    No more Indian standard gauge.

    Geary belongs to Muni.

    Jerry Reply:

    “What other choice do they have?”
    From Millbrae to San Francisco –
    CalTrain, buses, car pools, etc.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Syno, we disagree about BART. It has proved so successful in the three counties that gave it birth that neighboring counties are buying inl

    Joe Reply:

    Exaggerating. The cost to expand BART south into San Jose continues to rise. Santa Clara reduced stations in San Jose and thus it will underperform in ridership. Caltrain is clearly more cost effective.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Yes BART may be successful, but that doesn’t mean that San Mateo should buy into more BART and to ring the bay with BART, by replacing Caltrain. BART is NOT immune to accidents, delays, sabotage, suicide, etc. You have implied that BART is safe and reliable, not subject to such incidents hundreds of times. You want to dump HSR passengers onto an overcrowded BART in West Oakland or onto Caltrain in San Jose which will make it more crowded, possibly at capacity by Santa Clara or Sunnyvale, preventing thousands of regular Caltrain customers from getting on the train.

    It makes no sense to take a well used but underutilized system such as Caltrain and replace it with BART for $10-15-20 billion dollars.
    When done it will give us a system with:
    No express service.
    No monthly pass.
    Still crowded trains.
    No service in Bayshore corridor.
    No service to ATT Park.
    It will be a disservice to current BART customers as trains will become more crowded and reach capacity before hitting the core BART system.

    We must not keep throwing all our apples into the gold plated BART basket because it will eventually collapse. We should be looking at ways to complement BART and take some of the pressure off of BART. Improved, electric, grade separated Caltrain can provide superior service to BART. We should look at running more ACE and conventional rail service in the east bay to complement BART over there.

    Does the NYC subway want to replace Metro North and LIRR?
    Does Chicago CTA/EL want to replace Metra Rail?
    Does Washington DC Metro want to replace VRE?

    Only in the Bay Area do we see this lunacy of replacing one rail system with another very costly one.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Washington Metro is building far-out extensions like BART – the Silver Line to the airport, vaguely paralleling a rail-trail. This is straining core capacity on the Silver/Blue/Orange Line tunnel, so each of the branches is running at reduced frequency.

    But yeah, New York and Chicago keep things separate, so that commuter rail stays exactly as it’s been in the last 80 years or so, ticket punchers and all.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    On the upside if bart rings the bay, it could take some pressure off the tube because depending on the city pair, southern alameda riders could go around the other way and east bay riders who go to sf and millbrae to connect to peninsula destinations ( Pampa/silcon valley etc) could also travel via fremont -san jose isntead of thru sf.

    It would be simpler and more convenient outcome.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Actually…no…the distance from San Jose is actually shorter via the Tube side because of the dogleg around San Bruno Mountain. I would assume there’s a time savings too because of how fast BART can go under the Bay. That said, I still support Ring the Bay ™.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But that is what MTC wants. And sadly with Caltrain ghetto’d out with no W.C.’s and PB insisting on unacceptable structures at PAMPA a BART subway and Caltrain-CAHSR out may be a better deal for PAMPA.

    After all everybody has to look out for #1. That’s America.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Stop repeating your falsehoods:

    Caltrain has not removed restrooms, and PB is not insisting on unacceptable structures at PAMPA.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Au contraire, all indications are that “luggage” and extra doors will supplant W.C.’s, and seats.

    If PAMPA does not have the will nor the money to hire their own engineering consultant, lobbyists, and lawyers PB will indeed screw them over good.

    First off they should ask themselves how did Berkeley pay for its own subway. That would mean establishing some accurate cost numbers for the trench and for a BART 2 track subway and desired stations. PAMPA may have to play the BART card for PB-CAHSR and Jerry to realize it means business.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It’s possible, but stating it as an already done deal is false.

    Also, there’s no way for PAMPA to play a BART card. BART has no plans and PAMPA by itself cannot make it happen (since PAMPA is far north of BART at the moment).

    Besides, PB won’t insist on aerials because a berm is sufficient. Again another falsehood. If you have actual evidence not just a belief in your “heart of hearts” about the Authority’s plans for grade separation, then please reference them.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How high a berm?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Probably no higher than the similar ones in San Bruno or Belmont and San Carlos.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Only in the Bay Area do we see this lunacy of replacing one rail system with another very costly one.

    Jeff, BART isn’t replacing MUNI. BART isn’t replacing the Capitol Corridor or ACE. All BART will ever do is replace CalTrain as a way to offset the loss of the Peninsula ROW to HSR. The alternative is electrification and a much slower HSR system, both of which are not cheap. And more of the same frustration for urban planning and transit nerds.

    Want Menlo Park to not build more housing? Support CalTrain. Want Google Buses clogging the streets of San Francisco. Support CalTrain. Want VTA to keep being mediocre? Support CalTrain… The Peninsula is not a cul-de-sac, it’s transportation system shouldn’t act like it is.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Mr. Allen is misinformed — while there have been arrangements (or deals or agreements) made to allow BART to be extended into SMCo. and now into SCCo. — neither county has or is “buying in” by actually joining the BART District.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    The buy-in arrangements have never included annexing into the three-county district that gave birth to BART. That was proposed in the 1957 SFBARTC “Report to the Legislature”, creating a common governance for the five major Bay Area Counties and their now six billion inhabitants. It would not necessarily have any impact on Caltrain, although it could. A unified rail rapid transit network ringing the Bay could very well interconnect BART, Caltrain, Muni, and other rail operations. I wish MTC would catch the vision and use its influence to bring us all together.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    that’s six million. Sorry. I don’t know how to correct my error.

    les Reply:

    Doesn’t the word “synonymouse” mean user of LSD in a parallel universe? I think the 2 universes have overlapped.

    keith saggers Reply:

    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

    Yogi Berra
    1925-2015

    Rob Reply:

    “Down there” mean’t palo alto – of course it should go to LA, it’s just south bay doesn’t deserve it with the fuss they are kicking up.

    If it were done right HSR would go along the entire west coast. That’s what europe are essentially doing right now with HS2 extension in the UK and France expanding it’s HSR to link up with Spain and Italy on multiple routes.

    Yes there is a population drop north of Redding but imagine the boom those areas would get. Anything up to one and a half hours is commutable to some people – that puts the major population centers in reach of the smaller middle of nowhere towns.

  24. Bonnie Corwin
    Oct 21st, 2015 at 06:42
    #24

    I believe that Palo Alto is concerned about the environmental studies that are pretty much impossible to complete by 2017 and be comprehensive, unless of course they are counting on their desktop studies in a major way. Palo Alto may further want to insist to have independent companies along side of the HSR regarding these studies. There could be safety concerns and many times the actual environmental studies can hurt the environment. Is completing an environmental study beginning now with a deadline of 2017 realistic, considering they can take at least three years? Those would be my concerns.

  25. morris brown
    Oct 21st, 2015 at 07:57
    #25

    Lawmakers in deal on extending rail safety deadline: senator </a

    keith saggers Reply:

    http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/256246-boxer-to-house-no-ptc-extension-without-highway-bill

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Oh just great. An unfunded knee jerk mandate from the government that results in a showdown between hyper-partisan sides on a completely unrelated funding bill. Way to go Sen. Boxer! Hijack the nation’s economy for purely partisan political reasons. And the liberals accuse only the Republicans of using such tactics? Wow. Boxer needs to look in the mirror and consider the needs of the country first. Keep the PTC extension separate from highway funding. Both political parties are guilty of not governing. We deserve what we get out of Washington.

    Joe Reply:

    Chill
    This is democracy 101. No special deals for railroads.

  26. morris brown
    Oct 21st, 2015 at 08:29
    #26

    Siemens raises questions about financial underpinnings of
    high-speed rail

    J. Wong Reply:

    You know it wouldn’t surprise me if Gov. Brown got a guaranteed funding stream for HSR in place before he leaves office.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, a bunch of taxes mostly tapping the low income.

    But the 2016 presidential election will likely see a very low turnout, bad for Jerry’s tax moves. Hillary vs. Jeb: snooze. 2 duds.

    J. Wong Reply:

    My uninformed guess is bonds not taxes.

    Also, I don’t think 2016 will see low turnout mostly because Hillary’s campaign very much understands high turnout is necessary for a win and most Democrats also understand what is at stake.

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed and Sen Sanders campaign is doing rather well, both in Donations and in people at His campaign stops, at least from what I’ve read.

    Joe Reply:

    Siemens also corrected two pieces of misinformation From HSR critics.

    In this quoted article they state cap an trade is not a a tax or revenue raising law. Cap and trade is a fee to regulate carbon emissions. This debunks Morris and critics claim it is an illegal tax.

    They also clearly state the authority’s request for information didn’t ask for funding offers which is why they (and all other respondents) did not offer funding solutions in their responses.

    Zorro Reply:

    And if the CHSRA had asked and had gotten funding offers in the amounts needed, critics heads would have exploded, I will like to see that happen. :)

    StevieB Reply:

    Siemens questions relate to pricing the value of cap and trade revenue too cheaply. Siemens places great value on the California High Speed Rail project.

    Siemens is convinced that a high-speed rail project connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles will help the State of California to reach its long-term objectives such as economic development of all regions, infrastructure that provides fast and convenient transportation means and protection of the environment.

    Siemens perceives great interest of financiers in cap and trade.

    Especially in terms of the availability of funding, the financial market perceives the introduction of Cap & Trade as great sign for the project with a lot of potential.

    Markets are optimistic but cautious because cap and trade has just started.

    Considering that the first auctions have outperformed expectations, enthusiasm has been raised but the limited historical data points do not establish sufficient comfort in the market regarding certainty of repayment for long durations. That being said, we perceive the market as very cautious in lending long-term based on this new kind of revenue stream, especially due to its early stage and potential self-diminishing nature.

    Siemens urges caution in selling long term debt based on cap and trade because it may be priced too cheaply and a better financial deal for the Authority could be obtained once cap and trade revenue has been established over a longer term.

    Especially in this early phase of such a promising program, we see it as beneficial to hold off on long-term monetization to avoid underselling (both in regard of volume and pricing) this great funding source for the project.

    StevieB Reply:

    Siemens urges caution in selling long term debt based on cap and trade because it may be priced too cheaply and a better financial deal for the Authority could be obtained once cap and trade revenue has been established over a longer term.

    Especially in this early phase of such a promising program, we see it as beneficial to hold off on long-term monetization to avoid underselling (both in regard of volume and pricing) this great funding source for the project.

  27. Reality Check
    Oct 21st, 2015 at 10:10
    #27

    Caltrain just posted this immodest dreamy video to YouTube yesterday:
    Caltrain: “World’s Greatest” in Passenger Rail Systems

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    omg the people who run caltrain are completely delusional.

    Peter Reply:

    More likely one of their vendors went a little off the rails (pun intended).

    I’m pretty sure the people who actually run Caltrain are mortified by how pretentious this video is.

    Roland Reply:

    By “the people who actually run Caltrain”, do you mean Jim Hartnett and Chuck Harvey or Ben Tripousis and Parsons Brinckerhoff?

    Peter Reply:

    I’m referring to management and staff versus whatever PR firm made the video.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Caltrain CEO Jim Hartnett and COO Chuck Harvey are in the video.

    While they should be “mortified” … I doubt either one of them is.

    Peter Reply:

    Yeah, they’re in the video. But compare their relatively fact based comments with the tone of the rest of the video. They’re nothing alike.

    EJ Reply:

    “Nearly everything accomplished in this country can be credited to the rail systems”

    *cut to shot of the Golden Gate bridge, which has never carried trains.

    Edward Reply:

    The fabricated steel used in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge was manufactured by Bethlehem Steel in plants in Trenton, New Jersey and Sparrows Point, Maryland and in plants in three Pennsylvania towns: Bethlehem, Pottstown, and Steelton. The steel was loaded, in sections, onto rail cars, taken to Philadelphia and shipped through the Panama Canal to San Francisco. The shipment of the steel was timed to coincide with the construction of the bridge.

    No rail, no bridge.

    Eric Reply:

    That’s the free market, everything is connected to everything.
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

    Jerry Reply:

    And the video compares the time to go from San Jose to San Francisco.
    Diesel Train – 52 minutes
    Electric Train – 51 minutes
    Is the video correct? After electrification the time savings is just ONE minute??

    Peter Reply:

    I think those are the times for diesel Baby Bullets and electric all-stops locals.

    James Fujita Reply:

    one minute is still an improvement. and you’d be switching from diesel exhaust to an electric power plant, which might be coal but it could just as easily be solar or wind. not to mention less noise for the neighbors.

  28. Roland
    Oct 21st, 2015 at 11:38
    #28
  29. Jeff Carter
    Oct 22nd, 2015 at 09:53
    #29

    A little off topic, how do rail systems other than Caltrain identify/label their trains?

    This discussion came up during the Caltrain JPB Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting last night (Wed. October 21, 2015). It was said that Caltrain is the only system that does not identify their trains, while every other system in the world does identify their trains.

    Caltrain does identify by train number and trains are announced approaching/arriving on the PADS system. The PADS system will show the train number and the time it is due at that station. It will also show that train #XXX is 10 minutes late, and so on. However, some people indicated that the train number means nothing to them. The train numbers do go by 300’s for bullets, 200’s for limited’s, 100’s for local, 400’s for weekends, and 800’s for weekend bullets. The timetable has color coding for the various types of trains.

    So how can Caltrain improve on this?

    They can’t just identify as bullet or limited, since there are different stopping patterns for these trains.

    Should the conductor come out with a sign showing the stops, which was suggested?

    Roland Reply:

    1) Mobile app: http://vta.transloc.com/ (click on a train to find out where it’s going)
    2) At every station:
    http://mattaustin.me.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Screenshot-20100115-215029.png http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/train-departures-board-8536915.jpg
    3) On every train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KKNcdPK_s0#t=65 (visual only on the front and sides to respect quietness in stations)

    Roland Reply:

    VTA press release: http://transloc.com/vta-light-rail-now-offering-real-time-tracking-mobile-apps/

    RobBob Reply:

    I’ve been riding Caltrain every weekday for 10 years and I think there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the schedule is arranged and promoted. The fact of the matter is if the trains are running behind schedule and I arrive when a train pulls up to the station, it’s near impossible for me to cross reference all of the information in time to figure out if I should get on it. When trains are delayed the twitter feed says which trains are delayed by how many minutes. Once you are on the train unless the conductor announces it you have no idea what train you are on.

    I feel like they need to standardize the lines so it can be understood by a normal person. Are people actually making timed transfers (I would guess this is quite rare), or should they just run one as an express and one as a full service train. The fact that they have to announce to people that a train doesn’t stop at millbrae and that they need to get off and take the next train is just indicative of the problem.

    So I really think they should standardize the stopping patterns into distinct lines.

    On the other hand given that they aren’t adding any new trains until 2019 or whenever it gets electrified and the existing trains are over capacity, it is probably in my best interest to discourage new people from taking Caltrain in the first place.

    Joe Reply:

    The train number referenced in the schedule is on the train locomotive as it pulls in.
    Failing to recognize the train number, you can understand the type of train by the number hundreds column.
    300 express
    200 limited
    100 local
    You can also ask someone.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Currently, if you miss or cannot see/read the numbers on the front of the train … it isn’t always easy to immediately figure out what train you’ve just run up to, and, more importantly, what stops its going to be making.

    Ideally, trains should be identifiable with an electronic sign (outward-facing embedded monitor) visible at or near each door which displays the train ID and a scrolling/looping display of station stops.

    If there were only a handful of stopping patterns, then maybe displaying whether it was train type A, B, C, or D (in the case of 4 stopping patterns) would be enough (for experienced riders at least) to immediately know that the train was going to stop at all stations served by “C” trains.

    Jon Reply:

    Better electronic signage would fix the problem. Something like this: http://www.tandrag.com/images/uploads/SignHounslowS.jpg

  30. Useless
    Oct 22nd, 2015 at 10:04
    #30

    Terms of Japanese railway construction financing to India revealed.

    – 80% of construction cost financed at 1% interest rate.($15 billion estimation)
    – Rolling stocks must be imported from Japan
    – No tech transfers.

    Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with the CHSRA due to Japanese inability to supply Tier-III rolling stocks and Buy America mandate that requires the rolling stocks be built in the US instead of being imported from Japan.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/507835/japan-offers-india-soft-loan.html

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Japanese have a robust manufacturing base in the U.S.

    J. Wong Reply:

    For trains?

    Peter Reply:

    Yes, Kawasaki and Nippon-Sharyo both build trains in the U.S.

    joe Reply:

    The company, [Nippon-Sharyo] which builds Japan’s famous bullet trains, has been operating in Rochelle [IL] since 2012 on a site near the junction of interstates 39 and 88. Nippon Sharyo opened its third plant at the site in June 2014 and celebrated the completion of its 100th railroad passenger car in November.

    …Kevin Koyasu, president/CEO of Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., said the company had nearly 600 workers.

    The company’s Rochelle plants build rail cars for the California Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Amtrak and Metra, Chicagoland’s commuter rail system.
    http://www.rrstar.com/article/20150903/NEWS/150909775

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    The Japanese have a robust manufacturing base in the U.S.

    US final assembly is not as profitable for Japanese as a straight importation of unmodified Shinkansen train is. This is why the Japanese government is willing to offer a 1% interest loan on this project, on the condition that Indian government imports Shinkansen rolling stocks from Japan which also assures that there would be a substantial maintenance service revenue rolling in for the next 30 years.

    joe Reply:

    US final assembly is not as profitable for Japanese as a straight importation of unmodified Shinkansen train …

    Because US labor is so much more expensive. That’s why the Japanese don’t build cars in the US because it’s not as profitable….except they do and it’s less expensive.

    twit: noun informal
    a silly or foolish person.

    Useless Reply:

    joe

    Because US labor is so much more expensive.

    US labor cost more than Japanese labor now due to weak yen. Plus Japan has a low-cost universal health care vs US’s superexpensive Obamacare.

    That’s why the Japanese don’t build cars in the US

    Japanese certainly don’t build low-volume cars in the US, only high volume cars. Low volume models are almost always made in Japan.

    It is really the production volume that determines the cost of a product, and Japan has the economy of scale for Shinkansen trains, whereas the US factory might be lucky to turn out 24 sets before closing shop. So it is in Japan’s best financial interest to avoid local assembly and encourage a direct importation from Japan.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Assembling things in the U.S. makes more money than not-building-anything in Japan.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    Assembling things in the U.S. makes more money than not-building-anything in Japan.

    Of course all bidders will do US final assembly if the bids required, but they would rather not. This is the reason why Las Vegas-Palmdale HSR is using imported rolling stocks from China, and the Texas Central HSR is using imported N700i Shinkansen trains. No US final assembly either case because it’s not required, so vendors won’t do ti.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Shipping parts from China to an assembly plant on the national railroad network is easier and cheaper than shipping whole cars across the Pacific.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    Shipping parts from China to an assembly plant on the national railroad network is easier and cheaper than shipping whole cars across the Pacific.

    Shipping cost from China is miniscule compared to cost of establishing and maintaining a new plant and its crew, paying business and property taxes, etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They won’t have to establish a new plant, they already exist. Staffed and making money.

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    they already exist

    Where in the US?

    Peter Reply:

    Nippon Sharyo: Rochelle, IL
    Kawasaki: Lincoln, NE

    If it were that unprofitable to build a plant in the U.S., then Talgo wouldn’t have established a plant in Wisconsin for a very small order of trainsets, and Siemens wouldn’t be expanding its Sacramento plant for orders that do not exist yet.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Two off the top of my head

    http://www.kawasakirailcar.com/

    http://www.nipponsharyousa.com/

    Useless Reply:

    adirondacker12800

    Two off the top of my head

    You said China, not Japan.

    Shipping parts from China

    Domayv Reply:

    @Useless: China’s got a US plant in Massachusetts.

    Joe Reply:

    US auto industry is an embarrassing counter example as are other aspects of reality.

    les Reply:

    This all bodes very well for CHSR. With this kind of cash floating around Tier-III will become ancient blog fodder and the Chinese and Japanease will introduce trains made of Kryptonite-X.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yup, they’ll ask for an exemption and they’ll get it. Even on the northern blend where HSR and Caltrain will be sharing with real freight trains. How you ask? By time boxing when freight is running versus HSR and Caltrain. Just how it’s done today with just Caltrain.

    Jerry Reply:

    CalTrain, freight, HSR. Will they all have compatible PTC?
    It might help for the ‘time boxing’ to safely operate.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Yup, they’ll ask for an exemption and they’ll get it.

    Caltrain may got an exemption because the heaviest train sharing tracks with it is CHRSA Tier III trains.

    CHSRA will not get an exemption because the heaviest train sharing tracks with it is Metrolink Rotem cars and Santa Fe freight trains.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Caltrain may got an exemption because the heaviest train sharing tracks with it is CHRSA Tier III trains.”

    Wrong. It is sharing with UP freight trains, which is what I wrote in my post. Don’t you read very well?

    CHSRA will also do what is necessary to get an exemption, like upgrading Metrolink to Tier III trains and not running concurrently with freight just like in Northern California.

    Domayv Reply:

    so it means separating the freight and passenger tracks from each other between LA and Anaheim (since the LA-Anaheim section os the only other section where it is “blended”)

    J. Wong Reply:

    The initial blend in Southern California is LAUS. LAUS Anaheim isn’t being planned yet.

    keith saggers Reply:

    There are several (players) offering the high-speed technology. But technology and funding together, we only have one offer. That is the Japanese,” said A. K. Mital, the chairman of the Indian Railway Board, which manages the network.
    “What complicates the process is Japanese linking funding to use of their technology. There must be tech transfer,” said Mital. Deccan Herald

  31. Domayv
    Oct 22nd, 2015 at 17:29
    #31

    Alstom will manufacture Amtrak’s next high speed trains for NEC
    http://www.stargazette.com/story/news/2015/09/21/amtrak-award-alstom-25b-contract/72556256/

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    The Senator spoke too soon. It’s not official yet, or at least it wasn’t when Alon Levy blogged it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What does $2.5 bil work out to per car or trainset? PB-CAHSR stuff had better come in pretty close or Jerry will have some ‘splaining to do.

    Useless Reply:

    synonymouse

    What does $2.5 bil work out to per car or trainset?

    A KTX-II train set costs $30 million. A Velaro train set costs $44 million. Even after FRA-III-fying the train set and paying for Buy America compliance, the final cost shouldn’t be more than double the original prices.

    In other word, a fleet of 28 FRA Tier-III KTX-II train sets would cost $1.68 billion, and the FRA Tier-III Velaro $2.44 billion. Oh wait, $2.44 billion is indeed what’s budgeted for the Acela Replacement.

    Domayv Reply:

    but Amtrak is looking for a tilting train (the Velaro isn’t, lest Siemens implements the LRC or SJ X2 type tilting system that they will soon inherit from Bombardier’s rail assets onto the Velaro family).

  32. keith saggers
    Oct 22nd, 2015 at 19:02
    #32
  33. keith saggers
    Oct 22nd, 2015 at 19:14
    #33

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/freight/single-view/view/norfolk-southern-to-stop-accepting-traffic-ahead-of-ptc-deadline.html

    Domayv Reply:

    this does not look good, since NS will lo longer let Amtrak, MARC, Metra and VRE operate on their tracks (which means no Virginia services for Northeast Regional and no VRE services period) until they install PTC on their tracks as mandated by federal law due to safety reasons. It’s little wonder why they’re supporting the deadline extension so they can be given a window of time to install PTC on its network.

    Nathanael Reply:

    They’ll be ordered to run Amtrak et al by the STB, but it’ll still be one hell of a mess. Everyone involved would like an extension on the PTC mandate, but Congress is dithering.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I don’t think STB will order any such thing. They can’t order a railroad to break the law

  34. MarkB
    Oct 23rd, 2015 at 21:56
    #34

    Good news from Metro: the board approved a motion (22 October) to expand the SCRIP program to include HSR accommodations within the existing train shed.

    Metro said (in one of the slides accompanying the agenda item):
    “In order to meet a high speed rail service by 2024, Metro needs to incorporate the passenger concourse and not to preclude HSR in the SCRIP Environmental and Preliminary Engineering phase. CHSRA is responsible for environmentally clearing the HSR elements of SCRIP (as part of CHSRA EIR/EIS Burbank to Anaheim corridor).”

    CHSRA said (in another of the slides):
    “CHSRA has expressed a desire for the following at LAUS:
    • Initial operations at LAUS by 2024
    • Two (2) dedicated station platforms and 4 tracks at
    the rail yard
    • A track and structure design integrated with SCRIP and the new concourse”

    This is great news because it may mean the abandonment of the proposed underground, dedicated station a quarter-mile away. The consolidation will make it so much easier to transfer from one service to another. Not to mention the cost savings in not building an underground bunker!

    Presentation deck and motion linked at this site: https://metro.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2486700&GUID=565A0CBC-80E6-427D-919F-D9A099F97909&FullText=1

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