Fresno Trench Excavation About to Begin

Jun 25th, 2016 | Posted by

Contractors are about to begin construction on the Fresno Trench, including a section that will go under the 180 freeway. The California High Speed Rail Authority put out this video laying out the stages of construction:

The work begins next month and is expected to last for 18 months.

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  1. Car(e)-Free LA
    Jun 25th, 2016 at 14:17
    #1

    Fantastic. That is actually a fairly good video.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Agreed. CHSRA needs to put out as many of these well made suckers to give people a tangible idea of progress before these CP-1-4 projects even begin.

    Aarond Reply:

    Over the next three years we’ll also be served:

    – Larkspur ferry SMART
    – Modesto ACE
    – Salinas Capitol Corridor
    – Caltrain electrification/modernization
    – LA Regional Connector
    – LAX/Expo LRT
    – modern BART cars

    Which means many more people wondering why it’s a pain in the ass to get to other regions of the state by rail.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    So is Salinas Capitol Corridor in fact opening? Is there any news on that? Also, what is the status on the Monterrey-Castroville-Salinas LRT line?

    Ted K. Reply:

    Re : CapCorr’s Salinas Extension
    Studies are ongoing …

    g. Proposed Extension of Capitol Corridor Trains to Salinas. Next steps on the extension of Capitol
    Corridor service to Salinas include a federal environmental analysis of the improvements between
    Salinas and San Jose. The traffic and air quality analysis relies on a ridership analysis of the full build
    out six-round trip scenario. Caltrans is currently doing the ridership study based on the draft train
    schedule provided by Capitol Corridor. That environmental review will enable future phases of the
    Salinas Extension Project (e.g., the Pajaro/ Watsonville station) to apply for federal funding.

    Meanwhile, the near-term two-round trip schedule is based on the Capitol Corridor’s plan to expand
    service between Oakland and San Jose from the current seven trains to eleven. If that plan is delayed,
    staff will look at the potential for extending two of the current seven trips serving San Jose. Based on
    that decision, staff will begin updating the operations and maintenance plan (the first draft was
    adopted in May 2013) and working with Caltrans and the California State Transportation Agency
    (CalSTA) on an equipment acquisition plan and negotiations with Union Pacific.

    The above is from the “WORK IN PROGRESS (June 15, 2016 Meeting)” (sic) section of [ AGENDA16jun.pdf ].
    http://www.capitolcorridor.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/AGENDA16jun.pdf

    Ted K. Reply:

    Also of interest : CapCorr’s Sacto-Roseville Third Track project

    http://www.capitolcorridor.org/sac-roseville-third-track/

    Joe Reply:

    Salinas Capitol Corridor should begin in 2017. Work needed for Gilroy track to support northbound trains is part of the city plan and they say two trains should run each way in 2017.

    Roland Reply:

    So CC will park two trains in Salinas at night? What about the single tracks between Fremont and Santa Clara? How does that work?

    Joe Reply:

    Probably will have two trains at Salinas. Same two that make the pm run.

    The CC service currently runs from San Jose north.

    Clem Reply:

    Perhaps deploy some timetable technology.

    Roland Reply:

    Such as? We looked at this extensively while tinkering with hypothetical Sprinter timetables. Double-tracking between Santa Clara and Alviso was definitely the long pole in the tent and reverse commuting to Great America was physically impossible when you added more trains (2 ACEs and 2 CCs) or a CC leaving San Jose one hour late after a mechanical failure as happened this morning.

    There are more issues south of Diridon with the ACE trains piling up on MT-1 all the way up to Diridon waiting for Caltrain to clear MT-2 at Tamien so that they can get to the Alma yard (see electrification EIR scoping comments for additional details). This eventually led to the inevitable third track (surprise?) and they have started looking at a fourth track through Gardner at which point the HSR tunnels look like no-brainers (at least until some idiot comes along and suggests a trench between Diridon and Monterey Highway).

    Joe Reply:

    Well if you have problems making a schedule I could only imagine how hard it will be for Amtrak.

    http://www.capitolcorridor.org/route-map/

    I, lacking skillz, would back calculate a coastal Amtrak departure to calculate the time a CC should leave salinas and arrive at sanjose Diridon at the slated CC AM departure.

    6:38 am departure at salinas with a stop in Gilroy would arrive in time to stop and depart at the schedule CC time 8:38.

    https://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/800/746/Coast-Starlight-Schedule-011116,0.pdf
    http://www.capitolcorridor.org/schedules/

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Roland: apart from whether 4 tracks are really justified/needed through SJ’s Gardner area (between I-280 and Hwy 87) … but I cannot see why if you can fit 3 — which you can — why you can’t also fit 4 through there with minimal takings along Fuller Ave. (a strip park and a cheesy little church-in-a-house).

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/UxE6XgAZ4l8?t=470
    There is no problem adding a third track on the east side without any takings. The real issue is that UP own the MT-1 tracks and the ballast (http://www.tillier.net/caltrain_maps/48-TCCM-200-B.pdf) and neither Caltrain nor the CRRA want to give them a new track for free.

    @Clem: we need to get updated ROW maps showing all the latest updates. As an example, the County assessor maps show that the JPB own 15 more feet of ROW behind OSH (to the left of Auzerais) than what is shown on the ROW map.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Re : Monterey LRT

    TAMC = Trans. Agency for Monterey County

    Project page – http://www.tamcmonterey.org/programs/rail/monterey-branch-line/
    Status – Environmental review

    Also, their page on the Salinas Ext. –
    http://www.tamcmonterey.org/programs/rail/salinas-rail-extension/

    NB – The “rr” variant of King’s Hill / Mtn. is in northeastern Mexico not far from Texas.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monterrey

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Which means many more people wondering why it’s a pain in the ass to get to other regions of the state by rail.

    Not really.

    Nearly all the improvements you mention are about commuter traffic, not inter-state travel. There’s a recurring issue that realignment has made the stereotypically “Republican” and “suburban” counties (Orange, Placer) utilize “regional rail” services like the Cap Corridor and Surfliner as a back-door subsidy to offset cuts in other county programs.

    I don’t know this is necessarily a bad thing actually, but it is creating problems if highway capacity isn’t increased as well going between Sacramento and the Bay Area, say. Or LA and San Diego…

    But going back to the Cap Corridor…there’s an inherent tension between BART and the CC between Richmond and San Jose. In a perfect world, the MTC would reinstate Governor Stanford’s ferry between San Francisco and Oakland where there would be a much better connection to the Corridor, which would go north and east until Truckee and south and west to Monterey (I realize the ROW has been abandoned there.

    That outcome, meanwhile, wouldn’t relieve the intense pressure for more housing desperately needed in the Bay Area or improvements in local transportation.

    Aarond Reply:

    In a more perfect world, we’d get a regular transbay tube built allowing HSR to through-run from Sacramento to SF, SJ, LA and SD. This would make east bay CC totally irrelevant. Of course, in the near(er) term if Dumbarton rail happens then Oakland will have station capacity problems due to Caltrain. JLS and Emeryville as-is won’t cut it. Either Oakland builds a proper station or Richmond will.

    Also, I reckon a dedicated central coast (SJ-Burbank) and Sierra (Sac-Reno) trains to be better than extensions to the CC.

    Jerry Reply:

    “more perfect world”
    We’re still working on, ” a more perfect Union,” and promoting, “the general Welfare.” And you know how that’s going.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Fairly decently.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Better than anybody in 1776 could have expected to be honest.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    HSR wont go from SAC to SF to LA
    HSW will go from SAC to Merced to LA, and from Oakland to SF to LA.

    Aarond Reply:

    In that case, giving ACE a third arm to Oakland and a fourth arm to Sacramento makes more sense. The CC can be turned into a Sac-Oak commute focused operation.

    The main issue here is the specific routing, thanks to the Sacramento Delta. A Richmond rail bridge would make the idea of doing regional trains in the north bay feasible. Ditto if Vallejo got a bridge as well (which would allow for a San Pablo bay loop).

    Then there’s the mystery that is eBART, which will go from Concord to Antioch.

    Aarond Reply:

    Out of this we get three norcal hubs: San Jose, Stockton, Sacramento. Only one of which will have a pleasant transfer to BART (which services Oakland and SF). This can be fixed by:

    – redoing BART’s proposed Livermore extension to include a combined BART/ACE station
    – turning eBART to BART, and extending it to Antioch Amtrak
    – installing a 600 foot ped tunnel between the new TTC and Market St BART/Muni, with a walkalator
    – building a through-running 4-track Amtrak station at West Oakland BART and removing Embarcaedero West
    – Geary 38/19th Ave BART, which terminates perpendicular to the existing Market St station allowing for an easy transfer from both the TTC and Market BART/Muni

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I think a 4 track through station would be best locates in TT
    the ROW of a removed 980 freeway, along with a 6 track HSR Terminus and a second transbay bart line. There is more room there, better transit connections, fewer construction impacts, and it is closer toajor destinations. The only downside is that it would require.a longer tunnel from Emeryville.

    synonymouse Reply:

    No more broad gauge in SF.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That is already planned long term. Personally, I expect the cc line from the transbay tube to to be electrified, with the eBART electrified and extended to Martinez. That way, Caltrain would run from Taken to Antioch via SF. The eBART would eventually be extended to Stockton, where it would meet the SJ trains, which would only run from SAC south. ACE trains would run across Dumbarton to terminate in Redwood City. The CC would stay as it is. This would leave a network of 4 lines, still with most destinations requiring a transfer to SF, but this time just an easy one at Stockton, Oakland, Redwood City or San Jose. There is also the SMART question, which I suppose would probably be extended to San Jose via Richmond and the east bay CC line. Perhaps that would allow the CC south of Oakland to go to SF instead, if it were electrified.

    Reedman Reply:

    Don’t forget:
    — in perhaps six months, BART-Warm Springs (about 5.4 miles of new track)
    — in perhaps two years, BART-Berryessa (about 10 miles of new track)
    — in perhaps two years, eBART (about 10 miles of new track)

  2. Roger Christensen
    Jun 25th, 2016 at 14:27
    #2

    I believe there is a second trench – the Jensen Trench – just south of town that connects to the Cedar Viaduct that will span the 99. Wonder about the status of that.

    agb5 Reply:

    The status of the Jensen Trench is that is no longer exists, the winning contractor proposed to raise the height of some overpasses instead.
    The contractor also initially went along with the authorities plan to jack a prefabricated box under the 180 to avoid any traffic disruptions, but look how that plan turned out.

    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/construction/Tutor_Executive_Summary_and_Technical_Proposal_13_06.pdf#page=106
    Benefits:
    The proposed ATC 21.1 to eliminate the trench provides several significant benefits to the HST. Specific benefits are as follows:
    • The proposed ATC eliminates 7,000 feet of trench section, with a savings of approximately $10 million. This sustainable solution reduces long term maintenance of drainage facilities, including a pump station, and reduces environmental impacts.
    • By raising the profile and eliminating the trench, the HST has reduced risk of flooding.
    • Eliminating the trench eliminates the need to excavate for trench construction.
    • This reduces HST exposure and cost associated with potential hazardous materials in the excavation.

    Frank Reply:

    The original request for proposal showed the HSR line running directly underneath the bridge abutment. As shown in the original HSR proposal, a box had to be pushed under the abutment. This amounted to a crazy piece of construction. It appears that the contractor moved the HSR alignment to miss the existing bridge abutment.

    This was a wise move on the contractor’s part.

  3. morris brown
    Jun 25th, 2016 at 16:18
    #3

    Letter in the LA Times June 23 2016 print edition

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMQUlob3hvZ1l3RVE

    Here is a letter of few words, yet so much conveyed.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Speculative drivel. So inspired genius for the depressing old naysayer crowd.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    His claims simply aren’t accurate. The authority isnt skewing data, and the system promises to not need an operating subsidy.

    Aarond Reply:

    To play devil’s advocate: if the “real” operating costs prove too high for the state then CAHSR would be quickly dumped onto Amtrak.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The state wont operate CAHSR.

    Roland Reply:

    AKA the 125 MPH diesel CRRA.

    Peter Reply:

    So, Amtrak would stop running the electric HSR trains, sell them, and run 125 mph diesel instead?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well…electrification probably would be the last step in many of these segments. In the meantime, Amtrak California would run the faster diesels when the tracks became complete between San Jose and Bakersfield.

    Once electrification is complete, then the diesels (which the State owns and Amtrak merely operates) would be resold to another State looking for that type of rolling stock.

    Roland Reply:

    This is the only logical explanation for this 18-month-trench instead of a 3-month bored tunnel.
    As far as running diesels between San Jose and Bakersfield, do you have a solution for the 16-mile Pacheco tunnel?

    Clem Reply:

    The longest tunnel on the Pacheco alignment is 4.75 miles.

    Roland Reply:

    Elevations?

    Clem Reply:

    Try this. Gilroy is at MP 77.96 on this scale. San Francisco off the chart to the left, Fresno off the chart to the right. Horizontal alignment lovingly extracted from supplemental AA map (“close proximity to 152” alignment), then run through Google Earth API to get terrain elevations.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Clem I hadn’t realized just how tunnel heavy Pacheco actually is. I thought it would be elevated higher with more bridges.

    Clem Reply:

    Actually a bunch of the short and choppy tunnels in that profile I posted aren’t real. They plan a lot more cut & fill, as seen in the SAA map. That profile was automatically generated based on the difference between rail and terrain elevations.

    Roland Reply:

    The new tunnel has a gradient of 1 in 125 (0.8%) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moffat_Tunnel#Gradient

    Going back to Pacheco, there is NFW MTC are going to let the CRRA get away with a tunnel that is not designed for freight (hence the 16 miles). The good news is that this opens up a completely new stream of funding.

    Joe Reply:

    No such thing as CRRC.
    “Get away with”. You act, as usual, as if something is amiss.

    There is no freight line that could use the Pacheco tunnel if bored for fright.
    Adding freight capacity would alter the project and add cost.

    Maybe you should follow the CAHSRA.

    Roland Reply:

    No such thing as CAHSRA.
    “Get away with”. You act, as usual, as if something is amiss.

    Maybe you should follow people who actually know what they are doing:
    “Building HS2 will move freight and long distance passenger traffic off regional lines, thereby allowing more trains to operate on existing commuter lines.”
    http://www.tunneltalk.com/High-Speed-Rail-19Mar2014-Accelerating-mega-project-construction-will-save-costs-says-HS2-Chairman.php

    Roland Reply:

    Same question: how do you run diesels through a 4.75 mile tunnel?

    Michael Reply:

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

    And yes, that’s the route of the Zephyr.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thank you Michael. Good reference to the 6.2 miles long Moffat Tunel.
    The tunnel also kills TWO birds with one tunnel. Rail AND water.

    Ben in SF Reply:

    Going through Moffat Tunnel 20 odd years ago, Amtrak shut down the ventilation on the Zephyr cars for a good 10-15 minutes. (With warning). Partly to minimize the diesel fumes but as much for coal dust, which nonetheless works its way through the car doors and coats your nostrils for many miles.

    Michael Reply:

    I didn’t say it was optimal or would be allowed today. But it happens every day.

    Roland Reply:

    “After the train has left the tunnel, the red-and-white-checked door closes and the fans operate for 20 to 30 minutes with maximum power to clear the tunnel of exhaust before the next train passes through.”

    “Present-day train crews carry portable respirators for use in the event of a fan failure or a train stalling inside the tunnel. In addition, there are emergency/safety stations spaced every 1500 and 2500 feet (460 and 760 m) apart, depending on the location within the tunnel, that provide additional air tanks and equipment to be used in the event of a ventilation/other failure.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_Tunnel#Ventilation_operations

    Max Wyss Reply:

    In other words, the Moffat tunnel is more dangerous than the Arlberg tunnel was in the steam era.

    No wonder the SBB bans regular diesel operation through tunnels longer than about 2 km (occasional is OK, such as for construction and maintenance, or an occasional special). I do remember when the ECs between Zürich and München were operated with the ICE-TD DMUs, and the Zürich Airport station stank horrendously after departure…

    In other words, diesel operation throught longer tunnels: dangerous, and a joke…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Switzerland has Diesel trains? I thought they electrified everything at the time when the Kaiser was still around…

    But on a more serious note: Rail tunnels should absolutely and positively be electrified. Especially if they exceed a certain length, if they include even the possibility of boarding / alighting and if there is a non-negligible risk of a train breaking down in one…

    Roland Reply:

    “Electrification was removed in 1956, after a ventilation system was installed to eliminate diesel fumes.[3]”

    Roland Reply:

    Fast-forward to 2016 for the latest technology innovations: “Ventilation in tunnels is based on a trainset compartmentation strategy for smoke control in tunnels which would eliminate requirements for mechanical ventilation”: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/DRAFT_2016_Business_Plan_Basis_of_Estimate.pdf.
    This is where most of the “savings” between the 2014 and 2016 “business plans” came from.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Bahnfreund: Open Access is the keyword.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Which in the case of Switzerland probably was implemented by “some unelected Eurocrat”… given that open access is a EU regulation and Switzerland takes most of them as is without having a vote on them…

    But enough on that….

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or they might sell them to that Florida Railroad that seems to change its name every other week…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Perhaps. Perhaps Illinois, if it votes Rainer out, would buy them for its proposed service to Moline and Dubuque, or Wisconsin for Chicago to Milwaukee service increases, if it votes Walker out, or perhaps Minnesota would buy them for Minneapolis to Duluth service. The Midwest has a lot of potential routes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If if they vote for more rail friendly and competent administrations…

    Alan Reply:

    Enough of this blithering idiocy! There is no CRRA. Grow up.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought we established that there is at least one agency that does use that acronym….

    Roland Reply:

    Enough of this blithering idiocy! There is no CAHSRA. Grow up.

    Zorro Reply:

    Well it’s close Roland, there is a CHSRA.

    California
    High
    Speed
    Rail
    Authority

    Roland Reply:

    California
    Rapid
    Rail
    Authority

    is even closer to reality :-)

    J. Wong Reply:

    They won’t ever run diesels on the HSR tracks if Pacheco is funded & under construction.

    Roland Reply:

    Q1: Assuming environmental clearance in Q1 2018, when would the tunnel be ready for operations?
    Q2: Where is the funding coming from?

    Zorro Reply:

    The funding is there to build from San Jose to Fresno and to have service by 2025, as I’ve stated before.

    joe Reply:

    He’s probably unaware of the CAHSRA website.

    CAHSRA was at Gilroy recently and the Rep explained the project will prioritize the longest duration contracts first for work Fresno to SJ. That means Pacheco tunnels between Gilroy and Fresno will start work early, not later.

    Also Capitol Corridor Rail was brought up by Gilroy as part of the anticipated downtown station work. VTA is funding track changes to accommodate the extension of commuter rail to Salinas by 2017.

    Roland Reply:

    Did the VTA forget to tell you that the Measure A funds for the double-tracking between San Jose & Gilroy were transferred to the Mountain View light rail double-tracking for last February’s Superbowl?

    Joe Reply:

    Show me the link.

    Roland Reply:

    1) They killed the Gilroy double-tracking project in December 2013: http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069A0000001eHtAIAU

    2) They reallocated the funds to the Mountain View light rail double-tracking which had ballooned from $40M to $63M: http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069A0000001Ou0UIAS (item #11 on page 42).

    Minutes: http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069A0000001Ou0UIAS
    This is when the legality of the funding shift was discussed and councel’s legal opinion was that the 2000 Measure A ballot measure was “sufficiently vague” for them to get away with it. This in turn resulted in the 2014 ballot measure getting killed (same problem with the ballot language).

    Roland Reply:

    Sorry. Here is the correct link for #2: http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069A0000001O3krIAC

    Joe Reply:

    Problem is 101 widening tanked ridership in 2004/5 and subsequently service was cut which assures ridership stays low. More recent state rail plan docs show double track to ~ San Martin is midterm rail goal.

    It makes little sense to double track 3 train service. Priority should be to restore commuter service to critical mass and bring back commuter riders. 3 trains are too few. Minimum of 6 trains am and pm would make rail reliable. There’s are 130,000 new residents in the south since 2005. Many work in SV.

    Salinas Capitol Corridor is, from Gilroy city and HSR authority, due to start in 2017 with 2 commuter trains to san Jose am and 2 pm. That might help grow ridership depending on ticketing..

    Joe Reply:

    Also Gilroy city council and management believes/recognizes, stated at recent planning meeting, south county can’t draw business without better industrial level transportation infrastructure to the area.

    Don’t see a big draw to bring corporate into the city with double tracking UP. Not a consensus view but realization that adding corporate and reverse commute isn’t as easy as adding a track. That’s why HSR is desired.

    I’m sympathetic to the argument although 101 continues to improve/widened 152/25 and 156 widening and improvements as planned could fix the shortcoming.

    Roland Reply:

    Anything less than Tamien-like service is useless (hence the Tamien parking crisis). How about we start with turning trains around @ Blossom Hill (475 empty parking spaces) and see how it goes?

    Joe Reply:

    Strange assertion. You mean more frequent but you are not getting Tamien level service.

    UP double tracks were not for Tamien level service. Probably not possible on UP track given the freight I see in the am.

    You can try to get all trains to turn around at blossom hill. Probably not going to happen but maybe a few would. It Illustrates the level of service is too low to attract riders given the potential.

    Ironically in 2017 there will likely be 2 additional trains through Gilroy.. I expect the ticketing to not interchange with Caltrain but still that train should help build rose jail.

    Joe Reply:

    build ridership.

    Roland Reply:

    The real problem we are facing is that the VTA is on its own south of Tamien (they have to fork 100 % of the costs) and they are not willing to be gouged by the SamTrans rent seekers, hence the ACE/Capitol Corridor experiment which is impossible without double-tracking (no reverse commute).

    BTW See VTA FY12 Measure A Compliance Audit for what happened to the double-tracking.
    It’s locked, so I can’t copy/paste here. Read pages 11 & 22 (or search for “south county”)
    http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/version/download/068A0000001FYZR

    Joe Reply:

    SamTrans Rent seekers is uncalled for. It’s insulting and incorrect.

    I know UP owns track. Access is paid for within a level of service not yet realized.

    There is no viable reverse commute. Traffic is light. CC is commuter and one way am and pm.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ridership gets you two things: More money in the farebox (ultimately some expansions of service pay for themselves) and more critically a “rail constituency”. People who ride the train daily will be inclined to vote rail hating politicians out of office and/or approve of pro-rail ballot measures.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    SamTrans Rent seekers is uncalled for. It’s insulting and incorrect.

    OK, grotesquely corrupt SamTrans (and SamTrans perma-temp consultant) contract skimmers, percentage men, non-delivery artists, feather-bedders, Not Invented Here-ists, chronic undder-achievers, negative-value-adders, rip-off-artists, public accounts plunderers and overall sleazebags

    Hey, ever check out at the incredible qualifications and mind-boggling lifetime professional achievements of SamTrans/SMCTA/Caltrain’s half-milliion-a-year <a href="http://www.samtrans.com/about/MediaRelations/news/New_General_Manager_Jim_Hartnett_Background_and_Experience.html&quot;?CEO good ol' boy? To say the fish is rotting all the way from the head is a huge understatement. You can smell the putrefaction from hundreds of miles away.

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot Dave Couch ($760K/year), the same Dave Couch who was in charge the day 9 people were killed on the Washington Metro, including the driver that ploughed into the train in front of hers: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070102369.html

    Joe Reply:

    Nutty Richard.

    Here’s a description of the good old boy.
    March 2015
    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2015/03/13/jim-hartnett-makes-a-return-trip-to-caltrain-151-now-as-ceo

    What matters is the Caltrain CEO was on the CAHSR Board.

    August 2015
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2015/08/level-boarding-its-official.html?m=1

    Several changes were made to this document after the draft RFP was circulated for industry review. The single most remarkable change is that level boarding and platform sharing with high-speed rail is now a firm requirement, instead of an option suggested by stakeholders.

    This is not only an endorsement of level boarding. It is an endorsement of complete integration with high-speed rail including not just shared tracks but also shared stations. It is a major step forward for riders and taxpayers, because it will increase the speed, efficiency and usability of Caltrain at the same time as it makes high-speed rail more affordable. It will help bring to California what Europeans take for granted.

    Looks like someone made a decision to make Caltrain compatible with HSR.

    Joe Reply:

    Nutty Richard thinks he’s unqualified.

    Hartnett, who this week was selected as the new CEO of Caltrain, had been a fixture in the Peninsula politics for well over a decade, having served on the Redwood City City Council for 14 years. But as one of the new faces on the California High Speed Rail Authority, he was charged with turning the project around and bringing the Peninsula on board

    Hartnett has plenty of history with Caltrain, having served on and chaired its board of directors before being appointed by the state Senate to join the high-speed rail authority

    “I will be a strong advocate for Caltrain,” Hartnett said in a statement. “I know the High Speed Rail organization well and understand the issues. I always looked upon my role on the High Speed Rail board as ensuring that organization was responsive to Peninsula issues

    Roland Reply:

    “What matters is the Caltrain CEO was on the CAHSR Board.”
    There is no such thing as CAHSR. Stop this immediately! This is really annoying!

    Roland Reply:

    His main achievement so far has been to turn the Caltrain EMU procurement into a complete fustercluck instead of asking his old cronies to send the PB rent seekers back to school (preferably on a permanent basis).

    Reality Check Reply:

    Hartnett had no executive experience running any rail or bus transit agency. His only relevant experience is having been appointed and served on the Caltrain/SamTrans/HSRA boards. What got him the job was being professionally and/or socially chummy with members of the executive search teams — the chair of which was his city council colleague.

    Joe Reply:

    We should have gotten executive experience Carly to take the job.

    Mr inside good old boy fixed Caltrain compatibility with HSR and is going to successfully launch the electrification update.

    Politics matters.

    I don’t care if he doesn’t have “executive experience” which means nothing but highly paid CEO skipping from job to job.

    No Skilzz with MS Project. No problem

    Roland Reply:

    Mr. Good old boy completely screwed up the Caltrain EMUs instead of fixing the HSR procurement fiasco.

    As far as “successfully launch the electrification update”, does Mr. good old boy have the slightest clue about the extent to which his minions have screwed up the Caltrain alignment?

    Roland Reply:

    If you have stated it before, it must be true.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    When do you all think that construction will have to start from Bakersfield to LAUS to meet the 2029 deadline? Can that deadline even be made?

    Roland Reply:

    Not anymore than the 2025 “deadline” to San Jose. The only semi-realistic scenario right now is Gilroy to SF (hopefully Transbay) by 2025 which would explain why they are desperate for a maintenance facility in Coyote Valley (good luck with that one).

    Roland Reply:

    On a related note, does anyone know WTF the VTA is thinking blowing $9B to bring the Alameda County (orange) residents to the Capital of Silicon Valley (AKA “Milpitas”) while the poor Santa Clara County (green) souls who actually pay for BART have to hit the freeways by 5.00 AM because there is no other way to get to work? http://bigbytes.mobyus.com/commute.aspx?County=85&State=6&MinMiles=20&MaxMiles=100&MaxCoV=0.8&CountyType=work

    Roland Reply:

    Talking of Milpitas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jbsetHHZq0

    Aarond Reply:

    Probably because they can split the cost with other counties (SF, Alameda, Contra Costa) and have them pay the majority of the operating costs.

    That said, VTA’s problem isn’t so much capital investment as it is promoting denser development around stations. This is something that they are starting to get better at and why the state re-doing parking requirements is such a big deal.

    Roland Reply:

    Wrong on every single count (perfect score).
    Operating costs will be paid out of Measure B ($50M/year)

    Joe Reply:

    Who is desperate for a maintenance facility in coyote valley?

    Gilroy is interested in a light maintenance facility (cleaning trains) and I think Brisbane is another location floated.

    Any link?

    Joe Reply:

    Brisbane not desperate for coyote valley.

    Roland Reply:

    Brisbane has never heard of Coyote Valley (or Gilroy for that matter).

    J. Wong Reply:

    Funding is coming from cap&trade. As for everyone pointing out the problems with that, just “chill”. It won’t surprise me if Gov Brown & the Legislature come up with a solution.

    Aarond Reply:

    The state can probably find enough Republicans in the CV to pass a statewide tax increase now. That’s the benefit of starting there. Thankfully their party’s nominee is pro-infrastructure, so it’s an easier sell than it was a year ago.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s difficult to tell what his position is. It’s likely to change two three four times in a day.

    Aarond Reply:

    He’d make it rain money in NYC (Gateway, Empire Station/Corridor stuff specifically) because of his Manhattan properties. CAHSR funding would be lashed up to ensure his budgets pass.

    Regardless, having track laid down in the CV is visual proof of progress. It looks good. Realtors and their ilk can lobby for HSR sooner rather than later.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    With his tax plan there wouldn’t be any.

    Aarond Reply:

    I assume one thing about him: he’ll do anything to help himself. An oil tariff has bipartisan support, and brings the bacon (to his) home.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    You’re all assuming there is no dissolution of the Union and i think that’s on the table when contemplating a Donito Trumpolini “presidency.”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You are assuming the Donald has a chance of winning.

    Aarond Reply:

    it’ll be a coin flip

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He has four months to work his reverse Dale Carnegie magic. Not quite 1964 landslide but close.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m giving trump a 35% chance to beat Hillary. Nothing more.

    Roland Reply:

    Right: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/us/politics/donald-trump-slips-further-behind-hillary-clinton-in-new-polls.html?_r=0

    Having said that, the Donald clan plans to have Hillary indicted one day after her nomination at which point she will withdraw and open the door to the Joe and Elizabeth ticket: http://www.salon.com/2016/05/12/the_democratic_ticket_that_would_have_been_a_slam_dunk_joe_biden_wanted_elizabeth_warren_as_his_vp/

    Are we having fun yet?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump will probably give a whole new meaning to the word “bigly” (which is not a word)

    However, thinking Trump can’t win is the best way to ensure he does.

    Roland Reply:

    CRRA just blew another $50M towards the solution. Answers for the Governor’s consideration shalt be forthcoming momentarily: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_061416_Item6_Final_Resolution_HSRA16_20.pdf

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Chinese Russian Roulette Association?

    Alan Reply:

    Crybaby Roland Rants Again

    Joe Reply:

    Whereas, procuring expert financial advisory services is critical not only to the fiscal management of the high-speed rail program, but to ensuring that all opportunities for efficiencies and private sector involvement are evaluated and explored proficiently.

    Something to know the next time Ralph types an exclusive “report” sourced with his usual off-the-cuff quotes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    good one.

  4. Nathanael
    Jun 25th, 2016 at 17:00
    #4

    It’s going under the canal? Fascinating.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Its pretty wild.

    Ted K. Reply:

    You want wild ? Here’s a sampler of canals OVER roads and rivers :

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigable_aqueduct

    [OT] Bonus – the Falkirk Wheel :

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Oddly fails to mention James Brindley’s brick arch aqueduct carrying the Bridgewater Canal over the River Irwell, 1761. I used to cross over the North Circular Road in west London on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal every Saturday and Sunday while working on canal boats back in the 60s.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Another interesting example is the Basingstoke Canal which has an aqueduct across the old London and South Western Main line at Frimley, Surrey. The canal was dug first of course so the railway paid for the aqueduct when the original London and Southampton line was built in the 1838. When the railway was increased from 2 tracks to 4 in 1901 the aqueduct was lengthened accordingly. It has “stop gates” at either end which will close to prevent the railway being flooded in the event of a leak.

    Roland Reply:

    Interesting story. Do you know about these? http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/improvements/canal-tunnels

    I initially thought they were bored at the same time as the HS1 tunnels to facilitate a future HS1/HS2 connection that would bypass both King Cross & St Pancras but they are now apparently part of the Thameslink program(?)

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The Regent’s Canal predates the railways in London of course. Built to connect the Grand Union at Paddington with the London Docks at Limehouse. The Canal runs roughly east west. Just north of Euston there was a transfer station where coal was dumped from railway wagons into barges for local delivery, similar to many operations in the Birmingham area. It passes through St. Pancras tunnel just north of St. Pancras and Kings Cross. Why they call these rail tunnels the canal tunnels I don’t know except that they must be very close to the canal, or go under it.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    http://www.jasons.co.uk/index.html
    I was crew and/or captain.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    So are you British?

    Roland Reply:

    Paul British? No way :-)

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Okkkaaayyyy? How was I supposed to know?

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=627YIhcLga0

    Edward Reply:

    Roland’s link lead to this interesting one about HSR noise:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-7Chrx-sX8

    Roland Reply:

    How many people live within 6 feet of the tracks?

    Edward Reply:

    It wasn’t anti-HSR. Note the comparisons with freight train and aircraft noise and the display of noise reduction possibilities. They also showed how short a time you could hear the train.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Car free, I’m an immigrant. Trump hasn’t built a wall across the Atlantic yet.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And I don’t want him too. I support immigration, and welcome immigrants. I was merely curious, because I find it interesting.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem with building anything across the Atlantic is the Middle Atlantic Ridge. Would probably fuck up that fabled vactrain from the United Kingdom of England and Wales to the United States of bigly yuge….

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Bahnfreund – The problem of the Midlant Ridge has been solved conceptually by Harry Harrison in his book Tunnel Through the Deeps . Basically, the trick is to use an upside down bridge to cross the main canyon on the route. That’s right – the bridge would float above its anchors instead of hanging down from cables. Neat book with a nuclear powered locomotive near the beginning.

    More : The above Wikipedia article has a dead link to a Harvard Law Bulletin article called “Tunnel Vision”. Here’s the current link – http://today.law.harvard.edu/tunnel-vision/ .

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am sorry for my exceeding stupidity, but how would that solve the seafloor spreading by a centimeter or so a year and ripping any structure across it apart by that distance? Wouldn’t that fuck up sub-millimeter tolerances?

    Nathanael Reply:

    You cross the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at *Iceland*, obviously, where it’s on the *surface* and easy enough to repair any results of the land spreading.

    No, the actual problem with an Atlantic Tunnel is that the open seafloor is so damn deep. Do you build underwater bridges? Try to go underneath the seafloor? How do you handle the grades? How about air supply?….

    Crossing the Pacific from Alaska to Siberia is, by comparison, quite straightforward. Easier than crossing the Alaskan Rockies.

    Ted K. Reply:

    IIRC – HH’s book did the crossing in three stages : conventional HSR from NYC to an artificial island in the Grand Banks area, vac. train to the Azores, and back to HSR to a portal near Land’s End. The transfer points were designed as pax / cargo (especially fresh fish) / resorts. The bridge over the canyon in the MidLant Ridge was designed with bellows /accordian joints that allowed for a considerable amount of crustal movement. I’ve checked the book out from SFPL and I’ll see if I can find the details.

    By the way HH’s tunnel was BART style – pre-fab’ed concrete segments that were towed out and sunk where needed. This allowed multiple shipyards to get in on the fun and loosened North American purse strings as well as speeding up the project (conventional tunneling would have been way too slow). The book mentions travel at speeds in excess of 150 mph in the first couple of chapters. One doesn’t need electric trains as much when one has an atomic teakettle.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Air supply shouldn’t be a problem for a vactrain…

    Another thing we might do for such large scale construction is this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biorock it can be fed by solar power or offshore wind power and is probably cheaper than getting tons of concrete out there…

    Roland Reply:

    They go under it (20M below).

    Ted K. Reply:

    London has two (2) large rail transit projects going : Crosslink (east – west) and Thameslink (north – south). Sections will open in 2018 (both) and 2019 (Crosslink final) per Wikipedia.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thameslink_Programme

    https://m.youtube.com/user/ThameslinkRailUK

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossrail

    https://m.youtube.com/user/CrossrailLtd

    Eric Reply:

    Thameslink Programme is not really a “large” transit project (certainly not on the level of Crossrail). It consists of several grade separations, some longer platforms, and new rolling stock.

    Ted K. Reply:

    I stand by my choice of the word “large”. Crossrail is a large ab initio project. Thameslink Programme is a massive reaming of a constricted rail corridor. TfL is aiming for substantial capacity gains by removing numerous chokepoints : short platforms, train length and frequency caps due to power supplies (SFMuni and Amtrak have had similar issues), track capacity, signals, station layouts, and back office facilities.

    Both projects are going to become case studies on how to upgrade a major transit system without going down in flames. Add to them the London Overground network and you have a new meaning of “trifecta”.

    The following words, written in the 1960’s in homage to London’s beloved omnibuses, could be applied to transit vehicles in general :

    Some talk of a Lagonda
    Some like a smart MG
    Or for bonny army lorry
    They lay them doon and dee
    Such means of locomotion
    Seem rather dull to us

    (“A Transport of Delight”, Flanders + Swann)

    Ted K. Reply:

    P.S. The quote below is from a subsidiary article about the Borough Market. The market is a thousand-plus (1000+) year old institution that has occupied a number of locations over the years. Our younger equivalents are Seattle’s Pike’s Place Market and San Francisco’s Ferry Building (Marketplace indoors, open daily; Farmers Market outdoors, open tri-weekly TuThSat).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borough_Market

    The overriding need to remove one of the worst bottlenecks in the national rail network and improve transport options considerably over a large portion of London meant that he accepted that some damage to the fabric of the market and surrounding area was unavoidable and justified in order for the scheme to achieve its objectives.

    The market building on Bedale Street south-side has had its upper floors removed, as has the Wheatsheaf public house on Stoney Street for the new railway bridge crossing over them. The remaining floors have been re-occupied. The old Market glazed roof on Stoney Street has been re-instated and much improved.

    Roland Reply:

    A measly £6.5 billion ($10B in “old money”) compared to Crossrail’s £15.5 billion. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2737498/Stunning-aerial-photos-new-shape-London-6-5billion-Thameslink-rail-project-takes-shape.html

    Here is how to perform heart surgery on a jogging man (pretty much what is going to happen to Diridon): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a99DiUf3Tno

    Aarond Reply:

    Diridon will be significantly easier, mostly because it has enough platforms already. BART can be safely bored underneath (or placed adjacent to the VTA underground).

    The real fun will be Redwood City, as they have six crossings while keeping both spurs (RWC Port and Dumbarton) intact. There’s also Woodside Rd preventing a totally elevated alignment. It also borders Atherton, who will fight any change made.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    San Jose Cahill Street is grotesquely oversized; it’s not even on the same planet as any station in London.

    6tph Caltrain (“at capacity” ha ha ha they’re such comics!), some of which don’t terminate? Any remotely competent operator could do that with two platform tracks. Amtrak plus ACE? One platform track. And even though freight could share Amtrak’s 90% unused one, throw UPRR a bone of a through track. Total: 4 through tracks, not 9, and none of them utilized at even approaching 50%.

    As for Redwood City, this is one place on the corridor (aside from north of Tunnel 1 in SF) where I think trenching might possibly be the right thing. Four tracks from north of Hillsdale (arranged FSSF naturally), diving under Cordilleras Creek just north of Whipple.

    Under Whipple, under reconnected Hopkins, under Brewster, under Broadway; four (or three is actually adequate) platform track station in an open-topped trench; under Jefferson (stupid human-hostile diving road restored to grade); under Maple, Main, Beach, restored Cedar, Chestnut (barely; road might need need vertical realignment.)

    From there the two (outside, “fast”) Dumbarton tracks swing off, below grade, to the east.

    The two (inside “slow”) Caltrain tracks climb out at under 3% and pop up just about underneath Woodside aka Road Highway 84 (which remains as-is above grade), connect (sigh, if forced to, for totally non-rational non-economic non-environmental reasons) to the Mighty Port of Redwood City spur, and continue at grade towards Atherton.

    Quite a long dig, difficult construction, but lots of benefits, especially in terms of grade separation and in mending broken street-level human-level connections through RWC.

    Alternately, replace “under” and “dive” and “climb” with “over” and “climb” and “dive” and elevate from Whipple to Redwood Junction and put Hwy 84 in a trench under the tracks, and b e stuck with a tricky vertical transition for the Dumbarton tracks. I think this is less desirable, personally, despite my near-uniform preference for “tracks up, streets at grade” everywhere along the Caltrain corridor, but outrageous Special Local Contractor Welfare Needs trenching costs could make it the only way…

    scdennis Reply:

    Depends I suppose if you consider 6 billion GBP large or not. Crossrail is around 15 billion.

    Between them about half what CAHSR is currently projected to run for phase one.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well what’s 6 Billion Pounds? About twenty Dollars? More? Well, wait a week and it will be less…

    Nathanael Reply:

    Don’t forget that England is also building HSR2, which is a *big* project.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    they are still suing each other over the environmental review and route selection aren’t they?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And there will be a change in government soon. Both big parties having HSR proponents and opponents (and Boris Johnson being a populist) there is no way of telling what the political support for HSR might look like come 2017…

    Roland Reply:

    Talking of the canal tunnels, here is the portal: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/08/29/1409299365506_wps_12_A_view_of_Kings_Cross_cen.jpg
    They are only 660M long and connect the ECML to the St Pancras lower concourse.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are that two train stations fifty meters from one another or should I get my glasses checked?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s a third one a few blocks to the right.

    Roland Reply:

    If you are looking at Kings Cross & St Pancras, the answer is yes.
    Did you miss Euston (under the flat roof on the right)?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I only see the two cigar shaped ones…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes. The one on the right is St Pancras International, where the Eurostar serves via HS1 ( the line that curves into a tunnel from the kings Cross side of things). The one on the left is Kings Cross (Domestic trains, mostly to Scotland and the northeast.) They are connected by just a Plaza and a crosswalk. They even share the same station on the Underground.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t that a waste of space and more expensive than consolidating the two into one?

    Or does the passport and security theater for Eurostar “necessitate” it to have its own London terminus?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They are essentially one station with two names. What would be nice, however, would be if London would copy Germany and create a central station with several through track lines (like S21 or Berlin hbf.) It would be faster and more efficient than all the through stations. It is hard, however, to find a place to put it, but I think they could pull off a tunnel from Charing Cross to Paddington, a tunnel from Victoria to Marylebone, a tunnel from kings Cross and Liverpool Street to Waterloo, leaving st pancras as the only Terminus station.

    Roland Reply:

    Ironically, St Pancras is currently the ONLY through station: http://www.rome2rio.com/s/Blackfriars-Theatre/St-Pancras-International-Station.

    Ted K. Reply:

    In 2018 Farringdon Station will be a sort of central station due it being the transfer point between Crossrail and Thameslink.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farringdon_station

    Roland Reply:

    Correct and that is precisely the reason why the Diridon underground HSR station is modeled after Farringdon.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.crossrail.co.uk/route/stations/farringdon/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Gotta love the irony of people not from Germany putting S21 forth as a positive example whereas Germans (the closer to Stuttgart they live the more) go berserk by the mere mention.

    For the record I think S 21 is a good idea and should have been built already, but you can’t get anything built with all those BS bug and ant protection regulations that people come up with to derail (usually rail related) big projects….

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The reason for Crossrail and Thameslink is because a single central station is completely impractical. Paris has the same problem, and the Transilien system is a similar approach to solving the it Of course when the big London termini were built there was no underground railway, but the passenger numbers were much smaller and probably few “cross town” journeys. Long distance travelers would have stayed overnight in town. Kings Cross and St. Pancras were and still are distinct and unique operations that just happen to be adjacent. St. Pancras was the least busy of the London stations, even after BedPan, so it was the best home for Eurostar. Plus of course it’s a thing of beauty!

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I know how unpopular s21 is, but the fact that it is unpopular is senseless and inexplicable.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Bahnfreund: it’s historical.

    Originally, Kings Cross was the station for the Great Northern Railway, St Pancras was the station for the Midland Railway, and Euston was the station for the London & Birmingham Railway (later London & North Western).

    This is one reason why having private railroads sucks; you get stupid redundancy. I think most of your railroads in Germany were built by either the Reich or the Laender, so you didn’t get as much of this stuff.

    Anyway, there’s so much traffic that all three stations are full all the time, so it makes no sense to close any of them. And you can’t physically consolidate them because there is super-expensive real estate located between them (very very valuable addresses).

    Nathanael Reply:

    Paul Dyson: when the big London termini were built, it was actually illegal for them to build terminal stations within the borders of the City of London or the City of Westminster. (Fenchurch Street had already been built.) This is why you have a ring of stations around the edge.

    The moment the legal restriction was lifted, the companies with stations on the southern border jumped across the river and built Cannon Street, Blackfriars, Charing Cross, and Victoria… the Metropolitan Railway was built… the line which is now Thameslink was built…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ….Remind us of how many different ways there were to get from New York to Buffalo.

    Ted K. Reply:

    @adirondacker12800
    New York to Buffalo ?
    By water two – up the Hudson River to the Erie Canal and then on to Lake Erie or up the Atlantic coast to the St. Lawrence River and then on to Lake Erie.

    By rail ? OI ! If you don’t limit yourself to direct connections (e.g. NYCentral, Erie) then it’s too many to count (start your list with Lehigh Valley [via PA]). There’s a term paper in American History lurking in your rhetorical request.

    Tasty link – http://www.buffalonian.com/history/industry/railways/EarlyRailroads1.html
    The above article gives the reader an idea of how often the properties, routes, and names in and around Buffalo got shuffled. It includes a link to part 2 at the end.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Re : S21 aka Stuttgart 21
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuttgart_21

    Saddleburrs that are akin to caltrops : A beloved building is being truncated, a major park with river access will be closed due to construction, and political double-dealing.

    A cautionary tale from Cologne where an archive’s collection was seriously damaged due to subway consruction.
    http://m.spiegel.de/international/germany/a-612129.html

    Wikipedia : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Archive_of_the_City_of_Cologne

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, Stuttgart 21 was only one of several similar projects to convert terminal stations into full on through stations. Most of them were scrapped “for budget reasons” and/or replaced with through tracks for S-Bahn instead or in addition to modifications to the existing station. Neu-Ulm 21 is already built as planned.

    Ted K. Reply:

    There are several Tube (subway) station pairs where it’s faster to walk than it is to ride.

    But the geographically-distorted map can even make you take totally unnecessary longer journeys: for example, Lancaster Gate to Paddington is a good 15 minutes, one change and four stops by the Tube – or a five-minute walk above ground. Other favourites of mine include Knightsbridge to Sloane Square (another 10-minute walk, in a completely straight line), or Blackfriars to St Paul’s.

    From : http://www.lifehacker.co.uk/2014/05/29/10-best-london-tube-hacks-get-around-city-faster

    Also : http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/8-london-tube-journeys-that-are-quicker-by-foot-a3112196.html

    Miles Bader Reply:

    There are several Tube (subway) station pairs where it’s faster to walk than it is to ride

    That’s true of almost any very large urban rail system though.

    Just pick two stations on lines that are roughly parallel / have a shallow angle between them, and intersect at some point (or intersect some common third line). The “rail” route typically requires you to ride to the point of convergence, change trains, and then ride back, whereas the “walk” route often entails a walk between two nearby stations.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This is especially true if the lines used to be built by private companies or in / by several independent cities (such as Berlin)

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Or if the city is set up along an axis that runs mostly north south or east west (like Manhattan, in which many NS subway lines run only a few blocks apart, but there are comparatively few running EW)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Most of them run east-west.
    F under 63rd
    N,Q and R under 60th
    E and M under 53rd
    7 under 42nd
    L under 14th
    A, C and E under Greenwich Ave
    B, D, F and M under Houston
    J and Z under Delancey

    The island is very narrow south of Chambers. The A, C, 2 and 3 head west towards Brooklyn.
    That leaves the 1, 4, 5, 6 and the G which doesn’t run in Manhattan.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    “There are several Tube (subway) station pairs where it’s faster to walk than it is to ride.”

    That’s pretty trivial. There are probably 50+ subway station pairs in Manhattan where this is the case. Basically, pick any two stations that are on separate north/south lines at roughly the same latitude, and and neither station on a main cross-town corridor (42nd, 14th, etc.)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Berlin is probably the only city with a hole line that is if not faster to walk faster to bike – line 55. However, once it is linked to the main line 5 (currently construction is under way) the line will actually be very valuable.

    Ted K. Reply:

    P.S. Your glasses are working fine. Take a look at this image of a model of the stations on Wikipedia :

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KingsCrossDevelopmentModel.jpg

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why did they build it that way? Several competing companies in the 19th century?

    Roland Reply:

    This model does not show Google: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/workspace/google-kings-cross-hq-london-104711

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When will they move it to Scotland or mainland Europe, though?

    James Fujita Reply:

    it would seem that London, unlike Los Angeles, never saw the need for a “unified” central station.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Bahnfreund

    In seriousness, it’s a more complicated matter than you think. Google is subject to more legal scrutiny inside europe, in Germany for privacy issues (a problem given that this is how Google makes money) and in France over monopoly/tax issues. In other words, while the UK may be leaving, they are also reliable.

    This leaves Ireland or (post UK) Scotland.

    Zorro Reply:

    @ James Fujita: I thought LA just had a Terminal in downtown LA.

    swing hanger Reply:

    @Zorro
    Before the Union Terminal was opened (relatively late in the U.S. passenger train era), there were two big stations in Los Angeles- Central Station (SP&UP), and La Grande Station (Santa Fe). The Pacific Electric even had two downtown terminals in operation, which became models for terminals/real estate developments abroad.

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Bahnfreund-1910

    The large number of terminal stations is explained by the refusal of Parliament to allow railway lines to enter the centre of London in the 19th century, causing them to form a ring, connected by underground railways.

    From : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_station_group

    Bonus for the map junkies (PNG + PDF) :

    http://carto.metro.free.fr/metro-london/

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    there’s this too, an animation of when they were built.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0bV6B0-dXM

    Roland Reply:

    Meanwhile in California: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/04/chsra-abandons-plans-for-tunnel-to-la-union-station/

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ward Kimball footage of the opening of LAUS in 1939:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpA0-SPFrqc

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think Germany is the odd one out with its consolidation towards a handful of stations. Paris has what? Four? Five?

    Berlin has one central station and all others are clearly subservient to it. Same for Leipzig (where trains stop once) Dresden (where many stop twice) Hamburg (where some stop thrice) Frankfurt (with the airport as a secondary stop) Munich also has one major station but if memory serves, they have some long distance trains that stop at Ostbahnhof but not Hauptbahnhof. Vienna just got its new main station in this decade. France seems to not be inclined to get rid of its multiple station layouts. Au contraire they are increasing this by building beetroot stations outside of cities.

    Nathanael Reply:

    “Why did they build it that way? Several competing companies in the 19th century?”

    Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yay!

    What do I win?

    Roland Reply:

    Here is a map of the track work showing that (as incredible as it may sound), St Pancras is actually a through station on the Thameslink network: http://stpancras.com/maps.

    nick Reply:

    I am looking forward to taking the train through London via canal tunnels in 2018 on the new 12 car trains which have just started being used between Bedford and Brighton part of Thameslink on that Midland Main Line. Currently my local train goes from Welwyn Garden City into Kings Cross and cross the road into St Pancras for onward travel. Both stations are looking good and Blackfriars which now spans the Thames has amazing views. London Bridge Stn will be great too but has caused massive disruption, a sign of what is to come at Euston unless brexit kills HS2 that is. The current operator of Thameslink is reviled due to insufficient drivers. Poor management and union dispute over driver only trains having featured along with near riots at London Bridge. Quite possible TFL will take it over but not for at least several years. From where I live Thameslink / Crossrail will be great with one transfer at Faringdon to reach Canary Wharf / City Airport eastbound and Oxford st / Paddington / Heathrow Westbound. Likely Faringdon be very busy. Also someone in Leeds might not be happy if they are delayed because of problems at say Gatwick ! Hopefully Hs2 will help unless Brexit or Boris’s Dad stops it.

    Roland Reply:

    Boris’ Dad? No-No. Brexit was simply an expedited way to get David out of #10. You can expect kissy-kissy make up as soon as Boris moves in, hence the 6-month “delay” getting things moving.

    As far as HS2 is concerned, not everything is going as well as expected:
    http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/hs2-timescale-is-unrealistic-says-spending-watchdog
    https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Progress-with-preparations-for-High-Speed-2.pdf

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Boris is sooooo much worse than Cameron. I am so disappointed that this is occurring.

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking news: Borisexit: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/europe/uk-conservative-pm-candidates/index.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The hairdo won’t be missed.

    nick Reply:

    Boris’s father lives right next to the lines into Euston and has been opposed to HS2 from the beginning..Boris himself has always done what is right for himself including apparently creating economic chaos. He is almost as appalling as Trump including the same bad hair !

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The fact that he used to be mayor of a city that now boos and throws stuff at him tells me all I need to know about him…

    By the way a NIMBY mayor has also been involved in the drama around the Berlin-Dresden line, that was faster in the late 1930s than it is today. Guess who lives right next to the ROW where they want to run faster trains?

    Yeah. One Mr. Wowereit…

    Zorro Reply:

    Ah yes, apologies to Bahnfreund, PM Boris ‘Badenov’? Now there’s an ugly thought…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Boris Badenov?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Looks like you shouldn’t expect a Boris PM after all: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/europe/uk-conservative-pm-candidates/index.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Apparently he was unwilling to deal with the mess he helped create…

    What a “great” leader…

    bigly.

    agb5 Reply:

    An interesting consequence is if the canal overflows and the ground becomes waterlogged the entire trench will want to float to the surface like a boat.
    One standard technique to prevent floating is to add ‘wings’ to the bottom of the trench wall, but in this case the right of way to too narrow.
    The cheapest solution is to tie the walls of the trench directly to the pile retaining wall which is rough and held in place by friction, but this means the trench would not be waterproof so a larger sump and pumps might be required.
    The third solution is to tie the bottom of the trench to anchor cables buried deep in the ground.
    There is a document on the Authority web site where the contractor discusses the prod and cons of alternative solutions.

  5. StevieB
    Jun 25th, 2016 at 18:32
    #5

    The trench has to go under Dry Creek and the Union Pacific Y tracks north of 180. Threading the way through the area is not a simple task. Some of this is shown in the video CAHSRA Fresno Trench Update published on May 17, 2016.

    Joe Reply:

    Gilroy HSR trench to downtown would need to also go under creeks in the area.

    For this reason the trench cost has increased and is no longer seen as practical alternative by city.

    Clem Reply:

    These creeks must have appeared recently then.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes. Some hydrologic features are no longer visible.

  6. JimInPollockPines
    Jun 26th, 2016 at 19:44
    #6

    this is pretty nice for a rapid bus system I think they built it to upgrade to rail

    Roland Reply:

    Not according to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmetro

    Joe Reply:

    What part of your click bait was supposed to indicate otherwise ?

    Roland Reply:

    What part of my click bait did not?

    Joe Reply:

    Odd question.

    Can’t prove a negative. Just use that blockquote tag and highlight the part where you think it’s relevant.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    How do you block quote on this blog. I can never seem to do it.

    EJ Reply:

    Just use standard html blockquote tags. I.e. [blockquote]quoted text[/blockquote], except replace [ and ] with

    EJ Reply:

    Damn you html! Well, you know what I mean.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Try saying it this way :

    LT blockquote GT -quoted-text- LT Slash blockquote GT

    LT = less-than symbol or left-pointing wedge
    GT = greater-than symbol or right-pointing wedge

    Then you could make the tagged blockquote the meat in an anchor sandwich :

    LT a href=”U.R.L.” GT -meat- LT Slash a GT

    Basic HTML is very straight forward. It’s when you have to accomodate different browsers that things get zany.

    Joe Reply:

    a test of q

    Joe Reply:

    Test of “cite”

    Texas HAR legal obstacles highlight how politically difficult it is to start HSR and validate CA’s success to date.

    1. A railroad incorporated before September 1, 2007 [under a previous law], or

    2. “Any other legal entity operating a railroad…”

    Texas Central, which was incorporated in 2012, doesn’t conform to the first definition. Or, Cook alleges, the second: “High Speed Rail is not a railroad company because it is not currently operating a railroad,” Cook writes. “The verb ‘operating’ is a present tense verb meaning that the company claiming to be a railroad company has to be operating a railroad today.”</blockquote

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The easiest thing to do would be to buy a bankrupt railroad (incorporated before 2007). There are hundreds from the last century or so, then they meet standard 1

    joe Reply:

    Which bankrupt railroad do you recommend they buy?
    I would assume a bankrupt RR was bought up on liquidation by the remaining RRs or some entity.

    This legality is an example of the difficulty in starting a HSR project -maybe the Texas team is incompetent buy your standard since they too should have foreseen land acquisition problems like CAHSRA.

    This legal interpretation strikes me as a barrier to entry for a RR and if true would be interesting in anti-trust for the existing RR. Barriers to entry are part of a monopoly power determination.

    On the other hand if I declare to be a RR, what proof need i present to execute imminent domain?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There are plenty of shortlines

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

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s the next big business… “Selling” fictitious railroads with grandfather rights to something that did not even exist when the right was established…

    Nathanael Reply:

    ‘“Selling” fictitious railroads with grandfather rights to something that did not even exist when the right was established’

    This was done repeatedly in the 19th century in both the US and the UK during the ‘railway mania’ era. It was very common to dig up a company which had legal rights and powers to build on a particular route, but had never done so and had gone bankrupt, and buy it out just to get the rights to build on the route.

    What, they didn’t do it in Germany? Why am I not surprised. :-)

    Jerry Reply:

    I find it amusing that the primary business in Atlas Shrugged was a railroad. Even Ayn had problems with the rails.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am not big on 19th century railroad history (honestly I think modern railroads should avoid associations with steam if they can), but I think most railroads were “könglich priveligiert” or something of the sort or outright state-owned (Germany had a lot of small states and even after 1871 Bavaria had its own army, postal service and – yes – railroad). Several rail lines were built for no reason other than military expediency. Of course the first long distance line (Leipzig-Dresden) was built with private money (and went over budget by a ridiculous amount), but the state seems to have regulated quite a bit from an early point in time either granting exclusive rights to a single bidder or doing the building themselves.

    But again, I am no expert on this.

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Bahnfreund – There was a mention in a European history book I read that the French built their railroads all over the map while the Prussians / Germans ran theirs straight from nodal points in the rear up to the borders. The book said that this was done to ensure that military suppy lines didn’t get choked easily.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    A crackpot who’s entire political philosophy can be summed up as extolling the virtues of selfishness has a problem with railroads? Imagine that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah the Prussian army of 1870/71 was a logistics behemoth to behold. And railways played a large part in that. Unfortunately the people at the helm of Prussia/Germany after that thought that this Prussian giant could crush all of Europe even if all of them allied against them. We all know how that inevitably turned out…

    EJ Reply:

    Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin…

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    I feel like I’m tripping on acid

    les Reply:

    Guatemala City has no choice but to go to prepaid bus systems. There were about 6 on bus robberies and a couple killings by gang members the day I was there about 10 years ago. I think the city spends more on shotguns and ammo then petro.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think crime may have been a reason to get rid of cash in Managua buses as well…

    Even though the single fare is less than 10 cents US…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or roughly twenty pounds sterling :-P

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Stupid brexit

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Indeed.

    Stupid Brexit.

    Danny Reply:

    ah, BRT: LRT at 130% the price

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t most of that labor though?

    And remember, Guatemala City has a harder time taking out a loan than major US cities…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    With less capacity and choice riders.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s what they call “Schienenbonus” (rail bonus) in Germany.

    Though I do object to the term “choice riders”. Ultimately everybody makes a choice of transport mode. Everybody except maybe those that own neither car nor horse nor bike and live too far away from even the next bus stop, but how many of them exist?

    What we have to do is make the choice for transit the most logical thing in the world. Nobody in downtown London would take a car for an everyday trip. Same in most major cities. That’s where we have to get for all cities.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Agreed

    nick Reply:

    I rarely drive into London unless am.going in at night. The 24hr service will start in August on some tube lines and there are night buses but not to where I live but there is a train that gets back around two. During the day even off peak there are two semi fast trains to KingsX every hour using 100mph trains and two stopping trains per hour to Moorgate using 75 mph trains. The Thameslink service from.Gatwick to Luton airports via St Pancras is a 24hr service, so am hoping when the Canal Tunnels mentioned above come into use in two years these will also be 24hr. Next time I go to London I am going to be brave and hire A Boris Bike to ride along some of the new segregated cycleways. Om Oxford St walking is the fastest way to go moderate distances.

    Above you asked about London termini. All.were built by competing private companies usually on their own ROW and connections between them were not mostly considered. kings Cross, Euston.and St Pancras were built on what was farmland or countryside. They were built on the periphery as the City of London didn’t want these reckless dangerous polluting beasts infringing upon their territory. How familiar does this sound to supporters of both HS2 and CAHSR ! Also shows the shortcomings of excessive competition. A more likely danger to HS2 is however Brexit, Boris and Bolting Chinese faction. As a country we appear to have gone collectively insane. Anyone thinking of voting for Trump beware of what happens when rage replaces reason ! Do NOT Trumpet, especially in company 😃

    nick Reply:

    I typed finance and got faction ??? Is late here and I am tired hence also my too long paragraphs above. And am using smartphone instead of tablet so have now gone cross eyed ! So before I go mad and start foaming like a Brexiter/ Kipper / Republican / Sandersnista or Trumeteer, I am going to bed it is late here in the very confused soon not to be UK !

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    For a second there I thought you meant “Sandinista”…. Who are still around by the way and running Ortega for president in November. again. That will be the third consecutive term for him and the seventh time he runs for that office…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Sandernista is a popular play on words of Sandinista.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    And a stupid one.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trust me Sanders and the 2016 Daniel Ortega have very close to nothing in common.

    Sandinista transportation policy is also pretty fucked up by the way…

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Bahnfreund: “choice rider” = non-transit-dependent person; non-captive rider

    Unhelpful Word Watch: Captive Rider

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I know what it is supposed to mean, I just don’t think the concept is very helpful.

    Aarond Reply:

    True, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Full BRT (as in, platforms, dedicated bus lanes, etc) makes for an excellent stepping stone into full light rail. San Fernando is a perfect case for it. I’d also argue that the Harbor Transitway sets itself up nicely as a metrorail route too.

    As it applies to the bay area, LRT down all major avenues/expressways in Santa Clara Co would be a huge improvement over what is there now, with less infrastructure needed. And, once it does hit capacity, there will be plenty of riders (and businesses) wanting full rail.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    An excellent stepping stone? Only if dimensions are exactly the same for both types of vehicles. And think of the disruption, once you’ve nicely built up your BRT ridership, while you try and lay tracks and string wires. Better run single track LRT with limited service, or automate your BRT and run closer headways and/or skip stop.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The one good thing about the expressways in SJ are that they can handle light rail.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Also, the orange line never should have been built as BRT first. It should have been LRT from the beginning.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    It should have been a continuation of the Red line with dual pick up rolling stock. These connections are a huge disincentive to passengers.

    EJ Reply:

    Only because Metro has seemingly no idea how to keep to a schedule or facilitate connections. I mean they couldn’t even manage to build the North Hollywood Orange and Red line stations on the same side of Lankershim Boulevard.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No. The red line should have really always run NS (via Fairfax not Vermont, and up to Burbank Airport.

    Danny Reply:

    Orange’s timeline is LA’s typical “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” nonsense:
    1991 state Senator Alan Robbins introduces the law banning the corridor from anything but deep-bore subway
    1993 Robbins jailed for accepting bribes
    1998 Yaroslavsky backs Prop A, banning one cent of county taxes from going to subways
    2004 NIMFYs saying it’ll cost too much halt BRT construction for a month and say it should’ve been Rapid lines: all it does is cost taxpayers $2M to hold workers and equipment; the NIMFYs have to pay Metro court costs
    2005 Orange opens at the cost of $23M a mile
    2014 Robbins law repealed
    2016 Orange hits capacity because capacity is directly proportionate to cost; it’ll cost more now to convert than it would’ve cost to start with LRT in the 90s

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And people wonder why public transit costs so much in the US…

    However on the plus side, something got built and that something is clearly strong enough to create a constituency to build more transit. It’s far from ideal, but that’s why we fight and why we keep on fighting.

    Kind of like the guys in Nordic mythology who know Ragnarök is coming but fight regardless.

  7. car(e)-free LA
    Jun 26th, 2016 at 20:13
    #7

    An Amtrak train just hit a van in Colorado, killing five people. We need PTC and grade separation, of course, but Amtrak trains hitting drivers, especially in rural areas, show us that drivers really need to get their act together and be very careful with grade crossings. Perhaps some state DOTs ought to run some infomercials to drivers about how they are the least important and most dangerous vehicles out there, and should always be cautious and yielding.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Denver Post article with map :

    http://www.denverpost.com/2016/06/26/l-a-bound-amtrak-train-collides-with-vehicle/

    Aarond Reply:

    “A Los Angeles-bound Amtrak train” in Trinidad means it was the Southwest Chief (which gets 362,999) yearly passengers).

    It should be noted: The road doesn’t have gates, and the track is a STRACNET corridor. Despite being a “critical defense transportation pathway”, it has grade crossings without gates. Imagine an highway with a pedestrian crossing (much the El Camino ped crossings at 22nd street and on Belmont Ave).

    synonymouse Reply:

    I see drivers blowing right thru stop signs almost every day in my neighborhood. They don’t give a shit what happens.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    That’s one of the reasons why I consider the USAns to be among the world’s worst drivers…

    Miles Bader Reply:

    There’s actually lots of competition at the bottom end though, especially in developing countries. Some of the most freaky-ass scary driving I’ve seen was in former-east-Germany shortly after unification… as in “Car in front of you blocking your way? Just drive down the sidewalk (in the middle of town)! Never mind the pedestrians, they know how to jump…”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Licenses are too easy to get…

    Aarond Reply:

    that concept, roads without stops, is a core component of our Interstate STRAHNET system

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    there were 2100 accidents (killing 288 people) in 2013.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/05/nyregion/rail-crossing-accidents-decline-nationwide-but-less-so-in-new-york-region.html

    given the 100s of million so crossing a year, the rate is super low. The problem is people. Its not a education problem, everyone knows to look both ways before crossing an intersection. Its a people problem, sometimes people choose not to follow the rules, especially when they dont see a consequence. Of those 2100 accidents there were probably more than 100x people that ran the intersection with no accident.

    If you want 0 accidents you have to go with grade separation, gates will not work with a 0% failure rate as long as humans are involved

    Aarond Reply:

    my point is that even a supposed “important” corridor has gateless crossings. Sealed corridors always better and ideally the feds would put money towards it like they do interstates

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Feds investing in railroad?

    What are you? A Lincoln Republican? Next you are telling me slavery is bad…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Grade separation might be a neat requirement for new routes…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You could make a “how do I behave at a railway crossing” course mandatory for drivers licenses…

  8. les
    Jun 27th, 2016 at 07:43
    #8

    Who would of thought riding a subway could have artistic value:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/what-the-subway-looks-like-in-13-different-countries-2016-6?utm_source=hearst&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=allverticals#/#while-photographing-this-project-raucher-attempted-to-remain-incognito-4

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Uh, anybody who has spent any time outside the USA?

    les Reply:

    Maybe sometimes art but many times not. Ever been on a night coach in southern Spain with a strung out drug addict going through withdrawals, or ridden a Mexico City LR with limbs sticking out of every crevice or ridden in pre-wall Eastern Block trains and seen and heard things not permissible to explain on this blog. Maybe I should have taken photos, I’m sure someone would have bought them.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    You’re so cool. And here all I thought I had to mention was the time on was on Greyhound and a psychopath cut the head off of the guy sitting in front of me….

    …Not really

    les Reply:

    Not cool, just lucky to have a friends dad win the lotto.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Some subway stations are gorgeous…

    Others… Not so much.

    Depends mostly on the era they were built in…

  9. Robert
    Jun 27th, 2016 at 10:59
    #9

    A funny thing happens when you finally start building a railroad. Things actually start to get built! Time goes by, more things get built. Less chatter = More construction.

    Robert

    BMFarley of San Diego Reply:

    And you get more supporters.

  10. morris brown
    Jun 27th, 2016 at 15:26
    #10

    Letter sent to Senate Transportation and Housing committee objecting to AB-1889 (mullin).

    Tomorrow (6/28/2016), the State Senate T & H committee, will have a hearing on AB-1889, which would modify conditions passed by the voters in 2008, Prop 1A.

    Several organizations has sent to Chair Beall a letter which can be viewed at:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9m407yyFerMaUJNLXBtdDBFM2s/view?usp=sharing

    We shall see, what we shall see.

    Roland Reply:

    Did I just hear a loud “SNAP”?

    Joe Reply:

    certification is an interesting word.
    It’s not an independent assessment or second estimate or independent inquiry. This is akin to something done to assure a process was followed.

    They would review the CAHSR followed sound practices and have documentation. They would not be making independent estimates.

    agb5 Reply:

    I can understand why a financial consultant would be reluctant certify an engineering project “suitable and ready for high speed rail”. That is a determination that only an engineer with engineering data and computer models would make.
    The change in wording relieves the financial consultant from making this call which is outside of his ball park.

    Joe Reply:

    Certification isn’t validation or verification in an engineering context.

    A certification would focus on the needed documents and documentation to certify they have been followed and completed.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And who would make the engineering judgment? CAHSR themselves? The FRA? The Chinese?

    agb5 Reply:

    Any of the worlds high speed train manufacturers would be happy to certify that their trains could run on what CAHSR is building.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can run a high speed train on pretty much any train electrified to the required standards. But not necessarily at high speeds…

    Joe Reply:

    It not an engineering effort. Certification would look at process and documentation, possibly as suggested by agb5, a manufacturer letter could be on file for equipment.

    Who? CAHSR now has two outside financial firms under contract, the just issued a 50m contact, and the state would also participate for some review.

    Most of this oversight is capturing what they are doing already. Their will be costs for complying and if they are smart, they’ll itemize the oversight and report it.

    Zorro Reply:

    AB-1889 passed in the Senate Transportation Committee 6-4 today, I think it was said that “the bill is headed for the Senate Appropriations Committee”…

    Alan Reply:

    That’s absolutely hysterical–California’s Worst Lawyer(tm), a man who has lost repeatedly, trying to tell the Legislature what it can or cannot do. An intelligent person would realize when he’s been beaten, and maybe go back to chasing ambulances while he can, before he’s disbarred, but apparently Flashman isn’t that smart.

    Alan Reply:

    Flashman’s scared because this bill would take away his “right” to continue filing frivolous lawsuits against HSR. I read the bill as taking away a court’s ability to overrule the CHSRA’s professional judgment, and the Legislature is entirely within its authority to do so

    It’s not modifying a single word of Prop 1A. It simply clarifies some of that language. Further, it refers to the specific appropriations of the 2012 Budget Act, and defines the conditions under which those appropriations may be spent. That clearly is within the authority of the Legislature–it is an extension of the Legislature’s power to spend the state’s money.

    If the bill simply struck out the requirement that the CHSRA make the certification before encumbering Bond Act funds, then Laurel and Hardy might be able to make a case. Maybe. I’m not at all convinced that Flashman is capable of fighting a traffic ticket and getting the verdict to stand on appeal.

    Joe Reply:

    The bill is de facto decoupling Caltrain’s prop1a compliance from HSR. It also has the leglislature certifying they see full compliance.

    They want the prop 1a money for Caltrain’s planned work to come on time.

    I see some merit but I also think it would be very interesting to have NIMBYs object and have Caltrain held up by their bullshit. We’d see what the locals think about NIMBY opposition to a much needed project.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    This is so much easier. No chasing involved. His customers come to him. Think of all the billable hours he has been able to bill for, even though he advised them not to.

    Joe Reply:

    The pool is shrinking.

    King’s County folded. They declared victory and quit litigating. Bakersfield and Kern Co are not litigating. Atherton isn’t involved in this.

    I think TRANSDEF is involved in the letter but aside from labor, I don’t see them cutting checks.

  11. Brian_FL
    Jun 28th, 2016 at 06:44
    #11

    As part of its evidence in a lawsuit brought by NIMBYS against AAF, the company says it has spent almost $800M on construction and engineering so far. The majority has been spent since construction ramped up about 18 months ago. The counties fighting AAF claim it needs bonds in order to build the project. AAF says it’s using its own equity (probably from Fortress and other property put up as equity). At this rate they have spent about a third of the total estimated cost to complete the route.

    http://www.tcpalm.com/news/shaping-our-future/all-aboard-florida/all-aboard-florida-already-spent-hundreds-of-millions-between-west-palm-beach-and-orlando-35f7527a-6-384590051.html?d=mobile

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why would it matter whether they need bonds?

    Aarond Reply:

    the interest on them are usually exempt from taxes, which makes them overall cheaper than a private bank loan

    Brian_FL Reply:

    And that’s makes them easier to sell to buyers and results in a lower interest rate. I’m not sure that any bank anywhere would write a loan for an infrastructure project. AAF is also using the EB-5 citizenship program as well to obtain financing. That program gives citizenship to foreign investors whose investment creates jobs in the US. I read a while back that their goal for that program was $300M

  12. morris brown
    Jun 28th, 2016 at 08:06
    #12

    Bloomberg: California Hits the Brakes on High-Speed Rail Fiasco

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.euronews.com/newswires/3212912-spain-arrests-14-suspected-of-fraud-at-high-speed-rail-project/

    Roland Reply:

    “Prosecutors believe the fraud network “emitted successive certificates with costs well above those which had actually been carried out by contractors,” and that there was “solid indication” the contractors “were receiving sums of money well above that which actually corresponded to them.”

    The former director of works at ADIF, the company which administrates the Spanish rail network, and the former AVE director in north-east Spain are among those arrested after charges were presented by Spain’s state anti-corruption prosecutor’s office, accusing them of inflating the costs of the work.”

    http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=330170

    Roland Reply:

    “The probe was opened following a complaint from debt-ridden Adif, the state track operator, which estimates it was overbilled by over 82 million euros ($90 million) for the project by subcontractors, the statement added.” http://www.expatica.com/es/news/Spain-police-arrest-14-in-high-speed-rail-corruption-probe_713655.html

    Aarond Reply:

    I don’t see Newsom being dumb enough to run against HSR in 2018, but then again SF can’t even dig a 3-mile ditch to their new station.

    Roland Reply:

    Ever heard of SOMA let alone visited lately?

    Aarond Reply:

    The central subway doesn’t help me because I can transfer to BART at Milbrae. The current LRT station they are adding isn’t even inside the station, or have full ped access from the station. The T-line also does not have ANY other direct transfers to Caltrain (either at Bayshore or 22nd St) which remains a huge bummer.

    For all the issues VTA has, they at least understand how to do Caltrain transfers.

    Roland Reply:

    The Central Subway is in a trench???
    Have you ever tried to transfer to the VTA light rail at Diridon or Tamien and made the connection?

    Aarond Reply:

    I usually make my connection at MV, and it works good enough (never have to wait more than 20 minutes, or walk more than 40 feet). Bayshore requires me to walk across an empty field (which will be a maintenance facility soon) and 22nd street requires me to walk a half mile. At the very least, VTA makes itself readily convenient to me.

    I’d stop my whining if SF moved the CS Muni stop directly in front of 4th&King, and closed it to car traffic (in effect having it become a part of 4th&King), or realigned the T-line so that it would connect Balboa Park to the Bayshore Caltrain station (instead of having it separated). Right now, it’s more convenient for people to transfer to BART at Milbrae rather than bother with Muni at all.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Bayshore requires me to walk across an empty field”
    Bayshore as a CalTrain stop for the old Candlestick sports/concert venue was pitiful. There was no adequate walkway to the former 49ers / Giants field. Even though people made their own way.
    Pedestrian walkway signs were non-existent.

    Jerry Reply:

    Same goes for walking from Bayshore to Muni’s 3rd Avenue line.

    Roland Reply:

    It wasn’t too bad when you could get through the hole in the fence behind the car wash.

    The long-term plan is to extend the T-third to the relocated Bayshore station which will (hopefully) intersect with the Geneva-Harney BRT.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Geneva Barney BRT really should really be a LRT extension of the K line.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Arleta Ave. + Bayshore Blvd. (xfer.pt.: samTrans 292, SFMuni’s T-Third, 8’s, 9’s, and 56 Rutland) to Caltrain’s Bayshore Stn. : Bayshore – Blanken – Tunnel Ave. (clockface version 10:30 to 6:00)

    Schlage Lock dev. – http://sf-planning.org/visitacion-valleyschlage-lock-plan

    Map (PDF) – http://default.sfplanning.org/Citywide/Visitacion_Valley/VV_site_and_vicinity_map.pdf

    Brisbane Baylands dev. – http://brisbanebaylands.com

    Geneva – Harney (aka Balboa Park BART – Hunter’s Point) BRT study
    http://www.sfcta.org/geneva-harney-bus-rapid-transit-feasibility-study

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Jerry + edits
    Same goes for walking from Bayshore Stn. to Muni’s 3rd Avenue Street line.

    Try this : Up the hill on Tunnel Ave., hook left on Blanken to Bayshore Blvd., and cross to the Bayshore / Arleta platform (stop #17399).

    NB – Somebody at SFMuni is trying to be fancy – they are spelling Bayshore as if it were two words (“Bay Shore”).

    SFMuni route list – https://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/transit/routes-stops

    Joe Reply:

    Restore the Paul street Caltrain stop.

    Exit Paul to 3rd street MINI service.

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Joe – Paul Avenue was a two (2) trains per day station when it closed in 2005.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Avenue_(Caltrain_station)

    In conjunction with Bayview neighborhood enhancement plans a mile noth of there there may be a new station at Oakdale in the next couple of years. One of Oakdale’s anchors is the Southeast Campus of CCSF.
    http://www.sfcta.org/transportation-planning-and-studies/current-research-and-other-projectsstudies/caltrain-oakdale-station-study

    J. Wong Reply:

    Walk 3 blocks from 3rd to 22nd St station. IMO Oakdale won’t have as many passengers as 22nd St _and_ it would speed up gentrification of the Bayview, if you care about such things.

    Joe Reply:

    3 flat blocks across the dog patch.

    Noe Valley, Diamond Heights Caltrain riders I knew drove to Bayshore. I walked/ mini to 22nd. This is pre-BART to Millbrae.

    An SF Oakdale stop with decent service could pull in riders from an under serviced area of SF including Noe valley and bernal heights using 24 muni trolley.

    Roland Reply:

    Oakdale is dead. They killed it when they closed off Quint Street AKA the Oakdale station underpass.

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Roland – Oakdale is not “dead”. It’s simply part way through a multi-stage process that could lead to improved transit for the neighborhood. Or do you have a link to an announcement of further work being canceled ?

    Here’s the link I found on the Oakdale Station Study page :
    http://www.sfcta.org/quint-street-bridge-replacement

    Opening lines :

    Starting October 5, 2015, Caltrain began construction on the Quint Street Bridge Replacement Project. The project consists of replacing the 100-year-old Quint Street Bridge with a new berm. The bridge, removed on April 30, 2016, was deemed structurally deficient, did not meet existing seismic safety standards, and is being replaced to ensure the safety of community members and Caltrain passengers.

    The next link in the chain is :
    http://www.caltrain.com/projectsplans/Projects/Caltrain_Capital_Program/Quint_Street_Project.html

    Construction update :

    Quint Street Project Construction Update – June 25 – July 1

    Night/Weekend Work

    There is night work scheduled Wednesday, June 29 and Thursday, June 30. Crews will grade and remove excess soil via rail from the project site.

    Weekday Work

    Monday, June 27 to Friday, July 1, crews will grade and remove excess soil via rail from the project site.

    NB – Original formatting was NOT preserved in the above quote.

    Ted K. Reply:

    P.S. SFCTA’s web team had some fun with their redirects. The links below both currently take one to the bridge project page ( …/quint-street-bridge-replacement ). That makes a ring out of the second link. It may be due to the agency still being in the design phase of the replacement road.
    http://www.sfcta.org/node/793/
    http://www.sfcta.org/quint

    J. Wong Reply:

    Noemer Valley can get to 22nd St on the 48. They don’t need to take the 24. Bernal could use the 24 to get to Oakdale. The question is how many people in the vicinity of Oakdale would be taking Caltrain?

    Jerry Reply:

    Integration of all the Bay Area transportation systems remains pitiful.

    Aarond Reply:

    For what it’s worth, both SamTrans and VTA are tolerable. RWC, MV and Diridon are all sensibly laid out and offer a reasonably comfortable place to wait for a bus. They are integrated fairly well with Caltrain.

    What is broken are all the Caltrain and CC connections to SF and Oakland. Even after Diridon BART, the Bay Area will be split between SF/Oakland and San Mateo/Santa Clara with the Tri-valley stuck in the middle.

    Jerry Reply:

    And when you get off CalTrain’s San Antonio stop there is not a single sign indicating which way to go to get the VTA bus (#40) in order to ride to Foothill College.

    Joe Reply:

    First time users looking at the route map should do it.

    San Antonio you exit Caltrain on Showers where the bus runs and it’s pretty obvious California St and foothill college is away from the track. Follow showers to California st.

    The route map
    http://www.vta.org/routes/rt40

    Jerry Reply:

    Thank you Joe for the reference. I guess I’m trying to say that most progressive transportation systems have an area map at their stops.
    But CalTrain has nothing. And VTA has nothing posted at the station either. As Roland pointed out, he had to crawl through a hole in a fence behind a car wash. I’m aware of that impediment and many others like it.
    And multiple people having to walk on the street after leaving Candlestick to get to Bayshore with no sidewalks under Rt. 101.

    Jerry Reply:

    One of the requirements China made for Disney in Shanghai was to have public transportation at the very entrance to the park.
    See if Los Angeles will require public transportation at the very entrance to the new NFL football stadium.

    Roland Reply:

    The Schlage Lock development includes a footpath with street lights between Bayshore and the existing Caltrain station. The Baylands EIR includes comments to increase the speed through Brisbane to 120 MPH including entering Tunnel #4 @110 MPH. This requires shifting the tracks one block towards Bayshore. The same comments will be repeated in the Peninsula EIR scoping comments which are due on 7/20.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Re : Schlage Lock + vicinity
    Scroll up a page or two for links.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Palo Alto’s University Ave. station features off-street bus bays which nicely link Caltrain with VTA, SamTrans, Dumbarton and Stanford’s Marguerite buses.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the latest SPUR presentation. The new footpath is on slide 52: http://www.spur.org/sites/default/files/events_pdfs/2016.06.14%20Big%20Visions%20Breaking%20Ground.pdf

    Jerry Reply:

    We are in a car-centric culture.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Culture can be changed.

    A few short centuries ago we thought of Japan as hopelessly backwards, the US as the freest country on earth, Britain as tolerant and open to free trade and immigration, Germans as lazy disorderly drunkards and China as an old empire in decline….

    EJ Reply:

    By centuries I think you mean decades.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t know. I am rather new to this planet ;-)

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Why exactly do you commute that far? It must take 3 hours out of your day

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Drive till you qualify?

    Michael Reply:

    Aarond- Where is your final SF destination/origin? Dogpatch?

    Aarond Reply:

    My brother lives in Sunset, not too far off T-Taraval. In order to get to him, I have to transfer to BART at Milbrae, then onto N at UN Plaza/Civic Center. I actually have to go backwards a bit.

    Admittedly, only two transfers is reasonable, but my point is that how the current setup makes BART the better choice than Muni. I bring up the CS because the new feeder line for it, T-Third, could run up Geneva and thus make Bayshore Caltrain a better entry point than Milbrae BART.

    ….of course, one transfer would be nice as well. But this requires Peninsula BART or Geary/19th BART.

    Michael Reply:

    Depending on where in the Sunset, you might want to try MUNI’s 43 from Balboa Park BART. At the least, it’ll be more scenic. As you ride in from Millbrae, you can check to see if you’ll make an easy transfer at Balboa Park.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Another option is transfering at Daly City Stn. to the 28 – 19th Ave. bus. If your brother lives near Sunset Blvd. (high-ave’s. / mid-30’s) then you could transfer at Stonestown to the 29 Sunset. This gives you the option of shopping in between buses.

    NB – Both the 28/28R and the 29 can be crowded during the day but at least the 28/28R is reasonably frequent. Just remember that the 28R skips stops so Taraval and the “L” connection may be your closest stop.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Better would be the 18 from Daly City BART up 19th Ave to Tara then to the L Taraval.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Your right. Let’s just toss the whole thing in the trash and spend three times as much on unsustainable highway expansion. That makes much more sense.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They are going to spend three times as much on unsustainable highway expansion no matter what.

    EJ Reply:

    There isn’t really a lack of highway capacity between LA and the Bay Area.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    ….yet

    If population continues to increase travel between LA and the Bay Area will increase. And if we don’t build a rail option how will people do that traveling?

    Airports? – congested

    Roads? – congested

    Rail? – you just implicitly said we don’t want / need that

    EJ Reply:

    No, I didn’t say that. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    HSR will primarily compete with air travel.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And road travel. I don’t see why anyone would drive after it. HSR will likely take at least half of the bay area-socal road/rail/air market.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Historically HSR has decreased air travel more than road travel. I don’t see CAHSR being very different.

    On the other hand Americans are more likely to drive very long distances than Europeans, so this might affect things.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    One good thing about self driving car taxi things (and I don’t mean to be a futurist) is that they’ll probably discourage what would be suburban car owners from taking long road trips, because train travel with car taxis on both ends will be cheaper and more convenient.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am sorry to have misinterpreted you.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, don’t count on Newsom to cancel the project. I’m making a prediction here, but I think it is much more likely if he is elected governor that he will study it, make some changes, and thereby claim to have saved HSR.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This is likely but not guaranteed…

    What do the English bookies say on the subject?

    Can’t hurt to bet a thousand pounds on that. Whats two bucks, anyway?

    Roland Reply:

    Live video link: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=2614

    Roland Reply:

    AB 1889: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1889
    AB 2847: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2847

    Roland Reply:

    Well I guess that takes care of that (for now). Thank you Senator Galgiany!!!!

    Roland Reply:

    Thank you Senator Galgiani (spelling)!!!

    Roland Reply:

    AB 1889 passes 6-4 and is referred to the Appropriations Committee.

    Roland Reply:

    AB2847 passes without opposition and is referred to the Appropriations Committee.
    A FANTASTIC day for the supporters of REAL High Speed Rail!!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    [citation needed]

    Also “real” high speed rail? Is that something like “no true Scotsman”?

    Well no true Scotsman would vote for Brexit, that much is sure…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Neither would a true smart person.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Aye.

    That is true.

    Roland Reply:

    Final vote for AB 2847: 10-0.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    This should be the next thread topic.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Roland

    You should note that Governor’s department of finance has registered opposition to Patterson’s AB-2847. I suspect strongly this means a veto by the Governor when it reaches his desk.

    Joe Reply:

    Politically safe to let Brown veto legislation in an off election year.

    Roland Reply:

    Time for Brownexit?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Broxit?

    morris brown Reply:

    The T&H committee hearing on AB-1889 (Mullin) has been posted to Youtube at:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Xqgl6LaUU

    (15 minutes)

    Very strange goings on. Chair Beall failed to ask any opposition to appear. He failed initially to ask for a vote and went to next item.

    Beall, only at the end of the meeting, brought back the bill, then asked for a vote, (when all interested had left), and finally at end of meeting got the bill passed on a 6-4 vite.

    It is quite clear, the Authority opposes this bill, thus the opposition from Galgiani. Yet officially at this time the Authority has not taken a position.

    Why would the Authority want this money to flow to the Caltrain?

    In any case if this ever becomes law, it will be ruled invalid by the courts, since the legislature has no power to modify a voter approved measure.

    synonymouse Reply:

    If PBCAHSR is going to release any significant piece of its funding it will be going to BART. MTC-ABAG and the party machine will insist on taking care of their pet first and foremost.

    Roland Reply:

    This is clearly what this is all about: https://youtu.be/Y4Xqgl6LaUU?t=168
    How about doing a full exposure on California democracy in action by adding the 5-4 and 6-4 vote video clips at the end?

    Zorro Reply:

    Bogus article, written by KOCH operatives, pure garbage…

    EJ Reply:

    You’d make a good little fascist, that’s for sure.

    Zorro Reply:

    I could say you’d make a good little anarchist…

    Spending is good for the economy, not spending is only good for the Rich, and no one else…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You gotta be rich to be able to afford a poor state…

    StevieB Reply:

    The article received high praise in the Reason Foundation Hit & Run blog.

    Former Reason editor and current Bloomberg View columnist Virginia Postrel has a terrific new column laying out in damning detail the latest revelations in California’s high-speed rail boondoggle.

    Reason praises Virginia Postrel at Bloomberg for linking back to Reason analysis.

    Aarond Reply:

    On a totally unrelated note: I love how they have entirely turned on the GOP now and are desperately trying to pump up Johnson. At least they’re ideologically consistent.

  13. Roland
    Jun 28th, 2016 at 15:41
    #13

    Breaking news: Fresno trench excavation video has been removed by the user.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Things that make you go hmmm

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ancient BART conspiracy ™ ?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And it’s been reposted. Must have been a mistake

    Roland Reply:

    What is the new link?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    https://youtu.be/laNe_4aCKQs

  14. Roland
    Jun 28th, 2016 at 16:27
    #14
  15. Bahnfreund
    Jun 28th, 2016 at 17:05
    #15

    “This video has been removed by the user”… But there isn’t even any GEMA music there…

  16. Travis D
    Jun 28th, 2016 at 18:11
    #16

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laNe_4aCKQs

    They changed it a little. I believe the original video showed a bridge for Mono Avenue that I don’t think is actually part of the plan.

  17. Reedman
    Jun 28th, 2016 at 22:28
    #17

    OT. This was on the Bay Area evening news:

    Two BNSF freight trains had a head-on collision outside of Amarillo, Texas.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/28/freight-trains-collide-in-texas-triggering-massive-explosion.html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Was it a single track line?

  18. morris brown
    Jun 29th, 2016 at 07:32
    #18

    More problems for HSR in So. California

    LA supervisors blast state’s high-speed rail Palmdale to Burbank

    synonymouse Reply:

    smoggy photo

    The single best solution for “California” is to divide the State. Anaheim and the OC is as stupid as Vegas in wanting a monorail instead of streetcars-lrt.

    Divide the State, legalize gambling in NorCal and give the homeless free bus tickets to Anaheim. Surfs up.

    EJ Reply:

    Where are they building a monorail in SoCal?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They aren’t.

    Aarond Reply:

    Socal would be much quicker to legalize everything since people in LA are actually sane and want the increased tax revenues. And they’d bus all their homeless people to SF and Berkeley because people there won’t do a damn thing about it because of “police brutality” or other nonsense.

    The economic center of the state is shifting south, the only question is if the economic core of the state will be SJ-LA or Vegas-LA.

    synonymouse Reply:

    LA has better weather for bumming. Apparently Disney is the problem in re legalization of gambling and of course Nevada. I dunno why the resistance to legalizing video poker since the casinos don’t want it, as the players don’t lose enough and fast enough.

    Edward Reply:

    That there is some high quality trolling, by gum.

    Aarond Reply:

    LA is building out their metro system, which will be the basis of their future growth. Meanwhile SF and Oakland keep whining over “urbanization” or “gentrification” over something as basic as housing, and can barely do BRT. If CAHSR is fully built, that means San Jose, Stockton and Fresno take jobs that otherwise would have gone to SF or Oakland. If it’s not then they will continue going south into LA.

    That’s not to say NIMBYs don’t exist in LA, but they don’t have the immense power they have in SF and Oakland.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “NIMBY’S” are what kept SF San Francisco in times past. Saved the cable cars, a few streetcar lines, stopped the Panhandle Freeway, saved the SP ROW from BART. Had BART won in the last item PBCAHSR would probably be going to Oakland.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Perhaps their power is due the the pathetically small size of the bay area’s cities in relation to LA. I never quite understood why SF didn’t annex every city around it like LA did.

    Aarond Reply:

    Most SF commuters come from the east bay, which SF residents themselves do not want to be attached to. Likewise, SF’s political class is totally indifferent to everyone south of them. San Mateo County residents do not want to be a dump site for homeless people (as is often the case in the east bay) and like having a strong police force. This is true even in the parts that are urbanizing such as RWC.

    Also the North Bay doesn’t want to be part of the Bay Area in the first place, as they have their own bay.

    slackfarmer Reply:

    The San Fernando valley and other communities surrounding LA agreed to be annexed because they wanted to use water from the LA River, which the City of LA held exclusive rights to.

    Joe Reply:

    Considering HSR, the LACounty Board Of Supervisors sure sound NIMBY.

    Aarond Reply:

    Solving the Tujunga River issue is much easier than solving the “make muni not suck” issue. CHSRA has two alternative routes, and in a year LA Co will be sitting on R2 money to grease the skids. By 2026, LA County itself will have the Purple line entirely built, along with a WeHo/LAX/Crenshaw line. Muni hopes to put bus lanes on Geary. ACT hopes that protesters won’t shut down BART again.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The crenshaw northern extension shouldn’t go through WeHo.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Also Syno, as pro transit as I am, I understand that the American streetcar is pointless, useless, and slow. It is much better to build one subway line than 10 streetcars. It really annoys me that the downtown streetcar is on the ballot instead of sunset lrt or La Cienega-Venice lrt or slauson lrt or ventura-reseda lrt. Also, OC is really building a lrt line with a small street running segment in the oc streetcar (like the s line in SLC) ant the art is as good as dead.

    StevieB Reply:

    Morris, what part of the California High-speed Rail from Palmdale to Burbank do the Los Ángeles County Supervisors object to and how is it a problem?

    Joe Reply:

    They don’t like anything really.

    Supervisor Michael Antonovich recommended that the board send a letter opposing the plan — one of three alternatives set for environmental review — to county lobbyists and the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board.

    The letter will also state that the board opposes any segment that would cross the Big Tujunga Wash at or above grade, and that the remaining two alternatives also pose threats to homes and wildlife areas, and press for an update on long-awaited hydrological and technical studies

    NIMBY LA County.

    It’s on to San Jose and electrifying Caltrain with more work in the CV like Merced and expanding to Bakersfield.

    Reedman Reply:

    I interpret this as: LA wants wants a Tejon tunnel route.

    Domayv Reply:

    A Tejon tunnel would be suicide since it would cross through the San Andreas Fault. You should look at Clem’s take on how it should be done http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/06/the-truth-about-tejon/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are there routes in Japan that cross fault lines?

    snogglethorpe Reply:

    It’s practically impossible to go any distance in Japan without crossing fault line…

    https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=japan+fault+lines+map

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I should have added “in a tunnel”…

    snogglethorpe Reply:

    The Tokaido Shinkansen crosses the Tanna fault inside the Shin (new) Tanna Tunnel.

    The Shin Tanna Tunnel runs parallel the original Tanna Tunnel, which proved difficult to construct because of earthquakes during construction…I believe there were a number of deaths among workers in earthquakes. [That’s the original tunnel though, which was built back when they were a bit less sophisticated about such things.]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No, because that would annoy both Palmdale and Santa Clarita. Personally, I have favored option E2 since 2010-ish (before it was a thing), but that seems to be the only one of the three the supervisors don’t like.

    Eric M Reply:

    With regards to Big Tujunga Wash, that would be Route E2, but as Joe stated above, NIMBY’s are protesting every route into the LA basin.

    Joe Reply:

    LA Supervisors conveniently justified the decision to build north first.

    Additional money post 2016 could be spent on CV expansion to Bakersfield and north past Merced if they keep on kicking the can down the road.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Here’s the defacto official Sunland-Tujunga-Shadow Hills HSR NIMBY website:
    Save Angeles Forest for Everyone

    Roland Reply:

    Last time he was at SPUR Rod Diridon told the audience that he was totally sold on Tejon until Antonovich forced him to go to Palmdale.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Can you go into some more detail on this? An outsider like yours truly has the impression that the CHSRA board crowd never considered any other alignment than Palmdale-Tehachapi. The PB “study” of Tejon amounted to pure window dressing, disinformation.

    StevieB Reply:

    You can write to Hon. Rod Diridon, Sr. His email is rod.diridon@sjsu.edu

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    It’s even better than that: in the early 2000s (I could look up the exact date, but why bother?) Rob “Father of VTA Light Rail” Diridon firmly stated his opinion that a decision to route HSR through the Central Valley rather than following the coast (San Jose! Monterey!) “doomed the project”.

    Visionary!

    Roland Reply:

    Do you mean like he really wanted to go to Eastridge but someone made him go to the Great Mall first?

  19. Reality Check
    Jun 29th, 2016 at 12:04
    #19

    HSRA selects Brisbane industrial tract for 75-acre light-maintenance facility

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority has selected a tract of former industrial land in Brisbane as the preferred site for a train maintenance yard, a decision the property owner says could thwart long-standing plans to build one of the Bay Area’s largest mixed-use projects there.

    For 10 years, Universal Paragon, which owns a 684-acre Baylands property straddling San Francisco’s southern border with Brisbane, has been planning a transit-oriented development that would include 4,434 homes, 7.5 million square feet of commercial space and 300 acres of restored habitat.

    Universal Paragon General Manager Jonathan Scharfman said the authority’s decision to “exclusively” study the Brisbane Baylands for a maintenance yard was unexpected and was not made clear until a series of community meetings in late May. While the developer has urged the California High-Speed Rail Authority to consider alternative sites, it has little power to influence a decision.

    He emphasized that the Brisbane Baylands site is identified as a “priority development area” by the Association of Bay Area Governments, the regional planning group known as ABAG. Priority development areas, which include old industrial sites like the former Hunters Point Shipyard and the Concord Weapons Naval Station, are transit-rich sites big enough that they have “a unique potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” according to ABAG literature.

    […]

    Joe Reply:

    Considering HSR phase one stops at San Jose, a light maintenance facility in Brisbane tells me they will run trains on the electrified Caltrain ROW with little modification.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I guess that means phase one might stop in mountain view/Palo Alto/Redwood city and Millbrae in phase one, but phase one will go all the way from sf to Bako if they get $3,000,000,000 more in funding.

    Joe Reply:

    They can stop trains at any platform tall enough. When phase 1 is finished so too are all prop1a money and subsequently requirements “finished”

    I think SFO Millbrae will be a priority since it also is a Bart stop.

    agb5 Reply:

    If they build the peninsula electrification component under the Prop1A “usable segment” rules they will need two stations.
    A Brisbane maintenance facility could serve as a temporary station, it might be cheaper than building a high platform station elsewhere.

    Joe Reply:

    Bond act is not that prescriptive. The stations are not mandated. SF to SJ without any stops is permissible.

    Plan as of now is is to postpone the mid Pennisula station and use 4th and King.

    Brisbane facility indicates 1) they are acting while the land is undeveloped and proactive 2) have a plan to use the facility in early operation which intake to mean on an electrified Caltrain post the 2017 HAR EIR.

    agb5 Reply:

    Except that Prop1A mandates a SF to SJ travel time of 30 minutes.
    The advantage of building a SJ to Brisbane usable segment is that the Brisbane is a few yards short of the SF city limit, so there is no mandatory travel time to argue over in court for years.

    morris brown Reply:

    Anyone who has been around long enough to remember the Peninsula Cities Consortium and attended those meetings will recall, that this was Brisbane’s worst nightmare. Brisbane joined the PCC to fight such a result. Being a small city, they are being taken advantage of by larger and stronger force who are controlling.

    Shame on the other cities who were involved now not opposing such a disaster on Brisbane.

    Eric M Reply:

    And anyone who has been around long enough would remember the Brisbane site will cost huge amounts of money to clean up the toxic waste left by the railroads if the parcel is converted to residential and retail.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It would be just awful if the hundred year old railroad yard was to be a railroad yard. Awful.

    synonymouse Reply:

    SF wants to grab Caltrain land for commercial development; Caltrain wants to grab Brisbane real estate for transit. “Power, power, who’s got the power?”

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    SF should just annex Brisbane (and South SF, and Daly City and…)

    Roland Reply:

    Why? They could just as easily annex everything between 101 & Bayshore all the way down to the Tunnel Avenue overpass. It’s there for the asking by Catellus & Recology. The rest is pure legislatrivia.

    Joey Reply:

    The two stations can include the endpoints.

    Roland Reply:

    The real question is why anyone in their right mind would build high platforms anywhere: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_platform_height#Russia

    Alan Reply:

    I’m not familiar with “Brisbane Baylands”–I take it this refers to the old SP Bayshore Yard area?

    Aarond Reply:

    Yep. The area west of the tracks is the old SP yard, to the east a landfill and 101.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Yes.

    Map : http://default.sfplanning.org/Citywide/Visitacion_Valley/VV_site_and_vicinity_map.pdf

    Search this thread for [ Schlage Lock ] for more links or scroll down from this point :

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/06/fresno-trench-excavation-about-to-begin/#comment-284639

    Faber Castell Reply:

    And why can’t you have both exactly?

    swing hanger Reply:

    Precisely. They can have the facility at ground level, and they can build the office/retail facility on top of it. It’s a *light* maintenance facility, so they don’t need high ceilings that are required for gantry cranes and the like, probably just high enough for a catwalk just above carriage roofline that allows access to aircon units and inspection of pantographs.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Univ. Paragon’s Scharfman is either (a) lying or (b) has an incompetent staff. It’s general knowledge that Brisbane would be a prime location for the facility.

    From Sept. 2009 : http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2009/09/focus-on-brisbane.html

    Site Location Criteria

    Ideally, again according to the CHSRA memoranda, the facility should be located preferably within 1.5 miles of the San Francisco terminal, desirably within 3 miles, and exceptionally further than 3 miles. The good news for Brisbane is that it is further than 6 miles from the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco, seemingly outside the acceptable range of this criterion. The bad news is that there are no 100-acre parcels of flat, open land available within those 6 miles.

    While the CHSRA’s memoranda never mention Brisbane by name, the location of the San Francisco Terminal Storage / Maintenance Facility (TSMF) is nearly certain to be:

    The Brisbane Baylands.

    Ted K. Reply:

    P.S. A simple Google search on [ “Brisbane Baylands” hsr ] turned up the above link and the following :

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2016/02/16/land-sits-fallow-while-bay-area-housing-crisis-continues/

    So why has this land remained fallow for decades?

    The problem, said Levin, boils down to the fact that the station and the adjacent land is located outside of the San Francisco limits, in the City of Brisbane, population 4,282 as of the 2010 census. Developers would like to add enough mixed-use, transit oriented development to double the population of Brisbane. But Levin said the city council doesn’t want that–and has pushed for office parks and retail that, she said, might provide more tax revenue. “It’s still partially a Proposition 13 mindset” which puts sharp limits on how much residential property taxes can increase.

    NB – Emphasis added.

    Clem Reply:

    I was going to gloat about calling it in 2009, but you beat me to it!

    Ted K. Reply:

    My pleasure. Of course, the lamers who are planning this farago will ignore the needs of the Cow Palace in their various designs. Thus they will fail to include a paved special events siding with several power points plus water and waste connections. I’m pointing a finger at both CHSRA and Universal Paragon.

    What would such a siding be used for ? Circuses, horse shows and the like. I remember fondly animal parades from the spur at the Bayshore Blvd. side of the Baylands up Geneva to the Cow Palace. Another use would be for a steam or diesel special such as a Santa Train (Xmas) or a Freedom Train (MLK Day).

    Roland Reply:

    Never mind the location. The real question is why these rent seekers need 75 acres for a freaking depot:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mills#Wagon_works
    http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=51.560531&lon=-0.023303&z=16&m=b
    http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/rolling-stock/british-inter-city-fleet-renewal-gathers-pace.html (7ha = 17.3 acres).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They have delusions of grandeur?

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

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_York_City_Subway_yards#Coney_Island_Complex

    Roland Reply:

    Who knows? One thing for sure is that they don’t have any money so the most likely scenario is that they would discover later that they “accidentally” ended up with a 50-acre “surplus” available for TOD right next door to the best-connected multimodal transit center north of Diridon.

  20. Bahnfreund
    Jun 29th, 2016 at 16:39
    #20

    Which is the biggest US city (metro area) without any rail based transit (metro, light rail, streetcar)?

    Zorro Reply:

    I’d love to tell you, but I really don’t know, it isn’t LA or NYC or even Wash DC, so I’m stumped.

    Zorro Reply:

    Scratch that, I did a search, and I came up with Columbus, OH

    No metro or light rail. Columbus is actually the largest city in the USA with no passenger train service of any kind whatsoever.

    No passenger rail service of any sort.

    List of Largest Cities in the USA with No Metro / Passenger Rail

    swing hanger Reply:

    Does limited (peak hour only) commuter rail, or tourist trolleys count?

    Aarond Reply:

    Columbus followed by Las Vegas. Indianapolis is larger than both, but has Amtrak service (the Hoosier State and the Cardinal) and is disqualified. It’s worth noting that a year ago Denver would have won this outright, but they’ve built an entirely new heavy rail and light rail network which just opened a few months ago.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Please take Las Vegas off your list. It may be something of a lame duck but they do have a monorail.

    http://www.lvmonorail.com

    Ted K. Reply:

    P.S. There’s a neat aspect to Phoenix, AZ. It may not have Amtrak (that’s in Flagstaff) but it has light rail and excursion rail.

    http://mobile.valleymetro.org/transit_routes/695?c=true&route_type_id=1

    http://phoenix.about.com/od/famtheme/a/trainrides.htm

    les Reply:

    Actually a closer Amtrak station is in Maricopa, Az on the skirts of Phoenix.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Denver’s light rail opened years ago. Paradise and Winchester have the monorail.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Phoenix is the largest without any intercity rail, and until just a few years ago had no light rail (FYI. This came after Denver, even though Denver is smaller than phoenix). All the 10 largest metros in the USA now have some form of rail, however (NY, LA, CHI, DC, SF, DFW, BOS, PHL, HOU and MIA), so progress is being made. Also, San Antonio is the largest city (not Metro) without any local rail, but it has passenger trains come through at midnight.

    Zorro Reply:

    My search above seems to point to Columbus too.

  21. StevieB
    Jun 29th, 2016 at 23:02
    #21

    — QUOTE OF THE DAY — via William Fulton in the California Planning & Development Report: “The recent Brexit vote seemed a lot like the typical California NIMBY fight to me: Basically, a whole bunch of old white people who don’t like how society is evolving tried to shut the door, probably screwing their own children and grandchildren in the process.” http://bit.ly/28YXh2c

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s an entirely different situation. The repudiation of the EU by Britons is a direct result of the 2009 Austerity policies, which eviscerated the welfare and pension systems in the PIGS. This has caused both Spain and Greece to enter a prolonged economic depression. Old white people in the UK want the NHS and Jobcentres to exist for their children 50 years from now. Meanwhile, Calais is living proof of the EU’s indifference towards the public peace.

    Californian NIMBYs reject reality (urbanization) and substitute it with their own. BRexiters rejected the EU because the EU got everything wrong in southern europe, which is now causing problems in northern europe.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    An EU is better than no EU. The problem is that ever closer Union handy been perused enough, and the EU has too little central power.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well for better or worse one of those that scream the loudest when deeper integration is proposed is on their way out.

    I hope the EU will integrate more tightly, giving more power to the European parliament and starting to elect more MEPs on a Europe-wide basis instead of national lists…

    Reedman Reply:

    Discussed this with UK friends (they have lived in the US more than 15 years, and therefore were not allowed to vote on the Brexit). Their relatives back home, who have lived in the UK their entire lives, voted to leave the EU because they were upset about being denied government services due to newcomers. Examples: 1) mom’s hip replacement is delayed 18 months because National Health has so many EU folks doing “medical tourism” to the UK. 2) Brother-in-law can’t get into trade school because of large numbers of eastern bloc immigrants flooding the education system.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I hate and I really mean to say hate with the fire of a billion suns the “the boat is full” line of arguments. Humans are the only thing that has ever created wealth in the history of humanity. There can never be too many humans. And immigration created the mightiest power the world has ever seen. If you think you are getting the short end of the stick because of “those bloudy ferriners” something is very wrong with you.

    StevieB Reply:

    ‘I’m not going to pay for that f***ing wall’ – Former Mexican President Vicente Fox

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4OwJOVi0ec

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Mad props for doing an interview in a foreign language…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I agree 100% Bahnfreund.

  22. StevieB
    Jun 29th, 2016 at 23:14
    #22

    “California Today: How Badly Do You Want That New Rail Line?,” by NYTimes’ Ian Lovett: “Santa Clara County will vote in November on a half-cent sales tax to finance transportation projects. Similar measures will be on the ballot in Sacramento County and, very likely, San Diego County. Possibly several other Bay Area counties as well. Los Angeles County decided last week to put a half-cent tax on the ballot for the third time in just eight years.” http://nyti.ms/291zwYK

    Joe Reply:

    NYTimes omits that a super majority is needed to pass these initiatives.

    This article is part of aggregated content feed for CA subscribers and they asked for commentary.

    I wrote to the editor about the omission.

  23. Reality Check
    Jun 30th, 2016 at 10:58
    #23

    HSR, Delta tunnels face threat from “No Blank Checks” ballot measure

    Two of Gov. Jerry Brown’s favorite projects — building a high-speed rail system and a pair of massive tunnels under the Delta — face a serious threat if California voters pass a measure heading for the November ballot.

    The “No Blank Checks Initiative,” bankrolled with $4.5 million from Stockton farmer and businessman Dean Cortopassi, would require a public vote on any state project in which $2 billion or more in revenue bonds would be issued. And since both the bullet train and twin-tunnels projects would most likely require that kind of financing, voters could ultimately get a chance to decide their fate.

    […]

    Aarond Reply:

    It wouldn’t apply to HSR though, because of Prop 1A. That’s even if they could retroactively apply it. If anything this screws them out of any new water projects (such as desalination or storage).

    Reality Check Reply:

    Yes, it would apply if and when $2b or more of revenue bonds (vs. general obligation bonds such as in Prop. 1A) are proposed to be issued for funding HSR …

    Zorro Reply:

    And the thing is, Revenue Bonds are not paid for by Taxes, since only direct customers pay for Revenue Bonds, in which case this is a Stupid Initiative… Made by a Rich Farmer, whose motives to Me are suspect… Like why?

    Joe Reply:

    He’s a “self-made man” who benefitted off infrastructure spending for water, roads and schools and all that debt borrowed for him to have these nice things.

    Joe Reply:

    Like Morris Brown.

    Older and angry. Have some weird idea that the life was hard and they made it themselves without govt spending.

    Aarond Reply:

    ah, I hadn’t picked that up

    Zorro Reply:

    A very dumb initiative, this won’t win.

  24. synonymouse
    Jun 30th, 2016 at 14:46
    #24
  25. Roland
    Jun 30th, 2016 at 14:53
    #25

    Breaking News: Caltrain posts July 7th Board meeting agenda:

    8. Award of Contract to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. for DesignBuild Services for Electrification of the Railroad Between San Jose and San Francisco for a Not-to-Exceed Amount of $696,610,558.

    9. Award of Contract to Stadler US, Inc for Procurement of Electric Multiple Unit Vehicles for a Not-to-Exceed Amount of $550,899,459.

    10.Approval of an Agreement with the California High-Speed Rail Authority to Secure State Funding for the Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project.

    Roland Reply:

    What could possibly go wrong?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-33997472
    http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/06/28/balfour-beatty-chiefs-wife-buys-200000-company-shares/

    Roland Reply:

    Note to be outdone by her husband who had absolutely no idea that this was coming: http://www.lse.co.uk/AllNews.asp?code=0d1k4c7a&headline=DIRECTOR_DEALINGS_Balfour_Beatty_Chief_Buys_Over_100000_Shares

    Roland Reply:

    Not to be outdone by her husband who had absolutely no idea that this was coming:

    Aarond Reply:

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-07-07+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf

    KISS me! It’s finally happening.

    Roland Reply:

    Whoops forgot to post the link. Thanks Aarond!!!

    Roland Reply:

    Click on item #12 for the EMU generators. The question is what happens after electrification. Do the EMUs keep on lugging F40s or ???

    Aarond Reply:

    Well, if Dumbarton rail ever happens then diesels will still be useful until ACE and the Cap Cor are electrified (which, being Phase 2 of Prop 1A, attentively puts that at 2025-2030).

    J. Wong Reply:

    What? It says “lease”. They aren’t buying the F40s. So after electrification the leased engines will no longer be needed. Note these are additional diesels, not the main fleet.

    Roland Reply:

    So where is the backup power for the EMU HVAC, light and propulsion coming from after a power failure?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I dunno what they are gonna do in California. Probably something special. In the rest of the world the lighting comes from batteries. There isn’t any backup for the HVAC or propulsion. You wait until the power comes back on or a diesel engine arrives or until you get evacuated.

    Clem Reply:

    When was the last power failure on the 115 kV network on the peninsula? These things aren’t exactly like your neighborhood power lines that go out for all kinds of reasons (tree branches, blown transformer, car into a pole, etc.)

    Roland Reply:

    Who said anything about the grid?

    “A passenger on an Acela train bound for Boston from Pennsylvania Station, Nadine Hays of Wayland, Mass., said her train had been stuck in the Bronx for more than two hours without electricity.
    In a telephone interview around 7:30 p.m., she said that the train started to move after a diesel train had arrived to push it.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/07/us/amtrak-service-suspended-in-northeast-corridor-because-of-power-failure.html?_r=0
    http://www.thelocal.fr/20160620/eurostar-passengers-hit-by-delays-after-power-failure-in-tunnel
    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/easter-getaway-eurostar-passengers-complain-of-chaos-after-power-failure-a3211811.html

    Miles Bader Reply:

    The point is, Roland, is that failures in the electrical supply to electrified train systems are very rare, and costs (weight, space, maintenance, infrastructure, up-front cost, supplier limitations) of having some sort of “on train backup” for motive power are very high.

    That’s why nobody who actually knows what they’re doing uses such “backup.”

    Roland Reply:

    Right: 6/20 (Eurostar), 5/7 (Amtrak) and 3/25 (Eurostar) are extremely rare failures and British Rail and Hitachi are both clueless (stupid Brits!):
    “The new rolling stock, which will include both electric and bi-mode trains, will be equipped with one powerpack each for auxiliary power, which will allow them to operate under their own power in the absence of overhead electricity”.
    http://www.railway-technology.com/news/newsmtu-supply-250-diesel-powerpacks-hitachi-super-express-trains

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Don’t be silly.

    To determine whether failures are rare or not, you need both the number of failures, and the number of non-failing trips or whatever. Divide the two, and voila!, failure rate. A very busy system will always have some failures, but the rate can be still be so low that it’s counter-productive to make normal operation worse in order to handle the failures better.

    As for IEP, well, many people are indeed of the opinion that it was bungled by BR (Hitachi is just meeting the specification, botched or not, they didn’t come up with it), but in any case, it’s not relevant: IEP doesn’t have dual-mode capability as “backup,” they have it to handle non-electrified portions of some routes (and IIRC, there will be electric-only variants of IEP for those routes where dual-mode operation isn’t necessary).

    IEP does, however, demonstrate the crucial point: what matters is normal operation. In the case of not-fully-electrified routes, self-contained operation is part of normal operation, so you obviously need to be able to handle it.

    Roland Reply:

    @Miles. There are two kinds of IEPS: bimode and electric. The bimodes have multiple powerpacks. The electric IEPs have a single powerpack which does not run in normal operation (see below).

    swing hanger Reply:

    The upcoming N700s trainsets for JR Central will have lithium battery backup power, but *only* to operate the vacuum-operated toilets, which on previous models stopped functioning during power outages (they do occur). Passenger evacuation is more challenging/time consuming on shinkansen lines, due to many elevated sections and barrier walls with barbed wire.

    Roland Reply:

    And that is precisely why the Brits have decided to have a single power pack even on the “pure” EMUs. This makes it possible to crawl @ 40 MPH with full hotel power to the next station after a power failure or to the next electrified section at which point they can raise their pantographs, shut down the powerpacks and be on their way.

    Other than in emergencies, powerpacks are fired up a couple of times a day to get trains in and out of maintenance depots. This eliminates the need for depot electrification other than a single track for pantograph testing (Javelins don’t have powerpacks so every track in a Javelin depot is fitted with a third rail with the exception of the test track which has both (OCS and third rail).

    Jerry Reply:

    #9. Out of curiosity, where will the Stadler EMUS be built/assembled?

    Jerry Reply:

    EMUs

    Roland Reply:

    Not a problem: LTK and Dave “Teflon” Couch are subject matter experts on such minor details:
    https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/buy-america/letter-houston-metro-buy-america-and-procurement-investigation

    Roland Reply:

    “The results of the investigation are both alarming and disturbing. They reveal a series of systematic efforts through which METRO and CAF sought to bypass numerous Federal rules. These rules are designed to ensure the integrity of procurements involving taxpayer funds and the requirement to use taxpayer funds in a manner to maximize the creation and sustainment of well-paying jobs here at home.”

    Roland Reply:

    The subject matter experts duly delivered:

    “Staff conducted a pre-award Buy America Audit and Certification for the EMU procurement on May 25 and 26, 2016. Staff determined that Stadler met the requirements to enable the JPB to certify compliance in the manner set forth in 49 CFR 663.25.”

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-07-07+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf (page 45).

    Reedman Reply:

    FYI.
    The first eBART train took a bow, along with other statements from BART.
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-welcomes-a-new-kind-of-train-8335188.php

    “Stadler will manufacture the cars at its headquarters in Bussnang, Switzerland …..”
    http://www.eastbaytimes.com/contra-costa-times/ci_25638066/bart-awards-58-1-contract-supply-ebart-cars

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I can really imagine eBART spreading across northern California instead of bart, light rail, or oversized infrequent commuter rail. It has so many advantages.

    Roland Reply:

    That’s because you don’t know about the next Transbay tunnel, the nice new 6-platform Bayshore multi-modal transit center and the 20-acre Brisbane railyard designed to turn trains around back to Oakland/Emeryville :-).
    Did I forget to mention 12 trains/hour/direction between the East Bay & Bayshore?

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s more of a question of routing. And this is where Oakland’s decision to put a freeway on top of the 16h street station has consequences. There is no hub anymore for the area.

    Contra Costa County has (only until very recently) been an afterthought. There’s nothing out there (much like SJ in the 1950s) except for Lawrence nat’l lab (analogous to Stanford University). Meanwhile Solano County is in both the Bay Area and the Central Valley.

    As for “fixing it”, ACE could do a third spoke to Richmond (the only east bay station with a BART transfer), and SMART could do a second line to Fairfield. 680 rail would allow for “A” and “B” Capitol Corridor trains, which would have BART transfers at Concord, Livermore, and Diridon.

    Aarond Reply:

    Also, this whole discussion is made more helpful by BART’s original map, which had a line between Vallejo and Redwood City:

    http://www.jakecoolidgecartography.com/img/RegionalRapidTransit_Dec2013revision.png

    Once BART Silicon Valley is done, this will be their next move.

    Domayv Reply:

    The can build a new hub on the Jack London Square Station and rebuild the whole railway in the area into dedicated freight (including grade separation) and dedicated passenger.

  26. Neil Shea
    Jun 30th, 2016 at 16:22
    #26

    In the “What could possibly go wrong” department, a Tesla on Autopilot killed it’s driver in May by driving into the side of a semi truck that was crossing the highway (probably decapitating him/her). Apparently the light colored semi looked too similar to the sky.

    For everyone who says we don’t need proven rail solutions because self driving cars are right around the corner, not so fast.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tesla-autopilot-accident-crash-death_us_577584afe4b0a629c1a95099

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Self-driving cars don’t actually solve most of the problems with cars even if they work properly.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Just try driving any type of car (self driving or not) through a densely populated walkable neighborhood. If that worked out, try multiplying that by about a hundred thousand…

    snogglethorpe Reply:

    I’m bit confused as whether you’re simply providing a helpful example of what I said (with which I agree), or misinterpreted what I said… (- -;)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think the former, but I am confused as to who “I” is…

  27. morris brown
    Jun 30th, 2016 at 16:32
    #27

    Caltrain leadership out of control

    Despite having much less than 1/2 of assured funding for the Caltrain electrification project, the BOD is being asked on July 7 to approve contracts to vendors of over $1 billion for the project.

    The agenda and packet (all 235 pages) has just been posted at:

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-07-07+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    @Morris: Start reading here (more on the way): http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/06/fresno-trench-excavation-about-to-begin/#comment-284902

    Joe Reply:

    Complain to Menlo Park. Tell your neighbors at the next city council meeting how they need to wait and just deal with the traffic. Maybe get Facebook to stop adding employees.

    Clem Reply:

    Page 52: “Provision for PCEP cash-flow funding from the State pending actual availability of
    Proposition 1A funds”… in other words, legal attacks on the use of Prop 1A funds will be rendered ineffective by substitution of other funding sources available to the state. These skids better be well-greased, and they do appear to be…

    Roland Reply:

    Au contraire mon ami: legal attacks on the use of Prop1A funds will be rendered ineffective by “clarifications” (AKA “substitutions”) of “ambiguous” (AKA “inconvenient”) sections of the Prop1A legislation:

    “5) Alignment. This bill intends to provide clarification on the approval process for funding plans HSRA is required to prepare prior to committing bond funds for a specified corridor or usable segment. While Prop 1A required funding plans to be submitted for both an initial appropriation of bond funds by the Legislature and prior to the commitment of bond funds to corridor-specific projects, Prop1A is unclear on a number of provisions specified in the funding plan requirements. This has created some ambiguity in how HSRA is to proceed with submitting funding plans in order to commit bond funds for projects. For
    example, SB 1029 provided over $1 billion for bookend projects that will make significant improvements to local passenger rail systems in both northern and southern California that will eventually allow for a “blended” system comprised of both passenger rail and high-speed rail operation. However, these projects will also need to be completed over a period of time in multiple phases. Thus, providing funding for bookend improvement projects that will ultimately be suitable and ready for high-speed rail operation could also provide immediate mobility benefits to a specific corridor (i.e., Caltrain electrification) while other high-speed rail improvements are made within the corridor.
    This bill aims to remedy this ambiguity by allowing HSRA to proceed with submitting funding plans to commit bond funds to high-speed rail projects, while ensuring HSRA is in compliance with the provisions specified in Prop 1A.”

    Ayes: Allen, Beall, Leyva, McGuire, Mendoza, Wieckowski
    Noes: Bates, Gaines, Galgiani, Roth
    No Votes Recorded: Cannella

    Senators Allen, Beall, Leyva, McGuire, Mendoza and Wieckowski clearly know how to deliver bookend improvement projects that will ultimately be suitable and ready for high-speed rail operation while other high-speed rail improvements are made within the corridor. Senators Bates, Gaines, Galgiani and Roth do not (for the record, neither do I but then again I am just another stupid Brit).

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billAnalysisClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1889 (click on “06/23/16- Senate Transportation And Housing”)

    Roland Reply:

    “A spokesperson for the San Mateo County Transit District by the name of Seamus Murphy commented, “officials are poised next month to approve the first portion of the approximately $2 billion Caltrain electrification project to speed up travel times and train frequency, and they want to get financing in place. He said the state’s share of the cost would be about $713 million.”

    He added: “This is a critical improvement for Caltrain service. We’re experiencing a capacity crisis.”
    https://cleantechnica.com/2016/06/30/new-bill-bring-funding-caltrain-electrification/

    The last statement is exactly the kind of shit that happens when SamTrans rent seekers fool unsuspecting taxpayers into shelling $4M in “excess farebox revenues” + $11M in “farebox revenue bonds” (unacounted for) to buy 16 Bombardier railcars and park 11 of them @ Diridon for the next couple of years.

    Roland Reply:

    Is there any way to indict people who lie through their teeth while testifying in front of the legislature? https://youtu.be/5NkAwhzm918?t=15

  28. Reality Check
    Jun 30th, 2016 at 16:57
    #28

    Cameras might replace guards on suicide watch at Palo Alto Caltrain crossings

    The city of Palo Alto will soon test a camera intrusion detection system along Caltrain tracks as a means of suicide prevention.

    The city plans to test the system as a long-term solution for monitoring the rail corridor where there have been multiple teen suicides between 2009 and 2015.

    Using such a camera system could eventually replace the need for Track Watch, a program in which the city stations contracted, private security guards at five crossings, according to a city staff report. Such services will cost the city $1.6 million next year.

    […]

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