CO2 Reduction Bill Finally Passes Assembly

Aug 23rd, 2016 | Posted by

It’s a big day for cap-and-trade. First, the good news: SB 32, which would extend the state’s CO2 reduction mandate to 2030, finally passed the assembly. Unfortunately, the legislature did not agree to include specific language extending cap-and-trade:

After an intense floor debate, a bill extending California’s greenhouse gas emission targets squeaked by in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 32 was seen as a crucial step for reauthorizing the state’s cap-and-trade program. Gov. Jerry Brown attempted to include an amendment specifically extending cap-and-trade authority but was rebuffed by lawmakers.

The bill now requires a 40 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2030. The current climate law, AB 32, required the state to reach 1990 levels by 2020.

“With SB 32 we continue California’s leadership on climate change,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount. Rendon acknowledged that the bill does not expressly extend the cap-and-trade program, but said it was “a piece of the puzzle” and that he is committed to continuing the program.

Basically, moderate Assembly Democrats, who are bought and paid for by the oil industry, refused to support the bill if it specifically extended cap-and-trade. However, that part of the story isn’t over yet. There’s still a possibility that the legislature will reach a deal to specifically authorize an extension of cap-and-trade.

But there’s also a school of thought in Sacramento that argues the California Air Resources Board has the ability to extend cap-and-trade anyway, without new legislative action. So that gives Governor Brown some important leverage.

The bad news is that today’s auction of cap-and-trade credits did even more poorly than the May auction:

A little more than 1% of state permits available were sold in the latest cap-and-trade auction, according to the California Air Resources Board, which runs the program….

Although final financial details won’t be available until next month, it’s expected that revenue will be less than $10 million. The numbers show an even weaker auction than the previous round in May, when only 2% of state permits were sold.

This isn’t a surprise. As long as the legislature leaves cap-and-trade in limbo like this, it doesn’t make sense for people to buy new credits that could become worthless in just four years. Let’s hope the legislature sides with the environment, the climate, and California’s future rather than with the oil companies.

  1. morris brown
    Aug 23rd, 2016 at 14:57
    #1

    California’s cap-and-trade carbon program sputters again

    California’s embattled cap-and-trade program sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of carbon-emissions credits in the latest state-run auction, but once again many credits were left on the table, officials said Tuesday.

    The results of last week’s auction showed the program, which stumbled badly in the spring and faces an uncertain future in the Legislature, suggested that carbon-credits purchasers are continuing to balk at participating in the state-run sales. Approximately 96 million credits were up for sale, each one representing a ton of carbon emissions, but only about 30.8 million credits were sold, according to results released by the California Air Resources Board.

    Last spring’s auction by the air board ended with nearly $500 million worth of emissions credits unsold. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has been counting on revenue from the auctions to help pay for a variety of programs, including Brown’s high-speed rail project.

    Beyond the quarterly auction results, it’s unclear whether the Legislature will renew cap-and-trade beyond its 2020 expiration date. Earlier this week, legislative Democrats rebuffed Brown’s plan to include cap-and-trade’s renewal in a broader environmental bill, SB 32, which would extend California’s overall fight against greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Lawmakers said the cap-and-trade amendment could complicate efforts to pass the larger bill.

    SB 32 passed the Assembly late Tuesday morning.

    Brown’s top aide, Nancy McFadden, has said the governor is committed to extend cap-and-trade beyond 2020 “one way or another.” A 2018 ballot initiative is one possibility, she said.

    Market analysts say uncertainties about the program’s future appear to be influencing the auction results, prompting some industries and speculators to hold off on purchasing emissions credits.

    Cap-and-trade, inaugurated in 2012, establishes a statewide ceiling on carbon emissions –a cap that declines slightly each year. Although many of the carbon emissions credits are handed out free, industrial companies generally have to buy a portion of their credits, either on the open market or through the quarterly state-run auctions.

    So where is finding for the IOS north going to be obtained?

    Joe Reply:

    July hottest month ever recorded.
    Record heat in Middle East 129F.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/07/22/record-heat-iraq-kuwait/87435904/

    Sea ice extent rebaselined with low the new normal.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/guys-nasa-just-accepted-our-terrible-levels-of-sea-ice-as-the-new-normal

    Yuck yuck brown’s cap and trade is in trouble.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What is the matter Joe? You can’t blame the GOP for this. The Dems, as you have proudly declared, have total control of CA. And since they are so progressive and cool, not like the “soon to die out” party, I can’t understand what the problem is.

    Joe Reply:

    Governing is hard.

    You quite trying and think Dems alone have a responsibility. That’s pathetic it’s not even a concern.

    Yuck yuck Dems can’t govern alone.

    Meanwhile Conservative party has become a white, nativist party. Sweet, just blame someone when co2 cracks 450 ppm.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you are the one who called the GOP “irrelevant in CA”. How could they help govern?

    Sour grapes much. That your precious Dems wont pass your “world saving” law? awww, I’m sorry.

    Joe Reply:

    Blame. It’s my fault.
    It’s Immigration. It’s feminism. It’s radical Islam.

    You built a nice walk to protect that precious mind from any responsibility.

    Governing is hard. Governing with a obstructionist minority even harder.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Can California trendies, hipsters and poseurs really handle chavismo?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait, you’re not blaming BART or PB?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Equating California with the disaster that is Venezuela without any evidence or even approximate similarity is just sad.

    (California is the 6th largest economy in the world, Venezuela is 31st and heading lower.)

    So, California trendies, hipsters, and poseurs won’t have to handle anything like “chavismo”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    California has an incredibly diverse economy producing some of the world’s leading brands in many fields (not to mention its now embattled agriculture; I note the California drought with the price of pistachios in German supermarkets)

    Venezuela has an economy based on oil and nothing but oil. And an incredibly stupid “populist” leadership that gives gasoline to prices lower than milk to the masses instead of investing in a post oil future…

    Ted K. Reply:

    @ Joe – “walk” ? Did you mean “wall” ?

    Jerry Reply:

    So where is the “funding” going to come from for:
    an increase in asthma, and increase in bad air, and increase of cars on 101, a lower quality of life, …………. ?

    Jerry Reply:

    PS Pay me now, or pay me later.

    synonymouse Reply:

    all due to out of control population growth

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    3/4th of a percent seems pretty low

    Joe Reply:

    Look at population by ethnicity.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Why would that matter. A person is a person. We don’t have out of control population growth under any standard

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Because any factor that causes American to vote as a bloc is by definition a political tool.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    California isn’t growing fast enough.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    We aren’t growing fast enough. 5% population growth a year (mostly from people moving here) would be ideal, at least until CA reaches roughly 70-80 million people.

    synonymouse Reply:

    balderdash

    California and indeed the world needs a smaller population.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Alright Paul…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The world may or may not need a smaller population, but California, being a wonderful and wealthy place, should continue to grow rapidly from immigration. I for one won’t be happy until CA is as dense as Belgium.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Interest rates are low right now. And California has a very good credit rating.

    Pay it down with future economic growth and HSR profits.

  2. morris brown
    Aug 23rd, 2016 at 15:24
    #2

    This note from the ARB on the results of the August auction:

    Attached and summarized below are the results from the August 2016 Joint Auction #8 held on August 16, 2016. The Allowances Sold figures shown below include allowances consigned by consigning entities and allowances sold by the State of California and the Province of Québec. The resulting proceeds to the State of California and consigning entities will be available in the California Post Joint Auction Public Proceeds Report that will be posted on September 12, 2016. That said, you can estimate proceeds to the state (deposited into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund) by multiplying the number of ARB allowances sold at auction (660,560) by the settlement price ($12.73), which totals about $8.4M.

  3. Jerry
    Aug 23rd, 2016 at 16:23
    #3

    Examples (plural) of Cap-and-Trade funds being put to good use for California’s Transportation:
    Talgo trainsets coming to Surfliner
    The report also points out the stupidity of Governor Scott of Wisconsin in his turning back money and jobs for the state.
    Post courtesy of Peter.

    Jerry Reply:

    Better link:
    http://stopandmove.blogspot.com/2016/08/amtrak-california-gets-new-funding.html

    Aarond Reply:

    For a point of reference: LA-Vegas Talgo service has been discussed for at least two decades now:

    http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,535545
    http://lasvegassun.com/news/1999/jul/18/la-vegas-high-speed-train-set-for-debut/
    http://www.on-track-on-line.com/amtk-roster-trainsets.shtml#Talgo

    Assuming Xpresswest is still alive, it’s clear what their plan b is.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Maybe the French or Japanese want to pick up where the Chinese left?

    Jerry Reply:

    More samples of Cap-and-Trade helping public transportation:
    Transportation Agency Awards $390 Million in Cap and Trade Grants to Expand Transit, Reduce Emissions and Create Jobs
    http://calsta.ca.gov/Newsroom/CalSTA-News/CalSTA-News-Items/2016-08-16-Agency-Awards-390Mil-in-Cap-and-Trade-Grants.aspx

    synonymouse Reply:

    The midwest is too poor to pay for much subsidized regional rail. Ohio is so poor it has to have a Turnpike. Columbus is the only city doing OK in Ohio, due to being the state capital sucking the blood of the other cities, yet still no streetcars. Town’s always been run by a handful of families. But they love their belt freeways.

    In Indiana it is a miracle the South Shore survived, and may enjoy some extension, but then out of the other side of Chicago the North Shore is gone, and to Scott Walkerland. But he did not do it. I’ll bet some liberals signed off on it. Same for the CA&E.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Cleveland is having a hard time paying or its existing bus service and may have to cut back.

    Aarond Reply:

    Rail is cheaper than highway maintenance, especially when the Rust Belt has a lot of disused track due to outsourcing. Even Michegan is able to pay for both the Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine. Semcog (Ann Arbor-Detroit) has already purchased rolling stock for commuter services, but they’re parked because Semcog didn’t do an EIS.

    Kaisch didn’t want to make the investment for political reasons. It’ll come eventually though, as Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and NJ already have the track for HrSR. Ohio is just a 180 mile gap.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sorry, if urban transit is in retrenchment there really is very little case for subsidized regional rail.

    Ohio is so screwed up they won’t even put in table games or video poker in their most successful suburban casinos – the “racinos”. Just a handful of richies, like Gilbert, run the whole State.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Buses often only have farebox recovery ratios of 10%. A light rail system can easily get up to 70% (approximate figure for Dresden a city of half a million people). To say nothing of the rise in property values along the line.

    You can get better service for less or not much more money. At least one city should give it a try. If it doesn’t work, people can still move to the other cities that instead spent their money on subsidies for car factories.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It took the Broadway Limited 7 hours to get from New York to Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvanian takes 9.
    It takes Aclela longer to get between NY and DC than the express Metroliners did.

    Aarond Reply:

    Might have to do with the fact that the Metroliner had 7 stops, while the Acela has 15. The BL had 5 stops, the Pennsylvanian has 16 with a connecting train in Pittsburgh adding another 10 into Chicago.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Also, the 79 mph rule only became hard and fast after the war.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Speeding up the Wolverine to get it to 2:30h or 3:00 between Detroit and Chicago should be looked into. Seems like a good thing to spend money on to me. Maybe make it a campaign issue since the rust belt seems to be “in play” this time around…

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s probably going to happen at some point. It’s not like Detroit has any other options, and despite all the rhetoric Wayne County and Lansing want Detroit to have a core that can generate tax money (or at least pay for blight removal). And Michegan itself is somewhat of a special case as people there are mad as hell at Ford and GM for moving south of the border. So making a pro-transit argument there is easier than it is in other nearby states.

    (or so is my experience talking to my cousins back there)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So why hasn’t it happened yet?

    GOP governors?

    Aarond Reply:

    It hasn’t happened yet because Detroit has been falling apart for at least three (four?) decades now culminating in their 2013 bankruptcy. Thus, they never had any plans for a 220 mph express train. Also both Snyder (Governor of Michegan) and Pence (Gov of Indiana, also Trump’s veep) supported various Wolverine improvements (such as the Indiana Gateway Project) bringing it up to about 100 mph.

    But again it’s a special case. Neither MI or IN had HSR corridors in the first place, so Snyder and Pence couldn’t play executioner like Walker and Kaisch could in Wisconsin and Ohio. Michegan has been in uncharted territory since most of the car industry left following GM’s bailout.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t think 220 mph would be needed at this time. A three hour travel time could be achieved with a limited stop 125 mph train, if only it is not slowed down at grade crossings and stuff like that.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    no it wouldn’t. And it would cost almost as much.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What makes you draw that conclusion?

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s my point. Right now the goal is to make Detroit accessible through transit, and this starts with a triad of M-1 light rail fed from Semcog and Amtrak. The hope (and a lot of this is hope), is that they’ll be able to rebuild the city core which would pay for removing the blight around it. Hopefully they’ll be able to extend it up to the Detroit Zoo within the next decade.

    Unlike CA, where the goal is to bring level of service up to the level of demand, Detroit has to spur just enough new growth to subsidize a cleanup.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Honestly, given how cheap Detroit land can be hand now, maybe a new light rail line might pay for itself by the raise in property values alone. Maybe a private business might wanna get into that. But there would have to be a subsidy for the operations…

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s not a matter of profitability, it’s doing LRT down Woodward Avenue from the Zoo to the riverfront. But this is easier said than done. M-1 only exists because of a handful of charitable benefactors and the new RTA isn’t exactly pro-rail.

    But the foundation will at least be there.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What I am saying is: Buy up a whole lot of blight for the symbolical dollar. Then tear it down and build transit oriented development and a light rail line through it. Do you think it pays for itself if someone else pays the operating losses of light rail? With gas as subsidized as it is in the US, I don’t think light rail could run an operating surplus, but it might recoup its capital investment through value capture in extreme cases.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. The existing rail line operates at $3-5 per mile which is 10x the cost of the NYC subway and more than triple the cost of buses in Detroit.

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

    2. The state has a multi-billion dollar mess to cleanup in Flint due to total incompetence. 3/4 of a billion just to replace the water lines and then you have the inevitable lawsuits and overruns

    http://wtvr.com/2016/02/03/gov-snyder-estimates-it-will-cost-767419500-to-replace-flints-water-system/

    3. Even after the bankruptcy Detroit still has no idea how it is going to pay for its pension

    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/detroit-bankruptcy/2015/11/14/detroit-pension-balloon-payment-estimated-195m/75657200/

    And you want to build more rail.

    ???

    With what money and to meet what demand. The city of Detroit is a hollow shell with no tax base and an inability to meet basic government needs like police and fire and you want to build a shiney new train??

    If you want to invest in infrastructure in Detroit then build a new fire station of police station or power station or something else of consequence, not expanding an already proven to have failed system.

    Joe Reply:

    The republican governor appointed an unelected “executive” who saved money by not properly treating the water and caused lead corrosion.

    Obviously his failure and intentionally hiding the lead contamination is conclusive evidence we need more of the same failure.

    Trump is your guy 100%

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What happened in Flint was a coup d’etat. The emergency manager law was declared unconstitutional, and Snyder and his cronies simply passed the same law with a few commas replaced and moved around. Flint is just the tip of the iceberg of what happened there.

    And yes, absolutely do I want to build new rail lines in Detroit. The people mover shows the virtue of “classic” rail based transit over reinventing the wheel. And the interesting thing about Detroit is that while the city itself lost over a million people since 1950, the metro area has not shrunk in a major way. This means that there are still people, they have just left Detroit. Now Detroit should have done something about this several decades ago (what they did do was trying to safe their dying car plants instead of putting money into something else) but how do you think the city will attract new residents? New residents means more money, more development, more taxes and so on. A new police station would be a band aid at best. As I said, the construction costs might pay for themselves via turning a dollar an acre blight into valuable high price urban real estate. It’s worth a shot. If you have over sixty years of failed politics as usual, maybe politics as unusual is the way to go.

    The world over we are seeing a trend towards reurbanization. In the US this trend is not yet picking up much steam in most cities, but if Detroit wants to have any chance going forward, it has to fully embrace 21st century city building. There are signs of it, downtown Detroit is actually gaining residents and slowly coming back and there is a surprisingly active cyclist community, but betting big on public transit is at least worth a try. Yet more highways and suburbs has been tried. It has not worked. And you know what they say about the definition of insanity…

    Aarond Reply:

    @John

    It’s the same scheme: concentrate resources into a small, core area and defend that. This is Woodward Ave from the Amtrak station to Hart Plaza. Make the area nice and use the newly generated money to remove the blight which will reduce crime and make property values higher.

    As for pensions, the end is nigh and everyone knows it.

    @Joe

    As much as I want to blame Snyder, the water crisis required multiple levels of failure on part of the local city and the EPA. Remember that we had the same water problem in DC a decade ago, yet the EPA was still quiet on Flint until the media blew it up.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How much less does a grade separation for 125 mph trains cost versus one for 225 mph trains?
    How long does it take to travel 450 miles at 125 miles an hour?

    Build a new-urbanist wet dream of a neighborhood in the middle of Detroit. Where do the people living there take the trolley to?

    synonymouse Reply:

    This is lead from soldered copper?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Flint was a failure by the whole political class. The democracy’s ran the city to the ground(same with Detroit). The GOP appointed an idiot as “dictator” to run the city. And buerecrats at the local, state, and federal level of both parties totally failed to do their job. It’s a disgrace and I hope the successfully prosecute every single one.

    That does not change, however, the fact that THERE IS NO MONEY. Nor does is change the fact that the existing train is expensive and underutilized.

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s the problem, isn’t it? No money. Not even enough for a cleanup.

    The point is that rail offers a solution, even if it’s not HSR. Again the triad of Wolverine, Semcog and M-1 can all work together to make Detroit’s core accessible to people outside Detroit. Or that’s the hope, Detroit doesn’t have much else to burn on.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    125 mph can be done (largely) with improvements to existing lines and marginal realignment. 225 mph requires entirely greenfield and much higher standards (tighter curves and so on). 125 mph can also (in part) be achieved by tilting on rather curvy legacy lines. The Brits have some experience with that.

    Also, 450 miles? You sure that’s the rail distance between Chicago and Detroit?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In nice round numbers it’s 450 from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Via places where there are passengers to get on and off passenger trains.

    It’s 281 miles between Chicago and Detroit.

    https://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/1018/135/Michigan-Services-Schedule-070216.pdf

    It’s really really flat between Chicago and Detroit. With lots of really really straight track that’s been there for a really really long time. The squiggly bits downtown, how much less does it cost to build a grade separated bypass outside of town compared to a 225 mph bypass? …. it’s reallly reallly flat all the way to Utica New York. It’s reallly realllly flat all the way to New Orleans or Denver. Not that people who can fly would take a train from Detroit to Denver or New Orleans.

    125 MPH is too slow for Chicago-Cleveland or Cleveland-New York. Or Cleveland-Boston. Or Columbus-Milwaukee. Or Cincinatti-Philadelphia. Or Toledo-Rochester or…. How much cheaper is 125 mph from Akron to Harrisburg compared to 225? There’s all sorts of squiggly bits along that route.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Why do you like streetcars?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I like European style light rail streetcars.

    I am not entirely sold on the US style half mile streetcars

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    US Style half mile streetcars are terrible, like most urban transit lines that run in mixed traffic.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So why are they still built?

    Alan Reply:

    Yeah, Chicago is just too poor for all that rail transportation it has…

    The South Shore survived for several reasons, not the least of which was its freight business. Another was the excellent access to the Loop over the IC electric division–something the North Shore and CA&E lacked. Their access over the CTA elevated couldn’t compare. The South Shore also has the benefit of the relocated line around Gary, in the median of the Indiana Toll Road.

    Insinuating that liberals had something to do with the demise of the North Shore and CA&E is a load of crap. The road ceased operation in January, 1963, and the CA&E was gone before 1960. Both roads were private operations with marginal freight business. If they’d survived until the late ’60’s, it’s possible that they could have started receiving public help. But they were gone before that became feasible.

    Joe Reply:

    You feel creeped when Syno starts pontificating about your home town.

    Southern routes had more peopl/density and traffic. Southern routes have access to Randolph st staton. Alternative is Union station which is out of the loop and Further away.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Liberals are as much a tool of the highway lobby as Repubs.

    See Barbara Boxer, who could always find money for more lanes on 101 in Marin.

  4. morris brown
    Aug 24th, 2016 at 04:09
    #4
  5. morris brown
    Aug 24th, 2016 at 06:08
    #5

    @ Robert …. Why is the blog so slow to respond. What is wrong? Sometimes taking way to long to respond

  6. morris brown
    Aug 24th, 2016 at 06:13
    #6

    AB-1889 (Mullin) was passed over yesterday (8/23). On the calendar today as item #169. It is hard to understand why the delay. This bill has to go back to the Assembly; the dead line is the end of August or else it dies.

    Roland Reply:

    Morris, the bill was called for the first time yesterday (shortly after the lunch recess) but Senator Galgiani passed it back to the 3rd reading file. I am fairly sure they will vote on it today.

    Roland Reply:

    Live video: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=2699

    Roland Reply:

    Recessed for lunch. They have now adjourned to the Senate Judiciary Committee: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=2723

    Senator Beall announced that they would be adjourning to the Transportation Committee upon adjournment of the Senate Judiciary Committee so it is anybody’s guess if will be returning to the Assembly floor by 1.00 PM to hear any more Bills…

    Roland Reply:

    We are at #160. Stand by…

    Roland Reply:

    #169 Passed on file (again). How much longer can they kick this can of worms down the road?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Aug 30 I belive

    Roland Reply:

    Back on the 3rd reading file as #81 on today’s agenda: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=2700

    Roland Reply:

    Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Roland Reply:

    Ayes 16. Noes 10. Senator Galgiani moved the call which means that they will vote on it again at the end of today’s session (they need 5 more votes to pass).

    Roland Reply:

    Back to business after lunch recess: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=2731. Everything will happen very fast at the end of the session when they call absentees for all the bills that have been voted on so far today.

    Roland Reply:

    Here we go!!!!!! AB1889 is #81

    Roland Reply:

    AB1889 passes. Ayes:25, Noes: 12
    What happens next is going to be interesting…

    synonymouse Reply:

    !Not! There is so much mendacity these days it should be retitled mundacity. Boring.

  7. Roland
    Aug 24th, 2016 at 10:03
    #7

    Breaking News: http://www.progressiverailroading.com/high_speed_rail/news/Congressional-hearing-to-examine-status-of-California-highspeed-rail-project–49237

    Roland Reply:

    Witness List:

    The Honorable Sarah Feinberg, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
    Mr. Dan Richard, Chairman of the Board, California High-Speed Rail Authority
    Mr. Jim Hartnett, CEO, Caltrain
    Mr. Stuart Flashman, Attorney, Law Offices of Stuart Flashman
    Mr. Robbie Hunter, President, State Building & Construction Trades Council of California

    http://transportation.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=400651

    Jerry Reply:

    The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. (Pacific Time) on Monday, August 29, 2016, in Room B040 of the San Francisco Federal Building, 90 7th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.  This hearing is open to the public.

    Roland Reply:

    Webcast link: http://transportation.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=400651

    Aarond Reply:

    Based on the way that’s worded, the hearing sounds like it’s meant to force CHSRA back into a southern IOS.

    Caltrain’s CEO will be there. I wonder if he’ll be asked about CBOSS?

    Roland Reply:

    You betcha!

    Roland Reply:

    Talking of CBOSS, the gift indeed keeps on giving:
    “$2.88 million to conduct two test procedures for the field integration and functional testing of Caltrain’s Interoperable-Incremental Train Control System (I-ITCS) that will allow Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS) equipped tenants to seamlessly operate on Caltrain’s tracks.”
    http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12245897/fra-awards-25m-in-grants-for-positive-train-control-implementation

    Alan Reply:

    Well, four of the five witnesses are highly qualified and can give the committee members the facts about the project. The fifth is a hack lawyer who rarely misses a chance to spread lies and misinformation about HSR…

    Joe Reply:

    Jeff Denham might grill someone over his string of courtroom losses.

    Peter Reply:

    Ah, but you’re forgetting that the whole idea was to use the lawsuits to set the famous “Flashman Mousetrap”.

    Joe Reply:

    Recall the Milton Bradley game of same name.

    The game was a Rube Goldberg machine that once constructed by players, will drop a plastic cage on a plastic mouse.

    Appropriate metaphor.

    Maybe Operation for his next legal trick. Or Mystery Date.

    Alan Reply:

    Courtroom Twister…

    Jerry Reply:

    As Fats Domino’s alleged son Chubby Checker might sing:
    Let’s Twister again like we did last summer.
    Or was that like we did last ‘hearing.’?

    Jerry Reply:

    Scheduled for Aug. 29 in San Francisco, the hearing will examine the project’s status and evolving scope, as well as the levels of federal and state support necessary to complete the project. 

    U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), who has proposed legislation to defund the high-speed rail project, chairs the subcommittee.

    Joe Reply:

    Flashman apparently drives his Nissan Leaf @55 mph in the HOV/carpool lane. Let’s hope he takes transit.

    Alan Reply:

    He’ll forget his Fastrak device and get nailed by the CHP…

    Joe Reply:

    Nailed by the Mercury News Road Show Column — tagged with “arrogant road boulder” moniker for his power saving 55MPH driving skillzzzz.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow/ci_30188918/roadshow-going-55-mph-carpool-lane-raises-ire

    Hilarious.

  8. SMG
    Aug 24th, 2016 at 11:14
    #8

    I don’t see how slandering Democrats in the assembly is useful.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    but slandering GOP assembly members is everyone’s favorite sport. Why shouldn’t the Democrats play also.

    Jerry Reply:

    Slander is against the law. Please report violations to Flashman.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is truth a defense against slander?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    In the US yes, my understanding is it is not in Europe, at least in Britan.

    Also “puffery” is protected. So you can call Trump a ‘bastard son of a bitch’ and even if he was not born out of wedlock he won’t win if he sues you. Unlike the current case in Germany we don’t prsecute comedians for making jokes about heads of state

    Basically as long as you don’t threaten violence or make specific accusations (he is a pedophile and I have proof) then you a pretty safe.

    We were not using “slander” in the legal sense but more a common definition of saying something bad about someone.

    Edward Reply:

    There is of course a relevant word. From Merriam-Webster:

    “Trumpery derives from the Middle English trompery and ultimately from the Middle French tromper, meaning “to deceive.” (You can see the meaning of this root reflected in the French phrase trompe-l’oeil-literally, “deceives the eye”-which in English refers to a style of painting with photographically realistic detail.) Trumpery first appeared in English in the mid-15th century with the meanings “deceit or fraud” (a sense that is now obsolete) and “worthless nonsense.” Less than 100 years later, it was being applied to material objects of little or no value. The verb phrase trump up means “to concoct with the intent to deceive,” but there is most likely no etymological connection between this phrase and trumpery.”

    The site continues with more valuable information:

    Synonyms
    applesauce [slang], balderdash, baloney (also boloney), beans, bilge, blah (also blah-blah), blarney, blather, blatherskite, blither, bosh, bull [slang], bunk, bunkum (or buncombe), claptrap, codswallop [British], crapola [slang], crock, drivel, drool, fiddle, fiddle-faddle, fiddlesticks, flannel [British], flapdoodle, folderol (also falderal), folly, foolishness, fudge, garbage, guff, hogwash, hokeypokey, hokum, hoodoo, hooey, horsefeathers [slang], humbug, humbuggery, jazz, malarkey (also malarky), moonshine, muck, nerts [slang], nuts, piffle, poppycock, punk, rot, rubbish, senselessness, silliness, slush, stupidity, taradiddle (or tarradiddle), tommyrot, tosh, trash, nonsense, twaddle

    Jerry Reply:

    Rumor has it that Trump’s mother was a thespian.
    And there is proof that when Trump was in college he got caught one time actually matriculating in public.

    Edward Reply:

    Don’t forget that he is a serial masticator. In public even…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He has been known to consume edibles with utensils in a highly unusual way in the New Amsterdam area.

    Jon Stewart has even made a piece on it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way Böhmermann (the name of the comedian) has not been punished (yet) and is on the air again. In fact the whole affair seems if anything to have strengthened his profile. If you understand German, I highly recommend his show (“Neo Magazin Royale”) as it has absurdist humor as well as subtle political jokes that make you want to laugh but unable to do so. He has also done a parody on gangstah-rap (a phenomenon that exists in the German language, amazingly enough) and the German police. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNjG22Gbo6U it is so well done, some police have interpreted it as actually being a celebration of police instead of a subtle jab at them. This song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMQkV5cTuoY is also great and mostly in English.

    At any rate, given that quite recently the German constitutional court has defined the freedom to criticize very broadly, I think Böhmermann will be acquitted.

    And the law he was accused under is supposed to be thrown out soon. At least, that’s what the government said…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    is this the same government that…

    The legislative branch passed the original law
    the executive branch approved his prosecution
    and the judicial branch found him guilty.

    Of what? Criticizing a foreign head of state?

    Germany is supposed to be a modern western democracy, this is the kind of thing you find in a third world hellhole. How do all the branches of the government fail simultaneously.

    The US locked up all the Japanese in violation of their rights, but at least they had the panic of a war to provide some context. I have read everything I can on this situation and I still dont understand why anyone in the German government (much less EVERYONE) allow this?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The original law has been on the books since the 19th century.

    He has not been found guilty of anything.

    And yes, German libel law is ridiculous, but it is much better than British libel laws and the German freedom of speech is slowly but surely expanded by the constitutional court.

  9. Reality Check
    Aug 24th, 2016 at 15:59
    #9

    Must-watch TV: fascinating vintage 1966 BART documentary

    At 13:30: “The decision to use wider tracks was at the time considered to be a little bit bizarre, but as we got farther into the testing program we realized it was necessary to provide wider track based upon wind-tunnel tests which were made on models of the cars. These indicated a wider gauge was necessary to obtain the safety against overturning and for the prevailing winds and the long sections of overhead line which occur in the Bay Area … but that wasn’t the end of the decisions on trackage by any means …”

    See related SF Chron story: See what the plans for BART looked like 50 years ago.

    Don’t miss the photo album including a Sept. 27, 1972 shot of a smiling “tricky Dick” Nixon boarding BART!

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wow, how is it all those other trains stay upright in freight and rail. So lucky we have avoided wind disasters for 100+ years

    J. Wong Reply:

    They don’t. Haven’t you see the video of a train getting blown off a viaduct in New Orleans? Train blown off viaduct during storm.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Boxcars, particularly excess height (AAR Plate F @ 17 feet above top of rail) and/or empty ones are giant sails perfect for being blown over in high winds that the Bay Area rarely if ever sees (the type for which bridge traffic would go from a wind advisory to an almost-certain shutdown of bridge/viaduct traffic.

    Instead of a string of lightly-loaded tall freight cars on the Huey P. Long viaduct during a raging wind+rain storm … the more relevant example would be any low profile BART-comparable (eg. S-Bahn type) trains getting blown off tracks. (BART trains are perfectly square 10.5 feet tall x 10.5 feet wide.)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    We are not in a tropical storm in New Orleans. It was obviously a ridiculous reason. They just didn’t want to ever have to worry about sharing tracks.

    Joe Reply:

    How about wind storm in 2009? I was driving from high desert to bay area and wind storm hit the state and made driving very difficult. It blew a boat under a bridge.

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Whipping-Wind-Sends-Boat-into-Bridge.html

    http://abc7news.com/weather/high-winds-topple-trees-partially-close-great-hwy/1307470/

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And the trains? Wow. It blew a boat…under a bridge. Call the news

    Standard gage trains are not blowing over except in extreme circumstances.

    Do you just reflectively disagree with everything I write?

    What if I write “Obama is awesome”

    Joe Reply:

    They did call the news and issued warnings for the bridges and highways.
    Tropical storm winds are defined as 39MPH+ This one wind storm was gusting to 60 in the Bay Area.

    Do you reflexively get things wrong or is it for attention.

    I drove that day from the high desert north and it was very difficult. My car was blown over the road with gusts.

    Yes, Obama is awesome.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And how many trains tipped over in this conflagration? Let me guess? 0

    The Bay Area is kinda famous for its moderate weather. Do you really think our trains are so susceptible to,tipping in these windstorms they had to ignore the national standard? Get real

    joe Reply:

    And how many trains tipped over in this conflagration?

    None – trains were designed for this circumstance.

    I think they did design the lighter trains wider for safety and comfort. These were aluminum and designed to be lighter than standard units in service and also for comfort to attract riders.

    FWIW, 60 MPH winds are not moderate — prepare for the average and you wouldn’t need insurance.

    synonymouse Reply:

    MARTA standard gauge cars are the same width as BART cars. It is corruption and a cover story, just like Palmdale.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    True, MARTA never had to appease Southern Pacific to get itself built. It was already proven technology with a track record of support in Washington.

    Roland Reply:

    @John: I would not take this personally. Joece is a systems scientist who looks at system level properties and reflectively disagrees with anything written by anyone other else.

    Joey Reply:

    It’s worth noting that (1) BART cars are quite light so possibly more susceptible to wind than other rail cars and (2) The original intention was to run trains over the Golden Gate Bridge, which might have higher winds than elsewhere in the system. I’m not saying the reasoning was valid (and I’m quite skeptical myself), but there was some reasoning there.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There never was any substantive chance of BART across the GG Bridge at that time as the district wanted a second deck for lucrative toll-paying private autos and trucks.

    Deal with it – 2 Bechtels sitting on the SP board.

  10. Reality Check
    Aug 24th, 2016 at 16:12
    #10

    Caltrain co-hosts presser with US Transport Sec’y Tony Foxx regarding SJ BART & #CalMod projects

    Today we co-hosted a press conference with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx regarding the BART Silicon Valley and #CalMod projects. We are on the path to securing $647 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s Core Capacity Project. Together these two projects would make San Jose Diridon the busiest ground transportation hub West of the ol’ Mississippi, according to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

    “Travel times are going to keep going up and up. Unless we seize the future,” said US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

    synonymouse Reply:

    San Josie, you mean the city talking about declaring a state of crime emergency.

    Aarond Reply:

    Better to declare a state of emergency when it makes sense, then to ignore it and let things get worse like SF does.

    Peter Reply:

    You mean the state of crime emergency being used as a political tool, not because of an actual increase in crime?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s a political tool largely because of realignment (remember that?). Counties can’t use state prisons as a dumping ground for offenders the counties don’t want to keep in their own jails. That trickles down to cities who do the same thing to counties.

    Joe Reply:

    No need to link to a news article.

    Oracle at Delphi, Greece was built on a volcanic vent and its hypothesize the gasses would induce hallucinations which were interpreted as divine insights.

    Newspaper says a police staffing “emergency” rooted in a pension / cost cutting dispute
    Between Union, City Gov and citizens.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_30286587/san-jose-council-members-question-police-staffing-emergency

    Jerry Reply:

    Only one state has a capital named after a religious ritual and we got it.
    Don’t know if it was built near a volcanic vent. Maybe near a mushroom farm.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Oh. That.

    I was talking about the actual increase in crime, not the annual Chuck Reed Invitational at San Jose City Hall. Didn’t realize how parochial you guys were being.

    Roland Reply:

    It would appear that Secretary Foxx was on his way back to the airport after visiting the Berryessa station: https://twitter.com/VTA/status/768504246262116354.

    It is unclear at this point where the VTA bus actually picked up Jim Hartnett. Santa Clara County taxpayers would like to know if Mr. Hartnett paid cash or if he used Clipper.

    Joe Reply:

    No.
    I don’t want to know or have others stalk him over such trivialities.

    Roland Reply:

    http://patch.com/california/losaltos/u-s-transportation-secretary-praises-work-future-bart-sites-santa-clara-county

    Jerry Reply:

    “If passed by a two-thirds majority, Measure B would help the VTA collect $6 billion to $6.5 billion to fund transportation projects, repair roads and help improve connections for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout 
    the county, agency officials said.

    The second phase of the BART project would receive $1.5 billion and $314 million would go to help improve the Caltrain corridor, according to the VTA.”

    Jerry Reply:

    BART beats CalTrain, 5 to 1.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BR Stokes rules from the grave.

    Clem Reply:

    Nice to see grade separations not counted as a Caltrain expense. They are really a BART cost overrun slush fund, to be allocated at the whim of the VTA board.

    Aarond Reply:

    In the near term Caltrain is functional but BART doesn’t run to SJ. Once BART is running to SJ, then the economic center will really start shifting south as people in the tri-valley and east bay will be able to reliably commute south.

    SamTrans’s grip remains firm.

    Clem Reply:

    Yeah, San Jose is really growing like crazy, it’s amazing!

    Aarond Reply:

    I agree that it’s a bad state of affairs. But Caltrain (nor ACE) are VTA’s priorities. They want to steal SF’s workforce. SamTrans remains in control over Caltrain because nobody else wants it.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You mean: STOP SF from stealing ITS workforce…

    Joe Reply:

    Neither South Santa Clara County nor San Jose.

    Roland Reply:

    Wait until DBR reopens…

    Roland Reply:

    SamTrans’ grip on what?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Um…unless major Silicon Valley players like Apple want to move to downtown SF…BART isn’t going to solve the issue you are talking about.

    It *will* encourage more firms to move downtown and help gentrify Union City, Hayward, San Leandro…etc.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It means that the Bay is really becoming Polycentric, just like LA. The bay is growing up so fast.

    Roland Reply:

    “Among the listed projects, the measure would provide $700 million for Caltrain grade separation projects throughout Santa Clara County. ” http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/06/03/valley-transportation-authority-board-approves-new-sales-tax-measure

    The $314 million are for capacity enhancements including $300M for “Calmod 2.0” (wait until MTC and the other partners find out the “other” 96 Stadler cars!!!) and $14M for a 4th train to/from Gilroy.

    Clem Reply:

    The $700 million were not listed above. I think this “grade separation” funding is highly vulnerable to BART overruns, especially if Santa Clara isn’t amputated very soon.

    Roland Reply:

    No it is not. My friend Carl tried to pull that stunt for a 3rd time 2 years ago and was stopped dead in his tracks by Palo Alto and others (this is the REAL reason why the 1/2 cent sales tax Measure did not make it to the 2014 Ballot).

    As far as the Santa Clara amputation is concerned, my friend Carl has a grandiose plan to loop BART back to SJC hence the Berryessa To Santa Clara bus ride with Secretary Foxx on board.

    Are we having fun yet?

    Clem Reply:

    The ballot measure approved by VTA allows them to reallocate funds quite easily. Rumors of ironclad protections are highly exaggerated.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Your friend Carl should focus on a cost-effective people mover North from Diridon direct over the vacant land to the terminals. Otherwise unless you are on BART or Caltrain it’s 2 connections.

    So let’s provide direct airport service for HSR, light rail, BRT, downtown busses, downtown workers and residents without the high costs and risks and lead time of BART. (Like the OAC, if Carl wants to spend extra he can let BART build an OAC style connection)

  11. Roland
    Aug 25th, 2016 at 10:55
    #11

    OT: TunnelTalk article on GBT ventilation system modes: normal, maintenance (extra air for workers) and emergency: http://www.tunneltalk.com/Gotthard-Baseline-Tunnel-3Aug2016-Innovative-ventilation-solutions.php

    Roland Reply:

    This article covers aerodynamic and ventilation issues in high-speed tunnels http://tunneltalk.com/TunnelTECH-May2015-Aerodynamics-and-ventilation-in-rail-tunnels-civil-measures.php. These are the same issues behind the hyperloop concept (atmospheres are the enemy of speed).

  12. morris brown
    Aug 25th, 2016 at 18:44
    #12

    Short Video of the State Senate Hearing today (8-25-2016) on AB-1889 (Mullin)

    https://youtu.be/HLPYfS5SPMI

    about 4 minutes.

    Senator Galgiani presents with a very short rebuttal by Senator Gains.

    Galgiani became the floor manager for this bill after protesting violently against it in the June Senate Transportation committee. Now amended with the possibility that such funding might flow into her district, she no longer cares whether funding coming from Prop 1A is for HSR or not.

    Bill passed later in session (as noted above) on a 25 to 12 vote.

    Jerry Reply:

    So when do the lawsuits begin?

    synonymouse Reply:

    rubberstamp

    Roland Reply:

    5 minutes after someone files a funding plan for a project that does not comply with the Bond Act.

    agb5 Reply:

    As amended.

    Roland Reply:

    AFTER the voters approved it which means that I totally forgot about the first law suit which might be as soon as when the Governor signs the Bill(?)

    agb5 Reply:

    So law suit #2 is contingent on the result of law suit #1, a compex mouse trap.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Which is of course only the prelude to lawsuit #3, the reckoning of electric boogaloo reloaded

  13. Roland
    Aug 26th, 2016 at 01:15
    #13

    OT: Remember how the PCEP expenditures and funding sources were all perfectly aligned last month http://tinyurl.com/jmk56kf? Well that was just for fun: America’s finest are already forecasting a $150M shortfall before they even got started:
    “Current cash flow projections for the PCEP forecast funding gaps between the time payments are due for work performed and the timing of receipts from the funding sources associated with such work, most of which are available on a reimbursement basis. At its highest point, the funding gap is currently projected to be approximately $150 million.”
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-09-01+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf (click on #9)

    Are we having fun yet?

    William Reply:

    @Roland, you are misrepresenting Caltrain’s statement, as usual.

    The Sept. Agenda clearly stated it is a cash-flow problem, not a shortfall of total budget. Although I would preferred PCJPB avoiding short term loan by going to MTC and/or CHSRA to re-juggle some funding schedule.

  14. morris brown
    Aug 26th, 2016 at 03:58
    #14

    LA Times: California’s ‘most hazardous’ rail crossing will get a major overhaul

    Here is another regional project being (partially) funded by HSR Prop 1A funds. This one doesn’t even pretend to be HSR — there is no electrification here at all — just funding for a grade separation.

    Aarond Reply:

    During Phase 2 (LA-SD) it’s clear that HSR will have to be routed through the area somehow so it makes total sense in that regard. But this is putting the cart before the horse, if LA wants to use Prop1A funds it should be for LinkUS or for Tehachapi tunnels first.

    agb5 Reply:

    The crossing is on the LA to Anaheim corridor which is part of Phase 1.

    Aarond Reply:

    Google Maps tells me the intersection (and RR crosings) of Rosecrans and Marquardt in Santa Fe Springs is south of DTLA.

    Joe Reply:

    Where does google maps place Anaheim CA?

    Aarond Reply:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Rosecrans+Ave+%26+Marquardt+Ave,+Santa+Fe+Springs,+CA+90670/@33.9111095,-118.0783758,13.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dd2cb9c172bf01:0x9e34f2178714bdef!8m2!3d33.9025303!4d-118.0378681

    Joe Reply:

    Seems to be between downtown LA and Anaheim.

    Aarond Reply:

    yes, but south of DTLA. Getting to Disneyland is important, but being able to through-run trains at LAUS is a prerequisite and that’s not fixed yet.

    Joe Reply:

    All part of a plan to run HSR on that existing ROW and derive early benefit for the region. This spot seems like a good bang for buck.

    Prop1a is not a delayed gratification initiative.

    You think it’s not?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Yup. Phase 1 corridor.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Fixing the busiest grade crossing in the state is a good thing to spend money on, no matter where it comes from…

    Besides, Prop 1 A funds are only one component in the funding there…

    Joe Reply:

    The horror.

    Joe Reply:

    Oh the horror.

    Meanwhile, please grade separate Menlo Park. Caltrain is very very disruptive.

    StevieB Reply:

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is funding 50 percent of a $137 million project to grade separate Rosecrans and Marquardt Avenues in Santa Fe Springs.

    LA Metro – Rosecrans-Marquardt Grade Separation Video

    This intersection has been rated by the California Public Utilities Commission as the most hazardous grade crossing in the State of California – with over 52,000 vehicles and around 110 trains using this grade crossing every day. See why the high-speed rail program is investing in this key safety improvement project that will benefit drivers and pedestrians, and improve overall regional mobility.

  15. synonymouse
    Aug 26th, 2016 at 11:38
    #15

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-metro-rail-cars-20160807-snap-story.html

    Jesse Haugh was wrong. What is the status of the Hollywood Hills tunnel? I heard they put a housing block right in front of the portal. Sounds about right for Jetsons LA.

    Ted K. Reply:

    I think you are referring to the sealed off Belmont Tunnel.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmont_Tunnel_/_Toluca_Substation_and_Yard

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yes, thank you. Any way around that dumb apartment complex?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I remember from being in Montreal in ’73 they had just cut part of a street right thru an existing building. Just cut a hole in it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Wikipedia article apartments were built in the former yard.

    Joey Reply:

    The Regional Connector is severing the other end now too. There’s not much useful length left, even if you did want to restore service along that route.

  16. morris brown
    Aug 26th, 2016 at 13:34
    #16

    Information on the Federal Hearing on HSR chaired by Rep Jeff Denham can be found at:

    http://transportation.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=400651

    If unable to attend, the hearing can be viewed live at this link (Monday 8/28/2016 9:00 AM)

    Just released is a Summary of the subject matter to be covered, which as an excellent review of events to date.

    It can be viewed at:

    http://transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2016-08-29_-_rr_ssm.pdf

    Jerry Reply:

    Part of the subject matter is on page 3, #3 – Positive Train Control Spectrum Acquisition.
    All required PTC activity as required by Congress should be subject to separate grants.

  17. Bahnfreund
    Aug 26th, 2016 at 17:28
    #17

    On not entirely related High Speed Rail News:

    Amtrak releases their successor to the Acela. Apparently it will be manufactured by Alstom (builders of the French TGV)

    https://www.narprail.org/news/releases/amtrak-unveils-avelia-liberty-trainsets-future-of-train-travel/

    http://blog.amtrak.com/2016/08/amtraks-next-generation-high-speed-trains/

    The most interesting factoid to me is that they are apparently 30% lighter. That’s very good news.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    The press release I read said 30% more energy efficient. That is not the same thing as 30% lighter.

    Clem Reply:

    The Alstom video (linked above from Amtrak blog) states 20% more energy efficient and 30% lighter, around the 2:30 mark. The train is articulated, essentially a non-EMU version of the AGV with locomotives on each end.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    So 30% lighter than the Acela I? That is still pretty heavy.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s still quite the leap forward.

    Jerry Reply:

    New Acela trains to be made in New York state.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/us/politics/amtraks-answer-for-aging-acela-fleet-160-mph-trains.html
    “This is a serious, serious upgrade,” Mr. Biden said. “You would need seven more lanes on I-95 to accommodate the traffic if Amtrak shut down.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I want Biden to remain in some rail transport related capacity in the Federal Government or Amtrak after his term ends in January.

Comments are closed.