CHSRA Unveils 2016 Business Plan – and a Northern IOS

Feb 19th, 2016 | Posted by

The California High Speed Rail Authority yesterday unveiled its draft 2016 Business Plan – including the decision to move the Initial Operating Segment to Northern California.

The highlights, as described in the plan’s executive summary:

Funding – The funding authorized by the Governor and Legislature, by the federal government and the people of California is sufficient to deliver a high-speed rail line connecting the Silicon Valley to the Central Valley

Schedule – We now project starting passenger service on that line in 2025 instead of on a line between Merced and the San Fernanco Valley in 2022

Cost Estimates – Our capital cost estimates for building the Phase 1 system between San Francisco/Merced and Los Angles/Anaheim are lower than prior estimates

Those cost estimates, in fact, are $5.5 billion lower. The Authority proposes taking $2.1 billion of those savings and spending it on improvements in the Los Angeles to Anaheim corridor, so the final cost difference is $3.4 billion in savings.

The draft Business Plan also provides some details as to how the “Silicon Valley to Central Valley line” would operate – and how additional federal funding could help get that line to San Francisco and Bakersfield:

We determined that the line that we can fund and build within projected sources, and initiate revenue producing operations on quickly, is a line connecting the Silicon Valley (San Jose) to the Central Valley (at the existing Construction Package 4 southern construction terminus north of Bakersfield). The Silicon Valley to Central Valley line, from Diridon Station in San Jose to a station north of Bakersfield, which includes an interim facility that functions as a temporary station, meets Proposition 1A requirements including non-subsidized operations. It can be built with available funding from Proposition 1A bonds, federal funds and the continued anticipated Cap and Trade proceeds.

However, we believe the first operating line should extend further — from San Francisco to Bakersfield – and offer a one-seat ride between these two destinations. This extended line would significantly enhance ridership and revenues and therefore attract higher value private sector concession bids based on future discounted cash flows. Our goal is to construct that longer line. This will require the completion of the Caltrain modernization program/electrification project. It will also require approximately $2.9 billion of additional funding to extend the line to Bakersfield and for initial improvements in the San Jose to San Francisco corridor to allow operation of high-speed rail trains in the Caltrain corridor. Given the opportunity to leverage more ridership, revenue and private sector participation, we will seek federal funds to help complete the full San Francisco to Bakersfield line. If those additional funds are not forthcoming, we can and will still construct the Silicon Valley to Central Valley line described above.

So, basically, they have the money to build from Diridon Station to a temporary station just outside Bakersfield, and will seek additional federal funding to do those things. That might be tricky given the Republican Congress’s hostile attitude toward HSR.

Still, this business plan makes a ton of sense and it is extremely exciting to see that the CHSRA believes they can have an operating high speed rail line within 10 years. That will be huge. And if they can get those trains up to SF and to Bakersfield, all the better – and that will go a long way in getting the additional funding needed to close the gap and connect Bakersfield to Los Angeles.

That’s my quick take – what’s yours?

  1. Joe
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 08:10
    #1

    gilroy dispatch:

    I wish that everyone was Gilroy,” said Ben Tripousis, the director, based in San Jose, after hearing comments from the audience about how they hoped the rail line would bring more foot traffic and customers downtown.

    “If statewide service moves this way, it’s supposed to create an opportunity for Gilroy to be a hub of its area,” he said. “It’s critical to the region, not just the local community, to ensure high speed rail is an asset, not an eyesore.”

    He offered some hope for job creation in Gilroy, saying that the authority was considering it as one of two cities for a maintenance yard. The other is Brisbane.

    Meanwhile, city planners unveiled a plan to build a new $4.5 million bridge on 10th Street over Uvas Creek, something that has been talked about since 2005 and could be completed by 2018. The bridge is needed to accommodate traffic from the 1,700-home Glen Loma development which is covering most of the expenses. It would include a tunnel for the bike trail along the creek and two traffic circles leading to Gilroy High School.

    The HSR downtown station site is at 10th street. The 10st bridge would connect western housing developments and the junior college directly to the city core.

    This same planning exercise would have taken 5 years and a lawsuit in Palo Alto and been rejected by Menlo Park as too intrusive.

    http://m.gilroydispatch.com/news/high-speed-rail-and-th-street-bridge-updates/article_ee1f4212-d699-11e5-84b0-e3af20ee1ff5.html?mode=jqm

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Joe,

    I don’t think the current plan has a downtown station (details say berm)- have you heard differently?

    Jon Reply:

    Why does that imply the station isn’t downtown?

    joe Reply:

    Yes.

    There are two station options. In town at Caltrain and the other of town in greenfield just off 101 between the outlet mall and Hospital.

    For downtown there are two alignment options, an at grade station with tenches approach and an elevated station with berm.

    The berm also grade separates UP/Caltrain tracks. The trench does not include the UP Row which remains at grade.

    City recommended a downtown station and if so then at grade with trench approach.

    This recommendation needs to be stifled for impact and practicality. There is a study funded and – probably in progress.

    joe Reply:

    Here:
    http://www.gilroyhighspeedtrain.org
    and the older plan is here http://www.gilroyhighspeedtrain.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Vision_Report_Final_web.pdf

    The city recommendation needs to be studied and such a study is funded. The HSR landuse vision isn’t quantified in terms of traffic and noise. It generally is the position of the city and legacy residents that the city downtown needs to be further rejuvenated and made accessible.

    Newer residents north and west of town don’t know the downtown area at all. We have friends those areas, some gated communities. The city core is not easily accessible and we are becoming a bi-modal community.

    The 10th street bridge from west and east to Caltrain and HW 101 is supposed to help by making a direct route into the City core.

    The current government is less enlighten than past – the Mayor rammed a massive sprawl project through Dec 7th and then retired Dec 31st. The HSR project comes are good time to review the past decisions to infill and focus on transit.

    William Reply:

    @joe, the citizen group of the meeting actually recommend downtown split-grade option, don’t know why the city recommend the trench option.

    joe Reply:

    Curious what meeting do you refer?

    I was at the Gilroy City Council Meeting in 2012 when the final envisioning report was presented and approved. The follow-on will study the alignment/approach to the station.

    http://patch.com/california/gilroy/council-selects-downtown-area-for-high-speed-rail-station

    I recall the trenched approach was the top selection by the residents in the report.

    So thank you. I have to correct my memory. From the news article the city voted for Downtown. The alignment it seems was not voted on officially. It’s going to be the outcome of the in progress study now in work.

    What we’re going to get offered is downtown on the ROW and with berm and it should include the UP ROW. That was the least costly of the two downtown options and least costly when you factor in building infrastructure and developing city services out of town.

    Thanks.

    William Reply:

    I wished I saved the meeting minutes of the 2011/2012 vision community meetings, but I clearly saw in the last meeting minute that the split-grade got the highest points from the citizens.

    I’ll see if internet archive still has the report.

    joe Reply:

    The Nov 2015 meeting notes reviewed past work:
    http://www.gilroyhighspeedtrain.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CAC_1_Summary_Revised.pdf
    I think you are right. I may have gotten Perry’s preference mixup. Good news that the city is getting it’s preference proposed. Now time to understand the impacts like noise.

    The CAC and the project team briefly discussed vertical and horizontal high-speed rail (HSR) alignment options and the pros and cons of each alignment. During the Station Area Plan process, the project team’s study will assume a modified at-grade alignment and a HSR station Downtown, which was identified as the preferred alignment and station location during the 2012 visioning process.

    joe Reply:

    What do you mean by split grade?

    As a result, there are four potential alignments for a high-speed train in Gilroy:
    ■ Downtown Gilroy Modified At-Grade
    ■ Downtown Gilroy Trench
    ■ East of Gilroy Outlets At-Grade
    ■ East of Gilroy Outlets Aerial

    Page 40 below shows the Modified at-grade option has the ROW at the same level at the station site.
    The trench has the ROW separated at different levels.
    http://www.gilroyhighspeedtrain.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Vision_Report_Final_web.pdf

    William Reply:

    The preference of the Workshop was downtown modify at-grade option, as described in page 40 and page 50 of the report :)

    Joe Reply:

    Workshops plural – right? They held multiple workshops.

    William Reply:

    Also see page 59 for the plus and minus of each option, downtown modify at-grade clearly won out.

  2. morris brown
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 08:23
    #2

    When looking back a bit, we recall that Altamont was discarded in favor of Pacheco because the City of San Jose would not support San Jose being served only on a 8 mile or so spur. No, indeed the train must pass through the City.

    Now we see San Francisco being served only by a 50 mile spur (Caltrain). Thus far I haven’t seen the outrage from San Francisco.

    Really the 2016 plan means HSR only from San Jose to Fresno, with a possibility of making it to Bakersfield if a few billions more can somehow be found.

    So that is what Prop 1A was all about? No service from SF to LA? Surely this is one big Joke.

    As Judge Kopp was quoted earlier


    “This project is nonexistent,” said Quentin Kopp, a former Superior Court judge, state legislator and a past chair of the high-speed rail authority board. “There is no private investment. So what they are doing is just whistling Dixie and somehow hoping the public can be fooled. It is over except for the waste of taxpayer money.”

    Kopp said the project is a far different proposal today from what was called for in a successful 2008 ballot measure that provided more than $9 billion in bond funding for the project.

    “What they have done in effect is destroy my intentions and those of the voters of California,” he said.

    les Reply:

    I’ll take this “joke” over your plan any day.

    Joe Reply:

    Here is CARRD being irresponsible. Apparently it’s now bad to build an electric rail system that accesses high paying jobs in the Pennisula because – Sprawl.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_29533635/bullet-train-battle-is-main-funding-source-fantasy

    Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said the new line will open up “amazing possibilities for affordable homes in much more affordable markets” in the Central Valley. But Elizabeth Alexis, a Palo Alto resident and cofounder of Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design, said her group has plenty of questions about the wisdom behind the rail board’s decision.

    “You have a sprawl problem if you create a commuter market,” said Alexis, who also worries about what will happen to areas like Willow Glen in San Jose if the authority chooses overhead tracks rather than tunneling to keep down costs.

    “If you want a high speed train going through highly populated areas,” she said, “you will either have very unhappy residents or very high costs.”

    I agree with the last sentence. There will be very unhappy people who live along the right of way in wealthy Pennisula cities. There is no benefit to accommodating disgruntled residents that would take the added costs of a trench into court and try to shut the project down.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    My full quote was that you either have a ridership problem or you are going to have a sprawl problem.

    All the savings in the project cost come from SF – Chowchilla, with most of the savings SJ – Chowchilla. Some of this seems sensible (deferring leg to Merced, no more Diridon intergalactic). Some of it is not in that category. Apparently there are some very new plans from SJ to Gilroy – not everyone will be happy.

    joe Reply:

    Now CARRD says clean, electric rail transportation with centralized stations in city cores has to be opposed because it crates sprawl.

    If you cared about “sprawl” then get Peninsula Cities to green light more dense infill. Palo Alto NIMBYs fight senior citizen home developments. It’s really hard to take any of the sprawl concern serious.

    Gilroy’s trying to rejuvenate downtown with city centered station. We’re going to add a bridge to help bring people into the city core and to the station site. Even if the station is moved to the outlet mall area, we are still going to infill the city core.

    Jerry Reply:

    “not everyone will be happy.”
    Everyone, never, ever, will be happy.
    That is an ongoing problem in Palo Alto – trying to make everyone happy.

    les Reply:

    squeaky wheel will gets the cash.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Commute systems create more demand for commuting than they can handle, the excess demand met by driving and then widening rural highways and interstate freeways. This question is central to a Pacheco vs Altamont debate which HSR “speed freaks” refuse to consider. Increased ACE Altamont service will only increase demand and traffic. Frequent all-day HSR via Altamont has the potential to guide needed infill of transit-oriented development. HSR via Pacheco will generate sprawl and traffic.

    Alan Reply:

    Earth to Lewellan:

    *There is no longer a debate on Altamont vs Pacheco. It’s done. Finished. Get over it. The decisions have been made, and you can’t change them. The people you deride as “speed freaks” understand this. You obviously don’t.

    *You’re babbling nonsense when you say that increased ACE service won’t encourage sprawl, and HSR will. Do you have a legitimate source for this, or did you pull it out of your rear end, as usual?

    *The people of Livermore want nothing to do with TOD. They’re fighting tooth and nail against bringing BART into the city, where it could accomplish TOD.

    Lewellan Reply:

    IOW, the debate this jerk Alan wants squashed, will affect the planning process regardless, spuring opponents and otherwise reasonable advocates alike into heightening the ongoing controversy of accountability. You’re a jerk, Alan. What are you? A censor? A bully? A conceited BS artist doing the cause more harm than good? If you can’t accept how my viewpoint contributes, keep your fuckwad complaints to yourself.

    Alan Reply:

    You’re not contributing any rational viewpoints. And you’re the only one who doesn’t understand that. There is no debate to be had. None. Grow up and act like a man and accept that. You’re ten years late to the Altamont-vs-Pacheco discussion. The rest of the world has passed you by. Now, if you think that pointing out facts you don’t like makes someone a jerk or bully, that’s your problem. Go find yourself a therapist.

    You’re name calling because you have nothing to back up the comments you made. Zero.

    keep your fuckwad complaints to yourself

    Now who’s trying to play censor? As long as you post stupid, irrational comments, I’ll be here to refute them. If you don’t like that, too bad.

    And BTW, your precious Talgos won’t have anything to do with HSR.

    Alan Reply:

    I’m not sure why, but this was intended as a response to Llewellan. For some reason, my posts today aren’t appearing in the thread where they were intended to be. Same for two posts of mine which follow this one.

    Jerry Reply:

    Also, it’s the first time I have seen a page two for the posts.
    The posts are not in the right place.

    Roland Reply:

    YYGT when this blog exceeds 200 comments per post.

    Alan Reply:

    I noticed the page two on another recent article here. Maybe an “upgrade” to the server?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It does make sense how long this post is. I mean, this is the biggest HSR decision since prop A was passed. Also, its been q while since a new post (hint: Robert, please post something new)

    Isgota Reply:

    “And BTW, your precious Talgos won’t have anything to do with HSR.”

    And the funny thing, Talgo bussiness is now just HS trainsets.

    The Talgo dual fuel (electric + diesel) he is advocating were just Talgo 250 converted as an interim solution for delays in HS lines due to budget constraints in Spain.

    Alan Reply:

    Adding the dual mode (the equipment for the diesel side) adds a lot of weight to the trainset. Would that added weight going over the Tehachapis prevent the trains from meeting the Prop 1A schedule?

    It doesn’t seem like dual-mode trains are an answer to the issues faced in California. Building the electrification infrastructure is fairly small potatoes compared to building the tracks, tunnels, and bridges. Once those are built electrification is small potatoes.

    Isgota Reply:

    Of course they cannot meet the speeds required for Prop 1A. The Talgo 250 has a max. speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), add the diesel system and the certified speed felt to 240 km/h (about 150 mph) and in diesel mode are limited to 180 km/h (110 mph) due to lack of power.

    As I said they are just an interim solution from the Spanish goverment.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Your viewpoint contributes nothing. It is ignorant and contrary to all evidence.

    But you’re free to express it.

    Jerry Reply:

    Nathanael
    Please see Post #52 by Edward regarding “Jumble”.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Just think of it as the revenge of Robert S. Allen :-)

    Nor will you see any outrage from San Francisco. Caltrain is not a spur, but an onward continuation for any passengers whose destination is anywhere on the Peninsula or ultimately San Francisco. And as HSR service gets closer to actuality maybe (a more reasonable) Congress might find a way to allocate money to make it a full San Francisco-Bakersfield operation.

    As for Kopp, his intentions were destroyed by the economic and political realities of the last 7 years. Rather than blaming the Authority, he should be thanking them for keeping the HSR project alive and kicking.

    Roland Reply:

    Transbay is quite likely to be a through station many years before the first “HSR” trains appear from the Central Valley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8dab77JZug&feature=youtu.be&t=1859

    agb5 Reply:

    Clearly San Jose to north of Bakersfield is a “Usable Segment”, which is what Prop 1A is all about.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Exactly.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Borden to Corcoran is usable.

    Nadia Reply:

    Actually – Madera Acres to Poplar Avenue:

    From Basis of Estimate docs….

    This segment is based upon the executed contracts for CP 1 and CP 2-3. It includes a revised estimate for CP 4 reflecting lessons learned and alternative technical concepts from the first two contract procurements. The project limits have also been revised including a 2 1⁄2 mile extension to Madera Acres in the north and ending at Poplar Avenue in Shafter.
    Assumptions
    • Based on an alignment section length of 118 route miles
    • Assumes availability of PG&E power in January 2021 to allow for a test track within this segment
    • Includes the Fresno Station and an interim terminal station at Poplar Avenue to support Silicon
    Valley to Central Valley operations
    • Includes CP 5 which is a new contract in development and includes trackwork and systems and
    electrification elements (Traction Power, Overhead Catenary, Communications and Train
    Control)
    • Includes bid costs for CP 1 and CP 2-3 and approved project contingencies
    • Added contingencies to cover increased costs in Central Valley contracts, including third party
    • Professional services in this segment also include awarded design-build contractor’s
    construction and project management costs. These costs are normally accounted as part of contractor’s markups outside of CP 1 and CP 2-3

    Jerry Reply:

    I will use any usable segment.
    It will be the newest, fastest, train in the entire United States of America.

    Lewellan Reply:

    I’d call Palmdale a more useful interim terminus. Bakersfield is boring.
    From Palmdale, rail and bus rides to LA and LV are bearably shorter.
    Meantime, Altamont is far more productive than Pacheco, at any cost.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s faster to take the bus from Bakersfield to LA than it is to take the train from Palmdale to LA.

    Lewellan Reply:

    I’ve been on that Bakersfield-LA bus ride and it sucks enormously.
    Among the important advantages rail travel offers, speed rates below comfort,
    below the greater means to direct growth and station area transit-oriented development.
    I’m adding Palmdale, the inevitable next phase, as an incentive to start and finish.
    The Altamont vs Pacheco debate is still important, especially as speed is rated below
    serving the larger market demand and need. Speed is only rated ahead of cost.
    It’s disturbing to me that most advocates rate speed and cost ahead of all other concerns.
    Hey, guess what, saving the planet from calamatous industrialization will be expensive
    and take longer following the whims of greedy speed freaks.

    Alan Kandel Reply:

    SJ to Fresno – are you serious?! Bridging SF with LA – that’s still the ultimate plan. Incidentally, what major highway was built in its entirety all at one time? Interstate’s are built section by section. How long did it take for I-5 to be completed north-to-south? It appears the California high-speed rail project is being held to a different standard.

    Peter Reply:

    “What they have done in effect is destroy my intentions”

    That, right there, is the money quote from Kopp. This was “his” project, and now that he is no longer getting his way, he is going to pack up his toys and go home to pout.

    joe Reply:

    And the Award for Transit’s Most Influential County Supervisor, goes to Rod Diridon.

    He’ll gets a bronze statue at San Jose.

    Joey Reply:

    Will we also see his face on tickets and hear songs of his glory through the loudspeakers in stations?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If only to hear people like Elizabeth and Clem groan every time they hear the phrase… “Rod Diridion, father of California’s modern light rail system, and the highly successful Valley Transit Authority….”

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the video Cupertino showed at this morning’s SR85 PAB meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lrUr648Nas&feature=youtu.be&t=129

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If only so as to here Clem, Elizabeth, and others groan when they hear, “Rod Diridion, father of California’s light rail system, and the highly successful Valley Transit Authority…”

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    does anyone under the age of 50 even know who kopp is? or care? Does he even work in the public sector anymore? Is he just whining from his retirement sofa?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    So I’m under 50 and I know who Quentin Kopp is…but didn’t know him from Adam until I started to read this blog FWIW…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I am under 50 and know who Quentin Kopp is…although before I started to read this blog I didn’t know him from Adam…

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Or “Kopp” a plea!

  3. J. Wong
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 08:29
    #3

    I’m glad the Authority has confirmed my expectations for the Business Plan by providing a real, achievable plan on the road to SF to LA HSR. We still need to have the Prop 1a bond funds freed up and start to be disbursed, and after that the next major step forward is choosing a private operator. But it is gradually coming into focus as a real operation.

  4. agb5
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:27
    #4

    This plan probably eliminates from the running the Shafter HMF just as the Kern4HMF campaign was getting motivated.

    Alan Reply:

    Not necessarily. The HMF needs to be situated in a way that makes the greatest sense for the entire, completed SF-LA-Orange system, not just the interim operation. In fact, locating the HMF at Shafter makes even more sense when you consider that there need to be running maintenance facilities near each terminal–and a Shafter HMF can fill that need for a temporary southern terminal.

    agb5 Reply:

    But the Shafter HMF is six miles away from the end of the line, with no funding for the expensive viaduct that would connect them.
    How will the electric trains get from the interim operation to the HMF? diesel locomotives on an uncooperative freight railroad?
    Not practical.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Either Kevin McCarthy decides the HMF is worth earmarking money for his district to pay for building HSR from Poplar Avenue to the HMF site near 7th Standard OR Kern County throws all of its support to the Wasco HMF site.
    http://www.kerncog.org/images/docs/hsr/Wasco_HMF_proposal_20100107.pdf

    The Wasco site is zoned for Heavy Industrial. But it looks on Google Earth like it is adjacent to a large apartment complex that appears to me to be some kind of Housing Authority complex. That might create a problem.

    Basically, not building to Merced eliminates any chance the Castle site might have had to get a track extension built. Kern County is now in a tough situation. The HMF is likely Fresno’s unless they do something to lose it.

    Nathanael Reply:

    From the day Ashley Swearingen loudly and strongly supported HSR in Fresno, and found a good location for the HMF in Fresno, the HMF has been Fresno’s. The others never had a good chance.

    Alan Reply:

    It’s six miles from the end of the current construction segment. However, the Authority has pointed out that it will continue to pursue funding to go the rest of the way into Bakersfield. That would likely remedy that problem. As I said, the HMF should be sited to provide the greatest long-term benefit.

    Fresno would be a logical choice, as well. It all depends on how badly Kern wants it.

    Joe Reply:

    Representive Kevin McCarthy’s problem to find a way to bring HSR to Bakersfield. They seem to have figured a way to make previously obstructionist Kern Co work a bit.

    Alan Reply:

    McCarthy’s biggest problem is swallowing the slice of humble pie that he’ll have to eat in order to do a 180 and work towards finding that additional money to finish work into Bakersfield.

    But I think it will happen. A temporary terminal at Shafter, for any length of time, is not a good or desirable result. CHSRA doesn’t need to squander any of its precious funds on any kind of temporary facility if it’s at all humanly possible to avoid it. It’s humanly possible to avoid a Shafter temporary terminal–all it takes is political will.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Or a charitable donation from Bill Gates.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    This plan was well designed to put maximum pressure on Kevin McCarthy. The $2.9B extension option links SF influence (including Feinstein, Polosi, The City, Bay Area Council, MTC, etc.) with inevitable impulses in Bakersfield to finish the route into their city (now that they have a local he preferred option on the table) and make a claim at the HMF jobs.

    The route has already claimed its small slivers of farmland through the rest of the valley, and cows will be giving milk next to the quiet wish of an electric train. For McCarthy to pout on the sidelines, and fight against federal funds for Kern County and California – and the HMF jobs – will be in increasingly awkward position — especially as SoCal starts gearing up its fight to be connected to a system that is becoming increasingly real.

    If he reverses himself and gets GOP support for several $Billion toward the southern mountain crossing, then Kern may have earned the HMF. Give Fresno the operation center and a lot of support for their HSR program at Cal State Fresno.

    Jerry Reply:

    “and gets GOP support for several $Billion toward the southern mountain crossing”
    And McCarthy’s 23rd Congressional District is perfectly gerrymandered around the Tehachapi high desert to Lancaster.
    “The Heat is On.”

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Neil – I agree. Gare des Amandes seems more of a ploy than a plan. This is like when you give the real estate agent your budget, they say “sure” and then they take you to a series of not-so-choice properties and let you reconsider whether there might be some more room in finances.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Steering” ?

    Roland Reply:

    Response to Elizabeth
    “Gare des Amandes seems more of a ploy than a plan. This is like when you give the real estate agent your budget, they say “sure” and then they take you to a series of not-so-choice properties and let you reconsider whether there might be some more room in finances”.

    Right on the money Elizabeth and they are only asking $2.9B from the Feds: http://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/high-speed-rail-seeking-fed-money-to-extend-1st-phase-to-bakersfield

  5. Lee
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 09:50
    #5

    As a San Fernando Valley resident, I’m extremely disappointed. It means for me I will not live to see it operating here or even start construction (I’m already retired). I have followed and supported it since it’s earliest days in about 1975.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Don’t despair; the situation remains very fluid, perhaps more than it has been in some time.

    Clearly there is some rethinking going on and remember partial agonizing reappraisal is better than none and probably more is forthcoming.

    Removing hsr from the Caltrain corridor is sensible since most all the business will be with Caltrain. And a full bore hsr can always enter the Peninsula via Dumbarton. The real concern here is that BART will once again try to replace Caltrain with Bechtel 5’6″ technology. Never “misunderestimate” the iniquity of BART, now made more powerful with ABAG.

    You have to ask where is Villaraigosa in all this. According to Willie Brown, Villa is indeed going to challenge Gavin for the gubernatorial nomination. Will he kowtow to Jerry Brown, hoping to secure the latter’s support as the candidate for governor? Risky, as he will look like he is betraying his home turf. My guess is there will be some degree of uprising against the North IOS.

    The best and fastest outcome would be for Judge Kerry to rule hard against PBCAHSR and dump the whole damn scandal back onto Jerry and his Supreme Court and the Legislature.

    Reedman Reply:

    Now would be the perfect time for BART to publicly commit to building to Diridon if Santa Clara County kicks-in some extra sales tax money.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART would like to commit to building Milbrae to Diridon.

    Roland Reply:

    The only problem with that plan is that BART “technology” will not be extended beyond Berryessa http://www.mercurynews.com/john-horgan/ci_29529479/john-horgan-standard-gauge-is-way-go-rail

    Aarond Reply:

    Your link references discussion over another transbay crossing, not BART to Diridon.

    Roland Reply:

    My link references discussion about not spending billions on tunnels only to waste them on dedicated non-standard gauge tracks.

    Jon Reply:

    People have been making that argument for decades. Doesn’t have any relevance to whether BART will be extended beyond Berryessa or not.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    What in that article led you to believe that BART would not be extended past Berryessa? VTA is planning to bring BART to DTSJ and Diridon in the coming years. The article mostly talks about possibilities for a second transbay tube and doesn’t even mention the extension to Diridon one way or the other.

    By the way that article is an op-ed so not an appropriate citation for a factual statement. If you statement was “…should not be extended…” the citation would make more sense.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Absolutely. BART to Montgomery will be faster than CalTrain to 3rd and Townsend unless they add all day Baby Bullets coordinated with the HSR trains. Would you rather go to Montgomery or 3rd and Townsend? (Obviously if you’re going to Dogpatch it would be 3rd and T, but for most it would be Montgomery.)

    Roland Reply:

    What makes you think that Caltrain can’t get to Transbay in 30 minutes?

    Anandakos Reply:

    Um, er, grade crossings, stops, speed limits?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Because CalTrain will be supplanted by a combination of BART and CAHSR eventually.

    Joe Reply:

    Where will they run BART?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The idea is that HSR would supplant the Baby Bullets…except that BB’s serve more stations than CAHSR.

    Also, there will be resistance to a Milbrae to SF service that undercuts BART to SFO on everything but price…

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Resistance”? Who, by BART?

    How are passengers going to get to SFO from Millbrae if not on BART? And if they’re going to Uber it, then they might as well just go straight to SF. So why would anyone resist HSR service from Millbrae to SF?

    Jerry Reply:

    Going north on CalTrain there is NO direct bart service to SFO.

    Joey Reply:

    Except for late nights and weekends, but then the trains only come every 20 minutes.

    Jerry Reply:

    Does that mean BART to SFO was poorly designed?
    SFO is just a spur to BART. Same with the Oakland airport.

    Joey Reply:

    Was there ever any question that BART to SFO was poorly designed? BART has tried several operating patterns with the wye over the years, and all of them seem to have serious issues. And access to SFO from CalTrain has actually gotten worse since BART started running, as the shuttle directly to the terminals was stopped.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yes, it was poorly designed as is the Millbrae station. I wouldn’t go so far as to give Kopp all the credit for that, but he seems to want to take all the credit so so be it.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Kopp gets full credit for superficially/viscerally better-sounding idea to push BART across 101 and into SFO. Without his raising holy hell over the failure of BART to actually go into SFO, we were on track to have a “one-stop” joint intermodal BART/Caltrain/SamTrans terminal on the Caltrain line linked to all airport destinations via the airport’s automated people-mover. This would have been hundreds of millions cheaper to construct and would have provided equal and free 24/7/365 airport access to BART, Caltrain, SamTrans and future HSR riders. Of course, it would have made transfers between the aforementioned easier too. None of this Millbrae-SFO BART shuttle train or reversing at the wye nonsense either. The shuttle trains were eventually killed off due to crazy BART union work rules and operating costs far in excess of revenue.

    Joe Reply:

    Not available on line but enough is to see the problems with BART/SFO.

    https://books.google.com/books/about/Global_Visions_and_Urban_Infrastructure.html?id=sxV21X1hqOYC

    Travis D Reply:

    Pushing BART into SFO wasn’t a bad idea itself. But it needed to be done a certain way and that way was super expensive. Instead they tried a middle approach, to do it with a wye, that completely subverted every advantage of going directly into the airport. But the mantra had already taken hold and that guided everything after that point.

    Jerry Reply:

    Be careful what mantra you wish for, you might get it. :)

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot to mention that the airtrain is free (no crew to inflate the operating costs) and that you have to take the airtrain when you get off BART to go to the correct terminal if you are not flying international(!). This thing is so screwed up that I have NEVER taken Caltrain to or from SFO in 30 years but I did experiment with BART to Millbrae from SFO while waiting for a flight just to see how bad it really was (I was not disappointed!). Total cost of experiment (SFO->Millbrae->SFO): $8.00 or about the same as SJ-SF used to cost on Caltrain at the time.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Why would you not take Caltrain to SFO? worst case is you have to take a 2 minute taxi from Millbrae.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Which is albeit worse than before when free shuttle bus pulled up next to platform but still better than 101 these days

    Joe Reply:

    Roland, I believe uses Blossom Hill. There are only three trains AM and three PM.

    J. Wong Reply:

    BART from San Jose to Montgomery Station will not be faster than Caltrain to Millbrae BART and then to Montgomery.

    FYI, Fremont to Montgomery today is 47 minutes! San Jose is further away. So BART from San Jose to Montgomery is likely going to be over an hour and a quarter if not more.

    Joe Reply:

    Travel time from San Jose Berryessa to Embacradero will be 60 minutes. It is a single seat ride.

    Millbrae to Montgomery is 30 min. Bart ride
    San Jose to Millbrae is 1:05 minutes.
    Add system transfer time .

    I think single seat BART will be quicker.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Baby Bullets to Millbrae are around 40 minutes not 1:05. The Business Plan argues that they’ll coordinate with that (and add Bullets during the day!) so transfer time will likely be minimal. And Berryessa isn’t Diridon.

    Joe Reply:

    There will be no baby bullets under HSR blended. Using baby bullets now is like using might time travel times in a car. I just used the Caltrain schedule and all trips now forward were over an hour.

    How is waiting for a baby bullet to come along faster? Average time is longer.

    Diridon to Berryessa will take nearly the transfer and wait time at Caltrain/Millbrae.

    Joe Reply:

    BTW Berryessa “flea market” is 4 miles from Diridon.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Without the SF extension, Baby Bullets will still be operating and provide the final connection to SF from San Jose for HSR. The Business Plan indicated that they will want to coordinate with Caltrain as far as scheduling is concerned. This includes the Baby Bullets. I guess I’m hoping that they’ll also end up adding Baby Bullets during the non-peak hours to satisfy this demand.

    J. Wong Reply:

    And with the SF extension, passengers will just have a single-seat HSR ride that will be (slightly) faster than today’s existing Baby Bullets to Millbrae where they can transfer to BART. Still faster than BART from Berryessa (unless you’re going to a South or South East Bay stop), and you’d have the same wait time as at Millbrae. (They’re not going to run BART any more frequently.)

    J. Wong Reply:

    It’s Judge Kenny, and no he’s not going to rule against HSR because the plaintiffs don’t have a case.

    Also, HSR hasn’t been removed from the Caltrain ROW since the extension plan if they can find the additional funding is full SF to Bakersfield.

    Aarond Reply:

    It also means that the rest of us might not live to see it either. The IOS could just be it if/when the money runs out. It’s a big gamble, at least by doing a south IOS the state could have run the San Joaqin all the way to LA as a stopgap fix.

    I’m hoping (keyword: hope) that LA gets a bit more proactive here. They could potentially fix the gap if they put up the money for it.

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s what it would take: Money, and if LA really wants it they’re have to put up or shut up.

    By-the-way, there’s no way the San Joaquin could run on a south IOS across the mountains. Electrification is a requirement for both tunnels and grade.

    Donk Reply:

    What are you guys talking about? LA is not going to pay for the mountain crossing, and they shouldn’t have to. They have enough local transportation problems to worry about. The mountain crossing is a state-wide problem.

    It sounds like you guys want to stick it to LA because it is big and mean or something.

    What LA should do is work with CHSRA to try to raise funds for the run-thru tracks and other local projects, so that these don’t have to come out of the HSR pot – just like how the Bay Area needs to work on brining in more funds for Caltrain.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “It sounds like you guys want to stick it to LA because it is big and mean or something.”

    Oh yeah. Can’t get enough of sci-fi flicks wherein LA is trashed by aliens block by block. Recommend “Big Ass Spider”

    C’mon nobody wants to bankroll this thing with their own money, not even liberal bazillionaires. Take the money from Joe Paycheck.

    Aarond Reply:

    I’m not sticking it to LA at all, to be clear. I think a southern IOS is a better idea because it even if CAHSR fell out, there’d still be physical track fixing the connection between norcal and socal. LA gets shafted the most here, for all the effort they have put into LACMTA their “reward” is having to wait over a decade for a proper transit connection to norcal.

    That said, I acquiesce that this isn’t what the state chose because norcal is less of an engineering challenge. But it’s still a gamble.

    LA could probably scrape up a few billion in funding especially if the county looked at a private-public partnership (the type which built the Alameda Corridor). Of course shared tracks is not HSR, but a 125 mph connection is better than no connection.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    “It sounds like you guys want to stick it to LA because it is big and mean or something.”

    —– No, it’s because of the Dodgers.

    Jerry Reply:

    or the Clippers.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    It’s a sooner HSR operation than had been the case with the previous business plan, so the odds that you’ll live to see it on this business plan are higher than the odds on the previous business plan.

    Allen Insight Reply:

    Don’t give up so soon Lee! I also live in SoCal and I am not happy either. But, political attitudes can change rather quickly and unexpectedly. And if that happens with global warming and the Republicans lose the Congress, the ENTIRE bullet train system can be built in FIVE YEARS.

    I met the lead engineer for the Bullet train on two occasions in SoCal at the open house events. And I asked her, “How soon could you build the entire system from LA to SF and SAC and SD?” And she said, “Well if we had all the money AND all the permits ( for blowing off mountaintops and plowing through neighborhoods), we could build it all in FIVE YEARS.”

    The only question is WHEN this shift in attitudes will occur. A hurricane that takes out most of South Florida would change attitudes in Florida overnight. And there are enough Republican seats in Florida to give the Democrats half the seats they need for a House Majority.

    Now obviously, that is not my preferred outcome. But there will be elections in 2016, 2018, and 2020. And a Democratic takeover in Congress during any of these years, would give us a chance to make the case to build the entire bullet train system in FIVE YEARS. So theoretically, we could see the entire system BEFORE 2025 if the funding were available.

    I believe supporters of this project should create a draft plan of how much a five year build out would cost and how it would be funded. And this plan should be on a website for the public to view. As a competing blueprint / vision to compare against the slowly progressing official buildout of this important project. And as a running commentary about how Republican obstructionism is preventing us from having what we need.

    If we consistently AND LOUDLY make the case for a Five Year build out, ALL proposals to accelerate the build out ahead of the current pace will sound more reasonable. Politics is all about defining the left and right edges of the debate. And Conservatives have used this technique masterfully to get what they want. Bernie Sanders is the only person on the left who recognizes this and is using it to his advantage.

    Supporters of the bullet train need to do the same: DEMAND A FIVE YEAR BUILD OUT, and talk about how it will be paid for. Perhaps by cutting subsidies for fossil fuel companies.

  6. John Nachtigall
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 10:07
    #6

    its interesting….This is simultaneously the most real and most idealistic BP yet.

    I have looked at the funding section (section 6), first you have to give them credit, they did some really positive things.

    – They dont assume more federal money for the silicon valley to central valley (I will call that the IOS). – They only assume federal money for SF to Bakersfield (I will call that IOS+) and make the case why doing that will earn more than the money back in ridership
    – they specifically state that without the Federal money the IOS will still not require a subsidy. I dont think i believe them , but they get credit for attempting to meet prop 1a
    – they don’t assume any private money to pay for the IOS either, very realistic.
    – also in general the plan is well written and clearly explains the assumptions and changes made. This is independent of if you agree with them, but they are not trying to hide anything.

    Now for the idealistic and unrealistic stuff

    1. They are all in on the IOS. The funding plan for the 20.6 billion required (page 61) sells everything to scrape up enough money. They sell 25 years of bonds (2025-2050) to get the last 5.2 billion. There is nothing left for IOS+ (which is why they need the fed money) or anything south.

    2. The reserve for the IOS is completely unrealistic. 176 million. They are already over budget 150 million on CP1. This is easily explained in that they just have no other source of revenue, but its ridiculously optimistic to have such a small reserve.

    3. The plan, as it sits now, with the money they have now, includes neither LA or SF.

    4. They are contradicting themselves. They lowered the overall estimate of costs, but at the same time swtiched the IOS to the north because the IOS south costs are unknown and unpredictable? They are misrepresenting the overall costs.

    john burrows Reply:

    They are assuming that Cap-and-Trade will give them $500 million per year for the entire time period out to 2050. So far in this fiscal year, C&T has brought in $325 million in the first 2 auctions. If this were to hold true for future auctions, high speed rail could count on $650 million per year, $150 million more than what the Authority is assuming. The projections that I have seen for future C&T revenues have been all over the map. but based upon the last 4 auction results there could be substantial additional funds available if present trends continue.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    interest is a bitch. They are selling 25 x .5 = 12.5 billion in future revenue for 5.6 billion now.

    They mentioned looking at FRA loans instead. That would be a big boon to them. A loan with a 3-5% intesrest rate would save them a bunch over selling bonds. Given the unknown about cap and trade they are assuming they have to give a really high interest rate to get them sold.

    joe Reply:

    There is high variance around a central tendency cost estimate. You might want to look into it. The authority is using a risk based approach to capture the variance in cost estimates.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I think a private operator could invest to get at least SF. The Business Plan is clearly designed to attract one, which is another positive.

    synonymouse Reply:

    ho ho ho

    Jon Reply:

    On 2, the contingency for the IOS is $1.091bn YOE (see the cost appendix). The $176m contingency is in addition to the section level contingencies.

    On 4, they are switching to IOS North because the costs have gone down for the northern sections, and up for the southern sections. Those changes in costs is partly due to changes in scope (the north has been heavily value engineered, while the southern mountain crossings turned out to be more expensive than expected), and partly due to changes in uncertainty level (the northern sections are now very well defined, while sections such as Palmdale-Burbank are still very much up in the air). I don’t see why there’s a contradiction there.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Agreed. The 176 million is on top of the built in contingencies for each segment. That is the problem. On CP 1, the self identified “easy” section they are now predicting 150 million over the built in contingency. 176 million is just not enough given the worldwide history of large capital project missing budget. Simply, they are going to run out of money as soon as they go over budget, and the chances of going over budget are almost 100%

    as for num 4, it is not a contridiction, i assert (my opinion) they are providing a headline number (COSTS LOWERED TO 64 BILLION) when in actuality, they have no idea the costs but they know enough to know it is higher than thought. It is misleading to me.

    Jon Reply:

    The decrease in cost for the north (due to actual cost reductions and reduced uncertainty) is greater than the increase in cost for the south (due to actual cost increases and increased uncertainty). So as a whole system, costs are down.

    Why is this so suprising? People on here have been banging on for ages about how Diridon Intergalactic and the iconic bridge and the tunnel under Millbrae are collosal wastes of money. The Authority have finally figured this out and saved a bunch of cash in the process.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    But..but…but…theyre so pretty.

    Travis D Reply:

    Where do you get the idea they are already over budget on CP1?

    Elizabeth Reply:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-overruns-20160217-story.html

    It was at Tuesday’s board meeting.

    joe Reply:

    Get serious, that’s a Ralph Vartabedian article. He writes they are 260M over budget which is not correct.

    I read the authority has approved 14M in expenses that were not planned. At this rate, without mitigations, they are are at high risk of going over their contingency budget.

    Travis D Reply:

    We have no reason to expect that rate to continue. Almost all of the unexpected costs have come from utility relocation in downtown Fresno which is now substantially complete.

    joe Reply:

    It’s a risk and they are doing good project management so they have an envelop of cost contingencies and are asking for a hedge. They are carrying 3x more contingency than road work in Caltrans. 11B

    They can mitigate. It’s harder to mitigate land acquisition and other issue outside their control.

    They had a risk list Roland posted. I think there was a risk at 3 or 4 of 5 that the overhead assumptions on bids was misunderstood. That’s something they might learn in contract 1 that will be fixed from now on.

    I would expect problems up front with every new thing and team. This first contract was selected with waaaay too much emphasis oncost. They modified the process for later bids and spread the work to different contractors.

    Critics are insane with their standards of openness and cost overruns and Ralph is plain wrong in hi most recent news articles.

    I’m very happy the rival publishing corp McClatchy got the scoop on HSR. Tim Sheehan at the Bee is outstanding. maybe the LATimes will put Ralph on some other news beat given the project is moving north. He’s close to writing a Briebart News.exclusive.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why don’t you just have PB write their copy.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The actual CAHSR project manager stood up and said the current best prediction is +150 millon

    It has nothing to do with Ralph. It has everything to do with poor project management. But if you care to put your money where your mouth is I am happy to bet you whatever amount of money you would like that CP 1 ends up more than 150 millon over budget.

    Joe Reply:

    Try to be truthful. Ralph incorrectly called it a cost increase. It’s not a cost increase. You know better and called it a forecast. It’s not a forecast, it is a increase in their contingency. There is a higher risk but it hasn’t happened.

    Travis D Reply:

    The original estimate was $1.25 billion for CP 1. The contract is for $900. They are now saying there might be some things outside their control that might need mitigation. That is not the same as a real, accounted for cost increase from poor management.

    Joe Reply:

    Right.

    Over what budget? Over the engineer’s estimate or the contracter’s bid. It’s the lower, the bid so they are still under the 68B engineer’s estimate.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. They ROW aquisition is not outside their control. Neither is utility relocation. These are common activities done over and over again. Even the authority said they “learned” from CP 1. So even they admit they screwed up. Why can’t you? They started 3 years late and they still are late

    2. Remember when you were arguing that any cost increase would fall to the contractor because this was “design build”. Where is that argument now? Listening? Crickets….

    3. What the risk manager said was using the best tools available the forecast, without changing anything, was an extra 150 millon. They did not, however, state the mitigation they were using to bring that down. As I have pointed out and you can look for yourself, in the board presentations they have been “mitigating” the ROW aquisition for 6+ months and it has not gotten better. CP2 , where they claimed they applied the lessons they learned, this month it was 100 parcels short and is now overall in the red. Simply put, the mitigation sa really not working.

    4. The original estimate (from the 68 billon 2014 plan) is moot because the 2016 plan specifically assumes CP 1 and 2/3 and 4 all stay within the current budget. I.e. They spent those savings already.

    Simply put, they ain’t gonna make it. When the segments start to go over budget they don’t have enough contingency to finish them without robbing The funds from the next one. I guess they will be abou 2/3 done with SJ to Bakersfield when they run out of money

    synonymouse Reply:

    So that would put them about Fresno? Perhaps that’s the basal intent.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Pay attention, @synonymouse, the CP 4 contract to Shafter has already been made. Construction beyond Fresno will be complete before construction to either Gilroy or San Jose. Per @John Nachtigall’s reasoning 2/3 would likely get them to Gilroy, not that I agree with him.

    Nathanael Reply:

    John, you’re making yourself look ridiculous. The timeline of ROW acquisition is *always* outside their control. I’ve followed enough public projects to know this.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really? Then why do they say they have learned lessons they are applying to the next contracts?

    If it’s not I their control then they can’t effect the outcome.

    The truth is they are paid to manage the process. They are not paid to make excuses about how hard it is. Every capital project for centuries has had to acquire the land and manage this process. They are just bad at ot

    Joe Reply:

    This for centuries stuff is so over the top.

    Learned lessons doesn’t mean they have control over the process or affect the outcome directly.

    And when you complain they are incompetent you use evidence they are applying lessons learned which is competence.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Eminate domain is in the Constitution and frankly pre dates that by a lot.

    And I said they claim to have learned a lesson, I see no evidence they have, but even they admit they can control the process. Because that is exactly what that means.

    They are incompetent. And they will continue to be. In 6 months, when they have authorized the 150+ millon overruns and ROW aquisition is still behind schedule we can have this conversation again.

    Jerry Reply:

    At this stage of the process we should not even be having it at all.
    Is it that the Authority wants to hold on to the money longer? Or what is it?

    Anandakos Reply:

    You know what, genius? Building the part between the cities first was exactly how the Interstate system was originally constructed. In fact, Eisenhower envisioned it not as urban freeways, but a National Defense system running between them, not through them. It was Congress that insisted on the Urban Freeway parts.

  7. Eric M
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 11:06
    #7

    This is exactly what the private/foreign investors wanted, a link to one of the SF/LA basins. This is also what opponents did not want as it makes CA HSR even more viable and attractive, instead suppressing it in the valley and killing itself. The quote above by CARRD is a prime example, as panic sets in about the system growing beyond the central valley. Just watch how much more anti-HSR propaganda ramps up.

    Now you will see private/foreign money being presented to the project to complete the remaining gaps, by either a formal expression for investment (completely different from the last EOI which did not ask for money or financing) from the authority, or a proposition from an investor.

  8. JJJJ
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 12:21
    #8

    2025 is disappointing.

    However, temporarily terminating at San Jose, with Caltrain, BART, VTA, ACE and Capital Corridor lines is a good thing.

    I judt dont understand why trains wont continue to SF via the existing tracks?

    EJ Reply:

    Seems as if they’re not fully banking on Caltrain electrification being completed. Top of page 12: “This will require the completion of the Caltrain modernization program/electrification project.”

    Ted Judah Reply:

    1) 4th and King

    2) FRA compliance on UP owned track used by CalTrain.

    3) SF to SJ not that important operationally (outside of the minds of SF politicians) until BART can replace CalTrain’s local stops. Time savings on Peninsula isn’t that great between CalTrain and CAHSR IF (and only IF) Baby Bullet serves only four stations…

    Zorro Reply:

    I thought the Caltrain row was owned between SF and SJ by the PCJPB? And that UP only has trackage rights…

    The Caltrain right of way between San Francisco and Tamien stations is owned and maintained by its operating agency, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (PCJPB). PCJPB purchased the right of way from Southern Pacific (SP) in 1991, while SP maintained rights to inter-city passenger and freight trains. In exchange SP granted PCJPB rights to operate up to 6 trains per day between Tamien and Gilroy stations, later increased to 10 trains per day on a deal with SP’s successor Union Pacific (UP) in 2005.

    J. Wong Reply:

    1) The SF extension documented in the Business Plan is to 4th & King.

    2) UP doesn’t own any track north of San Jose. FRA compliance can be met (as it is today) by temporal separation.

    3) BART is not going to replace Caltrain nor it’s local stops.

    EJ Reply:

    Also, will require some station modifications. Raising/lengthening platforms at least.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And most importantly…the DTX

    EJ Reply:

    It’s totally doable without DTX. LAUS is no closer to downtown LA’s CBD than 4th and King is to SF’s CBD, and everybody’s fine with LAUS as the main LA station.

    Admittedly, LAUS is more of a transit hub than 4th and King is (though once he regional connector is done, the Gold Line won’t go there anymore), but by the time the IOS is built, 4th and King will be served by both the Central Subway and Embarcadero muni lines, as well as lots of local bus service. There already is a BART-Caltrain/HSR connection at Millbrae. You’d probably need to figure out how to get more Transbay bus service to 4th and King, but that doesn’t seem like a difficult problem.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Agreed- 4th and King isn’t ideal, but the transbay really was built way too soon, wrong, and with way too many problems.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No money. It’s more than electrification. It’s separations and signals and such. They simply don’t have the cash

    Clem Reply:

    I tend to agree. The money in the business plan for traction systems (electrification), signalling and rolling stock for the entire IOS from end to end is just twice what Caltrain is spending to “modernize” 50 miles. I don’t know if that says more about Caltrain or about the business plan…

    Roland Reply:

    Ditto. Here is another business plan:
    1) Burbank to Anaheim gets $3B ($6B including match)
    2) Gilroy to SF gets $3B ($6B including match)
    3) The PB clowns get whatever is left over to button up the mess they started in the CV.
    May the best team win!!!

    les Reply:

    not sure where you got this. for capital cost estimates (in expenditure dollars) for the Silicon Valley to Central Valley i’m seeing:
    929 million track
    528 million signaling and communication
    1258 million electric traction
    865 million rolling stock

    Clem Reply:

    …which adds up to twice the $1.7B tab for modernizing the peninsula. Hence my earlier point.

    les Reply:

    I’m not sure what to make of the cost.

    Caltrain according to 2012 docs:
    Electrification Infrastructure 785
    Advanced Signal System 231
    EMU Trains 440
    Total 1,456

    Clem Reply:

    It’s gone up since 2012 (surprise!)

    les Reply:

    I’m not surprised; i’m just not sure anything can be deduced from Caltrain running disproportionately higher per mile.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Well, I think we can conclude that Caltrain is not getting good value for money. Which they aren’t, thanks to bad decisions which were well documented by Clem.

    Nathanael Reply:

    It says a lot about Caltrain. The business plan numbers are quite reasonable. Caltrain… well, CBOSS, that says it all, right?

  9. Reality Check
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 12:26
    #9

    Palo Alto’s anti-suicide Caltrain crossing guards include crooks who burglarized nearby homes

    […]

    But what most residents didn’t know until now is that some of the guards hired to watch out for teens were convicted criminals accused of continuing to commit crimes while working as guards for the city; in at least one instance, police even arrested a guard suspected of burglarizing multiple multi-million dollar homes during his shift.

    […]

    In December, Palo Alto replaced Val Security with Cypress Security. The new contract pays the Cypress guards twice the hourly wage and totals $429,000 for seven months [= $735k annualized rate].

    […]

    Jerry Reply:

    And the Palo Alto City Council claims they knew absolutely nothing about it.
    Oh. The guard/burglars were arrested by the Palo Alto Police Dept. which is next door to the City Council.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Are you the same “Reality Check” that posts on FiveThirtyEight? More paranoia I see.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Nope … I had to look up what FiveThirtyEight was. And what do you see as paranoia from me here?

  10. john burrows
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 12:27
    #10

    I am assuming that the temporary end-of-the-line stop above Bakersfield will become a major bus terminal and a hub from where travelers can continue on by bus to various destinations in Southern California. This is of special interest to me because I live next door to the San Jose HSR station.

    According to the 2014 Business Plan it will take 97 minutes to get from San Jose to Bakersfield by HSR—Around 90 minutes to the temporary terminal. Driving time from Shafter is around 2hr 7min to downtown LA and 2hr 47 min to Disneyland. Using this hybrid route I might be able to get to downtown LA in less than 4 hours, and to Disneyland in just over 4 1/2 hours—Options that I would certainly consider.

    Admittedly I would be a special case, although with over 7000 residential units in the pipeline for the area around the San Jose HSR station, not that special a case. But even for someone living further away, (Menlo Park to San Jose Diridon by Caltrain in 25 minutes for instance), a trip to Los Angeles in 4 1/2 hours might be an option worth considering.

    Jerry Reply:

    Sure beats the 12 hours by the Coast Starlight.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    The coast starlate isn’t the right barometer for HSR.
    Driving isn’t even the right barometer.
    It’s meant to be clearly better than all existing options- driving, flying, bus, train, taking a cruise- any of them, in terms of end-to-end time.

    John Reply:

    4-4.5 hours from SJ to LA would be cool. Megabus and Boltbus would be happy, but just don’t try it with the 700 fellow passengers at the same time. That’s 35 busses per train! Don’t forget about I-5 Socal traffic too! Might only work on non-holiday weekends.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    I don’t see why striping bus lanes onto the 5 for interim bus service before CAHSR reaches L.A. isn’t an option.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I wish they would just build the actual station in downtown Bakersfield. It would be more convenient and save money long term.

    Mac Reply:

    It is ridiculous that they say “just north of Bakersfield”. Poplar Avenue is in WASCO, 27 miles from Bakersfield (although some are saying it is Shafter–if it is it is barely on the city border). This is quite the jaunt from Downtown Bakersfield on rural roads.

    This will DEFINITELY adversely impact ridership if they don’t connect to downtown Bakersfield.

    This is now the IOS from San Jose to Wasco.

    Nadia Reply:

    @Mac – Shafter comes from the appendices. Wasco/Shafter is the site of the “interim station”. They’re calling it “Madera Acres to Poplar Ave” – here’s the details:

    For $6.9 Billion

    This segment is based upon the executed contracts for CP 1 and CP 2-3. It includes a revised estimate for CP 4 reflecting lessons learned and alternative technical concepts from the first two contract procurements. The project limits have also been revised including a 2 1⁄2 mile extension to Madera Acres in the north and ending at Poplar Avenue in Shafter.

    Assumptions
    • Based on an alignment section length of 118 route miles
    • Assumes availability of PG&E power in January 2021 to allow for a test track within this segment
    • Includes the Fresno Station and an interim terminal station at Poplar Avenue to support Silicon
    Valley to Central Valley operations
    • Includes CP 5 which is a new contract in development and includes trackwork and systems and
    electrification elements (Traction Power, Overhead Catenary, Communications and Train
    Control)
    • Includes bid costs for CP 1 and CP 2-3 and approved project contingencies
    • Added contingencies to cover increased costs in Central Valley contracts, including third party
    • Professional services in this segment also include awarded design-build contractor’s
    construction and project management costs. These costs are normally accounted as part of contractor’s markups outside of CP 1 and CP 2-3

    Nadia Reply:

    @Mac – Here’s the video of the proposed site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nefaM37QWw

    Jerry Reply:

    A lot of room for TOD.

    Roland Reply:

    Dream on.
    – Massive parking lot: check
    – Gas station: check
    – Hertz/Avis: check
    – Hotel: not within 2 miles
    https://www.google.com/maps/@49.8601593,2.8345444,1983m/data=!3m1!1e3

    Donk Reply:

    Well the good thing about a north Bako station is that the door is still open for Tejon.

  11. Nadia
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 12:41
    #11

    The juicy details are in the Basis of Estimates document:
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/DRAFT_2016_Business_Plan_Basis_of_Estimate.pdf

    Here’s the Assumptions for SJ-Merced including some apparent breaking news on engineering work that hasn’t been made public yet… a new elevated alignment along Monterey Highway…

    Further alignment refinements in this geographic segment were developed over the past year and are shown on plan and profile conceptual drawings developed from Geographic Information System data available as of May 2014.

    The Diridon station has been changed from aerial to at-grade, reducing station costs in this section, and the current alignment generally stays outside UPRR right-of-way and travels along the edge of Monterey Road/Monterey Highway to a Gilroy station on an embankment. Increase in aerial alignment south of Tamien allowed for the reduction in the number of required grade separations.

    The estimate is based upon conceptual engineering developed by the Authority and its consultants in 2015 to define a new elevated alignment alternative along Monterey Road/Highway.

    It reflects major modifications developed over the past year that will be further defined by the Authority’s new Environmental & Engineering consultant and documented in the environmental process.

    Assumptions
    • Based on an alignment section length of 30 route miles
    • Assumes electrification of two high-speed rail /Caltrain tracks and maintaining one
    non-electrified track for UPRR from Diridon to south of Caltrain’s Tamien station
    • Between Diridon to south of Tamien in this section, assumes construction of a third at-grade
    track, 4.6 miles long
    • Freight siding track and a spur track are included as a total added cost
    • Includes dedicated high-speed rail viaduct along Monterey Road from south of Tamien to Gilroy
    • Includes a 60 foot elevated viaduct to cross major roadways including: Capital Expressway,
    Blossom Hill Road, St. Rte. 85, Bernal Hwy. and Bailey Ave
    • Includes $50 million allowance for UPRR realignment at Communication Hill including a new single track bridge crossing
    • Right-of-way cost reductions of 50% from the 2014 Business Plan based on a review of revised alignment assumptions compared to prior regional consultant alignment plans prepared in 2011
    • At-grade Diridon station
    • Gilroy Station on fill embankment
    • An intrusion barrier where high-speed rail is at-grade in Caltrain right-of-way from San Jose to
    south of Tamien is not required due to operating speeds less than 125 mph

    joe Reply:

    It’s all lowest cost design choices including the UP ROW alignment/Monterey Rd and downtown station.

    I don’t see much traffic impact on Monterey Road, it’s not heavily used because Monterey runs parallel to 101 and feeds into North Morgan Hill. There’s no good way through the city – intentionally. Traffic is routed back to HW101 so it’s not a good alternative.

    There is a lot of open space up to Morgan Hill. There has been a lot of dense housing development along the Caltrain corridor – mostly infill. The Farmer’s market at the Caltrain station.

    Historically it’s been an upper middle class town – per capita income. The city has engineered a bypass, Butterfield Rd, road, to avoid through traffic in downtown.

    That’s where the Authority will have problems.

    joe Reply:

    Morgan Hill along the UP ROW from East/West Dunne Ave north to Cochrane Ave is where the tracks are closest to homes and the recently upgraded downtown.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What would an at-grade Dirdon option look like?

    John Reply:

    What it looks like today
    Just raise the platform height and add some overhead wires
    (Wait – isn’t Caltrain already doing this?)

    Maybe they’ll add a pedestrian mezzanine and a glass facade

    Go functional not grand

    I’m ok with a bronze statue

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I would assume that at least four extra tracks would be needed for HSR, right?

    Jerry Reply:

    CARD and/or HSR opponents should pat themselves on their back regarding their challenges to the former HSR plans for the Monterey Road /Monterey Highway area.
    Hopefully, they favor the cheaper changes/improvements.

    Jerry Reply:

    CARRD. (an auto correct mistake)

    Nadia Reply:

    @Jerry – We are not part of any lawsuit.

    joe Reply:

    I think CARRD supported PAMPA’s EIR challenge in court. Maybe not.

    Possibly CARRD thought it was a waste of taxpayer money for San Mateo Cites and Palo Alto to litigate over the thoroughness of south Santa Clara County outreach.

    Anyhow, it was a technicality that was litigated and resolved.

    Reedman Reply:

    Does “a 60 foot elevated viaduct” sound tall to anyone else?

    Peter Reply:

    It’s probably caused by having to cross the Capitol Expressway overpass while still maintaining required clearances. Expect this to be value engineered, too.

    John Reply:

    So no signature bridge into a San Jose galactic?
    Stay in 3 track ROW from Diridon to Taimien!

    That’s good engineering.

    Wonder if they can go 125mph or higher if they have temporal separation with freight.
    Just need one revenue run per day

    Roland Reply:

    30 MPH speed limit between Diridon and Tamien followed by 80 MPH all the way to Monterey highway (bye-bye Prop 1A). Does anyone know how they are going to add a 3rd track across 280 and 87 without a couple of signature bridges?

    Clem Reply:

    30 mph is an issue of track quality, not curve radius. I wouldn’t expect speeds to be quite so low.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is what the Diridon south tunnel would look like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-22IQNVV1I. The initial plan was for a portal at Lick Quarry and line up with Monterey Highway just north of Capitol. Extending the tunnel to east of 101 south of Blossom Hill is looking very, very good right now :-)

    Joey Reply:

    The curves through that area really aren’t any sharper than the “iconic” bridge would have been. And the (separate) 280/87 crossings can be built the same way as the exising bridges.

    Clem Reply:

    The curves through Gardner are more gentle than the 50 mph curves that had been planned for the iconic orgy of concrete pouring over 280/87.

    Joseph E Reply:

    Geometry and sensible engineering wins out over political grandstanding! Too bad it didn’t happen for the East Span of the Bay Bridge.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I wish they had chosen the “thread-the-needle” route option. That was by far the best one.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[T]emporal separation with freight”? Where is this an issue? Obviously north of San Jose but south of Diridon they will have their own tracks separate from UP. And they will be doing 125 mph since barriers between HSR and adjacent freight lines aren’t required at that speed.

    Jean Reply:

    3 tracks south of Diridon would require two new bridges over 280 and 87..and some taking of property. Prior engineering group estimated 55 mph with 3 track alignment changes through the S-curve just south of Diridon.

  12. EJ
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 13:13
    #12

    LA actually gets some good stuff in here. Fixing Fullerton Junction, Redondo Jc – Fullerton triple track completed, full design funding of SCRIP – TBQH there’s probably more bang for the buck here than getting a tunnel from Bakersfield via Palmdale that just dumps everyone off in Burbank.

    Nadia Reply:

    @EJ They’re not getting anything – they have been promised those funding priorities when more money comes. Basically the understanding is So.Cal isn’t getting anything but a promise from the Governor that he will throw his weight around with the Feds and try to get more money and that he’ll also try to get more C&T money for them.

    EJ Reply:

    Ah, OK. I admit I just skimmed it, but that one chart looked good.

    Jon Reply:

    Yep. It’s funded in the same way that Bakersfield – Palmdale – Burbank is funded, i.e. not at all. The SJ – Shafter IOS uses up all the existing HSR funding, including cap and trade through to 2050.

    John Reply:

    Here’s the relevant text:
    We will use the $500 million of annual Cap and Trade proceeds received after 2024 to repay financing. The financing
    proceeds will be used to fund the remaining construction costs for the Silicon Valley to Central Valley line.
    There are a number of financing tools available including federal programs, revenue bonds and other sources.
    Depending on the mix of financing sources actually used, we estimate the amount of potential proceeds to be
    $5.1 to $5.3 billion to be repaid through 2050. We are using the midpoint of this range ($5.2 billion) for planning
    purposes (this does not include any Cap and Trade proceeds above $500 million per year).

    Travis D Reply:

    From 2024 to 2050 they should get about $16.9 billion assuming around $650 million a year.

    keith saggers Reply:

    By building a line connecting northern California to the Central Valley—commencing service and starting to generate revenue—we will be in a position to attract private investment and unlock additional capital to help move the rest of the system forward. 2016 Draft Business Plan

  13. Donk
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 14:32
    #13

    BUILD, BABY, BUILD!!!

  14. Travis D
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 15:07
    #14

    Some of the changes I could have predicted. It really seems they have copied Becthel’s ROE plan.

    What is also interesting is that they have learned from their first construction packages. I noticed, for example, that every single bidder for CP 2-3 proposed they redo their base alignment configuration. The authority had proposed that the entire system be on an embankment of about twelve feet. This made the entire system more expensive and had been an included cost in all estimates from 2011 on. Well the engineering branches of the firms bidding sure didn’t think it was necessary and apparently the authority has agreed.

    It also seems that they have taken to heart that viaducts have been used rather too much in many areas. This was also pointed out in the bids by all the firms who reduced viaduct length and engineered many of the rest to be cheaper to build.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Exactly how were the viaducts engineered o be cheaper to build?

    Travis D Reply:

    In some cases they added extra bents which reduced spans and allowed for a simpler superstructure. For many others they replaced the viaducts with embankments as much as possible.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Curious, what document have you obtained these details from? I’m interested in the nitty gritty design details of the project, is there information out there besides what we know from the CHSRA website?

    Travis D Reply:

    I had to put in a request with the authority for all the bid documents. They mailed them to me on numerous discs. When I get them ripped off their CD’s and put into a format more suitable for downloading I will share them with Elizabeth if she wants.

    Oh and I already put in a records request for all the bids for CP 4. I will get them after the contract is executed.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Is there any chance of uploading those files to the internet? I would be fascinated to see them as well.

    Travis D Reply:

    Yeah, I’ll let everyone here know when I can do that.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    It’s interesting in contrast with China regarding the cost savings of embankment vs. viaduct. I’ve read reports about the lower cost of Chinese HSR construction and they actually claim it’s cheaper to construct viaduct than it is to prepare embankment. I’d like to know how this could be.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    For embankments, you need material. If there are cutouts and/or tunnels, you have a source, otherwise, you have to get it from somewhere, and that may become rather expensive. On the other hand, they have developed a very efficient way to build viaducts, which gets costs down.

    Travis D Reply:

    I think the issue is that labor is so cheap in China. Embankments take more land and requires modifications to all road crossings but require less labor. Viaducts require much more labor but take much less land and allow you to just go over all the existing roads.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Less weight to move.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    And does the lowered embankment height (how high then?) affect whether an intersecting roadway receives an overpass or underpass? It would seem with the previous assumes 12′ embankment baseline, many roadways would go under the ROW, are they now going over?

    Travis D Reply:

    They originally planned for almost all to be overpasses and having the trackbed so high meant they had to go extra high. One of the bidders, Ferrovial, proposed switching many to underpasses while the rest simply lowered the trackbed.

  15. Nadia
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 19:11
    #15

    In case you missed it – here’s the “North of Bakersfield” spot where HSR will have an interim station if they can’t get the $2.8 B from Feds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nefaM37QWw

    Mac Reply:

    Yes, Nadia…it is in the middle of nowhere—with regard to potential ridership. There is already a small Amtrak station nearby there in Wasco. Even mapquest calls it Wasco, NOT Shafter.

    Mac Reply:

    Local news report that the City of Bakersfield is furious.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Pretty hard to sympathize since reportedly they complained about Tejon turning Bakersfield into a bedroom community for LA.

    Nathanael Reply:

    They shouldn’t have let their corrupt city manager fight against HSR for years. (which he did without telling the city council).

    Fresno cooperated; Fresno is getting the plums.

    Bakersfield can always pony up their own money to get a downtown station. They fought against a downtown station twice, of course….

    William Reply:

    Has the decision to switch to F street alignment in Bakersfield be delayed? It shouldn’t cost billions more to extend from the temporary terminal to the F street site.

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like the geniuses working on this project have finally figured out that “high speed” and “downtown” is an oxymoron as admirably demonstrated in court by Stewart Flashman last week, so here comes the first “gare des amandes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y7x50ax7dQ.
    Gilroy have already figured out the downtown bypass (east of 101) but has anyone seen a Fresno bypass for the mess they started down there?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Gilroy wants (and will likely get) their station downtown, though.

    Roland Reply:

    Absolutely but the non-stopping trains will bypass Gilroy @ 175 MPH. It’s either that or bye-bye Prop 1A.

    Clem Reply:

    Gare des Amandes. Ha ha, well done!

    datacruncher Reply:

    The Fresno County Council of Governments has a study from 2010 studying consolidated HSR/freight corridors. Pdf page 14 shows a routing west of the city that could be a future bypass.
    http://www.fresnocog.org/sites/default/files/publications/Fresno%20Freight%20Realignment%202010%2001%2012.pdf

    Alan Reply:

    “admirably demonstrated”? Flashman has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s one of the most incompetent lawyers in California. All he’s managed to do is waste millions of taxpayer dollars and delay the inevitable for years. His performance in the Court of Appeal was an embarassment to the legal profession. What remains of his Tos case is about as frivolous as they come. The court is not going to accept his conjecture and speculation over the millions of dollars worth of real engineering present by the Authority. The simple fact is that Flashman cannot prove that a project which has not been fully designed will not meet Prop 1A. And the crux of his argument is that HSR is “wasteful” under CCP 526a. Overcoming the decision of the voters and Legislature that HSR is not “wasteful is a burden that the Tos plaintiffs simply cannot meet.

    Roland Reply:

    Really? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcaLaoGLLPo&feature=youtu.be&t=696

    Alan Reply:

    Really. Remember, the burden is on the plaintiffs to prove the Authority wrong. And the fact that the judge is asking questions of the State’s counsel doesn’t mean the Authority is wrong, it means that the judge is doing his job. Nothing more. It is ludicrous for the court to accept an argument that the project, as designed cannot meet Prop 1A because the majority of the project has not been fully designed. The majority of the project is only in the “conceptual” stage of design, per the 2016 Draft Business Plan. Only the section currently under construction has reached the fully designed state. The remainder has many, many decisions to be made concerning specific alignment issues, etc. There are simply too many question marks remaining for a court to accept at this point that the design cannot comply with Prop 1A.

    Now, that means that we may not know until the Prop 1A funds have been fully expended whether the final design will be compliant. That may reveal a flaw in the design of Prop 1A, but that doesn’t give the court the authority to create a remedy which doesn’t exist in the law. Judge Kenny has already been overturned once for doing that; I believe that he’ll think at least twice before trying it again.

    I’ll reiterate what I’ve said before, and what the State has said: Prop 1A was written to enable construction of a HSR system, not to frustrate it-just as they do with other public works projects. The courts should, and generally do, interpret the law with that in mind, unless it’s simply impossible to do so.

    Not only the Authority, but the Peer Review Group and the Legislature have found that the Authority’s plans to date comply with Prop 1A. Millions of dollars of engineering studies have shown the project to be feasible. That’s an overwhelmingly high burden for the Tos plaintiffs to overcome.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Vertical videos are terrible

  16. Mac
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 19:40
    #16

    Perhaps “furious” may be overstated…but they are VERY unhappy.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Bakersfield might have been part of the last construction package if it had not been for the back and forth on the route.

    As you and I have discussed before, Kern County originally wanted something similar to the current alternative route except with the station near the airport. But Bakersfield city officials pushed for the station to be downtown near Amtrak and the Convention Center. So a route to a Truxton station was what was originally studied. When there was an outcry over the impacts and the lawsuit filings it was back to square one on route studies.

    If Bakersfield officials had originally agreed with Kern County, a route would have already been finalized and part of CP 2-3 meaning the station location and HMF would not be in the current situation.

    Nathanael Reply:

    If Bakersfield had managed to support its own downtown station rather than losing it and freaking out (there was nothing wrong with the downtown station — no impact — just hysteria), they probably would have been part of the last construction package. If they’d supported the airport route, that’s also true.

    Bakersfield’s inability to actually support any route got them put to the back of the queue.

    Travis D Reply:

    I could foresee people getting used to the Shafter Station and then it gets grandfathered in as the defacto Bakersfield Station with the eventual route for HSR south bypassing Bakersfield altogether.

  17. Donk
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 20:04
    #17

    Merced is going to be furious too. They have always thought they would be part of the IOS. This never made any sense, except to use them for their political support of the project.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Merced made some sense for the old IOS as a connection point (Thruway bus or San Joaquins to HSR) between Sacramento/Modesto/Stockton and Los Angeles. Not going south of Bakersfield removes that reason.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Merced made sense because its expected to the connection for the norcal unified service a need that would be somewhat reduced by an ios north but not completely as the ACE corridor and the sac-skn-mod-trk-mcd central valley corridors would still benefit with an hsr connection at merced.

    Travis D Reply:

    I expect Merced will be part of a PPP that happens simultaneous to a southern crossing.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Possibly all the way up to Sacramento (I know that’s phase 2, but it should be a fast, cheap, and easy stretch of hsr.

    John Reply:

    The draft report says that Environmental clearance for phase I is fully funded for 2017 completion
    I don’t think there’s any work on phase 2
    So a PPP to Sacramento would need to account for environmentals.
    Not going to be attractive

    Travis D Reply:

    They just signed someone to finish doing the Alternative Analysis for the Sacramento leg. I wonder if down the road they will rethink this route too. North of Stockton UPRR has two routes into Sacramento. Could they give up one? Could they have an interim stop in Modesto or Stockton where there could be transfers?

    Joseph E Reply:

    With IOS north confirmed, there should be serious consideration to completing Merced to Sacramento around the same time as Bakersfield to LA. The Bay Area to LA ridership will be significantly larger than Bay Area – Sac or LA – Sac, but the incremental cost of adding the tracks to Sacramento should be relatively low. Right now there’s not enough government funding promised, but if we can get the feds onboard, it would make sense to plan for both. Maybe there will be another big “stimulus” bill for a recession.

    Clem Reply:

    That is a dangerous idea. They would never do that, since it would make Altamont look like too obvious a solution. In your scenario a big chunk of revenue would be Bay Area – Sac, and the detour through Chowchilla would be seen (correctly) as sheer stupidity.

    Sacramento cannot be allowed to cast shade on Pacheco, so Sacramento must remain in the distant future of Phase 2.

    Roland Reply:

    Right: the quickest and most obvious route between San Francisco and Sacramento is clearly via Gilroy and Merced…

    Zorro Reply:

    There is also NO Money for Phase 2, but if you want to donate some money…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I would if I could.

    datacruncher Reply:

    If I remember correctly (Elizabeth and Nadia can correct this if I am wrong or I can go try to find the previous comment made on this blog), but CARRD had in the past expressed shall we say concern about building north of the Wye to Merced unless the route was over Altamont.

  18. datacruncher
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 20:17
    #18

    Latest high-speed rail shocker: Build the Bakersfield station in Shafter

    When California’s first high-speed rail passengers come zipping down the Central Valley from San Jose in 2025, their first impression of Bakersfield could be a bit surprising. Because they might not be looking at Bakersfield at all.

    Rather than get off the train near the heart of the city at F Street and Golden State Avenue, as local officials thought was the plan as recently as Friday morning, passengers would instead arrive next to an almond orchard on the far northwestern edge of Shafter.

    The unannounced switch, a result of not having enough money to build tracks all the way to Bakersfield, has taken local officials completely by surprise. City Manager Alan Tandy said in a memo Friday he was “blindsided” by the new plan.

    “It would not serve Bakersfield, and is inconsistent with everything that has happened since the settlement” of a lawsuit the city filed to force the California High-Speed Rail Authority to reconsider its proposed route through the city, Tandy wrote.

    The Shafter station is not intended to be permanent, and some suspect it will never materialize at all, that it is merely a legalistic maneuver to defend the project against attacks from opponents.

    ………..

    The new plan may have big implications for Kern’s hopes for landing a train maintenance facility that will serve the rail system and generate at least 1,500 good-paying jobs.

    One of the county’s two proposed locations for the plant is in southern Shafter, the other in Wasco. Ending construction of the rail project’s initial operating segment as proposed at Highway 43 and Poplar Avenue would almost certainly take the Shafter proposal off the table, said Ahron Hakimi, executive director of the Kern Council of Governments.

    But as he and Shafter City Manager Scott Hurlbert made clear, the draft has only just been released for public review and comment.

    “Do I think that everything in that report is going to hold up? No,” Hurlbert said.

    He speculated that the peculiarities of building a train station in a remote part of Kern County may reflect sensitivities surrounding lawsuits against the rail authority, and may not represent serious thinking on the agency’s part.

    ……….

    More at
    http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2016/02/19/latest-high-speed-rail-shocker-build-the-bakersfield-station-in-shafter.html

    Nathanael Reply:

    Tandy was the corrupt city manager who spent his time fighting the HSR project without telling the city council what he was doing. I’m surprised he hasn’t been sacked yet, and Bakersfield is going to get absolutely nothing until that goddamn crook is sacked.

  19. JimInPollockPines
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 20:21
    #19

    San Francisco / Silicon Valley to Bakersfield will be useful and has the potential to pull the san Joaquin valley closer to the bay area economically and socially creating a single “north of the Tehachapis California economic region.

    And with san Francisco = even if its just 4th and king via an electrified caltrain row at first – to Bakersfield segment in revenue service, the entire statewide focus (other than the DTX) can shift entirely to “lets get the hsr LA extension finished.”

    Anandakos Reply:

    If BART gets to Diridon in time, it will probably be faster to the Financial District. Thousands of people walk there from Montgomery every day.

    Now a CalTrain connection will allow Silicon Valley to open medium tech campuses in the northern part of the CV. The geniuses who can afford to live in Belmont and Mountain View will work locally while the poorer infrastructure support folks can live in the Valley and not have to come over the mountains. Upper managers can visit the satellite campuses when needed.

    Not everyone in Silicon Valley is a genius.

    Aarond Reply:

    This is more dependent on Caltrain East and ACEForeward happening though. They have better connections to both the Tri-Valley and Central Valley then HSR. The former is still in the planning stage and the latter is dependent on a tax measure passing this year.

    Also, on a related topic: is it uncouth to ask East Bay counties to put a bit more money into the Capitol Corridor? Should Caltrain East become a thing (if it does), then there’s no reason why East Bay rail lines shouldn’t also be grade separated or otherwise upgraded.

    John Reply:

    Caltrain East makes a good phd thesis.
    The only thing preventing it from happening is
    Money
    Money
    Money
    all of which BART and UP will take first before Caltrain East becomes reality.

    Domayv Reply:

    that’s why Caltrain (and CAHSR) should build its own tracks. You can refer to what Caltrain East would look like here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en_US&app=mp&mid=zWLI5V544xAc.kps6PIgTbaaI

    Aarond Reply:

    I want to reiterate again that the 580 rail up the Peninsula would be amazing. But running a 2-lane, segregated ROW up the Alameda through the richest zip codes in the US isn’t exactly an easy thing.

    Domayv Reply:

    Let me explain it:
    * The I-880 ROW is dedicated, passenger-only track. Between South San Jose and the I-880, it is a 4-track, underground “blended” (but for HSR and future electric Amtrak) corridor that has a station right next to San Jose State University. At I-880, the outermost two tracks will connect with two connecting tracks from San Jose Diridon to from a 4-track ROW (this is for non-HSR trains), whilst the innermost tracks (for HSR trains only) will now be in the middle between the four tracks. Between San Jose and San Lorenzo, it is directly underneath I-880, and is a 6-track ROW (4 non-HSR tracks, with 2 HSR-only tracks sandwiched between them). After diverging from the freeway at San Lorenzo, the HSR tracks link up with the regular passenger tracks, making it a 4-track ROW for the remainder of the route.
    * The I-580 railway will be 4-tracks, passenger-only and underground for the majority of its route

    Also, the I-580 does not run through the peninsula

    Domayv Reply:

    here’s how the ROW will be

    * The I-880 railway is a decidated passenger-only rail line. Between its southern terminus (at south San Jose) and when it hits I-880, it will be underground and 4 tracks “blended” (in this case with HSR and future Amtrak), including a new station right next to San Jose State University (called “Downtown San Jose”). At I-880, the outermost tracks connect become regular-only (i.e. non-HSR) and connect with the connecting tracks from San Jose Diridon Station, whilst the innermost tracks will become HSR-only, and the line becomes 6 track wide (4 regular passenger tracks and 2 HSR tracks sandwiched between the passenger tracks). It will also run underneath I-880. At San Lorenzo, the HSR tracks merge with the two innermost regular tracks, making the line 4 tracks wide again. The line becomes 4-tracks for the remainder of the line.
    * The I-580 rail line will be passenger-only, 4 tracks, and be underground for the majority of the line.

    also, the I-580 does not run through the peninsula

    J. Wong Reply:

    Nope, Caltrain to Millbrae BART will be faster.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Possibly, if the stupid train didn’t visit the airport on its little bouncy ball route first.

    Anandakos Reply:

    But three seat rides are pretty unpopular.

    datacruncher Reply:

    A Northern California megaregion like shown on this map?
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MapofEmergingUSMegaregions.png

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    yep that’s it exactly

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    I want to like that map more than I do, but it’s kind of absurd.

    Chicagoland is one place. It is not in the same anything as cincinnati, Omaha, or Pittsburgh. They’re all the “rustbelt”, but that’s not a coherent anything. L.A. and Baltimore both have rustbelt in them.

    The northeast makes sense- Functionally Boston-Baltimore was America at one point in our history, and they’ve always been strongly interconnected.
    Texas triangle makes sense too, and I’m overly optimistic (as a resident) of Florida being one as well.

    Then you get back into ridiculous territory again.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It also allows California to no longer need Amtrak’s help to run its state-supported services and blow a big hole in Congress’s PRIIA mandate.

  20. JimInPollockPines
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 21:06
    #20

    lets see an interactive map that shows the travel times along the san jose to Bakersfield ios

  21. morris brown
    Feb 19th, 2016 at 23:55
    #21

    A fracture in the Democrat party position on HSR

    Rerouted train can’t bypass its critics

    Of special interest from this article is this excerpt

    . “I am concerned by the High Speed Rail Authority’s change to starting construction in Northern California,” said Assembly Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, in a statement released Thursday. “This project is meant to connect the south to the north – neglecting the south would be unacceptable.”

    Rendon recognized the draft business plan for attempting to address the project’s “major funding challenges,” which is a fine example of damning with faint praise. In the absence of free money, maybe it’s time for legislators to do as critics have argued – and present the latest rail plan to Californians for a revote.

    So here the Democrat speaker-elect of the Assembly, saying why not re-vote. He is obviously upset with southern California now being shut out. This was the kind of opposition I expected from some Democrats from the south.

    On the other hand, deLeon, pro tem of the State Senate has issued a statement saying he approves of the new business plan.

    For sure, the Authority will have plenty of opposition from both Republicans and Democrats to the project as seen from the 2016 business plan

    Also:
    I wonder how all of the University students in Merced now feel about HSR, after learning Merced is being by-passed.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    southern California is not being “shut out” Due to the amount of time needed to hash out the southern crossing / tunnels/ funding etc, it was going to be a long time before the train even reached palmdale let alone Burbank or la. Starting with ios north doesn’t add more time to the la build out. it just gets something up and running while they figure out how to get and fund Bakersfield to la

    Travis D Reply:

    His best bet would be to get it more money. With available funds one of the two would have to be shut out. Either the south gets it or the north. If he really wants it to be something that runs all the way they need more money.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Pacheco route turns west at Madera, some 20 miles south of Merced.
    Reaching Merced builds ridership on the 1st segment plus leads to the Altamont route and Sacramento.
    Oh boo hoo, Silicon Valley hi-tech crybabies want to ride past psuedo-ecological-conscientious New Sprawlville and glamorous LA go faster.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Lewellan:

    Regardless of what others say, look at page 44 of the 2016 business plan; see the map. The planed IOS does not include Merced.

    The concept that Merced, Modesto, Sacramento, and any Stations further south of around Shafter will get stations will only occur in extensions of this IOS, for which they have no funding.

    Millions of riders will use this IOS! Really! Who are they kidding.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    nor is merced being bypassed. merced is still getting a station, so will modesto and sacramento.

    When are you people going to learn that doing A doesn’t mean an end to doing B or don’t you grasp the concept of building infrastructure in sections, just the way freeways have been built in California for decades.

    Zorro Reply:

    Jim Sacramento is Phase 2, there is no money to do Phase 2 with, so no station, much less an EIR.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    no, the sacramento to merced portion – phase two – was always to be built once phase one was completed and making money. So there is no loss of merced through sac stations. Those will be built in – in the future – just as was always planned.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is not rerouted, rather truncated.

    I guess environmentalism is over when supposed green outfits like the Sierra Club endorse such a patent sprawl scheme as PalmdaleRail.

    And nannies want to eliminate the $100 bill.

    Zorro Reply:

    Total BS Cyno.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Um, the stuff about having a revote is NOT from the speaker. It’s from the writer of whatever article you were quoting. That’s clear from the context.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Anandakos

    Why don’t you read the article? I provided the link. This was a direct quote from the speaker-elect and noted by the “quotes”. What is clear is you didn’t either bother to read and just want to spread non-sense.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actually @morris brown the article doesn’t quote or ascribe to Rendon anything about a revote. It also doesn’t quote anyone about a revote, but does ascribe that desire to Republican legislators.

    StevieB Reply:

    Steven Greenhut, the Union-Tribune’s California columnist, concludes that “maybe” it’s time for a revote which indicates that he is uncertain of his conclusion.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Rendon’s full statement that the article quoted is at
    http://asmdc.org/members/a63/news-room/press-releases/speaker-elect-rendon-statement-on-high-speed-rail-draft-business-plan

    Not a single word about a revote. The U-T writer combined Rendon’s comments and Republican comments in one paragraph to wrongly give the impression that Rendon also wanted a revote.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ datacruncher

    More on speaker elect Rendon:

    Sacramento Bee Editorial

    Excerpt:

    “I am concerned by the High-Speed Rail Authority’s change to starting construction in Northern California,” Assembly Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said in a statement. “This project is meant to connect the north and the south. Neglecting the south would be unacceptable.”

    Take all of this as you want; maybe this won’t come to anything, but there is plenty of anger from So. Cal legislators regarding this plan.

    Others, like Paul Dyson in a letter in the LA Times wrote:

    LA Times Letters: 2-21-2016

    The Rail Passenger Assn. of California welcomes the decision of the High Speed Rail Authority to construct north from Bakersfield to link with an electrified Caltrain system at San Jose.

    At the same time, money will be spent on the long overdue modernization of Los Angeles Union Station, permitting through services between the north and south of the region. Coupled with the removal of the capacity-choking bottlenecks that prevent Metrolink and Surfliner trains from reaching their potential, in effect what will be created is two regional mobility systems that should tie together the planned and existing investments in subway and light rail lines to create better choices for citizens in the most populated areas of the state.

    In an ideal world, we would see simultaneous construction of the link between the San Fernando Valley and Bakersfield.

    This could be a private enterprise project put out to the industiy for proposals, perhaps for a “toll” railroad or some other form of joint venture.

    Absent that, I have no doubt that Southern California politicians will find a way to fund the missing link once they see how the “northerners” enjoy the benefits of swift., electric- powered transportation.

    PAUL DYSON Burbank
    The writer is president of the Rail Passenger Assn. of California and Nevada.

    Paul is probably pretty smart. HSR will never reach So. California, at least not within the next 25 to 50 years. Take the crumbs and invest in So. California regional rail.

    Jerry Reply:

    And once “northerners” and all Americans start to see AND experience HSR the demand for it will increase.
    Faster rail in Florida, and HSR in Texas will open more American eyes to the benefits.
    Who knows, it might even make it to Las Vegas.

    Alan Reply:

    Bullshit. It was clearly the opinion of the columnist. This was an opinion piece. The comment about a revote was not in any way attributed to the Speaker-elect, nor was it enclosed in quotes. A first-year journalism student can comprehend that this wasn’t anything other than the opinion of the writer. Not that the U-T, a tea party sewer, employs any real journalists.

    What is clear is you didn’t either bother to read and just want to spread non-sense.

    Pretty much what Morris does all the time.

    Paul H. Reply:

    Morris, go ahead and read this article out loud to yourself again. No where does it say the speaker-elect is calling for a revote. You just created this quote in your mind because you’ve been dreaming for a revote for a while now. There will not be a revote. Talking about someone wanting to spread non-sense…

    Alan Reply:

    The only thing that really showed dissatisfaction on the part of the Speaker-elect was his concern that Southern California not be shortchanged. As others have pointed out, I don’t think this plan shortchanges SoCal. There are projects shown for the Burbank-Anaheim section that can be accomplished and providing benefits long before full HSR is ready, even under an IOS-South strategy. And the Speaker-elect has an opportunity that few people have–if he’s truly concerned about getting the southern section built, he can work with his peers in the Legislature to make the funding happen.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Morris, either you have very poor reading comprehension or you’re a liar. StevieB and Anandakos pointed out the incorrect conclusion you came to and the real facts.

    Anandakos Reply:

    I did and J. Wong and StevieB are correct.

  22. Robert S. Allen
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 00:47
    #22

    HSR fully grade separated from San Jose to Bakersfield makes sense. Leaves open possibly running via Tejon later.

    North of San Jose, how about having Caltrain run the HSR passenger train through as one of their own? Still a one-seat ride for San Francisco. Sure, it’s a bit slower, but safer and far cheaper.

    Make a nearly seamless cross-platform meet at Diridon with Capitol Corridor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe you are right – just let BART run SJ to Fresno as well as Caltrain. It would be a cute and diplomatic way for BART to renounce Bechtel’s idiosyncratic tech that SP imposed at BART’s infancy and embrace instead modern standard gauge OC .

    BART-MTC would run all of NorCal transit rail pretty much and that would sate BART’s immense institutional ambition. This way no matter what tech got a second transbay tube BART would still control it. I advocate a ban on any more broad gauge and this could achieve that end.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I have wanted a united northern California rail system for a while (merge BART, Caltrain, Amtrak California, ACE, etc. (Perhaps branded under Clipper), but I doubt a statewide, non-commute system like HSR would be incorporated into a local transit system.

    Aarond Reply:

    It could work if BART could be regauged. Only issue would be that we’d have two electrification systems.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Robert S. Allen

    You do realize that Caltrain will likely be electrified by then? I’m sure you’re thinking that one of the Caltrain diesel units would do the hauling but they won’t be able to couple up to the HSR consist. I think the Authority’s plan is predicted on getting funding to grade separate and get compatible PTC on the corridor plus platforms etc.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    J. Wong: My suggestion was a run-thru train: CHSRA CV to SJ on grade-separated track; Caltrain SJ to SF, presuming Caltrain is electrified. Caltrain management, rules, speeds as at present, getting the one-seat ride with less need to pursue CPUC approval.

    Jerry Reply:

    And with CAHSR replacing some of the Baby Bullets there will be added revenue. What’s there not to like?

    Joe Reply:

    BART can’t use the Caltran ROW once HSR operates SJ-SF.

    Fear and doubt to keep HSR at SJ and transfer to Caltrain. This keeps open the chance they’ll replace Caltrain with BART and use SJ/BART as the gateway to the Bay Area.

    J. Wong Reply:

    If the ROW is grade separated and Caltrain is electrified, Caltrain itself will ask for higher speeds. At that point, there’s really no reason not to run HSR to SF. In all likelihood though they’ll probably start running before complete grade separation (for example I don’t see San Mateo being so for a very long time).

    Joe Reply:

    One ring-the-bay to rule them all and with the BART bind them.

    Allen’s suggestions are all about what’s best for BART expansion.

    Alan Kandel Reply:

    @ Robert S. Allen

    I honestly don’t know where you are coming from on this. Aren’t you a retired transportation engineer?

    From the looks of things, the Caltrain corridor will be operated similarly to the Northeast Corridor between D.C. and Boston. Higher-speed intercity trains, commuter trains and freight trains all coexisting on the same right-of-way. Electrification and positive train control to be added soon. Mostly if not fully grade-separated intersections. Remember: higher-speed service to commence in 2025, and possibly earlier. I don’t understand why this seems so difficult to grasp.

  23. Anandakos
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 02:27
    #23

    If BART can reach Diridon at about the same time, the East Bay will have a fast, reliable, quality connection to the HSR system. San Francisco will unfortunately be saddled with unelectrified CalTrain. Perhaps the HSR folks can reach an agreement for hourly “Baby Bullets” all day long co-ordinated with HSR trains. That would make travel into downtown San Francisco only 50 minutes longer than a trip to San Jose.

    BART may actually be a little faster to the Financial District if the extended Frement trains still continue to Daly City.

    Clem Reply:

    Unelectrified Caltrain? Did I miss something along the way?

    Anandakos Reply:

    HSR would go on into the City if CalTrain were electrified. Ergo, if HSR ends at Diridon, CalTrain is then logically not electrified.

    Sure, it might be electrified soon after and then trains would start running to whichever station is open in San Francisco at the time.

  24. John
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 06:58
    #24

    The draft report states that phase I completion in 2029
    Only 4 years after 2025.
    That would require PPP established before revenue service in 2025
    Thats to enable tunneling to SoCal
    That doesn’t make sense to me

    Even the revenue won’t be established until year 3. (2028)
    Anyone know what the Authority is thinking here?

    Clem Reply:

    The authority is probably thinking that time is money, and delaying phase 1 completion by even one year will push YOE cost past the psychologically important threshold of $68 billion.

    Joseph E Reply:

    The projected revenue from the IOS is only 1/10th that projected for the completed SF to LA (+Anaheim) route, so any private funding is going to based on those projections. I don’t think the amount of traffic on the SF to Central Valley IOS will make much difference on private funding, unless it several times projections. What will help is seeing construction proceeding on the IOS on time and on budget, and getting a complete plan, with environmental clearances, for the Central Valley to LA route. Changing to the Tejon alignment would be a big help, if Clem is correct about the cost of that route at $10 (as opposed to $15 via Palmdale). The other big help would be a promise for some federal funding in the long-term.

    Clem Reply:

    Not $10 vs $15, but $20 vs $25

    Anandakos Reply:

    Isn’t the reason for choosing Palmdale that Tejon is owned lock stock and barrel by rail hating Republican fundamentalists [e.g. “Tejon Ranch”]? They won’t sell and they’ve got many white shoes to drag out an eminent domain process for a LONG time.

    J. Wong Reply:

    That never was the entirety of their threat. Once HSR reaches Bakersfield, they loose a great deal of leverage perhaps enough to enable the Authority to decide to revisit Tejon.

    les Reply:

    There threat was to “un-conserve” a large swath of land. If CAHSR were to ever choose Tejon, which they won’t, conservationist lose a huge chunk of land to developers.

    les Reply:

    ie, “Their”. English is my 3rd language.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There is no such thing as permanent conservation. The progeny can do whatever they want – who is going to stop them?

    morris brown Reply:

    @ John

    Yes, indeed it doesn’t make any sense. This 2016 business plan is an outright fraud.

    What it seeks to accomplish is to keep the project going until 2025, by using this scheme of funding. It seeks to get legislative approval by bribing enough legislators, especially from So. California, to gain enough votes to approve a funding plan.

    Imagine all these private investors just waiting to invest their funding to fund the most difficult and expensive part of Phase I.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It’s up to the Legislature to decide if the Business Plan is reasonable enough to vote to release funds. Judge Kenny is already giving the Authority plenty of leeway in how it achieves the goals of Prop 1a, and nothing in the plan violates that no matter your non-legal interpretation.

    Alan Reply:

    Even if Judge Kenny, as unlikely as it appears, were to rule against the Authority, the Court of Appeal has shown itself to be even less inclined to favor the view of the plaintiffs. But having been smacked down fairly hard by the appeals court, I think Kenny is unlikely to favor Tos, et. al., by creating new law to support their position. He’s tried that, and been overruled.

    Judge Kenny is exactly right to give the Authority the discretion to decide the best way to achieve the Prop 1A goals. That’s pretty much standard whenever an agency constructs a major public works project. As the State pointed out in court, Prop 1A was written to enable construction of the project, not prevent it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry Brown, Richard, PB et al have profoundly changed the conventional interpretation of Prop 1a for political convenience. It is completely up in the air whether the Judge will have the moxie to challenge this unilateral rewrite.

    Also uncertain whether the higher courts will be bothered if the whole thing goes back to the voters. So what? They might just let a negative ruling ride.

    Zorro Reply:

    Morris Brown, May you live in interesting times.

  25. Faber Castell
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 08:40
    #25

    Sort of a general CHSR question, but can we presume that the design of the Fresno river viaduct (column/bent & girder) is in fact the final engineering design for the remainder of the viaduct sections of the project, not just CP 1-4 but beyond as well? Or will viaduct sections in urban areas have design elements that were encouraged in the early pre-CP bid CHSRA design guidelines?

    datacruncher Reply:

    This is the design for the South Fresno viaduct over Highway 99. It has added design elements that will not be in the Fresno River viaduct.
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/buildhsr/cedar_viaduct.html

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Thanks. The rendering looks quite preliminary though. I was actually more interested in knowing if essentially the design of the bent that we see on the Fresno river crossing (I think they look nice even if they resemble dino bones) is the standard column design we will see for the rest of the project.

    Edward Reply:

    If different consortia win different contracts there could be different designs. On the other hand there are engineering limitations that tend to produce similar solutions to similar problems.

    There are special cases, like using side beam bridges to lower the tracks in built up areas, but still provide adequate clearance for vehicles in underpasses.

    Travis D Reply:

    I think, in terms of overall look, they are following the basic lead from the technical manuals. So what you see there is about what we are going to get with some minor differences.

    Travis D Reply:

    That’s very interesting. That was the Ferrovial design in their bid! Or something very close to it. They definitely had the most interesting bridge designs of all the bidders. Skanksa’s were the worst.

    If they also used the Ferrovial design for the northern approach viaduct we are in for a real treat.

    Travis D Reply:

    I believe in urban areas they allow the city to make specific requests. Fresno, for example, requested that the bridge over the San Joaquin be an arch bridge and all the bidders complied with an arch option. Other changes would be using decorative concrete and incorporating landscape design.

  26. les
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 08:55
    #26

    This IOS will allow the authority to open up the throttles for testing, x build out to victorville, service between a valued usable segment (sj to fresno), time for dems to seize more power, time for millenials to become a bigger voice and time for la to catchup to sf in blending. 2025 will be a whole new playing field.

    les Reply:

    High Desert Corridor continues to advance.
    “advancing the alternative for further study in the Final EIS/EIR, the study is expected to be completed in Spring 2016.” https://www.metro.net/projects/high-desert-corridor/project-alternatives/

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Now that is one sprawl-inducing roadway.

    Zorro Reply:

    Just 3 more Democrats in the CA State Assembly and the State Legislature will have a 2/3rds supermajority.

    Aarond Reply:

    The Democrats have probably hit the high water mark in CA. They’ll always have the Assembly but probably not the Senate. It’s the same situation in New York. This won’t preclude HSR though, I’m certain enough Establishment Republicans can be poked to not interfere with pork spending.

    I’m not here to be a downer though, my point is just to not write the GOP off. This is exactly how the Democrats lost the Congress.

    les Reply:

    I think a majority of baby boomers are republicans and hence will find it hard to wheelchair to the voting booths after 2020.

    Also, it will be interesting to see what new train technology will be put on the table with a 2025 date. This will definitely allow for more manufacturers to become compatible with the line.

    Aarond Reply:

    I’m of the opinion that most people age into the GOP and that the GOP has a wide enough of support outside the Bay Area and LA. It’s just that the party establishment in CA is totally incompetent. We’ll have to agree to disagree here.

    As for 2025, I’m way more curious to see what the long-term effects of DC gridlock (or Republican supermajorities there) effects California.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Mitt in a landslide!

    datacruncher Reply:

    Aging does change political views. Life stage is as important in many ways as generation when it comes to political views.

    Baby Boomers in the 1960s said don’t trust anyone over 30 years old. In the 1970s they heavily supported George McGovern for President. But changes in a person’s stage of life (family responsibilities, home ownership, retirement planning, etc.) changes political views over times. Additionally life experiences and national/world events changes political views.

    Younger generations will also experience that change over time.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Many Baby Boomers were too young to vote in 1972.

    datacruncher Reply:

    The Baby Boom generation started in 1946.

    The 26th amendment allowing 18 year olds to vote was ratified in 1971.

    1972 saw roughly 8 years of Boomers eligible to vote. That does include Boomers too young to vote but still supporting McGovern as volunteers and in other ways

    (FYI, I used the word support above not vote).

    Forbes, when McGovern died, wrote it “A World War II veteran who strongly opposed the Vietnam War, McGovern took up the fight for boomers who had lost brothers and friends in what they saw as a senseless battle, and feared being drafted themselves.”
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2012/10/21/george-mcgovern-the-loser-who-became-a-hero-for-baby-boomers/

    Trentbridge Reply:

    I’m 66 and my wife is 67. Neither of us has a company pension and neither of us worked for the same company for a majority of our working lives. I had multiple jobs in three different industries. The notion that we have become conservative as we have aged is ludicrous. We were shafted by our employers over the last three decades – promises about matching 401K contributions were not met – and we are much more radical than we were thirty years ago. Throw out the notion that we get more conservative as we age – that’s no longer true. We are not all getting inflation-proofed pensions from long-term employers (or state/federal/local jobs..)

    More importantly our children and their generation have not even got as far as we did – they are barely advancing beyond their first full-time employment positions – so screw the notion we are happier about the GOP because we have aged.

    Jerry Reply:

    “we are much more radical than we were thirty years ago”
    Hopefully more people in your situation would become, “much more radical.”
    My uncle paid into five pension plans and never got a penny from any of them.

    J. Wong Reply:

    +1 There have been studies that show the conservative as you age hypothesis as not holding. I’d say in my own case that agrees with my experience. I’m as liberal as I’ve always been (but I’ve never been knee-jerk about it).

    Trentbridge Reply:

    My daughter is gay too – with a lesbian partner – which is not exactly a strong reason to embrace the GOP. We don’t want any part of any “take back America” movement. A more tolerant America with justice for all is our goal.

    les Reply:

    When you’ve trained as many foreigners as I have to do my job, and you’ve seen job boards where only H1B visa holders can apply then “take back America” becomes a movement that is easy to support.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So explain how the HOP has skewed older for many generations.

    For the last 5 decades the GOP was going to “die off” and blow away. Now they have a larger majority of congress than ever and more than 1/2 of the governor and state legislatures.

    So if people don’t get more conservative as they get older then the other option is 1/2 the “young people” in the country are conservative.

    Otherwise how do you explain the 50/50 split in modern American politics?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Stupidity? Fox News? IDK

    Nathanael Reply:

    Gerrymandering, mostly. The GOP actually is dying off, but they’re gerrymandering their remaining strongholds to retain power with as little as 25% of the vote.

    Nathanael Reply:

    In NY they’re actually bribing Democrats. They have no ability to stay in power in the State Senate without bribing Democrats to cross the aisle.

    Nathanael Reply:

    …and for what it’s worth Trump is a serious risk, because he’s *way* more liberal economically *and* on multiple “social issues” (other than racism) than the right-wing nutters who constitute the rest of the Republicans.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    simple. one, the GOP has no qualms about tapping into peoples base fears in order to get votes. two, the GOP controls the majority of whats heard on the radio. three, the democrats demographics lean more towards younger and poorer people who don’t vote as often, especially in midterms.

    In fact, this year its very likely its going to be Trump versus Clinton and, Trump could win, not because the country is more conservative, but because younger people who are Sanders supporters are saying they wont support Clinton. The democrats just happen to have a party base that is less reliable on election day.

    Joe Reply:

    Right.

    Note Bush second term in 2004 was the only national vote for a GOP candidate since 1988 for his father. Why?

    State gerrymandering influences congress as do the centralization of Dems in urban areas.

    IMHO people misinterpret race and demographics with aging.

    Demographic shifts to a less white population haven’t work into the older population. Higher proportion of elderly are white Which statistically favor the GOP.

    So demographic shifts have not worked thru the system. Winning 2/3 of the white vote used to guarantee a win in the late 60’s and 70’s. Not so now.

    Age isn’t as important as race and demographics show more older people are white.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    If all democrats voted all the time republicans would never win anything but some local elections which is a sad statement for them but even sadder for us.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Aarond and datacruncher: you’re wrong on the facts. This is a bullshit idea which is proven bullshit. You can look it up, there are numerous articles about this.

    In fact, most people keep the same political views for their entire lives, starting around 18. They may switch parties if the parties change what they stand for. What was once “liberal” may become “conservative” as society moves on under them. (So, “liberals” who thought that separate-but-equal was a good idea but opposed outright bigotry became “conservatives” in the 1960s.)

    Aging does not change political views and generation is far, far, far more important than “life stage” when it comes to political views. Just proven fact; there are lots of studies about it.

    Nathanael Reply:

    It is true, of course, that life experiences (such as being defrauded by a big bank which proceeds to go unpunished and profit) can change people’s political views (from supporting banks to wanting the bankers thrown in prison).

    les Reply:

    I think a big part of the GOP is redefining itself into a Trump like image. I don’t think this is a bad thing for HSR.

    Jerry Reply:

    And a full build out of HSR is something that will make America great again.
    The California primaries might be in play this year. I’m sure the question of HSR will come up.

    Aarond Reply:

    Nothing about the GOP is inherently anti-HSR. Before the rise of the Tea Party, the GOP had no problems allocating federal money to pork projects. That said, a DC Republican supermajority would be unprecedented and anything could happen.

    Aarond Reply:

    Nothing about the GOP is inherently anti-HSR. Before the rise of the Tea Party, the GOP had no problems allocating federal money to pork projects. That said, a DC Republican supermajority would be unprecedented and anything could happen.

    The CA GOP are a much larger threat to HSR then Congress, at any rate.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Though it is a bad thing for the Republican party.

    Nathanael Reply:

    No, it’s actually good for HSR. Trump supports Big Infrastructure.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    If Apple can’t make iPhones in China anymore, they’ll want to make somewhere cheap in the U.S.
    Sure, that could be appalachia or the mississippi delta. But they probably will want more sophisticated work than they can get there.

    Tech companies have been opening up new plants in Phoenix and Austin, seeking lower cost of living (ergo lower cost for talent), where a 2br rents on average for $1200 a month.

    For Fresno, it’s $900. For Bakersfield, it’s $800.

    A nationalist candidate (which Trump certainly is) would be a boon to HSR.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’d would certainly cause the railroads and DOTs to completely re-draw state rail plans. Right now, everything is geared towards the ports. What happens when suddenly there’s a lot of freight traffic on inland branch lines and in urban industrial areas?

    At the very least, it would cause everyone to re-evaluate everything.

    Anandakos Reply:

    The GOP — well, actually their predecessors the Whigs — invented National Greatness governmental infrastructure development. The only reason that they oppose HSR today is that the oil companies are the number 1 funder of the Republican Party. Do oil companies hate HSR? Hell yes. The things will be mostly powered by the sun and wind. No goodies for Davey and Chuck.

    joe Reply:

    What’s competent about the current GOP primary?

    The two least establishment candidates lead. The leader has no affinity to conservative economic dogma He’s winning with politically incorrect speech and appeals to racism and criticizing everything.

    That’s the party base and their rules give the 35% winner the most delegates.

    The 2nd place candidate is disliked by the leadership for both is strategy and personality.

    The party preferred candidates are Bush and Rubio who will “win” by coming in 3rd and 4th.

    The congress caucus ran their House Speaker out of town and no one wanted the job. McCarthy was too inept when put forward and refused.

    HSR has a bright future.

    Nathanael Reply:

    “The leader has no affinity to conservative economic dogma”

    Isn’t that competent? :-) Seems like a vast improvement for the GOP, right?

    Agreed, this can only be good for HSR.

    Tom A Reply:

    There is a myth that the Boomers were on a whole ultra liberal. Its not true. under 30 went 52-38 for Nixon. Now Nixon got 60% nationally – so they were more liberal than the nation as a whole. I think its safer to say – MOST of McGoverns support came from young people, but most young people didnt vote for him.

    By 1976 the youngest Boomers (18-21) actually went for Ford 51-49, in a race he lost 50-48 and 22-29 went for Carter 56-44.

    Both are worse than Kerry or Obama did with young people. On the other hand young people LOVED George H W Bush in 1988.

    So basically – you can say that the early Boomers were somewhat more liberal than the late Boomers, and that Gen X was more conservative, but Millennials more liberal – which you can see playing out now – as Gen X has aged into leadershirship roles.

    But there is no real sign that individuals get more conservative or liberal as they age.

    Another myth is the Reagan Democrats – union voters who went Republican – but again – Nixon did better in 1972 with Democrats and union members than Reagan did with either in either of his runs. There are alot of political myths out there that just arent true.

    Zorro Reply:

    Democratic/Total Seats CA State Legislature Wiki

    52/80 Assembly(Majority)
    26/40 Senate(Supermajority)

    Nathanael Reply:

    It’s likely to go up from there, unless the Republicans turn a new leaf and become a very different party than they have been for my entire lifetime.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Aarond: you’ve got it exactly backwards.

    The Republicans are only hanging on to the state Senate in NY through an outrageous combination of gerrymandering — which they had to get Andrew Cuomo to do for them — changing the size of the state Senate, malapportionment (making all the Democratic districts have more people than Republican districts), *and* bribing a bunch of Democrats to caucus with them.

    The Republican Party in New York is propped up by a corrupt section of the Democratic Party. It’s actually already dead; it’s a vestigial appendage of the Democrats now. The only question is how long it’ll take to knock out the corrupt portion of the Democratic Party, which is huge!

  27. datacruncher
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 12:46
    #27

    @Faber Castell, that is not preliminary but rather the actual design for that viaduct.

    In this February 5 Construction Alert, the description is “The viaduct will have tall concrete
    arches and extend over State Route 99, North and Cedar. As you can see in the rendering to the left, the viaduct will include concrete arches, marking the southern end of the high-speed rail line through Fresno.”

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/construction/road_closure/020516_Construction_Alert_Title_v3.pdf

  28. J. Wong
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 14:03
    #28

    I wish the Business Plan discussed the costs of the full San Francisco-Bakersfield extension. It only lists $2.9 billion as the total extra. It also doesn’t break out the costs. I’d be interested in how much Shafter to Bakersfield + the station would costs. Also, what do they plan on the Peninsula to enable them to get to San Francisco?

    Distant armchair Reply:

    I’ve been puzzling over that myself today.

    I think we can assume the $2.9 bn figure assumes building southwards into Bakersfield at the full planned Phase 1 scope, plus some sort of incremental spend on the peninsula that stops short of the full Phase 1 scope but gets the HSR trainsets rolling into SF as a one seat ride.

    The detailed Basis of Estimate document shows the extension from the interim Shafter-ish terminus at Poplar Avenue up to and including a Bakersfield station as being $2.03b (2015$). Assuming the $2.9b number is also in 2015 dollars, that means there would be a roughly $900m piece left for the peninsula. (If the $2.9b figure was meant to be in YOE dolars, then Bakersfield in YOE terms would be somewhat larger than $2b, and the forecast chunk for the peninsula would be somewhat smaller than $900m.)

    I work in the industry a long way outside California, and that $900m figure is a real head-scratcher to me, as it seems really really high.

    When they get that $900m number, are they measuring spend from a zero marker where Caltrain electrification and resignalling are assumed funded and complete, or is there an assumption that the HSR budget will need to be backfilling some of the core costs of that program (therefore, I guess, CalMod is now unfunded)? Is DTX counted or not counted in the figure? How much grade-sepping is in there?

    It would seem to me that if you assume at the very least that by 2025 Caltrain will be electrified and resignalled from 4th+King to Diridon (forgetting Palo Alto trenches or tunnels into Transbay or the like) then it shouldn’t take anywhere near $900m over and above that to get to a basic entry-level blended setup. I’m picturing something German ICE-style where you can roll HSR trains north past Diridon to 4th+King at, say, 60 mph, with no dramatic changes to grade crossings or track curves. Throw on some high platforms at Milbrae and 4th+King, add a couple of lengths of overtake track, Bob’s your uncle. Yeah, this would be something like 20 minutes slower than a final Phase 1 scope of 110 mph over the blended corridor, but it makes the system map a little longer, cuts a transfer out for those heading onwards into SF and has to grow overall ridership and revenue.

    A little confused as to why CHSRA might want to make it seem like it’s much harder to make a “Silicon Valley to Central Valley line” into a “San Francisco to Central Valley line” than it ought to be.

    Clem Reply:

    Perhaps a clue is found in the service plan assumptions. The run times tabulated (departure to departure including 7% pad) show Transbay – Millbrae – San Jose at 51 minutes, which is consistent with a 79 mph speed limit. Then again, their run time numbers are not self-consistent. The SJ – Fresno run is 1:07 (dep. to dep.) with a stop in Gilroy, but just 0:51 with no stop in Gilroy. Something about that doesn’t add up, unless the Gilroy dwell includes an overtake.

    My own numerical simulations (110 mph peninsula, departures, 7% pad, 2 min dwell):
    SFT 0:00
    MIL 0:16
    SJC 0:40
    GLY 0:57
    FNO 1:37
    BFD 2:14 (arr.)

    I think they’re setting this up as a way to grab more Fed funding, by proposing a 90% solution using state money and making the last 10% such a no-brainer that even Congress will go for it. Not a bad strategy.

    Jerry Reply:

    And the ‘pressure’ will be on Kevin McCarthy.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Clem,
    You forgot to include the Kings-Tulare Station, and the Mid-Peninsula Station.

    Clem Reply:

    Yes my example train skipped those. There is no mid-peninsula station in the 2016 business plan.

    Roland Reply:

    OT: Gilroy reality check: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYm6Zbu_zmc

    Distant armchair Reply:

    Clem, I agree that there may well be political tactical considerations, but something doesn’t quite add up.

    The project is considerably more prone to fear, uncertainty and doubt about its viability and future in the chattering classes for every day that its presented as “San Jose to Central Valley” rather than as “San Francisco to Central Valley”. For that reason, if you’re CHSRA you want to bring in sufficient additional funding that allows you to colour in the map pixels as far as San Francisco as quickly as possible. My gut says getting the scope up to that point has you sort of cresting a hill of perceptions about its statewide utility and uncancellability, and from then on it gets much easier to go back to Washington and squeeze Kevin McCarthy into getting the last 20 miles into Bakersfield, for instance.

    With that in mind, the right strategy (in my mind anyway) should be set the price in the window as low as possible for some really bare-bones blended access to San Francisco — HSR trains moving at Caltrain speeds over peninsula corridor, which should be a very small incremental cost over the existing CalMod budget. However much of a no-brainer another 10% of project cost might seem to Congress, it’s even less of a brainer if it’s another 1%.

    But something around $900m seems really huge, so either one of two things must be true:
    1) It’s not a bare bones option, and has all kinds of money in there for things that are not strictly necessary to get a one-seat HSR ride across SF City Limits at Caltrain speeds, like a bunch of grade separations, the DTX/Transbay, and more overtake track than the minimum.
    2) It is in fact a bare bones option, but the $600m that the High Speed Rail Authority was supposed to have been contributing to CalMod has now been repurposed to get the IOS to SJ and so now there’s a shortfall that needs backfilling by the feds, which counts towards the $900-ish million.

    Clem Reply:

    SB557 forbids that $600 million from being shifted to any other segment than SF to SJ. The only way the money could go poof is a successful Prop 1A taxpayer lawsuit, or another public referendum to rescind Prop 1A entirely. Neither of these outcomes are very likely in my opinion.

    Clem Reply:

    Another thought: could the $900M include the $600M being spent up front for electrification of the peninsula rail corridor, counted as a prerequisite for extending the IOS to San Francisco?

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/DRAFT_2016_Business_Plan_Basis_of_Estimate.pdf bottom of page 29 (PDF page 31) “Assumptions”

    Distant armchair Reply:

    The $586m (2015$) quoted for electric traction could be basically one and the same as the $600m “allowance” for CalMod, particularly if you think of the $600m as being priced in YOE$.

    The stations numbers should break down roughly as follows: 2014 Transbay contribution estimate of $1.987b (2015$) is cut by around $1.5b to leave around $500m, while new for the 2016 business plan is a further $500m in other station investment to leave the final at $1.006b. That $500m apparently breaks down as $50m for Millbrae, $50m for Diridon and $100m for “interim station at 4th and King” with $100m either lost in rounding or somewhere else. (Weird that there’s Diridon cost carried both here and in the next segment, weirder still that the decision to raise Caltrain platforms to match HSR appears to have changed the cost of Milbrae from $0 to $50m)

    Anyway, my current best guess is that the potential $900m scope is in fact for a bare-bones run up to a temporary terminus at 4th and King, with around a $586m contribution to electrification + ~$400m on stations not named Transbay. That $400m on stations seems ludicrously high.

    Roland Reply:

    Money for “things that are not strictly necessary” as in “Ventilation in tunnels is based on a trainset compartmentation strategy for smoke control in tunnels which would eliminate requirements for mechanical ventilation”? Are you kidding????
    What about cross-passages? Maybe we don’t need those either???

    Roland Reply:

    SJC 00:40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca0oRlElTWY&feature=youtu.be&t=513
    Nothing that an 8-mile tunnel cannot fix…

    Roland Reply:

    The 00:51 is most likely the east of 101 alignment while the 1:07 is Monterey Highway (bye-bye Prop 1A)

    Clem Reply:

    I haven’t diagrammed it out, but I suspect it’s an overtake maneuver where the local dwells for a long time at the Gilroy platform.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I believe to remember reading (probably from Alon Levy’s blog) that the time penalty for a stop from 300 km/h is in the 8 minute range, plus the time at the platform. Considering 4 minutes time separation, this number would make sense (8 minutes stopping penalty, 8 minutes waiting time at the platform).

    Roland Reply:

    It’s 6 minutes including a 2.22 dwell @360 KPH (assuming 140 MPH switches and kick-a$$ signalling and track work design), so I would guess 5 minutes @300 KPH(?).
    The only explanation I can think of is that they have either completely value-engineered (AKA “dropped”) the 175 MPH curva grande east of 101 alignment or at least the loop back to east of 101 north of Gilroy in which case they they are headed for serious trouble in 60-90 days(?)

    Roland Reply:

    Cost breakdown: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/DRAFT_2016_Business_Plan_Basis_of_Estimate.pdf (page 17)

    J. Wong Reply:

    Ok they come up with $3.1b, which is more than the $2.9b they said for full SF-Bakersfield.

    Looks like they want to fund the 25th Ave (San Mateo) grade separation with 4-track at $90m.

    They’re including curve straightening. @Clem did you account for this in your times?

    Clem Reply:

    No I did not. Good luck straightening San Bruno now! There isn’t much they can do that hasn’t already been done.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, that ship has sailed. Obviously they’ll straighten Hayward Park when they 4-track it there, but I’ll have to go look at your blog for the others.

    Clem Reply:

    They should actually nuke Hayward Park, for three reasons:
    1) near-zero ridership
    2) stone’s throw from the new Hillsdale, relocated to the north
    3) between two reverse curves that could be flattened by removing the platforms

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actually, given how close it is, they might.

    Things are changing around it. They tore down the old Super K-Mart building and seem to be building a whole lot of new office space.

    Jerry Reply:

    Clem: Is the San Bruno automatic oil squirter still there next to the tracks? (To lessen the wear on the trains wheels.) I always thought CalTrain should at least work on smoothing out those curves. And eliminate the oil squirters.

    Clem Reply:

    What’s wrong with flange greasers?

    Clem Reply:

    Those are the costs for Phase 1, the full system from SF Transbay to Anaheim. It’s not clear which portion of those costs would apply to the “extended” IOS.

  29. Distant armchair
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 16:08
    #29

    I know our CARRDy friends have been poring over what the Basis of Estimates appendix implies about recent alignment refinements for SJ to Gilroy, but I spotted a couple more interesting hints in there about design choices about other parts of the project.

    1) Central Valley Wye – Per charts in the last Operations Report, it looks like the staff recommendation on a preferred alternative is due to go to the CHSRA Board in March. That tells me they’ve got to be really damn close to landing their answer. So it’s worth paying heed to where the basis of estimates document notes (page 34)“Costs associated with this segment are based upon the revised preliminary design assumptions developed for the upcoming environmental documents for the Central Wye. The estimate is based upon the May 2015 15% engineering submittal for SR152 to Road 13 currently under evaluation”. Obviously, to arrive at a final budget number staff had to pick one of the three alternatives and so of course it’s entirely possible they eenie-meenie-miney-moed, but if I were a CHRSA business plan number cruncher and I knew I was going to have to keep tying all my math back to the costs in this document for the next two-plus years, I’d damn well stroll over to the desk of the guy doing the environmental clearances and peek at what wasn’t due to be made public for another few weeks just to save me the future headaches. So if anyone out there owns property along Road 13 outside Chowchilla, well, there you have it…

    2) Bakersfield – The going assumption here for costing (Page 38) is not the FRA-approved, environmentally-cleared hybrid alignment, but rather the locally generated F Street one that CHSRA agreed to look at but not necessarily proceed with as per terms of the legal settlement with the City. Might be a politically prudent nod at Bakersfield, or might be a hint that staff think it’s more likely to happen.

    3) Tehachapi crossing – (Page 39) “Based on Oak Creek alignment alternative currently under evaluation by the Authority and its consultants.” Not a huge reveal here: Oak Creek is the farther west option that cuts the corner away from Mojave, and starting in last fall’s materials two variations on it started appearing as the only routing still actively under consideration.

    4) San Gabriel crossing – (Page 40) “Estimate assumes a new segment based on the east corridor tunnel alignment option E1a terminating just south of Burbank Airport station, and also reflects a new alternative defined in the Palmdale to Burbank Supplemental Alternative Analysis adopted in June 2015.” So there we have it, the base tunnel is the new default, at least for now. Interestingly, they went with the least eastern tunnel option, E1a, which never struck me as much of a winner — last spring the numbers had it clocking in as more expensive than some of the base tunnel options further east that had a longer main bore but shorter overall segment length.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Oak Creek alignments involve taking any Tejon Ranch property?

  30. John
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 17:53
    #30

    SF-> SJ ($3.1B) Page 31 from Business plan Estimates:

    The dedicated high-speed rail tracks at Millbrae (elevated and in tunnel) and aerial approach to Diridon station have been now removed. Further, the allowance towards the Caltrain Downtown Extension Project has been reduced by $1.5 billion. These major modifications developed over the past year will be further defined by the Authority’s new Environmental & Engineering consultant and documented in the environmental process.

    Assumptions
    • Based on an alignment section length of 48 route miles
    • At-grade use of Caltrain corridor to just past the San Jose station with alignment adjustments including curve straightening to achieve operating speed up to 110 mph
    • Existing track structure rehabilitation including replacement of wood ties, new running rail where confirmed by inspection reports, rail grinding & surfacing, upgrade of interlockings and access control fencing
    • Includes an allowance for high-speed rail passing tracks between Hayward Park and Hillsdale, approximately two mile segment recommended for 6/4 operation up to 110 mph
    • Contribution of $90 million for three grade separations within the Hayward Park to Hillsdale passing track segment
    • An allowance of $500M for additional grade separations that may be required as environmental mitigation
    • An allowance for quad gates at 40 grade crossings
    • A $50M allowance per station for high platform upgrades to Diridon and Millbrae, and $100M for interim terminal station at 4th & King
    • A $550M allowance (YOE $) for work done by others for Transbay connection

    John Reply:

    A $600M allowance for electrification of Caltrain by others
    • An allowance of $1M (not to exceed) to cover professional services for Caltrain consultants
    • Five mile track from Santa Clara to San Jose for Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) freight use is under review and not included in the estimate
    • Structural modifications to the four existing tunnels are not included
    • Conversion of existing Caltrain platforms to level boarding is not included except for the stations shared with high-speed rail
    • Improvements to existing at-grade vehicular and pedestrian crossings are limited to safety and environmental mitigation as noted above
    • Future platform extension to 1400 feet to accommodate two high-speed rail trainsets is not included

    J. Wong Reply:

    So they’re planning on contributing half of the cost for the 25th Ave grade separation (and moved Hillsdale station) and gettinf54-track in return from (I’m guessing) Hillsdale to past Hayward Park.

    $500m for grade separations will probably include Broadway (Burlingame).

    Curve straightening (likely not San Bruno).

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Note: The SF – Bakersfield section has only a minimal amount of investment – most of the $$ for SF-SJ would only be spent once SF – Anaheim was done. As noted above, it is a little vague about what would happen when. Footnote/endnote 6: ““Additional investments would be made in the future to provide a higher level of one-seat ride service into San Francisco.”

    As far as we can tell, the $$ for initial blended system would be limited to adapting Millbrae station height, building a terminal station at 4th and King and doing signaling. The Authority is counting on the original LTK study that says 2 HSR trains could “blend” with Caltrain, as long as Caltrain is willing to bunch its trains.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, I don’t necessarily expect anything soon. On the other hand much of the work on the SF-SJ corridor benefits both Caltrain and HSR so without requiring direct allocation from Congress money from already allocated grant programs might be available, which I’m guessing is what the Authority is hoping too.

    Clem Reply:

    If I understand correctly, the extended IOS has 2 tph on the peninsula and relies on Caltrain bunching (no overtakes) while the full Phase 1 has 4 tph with a super mini overtake from MP 18.3 to 20.3… This two-mile overtake scenario was never analyzed by LTK and would likely be quite prone to delays given its extremely short length.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Apparently the PB elves have been toiling away in their workshop over the last couple of years… in all seriousness, it is difficult to know what this plan really is until more details are released.

    Jerry Reply:

    Does that mean we have to wait until the 2018 Business Plan? :)

  31. Jerry
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 19:22
    #31

    Reminder: The 2016 CAHSR Business Plan is a DRAFT. Just a DRAFT. It will change.
    You can submit your comment through the following CAHSRA page:
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/about/business_plans/draft_2016_Business_Plan.html
    The updated FINAL plan will go to the Legislature on May 1, 2016.

    Joseph E Reply:

    Thank you for the reminder.

  32. John
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 20:13
    #32

    Tunnel/Socal Shared-Use/HMF tidbits:

    ~1B more for ROW : Bakersfield to Palmdale
    Based on Oak Creek alignment alternative currently under evaluation by the Authority and its consultants.

    ~1.5B more for east tunnel from Palmdale to Burbank:
    Estimate assumes a new segment based on the east corridor tunnel alignment option E1a terminating just south of Burbank Airport station, and also reflects a new alternative defined in the Palmdale to Burbank Supplemental Alternative Analysis adopted in June 2015

    Shared use in SoCal:
    Assumes Metrolink and High-Speed Rail will share tracks from approximately Metrolink’s Central Maintenance Facility to Los Angeles Union Station

    • Does not include allowances for agreements with Metro/UPRR for shared use of this corridor

    HMF/LMF:
    • Includes HMF located within the first construction segment with accommodation for initial 16 trainsets
    • Includes LMF in Brisbane on the Peninsula (previously included in the San Francisco to San Jose section costs)
    • Includes LMF in Los Angeles area (previously included in the Palmdale to Los Angeles section costs).

  33. Roland
    Feb 20th, 2016 at 21:50
    #33

    OT: Transbay update: http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Troubled-SF-transit-project-puts-public-on-hook-6845011.php

    Reality Check Reply:

    Troubled SF transit project puts public on $37m hook to Goldman Sachs

    The over-budget Transbay Transit Center is so stretched for cash that officials have been forced to take out a short-term loan from Goldman Sachs that puts the public on the hook for $37 million just in fees and other charges.

    That money goes straight into Goldman Sachs’ pocket. What’s left from the $171 million bridge loan — $134 million — goes toward bailing out the troubled transit center project.

    The bank charges aren’t out of line, according to financial experts who looked over the loan. They are, however, an indicator that the Transbay Transit Center agency’s credit rating is so weak — BBB-minus — that it can no longer qualify for a conventional loan.

    […]

    The cost of the mega-bus and train station just south of Mission Street between Second and Beale streets has doubled since ground was broken in 2010 and now totals $2.4 billion. The transit authority, which is made up of officials from San Francisco, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board and AC Transit, is scrambling to come up with at least $250 million to complete the first phase of construction.

    And believe it or not, $2.4 billion for a three-block-long building and park is just the start. The idea from the beginning has been to run underground train tracks into the station from the current Caltrain terminal at Fourth and King streets. The estimated cost of that project just shot up another $1 billion, bringing it to $4 billion.

    […]

    But given the agency’s poor credit rating, both the city and the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission will probably have to step in and cosign for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional borrowing to complete the project.

    No doubt, saddling taxpayers with millions more in fees.

    It’s just the latest in a string of troubling financial disclosures for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. As we reported this month, the agency’s chief financial officer, Sara Gigliotti DeBord, has been commuting to her job for 2½ years from her home in Colorado — charging the agency for $46,308 in airfare, lodging and meals in the process. Board directors said they were unaware of the arrangement, which was approved by agency Executive Director Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan.

  34. Isgota
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 04:23
    #34

    My opinion is not just IOS north makes sense, but they had no choice, reaching LA is too costly at the moment.

    I’m wondering about the $2.9bn for the IOS extension. They say they want the Federal Gov. to finance it, but I think maybe is a way to push for more funds from the State and/or the Cities, or even a private souce to bite the bullet (pun inteded) and start the first PPP with a relatively small sum.

    The economic analysis show a 75% chance of breakeven for the IOS as is now, but doesn’t show how the IOS extension improves that chance. It would be interesting to know that.

  35. morris brown
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 10:46
    #35

    Chair Dan Richard was on CBS-TV this AM.

    See:

    https://youtu.be/FZ4Mdez-3r4

    He and others promoting this new plan, keep talking about using HSR as a commuter platform to the Central Valley; thus helping out with the jobs/ housing imbalance in the Bay Area.

    He conveniently leaves out the costs of commuting from such a distance. Using Authority ticket price numbers for Fresno to San Jose as an example, a commuter would be paying $126 per working day for HSR tickets. Add on parking fees at Fresno; possibly additional transportation charges at San Jose to get to work.

    A commuter would be looking at over $2700 / month to commute using HSR from Fresno to San Jose. That’s over $32,000 a year and not tax deductible. Who can afford such a commuting expense? It just doesn’t make sense.

    Of, course the whole 2016 plan doesn’t make any sense and certainly doesn’t comply with the mandates of Prop 1A or promises that were made to the voters before they passed Prop 1A in 2008.

    It is one big fraud.

    Clem Reply:

    There are pre-tax commuter benefits available but you are correct, they are nowhere near enough to cover such an expensive daily commute.

    datacruncher Reply:

    They should talk about the potential to relocate back office or support or lower paying jobs outside the Bay Area to areas like Fresno with HSR allowing easy access to/from main corporate locations when needed. Paying Bay Area prices for office space for every worker is not necessary.

    I see it as similar to several decades ago when companies like Bank of America relocated some jobs outside the City of SF to the Concord/Walnut Creek and other areas (but still close to freeways/BART lines to corporate offices in downtown SF).

    Jerry Reply:

    And the massive jobs and living relocations all over the country after the easy commutes created by the Interstate Highway System.

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ4Mdez-3r4&feature=youtu.be&t=123

    Jerry Reply:

    Morris. The Capitol Corridor has a MONTHLY unlimited ticket between Sacramento and Richmond BART for $426.
    Even the train from London to Paris has “early bird” rates.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    It is significantly subsidized and SF – Sacramento is not as uni-directional for commute flows, which helps too. If an operator is going to break even but will have empty seats in one direction – they have to charge 4x as much as an operator who is getting 50% of operating costs subsidized. This, btw, is why Caltrain has a LOT of potential.

    Jerry Reply:

    “That’s over $32,000 a year and not tax deductible.”
    So make it a tax deduction. Republicans love lowering taxes.
    Problem solved.

    “Who can afford such a commuting expense?” Corporate leaders. All the time.
    The “workers” who flew in on their private jets to the Super Bowl 50 Levi Stadium’s five levels of sky boxes had more ‘tax deductions’ in one day than most people had in a lifetime.

    john burrows Reply:

    In 2012 Santa Clara County had 15,005 active registered nurses.

    According to the Nurse Salary Guide for 2016, RN’s in Santa Clara County made an average salary of $122,990 per year.

    About 12 years ago, before Caltrain started running the Baby Bullets, my wife (an RN) commuted for a while from Burlingame to the Santa Clara Caltrain station, and then by shuttle to the hospital where she worked, a commute that took over 1 1/2 hours. At Santa Clara the shuttle would pick up two nurses who were taking the ACE train from Tracy. For them the commute was well over two hours. The nurses from Tracy were working back to back 12 hour shifts, using a crash pad between.

    If these two nurses were coming from Fresno by high speed rail, their commute would take about an hour an a half, and their annual commute cost would be around $13,000 with no discounts. The crash pad for one day a week would add in maybe another $3,000 each, for a total of $16,000 per year. If they were making an average salary for a Santa Clara County RN, the yearly income would be $107,000 after subtracting travel expenses.

    Taking this a little further—
    The median home value in Santa Clara County is $945,000.
    With 20% down and a 4% interest rate, the monthly mortgage payment is $3,600.

    The median home value in Fresno County is $200,000.
    With 20% down and a 4% interest rate, the monthly mortgage payment is $770.

    A nurse or anyone else commuting from Fresno to San Jose by high speed rail might get by with one less car, potentially saving thousands per year.

    As in the case of the two nurses, many commuters do not need to go to work five days per week.

    Employers may provide subsidies as well as free transportation from Diridon Station to the workplace.

    The Rail Authority might be able to give a commuter discount.

    If I remember correctly, in 2013 over 15,000 commuters were taking over an hour and a half to get to their jobs in Santa Clara County.

    Every one to his own opinion, but in my opinion commuting from Fresno to a job in Santa Clara County is going to make a lot of sense to thousands of commuters. The idea of substantial numbers of high-speed rail commuters from Fresno has not been seriously taken into account but I think that it will happen—In 9 years we will see.

    And to go off topic a little—The word “fraud” is a word that is sometimes over used.

    Nadia Reply:

    By that logic wouldn’t Caltrain from Morgan Hill and Gilroy be full?

    Jerry Reply:

    No
    The Cost of Living in Fresno is much much cheaper than in Gilroy.
    http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/fresno-ca/gilroy-ca/54000

    Jerry Reply:

    Housing is 218% more expensive in Gilroy than in Fresno.

    Jerry Reply:

    Plus the voters are going to be asked to pay for an increase in the sales tax to help pay for all of your problems in Santa Clara County.

    Joe Reply:

    John

    If an affordable Fresno home means one parent can stay home the savings on child care would easily be over $1500/month per child. With school age kids you have to pay for after school care and Summer’s you have to cobble together camps/school to cover you child. Teens are independent but being home for them sometimes is necessary.

    The cost of daycare and other services in the valley is higher than the CV. Even Gilroy rates are less than SV rates.

    Right now new Gilroy homes are 600+ and people live here to have a stay at home spouse.

    john burrows Reply:

    Forgot to mention property taxes—

    Median annual property tax Fresno County is———–$1730
    Median annual property tax Santa Clara County is—–$5120

    A nice little additional saving of over $3000 per year to help balance that commute expense.

    Jerry Reply:

    Most people don’t factor in such things.
    A bridge toll of $5 a day soon adds up to $100 a month.
    And as Everett Dirkson used to say, “A billion here, and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about big money.”

    john burrows Reply:

    thought I was replying to a comment made by Joe on page 2, but I guess not.

    Joe Reply:

    I got it john.

    Property taxes are 200-300 a month less. Alternative commute assistance should be about $200 a month. That’s 400-500 in non-taxable savings.

    And as usual, time on rail would be better spent than driving.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Real world (Feb. 2016) example of high speed commuter pass rates:
    The distance between Fresno and San Jose is roughly the same as the distance between Tokyo and Hamamatsu. JR Tokai offers a one month commuter pass on the Tokaido Shinkansen between those two cities for the equivalent of USD 1638.00. Included in the price is free transfer to local trains in the metro area network.

    Jerry Reply:

    Which would lower Morris’s referenced price to $82 a day.

    mike Reply:

    1. $63 is the assumed average fare from Fresno to SJ. It is silly to think that there will not be at least a modest (e.g. 20%) monthly pass discount. An Amtrak NEC monthly pass from Philadelphia to New York is $1,404, or about $67/day. Let’s assume CAHSR prices on the high end and comes in at $2,000/mo (about $95/day).

    2. There are already people commuting from the Central Valley to the Silicon Valley. According the Census ACS, even during the Great Recession, when rents and employment were much lower than current levels, there were 3,983 commuters from Stanislaus Co., 4,118 from Merced Co., 390 from Madera Co., 579 from Fresno Co., and 279 from Kings/Tulare Co. (9,349 total). For those already commuting, and paying at least $50/day in driving costs, the question is whether 1-2 hours of time savings is worth $50.

    3. For the 711,535 Santa Clara Co. workers who live in Santa Clara Co., the question is whether, for any of them, the dramatically lower cost of living in the Central Valley is worth the increase in commute costs.

    4. It doesn’t take a ton of commuters to help reach their ridership goals. The goal at opening is ~2,900 rides/day from the Central Valley to Silicon Valley, rising to ~6,200 rides/day right before Phase 1 opens. Even getting just 1,200 commuters (e.g. 5% of the Great Recession commuters combined with 0.1% of Santa Clara Co. workers relocating) gets you almost the entire way to the initial ridership goal, and 39% of the final ridership goal.

  36. Jos Callinet
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 11:15
    #36

    Considering how rapidly climate change is overtaking the world, by the time 2025 rolls around, our hopes that HSR can or will have any meaningful impact on slowing it will by then very likely have been dashed.

    Read this: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/18/1487141/–It-s-unraveling-every-piece-of-it-is-unraveling-they-re-all-in-lockstep-together

    With each and every passing year, powerful new evidence is increasingly showing us that climate change has ALREADY crossed the point of no return, meaning that we are trapped in a vortex of out-of-control global warming with no humanly possible way to slow or stop it.

    WE WAITED TOO LONG TO ACT.

    Aarond Reply:

    The fact of the matter is that even IF the US were to start cutting car emissions more, the BRICs would simply keep polluting. And, unsurprisingly, “climate change” isn’t a factor in any of their decisions and unlikely will be. They’ll also be screwed the hardest due to desertification. But even as everything falls down there, the government simply won’t care. China has already been through one major famine, they’ll go through another. And the whole time they will keep using unfiltered coal power. The only thing that could stop it is if their population decreases to the point where power/factory demands are simply lower.

    As for the rest of the world, everyone else will adapt. California is already putting money into desalination. People will get used to extreme weather and continue to live their lives.

    Nathanael Reply:

    China’s deliberately addressing climate change quite fast. Probably not fast enough, but faster than the US.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Shhhh, you’ll burst his bubble with facts.

    Aarond Reply:

    going from 0 to 1 is easier then going from 1 to 10

    China’s economy exists as it does because they don’t have any workers rights or environmental regulations. Long term this isn’t sustainable, but they’re not going to capitulate willingly. Especially when their stock market is blowing up.

    That said, even IF what they do somehow works, a worse off country will simply step in to take it’s place. If not in the South Pacific, then in Africa or South America.

    Jerry Reply:

    But, but, Senator Snowball says what climate change.

  37. Neil Shea
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 12:59
    #37

    @Robert – if you can’t disable the paging that breaks the comment threads, can you create a new Open Discussion topic every day or so, whenever the last topic has at least 125 comments?

    Jerry Reply:

    At least a Part II.

  38. Edward
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 13:55
    #38

    It’s almost as good as the “Jumble” word puzzle in the daily paper. Once you reach the limit all the comments from page one pile up at the bottom of page two. “Now let’s see… That one must go with this, and that one… no.. maybe that one?…

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Oh c’mon where is your spirit of fun and adventure? Now you can associate any one comment with any other one – its like mad libs for transit wonks

    Jerry Reply:

    Gee. Only 32 more comments and we will be on page three of the subject blog.
    As Elizabeth says, It’s like mad libs.

  39. keith saggers
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 16:08
    #39

    The KRRI research institute has developed a novel catenary design with an ultra-high strength contact wire in partnership with infrastructure manager KRNA to support test running at 400 km/h on a section of the Honam high speed line in South Korea. Railway Gazette

  40. Domayv
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 16:52
    #40
  41. Reedman
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 18:07
    #41

    Lessons in building train infrastructure:

    “The cost of projects, big and small, matters — a lot. Whether due to unforeseen conditions, errors or misconduct, cost overruns consume precious resources and undermine public confidence.” “‘If we were looking at it today, we might come to different judgments about how those dollars ought to be spent.’

    — Patrick Foye, Executive Director, Port Authority, talking about the $4.4 billion cost of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

    Referring to WTC architect Santiago Calatrava:

    “‘He’s one of the great designers,’ says Mitchell Moss, director of NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation. ‘But this is a fucking train to Jersey.'”

    Jerry Reply:

    Eat your heart out ARTIC.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s not that ARTIC is overpriced for what it is – $188 Million for a structure that size and all of its surrounding pavement, landscaping, etc. isn’t crazy.

    The problem is that they spend all that money on a fairly lightly used metrolink and amtrak station that’s now worse-situated and less convenient than the station it replaced.

    Jerry Reply:

    It is a grandiose complex befitting a neighborhood that rebounded from the dark days after 9/11, a day when the heart of New York was “ripped out,” Steve Plate, the Port Authority’s capital projects chief, said.
    The centerpiece of the hub is the Oculus, a cavernous hall that features white steel ribs reaching to the structure’s apex to form a skylight called the Wedge of Light. The Oculus, which at 350 feet long is roughly the size of a soccer field, will have 75,000 square feet of retail space.
    It was designed to be an inviting, well-lit and airy place for commuters and tourists alike to spend their time.
    Despite the ballooned budget, Plate said the redevelopment of the entire 16-acre World Trade Center site is still within its $14.8 billion to $15.8 billion estimate.
    It is set to open next month.
    http://www.wtc.com/media/news/4b-world-trade-center-transportation-hub-nearly-set-to-open-for-250000-daily-path-commuters

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Lessons indeed!

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/03/santiago-calatrava-world-trade-center-path-hub.html

    Jerry Reply:

    And AAF will have a great station in Miami.
    Even the Miami Airport has a great intermodal station.

    Jerry Reply:

    Except that during construction of the airport’s Miami Central Station, it was discovered that the passenger platforms were designed and built 200′ too short to accommodate Amtrak trains.
    As a result, the Florida Department of Transportation is in the process of extending the platforms, which will drive up the cost of the project an additional $4 million. Amtrak service to Miami Central Station is now scheduled to begin sometime in the summer of 2016.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Exactly! And the people mover from the new MIC at the airport to the terminal requires a long walk from the concourses. It should have been integrated into the airport better. The platform length issue is to permit longer trains in peak travel times. Typical miscommunication between partners that should not have happened.

    As far as the new AAF/Brightline station in Miami, the overall impression I get is that it is functional, not grandiose in design. After all, it is a private venture that must consider costs (and profits) as well as vanity.

    The WTC PATH station is outrageous in cost considering what it actually is. A subway stop.

    And consider the Transbay Terminal in SF, 50% increase in budget from initial projections. And that is only for half of the project. Can taxpayers really afford such expenditures that seem to create little additional value relative to their impressive costs? There has to be a less expensive way for government to build infrastructure in this country.

    Jerry Reply:

    Agreed.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    I think the Orlando airport authority has a much better handle on things though. They seem to have included a lot of forward thinking in the design of their new intermodal station that AAF and Sunrail will be using. It will become the center of their airport in 15 years. I just hope that Tampa, where I live, can be as good with their expansion plans as they have a multi billion dollar expansion project going on now.

    Jerry Reply:

    SunRail is a good little system. Their cars are newer and better than CalTrain’s.
    Pinellas County (across from Tampa) has the highest density of any county in Florida. Population wise and perhaps mentally. Their car centric culture voted down the Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum. Which would have helped the Tampa Bay efforts.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Altho csx recently changed their mind and are willing to sell all local lines west and north from tampa. So there might be an opening to have commuter rail here similar to sunrail. FDOT is designing the new I275 bridge to be rail compatible as well over to Pinellas.

    Jerry Reply:

    That’s good news.

    Jerry Reply:

    That was a reply to Brian_FL on page 2, comment #55

    Reedman Reply:

    Brian_FL:

    Do you think there is any way that there could be a future re-invigoration
    of passenger rail from Tampa southward to Sarasota/Fort Meyers?

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

    Brian_FL Reply:

    I doubt that will happen in my lifetime. The only talk has been a 30 year transportation plan that includes a potential commuter rail route from Tampa to Bradenton and on to Sarasota. As far as high(er) speed rail to Ft Myers, that would require billions and a change in attitude here towards funding rail systems. I could see something going east across alligator alley before (meaning 30-40 years from now) a route heading north to Tampa from SW Florida.

    Jerry Reply:

    AAF will wake people up to better, faster, rail service.
    HSR from Tampa to Orlando as originally planned should be kept on the front burner.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    According to people at FDOT and AAF the necessary ROW is being kept open for future intercity rail between Tampa and Orlando. The Jacksonville extension might happen first, but I am confident that if the first route to Miami is successful then Tampa will see service within 10-15 years after startup in 2017.

  42. synonymouse
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 19:45
    #42

    I do not see any postings from Feb. 21 on the site.

    Jerry Reply:

    Go to the bottom and hit page two.

  43. Neil Shea
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 20:57
    #43

    @Elizabeth @Robert – “mad libs for transit wonks” – word!

    Jerry Reply:

    Yes.
    synonymouse is lost.

  44. Edward
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 22:04
    #44

    Before we go to page 3…

    If you click on a link in “Recent Comments” it always sends you to page 1. Of course it can’t find the comment because it isn’t on page one. So it leaves you at the top of the page. Great fun.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Robert, the new paged comments “feature” sucks. There is nothing good about it.

    Please, for the love of God, just revert back to the way it was with all comments on a single page.

    Numerous comments have been posted asking the same. It wasn’t broke, but now it is.

    What’s the deal? Is anything preventing you from fixing this — or at least commenting on it?

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed Reality Check, Robert please change the blog back, links to the 2nd page aren’t working, only those to the 1st page work.

  45. Jerry
    Feb 21st, 2016 at 23:31
    #45

    I guess we’re no longer in Kansas anymore, but now on page 3.

  46. morris brown
    Feb 22nd, 2016 at 06:22
    #46

    California High Speed Rail 2016 Business Plan — A Huge Fraud

    Joe Reply:

    Morris Brown – a yuuge sore loser.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Fraud? Not for you @morris brown since you voted no. Not for me either since I assumed the majority of the funding would come from the Federal gov’t (which is what I still want), which is my money in any case. I also assumed correctly that it would take place in stages so the new Business Plan is just an achievable recognition of that. And given how Kopp enabled the mistakes that were made in BART-SFO/Millbrae, I wouldn’t take what he says too seriously.

    Jerry Reply:

    Morris, it is a DRAFT Business Plan. Does that mislead and make the article YOU wrote a Fraud?

    Isgota Reply:

    Nice cherrypicking with the passenger numbers, 2.2 million, the worst of all.

    Now some other interesting data:

    San Francisco-Oakland and San Jose Metropolitan Statistical Areas added have about the same population as Madrid Metro area (6.5 million).

    Fresno plus Clovis is approaching the population of href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seville”>Seville in City terms.

    What happened when they were connected by HSR has been mentioned here. It’s not far fetched the history repeats in California.

  47. morris brown
    Feb 22nd, 2016 at 07:08
    #47

    Jeff Denham Statement on California High Speed

    February 22, 2016
    by RealEstateRama

    WASHINGTON (RealEstateRama) U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) released the following statement in reaction to news that the California High Speed Rail Authority plans to change routes:

    “Now that the California High Speed Rail Authority is finally acknowledging what the rest of us have known for years tunneling through the Tehachapis is going to cost them billions more than they have they must stop their efforts to put down tracks that will never connect in other parts of the state. Congress is never going to allocate more money to a project that lacks the ridership numbers, speeds, private funding and voter support once promised. Without the billions in funding they need, the Authority’s change in plans amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking.”

    J. Wong Reply:

    Congress will “allocate more money” when representatives like Denham are voted out of office and replaced with a Democratic majority. Denham has always been against HSR. Why should we listen to him at all?

    Joe Reply:

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-california-voter-registration-20160222-story.html

    “Republicans represent less than 28% of the state’s electorate, a drop of almost three points since the start of the 2012 election cycle.”

    Joe Reply:

    You realize that no matter what, they are going to run many, many more trains at higher speeds along Caltrain ROW. Not Jeff Denham, a strong supporter of commuter rail, nor Kevin McCarthy care about stopping or slowing trains through Menlo Park.

    The harder you fight the state system, the more you push money to the bookends and accelerate the buildup of the Pennisula.

    What kind of sound wall would you prefer?

    Jerry Reply:

    Menlo Park doesn’t know what it prefers.

    Joe Reply:

    Menlo Park wants to stop all change and remain like Lothlórien

  48. Faber Castell
    Feb 22nd, 2016 at 07:20
    #48

    Fortheloveofgod, please install DISQUS

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Seriously, disqus sucks in many ways, but it’s infinitely better than whatever’s being used here… ><

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed Miles, I’d rather have Disqus or even Facebook, over this, one page and no editing was Badenov, but this sucks.

    JJJJ Reply:

    NO FACEBOOK

    les Reply:

    +10000000

    EJ Reply:

    I think this is just a wordpress theme. Normally there’s just a toggle in the wordpress admin panel to turn comment pagination on or off.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    That’s correct. I didn’t even realize pagination was turned on. It may have gotten turned back on by default when I did a bunch of software upgrades a month or so ago. We’ve had a few posts where there have been more than 400 comments and I don’t recall those paginating.

  49. Reality Check
    Feb 22nd, 2016 at 13:32
    #49
  50. Reedman
    Feb 22nd, 2016 at 16:39
    #50

    Northern California transit construction news:

    The Transbay Transit Center construction has a large cashflow problem, and has taken out a $171 million loan from Goldman Sachs so it won’t have to halt work.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/real-estate/2016/02/transbay-project-loan-goldman-sachs.html

    Roland Reply:

    The $171M bridge loan was before this deal cratered: http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Developer-pulls-out-of-165-million-Transbay-deal-6690319.php

  51. Joe
    Feb 22nd, 2016 at 18:58
    #51

    Paul Dyson in the LATimes

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-le-0221-sunday-bullet-train-20160221-story.html

    Jerry Reply:

    In which Paul Dyson said:
    I have no doubt that Southern California politicians will find a way to fund the missing link once they see how the “northerners” enjoy the benefits of swift, electric-powered transportation.

  52. keith saggers
    Feb 22nd, 2016 at 19:00
    #52
  53. Aarond
    Feb 23rd, 2016 at 09:23
    #53

    [forum chaos intensifies]

  54. EJ
    Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:03
    #54

    @Robert, re: comments pagination, you should be able to just go into your wordpress admin panel and under “Settings >> Discussions” just untick the “Break comments into pages…” box.

    Unless comment pagination is somehow built into the theme, but I doubt that…

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Will do. And yowza, I need to post something new!

  55. Roland
    Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10:31
    #55
  56. Bob Tinsman
    Feb 23rd, 2016 at 11:40
    #56

    There was a KQED Forum discussion this morning, which I was disappointed in, because I usually appreciate how Michael Krasny facilitates the conversation, but it seemed as if he was leaning towards the HSR detractors. There were four guests, and only one was really pro-HSR (Carl Guardino, see below for the list), so the whole discussion started on a negative tone and dwelled on it. I think that way too much was made of the shift to the northern segment as a detour in a negative sense, with just way too much FUD being unchallenged except by Guardino. Also, having one of the guests representing the initiative to redirect funding to water projects seemed inappropriate.

    This is unfortunate, because a lot of people listen to Forum, and it could have been an opportunity for CAHSR to be represented in a better light. I’m surprised that Krasny was unable to get someone from CAHSR to speak for themselves. Guardino was articulate and polite in speaking out for HSR, but a lot of the FUD from other speakers went unchallenged.

    Link: http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201602230900

    Guest list:
    – Aubrey Bettencourt, executive director, California Water Alliance
    – Carl Guardino, president and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group; a member of the California Transportation Commission
    – Jessica Calefati, politics and state government reporter, San Jose Mercury News
    – Jim Patterson, member representing California’s 23rd district serving parts of Fresno and Tulare Counties, California State Assembly

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It *was* disappointing, but the tea leaves were not that hard to read either, at least between Guardino and Betancourt.

    Roland Reply:

    According to my friend Carl, Gilroy will get a 15-minute Diridon connection, courtesy of a 20-mile viaduct right through downtown Morgan Hill and San Jose District2.

    Joe Reply:

    That’s faster than I expected. The distance is greater than 20 miles.

    Curious how Morgan Hill will react. Poorly I suspect. They wanted to reroute 68 local bus off Monterey to lower impact to street side dining. The city just reworked downtown.

    Only Spanish speaking people use buses you know. That’s what I’ve read in their local paper.

  57. Reality Check
    Feb 23rd, 2016 at 13:06
    #57

    SF plan to raze I-280, re-route Caltrain, HSR to be unveiled tonight

    San Francisco residents will have their their first opportunity Tuesday to weigh in on a new study looking at the possibility of removing a 1.2-mile stretch of Interstate 280 in the city and reconfiguring the future route of high-speed rail and Caltrain into the Transbay Transit Center.

    The “Rail Yard Alternatives and I-280 Boulevard Feasibility Study” — known as the RAB — is a multiagency analysis of transportation and land use alternatives South of Market, in Mission Bay, Showplace Square and lower Potrero Hill. The first part of the study — which will be unveiled Tuesday night at the Potrero Hill Recreation Center — took a year to produce. Planners expect it will take another two years to finish the rest of the document.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    I’m eagerly awaiting this one.

    Roland Reply:

    Present and will be reporting as soon as the meeting starts.

Comments are closed.