Caltrain and HSR Win Yet Again in Court

Sep 27th, 2016 | Posted by

Another day, another victory for Caltrain and high speed rail and another defeat for Peninsula NIMBYs:

In a lawsuit that could have veered Caltrain’s electrification plans off track, a judge announced Monday he is ruling in favor of the local transit agency proceeding with its $2 billion Modernization Program.

The town of Atherton filed the potentially derailing suit in February 2015, alleging Caltrain’s environmental impact report was inadequate and that its plans to share the Peninsula tracks with high-speed rail should have been vetted as part of the review.

The Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, or TRANSDEF, and Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail joined the lawsuit that was eventually moved to Contra Costa County Superior Court.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Barry Goode sided with Caltrain arguing electrifying the local tracks does not inherently pave the way for the state’s controversial bullet train.

“Petitioners are simply wrong when they say ‘[n]either project can be implemented without the other.’ … The Electrification Project can be implemented successfully even if the HSR project never takes another step forward. It is a project of independent utility that Caltrain has been seeking to implement for nearly twenty-five years,” Goode wrote in his order.

“Petitioners are simply wrong” is always a good phrase to see, especially when it comes to anti-HSR folks who are harassing the CHSRA and the courts with numerous frivolous and meritless lawsuits. If I were in the Attorney General’s office I’d consider seeking an injunction against TRANSDEF and CC-HSR for being vexatious litigants. They sue over everything and almost always lose. They’re merely using the courts to reverse the decisions of voters and legislators, which is not appropriate.

My guess is the state’s attorneys are not interested in such a move, being folks who take the high road. But it’s warranted.

  1. Jerry
    Sep 27th, 2016 at 14:43
    #1

    Stuart Flashman and David Schonbrunn were disappointed. Said it was too early to determine whether they would file an appeal.
    Schonbrunn complained, according to the Daily Journal, that the EIR showed CalTrain running out of capacity in the year 2040.

    Joe Reply:

    Stuart had a defective microphone.

    Transdef is awful. He’s settled past lawsuits when his pet rock ideas get mentioned/included in government documents. It’s a Public nuisance, not watchdog.

    Joe Reply:

    Here’s TRANSDEF settling their nuisance lawsuits after their pet rock plan is studied by MTC. That lawsuit helped TRANSDEF.

    Nothing changed.

    TRANSDEF initiated a series of lawsuits in an attempt to stop MTC from further degrading the Bay Area. (See Litigation.) In the settlement of one suit, MTC agreed to study the TRANSDEF Smart Growth Alternative in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of its 2005 RTP. MTC released a draft of that plan, called Transportation 2030, in November, 2004. http://transdef.org/RTP/RTP.html

  2. synonymouse
    Sep 27th, 2016 at 17:05
    #2

    “The Electrification Project can be implemented successfully even if the HSR project never takes another step forward. It is a project of independent utility that Caltrain has been seeking to implement for nearly twenty-five years,”

    Interesting he did go into why the electrification was not implemented 25 years ago. It is called BART-MTC. Without PBCAHSR money to pay for the electrification and muscle to beat back BART-MTC the Electrification Project cannot be implemented successfully. Where were these judges when BART-MTC was trying to kill Caltrain? Machine stooges.

    Alan Reply:

    Syno, you’ve forgotten Civics 101: Judges cannot simply wave a magic wand and change things they want to change. There has to be a case before them for which a ruling is required. If there’s no case, judges can’t do any more than any of us. That hardly makes them “machine stooges”. They’re not some sort of super amalgamation of the legislature and governor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s a super description of a puppet judiciary.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Jusges can’t run out into the street and force people to file lawsuits.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am getting a rather funny image in my head of a judge running out into the street maniacally waving papers, his robes flying in the wind and yelling “sue for this! Sue for this!”….

    Alan Reply:

    That’s proof that you don’t know how the judicial system works.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @syno’s world is based on literary sources not reality.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    At this point I am wondering exactly what syno’s world is based on..

    EJ Reply:

    He’s my people. I grew up in what was at the time a lower middle class neighborhood in the Bay Area in the 1970s and 80s. A lot of my parents’ friends were like him.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Think about it, Cheerleaders.

    Despite Prop 1a Caltrain and PBCAHSR are truly and totally independent? That would only be applicable if PB’s 4 track Embarcadero Freeway on rails had been deployed. WTF do you think “blend” means?

    Given this judge’s interpretation(of course he’s bullshitting)the counties that own Caltrain could evict worthless PBCAHSR at any time from the ROW they fully own. That’s what independent means.

    It means Caltrain can build any system it wants, including converting to BART broad gauge 1kVDC. It could go to 750VDC; it could go to 3rd rail. It would not have to eff around with high level boarding.

    That’s what independent entails. This judge is an idiot and obviously under orders from above. I have no use for Atherton but it should appeal.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “Despite Prop 1a Caltrain and PBCAHSR are truly and totally independent?”
    Think about it, booleader. That is not what the judge ruled.

    The judge ruled that Caltrain electrification can be implemented without the HSR being implemented.

    Which, obviously, it can be.

    The judge did not rule on whether the balance of power in the area and the state would have permitted Caltrain to proceed with electrification if it was not part of the Blended service plan. With good reason, since that argument was not the basis of the lawsuit before him. And if that argument HAD been the basis of the lawsuit before him, the lawsuit could have been summarily dismissed, since that would be specious grounds for a lawsuit.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not without PBCAHSR money to electrify and muscle to fend off BART-MTC.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “The judge ruled that Caltrain electrification can be implemented without the HSR being implemented”.

    So Caltrain and its owning counties can evict PBCAHSR at any time.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “So Caltrain and its owning counties can evict PBCAHSR at any time.”

    Except for the MOU. No, they cannot evict CAHSR at any time. What the judge ruled is that the EIR for Caltrain electrification need not account for HSR because before HSR can start running they will have their own EIR. That’s what the plantiffs were arguing.

    You are being totally obtuse if you think that the judge ruled that they are independent. He did not. He ruled that it has “independent utility“.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Caltrain electrification need not account for HSR ”

    So they do not have to use 25kv OC nor do they have to accommodate high platform. Caltrain can do what it wants, right?

    J. Wong Reply:

    No, that is not what the judge ruled, @syno. The EIR for Caltrain electrification does not need to account for the environmental impact of HSR.

    synonymouse Reply:

    So PBCAHSR is not ordering Caltrain to build its line to HSR specifications?

    There does not have to be any HSR ops on the Caltrain ROW? PBCAHSR is not mandated on Caltrain electrification?

    If the Caltrain electrification project requires HSR trains under its catenary then the EIR’s should be considered together. It would be tantamount to building a half a freeway with the guarantee a few years later the rest will be built but claiming you only need an EIR for the impacts of half a freeway.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “So PBCAHSR is not ordering Caltrain to build its line to HSR specifications?”

    No, they are coordinating since CAHSR is providing the funding. This is not a “mandate”.

    Caltrain electrification does not “require” HSR. The EIR addresses the impacts of installing the catenary (as well as other issues specific to Caltrain). The impacts of installing the catenary do not derive from HSR. Suppose the Authority did not provide the funding. The impacts are largely the same. They’d have to cut down the same number of trees, etc.

    Your example is bad. It’s not “half a freeway”, but a full freeway that for the moment won’t be running trucks on it because of certain design characteristics independent of the freeway road itself. (Say the entrance ramps don’t support allowing trucks to enter the freeway.) And yes, the road itself has design parameters that allow use by trucks. When and if they decide to run trucks on it, they’ll have to do an EIR that addresses the impacts of running trucks as well as of upgrading the entrance ramps.

    There is nothing about the design and installation of the catenary (and power supply, etc.) that has any environmental impact beyond that.

    So the judge isn’t using making a “corrupt” ruling, but one based on the facts of the case and the law.

    As a side note even though “technically” HSR will be able to run up the Peninsula once the Caltrain is electrified “operationally” it will not be able to. There will need to be an EIR for the impacts of running HSR, which will include grade crossings, curve straightening, and yes, the impact of frequency and the top speed on the corridor of the trains, which is what the plaintiffs were trying to argue needed to be in the Caltrain EIR. Except the judge quite reasonably said they don’t.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Coordinating is a euphemism for being ordered. Do you see Caltrain building its own lower platforms? Caltrain has been co-opted, not other way around.

    The project’s true environmental impact are both ops together. It will probably end up under one agency in short order anyway.

  3. Alan
    Sep 27th, 2016 at 17:16
    #3

    If I were in the Attorney General’s office I’d consider seeking an injunction against TRANSDEF and CC-HSR for being vexatious litigants.

    Don’t forget to include the Town of Atherton in that injunction, and Brady and Flashman (Laurel & Hardy).

    synonymouse Reply:

    Have you ever had any experience with a genuine “vexatious litigant”?

    They are known as professional rent cheats that go from landlord to landlord ripping them off with lies and repeated phoney litigation. I had experience with one who boinked the local fire marshall to talk him into condemning an old house she had begged me to rent to her. $200/mo.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Ah! Was being a slumlord a hobby you had before you retired from a full time job or did you do it as a career?

    synonymouse Reply:

    3 years. We were not looking for it but could not pass it up when our realtor steered the probate to us and pissed off a bunch of locals who wanted it. First thing we had to do was remove 13 abandoned cars from the property. My wife and I put in 3 sewers. Learned a lot. Finally sold it to the neighbor who had juice at the county seat and he had all the nonsense pulled.

    The fun part was when we met a local couple and started chatting and the subject came up of the tenant from hell we were experiencing and turns out she had just previously rented from them and had stiffed them good. They wanted to know where she was and of course we were happy to oblige. I heard later the wife had confronted the beeyotch and the husband(they were older than us)had cussed her out so bad the husband did not know she was capable of it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    the wife cussed her out

  4. morris brown
    Sep 27th, 2016 at 18:20
    #4

    Those wishing to view the Judge’s ruling can find it at:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMcEpITEY4UEFLVGM

    As for the drivel that Robert wrote:

    If I were in the Attorney General’s office I’d consider seeking an injunction against TRANSDEF and CC-HSR for being vexatious litigants. They sue over everything and almost always lose. They’re merely using the courts to reverse the decisions of voters and legislators, which is not appropriate.

    My guess is the state’s attorneys are not interested in such a move, being folks who take the high road. But it’s warranted.

    Let us just not forget, that as of this moment, no Prop 1A funds for construction have been spent for construction, because of court rulings.

    So I guess I should be happy that Robert is not in the AG’s office; certainly such action (if at all legal), is NOT warranted.

    If the Governor, goes ahead and signs AB-1889 (Mullin) expect another lawsuit. The rights of the voters need to be protected.

    Jerry Reply:

    When is the deadline for the governor signing AB-2889?

    Zorro Reply:

    I’ve no idea, when the bill arrived on His desk, but a bill can become law by merely sitting on the Governors desk in California.

    The Governor has 12 days to act on a bill (sign or veto) once he receives it.
    If he fails to act it automatically becomes law.

    The California Legislative Process(pdf)

    StevieB Reply:

    Bills presented to the Governor in September are special.

    Any bill passed by the Legislature before September 1 of the second calendar year of the biennium of the legislative session and in the possession of the Governor on or after September 1 that is not returned on or before September 30 of that year becomes a statute.

    Jerry Reply:

    So one way or another AB-2889 becomes law on Friday. September 30, 2016. Unless it is returned to the legislature.

    Zorro Reply:

    That’s AB-1889, not AB-2889, AB-2889 has to do with Public Health, not HSR or Caltrain…

    Interesting find, but off topic here.

    Roland Reply:

    1) How about AB1889 instead of AB2889?
    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billStatusClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1889.

    2) http://mtc.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?m=l&id=/matter.aspx?key=16054 on today’s consent calendar.

    Jerry Reply:

    AB-1889. Thanks.

    Zorro Reply:

    The reason that the Prop1a money has not been spent Cyno, is cause the CHSRA is spending Federal money first, as agreed, then Prop1a money will be spent when the Federal money is exhausted.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes, since the Stimulus II money and the later regular appropriation HSR money has a spending commitment deadline attached, and Prop1a does not. So if the Federal money is not spent first, it can be lost.

    Joe Reply:

    The rights of the voters need to be protected.

    California needs protection from frivolous lawsuits. Someone’s ass got kicked in court.

    Jerry Reply:

    The rights of the non-voters need to be protected also.
    It’s a rough job, but Atherton is willing to make the sacrifice.

    Alan Reply:

    As the saying goes, “If you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain”. I have no sympathy for anyone who doesn’t make the simple effort to vote.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unless of course they are denied the vote…

    Which has happened in the US, don’t kid yourselves.

    Jerry Reply:

    ‘Say whaaat?’

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    proof…especially now. Who has been denied the right to vote in the last 50 years?

    Jerry Reply:

    ‘Say whaaat?’

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Little old black ladies? Most of them over 90? Most of them since Republicans passed ID laws to prevent voter fraud. Which doesn’t occur.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    proof…as in an actual cite.

    Zorro Reply:

    Take your pick John Nachtigall, all you needed to do was a search, there are plenty of results for Voter Suppression

    Is that too hard for you?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I see laws that were never implemented. I fail to see anyone who was “denied the right to vote”

    Peter Reply:

    Seriously? What planet have you been living on?

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

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Earth…and you?

    Just so I am clear, your definition of “denied the right to vote” is long lines, because if people are not allowed to vote in person within a few minutes of showing up at the polls, that is being “denied” the right to vote

    That is your definition, I just want to be sure I understand you.

    And absentee ballots and early voting, that does not count of course.

    Peter Reply:

    Well, if you don’t think that systematic, organized efforts to prevent minorities and others who are more likely to vote Democratic (like college students) are efforts to deny those persons the right to vote, then I can’t help you.

    Joe Reply:

    Word games and strawmen.

    “Please prove …. what do you mean by …. if your definition means ….
    Just so I am clear…..”

    You are a Waste of time. Denial of service attack on the HSR comment board.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I really like linking to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIGhSo7zMVg or anything by Sorkin, really. Sorkin’s a genius and he will go down in history as one of the great playwrights of our era.

    Zorro Reply:

    Try Wisconsin, where peoples right to vote hinges on being able to get a drivers license, by law it’s supposed to be done in 1 week, most of the state can’t get that done and delivered in less than 8 weeks, and a Conservative 7th circuit let that stand.

    Wisconsin may have lied to a federal court in order to get away with voter suppression

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When a similar thing happened in Nicaragua (cedulas being delivered late for the presidential and parliamentary elections) there were near riots and sternly worded diplomatic notes.

    But in the richest country in the world (so the US keeps saying itself) being late with ID seems to be a-ok…

    Jerry Reply:

    Hey John N.
    Take it up with Morris. He is the one who wrote:
    “The rights of the voters need to be protected.”
    And I jokingly added:
    That it is a rough job, but Atherton is willing to do it.
    So please don’t always jump in and try to get people to prove this, or to prove that, just to satisfy your jollies.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    read the string. Bahnfreund said

    Unless of course they are denied the vote…

    Which has happened in the US, don’t kid yourselves.

    That is what I responded to. I got the sarcasm about Atherton and I agree, they are just a bunch of self-serving rich people who would wall off the city and let no one in except the hosekeepers and nannies. But a statement like people being denied the right to vote requires proof.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do you really think Jom Crow and the enduring Jim Crow of mass incarceration need proof?

    People are denied the vote. In addition to the targeted laws by the Republicans there are also people denied the vote because they committed a crime (including non-violent drug offenses) or because their name sounds similar to someone who committed a crime.

    Yes, the US has banned people from voting “just in case”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Jim Crow. Damn those typos.

    Zorro Reply:

    People of color outside California, through voter suppression by Republicans, thankfully the courts intervened…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Not always effectively and not always on time, unfortunately…

    Zorro Reply:

    Yeah, sad to say, you are right, sigh.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    America has always been at its greatest when it fixes a mess it previously created. Be it slavery, civil rights, World War II (America’s isolationism created that mess at least in part). And I hope the new Jim Crow can become one of those messes the US solves.

    Danny Reply:

    I prefer “If you vote, you don’t get to complain” myself

    Derek Reply:

    Voting isn’t so simple when you consider the effort needed to become an informed voter. Or is it acceptable to flip a coin or vote along party lines? (These last two are morally identical IMO.)

    Joe Reply:

    Sounds like you need some help.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    this is a free country so yes, you can flip a coin or use any other method you choose. Its a right, you cant tell people how or when to exercise it.

    Jerry Reply:

    “you cant tell people how or when to exercise it”
    Happens all the time John N.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I don’t know about how it works on his planet but here in New York you only get to vote on designated days. Even if you are opting to do early voting or absentee.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    really…thats what you got? Even that has expanded in the last few decades. It used to be 6am to 8pm on a single day. Now you can absentee for weeks in advance.

    But the original comment was about flipping a coin, something I know you saw but just ignored. The “when” past of my statement was actually in reference to an earlier discussion on this board about how Australia requires voting, it is mandatory. So apparently they are free to do anything but choose to vote.

    As you know, in the US you are free to choose not to vote, i.e. when to vote.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I can’t choose to vote for HIllary’s second term next March. I probably can’t vote at all next March.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well there are people who can vote in March, but most of them don’t have American citizenship

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There are places that let non citizens vote. None that I know of that lets non residents vote. I reside in New York. We can only vote when the Board of Elections says we can. For offices that are on the ballot.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think you can vote in German elections if you hold citizenship but reside elsewhere. You cannot however vote if you are a resident but not a citizen. Unless you hold the citizenship of another EU state and it is a election on the level of mayor or county council. (The latter is EU law)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you are a U.S. citizen that will be living outside of the U.S. you have to pick a place where your U.S. residence is. You get your absentee ballot from that place.

    https://www.fvap.gov/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Of course you cannot vote for President (regardless of citizenship) if you are a resident of Puerto Rico or the likes…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i should have said you cant force people to vote how or whenever they want. I suppose you can always “tell” them but they are free to ignore you.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are countries with “mandatory voting” however, in most of them amnesty for those who broke said law is one of the first acts of the newly elected bodies…

    EJ Reply:

    Mandatory voting is dumb. If you’re genuinely uninformed or don’t care, then you shouldn’t vote. It’s why I almost never vote for judges. I typically have no idea who these people are or whether they’re qualified or not.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Mandatory voting tends to encourage people to get informed…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Judges shouldn’t be elected.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Probably…

    But mandatory minimums also do a lot of damage…

    blankslate Reply:

    Since most parties have platforms, voting along party lines is not “identical” in any way to flipping a coin. Voting along party lines expresses a preference for a particular platform, flipping a coin does not.

    (I’ll leave aside your reference to “morality” – The fact that you think voting a certain way is a “moral” issue is possible evidence of psychosis)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    In some countries you have one vote in the election. Which is necessarily along party lines. But in almost all of those countries there are more than two countries to begin with.

    Peter Reply:

    Meh, being categorized as a vexatious litigant just means you have to get permission before filing a lawsuit. It doesn’t mean you can’t sue anymore.

    A more effective approach, yet quite difficult to achieve, would be sanctions for filing a frivolous lawsuit. Not saying this was a frivolous lawsuit (I never read any of the pleadings).

    synonymouse Reply:

    The judge’s remark was frivolous and ignorant.

    Without PBCAHSR there would be no Caltrain electrification. BART-MTC would have already moved in for the kill. With Kopp leading the charge. That’s why it is important to move along briskly. JerryRail could still implode.

    Of course if Atherton et al had decided to dump the SP commute runs in 1962 and vote for BART there would be no hsr on the ROW.

    Jerry Reply:

    “no HSR on the ROW”
    So does that mean that HSR would have stopped at San Jose? ?
    Or would HSR have come through Altamont? And perhaps through Oakland somewhere to a new tunnel to San Francisco?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Exactly. PBCAHSR would have been planned thru Oakland, vastly strengthening the Altamont alignment case.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    “BART-MTC would have already moved in for the kill.”

    It is absurd to suggest that a judge could make a ruling that requires this as a premise and have the ruling stand up on appeal.

    Judge cannot rule based on how the political balance of power is expected to work in a region of the state … and furthermore, it’s a damn good thing that they cannot. Judging lawsuits based on premises like that would be an idiotic way to run a legal system.

    synonymouse Reply:

    To paraphrase Struther Martin: What we have h’yuh is a failure to evaluate.

    They have split up what in reality constitutes a single project into pieces in order to understate, underestimate, minimize its real environmental impact. If Caltrain and PBCAHSR were significantly different, separated in time by decades or there were a genuine possibility that PBCAHSR would not happen on the Caltrain ROW this ruling would be ok. That is not the case. The equipment is roughly the same and the operations are roughly the same and the true environmental impact is cumulative.

    It is deceit and disinformation typical of PB and being saluted by a politically compromised judiciary. The Cheerleaders are quite correct in advising critics to stop filing lawsuits – they are wasting their time and money expecting justice from puppet courts.

    Caltrain owes its continued existence to PBCAHSR – absent the latter BART-MTC would have broad gauge Ring the Bay already implementing. WTF, Cheerleaders, do you think BART is doing in San Jose? Going to Gilroy? Get Real.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The truth will come out when Caltrain and PBCAHSR are being run by the same outfit, likely BART.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “outfit”? Isn’t that organized crime speak?

    Also, why do you think BART will take over everything?

    synonymouse Reply:

    50+ years in the Bay Area

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    They haven’t even yet taken over the whole Bay Area…

    Anasdakos Reply:

    Syno, this is all paranoid bullshit. In what plausible scenario does the Metropolitan Transportation Commission end up running the State of California’s high speed rail system? The MTC is the Bay Area intergovernmental planning agency. It’s a crazy idea.

    Alan Reply:

    Morris, you don’t give a shit about the “rights of the voters”. All you care about is yourself and your friends who were stupid enough to buy expensive homes near an active rail line.

    How about being honest with us for a change?

    Alan Reply:

    Let us just not forget, that as of this moment, no Prop 1A funds for construction have been spent for construction, because of court rulings.

    Primarily because the Authority has not yet completed the second funding plan, the prerequisite to spending Prop 1A funds. If the various lawsuits accomplished anything (besides delay) it was to clarify what is expected in each of the funding plans–which should expedite things moving forward.

    Zorro Reply:

    Prop1a funds are able to be spent now, it’s just that federal funds have a time limit, Prop1a funds don’t, plus the last court ruling months ago on them released those funds to be spent, there is nothing stopping the Authority from doing that either, but then those who wish to stop HSR, have lost every court case they have stupidly launched.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You should always spend the money that expires earliest first. Just like you should do with your fridge: Eat (or throw out) the food first that expires first. It’s simple, really.

    Alan Reply:

    I understand that, but the fact remains that the Authority must still do a second funding plan before spending any bond funding. Given the inevitible frivolous lawsuit from Flashman, the Authority should do that funding plan sooner rather than later.

    Roland Reply:

    San Mateo know that they are not going to see Prop1A Bonds for Hillsdale any time soon. This is the reason why they convinced the “Joint Powers Board” to unanimously approve a $150M line of credit to satisfy “immediate cash flow requirements”.
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-09-01+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf (click on #9).
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-10-06+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf (click on #9).

    On a related note, why isn’t anyone questioning how a single “grade separation” @25th Avenue could possibly clock in @$165M especially considering that 25th Avenue does not need grade separating in the first place???

  5. Roland
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 01:17
    #5

    Breaking News: Common sense prevails in San Francisco:
    http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Sinking-SF-high-rise-prompts-panel-to-delays-9312425.php

    Joe Reply:

    “This time there is going to be adult supervision,” he said. “I want to make a strong statement to the TJPA that they are going to be held responsible for phase two.”

    This isn’t common sense.

    Joey Reply:

    All indications are that the tower was sinking even before Transbay work begun.

    Joe Reply:

    Penskin is out of control.

    He seems hell bent on establishing partial liability with SF County/City for political gain and opposing development. In particular this is an attack on Gavin Newsom.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Naah, Gavin is not involved in this at all. The Millennium Partners is going to prove they jumped thru all the hoops and the City won’t contest that. Only Peskin.

    I cannot imagine how this would not go to court and I would guess Millennium would ask for a change of venue and many millions. Jerry & Richard will have to pay to fix the tower as I see the pumping argument prevailing. Unless PBCAHSR dumps the entire TBT project and officially rewrites Prop 1a. Then it is all Caltrain’s baby.

    Joe Reply:

    Penskin has publicly blamed Gavin.

    Jerry and Richard not invoked.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Peskin has no power over Lee, who is really calling the shots. All this vote indicates is a lagging interest on the part of SF towards the ever more troubled TBT Tunnel project.

    A building of this magnitude does have to go extralegal. Why would professionals want to violate code when other places would offer kickbacks to score such a structure? If anything you could fault Gavin for indifference during his administration. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

    The Supes & Lee will just let the TBT project twist in the wind and Jerry & Co. will have to come up with the payola if he still wants PBCAHSR to go that far downtown.

    synonymouse Reply:

    does not have to go

    Aarond Reply:

    CHSRA doesn’t need to officially dump the DTX/TTC project, just postpone it indefinitely. HSR can terminate at 4th&King until SF gets their act together.

    Which may be a very long time. As far as I can tell SFMTA’s priority is to put out as many fires as possible, such as helping out BART’s feces situation or (finally) building platforms on Taraval (assuming it’s not delayed by NIMBYs, again).

    In which case, Caltrain would pick up most of the tab (as downtown access is part of their charter) but would only do so *after* everything else is done (electrification, grade seps, Dumbarton, etc). And this is when the “second transbay tube” knife fight would begin.

    mike Reply:

    More than that, it was actually sinking much faster before the TJPA work began than it has after. If anything, the developer and/or Millennium tower residents should be paying the city for having helped ameliorate the problem!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Their lawyers argue certain subsidence was planned for and had proceeded to what was anticipated. But they argue it was supposed to only sink that far and the TBT pumping produced new sinking that would not have otherwise occurred.

    Lawyer up.

    EJ Reply:

    I know I’ve said this a million times, but jeez, cut your losses, SF. Just terminate Caltrain/HSR at 4th and King – and if you really need the connection to Transbay buses, build protected bus lanes to that station.

    Jerry Reply:

    By the time HSR gets to San Jose then San Francisco may have decided what to do. And the Leaning Tower of San Francisco might be leaning a few more inches.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Gavin’s 2 terms may be over by that time.

    StevieB Reply:

    I think you mean Antonio’s 2 terms.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Antonio quien?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Antonio Villaraigosa, por supuesto

    Anasdakos Reply:

    Antonio es un politico major que “Gaaavin”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Siquiere esta tratando de ser nombrado candidato a gobernador?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Ojala

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Pues quizás habra mejores candidat@s, pero no veo much@s.

    Joey Reply:

    Is that even relevant to this discussion? The train box, i.e. the part next to the Millennium Tower, is already built. The rest of the tunnel won’t affect it.

    Aarond Reply:

    Hell no. We need a Caltrain tube, and the only realistic way that gets done at this point is through the TTC. Granted, it’s not going to happen for a *long* time but BART’s monopoly needs to be broken. Also I want the ability to take Amtrak from downtown SF to downtown Chicago.

    Joey Reply:

    The only way we get that is not through the TTC. There are building in the way of any eastward extension of the tracks.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    So under Howard Street, adjacent to TTC lobby and facilities

    Roland Reply:

    That was the plan until the TJPA sold the parcel for $175M: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7904757,-122.3949706,3a,75y,96.32h,97.59t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0quM-jTuDNV2pqLOU3u_yA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656….

    EJ Reply:

    And there’s a straight shot to the Bay under King St. at the current station.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    If they can find the $$$ for their plan, to get close to Market Street at the new terminal and free up the 4th & King yard for housing, I would do that. It’s a fraction of the cost of a new Bay crossing

    Roland Reply:

    Has it ever crossed your mind that the private sector would happily build a bay crossing if there was anything they could possibly connect to at either end?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Depends.

    Can you make enough money off of it?

    And if so, how?

    Advertising? Tolls? Something else?

    Roland Reply:

    Half of BART’s farebox revenue.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But I thought BART was pulling all the strings…

    How can they be forced to pay for anything?

  6. Jerry
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 02:08
    #6

    OT info
    Every 3 hours a person or vehicle in California is hit by a train. And California leads the nation in annual rail fatalities.
    Because September is Rail Safety Month the CAHSR has put out a new video emphasizing rail safety in California.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC–X2R1GmM

    Joey Reply:

    Every 3 hours a person or vehicle in California is hit by a train

    [citation needed]

    JB in PA Reply:

    Citation for trespassing on railway property.

    Jerry Reply:

    Reference info is from the CAHSRA Internet site.

    Joey Reply:

    Which is perfectly linkable.

    Jerry Reply:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/
    The link is also in the upper right corner of this blog.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But aren’t half the links rotten anyway?

    Jerry Reply:

    Do you have a link for that? :-)
    :-)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No, I meant the blogroll of this blog needs to be updated. Not that I blame the author. He is probably a busy man and it merits all the props in the world that he has been churning out articles at this rate for such an amount of time.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Very true

    Jerry Reply:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s see:

    1) Caltrain has 42 grade crossings and kills +/- 20 people/year on average.
    2) The UK has 7,000 grade crossings and killed 13 people last year.
    3) Network Rail was fined £4M for killing an 82-year-old “trespasser”: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-suffolk-37428393 “Since 2010 we have closed over 1,000 crossings and we are spending £100m across the country improving level crossing safety”.

    The answer is clearly grade separations @ $50M a pop. Stupid Brits!!!!

    Eric Reply:

    1/2) Caltrain is all urban/suburban. Most of those 7000 UK crossings are probably rural, with many fewer people around to be killed.

    Roland Reply:

    Right again: https://youtu.be/QoaV45nOIZc?t=18

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Maybe Americans are just stupider than Brits?

    Nah. It’s probably just that drivers licenses in America are ridiculously easy to get. Not the half year two grand thing they are in some parts of the EU

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That would be amazing to have here.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think drivers licenses should have to be retaken in regular intervals. At the very least there should be a physical checkup whether hearing eyes and reaction time are still in reasonable working order. Liver health could also be looked at as a preventative measure.

    Of course that has no chance of ever happening in Germany, even though there is the TÜV (originally an industry group tasked with avoiding boiler ruptures, now mostly known for testing cars on behalf of the state) which every car has to go through once every two years or so. Even though technical problems with cars account for pocket change of all accidents, whereas the driver accounts for the vast majority of them.

  7. Jos Callinet
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 13:06
    #7

    Robert C. – from its very beginning, your website here has been one VERY LONG chronicle of one dispute, one lawsuit, one MIGHTY BATTLE, after another!

    Truly, beyond any doubt whatsoever, you are chronicling in these pages the Twenty-first-Century version of the Battle between David and Goliath. Even now, after all these years, its outcome in uncertain. There are still too many unpredictable variables at play.

    It’s LOOKING more and more as if it’s going to be David (CAHSPR) who wins in the end – but in the meantime, we are forced to continue to anxiously bite our nails as each successive battle is fought.

    Jerry Reply:

    Agreed.
    The website would be a goldmine for future interested historians.

    Eric Reply:

    It’s being archived.
    Here’s a random page for example:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20160412222815/http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/12/christmas-open-thread/#comments

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, maybe a century from now someone writing the history of HSR in the US will dig it up as a prime source…

    After all historians of today frequently dig through the private correspondence of historical figures… Including sex letters of John Adams to his wife.

    Roland Reply:

    This is worthy of bronzing, not just plain archiving.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You just want to be the great and famous Roland of CAHSR blog. And I don’t blame you.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t there more than one Roland?

    Also, people will probably be a bit stunned where all those Swiss and German people come from. Just like I never quite figured out what La Fayette is doing in the thirteen colonies to begin with…

    Jerry Reply:

    The ‘tags’ for the site don’t begin to cover all the topics/tangents brought up. A top ten word count program would prove interesting. :-)
    Thanks to Robert for keeping it all going.

  8. morris brown
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 14:04
    #8

    Governor Brown vetoes AB-2847 (Patterson HSR oversight bill)

    The veto message is located at:

    https://www.gov.ca.gov/docs/AB_2847_Veto_Message.pdf

    and reads as follows:

    SEP 2 8 2016

    To the Members of the California State Assembly:

    I am returning Assembly Bill 2847 without my signature.

    This bill mandates additional reporting requirements for inclusion in the High-Speed Rail Authority’s business plan and in the project update report.

    I believe this bill is unnecessary, particularly in view of the passage of Assembly Bill 1813, which adds two legislative members to the Authority. As with other projects of this magnitude, state law requires strict standards of accountability and transparency and I have every expectation that the Authority will meet these high standards.

    AB-2847 passed though both the State Senate and Assblembly on bipartisan, unanimous votes. The bill surely reflected the Legislature growing tired of not receiving adequate information. The Governor’s veto is a disgrace.

    Will the Legislature try to override? It should be overridden, but I wouldn’t count on it. Governor Brown has yet to have any of his vetoes over turned.

    With only 2 days left for the Governor to act on bills, he still has yet to sign or veto AB-1889 (Mullin).

    ( Actually, I am not surprised. Little noticed was opposition to the bill was registered by the Governor’s Finance Dept.)

    Jerry Reply:

    What ‘oversigjt’ would have been provided that is not currently available?
    Or would it have been just more ‘second guessing’ and ‘Monday morning quarterbacking’?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    What ‘oversigjt’ would have been provided that is not currently available?

    I don’t know. Some might start with not revolving-door appointing a PB vice president to be head of a “public” agency whose primary and sole apparent purpose is to direct public funds to no-compete primary-contractor-for-life PB and its allied consultants, just as a second guessy type of for-instance. But that’s so un-American, so quarter-backy! (Presumably the sort of quarterback who plays in in the soccerball tournaments.)

    Jerry Reply:

    I agree Richard. But you, and many many others, already seem to be aware of the problems you identified. And you did it with out without any additional, ‘oversigjt’.

    Joe Reply:

    How does this guy directing funds make one penny out of this transaction? Man-splain it to me.

    Joe Reply:

    The usual broad brush attack “Revolving door”.

    Explain the scam. Jeff Morales leaves industry and takes over HSR. Now explain the scam. Where and how does he get paid ?

    Don’t bullshit that he has very, very special friends and etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Which would be very nice to have. But isn’t in the bill Morris is getting into a tizzy over.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Would they have to be more unanimous to override it? Get 110 % of them to vote for it?

  9. morris brown
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 15:49
    #9

    Governor Brown has signed AB-1889 (Mullin) in law.

    So the HSR bills awaiting Gov Brown action, have both been acted upon this afternoon.

    He just signed AB-1889 into law. The bill amends the Prop 1A bond measure, potentially allowing for projects to be funded with Prop !A funds, but not having to abide by many restrictions that are written into the bond act.

    It is surely unconstitutional and will be litigated.

    A letter has already been sent to parties of interest notifying them of impending litigation.

    see: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMV040VUI2Qno5cTg

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actual litigation will have to wait until the Authority actually files for bond disbursement. I expect that they’ll also ask for a restraining order blocking said disbursement until the court rules.

    If the court doesn’t grant the restraining order, what does that mean? Or will they grant it by default (guessing that’s what they usually do)?

    Joe Reply:

    This probable lawsuit to tie up prop1a and “protect the voters blah blah” from Caltrain will anger local residents seeking relief with Caltrain electrification. It’s common sense use of prop1a money for common electric infrastructure.

    Also the Leglislature is finally taking point on these lawsuits partnering with the executive branch. It quite significant that lawmakers, governor, local transit and the project are closely collaborating.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @morris brown

    Also note that the two clauses “surely unconstitutional” and “will be litigated” are not related. They’re going to litigate in any case. It will be up to the courts to determine the former.

    Jerry Reply:

    The ongoing saga:
    Stuart Flashman wrote:
    “I expect that, .. once it is signed, the CAHSR plans .. one or more Final Funding Plans.”
    “I also expect that the funding plan(s) will rely on AB 1889 in determining that the usable segment(s) involved will be, when the construction proposed in the funding plan is complete, “suitable and ready for high-speed train operation.” However, that assertion will be fraudulent and contrary to the voters’ intent when they approved Proposition 1A.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Or, to Flashman’s consternation the Authority could simply cite the law:

    Article 2. High-Speed Passenger Train Financing Program 2704.04. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature by enacting this chapter and of the people of California by approving the bond measure pursuant to this chapter to INITIATE the construction of a high-speed train system.

    Seems very clear to this voter. Prop. 1A funding was simply to INITIATE the construction.
    Obviously, the beginning of the construction will not be the complete system. Nor will the initiation of the construction meet ALL of the bells and whistles which Mr. Flashman desires.

    Keep in mind, it should be quite clear that the bonds never were intended to pay for the entire system.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The puppet judiciary is not going to do squat.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Puppet judiciary?

    Puppets of whom?

    BART?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Puppet of the Brown-Pelosi patronage machine aka the Ca Democratic Party.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The California Democratic party being so all-encompassingly vague that it ends up running against itself in half the elections?

    Tell me, what exactly is the party line that the puppets are supposed to obey like trained puppies?

    Alan Reply:

    Don’t confuse Flashman with facts…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why not?

    agb5 Reply:

    The voter intended the bonds to be spent on portions which would initially be used by non-high-speed trains:

    (f) In selecting corridors or usable segments thereof for
    construction, the authority shall give priority to
    those corridors or
    usable segments thereof that are expected to require the least
    amount of bond funds as a percentage of total cost of construction.
    Among other criteria it may use for establishing priorities for
    initiating construction on corridors or usable segments thereof, the
    authority shall include the following: (1) projected ridership and
    revenue, (2) the need to test and certify trains operating at speeds
    of 220 miles per hour, (3) the utility of those corridors or usable
    segments thereof for passenger train services other than the
    high-speed train service

    Alan Reply:

    Shh! Like I said, don’t confuse Flashman–or Morris–with those pesky facts…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Facts are stubborn things…

    Roland Reply:

    So PBRRA is “initiating” a 79 MPH “HSR” system peppered with 50 MPH turnouts? How about raising the platforms to 50 inches just for fun?

    Alan Reply:

    As usual, Morris is lying. AB1889 does not change one word of Prop 1A–that’s what it means to amend a law. AB 1889 adds a section to the Streets and Highways Code outside of Prop 1A, which is entirely within the power of the Legislature.

    Now of course, Morris and others of his ilk cheered the passage of SB 557, which inhibits the development of the 4-track system on the Peninsula. One could argue that SB 557 also amends Prop 1A, because it places restrictions on the bond funding. But if someone approves of SB 557 while simultaneously opposing AB1889, he is a hypocrite. Either both are constitutional, or neither one is constitutional. They can’t have it both ways.

    And of course, Flashman will argue both ways. The man will do anything for a paycheck, at least until the state bar finally catches up with him. The result? More frivolous litigation.

    What Morris and his cohorts forget is that the Governor is a lawyer himself, and good enough at it to be elected Attorney General. It stands to reason that he would have a pretty good idea of what is and is not constitutional. I don’t think he would have signed a clearly unconstitutional bill.

    Once again, Morris is trying to undermine the rights of the voters, who chose to construct an HSR system, and have the right to see that decision carried into effect.

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s see if I understand this correctly: electrified antediluvian tracks with 50 MPH turnouts, a 79 MPH maximum speed that do not go to Transbay and cannot support more than 6 trains per hour per direction constitute “an HSR system”???? Is this what happens when a high-speed line is designed by a bunch of retired attorneys and a former Attorney General?

    Joe Reply:

    This is a low cost start to HSR service with single seat to SF. The 2012 plan says this amounts to savings of almost 30B over a full build system. Think of all the Toilets you could build with 30Billion.

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s see if I understand this low-cost approach correctly: first we blow $22.5M/mile electrifying a piece of garbage and PBRRA will come back later and turn it into a high speed line? Stupid Brits!!!!

    http://events.imeche.org/ViewEvent?code=S1389
    http://www.theref.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2008-10-Making-Electrification-Happen-Rail-Engineer-article.doc

    Joe Reply:

    The document is center aligned. Not worth look at until someone decides to format to a middle school report standard.
    Britain is an off topic distraction as is name calling.

    We’re electrifying the Caltrain ROW allow HSR access and improving the ROW to meet demand and improve travel time. It’s only 50 urban miles in length.

    This approach is tens of billions less than building out BART or a full build HSR on day one.

    That’s our reality.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well we do not live in the best of all possible world. But also not in the worst, either.

    Alan Reply:

    As usual, Roland is ignoring the point of my post. I was speaking about the constitutionality of the Legislature’s action, not the specifics of the construction project.

    J. Wong Reply:

    No, they don’t constitute “an HSR system”. But neither does Prop 1A prevent funding a component of an HSR system (electrification) that is required to constitute an HSR system. Also, nothing in Prop 1A “designs” a high-speed line, so no, it wasn’t designed by a bunch of retired attorneys (and Gov. Brown when he was AG had nothing to do with it either).

    The litigants have continually tried to use this argument that Prop 1A requires HSR to “erupt fully formed”. (I’m being hyperbolic.) But the courts have been pretty definite that nothing in Prop 1A requires all that goes into an HSR system including the funding for building it needs to be 100% locked down before any bond funds are disbursed. Again here “identified” does not mean 100% locked down.

    Joe Reply:

    Recall Prop1a doesn’t have any operational speed requirement or track design speed requirements. It stipulates trainsets be capable of 200+ sustained speeds and lists travel time capability between select stations.

    Blended HSR saves the state tens of billions over full build on a short 50 mile urban segment. It’s HSR by supporting HSR trains single seat. Gradual expansion and also improvement of the ROW to higher but still legally constrained speeds will save modest travel time on a 50 mile segment and add capacity.

    Court rulings indicate the location and initial build of HSR in this dense corridor could be gradual as the bond act provides simply a preliminary description of a system, not a design. There isnlatitude to make the system better. Better as in sooner and less costly. Saving tens of billions by providing a single seat to SF and all benefit of such service is allowed. Also the blended design does not preclude improvements to expand tondedicated track and increase speeds to a full build when/if it becomes necessary.

    Jerry Reply:

    I like that:
    ” and lists travel time capability between select stations.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do you think some idiot will sue based on a train in 2031 that takes one minute “too long”?

    Peter Reply:

    No, but they’ll sue now (and have in the past) based on the premature assumption that the times won’t be met.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, I know. What I was getting at was more along the lines of “hurr durr false advertising” and “you said the train would be this and that” a bit like the “don’t dry your hamster in the microwave people”…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a is vacated. That’s why Morris will not get anywhere.

    But Jerry is manifesting the desperation and rigidity of career’s end.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Prop 1a is vacated.”

    Really? What aspects of CAHSR are not following the law?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Probably the aspect that BART should not have been taken over by Palmdale or something… It’s syno, remember?

    synonymouse Reply:

    A whole bunch. But let’s concentrate on the, what was it now – it has been so forgotten – 2:40 from the TBT to LAUS. But the Grandaddy of them all – no subsidy.

    Quel Crock!

    Cheerleaders, admit you are working for PB, Palmdale and the Tejon Ranch. Confession is good for the soul. I hope at least union scale. What, SAG?

    J. Wong Reply:

    The problem with claiming the time constraints and the no subsidy requirements aren’t being met is that you have no evidence except the claims of some supposed expert easily countered by the claims of another supposed expert. If there was an independent authority about such things, but there is not.

    You cannot evaluate such competing claims without becoming an expert something that judges cannot do. And when you have a bias, you’re no more able to evaluate them. There’s also no requirement that everything can be met at once. They are going to have to invest money on the Peninsula to make the time constraints, but nothing that isn’t impossible, for example.

    If Prop 1A is vacated, then why do they still claim to follow it? True vacation is that they don’t even have to consider it, but they are still operating as if it is in force. Why?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Good points. They’re faking it, like good politicians who tell every different audience what they want to hear. Like Hillary talking up one thing to Warren Buffet and an opposite thing to Bernie Sanders.

    Prop 1a is inherently flawed and self-contradictory. You don’t construct a north-south hsr line with a groaning detour off route in it. So in a sense it was vacated from the outset. The judges see this and don’t want to touch it. Come up with an excuse that effectively awards carte blanche to PB. Why try to straighten out the Legislature’s mistakes and stupidity?

    Why am I still interested in Prop 1a? Beats me other than I am an idiot too.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You construct a passenger railroad where there are passengers.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If I were working for PB and Tejon ranch at union wages (besides my paid shilling for the Antifa e.V. and the Zionist Hasbara Union of course) I would have taken a plane to Nicaragua, bought myself a nice house in León and hooked up the Internet there by now. Heck, I’d probably live quite comfortably of an American Union wage alone…

    Anasdakos Reply:

    OK, then, let’s just take one direction of I-280 and make that the HSR line. No pain for Atherton and no possibility that the Pure and Good HSR trains will be polluted by association with icky commuter trains.

    Sounds like a plan!

    synonymouse Reply:

    If BART had nailed the SP corridor in 1962 PB would have to resort to something like that. But I think HSR to Oakland would have taken center stage early on in the planning and Altamont. San Josie would have been kicked to the curb righteously.

    agb5 Reply:

    The legal strategy of the anti-hsr crowd has two steps:

    (1) Insist that a “portion” of a high speed rail corridor can only possibly mean a short length of complete HSR system, including trains.
    (2) Shoot down the plan on the grounds that such a short piece of complete HSR could not operate without an illegal subsidy.

    By re-stating the existing definition of a usable segment in simple layman’s terms, the legislature makes it clear that “portion” can just mean “part of a whole”, which is the dictionary definition of “portion”. A “part” of a whole high speed corridor does not imply a vertical slice of complete HSR.

    The amendment does not broaden the the meaning of a usable segment beyond what the people voted for, on the contrary it narrows it within what the people already voted for, which is within the power of the legislature.

    Roland Reply:

    But but but, what about “SJ to Transbay in 30 minutes or less” and “achievable headways of 5 minutes or less” AKA 12 trains/hour/direction?

    agb5 Reply:

    The electrification “part” of the corridor will be built to a standard that supports 30 minute travel times and 5 minute headways.
    The electrification component will be “suitable and ready for high speed trains operations”, no need to rebuild it later to support HSR, which is in line with the intent of the voters to initiate construction of HSR by having non-high speed trains initially use some of the infrastructure to give it immediate “utility”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait, that….

    …actually makes sense.

    GASP!

  10. Danny
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 16:16
    #10

    NIMFYs, SLAPPs, and barratry are also tactical as well as strategic: it ties up resources, drives up costs, and delays opening dates–and if a builder brings up the endless lawsuits, that just makes them look like they’re complaining: it’s all about optics and posturing (see also Eric Mann enlisting Mike Davis and Tom Hayden to damn rail)

    Joe Reply:

    TRANSDEF tells us they litigated Caltrain electrification to protect Caltrain.

    Roland Reply:

    TRANSDEF may have a point. Clem has now confirmed that SamTrans $2.2B electrification “investment” will remove 300 seats, 16 bikes and 5 toilets from every CalFranKISSentrain because of uh duh A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N!
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2016/09/emu-brochure.html

    This is actually a non-issue because the Bay Area’s finest transportation planners (AKA SamTrans) are about to SUBSTANTIALLY enhance the capacity of the 101 corridor with dedicated bus lanes.
    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2016/09/wednesday-september-28-solutions-for-101-congestion

    Are we having fun yet?

    Joe Reply:

    Someone didn’t read TRANSDEF’s complaint.

    We are going to have a better system and I propose you consider “depends” .

    Roland Reply:

    “better” as in “less crappy” or did you have something else in mind?

    Joe Reply:

    Better as in faster, shorter trip times, more trainsnservijf more stations, greater capacity, and interoperable with HSR. No disruption to Caltrain when each HSR station is built.

    You mentioned “crappy”‘is that yet another reference to Toilets?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Removing 5 toilets? The Stadler EMUs look to have at least one toilet per train per request. The existing bi-levels and galleries generally have 2 (but often just 1). So they’re going to have negative 3 toilets?

    Also, @Roland cannot add nor subtract.

    Wells Reply:

    This rail design called ‘blended’ can also use ‘hybrid’ drivetrains.
    During WWII, Spain’s rail engineers fled Franco fascism and finished
    the Talgo design, the world’s 1st ’tilting’ high-speed record breaker.
    Oh but Silicon Foresters wanna go faster, thru a disinfected Disney landscape,
    between Elon Musk urban robocar cellphone staring humanoids complaining
    about too few boutique specialty items between dining rendezvous amongst
    mutual admiration society members recognizeds by their snooty clean noses.

  11. Domayv
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 19:10
    #11

    Look what South Africa’s doing with its freight http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/freight/single-view/view/transnet-to-introduce-railrunner.html

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    moving into the 80s?

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

    Aarond Reply:

    Back in the 80s, the SA government was making plans to bump up to Standard Gauge, a thing which nearby Rhodesia wanted as well. This did not come to pass.

    Additionally, the reason for adopting Roadrailers is because Zimbabwe’s railways are not functional anymore, therefore trucks have to transload cargo in SA then drive across the border. So this is a very smart move on Transnet’s part.

    Anandakos Reply:

    NS still runs Roadrailers for their premium auto parts business. I was in Hannibal in June and saw one pass in the late afternoon. They are very quiet and quick to accelerate.

    I do have to say, though, that the Decatur-KC line through Hannibal has been lowered to second tier; it used to be in the 15-25 million gross ton range, but it absolutely cannot be today. There was a lot of grass and the ballast was not very thick. Surprising for NS.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    NS shot themselves in the foot by cutting 80% of roadrailer. Most of the business went back to highway. Clueless. More fuel efficient than double stack. Low terminal cost. Highly secure from pilferage. Easy to add capacity

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why did they do it then?

    And can they not turn it back?

  12. morris brown
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 19:15
    #12

    LA Times

    Gov. Brown vetoes bill aimed at improving bullet train oversight

    synonymouse Reply:

    What did you expect from the Guru of Graft?

    Joe Reply:

    Brown veto’s red-tape, higher overhead and bureaucratic delays.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Of course the LA times would put an anti-HSR spin on it…

  13. Roland
    Sep 28th, 2016 at 19:37
    #13

    Breaking News: Governor signs AB1889: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/09/28/judge-governor-deliver-1-2-punch-to-caltrain.html

    synonymouse Reply:

    Where’s the catenary in the rendition? Effete architects airbrush it?

    J. Wong Reply:

    It’s there. Put your glasses on and look closely.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yeah, you’re right.

    EJ Reply:

    Did you have a bad experience with a gay architect once?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do we really want to know that?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Absolutely.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Oh the Humanity! Oh, the Wires!

    Jerry Reply:

    The biz journal article pointed out:
    “The legislation Brown signed makes it clear that the high-speed rail authority can spend money on such projects even though they will benefit other railroads before high-speed rail gets there.”
    In other words, it’s part of the overall HSR project.

  14. morris brown
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 06:14
    #14

    Fox and Hounds: Gov. Brown Signs Bill Unconstitutionally Amending High Speed Rail Bond

    J. Wong Reply:

    You can continue to hope, @morris brown, that it will be found “unconstitutional” but you’d think that the courts shutting down all the many cases so far would disabuse you of that notion. There’s a word that is applied to people that repeat ineffective actions without change. I’m not suggesting it applies to all aspects of your life, but clearly it does with respect to this issue.

    Alan Reply:

    How can you tell when Morris is lying? He starts typing.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Governor signed the clarifying bill AB-1889 which is constitutional.
    The courts may or may not determine otherwise.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Don’t feed the fox.

    Or the hound for that matter.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Fox and hounds is irrelevant and poorly written.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I need a like button!

  15. Useless
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 06:18
    #15

    A commuter train hits the Hoboken train stain at speed 8:30 AM EST this morning, mass casualty reported. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/09/29/nj-transit-train-hoboken-station-crash/

    Useless Reply:

    Three dead so far, there are more critically injured people who might die. 100 injured.

    J. Wong Reply:

    There was only 1 death. Still sad.

  16. Jerry
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 15:49
    #16

    AB 1889 clarifies the term “suitable and ready” for the funding plan required under the provisions of Proposition 1A and helps the State meet its obligation to deliver bond money allocated in SB 1029, a 2012 Budget Appropriation bill, by the 2018 deadline.

    Kevin Mullen, Democrat, South San Francisco, 22nd Assembly district added:
    “Simply put, this bill makes good on a funding commitment the Legislature made during the 2012 budget process. Our transportation infrastructure has many needs and AB 1889 will allow Caltrain to address one of those needs by moving forward with electrification of their system, providing both short and long term benefits.

    The Highway 101 corridor between San Francisco and San Jose is an economic hub for the Bay Area and for the entire State. This region; known as the “Birthplace of Biotechnology” and the “Silicon Valley” generates 20 per cent of California’s tax revenue and is also home to over half of its patents. With this productivity, however, has come increased congestion and commuter gridlock.

    “The Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project can’t come soon enough for the communities on the Peninsula who have been looking for solutions to traffic congestion”, Mullin said. “While the list of benefits is lengthy, this project will provide a cleaner, faster, quieter rail system, take cars off our roads significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the quality of life for residents in this region.”

    More information from the San Mateo Daily Journal can be found at:
    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2016-09-29/electrification-clears-hurdles-governor-gives-thumbs-up-to-law-benefiting-caltrain/1776425169050.html

    Roland Reply:

    I think that any project that results in the removal of 300 seats in every train will clearly enhance the capacity of the 101 corridor between San Francisco and San Jose.

    Joe Reply:

    Yet increased the seating capacity of the system per hour.

  17. Jerry
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 16:02
    #17

    September Construction Update is available at the CAHSRA web site:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/

    Incredible progress continues to be made at the seven (7) active construction sites for high-speed rail.
    You’ll notice that the construction of two of these projects is nearly complete.

    Read the Construction Update for more details.

    Roland Reply:

    Is the wooden picnic table one of the two nearly completed projects?

  18. James Fujita
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 16:11
    #18

    High hopes for state’s high-speed rail

    http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2016/09/29/high-hopes-states-high-speed-rail/91288126/

    Jerry Reply:

    “Rail travel time is more productive. Trains are comfortable, have outlets and tables for your electronic office and you can even hold a meeting on a train. When I travel by train, I watch my fellow passengers texting, sleeping, watching movies or even drinking a beer, all activities that — I hope — you can’t do while driving.”

    Roland Reply:

    Unless it’s a seatless (and toiletless) Caltrain.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But you can store your bike where the toilet would be…

  19. Jerry
    Sep 29th, 2016 at 16:21
    #19

    Good news for current and future CalTrain toilet users.
    Governor Brown signed AB1732, requiring gender neutral restrooms for single users:.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/california-governor-approves-gender-neutral-restrooms/2016/09/29/e2483a2e-868f-11e6-b57d-dd49277af02f_story.html

    The new law applies throughout California unless it is a Wayside Chapel (WC).

    https://witwisdom.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/jack-paars-water-closet-joke/

    synonymouse Reply:

    The BART solution: no toilets

    James Fujita Reply:

    How many subway systems do you know with actual toilets on the trains (or even in the stations)?

    Off the top of my head, I know Los Angeles, DC, London and Tokyo do not.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait, there are gendered restrooms on trains?

    That just… inefficient

    James Fujita Reply:

    Some of the older bilevel coaches (Superliner or Santa Fe El Cap cars, I forget which) on the San Joaquin have restrooms with “Men” and “Women” signs on them.

    Which is silly because the toilets are exactly alike and there’s a locking door on each individual stall.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why WHY?

    Seriously, why?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not all men will lift the seat?

    Danny Reply:

    nothing’s quite so fun as letting fly when the train’s going around a sustained curve
    you can get a pretty strong Coriolis effect

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Anecdotal evidence has it that women only toilets are actually dirtier.

    I am not a cleaning person, but I have heard stuff….

    Jerry Reply:

    Silly? Oh my.
    You all missed the most silly part of the post with its reference to Wayside Chapels.
    You want silly. Read about the mess created by NBC censorship and Wayside Chapels.

    Joe Reply:

    Nor the CTA in Chicago.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Some S-Bahn systems also lack or have historically lacked toilets.

    EJ Reply:

    If you have frequent enough service and toilets in the stations, it’s not a big deal. If you really gotta go, you can just get off, poop at the station, and get on the next train.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah well, but with S-Bahns expanding more and more and some regional trains being called S-Bahn despite not really being S-Bahns… You get some thirty minute headway systems with end to end travel times of one and a half hours or more…

    Peter Reply:

    Meh, Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn had neither toilets on trains or at stations. Only once have I ever really needed it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Being out for a long time in Germany when you are too stingy to pay for using a restroom is actually a dilemma. Because there are very close to no places that let you pee for free and don’t try to make you feel guilty for it. It’s really absurd that the US – the country where everything is monetized – actually has more genuinely free public toilets per inhabitant…

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah but BART is a little weird being in that it’s more of a far-flung S-Bahn than strictly a subway, leading to some pretty long trips. You don’t have many trips like it on the NYC subway except for maybe the A train out to the Rockaways – that thing takes forever.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well as I said elsewhere there are or have historically been S-Bahn networks without toilets. Including – to this day – the granddaddy of them all; Berlin S-Bahn

    Aarond Reply:

    Ridiculous that people seem to think this is necessary. Though I reckon families (and not oddballs) will enjoy it nevertheless.

Comments are closed.