Six Months of HSR Progress

Jul 20th, 2016 | Posted by

In this new video from the California High Speed Rail Authority, you can see six months of progress on the HSR project in just six minutes:

Quite a lot of work has been done. Even as the debates over HSR funding continue, even as some dead-enders still think they can kill the project, it’s good to remember that it is finally and actually under construction.

  1. Aarond
    Jul 20th, 2016 at 13:30
    #1

    It ain’t done until I can actually board a train at Diridon and get to LA Union Station without any transfers. Hopefully Measure R2 passes and LA will have the cash in hand to build from Bakersfield to Burbank.

    Jerry Reply:

    You can do that now on the Coast Starlight, but it will take you 11 hours. :-)

    Emmanuel Reply:

    More like cattle express line. Slowest, loudest and least comfortable trip I’ve ever done on a train.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s better than nothing, isn’t it?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It isn’t LA’s job to build to Bakersfield, nor is that a part of R2.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is LA’s job to build their commute line to Palmdale.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    “It is LA’s job to build their commute line to Palmdale.”
    I don’t mean to make you look bad by pointing out blindingly obvious facts known to small children, but LA already has a commuter line to Palmdale. It’s called Metrolink.
    The station is at 39000 Clock Tower Plaza Dr.
    Please try to keep your lack of information up to date.

    synonymouse Reply:

    LA did not build it; it is legacy and apparently way less than what high desert real estate developers demand. They really want BART but some half-assed ersatz HSR detour will have to do so long as some else pays for it.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    LA isn’t building HSR, either.
    Maybe they could build a rocket powered magnetic monorail!

    Roland Reply:

    Ever heard of linear accelerators?

    Ted K. Reply:

    Of course, everybody knows Stanford Univ. has built-in SLAC since 1962.

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

    Ted K. Reply:

    Re : LAUS – Palmdale
    Metrolink’s Antelope Valley line
    Palmdale Stn. info – http://www.metrolinktrains.com/stations/detail/station_id/114.html

    Inbound to LAUS on weekdays

    Outbound to Palmdale on weekdays

    Weekend service also available.

    synonymouse Reply:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-santa-clarita-fire-day-three-20160724-snap-story.html

    Perfect place for Jerry’s LA Part Deux.

    Roland Reply:

    How about playing with this and see who wins (car or Metrolink) http://tinyurl.com/hgau433

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It doesn’t matter…it isn’t LA’s job to build a statewide system.

    Aarond Reply:

    R2 will net about $120 billion, 35% of which goes to transit construction. Assuming Metrolink gets a full 5%, that’s $7 billion to play with. Assuming half goes just to LinkUS, that leaves $3.5 billion to get ready for HSR. At $70 million/mile, this builds the 50 miles from Edison to Mojave.

    Of course, ML does have other priorities. But the option is at least there.

    joe Reply:

    Better for LA County to have its politicians come to an agreement about the importance of HSR and suitable Alignments. Unanimity is not necessary.

    With a set of alignments to study, CA can plan.

    Aarond Reply:

    True, but ML could also turn and burn into it.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    They’ve come to an agreement joe, they don’t want to be bothered with regional or state wide rail, all they care about is transit.

    Joe Reply:

    Then ‘No Soup’.
    Nothing can happen until the LA pols get out of way.

    It may take a Phase 1 system operating SF to Bakersfield before LA makes thier NIMBY cowering Pols to act.

    San Jose is going to be the dominate city on the HSR Phase 1 system. Fresno just an hour way. That’s going to create economic connectivity and activity. LA will notice.

    Roland Reply:

    Once LA notice the economic connectivity and activity between San Jose and San Francisco they will figure out that the time has come to build HSR between LA and San Diego (not Palmdale).

    Joe Reply:

    Not likely.

    Network effects will favor an LA connection to the existing Phase 1 system. The CV provides low cost land for manufacturing and access to SV / Bay Area.

    Sacramento will be next and San Diego last.

    Roland Reply:

    Right:
    Fresno: 509,924 (2013)
    Bakersfield: 363,630 (2013)
    Sacramento: 479,686 (2013)
    San Diego: 1.356 million (2013)

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond…
    Manchester: 514,417 (2013)
    Leeds: 474,632 (2011)
    Birmingham: 1.101 million (2014)
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hs2-full-breakdown-of-slashed-journey-1559969
    Stupid Brits!!!!

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Additional investments in the LOSSAN corridor can be part of the wrangling for state contributions to the LA mountain crossing. That corridor will need electrification, grade separations and double tracking in sections. That provides the most immediate benefit to SD. The HSR inland bypass route will add value later, with connections to the IE and Phoenix.

    Roland: you are listing city populations only for the CV, metro areas are at least double those numbers. And it is the fastest growing region of the state, along with the IE. And of course the tracks will be finished before long, except for Sac which is a flat straight shot.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I find it kind of strange that some people seem to consider half million people cities inconsequential. In Europe many HSR lines go out of their way to hit them. Cities like Leipzig, Nuremberg and so on are exactly in that range.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They aren’t in the way—pampa and the CV are.

    Roland Reply:

    Check out http://www.le.cz/pdf/LE_2015_CZ.pdf (Page 4). Feedback from people who live nearby and have to cross the tracks multiple times a day “That would be so wonderful!!!”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Crossing tracks is not rocket science. You just pass under the elevated tracks. I do it several times a week. Often I don’t even notice.

    Roland Reply:

    Whoops (wrong link)! Try this instead: http://tinyurl.com/z964s2g

    Aarond Reply:

    Metrolink commute runs to Bakersfield. Why not? They run to Lancaster anyway.

    Joe Reply:

    Bakersfield connectivity to LA would be via bus. There is no track hence Bakersfield HSR connects to SanJose on a dedicated HSR line with operating speeds up to 250mph. Probably a 90 minute plus ride to San Jose from Bakersfield.

    The CV has easy access to San Jose and BART/Caltrain HSR blended to 4th and King.

    Of course SJ and CV haters are going to think it can’t matter but it will.

    Roland Reply:

    You are getting confused between design speed and operating speed. Assuming the current “Plan” with a 250 MPH design speed, the maximum operating speed would be 225 MPH (250 MPH-10%) but the current “Plan” only assumes an operating speed of 220 MPH.

    joe Reply:

    I fully understand.

    “up to” gives a maximum possible speed. what I wrote is precisely correct.

    Roland Reply:

    You fully do not understand. What you wrote is precisely incorrect.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is the 10% safety reserve anything but a European thing? I have not heard of that being any UIC or FRA thing. I know it happens in Europe (e.g. a 300 km/h line has to be tested at 330 km/h which necessitates safety features to be switched off temporarily, which is what led – in part – to the derailment in France).

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Why not Aarond? First lay some track. For which you will need political support to get the money. Which of the 5 LA County Supervisors do you think will support that?

    Aarond Reply:

    You’re right, I’m looking at this from a very norcal angle.

    …but I’d still like to imagine that it could happen.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Kuehl, Ridley-Thomas, Solis, and maybe Antanovich.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When are the next elections for that office?

    Danny Reply:

    R2’s victory would also greatly enlarge the “rail constituency”–more people riding (especially to LAX 2019 and down Wilshire by 2023), more people demanding upgrades (c’mon, LADOT!), more people being able to imagine a line near their house or work–and more people wondering why it all took so long, why the NIMBYs are always given so much

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It does have a potential for exponential growth once the rail constituency has reached a tipping point…

  2. JakeG
    Jul 20th, 2016 at 15:59
    #2

    Great video. This “It’s Happening” slogan is fantastic as well. Nice to see HSR doing a bit of marketing to build support.

  3. Jerry
    Jul 20th, 2016 at 16:48
    #3

    It looks like a new logo at the very end.

    Spencer Joplin Reply:

    Yes, at 6:05 it looks new, but check out 4:45. The logo for http://CaliforniaRailBuilders.com looks like a cheap imitation of the Authority’s.

    Clem Reply:

    What did you expect for $1,234,567,890 ?

    joe Reply:

    an accompanying schoolhouse rock song.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m just a bridge, a bridge in the central valley.i would love to be a system someday but I’m still just a bridge.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Now we need fifty people to write a melody for it, Timbaland to produce it and give it to David Guetta to make it a global hit…

  4. Roland
    Jul 20th, 2016 at 16:50
    #4

    Coincidentally, this barely made the deadline: http://tinyurl.com/z964s2g
    And now let’s all have a par-tay ripping it all apart.

    Jerry Reply:

    A new Geneva Ave. Transportation Center Station for CalTrain and the 3rd Ave Light Rail sounds interesting. Throw in the bus line that serves the Cow Palace and a shuttle or two and the place might get used more than the ARTIC. :-)

    Ted K. Reply:

    3rd AveThird Street

    SFMuni’s T-Third / K-Ingleside overlay
    (Bayview / Sunnydale to CCSF / Balboa Park via downtown)
    https://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/transit/routes-stops/k-t-kt-k-inglesidet-third-street

    Balboa Park BART to Hunters Point BRT study :
    http://www.sfcta.org/geneva-harney-bus-rapid-transit-feasibility-study

    Spencer Joplin Reply:

    What’s with all the shalls and musts? The comment letter reads like a decree. Party on!

    Alan Reply:

    He forgot, “The CHSRA SHALL change its name to ‘California Regional Rail Authority'”… Just sayin’…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Thou shallst not pass!

    Ted K. Reply:

    You forgot “… GO and collect $200”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Before the introduction of the Euro “German” monopoly had much higher prices for everything. They never specified the currency, but getting across go netted you 4000 monetary units. Then the “Europe” edition came out and suddenly you could buy Charles de Gaulle Airport (which had replaced one of the train stations) for 200€

    Roland Reply:

    @Alan. Duly noted.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Why SFFS instead of FSSF for stations? Clem has argued convincingly that they are better. Yea, and tunnels aren’t going to fly for PAMPA and into Diridon.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/77CMN2b44Wo

    Joey Reply:

    Irrelevant youtube videos! What better way to argue a point?

    J. Wong Reply:

    A video that shows a 2-track station not a 4-track one. That absolutely does nothing to support your argument. Sad!

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_geometry#Alignment

    Roland Reply:

    @J. Wong: As pointed out elsewhere, you are on the wrong blog: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/ is the one catering to the sheep that go “Baa-Baa”.

    With regards to the SJ & PAMPA tunnels, how about coming up with a WORKABLE alternative for Transbay to Diridon non-stop in 30 minutes or less and a MINIMUM of 12 trains/hour/direction?

    Joe Reply:

    I enjoy and respect both Clem’s blog and his comments. He’s factual and solutions respect project requirements.

    Roland Reply:

    “Baa-Baa”.

    Joe Reply:

    That’s all you got son.

    Roland Reply:

    “Baa-Baa”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    https://xkcd.com/1013/

    What did you do?

    Roland Reply:

    Perfect!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You’re welcome.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What’s with the outside platofirms? Let’s have some FSSF!!!

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_geometry#Alignment

    Clem Reply:

    FSSF action!

    Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CXzvl7TDmY&t=3m10s
    Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSxYB5rJJnk&t=51s

    Coming soon to Hillsdale?

    Roland Reply:

    Would you care to elaborate? Both videos show fully grade-separated 4-track lines so I am experiencing difficulties grasping the relevance to a “primarily 2-track blended system” (unless you are planning on turning the Caltrain slalom course into a barf ride?).

    As far as “Coming soon to Hillsdale?”, I just cant’ wait for these people (and their tenants) to learn all about the latest bleeding-edge “thinking” emanating from the San Carlos cuckoo factory: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/real-estate/2014/10/bay-meadows-office-to-break-ground-wilson-meany.html.

    How about stuffing one of these turkeys in the middle of the mainline in Millbrae, Redwood City or Mountain View just for fun? Par-tay!!! 19,600 Jobs!!! https://youtu.be/_a-3nMwjtPI

    J. Wong Reply:

    Both videos show FSSF in action, on point, unlike your random links.

    The current San Mateo plan (not Caltrain) is for a center platform at Hillsdale with 2-track, but which wouldn’t be hard to expand to 4-track in a FSSF configuration.

    Clem Reply:

    I suspect that as planned, they want to rip out the just-built island platform when the overtake tracks go down the middle of the corridor. Why build it right when you can build it twice, and get paid for it? This is potentially a San Bruno all over again.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The only hope is that without an unlimited bucket of money that they’ll be forced to do the right thing. It’s amazing on how limited resources focuses the mind.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    No J Wong, they won’t learn to do it right. Too many crumbs falling off the table. LACMTA is building a station at Burbank Airport on the AV line that their staff tells them will attract 100 passengers per day. They’ll add another platform when double track comes. There goes $300,000 a year for maintenance and lights plus $200,000 for an empty airport shuttle to meet the oh so sporadic Metrolink train “service”. About the same time they cancelled 6 miles of double track in a 110ft RoW. It’s not their money, but it is their re-election contributions.

    Roland Reply:

    “This is potentially a San Bruno all over again”. H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!

    BTW, I forgot the most obvious location: let’s go and stuff one of these turkeys between the 2 mainline tracks in downtown San Mateo. Par-tay!!! 109,600 J-O-B-S!!! https://youtu.be/_a-3nMwjtPI

    Neil Shea Reply:

    I guess neither CHSRA nor Caltrain have tipped their hand whether they are thinking of FSSF or SFFS as portions of the corridor expand to 4 tracks. Obviously that really needs to be a consistent decision for the entire corridor. That should go into the planning of each sep and station change going forward…

    Roland Reply:

    Rumor has it that that the CRRA have actually thought about this and that the answer they came up with is not FSSF. As far as “Caltrain” is concerned, they don’t “think” (they get their edicts from obscure blogs frequented by docile worshippers).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And how does the sauerkraut factor into it all?

    Roland Reply:

    It’s Saturday Morning 7:54 AM in Frankfurt so we should find out any time now…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Daß sie von dem Sauerkohle Eine Portion sich hole, Wofür sie besonders schwärmt, Wenn er wieder aufgewärmt – Wilhelm Busch (from his magnum opus Max und Moritz).

    That’s what reheated Sauerkraut has to do with this :-P

    Neil Shea Reply:

    I like that the Sweden video shows the train running on the Leftmost track. Sweden used to drive on the left before 1967 (when amazingly they switched the whole country in one day, to match their neighbors on 3 sides and the rest of the Europe continent). I assume trains still run on the left track by default

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’ve heard that there is actually a change in the side trains run on between Alsace and “France proper”…

    EJ Reply:

    French double track main lines pretty much all have a flyover near the border (other than the channel tunnel) to get the trains over to right hand running. SNCF has been running left-handed since the 19th century and they’ve no intention of changing.

    I’ll say one thing in favor of US railroad practice, we do signal pretty much every major line bi-directionally.

    Eric Reply:

    because we’re used to single track mains.

    Michael Reply:

    If you take a look at this:
    48°57’57.89″ N 6°26’44.84″ E
    in Google Earth, you’ll see the (as then) uncompleted TGV East at the bottom, but above that, the first connecting lines curving to the east do the left-right switch as they flyover the existing line.

    If you find Aachen in another search, follow the railway west and just past the tunnel near the border, you’ll see a right-left flyover.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the list of Countries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-_and_left-hand_traffic#Multiple_track_usage_by_country

    The reason so many countries ended up driving on the left is that the Belgians were the first ones to lay track in Continental Europe and they pretty much copied everything the British did verbatim.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    To be fair copying everything the British did verbatim was probably no bad idea in any field of industry in the first half of the 19th century…

    Spain decided to chose a non-standard rail gauge which causes headaches to this day.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Spain and Russia chose non standard gauges to keep invading armies from gliding right to their capitals

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I have heard that about Russia (Though when the Nazis actually came knocking, regauging was their smallest problem)

    I have never heard that about Spain. What I have heard is that they thought there were some benefits to a broader gauge.

    Roland Reply:

    25th Avenue “Grade Separation” has obviously a higher priority than Broadway:
    – July 11th: http://abc7news.com/traffic/tracks-clear-after-caltrain-strikes-abandoned-vehicle-in-burlingame/1421754/
    – July 21st: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_30153621/burlingame-caltrain-hits-car-abandoned-tracks

    Meanwhile on 25th Avenue, here is the “poster child” project complete with a staged picture showing 6 SamTrans RSMFRs parked in front of the gate: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2016-07-15/san-mateo-closing-in-on-grade-separation-plans-relocate-caltrain-hillsdale-station-create-new-crossings-at-25th-28th-and-31st-avenues/1776425165088.html

    Seriously, when was the last time a grand total of 6 (six!) cars ever waited for the gate at 25th Avenue???

    J. Wong Reply:

    25th Avenue has the city of San Mateo pushing harder than Burlingame is doing for Broadway mainly by finding funding. Burlingame is going to have to step up their game if they want Broadway grade-separated.

    San Mateo is considering the future when Bay Meadows is built out and Delaware is going to be much busier than it is now. And seriously, at rush hour you can have more than 6 cars there on both sides.

    Roland Reply:

    The way this is supposed to work has nothing to do with “finding funding”. It is purely a numbers game derived by multiplying the number of trains/day (92) by however many cars cross the tracks daily.
    In other words, Broadway should win over 25th Avenue by a factor of 50 to one. Having said that, San Mateo have been very creative and used the COMBINED ESTIMATED number of cars crossing 25th, 28th & 31st AFTER grade separation and ended up with a number greater than Broadway (nice!!!) This is not the first time San Mateo have pulled this little stunt: they most recently combined the traffic counts across Poplar, Santa Inez, Monte Diablo and Tilton an ended up rated as one of the highest priority projects in California (works everytime!!!). http://www.caltrain.com/projectsplans/Projects/Caltrain_Capital_Program/San_Mateo_Bridges_Replacement_Project.html

    Meanwhile, San Francisco (who did not know about this little “numbers game” lost Quint (1/2 of the capital costs for the entire Oakdale station) and nearly lost both Napoleon and Marin until Supervisor Cohen saved Marin.
    Why does it matter? Can anyone imagine what is going to happen down there if Google (or Facebook) decide to move in and start building another campus @ Hunters Point shipyard?
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/morning_call/2015/06/google-hunters-point-san-francisco-office-goog.html

    Last but not least, here is a totally crazy idea from someone who knows nothing about the subject matter: would it not make more sense to give a higher priority to crossings that have the most accidents (when was the last time a car got hit at 25th Avenue?).

    J. Wong Reply:

    So funding is irrelevant? It’s just going to happen? Where’s the money coming from? Does Caltrain have an unknown funding source out of which they are allocating?

    No one is going to get to Hunter’s Point through the Bayshore. They’ll either come down Cesar Chavez to 3rd or more likely from 101.

    Roland Reply:

    Has it ever crossed your mind that the real issue is WTF to do with the funding, not getting the funding itself?

    J. Wong Reply:

    I think you’re under the mistaken belief that Caltrain is entirely in charge of the funding and its distribution. Pretty clearly what happens is that the cities push particular projects and Caltrain goes along with whoever pushes most. That’s pretty much the definition of politics.

    I’m not arguing that 25th Ave is more important than Broadway. It isn’t. The big difference is San Mateo is pushing harder than Burlingame even if you think they’re “gaming the system” (which pretty much says they’re working it to get what they want). Caltrain isn’t the motivating or even deciding factor here at all.

    Roland Reply:

    Has it ever occurred to you that the City of San Mateo effectively controls the San Mateo County Transit District (AKA “SamTrans”) which happens to be Caltrain’s managing agency (until someone does something about it)? Has it also occurred to you that both agencies are under the control of the same executive branch? http://www.smctd.com/

    Clem Reply:

    Roland, you seem to be confusing the city of San Mateo with San Mateo County, of which it is part. The city does not control the SMCTD.

    Roland Reply:

    Where did I say “officially”?

    Peter Reply:

    City of San Mateo has one representative on the Samtrans Boasts of Directors.

    How does that translate into some secret, unofficial control of the Board?

    Anandakos Reply:

    Dude, whoever you are you need some therapy. Idiots to the right of you. Charlatans to the left of you. Corruption all around you. Into the valley of insanity rode the Rolando.

    Take a pill and get some help.

    Roland Reply:

    Dude, you sound like the genius who has spent the last 6 months “installing” the new bullet-proof lobby at 1250 San Carlos Ave.

    Clem Reply:

    Note that new 51″ x 72″ platform interface allows gap-free curved platforms. Mind = blown

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Whether platforms are compatible with the Pennsylvania Railroad of 1910 is irrelevant.

    What is relevant to level boarding by mainline equipment is whether there are gap fillers at the door thresholds.

    Whether platforms are compatible with the Pennsylvania Railroad of 1910 is irrelevant as to whether curved platforms are compatible with gap-free train boarding. What is relevant is gap fillers. About the worst case (end doors, as specified by Caltrain, not more desirable “quarter-point” doors) and 1200m curve radius (San Bruno Done Right results in a 5cm extra gap.

    A realistic, and totally Caltrain-corridor-compatible case of 20000m radius results in a sub-1mm extra gap due to platform curvature.

    http://www.pobox.com/users/mly/caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/FSSF-extra-ROW.pdf
    http://www.pobox.com/users/mly/caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/FSSF-vs-ROW.pdf

    Clem Reply:

    To summarize, horizontal gaps are independent of platform height.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    So “new 51″ x 72″ platform interface allows gap-free curved platforms” oughtn’t blow anybody’s mind, because neither of the number of inches matter.

    Bonus! Next time somebody posts an almost-random deeply-irrelevant context-free content-free link to
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_geometry#Alignment
    you’ll have
    http://www.pobox.com/users/mly/caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/FSSF-extra-ROW.pdf
    handy as killer riposte. You’re welcome.

    If only somebody had ever been able to make any nice succinct presentation out of that (rather nice!) long-ago and clearly labour-intensive illustration.

    Roland Reply:

    This link works: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_geometry#Alignment
    The only thing known about the other one is that it does not:
    This site can’t be reached
    mly.users.sonic.net took too long to respond.

    Edward Reply:

    If he really is with Sonic Telecom, then that is one smart move. Best service of any IP in the state.

    Roland Reply:

    Most of the time (link works now).

    morris brown Reply:

    Roland proposes a $30 billion project for the Peninsula.

    Roland wrote above:

    Coincidentally, this barely made the deadline: http://tinyurl.com/z964s2g
    And now let’s all have a par-tay ripping it all apart.

    Roland Reply:

    Where did the other $24B come from? https://youtu.be/3TNFWZrzUw4?t=5702

  5. Roland
    Jul 20th, 2016 at 17:52
    #5

    OT: Breaking News: https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/blog/master-plan-part-deux

    Jerry Reply:

    “You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, pretty soon that will earn you pretty much the amount of money it depreciates the car by…

    Not every problem can be fixed with an app

    Roland Reply:

    “With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager. Traffic congestion would improve due to increased passenger areal density by eliminating the center aisle and putting seats where there are currently entryways”

    agb5 Reply:

    In masterplan part trois, the buses transform into hyperloop pods.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Loopmasters!!

    Roland Reply:

    Buses are more likely to drive directly into a freight pod and drive off a the other end https://youtu.be/X8r0kjJvvIY?t=39

    Looking back on Masterplan Part Un, he deserves credit for delivering pretty much exactly what he promised 10 years ago: https://www.tesla.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me

    Danny Reply:

    like how LA’s traffic vanished when they added all those buses!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah. Do you even remember those horrible days when you had to take a streetcar everywhere? Thank god we got rid of them!

    After all, those people rode on them…

    Danny Reply:

    LA city doubled its buses to 3,000 (plus 2,000 buses from other cities) since the 90s and said “we don’t need those costly subways and LRTs”: they even promised it’d reduce traffic! now the 720’s gone from 14 mph to 7 and they’ve maxed out the bus lanes (since bus lanes are as crowded as the regular lanes next to ’em)
    the BRT Orange has to be tracked now because it’s hit capacity

    synonymouse Reply:

    Tell it to the geniuses at SF Muni, who won’t even take up trolley buses on Geary even tho there would ensue very sizeable deadhead savings with an on-line storage facility at Presidio Yard.

    Bahnfreund must be quite young and does not remember who really hated streetcars. I assure you it was not just blatant visceral enemies like Alfred P. Sloan or Jesse Haugh but so called transit experts like the Bechtels, B.R. Stokes, Dahms and Hemminger. The only reason they did any electric rail, a botched “modernization” of the NYC subway loaded with failed “features” like non-standard gauge and operating voltage and non-functional A&B cars but missing real upgrades like 4 tracks, was because they could not get a gadgetbahn to produce the coveted degree of Manhattanization.

    Streetcars, light rail, trolley buses are way too pleasant travel for this Jetson anthill crowd. I can see them getting into HypeLoop if there is any hope it could work.

    Ted K. Reply:

    It’s not just the cranial calcification at SFMuni – you’ve got wusses at City Hall who cave on signal priority (e.g. T-Third), mayors who make bad deals (e.g. Slick Willie + Central Subway) or no deals (e.g. Ed Lee), and die-hard NIMBY’s who don’t want what was promised to them back in the 1950s when the tracks were ripped out (Geary Blvd.).

    One long shot might be a judge fining the current sitting mayor, whoever is in office, personally for breach of contract (1950s promise = verbal contract) and nonfeasance (failing to implement Transit First). This would be in effect a salary cut. That might get His / Her Honor’s attention. There would be a proviso that the city could not compensate the mayor for the fine as that would be an unauthorized pay raise.

    Unfortunately, the maybe-BRT (How much BRT ? How much metaphoric water ?) that’s being planned for Geary Blvd. will probably be stretched past the verbal breaking point as satisfying that 1950s promise. That will leave us with dribs and drabs like getting the T-Third to move faster, more Red Lane (aka bus + taxi only) mileage, the Fort Mason tunnel + F-Market extension, the T-Third’s Bayshore extension, and some bike lanes. It’s all pretty damn lame for an otherwise nice city.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The loss of the Mission Street lines underscored how much Lapham and Robinson opposed rail; I mean they tried to kill the cable cars. Credit Friedel Klussmann with saving at least some of them. And one account had Christopher endorsing scrapping the B as well. Urban Removal.

    If the B had been abandoned at the same time as the #14, 11, 40 on Mission trolley buses would probably have been deployed on Geary. Might have been better. Charlie Smallwood told me Muni management wanted to bustitute the Twin Peaks Tunnel lines but it was decided the tunnel was too narrow to safely accommodate diesel buses. The Sunset Tunnel was considered wide enough tho. Thus the lease-purchase of the St. Louis PCC’s ca. 1957. They wanted to kill the J but Noe Valley protested and saved it.

    I believe that things(patronage and budgetary) had gotten so bad at one point in the mid-50’s they forced all riders off the streetcars at West Portal and on to connecting buses. Fortunately that did not last and by the 60’s ridership was coming back some.

    Aarond Reply:

    Really disappointed with Lee. I didn’t expect much out of him (didn’t expect much out of Newsom, either) but I had hoped that he would “keep the train rolling”. As much as I like SFMTA’s proposed M subway, it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    It’s just frustrating to watch SF keep spinning it’s wheels, and accomplishing nothing. There’s so much potential but nobody wants to actually build. At this rate, Santa Clara County will have a better transit network than SF by the time HSR runs to LA.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And if they go with the 90/10 bus service plan.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Streetcars are pretty awful too when they don’t have dedicated lanes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Depends.

    If you have a late 19th century city with the late 19th century traffic rules of: Everybody do as they please as long as nobody goes faster than a horse, they can work quite well in “mixed traffic”. If of course you force them into a street “owned” by the cars and don’t give them space to move they are bound to fail.

  6. Faber Castell
    Jul 20th, 2016 at 20:40
    #6

    03:05 Hey a Unimog!

    Ted K. Reply:

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

  7. Roland
    Jul 21st, 2016 at 13:21
    #7

    OT: Anyone remember http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/06/fresno-trench-excavation-about-to-begin/ and how it was going to take 18 months and completely trash Highway 99?

    Here comes the rectangular box jacking EPB TBM with six cutter heads and an advance rate of 5m/day: https://youtu.be/wQW6x8oDlqc. At this rate, Palo Alto will get their bike/ped underpasses done years before the tunnel.

    agb5 Reply:

    Ideal for constructing the Transbay Terminal->BART/Muni Pedestrian Connector.

    Roland Reply:

    Too bad BART don’t want a connector :-)

    agb5 Reply:

    Imagine their surprise when the six headed beast comes bursting through the wall of Embarcadero station one day.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Six headed beast?

    Is that a new wide receiver for the 49ers?

    Reedman Reply:

    BART wants a BART/HSR connector at SJ/Diridon first.

    Roland Reply:

    What BART REALLY wants is yet another REALLY REALLY BIG maintenance facility at Newhall. Once that is done, they may start thinking about a station (or two) between Berryessa and Newhall (assuming there is any money left).

    Clem Reply:

    VTA desperately wants that (lots of union jobs). BART already has the Death Star of maintenance complexes in Hayward. BART to Newhall is entirely a VTA project.

    Roland Reply:

    Incorrect. The VTA know that they have to go to Santana Row, Valley Fair, De Anza and Spaceship One to relieve the massive 280@880 congestion but BART are blackmailing them with “we can’t possibly operate to Diridon without $1.5B of tail tracks” BS.

    Question to BART: How were you able to operate to Fremont for the last 20 years?

    Clem Reply:

    About Fremont: Exactly!!

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Fully agreed. Time to start talking about where to pull up BART tracks, and replace with eBART, like in San Mateo County

    J. Wong Reply:

    ? You mean to SFO & Millbrae? Not going to happen anywhere.

    Joe Reply:

    I’m sympathetic to standardizing BART’s unique infrastructure and halting expansion of the current electrified system once it reaches Diridon.

    Realistically there isn’t a cent of grant money to rip out electrified commuter rail and put in diesel EMUs. And good luck with a CEQA review.

    eBART could be expanded where no rail exists in the east bay and Pennisula should work with Caltrain EMUs which could be expanded to cross Dumbarton.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Halt it one it reaches Livermore ACE. Connectivity is key.

    Aarond Reply:

    The tracks can be dual-gauged so nothing has to be ripped out. eBART can be diesel until it hits the “legacy” portion of the track and switch to third rail power.

    The thing is that the trains should go all the way to Stockton. A 1-2 hour ride is perfect for a commute op, spread across four lines (two existing BART lines which can be connected to the two existing regular rail lines). Stockton and the Tri-Valley has cheap housing, the Bay Area has jobs.

    There’s a way to make all of this work. The only inhibiting factor is the lack of a proper Oakland terminal.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the swim across the bay is going to discourage commuters.

    joe Reply:

    Sounds very expensive for the improvements. And of course this added cost to dual track BART on top of the deferred maintenance for eBART that still requires transfer. It’s not realistic.

    Jobs are all along the Peninsula and not in centered in Oakland. Transbay tube still needed to cross into SF.

    The land in south Santa Clara also relatively cheap and there’s a running transit system in place called Caltrain. No Bay Crossing and Caltrans plans to add lanes on HW 101.

    Aarond Reply:

    @adirondacker12800

    Riders can transfer onto transbay BART at MacArthur or Coliseum. BART is then spared running empty trains east and can focus on moving more trains to SF and SJ.

    Alternatively, eBART could go to Los Altos instead. San Jose could also extend the tracks up the Mineta Freeway, and fill the new line with Caltrain, allowing for an eBART transfer at Diridon. eBART could also run across a rebuilt Dumbarton Bridge to RWC.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Um um um what about the people who are already using BART? Let them swim across the Bay?

    Aarond Reply:

    They can transfer. A two seat ride from Stockton to SF is better than trying to extend indian gauge BART into the Central Valley. Let eBART be the interurban feeder, and BART the core subway.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Indian Broad Gauge to the Valley will usher in the Bechtelian Rapture.

    Aarond Reply:

    Your answer: the red, yellow and blue lines. All three are better as eBART running from Jack London Sq to Stockton as an interurban. eBART could also go down the Permanente Quarry branch between Los Altos and Diridon. Or, perhaps, between Vallejo and Oakland.

    Many possibilities, made possible by using standard gauge. The only problem is that Oakland doesn’t have a hub station.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It may someday, where the 980 is today.

    agb5 Reply:

    I don’t think this method works for underpasses through earth berms. It would tend to push the berm over instead of pushing through it, he says a minimum 4m of overburden, it uses pressurized mud to keep the cut face stable and to evacuate the spoil, so that needs a big centrifuge plant to clean the mud, it would probably be too much trouble to set all that up all up for such a short distance.
    The contractor has a fixed price contract to trench under 180, they did the maths and rejected the box jacking technique that the authority recommended, and have gone for the more profitable cut-and -cover approach.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct (it does not) but the video clearly shows that the trench is going under the berm (not through it). Do you have access to plans showing the elevations to prove the point one way or the other?

    agb5 Reply:

    The top of the trench is below the bottom of the berm because the trench passes under the bottom of dry creek, and there is one foot of dirt between the concrete bottom of the creek and the concrete lid of the trench (the clearance under the creek is less than standard at that point to avoid the added cost of digging a deeper trench so the overhead cables will need extra insulation under the creek), well that is according to the 15% plan which could all have changed.
    I don’t have any information on why they rejected box-jacking for the 180. It might be related to making the trench waterproof, or preventing the trench from floating if the water table rises, or it might just have been cheaper.
    Anyway the technique won’t work for a bike passage in Palo Alto.

    Roland Reply:

    Why do you think that this will not work for a bike/ped underpass in Palo Alto?

    Joe Reply:

    Send this knowledge to the city council. Write it up with Must and Not drive home the point.

    Edward Reply:

    A friend manages engineering projects for DB. So one night about 11pm I watched them install a bike underpass in northern Bavaria under a berm much higher than any on Caltrain. The concrete underpass had been cast in place on one side of the berm. After the last train of the night went through they cut the rails, dug down to ground level, shoved the underpass in place, put the dirt back and relaid new track. The whole thing was done in a day and a half. Took quite a crowd of people and equipment though.

    No, I didn’t watch the whole thing. But I sat drinking beer with the neighbors until 3am. It was interesting, but damn cold.

    Roland Reply:

    And that is EXACTLY how the VTA will extend the Santa Clara bike/ped underpass over ThanksGiving week-end for $4.6M (after being quoted $14M by the SamTrans mafiosi).

    My all-time favorite is this one (104-hour possession): https://youtu.be/A9mAPhFN3a4

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Awesome video

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the full version (building the bridge took 3 months): https://vimeo.com/35193017

    BTW, the reason for the 104-hour possession is that they hit the water table (2:30 into the video) when they were about to start pouring the foundations for the new bridge. Hopefully this won’t happen in Santa Clara on ThanksGiving…

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Wow it’s faced with brick. You know damn well it would just be raw mottled concrete or fractured fin here in the US.

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Roland – Sir, I’m beginning to think that you are on break from being Sancho Panza’s sidekick.

    Per Lib.Sci. rules, the second image is a cropped version of the left image from the bottom of this page :

    http://www.sfcta.org/transportation-planning-and-studies/current-research-and-other-projectsstudies/caltrain-oakdale-station-study

    Roland’s first image is of a closed road in S.F. that had a defective bridge crossing it. Replacing the bridge with a berm was both timely and cost effective. The other parts of the Oakdale Stn. project, the Jerrold connector and the station itself, are in the planning pipeline but not shovel-ready. Closing Quint will serve to train local drivers in an industrial district to use other routes including the upcoming (late 2016 groundbreaking est.) Jerrold connector. The prospective Oakdale Stn. would be a replacement for a closed station just a little ways south. More info at the link above.

    Background : http://www.sfcta.org/quint-street-bridge-replacement

    Ted K. Reply:

    The closed Caltrain station was the Paul Ave. one :

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Avenue_(Caltrain_station)

    Roland Reply:

    @Ted K: Looking at http://www.sfcta.org/sites/default/files/content/Planning/CaltrainOakdaleStation/PDFs/bayviewoakdalecaltrainstudy-finalv2.pdf, kindly help me understand which part of Figure 4-7: Elevation of station at Quint Street looking toward Jerrold Avenue (page 57) and Figure 4-8: Estimated Breakdown of Capital Costs (page 61) it is that you do not understand.

    Ted K. Reply:

    From that PDF’s p.58 :

    Quint Street Bridge: The current structure is in need of replacement and is included in the Caltrans Seismic Upgrade program. This replacement need is independent of constructing the Bayview-Oakdale station.

    I think that being patient with the planners and schedulers may well pay off in this case. An easily replaced berm buys time for them to choose between a double-track bridge and a quad-track one. As is often the case savvy planners draw from all of the funding sources they can find. So far the funding has been a state bucket with future funding from S.F.’s Prop. K sales tax increment. Yes, more money is needed especially for the quad-track bridge. So get out there and find more money for the Oakdale Stn.

    P.S. My position is (a) a pox on NIMBY’s and (b) quad-track capability throughout the corridor even if there isn’t money for the actual tracks. That way as funds become available the tracks can be laid and the fast runs made faster.

    Ted K. Reply:

    I see – someone spiked your oxygen bottle with nitrous oxide. Happy inhaling.

    Roland Reply:

    Sorry to disappoint you (not there yet) :-)

    Roland Reply:

    With regards to funding, you don’t seem to understand that EVERYTHING is gone because SamTrans blew whatever was left in Prop K funds for Oakdale on the berm. With regards to what happened to the Prop 1B funds, you are going to absolutely love this one: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/transprog/ctcbooks/2009/1209/085_2.1c.7.pdf.
    Yes, they transferred $10M allocated to the Quint Street Bridge to the San Mateo Bridges!!!!

    agb5 Reply:

    The machine may progress at 5m per day, but only after months of expensive preparatory work. The cutter machine would need to be brought to the site on 50 trucks and welded together. A mud processing plant would need to be build. A launch pit needs to be dug. The prefabricated concrete box sections need to be made on site because they will be too big to transport by road. A gantry crane needs to be constructed to lower the cutter and prefabricated box sections into the pit.
    If the top of the underpass is 4 meters below the bottom of rail, the underpass will need long access ramps which will increase cost.
    All things considered, it is going to be 10x quicker and less expensive to go down the rental shop, rent a couple of standard excavators and dig an open trench through the rail berm during the weekend.

    Roland Reply:

    Sold!: that’s exactly what the VTA are doing in Santa Clara.

    Going back to Transbay, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is looking forward to someone digging some seriously big holes: http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=29&clip_id=25795&meta_id=506711 (click on #11).

  8. Roland
    Jul 21st, 2016 at 16:20
    #8

    OT: Caltrain BAC packages conveniently include all correspondence in electronic form (what a concept!!!): http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/BAC+7.21.16+Correspondence+Packet.pdf
    Looking at today’s packet, I noticed the train order matrix on page 6 and clicked on the 2015 STIF/SNCF order : http://www.railway-technology.com/news/newsstif-and-sncf-order-regio-2n-double-deck-trains-from-bombardier-4482377/, a mind-boggling 42×4-car EMUs for $437.75M at today’s exchange rate which compares very nicely with $600M for 16×6-car CalFranKissenTrains with room for 400 seats and 50 bikes (board-mandated 8-1 seat to bike ratio).

    Assuming that “Caltrain” did not “borrow” $125M from our $440M FTA formula funds for “SOGR”, we would have complete funding in place for a COMPLETE fleet replacement (21×8-car EMUs) and we could save another $40M if we went for the 90-meter variety and order 11×8-car and 20xcoupled 4-cars (eliminate 25% of the cab cars).

    Is anybody out there listening or do we need to take a different (not necessarily pleasant) approach?

    Peter Reply:

    Still confused where you’re getting your numbers from regarding the number of seats that will be on the trains. Care to share your math?

    Bombardier BiLevels that aren’t bike cars carry over 136 seats. Even assuming a very low average of 100 seats per bilevel (!!) car, that would still give 600 seats per six car train, plus 75 bikes.

    Peter Reply:

    Per Caltrain’s fact sheet, its Bombardier bike cars (with ADA compliant bathroom !!! ) and 24 bikes carry 114 seats.

    Joe Reply:

    The KISS EMU acceleration is 1.1 m/s. That’s Caltrain’s derivative.
    Those linked OMNEO EMUs are 0.6 m/s.

    With frequent stops the higher performance KISS can operate at max speed sooner and Caltrain can run more trains per hour.

    Roland Reply:

    @Peter: here are the numbers: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-capacity-problem.html?showComment=1468473756727#c3002976858491660481

    Clem’s comment that “The Bombardier OMNEO product page gives 4.8 seats/m in 2+2 configuration” and “The six-car Stadler KISS used on the Zurich S-Bahn (2+2) comes out to 3.6 seats/m” is the EXACT reason why I gave up on the KISS (and the TWINDEXX and the Coradia) last year and focused on reconfiguring the Omneo for Caltrain: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2015/05/chsra-releases-new-animations-of-palmdale-burbank-routes/#comment-254055 (scroll down to May 29th, 2015 at 9:47 pm).

    Is that what you need or ???

    Peter Reply:

    Ok, but Clem’s post was based on the Stadler KISS for SBB, which was configured to maximize standees (to, you know, maximize the actual number of passengers). In contrast, the newer KISS for Westfalenbahn carries 627 seats in six cars in a 2×2 configuration, and also includes a 2×1 first class configuration.

    I used Wikipedia as my source, both English and German versions.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    In other words, the Westfalenbahn KISS comes to a little bit more than 4 seats/m.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Stadler 6-car KISS for SBB: 535 seats (120 1cl + 415 2cl) + 838 standees in 150m
    1,373 riders / 150 meters = 9.15 riders per meter

    Roland Reply:

    Your namesake has a different point of view: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-capacity-problem.html?showComment=1468480870089#c5741793753353003316

    Reality Check Reply:

    I see no “different point of view.” I’d much rather sit than stand. Who wouldn’t?

    So let’s get 8-car trains and/or 3+2 seating right from the start!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Given the tendency towards – let’s say more ample bottoms – do you really think 3+2 seating is such a wise idea?

    Reality Check Reply:

    According the the Neighborhood Map of US Obesity, 3+2 should work better than in, say, the southern US. Also … as surveys have long shown, Caltrain rider income/SES & educational level is high, which correlates very well with below-average obesity rates.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Forget all that … just a look at Caltrain riders it’s readily apparent they’re a relatively fit and trim demographic. The handful of wider folks may just take up a bit more than one seat in a 3+2 world.

    Roland Reply:

    Time to have an adult conversation about this 3+2 nonsense…

    Clem is responsible for starting this mess with the “virtues of width” blog post: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-virtues-of-width.html, knowing full well that the Aeroexpress is 3.4m (134″) wide and somehow expecting the Caltrain loading gauge to expand by 0.4m (17.75″). Good luck with that as he found out.

    Back down to earth (Bombardiers are 2.994m wide), seat widths of 580mm (22.8″) and a 600mm (23.6) isle in a 2+2 configuration would shrink to 490 mm (19.3″) and an isle of 450mm (17.7″) in a 2+3 configuration: http://www.bombardier.com/content/dam/Websites/bombardiercom/Events/Supporting%20Documents/BT/bombardier-transportation-Regio-2N-datasheet-en.pdf.

    The end result of this kind of 2+3 configuration is 2 seats with enough room for bags in between, 2 useless seats on the other side of the isle and a useless isle impacting dwell times and limiting the amount of space for standees.

    I hope this closes this issue once and for all and that we can move on.

    PS. The Stadler KISS is 2.8M wide, so if Max or someone else knows the equivalent measurements, please pass them on.

    Clem Reply:

    The Stadler KISS does not have an intrinsic width. Just like Stadler’s other product lines, it is made in several different widths for different loading gauges depending on the customer. UIC G2 (small), UIC GC (medium), Swedish (large) and Russian (extra large). I’m guessing that we will get the Swedish size; the static envelope width allowed in the RFP was 10′ 8″. Also: the draft RFP allowed for the full 3.4 meter width; it was reduced in the final version, probably because of concerns with tunnel clearances and overhanging existing platforms. I don’t think those would necessarily have been insurmountable issues for a captive fleet where AAR interchange is not an issue.

    Roland Reply:

    What makes you think that “Caltrain” will get away with ordering
    16 6-car EMUs with room for 1 toilet, 400 seats and 50 bikes for $600M instead of
    21 8-car EMUs with room for 3 toilets, 900 seats and 110 bikes for $400M?
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/5.19.16+BAC+Correspondence+Packet+1.pdf (page 16)

    The “Caltrain” response is on page 4.
    My response to their response is on page 2.
    It should be noted that the SamTrans employee in question is Seamus Murphy, the same individual caught lying through his teeth about the status of CBOSS while testifying in front of the legislature: https://youtu.be/5NkAwhzm918?t=15

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Soooooo…. 3+2 unrealistic fantasy or fantastic idea?

    Roland Reply:

    It depends on the train width: 3.4M OK. 3.0M Nova.

    Joe Reply:

    Is anybody out there listening or do we need to take a different (not necessarily pleasant) approach

    Oh dear.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is this a threat?

    Roland Reply:

    It’s a promise.

    joe Reply:

    Crazy talk.

    Roland Reply:

    ‘Baa-Baa”.

    Joe Reply:

    For Physics based models and simulation with numerical analysis. Yea.

    Try it.

    Q:What’s the impact on capacity when replacing Caltrain EMUs that accelerate at 1.0 m/s with ones that accelerate at 0.6 m/s?

    Roland Reply:

    The reason the CalFranKISSenTrains can accelerate at 1.1 m/s is because they don’t have room to carry pesky passengers or bicycles (who needs toilets if there aren’t any passengers on Board?).

    If acceleration was that important (it is not) and nobody cared about the electricity bill, there is nothing that couldn’t be fixed with 12 MW of raw Omneo power.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Pure and applied Quatsch.

    The Omneo design has two driving bogies per train, with roughly 1200 kW rated power. Tractive force to accelerate the whole train has to come via only 4 axles… taken into account the weight of the (loaded) train leads to that low acceleration (which is sustainable up to 50 km/h).

    That’s the design… it’s as simple as that.

    Roland Reply:

    Pure and applied Quatsch.

    The Omneo can have as many driving bogies as you want (and are willing to pay for)
    http://www.bombardier.com/content/dam/Websites/bombardiercom/Events/Supporting%20Documents/BT/bombardier-transportation-OMNEO-brochure-en.pdf
    See “Power at rail (MW)” bottom right on page 4

    That’s the design… it’s as simple as that.

    Joe Reply:

    Acceleration is apples to apples comparison. Your fantasy train is slow to accelerate, longer to reach operating speed and consequently longer travel times and less system capacity.

    Maybe you can write a memo. Demand Omneo performance data be update to match the train you made up in your head.

    Roland Reply:

    Baa-Baa.

    Clem Reply:

    Oh but FRA certification, Buy America, hyper-prescriptive requirements verification, modifications for HSR-compatible level boarding, and consultant mafia overheads etc. would at least double the cost. You’re comparing apples and bananas!

    Bombardier no-bid.

    What’s next, a flaming bag of dog excrement placed at the front door of the SMCTD headquarters?

    Roland Reply:

    Bombardier have factories in the US (Stadler does not). Bombardier do not need “help” with FRA certification (Stadler do) or hyper-prescriptive requirements verifications. You know what the solution is for Omneo HSR-compatible level boarding but, as I recall you did not like it (NIH?) http://www.greencaltrain.com/2015/07/likely-victory-in-bathroom-battle/
    There is no need for mafiosi consultants, talking of which guess who wrote the specification and the RFP for CBO$$?

    joe Reply:

    You screwed up. Could have written the bid yourself and pocketed the overhead.

    Clem Reply:

    Hello? Bombardier did not bid.

    Roland Reply:

    “- Launch an immediate investigation into the procurement process
    – Suspend any funding pending the outcome of the investigation
    – Reach out to the 5 manufacturers, who responded to the RFI and inquire as to the events that led them not to respond to the RFP”
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/BAC+7.21.16+Correspondence+Packet.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    Harass companies that didn’t bid.

    You’re a genius.

    Roland Reply:

    https://xkcd.com/1013/

    Clem Reply:

    Roland, you need to focus on shaping future decisions with positive advocacy.

    Roland Reply:

    Clem, I am 100% focused on positively advocating for replacing the entire diesel fleet with 21 8-car EMUs with room for 900 seats, 3 bathrooms and 110 bikes for $400M. Your support is appreciated, as always.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Are bathrooms really good uses of space? Other metro systems (and Caltrain is essentially a metro, not a commuter line) get along just fine without them.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Are bathrooms really good uses of space. Other metro systems (and Caltrain is essentially a metro–not a commuter line) get along just fine without them.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Maybe if Caltrain had bathrooms at every station (let alone decent reasonably well-maintained ones) and if getting off a train to use one didn’t mean waiting up to an hour or more for the next one, and if hundreds of riders were not periodically and unpredictably trapped aboard trains for lengthy periods after mishaps, then maybe on-board bathrooms wouldn’t be as necessary.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    With EMUs, Caltrain will be way more frequent.

    Joe Reply:

    With an accident, death in particular, the trains are held up. Each death has to be investigated as a possible crime scene. It takes time.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    With EMUs, Caltrain will be way more frequent.

    Because … uhhhhhh … ELECTRONS!

    Joe Reply:

    You used to insist that Caltrain will not improve train performance post electrification.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Caltrain performance? What’s that?

    joe Reply:

    good to see you’ve stopped.

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Roland‘s 1925 – Image by : Lisa Benson, 21 June 2014
    Topics : Cap + Trade, Democrats, Calif. RR’s, Gov. Brown

    Ted K. Reply:

    @car(e)-free LA ‘s 1543 – Caltrain is classified as commuter rail due to low off-peak frequency (once per hour). Get the frequency up to 3 or 4 trains per hour off-peak and then it could be classified as a heavy metro. A prudent, off-peak Caltrain rider’s MEL is : water bottle, snack bars (newtons, granola, etc.), and a thick book.

    MEL = Minimum Equipment List [avtn.]

    Roland Reply:

    Q: “Are bathrooms really good uses of space?”.
    A: “It depends”: If you have a piss-poor train design that burns 24 seats for every ADA bathroom, the answer is very likely to be No. The answer may be different if someone comes up with a bathroom design that burns the same amount of space as 3 flip-up seats (or 4 bicycles).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I thought the post electrification plans were to run trains every 15 minutes.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I thought the post electrification plans were to run trains every 15 minutes.

    Having the slightest clue about what you’re talking about isn’t a requirement for pressing the “Submit Comment” button.

    Caltrain is planning to run an Olde Tyme Commuter Railroad, with wires on top. Just the way its consultants and staff like.
    Caltrain projects its operating costs will increase. (No reduced crewing costs — overstaffed at a 1950s level with multiple “conductors”. No increased equipment utilization. Then pile on the overhead maintenance overhead.)
    Service will not increase, or will do so barely, and not in a manner that could not have been implemented 20 years ago. (ie “Run trains, don’t just park them out of service”.) This is their promise. Read their documentation. It’s all out there on the interwebs.

    Or you could just make shit up and press “Submit Comment”.

    Joe Reply:

    And Richard insisted there would be no effective change to the Caltrain schedule post electrification.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But wouldn’t electrification allow for better acceleration and breaking, thus enabling faster end to end runs with all the benefits this can bring?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    But wouldn’t electrification allow for better acceleration and breaking, thus enabling faster end to end runs with all the benefits this can bring?

    Electrification of an Olde Tyme Commuter Railroads allow run by Olde Tyme Commuter Railroaders for the benefit of Olde Tyme Commuter Railroaders allows for Olde Tyme Commuter Railroading, with wires on top.

    Roland Reply:

    Assuming that “breaking” is actually meant to be spelled “braking”, could someone please explain WTF electrification has to do with “better braking”?

    On a related note, had the SamTrans RSMFRs gone live on I-ETMS at the same time as Metrolink, we could have had a 6th train last year.

    Peter Reply:

    Roland, your homework for today is to look up the term “regenerative braking”.

    joe Reply:

    Electrification of an Olde Tyme Commuter Railroads allow run by Olde Tyme Commuter Railroaders

    Auld time ago ye used tae say th’ schedule waste changing’. nae ye stopped.

    Has ye understuid ye waur wrang ur jist ye cooldnae rockit fowk onie mair ?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Non-electrified dynamic “regen” braking is rheostatic and just dumps the power as heat into the air via resistor banks.

    Roland Reply:

    @Peter: as per this recently posted video https://youtu.be/poKCsgm-Muw?t=35, your assignment for the rest of the week is to explain WTF regenerative braking has to do with electrification.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the train is generating electricity from it’s braking, the electricity has to go someplace?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Indeed, braking electricity does go someplace. So what’s your question or point?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the train line isn’t electrified where does the regenerated electricity go to?
    Running the diesel engine backwards doesn’t make fuel come out of it, so it’s not that. Where does it go?

    Clem Reply:

    Is the relevant point perhaps that regenerative braking is not constrained by the limited cooling capacity of the dynamic brake grids, allowing many more megawatts to be dumped back into the electric grid and making it practical (from an operating and maintenance cost perspective) for an EMU to brake harder than a diesel in every day regular service?

    Peter Reply:

    To move the conversation along, I think Roland’s point is that that a hybrid train would make electrification unnecessary because it can store braking energy in batteries.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Who said anything about batteries?

    Peter Reply:

    It’s what Roland’s “recently posted video” (of which I watched 2 seconds) is all about.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Sorry that I got the English spelling wrong. Shame on me for failing to fully grasp a weird set of rules based off of Tudor pronunciation.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @adirondacker12800 asks: “where does [braking energy] go [on diesels]?

    As I already posted:

    Non-electrified dynamic “regen” braking is rheostatic and just dumps the power as heat into the air via resistor banks.

    Try reading the link this time.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If it’s dumping it into a resistor grid it’s not regenerating anything. It’s making a lot of waste heat.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Congrats on finally comprehending where the regenerated electricity on diesels goes.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Trains have been dumping waste heat into resistor grids for decades. It has all sorts of advantages. Regenerative energy isn’t one of them.

    synonymouse Reply:

    For a great part of the history of electric traction resistance switching was the only means of DC motor control.

    Roland Reply:

    @Reality Check: Kindly help me understand which part of this video it is that you do not understand:https://youtu.be/poKCsgm-Muw?t=35

    On a related note, it is theoretically possible for a hybrid DEMU to out-accelerate an EMU by firing up the diesels to supplement the torque applied to the drive shafts by the electric motors: https://youtu.be/D7gxvJoOYOo?t=167 (ever tried out-dragging a Prius when the light turns green?)

    Reality Check Reply:

    Regenerated electricity goes into resistor grids which, like a toaster, turn it into heat.

    Recall, @adi asked “If the train line isn’t electrified where does the regenerated electricity go to?”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s waste heat coming out of the train someplace other than the brakes.

    Joey Reply:

    Roland: I don’t think so. My understanding is that most hybrid units have a diesel-electric system rather than a diesel-mechanical system. If the electrical limitation is the traction motors, then you can’t push them any harder. If the limitation is the transformer, then you could just replace the space and mass occupied by the diesel engine with a bigger transformer.

    Reality Check Reply:

    “It’s waste heat coming out of the train someplace other than the brakes.”

    Yes, you’re catching up @adi … but you really needn’t post your realizations.

    Roland Reply:

    Clem, you need to focus on shaping future decisions with positive advocacy.
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2016/07/steaming-pile-of-cboss.html

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Roland I think you have a lot of knowledge and perspective to contribute. People and organizations are all flawed and make mistakes. We can change things for the better if we focus on positive input for the future rather than complaints about the past (even though that often feels more fun!).

    Roland Reply:

    @Neil Shea. You are on the wrong blog. The blog with the flock of sheep that go “Baa-Baa” is this one: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Why?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    If one company knows and is willing to do custom work, it is Stadler. Bombardier, Siemens, and Alstom don’t bid normally for small quantities. Also, Stadler’s representatives were among the leaders to get TSI-compliant vehicles accepted by the FRA.

    The Omneo is Bombardier branded, but except for sucking up the profits, there is no north-american contribution. The Omneo is a Bombardier France product, probably with some involvment of headquarters in Berlin.

    The involvment of consultants has nothing to do with the bidders; it is the customer’s problem to not be able to properly specify their rolling stock.

    Roland Reply:

    @Max,

    The Omneo is an evolution of the existing North American bi-levels (identical external dimensions) with greatly increased interior capacity (both seats and standees).

    As far as “it is the customer’s problem to not be able to properly specify their rolling stock”, you hit the nail on the head and that is precisely why the San Mateo County Transit District (AKA SamTrans) and it’s fearless “leader” need to find another job.

    Clem Reply:

    You’re making things up. The Omneo is a 100% French (Crespin, ex-ANF Industrie) product based on the single level Z50000 Francilien EMU. There is zero design heritage from North American bilevels. It’s not even clear that Bombardier (had they even submitted a bid!) would have proposed the Omneo; they have other bilevel EMU designs of German origin.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The guys in Crespin are indeed quite clever (and headquarters in Berlin lets them do their work); IMHO, the AGV concept they came up with was ingenious, and it made the (certainly viable) product by Alstom look like shit. And the Francilien EMU is definitely a good product. Otherwise, they would not have been able to secure such big umbrella contracts.

    I agree that, if Bombardier had submitted a bid, it would most likely have been an evolution of the TWINDEXX line.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t the Twindexx what Deutsche Bahn markets as the new Intercity semi-higher-speed not exactly as fast as fast but not slow train?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    If I understood it correctly, they use the TWINDEXX brand name for bi-level in general. For sure, the TWINDEXX for SBB is for “higher” service levels (200 m IC version with restaurant car, for example).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the DoSto IC has no restaurant car (a first in German long distance trains) but “at your seat service” is planned and/or available (I have been in one of those trains once, but it broke down before we even started)

    Roland Reply:

    Did it have any toilets before it broke down?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It did, but that is kind of besides the point, isn’t it?

    It broke down at the station it was supposed to leave from.

    Roland Reply:

    Actually, that is precisely the point because Caltrains often break down between stations and when they don’t, trains behind them end up stuck between stations courtesy of nearly two decades of piss-poor track “design” and layers upon layers of RSMFRs adding up to to a mind-boggling $7.5M per “Control Point” (and counting). http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Finance/Quarterly+Capital+Program+Status+Report/JPB/FY16+Q3+JPB+Quarterly+Report.pdf (page 20).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well it broke down at a terminus station so the only thing it did (besides inconveniencing the people who wanted to take that train) was block one platform. Of course a replacement train was made ready as soon as the problem became obvious.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    identical external dimensions

    Not even close.

    Clem Reply:

    The width of the French Bombardier Omneo is the same as the Bombardier multilevel that New Jersey Transit uses. I know this goes against your stereotypes of diminutive European trains, but ten feet is ten feet.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Bombaredier makes a lot of things for the North America market.
    85 feet isn’t 63 feet. And they don’t use Jacobs bogies.

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_Régio2N

    Clem Reply:

    If your next misconception is that Euro vehicles can’t be long, then note that the Regio 2N (Omneo) replaced ancient 87-foot Corail coaches from the 1970s and 80s. I know, longer than the North American standard of 85 ft, mind blowing! In Europe, car shells are getting shorter in order to take advantage of articulation and the additional width that becomes available when there are no overhangs.

    If the next dimension you’d like to deride is height, please know the Omneo is a full FOUR INCHES shorter than a Bombardier multilevel. How scrawny and pathetic, huh?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Retired cars don’t make the current ones longer. Or put Jacobs bogies under cars in New Jersey. Or Ontario. Or California or Quebec or..

    Clem Reply:

    Not even close.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why are you using imperial units talking about European trains?

    Clem Reply:

    It is considered polite to speak to the unenlightened in their customary units :)

    Roland Reply:

    @adirondacker12800: Clem took care of the width and the height. With regards to the length of each railcar, you need to add the length of a bi-level (50.67 feet) to the length of a single-level (32.87 feet) total 83.54 feet to arrive at the length of the equivalent of a conventional railcar.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Siemens did accept the custom design that AAF wanted. True, Siemens is looking to break into the North American market too. As you say, it is up to the customer to properly specify what they want. In the case of AAF, Siemens and their partners worked with AAF for almost 2 years to get it right. Maybe it really isn’t the fault of manufacturers but of the customers (and specifically with government work, their consultants).

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I don’t know any details, but just from that description, I presume that AAF went to the potential suppliers with a relatively short list of requirements, and then let the supplier come up with their suggestion. This is the normal way things are done worldwide. This leads to a good cooperation between the supplier and the customer, and does normally allow for quite pragmatic work.

    When the customer uses a consultant, it is almost always guaranteed that the product is highly overspecified, and any improvements by the supplier becomes more difficult to be implemented. And, as shown elsewhere, the consultant used by Caltrain … hmmm… has its issues…

    “Remember, when working with top league suppliers, overspecifying is an insult.”

    Brian_FL Reply:

    What I have been told and read, is that AAF had to fight for some features they wanted that Siemens at first didn’t want to do. My take on it is that AAF worked hand in hand with Siemens at the engineer/design level to get what they wanted. It’s my impression that AAF was more active than passive, and that they lead the discussion.

    It should be pointed out that AAF did not rely on outside consultants for most of their trainset design. That’s why they hired Gene Skoropowski!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wouldn’t making specifications too specific also make the resulting product much more expensive?

    Roland Reply:

    @Max: with regards to: “The involvement of consultants has nothing to do with the bidders; it is the customer’s problem to not be able to properly specify their rolling stock”, the problem is with the “owner’s team” (AKA LTK Engineering) and, as Clem pointed out, “Sheer seating capacity didn’t figure strongly into the EMU RFP” http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-capacity-problem.html?showComment=1468476248942#c8169380788098012134

    It is now becoming obvious that LTK decided on the KISS over two years ago and that’s why the seating capacity which started at 948 back in 2012 eventually went down to 600 (RFI) then 550 (RFP) followed by 450 (double-doors) followed by 400 (room for 50 bikes).

    The solution is to forget about the KISS and figure out what if anything needs fixing with the Omneo.
    Here is what I suggested last year: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/5.19.16+BAC+Correspondence+Packet+1.pdf (page 10).

    Any suggestions for improvement are appreciated as always.

    joe Reply:

    “The solution is to forget about the KISS and figure out what if anything needs fixing with the Omneo.”

    The solution is not to second guess past decisions and write goofy advocacy letters asking the JPB to violate procurement laws and market your ideas.

    Economies of scale

    I strongly encourage you to reach out to ACE, Capitol Corridor, Amtrak, Metrolink, LOSSAN, NCTD and any other agency currently operating bilevel trains in California and ask them if they would be interested in a joint procurement similar to the 15 French regions who ordered Bombardier Omneos.

    Build my customized train and see who wants to but them.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    There’s something very very very wrong with a “competitive” procurement process that results in one bidder world-wide.

    This aside from sundry Roland nutcase stuff.

    But hey, let bygones be bygones!

    CBOSS? Don’t second guess the experts!
    Electrification at double or triple anybody else’s cost? Stop quibbling!
    Made-up “requirements” that keep consultants rolling in cash? Be positive about the future!
    Hundreds of millions of crazy capital spending that is in direct conflict with already identified needs? Shut up you Monday Morning Quarterbacks!
    Billions of capital expenditure with no plans of any type for service improvement? Only a Trump supporter would question transit spending!

    GilroyLogic™!

    J. Wong Reply:

    The problem is that everyone wants to cover their asses so they cannot possibly be blamed in the case of failure. The same strain of managerial thinking that led to “buy IBM, no one ever got fired for buying IBM” (which has since migrated to Oracle). Rather than evaluate and chose the best technical solution, they try to figure out which choice is least likely to get them fired in the case of failure. Plausible deniability all the way.

    And just so you know, fear doesn’t help get the best work out of people so threatening to take them all out and shoot them is probably counter-productive in the end. It is a hard problem: How do you put incentives in place that encourage people to take chances with the possibility of failure with the upside that if they succeed, everyone wins.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    The problem is that everyone wants to cover their asses so they cannot possibly be blamed in the case of failure.

    A fascinating theory.

    So … choosing the guaranteed least likely to succeed and guaranteed most expensive route is “covering asses”, then?

    Covering with what? Gold bullion?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s a better route for Caltrain that would be cheaper?

    Roland Reply:

    This article explains how the Omneo architecture delivers “impossible” capacity starting with why they don’t have to trash 24 seats for every bathroom: http://www.newsbombardierfrance.com/p/regio-2n.html.

    Joe Reply:

    And each seat comes with a built in thigh-master.
    But wait, there’s more ….

    Roland Reply:

    @Richard, would you care to elaborate on “sundry Roland nutcase stuff”?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Just forgot to mention that the STIF order is part of an umbrella contract with Bombardier over 800 trains. The STIF order is for 42 (that’s correct) “longue” units, which consists of 8 carbodies, and are 109 m long. Of course, seating is 2+3.

    Roland Reply:

    8 Omneo carbodies are equivalent to a 4-car EMU. Longue (109m) is too long and 2+3 seats are too small for Caltrain.

    Roland Reply:

    As far as having an umbrella contract, we can have the exact same thing here with ACE, Amtrak and Capitol Corridor.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    But Caltrain has no major umbrella contract; if they could have been able to team up with other operators, things would look different.

    Roland Reply:

    Max, once again, the people in charge are LTK engineering (no-one works for “Caltrain”) and they never reached out to ACE, Capitol Corridor, Metrolink or anyone else even though they were asked MULTIPLE times.

    Peter Reply:

    But no one else is buying EMUs at this point. What umbrella contract would they participate in?

    Roland Reply:

    Bombardier do not currently manufacture a hybrid version of the Omneo (primarily because no-one has asked) but there is no significant difference between an EMU and an EDMU (AKA “hybrid” AKA “bi-mode”) other than the source of the electrical power (diesel power packs, OCS catenaries or both).

    Max Wyss Reply:

    LOL

    For places where diesel is needed, a “bibi” is sufficient.

    Peter Reply:

    Again, your “logic” confuses me. Or maybe you’re confused.

    We were talking about umbrella contracts for EMUs. There is no one else buying bilevel EMUs in the U.S. whose umbrella contract Caltrain could join in on.

    Then you start babbling about EMUs and EDMUs. Care to explain the link?

    Roland Reply:

    @Max. The only problem with the AGC BiBi is capacity. What we really need here is a bi-level BiBi and I am sure you know enough about the Omneo to agree that this would be a relatively easy thing to do (about 1 year’s work).

    Roland Reply:

    @ Peter: if we don’t ask the question, the answer will always be “No”.
    Let’s see if this helps: https://youtu.be/poKCsgm-Muw?t=22
    @ Max: the first bi-modes in the Bay area will be FLIRT 3s. At the rate things are going they will start carrying passengers many years before LTK engineering are done messing about with the FranKISSenTrains.

    Peter Reply:

    Again, relevance to umbrella contracts?

    Make an argument, don’t post a video and expect us to have a clue what you’re on about. I already spend enough time at work figuring out vague requests, not really interested ibn figuring out the point to your random videos or links.

    Eric M Reply:

    @Peter,

    It’s like arguing with Useless about Korean KTX equipment. Have fun LOL

    Roland Reply:

    Max, see
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/5.19.16+BAC+Correspondence+Packet+1.pdf (page 3)
    Economies of scale
    “I strongly encourage you to reach out to ACE, Capitol Corridor, Amtrak, Metrolink, LOSSAN, NCTD and any other agency currently operating bilevel trains in California and ask them if they would be interested in a joint procurement similar to the 15 French regions who ordered Bombardier Omneos.”

    Joe Reply:

    . I strongly encourage

    Only a recommendation.

    A directive requires a SHALL.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    In other words, Bombardier has nothing to offer which fits.

    Roland Reply:

    How about checking the external dimensions of the Omneo (including coupler-to-coupler length) and it’s internal capacity (both seats and standees)? Try it and you will be shocked (garanteed!).

  9. Reality Check
    Jul 21st, 2016 at 16:31
    #9

    Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway reaps 6.58b yuan ($985m)

    A state-owned high-speed rail operator between Beijing and Shanghai reported net profits of 6.58 billion yuan ($985m) for 2015, a shareholder document showed.

    […]

    A bond prospectus released by Tianjin Railway Construction Co., a shareholder of Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co., showed that the total assets of the company amounted 181.54 billion yuan ($27.19b) at the end of last year, with the total liabilities standing at 50.37 billion yuan ($7.54b).

    In 2015, the gross revenue of the company was 23.42 billion yuan ($3.51b), and its total operating costs hit 16.74 billion yuan ($2.51b).

    Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail finally in black in 2015

    he state-owned operator of a high-speed passenger train between Beijing and Shanghai has turned an annual net profit for the first time since service began in 2011, a document from a shareholder reveals.

    […]

    The route cost 220 billion yuan ($33b) to set up and covers the 1,300km (808mi) distance in as little as under five hours. It serves an annual 130 million riders. Last year’s profit per customer came to about 50 yuan ($7.50).

    Although many flights are available between the two cities, their frequent delays due to weather and other conditions make the train service popular among business travelers.

    But fares are intentionally held down with income levels in mind, likely eroding the railway operator’s earnings. The second-class fare of about 550 yuan ($82.40) comes to a little less than 7 yen (7 cents) per kilometer, or just a quarter of the figure for Tokyo-Osaka bullet train service in Japan.

    Reality Check Reply:

    The second-class fare of about 550 yuan ($82.40) comes to a little less than 7 yen (7 cents) per kilometer (10.2 cents per mile), or just a quarter of the figure for Tokyo-Osaka bullet train service in Japan.

    Roland Reply:

    Making a profit after charging only 10.2 cents per passenger mile? Impossible!!!! http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Planning/Strategic+Plan/Strategic+Plan+FY2015+-+FY2024/Caltrain+Short+Range+Transit+Plan+-+FY2015-FY2024+-+Final.pdf (figure 3.7 on page 38)

    morris brown Reply:

    Making a profit after charging only 10.2 cents per passenger mile? Impossible!!!!

    Roland you just don’t undestand… all depends on accounting rules… just like claims in Europe and elsewhere.

    Move pockets of expenses to other other pockets, is one example of manipulation. You can’t believe anything coming out of China anyway.

    Even here where accounting rules are supposed to be tight, you get BART claiming that the FARE box revenues cover 60% of expenses. However, after 40 years of not accounting for eventual need to replace the cars, suddenly over $4 billion is needed for new train sets.

    synonymouse Reply:

    China has a one party rule anti-union whilst California has one party rule quasi union. Is China HSR paying Amalgamated scale?

    uh-huh.

    Roland Reply:

    Morris, you don’t understand (are you getting confused between OPEX and CAPEX?). You really need to meet this nice young man next time he is in town and he will be more than happy to run the numbers and explain why he does not need an OPERATING subsidy (even after ITDA and paying Caltrain $4M/year for trackage rights): https://youtu.be/Aun05r6phRA

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You can’t possibly be so naive as to think this is accurate?

    http://www.afr.com/news/world/one-chinese-company-has-a-debt-pile-almost-as-big-as-the-whole-of-australia-20160510-goqlei

    They are swimming in debt.

    And please explain how China is 1/4 the expense the Japan and Europe.

    It’s just a meaningless press release to make someone look good

    Joe Reply:

    Also Swimming in public infrastructure. The horror.

    I am unimpressed. Same geniuses told us CA was a credit risk and supposed to be bankrupt by now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A lot of rich people want to move here to debauch.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Dollar amount of debt is not as important for big companies and states as it is for private individuals.

    Eric Reply:

    Labor is much cheaper than the US. A large percentage of passengers pay much more than 10.2 cents per mile (the “second class” fare – there are three higher classes of fare)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Shinkansen is relatively expensive. Comparing to TGV or ICE would be more enlightening, as they are still more expensive (though in the case of ICE recent events may have temporarily changed that), but not by such a huge factor.

  10. Jerry
    Jul 21st, 2016 at 23:33
    #10

    Have railroads ever been mentioned in a political party acceptance speech before?
    The Donald’s mentioned, “We will build ……… the railways of our tomorrow.”
    Wonder what McCarthy and other CV Republicans have to say about that.
    Hillary could raise the stakes and actually say high speed rail.

    synonymouse Reply:

    HypeLoop

    Roland Reply:

    Politically incorrect (does not go to Palmdale).

    synonymouse Reply:

    Musk’s vision is private owned and operated thus theoretically not under Party control.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Musk’s vision is about as realistic as Donald Trump becoming President of Mexico

    Aarond Reply:

    From the GOP platform: “We reaffirm our intention to end federal support for boondoggles like California’s high-speed train to nowhere.”

    However, six months ago the GOP platform was: “never Trump” and “Jeb!”.

    We’re off the rails, so anything can happen. Pence will probably end up being the key player here.

    Roland Reply:

    Every country in the World knows that there is nothing wrong with High Speed Rail (only California’s particular flavor).

    Joe Reply:

    California’s Flavor, Like Choo-Choo Cherry?

    It’s just an attack on a predominately democratic state.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t that a type of Ben&Jerry’s ice-cream?

  11. Loren Petrich
    Jul 22nd, 2016 at 12:30
    #11

    Checking Amtrak’s San Joaquin schedule, it takes about 2h 20m for the Amtrak bus to make the Bakersfield – LA trip, though with stops at Santa Clarita and Burbank.

    For the HSR parts of the trip, I will estimate the travel time from the Paris – Lyon route: 466 km / 290 mi at 1h 52m: 250 km/h, 155 mph. I will also use the distance on nearby flat roads.

    For Bakersfield – LA, the direct route has length 114 mi, making the average bus speed about 50 mph.

    For the train, I used Bakersfield – Mojave – LA. That’s 157 mi, meaning a train travel time of about 1 hr.

    To Bob Hope Airport in Burbank is 143 mi (55 minutes by train), with 14 mi to LAUS.

    Since they are now considering valley-to-valley, San Jose – Fresno – Bakersfield, I’ll consider that route. It’s about 262 miles, a little over 4 hours at highway speeds, and 1h 40m by train.

    So between SJ and LA, one will be on the bus for longer than one will be on the train. That ought to be plenty of incentive for completing the Bfld-LA connection.

    The remaining bit, San Francisco – San Jose, is about 50 mi, and about an hour by express Caltrain (“Baby Bullet”).

    JJJJ Reply:

    It doesnt change anything about your post, but the buses only stop between Bakersfield and LAX if someone purchased a ticket to those destinations. Many times 2-3 buses will depart bakersfield with 2 express, and 1 making the stops

    Roland Reply:

    How about a REALLY nice and comfortable one-seat ride between LA Union and downtown SF in 7 hours and 32 minutes for $20? http://tinyurl.com/h6ouo4a

    Q1: How can they possibly do this?
    A1: Aaaaaaaltamont: http://tinyurl.com/z8u34lv (pretty much identical to the hyperloop route).

    Q2: What’s next?
    A2: They will abandon 4th & Townsend and provide a one-seat ride to the Transbay Transit Center 5-10 years before “Caltrain” & “HSR”.

    Loren Petrich Reply:

    7 1/2 hours aboard a bus???

    With (SF – SJ) 30 min + (SJ – Bfld) 1h 40m + (Bfld – LA) 1h = 3h 10m, the train will easily beat it, despite its more circuitous route. Even with it only partially done, I find (SF – SJ Caltrain) 1h + (SJ – Bfld) 1h 40 m + (Bfld – LA bus) 2h 20m = 5 h.

    Roland Reply:

    What about connections (did you miss the “one-seat ride” bit?)

    Going back to this link, http://tinyurl.com/h6ouo4a, click on the car icon and you will see that it can be done (door to door) in 5 hours and 30 minutes. I do this 3-4 times a year and it takes me less than 5 hours door-to-door instead of wasting 1/2 hour driving to Diridon or Gilroy and the same thing at the other end. Cost is about $35 in gas plus rental car which I would have to hire at the other end anyway.

    I think that LA-SF HSR is going to be a really hard sell for anyone other than people who live in downtown SJ or SF and have an ultimate destination south of LA.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    HSR – including its beetroot stations – does well in notoriously car loving Germany (seriously, trying to impose a 130 km/h speed limit on highways is a real third rail there, just like guns are in the US). Why shouldn’t it in one of America’s most rail friendly states?

  12. Brian_FL
    Jul 22nd, 2016 at 12:42
    #12

    Recent progress with AAF Brightline stations in south Florida. I need to make a trip there soon to see for myself. The Orlando airport station has about the same amount of progress. The columns and horizontal piers for the tracks are mostly complete but has much more to go.

    https://youtu.be/qDxGvVuCSJ4

    https://youtu.be/qlvb0LddKHU

    Jerry Reply:

    Always good to see progress made.
    How’s the new Amtrak stop/station coming along at the Miami Airport? ?
    The last I heard was that their was a mistake made in the planning in that the train length was longer than the platform length.

    Jerry Reply:

    ‘there’

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I think it’s been done for a while.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    It opened in April 2015. Amtrak should be using it by end of 2016 according to this link

    http://www.micdot.com/index.html

    Ted K. Reply:

    A different page at the same site says 2017 :

    http://www.micdot.com/natl_amtrak_greyhound.html

    . The navigation sidebar on the left has some neat entries if you want to poke around. If you like rah-rah then this page, which describes the Miami Central Stn. (MCS), is for you :

    http://www.micdot.com/miami_central_station.html

    JJJJ Reply:

    They built the platforms for trirail length. Amtrak is longer, and if it were to stop there they would block a road for most of the day.

    Whoopsie.

    Americas finest engineering at work

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    As if anyone will trust their flight arrangements to an Amtrak connection anyway.

  13. Reality Check
    Jul 22nd, 2016 at 15:07
    #13

    Paging Bob “Safe & Reliable; Bourbonnais” Allen:
    Major BART delays after truck drives on to tracks between SF, East Bay

    Reality Check Reply:

    BART: Deferred maintenance weekend track closures to delay SFO, Millbrae travelers

    BART needs to rebuild a half-mile section of track between Balboa Park and Daly City stations where a switch moves the rail from one track to another, said BART spokesman Jim Allison.

    “Some of the rails are at the end of their useful lives,” Allison said. “We basically need to tear them apart and rebuild them.”

    In addition, BART will be adding noise dampers along a 3,000-foot swath of elevated and curved rails near Balboa Park in San Francisco, Allison said.

    A BART train approaches the Oakland Coliseum station in Oakland.

    “That is a particularly noisy stretch of tracks because the vibrations go right through the concrete,” he said.

    […]

    An estimated 23,000 customers will be impacted by the Saturday closures, he said, and 18,000 by the Sunday closures. Typically, ridership drops between 50 percent and 65 percent during closures, Allison said, and the agency expects 9,000-15,000 riders will opt to use a bus bridge being offered between the two stations.

    Passengers headed to the San Francisco airport or Millbrae will board a SFO/Millbrae-bound train and transfer to a free bus shuttle, provided by SamTrans, at Glen Park, Allison said. The bus should take roughly 15 minutes to reach Daly City, where passengers will board a regular BART train. San Francisco MUNI is also providing shuttle service between the three stations, and more frequent buses on regular routes that provide service to those stations. Allison advised riders to add one hour to their commute if they are traveling to San Francisco International Airport.

    BART work to impact line from Glen Park Station to Daly City

    Travelers and workers who plan to rely on BART to get them to or from San Francisco International Airport on weekends over the next three months will find a more challenging and lengthier journey than they might expect.

    Over seven weekends through mid-October, BART will halt service in both directions along a half-mile stretch between the Daly City Station and San Francisco’s Glen Park Station. BART will also close Balboa Park Station in between. The shutdowns are part of BART’s effort to replace critical but crumbling stretches of track.

    Roland Reply:

    Expect a re-appearance of the mysterious power surges on Monday morning :-)

  14. agb5
    Jul 23rd, 2016 at 09:21
    #14

    How the Hyperloop can kill you, part 1:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIVJvpNyjdc

    Roland Reply:

    Who needs a linear accelerator when you have suction power?
    I just can’t wait for part two :-)

  15. morris brown
    Jul 24th, 2016 at 15:23
    #15

    ‘Fix it first’: How MTC’s boss views the Bay Area’s burgeoning transportation crisis

    What a hopeless agency

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    If there’s any reason for MTC executive-director-for-life Steve “$5 billion Bay Bridge cost overrun” Heminger, the concrete and engineering contractor’s bestest ever buddy, not to be incarcerated, I’ve yet to hear it.

    Joe Reply:

    Make transit great again.

    Jerry Reply:

    The MTC head said, we have traffic  congestion and we have transit congestion.  (No s— Dick Tracy.)
    He said this in the, “MTC’s splashy new offices in the Bay Area Metro Center, at 375 Beale Street.”
    On which the MTC spent  $258 million to buy and upgrade.

    keith saggers Reply:

    If BART can get all of the new cars bought, and can replace its original train control system, it will be able to run trains a lot closer together in the Transbay Tube, and maybe increase capacity by 20 percent to 30 percent. Basically, it could significantly expand the system without laying any more track.
    Steve Heminger

    Mark Duncan Reply:

    BART has tried two or three times to replace its original train control system and been unsuccessful. Without extended work windows to do the work in the downtown San Francisco stations, Transbay tube and Oakland Wye, it will be very challenging to accomplish this task.

    Both the Embarcadero and Montgomery stations need to have their capacities increased substantially in order to accommodate a 20 to 30 percent in ridership. I believe the addition of outside boarding platforms has been proposed to accomplish this. While certainly possible, they are difficult engineering tasks, given the saturated soil and adjacent building foundations.

  16. morris brown
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 06:17
    #16

    LA Times: Capitol Journal Gov. Jerry Brown’s best hope for high-speed rail? A Donald Trump presidency

    George Skelton is an extremely well respected author, but take this article for what it is worth, in my estimation not much.

    I am quite sure Robert would vomit rather than have anything done to enhance the presidential hopes of Donald Trump, and Gov Brown, who I really don’t care much for, certainly won’t do anything to help Trump become president. I personally want everything done to keep Trump out of the White House, and Trump’s support of this HSR project (if it even exists), I would certainly hope, will not lead anyone to support him.

    Joe Reply:

    Trump has nothing positive to with high speed rail. CA’s system is opposed in the party platform.

    Aarond Reply:

    As I mentioned when I posted that: the GOP platform doesn’t mean much when six months ago it was never Trump. And, Trump himself will reshape the party into something new and something more centrist.

    That’s not an endorsement, but Trump isn’t against HSR.

    EJ Reply:

    The idea that Trump has any firm commitment to something wonky like infrastructure, especially a project in California, a state he has no interest in other than maybe getting Angelenos to his casino, is pretty laughable.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I doubt that Trump has any policy positions besides his frequently espoused racism.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    You have no idea what Trump is for

    Joe Reply:

    “Trump himself will shape the party into something more centrist”

    Let me guess; youre an old white male christian who doesn’t attend weekly.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Look at Trump’s roots: Manhattan and Hollywood. That’s why Kruz held back.

    But Trump is benefiting from a move toward center-right reacting against the jihad the left cannot cope with. Thus Sarko will likely wrest power from Hollande in France soon. Too many attacks.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Oh shut up. The attacks are tragic, but France and Turkey are hardly dangerous. You’re more likely to drown in a bathtub than be killed by a terrorist. This is blown was away out of proportion. Anyway, we’ve all seen Trumps incoherent, selfish, and solves-nothing approach to crisis compared to Hillary’s smart, level-headed, and sell executed reaction.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The number of terror victims in Europe was higher in the 1970s than it is now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hollande is toast.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How?

    Why?

    When?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Don’t you get it? Cyno is an expert on Bechtelbartcylindricalwheelprofilepbchsra and the French people.

    les Reply:

    Trump admitted he hasn’t read the republican platform and he has no intention to do so.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    He will delegate all governing to Pence, who is not from NYC or Hollywood and certainly has no need for trains. Pence will address those social problems we have of homosexuals and abortions just as he has started to do in his home state including his famous divisive, anti-business Religious Freedom law.

    EJ Reply:

    Well, Mussolini made the trains run on time…

    Aarond Reply:

    Might as well dive in: Between Kaine and the DNCleaks progressives have zero reason to vote for her, as there is hard proof that she’ll totally ignore their platform. A combination of low turnout + green progressives + Trump being a celebrity could turn California red this year. If only half of registered Californians turn out, then Republicans have a slight majority.

    Joe Reply:

    You see zero reason for any female progressive to vote for Hillary.
    No black progressive,
    No Muslim progressive,
    No Latino progressive,
    No Jewish progressive
    No LGTB progressive.

    EJ Reply:

    To paraphrase Jon Oliver, “Oh, you don’t think a Trump presidency would be so bad? Congratulations on your white penis!”

    synonymouse Reply:

    There is always the addadicktomy, color of your choosing.

    Joe Reply:

    Orange is all the rage.

    Joe Reply:

    Exactly.
    Add Christian to that too.

    Aarond Reply:

    The leaked emails proved one thing: that she would not push progressive policies as President. Thus, there is no reason for progressives to vote for a not-progressive candidate. Color has nothing to do with it.

    Does it matter? Perhaps not. Hilary thinks so which is why she picked Kaine. But she burned another bridge in the process.

    EJ Reply:

    With Hillary, we’ll get the status quo, which is still better than whatever manner of incompetent catastrophe Trump would bring about.

    The reason people bring up race is that if you’re white, Trump at least isn’t campaigning by stirring up hatred against people who look like you. Black, brown, and Asian people can’t say that.

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s a very centrist angle. Progressives get nothing out of Hilary; again the DNCleaks prove beyond all doubts that Hilary and the Dem politburo conspired with the media (including hiring paid shills online) to stomp Sanders, and that she will not enact any progressive policies if elected. The most damning thing to progressives is her friendly correspondence with Ms. Lynn Rothschild:

    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/1570
    https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/250

    At best, she’s a charlatan. At worst a collaborator. Jill Stien Beckons.

    Eric Reply:

    I guess the Jill Stein voters are the same Nader voters who handed Florida to Bush in 2000? At least Bush wasn’t a fascist dictator waiting to happen.

    Joe Reply:

    Can’t help but read your continued use of “progressives” as self-absorbed white men.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    We interrupt this blog on HSR to refer AaronD to Bernie’s speech tonight about why Trump and Stein are not equally good choices, that the stakes are actually quite high. That is all, as you were.

    Joe Reply:

    “Color has nothing to do with it”

    Delicious.

    Aarond Reply:

    BLM walked up and stole a mic from Sanders, meanwhile Hilary has an eight foot wall between the convention and the protesters outside right now. Everyone knows where she stands.

    I ain’t claiming the GOP are better. But the whole “we’re going to stop the GOP by being a politically correct GOP” bait-and-switch does not work with Hilary as the face. It’s just too obvious.

    Joe Reply:

    Obviously BLM is not progressive. They’re black.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    WHAT!!!!!???????

    Joe Reply:

    Sarcasm

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Sarcasm does not travel well on the internet in written form…

    EJ Reply:

    There are two major candidates for president right now in America. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Which one are you planning to vote for and why?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Neither because I am not a citizen of the US

    Neil Shea Reply:

    He’s trolling everyone. He’d be perfectly comfortable with Trump. He thinks Trump will invest in trains ( right after he withdraws from NATO and the WTO).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t want that racist blowhead anywhere near the launch codes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why would Latinos vote for Hillary?

    Because she did not insult them repeatedly, loudly and publicly like her opponent.

    Why would Jews vote for Hillary?

    Because she has not openly flirted with antisemitic dog whistles and used stereotypes to the face of a Jewish Lobby Group like her opponent.

    Why would black people vote for Hillary?

    Because unlike her opponent, she is willing to listen to Black Lives Matter activists and apologize for past mistakes on race issues.

    Why would a Muslim vote for Hillary?

    Because unlike her opponent, she has not threatened to ban over a billion people from the US on account of their Muslim faith.

    Why would a LGBT person vote for Hillary?

    Because unlike VP candidate Mike Pence, Hillary is no antigay bigot and unlike the GOP the Democratic Party has no ridonkulous bathroom agenda.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What do you have against Kaine? He is by far the best option. Also, Nate Silver gave Trump an exactly zero percent chance of winning California.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    It’s all the same to Aarond because his family belongs to the Susan Sarandon / Donald Trump who will not benefit from the things that Hillary, Bernie and the Dems have committed to:
    * Reducing college costs and cancelling loans
    * Higher min wage ($15 target — vs. Trump who says workers are paid too much in the US)
    * Constitutional amendment to fix Citizens United decision launched w/i first 30 days
    * Medicare / Public Option for all, starting with our friends and relatives ages 55-65
    * Retaining the liberal wing of the supreme court

    For those with money and/or white penises, these nuances are for little people to worry about. Let them eat cake!

    Aarond Reply:

    College loan reform ain’t gonna happen, too much money in it. The Democrats themselves voted for the present college industry over the past 30+ years, and this will not change until there is a major meltdown like there was in 2007 with mortgagees. Money talks, who runs the Democratic party? The emails prove banks do.

    A higher min wage is also a band aid on the trade deals Bill and Dubya made with Mexico and China. Democrats shouldn’t be concerned with the min wage, they should be concerned with protecting American labor. There’s a reason why the rust belt is GOP now.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the rustbelt is Indiana, yes. If it’s more than Indiana, no.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    FAFTA Bush crafted Bill ratified. For the record.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    NAFTA not FAFTA

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wasn’t there an eccentric billionaire whose whole “Presidential campaign” was based off of his opposition to NAFTA…

    EJ Reply:

    That said, I don’t think Trump would even be a particularly effective fascist.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Political rectitude is the new McCarthyism.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No…he is too narcissistic, unintelligible, and unintelligent

    EJ Reply:

    “Say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it’s an ethos.” – Walter Sobchak

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is a bar in Dresden where they have the Big Lebowski on several screens every day.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Germans love The Big Lebowski, it’s a proven fact. Historical affinity for the American Wild West too.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the Wild West thing has more to do with http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/KarlMay this guy.

    Edward Reply:

    I have an Indonesian friend who grew up in Berlin. Her father was a diplomat. She asked me if I could get a few Karl May books for her. There is a foreign language bookstore in San Francisco and I inquired.

    “Do you want the economy edition or the fancy one?”

    She wanted words not leather and was happy to get several books. Memories of her childhood…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Say what you want about his works, but they have managed to fascinate young people for going onto five generations now. And they made obscure French actor Pierre Briece a household name in Germany.

    Though May apparently gets America quite wrong.

    Peter Reply:

    A number of his books are available for free on Kindle. From Durch die Wueste through Der Schut, as well as Winnetou I, II, and III. Not sure about the later books.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    They should all be in the public domain, given that he died in 1901 and the German law states “life of the author + 70 years” as defined by the 1. of January of the calendar year. So his works would have entered the public domain on January 1 of 1972. However, for quite some time the “official” edition was a heavily edited version released by his estate.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FascistButInefficient

    William Reply:

    Bernie is simply too radical for my taste, so I would not vote for him over Hillary.

    I will vote for Hillary because she will continue Obama’s policies. She had promised to spend more on infrastructure if elected, so I take that as a plus for CHSR, whose progress will be greatly accelerated if $1B grant per year from the Federal government can be obtained.

    Not voting is the same as to hand Trump the presidency. Voting for Hillary gave California the best chance to advance its policies with greater help from Federal government, which, of course, also needs a Democratic majority Congress.

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s fine. I’m not endorsing Sanders but my point is that the progressive wing of the party ain’t going to be turning out for Hilary given the leaks. I mean, Sanders himself just got booed for saying “we must elect Hilary to stop Trump”. That’s on twatter right now, it’ll probably be on the news very soon. Progressives will not vote for Hilary period even if it means dumping their champion.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I very much doubt that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s so bad about Hillary?

    Seriously.

    I don’t understand it.

    Aarond Reply:

    She’s another political dynasty. Ten years ago, if you asked a voter “what is the worst possible candidate” it would be Jeb and Hilary as both are related to living ex-Presidents. Progressives, especially those interested in things like bank reform have no reason to trust Hilary at all as it was her husband who pivoted the party right. This is especially true coming off Obama, who was not the savior and reformist people wanted him to be.

    That said, for all my whining it’s debatable how valuable the progressive vote is.

    Joe Reply:

    Dynasty!
    That second Roosevelt must have been bad too! Related to President Teddy.

    E. Warren supports Hillary and Bernie too. That Banking reform knock is grasping at a straw-men right now.

    Aarond Reply:

    You know exactly what I mean by “political dynasty”. Bush was a disaster. People don’t want a repeat with Hilary.

    That’s not to say I disagree with her positions, but she is the worst possible face the Democrats could put forward. It is a clear cut signal to everyone that the Democratic party is not fresh. She’s a 1992 era candidate running in 2016.

    Joe Reply:

    I literally don’t know.
    How about a few links to explain these widely held beliefs. We had an election and she won the most votes and delegates.
    Senator Webb, how’d he do?

    Aarond Reply:

    She’s Bill’s wife, she is only where she is because of her relation to him. Her nomination is the result of inside baseball and political inbreeding, not meritocracy. There’s a reason why Obama beat her in 2007: people absolutely did not want it then. And this year, due to the lower Dem primary turnout, she was able to eek out 54-48 over Sanders. She’s a stale bureaucrat, and that is how people will see the party as a whole.

    Don’t get me wrong, she’s a coin flip away from the White House. But if she gets there, it won’t be with the progressive vote.

    Joe Reply:

    Presidential Primary run in 2008
    Sec. Of state
    US Senator
    Presumptive Nominee in 2016

    All this success attributed being married to Bill.

    Maybe Bill’s success was because he married her.

    Joe Reply:

    Progressive vote should refer to a board spectrum of people that are the core of the party but I continue to understand “progressive” refers to professional white dudes.

    Joe Reply:

    Reagan lost primary in 76 to Ford and won in 80. Bush in 80 lost primary but won in 88. Long list of pols that try and eventually build enough credibility to win but not Hillary. Hillary’s 08 loss to a man that became a very popular president means she is not good in 2016.

    Aarond Reply:

    Hilary became Senator off Bill’s coattails. From there, she was given SoS to unify the party.

    Also: “progressives” are not the core of the Dem party, that goes to AFL-CIO members and other “silent majority” types. Progressives are much more to the left and do not constitute a majority of the party.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Jeez! Maybe she made Bill successful.

    You don’t say she was a bad Senator for 8 years, her (large, political, complicated) state liked her and re-elected her, and then strongly voted for her in 2 primaries.

    You don’t say she was a bad SoS or lawyer. She has lots of real world experience in her own right and you sit back and take pot shots at her.

    What have you ever done or what has Bernie done besides being mayor of a small town and senator of a small state of hippies? Dems voted for her, many millions more than anyone else. Bernie’s spokesperson emphasized today “the election was not stolen from us”
    Jeez

    joe Reply:

    Now I’m told Hillary just happened to ride Bill’s coat-tails……just like every other First Lady has going back to Martha Washington.

    Maybe former ARK Gov Bill had deep family roots in NY and helped her in the Debates.

    And Obama endorsed her because Bill told him to help out.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    All I know is its likely many of the criticisms above wouldn’t be made if Hillary had testicles.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Neil Shea

    I can take pot shots at her: see the emails. If she was a more competent politician (such as not using a private email server) she wouldn’t be a target of ridicule. Heck, she hired the disgraced party chair Ms. Shultz right into her campaign.

    Her pivot to the right opens up a flank as progressives are checking out. That’s not a mortal blow, but it doesn’t help. Inside baseball doesn’t sell to people outside the party’s core base. This is the same thing that cause the GOP to implode over the past decade.

    joe Reply:

    . If she was a more competent politician (such as not using a private email server) she wouldn’t be a target of ridicule.

    Interesting that Pols can use private email servers for Gov’t business.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/congress-rules-saving-emails/
    WASHINGTON — Members of Congress who are demanding Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails are largely exempt from such scrutiny themselves.

    Congress makes its own rules. It never has subjected itself to open records laws that force agencies such as the State Department to maintain records and turn them over to the public when asked.

    There’s also no requirement for members of Congress to use official email accounts, or to retain, archive or store their emails, while in office or after.

    You don’t have to like her.
    You don’t have to make sense either.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Psychoanalyst perspective: the irrational Hillary Hate is likely caused by a deep-rooted, sub-conscious misogyny in the male and female psyche, especially for women that seem strong and independent.

    It is related to the irreplaceable role a mother has in the early survival of children — which a father never has — and the need for boys and girls to eventually break free and establish their independence.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-wolson/the-puzzling-vilification_b_10146812.html

    This explains it as well as anything. Emails or Benghazi are rationalizations that folks try to convince themselves to explain an emotional reaction they are having.

    As noted elsewhere here, this emotional reaction is a luxury that white male professionals especially can indulge in, while the costs of a Trump presidency are too high for many others of us to tolerate.

    Aarond Reply:

    It is certainly not “irrational” hate given the DNCleaks which prove beyond all doubts that she is not going to be progressive. That is the core issue here: she is not going to advance policies progressives want. Trying to write it off as “emotions” is delusional. It’s a matter of what progressives want, versus what Hilary will provide.

    And she herself clearly made the conscious choice, with Kaine, to dump the far left so she can appeal to the core base.

    Joe Reply:

    DNC leaks of Debbie’s emails …..

    “Progressive” continues to refer to a small niche community of predominately white men aggrieved.

    Aarond Reply:

    Progressives would rather have more ideological diversity in the party than token ethnic diversity. The Democratic party, much like the US, is still predominately white. And eight years ago it was Predominately white men aggrieved who voted for Obama in the primaries and in the general election.

    Look beyond 2016, and ask yourself exactly what a Hilary Presidency would look like. That’s what progressives are concerned with. Attempts at identity politics and GOP fearmongering aren’t going to work on them.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    55 percent of white men voted for McCain,

    http://ropercenter.cornell.edu/polls/us-elections/how-groups-voted/how-groups-voted-2008/

    Aarond Reply:

    And the Democratic party is still predominately white:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/160373/democrats-racially-diverse-republicans-mostly-white.aspx

    60%, in fact. They are double the size of any other individual ethnic group.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That doesn’t mean the biggest group of Obama voters was white men.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think Hillary Clinton is if anything a very smart woman. And yes, Bill’s career was – at least once – saved by her. During the whole Lewinsky debacle.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    85% of Bernie voters have already indicated they’d support Hillary. I love Bernie, but whats going on here is a relatively small number of groupie true believers that are just displaying their dissolution and heartbreak. I think a strong majority of this subgroup will come to their senses November 8. The rest will vote Jill Stein which is fine because Johnson will likely be syphoning off an equal amount of never Trumpers and Hillary haters.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Hillary will win CA regardless, but the higher her popular vote, the more legitimacy given to her presidency, so that is why all us blue-staters should vote for her whether we be neo-libs or socialists.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wouldn’t a significant amount of votes to her left justify her implementing left wing policies even more?

    Joe Reply:

    No.

    Just as the GOP moving to the right normalized their fringe, her moving to the left doesn’t necessarily add votes.

    Bernie was a predominately white liberal attractor. He took votes from the CA Green Party and now they have a chance to influence the Dems but instead want to make protest puppets and repeat Trump memes.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The GOP has not moved to the right; Reagan was farther right and McArthur, McCarthy, J. E. Hoover were indigenous fascists, way to the right of anything today. They would have collaborated in an Axis occupation government.

    The Democratic Party has moved to the right, epitomized by Jerry Brown, a shill for real estate developers and ritchie-rich poseurs like Warren Buffett and all the instant bazillionaires.

    Joe Reply:

    The GOP died last week.
    You went so far right that is become a nativist, nihilistic, racist party.
    All you got is jingoism: Jerry Brown “I know moved right but what am I?”

    Aarond Reply:

    The GOP died July 31st, 2000 when they nominated Dubya. That is what set into motion the events which have led to Trump.

    Joe Reply:

    Or Nixon’s southern strategy if you want a root cause.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    They’ve has 10+ years to catch the falling knife

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Apparently the party that ties itself to Southern White racists is doomed to die every single time. Until and unless they can extricate themselves from that deadly embrace. As the Democrats did starting with FDR…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Ronald Reagan would be viewed with deep suspicion by today’s Republican Party.
    He committed heresy more than once. He raised taxes. He agreed to immigration reform. He actually compromised with Democrats.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ronald Reagan hated government employees and killed Civil Service. The worst.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Ronnie Raygun actually sold arms to our [supposed] arch enemy to fund secret contra wars in central America and more or less gets away with it, retaining his messianic status amongst contemporary conservatives.

    A boat of marines accidentally drifts into Iranian waters and Obama is feckless, incompetent, treasonous, apologist, reckless, evil, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum

    What an astonishing misbalance of treatment.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Reagan was a war criminal. He knew who the Contras were, he knew who Iran was governed by and he gave funding and support to both regardless.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Oh and did I mention that RR got credit for the release of the Iran hostages even though the diplomatic work for the release was finalized under the Carter administration only because Khomeini wanted a final humiliation for Carter.

    Do conservatives even know that? Its unlikely they’d even listen as they don’t want their mythology disturbed.

  17. Roland
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 08:28
    #17

    OT: Petition for legislation enabling bathroom access to people with a medical condition: https://www.change.org/p/help-pass-ally-s-law.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Go for it. BART-MTC-ABAG will oppose.

  18. keith saggers
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 11:31
    #18

    Good news for 3rd Street rail alignment plan
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/real-estate/2016/07/golden-state-warriors-mission-bay-alliance-arena.html

    Roland Reply:

    1) http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Opponents-of-Warriors-Mission-Bay-arena-appeal-8413159.php
    2) Would you care to elaborate on what this has to do with the 3rd street alignment plan???

    keith saggers Reply:

    Page 12 shows the potential combined Caltrain/Muni station and the proposed Warrior arena

    http://www.sf-planning.org/ftp/files/Citywide/railyard_blvd/rab_final-20160223_PublicMtg.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    How about a central location serving Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, the Mission and SOMA instead of just Mission Bay?

    joe Reply:

    Where?

  19. Roland
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 13:25
    #19

    OT: London-Birmingham HS2 Fly-through (30 minutes!!!): https://youtu.be/1bkoGvw9kbA

    Roland Reply:

    Make that Birmingham to London (duh!). You can see the massive wye where HS2 completely by-passes Birmingham (pop 1,101,360) at around 3.00 into the video. Here is the approach to the wye: https://youtu.be/1bkoGvw9kbA?t=153.

    Food for thought for the geniuses “designing” the alignment through Fresno and Bakersfield(?)

    keith saggers Reply:

    The wye is for trains heading to Manchester and Leeds from London in phase 2
    London to Birmingham city center is phase 1
    http://andyflavoured.co.uk/blogs-2/archive/2014-01-03/london-transport/high-speed-rail-hs2-route-map-london-birmingham-manchester-leeds/

    keith saggers Reply:

    The population of the West Midlands region is 5.7 million

    “Food for thought for the geniuses “designing” the alignment through Fresno and Bakersfield(?)”
    Would you care to elaborate

    Roland Reply:

    The point I am trying to make is that HS2 completely bypasses Birmingham (Birmingham is on a SPUR). This goes back to the discussion a while back about the wisdom of “designing” 250 MPH tracks through downtown anywhere.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A lot depends on your point of view. San Francisco is on a spur if you point of view is from Redding.

    And there are multiple routes lurking in the final plans

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_2#Proposed_service_pattern

    Roland Reply:

    @Ted K. Remember Bayshore? https://youtu.be/1bkoGvw9kbA?t=262

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem & Richard: SSFFSS. Quelle Horreur! Les Anglais sont tout-a-fait fous!!!

  20. Roland
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 14:20
    #20

    OT: Gilroy garlic train special: http://www.caltrain.com/Page4505.aspx
    Does anyone know if this train stops at Tamien, Capitol, Blossom Hill, Morgan Hill & San Martin and, if not, why not?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Historically, Gilroy Garlic Festival specials have been express trains and ran from SF with stops at only a handful of pre-announced major stations (similar to bullets). This was probably just to keep the trip length more bearable for everyone.

    In years past, they were long (8 or 10-car) chartered specials with on-board entertainment (roving musicians) and swag bags and required special advance tickets which included shuttle service between the Gilroy station and festival admission.

    The GGRM’s ex-SP 2472 was even on the point (along with a diesel for HEP and “insurance” against breakdowns) … but that was a good 20 or so years ago. As you can imagine, traveling behind steam was quite a draw and commanded a premium price above and beyond cost of festival admission.

    But then even this year’s Garlic train package ($45 adult / $40 child) is $25 more than festival admission for SJ Diridon – Festival r/t transportation cost.

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t know about that. Not 100% sure about several years prior but these more recent trains are chartered.

    Caltrain chartered trains by Gilroy City. They should pick up regular Caltrain service as transfers at SJ Diridon with express service to Gilroy.

    Reality Check Reply:

    What specifically don’t you don’t know about?

    joe Reply:

    Who was responsible for past service.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Garlic Festival trains have always been charters.

    Unlike extras Caltrain runs to SF for special events, I can’t recall any run by Caltrain with regular Caltrain fares.

    Joe Reply:

    Chartered by the city and not standard Caltrain service.

  21. Bahnfreund
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 16:55
    #21

    Offtopic, you may like or dislike his views on other subject, but Thunder00t has made a video on Hyperloop.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNFesa01llk

  22. Reality Check
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 17:20
    #22

    Bay Area housing costs have SMART commuter rail service scrambling for engineers

    […] recruiting engineers, signal technicians and vehicle maintenance technicians is proving to be a challenge because of the costs to live in the region. In response, the agency board approved an 11 percent pay increase for those positions.

    “It has been a challenge for us. Our salaries are not competitive.”

    SMART is up against agencies such as BART, Caltrain, Amtrak and the Altamont Commuter Express, some of which offer $10,000 “signing bonuses” to accept employment.

    “We are competing against the big dogs for the same pool of applicants,” said Erin McGrath, the agency’s chief financial officer.

    Because passenger rail has not existed in the North Bay for several decades, the majority of applicants live in counties outside the North Bay or in other states. Several qualified candidates have declined job offers after being unable to afford or find housing in the area, SMART officials said.

    The median price of a Marin home was $1.2 million last month, up 13 percent from the previous June, a real estate information service reported last week.

    The May and June medians were the same this year, reaching a record high of $1.2 million despite predictions of a flattening in prices, according to Irvine-based CoreLogic.

    Across the Bay Area, prices for resale single-family homes increased in every county except Napa, where prices were flat. Marin saw the highest jump compared with last June, with prices up 13 percent.

    In three cases, SMART hired people who eventually had to leave the area because of the cost of living and housing issues.

    In addition, a number of prospective SMART employees has chosen to stay in their current jobs because of the disparity between Railroad Retirement Board benefits and a new CalPERS PEPRA pension tier that is assigned to all new SMART employees.

    The top hourly salary for SMART’s engineer job class had been $37.14, or $77,250 annually. The current average wage for a passenger locomotive engineer in the Bay Area is $40.69 per hour. The national average wage is $42.68 or $11,000 more than what SMART was paying.

    The SMART board pay hike approved last week now has engineers making up to $40.02 an hour or $83,251 annually.

    That and the other increases in salaries will cost the agency $200,000. Additionally, it will spend another $150,000 for a program to pay relocation costs for employees who come from more than 250 miles away.

    With the start of service looming and a dearth of engineers, SMART will also seek to hire conductors to take the place of a second engineer on the trains.

    The move creates a bigger candidate pool to ensure that two staff persons are on the train at all times. A conductor is certified to assist with certain train movements, but aren’t qualified to operate the train. They would be paired with an engineer. Because the conductor job class is lower in pay than the engineer, there would be savings to the agency. Conductors would earn a maximum of $34 an hour or $70,720 annually.

    Joe Reply:

    HB1 Visas

    That’s what the IT guys do.

    Roland Reply:

    H1B.

    synonymouse Reply:

    GGT drivers have to drive the bloody bus – are they commuting from Fresno?

    Itching to vote for the repeal of the sales tax. And no more public funds for NCRA-NWP.

    EJ Reply:

    You got yours, so fuck everyone else!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Once SMART begins revenue operations matters will come to a head. The insiders will be forced into an agonizing reappraisal and I suspect some very clumsy fallback moves, particularly after the incredibly stupid decision to go 2-man. GGT will be embroiled, especially if SMART tries to go after Bridge money.

    Developers are trying to drive out the grain elevators with yuppie housing blocks. The NWP could never pay its maintenance cost. Decades coming, decades evolving.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Conductors. Fucking CONDUCTORS, for God’s sake.

    High floor trains, high platforms.

    FRA regulation.

    Gantlet tracks.

    High maintenance costs, high operating costs, high fuel costs, forever.

    Inefficient, overweight, decades-obsolete, shit-tastic one-off LTK-specified LTK-everythinged FRA DMUs.

    Olde Tyme Commuter Railroading costs.

    Old Tyme Commuter Railroading lack of service.

    Old Tyme Commuter Railroading inefficiency.

    Conductors, for God’s sake.

    For all of this, you can thank LTK Engineering Services.
    They’re the same grotesuqly unqualified rent-seeking bid-rigging negative-accomplishment sleazebags responsible for Caltrain’s insanely mis-specified, inept, calamitously overpriced and poisonous EMU RFP, and the sole bid (one bidder, world wide!) resulting.

    Isn’t it great that California is in the beating heart of competitive capitalism?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    +1

    Roland Reply:

    I very nearly got thrown off a Javelin a couple of years ago for inadvertently referring to a Train Director as a “Conductor”. The last time I interacted with a “Caltrain” Train Director, I carelessly mentioned that exactitude could potentially contribute to viable connections with other modes of transportation at Diridon only to be told that I should consider myself “lucky that there was a crew driving this train”.
    So there.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry’s kids.

  23. Reality Check
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 17:39
    #23

    Roadshow: Wi-Fi on Caltrain ‘would be great, except …’

    Q: I’m spending more time on Caltrain to San Francisco and am wondering why they don’t have Wi-Fi? It would be a real productivity opportunity if they had it. It’s also not that expensive to implement.

    Chris Harty

    A: Boy, this is embarrassing in the high-tech capital of the world.

    Caltrain says the cost is more than the popular agency can handle — $15 million to install, plus $1.3 million a year to maintain. Caltrain has been working with potential sponsors, equipment providers and financiers to cover the gap.

    Even VTA buses have free on-board Wi-Fi — but not Caltrain.

    Q: Wi-Fi on Caltrain would be great, except all those new riders would mean more trains at standing-room-only capacity. You would get a strong Wi-Fi signal waiting at the station while watching one overcrowded train after another pass by.

    Tom L.

    A: That would be a bummer.

    Clem Reply:

    It costs in the eight figures because you need to hire a consultant with deep railroad experience to pull off the fiber optic backhaul integration and security interface with CBOSS. Duh!

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe hire the guy that did it for the VTA buses.
    Or the guy that did it for some Amtrak routes.

    Roland Reply:

    The guy that did it for the VTA buses and light rail is the VTA CTO. VTA taking over Caltrain administration would take care of this problem (and many others) once and for all.
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Public/JPA_Agreement_and_Amendment_10-03-1996.pdf (section 6.B on page 8).

    Roland Reply:

    Coincidentally, guess who was sitting to Jim Hartnett’s right this morning?
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/07/26/top-transportation-officials-discuss-diridon.html

    Roland Reply:

    Richard will absolutely love this presentation: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/CAC/Presentations/2016/2016-02-17+JPB+CAC+Wi-Fi+on+Caltrain.pdf (can you spell SamTrans RSMFR?)

    The minutes are even better: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/CAC/Minutes/2016/2016-02-17+JPB+CAC+Minutes.pdf

    Page 4

    “Completed solution design and cost estimates based upon an engineering design study of the proposed solution
     Estimated cost to design and construct: $27.2 million
     Total installed cost (includes internal costs, bonding and insurance): $42.4 million
     Annual operating and maintenance costs: $700,000”

    Page 6

    “Aron Hall, Mountain View, said the $50 million quoted in the presentation pays for all the data for all carriers for 10 years. He said the JPB should think about leveraging Verizon and the $100 billion they spent on the 4G network, and AT&T’s network. There is plenty of capacity and bandwidth out there and the hard part is putting it together into a usable service. He has been doing this for 10 years and is a patent holder for combining networks. He has had considerable success with services to Netflix, Tesla,
    Amazon, LinkedIn, Walmart, and many others. He said this is hard because there are many layers of getting the connection to work properly and needed expertise. Building towers in the right of way and fiber are not going to solve the problem. There will be many reasons that connectivity does not work. What is not a problem is the speed of trains. It is not a signal problem, it is a congestion problem and other layers of service that go into making a great connection for everyone onboard. This is a staggering
    amount of money for Wi-Fi service. He said that there should be a level playing field for companies that provide this service to try putting it onboard.”

    “Roland Lebrun, San Jose, said Singer and Associates marketing firm was hired for $800,000 in 2013 to generate interest. For that money, all that people got was a four-slide PowerPoint presentation. Altamont Corridor Express and Capitol Corridor have Wi-Fi. The total annual operating and maintenance cost for VTA is $100,000 for every single bus and light rail. The real reason VTA got Wi-Fi was to have real-time access to everything on their network, including onboard video, to know where buses are, automatic passenger counters, and because it allows them, based on the load, whether to have
    two- or three-car trains.”

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s not forget that any RSMFR capable of writing “Completed solution design and cost estimates based upon an engineering design study of the proposed solution” should be compensated at a minimum rate of $400/hour + 150% LTK overhead.

    Roland Reply:

    Someone needs to tell Mr. Roadshow about section 6.B of the 1996 agreement: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Public/JPA_Agreement_and_Amendment_10-03-1996.pdf (page 8).

    Talking of the SamTrans RSMFRs, you will be delighted to read that “Free Wi-fi service was not offered as a rating option on this survey because of the unlikeliness of this being an option for Caltrain to offer” http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_MarketDevelopment/pdf/Caltrain+Customer+Experience+Survey+2016.pdf (page 6).

    Why ask a question when you know that you won’t like the answer?
    PS. Anyone wants to guess how much this survey cost?

  24. Roger Christensen
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 21:46
    #24

    Today was the deadline for submitting petitions for getting the Transfer HSR Funds to Building Dams Initiative on the 2018 ballot. I assume this is toast.

    Zorro Reply:

    Maybe by the end of July, maybe. Cause both are still there, 1767 and 1769.

  25. synonymouse
    Jul 25th, 2016 at 23:02
    #25

    Sta. Clarita makes it to French tv:

    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/faits-divers/incendie/incendies-los-angeles-menace_1563039.html

    Or should I say Greater Tejon Ranch Kingdom. Go Jerry.

  26. Roland
    Jul 26th, 2016 at 00:43
    #26

    OT: Was anyone notified of the CWG meeting in Millbrae tonight and, if so, did you attend?

  27. Reality Check
    Jul 26th, 2016 at 22:04
    #27

    After STB ruling, Texas HSR foes hope to kill project next year

    […]

    “Fortunately for landowners and all who value property rights, the Surface Transportation Board made the right decision and declined oversight,” Metcalf said in a statement.

    State Sen. Robert Nichols, a Jacksonville Republican who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, said when the decision was released, “there was joy and celebration in the heartland of Texas,” where he said people don’t want the train. The ruling appears to put the project in limbo, he said.

    “I think they are going to have to use eminent domain if they’re going to build it, and I think they know that the status of whether or not they do or don’t have it under current Texas law is a pretty shaky area, it’s not real clear,” said Nichols. “But had the Surface Transportation Board ruled and taken [the project] on, then they clearly under federal law would have the authority to do it.”

    Nichols said he expects Texas Central to promote legislation next session that “makes it very clear that they do have the right of eminent domain.”

    In 2015, efforts to kill the project were focused primarily on stripping Texas Central of eminent domain authority, preventing the firm from using private lands for the project. Another measure, proposed by Metcalf, would have required elected officials in every city and county along the proposed route to approve it.

    Lawmakers also attempted to stop the project through a last-minute budget rider that would have prevented the Texas Department of Transportation from spending any state funds to assist in the construction of the project. A Senate budget conference committee opted to remove the provision.

    Nichols said it’s possible a similar effort could happen next session.

    […]

    Reality Check Reply:

    Editorial: HSR won’t work in Texas

    There’s a simple reason why high-speed rail won’t work here — this is Texas. We don’t have the kind of density — both of residents and of jobs — that makes high-speed rail viable in the nation’s Northeast; we also love our independence — and our trucks and cars. A high-speed rail project dependent on ticket sales revenues is doomed.

    […]

    With the Texas Central, there’s also the specter of a government bailout. State Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, believes that at some point, there will be an appeal for government funds of some kind. And even if no overt bailout is requested, the project would depend heavily on the liberal use of eminent domain — something else Texans don’t take kindly to.

    “People always talk about, over in Europe, about the high-speed railways there and how it works,” Metcalf told NPR. “But Texas is different. We’re a large state and I want to focus on providing more roadways for people to travel. Riding through ranch land, farm land without people’s say-so … it just doesn’t sit well with me.”

    It’s shaping up to be a rural versus urban issue; state Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville is a staunch opponent of the project.

    […]

    Jerry Reply:

    “Riding through ranch land, farm land without people’s say-so … it just doesn’t sit well with me.’
    But DRIVING through the ranch land and farm land is OK.

    Domayv Reply:

    because cars=America. such BS

    synonymouse Reply:

    Have you spent much time as a pedestrian? Ever have a “motorist” drive right at you for laffs and you had to jump to avoid becoming roadkill?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No, and I don’t drive.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Facepalm

    Danny Reply:

    what, no “it’ll spook the horses”?
    and I do know they have fields in France: this is what happens when you watch too much “Akira”

    agb5 Reply:

    American horses are exceptional.

Comments are closed.