Legislators Need to Stop Complaining and Start Working

Feb 27th, 2016 | Posted by

Roger Rudick has written a jeremiad about legislators like Jim Patterson who are complaining about the California High Speed Rail Authority’s decision to build a northern Initial Operating Segment:

Jim Patterson, Republican Assemblyman representing parts of Fresno and Tulare Counties, in an interview on KQED’s Forum, said the change is a tacit admission that the Authority can’t find the money to go south through the Tehachipies. “This is not the High Speed Rail plan that the voters approved,” he said. Predictably, he called for a re-vote, since the “design that the authority is building is so different and so at odds with what the people approved.”

Nonsense. Anybody can Google the project maps and see that the plan is still exactly what the voters approved. And they approved it because they realized as the state grows and pollution and environmental problems get worse, it’s idiotic to just keep widening roads, since we know that doesn’t work. A fast train between the northern and southern parts of the state is the solution, as anyone who travels overseas already knows….

There was a time when building transportation was something both parties agreed on and High-Speed Rail was once (and sometimes still is) supported by many prominent Republicans, including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who remains one of its biggest boosters. It’s time for our leaders, even those who don’t like HSR, to act like grownups and stop re-fighting a battle that was settled in 2008. So if Patterson and some of the other anti-rail lawmakers really don’t think it’s a good idea to go to the Bay Area first, they should stop their complaining and their parochial obstructionism, do their jobs as state lawmakers, and work to find a way to get the project over the mountains.

Go read the whole thing at Streetsblog SF.

  1. Jerry
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 14:52
    #1

    Patterson? He is a Republican, remember. The party of NO.
    Schwarzenegger, an actor, has at least ridden on HSR. Has Patterson ever ridden on HSR?

    Zorro Reply:

    I doubt Patterson ever has ridden on HSR or even a train.
    The Party of NO, is also the kNOw Nothing Party,
    which is also the party of hate and resentment.

    Jim Patterson, Republican Assemblyman representing parts of Fresno & Tulare Counties.

    Jerry Reply:

    And this this the CA Assembly District 23 map:
    https://ad23.asmrc.org/district-map/ad23
    The vast majority of the district is east of Fresno.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s important to remember that the GOP are only the party of NO because every time they attempted to compromise on an issue (gun control, abortion, gay rights, austerity, they had it thrown back into their faces. Right or not, they only became that way because the Democrats suddenly wanted more than what they originally bargained for.

    My point is that in the race to be progressive, a lot of people are alienated. We’re lucky to have Brown, people would not trust the Democrats if it were not for him at the helm. The thing is that going foreward, HSR could easily become a casualty if someone without Brown’s experience and moderation (say, Newsom) is allowed to run the state.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    what you just said… maybe in some alternate universe. First of all the republicans haven’t offerered to compromise in the past two decades. And the its not the democrats who are throwing anything in their faces, its the republicans own base constituency who are doing that because the republicans themselves bred and nurtured that constituency on purpose for their own gain and now it has become their Frankenstien’s monster. republicans are reaping what they have sown, the seeds of their own destruction. So now, now not only do they have an uphill battle against demographic, they have an uphill battle with their own base. And what I want to say now, after listening to their horseshit for 50 years, is neener. neener.@#$%my@#$%

    Where do they go from here?

    Aarond Reply:

    You can laugh at them now, but they aren’t going away. It’s imperative that the Democrats here in CA not piss them off with other issues if HSR is to survive. It’s the unfortunate reality.

    Look at the tidal wave of Republican control over the rest of the country, eventually it will happen again here. All they need is the state senate to bring the obstructionism back. Memories of Arnold’s betrayal will fade, and once Brown leaves all bets are off.

    I want HSR. But it’s not happening in a vacuum and getting it will require Brown’s replacement to not throw it all away. There’s a certain level of tact required here.

    Joe Reply:

    Facts state otherwise.

    http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article61857787.html
    About 4.76 million California voters are registered as Republicans, down from 5.17 million at this point in 2012. Republicans now make up about 27.6 percent of voters, down from 30.4 percent four years prior. No county in the state has a majority of voters registered as Republicans.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So you don’t want any federal money? Because if you want federal money you need the GOP for that.

    I was under the impression that they wanted an additional 3 billon for the SF to Bakerfield (downtown) connection

    joe Reply:

    The math at 27.6% says we do not need the GOP in CA.
    Every survey the demographic drops.

    At the Federal level this Congress is lame duck.

    Our front running GOP candidate for President just acccepted the Klan’s endorsement and wants to deport people and build a wall. I wouldn’t take any forecasts of their future domination serious.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The GOP is more than Trump, thank God. Not that the Dems have anything to brag about. Hillary’s trust rating is 30% and dropping.

    No one thinks the GOP is losing either the house or senate this election. So if you want money, you have to deal with them

    I don’t understand how you can be wrong so many times in a row about the elections (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014) and still be so confident. Despite your fantasies, the GOP is not going to dry up and float away. Honestly, the GOP is much more relevant in the last decade than in the previous. It’s true they are irrelevant in CA, but at the national level there are more states under GOP control than ever before.

    But feel free to continue to ignore the GOP and call them names. This theory that the Feds will give HSR 3 billon because they will be embarrassed or pressured to cough up the money because it makes the IOS so much better is ridiculous. Your own points prove that. GOP support in CA is already irrelevant and they have no political capital invested in the success of CAHSR.

    joe Reply:

    Train wreck on Tuesday. Trump solidifies his lead in delegates and the nomination within a week of accepting the Klan endorsements. Thats going to be the nominee.

    Is “Birth of a Nation” up for an centenial academy award? You would think it was.

    StevieB Reply:

    “Trump is a terrible problem for the party: Lose the presidency to Hillary, lose the Senate and therefore the Supreme Court,” said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, which has spent $3.5 million in a sustained anti-Trump campaign.

    Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn suggested that if Trump were the nominee some of his incumbents in Senate races — where 24 GOP seats are in contention, compared to 10 for the Democrats — could have to distance themselves from the debate that’s happening nationally and on the campaign trail. “We can’t have a nominee be an albatross around the down-ballot races,” Cornyn told CNN when asked if he had concerns about the prospect of Trump winning the GOP race.

    But the businessman’s penchant for making off-color and stunning remarks — the latest when he initially refused to repudiate David Duke on CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper” — have made top Republicans downright fearful that he could be detrimental to their hopes of retaking the White House, keeping the Senate and effectively filling the ninth spot on the Supreme Court.

    StevieB Reply:

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is afraid Trump will pull down senators running for reelection.

    According to the New York Times, McConnell is assuring Senate candidates running for reelection that they should feel free to run ads against Trump if they feel he is hurting their own campaigns. According to senators attending private lunches with the Majority Leader, McConnell is taking the approach that Trump will lose badly in the general election and that senators should sell themselves as a bulwark against a Hillary Clinton presidency.

    Jerry Reply:

    StevieB on Trump.
    Was it President Ford who said, “Our long national nightmare is just beginning. “

    synonymouse Reply:

    Trump is the only Repub with any chance to beat Hillary. Kasich? fuggedaboutit.

    Joe Reply:

    Trump’s brought out the Klan to carry him to victory and made it safe to express your ideals in public.

    Kasich wouldn’t tank the party.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hillary’s operatives probably slipped Duke some money.

    Trump’s a Repub, how can you get more Republican than super rich, egocentric and crazy mean bossy? He’s pure NYC tycoon and yet can bring in the sticks. The GOP should rejoice they have got a guy who can patch together their schism to maybe win an election.

    Kasich is just another McCain disaster. If the Repubs are locked out of the presidency eventually the corps will stop ponying up the money to them and instead baksheesh the Demos.

    Hillary is more vacillating than Carter and and her approval rating will “tank”. Daech digs her airhead “love they neighbor” bs.

    joe Reply:

    Here the bright side of a tankingbthennational GOP, when the racist loses you can blame the patronage machine and Hillary.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    McConnell’s (highly justified and rational fear) is that the Senate is the real prize. Winning the White House, but losing the Upper House to Democrats would be a disaster.

    Trump is effectively an independent who has co-opted “Citizens Unites” not unlike what Ahhnold did in 2003 recall. I expect it will similar in some ways, but with less confrontation because there no initiate process for federal law and Congress will be split. Just like with Arnold, a Trump Presidency is almost necessary to make voters appareciate real civil servants again…

    Phantom Commuter Reply:

    Yeah somebody needs to get out (of California) moire…

    Joe Reply:

    Arnold had party backing in his bid to run as an outsider.

    Mcconnell seems worried about the long term.

    Three branches of government.
    Scalia’s death puts the Supreme Court into play for a possible swing to the left. Also a backlog of federal judges to appoint.

    Senate and presidency control the nomination and appointment. House is powerless to infmuence appointment of federal judges.

    Losing both senate and presidency in this cycle would put the court composition at risk for decade(s).

    synonymouse Reply:

    There will only be one party in power, the Wall Street party. Uniparty, like Mexico, Singapore, China.

    The Donald is only an observer to the bifurcation of the GOP. Kasich would get creamed embarrassingly and Kruz and Rubio are probably somewhat to the right of Trump. So what’s the difference – Kruz is too evangelistic for the mainstream. And the so-called establishment Repubs are the ones who forced their most viable moderate candidate, Mitt Romney, to the sidelines.

    On the Democratic side Hillary will have to feign a tilt to the left to propitiate Bernie militants and get away with it because of media support. Once in office her incompetence will reveal itself and she will become the royal dingbat to the part of the electorate that does not work for the government and have to vote machine.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Federal money?”
    The ongoing money problem. Federal money, State money, County money, local money, MTA money, VTA money, etc., etc.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You forgot private money.

    Per the 2016 plan. They are pre-selling 25 years of the cap and trade money (assuming they can sell the bonds) to pay for the IOS. So they are 40 billon short. They need every scrap of money they can scrape together

    Zorro Reply:

    Not to mention Revenue Bonds, which is going to be on the November 2016 ballot, I’m voting NO on that…

    Aarond Reply:

    And between 25% and 45% of Californians actually bother to show up at the polls. They don’t need a clear majority to be obstructionist.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    Swearingen for Governor!

    Tom A Reply:

    No – they are litereally going away. The most conservative generation (late Boomer/early Genx) are going to be eclipsed by much more liberal Millenials. And thats just among white people – the Republican brand is becoming toxic to anyone who isnt white.

    It will take a while – because you people and minorities are not reliable voters in off years. But the idea that Republicans are going to make headway in California when they didnt in 2010 and 2014 is laughable. The nation is only going to get more liberal for the next couple of decades.

    Natchigall – plenty of people think Dems will win back the Senate. That was true even before Trump became the likely nominee.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Some millennials seem to to trend to libertarian and there seems to be resentment about nanny laws and quotas. A lot of the young people want to work for the government as it is more secure and full time.

    EJ Reply:

    Haha, like you know any millenials. “Oh let’s see what the old racist has to say. Maybe he’ll tell us another one of his lazy, unsupported conspiracy theories!”

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Actually, he is unfortunately right; many of my generation (millennials) are somewhat anti government (foolishly). I blame this in part on the rise of Fox News. Much of their false rhetoric millenials disagree with, but they have repeated some things so many times that they have become accepted as fact.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s half and half. Part of the larger polarization of society. A lot are way out on the left, many are also way out on the right. Both loathe the Establishment. And, right now, the Democrats are the “Establishment” in CA. Being able to thread the “moderate” vote is not something Brown’s successors will be able to easily do.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I think there is resentment that for all of the reputed “progress” office politics is just as ubiquitous and cutthroat as ever but even more complicated and byzantine with all the politically correct targets, tokens, quotas, mandates.

    Joe Reply:

    Thread the vote.
    You don’t thread anything with 27% of the population and driving which is who are registered as Republican. Pendulums don’t swing to 51 % from that low value.

    Pickup a history book and look at election results. You governe with a simple majority.

    Then find the 1954 republican national party political platform. It’s to the left of Bernie Sanders.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In 1954 J. Edgar Hoover and his boys would be checking into virtually everyone who posts on this site because of what they say and what they think.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    As an early genx I take exception to your statement that we are conservative. We were extremely, “anything goes” liberal. We came of age in the late 70s and early 80s and made todays young people look like the front porch of the old folks home.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They lie about being willing to compromise. The Democrats offer things and they say no to every offer.

    Aarond Reply:

    Perhaps because Democrats have shifted left on a lot of issues? Compare Hilary in 2016 to Hilary in 1996. Compare Obama in 2016 to Obama in 2006.

    This isn’t a bad thing but the result is that the old guard will vote No. The Democrats need to figure out how to maneuver around them, which is possible, to get things done. Brown himself proved that he can get Republicans voting for Democrats IF the party is willing to be fiscally conservative.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    How old are you Aaron?

    Aarond Reply:

    35. Just old enough to remember Clinton’s first run. I specifically remember how things were not as polarized back then. The Democrats shift left, the Republicans right. The end result is gridlock. I’m certain you can remember this happening in the 00s here in CA and it is happening right now in DC.

    The whole point I’m trying to get across here is that despite all the naysayers, the GOP have proved to be resilient and will continue to be an obstacle. We are very, very, lucky to not have to deal with them yet in CA.

    Joe Reply:

    Impeachment was routine ?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Fortunately, we are likely to get the Clintons back. And I bet that comes with HSR support.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Gimmeabreak. If anything, nationally, the Democrats have been dragged to the right over the last 40 years. Their core economic message being deluted significantly during the Reaganomics era (which we still live in btw), during the Clinton “the left needs to give up on its principles in order to govern” Third Way era, the eight years of war distraction under Bush and 8 years of absolute sickening republican obstruction and disfunction under Obama. And during this time has seen the post-Fairness Doctrine rise of absolutely polarized lunatic right wing ideological media which has absolutely poisoned the minds of many Americans which is culminating in a significant percentage of the country who thinks Trump is the leader they need to “return us to greatness.”

    The democrats have stayed steadfast in their advocacy for civil rights, woman’s rights, gay rights, etc. many times to the detrimate over the years by allowing more conservative supporters to peel away because they don’t fully support the “identity politics” of the Democratic Party in an era where they capitulated to the Repubs over core economic and societal principles. I for one am thrilled that I this election we seem to be finally seeing a return of a “whole” message from the Democratic Party that turns its back on the Clinton 42nd third way bullshit and finally presents the American people with a clear position on economic justice, at least discussing universal healthcare without shame, and remaining the advocacy party of the disenfranchised—civil, gender, sexual, etc…

    If their advocacy of these groups means they’re more left than they used to be I guess that comes down to the ideological point of view of the people making that judgement.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    You speak well, Faber Castell. Except the closing statement; hardly any group has not come to the center since say 1970.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    That is, hardly and any leftish group.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Brown is not fiscally conservative. TehaVegaSkyRail is the worst kind of fiscal irresponsibility. Profligate spending that puts the proverbial drunken sailor to shame.

    Zorro Reply:

    Republicans idea of compromise, is for everyone else to move to the Republican position, while the Republicans don’t move an inch.

    randyw Reply:

    Zorro- I think that is an optimistic analysis. Look at Obamacare. The Dems started at the former Republican position, and then the R’s still act as if it is the end of the nation. There policy is 100% obstruction. Create dysfunctional government, then use it to prove that we need to kill government.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    And the ultimate irony is that if McCain had won in ’08, or a theoretical Romney for the sake of discussion, and a republican administration had pushed health reform… You bet your ass it would have been essentially the same Romney/Heritage Foundation framework which kept the current absurd private insurance delivery system in place, just like the ACA, and those rat SOB’s would have sung its praises till the cows came home and championed its benefits ad nauseum. It’s nauseating.

    Zorro Reply:

    Look at all the thinly veiled racist obstruction that has happened in Congress since 2011 by the GOP.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Correction— Since 2009. Obama convinced them to vote against their own health care theory. That’s hate right there.

    les Reply:

    Delusional comment of the week: “they only became that way because the Democrats suddenly wanted more…”. You have to watch or read something besides Fox news and Rush Limbaugh. Give reality a chance!

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    You’ll be pleased to know that every complaint about Republican obstructionism and inability to compromise is recognized and duly condemned..about Democrats.
    The fact is that Gallup has been polling the electorate for decades, and they can document the shift to the extremes. Both parties are more extreme and the shift has been equal between Republicans and Democrats.
    If anyone sees the other party as the extreme one, it’s because they have shifted even farther to the edges than the rest of their party.

    synonymouse Reply:

    America has continue to urbanize and mainstream cultural values drift to wolf of Wall Street. Whatever you can get away with. Money and survival trump ideology.

    The differences between city slickers and hicks are not as great as between richies and Joe Paychecks no matter whether they are in an urban area or the sticks. As the masses get poorer they will become more receptive to harsh, aggressive policies, platforms and promises.

    The winning gloat and forget; the losing remember and look to get even. Conflict and turbulence is inevitable. The stuff of history.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cite examples. The Democrats came up with what they thought was a health care plan the Republicans would find acceptable. But Hillarycare was going to turn us all into communists with end of life decisions made by death panels. So it got watered down to become Romneycare. Which the Republicans though was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Until it got watered down a bit more and passed in the Affordable Care Act. Which has death panels staffed by communists.

    PRE Reply:

    This is literally (not figuratively) the silliest thing I’ve ever read on this site. When pray tell have rebublicans ever compromised on abortion, gay rights or gun control? Be specific. I can’t think of a single instance ever on any of those topics.

    randyw Reply:

    Back to HSR: What would the republican ‘compromise’ be? It would have there asinine ‘private money’ requirement which as far as I can see starts when we’ve poured in enough money that it is a no lose bet, gives and then gives all the profit to investors? Why is this a better deal than a bonds except that the rates are higher?

    Zorro Reply:

    What is republican ‘compromise’? Their way or the highway…

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Perfect

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Literally the highway.
    More of them.

  2. JimInPollockPines
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 19:51
    #2

    Legislators Need to Stop Complaining and Start Working

    But that’s so 1980s.

    Zorro Reply:

    Republicans whine cause the general public was tired of Hostage taking by the CA GOP in 2011.

    For example: Republicans don’t like Seniors and Disabled People, so in order to pass a budget(Needed a 2/3rds vote to pass before 2011, now a simple majority suffices), the GOP got massive cuts to State Supplemental Payment in 2009.

    Minority Rule is over and will never return.

  3. Roland
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 20:13
    #3

    OT: Closed Session: Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1): Arbitration Regarding Option to Purchase San Francisco Caltrain Station

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-03-03+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf (item 17.c)

    Note: it is customary to disclose the Court and the case# when discussing existing litigation during closed session (see item 17.a)

    Clem Reply:

    I was intrigued by this as well. Caltrain clearly doesn’t like the city lusting after its rail yards. Evidently the city owns the land and Caltrain has an operating easement. What’s the story here?

    Roland Reply:

    No way to know exactly what the story is without access to court records (paging mon ami Transdef) but here is an uneducated guess:

    – The railyard used to belong to Catellus: http://www.catellus.com/uploads/projects/15-CAC-008_Project-Insert_MissionBay_V3_blue_process2.pdf (Catellus merged with ProLogis in 2005).

    – On 11/9/2015 Catellus and Prologis executed a grant deed for the entire railyard (4 parcels) to Prologis 4th & King LLC (http://www.bizapedia.com/us/PROLOGIS-4TH-AND-KING-LLC.html).

    So the uneducated guess is that Prologis 4th & King LLC is probably trying to get Caltrain to vacate parcel 8701-004 (4th to 5th street) and relocate the station to 8701-003 (5th to 6th) and that the rent-seekers will agree as long as they get to blow the $100M in the Business Plan on the station relocation(?) http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/02/catching-up-on-hsr-news/#comment-273438.

    Clem Reply:

    From other Googling, it seems Prologis only holds air rights above 30 ft with Caltrans (DOT, not Caltrain) holding an option to purchase everything below… not clear if said option was exercised or when. One thing is sure, the land value is quickly rising.

    Roland Reply:

    I believe that this may refer to the I-280 parcel (8700-001) between 6th and 7th Street(?)
    What is your source (link) for the Caltrans option to purchase?

    See http://sf-planning.org/ftp/files/plans-and-programs/in-your-neighborhood/railyards/121224_Railyards_Summary_Memo_reduced.pdf (page 2)

    “Section 1.2 Site Ownership and Jurisdiction
    (1) The underlying railyards parcels are owned by ProLogis/Cattellus, the entity that is the master
    developer/owner of Mission Bay.

    (2) The Joint Powers Board (i.e. Caltrain) owns a railroad operating easement to the property that
    allows them to construct and operate a railroad and make any investments and improvements
    thereto, and that this easement extends to 30 feet above the level of the railroad tracks.”

    So my best guess is that Prologis is trying to purchase Caltrain’s operating easement between 4th & 5th (every transaction so far is a repeat of what happened between 3rd and 4th back in 2005.

    Clem Reply:

    I found this: http://www.spur.org/publications/spur-report/2007-07-01/new-transit-first-neighborhood

    Catellus Land Development Corp. (now a division of Prologis) owns the land on which the rail yards operate, but the state Department of Transportation holds the legal right to purchase the property ahead of any other potential buyer. Caltrans exercised its option in 1986, although the land has not yet been transferred to the department. Once Caltrans takes possession of the land, Catellus will continue to own the rights to develop above the property, starting at a height of 30 feet above the ground. In other words, Caltrain will have the right to use the area up to 30 feet above the ground, while Catellus will have the right to develop above.

  4. Aarond
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 21:37
    #4

    As for “fixing” HSR I bet there’s a lot of people, on both sides of the aisle, that would be happy to throw out the 2 hours 40 minutes provision and use 125 mph diesels on shared track. The state would save money while being able to obtain private RR funding. I don’t think this is a good idea (since we wouldn’t get a modern HSR system), but it is a “”fix”” that Rudick suggests people go with.

    Again it would not be HSR, nor Prop 1A compliant, but it’s the type of “fix” that he’s asking people to provide.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Name one that is in an elected office. How much cheaper is building 125 MPH tracks compared to 225 MPH tracks?

    Aarond Reply:

    If the idea was proposed, I mean.

    125 mph tracks can use the existing ROWs (literally) and don’t require electrification. Class 1s would line up for fixing the Tehachapi gap if they could get access to it.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be HSR and would not be Prop 1A compliant but it would increase rail transit access throughout the state much faster. This would be a bad thing long term compared to a Prop 1A compliant system, but it would also mean an operative system coming in sooner.

    The question Rudrick implies is: “what did people want out of Prop 1A?”. A lot of people, including most people here, want 200 mph electric service between the TTC and LAUS. However, there’s a lot of people who are probably happier with 125 mph service that comes sooner and at a lower cost. If you ask for a “fix”, this is the “fix” most people will probably come up with (other than nixing the whole project).

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    its not an acceptable solution and there is no reason we can’t build a normal hsr system just like the hundreds of others that have been built all over the world.

    Aarond Reply:

    I didn’t claim it was acceptable, just that it would be a “fix” that a lot of people would suggest if asked. Of course everyone here rightfully wants proper, standard, HSR but most people are content with 125 mph diesels if it can be built faster and cheaper.

    Zorro Reply:

    Railroad Diesels are dirty compared to Electric, other countries use electricity for HSR, not diesel, diesels are not used for HSR in other countries.

    John Reply:

    In either case, you would need brand new railroads at both the north and south ends through the mountains. I doubt if 125 would be substantially cheaper. In between, I doubt that 125 is compatible with freight, especially at sufficient passenger frequencies, and that’s too fast for grade crossings (whatever the formal rules are), so for that also you would need a mostly, new railroad. Finally, limited diesel acceleration is a problem in reaching high speeds. Ride the Surfliners, which inch up to 90 and can get there only on the longer stretches.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    The Surfliner only has one engine and 4 drive axles for the whole train. A DMU would have distributed power driving several axles along the full length, providing much more power than a train pulled by a single locomotive.
    And 125 mph is slightly greater than the 200kph (124 mph) standard of basic HSR. This is only slightly slower than the initial operating speed of the Tokaido Shinkansen (220kph, or 136 mph).
    I would support starting the initial service with 125 mph DMUs as the track was being built, with a single track line over the Tehachapi Pass to close the initial connection and shifting to the faster track as it gets finished.
    As soon as the double track is finished and electrified the DMUs could be sold at a good price and the people who got used to the convenience of traveling at 125 mph would be very pleased to now be going 200 mph.
    Of course, it wouldn’t satisfy those who want everything delivered the day they demand it, but it would provide the longest route at the earliest time and the trains wold be generating revenue and building ridership while the construction was ongoing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How much money has to be spent to make it faster than the bus between Bakersfield and Los Angeles?

    Zorro Reply:

    I doubt Prop1a/AB3034 would allow DMU’s, just EMU’s.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Which people? Or are you just pulling conjecture out of thin air?

    Travis D Reply:

    How would they use the existing ROW’s? There’s no way either BNSF or UPRR allow fast passenger trains in their ROW. They barely tolerate AMTRAK trains that go the same speed as their freight trains.

  5. JimInPollockPines
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 21:48
    #5

    Why is the ios going to be Bakersfield to San Jose when by the time it reaches San Jose, Caltrain Row will be electrified. Why wouldn’t it be Bakersfield to at least 4th and king?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Because a few things are needed (HSR platform height in Millbrae and SF; compatible PTC; and likely some intrusion detection, quad gates, etc.). The Authority has learned that rather than begging the Peninsula it is better to let SF tell the Peninsula folks how it’s gonna be. They can hang back a bit, advance the EIR and work on the SJC IOS.

    joe Reply:

    You think SF and pennisula business interests will weigh in while the HSR continues their work for a full build EIR.

    Since you attend Palo Alto city meetings and have been quited in the papers, do you sense any recognition with residents they’ll need to change strategy and start planning for the eventual blended system?

    I still sense they think there is some way to stop HSR in San Jose and just run a few more Caltrain bullets.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    And Jim, perhaps CPUC – which has safety oversight responsibility, a highly qualified Rail Crossings and Engineering Branch staff, and decades of expertise – needs to OK operations. (They kept the BART trans-
    Bay tube closed for over three months after the 1979 fire.)

    joe Reply:

    FAT CHANCE.
    CPUC is the agency responsible for the massive natrual gas debacle in socal and san bruno explosion.

    http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2016/02/03/lawmakers-propose-stripping-power-from-cpuc

    Looks like the State wants to strip their power and hand responsibility to more knowledgeable agencies.

    joe Reply:

    “The people of the state of California are deeply concerned with the CPUC’s failures in recent years — you have people in the Bay Area, justifiably concerned about a pipeline explosion; you have folks in Orange County worried about nuclear waste; Sacramento and the Central Valley is on edge about rail safety, specifically oil trains; and of course Los Angeles is deeply concerned after a gas leak,” said Gatto, D-Los Angeles, chair of the Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce Committee.

    Hey we’re the CPUC and let oil trains ship oil in vulnerable container cars across CA but we are surly going to stop HSR becuaze Bourbonnais.

    agb5 Reply:

    Politics,
    By stopping just short of SF, Bakersfield and Madera, the people who live in these places will be motivated to find a way to extend the line just a little bit further.
    These short shovel ready extensions are things that the Federal gov could be persuaded to fund in the next financial recession.
    HSR could highlight CBOSS incompatibility as a problem that can be solved by ‘upgrading’ CBOSS to ERTMS.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And it needs the DTX

  6. Roland
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 22:03
    #6
  7. Jerry
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 23:24
    #7

    The Nevada primary is over. And no one seems to have mentioned the second HSR project of Xpress West, which Roger Rudick mentions. Even an occasional drumbeat for such projects would help.
    But any kind of transportation issue is neglected.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The pols do not neglect freeway projects, including the sainted Barbara Boxer, who always managed to find funding for freeway lanes in Marin.

    Except the Narrows. Funny.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    Parsons Brinckerhoff hasn’t given her orders to fund the Narrows.
    You don’t expect her to act without instructions from the secret cabal, do you?

  8. Robert S. Allen
    Feb 27th, 2016 at 23:44
    #8

    We voted (2008 Prop 1A) for “Safe, Reliable” HSR. If IOS north is fenced and grade separated, great!

    If Caltrain is electrified, run the trains on to San Francisco, but run them – instead of “Blended Rail” – as Caltrain, not HSR.

    Little extra cost, things like level boarding platforms. Otherwise just as electrified Caltrain.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Get BART to run a dedicated shuttle, SFO to Millbrae. Also to run its trains from Dublin on to SFO, linking SFO and OAK, and doubling frequency of service between SFO and downtown SF at very little cost.

    Clem Reply:

    Convert the south leg of the SFO wye to people mover, direct to terminals.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Clem: Great idea!

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suspect BART unions would oppose it as automated, as with the OAC aerial newfangled cable car

    EJ Reply:

    And yet, the OAC got built, so why are you whining?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The BART to SFO line is already built to BART tech; the unions will fight a conversion to a driverless tech much as they will fight any driverless on all future BART extensions.

    Joe Reply:

    Fight and lose. precedent set -game over.
    It’s a money loser to operate and sitting unused. Making that section a second automated tram for HSR to SFO doesn’t eliminate one job. Striking over the status quo would be a disaster and not help one job.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sets a precedent for driverless conversion.

    Domayv Reply:

    I actually was thinking of retooling that segment that connects Millbrae and SFO from BART to SFO Airtrain and make it a new line (Yellow Line if you will)

    Ben in SF Reply:

    The amount of money that was sunk into Kopp’s Y is boggling. As infrequently as BART runs, they could have set up the south leg of the Y with dedicated platforms and automated a 2-3 car train (with BART or people mover technology) but now, all the train routes have to criss-cross and interfere with each other… and for the people mover there’s a significant grade change (solveable with a trestle on a trestle, right where all the 101 commuters can see the make-shift solution teetering overhead).
    Maybe with signaling and 1-2 modifications it would be fixable, but so much of it’s way the heck up in the air.

    Remember the SFO-Millbrae line began as a dedicated shuttle, but they were paying an operator to walk back and forth the length of a train twice every 15 minutes. That lasted all of a couple months, because there wasn’t enough money to shake out of the Samtrans piggybank…probably also something to do with cost and ridership.

    BART should STILL set up this link as a really fast, ONE-track shuttle back and forth (3-5 minute dwell, 3 minute trip) with dedicated platforms… Leave the other 2 platform for the SFO-Concord (or Dublin) and Millbrae-Wherever trains to terminate. And convert the 2nd flyover track as a rail-trail so folks who tire of waiting 15-20 minutes to travel the last mile to the airport can walk or jog or ride (add a bike share concession but with luggage trailers).

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That. Will. Never. Happen.

    BART *has* to use the surcharge from accessing the SFO station to pay off the debt to construct it. This is because, as Dan Richard personally knows, United and SFO’s other tenants refused, (even though they already pay rent to the airport and would have benefited from the BART connection, to pay one thin dime for the station.

    So BART cannot, under any scenario, allow riders to bypass the SFO station by riding to Milbrae (where there is no surcharge, and thus, half the fare) and then hopping about the (free) people mover.

    But moreover, I would bet that when it’s all said and done, the SFO station for CAHSR will *not* be at Milbrae but integrated into the airport directly. That’s because the longer the people mover ride away from the terminal to a HSR station, the more likely riders are going to take BART into the City and board there. Given that there may not be direct service between San Francisco and SFO using HSR, that would be a big blow to the revenue potential of CAHSR as a whole. The ability to have international passengers transfer onto HSR and travel throughout the state is a huge revenue generator. (I know, many posters here dispute this…)

    I do realize the cost implications of what I’m saying as well. But, if there’s a will, there’s a way.

    Joe Reply:

    The automated shuttle would generate revenue. It’s no different than Oakland’s Airport connector.

    Joe Reply:

    Integrating HSR at SFO would drive up costs by several billion and add time to SF SJ trips.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    Agreed. HSR to SFO is a backwards step – sure, it’d be nice to live in Fresno and take HSR for an international flight from SFO, but the small size of that potential need is dwarfed by the negative time and cost impacts of putting HSR at SFO.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    …not if big Asian manufacturers start building NUMMI-seque plants in the Central Valley…

    Joe Reply:

    Even if.

    It’s a bad idea as evidenced by BART’s too costly to maintain and operate SFO detour as designed. Look it up.

    Being stubborn in the face of evidence just mimics one of Kopp’s worse traits.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    BART is a loss leader. The power brokers knew what they getting into, but no one would say the project wasn’t worth it, IMHO.

    The “tenants” this time are likely to want pay up this time because it will increase their business, not decrease it.

    EJ Reply:

    @Ted well these hypothetical Asian businesspeople of yours can just as easily hop on the peoplemover or a frequent, automated BART shuttle and catch a HSR train at Millbrae. They do it at airports all over the world. (Though if they’re in a big hurry they’ll probably just jump on a little puddle-jumper flight to Fresno from SFO).

    Jerry Reply:

    Ted Judah: United, and others, refused to pay one thin dime for the station.
    Part of three ongoing money/accounting problems.
    But, did United pay any money at all for the SFO People Mover to parking/rental areas???
    (These intermodal/integration problems are endless.)

    Reality Check Reply:

    I think the people mover is SFO owned & operated … so paying for it can be hidden in (or baked into) fees (e.g. landing fees) all airport tenants and users pay. In this way, I’m pretty sure airlines and rental car agencies have all paid — and continue to pay — for the people mover.

    Roland Reply:

    “AirTrain is free of charge. It is funded by a $20 “airport fee” charged by rental car companies”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirTrain_(San_Francisco_International_Airport)

    Reality Check Reply:

    Roland, the Wiki article doesn’t say the $20 charge by rental car companies is the sole source of AirTrain funding. In fact, the footnote points to an article which makes me pretty sure that’s not the sole source of funding:

    SFO rental car co’s may be mischarging $20 fee

    According to airport officials, the fee only applies to AirTrain passengers. But you would almost have to speak to those officials to know this.

    […]

    According to Mr. McCarron [SFO Director of Community Affairs, the transportation fee was negotiated between the airport and car rental companies as a means of financing the AirTrain system. Rental companies are responsible for training their employees in its application. If a fee is misapplied, a customer may contact the airport and receive a refund (as I did).

    To be fair, the vast majority of rental car customers do use the AirTrain. Thus, in most cases the fee is being charged properly.

    […]

    Wow! You don’t actually have to pay the fee if you don’t use AirTrain. Who knew this?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Exactly. The “tenants” had no problem ponying up for the people mover…it was BART they didn’t want to pay for…partially because it would set a new precedent, and partially because the airlines knew their political allies were stronger, and thus, hoping to send a message to oter revenue thirsty jurisdictions out there….

    Joe Reply:

    From I can infer, Kopp wanted to avoid a shared SFO connection with the competition-Caltrain. Bringing BART to SFO was part of a strategy to push Caltrain out and add value to BART for further expansion southward.

    He overplayed what ever he felt were the advantages at great expense to San Mateo and the public.

    If like to see BART reach San Jose Diridon and end. For good.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Joe: bingo! I recall Caltrain advocates (myself included) at the time had this view … Kopp was incensed that with an external intermodal terminal that Caltrain and SamTrans would have equal access to SFO via the people mover.

    Joe Reply:

    There’s a dissertation on SFO BART and it summarizes that “hostile” Caltrain perspective. Excerpts are available on Google preview.

    Kopp’s stubbornness is also his undoing. Thank god he’s now on the outside pouting at HSR.

    Roland Reply:

    Actual cost of BART to Santa Clara: a staggering $10B if you include the 30-year $50M/year (total $1.5B) O&M funded by the 1/4 cent Measure B sales tax ($130M in the piggy bank so far).
    http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/tac_031016_packet.pdf (page 405 of 406).

    Reality Check Reply:

    It’s really weird how the region is (more or less) OK with spending $10B for SCCo. BART and spending $1.6B around 2000/1 extending BART from Colma to SFO … but it never seems to be OK to spend a fraction of that for electrifying and upgrading Caltrain to BART-like service levels.

    Joe Reply:

    We’re okay with electrification.

    CARRD/Morris and a few anti-government and self appointed transit malcontents get front and center on every news article about Pennisula or Prop1a funding.

    The amount of consideration given to the upper middle class malcontents along the 150 year old right of way doesn’t reflect the overall acceptance. electrifying is backed by industry to environmental advocacy groups.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART rules the Bay Area with an iron fist.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Joe, ask Quentin Kopp, Willie Brown, and Steve Hemminger what happened to the plans and the money to electrify Caltrain and mine the TBT tunnel ca. 1991.

    Reedman Reply:

    FYI.
    The fare for the people mover between Oakland Airport and Coliseum-BART is $6 for a 3.2 mile distance of 8 minutes duration. It is operated by BART. The fare is $2 for airport employees.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coliseum%E2%80%93Oakland_International_Airport_line

    Jon Reply:

    By far the most likely option is that BART restores the Millbrae – SFO ‘purple line’ shuttle as an automated service using the existing BART rails and trains, and a dedicated platform at both Millbrae and SFO. That keeps everyone happy – HSR has a quick and frequent way to get passengers from Millbrae to SFO and can get away with the cheap option of upgrading existing Caltrain platforms to high-level boarding; BART gets to keep all it’s existing infeastructure and continue charging $4 a trip for access to SFO; and no major capital changes are required to the existing infrastructure that would raise awkward questions about why things were built the way they were in the first place.

    Reedman Reply:

    What about the north wye to San Bruno? Bicycle trail?

    Ben Pease Reply:

    Reedman, an aerial marsh using reclaimed water, for a San Francisco Garter Snake migration corridor. Which is how all this began…. How they gonna keep the red-legged frogs from jumping on the freeway? Back to reality. Ted’s perspective on money/politics/how things are (still) funded is useful reply. It’s going to take a LOT of will to get things done right.

  9. Trentbridge
    Feb 28th, 2016 at 15:46
    #9

    One of the unwritten rules of British politics is that any new Government doesn’t automatically undo the policies of the previous administration. The taxation and spending prorities change as does the thrust of new legislation introduced into Parliament. There’s very little “taking the United Kingdom back” and the imminent referendum on leaving the EU is not being decided on purely party lines. The GOP in California and the nation should adopt this policy as their current approach to things like High Speed Rail is to abandon it without any further discussion of it’s intrinsic merits. Ditto – Obamacare. Ditto Amtrak! Ditto Iran treaties! Ditto Cuba treaties! If Obama wants it, we’re against it.

    Unless they can begin to act like “grown-ups” and not threaten to knock down anything a Democrat proposes they are the party of tantrums – and Donald will be an ideal leader. This politician is throwing another baby tantrum – in Fresno. If I can’t have my way, I’ll kick and scream and hold my breath til I’m blue in the face!

    The GOP is clearly on “time out” in California and this is another example of why.

  10. keith saggers
    Feb 28th, 2016 at 16:46
    #10

    http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-35665834

    keith saggers Reply:

    Some Republicans don’t appear eager to go gently into the night.
    “My party has gone crazy,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, himself a former Republican presidential hopeful, said at a congressional dinner Thursday night, punctuating the line with an expletive.
    On Friday Rubio fashioned it as a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.
    “The Republican Party would be split apart if he became the nominee,” Rubio said. “We cannot allow the party of Reagan to be taken over by a con man.”
    A civil war is brewing within the Republican ranks – and the bloodshed has only just begun.BBC

    Jerry Reply:

    The Republican Party was “batsh*t crazy” before Trump came along.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They were hiding it better in the past.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If you don’t like the Donald just vote for Hillary. The Repubs can nominate anybody they want. Smart money says nominate your strongest candidate, the one who is the most effective campaigner.

    So they were smart in nominating Eisenhower in 1952 instead of Taft, a party stalwart; but stupid in nominating Gerald Ford in 1976 instead of Ronald Reagan out of traditional support for an incumbent. Reagan was a better campaigner and had not pardoned Nixon, which had turned off many.

    Zorro Reply:

    Pass the popcorn.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Reminds me of this old photo if you knowwhatimsayin: https://40.media.tumblr.com/0d7499eb8a0e32da1b35c809ad1f4706/tumblr_o2g8od6swt1ukfexro1_500.jpg

  11. keith saggers
    Feb 28th, 2016 at 17:49
    #11

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2016/02/25/south-bay-cities-propose-another-30-years-of-highway-expansions/

    keith saggers Reply:

    How many grade separations can you get for $900 million (PDF)

    keith saggers Reply:

    This is what I was referring to:

    Rail/Road Grade Separations
    (Caltrain and VTA light rail rail/road separations—similar to Measure A program in San Mateo County)
    $900 million

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Well the southbay does need to improve their roads. They should upgrade the expressway system to eliminate at grade intersections.

    Joey Reply:

    So you’re saying they should basically double their freeway route-milage? In the south bay which arguably has an overbuilt freeway network as it is? In the south bay where many intersections don’t even have crosswalks? Where transit is slow, infrequent, and often doesn’t even get you near your destination? Where bike lanes, where they exist at all, put you only a few feet from 50+ MPH traffic? Are we even talking about the same place?

    Joe Reply:

    I understood what he commented on because I read the article.

    Removing traffic lights at major expressway intersections.

    Joey Reply:

    I read the article days ago because I’m enough of a transit/urbanism nerd to follow Streetsblog.

    They plan to grade separate, which means widening the interchanges and adding additional (non-through) lanes.

    It’s also money that could be spend on better things.

    Joe Reply:

    I think removing at grade crossings / lights on 237 and 87 into what they are now helped the local areas. These expressways are not going to be dug up and replaced with Joey’s bike path. I prefer to have heavy loads traffic routed and separated from surface streets.

    Morgan hill created Butterfield road and routed Montetey HW traffic onto it with overpass and connections from west to 101. It has made Monterey through downtown more accessible to bikes and people.

    Joe Reply:

    Looking forward to you rejoining the Bay Area and describing your living and commute choice.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Im saying that they need to increase capacity because until it becomes dense enough for transit corridors, people must drive. Not only that, the southbay is the kind of place where people are going to drive no matter what transit you build. So by all means, identify corridors, ( bart through to santa clara would be a good corridor where high rise housing could be located around each station with a link all the way into silicon valley job centers.

    And build more housing downtown – which is happening already – and along the light rail lines.

    But the bulk of the county is still going to be car dependent and you have to accommodate that.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I wouldn’t even say add lanes so much as just upgrade the very useful ( thank god they had the foresight to build it) expressway system to a more limited access system. Had it not been for the expressway system, it would be nearly impossible to navigate the santa clara valley using only the interstate and 101.

    Joey Reply:

    The expressway system wasn’t built in a vacuum. Silicon Valley was planned around car transportation, so development patterns are car-oriented and now everyone drives. It only gets worse until you realize that it’s a cycle and that you can only add so much space for cars. In order to actually increase capacity enough to overcome induced demand, you need transit.

    Joe Reply:

    Cars ain’t going away. Neglecting the current transit system will fail and created blowback.

    What I find amusing is how transit nerds fight expanding transit and fostering transit development.

    Example?

    Caltrain in south county is opposed by transit nerds and bad because of the density so no second track or 4 trains. Instead the highways by expanded in anticipation of growth like 101.

    Then I read how the Bay Area was designed for cars and we need to rethink how we plan – just don’t plan or invest unless it’s high payoff immediately. Huh?!

    You keep on losing by trying to lecture people how to change where they live rather than building a system to attract people before they get entrenched into car oriented development.

    Joey Reply:

    Neglecting the current transit system will fail and created blowback.

    And when did I suggest that?

    Caltrain in south county is opposed by transit nerds and bad because of the density so no second track or 4 trains. Instead the highways by expanded in anticipation of growth like 101.

    It’s a low priority, but who has actually opposed it? For the record, I think south of SJ service needs to be spit out because the service needs and operating conditions are very different from the Peninsula corridor.

    Joe Reply:

    Low priority is opposition.

    It’s a High priority effort if you wwee serious about changing the transit system. Double track now and add some service while encouraging/approving more TOD at the stops.

    Try to build a area around transit rather than fight unsuccessfully to drag people out of their cars. “Oh we need to put in a bike lane now.”

    Neil Shea Reply:

    With blended, electrified HSR needed soon from GLY there is no reason to shortchange the South County

    Joe Reply:

    There’s an opportunity to plan and commit to transit infrastructure BEFORE “sprawl” happens along a rail and road corridor.

    Waiting until the area fills-in with car centric planning and trying to undue the sprawl will fail.

    Lots of words about urban planning and when a opportunity is presented, it’s low priority.

    Add three Caltrain and double track the ROW to Morgan Hill CA.

    Already Blossom Hill and Capitol stops meet the Clem standard. Ridership there sucks since it’s one direction, and only three trains.

    Jerry Reply:

    @Joe. Amen.
    Prior Planning always helps. But is usually missing.

    Joe Reply:

    Thanks

    Here’s an example
    https://goo.gl/maps/UaMv6H3vZPy

    Bailey Ave is a new exit on 101 coyote valley San Jose. Nothing there but it’s already a large exit just waiting for development.

    Also site of future Caltrain stop at Bailey Ave. not marked and no one knows about the proposed stop but they already have the highway enlarged to 8 lanes and massive exit waiting for homes.

    It’s reasonable to suggest adding 2-3 more trains for the congested corridor (restore service cut when 101 was widened) and make a sign at the location about the planned Caltrain stop if they can put an exit to nothing.

    Also a place where HSR will run parallel to Monterey HW.

    Reedman Reply:

    FYI, there is something there ….
    if you zoom back from the 101-Bailey interchange, you will see a multi-story, multi-building IBM facility on Bailey that has been there since 1976 (employees had to use Santa Teresa Road until the 101 exit was built). Also, Gavilan College has announced that they will be building a 55 acre campus across Bailey from IBM.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes.

    Prior to the 101 widening in ~2004 to 4 lanes each way and the Bailey exit, HW 101 went from 7 down to 2 lanes at 85-101 so access via 101 would be slow and difficult if Bailey were there. Coming north from Santa Teresa was far quicker.

    Joey Reply:

    And I’m not suggesting to force people to live in one place rather than another. If you build car-oriented development, then sprawl is inevitable. If you stop investing in highways and instead invest in transit, then development patterns shift and people start moving to denser areas.

    Joe Reply:

    Chicken and egg. Car development is low density. These are low priority for transit nerds. These low density areas like San Jose are openly mocked.

    Stop investing in cars supposes we invest in low priority transit and foster infill to build higher density development. Nerds say not a priority and to focus on higher value opportunities like areas with transit.

    Opportunity to infill along old Caltrain row is low priority. Wait until people move there and expand roads before lamenting they should have build transit.

    Lather rinse repeat.

    Joe Reply:

    Look at Bailey Ave exit on 101 in San Jose. It’s a large exit to no where. Planning ahead for car oriented development. I’d build a small Bailey Ave Caltrain stop. It’s a planned stop someday but put some sign there and get people thinking about transit.

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah but it is what it is. You’re not going to level the place and start over building something transit-oriented. FWIW, at least from what I can tell when I’ve been there, the current expressway system actually works pretty well in areas where proper grade separations have been built.

    Efficient roadways also help enable efficient buses, which are key if you’re going to have a prayer of developing reasonable public transportation in an area as sprawly as Silicon Valley.

  12. Roland
    Feb 28th, 2016 at 19:38
    #12

    OT: Caltrain’s customer experience survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CaltrainCustomerExperienceSurvey
    They are actually asking the right questions but the question is whether they will do anything about it or just totally ignore us like last time with la grande affaire des toilettes.

  13. Nadia
    Feb 29th, 2016 at 16:39
    #13

    O/T: Board Meeting Agenda for next week shows “Consider Authorizing Staff to Negotiate and Execute a Northern Extension of the Design-Build Contract for Construction Package 1” – wonder if they will talk about a possible station in Madera??

    Also notable, Ron Tutor did his earnings call today for Tutor-Perini – they’re still on shaky ground. Will this affect the CP1 contract??

    Joe Reply:

    If CP1 aggressive pricing and the mandated arbitration on profit seeking change requests causes tutor to go out of business, I’d declare its major victory for CA.

    Travis D Reply:

    It would result in a delay but eventually one of the other major construction firms would take up the reigns and complete it.

    Joe Reply:

    And we’d bid goodbye to a low cost, combative contractor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But Tutor tithes the best and that’s what counts.

    EJ Reply:

    Low bid. Not necessarily low cost.

  14. Neil Shea
    Feb 29th, 2016 at 19:35
    #14

    O/T Google self-driving car crashes with bus
    http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_29578220/google-self-driving-car-crashes-bus

    “the incident underscored that Google’s cars are a work in progress and — in the words of one critic — “aren’t ready to cope with many everyday driving situations.” “

    Nadia Reply:

    It crashed going 2mph

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    2mph? Well that’s OK then, no need to worry.

    Nadia Reply:

    I don’t mean it doesn’t matter – just thought it was an interesting detail.

    I’ve always wondered what is considered the speed at which something is a “fender bender” vs. “crash”- is there a mph rule? Clearly in driving – no touching is allowed – but just curious about terminology…

    Jon Reply:

    The bus was doing 15mph; the car pulled out in front of it, very slowly.

    The Google spokesperson said they’ve adjusted the algorithm so that it’s more likely to assume that large vehicles are not going to yield to it; but really, if you’re entering the road from a standstill, you’re supposed to wait for a gap in traffic and not assume that any vehicle is going to yield to you.

    Tom A Reply:

    No – but its not a huge reason to worry. These arent production cars – they are still test vehicles – and yet they rarely get into an accident – probably already at a lower rate than people who have had years of driving experience.

    Joe Reply:

    No such data exists.
    The vehicle, like all others, had an operator for backup who also failed to avoid the Bus. There are no fully autonomous vehicles operating on any street.

    Full autonomy, level 4 as defined by the NHSTA, has no operator intervention.
    Level 3 has operator intervention with some delay.
    Level 2 has a operator ready to intervene and that’s the level was engaged in MountainView.
    Level 1 is what is commercially available with eye sight, technology packages with major vehicles.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: “Google said its Lexus SUV was attempting to make a right turn onto Castro Street from El Camino Real in Mountain View on Feb. 14. The car had pulled close to the curb to allow vehicles behind it to proceed straight, but when the car moved back into the center of the lane to avoid sandbags around a drain, it hit a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus”.

    Reality Check Reply:

    The Google car was moving at under 2 mph when it made contact with the side of the passing bus. A Google spokesman said their car (wrongly) assumed the bus would yield the car as it slowly maneuvered around some sandbags near the curb.

    Roland Reply:

    “The cars’ driving algorithms have now been reprogrammed to more deeply understand that buses and other large vehicles are less likely to make way than other types of vehicles.”: http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2016/mar/google-self-driving-crash.cfm

    Joe Reply:

    Oh that’s nice.

    There is a contradiction between reprogrammed to deeply understand and anyone being confident the new driving vehicle’s systems are more reliable.

    Reality Check Reply:

    At least VTA’s video cameras aren’t fake like most of BART’s:
    Video of Google self-drive car hitting VTA bus

    Roland Reply:

    That’s because it was a brand-new 522 Express (with seriously kick-a$$ Wi-Fi).
    The regular 22 does not have as many cameras.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Joe noted months ago that this is not a trivial engineering challenge. More issues will surface as they get fewer tickets for driving too slow. Great that the work is ongoing and is off to a promising start, but as a practical matter it may be many years before true, successful autonomous vehicles are safely in widespread use

    Meanwhile of course road congestion remains a problem that will not be solved by autonomous personal vehicles.

    Joe Reply:

    Here’s the policy which basically treats the fully autonomous system as the driver.

    • Driver Assistance
    • Partial Automation (or semi-automation)
    • High Automation
    • Full automation

    No such fully autonomous vehicle operates on our roads today. The Google car had an operator which means it is at best level 3 with high degree of subsystem integration. The driver is expected to intervene quickly. I think the Google car ranking at this level is inappropriate given the high degree of attention.

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/U.S.+Department+of+Transportation+Releases+Policy+on+Automated+Vehicle+Development

    Roland Reply:

    When did a Google car get a ticket for driving too slow (quote)? http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/13/google-self-driving-car-pulled-over-driving-too-slowly

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    when did chp give a ticket to anyone in any car ever in the history of California for driving to slow ( even though they are suppose too) god forbid they actually ever expedite traffic instead of hindering it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    OJ

  15. Jerry
    Mar 1st, 2016 at 13:10
    #15

    And if the backup operator had been injured, would the self driving car keep on going and be the first hit and run??

  16. keith saggers
    Mar 1st, 2016 at 17:11
    #16
  17. datacruncher
    Mar 1st, 2016 at 18:49
    #17

    High-speed rail contract inked for Kern County stretch
    By Tim Sheehan

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority officially signed a $444.2 million contract Monday with California Rail Builders for the third construction package of the train line in the San Joaquin Valley.

    The execution of the contract came about seven weeks after the rail authority’s board selected California Rail Builders from among four competing bidders to design and build the 22-mile stretch from the Tulare-Kern County line to Poplar Avenue near Shafter.

    California Rail Builders is a consortium led by Ferrovial Agroman US Corp, an American subsidiary of Spain’s Ferrovial S.A. The team also includes Eurostudios, a Spanish engineering firm, and Othon Inc., a Houston-based engineering and environmental consulting company.

    The California Rail Builders bid came in at $347.5 million; the contract includes another $107 million to cover utility relocation costs for electric, gas and communication lines.

    Continues at:
    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article63442437.html

    Joe Reply:

    CARRD’s Apples-to-Apples-to-Apples analysis shows this segment is already over budget.

    Zorro Reply:

    CARRD can go to blazes.

  18. Faber Castell
    Mar 2nd, 2016 at 12:23
    #18
  19. Roland
    Mar 2nd, 2016 at 13:25
    #19

    OT: “There is one Policy Advisory Board (PAB) for each corridor under study/construction and in the case of Caltrain, under operation by VTA”
    http://www.vta.org/get-involved/policy-advisory-board/downtown-east-valley-policy-advisory-board

    Jerry Reply:

    Considering the number of counties, local governments, and agencies HSR goes through it’s a wonder anything gets done.

  20. synonymouse
    Mar 2nd, 2016 at 16:43
    #20

    Buses(“autocars”)competing with TGV in France:

    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/transports/les-autocars-ont-la-cote_1340579.html

    Slower, but half the fare it seems.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Nothing novel- in Japan highway buses have been competing with the shinkansen from the beginning (1960’s); some of those buses were(are) even run by the railway- the target customers are different.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In the case of France the patron categories do overlap some; the buses more luxurious and the roads better than before. You have to assume the bus labor costs are considerably less given the tickets are half the price.

    PBCAHSR will experience bus competition as well and of course using Tejon. You can count on a big expansion of I-5 – demanded by the same developers who want PalmdaleRail.

    les Reply:

    Why the wait on Tejon? If it is such a good thing then I would imagine it would be lucrative by now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Auto and air competition limits the bus and rail market.

    les Reply:

    that makes sense, HSR will spur demand for buses. Go figure.

    synonymouse Reply:

    As per Cheerleader dogma Peak Oil will force the public out of their cars and planes and into cattlecars. In the real world where things adjust, like electric autos, there is indeed room for electric rail, but with amenities like W.C.’s and seats. If rail wants to survive it needs optimal design not tertiary.

    Corrupt politics creates nothing but gratuitous problems down the road; think BART broad gauge and dogleg detours.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Nope. The number one problem with cars (actually highways) is capacity, namely, with increased population, I5 is going to be capacity constrained if it isn’t already, and increasing capacity is simply not cost-effective (i.e., adding capacity is expensive and any added capacity is immediately used up).

    The same is true of airplanes except here increased capacity can only be achieved by lower margins for the airlines, and for sound business reasons they don’t want that.

    So what will drive the public out of their cars and airplanes is into HSR will be capacity constraints. Just as Caltrain and BART ridership increases not primarily because the price of gas (although if it increased enough it would) but because the Bay Bridge and 101/280 are reaching commute capacity.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Cram the cubicle slaves into cattlecars.

    synonymouse Reply:

    With cattle prods – IProds.

    Joe Reply:

    The clap-on-clap-off generation made a joke.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @synonymouse

    I ride BART and Caltrain all the time. They’re rarely that crowded. You seem to base your statements on some fantasy you have in your own mind. Maybe you should get out more.

    synonymouse Reply:

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/91862142-story

    Reality Check Reply:

    @J. Wong: but BART thinks it’s overcrowded …
    BART wrestling to relieve overcrowding

    […]

    But with so many passengers packing the system that train cars sometimes run out of room, BART is getting ready to try something different: using a mix of social media, gaming and cash as an incentive to get some BART riders to travel outside of the busiest parts of the commute.

    […]

    San Francisco’s downtown stations, particularly Montgomery and Embarcadero, have become so overwhelmed with arriving passengers in the morning that BART is planning to run all of its escalators in the up direction to clear platforms. Transbay trains are often packed to the limit, as most commuters have experienced.

    BART’s ridership has boomed along with the Bay Area economy, with 430,000 trips on an average weekday — up more than 100,000 in five years.

    “We’re far beyond any standards that BART has set” for rush-hour train capacity, said Val Menotti, BART’s chief planning and development officer.

    So BART, working with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, is aiming to steer commuters into more breathing room. The six-month test, which could be extended or expanded, hopes to enlist 25,000 participants with automatic Clipper payment cards who will agree to let the program monitor their travel patterns.

    Details are not yet available, but participants would earn points for changing their commutes from the busiest period — most likely to be designated as 7 to 8:30 a.m. — to an hour earlier or an hour later.

    […]

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Getting people to use Bart outside rush hour is is what I’ve said many times – it’s just flex time and allowing people to have more flexible work schedules would alleviate overcrowding on transit and freeways Plus it would be a perk for employees who prefer the flexible start and end times And make better use of available infrastructure

    Reality Check Reply:

    BART car mystery: propulsion electronics burning out in eastbound Transbay Tube

    […]

    Thousands fewer spaces than normal are available for commuters because of the problem, which BART has been unable to pinpoint since it popped up last month.

    BART has 80 cars in the shop with burned-out electrical components on their propulsion systems. The problem has mushroomed this week — on Monday alone, BART lost 40 cars to the tube gremlin.

    […]

    To make matters even more confounding for BART, the problem has affected only the newest cars in the fleet — the C cars that came into service starting in the mid-1980s. All those cars have control cabs that make them versatile enough to be used on the front of a train to pull it, or to be placed in the middle.

    […]

    Joe Reply:

    Substation is suspected. Latest is BART switched it off and the anomalies have stopped.

    Roland Reply:

    HSR also increases demand for air travel: http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/business-news/hs2-could-attract-750000-extra-10222072. Go Burbank!!!

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Not really a direct competition with TGV, but more with TER expresses and Intercités. There are also several routes where rail has a disadvantage because of detours. Just the other day, I saw a really crappy Flixbus allegedly connecting Grenoble with Marseille.

  21. JimInPollockPines
    Mar 2nd, 2016 at 19:43
    #21

    will the ios north include merced it would be nice if it does

    Joe Reply:

    The next federal allotment should fund the CV extensions into Merced and Bakersfield. Given Denham and McCarthy are responsible for those cities, it’s a crap shoot.

    I expect them to sit it out until the spine is build and work to San Jose commences. By then they maybe out of office.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I don’t know how they got into office to begin with.

    Nadia Reply:

    Actually, the plan does NOT include Merced – just look at the map in the biz plan. If they get $2.8 Billion AND they get the C&T extended to 2050 THEN they can do some version of SF-Bakersfield – but not the jaunt to Merced (again – see map). I say some version of SF-Bakersfield because they need more than $2.8 Billion to do all the improvements necessary to blend with Caltrain.

    StevieB Reply:

    Merced will most certainly be the next station added to the California High-Speed Rail system after the Initial Operating Segment is completed. It would be wonderful if the entire system from San Francisco to Anaheim could be built concurrently but since there are fiscal limits then Merced is fortunate to be first in line for a station rather than last.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Why? It is a lot of money and not an obvious transfer location to Amtrak.

    StevieB Reply:

    The track bed contract will have been completed to Merced by the opening of the IOS so what would be lacking is a station and track. Money from the first concession for the IOS used to complete the connection to Merced would increase the fees from all subsequent concessions. Increasing fees from each concession following the opening of new stations would pay for incremental extension of the system south to Anaheim.

    Joe Reply:

    Ace forward
    http://www.acerail.com/About/Public-Projects/ACEforward

    Connecting HSR to Merced connects the system to potentionally the extended ACE line which starts from San Jose via Lathrop to Merced.

    This ACE connection to Silicon Valley jobs is high priority for Jeff Denham – so he says.

    datacruncher Reply:

    The City of Merced says they are told 4 years after the IOS opens. They say a Merced station would supposedly be in 2029.
    http://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/local/article62097827.html

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Steve,

    I don’t think there is any plan to build rail bed north of the wye until work begins on the full system. For a number of reasons, unless Aceforward really goes forward, this seems like it will be a low priority.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Even if ACE Forward does happen…it’s still a low priority to detour trains to Merced when faster conventional rail connections will suffice.

    Clem Reply:

    A is for Altamont.

    Jerry Reply:

    E is for Express.
    : )

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    E stretches truth in advertising.

    joe Reply:

    Try driving.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    A is for Altamont

    That was actually my point.

    If ACE is expanded to replace/supplant the San Joaquins north of Fresno, it doesn’t make much sense to have tracks that require HSR trains to back track to Modesto, Merced, Stockton, etc.

    But, by the same token, it also undermines the concept of running HSR through Altamont too…because if you can operate a conventional rail system between San Jose and Fresno that doesn’t offer much of an improvement over HSR but degrades significantly how fast HSR can travel from downtown San Jose and downtown Fresno…

    To think of it another way: HSR is about connecting regions…the North California Unified Service is about connecting cities…

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like a plan except that Morales and his flock of headless chickens are “transitioning away from looking at high-speed rail as something to get people from San Francisco to LA”: http://www.planetizen.com/node/84795/californias-ambitious-transportation-projects-designed-include-communities.

    joe Reply:

    Morales and his lock of headless chickens

    You write like a Maoist malcontent.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    merced modesto stockton sacramento phase two of hsr but they could even get all that done before they cross the southern mountains.

  22. Donk
    Mar 2nd, 2016 at 22:08
    #22

    I bet Trump would be better for HSR than Hillary. Trump is pro infrastructure and would make deals happen around HSR…to make America great again. Hillary has said she supports HSR, but it probably wouldn’t be much of a priority. After all, she won’t have Biden breathing down her neck like Obama does.

    Here is Hillary’s stance: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/infrastructure/

    Here is Trump’s stance: http://grist.org/politics/donald-trump-is-right-about-something-kinda/

    Bring on the Trump Train! Here are the other ones I previously came up with:
    -The Donald Daylight
    -The Wig Wind
    -The You’re Fired Flyer
    -The Ego Express
    -The Xenophobic Zephyr

    Or if Hillary is elected:
    -The Rodham Rocket
    -The Lewinsky Limited
    -The Slick Willie Special
    -The Benghazi Bullet
    -The Email Server Express

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    that’s pretty funny. I think Trump probably would be good for hsr. Of course as a democrat Im voting for Hillary. Ive always liked here because she is tough and isn’t going to take any shit from the republicans. They hate her. She annoys them. So I love her for that. But trump is not the right wing ideologue he’s pretending to be and its going to be HUGE joke on his supporters if he gets elected which will also be very amusing. Either way the republican party is going to be in shambles after this election cycle. happy happy joy joy. I hate those bitches.

  23. Roland
    Mar 2nd, 2016 at 23:17
    #23

    OT: Monterey Highway update. I asked the question at tonight’s Blossom Hill overpass presentation and neither Caltrans nor SJDOT had heard about this 60-foot flyover. SJDOT’s response: “we have lost of questions about Monterey Highway”.

    Nadia Reply:

    Was there a presentation and do you have a copy? And did they discuss the “at-grade” cost reductions that would go through San Jose??

  24. Roland
    Mar 2nd, 2016 at 23:28
    #24

    OT: Michael Burns update: “In July 2015, Caldwell hired transit-rail consultant Michael Burns to provide additional oversight of HART’s plans. Previously, Burns served in executive roles at several U.S. transit agencies, including the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.”
    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/article/Honolulu-leaders-aim-to-curb-cost-overruns-promote-benefits-of-citys-first-passengerrail-system–47243

  25. Eric M
    Mar 3rd, 2016 at 17:06
    #25

    Nevada’s delegates launch bill to fast-track high-speed rail project
    blockquote style=”border: 2px solid #666; padding: 10px; background-color: #ccc;”> Members of Nevada’s congressional delegation introduced legislation Thursday that they hope will fast-track the XpressWest project to provide high-speed passenger rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California with stops in Victorville and Palmdale.

    Eric M Reply:

    Ooops:

    Members of Nevada’s congressional delegation introduced legislation Thursday that they hope will fast-track the XpressWest project to provide high-speed passenger rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California with stops in Victorville and Palmdale.

    Joe Reply:

    Silly Nevada. Tejon is the answer.

    les Reply:

    I hope Clem is enjoying his popcorn.

    Ben in SF Reply:

    Surely there is a middle option, “Tejahappy Pass”, that will satisfy everyone…

  26. swing hanger
    Mar 3rd, 2016 at 19:10
    #26

    OT: Herr Drumpf likes fast choo choos:
    http://time.com/4247162/donald-trump-trains-infrastructure/

    Jerry Reply:

    “It’s sad, he said, that the American rail system is so dilapidated while China’s is now slicker than ever.

    “They have trains that go 300 miles per hour,” the populist billionaire exclaimed. “We have trains that go chug … chug … chug.”

    Reality Check Reply:

    More from Time’s Trump agrees with Democrats on HSR:

    In a nod to the fiscal conservative tradition of the Republican Party, Trump has admitted that rebuilding American infrastructure would cost taxpayer dollars. But then waved away the concern with Trumpian bravado.

    “On the federal level, this is going to be an expensive investment, no question about that. But in the long run it will more than pay for itself,” he said. “It will stimulate our economy while it is being built and make it a lot easier to do business when it’s done — and it can be done on time and under budget.”

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    That’s statement alone could get my vote

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I agree. He’s very much like Schwarzenegger. Ridiculous ideas combined with really good ones, wrapped in unmatched showmanship.

  27. datacruncher
    Mar 3rd, 2016 at 20:23
    #27

    Board Meeting materials are now posted.

    The staff report for Agenda item 7, the extension north of CP-1 by 2.7 miles says in the Background info:
    “The staff is recommending the northern extension to better ensure the Authority’s compliance with the terms of the federal grant agreement, including the expenditure of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The northern extension also advances the work towards Merced on an environmentally cleared section and provides the capability for a more logical connection and transfer point near an existing Amtrak station.”
    The full staff report for Agenda item 7 is at
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_030816_Item7_Consider_Authorizing_Staff_to_Negotiate_and_Execute_Northern_Extension_DB_Contract_CP1.pdf

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    avenue 19 brings it almost to the base of the wye.

    Jerry Reply:

    Let the property acquisition for the 2.7 mile ROW begin.
    By the time they are ready for construction the CAHSRA might have it all ready to go.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Thanks for the link.

    This is a really skimpy staff memo. It would be great to see a much more complete answer as to why they want a station in Madera.

    Jon Reply:

    It should be obvious – Merced is out of the IOS, and Madera is a much more logical transfer point to Amtrak than Fresno, especially given that the Fresno’s Amtrak and HSR stations will not be at the same location.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah but even if they are used in the same location, there would be the whole FRA standards question. I think the real answer is that someone wants a commuter rail station in Madera…and HSR gives them a reason, suddenly.

    J. Wong Reply:

    FRA standards? A shared station does not imply shared tracks.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Jon was referring to the fact, I thought, that Fresno’s HSR station won’t be in the same location as their Amtrak station.

    My point was that, in Madera, you could build the arrangement you are thinking of. One where the station sees both separate (Amtrak and HSR) tracks converge on one station without being shared and therefore sidestep any STB or FRA regulatory issues.

    But even so, it seems way more sensible to me to have the NCUS continue to Fresno and make it the main transfer station. I think it’s just a logistical headache that they don’t have time to address right now and thus they threw their support to an intermodal station in Madera.

    datacruncher Reply:

    The problem with Madera is the current Amtrak station location. It is small, only a covered waiting area with a few parking spaces and appears site constrained for expansion. It is also off any major road to handle larger amounts of traffic from either Madera or directly from the new housing developments to be built along Highway 41 north of Fresno.

    Unless they are considering Madera only for cross-platform transfers between Amtrak and HSR it seems to have many constraints.

    Making Fresno the main transfer station would make more sense to me. That would also open up options such as YARTS connecting to both HSR and the San Joaquins at a single stop in Fresno.

    Looking at downtown Fresno on Google Earth I see there is a short freight connection between the BNSF and UP. It is 2 blocks southeast of Freeway 41. Searches indicate the line belongs to the San Joaquin Valley Railroad.
    https://www.gwrr.com/operations/railroads/north_america/san_joaquin_valley_railroad

    I admit to a lack of knowledge about the obstacles or problems with operating on that track.

    But if they could be overcome, theoretically the San Joaquins could loop off the BNSF and parallel the UP to a platform built in the parking lot across Tulare Street from the HSR station as the terminating point. Build a way for passengers to cross Tulare Street and it appears to me to be a better HSR/San Joaquin connection than a Fresno bus bridge or expanding the Madera stop.

    Roland Reply:

    They won’t be able to do cross-platform transfers in Madera until Amtrak converts to standing-room-only toilet-less eight-door-per-carriage Frankentrains.

    joe Reply:

    CARRD was wrong, the explanation is in the memo.

    …to approximately Avenue 19 in Madera County allows the Authority to continue to advance construction in the Central Valley in an efficient manner, expedites the expenditure of ARRA dollars to help ensure compliance with the federal grant agreement, and carries out the intent of ARRA by putting Americans to work as soon as possible.

    It’s about spending the ARRA money by the deadline.

    datacruncher Reply:

    I agree the primary reason is to spend the ARRA money, as they say, in an expedited manner.

    But you are skipping over the background section of the memo I originally quoted above. In that section they say:

    “The northern extension also advances the work towards Merced on an environmentally cleared section and provides the capability for a more logical connection and transfer point near an existing Amtrak station.”

    They are at least leaving the door open for a connection option along that 2.7 miles CP-1 extension, which means the Madera station. Whether that happens or not we will see.

    No reason to mention a possible connection/transfer point anywhere in the memo unless it is an option being thrown around. The word choice of “more logical” was interesting and probably debatable though.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Darn that lack of preview or editing to allow fixing the tag in the wrong place.

    Joe Reply:

    When they extend the tracks to cost ARRA money by 2017 under an existing contecat, there’s the need/requirement, under ARRA rules of usefulness, to have that work achieve a goal. They’ll put a station or connect to one near the end of the construction. It’s there as a consequent of the need to spend money and do work.

    Joe Reply:

    Contrary to claim, It’s not a mystery they are putting money on an existing contact to meet the 2017 costing deadline while trying to spend this money with some goal or utility benefit.

    It’s good project management to spend the money on something in place and useful.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    The 20 miles from chowchilla to merced is like the easiest 20 miles ever. Its straight along the 99. The new freeway is in place a few hundred feet to the east of the old 99 row which is sitting there next to the UP going back to the weeds. There is space for the train all the way into downtown merced. How hard and expensive could it be to just get that done.?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s backtracking. That’s the resistance, I think.

    datacruncher Reply:

    That is my impression also. When the IOS was to be south, building a few miles to use Merced as the northern station terminus point probably could be justified. But operating north to San Jose Merced is now off the main northern IOS and a little tougher to justify spending funds to build.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    They can probably get the wye done, the segment from madera to merced, and an hmf at castle, all before they get around to the southern mountains.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s a memo.

    A memorandum (abbrev.: memo) was from the Latin verbal phrase memorandum est, the gerundive form of the verb memoro, “to mention, call to mind, recount, relate”,[1] which means “It must be remembered (that)…”. It is therefore a note, document or other communication that helps the memory by recording events or observations on a topic, such as may be used in a business office.

    synonymouse Reply:

    passive periphrastic and impersonal

  28. morris brown
    Mar 4th, 2016 at 04:59
    #28

    LA TIMES:New bullet train plan delays opening of the first leg by three years

    Joe Reply:

    A Times analysis in October concluded that the plan to bore 36 miles of deep tunnels through the mountains, lay 300 miles of track, build a half-dozen stations and install high-voltage systems along the route almost certainly could not be completed by 2022 and within the projected budget

    Title of the above mentioned analysis:


    Special Report $68-billion California bullet train project likely to overshoot budget and deadline targets

    Missing from the lede.

    “But the plan cuts the price tag of the entire system by $4 billion, to $64 billion.”

    The LATimes was right !!!! Except when they aren’t and its buried in this vindicating article.

    Kids shouldn’t grade their own work.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Joe

    Spin your yarn anyway you want Joe; how much more obvious should it be to anyone, that the proposed 2016 plan is now so very different. They have cut down the amount of dedicated track, made the tunneling bores smaller; admit apparently to running slower.

    This same article under a different title appears in today’s (3-4-2016) print edition. It can be viewed at:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9m407yyFerMZEY4MldIcnVuZkk/view?usp=sharing

    Joe Reply:

    It’s just starting with a different segment. The prop1a prioritizes those segments less costly and easiest to build. It’s exactly what prop1a allows. Exactly!

    Then Re-Read the appellate court ruling, the stuff you don’t like this time, and don’t pass it over.

    The courts have long recognized the State has great latitude in building complex projects and also stated this is a very complex project.

    john burrows Reply:

    This Initial Operating Segment, which will operate high speed trains from north of Bakersfield to San Jose, a distance of over 250 miles, is expected to operate without subsidy, and to be financed by available state and Federal funding. From what I can gather, this initial segment meets the requirements of Prop 1-A and its completion and successful operation by 2025 will be critical for obtaining funding for the completion of Phase 1.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “…operate without subsidy…”?

    Surely ye jest, my lord.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    They didn’t get the memo from the Reason Foundation claiming that CAHSR would be the only major HSR in the world that wouldn’t make an operating profit.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A number of French hsr lines are not “rentables”.

    J. Wong Reply:

    No “news” in that article, @morris brown. There’s actually nothing wrong with the Authority’s new plans except for those who don’t want HSR built.

    synonymouse Reply:

    This represents another significant scaleback of PBCAHSR. How late in the year can the Legislature still place a measure on the ballot? Let’s say Judge Kenny kicks Prop 1a back to them.

  29. morris brown
    Mar 4th, 2016 at 08:54
    #29

    Caltrain electrification hits funding snag: Sale of high-speed rail bonds delayed, could affect local improvements

    Zorro Reply:

    Unless it’s confirmed elsewhere, it’s just a blog, a meaningless post. I did a Bing search, most entries are from 2014, only 1 entry matched and of course, it’s from the same blog entry…

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Zorro

    What in hell are you talking about… The article appears in the San Mateo Daily Journal; a paper daily in the bay area.

    Google or Bing “San Mateo Daily Journal”. For that matter Google “CalTRain electrification hits”. right now it is the top line in a Google search on that statement.

    Quit filling up this blog with crap.

    Eric M Reply:

    Quit filling up this blog with crap.

    That’s the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black!!

    Elizabeth Reply:

    This is actually news and you may be able to still watch periscope of Caltrain board meeting yesterday (on Samtrans’s channel).

    CEO Jim Hartnett announced that a planned bond sale that would have given Caltrain money on July 1st has been postponed – at the state level, BTH Secretary Brian Kelly told me that the state is committed to funding electrification.

    Joe Reply:

    Are you implying the State told CARRD they will fund Caltrain Electrification if HSR bonds are blocked?!

    Nadia Reply:

    “me” in Elizabeth’s statement was Jim Hartnett speaking… – ie: Jim Hartnett said during meeting that Brian Kelly had told him (Hartnett) that the state is committed to funding electrification…

    Joe Reply:

    My question still is unanswered. Did someone just imply the state official commit to electrification with or without HSR funds?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Caltrain CEO denies report that electrification project faces possible delay

    Caltrain CEO Jim Hartnett has denied a Friday newspaper report that the commuter rail system’s electrification project could be delayed by a snag in selling high-speed rail bonds.

    In a letter to state and federal legislators, Hartnett wrote, “Despite today’s media reports that inaccurately link a delay in the sale of high-speed rail revenue bonds with a delay in [the electrification project’s implementation], the State remains committed to ensuring that agreements will be in place to make funding available and allow the project to proceed on schedule.” The letter said completion of a funding agreement among all partners “is on pace to be complete prior to contract award,” which is planned for later this year.

    […]

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the audio link: http://www.dropbox.com/s/c7sxuytz4bruarf/2016-03-03%20JPB%20BOD.mp3?dl=0 (fast forward 14 minutes)

    Jerry Reply:

    The article is from today’s newspaper.

    Joe Reply:

    A summary of the article:High-speed rail is the dog and Caltrain electrification is the tail. High-speed rail money is essential for Caltrain electrification and delays for high-speed rail will delay Caltrain electrification.

    Peninsula residents need to understanding that HSR opposition by NIMBYs will have such a negative impact on their community. There’s absolutely no good news for opponents when the local newspaper clearly explains what’s at stake.

    synonymouse Reply:

    High-speed rail is the dog and Palmdale is the leg.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Morris likes the noise and fumes of Diesel engines. “Smells like … Victory” (per Robert Duvall)

    Jerry Reply:

    “God I love the sound of those train horns in the morning.”

    Roland Reply:

    How much noise and fumes does a Prius generate when it is stopped at a traffic light?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Once Morris leaves the blessed paradise that is Atherton, and turns north or south on El Camino to Redwood City, it’s already quite congested. Once we add 1000’s of robot driven ‘Johnny Cabs’, poor Morris will be trapped in his home by gridlock, breathing that diesel smoke and enjoying those never ending train horns.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Or Menlo Park

    synonymouse Reply:

    Where is the catenary and pantographs in the artist’s rendition of electrified Caltrain?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe it is 3rd rail and BART won.

    Roland Reply:

    Maybe it’s a hybrid (AKA EDMU AKA BiBi) waiting for funding for electrification?

    Zorro Reply:

    Artistic license, Cyno, Artistic license…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ah, BART and the glories of 3rd rail and 1000vdc:

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-pulls-plug-on-suspect-substation-and-6871220.php

  30. William
    Mar 4th, 2016 at 14:44
    #30

    With the North IOS, will Caltrans/CHSRA still proceed with the formation of Northern California Unified Service?

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Maybe we should call is NIOS for fewer key strokes

    JB in PA Reply:

    Service in name only…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I would think so. The NCUS assumed a much quicker completion date than currently projected on the Business Plan.

  31. Lewellan
    Mar 4th, 2016 at 18:41
    #31

    NEWS FLASH: a heads up on Seattle Bertha: See if the link works.
    MyNorthwest major media site: Bertha restarted Feb 23 with least fanfare/warfare. It’s proceeded some 120′ or so, another 100′ or so, to cover up whatever goes wrong, as the crew were directed to do immediately following the giant sinkhole, 2 days boring another 100′ north. This is scandal and
    DANGER- posed by completed tunnel beneath at least 200 vulnerable buildings above on
    unstable soils. http://mynorthwest.com/11/2925636/Keep-on-boring-Bertha-almost-to-Washington-Street-in-downtown-Seattle

    Just a heads up.
    I’m happy enough with HSR progress.
    Hit Merced first, easier, improves other corridor lines, etc.
    Can’t see why you characters don’t get that. like duh.
    Oh wait, Seattle. Silicon Valley. Bros Billy, Ted, Steve and their adoring staffs.

    HAAH HAAAAHHHH!

  32. Lewellan
    Mar 4th, 2016 at 21:29
    #32

    Wells•8 hours ago
    AC Tesla will say anything to keep Bertha going as proposed, haughtily dismiss alarming signs of potentially catastrophic failure. The bore tunnel ‘presence’ in muddy soils beneath vulnerable historic/modern buildings is a disaster in THE making. \Wsdot Highway Robbery Boys
    are !NOT! interested in public safety! Whatsoever! Cue Bethovan’s 5th.

    JBinSV Reply:

    Hey Lew
    Then you just head on up to Seattle and tell them what they are doing wrong.

    JBinSV Reply:

    The second video down the website page shows the method used to repair Bertha and make it stronger.
    They are using seismic monitoring. Project will stop if an event is detected. The entire industry is watching this repair.

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/About/Tunneling

    Lewellan Reply:

    The bore tunnel “presence” in unstable soils beneath vulnerable historic/modern buildings is the problem, NOT that the TBM can’t finish as proposed. Use your head and stop the lying, study-rigging well-dressed Wsdot creeps and their counterparts in Seattle City Hall.

    Roland Reply:

    Bertha is scheduled to make a final pit stop in another 100 feet or so before going under the Alaskan Way viaduct which will be shut down for 2 weeks “just in case”.

    If anything happens to the viaduct, it’s game over for Bertha and Tutor (Bertha will be buried in situ and Tutor will file for Chapter 11).

    Joe Reply:

    Bertha is operated by a corporation formed for the project, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP).

    That is the entity which would file bankruptcy.

  33. Reality Check
    Mar 5th, 2016 at 00:34
    #33

    1,400 feet of wrong pipe installed at Berryessa BART, but VTA says it’s OK (with video)

    A subcontractor working on the BART extension from the East Bay to San Jose installed 1,400 feet of the wrong sewer pipes under the Berryessa station in San Jose, but project managers say it won’t be replaced.

    A source closely tied to the construction project reported the error to NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit, concerned the mistake will be an expensive fix for taxpayers in the future. Project specifications call for all underground sewer pipes to be made of PVC plastic, but Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog’s subcontractor Hellwig Plumbing installed cast iron pipes instead.

    Hellwig Plumbing did not respond to a request for comment.

    Workers were able to replace a portion of the incorrect pipes, but the section under the Berryessa station will remain in the ground because too much work had been performed above the pipes by the time the error was discovered several weeks later.

    “Metal pipe was used for the water and sewage drains that will corrode, is very rigid and suspect in an earthquake,” the source said. NBC Bay Area agreed not to identify the source over concerns about his job.

    His major concern was that cast iron pipe would not meet the project’s stated goal of a 100-year lifespan. Cast iron pipes naturally corrode over time, but the process can be accelerated when exposed to different soil types, water or electricity. It’s one of the reasons BART project specifications call specifically for PVC pipe. But the source also said a moderate earthquake could mean the pipes fail much faster because cast iron is brittle in comparison to flexible PVC pipes.

    “Even though it’s going to take a long time to fail, it will fail,” the source said. “At that point in time it’s going to be exponentially more expensive than it is now to repair.”

    […]

    “We flagged it and a stop work order was issued on it,” said John Engstrom, VTA’s project manager on the BART extension project. “And I think that speaks for itself. We thought it was important enough that it was one of the very few stop work order that we’ve actually issued on the project.”

    Engstrom acknowledged the error was significant and says that the subcontractor believed it had the discretion to choose the materials under the project specifications. But overall, he said the project is under budget and tracking six months ahead of schedule. He said lab tests performed during the work stoppage show corrosion won’t be an issue.

    […]

    Only time will tell how the cast iron pipes will hold up in the future, but the source said he’s certain VTA should repair the mistake rather than risk premature failure.

    “I think they should do the right thing,” the source said. “Acknowledge the error like responsible people and repair it now, at their loss as it is their error, instead of pawning if off on the future taxpayer.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    I doubt pvc pipe has been around 100 years to prove itself unlike metal; the plumbers union fought plastic pipe since it appeared as it requires less labor and can burn.. California only accepted it recently; SF may still require cast iron DWV.

    It was believed that only metal was strong enough to be in a street but now plastic is typical, supply and waste. Don’t let sun get to plastic.

    les Reply:

    I was laying cast in Alaska in the 70s, the land of earthquakes and frozen ground, and 40 years later all those structures shit is still flowing down hill unabated.

    EJ Reply:

    100 year old cast iron pipes are typically badly corroded and often leak, so not sure what you’re arguing here.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Nothing’s perfect – how many buildings have caught fire from soldering copper pipe? Modern cast iron pipe centrifugally spun no hub is strong and and can be exposed where plastic must be covered. Yeah, shit of different kinds can definitely eat right thru it. Alternately plastic has occasionally failed, as with polybutylene and some ABS(I think it was the Apache brand). ABS bends and its fittings can crack under weight and stress. And don’t let any UV get to plastic.

    It took a while for the PB to fail in places like Texas so we’ll have to wait a century to see what that thick pvc supply pipe they lay in your street this year looks like then. And the gaskets in the bell and spigot couplings.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    After removing it during numerous renovation projects over the years, I’m of the opinion the only advantage cast DWV has over PVC is sound deadening. That’s it. But I realize that application is not really what we’re talking about here. It’s funny were talking about plumbing of the CAHSR blog. Next up: kittens.

    synonymouse Reply:

    non-flammable

    synonymouse Reply:

    Notice they don’t use plastic for sprinklers in commercial buildings. Cast was probably more expensive than pvc for the contractor; I’ll wager he was thinking traditional heavy duty was what the client wanted.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    In a SFH residential scenario, the melting plastic plumbing is hardly the primary concern as the structure is burning to the ground.

    synonymouse Reply:

    True,

    I replaced the eaten up cast 2″ bell and spigot pipe in my 1890 house with a run of no-hub cast because 2″ is not that heavy to lift and is truly rigid – there was not much fall and I did not want any swaybacking. I used clevis hangers. I have an abrasive chop saw which makes cutting cast easy and slipping in the stainless steel bandaids was easy.

    I used all cemented ABS in the rental houses because everything is readily available, lighter, and cheaper. It is smoother on the inside and the “black bladders” work pretty well on clogs. I believe back east they use more pvc DWV pipe than ABS as it is stronger and smaller. You can fit the 3″ pvc into a 2×4 stud space. I think ABS became more popular in California because it is the same dimension as cast and can be patched in with stainless and rubber couplings.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Sounds like you’re qualified to build the hyperloop!!!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Doubtful, as I am the guy who did not think too wise to butt-weld 115 lb rail to 136 lb rail, as SMART(Herzog?) did in Petaluma, only to be informed it’s fine and dandy. Seemed to me it would put unequal pressure on the ties; of course I am also the guy who said they should have used 136 lb. rail throughout. I notice the new UP high tech welding setup for the high quality Japanese rail is 136 lb.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    The sewage pipes don’t seem mission critical. My main concern would be the QA process that didn’t catch this before things were literally set in concrete. The other question would be if BART made this public, given it was subject of lengthy stop work order.

    In general, today’s procurement processes don’t rely enough on quality – and even when they do, performance does not get assessed in a way that allows others to use this information to hire better contractors.

    joe Reply:

    It’s not quality – its compliance to a project requirement. There’s a difference.

  34. morris brown
    Mar 5th, 2016 at 02:49
    #34

    Metro Gold Line extension tests San Gabriel Valley’s support for transit

    les Reply:

    “We have to think about not what LA is today, but what it’s going to be,” Morales urged the audience.

    http://www.planetizen.com/node/84795/californias-ambitious-transportation-projects-designed-include-communities

    Roland Reply:

    Morales finally fesses up: “We’re transitioning away from looking at high-speed rail as something to get people from San Francisco to LA” http://www.planetizen.com/node/84795/californias-ambitious-transportation-projects-designed-include-communities.
    Stewart Flashman is going to have a field day with that one…

    joe Reply:

    Why?

    The core of Prop1a is about building and operating usable segments. The Phase 1 system, SF to LA, is an end goal.

    Try a word search on “segment”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Borden to Corcoran is usable, just not viable.

    The Gold Line is rebuilding the torn up PE, a no brainer and a relative snap in comparison to the southern mountain crossing. But the Tehachapi rail crossing was not torn up; it is still there. The proper analogy to the Gold Line is Tejon, the missing link in the California rail network that was imminent but ended stillborn due to the collapse of the rail transport monopoly and investment in it.

    Maybe with no ICC and no USRA shortly thereafter Tejon would have garnered enough money in 1913.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Actually the Gold line is rebuilding the torn up ATSF 2nd district. It could have been left in place and a Metrolink service run for the past 20 years at a fraction of the cost but Pasadena said no more diesels.

    StevieB Reply:

    Metrolink service on the previous track is a ridiculous comparison. A single track running trains once every two hours from perhaps two stations compared to double track with a dozen stations running every nine minutes at rush hour. Operating costs could be less but the service would be horrible and fares prohibitively expensive. Economic development around current Gold Line Stations would be non-existent. Old Town Pasadena would have remained a blighted area of dilapidated buildings. A failure in multiple aspects.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Stevie B, I don’t disagree, just pointing out what could have happened much sooner. As for fares, both Metro and Metrolink can charge what they like. Metrolink usually comes much closer to covering operating costs. In a sane world there would be one fare medium for both with zones that bore some resemblance to charging for distance traveled.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Good catch, Paul; I had seen irate references to the Santa Fe operation on the Altamont site, wanting Metrolink instead. But apparently there was a PE line in the close vicinity that was torn up in 1951. I think Pasadena was right; I wish San Rafael had similarly held out for electrification in re SMART.

    I missed the PE, being in the “old country” back east at the time. I did see LARy PCC’s in the street in LA on a visit in 1960 and I wish now that I knew enough then of what was left to talk my uncle into riding the line to Long Beach. It would have been a tough persuade as today it is hard to picture the indifference of that era to public transit. It was not that they just wanted to replace electric rail with buses; they did not care if there were no buses either.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    They mostly still don’t care.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well the full quote is:

    “We’re transitioning from looking at high-speed rail as something to get people from San Francisco to LA and instead seeing it as tying together the state and reinforcing what’s happening in our cities.”

    Both agencies are collaborating to integrate the new infrastructure required by HSR into the county’s ongoing rail expansion plans, creating opportunities to prepare the growing city for the transit patterns of the future. “We have to think about not what LA is today, but what it’s going to be,” Morales urged the audience.

    The only controversy was to say “transitioning away” and to instead say “building upon”. He’s not wrong: it’s the gentrification of urban areas that is causing some of the rethinking from the original concept ten years ago when it was the suburbs that were expanding.

    synonymouse Reply:

    a Freudian slip

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actually he said “transitioning from looking at” and he seems to have meant it in a more inclusive sense. That is, not just focused on HSR but on how it fits within the larger purpose of “tying together the state”.

    Roland Reply:

    So we are building upon the omnibus to Palmdale?

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    fesses up what? This was always the the point of HSR in California. That is why it was planned with the current route. Yes it will get people from sf to la in a reasonable amount of time for a good price and in exceptional comfort, but its also, and much more importantly, the basic spine of a statewide transportation system that can continue to expand into the future. Always was. No news here.

  35. morris brown
    Mar 5th, 2016 at 07:40
    #35

    LA Times: Michael Hiltzik: The bullet train is troubled, but it’s necessary

    Jerry Reply:

    Thank you Morris.
    It is a very good article.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yes, @morris brown, a good opinion encapsulated in the title, “but [HSR] is necessary”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Two points stand out to me:

    The article appears to side with Kopp and his argument that PBCAHSR has been dumbed down, scaled back and will have to be again optimized to succeed. So the tone is mostly anti-PB.

    The article claims Judge Kenny will rule no later than 3 months away. Let’s say July – can the Legislature still put an hsr measure on the November ballot at that time?

    Roland Reply:

    Judge Kenny will rule 60-90 days after February 11th (between April 11th and May 11th).
    This is the reason why Jim Hartnett said that “the bond sale is not scheduled for the spring. It may be (according to the High-Speed Rail schedule) the fall”: https://www.dropbox.com/s/c7sxuytz4bruarf/2016-03-03%20JPB%20BOD.mp3?dl=0 (fast-forward 15:45).

    The reason for the new High-Speed Rail “schedule” is that the PB clowns are not expecting a Supreme Court decision on the inevitable appeal against Judge Kenny’s ruling until the fall at the earliest and they may additionally have to wait for the results of a couple of measures on the November ballot.

    In the meantine, Caltrain’s EMU procurement is now over 2 years late (http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Planning/Strategic+Plan/Strategic+Plan+FY2015+-+FY2024/Caltrain+Short+Range+Transit+Plan+-+FY2015-FY2024+-+Final.pdf (Table 1.2 on page 18) and I am taking bets on how many more F40s will blow up between now and the fall (any takers?)

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suggest there is a distinct possibility the Supreme Court may pass on the appeal. The issue has evolved and there is more vocal opposition. Why throw out the detailed work on a difficult case when it is clear that Prop 1a is so profoundly compromised? Jerry Brown is a lame duck in decline and his heir apparent opposes the current hsr scheme.

    Let it ride and let the Legislature put a new measure on the ballot that slaps on taxes and rams the line thru Acton and let the machine and a Hillary victory push it thru the dazed and confused electorate.

  36. Reality Check
    Mar 5th, 2016 at 17:25
    #36

    California’s Bullet Train Gets Delayed, Leaves Door Wide Open for Hyperloop

    […]

    What’s nuts is that the Hyperloop obviously sounds more insane — it’s basically designed to shoot passengers like bank checks through a drive-thru pneumatic tube. But so far, plenty of big names have shown support for the idea, including Elon Musk, SpaceX, MIT and other universities from around the world, even US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. If enough power and cash can get behind it, the Hyperloop might be less sci-fi and more real-life sooner than we thought.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “The Hyperloop, meanwhile, may travel roughly same route.”

    Uh, why? Unless roughly can mean 50 miles to the west.

    The ninnies should have started off with the route thru Tejon, buying up the Ranch if necessary. Burbank to Bako via Tejon is a viable proof of concept. After that everything falls into place. And you have locked up the prime real estate, nipping exotics like hypeloop.

    Be nice to know how much money would have been saved with a racetrack ROW slightly to the west of I-5 on terra firma. I gave up on the median idea when it became clearer to me how much wiggle room you would need to protect against jackknifing on either hsr or on the freeway. The median was a nice idea; just did not work.

    Clem Reply:

    The Hyperloop is a low-capacity joke of a transportation system and will live a long happy life among monorails and pod cars.

    Joe Reply:

    Ernst Stavro Blofeld selected a hyperloop to connect his underwater research facility to the test facility hidden in a dormant volcano.

    Roland Reply:

    Hyperloop support columns are designed to support up to 8 tubes in a 2+3+2+1 configuration.

    Joe Reply:

    Like an 1978 8 bit computer.

    Roland Reply:

    товарищ джо такой умный задницу

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That sounds a bit pricey.

  37. keith saggers
    Mar 5th, 2016 at 19:02
    #37

    Up to 400 trains pass through the Channel tunnel each day, carrying an average of 50,000 passengers, 6,000 cars, 180 coaches and 54,000 tonnes of freight.

    In 2014 a record 21 million passengers were transported between Britain and France using the tunnel – up from 7.3 million in 1995, its first full year in operation

    Daily Telegraph

    Roland Reply:

    1) Passenger breakdown between Eurostar and the Eurotunnel shuttles (up to 10 FREE passengers/car http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets/business-travel/):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Tunnel#Passenger_traffic_volumes

    2) Light reading for anyone who believes that infrastructure cannot possibly pay for itself:
    http://www.eurotunnelgroup.com/uk/shareholders-and-investors/key-figures/2014-summary/

    Q: How could we possibly finance a profitable Tehachapi tunnel?
    A: Toll fees on I5 (exactly like RM3 toll fares for the new Transbay tunnel)

    Next step: lease the completed tunnel to the private sector (just like HS1) to generate revenue for the next section of high speed line (whoops! did someone just turn the 2016 “Business Plan” upside down???)

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why should Joe Paycheck have to pay an I-5 toll to benefit some Palmdale real estate speculators connected to the Jerry Brown government?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    for the privilege of not getting stuck in the bus traffic.

    Roland Reply:

    I5 goes to Palmdale???

    J. Wong Reply:

    So HSR routed via Tehachapi and Palmdale has no other use but to take people to Palmdale? Is that what you assert?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Primarily. If it were intended as thru and true north-south route it would be via Tejon.

Comments are closed.