CHSRA Finds Savings in Tunnel and Station Sizes

Oct 24th, 2016 | Posted by

One way you can spot an anti-HSR media bias is that the only consistent thing in a particular reporter’s coverage is that every story will make the project look as bad as possible – even if that contradicts previous criticisms.

And so it is with Ralph Vartabedian’s latest story about the CHSRA’s decision to shorten the size of stations and tunnels. This is a sensible way to save costs without hurting system operations. If the criticism of HSR was that it was too expensive, Vartabedian would report on this move positively.

Instead he reports on it negatively – because the only consistent thing is to paint the project in a bad light:

The California bullet train authority has told its design engineers that the future system would have shorter trains and smaller station platforms, reducing the capacity of individual trains by roughly 50% and potentially the capacity of the entire Los Angeles-to-San Francisco route….

In May, the authority’s managers decided to cut the maximum operating speed of trains inside tunnels from 220 mph to 200 mph, a result of building tunnels with smaller cross-sections. The authority also cut in half the speed of trains as they merge from station tracks onto the system’s main line, a move that would reduce the very long lengths of transition tracks in and around major cities….

The switch to shorter trains was disclosed in a Sept. 7 memo that outlined reductions in the size of future passenger platforms, based on a decision that the high-speed rail system would operate trains of only 10 cars. The previous plan was to operate a “double” train set, which could have up to 20 cars.

Vartabedian plays the usual game here of finding an “expert” who is willing to lend his professional credentials to criticize HSR – in this case, William Ibbs, a UC Berkeley engineering professor. But in reality, there’s really nothing wrong with what has been proposed here.

The argument Vartabedian, Ibbs, and other critics are making is that shorter stations make it harder to operate a “double” train set, as systems like Japan’s Shinkansen often do. But you could just as easily operate two single-sets with shorter headways. That would maintain your capacity.

Here’s an example. Sometimes the Shinkansen operates a single trainset:

Most Fastest Train On Earth- Disappear Within 8 Seconds (The Shinkansen. Japan)

And sometimes it operates a double set:

Most Fastest Train On Earth- Disappear Within 8 Seconds (The Shinkansen. Japan)

(Both gifs come from this video.)

Many European systems commonly operate single sets, such as Eurostar, the TGV, the AVE, and so on. So the CHSRA isn’t doing anything significant here in terms of capacity. But the savings is significant and welcome.

The same is true of tunneling. Lowering the tunnel speed from 220 to 200 mph provides a big cost savings on the cost of tunneling, but at a minor time penalty – that will likely be made up by other time savings elsewhere, including going almost directly from Palmdale to Burbank under the mountains rather than going via Santa Clarita.

So the CHSRA’s decision is sensible, as is often the case. But HSR critics will find something to criticize no matter what they do.

  1. Richard Mlynarik
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 12:09
    #1

    Never change, Robert, never change.

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2012/03/jerry-brown-lowers-hsr-cost-by-30-billion/#comment-145287

    Robert, I wrote your next 5 years’ of columns for you.

    CHSRA’s new plan is super awesome!
    Even better than their last plan, which we will never mention again.
    Everybody else is a NIMBY.
    Everything else is discredited. By C4HSR.
    Peak Oil is Bad.
    Old people deny the future, which will be full of trains and iPhones.
    We have always been at war with Eastasia.

    William Reply:

    @Richard, were you the person who criticize that California HSR would never need the capacity it was designed for?

    Danny Reply:

    “it’s too fast and it’s too slow and it’s too expensive and it’s too cheap and it’s too crowded and it’s completely empty and it’s too quiet and it’s too loud and it’s too long and it’s too short”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And most of all, it serves “those people” and it does nothing for the poor…

    Danny Reply:

    dumb NIMFYs complain about “those people”: smart NIMFYs *hire* “those people”–from Eric Mann’s unpaid cultists to Damien Goodmon screaming that everything’s like slavery

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Never change Richard, never change.

    Richard, I wrote your next 5 years of comments for you.
    HSR is bad.
    HSR is corrupt.
    It is better to spend $120 billion on roads then $70 billion on trains.
    Nobody lives in the central valley.
    California should never change.
    Nobody wants an urban lifestyle.
    Robert is mindless.
    I live in my parents basement.
    We have always been at war with Eurasia.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Kim Kardashian for Governor of paradise with a lobotomy.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I don’t know.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s the problem with syno. He’s so far stuck in his own world that he literally has become incapable of communicating what he means.

    EJ Reply:

    He doesn’t mean anything. He just talks a lot of shit. Surely you have reactionaries like that in Germany? There’s no there there, just a cesspit of racism and resentment.

    Aarond Reply:

    You’re giving reactionaries far too much credit here. Snyo isn’t even directly quoting the bible.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Just google “Alternative für Deutschland”…

    Germany was free of that kind of shit for a surprisingly long time.

    Alas. No more.

    EJ Reply:

    Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you guys have laws against some of the more egregiously racist crap some of our right-wing pundits spout on a regular basis.

    Aarond Reply:

    AfD isn’t even that bad compared to bona fide cruzmissles. Their inability to communicate with heathens (re: catholics, alcohol drinkers, baby killers, people with bank accounts etc) is how a guy like Trump could steal their nomination. Also Syno isn’t demanding every single CHSRA meeting begin and end with prayer.

    Peter Reply:

    AfD is basically just a somewhat less unappealing version of the NPD (think Nazi Party). They’ve just learned to not spout stuff that would get them arrested by the Verfassungsschutz people (think how Trump incites violence without crossing the line to criminal incitement).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yep. That’s a pretty good summation of the AfD right there…

    I think it helps that homeschooling is illegal in Germany.

    But I fear for the future. Not just because of politics, but because of racism I personally witnessed (I am white btw)

  2. AGTMADCAT
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 12:42
    #2

    I’m really concerned about truncating the station platforms. Even if they’re not going to build the full length now, restrictions on structure gauge are the most expensive thing to correct down the road. If they built single-length platforms now, but left the platform tracks built out to a double length, then when they need more capacity in the future, they’re just pouring more concrete to double the platform lengths; they don’t have to tear up and re-lay track and switches.

    Zorro Reply:

    Platforms are not stations, platforms though do serve to load and offload passengers, Stations(buildings) can be smaller, and still have room to serve an HSR train(HST) or two, since HST’s can be coupled together. Since a Station is where one buys a ticket at.

    AGTMADCAT Reply:

    …yes? Sorry, I don’t understand. Yes, station size is largely irrelevant to system capacity. Here we’re talking about platform length.

  3. Aarond
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 13:02
    #3

    If we’re running 10-car trains at full capacity every 30 minutes then there is enough votes to expand platforms or buy bilevel rolling stock.

    I take this as an justification to not extend the platforms at 4th&King, which may be prohibitively expensive.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    The issue is not overall capacity, but capacity during high peak times – when number of trains will be very, very limited because of conflicts with Caltrain and when most of your willing to pay high prices business travelers want to go.

    This is JR East peaking factors:
    https://t.co/actyiXnqOv

    Eric M Reply:

    Yet I recall you complained about ridership numbers being way too optimistic. Now you are worried about trains being too full? Cant have it both ways.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Overall numbers were originally way over optimistic. They have been scaled way back. They still have some real issues – including underestimating demand between LA/SF relative to demand for other routes and underestimating role of station location in demand. The model also doesn’t attempt to distribute ridership by time period – which is really, really important to do so that you can understand the issue with truncating supply during specific periods of the day.

    The idea is that whatever ridership/revenue you do have – it is concentrated in certain time blocks and you will have significant impact on ridership if you cannot accommodate a lot of that demand.

    Joe Reply:

    Glad to see CARRD wants HSR to restore their platforms and will work to assure the state understands the importance of funding these features.

    Joe Reply:

    Her reply correctly mentions that updated ridership is now estimated to be more diffuse, that is less SF-LA dependent with more ridership at intermediate stations. The plan I recall has trains originating each AM at Palmdale Bakersfield Fresno and Gilroy heading north. Each of these will leave approx 6am which means these AM trains will be arriving at SJ and SF and at commute time to provide more estimated revenue than the doubled LA trains were expected to generate.

    Of course the long term solution is to expand the ROW for HSR and meet peak commute demand. Nothing is permanently limited as suggested.

    Roland Reply:

    So, if I understand this correctly, every Palmdale resident should get a job in Gilroy?
    This is total genius. Why didn’t anybody think of this before?

    BTW, how are the plans for 4-tracking through downtown Gilroy coming along?
    Have you figured out how this is supposed to work or do you need special assistance?
    http://www.lavienne86.fr/uploads/Image/7e/WEB_CHEMIN_2454_1309786648.gif

    Joe Reply:

    You don’t understand “this” correctly. Sad.

    Gilroy is still in the study phase with the downtown current option to fully grade separate the UP and HSR ROW.

    No need for your randomness. Stick to your Caltrain public comments performance art.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They won’t need 4-track to Gilroy because Caltrain doesn’t run enough trains there to be a problem. Where 4-track is needed is on the Peninsula between San Jose and San Francisco.

    Aarond Reply:

    CHSRA and Caltrain were already going to add a premium charge onto tickets for the DTX, and by the time CAHSR gets running BART will be running into Diridon anyway.

    From my angle, I see this as an admission that the DTX will not be ready for CAHSR and that SF residents will have to live with 4th&King for a while. By having HSR terminate at 4th&King SF can then bump back the DTX if not kill it outright.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    If you are striving to be Acela, it is hard to justify the capital costs of a new line.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you are striving to control costs there isn’t going to be a tunnel through your neighborhood.

    Roland Reply:

    How about running the numbers for tunneling vs. grade separation before coming to conclusions? Has it ever crossed your mind that PAMPA might actually save all of us hundreds of millions by making compromises?

    Joe Reply:

    Absolutely not.

    The Legislature made the compromise and not PAMPA.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Usually numbers cited are that at grade is cheapest ( no surprise there ), some sort of elevated next, trenches more and tunnels are realllllllllly reallllllllly expensive. California is special but not that special. And they have run numbers for tunnels versus trench versus separated above grade. In the alternatives analysis.

    Roland Reply:

    Quote needed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You have all sorts of links to all sorts of documents I’ll sure it’s in your horde someplace.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s really just common sense, really.

    If you don’t have to dig or build upwards, you’ll be cheapest. If you have to build stilts, you will be more expensive. If you have to dig a trench, you’ll be more expensive still. And having to dig through ground that you cannot ever fully know in advance, with water and fault lines and whatnot is not only the most expensive option, it’s also the least predictable option. Nobody knows what happens once you start digging.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.greengauge21.net/wp-content/uploads/Final-Report-Appendices-B-J.pdf (table 1.3 on page 39/142) but I am sure you know better.

    EJ Reply:

    Which shows tunnels as the most expensive option, just like everyone is saying, so not sure what you’re on about.

    Clem Reply:

    I must let you know that there are several parts of this that I do not understand.

    Since when have tunnels been cheaper or easier to build than a few simple grade separations? And elsewhere, you implied that DTX is easy to finance and build. Please elaborate. TBM magic?

    Roland Reply:

    Always happy to oblige:
    – Exhibit one: http://default.sfplanning.org/Citywide/railyard_blvd/2016-09-18_CWG_Mtg2_Handouts-final.pdf (slides 6&7).
    – Exhibit two: http://www.centralsubwayblog.com/blog/2011/06/contract-1252-tunneling-bid-results/
    – Exhibits 3-10 will have to await Her Majesty’s Royal Assent.

    Kindly allow me to clarify what I actually said:
    1)Yes, I did say that building DTX was easy assuming 100 MPH twin bores large enough to accommodate double-deckers (but not a 200 MPH tunnel a la PB school of “engineering”).
    2) Privately financing a Transbay tunnel would be much easier than DTX (assuming that SF and Oakland took care of the naughty bits on their respective ends) but I-980 would be a complete deal breaker…

    Aarond Reply:

    That analogy doesn’t work, as the Acela through-runs at NY Penn thanks to the North River Tunnels. Caltrain terminating at 4th&King is as if Metro-North terminated at Harlem/125th with the NEC terminating at Hoboken. Which is why the DTX, TTC and a new tube is so critical for SF.

    CHSRA made the decision because clearly they aren’t confident in SF’s ability to deliver the DTX so they aren’t requiring the DTX be mission-critical to CAHSR. This is done by limiting their trains to ones that can fit inside 4th&King’s existing platforms. Undesirable but understandable given the limited supply of money that needs to be prioritized elsewhere.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes, Acela isn’t the right analogy but it’s a profitable service.

    4th and King will have to suffice and saves HSR from being held hostage to a DTX.

    I agree with you that San Francisco needs the DTX more than California. San Jose and Pennisula compete against SF and San Jose has an opportunity to develop.

    Roland Reply:

    Too bad that any project that terminates @ 4th&King does not qualify for Prop1A Bonds :-(

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a is void – the courts won’t rule against Jerry, their boss. It is that simple.

    In a way it is good and the dissidents like Morris perhaps should accept there is no oversight and encourage the progressive downgrading so that the money is not wasted that should go to much mor important transit projects.

    Base tunnels to Palmdale is just a criminal waste of the taxpayers’ money. This is what happens with LA running the State.

    Roland Reply:

    I had no idea that anybody had appealed (let alone reversed) the Kenny ruling on the matter. Can you provide an update to the unenlightened?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i had no idea either. Especially since the HSR supporters hailed the ruling as the end of the lawsuit. I thought they supported it completely.

    Peter Reply:

    The ruling in Tos on that issue was basically that deciding that issue was premature. It stated that that specific issue may need to be revisited if and when the Authority decides to use Prop 1A funds on the Peninsula. So, there is no ruling that the use of Prop 1A funds on the Peninsula are legal or illegal.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    But there was a specific ruling that the time requirements refer to transbay, not 4th and king.

    synonymouse Reply:

    inoperative in the real world of the Jerry Brown government. The time requirements are forgotten.

    Get with the program. The end justifies the means. All roads lead to Palmdale. Progress is our most important product. Go forth and multiply.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Deciding the issue was premature and always be.

    Ben Pease Reply:

    From Harlem/125th there are lots of gypsy cabs to take you to your final destination.

    William Reply:

    Also, I would assume the decision to shorten station platforms would push CHSRA to adapt trainsets with 2+3 seating arrangement to maximize capacity.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Based on decision making so far, this sensible suggestion seeks likely to be ignored. Caltrain ignored a similar one.

    Joe Reply:

    This is not correct.

    Caltrain opted to maximize passenger space with 2+2. This configuration allows for more standing space, the most efficient use of space for peak demand.

    It’s no different than BART’s decision.

    Clem Reply:

    No, they ignored it all right. More space is more space, whether used for 3+2 seating or 2+2 with extra standing space. Caltrain ordered trains that are just 3.0 m wide, instead of 3.2 m (the minimum spec in the latest HSR trainset docs) or 3.4 m (the width of the Russian KISS EMU). They left at least 0.2 m on the table, and will end up with a yawning foot-wide gap between the train and the platform as a result, since the platform spacing is 3.65 m wide if you ever have a platform on both sides of the train. This huge gap will be bridged to ADA level boarding specs using a deploying gap filler step at each door. That huge gap could have been put to good use with an extra 10% or so vehicle width, but it is being pissed away.

    les Reply:

    Any justification given for pissing away the space?

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART cars are the same width as MARTA’s tho the track gauge is 9 1/2″ wider. The genius of Bechtel was bequeathed to PB and associates.

    William Reply:

    @Clem, we don’t know if it was Caltrain who ordered 3.0m trains or Stadler offered one, as the Caltrain EMU RFP specified for a train with maximum width of 3.2m.

    Also, as Stadler’s final assembly is in Utah, isn’t it entirely possible that potential shipping-via-rail problem forced the ordering of 3.0m wide train, which, is the same as the current Bombardier BiLevel coaches.

    Clem Reply:

    Pretty sure Stadler is offering exactly what LTK (dba Caltrain) asked for.

    William Reply:

    I am not so sure. Why buying something narrower than Caltrain’s own RFP unless the manufacturer offered it?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    On one hand, there’s this: Stadler aren’t technical idiots. There’s a couple decades of excellent evidence to the contrary. And they’re pretty much nailing it in the open markets, terrible currency exchange rates notwithstanding.

    Looking at the other side, it’s incontrovertible that everybody in any way associated with Caltrain or LTK is a certifiable moron, none of whom are remotely qualified to even be shown in the door to be interviewed at any remotely competent engineering or transit operating agency. There is three decades, plus, of unbroken failure that demonstrates that.

    It’s not Stadler who comes up with specifications for 3.0m vehicle width mating up for “level boarding” with platform edges 1.829m from the track centreline. It’s not Stadler who wrote specifications that failed to attract a single other bidder from anywhere in the global rail vehicle industry, nor Stadler that wrote an RFP that resulted in an inadequate number of inadequate trains that costing around twice the global competitive price.

    (Speaking of years of evidence, blog commenter “William” does have a consistently big big big crush on the outcomes produced by the SF Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission and local TA staffers, and on the local rent-seeking transit-industrial mafias associated therewith.)

    William Reply:

    @Richard, unlike you, I have never had personal or business relationship with any transportation planning professionals. So if you wanted to talk able loving bay area transportation staffers, I would say you are the more likely target, as your comments can be red as “love turns hate”.

    People are often wrong when guessing others’ intention. I simply offered an equally or more plausible explanation to the decision making. Take or leave it, it is your call.

    I said before, I have no respect for you as you never made a decision that resulted in anything concrete, just second guessing everyone else’s decision. I’d be gladly proven otherwise, citing examples of course.

    Have a good day.

    Joe Reply:

    CARRD didn’t mention car width. They referred to a 3+2 configuration. A 2+2 leaves more room for passengers. no insight — just a group constantly negative about the project. I prefer 2+2 for the standing room, people are not going to efficiently use the middle seats. I prefer wider trains which isn’t 3+2.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Joe, do try stick to talking about things you know about.

    That would be … nothing you’re ever written that I’ve or anybody here has ever read read. But there must be something, right? Right? (Crickets…)

    Thanks!

    Anyway, a little analysis and/or observation and/or research reveals that “increasing” capacity by running unnecessarily narrow trains with unnecessarily few seats on insanely infrequent and inconvenient schedules isn’t a solution that has wide currency outside of the cost negative-achievement fraternity of America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals, plus a small and particularly dim coterie of blog boys.

    synonymouse Reply:

    scorching

    Coming way down and off, France 2 has indeed heard far off of SV “anomalies”:

    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/usa/etats-unis-la-silicon-valley-terre-d-inegalites_1888105.html

    Roland Reply:

    Ouh-la-la. Quelle affaire!!!!

    synonymouse Reply:

    I like the interview with the Mayor of PA who says no substantive increase in residential density. Yeah, screw infill – stealth ghettoization.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Stealth ghettoization? What’s that?

    J. Wong Reply:

    @synon lives in what he perceives as a suburban paradise. Any increase in density is urban and urban is ghettos, hence his “stealth ghettoization”.

    Of course, increased density isn’t necessarily urban nor is urban necessary a ghetto, of which there are none in the Bay Area, and especially none in San Francisco.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What I consider to be the closest thing to ghettos Germany has (and there really aren’t any either in the “only Jews live there” sense or in the US sense) does not necessarily suffer from too high a density. In fact, part of the problem of those neighborhoods is that there’s no sense of place. There is too much space dedicated to cars and too little to people.

    On the other hand, old towns are usually much more densely populated and nobody would ever call them ghetto.

    Nor would anybody use that term to refer to the quarters built during the Gründerzeit (roughly 1870-1900) which are among the most sought after real estate in Germany and also quite densely populated.

    Roland Reply:

    Voici quelques bonnes nouvelles de la Vallee du Silicone:
    http://www.siliconbeat.com/2016/10/24/bay-area-rents-falling-falling-falling/

  4. Eric M
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 13:47
    #4

    Lowering the tunnel speed from 220 to 200 is a no brainer, as most of the tunnels will be in southern CA with grades. The train-sets were never going to go/sustain 220 from Burbank to Pamdale with a 3 percent grade.

  5. Roland
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 14:10
    #5

    “Many European systems commonly operate single sets, such as Eurostar” is beyond H-I-L-A-R-I-O-US, it is absolutely H-Y-S-T-E-R-I-C-A-L!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_373

    Clem Reply:

    The new Class 374 Eurostar fleet, based on the Siemens Velaro platform, is also a 400-meter train. The 373 and the 374 may technically be single sets but they are double length by European standards. Robert was mistaken in citing Eurostar as evidence that European HSR uses short trains and platforms.

    Roland Reply:

    And guess what is going to happen when we start the discussion about evacuations in tunnels and the relationship between the distance between cross-passages and train lengths. Is it going to be another “Huston we have a problem” moment or “no problem, Sir, we have figured out a perfectly safe way to value-engineer cross-passages through complete elimination”?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The specifications for Eurostar have more to do with protectionism on the part of SNCF and Alstom than they have to do with security.

    Roland Reply:

    Right again: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Tunnel#Fires

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I know there are fires in the Chunnel every once in a while, but there are hundreds of tunnels on this earth that do not have the same rules.

    And the Gotthard Base Tunnel is even longer than the Chunnel.

    By the way, is there a minimum length for cars in road tunnels?

    EJ Reply:

    Long road tunnels are a safety nightmare, as evidenced by the multiple fatal fires in European road tunnels in the last few decades. Rail tunnels can and should do better.

    “Rail isn’t any worse than road transportation” is an argument that rail advocates keep making, and for the life of my I can’t understand why.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Rail is safer, cleaner and – for the most part – more silent than road transportation.

    We should be hammering that home more.

    EJ Reply:

    And given the experience of the Channel Tunnel, I’d say it’s a matter of “when” not “if” there’s a major fire in the GBT at some point. We’ll see how its safety features hold up then.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do you really think trains being 200 m long rather than 300m long will make such a huge difference?

    Besides, the Velaro order has already lead to changes in the safety requirements.

    Roland Reply:

    The bottom line is that there have been six fires in the Channel Tunnel so far and that luck has nothing to do with the fact that there have been no fatalities.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well but six fires is a lot for a tunnel in twenty years, isn’t it?

    Most of the tunnels I know have had one fire in their history… If that.

    Roland Reply:

    Shows how much you know about tunnels (or anything else for that matter).

    Joey Reply:

    Funny how things tend to catch on fire when there are combustible fuels involved.

    EJ Reply:

    As is the N700 Shinkansen pictured in the first gif. He does a good job with the sneer quotes around “experts” though.

    Marc Reply:

    FWIW, doubles sets on the Shinkansen are used to join trains from different lines to increase throughput on the Tohoku trunk line north of Tokyo. In second GIF, the red/white set (7 cars) operates on the Akita line, and the teal/white set (10 cars) operates on the main trunk to Shin-Aomori, the sets are joined between Morioka and Tokyo. There are 16 car N700/N700A sets operating south of Tokyo as far as Hakata, and 8 car N700 sets operating south of Osaka and on Kyushu, but I’ve never seen joined 8 car N700 sets in my travels.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Things have changed in recent years. So I’ll go revise the post.

    Clem Reply:

    It’s not just Eurostar that you need to strike out (and by the way, Eurostars have been the same 400-meter length since 1994). The whole point you make about single Shinkansen trainsets is undermined by your movie of a 400-meter long, 16-car “single” trainset. Yes it is single, but it is double the length to which California has henceforth stunted itself.

  6. Roland
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 15:15
    #6

    Re-posting:

    City Visions host Ethan Elkind will be talking to Dan Richard, Chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, about where things stand with the big infrastructure project that Californians have been squabbling over since approving it in 2008.

    When might we actually be able to board a California bullet train? What will the project ultimately cost, and how will it impact our environment? Join us to hear the answers to these questions and more on City Visions, Monday evening at 7pm, here on local public radio KALW, San Francisco

    http://kalw.org/post/city-visions-conversation-about-high-speed-rail-california#stream/0

    MarkB Reply:

    Most interesting thing I heard in the program was Richard’s new push to reduce the parking requirements. He said between autonomous cars, rideshare, shuttles, connecting services, etc., that parking isn’t a good use of land around stations. Welcomed news!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Developers do not like expensive off-street parking requirements imposed by city planners.

    morris brown Reply:

    Richard on KALW was just more of the same.

    You can listen via this link

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMaEh1RVU2VTg5U0E

    which should work.

    Richard spewing the same old non-sense

    1. HSR systems make money
    2. Private investment will come later
    3. Fed Gov’t will cough up more funds
    4. Building HSR is cheaper than roads
    5. HSR is huge for the environment
    6. HSR will cure asthma in the central valley
    7 Cap and trade will be a major funding source

    on and on and on.

    Roland Reply:

    The original recording is also available here: http://kalw.org/post/city-visions-conversation-about-high-speed-rail-california#stream/0

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That link does not seem to work.

    At least I don’t hear a thing when I click “listen”…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait, which of those is untrue? I have my doubts about number 6, but I doubt that anybody actually says it that way.

    But enough of your hatred for HSR, what do you propose California should do?

    Roland Reply:

    How about listening to the audio and STFU?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Your courtesy is always appreciated.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    To Roland: If you wanna call me names, at least have the balls to spell them out.

    To Car(e)free: Couldn’t agree more.

    To Morris Brown, really, please answer the question: If HSR is evil, what should California do instead?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, I should have bet on Morris not responding…

    Roland Reply:

    You are always very welcome.

    Roland Reply:

    This may come as a shock to Syno but BART apparently TOTALLY get it: design parking structures with flat floors (no ramps within the building itself) so that the building can be repurposed at a later date if/when parking demand drops (it did not in Mountain View: http://www.greencaltrain.com/2016/10/mountain-view-council-prioritizes-parking-efficiency-downtown-placemaking-at-the-transitcenter/).

    Eric Reply:

    Interesting, but I wonder how cost-effective that is. You are really limiting the building that the garage will be turned into.

    Roland Reply:

    San Jose staff’s solution was to build a really ugly $40M building at Diridon (a la San Pedro Square) so that people would be happy to blow it up later. Mayor Liccardo did not think that was very cost-effective.

    Roland Reply:

    Another honorable mention was HSR mixing with freight traffic in Germany. The only problem in California is that the PB RSMFRs started pissing off Union Pacific pretty much from day one…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Whoever the PB RSMFRs are…

    Roland Reply:

    I would like to help you out. Kindly let me know which way you came in.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Hä?

  7. Aubrey
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 15:20
    #7

    Those two shinkansen are from two completely separate lines owned by separate companies. The one with two trains coupled separates at a Y junction. The Tokaido (white) one never operates except as a full length set.

    They never change train lengths except in special circumstances as it is considered inefficient and a waste of time and money

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Sure, but my point stands.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Same point as ever: PBQD IS AWESOME!

    joe Reply:

    PBQD IS TERRIBLE!

    synonymouse Reply:

    Is infallible.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Who or what is PBQD?

    Peter Reply:

    Google is such a helpful tool.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Half of the time the abbreviations thrown around on this board were invented by members of this board, which would make google useless…

    Joe Reply:

    http://www.acronymfinder.com/Parsons,-Brinckerhoff,-Quade-and-Douglas-(transportation-consultants)-(PBQD).html

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    gracias.

    Roland Reply:

    Indeed it is. Try Googling “PB not retained” and report back with what you found.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Half of the hits refer to lead.

    Roland Reply:

    How about clicking on the first one?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You do realize that google does not give the same results to every person on earth, right?

    Roland Reply:

    Ever heard of VPNs?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Google personalizes search results for every individual. It does not matter whether I use a proxy or a VPN, I will still not get your google results.

    Just like you should get different google results when using different devices in different networks, but google may or may not be able to link devices using the same google mail address or that regularly use the same Wifi.

    To my knowledge only startpage.com does a websearch that is independent of your previous websearches…

    Roland Reply:

    Try incognito mode.

    Clem Reply:

    Your point does not stand.

    Standard train lengths on high-capacity HSR lines around the world are about 400 meters or 16 full-length cars. For a given track capacity (measured in trains per hour), your peak passenger throughput is trains per hour multiplied by passengers per train. That is why high capacity lines use high capacity trains that are 400 m long. The CHSRA just shot themselves in the foot by cutting the max passenger load in half.

    This isn’t something that cranky opponents are harping about; it is something to be genuinely concerned about. By cheaping out on the station footprints, they are stunting the future growth of California’s HSR system. Acquiring the land to extend trains to 400 m will become exponentially more expensive once development takes place around HSR stops.

    This is penny wise and pound foolish, and the LA Times article is spot on.

    Aarond Reply:

    Which stations will actually have the land acquisition problem? Out of all the plausible stops (SF, SJ, Fresno, Bakersfield, Burbank, LA, Anahiem), there is only one where acquiring enough land for 400 meter trains will be difficult (4th&King).

    What’s more concerning to me is that the shorter platform requirements would open up more potential milk stops (ie Milbrae, San Mateo, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Gilroy, Tulare, Palmdale) and make the actual HSR stop selection more difficult than it needs to be.

    les Reply:

    For future express train growth I can see the 4th&King causing some serious problems. However most intermediate stops will be bypassed on express runs and should be ample as stations for decades to come. There will probably be a major earthquake wiping out the line before they ever become relevant.

    Clem Reply:

    You keep trotting out this 4th & King problem that doesn’t exist. The station is absolutely enormous, 2500 feet from 7th street buffers to 4th street buffers, which is why SF is salivating over the prospect of redeveloping the land. This is one place where 400 meter platforms will fit easily (slide 27).

    San Jose, on the other hand…

    Roland Reply:

    San Jose will be just fine. The 4 new platforms on the west side (next to the light rail) were extended to 1,250 feet, probably some LTK-computed stupid number designed to accommodate 2×5-car Gallery consists (no, I am NOT making this up!!!).

    Aarond Reply:

    That’d also require modifying 4th&King’s layout (instead of just bumping up all platforms to 50″).

    CAHSR only changed specs here because reaching the original 400m spec is impossible to attain on day one, and there is only one reason why that could be (a lack of a DTX requiring the use of the existing 4th&King station).

    How much money are CHSRA, Caltrain, SFMTA etc willing to dump into the current 4th&King, a station that they (somehow) want to replace entirely?

    Joey Reply:

    Oh no! We have to relay ballasted track! That’s definitely a significant expense compared to everything else and definitely can’t be done in a short period of time!

    James Fujita Reply:

    I don’t know about Millbrae vs. San Mateo, but Gilroy, Hanford and Palmdale already should be strong candidates for a station. Not really complicating the station selection process any.

    Roland Reply:

    San Mateo is not a an issue because there are no plans to drive a high-speed line through downtown San Mateo. As things stand, branches are planned for Gilroy, Hanford & Palmdale. We even have a Classic Rail branch under construction in downtown Fresno.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Sure, but my point stands.

    LMAO. Cruickshank is like the Donald Trump of HSR. Never admits he’s wrong. CAHSR will be yuuge! We’ll have the best trains! Trust me!

    William Reply:

    No, Robert is only wrong if California HSR needs the capacity of more than 10-car train at a higher frequency. According to some commenters in this blog, CHSR will never need the capacity as originally designed.

    Roland Reply:

    Professor Andrew McNaughton’s last words of wisdom to a crop of Britain’s top engineers: “Do not engineer for today. Engineer for generations yet to be born”.

    Joe Reply:

    “Go over budget.”

    Roland Reply:

    Quote required.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well it is easier to over-engineer today than tinker with existing structures tomorrow. But if there is no money forthcoming, whatcha gonna do?

    Roland Reply:

    Cut down costs by firing the overpaid incompetent morons currently in charge of “engineering”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if there are indeed – as you claim – overpaid and useless people employed by CaHSR, they are there for some political reason, which means firing them – if they exist – is a tall order in the country that has not had a revolution in over two hundred years and that considers a bunch of boring old white guys winning a couple of seats in the House a “Republican Revolution”…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What does firing incompetent CAHSR employees have to do with a GOP congress and 200 years of stable government?

    Joe Reply:

    You just fired everyone. You’re behind schedule and at risk for termination.

    Roland Reply:

    Behind what “schedule”?

    Joe Reply:

    So you had staff to fire and no work for them planned. You now have to explain their salaries and spending. Maybe an audit is aiming.

    Joe Reply:

    200 years of stable government – uh no. President Jefferson Finis Davis doesn’t agree.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What I was trying to say is that entrenched political elites (and their associated corruption) are harder to remove in the US than in pretty much any other place on earth.

    And the only reason for people to have a well paid job other than “They are necessary to do what needs to be done” or “Not having them would be even more expensive” is some form of bribery/corruption/kickbacks.

    Now you tell me how one eliminates hypothetical bribery/corruption/kickbacks without disrupting the political system and/or exchanging its actors for new ones.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @Bahnfreund

    Wow, the level of you “Wrong” is hitting new levels. Lets examine what you said

    “Removing political elites (and their corruption) is harder than pretty much any other place on earth.”

    First, the US is 16 on a list of 168 in terms of corruption, on in this case lack of corruption. So in relative terms the US political elites are in the top 10% of no corruption.

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

    Second, every politician in the US has to stand for re-election, so they can be removed with relative ease. But if you want to talk about people that cant be removed, lets give some examples

    Putnin, Al-assad, Castro and brother, Chaves/Maduro, Any leader of Haiti, Almost every leader in Africa

    I dont know how many example you want before we eliminate “pretty much any other”. Just because they are retained does not make them corrupt or hard to remove.

    Third, it still has nothing to do with firing HSR workers. But a 3rd reason people retain their jobs that you failed to recount are rules making it very hard to fire them. Union, public unions especially, specialize in this.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And what are rules but legalized and entrenched corruption?

    There are two types of rules: Necessary and proper rules and rules that legalize corruption. Now the first type of rules fall into what I mentioned above, while the second type of rules also fall into what I mentioned above.

    And you seem to have a certain lack of knowledge when it comes to Haiti. Do you know how many Haitian Presidents served out their term versus how many took the boat to Kingston? There are few things easier than removing a Haitian President from power, Duvalier notwithstanding.

    Look, I really would not hold your lack of knowledge on Haiti against you, but you brought it up and I just listened to this the other day: http://www.revolutionspodcast.com/2016/04/419-the-history-of-haiti.html so… You done goofed.

    And I am not arguing that the US is corrupt per se, I am arguing that if>/i> there is corruption (including legalized corruption in the form of campaign finance, or what some right wing people accuse unions of), it is hard to get rid of.

    You seem to have limited knowledge of how revolutions work. You know, I don’t even have to get into the nitty-gritty of reelection rates for Congress or the Senate, to make the case that US elites are mostly a self-contained group. They include political elites (representatives, senators, and the pool from which they are recruited), business elites and civil service elites.

    Now one of the things that made e.g. the Weimar Republic fail is while they partially replaced the political elites, they did not even begin to crack the civil service elites and in that case, most civil servants and judges remained monarchists through and through, which did not help the Republic.

    Of course you can easily replace a Democrat with a Republican (well in theory at least, thanks to gerrymandering and the likes, it gets harder and harder in any individual district each time), but will that change who the elites are? Will that change the structures that enable corruption of corruption exists?

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, Nicaragua managed to replace a family dictatorship with a communist regime which in turn gave way to a flawed democracy and now they are at the stage of a flawedly democratic family dictatorship with a communist veneer, but through all this corruption never disappeared.

    However, there does not have to be a “revolution” for at the very least the impunity with which corruption happens. Just google “Mani Pulite”…

    At any rate, I very much doubt that corruption is the cause for those people being employed and their salaries, but if they are employed due to corruption or structural inertia, it is obviously hard to get rid of that because simply voting out one party and voting in the other does not get rid of the thing that keeps them there, if it is indeed some recognizable form of corruption.

    And as has been said multiple times, the US is not prone to revolutions that go beyond slightly unusual election results. Which is arguably a good thing, but there is a reason for the sentence about the need to rejuvenate the tree of liberty with blood every once in a while. If a system has become too inflexible it needs either reform or revolution. Lack of the former will make the latter inevitable.

    Some small reforms kept the English monarchs (for the most part) alive and on the throne. Lack of reforms over generations cost Louis XVI his head and his descendants the crown. Let’s just hope, the US can find some way to reform before a revolution happens.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Get off your high horse, I’m not buying your neo liberal bullshit

    First, rules are not corruption. It makes an impressive quote unless you actually use your brain. rules against crime and corruption are the very things that prevent it in the first place.

    Second, how about giving the concept of democracy a little credit. I get that you and 1/2 the country is freaked out by Trump and the rise of the right across the globe. But when you belive in an ethos, in this case democracy, then actually don’t sell out your principles at the first sign of trouble. Yes, it is disturbing, but it is a far cry from a violent revolution requiring the spilling of blood. By giving people choices, even choices we don’t like, we prevent the building of pressure that actually leads to revolution.

    The US is changing every day. Gay marriage was a dream just a decade ago, now it is the law. I would have told you a $15 dollar minimum wage was a pipe dream just a year ago, now it’s reality in many states and in a few years probably in 1/2. I dislike the policy, but I belive in democracy and I am willing to yield to the greater principle.

    Have a little faith. The US has seen bigger problem, bigger disruptions, and bigger assholes. We will all just keep trudging on and adjustments will happen.

    It’s the lack of corruption that allows it. When a self declared socialist can rise to be the most popular politician in the US I think the system is still working

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Trump is the one whipping the base into a frenzy about rigged elections and mobilizing the Second Amendment people. His surrogates are the ones explicitly committing sedition when they advocate for armed insurrection.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yes, so don’t be like Trump. Trump has no respect for the Constitution or for responsibilities of leadership. His campaign runs on fear. Fear of change, fear of different, etc. it’s an old tried and true method used for centuries. He played to one of humans oldest fears. Fear of exclusion.

    And he lost using it. Against an opponent who was very vulnerable due to her own issues.

    And, in an irony, change will happen because of it. Most likely a readjustment to the distribution of wealth created by free trade.

    He has no faith or love of any of the principles of the Constitution, even the 2nd amendment. He is just a narcissist looking for attention and willing to say or do anything to get it.

    Don’t be him, have faith in your principles.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Well put John

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well I do like democracy. And I am a very ardent supporter of everybody being given the right to vote, because the second you take that right away even from the most heinous criminal, whoever makes that decision has the power to make themselves dictator (Think about it and take it to its logical conclusion)

    Which is exactly why I dislike the legalized bribery inherent in the current US system. Or the gerrymandering. Or the way the incredibly diverse rainbow of public opinion is forced to comply to two slightly different shades of gray when it comes to election.

    Look, no parliamentary democracy is perfect. Maybe no bourgeois state can ever be perfect. But if there is an ideal of the perfect parliamentary democracy, the US is not it. And its constitution is not it. There are currently senators in the US that have periods in office longer than some constitutions lasted in other places (France for instance is currently on its fifth Republic). And in the current system, there are perverse incentives to reelect tattering old fools like the Senator from Timbuktu, because they steer pork the way of their district. And yes, pork is a planned component of the US constitution not an accidental consequence. Fixing pork would require a major overhaul of the constitution.

    The US constitution is a remarkable thing for the second try at democracy (The Articles of Confederation were the first and they failed miserably). But it is not nor can it ever be presumed to be the final thing.

    And sure, not all rules are corruption. Some rules are there for a very good reason. In fact, most rules are.

    But what would you call a rule, law or regulation that says “The state of Virginia shall pay 100$ a day to the oldest surviving straight male line descendant of Robert E Lee” or a law that says “Locomotives shall be operated by five people at any given time”. Those types of rules are the minority and many of them did in fact have good intentions once, but in a democracy it’s much easier to work corruption into the system rather than outside of it….

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well I have good news. Not only are you free to criticize the current form,of US government, you are also free to change it.

    Further good news, you don’t need a majority of the country to do it. You need 50% +’1 of voters in 3/4th of the states. Pro tip, pick the small states because the bigger ones still only count as 1.

    I would agree, the US government and constitution is far from perfect. But for being written 200 years ago it has required remarkably little modification to keep things going well. It may not be the best, but it has been the most successful. In that the US has grown to be the only superpower and has not degraded into a tyranny.

    People seem to like South Africa’s constitution at the moment, we will,see in 50-100 years how it fares.

    I think what you are forgetting, is that this is the United States. As in states that voluntarily United. What you call pork is a perk of being in the club, and everyone gets some. In exchange, everyone has responsibilities they have to accept also. Like respecting contracts and not bitching when they pay more than they get in federal money. So,you can have your own police force and laws, but everyone plays by a pretty common base set of rules. Hence there are thousands of invididual police agencies and every state has its own laws, but murder is illegal everywhere. Not very efficient, but it works.

    Good,luck in calling your constitutional convention. If you have a website with the changes you want to make I would love to see it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Would Trump build a casino in Palmdale?

    He knows when to bail, as from Atlantic City. Of course everyone and his hamster is counseling bubble; that’s easy – the question is when.

    Aarond Reply:

    Just watch, when California inevitably legalizes gambling Trump will have the first casino at his golf club. He’ll also pay cash to extend the Crenshaw line right into it, a direct feed from America’s second largest airport to his slot machines.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Trump will not live so long to see that. Jerry and subsequent ilk are under the thumb of Vegas as much as in the pocket of PG&E.

    EJ Reply:

    “Jerry” doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Vegas. The people spending the big bucks lobbying against legalizing gambling statewide are the Indian Gaming folks.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Indian Gaming Folks are Vegas. Stations running Graton and Thunder Valley, tho I am not sure that is still the case at the latter but was at the beginning.

    AFAIK IGT has a monopoly on the slots at both venues.

    EJ Reply:

    No, Indian gaming competes with Vegas. You’re talking a load of shit, as usual.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Vegas is running Indian gaming.

    Aarond Reply:

    Even if CAHSR is built to the present spec it will far exceed anything else in the US (though that says more about the US than anything else). Also the entire point of Prop 1A is to make California’s statewide transit network great again.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Real Americans ™ drive everywhere. Even to the mailbox at the end of their driveway.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    American’s, real or not, do drive everywhere. A lack of parking may drive you preferred social policy, but it will not result in higher HSR usage.

    And before you even make the argument, “Peak Car” just like peak oil, turned out to be wrong.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/millennials-not-so-cheap-after-all/391026/
    http://energyfuse.org/busting-the-peak-car-myth/

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I didn’t make any claims other than Real Americans ™ drive everywhere. It’s the Unreal ones that do things other than drive.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, those pesky liberals working in tech jobs or on Wall Street…

    You know, those people that create the wealth to feed all the taker states (aka red states).

    Who live in hellholes nobody wants to visit like San Francisco, or Chicago or New York City with their subways and rail lines and transit.

    As opposed to the urban wonder that is Jacksonville, Florida. The city of dreams for myriad schoolboys around the world, who want to one day sit in their very own Chevy Silverado driving through Jacksonville, Florida.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    please, show me the stats. The US leads the world in car ownership. After a dip in the recession, it is back on the rise. Explain to me how lack of parking at the stations will increase HSR ridership

    Joe Reply:

    Per capita ? No the US doesn’t lead the world. We are third.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Actually the only sovereign country with more registered cars than people is…

    San Marino.

    I don’t know why, either.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Probably because it is rural and rich.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    are we really including city states?

    The point is, the US is a car dominated transport culture. And not building parking at stations will negatively impact HSR ridership.

    EJ Reply:

    John, for once I agree. And it’s not just the US. Look at rural European HSR stations. Just pick a few at random on google earth. They usually have plenty of parking. It’s generally in dense, major cities where land is expensive and public transit usage is high where parking is limited or absent at stations.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It might also be some statistical artifact caused by taxes or stuff. It’s a small place entirely surrounded by Italy after all…

    Roland Reply:

    John & EJ are both right: here are HS1’s stations parking capacities

    St Pancras: 324
    Stratford: 840 (+5,000 shared parking in Westfield Stratford City).
    Ebbsfleet: Over 5,0000
    Ashford: 1,800

    http://highspeed1.co.uk/our-stations

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can’t even hope to have enough parking for a station to fill al the trains.

    That’s true for commute operators and it is true for HSR even more.

    Plus, even at airports at the very least a large portion does not park a car at the airport – they either take a cab or some form of public transit / shuttle service. I see no reason why this could not happen at HSR stations. Plus, they can actually become centers of entirely new neighborhoods. Just allow zoning for high density uses and it will happen. If you require parking, you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs in hopes of getting some money for the meat.

    Roland Reply:

    Posting riddles on this blog is immensely more rewarding than posting accurate information…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What do you mean by “posting riddles”?

    Aarond Reply:

    Peak car is real, the current jump was fueled by cash-for-clunkers and more recently subprime auto loans. It’s not going to survive another five years.

    As a direct result, expect more and more restrictions on the used car market from the government (ala Japan), along with the car industry thinning out even more (ie less models available in showrooms, less brands, etc).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Have you seen the “Adam ruins everything” episode on cars? You really should, it’s great.

    Roland Reply:

    http://fortune.com/2016/10/17/ford-f-150-factory/

    swing hanger Reply:

    @Aarond
    I wonder why people think used cars are restricted in Japan- I see used car lots everywhere in the suburbs and TV commercials for used car businesses on late night TV- just as on American TV.
    http://oppositelock.kinja.com/owning-a-car-in-japan-myths-and-reality-1770442115
    *it must be noted that Germany has the similar type of vehicle inspection (TUV) system as Japan’s Shaken.

    Aarond Reply:

    Within the context of California, most cars older than a decade can’t pass modern smog tests (at least not without adding an aftermarket emissions control system). Even as it stands right now this is downright fascism compared to other states, anything more intensive (ie an actual technical inspection, or regulation concerning outdated air conditioning units) is far and above what Americans expect.

    Peter Reply:

    Huh? My third-hand 1988 Honda Accord passed smog with flying colors until it died of unrelated causes in 2007. The average age of cars on the road in the U.S. is 11.5 years (indicating that a significant number of them are older than 10 years).

    Ben Pease Reply:

    Re California smog tests, I think maybe your (and my) Toyota may be taking an ancient smog test (confirming its as tuned as can be). I’m sure my former ’87 Vanagon emits quite a bit more than my 2007 Toyota; they both passed their respective target emissions (with a little tinkering some years).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    German cars are always engineered for the test.

    That is what is behind the VW scandal. They just went above and beyond the usual, with software that detected whether test conditions or road conditions applied.

    Aarond Reply:

    Try getting something like a z28 or an older F-series smogged, it’s not easy. Anything with a V8 and built before 2000 likely won’t pass without modification. Though for all my whining CARB is a huge incentive to buy into diesel. My ancient ’61 suburban (a whole five miles per gallon!) passes because it’s got a DPF.

    Roland Reply:

    My 84 Z28 350 HO with 235K on the clock just passed with flying colors without any tinkering other than a new cap & rotor (the plugs and the air filter are over 15 years old).

  8. William
    Oct 24th, 2016 at 22:25
    #8

    I just took measurement of the Kyushu Shinkansen platforms from Google Map, and it is ~220m, or ~722ft.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Most, including JR Kyushu, are aware that the possibility of future need for trains longer than 8 cars is likely to be close to nil, when considering passenger growth prospects. However, the (major intermediate) stations at Kumamoto and Shin Tosu have track spacings configured so that platform extensions are possible. Extensions at the terminal at Kagoshima Chuo would entail major work however, involving demolition of a commercial/retail building that was built just recently.

  9. Eric
    Oct 25th, 2016 at 09:59
    #9

    The trains shown in your GIFs have similar passenger capacity. The white and blue one is a 700 series, which is a 16-car set with a 1323 passenger capacity. The double train in the second one is a pair of E5 series trainsets with a 731 seat capacity, each, for 1462 total. They are also operated by separate companies on different lines.

    That being said, you can have bilevel cars on shorter trains such as the TGV Duplex.
    Conversely there could also be operational benefits to operating double sets, they can be quickly coupled and uncoupled at major route points; under full system buildout, a double set could leave LA and head north, and then split the train far down the line and send half to the Bay area and half to sacramento; as well as the reverse, start as separate trains with different origins and link up before heading to LA or San Diego.

    I don’t mind lowering speed in tunnels, but I would really think twice about shortening platforms.

    KT Reply:

    Quick correction:
    First one is N700 series (1,323 seats).
    Second one is pair of E5 (731 seats) and E6 (336 seats).

    Clem Reply:

    The TGV Duplex is no solution. Just 508 seats per 200 meter train (634 in all-economy config). Nowhere close to the capacity of the Shinkansen trains that Robert tried to use as examples of “single” trains.

    Eric M Reply:

    The authority really is being penny wise and pound foolish with regards to platform length

    Eric M Reply:

    Or just plain short sighted

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The problem with double decker trains (at least in European loading gauge) is the fact that you have no room for luggage.

    Will CaHSR have enough space in its loading gauge for double decker trains with enough luggage capacity?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    What the hell are you talking about? I’ve carried everything from skis to bicycles on the duplex.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am talking about units like the S-Bahn Dresden double deckers and there having more than small luggage and expecting to put it into overhead bins is a tall order.

    Though there is also a certain German tendency to never ever put luggage on the floor to blame. There is some space beneath the seats, after all.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “duplex” it is that you missed.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, he was talking about his experience with one type of bilevel stock and I was talking about my experience with another.

    Amtrak for instance seems to have enough space in its bilevel stock. But the American loading gauge is much larger, so that certainly plays a role.

    I have never been in any TGV as I have ever been to CDG airport when it comes to France. So there may be enough luggage space or French people may just be more frugal with luggage – I don’t know. What I do know is that bilevel stock has a – justified – reputation of not leaving enough space for luggage in Germany and I have personally experienced that.

    Martin Reply:

    European trains have tapered ceiling to better fit in tunnels. That precludes overhead rack for bags. US models will not be as constrained, so could easily fit them.

    It would look something like the Bombardier Caltrain cars today.

    Clem Reply:

    Cross-wind aerodynamics are a very big deal at high speeds. Big tall American slab-sided cars will act like a sail and catch that wind. They limit speeds in France with anemometers tied into the train control system.

    Roland Reply:

    Good for them! Moving back to California, how about comparing average wind speeds over various routes and determining how often anemometers would reduce speed limits over the Altamont pass?

    Clem Reply:

    Altamont is nothing, try Antelope Valley

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot to mention platform heights.

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s see:

    1) Fastest train on steel wheels in the World
    2) Low level-boarding
    3) Compatible platform interface with Bombardier bi-levels
    4) Over 1K seats/train
    5) Fully-compliant with European GC gauge
    6) Eliminates requirement for Caltrain double-doors.
    7) FRA crash protection compliant (twin sacrificial locomotives)
    8) 100% ADA compliant

    Eliminated from further consideration because of uh, duh NIH!!!!!
    So there!

    Clem Reply:

    2) No level boarding, at least not as the term is precisely defined under US law.
    4) Only in a double trainset, 400 m long
    8) Not by any stretch of the imagination!
    9) Insufficient adhesion factor for very long (20+ km) 3.5% grades, not found in France

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Derogation

    Roland Reply:

    9) Probably a stupid question but has it ever occurred to you that very long (20+ km) 3.5% grades, not found in France (NFIF) will never happen for the same reason that a straight shot between Burbank (elevation 607 ft) and Palmdale (elevation 2,657 ft) will never happen?

    Clem Reply:

    20+ km of 3 percent-ish grades are what you get if you want to go over the southern mountains anywhere south of Bakersfield. This is not a negotiable feature of California HSR, it’s simple geography that cannot be designed away

    synonymouse Reply:

    If the travel time is moot PB can go to a more roundabout route(21st century version of the Loop line)with lesser grades. I’d like to see this thing downgraded to a freight route, so perhaps I agree with Roland. Build Jerry’s Palmdale turkey but minimalist and save the money for another day.

    Roland Reply:

    Where there is a will there is a way and your Tejon alignment (not elevations) is on the right track. If you flatten it down to +/- 1% grade, you will end up with fewer viaducts and longer tunnels which in turn will make it possible to straighten some of the curves and gain even more time between LA & SF (total 20 minutes?) but you need to be at grade when you reach the 138 wye because the Las Vegas branch needs to cross the St Andreas fault in the same place as the 138.

    Q: Where does that leave Palmdale?
    A: 55 miles (20 minutes) further away from Burbank (total 35 minutes) which is 1h 20 minutes less than Metrolink (not too shabby, eh?).

    Bottom line: the entire State of California wins, including the freight railroads and the truckers who will turn the tunnels into gold mines instead of money pits.
    Sold?

    EJ Reply:

    It must be hard for you to be so much smarter than everyone else. I mean just like that, you have a plan to cross the Southern mountains with only 1% grades, something that’s eluded everyone else who’s looked at the problem.

    Aarond Reply:

    Nothing is stopping CHSRA from building base tunnels except money. Engineering wise it’s fully plausible if massively expensive. Pick two: project timeliness, on budget, or the best engineered solution to the problem.

    EJ Reply:

    Well it’s probably possible to build a base tunnel all the way from Grapevine to Castaic Junction; it’s not that much longer than the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which took over 15 years to construct and cost $12 billion, though it’s geology is most likely easier to deal with than the Tehachapis…

    But proposing a solution without regard to cost, or cost-effectiveness, is pointless.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    As a matter of fact the GHBT did go over budget, if only “slightly”.

    Once you start digging, there is no knowing what will happen.

    Especially if fault lines are involved.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Most of the “over budget” with the Gotthard Base Tunnel is due to increased safety regulations, which came into effect during construction.

    The geology through the Gotthard massive is pretty complex, and they were just lucky that the most difficult formation only got slightly touched.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    As I said, you never now what happens once you start digging. Had the difficult formations been just a few hundred meters different…

    synonymouse Reply:

    The southern mountain crossing does not need base tunnels at all if you are building genuine HSR. That is of course via Tejon as Clem has so well and thanklessly documented; Tehachapi-Mojave is a freight alignment, and you might as well build it out so it is ok for freight. In other words a replacement for the Loop line. Don’t worry any more about 2:40 or expensive 200mph – just build the minimum to shut up Jerry and his pathetic quest for some Legacy.

    The truly grotesque betise would be base tunnels from Lala to Palmdale. Idiotic for a commute run, where you will want more stops once it is realized that is whence the patronage is coming. What a waste of billions which should be spent on higher usage routes, say LA to San Diego, LA proper, etc.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suspect you could build both routes, Clem’s optimal HSR thru the TMV golf course and a freight compatible replacement for the Loop line(add some meander to the PB plan and plenty of fills and viaducts they could not afford in 1870)for the price of one, what, 40 mile GBT order of magnititude base tunnel

    synonymouse Reply:

    magnitude

    synonymouse Reply:

    “But proposing a solution without regard to cost, or cost-effectiveness, is pointless.”

    TehaVegaSkyRail – we hardly knew ye.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    “Clem’s optimal HSR” is not optimal if it passes through auto crazy Santa Clarita. Engineering solutions do you no good if not acceptable politically.

    Clem Reply:

    Even along the pre-impacted traffic sewer corridor that is Interstate 5?

    Roland Reply:

    Does “Santa Clarita” mean the City boundary or something else?

    Roland Reply:

    Nothing is stopping CHSRA from building base tunnels except relevant subject matter competence.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Perhaps Sta. Clarita suffers from an identity crisis wherein it would like to think of itself as more of a Palo Alto than a San Bruno. We all have delusions of grandeur in some way or to some degree.

    Perhaps Sta. Clarita has greater ambitions and aspirations than to be a transfer station. Has anybody every really tried some outreach with them, bringing along some real money for mitigation, say tunnels?

    Joe Reply:

    Construction including tunneling design will be done by contractors. All proposed designs are owned by the Authority.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ergo, does Sta Clarita really grasp the impact of an I-5 that keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger?

    Joe Reply:

    Along Palo Alto HW101 is 12 lanes. What’s Santa Clarita want with a rail line taking up highway space. It’s

    synonymouse Reply:

    Minimal space. By your token Palmdale should be rejecting PB as well. Most likely some local politicians on the Tejon Ranch Co. payroll.

    I guess they think they are Disneyland when they are just a northerly sprout of Burbank.

    Roland Reply:

    Nice try: The N700 is 3.36M wide with 2+3 seating.

    Clem Reply:

    And?

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “blended” it is that you do not understand.

    Peter Reply:

    I love the smell of condescension in the morning. Smells like … busybody too full of himself.

    Roland Reply:

    I love the early smell of people with an inferiority complex (smells like breakfast).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Please stop smelling each other.

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s not forget Kraut aroma and its potent laxative side-effects.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Not the Kraut again.

    EJ Reply:

    Kindly help us understand how you can sit through hour after hour of tedious public meetings, yet it’s quite beyond you to spend a minute or two making an actual argument instead of posting random links and facts with no context.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    I am beginning to think that Roland’s new goal is to help those on all sides of the high speed rail debate find common ground – kind of like in the way the one thing that Hillary and Donald supporters agree on is that they don’t want Ted Cruz to be president.

    [ sorry, annual snark finished]

    Roland Reply:

    Guilty as charged and I did not know that I had a new goal.

    With regards to EJ’s comment, been there done that only to be attacked by Joe and others who have nothing better to do. Plan B is to share snippets at a time and see if I hit Teflon.

    Enjoy the ride (I enjoy the occasional reward).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Be nice, please.

    Roland Reply:

    Q: Why do the class 373 and the class 374 have a different loading gauge
    A:?

    EJ Reply:

    I’m sure you know the answer. What does that have to do with Caltrain and CAHSR?

    Roland Reply:

    Clem knows the answer but he does not like it… Here is a clue: go back and read what William had to say about Utah on October 24th, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Roland Reply:

    The answer is that the class 373 had to be shrunk to the British loading gauge to sneak its way to Waterloo: https://youtu.be/uqsGSoxrqfI. This requirement disappeared the day Eurostar moved to St Pancras because HS1 was built to the European GC gauge: https://youtu.be/EUjBlUG-3Sc.

    EJ Reply:

    Strictly avoiding making any actual point, as usual.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Naturally.

    Roland Reply:

    Just trying to explain to Clem’s disciples that stuffing 3.4M trains into existing ROWs ain’t gonna work. William and others apparently get it.

    joe Reply:

    3.4 M trains…jeesh

    Clem’s FRA noise spreadsheet reproduces the FRA site’s model and his Caltrain schedule uses standard acceleration.

    I don’t know how he specifically derives train parameters, first principles or heuristics, but they’re available.

    It’s simply a matter of you not offering anything but snark and wanting to be taken super serious.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    3 400 000 000 trains?

    Isn’t that a bit much?

    Roland Reply:

    First principle of heuristics sounds about right for Clem. As far as the real world is concerned, you may be shocked to learn that 0.3m/s2 is about average for an HST leaving a station.

    William Reply:

    abbreviation for meter is the lower case “m”; upper case “M” is reserved for the prefix “Mega” or 10^6 power

    Shinkansen, with the exception of mini-Shinkansen, are 3.38m wide; the now retired E1 & E4 double-deckers are 3.4m wide.

    Roland Reply:

    Ouh-la-la! Quelle affaire!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Metric units?

    Next you’re gonna talk about Brumaire and Fructidor…

  10. Eric M
    Oct 25th, 2016 at 15:10
    #10

    High-Speed Rail Route to L.A. Coming Into View

    Roland Reply:

    No worries. Ben Tripousis recanted the 800/900/whatever platform lengths at SPUR at lunchtime. He did agree that the Business Journal’s article about the Diridon tunnels was an accurate report of what he actually said but that the tunnels were in no way dead and buried and that “building a station was like laying the Empire State Building on its side in a lake”, so go figure.

    Best advice to LA Union: ignore these clowns and proceed as planned: the Lt Governor will take care of this mess once and for all in a couple of years.

    Clem Reply:

    The rapture is just around the corner, I assure you

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It will the best rapture ever. Believe me. It will be tremendous, yuuuuge, bigly.

    EJ Reply:

    I was listening to something on NPR the other day – apparently Trump’s bizarre speech patterns are actually quite fascinating to linguists – and the prevailing theory is that he doesn’t say “bigly,” he says “big league.” It’s just that native speakers of American English don’t normally use “big league” as an adverb, like he does, and our ears are primed to hear the “-ly” ending on an adverb, so most Americans hear it as “bigly.”

    Aarond Reply:

    I’ve heard plenty of people talk like him, most are english teachers, realtors, and car salesmen.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I have had a number of English teachers, at least one of them a born and raised GDR citizen (where English language education was severely lacking), but none of them ever talked anything like Trump.

    Some said “bloody” a lot, though.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I hear “huge” when Bernie or The Donald use the word.
    When I say “big league” to the people around here, who have MIdwestern-ish accents, they hear “bigly”. Even if I say “biGuh leahGuhg”. Most of them I have to use “can not” because they can’t hear me say “can’t”. Me and New Englanders don’t have any problem understanding each other. other than their use of the word “wicked” for almost everything. The Midwestern accent people have trouble following us.
    ….The way I pronounce “Newark” brands me as someone from Newark. Me and someone from downstate can get the locals confused. We’ll throw in some Yiddglish and Spanglish.
    …I have to use the ‘Murcan names for food items. I can make Canadians giggle by asking for a cup of coffee… Anglophones. The Francophones give me a cup of coffee and offer the sugar and cream…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Language is to me an ever fascinating thing…

    For instance, whenever I hear “vostros” or any derived forms, I have to think “Why are they talking biblical?” even though vosotros is a perfectly unremarkable word in Spain and I first learned Spanish Spanish before I ever came into contact with Nicaraguan Spanish.

    And then there are some “wrong” turns of phrase (particularly in my native German) that cause me almost physical pain and a strong urge to correct people (at least mentally)… And some of them are not even wrong. Like saying “Viertel nach Acht” instead of Viertel neun, like you are supposed to.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Portuguese has both voce and voces. You and youse.

    EJ Reply:

    English has you and y’all.

    Joe Reply:

    “Youse guys” is proper south side Chicago English.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Y’all isn’t a word.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If “y’all” isn’t a word “thou” isn’t either.

    There is really nobody that can tell anybody what a proper English word is.

    Literally. The English language has no such thing as the Duden or the Academie Francais (however you spell it) or the real academia de la lengua for Spanish…

    Roland Reply:

    Just found out that the November Board meeting has been cancelled (either because of the election or because of something else). This is going to be yuuuuge either way.

  11. Bahnfreund
    Oct 25th, 2016 at 17:30
    #11

    The problem with double decker trains (at least in European loading gauge) is the fact that you have no room for luggage.

    Will CaHSR have enough space in its loading gauge for double decker trains with enough luggage capacity?

    Aarond Reply:

    Absolutely. CAHSR will likely have to pick a loading gauge that is compatible with freight; this means (among other things) twenty feet (six meters) from rail to catenary. This is more or less necessary as CAHSR is going for a blended system with Caltrain, who still has to allow freight trains at night (and thus can’t build platforms or catenary that impede freight).

    But this is also Clem’s jurisdiction and he is a far better authority on the subject than myself.

    Roland Reply:

    You are on the wrong blog…

    Ben in SF Reply:

    Cool it.

    Clem Reply:

    I don’t claim jurisdiction or authority, but chapter 2 of the PCEP FEIR states that wire height between San Jose and San Francisco will vary between 16 and 23 feet. Most of the southern portion of the corridor will probably be around 22 feet.

    Roland Reply:

    TGV Duplex wins again (shorter pantographs), Oui!!!

    Clem Reply:

    TGV Duplex power cars are not an inch taller than TGV Réseau power cars; in fact they are interchangeable

    Roland Reply:

    How about moving up to Euroduplex (4,320mm), would that work?

    Clem Reply:

    That’s height of the aero cladding. The height of the pantograph deck is no different than any other TGV ever built.

    Roland Reply:

    So?

    Joe Reply:

    We have a Denial Of Service attack on Clem.

  12. Bahnfreund
    Oct 26th, 2016 at 11:11
    #12

    Offtopic, but I just found an article on high speed rail over on TV Tropes…

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/HighSpeedRail

    Danny Reply:

    I like the “balancing a coin on its edge” challenge–evidently that’s a thing in countries that have HSR
    OTOH I’m sure the NIMBYs would pitch a fit about it being “too smooth a ride”: NIMBYs work in mysterious ways

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s too smooth a ride and it’s too rough a ride…

    Gotta love those NIMBYs…

    Wells Reply:

    His sense of ’tilting’ trainsets seems to be set in the 1950’s.
    Tilting today is considered most comfortable.
    He probably loves the Pacheco Gilroy-Toy City route.

    “Nah, them there Altamont’s dun nuf wif ours dollars.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am not entirely sure I follow what you’re saying…

    Roland Reply:

    Welcome to the club!!!

  13. Eric M
    Oct 26th, 2016 at 20:03
    #13

    New San Joaquin Viaduct Construction- Animation

    New San Joaquin Viaduct Construction- Animation

    Eric M Reply:

    Oops. Second one should say New Cedar Viaduct Construction- Animation

  14. cheap nhl jerseys
    Nov 6th, 2016 at 01:01
    #14

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