Legislature and Governor Reach Cap-and-Trade Funding Deal

Aug 31st, 2016 | Posted by

This isn’t the deal to extend cap-and-trade, but it may help achieve it: Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders reached a deal on how to spend $900 million in cap-and-trade revenues. From the governor’s office comes this list:

-$368 million to the Air Resources Board, including:
-$133 million to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program.
-$80 million to the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program, Plus-Up Pilot Project and up to $20 million of this amount may be used for other light-duty equity pilot projects.
-$150 million for heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment investments.
-$5 million for black carbon wood smoke programs.

–$140 million to the Office of Planning and Research for the Strategic Growth Council to provide transformative climate communities grants.

–$135 million to the Transportation Agency for the Transit and Intercity Rail Program.

–$80 million to the Natural Resources Agency for the Urban Greening program.

–$65 million to the Department of Food and Agriculture, including:
-$50 million for the early and extra methane emissions reductions from dairy and livestock operations.
-$7.5 million for the Healthy Soils Program.
-$7.5 for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP).

–$40 million to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, including:
-$25 million for the Healthy Forest Program.
-$15 million for urban forestry programs.

–$40 million to the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery for waste diversion and greenhouse gas reduction financial assistance.

–$20 million to the Department of Community Services and Development for weatherization and renewable energy projects.

–$10 million to the Department of Transportation for the Active Transportation Program.

–$2 million to the Office of Planning and Research for the Strategic Growth Council to provide technical assistance to disadvantaged communities.

And that’s on top of existing funds, including the HSR funds. While this doesn’t extend cap-and-trade, one of the obstacles to a legislative extension was a debate about how to spend it. Hopefully this helps keep the program alive.

  1. Roland
    Aug 31st, 2016 at 23:07
    #1

    OT: Video confirming once and for all that Jim Hartnett is dangerously unqualified to manage a railway line: https://youtu.be/qsdfYn8bOK8

    Reality Check Reply:

    Truly amazing.

    Nothing magic about four-quadrandt (“quad”) gates. They typically merely feature more gate arms to cover the two “exit” road quadrants usually left open … to cover sidewalks, “ped gates” are used, which are just crossing gates with shorter arms. Ped gates are often coupled with exit gates, to allow peds “caught” inside the crossing area to exit without having to duck under or lift the lowered arms.

    Hartnett is either lying or mind-blowingly ignorant of the fact that any pedestrian can lift and/or simply duck under a lowered crossing gate!

    (Gate arms are counter-weighted, so lifting them is trivially easy.)

    Roland Reply:

    Jim Hartnett would never lie. The liars are the RSMFRs who feed him this kind of crap all day long and there is no way he would know the difference.

    Jerry Reply:

    Happens all the time in both politics and business. And the Internet is exposing

    Jerry Reply:

    more of it every day.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Hartnett is either lying or mind-blowingly ignorant …

    No need for an exclusive choice.

    Roland Reply:

    Be nice…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    forty eight views!

    Roland Reply:

    Is that good or bad?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You decide.

  2. Jerry
    Aug 31st, 2016 at 23:14
    #2

    And over $400 million is still held in reserve.

  3. Roland
    Sep 1st, 2016 at 00:03
    #3
  4. JJJJ
    Sep 1st, 2016 at 07:20
    #4

    Are methane emissions part of cap and trade? If not, why?

    Joe Reply:

    Good
    Question

    CO2 is the baseline. Methane is typically assigned an equivalent of 30 CO2 molecules.
    Or eCO2 of 32.

    Aarond Reply:

    the law says “Co2” not “CH4”

    Joe Reply:

    The Law says greenhouse gas.

    https://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/capandtrade.htm

    Cap-and-trade is a market based regulation that is designed to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) from multiple sources. Cap-and-trade sets a firm limit or cap on GHGs and minimize the compliance costs of achieving AB 32 goals.

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted the state’s cap-and-trade rule on October 20, 2011, and will implement and enforce the program. The cap-and-trade rules will first apply to electric power plants and industrial plants that emit 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year or more.

    Methane has a CO2e of ~30, depending on the exchange rate method.

  5. Trentbridge
    Sep 1st, 2016 at 07:55
    #5

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Statewide_Rail_Modernization/Project_Sections/palmdale_burbank.html

    The revised “refined” SR14 route is a major change – and appears to accept that long tunnels are now a requisite for this alignment too. I would suggest that this is now the favored route since it moves this alignment closer to the refined E1 and refined E2 routes and becomes much shorter than the previous version.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Dig dem crazy curves – literally.

    If you are going to blow billions on a quasi-base tunnel why not go straight south from PodunkDale towards LA and bypass beautiful downtown bustling metropolitan Burbank?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Because Burbank AIRPORT serves the over 6 million people who live in the San Fernando Valley, Northern San Gabriel Valley, Arroyo Vertigo, Hollywood, and much of the Westside and South Bay better than LAUS (assuming R2 is fully built out.) An alternative station in Pasadena (a more direct route) or no station before LAUS doesn’t have the same ridership base.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Will Burbank airport still be around once HSR is fully built?

    StevieB Reply:

    The FAA hates to close airports. Santa Monica wants to develop the airport land and the FAA says it will sue. FAA Threatens Legal Action Against Santa Monica for Its Effort to Shut Down the City Airport

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why?

    MarkB Reply:

    The feds spend millions in grants to maintain and upgrade local airports. In exchange, a city receiving a grant has to agree to keep the airport open for at least 25 years. For Santa Monica, the disagreement is about the most recent grant: did the 25-year clock begin when the first dollar was received? Or when the final dollar was received? Years separate the two: the city says 25 years runs out in 2018: the feds say 2023.

    Beyond that, the military took control of SM Airport during World War II. Part of the agreement to return the airport to city control (after the war) was an agreement that the city would maintain the airport as an airport in perpetuity. Now the city says, “Just kidding!”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Damn federal government always dictating the states what to do…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The airport really is in a TERRIBLE location, IMO

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I think it should be closed. It could be a residential, human oriented Century City 2.0, a better use of the land. Burbank airport is mostly just flights to the bay area, with a few to the northwest, mountain west, and New York thrown in. I still stand by my plan to build a copy of Atlanta Airport in Palmdale, which, with HSR, would be easier to access from much of LA than LAX, not to mention having quick “connections” to the bay, central valley, and las vegas by HSR. The land LAX stands on could be so much more than just an airport, and could potentially solve the LA housing crisis, and Palmdale could become the world’s first true “Aerotropolis.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That sounds like a surprisingly good idea, but what would people in Palmdale say about the noise?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They would *probably* welcome the economic growth, and the flight paths don’t go over *many* homes.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Let’s move San Quentin to Palmdale.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus they can get a lot of money from the special tax district for the airport (seriously, the tax for a simple magazine in the average US airport can be crazy high)

    EJ Reply:

    That’s… actually not a bad idea. LAX is too small and permanently constrained, and a waste of some perfectly decent beach-adjacent property. There’s a proposal in San Diego (currently very unlikely to come to fruition) to build a new airport out in the middle of the desert by the Mexican border, and build an express train from it to downtown.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Aviation people tell me high temps and altitude at Palmdale bad for takeoff.

    EJ Reply:

    Well, they should know – but Denver is much higher, and Phoenix is hotter, and both of those airports are major hubs. Don’t higher altitudes just necessitate longer runways? There’s plenty of space near Palmdale.

    Peter Reply:

    It’s the combination of heat and altitude that make it problematic (increases density altitude). High density altitude negatively affects every part of aircraft performance, from lift to engine output to climb performance. Longer runways are necessary (and Palmdale already has very long 12,000 ft runways), but only part of the equation.

    EJ Reply:

    Don’t you mean “low density”? Air pressure decreases with altitude.

    Peter Reply:

    No, it’s actually “high density altitude”, in terms of “high altitude”. The density is low, but the altitude is high. Density altitude is pressure altitude corrected for non-standard temperature.

    EJ Reply:

    Good lord that’s like who’s on first. I wonder how many times that has to be re-explained in pilot school.

    -Don’t you mean “low density altitude,” you know, because density is lower the higher the altitude?
    -No, see, “density altitude” is a thing, and “high” refers to the altitude, not the density. So it means a high altitude, where the density is low.
    -Wait, what?

    EJ Reply:

    I mean I get why it exists, you can correct for temperature and altitude with one factor, but it still seems convoluted.

    EJ Reply:

    Anyway Edwards AFB manages to deal with these problems. I realize that fighter jets handle differently from civilian airliners, but they’re still going to have plenty of transport planes coming in and taking off heavy. I actually would have thought that proximity to Edwards would be a limiting factor for Palmdale – I realize military and civilian aviation exist in close proximity all over Southern California, but seems like it would place some limits on capacity.

    Peter Reply:

    Good lord that’s like who’s on first. I wonder how many times that has to be re-explained in pilot school.

    As a flight instructor, I can assure you that, yes, it gets re-explained a LOT. Once you get it, though, it’s not a big deal.

    Peter Reply:

    High density altitude is obviously something that can be dealt with, it just makes things a little less efficient (and sometimes dangerous for smaller aircraft). And when you’re dealing with an already marginal location for a commercial airport like Palmdale, it just makes it even less attractive.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I have heard of an airplane almost being lost because it was labeled in Russian (metric) and flown by Americans (foots and knots) or the other way round…

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like Boris island.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I was thinking more along the lines of Pudong, Daxing, or Check Lap Kok, all airports that prove my solution is workable, but I suppose Boris Island is a fair comparison.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s a Boris island?

    Roland Reply:

    What’s Google for?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Boris Island was a massive floating airport proposed by Boris Johnson (aka. British idiot #3, after Farage and Corbyn) to be located in the Thames Estuary, intended to replace Heathrow. It never got off the ground.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A floating airport?

    I think this guy is the best proof that private school Football codes can do just as much brain damage as American Football….

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Also, he supported Brexit. The idiot.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ice and sawdust?

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    First, if you’ve already taken HSR from LA to this new Palmdale airport, why would you then proceed to fly to the Bay Area or the Central Valley (i.e., instead of just staying on the train)?

    Second, at best a new Palmdale airport would take pressure off LAX, but there are *millions* of people who would not be readily served by HSR + Palmdale … including the entire Westside (where LAX already lies), the western and central San Fernando Valley, and NW Orange County. No way someone from Long Beach or Santa Monica or Thousand Oaks is going to want to drive to Palmdale (or drive to a train station at Burbank and then HSR to Palmdale) when LAX already exists… any future plan has to assume that LAX, and likely Burbank, are here to stay.

    Domayv Reply:

    this is why they should just take the I-5 route through the Tejon Pass, as it’s faster and more direct

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You wouldn’t fly to the central valley from PMD. People going from somewhere like Fresno to New York would take the train to PMD and fly, and people from the bay would go there to get nonstop flights to destinations not offered from SFO. The only places that are closer to LAX than PMD

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Are a few small areas of the Westside and South Bay. Central LA, the SGV, SGV, and Gateway Cities are all closer to PMD by car+train or mrtro+train.

    Roland Reply:

    LAX and BUR is another Heathwick waiting to happen.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Burbank is too small and too constrained to be good for anything but a couple of daily flights to DEN, SLC, PDX, and SEA.

    Roland Reply:

    Where in the old Prop1A (the one the voters (AKA “suckers”) actually voted for) did it used to say “go straight south from PodunkDale towards LA”?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How many people voted on Prop 1 A with anything more than “HSR yes no” in mind?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m happy that they are moving in the direction of more tunnels/less distance total for SR 14, but I still think option E2 is perfect.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But tunnels are unpredictable.

    Plus, tunnel boom.

    EJ Reply:

    I thought tunnel boom was really only a problem on older Shinkansen lines, which were built before they really understood the phenomenon and didn’t make efforts to mitigate it by building larger tunnels and tunnel portals.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So they say.

    But in Germany they have had problems with that as well. Though they went the avenue of redesigning the tunnels instead of the train snout…

  6. Roland
    Sep 1st, 2016 at 08:07
    #6

    OT: Breaking News! NB 329 is a 6-car GALLERY train set this morning!!!!

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m so happy/sad??? for you.

    Roland Reply:

    The people who are REALLY happy are the Sunnyvale passengers who no longer have to wait for the next train (329 is a bullet; the next train to Palo Alto is a local).

    On a related note, this “development” has cut actual dwell times at Sunnyvale back down to 2 minutes so the train sits there for an extra minute waiting for the clock to tick away but who cares as long as SamTrans’ finest can stand in front of the Caltrain Board and declare that “trains are running on time now that we have added insane padding to the timetables”.

    Joe Reply:

    Just promise no wheelchairs and they’ll cut time off that padded schedule.

  7. morris brown
    Sep 1st, 2016 at 09:12
    #7

    For those interested, now posted to YouTube is some video from the Assembly yesterday (8-31-2016) hearing on AB-1889 (mullin)

    FULL VIDEO Assembly 8-31-2016 AB-1889 (Mullin) bill

    https://youtu.be/vSX5k9__IdQ

    13 MIN

    David Hadley excerpt

    https://youtu.be/KN-S0pOZs2M

    2 minutes

    Jim Patterson excerpt

    https://youtu.be/8p5xpDnK7Og

    5 minutes

    The final vote was 84 yes 30 NO 2 no votes.

    Party line with 2 Demos voting NO (Lopez, Salas) and 2 Demos no voting (Gray, Hernandez). So at least 4 Demos seem to have some respect for the voters of California.

    Joe Reply:

    Party line vote except it wasn’t.

    I would say it was unanimously approved and be equally incorrect.

    StevieB Reply:

    Your problem is the voters of California elected Democrats and Democrats again gunning for legislative supermajorities.

    In the Assembly, Democrats need to pick up two seats to win back a two-thirds supermajority they lost two years ago… They are one seat shy of attaining supermajority status in the upper chamber, a distinction that would allow the dominant party to raise taxes and rewrite rules…

    Complicating the prospects of the down-ticket Republicans is their opponents’ relentless invoking of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The New York businessman badly trails Hillary Clinton statewide in deep-blue California and is treading water in several toss-up districts. Republicans also must overcome not having one of their own in the U.S. Senate race between Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez.

    Republican voters need to win respect in the voting booth. This is not the California of Ronald Reagan.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Awkward for the Regressives that their presidential standard bearer is exclusively focused on launching his new Trump News Network multimedia conglomerate, and not a bit on electing Republicans to any state or national office.

    Plus there’s this from last year:
    It’s official: Latinos now outnumber whites in California
    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-census-latinos-20150708-story.html

    Respecting our diversity goes a long way…

    Aarond Reply:

    As if “latino” isn’t a made-up term that hangs over from the segregationist era. It’s almost as absurd as calling someone (like Republican Chris Christie) “Italian”.

    That said assuming ethnic labeling actually holds any water, remember that the vast majority of “latino” countries are reactionary one-party states especially Mexico itself. At least 50 extrajudicial killings (if not more) have happened during Pena’s term. Supposed “latinos” would be voting GOP if the label was worth anything.

    Aarond Reply:

    Which is to say, what matters is cosmopolitan vs rural votes. The Democrats cater to the former but lost the latter. The GOP vice versa. Neither seem interested in appealing to people outside the core base.

    As it applies to HSR: the CA Dems better hope their party is united on it as a Prez Hilary will be of no help.

    Joe Reply:

    White guy doesn’t see any discrimination so it’s all about city mouse vs country mouse.

    Hot takes on life from old white males. The 70’s had a hit sitcom.
    Time to reboot.

    Aarond Reply:

    Country mice from Mexico are almost completely interchangeable with country mice in the US, including the hostility to foreigners and gays. Similarly, native residents of NYC, LA, DF, Mardid and Paris are all interchangeable as they have similar views on how the world.

    This is true across all immigrant groups, except for American blacks. Don’t universalize the black struggle across people willingly immigrating here.

    Aarond Reply:

    *the world

    Zorro Reply:

    Interchangeable you say?

    Who is going to pick the crops?

    That is stoop labor, Americans typically quit after 1 day, which is about 13-15 hours bent in half at the waist, pay is per bushel of crop picked, not per hour, the more you pick, the more you earn.

    Aarond Reply:

    The UFW. But that point passed decades ago.

    Joe Reply:

    Irrelevant mental exercise.

    You say all European / white city folk are interchangeable with us white dominated city folk whose culture was imported from Europe. This is not surprising. We’re pro Swedish model immigration too.

    Mexican/Indian bigotry happens to native born Americans. Judge over seeing trump is biased because his parents were born in Mexico. No big deal to you. Big deal when you look Mexican.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    CA is overwhelmingly urban, and Hillary isn’t dividing the Dems.

    Joe Reply:

    Neat idea Archie.

    Maybe Latino is artificial but thankfully we have white guys who are very creative making labels for “other” people and asserting privilege over them. Their kids learn it and so “Latino” continues.

    Aarond Reply:

    Good point. A reason not to legitimatize it or play into it. The tire fire that is the GOP requires oxygen to burn.

    Joe Reply:

    That’s a well worn excuse. You’re in good company.

    http://stoprelationshipabuse.org/educated/avoiding-victim-blaming/

    Aarond Reply:

    It takes two to tango. Moving on from race requires being blind towards it. Anything else legitimatizes the fears the “other side” has, and makes the problem much worse. Someone has to be the adult and break the cycle, and Republicans clearly are not capable of doing so.

    Joe Reply:

    It takes one. Discrimination is a crime.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think we will see an end to racism about two to three decades after we see a 50-50 split in the black vote in a competitive election. One party being almost guaranteed to carry the African American vote by a lopsided margin is not a good sign. I would love for Republicans to honestly compete for African American votes. Honestly offering them an option where Democrats have failed to deliver them. But instead they chase the white racist vote and squander that opportunity…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Latino will be a useful category as long as others treat people with a Spanish speaking heritage differently. And to a lesser extent as long as Latin@s themselves see it as meaningful.

    Look at “white ethnic” – the term started losing meaning when the “no Irish need apply” signs disappeared…

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “Latino will be a useful category as long as others treat people with a Spanish speaking heritage differently”

    That would be Hispanic. Latino is originating in Latin America, which is (1) not everybody with a Spanish speaking heritage and (2) not exclusively Spanish speaking.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, Yeah. But truth be told, people usually don’t even know the difference between Spanish and Portuguese and Spanish immigrants to the US play a rather minor role.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Here’s a conundrum for those of you who declare “the end of racial discrimination”. In the State of Alabama the State Supreme Court is elected. All seats are elected statewide.

    African Americans make up about 35% of the Alabama electorate and a bit more of the population. There is, interestingly enough, not one State Supreme Court justice who is African-American. Now here’s the conundrum. If white Alabamians were not racist and voting as a bloc to prevent African-Americans from election to the Court, there would surely be at least one black justice. Simple statistics show that with a probability of greater than 98%.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    South Filled With Old White Bigots

    News @ 10

    Zorro Reply:

    Yes, AB1889 has passed, and is heading for engrossing and enrolling, Gov Brown will sign AB1889 into law.

    Roland Reply:

    SNAP!

    Roland Reply:

    “Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2:30 p.m” yesterday afternoon.

    Alan Reply:

    Whether or not it’s “respect for the voters” is dubious, but if so, it’s more than Morris has ever shown. The voters of California expressed their will to build a high-speed rail system, but Morris has spent the past eight years disrespecting the will of the voters and doing everything possible to undermine the rights of the voters.

  8. Eric M
    Sep 1st, 2016 at 10:38
    #8

    OT, but is anyone else having serious lag/load time issues with this site?

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Yes. I’m looking into the cause.

    EJ Reply:

    You probably get enough traffic you could throw google adwords on the site, and make enough scratch to afford better hosting.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Just ask for direct donations… like a Gofundme or whatever its called… I’d gladly make a donation to this blog. I’d actually rather user fund it then have to put up with an onslaught of bullshit google ads. Anyone else agree?

    Aarond Reply:

    I’d suggest Pateron but the userbase there would donate to Rob expecting mechaphile smut not CAHSR news.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    CaHSR rule 34? One shudders at the thought…

    Faber Castell Reply:

    As a addendum I’d like to add as a reminder that it wasn’t that long ago that if someone had an esoteric or passionate specialized interest of any kind, one often subscribed to journals, newsletters, magazines, etc. and payed for the privilege of that knowledge. Now everyone just expects it to be free. Something to think about.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I would give a few bucks, but I have no objection to advertising as well.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Molasses

    Eric M Reply:

    Robert, much better. What was the problem?

  9. Faber Castell
    Sep 1st, 2016 at 16:09
    #9

    New animation of Sahfter to Bakersfield locally generated alternative: https://youtu.be/u8ewgEmBZSs

    Jerry Reply:

    A lot of good viaduct examples/options.

    Clem Reply:

    Dig how the retained fill configuration is described as the “wall option” and rendered at some 3x the scale it would ever need to be. Somebody clearly wants to build viaducts!

    Peter Reply:

    It’s interesting, though, that freight also gets grade seps with the “wall option”.

    Eric M Reply:

    And there sure are a lot of viaducts in that video. On the plus side, the winning consortium can totally eliminate any unnecessary cement to obtain the lowest bid.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It’s PB.

    Travis D Reply:

    Who aren’t bidding.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But they are part of the ancient BART conspiracy ™

    Weren’t you paying attention?

    agb5 Reply:

    How long are the ramps going to have to be to get a freight train way up there?
    The HSR line, heading East after Shafter, is going to have to cross over the elevated freight line on a super high and expensive pergola (not shown).

    agb5 Reply:

    Oh I see, HSR is on the East side of the freight railroad already.
    If they elevate the freight railroad it will cut off access to the many industry side tracks just to the south of Shafter.

    Roland Reply:

    Why design and build something truly iconic that would be loved and cherished for centuries when we can “build” megatons of concrete and rebar crap that will either sink, fall down or be blown up in a couple of decades? https://youtu.be/A7qN_mmS-Bc

    Peter Reply:

    Huh? You to build something iconic in Shafter and Bakersfield? Have you ever been to either place before?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And that argument is how you get the bay Bridge debacle kids, take note

    Travis D Reply:

    What is the point of that? That it should strive to be more like it or not?

    Roland Reply:

    Yes, trenching with at-grade crossings wherever practical is usually much faster and less expensive than viaducts because it eliminates the need for additional noise and wildlife mitigation: https://youtu.be/TJwDKiOBNmQ. The only “issue” with trenching is a significant reduction in construction jobs (most of the construction is mechanized).

    synonymouse Reply:

    PB don’t play that.

    Jerry Reply:

    Happy that someone caught those things.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I approve.

    Roland Reply:

    New animations of Monterey Highway viaducts:
    – Metcalf to Bernal: https://youtu.be/KEsJAoHDRX4
    – Bernal to Blossom Hill: https://youtu.be/phrWFt2GvhU
    – Blossom Hill to Branham: https://youtu.be/Ro99GfbWwR8
    – Branham to Capitol: https://youtu.be/xp2XeGFQsLM

    Peter Reply:

    Did you make these yourself?

    Jerry Reply:

    Doesn’t look like Fly California.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I don’t like Fly California.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s up with the whole Fly California thing at any rate?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Goofy underdeveloped early marketing that will eventually be replaced once the system gets closer to significant construction and/or actual IOS operation. where the “product” is purchased by the general public.

    Id like to CHSR, when it comes time to do so, adopt a branding that either traditional (example: California Xpress) or something a bit avant garde or poetic and short (example: AVE, Thalys, Fyra, Italo…)

    The problem is that the system will be operated as a concession by a private operator so the system wont have a parent “umbrella” railroad like ICE, TGV and others have in their parent state railroads giving it an identity. For this reason it needs to be a dynamite brand. I have a lot of confidence it probably won’t be like anything we’ve seen. It will be fun to watch.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I would like some snazzy abbreviation that also works as a “word”. Kinda like “AVE” (Spanish for “bird”).

    And it should certainly be something that works (or at least does not sound weird or obscene) in both Spanish and English.

    Munich’s city slogan was gotten by a public poll with the winner getting a couple hundred marks.

    Maybe something like that could be done for CalHSR?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I mentioned “Brisa” in another thread. Breeze in spanish. Its got potential.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Maybe XpressWest, if the company ever gets funding.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t like the whole http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/XtremeKoolLetterz thing it’s got going on.

    Aarond Reply:

    Do what works: Amtrak California. It signifies integration with the larger RR network, but also that it is a uniquely state-oriented service. The actual naming should be AC Regional (for locals) and AC Express for HSR. Alternatively, California Transit (CAT) or California Intercity (CAIC) works too.

    It doesn’t roll off the tongue like ICE or TGV does, but it works. HSR is an extension of metro networks and should reflect that. NJT and the LACMTA doesn’t need branding to attract riders. It just needs to be clear.

    Aarond Reply:

    Also, I just realized that CAIC would be pronounced “cake”. As in “piece of cake”, or “I took the cake to Los Angeles and they sell those metal coke bottles on board isn’t that neat”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am not sure I like the sound of the Spanish pronunciation, though. I would not know of it meaning anything, but it sounds weird. “Caic” as pronounced by a Spaniard sounds a bit like “kike”…

    EJ Reply:

    LACMTA doesn’t need branding to attract riders.

    You should let them know then that they wasted a whole lot of money and effort to brand themselves as “Metro.”

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Amtrak California needs to go. Amtrak as a brand should just be reserved for long distance trains, but if, as you say, you want connectivity with Metro systems, then all amtrak and local transit in southern California (San Luis Obisbo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Dan Diego, Riverside, San Bernadino, Imperial, and Into counties) should be merged into one agency managing trains, busses, and subways. Likewise, all trains, busses, and subways in northern California should become another transit system. Because HSR will bridge the gap, and likely extend into other states as well, it makes sense to keep it independent. Besides, does anyone actually want to be associated with amtrak?

    Aarond Reply:

    Amtrak isn’t perfect but it’s a thing people recognize and understand. Assuming HSR runs to other states, people there will expect an Amtrak train and not an off brand. On that note I’d also argue that all Amtrak trains should be repainted in Phase 3 colors.

    Heck, I’d even argue that this is the reason why Obama’s original HSR plan did not stick. Gov’t intercity trains need to be Amtrak or people will think it’s something not American.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Smaller countries like England have dozens of railway brands. I think it would make sense for the us to be broken up into lots of regional brands that handle intercity and commuter rail, rather than one large intercity brand. Someone going from Santa Barbara to Riverside is more interested in seamless Surfliner-metrolink integration under one brand, than being connected by one train brand all the way to Montreal.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    I’m with CarFree on this, AmTrak is a good brand for interstate services subsidized by the Feds. Their #2 & #3 most popular services are within California, and subsidized by the state of California. There is no reason why these cannot be more locally and responsively managed by regional entities with associated regional brands.

    HSR will have the brand of whichever company pays for the franchise to operate it.

    The CHSRA Business plan hinted at this a few years ago by referring to “Northern California regional service”

    Faber Castell Reply:

    “Heck, I’d even argue that this is the reason why Obama’s original HSR plan did not stick. Gov’t intercity trains need to be Amtrak or people will think it’s something not American.”

    This makes zero sense for so many reasons.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    “Smaller countries like England have dozens of railway brands.”

    But was much better unified, and cheaper, under British Rail.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ultimately branding is not the thing that will make it succeed or fail.

    Sure it can have an effect, but remember the “Let’s take white if you can’t agree on a color” Generic Mc Generic Name ICE (short for Inter-City-Express, from a railroad that already had the Inter-City) was a very successful product from day 1 and continues to be so and it has a brand name recognition way past 90% in Germany.

    Sure a snazzy, tacky name that stays in the mind will help as will a color scheme that does not scream ugly. I would also advise to solve the tunnel boom problem at the tunnel portal and not with a potentially ugly snout, but ultimately people will take a purple train with a duck snout named Herbert if it is fast and comfortable and at all affordable.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    The ICE branding is in fact stellar in almost every way. If it was created today, yes it would probably resemble more closely a Ouigo train but with German’s affinity for lime green (what’s with that btw?) instead of the French’s affinity for purple and pink (and what’s with that btw?)

    As the ICE brand sits right now, with the understated white/red livery and muted typography, it’s sleek and timeless. But the ICE branding is also so successful because DB’s smart design standard is so well developed to begin with.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Neil Shea

    If CAHSR proves to be truly profitable the RRs will eat it. Especially if they can lobby the feds to privatize the highways. Big yellow Daylight Limiteds.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Honestly I find the interieur of the old IC’s among the ugliest design I have ever come into contact with. Probably even uglier than the Fiat Multipla…

    I have no idea who ever chose those colors. But thankfully they have been mostly redesigned or withdrawn from service. Though some still have the Parmesan – soap on the toilets, where you have to turn a clicking wheel and get a bit of soap powder for your efforts.

    Alan Reply:

    Looks like a mashup of Google Earth and Microsoft Train Simulator…

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Maybe Roland did the sound effects. Instead of one train every 15 minutes or so, he has one every 15 seconds

    Roland Reply:

    Where did “one train every 15 minutes or so” come from (quote)?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    This is very worrisome: https://youtu.be/Ro99GfbWwR8?t=1m50s

    I say this is no way to build a railroad!

    Roland Reply:

    Did you expect anything else from the PB motherfuckers?

    Peter Reply:

    That alone is a pretty convincing give-away that the animations do not originate from anyone actually related to the project. They have people to generate much better and more accurate animations. They look incredibly amateurish.

    Who is the poster of these videos, “David D”, anyway?

    Joe Reply:

    It’s Fan Fiction.

    I’d bet a donut Roland knows the origin of these videos is not HSR.

    Peter Reply:

    Ugh, that should be “These look incredibly amateurish.”

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    David Duke

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Did Donald Trump finally find out whether he knows him?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It depends on his mood.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Bigly.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is Diridon intergalactic: https://youtu.be/_2nrhRQoVyg?t=21.
    Please note the seamless BART integration

    Reality Check Reply:

    … and complete lack of stairs or elevators to reach the non-existent canopy-covered platforms. Diridon HSR riders are meant to teletransport themselves between the station and train interiors?

    The videos and their soundtrack appear to be anti-viaduct HSR NIMBY propaganda pieces.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “The videos and their soundtrack appear to be anti-viaduct HSR NIMBY propaganda pieces.”

    Yup, but @Roland believes they are the absolute truth.

    Roland Reply:

    Voici la version originale officielle (avant qu’on ne foute Monsieur Tripousis a la porte): https://youtu.be/267F-75lOik?t=29

    Travis D Reply:

    Isn’t Diridon now a single level, at grade station in the plans?

    Roland Reply:

    It depends on whose plans you are looking at. The problem with the “at grade” plan is that the CRRA cannot possibly meet the 30-minute Diridon to Transbay Prop1A mandate and this results in profound implications for the entire Peninsula (no Prop1A funding). Then again, there is nothing in CPUC section 185032(b) that mandates ANY involvement of the CRRA in the Peninsula…

    Peter Reply:

    Meh, take some of the parking at the SAP Center (likely in exchange for building a parking structure to make up for the loss in parking), some low value warehouses and a wholesale grocery store, and you have the right of way needed to shift the tracks for a 60 mph approach into Diridon. Even at grade.

    Exactly the same property that would needed to be taken for a viaduct along that alignment.

    Roland Reply:

    But, but, but. What happened to the 30 MPH CEMOF parabolica?

    Joe Reply:

    There are no Phase 1a HSR construction plans for the Pennisula. Phase 1 ends at San Jose.

    Prop1a money is exhausted with phase 1 construction.

    Hypothetical travel time isn’t going to muck up Diridon.

    Roland Reply:

    There is not enough money left to connect Fresno (or Merced let alone Bakersfield) to Gilroy. Prop1A mandates the absence of an operating subsidy which pretty much means that the only segment that could possibly qualify for Prop1A bonds is Diridon to Transbay. Gilroy will be served by VTA express buses traveling on the new 101 express lanes until ridership justifies electrification south of Blossom Hill.

    Joe Reply:

    Blossom Hill Bioy trollzzzz skills are weak — needs work.

    Prop1a requires a design that meets requirements but the design can change and wil after prop1a money is spent. HSR authority and official record determines the facts for which the design will be assessed.

    Roland Reply:

    Gilroy dreams on…

    Roland Reply:

    Show us the money.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.vta.org/transparency/capital-program-dashboard

  10. Joe
    Sep 2nd, 2016 at 06:58
    #10

    Another Reason northern CA will get HSR first and why blended HSR is necessary.

    Two months after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to oppose an above-ground high-speed train proposed through San Fernando Valley horse country, the Los Angeles Unified School District is poised to follow its Lead

    http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20160901/high-speed-rails-proposed-valley-route-faces-lausd-challenge

    Jerry Reply:

    A quarter of the protesters showed up on horseback.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Grabba rope

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nice way to underline the whole “nineteenth century” angle…

    les Reply:

    What, LA kids don’t like SF schools. I hear they have some great magnet programs in the bay area.

    Joe Reply:

    This blanket opposition to HSR strikes me as reactionary and anti-vax level ignorance.

    Gilroy Public HS isn’t on the alignment but fairly close and I don’t expect the construction or dust will hurt the kids.

    They built large tract developments and new roads next to a on three sides of our kid’s top rated, gated community serving elementary school with no harmful dust or panic.

    And for all the derision about Gilroy:
    http://www.gavilan.edu/geca/about.html
    Dr. T.J. Owens Gilroy Early College Academy is ranked #113 in the National Rankings and earned a gold medal.

    http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/california/districts/gilroy-unified/dr-t-j-owens-gilroy-early-college-academy-2271

    Roland Reply:

    Did you conveniently “forget” that only 1 of the 12 trains/hour/direction will stop in Gilroy and that the other 11 will blast right through @ 175 MPH?
    https://youtu.be/YgSutS79bvI?t=22
    https://youtu.be/jAMmjM1ESqY?t=6

    William Reply:

    Again, Roland, there are plenty of noise reduction countermeasures for HSR trains, from sound barriers to train designs, take your pick.

    Posting videos of made up structures and noise is disingenuous.

    Roland Reply:

    Again, William, it would really help if you could limit your comments to something you actually know anything about.

    William Reply:

    What about you stop posting made up stuffs then I’ll stop posting comment to them?

    Joe Reply:

    William is right.

    CA HSR has descriptions of sound / noise sources and mitigations.

    These were a topic of focus in Gilroy and he HSR rep described I believe 16 ft sound walls.

    Roland Reply:

    Q: How do “16 ft sound walls” work on a 1/4 mile platform?
    A: PSWFFWSP

    BTW, When was the last time the clown with the ponytail did not make stuff up as he went along?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I live not too far from a major train line. I hear the freight trains, I have never heard a passenger train (frieght trains are longer, that’s how you can tell).

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Idiots. Lets pave over those stupid horse corrals, and make the bridge extra fancy and imposing, just to annoy those people. E2, bridge and all, is literally the alignment I’ve been hoping for since 2008, and I’m sure a lot of people agree with me.

    Travis D Reply:

    Same here. It makes the most sense.

    Danny Reply:

    the sign showing a horse and rider being bounced off a train is new, though it seems to badly overestimate the integrity of mammalian flesh; they also include pertinent claims like “Cool clear water” and the ironclad reasoning of “Just go away”
    they should visit Laguna Hills: there’s so many horses they double up on the crosswalk buttons so that there’s one at pedestrian level and another at rider level

    Jerry Reply:

    Look out. The great iron horse is coming.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I would rather not visit Laguna hills. Ever.

  11. Roland
    Sep 2nd, 2016 at 09:05
    #11

    OT: VTA BART update: 13 grade separations in 4 years: http://www.vta.org/News-and-Media/Connect-with-VTA/VTAs-Berryessa-Extension-is-Going-Live-as-System-Electrification-Begins#.V8midygrIzE

    Neil Shea Reply:

    At a cost of $230 M per mile or about $180M per grade separation

    Roland Reply:

    Actually, “right of way establishment” only cost $1B ($100M/mile). The $250M/mile on top of that are the BART garnishings.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    [citation needed]

    Roland Reply:

    Paging electrical engineers on this revered blog.

    Q: What could possibly be the justification for “two high voltage substations, six traction power substations” for 10 miles of track?

    William Reply:

    Third Rail and 1000V DC

    Roland Reply:

    Are you an electrical engineer and, if so, could you please elaborate on the actual power distribution?

    William Reply:

    Wikipedia has some good article on electric power distribution. Why don’t you read up then come back to us?

    Edward Reply:

    Well as I am an electrical engineer and physicist I suppose my bell has just been rung.

    The electrical power to run a train is the product of the current and the voltage. Voltage is electrical pressure. It is what pushes the electrons down the conductor, which is why it is also known as EMF or electromotive force.

    Since it is the V x I (voltage times current) that counts, one can raise one to lower the other. So 25,000 volts on an overhead wire has 1/25th of the current as 1,000 volts on a third rail. For the same efficiency the third rail has to have 25 times the cross section.

    Alternately, one can run power to a substation at higher voltage (using smaller conductors) and use a transformer to lower the voltage – and rectify it to DC while one is at it.

    Because of the distances involved compared to a streetcar BART uses 1000 volts instead of 600 volts to reduce losses. Higher voltages than that start to be a problem for a third rail system as it is close to the ground and leakage across insulators increases.

    There are lots of other details to consider and there are whole books on this particular subject for those in the field, which I am not. But I have read through a few, especially an entertaining one from a professor at an Indian university.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Actually, 1500 V has proven to be rather uncritical for third rail applications (modern subways have 1200 to 1500 V, and the famous Maurienne (western slope to the Mont Cenis tunnel) was electrified with 1500 V and third rail. And before the end of it, they were running locomotives rated at 6000 kW over it (CC 7200).

    The distance between substations is determined by the voltage in the catenary/third rail; in other words, on the secondary side.

    Edward Reply:

    True. But it also depends on how large a conductor you are willing to pay for. It is a tradeoff between the amount of copper/aluminum and the number of substations.

    Much of engineering is that way. There is a saying that a good engineer can do for one dollar what any damn fool can do for two.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Considering that American infrastructure is damned expensive, that does not imply good things about American engineers…

    Edward Reply:

    I’ve been called in before to help out with a problem at Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, and they and other Germans have helped out with problems I have had. It tends to be more cooperative in my branch of engineering/physics: particle accelerators.

    That we have more political problems with large projects is certainly true though. There is a proposition on the state ballot in California this November that would require a statewide vote for any revenue bond, i.e. one paid for by the income of the project – not taxes, exceeding $2 Billion. That would mean that you couldn’t build a large bridge to be paid for with tolls without getting the vote of people living over 1,000 km away.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And a very good idea given the steady stream of boondoggles, ie. the Bayconic Bridge and other fiascos.

    I wonder how a rigidly entrenched one party dictatorship, such as China, would deal with a “quantum” bankruptcy-depression such as what happened to NYC in the early 70’s. A powerful cyclical downturn that does not respond to the typical and available central bank moves and remedies.

    So who’s gonna win – the likes of Jerry Brown or Tim Cook – when it comes to finding the huge amounts of funding necessary to pay for and maintain these ill-conceived and exorbitant infrastructure blowouts? The 99% will already be in utter penury and the 1% on the run to offshore fiscal paradises.

    Zorro Reply:

    @ Edward: How would this Revenue Bond proposition on the ballot effect HSR, since the CHSRA is not wanting to use Revenue Bonds?

    GO bonds were already approved in 2008 for HSR, admittedly $9 Bn in hind sight should have been $55 Bn.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait you cannot create a state owned private company that borrows money to be paid back by future profits without having to ask Pohdunk, nowhere country for approval first? That’s insane.

    In Germany we have stuff like the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (which technically still has leftover funds from the Marshall plan) for exactly that type of loan. It’s 100% state owned and operates like a private bank in certain regards and like another branch of government in others. And it is a godsend in times of economic upheaval.

    Roland Reply:

    “a state owned private company” is an oxymoron.

    Edward Reply:

    That’s why Conrail never existed.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s not.

    A state owned private company is a private company by law that just happens to be owned (either directly or through a few levels of hierarchy) by the state – either the feds, or a federal state or local government, sometimes combinations.

    State owned private companies are more common than you’d think.

    Roland Reply:

    Private companies do not qualify for Federal grants. This is the primary reason why the Brits were not able to privatize Network Rail.

    Zorro Reply:

    Companies that are owned by government, gee what a concept, the Chinese government owns 51% of any company within its borders.

    In the US, there is Amtrak, and the granddaddy of them all, the US Post Office, the US Post Office is mentioned in the US Constitution, and was established by Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. If there any others, I don’t know of any current ones, Conrail before it was sold off, was one, but that is gone now.

    Roland Reply:

    What is the stock symbol for Amtrak?

    Peter Reply:

    Private companies do not qualify for Federal grants. This is the primary reason why the Brits were not able to privatize Network Rail.

    Huh, I wasn’t aware that British or EU law applies to the United States. I learn something new every day.

    Peter Reply:

    Wasn’t there some war we fought over that?

    EJ Reply:

    What is the stock symbol for Amtrak?

    Nobody is arguing that Amtrak is publicly traded. Per Wikipedia:

    The Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, which established Amtrak, specifically states that, “The Corporation will not be an agency or establishment of the United States Government”.[141] Then common stock was issued in 1971 to railroads that contributed capital and equipment; these shares convey almost no benefits,[142] but their current holders[143] declined a 2002 buy-out offer by Amtrak. There are currently 109,396,994 shares of preferred stock, at a par value of $100 per share, all held by the US government. There are currently 9,385,694 shares of common stock, with a par value of $10 per share, held by four other railroad companies: APU (formerly Penn Central) 53%, BNSF (35%), Canadian Pacific (7%), and Canadian National (5%).[144]

    joe Reply:

    Private companies do not qualify for Federal grants.

    https://sbir.nih.gov
    The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, are one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the United States. These programs allow US-owned and operated small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has a strong potential for commercialization.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What do the private railroads (or their successors) hope to achieve with the Amtrak stock they own?

    Clem Reply:

    CC 6500 on the Maurienne, not 7200.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    örps… Of course, you are right. Thanks for noticing.

    Aarond Reply:

    An excuse to milk BART SJ money for systemwide refurbishments. I don’t necessarily disagree with it given that BART had had two major power failures this year.

    Joe Reply:

    VTA is building BART and responsible only for their constructed section. That’s why the tax isn’t in front of Santa Clara voters.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A chunk of that money will be siphoned off to payroll.

    EJ Reply:

    Just like money continues to be “siphoned off” to pay your pension?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s not a handout if it benefits “our people” – rule #1 in the conservative handbook…

    synonymouse Reply:

    So you are against pensions and social security – some liberals the Cheerleaders.

    BART payroll is out of control and causing high fares. The kind of money doled out for grade separation, elaborate stations, fare collection and signalization screams driverless.

    EJ Reply:

    No, I was being sarcastic.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I don’t like ridiculous, state bankrupting pensions, and I don’t pretend to be a radical liberal. You shouldnt expect to get huge, padded pensions after retirement at age 55. It’s simply ridiculous.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’d much rather have politicians get huge pensions from the Feds rather than being bought and paid for by private sector sinecures.

    Schröder for example approved a new gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany (bypassing Poland) while in office. Guess who gave him a high paying sinecure months after he left office?

    We don’t need fucked up campaign finance laws in Germany. Those private sector sinecure do the same thing much more cheaply.

    Jerry Reply:

    Since 2006 the US Postal Service has been required to prefund all of its long-term retirement pension AND health-care benefit obligation liabilities.
    Perhaps ALL federal, state, and local governments should be required to prefund ALL of their pension obligations. BART,et.al.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Not that it even needs to be said, but its clear the intention of the ’06 law is to make the Postal Service [appear] insolvent so the conservatives can point and yell and demagogue all the reasons it needs to be broken up and sold off to FedEx, UPS and other entities created to get rich off the privatization of a former public institution.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Get real, the USPS is a useless and unnecessary institution.

    EJ Reply:

    Privately owned delivery companies don’t deliver everywhere. Besides, every civilized country has a postal system. It’s one of the few responsibilities of the federal government that’s considered so important that it’s actually specified in the US constitution.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Some very rural places shouldn’t be inhabited, and residents there shouldn’t have their unnecessary lifestyles subsidised by the government.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The US Postal Service is a remarkably efficient company.

    Imagine giving someone the handful of cents it costs to mail a letter and the letter in NYC and sending him on a trip to LA. Oh and there is a three day time limit to delivery.

    Of course rural and suburban living should not be needlessly subsidized, but the postal service is not exactly the biggest offender on that front…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    As efficient as the USPS is, that does not change the fact that the world has changed. It is in the same long slow decline that other companies like Kodak, Polaroid, Xerox and the like are in. Put simply, they dont have a business anymore

    First class mail is almost dead.
    Priority Overnight is a profitable business that has been taken by the private companies
    Amazon and the like are working on setting up their own package delivery
    and junk mail is just that…junk

    They are shrinking to nothing. It will take awhile, but in 50 years, do you really think we will be mailing anything of importance by first class mail?

    We can already electronically sign and/or deliver legal documents of every type.

    Its over, they just refuse to quit while they could do an orderly wind down.

    And as for the pre-funding requirement, those are real costs that will have to be paid. It is nice, for a change, to see congress actually use forsight to make sure those pensions will not have to be bailed outI bet the government pensions in Illinois wished they had been under the same law.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So they should be funding pensions for people who haven’t been born yet and won’t be working for them because there won’t be any mail to deliver in 2050?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They are pre-funding existing pensions. Pre-funding is a misnomer, they are ensuring the fund operates at 100% funded. They have a huge numbers of retirees and as their business dies the worry is they will stick the pension bill with taxpayers. Just like all other dying industries.

    Shouldn’t everyone be glad the pensioners are going to get their money? When the Central States Pension Fund says people are going to lose their pensions everyone gets very upset. This is a good thing

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Article explaining the hole they dug

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2012-08-02/understanding-the-post-office-s-benefits-mess

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t Bloomberg a guy that wants a government small enough to get into your soda?

    Jerry Reply:

    Even if USPS wanted to simply eliminate Saturday deliveries, Congress would not let them.
    But the reference was regarding Synonymous and his pension. Which someone said was coming out of BART fares. It’s not just BART, but the whole country, federal, state, and local which has a great big pension mess.
    Detroit and even GM’s bankruptcy was screwed up because of their pension mess. San Jose has an ongoing police pension battle. So pre-paying part of any pension should be a requirement across the board.

  12. Reality Check
    Sep 2nd, 2016 at 11:16
    #12

    Photos of BART’s “new and improved” noise-cutting conical wheel profile

    Quieter BART trains are coming, BART engineers predicted on Wednesday, and the key is the simple trick of shaving about 2 millimeters of metal from the wheel of every car in the system.

    The new wheel design, which BART developed with computer models, could reduce noise by as much as 50 percent when the reconfigured trains begin rolling this fall, according to BART engineering manager Ben Holland.

    Holland is in charge of an ambitious project to regrind the wheels on all 669 cars in the transit agency’s fleet after models and tests revealed that doing so would lower noise by improving wheel-to-rail contact and by reducing the amount of track rippling, or corrugation, that BART cars cause when they roll down the track. The rippled track is largely responsible for the maddening high-pitched and high-decibel screeches. When the track becomes sufficiently misshapen, BART crews must regrind the damaged sections.

    The change in wheel design, Holland said, is “extremely subtle.” BART wheels are now cylindrically shaped at the point that they make contact with the rails. The new design introduces a slight conical tapering into the wheels, imperceptible to the naked eye.

    The design has led to noticeably quieter operation on a prototype train that BART is running on a stretch of test track in Hayward, Holland said.
    The plan, Holland said, is to retrofit all existing cars with the redesigned wheels over the next two years.
    At the BART maintenance yard in Hayward, workers are preparing to install the new grinding apparatus onto its existing equipment. In all, more than 21,000 wheels will be modified at BART yards in Hayward, Richmond and Daly City.

    In addition, the 775 on-order replacement cars for BART’s “fleet of the future” will be equipped with the redesigned wheels.

    BART riders could begin experiencing the new serenity as early as December, depending on whether they are lucky enough to board a retrofitted car.

    Noise, Holland said, is major complaint from long-suffering BART patrons who were promised a “swift, virtually noiseless and vibration free” system in ballot language when BART originally won approval from voters in 1962.

    […]

    So why didn’t BART do this sooner?

    EJ Reply:

    Before the influx of “Hurf durf Bechtel is ebil and dumb” comments, remember that BART rolling stock is very lightweight. There are LRVs that weigh more than a BART car. Cylindrical wheels were an idea that goes back to the North Shore Line and ATSF railroad as a way to avoid hunting oscillations when lightweight rolling stock was run at the type of speeds at which BART runs. That’s why with this new rolling stock they didn’t go with the “standard” amount of taper of most North American rolling stock.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Hurf durf Bechtel is ebil and dumb. Never mind. I don’t hate them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why do people hate them?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Bechtel, Mr. Cromwell, Bechtel has 33 different vice presidents, each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can’t figure it out. One thing I do know is that our engineering company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I’ll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I’ve been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed — you mark my words — will not only save Bechtel, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Those who think “greed” is a useful category in analyzing capitalism don’t know much about capitalism…

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Yeah im not sure you get the reference.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I do.

    Wall Street.

    Gordon Gecko.

    Reality Check Reply:

    In BART’s case, it was a dumb idea … one which has needlessly inflicted suffering upon BART riders’ ears for decades …

    According to BART’s press release and the Railway Age article … a Bombardier engineer figured out the new profile.

    Joe Reply:

    Standard rail wouldn’t have been passed by voters in 1962.

    This unique system is the byproduct of the culture at that time.
    When it was built, it was a BFD. Currently carrying more people than designed.

    Danny Reply:

    right–at the time there was no rail and commuter lobby like there was after OPEC, and it had to make almost a dozen counties happy
    the whole plan was to have something completely new from top to bottom: new cars, new tracks, new track gauge, new control systems, futuristic and automated and elevated and something like nothing else anywhere
    the last thing they wanted was to be associated in any way with the halting, sweltering, decrepit commuter money pits that rail companies wanted to dump posthaste

    Reality Check Reply:

    A dozen counties? SF, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo & Marin is 5 … Santa Clara makes 6.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    AAperhaps they’re including solano, sonoma, and napa?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Maybe … but still doesn’t equal “almost a dozen counties” and IIRC, BART was never proposed to serve those counties.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    plus Monterrey, Santa Cruz, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    BART was originally proposed for Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.

    http://grommit.com/blogs/ranga/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/bart_plan_1957.jpg

    Reality Check Reply:

    No, @Danny was talking about 1962 — at that time the 1st stage BART map was down to 3 counties (SF, Alameda & Contra Costa) — not “nearly a dozen”. See How the BART Map Has Changed Over the Years.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Stupidity has a culture?

    BFD = Bechtel Fucked Deal.

    EJ Reply:

    Bechtel didn’t invent cylindrical wheels.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought Bechtel is personally at fault for all bad things since the Civil War?

    Faber Castell Reply:

    A classic solution in search of a problem at the time.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Don’t have a cow man

    Reality Check Reply:

    Meanwhile: Past decisions haunt BART as it seeks voter OK for $3.5b bond
    Assistant BART GM of operations: “I would say [BART is] falling apart”

    Once a sleek, Space Age system heralded as the nation’s first high-tech subway and the future of rapid transit, BART today is known for overcrowding, breakdowns and delays.

    Trains are so packed, especially during peak commute times, that many riders are forced to stand. Delays occur regularly. Train breakdowns and equipment failures are common, and passengers complain that the trains and stations are dirty and dilapidated.

    […]

    During an average weekday, BART carries about 433,000 passengers — a 26 percent increase in just five years — and the total often hits 450,000. It was designed to carry about 250,000 riders a day, Oversier said.

    […]

    Well into middle age, many of BART’s systems are decaying. Tamar Allen, BART’s chief maintenance and engineering officer, ticks off the major elements that need to be modernized, replaced or rejuvenated: traction power, which delivers electricity to trains; the computerized train-control system; rails; structures, including subways, elevated trackways and rail yards; stations; and railcars.

    […]

    While the structural and mechanical aging issues facing BART have become evident in recent years, the troubles started in the late 1980s and ’90s […]

    […]

  13. Roland
    Sep 2nd, 2016 at 14:30
    #13

    PCEP monthly update (no link in the Board packet that I could find):
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Documents/July+2016+Monthly+Report.pdf

    William Reply:

    @Roland, if you a going to start a thread that’s not related to Robert’s article, you should have the courtesy is saying it is “Out-of-Topic”.

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G: Reality Check just posted “Berlin-Munich HSR getting 2 hours faster — ETCS makes driverless operation possible” without the mandatory “Out-of-Topic” prefix!!!
    Please dispatch the netiquette Police at once and let them deal with the perpetrator!!!

    Roland Reply:

    Ditto Joe: “The Forever War” Palmdale to Burbank.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Tejon Ranch Co. won those wars.

  14. Reality Check
    Sep 3rd, 2016 at 10:52
    #14

    Berlin-Munich HSR getting 2 hours faster — ETCS makes driverless operation possible

    Jerry Reply:

    Good informative article. It took them 26 years to do it, and a 5 mile long tunnel, but they did it.
    Now we will see if the USA can do it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    One of the things that made it take longer was the Red-Green government shortly upon taking office in 1998 shutting it down in 1999 “for lack of funds”. That tends to hurt “on time and in budget”. Why the Greens are so anti-rail is another question for the ages. Unfortunately, there are a few Germans who profess to dislike high speed rail because it supposedly somehow hurts local train service despite no evidence for that assertion.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Does it have anything to do with their idiotic S-21 opposition?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    In very broad terms, there is a certain current in German environmentalism (Bund Naturschutz, NaBu, local Agenda 21 groups and so on) that seem to think High Speed Rail and local trains are somehow mutually exclusive. And just because they don’t own cars that go 200 km/h and they don’t fly ever, they think everybody else thinks the same. They kinda end up being the “save the old timey rairoad ™ ” crowd standing in the way of progress, opposing many sensible (even despite flaws) HSR projects because “hurr durr cost”. Their argument usually goes along the lines of: This costs sooooo much. Spending half of the money on the old line gets us a more congested line that is just three hours slower. Why are people so speed crazy?

    I am exaggerating for the sake of making a point and sometimes those folks do raise legitimate criticism, but what they fail to see is that HSR is able to attract funds something like electrification from Hundersbach to Waskerswill or Interregio trains stopping at every town hall could never hope getting. And if that money were not spent on HSR it would go straight to the highway and airport lobby.

    So yes, the S21 opposition comes from the same place (plus populism)

    Jerry Reply:

    The Berlin – Munich HSR project demonstrates a can-do attitude.
    Our US Congress has taken the ‘don’t-do’ approach.

    Zorro Reply:

    Very similar to Congress during the Truman Administration, Pres Harry Truman served out FDR’s last term w/o a VP, Pres Truman had a Do Nothing Republican dominated Congress, similar to what Pres Obama has had to deal with since taking office in Jan 2009. A VP who is nominated, cause a VP becomes POTUS or resigns like Spiro Agnew(reported as a crook) leaves a vacancy, so the Senate has to confirm a new VP. This was how Ford became VP, then Nixon resigned, VP Ford then became POTUS, and nominated Dan Quail to be His VP.

    Woody Reply:

    Actually, Gerald Ford chose New York’s Nelson Rockefeller as his VP.

    Dan Quayle was the chosen problem child of George Herbert Walker Bush, not Ford’s.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s correct.

    And Potatoe was not entirely Qayle’s fault. He read it from a faulty cue card.

    Jerry Reply:

    And, “Our long national nightmare, is over”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnxdW_bcMjg

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It could hae been even another half hour faster, but they had to make a detour through Erfurt.

  15. Joe
    Sep 3rd, 2016 at 11:23
    #15

    “The Forever War”
    Palmdale to Burbank.

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has completed a supplemental alternatives analysis for the Palmdale-to-Burbank segment and will host community meetings later this month to update residents on the project

    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/high_speed_rail/news/California-High-Speed-Rail-Authority-to-provide-update-on-Palmdale-Burbank-segment–49329

    Someday it will be decided. Probably after HSR is running to Bakersfield and NIMBY’s get drowned out by advocates demanding a station.

    Someday.

    Aarond Reply:

    We’re one step closer, though. All that’s needed is the DEIS and final EIS then we can begin the “preconstruction activities” (Eniment Domain) slog. We’re 18-24 months away from the real fun.

    To that end, Metrolink (ideally) should start thinking about how exactly their system is going to work with or alongside CHSRA. Specifically, regardless of what happens trackside power transformers will be needed to actually power HSR. That and grade separation of the existing line will make everything easier when the final stretch happens.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Existing line? You mean the Metrolink alignment? Since Burbank/ Palmdale HSR won’t use the existing alignment what possible benefit could grade separation of it apply to HSR?

    Aarond Reply:

    CHSRA’s maps indicate they will use the existing ROW from Burbank to LAUS. Which means somewhere within Metrolink’s corridor there will be HSR tracks even if they are totally isolated from ML’s tracks.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/maps/Burbank_to_LA.pdf

    I reckon expanding an existing grade sep will be faster and cheaper than building a new one from scratch. More importantly power substations will have to be built in any scenario so ML should just put them in now.

    joe Reply:

    My general understanding is HSR will build dedicated track along existing ROW and improve grade separations for all rail traffic — which is a benefit for all.

    I agree for these crossings, putting them in now would be better than waiting.

    Burbank to Palmdale is going to be along fought battle until local politicians sit down and hammer out an agreement. This was how it was done along the Peninsula.

    Roland Reply:

    “My general understanding is HSR will build dedicated track along existing ROW and improve grade separations for all rail traffic — which is a benefit for all”

    Do you mean like this”? https://youtu.be/xp2XeGFQsLM?t=59

    BruceMcF Reply:

    No, that was the plan which was heading past a $100b capital subsidy budget. Gov. Brown intervened and the plan was shifted to blended operation in those areas where mindlessly insisting on all dedicated track would be as egregiously expensive as it would be, for instance, along LOSSAN south of Burbank Airport through to LAUS.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    As with Caltrain, if ML put forward a plan to electrify this corridor, CHSRA would likely be disposed to (recommend to the legislature that they) contribute a large portion of the cost. That would apply to the LAUS to ANA segment as well. That would include new EMUs.

    The issue is that that does not come close to addressing any existing ML route. Even if ML found other budget to extend the OHC in some direction (BUR to Ventura? ANA to Oceanside?) it doesn’t align with some obvious project that ML should plan for.

    Aarond Reply:

    True, but even then there are still grade crossings that ML can grade separate. There’s only about 13 from where the refined SR14 meets the corridor down into LAUS. Obviously, even at a conservative $500m per grade sep this is no small project but it would go a very long way in getting LA prepared for HSR. It’d also give immediate improvements to existing service and fits in nicely with LinkUS (in the sense that ML is making a single, central artery).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Half a billion per grade separation it would be cheaper to tunnel.

    Roland Reply:

    Or forget about the CRRA and ask the VTA (13 grade seps for $1B). See CPUC section 185032(b) http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=puc&group=185001-186000&file=185030-185038

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Half a billion??? What is that figure from? Sounds insanely high…

    Neil Shea Reply:

    I’d think in terms of $200m per sep, and I’d support that — as soon as we have all budget committed to get the IOS running.

    Aarond Reply:

    You’re right, $200m is the better figure. But the point is that ML has to focus on getting ready for the future. They’re not there yet.

    Which brings up another topic entirely: how to make metrolink electrolink….

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Agree. People from the Southland say they’re a mess

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Include a more regional rail funding in measure m to run electric trains every 15 minutes in LA county from Santa Clarita to Norwalk, and from Chatsworth to Claremont. Lrt lines in other counties come later when they get it together.

    Peter Reply:

    $200 million is much too high an estimate. Even the super-complex grade separation at Rosecrans and Marquardt is only $137 million.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Grade seps only improve service for motorists.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It cuts down on the train delays from grade crossing accidents.

    Clem Reply:

    Once in a blue moon

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can also run trains faster through a not at grade crossing…

    synonymouse Reply:

    If the rail op does not the absolute priority of freight rail, grade separation does speed up things – for instance the Muni M line crossing into 19th Avenue.

    Roland Reply:

    @Banhfreund: Faster than what?

    Roland Reply:

    Last call on what happened in the “cutdown on train delays caused by grade crossing accidents” video (https://youtu.be/qA4bkn41W6M?t=4).
    Clue: it has something to do with the yellow square box on top of the long pole.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Look, this is partly a regulation thing so it won’t be the same everywhere, but there is a very good reason why you don’t have a train run at 200 mph through a grade crossing. I don’t know the rules in the US but to go faster, you have to invest in the crossings in some way. And the best way is to have not at grade. Tunnels, bridges, underpasses, whatever.

    Roland Reply:

    1) Maximum speed in the Caltrain corridor: 110 MPH (unless grade-separated)
    2) No mandate to grade separate below 125 MPH in the US (same as Europe: 200 KPH)
    3) The difference between the US and Europe is that the FRA requires Vehicle Arresting Barriers (VABs) between 110 and 125 MPH (FRA Class 7) to prevent these kinds of shenanigans: https://youtu.be/NFo3sEdAqV4?t=72

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think we have had the debate of exactly what limits the top speed in the Caltrain corridor already, right?

    Peter Reply:

    It also improves safety in general and leads to greater reliability by eliminating even the potential for grade crossing accidents.

    Roland Reply:

    Why spend $1M/per grade crossing when you can create millions of jobs pouring megatons of concrete?https://youtu.be/qA4bkn41W6M?t=4. Warning to the kindergarten: this is an incredibly boring video (nothing bad happened).

    Joey Reply:

    Roland: The phrase “four quadrant gates” is easily recognizable around here and a lot easier to parse useful information out of than a video.

    Roland Reply:

    Its OK Joey. It’s OK…

    Reality Check Reply:

    Apart from being required for quiet zones, 4 quadrant gates “solve” a problem Caltrain doesn’t have: crashes due to “drive-arounds.”

    Every Caltrain vs. vehicle crash was due to something other than a “drive-around” … the most common being drivers queuing across the tracks in violation of CVC 22526(d):

    A driver of a vehicle shall not enter a railroad or rail transit crossing, notwithstanding any official traffic control device or signal indication to proceed, unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the railroad or rail transit crossing to accommodate the vehicle driven and any railway vehicle, including, but not limited to, a train, trolley, or city transit vehicle.

    Quad gates do nothing to address the above … or the clowns that turn left or right directly onto the ROW, either blindly following their GPS and/or mistaking the ROW for a road.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: quad gates do not solve anything and actually caused the problem in the video because the exit gate should not have come down until the pedestrians had exited the yellow box. Going back to the video, did you notice anything else?

    EJ Reply:

    @Roland calling everyone else “the Kindergarten” is a bit rich when you’re the one normally found throwing his toys out of the pram.

    Joe Reply:

    There are drive arounds at mountain view and Palo Alto. I’ve even seen a self driving google car (Prius) fail to recognize the gate lowering at Castro and the driver took over and drove around.

    Quad gates will also force Palo Alto and Menlo park to fix their shitty crossings which put unfamiliar drivers at risk because residents demands for better traffic flow.

    Safety is important. Quad gates improve safety.

    Reality Check Reply:

    I call BS on a the made up Google car drive-around story at Castro … impossible without driving over the raised median curbs. Of course, I don’t doubt they may on rare occasion occur at crossings w/o medians … but unlike areas with loooong freight-related gate downtimes, there’s little incentive here with Caltrain’s short, predictable downtimes. I can’t recall witnessing even one in many decades of riding and living and working near SP and now Caltrain.

    The happy but inconvenient fact remains: no Caltrain crashes due to drive-arounds. They’re all due to actions four quad gates have ZERO effect on. Except for enabling quiet zones, they’re nothing more than costly “safety theater.”

    Reality Check Reply:

    Oh, wait, I once saw a cop running “code 3” slow down long enough to look before driving around.

    Short of a separation, by far the biggest safety improvement Caltrain could make at crossings is to install automated crossing enforcement cameras and signage.

    A 24/7/365 guaranteed moving violation has the unparalleled ability to get and focus driver’s attention.

    Joe Reply:

    Tell me the sensor system that would have detected the Castro St. gate closing.

    Fwiw I wrote about it here when it happened so it’s an elaborate multi year hoax. I’m that clever.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Not a drive-around, as you even wrote:

    I believe there was an intervention to get it to surge under the gate.

    Joe Reply:

    Well in that instance the driver also maneuvered the self-driving car to get around the gate as it was closing. I was not foresighted to anticipate your skepticism years later.

    And that stop has had enforcement change to not allow cars to proceed when light at central expressway is red to be in compliance with Amtrak regs. Flashing red at Castro and tracks replaced with a solid red light. No crossing allowed any more even if room ahead.

    It was heavily enforced for a few weeks and now driver behavior changed.
    Also light signal patterns are different to adhere with Amtrak regs.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Joe, give it up. In order to drive around the Castro gates one must jump the raised median curbs.

    Apart from that … whether a rare drive-around occurs or not makes no material difference since all Caltrain vs. vehicle crashes are related to other CVC violations (mainly CVC 22526(d)) which are not affected or reduced in the slightest by quad gates.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Raised median curbs at Mtn. View’s Castro crossing prevent “drive arounds”.

    Joe Reply:

    The driver drove around a closing gate which would not happen if the other side had a gate closing too. These instances of people going around the gates would stop.

    Also Mtview has changed the intersection lights to effectively stop traffic from entering he track area if the light is red.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow/ci_27982427/roadshow-get-used-train-red-light-delays-castro

    Reality Check Reply:

    Poor @Joe is now forced to admit (Ryan Lochte style) that it wasn’t really a drive-around at all … it was driving past a “closing” gate. Yawn.

    Then poor @Joe changes the subject and makes up it “would not happen” with four quad gates (“other side had a gate closing too”). Let’s see how long it take @Joe to discover that far-side gates don’t lower until near-side gates are already down. Far-side gates are only meant to stop drive-arounds after near-side gates are down … not merely (and safely!) driving past lowering near-side gates at the beginning of gate activation like Joe tried to pass off as a drive-around at Castro.

    All of which is immaterial in terms of Caltrain vs. car crashes, because none of these are caused by drive-arounds (real ones or the ones Joe wrongly tries to pass off as drive-arounds.

    joe Reply:

    Please, no sympathies.

    I see cars drive around the closing gates by moving to the center of the road, out of their lane, and they would discouraged from this with quad gates.

    Quad gates would make the area safer and projects like IL HSR would NOT be approved without improved crossings like quad gates. These improvements mean trains can operate at faster speeds for freight and passenger.

    I think quad gates change the psychology of rushing into the ROW to make a lihgt and MTView’s made changes (as I linked) to reduce the risk.

    Faster, safer and thus better train service. No apologies needed.

    joe Reply:

    Two examples of drive around fatalities in south county – 2006 and 2004.

    http://www.sanbenitocountytoday.com/news/train-collision-claims-life/article_de75842b-26d7-50bf-9abe-d4fe3d9c8d00.html

    I’m living here and seeing this violations which would be addressed with quad gates while you insist none happen. None?!

    Reality Check Reply:

    No, sorry poor Joe. Did you not watch or understand the quad gate video? … far-side gates don’t move until 22 seconds after the near-side gates begin to lower … and not until 7 seconds after the near-side gates were down.

    So zero deterrence of driving past lowering gates (when it’s still safe to do so anyway). This is by design; to ensure anyone who enters the crossing while the near-side gates are lowering has plenty of time to exit the far side without feeling trapped. (“Feeling” because US gates are designed to break away so they cannot actually “trap” anyone.)

    Yes, unlike your Castro story, the incident you dug up was a real drive-around (occurred well after the near-side gate was down) … as I mentioned, they’re extremely rare on the Peninsula because gates have short and predictable downtimes. Gates are generally never down for more that 20 or so seconds before a train arrives at the crossing. Note the young driver became impatient:

    Schrock stopped behind another vehicle at the intersection, but became impatient. He drove past the vehicle and through the closed railroad crossing arms …

    I’ll assume sloppy wording and that he drove past (not “through”) the closed arms. Since quad gates can’t stop anyone from driving “through” … only past.

    As mentioned, as compared to costly four quad gates that do nothing to stop queuing on the tracks … automated camera enforcement would by an order of magnitude cost far fewer dollars per crash averted.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Yes, of course. All true … one crash per every few years or so goes to zero … but quantifiable, measurable service improvement accrues nearly 100% to motorists.

    The way many in the train ignorant general public talk, you’d think trains regularly brake and look both ways at crossings.

    I can’t think of a single grade sep that directly resulted in better service like more or faster trains.

    Ted K. Reply:

    There’s a kind of grade sep. that does improve rail service – a rail crossing that gets turned into a flyover like some of the ones near Chicago. Then you don’t have one train waiting for another to clear the diamond.

    http://www.createprogram.org/projects.htm
    NB – Scroll down to the Papa’s (P1, P2, P3, P4). P1 is complete, several others are in the review pipeline.

    http://www.createprogram.org/linked_files/status_map.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    Here’s an example
    http://www.idothsr.org

    Grade crossing improvements for the Chicago to St Louis HSR project.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Did the Chicago to st Louis project actually speed up journey times?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Alright I misunderstood since @Joe’s post referred to the Burbank/Palmdale section and your comment was about Burbank/LA w/o specifically mentioning it.

    StevieB Reply:

    CHSRA Geotechnical Investigations in the Angeles National Forest Published on Sep 2, 2016. A look at how the California High-Speed Rail Authority is conducting Geotechnical investigations in the Angeles National Forest, how it’s protecting the land and what it hopes to learn.

    Determining the route is a long series of very small steps.

  16. morris brown
    Sep 4th, 2016 at 10:51
    #16

    Past decisions haunt BART as it seeks voter OK for $3.5 billion bond

    Sen. Steve Glazer to vote ‘no’ on BART measure

    Our wonderful BART commuter system.

    Joe Reply:

    Our wonderful NIMBYs.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If this doesn’t pass, transit in the bay is screwed.

    Aarond Reply:

    If it doesn’t pass, transit in the east bay and SF is screwed. Commuters from SF to Silicon Valley already get screwed as there’s basically zero transit from western SF to places like Campbell or Cupertino. This is why there’s so many charter buses which I consider to be an embarrassment.

    BART’s poor service quality gives people a lot of reasons not to vote for it which can cause a death spiral. Frankly, if the tax doesn’t pass I reckon BART will have the chutzpah to ask Sacramento for help if the power outages continue.

    Roland Reply:

    A good way to fix the power outages would be to figure out what is causing the power surges but then again, Clem claimed that this could not possibly happen (hence the derision of backup powerpacks), so maybe there is no problem after all(?)

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course this will pass – BART brainwashing is unexcelled.

    But it shouldn’t. The BART bureaucracy needs to be scourged along with that of MTC-ABAG.

    Aarond Reply:

    67% is a stretch given that people are still passionate about the Oscar Grant fiasco. On the flip side, there’s a lot of people who have to take charter buses because BART doesn’t go where they work. And then there are the newer techies who think BART is redundant anyway due to Tesla.

    LA passed Measure R (and soon M) because there was nothing, meanwhile there are plenty in the bay area who will either settle for mediocrity or vote against something they see as oppressive.

    Clem Reply:

    That’s what BART needs. Couldn’t quite figure it out but Roland nailed it. Diesel backup powerpacks. Genius!

    Roland Reply:

    Who said anything about diesels????

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What are they going to run on?

    Joe Reply:

    Naquadah ?
    Tylium ?

    Peter Reply:

    You guys are all forgetting that in Roland’s world, every train needs a battery pack backup, even trains that don’t, because they’re, well, fully electrified?

    Roland Reply:

    Guys you are all forgetting that in Peter & Joece’s world, every train runs on thin air after a power, catenary or pantograph failure, so you won’t have to worry about making it to the next station, let alone AC in the summer, heating in the winter or lights at night. Who needs toilets that flush anyway when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere?

    Roland Reply:

    Fuel cells are all the rage at InnoTrans this year: https://fuelcellsworks.com/news/alstom-to-reveal-its-coradia-lint-train-with-fuel-cell-propulsion-system-at-innotrans-2016/
    The age of the battery will come at InnoTrans 2018.

    Peter Reply:

    Talk about adding cost to a rolling stock procurement … sheesh.

    Roland Reply:

    Have you shopped for additional sets of doors, interior lifts and additional whatnots lately?

    Joe Reply:

    This guy tried to sell Caltrain some Omneo hybrids out of the trunk of his Crown Vic.

    Claimed they had awesome seats and not to worry about boarding or ADA compliance.

    Roland Reply:

    “Claimed they had awesome seats and not to worry about boarding or ADA compliance”
    Quote, please?

    Clem Reply:

    The question that @Roland still hasn’t answered is how “level boarding will occur gradually when the time comes” using his Omneo solution. Perhaps his hostility to the dual boarding height solution adopted by Caltrain stems from a lack of appreciation for the difficulty of the “gradually when the time comes” part, or even a refusal to view this as a problem at all. The proposed solution would indeed appear absurd if one didn’t appreciate the problem.

    Not only does a new Caltrain fleet need to
    (a) provide backward compatibility with 8″ legacy platforms
    (b) provide a level boarding interface that enables unassisted wheelchair boarding
    (c) preserve the ability for trains to pass level boarding platforms at speed,

    But these requirements must also be satisfied simultaneously during a gradual (multi-year) transition period without creating tripping hazards such as 12″ wide and 8″ deep troughs between the train and the platform, and in compliance with ADA standards.

    This is not a simple problem, and no, neither LTK, Caltrain or Stadler are overthinking it. Rather, @Roland appears to be under-thinking it. After all, he’s had several years to offer an alternative–for any level boarding height, never mind 50″.

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem, we all note that you still failed to describe precisely how your plan for a 200M CalFranKISSenTrain with:
    (a) 950 seats
    (b) 80 bikes
    (c) Wheelchair access to at least one door per side of EVERY car that has doors
    (d) At least 1 wheelchair space in EVERY car that has doors
    (e) One ADA-compliant toilet in EVERY car with wheelchair space
    actually works.

    I’m starting to think it’s all arm waving and no substance. Your proposed solution needs to meet criteria (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) as described above. Can you finally reveal to us what it is?

    Clem Reply:

    The Stadler EMU that Caltrain ordered does not do those things, nor does it need to, so I’m not sure exactly what I’m failing to describe. You on the other hand are dodging a real question. But don’t sweat it too much, it’s already been overcome by events. More interesting is the strategy for getting DTX funded and built, and for how/when to convert Caltrain stations to level boarding so that the blended system benefits from short and predictable dwell times. EMU design exercises are so yesterday.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Those are your requirements @Roland not Caltrain’s. You can try to insist that your requirements somehow should be Caltrain’s requirements, but they are not.

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem,

    So you are finally admitting that the CalFranKISSentrain cannot possibly:
    1) Handle Caltrain’s existing passenger/bike loads let alone double capacity to 120K passengers by the time DTX is done.
    2) Be ADA compliant (unless we change the specification to a wheelchair lift in EVERY car)

    Clem Reply:
    August 28th, 2016 at 12:08 am
    “Regarding single-level 760 mm HSR: yes it’s possible (though currently not in service anywhere), but we were talking about a train of a similar architecture to the TGV Duplex, or perhaps a high-speed version of a California Car.
    I looked into this again and found this clearly written guide on what is and isn’t required for HSR ADA compliance. It reads a lot better than the CFR and provides the rationale for various requirements in understandable terms.
    I was wrong about upstairs food service needing to be wheelchair accessible.
    However, a California Duplex high-speed train, just like a single-level high-speed train, would be required to provide:
    – level boarding at EVERY platform-facing door
    – wheelchair access to at least one door per side of EVERY car that has doors
    – at least 1 wheelchair space in EVERY car that has doors, presumably on the lower level
    – an ADA compliant accessible bathroom in every car that has a bathroom, presumably also on the lower level
    Access between cars is not required, although access to every car is.”
    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/08/goodbye-acela-hello-avelia/#comment-289741

    Can you please help me understand exactly what it is that I am missing here?

    Clem Reply:

    Dear Roland, what you are missing is that the ADA requirements for HSR and for commuter rail are not the same. What you quoted above is regarding high-speed trains, not commuter rail. In the Stadler KISS, only one internal wheelchair lift is required, in the car that has a bathroom, at the north end of the train.

    As for my thoughts on capacity, they are here. Your strident concern about insufficient seating ought to be focused on BART’s new fleet, not Caltrain’s, unless you can explain how the markets they serve are fundamentally different in terms of time or distance spent on the train.

    Roland Reply:

    With regards to “The question that @Roland still hasn’t answered is how “level boarding will occur gradually when the time comes” using his Omneo solution.”, how about this?

    “Le Regio 2N est équipé d’un système de détection des quais qui déploie automatiquement un comble lacune installé sur la porte de l’espace pour les usagers en fauteuil roulant.”
    http://www.newsbombardierfrance.com/2015_01_01_archive.html

    J. Wong Reply:

    Only items (c) and (d) are required for the Stadler KISS, which is in fact, easily met for both low and high doors. Item (e) is not a requirement since only 1 bathroom need be present on a consist, but it must be wheelchair accessible and the car clearly marked as to both level boarding and the bathroom. There is also no requirement for (a) and the bicycle requirement is an 8:1 ratio (not a specific number of bicycles).

    Clem Reply:

    How would able-bodied passengers board at 8″ in Palo Alto and de-train at a 550 mm level boarding platform in South San Francisco? What step arrangement allows this to happen, bearing in mind that they have no 8″ platforms in France, and then also provides a 8″ gap when passing a level boarding platform at speed? Not that it matters, since this problem is already solved for you with dual boarding heights.

    Clem Reply:

    Blog software ate part of my last comment. I meant “and then also provides a less than 3″ gap when stopped and greater than 8″ gap when passing a level boarding platform at speed” ?

    Roland Reply:

    You answered your own question about step arrangements: the platform detection system automatically deploys either a step @ 18 inches or a bridge plate @ 550mm depending on the platform configuration in front of each door when the train stops, so is your question “why deploy a step when you can add a second second set of doors” or something else?

    On a related note, 1100mm platforms are soooooooooooooooooooooooo yesterday: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_platform_height#Russia

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The French and the Russians don’t have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Clem Reply:

    @Roland: sounds expensive. You still go on and on about how the second set of doors costs hundreds of millions; just what would an automatic step + bridge plate (two gizmos per door!) cost?

    For the record, Caltrain stated that the dual boarding height option (including 384 extra doors, 384 gap fillers and 16 wheelchair lifts for the base order of 96 cars) added $30M to the contract price, or 30/551 = 5%. A very reasonable increment that actually makes it possible that “level boarding will occur gradually when the time comes.”

    Not hundreds of millions, and it will work, unlike any of your proposed alternatives. What is your next excuse after the FRA’s RSAC ETF fails to float your sinking boat? What will it take to get you on board?

    Roland Reply:

    Dear Clem,

    A: EVERY Omneo comes with automatics gap fillers at no extra cost (no need for bloggers or perma-temps to figure it out): “Le Regio 2N est équipé d’un système de détection des quais qui déploie automatiquement un comble lacune installé sur la porte de l’espace pour les usagers en fauteuil roulant.” http://www.newsbombardierfrance.com/2015_01_01_archive.html “Ce voyageur en fauteuil roulant ne peut s’empêcher d’exprimer sa satisfaction en testant l’accessibilité du Regio 2N pour la première fois.” http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6fyQrWPxD0M/VMoVkSVNm3I/AAAAAAAAC6A/_BHMQLf_eB0/s1600/IMG_2422.JPG

    Q1: As far as “Caltrain” is concerned, are you referring to this gentleman: https://youtu.be/qsdfYn8bOK8, a $65K/month SamTrans perma-temp or the LTK RSMFRs?

    Q2: If not the doors, what is your explanation for the $200M “discrepancy” which mysteriously disappears when they plan to order the other half of the fleet (total an eye-watering $1B for 24 trains that nobody in their right mind will ever buy again).

    Q3: As far as “it will work”, I am still waiting for a Stadler video explaining how they plan on handling this minor anomaly: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS_Sprinter_Lighttrain#/media/File:Treinongeluk_Westerpark.JPG

    Q4: Last but not least, what is your next excuse after the RSAC ETF finally sinks your floating soap box? What will it take to get you on board? How about redirecting your immense talent towards resolving one of the most vexing problems de jour? http://www.space.com/34029-elon-musk-seeks-help-solving-rocket-explosion.html

    synonymouse Reply:

    To those of us of a certain age Musk’s problem is familiar. As a teenager in the fifties I used to watch the nightly tv news showing Vanguard and Atlas missiles blowing up on the launch pad at Canaveral with alarming regularity. In black and white there would be the dramatic countdown, then the missile firing, then slowly tilting to one side and then an immense explosion. Just another year’s work down the tube.

    Perhaps this is a tech that requires so much vigilance that it remains better suited to the bottomless pockets of the guvmint rather than corps paying more attention to the bottom line and the market.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sorry to be so ill-informed but what is the FRA RSAC ETF?

    Peter Reply:

    Railroad Safety Advisory Committee

    They’re developing draft engineering safety standards for HSR.

    Clem Reply:

    The RSAC ETF meeting this week is only the latest of a series of events that Roland thinks will force Caltrain to cancel the contract with Stadler, and procure Bombardier Omneos at the same price as the French regions. Any moment now we’ll all wake up and realize that the electrification project was just a bad dream. Unfortunately for Roland, my bloggy mind rays also control the FRA committee members, bwahahahahaaaa!

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem, we all note that you still failed to describe precisely how your plan for a 200M CalFranKISSenTrain with:
    (a) 950 seats
    (b) 80 bikes
    (c) Wheelchair access to at least one door per side of EVERY car that has doors
    (d) At least 1 wheelchair space in EVERY car that has doors
    (e) One ADA-compliant toilet in EVERY car with wheelchair space
    actually works.

    I’m starting to think it’s all arm waving and no substance. Your proposed solution needs to meet criteria (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) as described above. Can you finally reveal to us what it is?
    bwahahahahaaaa!

    Roland Reply:

    Q: Why lug on-board backup power when you can dispatch an F40?
    A: “Rescue operation includes towing an inoperative EMU train with a JPB diesel locomotive”

    Caltrain EMU RFP Chapter 3 section 2.3.7 “Rescue Operations” https://www.dropbox.com/sh/az34k161d28ah78/AABpbDi4_Cmme4T0RKn6H2KDa/1%20EMU%20RFP%20issued%208-21-15/PCEP%20EMU%20RFP%20-%20Vol%203%20-%20Tech%20Specs%20-%20issued%208-2015.pdf?dl=0 (page TS2-13)

    William Reply:

    @Roland, this comment shows your lack of knowledge of modern EMUs in operation. Most modern EMU has the ability to isolate failed motors, and capable of operating normally with 1/4 of the motors non-functioning. Situation that required rescue operation, i.e. none of the motors are functioning, is very rare and much less often than diesel engine failures, as long as the electrified infrastructure is functioning normally.

    So instead of lugging 16 or more diesel engines between SF and SJ everyday, maybe 2 to 3 diesel locomotives that’ll need to be kept at standby, which most likely would double as MOW engines.

    Roland Reply:

    @William,

    1) Kindly help me understand how a modern EMU is capable of operating normally after a pantograph, catenary or complete failure.

    2) Kindly share train movements that would make it possible for F40s to fish out 12 stranded trains (6 in each direction) after a complete power failure in the Peninsula.

    William Reply:

    @Roland, again, like I said before, if a total blackout in the peninsula occurs that also affect Caltrain, the signal system will most likely be out as well, and any semblance of normal operation will be out of question.

    The EMU Caltrain ordered has two pantographs and only one is needed for normal operation.

    Most localized failures, such as a pantograph tears down a section of OCS lines, can be repaired within one day and trains can still operate on one track.

    If you are worry about the rolling blackout that occurs around 2000’s due to spike in electricity price, most likely the Caltrain corridor will be declared a basic service and thus last to lose power.

    All the fringe scenarios you came up leads to one thing: normal operation is impossible whether Caltrain runs on electricity or diesel.

    Clem Reply:

    Kindly provide the date of the last “complete power failure in the Peninsula”

    Joe Reply:

    I grew up in Chicago proper and the city used electric trains and trolley buses for major street service.

    Roland’s dooms day scenario/line of inquiry is amusing … like some incredulous young adult unable to understand how people were able to meet up and socialize before texting and cell phones.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Aren’t railway electrification and the general grid usually separate systems with some redundancies?

    Meaning one being down does not mean the other is down too…

    Roland Reply:

    @ Joece,

    As what happened to METRA in Chicago this morning or some other Chicago where young adults are unable to understand how people were able to meet up and socialize before texting and cell phones?
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/09/06/metra-electric-south-shore-line-trains-delayed-over-signal-problem/

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem Would this work? http://www.ksbw.com/article/power-outage-closes-businesses-on-monterey-peninsula/1057912

    Clem Reply:

    I see what you did there, wrong peninsula…

    joe Reply:

    @Roland — Try harder.

    Burly METRA diesel locomotives all delayed.
    CHICAGO (WLS) —
    A signal failure at Chicago’s Union Station caused major Metra delays during the Wednesday evening rush hour.

    http://abc7chicago.com/news/delays-on-3-metra-lines-after-earlier-union-station-signal-issue/1445854/

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Clem – Re: Power Failure
    There was a big failure in Burlingame in the late 1990’s IIRC. It shut down the Trousdale area for a bunch of hours. My office had to fire up some APU’s to power our servers.

    Then there was Loma Prieta in 1989. I remember driving through blacked out intersections along Dolores in S.F. on the way home. How long would the corridor be shut down for safety inspections after a big quake ?

    Clem Reply:

    The last big outage I can remember is this one back in 2010 when a plane crashed into a high-voltage transmission line tower in East Palo Alto.

    Your garden variety neighborhood power outages (blown transformer, downed tree, whatever) won’t happen to Caltrain, which will be hooked directly into PG&E’s 115 kV network at SSF and Santa Clara.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Clem

    Devil’s Advocate: so you are saying Caltrain (and CAHSR) will be directly exposed to terrorist attacks such as the one that occurred in Metcalf in 2013? The Peninsula Corridor remained completely operative through that attack due to UPRR’s diesels.

    Ted K. Reply:

    If there were a catastophic failure in either SSF or Santa Clara then a yard switcher with a power tap and suitable sidings would be a reasonably priced solution. The yard switcher would hook on to a tank car filled with diesel, roll out to either power node, pull into the siding, hook up a fuel line to the tank car, plug in several heavy-duty cables (4 ? one per phase + ground), and throw a couple of power switches. Then there would be no need for a rescue run because power would have been restored on a temporary basis.

    Clem Reply:

    This is 25 kV single phase we’re talking about

    Joe Reply:

    MetCalf was not a terror attack.
    http://m.sfgate.com/business/article/FBI-Attack-on-PG-amp-E-substation-in-13-wasn-t-5746785.php
    No PGE customer lost power.

    If power were out then how would traffic lights and all the signals and gates at crossings work?

    Ted K. Reply:

    @Clem – Okay, just two (2) armored cables.

    The nice thing about dual-use yard switchers is that (a) no idle loco’s, (b) you only need two or three units, and (c) they could be used elsewhere either for trains or with a 220VAC distribution module for non-rail emergencies. Plus, you might be able to get a FEMA grant for part of the cost.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Joe doesn’t know crossing gates have battery backup and that power holds the gates up and that they fail-safe down via gravity?

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    If the electrification system is properly designed, the train would still be able to run if one substation lost power from the utility. Additionally, an emergency backup generator/power system could be installed at each substation. This may not be able to power full service operations but at least some service would continue running.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If push comes to shove you can send in a diesel loco and couple it to the stuck train to tow it where it has to go…

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe a rail car mover.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_car_mover

    Jerry Reply:

    Unimog tows 1,000 ton train.
    http://www.topgear.com/car-news/first-look/mercedes-unimog-can-pull-1000-tonne-train

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe Google can create a special Bus to Rail vehicle. Self driving of course. And hybrid.
    No more need for EMUs. No more need for shuttles. Or overhead wiring.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why would that eliminate the need for EMUs?

    Jerry Reply:

    The rail/bus could connect up in groups. And the last one in the group could automatically disconnect from the ones in front, get off the rail, and continue on the previous shuttle route to the sponsoring companies location.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Thats why well thought out transfers exist. No need to go all silly-con valley techno-utopia on it.

    Aarond Reply:

    remember this?

    http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/news/ambi-bus.aspx

    Jerry Reply:

    :-)

    EJ Reply:

    Those are a thing; here’s one the Germans messed around with in the 1960s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road-rail_vehicle#/media/File:BO-DB293H-I-zoom.jpg

    IIRC there were some Japanese road-rail buses too. The problem is that when you’re on the road you’re either lugging around the heavy rail wheels and drive train, or in the case of that German bus, you’re got to ensure that bogies are available and deal with the hassle of attaching and detaching them.

    Aarond Reply:

    I agree, which is why we need a Caltrain tube. Break the monopoly.

    Roland Reply:

    I second the motion. Can we take a roll call?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Aye. But don’t have transit agencies compete, combine bart and regional rail (and light rail and busses an ferries and…)

    Roland Reply:

    Aye again: http://vta-sprinter.org/2016/08/19/can-we-unify-our-rail-systems/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am very much in favor of a Bay area https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verkehrsverbund Verkehrsverbund (is there a good English translation for this word?)

    Edward Reply:

    Perhaps “Integrated Public Transit System” or “Associated Transit Companies”. Unfortunately one can’t say Transit Union as that is already taken, but there is Transit Federation. Historically we haven’t had the equivalent. There are situations where various companies were absorbed, but that isn’t the same. In the San Francisco nine county region there is a continuing attempt to build the equivalent that would be transparent to the user. He wouldn’t care, or even know, who operated what. He would just buy a ticket from any agency or use his Clipper card and it would work on anything.

    We are getting close as far as operations, but the fares are a real mess. Within two years one should be able to use a Clipper card on just about anything in the nine county region. You will automatically be given the best fare, just don’t try calculating it on your own.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Edward, universal Clipper use or acceptance isn’t anywhere close to a Verkehrsverbund, whose most important and essential feature is a single regional tariff.

    And I’ve not seen, heard or read anything that we’re (MTC) anywhere close to that.

    As far as being “close as far as operations” … what, specifically, do you mean by that? I don’t see any sort of unified / coordinated operations, branding, scheduling, maps, signage, marketing, etc.

    Edward Reply:

    You said, “Whose most important and essential feature is a single regional tariff.”
    I said, “The fares are a real mess.” This is not an argument, but two ways of saying the same thing.

    There are now twenty bus, rail and ferry agencies that the card works with. As I said, you automatically get the best fare, but it requires a real wonk to figure it out once you get beyond the major carriers.

    The difficulty is that people like having a local agency because they believe it listens to them. The MTC is eventually going to have to have standard tariffs but God knows how long it will take. A lot of people have turf to defend.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Regarding the automatic best fare: maybe on a daily basis and only on a per system basis. I’m unaware of any system for which Clipper allows free rides after you’ve spent enough Clipper cash to equal a monthly pass. For example, Caltrain monthlies and Clipper cash are stupidly kept separate … and there is no way to pay for a monthly with Clipper cash.

    Also, it’s the agencies (not “people”) that like having agencies … presented with what a Verkehrsverbund is and how it would work, I think a majority of riders would be delighted to give up their “local” agencies.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    This subject came up in February 2015, at a Caltrain CAC meeting, regarding “Clipper 2.0.”

    It was noted that in Zurich Switzerland that there is an integrated fare tariff zone system, among 42 agencies. One could go point to point using various modes, bus and train, the rider pays a single fare. I don’t know the details other than what was posted on the Green Caltrain Blog:
    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2015/02/clipper-2-0-upgrade-not-considering-faretransfer-integration/

    The 2 dozen+ agencies, each with its own management staff, boards of directors, etc. see fare integration, agency coordination as a threat to their little fiefdoms. Staff at the above CAC meeting indicated that a regional fare would be way too high and or transit agencies would lose money… How much money do we spend on 2 dozen management organizations?

    As for people that like having local agencies that listen to them, this has some merit. Why should a transit rider concerned with bus service in Santa Rosa have to travel to San Francisco/Oakland to voice their concerns or here the plans for service? Same can be said of the SMART train. Why should Caltrain riders have to go to Oakland (or San Jose) to attend board of directors meetings? Right now San Carlos is in the middle of the line and convenient to get there via Caltrain.

    Reality Check Reply:

    While that almost sounds plausible @Jeff, but honestly the number (percentage) of riders that ever bodily go to a meeting in order to be “listened to” (cough) is miniscule. If you think the convenience or preference of that miniscule percentage of riders (0.01% or maybe 0.1%) explains why local agencies exist, you are sadly deluded … maybe because you are one of the miniscule?

    Joe Reply:

    Goofy to call Jeff one of the “minuscule”

    Local agencies support transit and the ridership that is local to the citizens paying services. Local / county taxes and increase in taxes to have more and better transit.

    The 2/3 majority requirement for taxes makes regional service harder to win voter support — easy to see why local run and managed services are at an advantage.

    Jerry Reply:

    Go miniscules!

    Reality Check Reply:

    As @Jeff must surely concede, any rider who shows up and speaks at as many board meetings (let alone even one) as him belongs to a truly miniscule set (maybe 0.01% of riders).

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    What’s more; in regard to the discussion during the above referenced Green Caltrain thread / CAC meeting of January 21, 2015, is that as the discussion got further into the subject of integrated fares, Caltrain staff was quick to throw the Brown Act in their faces. While the agenda subject was “Clipper 2.0” it is well within the scope of Clipper 2.0 to address regional fare integration. Originally Translink/Clipper was (among other things) promoted to the public as a vehicle to lead the Bay Area towards regional integrated fares. Clearly staff is not interested in unifying the fare system so they throw out the Brown Act trump card. Staff has done this a few times when issues brought up by CAC members might become awkward for Staff. Link to 1/21/15 Caltrain CAC Meeting here: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/CAC/Agendas/2015/2015-01-21+JPB+CAC+Agenda+Packet.pdf

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Jeff, staffs don’t like unification of anything … at best they could lose control of some things, and at worst they lose their jobs or their employing agency itself could be imperiled.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand (endorse) something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding (endorsing) it!” —Upton Sinclair

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Reality Check: “While that almost sounds plausible @Jeff…”

    Perhaps one of the problems is that these meetings are in the middle of the day when most riders are working? How many of us can take time off from work to go to a transit board meeting? Do you think that transit boards shouldn’t hold public meetings? What about Citizens Advisory Committees? There is one CAC member who has questioned why do they (and the JPB) have to listen to public comments? What if the Redwood City Council were to hold their meetings in San Francisco? Perhaps MUNI should hold their meetings in Santa Rosa?

    Be it minuscule or whatever, there seems to be more interest in Caltrain Board / CAC Meetings than there is for other local agencies such as Samtrans. I was merely pointing out that one reason often cited for having all these local agencies, is that people feel they have better local control of the agency.

    The primary reason the local agencies exist is to benefit the agency, not the riding public.

    Sometimes they do listen to us minuscule’s… More often they don’t… For some time, I have been asking for a breakdown of how Caltrain calculates ridership each month, including the Go-Pass. I have yet to see a response from Caltrain. This is important since Caltrain is about to embark on a fare study. In order for Caltrain to conduct a truly objective fare study, they need to know who is using Caltrain, what fare instrument they are using, how often they are riding, why people use Caltrain, why people don’t use Caltrain, etc. They can’t continue with the same usage assumptions that go back over 30 years to the SP/Caltrans days. When they talk of Caltrain riders being “high income” we need to know how many of them a taking advantage of employer/employee benefits such the hugely discounted Go-Pass or how many are taking advantage of Commuter Benefits voucher programs.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Jeff, I have no problem with public meetings held in convenient locations at convenient times.

    Public participation in governance is abysmally low across the board. Most city councils meet evenings to make attendance convenient … and yet turnout is still typically miniscule. So I’m not picking on transit riders … just pointing out rider convenience is hardly a plausible reason for persistence of our patchwork of largely uncoordinated local transit agencies.

    As anyone who’s travelled around Germany on transit can confirm, the Verkehrs/tarifverbund concept can and does provide probably some the world’s best transit service. It appears Germany figured out many decades ago that Bay Area’s separate agencies “model” sucks, particularly for regional cross-boundary/jurisdictional trips.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Reality Check “@Jeff, I have no problem with public meetings held in convenient locations at convenient times.”

    Couldn’t agree more!

    “Public participation in governance is abysmally low across the board…”

    Again, I agree, public participation is minimal, except maybe in San Francisco. I do want to see consolidation of our ultra uncoordinated transit systems/agencies. But I don’t have much hope because as you point out they can lose control of things and jobs can be lost and agencies disappear. The agencies care more about the agency rather than the transit riding public. As you well know, even something as simple as getting rid of the unfair Caltrain zone system, they find all sorts of lame excuses not to implement station to station (BART like) fare system.

    Never been to Germany, but I do know that their system puts ours to extreme shame. Do you know to what extent public participation is in Germany or Switzerland?

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Jeff, I have no idea what the extent of public participation is Germany or Switzerland. But the average level of awareness (and professional competency) in transit is much higher there since transit use is far more widespread/normal and culturally ingrained. It’s not just viewed as something that’s there for unfortunate “other people” (losers without cars or who have all the time in the world) as a safety net.

    I think here in the US, the average transit planner/pro doesn’t have to worry about being embarrassed about anything they do among family, friends and even professional colleagues — because chances are none of them is a daily user whose life you’ve just screwed over. Apart from transit geeks, nobody here knows or cares much about transit and best practices. So in the US it’s a cushy sinecure and nobody but a handful of easily-ignored transit geeks (the miniscule few gadflies) who always come to the meetings and “complain” will ever know or care how much better things could or should be. There’s very little accountability or oversight (formal or informal) regarding cost-effectiveness and performance. That’s my depressing take on the situation anyway.

    Clem Reply:

    European transit agencies are not skeletal and do not blow their entire budget on armies of private sector in-house consultants, whose interest is quite understandably their own profit rather than improving the rider experience or being thrifty with tax dollars. Our system is rigged to funnel large streams of public revenue at every level of government into a variety of well-lined private pockets. On that basis, projects like CBOSS are a smashing success. Public participation has less than nothing to do with the difference between Germany and California.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, people in Germany still complain about their public transit providers and say their management is filled with too many people. And in the Ruhr area there is also the accusation of too many different agencies that should have been merged ages ago…

    The more things change…

    Reality Check Reply:

    Verkehrsverbund = Transport Association?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    I am not aware of a good translation of “Verkehrsverbund” (as well as “Tarifverbund”).

    It is definitely not an association as I usually understand it (an association would be a “…verband”).

    I sometimes describe “Verkehrsverbund” as “consolidated transit system” and Tarifverbund as “consolidated fare system”.

    Note that there are differences between a Tarifverbund and a Verkehrsverbund. Quite often, a Tarifverbund comes first, meaning usually a zone fare, where you buy the right to use the transit system for a certain area (in the Zürich case, within one or several municipalities) for a given time. The operators may be (still) independent, with scheduling and service level authority. In a Tarifverbund, the operators take the fare money and pay it to the Tarifverbund organization, which then pays them back according to a set distribution, which may often be based on actual counting of passengers on a given service. In other words, all the fare revenue goes into a single pot from where it gets redistributed (this is necessary, because of the passes).

    In a Verkehrsverbund, the authority for service levels, routes, and schedules is no longer with the operators, but in the hands of the Verkehrsverbund organization (which is a political organism, as it is essentially the municipalities requesting a level of service (and paying for it)). Then, the Verkehrsverbund selects the operator, in many cases via a bidding process (of course, for certain services, there is no bidding, because of the kind of service … imagine an open access operator on a funicular… ).

    In the case of the Zürich Verkehrsverbund (which is also a Tarifverbund), as stated, the municipalities order a certain level of service. They also have to pay for that level of service. For that, there is the number of departures from the stops, which determines what the municipality has to pay. So, more frequent service, means more money for the ZVV. Or an additional stop means more money for the ZVV.

    A key feature of a Verkehrsverbund is a hierarchical structure of the transportation means, beginning with the S-Bahn trunk network, extended by regional and local bus lines. Schedules are coordinated, causing (normally) good connections between the bus lines and the S-Bahn as well as between the bus lines proper.

    With such a system, it is easy to live car-free (and for the few times you need a car, you rent one or use a car sharing service (where, in the case of the ZVV, there is a cooperation with one such service)). Or, instead of 3 cars, you can do it with one. …a great sign of quality of life…

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I am not aware of a good translation of “Verkehrsverbund” (as well as “Tarifverbund”).

    “Not Invented Here”.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Good point… and neither in the United Kingdom and its commonwealth, nor anywhere else in the English speaking world…

    Jerry Reply:

    And all of this is done in Zurich where they speak four different languages.
    Wow.

    Jerry Reply:

    Wonder how Einstein paid while on the clock tower stimulating streetcar ride in Bern?

    Joe Reply:

    Andere länder, andere sitten

    Jerry Reply:

    Ja

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Max, thanks for clearly explaining the distinction between Verkehrsverbund and Tarifverbund. I had been sloppily assuming Verkehrsverbund automatically implied or included Tarifverbund.

    Reality Check Reply:

    You’ll hear and see that in Zürich wird hauptsächlich Deutsch gesprochen … you’ll probably hear or see more English than any of the other three (French, Italian, Romansh) there.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Reality Check: The “natural” development is normally, that a reduced Tarifverbund is set up, with cross-acceptance of (monthly) passes.

    Note that Switzerland has the “Generalabonnement”, a pass which is valid essentially on any line serving a populated area (as opposed to a purely tourist line/operation), which is a great success … in fact such a success that they want to cut its main feature: you pay once, and you have unlimited access to the whole transit system in Switzerland, no matter who the operator is, no matter whether it is train, or bus, or lake steamer, or funicular. That said, there are already means around to to distribute money from a pot to the various operators. This has been around for a very long time, and for the last 30 years or so, the operators do see themselves as partners, and not as competitors.

    So, anyway, it starts with a common acceptance of passes, and continues with the creation of fare zones, for their own passes. After a few years of success, they start to issue individual tickets and daypasses for the same zones, and that’s then the Tarifverbund.

    The transition to a Verkehrsverbund does require quite a lot of political will (and may probably need a strong urban center against the conservative forces in suburban and rural areas). And, in order to get something going really well, there may be considerable investments needed. (in the good 30 years of existence of the Zürich Verkehrsverbund, the Canton of Zürich and its municipalities have invested several billions of Francs in the infrastructure; there was even a situation where the voters of the Canton of Zürich agreed to pre-finance a considerable project because the federal level was not willing or able to have it done within the needed time; now, that prefinancing (aka loan) gets paid back from the federal infrastructure fund.

    On the Tarifverbund, what happened in the last few years is that the Tarifverbünde of the cantons surrounding the Canton of Zürich started to cooperate, and it is now possible to have a monthly pass which is valid in the Cantons of Zürich, Aargau, St.Gallen, Schaffhausen and Schwyz. And I don’t know how far away a Tarifverbund Schweiz is… and then a Verkehrsverbund Schweiz.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Meanwhile in Germany they argue that even an integrated timetable for only al German trains with connections timed for each other like they are in Switzerland would be impossible.

    But the VGN (around Nuremberg) and VBB (around Berlin) are probably Verkehrsverbünde that are larger in area than Switzerland. If not larger in population served…

  17. Jerry
    Sep 5th, 2016 at 17:11
    #17

    OT. Ultra conservative and HSR supporter Phyllis Schlafly has passed away at age 92. Why HSR supporter? Well she said illegals should be shipped out of the country in railroad cars as fast as possible. And we know of course that the fastest railroad cars are on HSR. May she rest in peace.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    God she was a phsycophath. I try to muster some kindness and feeling for her, but I just can’t. I swear I’m not a monster.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    RIP.

    Like Coulter, Limbaugh et al, there’s a heart somewhere in there, probably.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do remember that “Ding Dong the witch is dead” saw a resurgence in certain parts of England after Thatcher died. And the Youtube comments on the video are always enlightening…

    Aarond Reply:

    Also, her final book has been announced: The Conservative Case for Trump. Aimed at cruzmissiles.

  18. Reality Check
    Sep 6th, 2016 at 00:06
    #18

    Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit grinds through tech challenges

    Sonoma Marin-Area Rail Transit may be able to open its doors with commuter-train service between Santa Rosa and San Rafael in the fourth quarter of 2016, but it’s going to be a race. Engineers on the $500 million project are working to solve a slate of engineering puzzles that come with coordinating the new rail, vehicles and signals.

    […]

    “We’re starting to move into the testing phase” for positive-control technology, SMART’s chief engineer Gamlen said.

    […]

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting way SMART saved money on their communication expense.
    “Santa Rosa-based Sonic installed the fiber-optic cable along the train track in exchange for access to the right-of-way. “We put in the conduits and they pulled all the fiber,” Gamlen said. “It was a good deal for both parties.”

    “Sonic is providing fiber-optic communications for their signals and controls,” said Dane Jasper, Sonic’s founder and CEO. “Alongside it, we can send our own traffic as well. We get to use their right-of-way,” serving business parks near the track with broadband access.
    Wonder if CalTrain thought of doing that?

    Reality Check Reply:

    IIRC, Caltrain installed fiber with lots of excess capacity (so they could lease it out) many years ago.

    Roland Reply:

    I distinctly recall a member of the public suggesting saving money exactly like what SMART did many years ado but SamTrans and their LTK accomplices convinced the Caltrain Board to blow $50M ($1M/mile) on the deluxe version which is currently being relocated south of Diridon to make way for the new Los Gatos Bridge (and the “temporary” tail track). As far as leasing out extra Caltrain fiber capacity, the question was posed at a recent Board meeting and was met with deadly silence from SamTrans staff (maybe they forgot or just did not understand the question).

    synonymouse Reply:

    My guess is they will put off revenue ops until next spring so they can build up a bigger stash of cash to subsidize the losses. And not open in the rainy season.

    Aarond Reply:

    Worth mentioning, SMART as a system is going to be pretty quiet until the Larkspur ferry extension is opened in 2018. That’s when it’ll suddenly be at crush load during commute hour, and hopefully when people take seriously the idea of a bridge to Richmond.

    Edward Reply:

    There are lots of commuters between the two counties too, and I don’t mean San Francisco.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And many of them south of Larkspur.

    Edward Reply:

    And many of them not.

    Is the pessimism inherited… or is it just chronic indigestion? I don’t recall anything making you happy unless it was to the detriment of one class of people or another.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Streetcars on Katella was supposed to make me happy.

    Successfully reading the Herculaneum papyri would be a wonderful development. And restarting the excavation, maybe leading to the discovery of a Latin library. Super.

    Now the recovery of the lost works, fabulous. Ditto for extraterrestrial contact.

    But then watching the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway was indeed soul-satisfying.

  19. J. Wong
    Sep 6th, 2016 at 10:20
    #19

    O.T. but relating to the prior Avelia post: Amtrak’s Avelia Liberty is going to be better than the Acela in every way.

    Highlights: Judging apples to apples comparison on price is difficult because it includes 15 years of maintenance. FRA is working on more compatible safety standards (i.e., not requiring HSR train-sets to be tanks when interoperating with freight). It should be nice ride for passengers.

    Zorro Reply:

    Sounds like this Avelia Liberty train could even run here in California, 220 mph, tilt up to 7 degrees, interesting.

    Domayv Reply:

    CAHSR is still looking for its own set though

    J. Wong Reply:

    CAHSR won’t require freight interoperability to the scale that the NEC requires. Hence, lighter train-sets.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    CAHSR won’t require freight interoperability to the scale that the NEC

    CHSRA requires freight interoperability because LAUS to Riverside corridor of the second phase run on electrified freight tracks.

    J. Wong Reply:

    So, they have definite plans to run for the 2nd phase? No, I thought not.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    So, they have definite plans to run for the 2nd phase? No, I thought not.

    The phase II is already cancelled? I didn’t know.

    If the Phase II goes through, then there is no other option than to run the CAHSR train sets over freight tracks to Riverside. Building totally new tracks to Riverside is not an option.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Intermingling with freight would be too slow.

    Domayv Reply:

    as I stated earlier, UPRR isn’t going to let them run their trains on their tracks. And where did you hear that CHSRA cant build new tracks when they clearly can

    Useless Reply:

    Domayv

    This is the same CHSRA that dreamed up a four-track corridor between SF to SJ, until realities set in and settled down on an electrified two track that didn’t need any additional ROWs.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Useless: but the difference between SF-SJ and LA-Riverside is that UPRR owns the tracks for the Sunset Line (it serves LA and Riverside), and it’s to them as what the Southern Transcon is to BNSF. In other words, the Sunset Line sees a heavy amount of freight traffic daily, and UPRR isn’t going to give up that line to them.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Useless

    They don’t have any actual funded plans for phase II: Riverside, San Diego, or Sacramento. So claiming there is no other option for something that doesn’t yet exist is a bit of a stretch.

    Yes, HSR is blending on the Peninsula with an existing commuter railroad with minimal freight, but their still long-term goal is full 4-track there. The LAUS-Riverside corridor is very different with much more freight usage. The plans are to run the EMU trains on the phase I tracks. They are not looking far enough down the line to assume that the EMU trains will be running on a blended phase II line from LAUS to Riverside.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of SB557 it is that you do not understand: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB557

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Roland

    I understand all of it and nothing in that plan applies to phase II in southern California.

    The real question that is very obvious on this blog is whether you understand anything you post here.

    Note the relevant parts: “primarily consists of a two-track blended system”. Also, note that approval is contingent on the 9 agencies only 2 of which are cities none on what is known as the Peninsula (geographically, San Francisco is on a peninsula, yes), and which is no longer in force once the bond funds have been spent.

    Anything in there that prevents a medium term goal of 4-track on the Peninsula given the restrictions in the law? Do you really think that the 9 agencies would not approve of 4-track if the funding were found especially if that funding were not from the bond funds? And that the Authority’s business plan assumes the funding for completion of San Jose to San Francisco would not come from the bond funds?

    Yup, another dumb-ass contribution by @Roland.

    Roland Reply:

    “HSR is blending on the Peninsula with an existing commuter railroad with minimal freight, but their still long-term goal is full 4-track there”

    Yup, another dumb-ass contribution by @JAW

    joe Reply:

    http://www.senatorsimitian.com/pdfs/PRG_Response_to_Sen_Simitian_Proposal.pdf

    In a letter dated August 22, 2011, the Peer Review Group responded to a request from Simitian and Assemblyman Rich Gordon for an analysis of the “blended” approach proposed by Eshoo, Simitian and Gordon. Among the Peer Review Group’s Observations:

    • “The Peer Review Group (has) reviewed your joint statement carefully… The thrust of our recommendations (is) consistent with, the substance of your proposal.”

    • “There appear(s) to be a significant possibility that a “blended” approach…could be initially operated in conjunction with local rail services…within the existing right-of-way, given investment in electrification and minor capacity enhancements, and thus would be more acceptable to local concerns.”

    • “A blended approach would be much less costly…”

    • “Adopting a blended approach with local agencies would permit a sharing of the planning and management burden in those areas…”

    • “With respect to the question you raise about changing the HSRA’s EIR to reflect only the initial stages of blended operation, this approach would also be consistent with our recommendation for an EIR/EIS to focus on the initial service levels…”

    Alan Reply:

    @J. Wong: I disagree with your argument that SHC 2704.77 expires once the Prop 1A bonds are expended. I don’t see anything to that effect in that section. However, because it was a legislative enactment, and not part of Prop 1A, the Legislature can repeal 2704.77 at any time it chooses to do so. That’s likely to happen once Caltrain electrification is in operation, and rational people on the Peninsula start wondering what all the fuss was about.

    You’re correct, however, in saying that the previous section, 2704.76, expires once the 2012 Budget Act appropriation is spent.

    Useless Reply:

    J Wong

    Turns out LAUS to Anaheim runs on upgraded freight tracks according to 2016 CHSRA business plan.

    So sorry, CHSRA trains must be compatible with freight trains.

    Since 2012, with adoption of a regional memorandum of understanding, the Legislature’s appropriation of funds for “bookend” investments in the region and in commitments in our 2012 and 2014 Business Plans to develop a way to provide cost-effective one-seat ride service to Anaheim, we have worked with regional partners and the California State
    Transportation Agency to advance planning and project development in the corridor.
    This is a shared corridor, which means when it is improved, the enhancements will benefit not only high-speed rail but immediately improve freight and commuter rail operations as well.

    https://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/DRAFT_2016_Business_Plan_0201816.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    Shared corridor not shared track.

    I believe the plan is to build dedicated track along the ROW but not mix freight and HSR. Improved at grade crossings benefit all track.

    Read the above text.

    Gilroy HSR station berm will grade separate UP track.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Useless: UPRR isn’t going to let CHSRA electrify their Sunset Line, especially given that they won’t let Amtrak run more trains to Palm Springs. CHSRA is going to build its own tracks, thus making the freight interoperability issue moot.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The whole phase 2 plan out to Moreno valley, then down to San Diego airport REALLY needs to be changed.

    Aarond Reply:

    It will be. Once LinkUS is done, there’s no reason not to use the Surfliner route to San Diego.

    Domayv Reply:

    whatever is wrong with a more direct HSR service from LA to SD

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Or cut east to Corona from ARTIX then branch north to Riverside Downtown and San Bernardino TC, or south to Murrieta, Escondido, University City, and San Diego.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Car(e)-Free LA: that makes no sense

    EJ Reply:

    What’s LinkUS?

    Aarond Reply:

    The new name for the LA Union Station run-through tracks project. Previously it was the “southern california interconnector project” or SCIP

    https://www.metro.net/projects/link-us/

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah, for sure. I’ve always believed that an upgraded and electrified Surf Line is the way to go. Keep in mind if you can average 80 mph between LAUS and SD (including stops), you can get there in 90 minutes, which is about the same time as the proposed dogleg through the IE will take. Not to mention this gives better connectivity between OC and SD, which is arguably more important than SD-IE.

    It won’t necessarily be super-cheap – you’d have to deal with the slow sections through San Clemente and under Miramar Hill, but it’s most likely a lot less costly than a new-build line paralleling I-15.

    John Bishop Reply:

    Not possible.
    The original plan was to follow the Surfliner route, but that was killed by rich nimbys in coastal northern San Diego County who threw a fit. That was why the inland route was adopted instead. Since I live near there, I remember it well.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Both

    Jerry Reply:

    “Both”
    Glad to see that someone else knows how to use that word.

    Joey Reply:

    “both”

    Maybe in the long run but one route or the other needs to be chosen for initial HSR service to SD. Given that the coast route would be cheaper to build and in need of upgrades anyway, it seems like a logical priority.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    The coast route would leave out a fairly substantial amount of inland riders. Yes, ideally we would build out both as they serve different midpoints and purposes. After all, what’s better than one choice? Answer: more than one choice.

    EJ Reply:

    What’s better than limited funding? Unlimited funding.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    What’s better than not prioritizing a rail system? Prioritizing a rail system.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    There are more people living in the IE than SD, though SD is more of a draw for business and tourism.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    The Coastal route should still be Higher Speed Rail, but it will also likely attract a lot of opposition. The inland route will connect nicely to a future extension to Phoenix.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Joey: Most likely because CHSRA placed more emphasis on serving as many locations as possible than finding the most direct route, hence why they went with via Inland Empire for LA-SD than I-5 and via Antelope Valley for LA-SF/Sac than I-5. Let me put it this way, my parents and I took I-15 and CA-60 from San Diego to get back home, and it took the same amount of time as via I-5, even though I-15+CA-60 had more distance.

    Here’s what should be done https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vGYd3e6YgePKxlfxzQVjQd8Tm1hp-D9HjnX_aaaOzkw/edit?usp=drive_web

    Jerry Reply:

    Your 1st one looks interesting – San Diego to Victorville.
    Would it go to Las Vegas from there?

    Aarond Reply:

    I suggest Surfliner HSR-ification because it allows for a one seat ride to SD, which is more important than SB who already has Metrolink service.

    Also future Vegas or Phoenix HSR would likely be routed through Lancaster anyway. Leave Cajon to the freights.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Phoenix HSR is absolutely NOT going through Victorville. It will either head east from SB (bad idea), Riverside (somewhat bad idea) or Temecula (best idea).

    The best idea for HSR (IMHO) in SoCal is to have the main line from LAUS to Anaheim continue east to Corona. Just east of Corona, a wye would have a northern branch continuing through Downtown Riverside and Downtown San Bernardino and then north to Victorville, tying in with Palmdale-Vegas HSR. The southern branch of the corona wye would travel through Murrieta, and on to San Diego. In Murrietta, a wye would have a line traveling east towards Indio and Phoenix.

    The LA-El Monte-IE-Palm Springs-Indio, and LOSSAN corridors should just be higher speed rail.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    going 120-ish miles out of the way should do wonders for the ridership between Phoenix and Los Angeles.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Jerry: to St. George and, ultimately, Salt Lake City (and possibly even further to Idaho and Wyoming, spanning the whole I-15)

    @car(e)-free LA: Your Corona wye makes absolutely no sense at all. LA, then Anaheim, then Corona, then tunnel more just to reach Indio? Completely stupid and impractical.

    @Aarond: Phoenix HSR will follow I-10

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Service to Idaho and Wyoming (pop just over 2 million) is completely stupid and impractical.

    My solution makes lots of sense. It cuts the IE dogleg while still providing service to LA, OC, IE and SD. A temecula-indio-phoenix line provides easy HsR service from SF to PHX along with la to PHX.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    @CF: Brainstorming is good but you are moving the IE, Ontario Airport and the San Gabrriel Valley off the HSR mainline to save a few minutes for LAUS-SD traffic.

    The IE has 4m+ people and is the fastest growing part of the state (along with Central Valley), more than SD. It makes no sense to put them on a spur. Compare to Murietta and Corona which are insignificant destinations.

    OC-SD will be addressed by LOSSAN.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That’s why it makes sense to serve the downtowns of the three core cities in the IE (Corona, Riverside, and San Bernadino), which is what my plan does. Ontario Airport and the SGV are better served by electrolink every 20 minutes than by HSR.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    San Francisco is too far away from Phoenix to get significant ridership. Wandering around in Orange County wouldn’t make it any better.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    But LA, SD, OC and IE are perfect HSR distance, that are the real population centers of CA..

    Neil Shea Reply:

    @CF: We agree LOSSAN should be Higher Speed Rail, not HSR. We disagree with taking El Monte, Covina, Pomona and ONT airport off of HSR entirely, and moving the 500k+ people in San Bernardino/Riverside onto a spur.
    I see you are trying to link the OC line so it is no longer a spur, and I think your loop from ANA past SBern through the Cajon Pass prob has merit as a possible future addition, shortening Vegas trips to OC & SD. Even without Cajon, there may be benefit in having IE/ AZ / Coachella traffic bypass LAUS. But otherwise your proposal subtracts rather than improves the current route.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PBCAHSR is “Higher Speed Rail”.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Neal Shea: LOSSAN should eventually receive the HSR treatment though because it’s like what the NEC is to the Northeast.
    That LAUS bypass is via I-210
    The Vegas-SD line can be done easier by just following I-15 entirely

    Neil Shea Reply:

    @Domayv: I was just responding to CF that the existing Phase 1 & 2 map is good and his proposal was not better. Once we all see how well HSR works I certainly support Phase 3 HSR routes including LOSSAN, Cajon Pass, an ANA-SanBer connector, and an I-10 route to Coachella Valley, PHX and TUC.

    But connecting LV at PLM gets the maximum riders the soonest, including the 4m in the CV with poor air connections but a long driving route around the Sierra and Death Valley. Meanwhile, skipping the 1.5m in the San Gabriel Valley and putting the 500k+ in SanB/Riv on a spur is not an improvement for Phase 2.

    Since SD only has 3m people total, we dont need to plan explicitly for a LV-SD line, but as I say I do support considering a Cajon Pass bypass in Phase 3.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Neil Shea: Personally, Phase 3 should consist of the following
    * LOSSAN HSR. It will also have new tracks that will follow I-5 more closely. The LAUS-Santa Fe Springs and San Diego-Del Mar segments will be “blended” and the remainder separate (2 for HSR and 2 for non-HSR). At Santa Fe Springs, 2 tracks will split off and follow the old line before merging with the ROW again at Anaheim. This would make ARTIC obsolete but we can relocate it closer to Disneyland.
    * A new I-10 HSR line to Phoenix and Tuscon, with a branch at El Monte that will parallel the Metrolink San Bernardino Line and follow I-215 to the I-15 HSR line
    * A new I-15 HSR line from San Diego to Victorville, extending the XpressWest line. “Blended” between San Diego and the I-15/CA-56 junction.
    * A line following I-880 into Oakland, terminating at a new station. 4 tracks and “blended” like the SF-SJ rail line.
    * New Transbay Tube, which will be a 4 track tunnel, and I-80 HSR to Sacramento (the SF-Vallejo and Webster-Sacramento segments will be “blended”). A branch following I-680 will be built into bring trains to San Jose.
    * Transbay Terminal expansion to 14 tracks and a new maintenance facility in Alameda Island
    * Extension of southern terminus to Tijuana. This will be made concurrent with the I-15 HSR line
    * The freight rail relocations as detailed in the Google document I posted earlier

    Phase 4
    * Extension of I-80 HSR to two routes: I-80 to Reno and US-50 to Carson City. Both routes will require tunnelling not unlike the Swiss
    * A Tejon Pass rail line. This will serve HSR and Amtrak California but only EMUs can use it due to steep grades. 4 tracks (2 for HSR and 2 for non-HSR). At Sylmar 2 tracks will split off from the non-HSR tracks. These tracks are only for Metrolink and follow the existing rail line before heading back to the new rail line and merging with the non-HSR tracks. Near Meridian, 2 tracks split off from the non-HSR tracks to follow a rebuilt rain line that follows CA-184. These tracks are only for commuter rail
    * Relocation of the Bakersfield-Fresno section to follow CA-99. This will run concurrent to the Tejon Pass rail line.
    * New US-101 HSR line from LAUS to Gilroy. “Blended” between LAUS and Studio City

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You want a I-80 and US 50 HSR, a 14 track TBT, a new ARTIC, and a relocated CV line. Have you lost your f*cking mind. Put down your crayons!!!!!

    Domayv Reply:

    @car(e)-free LA: whatever is wrong with a direct HSR line between the Bay Area and Sacramento and the ARTIC relocated to be closer to Disneyland. Plus, should Transbay Terminal get more services (like a highly modernized Surfliner and others), which will be inevitable, they could increase their number of tracks.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    TBT doesn’t need any more tracks provided everything runs through to Oakland. HSR to Reno and Carson city is rather ridiculous, and a relocated ARTIC isn’t worth the cost. Disneyland isn’t really all that great.

    Useless Reply:

    J Wong

    A Metrolink train collided with a big rig in Sun Valley. No major injury reported.

    CHSRA rolling stock requires maximum crash strength possible, with all the big rigs stalled at the At-grade crossings and freight trains sharing the track. Flimsy EMUs need not apply for a job in California.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metrolink-crash-20160906-snap-story.html

    Metrolink train collides with tractor-trailer in Sun Valley; no serious injuries reported

    Metrolink train heading south toward Los Angeles on the Antelope Valley line struck a tractor-trailer sitting on the tracks Tuesday morning, officials said. No serious injuries were reported.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Flimsy EMUs need not apply for a job in California.”

    You continue to make this claim without any actual documented support. Even the Authority’s preliminary requirements are for EMUs. Do you think they are just going to change that to what you seem to think is required?

    Roland Reply:

    “FRA is working on more compatible safety standards (i.e., not requiring HSR train-sets to be tanks when interoperating with freight)”

    You continue to make this claim without any actual documented support. Do you think the FRA are just going to change that to what you seem to think is required?

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    You continue to make this claim without any actual documented support.

    AMTRAK asked for an EMU.
    AMTRAK eventually settled on a loco-pulled train set
    after having concluded that an EMU could not meet the FRA Tier III crashworthiness standard.

    California HSR is regulated by same FRA Tier III crashworthiness standard as Avelia Liverty, so it is a forgone conclusion that California HSR train sets will be loco-pulled in order to comply with FRA Tier III.

    William Reply:

    It is also equal or more likely that Amtrak picked power-car based Avelia Liberty due to its ability to tilt at a higher angle. Heavy tilt capable bogie is often mutually exclusive with powered bogie.

    Avelia Liberty is designed to work on existing environment and regulations, thus it will work better than Acela on existing NEC, as improvements on NEC ROW remains uncertain and unfunded. But as soon as some of NEC improvements are implemented, the heavy tilt capability of Avelia Liberty will become less useful.

    Domayv Reply:

    @William: Can an EMU be capable of heavy tilt?

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Amtrak picked power-car based Avelia Liberty due to its ability to tilt at a higher angle.

    Duh, never heard of Pendolino?

    The very fact that Alstom offered a Frankentrain over a stock off the shelf tilting EMU in service proves that it was not possible to meet the FRA Tier III crash standard with an EMU, locomotives were a must.

    William Reply:

    Pendolino does not have articulated bogies, so I revised by assessment: there are no articulated, heavy tilted capable, and powered bogie.

    Roland Reply:

    @Useless

    We are on the same page (I was just playing games with JAW (J Always Wong).

    I expect that the RSAC ETF will wrap up this issue once and for all at the 9/15 meeting and that we will be able to move forward and close the door on the stupid CalFranKISSentrain dual sets of doors at the same time. http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/05_29.pdf (page 6).

    William Reply:

    @Roland, Caltrain already decided the ability to transition to 50 inch platform without shutting down the line is more important and pure seat number. If you care about seat number so much, why don’t you advocate Caltrain raised all the platforms to 50 inch as soon as possible, so seats can be put back sooner?

    Clem Reply:

    @Roland does that mean you expect RSAC ETF to recommend low-floor HSR?

    Roland Reply:

    @William. Again and for the last time, there is no such thing as “Caltrain”, only a SamTrans front for a bunch of overpaid rent-seeking motherfuckers responsible for this kind of crap: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B80uFwx71YrKcG9LYm5Ya1U5eUE

    William Reply:

    @Roland, PCJPB d.b.a. Caltrain, agreed?

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem NO. What I am saying is that loco-hauled HSR trainsets ELIMINATE the requirement for high floors. “The lower floor of the Duplex can be elevated to provide level boarding at a 550 mm
    (21.7”) platform height” http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2015/2015-05-20+JPB+BOD+CHSRA+Trainsets.pdf (slide 17 on page 8).

    Clem Reply:

    @Roland, does that mean you expect RSAC ETF to mandate low-floor HSR?

    William Reply:

    @Roland, for any train that has floor higher than 8 inch, it does not provide for level boarding with existing infrastructure. If platforms needed to be raised anyways for level-boarding, than 48~50 inch is the way to go for HSR compatibility, as most of the existing HSR trainsets have floor height at 48~50 inch.

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem NO. What I am saying is that loco-hauled HSR trainsets ELIMINATE the requirement for high floors. “The lower floor of the Duplex can be elevated to provide level boarding at a 550 mm
    (21.7”) platform height” http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2015/2015-05-20+JPB+BOD+CHSRA+Trainsets.pdf (slide 17 on page 8).

    Peter Reply:

    They don’t eliminate the need for level boarding, though.

    Clem Reply:

    Do loco-hauled train sets also eliminate ADA bathrooms in every HSR car, or the need for a specific technical approach to the under-appreciated problem of “level boarding will occur gradually when the time comes” ?

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Useless

    Amtrak & CAHSR were originally talking about joint procurement. Maybe the reason they decided not to go forward with it was Amtrak’s decision not to go with EMUs?

    Whatever. My guess is that the Authority has been talking to FRA and are well aware of what they can get approved for CAHSR.

    Useless Reply:

    J. Wong

    Maybe the reason they decided not to go forward with it was Amtrak’s decision not to go with EMUs?

    It was tilting.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Per the referenced article, “FRA is revising those requirements now”. I don’t have a real clue to what the FRA is actually going to do, however, I suspect that they will come up with better requirements then the current ones.

    @Roland you should change your name since you’re the one that is always “wrong” rather than relying on a stupid pun since you can’t seem to accept that anyone else can have a reasonable opinion about HSR or Caltrain. You right letters to all the agencies, but I have yet to see evidence that they take any of your “suggestions” seriously. You might think about that.

    Useless Reply:

    J Wong

    When FRA and “vendors” agreed to 800,000 lbs static compression standard for Tier III train sets according to FRA’s memo, it pretty much eliminated EMUs.

    ven the Authority’s preliminary requirements are for EMUs.

    So did AMTRAK. Look how things turned out.

    William Reply:

    @Useless, assuming 800000 lbs compression force is the Tier III standard, I don’t see how power-car based trainsets have much advantage over distributed-power trainsets, as both structurally need to withstand the same load.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    And also keep in mind that static compression does not really ensure any crashworthiness. Static compression means that the unit is slowly compressed, and should not fail with that load.

    That means elastic deformation.

    Elastic deformation means that the energy absorbed in the compression will be released when the compression disappears (at least, that’s what I believe to remember from the “Mechanics I” lecture at the ETH-Z).

    The question is now, where does that energy go? Fact is that in case of a collision, we have primarily kinetic energy turning into another kind of energy.

    Good crashworthiness means that the kinetic energy gets dissipated in a controlled way, protecting (in case of a passenger carrying vehicle) the people on board.

    To get back to deformation, plastic deformation does dissipate quite a bit of energy (by deforming, and creating heat). That’s why modern (kind of) cars have crumple zones, and modern rail vehicles have deformation elements. Such elements are intended to be deformed (and eventually destroyed), but only after having dissipated a good amount of energy.

    If I remember correctly, the current version of the crashworthiness on rails EuroNorm requires that collisions with an impact speed of 36 km/h do not cause structural damage, and do not affect people-carrying areas of the vehicle (which means cab and passenger compartment(s)).

    So, even if that truck would really have blocked the path of the train, not that much would have happened. There would have been no structural damage (the front elements would have to be replaced), but that would be a quick repair. Also, there might have been some injuries, but neither fatal nor serious).

    Roland Reply:

    @Max,
    Could you please point me to the Stadler KISS equivalent of this video https://youtu.be/0PCtK4JgjY0?t=22? Thank you.

    Roland Reply:

    September 5th, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Last call on what happened in the “cutdown on train delays caused by grade crossing accidents” video (https://youtu.be/qA4bkn41W6M?t=4).
    Clue: it has something to do with the yellow square box on top of the long pole.

    Jerry Reply:

    Is that video in England, or where?

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@52.9649579,-1.0786592,3a,75y,22.16h,83.91t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sf-zbhAuKDrSSKLtIv6qssQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

    Roland Reply:

    This shot shows the aggressive measures taken to avoid GPS-induced turns onto the tracks on a dark rainy night: https://www.google.com/maps/@52.9650827,-1.0786972,3a,75y,256.57h,57.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sDLzJZnO8odtveLiy3sVqzg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    William Reply:

    @Roland, posting of the video makes me question if you actually lives in the Caltrain corridor and seen what kinds of gates Caltrain installed. For all the pedestrian grade-crossings, Caltrain has a side exit door for people who are stuck at the track side after the gates has come down.

    Roland Reply:

    @William,

    I agree that the Caltrain pedestrian side gates are a better solution than blocking pedestrians with the main gate (this issue has since been addressed by the ORR). The reason I posted the video is because the 2 trapped pedestrians actually stopped the train (that’s why you see them bracing close to the barrier: they are expecting a train to arrive 20 seconds after the barriers come down). It looks like it took central dispatch nearly 3 minutes to respond to the alarm at which point they raised the gates to let the pedestrians out and the train eventually got a green light (after the barriers were lowered for the second time). The entire event took 4 minutes which is significantly less than a coroner investigation after a Caltrain “trespasser” incident.

    This kind of technology “MAY” have prevented this morning’s Metrolink accident but we won’t know until we learn the exact timing of the events that led to the collision.

    Reality Check Reply:

    What’s weird about today’s purported Metrolink crash into a truck in Sun Valley is that the undamaged-appearing truck was probably not hit by the train at all. The train was only said to be going 10-15 mph, as it had just departed a station.

    At the 53-second mark of this video, it is reported the truck actually broke off the crossing gate and got clear of the crossing before the slow-moving train went into emergency braking and hit some other obstacle, possibly some part of the broken crossing protection equipment.

    Indeed, I cannot find any still or video images of debris or damage suggesting the train even contacted the truck … bad reporting abounds.

    Useless Reply:

    Zorro

    Yes, but a whole bunch of other train models can reach 220 mph at half the price. So Avelia Liberty is a Northeast Corridor only custom model. Even Alstom would probably push a TGV over Avelia Liberty in California due to cost issues.

    William Reply:

    Good critique from Alon Levy on Avelia Liberty: https://pedestrianobservations.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/amtraks-rolling-stock-order-followup

  20. Roland
    Sep 6th, 2016 at 10:25
    #20

    OT: Plan Bay Regional Advisory working group in progress: http://baha.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&event_id=928. Highlight: $8B for HSR in the Bay Area ($6B SJ to SF + $2B SJ to Gilroy?)
    http://mtc.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=e352b1f1-6a9d-4fae-b870-76b8cf3e0817.pdf (page 11)

  21. Reality Check
    Sep 7th, 2016 at 10:32
    #21

    Berryessa SJ BART extension testing: rails will be electrified and dangerous

    The BART to San Jose extension has entered an essential phase, with testing of trains on the 10-mile link from Fremont to the Berryessa area set to begin in a few months.

    The Valley Transportation Authority, which is overseeing construction in Santa Clara County, has electrified the third rail that will power future BART trains.

    Unlike VTA’s light-rail trains, which are powered by overhead lines, the BART system consists of two high-voltage substations, six traction-power substations, and contact rails. The contact rails that run alongside the train tracks, known as the third rail, will be powered by 1,000 volts of electricity.

    […]

    Roland Reply:

    With regards to the discussion we had earlier about the need for 2 substations for 10 miles of track (same as Caltrain’s 50 miles), the VTA confirm that these 2 substations indeed feed the rest of the BART system for “bi-directional redundancy purposes”.

    Reality Check Reply:

    BART will fix this! Downtown SJ’s only first-run movie theater to close

    Joe Reply:

    Sony Metreon in SF didn’t do well that well either.

    Joey Reply:

    Many parts of the Metreon didn’t last. The movie theater part is still open though, and manages to coexist with another movie theater less than a block away (at the Westfield).

    joe Reply:

    Still open. There are sunk costs building the Metreon which has changed hands and on it’s third owner. I don’t think downtown movie houses are a bellwether. Anyone here want to go downtown for a movie?

    Monterey Cannery Row has an I-MAX and when we want to see a blockbuster on opening weekend we go there since it’s always dead. Order a hot dog and they put one on the rollers to heat it. come back in 10. That dead.

    Joey Reply:

    The Metreon (the theater part) has been far from dead the times I’ve been there. Ditto the other theater, which is actually pretty new (last 10 years or so). The last time I was in the IMAX part it was pretty close to full (and this was not opening weekend).

    So obviously someone is willing to go downtown to see a movie.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Or people live there.

    Joe Reply:

    Its been a while since I was at Metreon. There wasn’t much available when I lived in Noe valley so we went there on the J.

    Monterey cannery row is busy but the theater isn’t. That one we frequent brocade it’s empty. I don’t see theaters as good bellwethers for the local economy. San Jose downtown also has competition with malls and other free parking venues.

    SfGate:

    Since peaking at 1.56 billion tickets sold in the U.S. and Canada in 2002, movie attendance has dropped to 1.3 billion last year, which was considered a good year for the industry, according to the industry tracking site Box Office Mojo.

    Metreon is a sunk cost so it’s going to stay open and be updated.

    Joey Reply:

    Everything that exists is a sunk cost. If you’re asking whether they’d build a movie theater there today, you need only look next door.

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t think it’s a new theater well over a decade old or if it would be built again given opportunity costs. Movie Attendance is dropping overall per the stat.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westfield_San_Francisco_Centre

    http://m.sfgate.com/news/article/Sausalito-s-only-movie-theater-closing-this-month-6743422.php
    Sausalito … Another failing city.

    Downtown San Jose isn’t going to live or die by the number of IMAX movie theaters.

    Joey Reply:

    According to the article you linked, the expansions, including the movie theater, opened in 2006, so not really “well over a decade”

    But everyone knows there’s soo much less demand for movie theaters in SF today compared to then.

    Jerry Reply:

    Sony Metreo in SF opened in 1999.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It wasn’t the theater that did badly, but the entire retail complex itself. In fact, the only constant across all iterations and owners of the Matron has been the theater.

    The real point of San Jose versus San Francisco is that for the former its residents are totally focused on a suburban lifestyle. Consequently, no one goes downtown but instead they end up at the various malls in the area such as Santana Row. In San Francisco, on the other hand, both residents and the numerous tourists visit downtown both for retail, food, and entertainment.

    Clem Reply:

    The real point of San Jose versus San Francisco

    …is the civic inferiority complex so keenly felt in the south.

    Jerry Reply:

    There is, ‘less there, there’ in San Jose, than the ‘no there there’ In Gertrude Steins’ Oakland.

    Joe Reply:

    Inferiority chatter from SF and others who couldn’t imagine living without a star on their belly.

    Fremont is trying to build a central downtown — another inferiority complex.

    Brooklyn bro visited last week and heard about awesome NYC and Brooklyn ….

    Jerry Reply:

    Car-centric v. Non Car-centric.
    How many major cities still have Drive-in movies in the middle of their town?

    Joe Reply:

    SF Metreon is across from massive 8 story Yerba Buena parking structure. It’s a suburban mall in SF.

    San Jose has coyote valley, undeveloped and critical wildlife corridor. Terrible walkability.

    Joey Reply:

    If you had parked there any time in the last decade you would probably get the impression that their rates aren’t really affordable to everyone. If you visited the area on a weekend you might get the impression that there are way more people there than that parking garage could possibly accommodate. If you looked at BART’s ridership reports you might notice that Powell actually has the highest ridership of any station on weekends (whereas it only has about 56% of Embarcadero’s ridership on weekdays)

    Roland Reply:

    The chatter is coming from San Carlos AKA the capital of the Caltrain universe and the epicenter of worldwide railway technology innovation.
    Visited Santana Row or San Pedro Square lately? Every new home comes with a built-in movie theater, so who needs to go to the movies???

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Straight people engaging in extended foreplay before they go someplace more private.

    Joe Reply:

    It depends what you paid for …

    Jerry Reply:

    The San Jose Drive-in is still open. With 1st run movies and general admission at $7.95.

    Reality Check Reply:

    The reader comments on the SJ Mercury story I linked to are pretty damning.

    Summary: downtown SJ is (still) dead.

    I don’t see the Camera 12 theaters as comparable to Metreon, which as @Joey points out, of which the movie theater multiplex is just a part.

    joe Reply:

    Yes Metreon is on the third owner and don’t see why they’d leave the movie houses unused/empty since they have little reusable value and are part of the larger complex It was a Sony showcase building with many shops and now I think most of it is a Target. That’s success?

    Sunk costs people.

    I am very surprised to see bay area deride san jose. I never seen that happen before.

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    Downtown Los Angeles, with it’s generally empty Broadway houses, has been a dead zone for movies until the opening of a Regal multiplex near Staples Center. Supposedly, buoyed by a growing downtown population, an Alamo Drafthouse cinema is planned for the old Macy’s Plaza on 7th. The project seems to have stalled a bit and rumors have surfaced that Alamo, nervous about rising costs, many back out. Needless to say the shopping center is now called The Bloc and they have partnered with Metro to construct a pedestrian tunnel that connects to the Metro Red/Purple/Blue/Expo rail station.

    Joe Reply:

    Maybe it will work but I don’t see movie houses as a sign of downtown vitality. Not busy at Monterey CA and just 2 blocks from the aquarium with 1 million visitors.

    1973-78 downtown Chicago loop had xxx movie houses and xxx bookstores. Now they are all gone.
    These were not good indcators.

    The San Jose theater was a difficult/costly to maintain building. Economics say there are a fix economy for movies and its zero sum game so just not a good economic indicator for a downtown.

    John Burrows Reply:

    Two weeks ago we took 2 of our granddaughters there. The four of us made up half the audience of the movie that we saw. On the way out I was thinking that for a Saturday night, the place shouldn’t be this dirty, shouldn’t be this deserted, and that we might not be seeing movies here for much longer.

    As for downtown SJ still being dead—no comment for now, but I see a lot of construction going on in central San Jose.

    From our front window we can see the 2 construction cranes of Silvery Towers, a 670 unit downtown residential high rise. And practically in our own front yard we are impacted by construction projects wherever we go. If we drive out by way of The Alameda we pass by a 168 unit project called Mill Creek. If we go the other way, at the end of our street, one lane traffic is the rule at 777 Park Ave, a 183 unit project for low income families and seniors. And if we keep going up Sunol , we may be delayed by construction going on at a 315 unit project on the corner of Sunol and San Carlos, called Fairfield Residential. All three of these projects are a part of the “Diridon Station Area Plan”, and all three are within a 1/2 mile radius of the train station.

    When it comes to residential, office and retail projects planned for central San Jose, it becomes hard to keep current with all that is going on. If a substantial part of what is planned ends up getting built, central San Jose will have a lot more density than it does now—But just how “dead” downtown will be—we will see in another 10 or 15 years.

    nto

    Jerry Reply:

    Santana Row in San Jose is across from the Winchester Mystery House and has a movie complex. A unique shopping area with over a 800 residences above the many shops and restaurants. A very good mixed use area. Sort of like a Metreon with housing.
    Also, Netflix has an impact on movie theater turnout.

  22. jedi08
    Sep 9th, 2016 at 00:01
    #22
  23. Jerry
    Sep 9th, 2016 at 01:59
    #23

    Gov. Brown signed SB32 requiring California to slash greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-jerry-brown-signs-climate-laws-20160908-snap-story.html

    les Reply:

    I liked his comment: “I don’t want to be partisan, but these guys deny science,” he said. “Anybody who lies like that should not be listened to. That’s all.” Sounds familiar Morris?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The last hurrah.

    Aarond Reply:

    Funny, I have heard the EXACT same comment made vis-a-vis against gay marriage. There’s better ways to make an argument (cleaner air -> better public health) than claiming authority from “science”.

    Also the state is going to have a damn hard time getting GHG down when PG&E and ConEd are shutting down all their nuclear plants. Big oil’s conspiracy to use solar as a red herring is so far successful.

    les Reply:

    After 100s of explanations and arguments a nutshell suffices.

    Joe Reply:

    Can’t refute what “you hear” but ….
    Factually the opposite happened with gay marriage.

    The legal evidence and argument opposing prop8 and supporting gay marriage was rooted in “science” and scientific authority.

    There was no credible scientific evidence showing gay marriage harmed society and ample evidence it helped society.

    Here’s a summary of the trial –http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2010/08/a_brilliant_ruling.html

    Maybe show us the equivalency between climate science and pro-prop 8.

    Aarond Reply:

    Many argue that the law should reflect a round peg going into a round hole, because that’s what nature wanted. This is also the basis for arguments against fossil fuels. Trying to claim authority through “science” isn’t good politics, as science is apolitical.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Science is how you figure out the hole and the peg are round.

    Jerry Reply:

    Round tires hitting round potholes may be science.
    But PAYING to fix the pothole is political.
    But then again, how far you can kick a round can down the road may be both science and political.

    Joe Reply:

    Here’s the science rational because authority figures bother you.
    http://ipcc.ch

    Here’s the prop 8 summit which bares No resemblance to your comment.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2010/08/a_brilliant_ruling.html

    Aarond Reply:

    Asking the “intergovernmental panel on climate change” about climate change is like asking the NRA about gun deaths. And prop 8 was struck down because the court, in essence, said that freedom is more important than trying to legislate nature.

    At any rate, this is a semantic argument as we’re more or less arguing for the same things.

    Joe Reply:

    Exactly as expected.

    “freedom” as is free to make up and be and think without constraints of fact. Science and math are equally as restrictive as religious beliefs.

    Bernie bro to be the rebel and hippy against authority.

    Factually the court concluded it was a paucity of evidence presented by prop 8 supporters, not “freedom”. Key prop 8 witnesses failed to show up in court. It was won by virtue of fact and authority.

    It’s all in the link like IPCC is based in fact but that would harsh the mellow.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    So AaronD the Bernie Bro is skeptical of climate change and skeptical of gay marriage. Confused much?

  24. morris brown
    Sep 9th, 2016 at 11:14
    #24

    An over 9000 word article titled

    “bullet train to nowhere” has been released by “The Weekly Standard”

    The link is:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/bullet-train-to-nowhere/article/20004120

    but right now this link leads to a page not found result.

    The article can be read by either.

    1. Google on the title “Bullet Train to Nowhere”

    or

    2. if you reach the “page not found”, do a search on the Author “Charlotte Allen”, which will get you to the article. (search box at top center on the page)

    les Reply:

    Don’t need the link to work. Just know that it was written by William Kristol and it speaks volumes.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The Weekly Standard is as right-wing as they come (basically it and the National Review) so take anything that they publish with a “cup” of salt.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    More like a ball of salt hundred km across floating in orbit as a second moon…

    J. Wong Reply:

    Bullet Train to Nowhere

    synonymouse Reply:

    “There was widespread suspicion among valley residents that one of the ultimate goals in routing the bullet train through there was to develop the vast fields into low-cost commuter subdivisions for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento, essentially terminating the valley’s agricultural viability.”

    You think?

    No mention of PB’s Tejon scam but otherwise decently in depth.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The farmland along I-5 could be subdivided just as easily.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    More easily

    synonymouse Reply:

    The land is not as arable.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What does that have to do with anything?

    synonymouse Reply:

    And she seems oblivious as to the existence of the Tejon Ranch Co.

    Jerry Reply:

    A “bien-pensant” hit piece full of “exiguous” new information.
    An article overloaded with run-on sentences and adjectives.
    Identifies the Tos-Fukuda lawsuit as successful in that it tied up the bond issue for four years.
    Identifies CARRD as being “liberal”.
    Poor Arnold is left out completely.

    Jerry Reply:

    It does identify Brad Johns’ excellent farm watering skills over that of his wasteful water hungry neighbor Tos. But do we really need to know that Brad is 65 years old, and an “ebullient, sometimes belligerent-sounding bearded extrovert with a booming voice”?
    The only eyebrow raising part of the article was that the CAHSRA purchased the cranes and other construction machinery sitting around waiting to be used. I believe that will be fodder for future concerns.

    StevieB Reply:

    The 320 mph trains in The Weekly Standard article are very impressive.

    The year 2008, when California’s voters approved Proposition 1A, was more of a culmination than a starting point. Japan had been building bullet trains since the 1960s, and France opened its first high-speed line connecting Paris and Lyon in 1981. The electric-powered trains in both countries could reach a top speed of 320 miles per hour

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why is research on rail topics in general media outlets so often so atrociously bad?

    StevieB Reply:

    Palo Alto resident Elizabeth Alexis, a founder of the zealous anti-CHSRA organization Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design, says “We’re not for or against high-speed rail. We just have different views on how it should be implemented. We believe that putting high priority on good transit is just civilized.” This is the same Elizabeth Goldstein Alexis that testified before congress that HSR is unnecessary at this time and the money would be better spent on education and water needs.

    Joe Reply:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/08/palo-alto-parking-to-get-scarcer-for-downtown-workers/

    A year into a controversial program that prioritizes street parking for downtown residents, Palo Alto City Council members are asking staff to again reduce the number of permits given to downtown workers.

    The council learned at a meeting Tuesday that only 1,368 permits have been sold to downtown employees as of July, despite 2,000 being available.

    Civilized

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Parking is overrated – train standees rock

    StevieB Reply:

    These Swedish “Bike Apartments” Are Designed For Life Without Cars The seven-story building is called Cykelhuset (“bicycle house”).

    A new apartment building in Sweden doesn’t have any parking spaces. Instead, the developers invested the money that would have gone to a parking garage into creating an ideal place to live for people who don’t want to own a car.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s disgraceful.

    Palo Alto may ask that Caltrain subsidize fares for their low wage working “help”. This would shift the burden off the employers who should pay a living wage and on to taxpayers — just like a Walmart.

    Elite city that wants to stop housing and job growth will need help busing their low wage workers at taxpayer expense.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Yes. And Caltrain capacity is a key limitation that few in government are even talking about

    Joe Reply:

    Its not about helping low wage workers, it’s about subsidizing Palo Alto “civilization” and keeping latte prices down.

    Maybe they need some WestWorld robots.

    Jerry Reply:

    And on Tues., Sept. 13, Menlo Park will consider a development at 1300 El Camino Real which the EIR stated will increase traffic by 25% at nearby intersections. The development is within TWO blocks of TWO at-grade CalTrain crossings. Hope they have fun with all of that.

    Jerry Reply:

    Whoops. Make that FOUR at-grade crossings.
    Now, when the traffic backs up at those crossings, who will Menlo Park blame? Sounds like a good article for the Fox and Hounds. How about it Morris?

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Jerry, you’re kidding right? Morris and friends are well-known in Menlo Park as longtime anti-anything NIMBYs. You can be sure he onit! Your suggesting he moan about the 1300 El Camino TOD project a mere 2,000 feet from his trackside condo enclave is like suggesting to an avid football fan that he might want to watch how his home team does in the Superbowl.

    Jerry Reply:

    The developers will be offering a dog park to the city of Menlo Park as part of the acceptance incentive package. Perhaps as a token to the Hounds part of, The Fox and.
    Tally Ho!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So That’s what the blog is named for. The authors are actual foxes and hounds…

    Neil Shea Reply:

    25% Additional Auto traffic is no problem because Foxes and Hounds respect other Real ‘Mericans who drive cars. Especially ones with poor gas mileage. We’ll all leave a few minutes early.

    It’s only giving folks the option of riding commie trains that must be opposed

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Can’t give people freedom of choice. They must have the freedom to drive on any highway they please with any car they please. As long as it isn’t a hybrid. Or takes less than 5 liters of gas per 100 km

    Jerry Reply:

    StevieB – You wrote “zealous”.
    That is clearly not neo-Conservative enough for, The Weekly Standard.
    The quote from the article in William Kristol’s magazine is:
    “Palo Alto resident Elizabeth Alexis, a founder of the liberal anti-CHSRA organization Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design”
    Maybe to a neo-con, just living in Palo Alto makes people a liberal. But that might be how you get labeled if you say, “We’re not for or against” something.

    agb5 Reply:

    The picture they chose is surprising.
    It shows crops growing up to the sparse pedestals, so no farmland consumed by the train or housing sprawl.
    To match the text, it should show peoples homes being bulldozed, orchards being uprooted, cows producing sour milk, and terrified horses throwing their riders.

  25. Roland
    Sep 11th, 2016 at 21:00
    #25

    Update on the Metrolink incident.
    The train did hit the truck but it was a minor fender-bender at most: http://photos.dailynews.com/2016/09/photos-train-vs-semi-truck-trailerminor-injuries-to-passagers/#14
    The real question is how/why 21 passengers were injured. It does not look like the impact may have caused this so that leaves the emergency brake and who may have activated it: the driver or I-ETMS when it received a gate fault after the truck crashed through the barrier(?)

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