2016: The Year in Review

Dec 31st, 2016 | Posted by

In retrospect, we all should have seen 2016 coming. Both the federal and the state election results were the product of trends that had begun in 2010. California voters continue to embrace a sustainable, innovative future – and continue to support high speed rail as a part of that future. The defeat of Prop 53 and the restoration of a Democratic supermajority in Sacramento are further evidence of that trend.

Outside the Golden State, however, more and more Americans continue to turn away from the future. Perhaps its because Democrats outside California are more afraid to embrace a sustainable future, or because other states are beginning to enter a kind of downward spiral in which Tea Party government further saps belief that things can ever get better. But Trump’s victory is the victory of those who would rather break everything and smash civilization than allow a sustainable, post-oil 21st century model to be built. Older Americans have decided that, rather than hand power over to the younger generations, they’re going to cling to power as long as they can, suspicious of these crazy ideas the young folks have.

Had Democrats won the White House and the U.S. Senate, as looked possible at several points in 2016, perhaps there would have been renewed hope of federal support for California high speed rail. But that would have required a reversal of the post-2010 trends, and that hasn’t yet happened.

So instead, the lesson of 2016 is that California really is on its own. For education, for health care, for immigration reform, and for high speed rail, California has to do it by itself. The federal government won’t help, and will likely be a hindrance.

Because Trump and the Republican Congress are ideologically opposed to doing anything about climate change, California will have to act alone there as well. That should bode well for the future of cap and trade. Governor Jerry Brown is determined to save it, and with a Democratic supermajority, he’ll be able to do it – even if that supermajority is hamstrung by oil-funded moderates, especially in the Assembly.

The financing plan for California HSR remains the same as it was in 2008, at least in concept: some state money, a lot of federal money, and then some private money toward the end. It’s time for the state to acknowledge that no more federal money is coming, and develop a financing plan that can be done from within California alone (with international and private partners as needed).

California’s HSR project continues to weather lawsuits and biased media articles. Now it’s going to have to weather a Trump Administration. It will be able to do that – as long as California’s leaders in Sacramento are willing to forge their own path toward building a sustainable 21st century society.

  1. Robert Cruickshank
    Dec 31st, 2016 at 20:41
    #1

    It’s also time to discuss the future of this site. It’s been around nearly nine years. The number of posts has steadily gone down by 50 a year since 2011, but things fell off a cliff after Labor Day and the onset of the election season. The result is that there are often delays for new posts, comments pile up, and moderation isn’t as quick as it used to be.

    I’ll keep posting here as long as there are readers and commenters. But perhaps regular users may want to think about setting up a new discussion forum, one that doesn’t depend on me as moderator. There’s no rush, but I’m putting the idea out there for folks to ponder.

    Aarond Reply:

    The elections are over, which means post quality will skyrocket as things settle down on the 21st. Slower posting is fine, and should be encouraged. This is a blog, not an IRC channel.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think the longer the interval between two blog posts, the more the comment section becomes self-referential. I know I am guilty of that.

    Roland Reply:

    There is an easy fix for that problem.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Heh, that’s the plan. I used to try and get a post out every day or so, but that clearly began to fade a couple years back. If I can get 2 per week out in 2017, I’ll be happy.

    JJJ Reply:

    Ive gone from 3 a week to 3 a month – sometimes. It is a lot of work. Mind you, Ive noticed the same of many transportation blogs I follow. I guess we’re all getting older.

    les Reply:

    You need to do something like the volleytalk board. Here cross topics don’t make it difficult to navigate the blog and you don’t have to be responsible for putting out threads if your too busy, others can do their own.

    http://volleytalk.proboards.com/board/5/women-girls-volleyball-forum

    BrandonOfPasadena Reply:

    Yes, I agree concerning this site. I think the thing is… our personal lives change and plays a role in our available time. I have run a sports message board for my alma mater, but my time managing it has dropped off to almost nil as my career and family has taken off.

    That said, for this subject, I think a message board format would be a better medium. I have thought of such an effort and created the following. Maybe someone create something better?

    http://carail.yuku.com/directory

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That’s pretty good.

    BMFofSanDiego Reply:

    I seemed to have forgotten my username. Let me try again.

    Yes, I agree concerning this site. I think the thing is… our personal lives have change and play a role in our available time for things. Call my Captain Obvious. I have run a sports message board for my alma mater, but my time managing it has dropped off to almost nil as my career and family has taken off.

    That said, for this subject, I think a message board format would be a better medium. I have thought of such an effort and created the following. Maybe someone create something better?

    http://carail.yuku.com/directory

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    Is there a reddit subreddit for CAHSR? That seems a logical choice for an always-updating discussion thread (and, frankly, one with a nice ability to collapse threads you don’t want to read).

    Joseph Reply:

    This would be ideal, but im guessing it would be a stretch to get everyone from here to register and move to reddit.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Isn’t reddit infested with RWNJ’s?

    Eric Reply:

    No more than the internet as a whole.

    Joseph Reply:

    I went ahead and created r/cahsr. Maybe we can start driving people in that direction.

    blankslate Reply:

    There is moderation of comments here?

    synonymouse Reply:

    oh yeah

    Edward Reply:

    Every so often the moderator takes a look and if a thread has gotten out of hand it is deleted in its entirety. Works fairly well, even if you have to watch things go into the weeds every once in a while.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Really?

    I have never seen that happen here?

  2. les
    Jan 1st, 2017 at 07:26
    #2

    I think it was a west coast phenomena and not just a California thing. Don’t forget Portland is light years ahead of LA in public transportation policy. And WA and OR have a higher % of clean energy on their grid than California and will have their only 2 coal plants phased out within a decade. When I look at the cities of Seattle and Portland anymore I see Pacific Rim cities and not US cities.

    Washington state:
    Hillary Clinton/ Tim Kaine, Democratic Party: 55.66%
    Donald Trump/ Michael Pence, Republican Party: 38.06%

    California
    Clinton ✓ 7,362,490 61.6%
    Trump 3,916,209 32.8%

    Oregon
    Hillary Clinton(D) 964,656 50.0%
    Donald J Trump(R) 758,262 39.3%

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Don’t forget that Trump lost the popular vote and the districts for the House of Representatives are severely gerrymandered.

    Aarond Reply:

    Melbourne and Sydney tried that too, but they’re still as Australian as Perth and Adelaide. If anything the coastal states are slowly becoming more culturally Australian, especially considering that Australia is notorious for electing conservative governments who screw the big cities. Before Trump’s wall, there was Tony “stop the boats” Abbott.

    But you are right, in the sense that after CA builds CAHSR the next step is to build a reliable connection between Eugene and Sacramento.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Australian prime ministers have been trying to outdo each other in their oppression of refugees for years.

    HSR really shouldn’t ever be built between Eugene and Sacramento. HSR should definitely go north from Portland and mabye as far south as Eugene. A well times overnight train from Portland OR Eugene to Sacramento should be sufficient for the small part of the small travel market over that long distance that chooses not to fly. I live HSR, but some things are best left to airplanes.

    Aarond Reply:

    It wouldn’t necessarily be HSR, as most of north/south traffic is freight. 110 mph is the fastest existing Amtrak equipment can go anyway. It’s the next logical step for a post-Prop 1A Norcal system, as it’s easier to conquer Shasta than it is to rebuild the Transcontinental Railroad.

    Bear in mind, Norcal is much more north/south oriented than Socal. LA has five eastbound railroads, Sacramento has one. Which is why CAHSR routes through Palmdale to facilitate a future connection to Las Vegas, far-future connections Flagstaff, Albuquerque and a far far future connection to Denver.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Aarond, please check your atlas re eastbound railroads, unless you are discussing the immediate vicinity of the main station. I count two lines east from Sacramento and I three from Los Angeles. I don’t include the desert line from San Diego as it is not operational.

    Aarond Reply:

    Socal as a whole has: UP-Cima subdivision, UP-Yuma sub, BNSF-Seligman sub, BNSF-Cadiz sub and Ferromex-Mexicali sub. at the state line.

    Norcal has as a whole: Donner Pass.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ever heard of the Feather River?
    As I said I don’t count the Ferromex SDIV line or whatever it is called now. As for Cadiz, it’s a secondary line to Phoenix, but you can count it if you are desperate.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The next logical step is making it so a car is utterly useless in the collection of counties where 90% of Californians live, followed by Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson. Eugene-Sac shouldn’t even be on our radar until every city with over 100K people east of the Mississippi River has 110 MPH rail service. This is just getting a bit ridiculous.

    Aarond Reply:

    Let’s back up: a Eugene-Sac connection would be paid for by California taxpayers as a tertiary Prop 1A Phase II project. It’s the next logical step for Norcal rail after everything else (CAHSR, ACE/Cap Cor modernization, consolidation, etc) is completed, as it would link all the west coast states into one economy. 12 hours from Seattle to San Diego would be a game changer.

    zorro Reply:

    Game changer it might be, the fact is Aarond, is that Prop1a doesn’t fund Phase II at all. You’d need a whole new bond measure.

    Roland Reply:

    Wouldn’t we need a whole new bond measure just to get rid of the effing Amtrak bus? If so, what are the chances of that ever passing after we are done blowing Prop1a on the CV test track?

    Aarond Reply:

    Which might seriously come in the following year, Sacramento has the votes for a gas tax increase.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Do you think so? I hope so. What democrats definitely will/wont vote for it? Do you think it will even come up as an issue. Is this how we fund all of CAHSR Phase 1 of Phase 1 in one IOS (SF-Bakersfield)?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s 475 miles from Eugene to Sacramento. Without a whole lot of people in Eugene. If the bus isn’t fast enough there are airplanes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Airplanes will run on burning stuff for the foreseeable future…

    Trains don’t.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.wired.co.uk/article/elon-musk-electric-planes

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Who would spend 12 hours from Seattle to San Diego on a train that costs billions and billions through sparsely populated mountainous terrain when you can fly for 2.5 hours. I’m no anti rail fiscal ultraconservative, but that is just ridiculous.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I mean seriously, HSR from Sac to Reno makes more sense than Sac to Eugene.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well ultimately we will have to build electrified rail lines linking most of the country if we ever want to get rid of our dependence on oil.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Are you a dual citizen mein Freund?
    When you said ‘we’ I thought you were ready to help pay some of those taxes

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Frankly, we could double our use of airplanes and it wouldn’t have much of an impact. Especially in a world without gas cars.

    Roland Reply:

    Here they come: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108110_ford-plans-300-mile-electric-suv-hybrid-f-150-and-mustang-more-u-s-production-breaking.
    Better start ramping up runway and gate construction real quick!

    les Reply:

    In addition to the Coast Starlight I could see a lower speed rail line running from Sac through Yuba City, Chico and Red Bluff on to Redding. That’s 300-400,000 people served for a 160mi segment. Once Phase II is complete Amtrak might have some freed up train sets to run a regular service similar to Amtrak Cascades.

    les Reply:

    I imagine it would be comparable to Portland-Eugene which has 2 Cascades and the Coastal Starlight with talk of adding a couple more rts.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Sure, but I don’t think more than one overnight train should run from Redding to Eugene.

    les Reply:

    Agreed. Maybe in 50 years they can visit a Redding to Ashland addition. And another 50 years after that a Ashland to Eugene addition. But nothing in our life time.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Do you think Redding to Ashland is more important than Eugene to Ashland?

    les Reply:

    I never thought about it. Eugene to Ashland probably has higher volume of traffic and would come first.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    My thought was always that you do true HSR (220mph) from Vancouver BC to Eugene, and from Redding to LA, and have an overnight train connect Eugene to Redding. In fact, you already have an overnight train – the southbound Coast Starlight leaves Eugene around 5 and arrives in Redding in the dead of night, around 1. So a 10PM-6AM train from Eugene to Redding could work well.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    My thought was always overnight from Sac to Eugene or Portland, with Sac-Redding being served by Capitol Corridor style rail. I don;;t think it warrants HSR. Perhaps it could be an extension of the existing Capitol Corridor or San Joaquin.

    Michael Reply:

    If a train, like a nice Talgo, left Sacramento at 7am, it would hit Eugene at 7pm and Portland at 10pm. All the best scenery would be available. A second, with sleeping compartments, could leave 7pm, hitting Eugene by 7am and Portland by 10am. That is almost achievable on the existing schedules.

    I agree that a few Capitol Corridor or San Joaquins should serve at least Chico (STUDENTS!) or Redding each day. I’d use it to Chico.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Do you really think a daylight Sac-Oregon train should run just for the scenery? It is nice, but I can think of a lot of more useful places to put that service. Would there be Rocky Mountaineer style demand for a profitable, luxury, scenery train over that corridor?

    blankslate Reply:

    Or the train will follow the path of the existing Coast Starlight and get from Redding to Eugene via Klamath Falls. Serving Ashland would be nice, but upgrading the existing rail link must be at least an order of magnitude less expensive than building a new rail link over the Siskiyou Mtns.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I think leaving the starlight as it is and possibly extending the Cascades to Ashland, with stops in Springfield, Roseburg, Grants Pass, and Medofrd makes the most sense. There are a couple hundred thousand people along that corridor.

    les Reply:

    First Oregon needs to come up with a better game plan for WES and Cascade runs to Eugene. The time to get from Portland to Eugene is way long when you consider the time it takes a train to get from Seattle to Portland (several more stops and 60 additional miles) is about the same. And it seems like WES and Cascades should merge after Wilsonville so as to both run to Salem and maybe further south. I wonder if there are tracks for Cascade trains to move over to Wilsonville and run down to Salem on? Otherwise WES seems to be a waste, a very highly subsidized but unproductive line.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Care(e)-Free LA
    It would require having to rebuild the infrastructure though and build new stations (I wonder if UPRR still runs trains through those tracks because if not then Amtrak can buy them)

    Michael Reply:

    Car(e) Free- Not for the scenery- that’s the bonus. It would provide daytime service to all the stops that the Starlight makes in the dead of the night.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Running only one service per day over any given rail line would be laughed out of the Europe in all major European countries. It’s something that would not even fly in Bulgaria.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Les
    Cascades runs through Oregon City and east of I-5. WES and Cascades tracks don’t connect until Downtown Salem. There have been proposals to bring WES to a station there, however. I don’t know if there is demand to extend them south to Albany and Eugene.

    @Michael
    I don’t think a daylight train just to serve Dunsmuir and Klamath Falls is worth it.

    Roland Reply:

    @Aarond. Agreed except that Socal is already there: https://youtu.be/dLRHdGrw9cQ.

    Roland Reply:

    There is a remote possibility that 110 MPH may not longer cut it after January 21st…
    http://mozomotors.com/2016/11/09/a-look-at-donald-trumps-most-famous-vehicles/

    les Reply:

    “Melbourne and Sydney tried that too” Tried what? Melbourne and Sydney are Austraila. The east coast is most the islands population so really can’t separate the two. WA and OR will continue their liberal ways ($15.00 min wage, legalize pot, protecting salmon, building wildlife overpasses and etc ), and Boeing’s Asian customers will continue to become the largest purchasers of their jets. Chinease will continue to be the number one purchaser of Seattle homes and Asian cuisine will continue to become the dominant restaurant food. With 1 Boeing jet tipping the trade balance more than any other US item sold I can’t see Republicans rejecting the tax receipts from these sales.

    Aarond Reply:

    Melbourne and Sydney tried their hardest to be “pacific rim” cities, hence why the Sydney Opera House and New Parliament House exist.

    As for Chinese influence, tariff will ruin their economy and end both the big-ticket airliner purchases and international real estate sales. China will inevitably become more militant, which means a travel crackdown. Predictably, protectionism leads to a trade war. The old guard loathes this, but they all lost to Trump.

    les Reply:

    Last time I was in Melbourne it seemed pretty “pacific rim” to me so I’m not sure how it failed. There were sushi bars on every block along with the vegan joints and coffee shops. There was as many Asians as Europeans working in the orchard industry. And like Seattle and Portland, these cities are still going through morphisms so not sure why the absolutes. And I always thought of Melbourne as the model for Portland’s public transpo system, ie, packed street cars down every street and with LR stations in every significant neighborhood.

    Aarond Reply:

    Yet people still shop at the Woolies and every manner of Queen-related tat can be found within most Crazy Clark joints. The term “Pacific Rim” is undescriptive, a better term would be “English Pacific” (which fifteen years ago included Hong Kong). To be clear, England is a fine country to emulate when it comes to public transportation.

    les Reply:

    I’m not saying Public Tanspo is from Pacific Rim. I’m just saying the NW is being as much or more so influenced and integrated with what is going on in the Pacific then what is happening east of Idaho. Likewise, I think Australia is being much more influenced by the Pacific region then times past. It only makes sense since this is where their shipping lanes take them. Woolies faded in the US and it will fade in Australia as well. Look at Holden, it will close its last factory this year.

    les Reply:

    Actually Woolies is no longer in England. So who knows, maybe the independent group based in Australia might continue, but probably with Asian investors. :)

    Aarond Reply:

    My point is that cities have tried for a very long time to be “international”, ie independent entities without the shackles of a larger country. This isn’t the case though because despite urban people becoming a majority cities are still governed by systems much larger than themselves. 20th century HK was the most obvious example, being a British protectorate.

    Of the first world countries in the pacific all of them Anglo-dominant or Anglo-occupied. So to say something is “pacific rim” is essentially calling something British. Which is fine, but that’s that.

    Michael Reply:

    How does any city in Japan or Thailand got into your Pacific Rim description?

    Michael Reply:

    Damn interface- or Mexico, Vietnam, Korea…

    les Reply:

    I’m not saying it might happen or Seattle is trying to become international, I’m saying it has already happened! Sure there are some shakles from the other Washington, but not enough to stop Seattle’s identity from being transformed into something more like a Taipai then a Denver. The skyline is looking more modern and resembles a modern Asian city rather then your typical US city. Chinease millionaires have been averaging over 2 billion a year in Seattle real estate purchases for the last 5 years which is on the increase. You can’t get on a bus without hearing Chinese or some other Asian language being spoken. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago. Sure Boeing has its token assembly line in South Carolina to pacify politicians and rattle unions but outside of the Northwest the bulk of the work and sales is done in Asia. And Microsoft couldn’t exist if not for the Hindi presence in Bellevue or the out-sourcing done in India. The link already exist and is only getting stronger. To break it now would kill the NW economy.

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting.
    Wonder why there’s no ‘Atlantic Rim’ reference?
    Also, is Vancouver included?
    And will the ‘Pacific Rim’ cities/nations have the same problems as the Mediterranean had/has, but on a much larger scale?

    les Reply:

    “Indians got 86% of the H1B visas” and the only American company that utilizes more H1B visas than Microsoft is IBM.

    les Reply:

    Vancouver became a Pacific Rim city years back which is what made it the 3rd largest population centre in Canada. However its’ international driven growth has recently stopped in its tracks because of a new tax on foreign real estate investors. Its tax policy is in international courts because of treaty violations so not sure where it will go from here.

    Why they are all investing in NW cities is beyond me. I know the wealthy like the clean air and quality schools in the NW. And why only Chinese is beyond me. Is the air that bad in China?
    “Chinese investors are the vast majority of the people using the program (EB-5): Last year, 9,128 of the EB-5 visas were allocated to Chinese nationals, according to State Department statistics. The next biggest number: 225, the number of South Korean nationals who received EB-5 visas.”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/should-congress-let-wealthy-foreigners-buy-citizenship/406432/

    And I’ve never heard of the Atlantic countries being called Atlantic Rim, but I know there is a movie called Atlantic Rim http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2740710/.

    Also I’m not sure what your are referring to regarding Mediterranean problem.

    Anandakos Reply:

    No, that is NOT “the next step”. The “next step” is constant improvement of the local rail systems in the LA Basin, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco so that the HSR is used to its full potential.

    keithsaggers Reply:

    @les
    “And WA and OR have a higher % of clean energy on their grid than California and will have their only 2 coal plants phased out within a decade”
    Comparing apples to oranges, the combined population of WA and OR is 11million, California population is 40 million.

    keithsaggers Reply:

    California is the most populous sub-national entity in North America. If it were an independent country, California would rank 34th in population in the world. It has a larger population than either Canada or Australia.
    No single racial or ethnic group forms a majority of California’s population, making the state a minority-majority state. wikipedia

    les Reply:

    I’m not comparing the two trying to diminish CAs status as an environmental leader, for from it, I’m just pointing out that the NW is as firm a believer of the same ideals and policies as CA. WA and OR have a much easier path, no doubt, but they have a strong majority of democrats that would follow this path regardless of inherent factors. I think WA and OR align themselves a lot more closely with CA than with any other state when it comes to public policies, and not necessarily because CA is doing it, but because it is part of their own NW ethos. However having CA implement things like EV requirements sure helps carry clout with Michigan car manufacturers that OR and WA could never accomplish on their own.

    Wells Reply:

    Oregon Association of Rail Transit Advocates (AORTA) proposes converting the WES corridor to MAX light rail as an alternative to MAX on SW Barbur Blvd. I agree with that. Most of Amtrak Cascades route through Washington has too many curves to allow speeds faster than 110mph, but it’s still a popular service at 80mph. And then there’s the option of electric overhead with the Talgo XXI which can raise a pantograph or run diesel/electric mostly. Speed shouldn’t be a priority over reliability and comfort. Overnight train ride could be made more comfortable with modern seats that fold flat -staggered- to fit more passengers. Good luck in the new year to all you guys. I’m considering a West Coast rebellion of sorts. Something along the lines of States Rights to retain federal taxes within States to show the Orange headed man he picked a fight with people who will fight back. Don’t pay your federal taxes this year.

    Eric Reply:

    More to the point, WA/OR have tons of hydroelectric energy, unlike CA.

  3. Trentbridge
    Jan 1st, 2017 at 09:06
    #3

    Open a Facebook page for CAHSRBlog – easier to manage…you can add a “business/interest” to an existing personal account.

  4. Bahnfreund
    Jan 1st, 2017 at 11:49
    #4

    I think the crucial election for CaHSR will be the 2018 governor election. Whoever manages to get to the runoff will likely have to make some statement on CaHSR and the runoff might conceivably be yet another referendum on CaHSR…

    Aarond Reply:

    Dems have a 2/3rds vote in Sacramento now, so a gas tax increase for Prop 1A is feasible. In which case construction would only take five years (as opposed to ten) because cash would be pouring in allowing CHSRA to get multiple projects down the pipeline simultaneously.

    zorro Reply:

    I’d vote for it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I don’t think a gas tax increase could get two thirds of all votes in California.

    Maybe if it is coupled with something people have been wanting for a long time…

    Danny Reply:

    gas taxes would probably work only if they paid for commuter and metro rail to replace cars
    the principle here is “like for like”–so for HSR (and Amtrak) it’d probably be a partnership with the airlines to take those loss-leader SF-LA, Vegas, and Arizona puddle-jumpers off their hands, but they’re not actually that good at profiting

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I think there is a huge market for that. So long as LAX is where it is, however, I think the best partnership is with United in SFO for service to the Central Valley and LA.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Does anyone think there is a chance of another 10-20 billion dollar ballot measure to fund CAHSR in the future (probably in 2020 or 2024)? Could it be part of a 100 billion ish multimodal transportation package, including (toll) roads, heavy rail, light rail, active transportation, and other intercity rail as well? Could such a package be restricted to just counties along or very near to the HSR corridor to increase its chances of passing? How could HSR to Sacramento and/or San Diego be part of it?

    Can we actually try and make this happen? Seattle’s ST3 happened because of Seattle Transit Blog and Seattle Subway.

    les Reply:

    I’m not sure why you say ST3 occurred because of ST Blog and Seattle Subway. They were strong proponents but Seattle Subway and ST Blog wanted a lot more for Ballard then what was given and I saw their efforts mostly as a failure (no Ballard-UW link, no tunnel to dt, no more than 1 Ballard station, no station in Freemont, no future study of North Ballard and etc, etc). I think Constantine, Mcguinn, a successful ST2, a huge promotional ramp-up of U-Link, a huge influx of apartment dwelling pro-transit millennial transplants, an in-penetrable I-5, escalating failures with Bertha and a newly tolled 522 had more to do with ST3 then what those two did.

    Brown needs to put a 12 billion prop 1B on the ballot upon his exit. Nevada needs to pass a casino tax for money toward the Victorville to LAU section. Brown needs to get dems to shore up C&T and needs to arm twist moderate dems for a small gas tax increase.

    les Reply:

    Also, ST Blog was extremely outspoken against the links to the Boeing facility, Everett, Tacoma, Issaquah and other elements so I’m not sure how they can take credit for ST3.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    They were a very vocal transit constituency that got ST3 to be better than mediocre street running, Portland-style MAX service. A week after this was posted, Seattle Subway/ST Blog got everything they asked for: https://www.seattletransitblog.com/2016/03/31/how-to-fix-st3-so-seattle-will-vote-for-it/

    les Reply:

    ST2 was 99% off street already, so running a Portland like system was already off the table. They argued for Ballard to be off-street which was most likely to happen anyway. It was presented as an alternative because of federal EIR requirements. And they pushed for early Ballard development because they are a Ballard based organization. But they gave a rats ass about the rest of the area. They wanted Lake City to run through Ballard for christ sakes, the most insane plan in the world. They were an awful champion for the area and only had Ballard’s interest in mind.

    les Reply:

    Keep in mind this is the same group that championed the city monorail that went kaplunk after costing tax payers millions.

    Danny Reply:

    what about us braindead slobs?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Monorail! Monorail! Monorail! (sings)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Lake city via Ballard actually makes a lot of sense from an operational perspective. You can always transfer at Northgate.

    les Reply:

    Not when you consider there is a much greater demand in LC to the UW and DT then Ballard has. LC (including Bothel, Kenmore and etc) through Ballard to UW and DT makes zero sense. A single line from LC to DT via UW serves two major destinations with a single direct line. For Ballard they need to build two lines at more than twice the cost to serve 1/2 the population. These priorities make no sense. And Ballard to UW would require their own maintenance facility.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    So you want to run a second subway parallel to the existing one from Northgate to Downtown to…?

    I always thought that you would want 3 north south lines.
    1. Lake City to Northgate to Ballard to Downtown to Tacoma
    2. Everett to Northgate to UW to Downtown to West Seattle….
    3. Aurora Corridor to Metro 8, bending east around the Seattle Center to Capitol Hill.

    There isn’t anything wrong with lots of frequent lines with lots of transfers.

    les Reply:

    No, a line from from north lake through LC and tie in at Rossevelt.

    les Reply:

    And Ballard-UW should wait until a Kirkland-UW route is studied (part of ST3) so that a Ballard-Kirkland line can be built and connected to east link and the maintenance facility. This way both Ballard and Kirkland get access to UW, Childrens, NOAA, Zoo and etc. If Ballard wants to go north then it should be something separate from Lake City and run through Crown Hill, Bitter Lake and etc. This line would be parallel to Northgate line.

    les Reply:

    I’m hopeful that once they study the North Lake Washington area as part of ST3 they will abandon the 130th Station and put stations in LC that more than offset the loss.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    So what do you think of a network that looks like this?
    https://s24.postimg.org/6m9qriisl/seattle.png

    les Reply:

    I think a 520 route is too close to east link and would cannibalize east link. A Sandpoint route to the heart of Kirkland would draw more riders from the north (Woodinville and N Redmond). This could also add stops at U-ville, Children’s and NOAA. U-ville has become a major destination and does a ton of bus boardings on both 25th and 45th; there is also a mess of new apts going in behind it. And why make double the number of riders do a 2 seat ride when they could have a 1? And the stretch from 65th to 145th is the most dense area of NE seattle with plenty more apts going in; 2-3 stations could easily be put in this stretch (unlike Ballards perpendicular line to Market it would run parallel to the transportation needs). And other than Fremont I’m not sure of the purpose of the red marked line. It would be a 3 station line? And where is a tunnel going in from Fremont to DT? They would have to tear up the streetcar and/or build yet another tunnel? Westlake is already getting a 2nd tunnel.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I posted a new map here of my proposed system
    https://s28.postimg.org/7ztxvvtwd/Central_Seattle.png

    Essentially, I think the point of the red line is Metro 8 plus service to West Lake Union, Fremont, and Phinney Ridge, with the potential for extension to Everett.

    Fremont to DT would follow Aurora, then be a parallel tunnel to Ballard to DT, before turning up Olive Way to Capitol Hill to become the Metro 8 Line.

    Maybe you should quickly shetch out your ideas on Google MyMaps

    les Reply:

    Maybe instead of the red line going up to Phinney it could connect with my LC line near Roosevelt.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That could work, but it could stay on Aurora up to 105th and turn east to LC via Northgate.

    les Reply:

    that would be a lot better for south LC.

    Anandakos Reply:

    les,

    ST has made it clear that there will be no “branching” from The Spine south of Paine Field.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Roland
    Because what we are really missing is a Salt Lake City to Seattle line.
    *sarcasm*

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Whoa, my streams have crossed here in the comments. So, I was pretty neck-deep in the ST3 stuff. Seattle Subway did get a lot of what it asked for, and played a key role mobilizing grassroots support inside Seattle itself (and I helped out on that). The big Yes vote from Seattle overcame 50-50 support in Snohomish and ugly Pierce numbers, and Seattle Subway definitely deserves some credit for that.

    As to folks drawing new route maps…the Ballard line is going to Northgate via 15th Ave NW and Holman Road (thus serving my house, which we can all agree is the priority). That serves as a de facto second line from Northgate to downtown. Eventually you build a line from Northgate to Bothell or Kirkland via Lake City Way/522.

    I’m also a fan of building a subway line from SLU north through Fremont and under Phinney/Greenwood, either veering right at Northgate or continuing north and merging with the spine somewhere in Shoreline. This is also mostly for selfish reasons but it would get ridership too.

    And then we build out true HSR – not just faster Cascades – to link the region together.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Where do you like? Greenwood? Crown Hill? Also worth discussing–what alignment through Seattle should HSR take. It can pretty much follow the existing Cascades route south of downtown, but the route through Edmonds and Mukilteo won’t work. In South King County, should it bend west towards SeaTac and/or Federal Way? Is downtown Olympia worth putting on the mainline? Is King Street Station necessarily where the HSR station should be?

    Anandakos Reply:

    If there is ever HSR north to Vancouver it will have to go through Bellevue along I-405. To go directly north from KSS (for instance) it would have to tunnel under downtown Seattle where there are already five major tubes winding around one another. Then it would have to continue tunnelled on north at least to Northgate. That’s another North Link but with a considerably larger diameter bore to accommodate HSR style pans and high floors.

    Yes, it should certainly serve the Sea-Tac, but there’s no need for a special station at Federal Way. FW to TDS will be about eight minutes on Link when it’s open. To the north of Sea-Tac it could tunnel diagonally down to Tukwila Sounder Station which could act as Secaucus Transfer in Joisey. Most trains would turn onto the existing tracks for entry to KSS.

    Seattle-Vancouver trains would go south to TSS and then back north through Bellevue.

    But it’s a pipe dream, really.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Could the I-5 ROW work somehow, or is it too steep?

    Jerry Reply:

    Robert.
    Your comment, “setting up a new discussion forum” might occasionally include “a new discussion FORMAT.”
    One which periodically would simply ask one or more questions. And limit ALL comments to just the answer(s) to your question(s).

    An example, “What do you want for 2017?” in the Buffalo, NY area.
    The following answers include the one that got a Buffalo, NY Trump supporter in hot water over his answers.
    http://artvoice.com/2016/12/23/want-2017-lot-different-opinions/#.WGtwJOktDor

    Please note that question 4 is in reference to a proposed new Amtrak Station for Buffalo, NY. And in some of the answers people echo your comment, “build out true HSR – not just faster” Amtrak in upstate New York from Buffalo to Albany.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Central Terminal which is referenced in the questionnaire is the former New York Central Railroad Terminal. A grand old building which has fallen into considerable disrepair.
    https://www.google.com/#q=buffalo+central+terminal

    les Reply:

    I can find the quotes and articles that paint a much opposite picture of Seattle Subway with their failures than you state. But daydream believing isn’t such a bad thing.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    I think this is a very good idea – rolling more HSR money into a larger transportation package.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    For instance…20 billion for HSR, 30 billion for local transit in Southern California, 20 billion for local transit in Northern California, 30 billion for roads (rural, HOT, and freeway tunnel/cap/reroute/removal megaprojects.)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How much money would all existing California highways sell for if they were privatized?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    $0. There is no money with all the maintenance for little used rural highways. Certain routes like the Grapevine, Cajon Pass, San Giorgiano Pass, the 5 through Camp Pendleton, the 15 south of Temecula, the 101 east of Camarillo and west of Ventura, and so on (ie. Freeway chokepoints) could be leased for hundreds of millions over the course of 100 years.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So sell those highways that find a buyer and shut those down that don’t. The government should not be in the business of subsidizing highways to nowhere.

    The government should be in the business of building railways.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I dont understand your logic

    All forms of transit are subsidized. You have admitted that all rail (except HSR) required subsidy

    So why should government “be in the business” of subsidizing rail, but not subsidizing highways?

    2nd question, since roads will no longer be subsidized, I assume you havde thought through the consequences of public bus transportation, which will skyrocket in cost to the passengers since they will receive neither direct (operating expenses) or indirect (road) subsidized. This seems to work against your efforts to reduce private transportation to zero?

    Final question, how do you, an avowed socialist, resolve the conflict that the state should own all means of production, but you want them to not own any roads, which are critical to production?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can pay road tolls for the bus while still subsidizing the bus. That is in essence what Germany does with regional train traffic.

    And highway subsidies are what I would call a perverse incentive; driving obviously harms people not doing the driving for arguably some benefit to those doing the driving – so why subsidize it?

    Taking public transit, particularly rail based public transit in turn benefits everybody, including those not taking public transit. So it makes clear and obvious sense to subsidize this and not subsidize cars, which is money that only ends up with Saudi and other financiers of terrorism.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. You specifically stated that you wanted the government out of the business of subsidizing roads. To the extent you would shut down already built rural roads, presumably stranding 10s of million of citizens with no transportation system at all. So they should not subsidize buses because that subsidizes roads.

    You just cant seem to grasp the concept of population density. The US is not Germany, there are just large sections of the country with small populations were trains are not feasible, but you still have to provide a transportation system.

    2. There is no person in the US who does not benefit from roads, even if they dont own a car. If they eat, live in a building, work, get entertained, travel in any way, etc, they benefit from roads. So the premise of your argument is wrong on its face.

    3. You know why the government subsidizes transportation (including roads). because it is a public good that cant be monetized easily, but it critical to a civil society. The Roman’s knew this 2000+ years ago, this is not a new concept. Hence taxes, to force it being supported and to prevent free riders (pun intended). Everyone benefits, everyone pays.

    4. The US is a net oil exporter. The “national security” argument with regard to oil is no longer applicable. If Saudi Arabia cut off the spigot tomorrow, we would not even have to bother to invade and take the country, we have enough usable oil reserves now to last well beyond what we need.

    You know all of these things and yet you continue to advocate for

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    …advocate for policies which are not only unrealistic but also dont even work.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The stalwart yeomanry of rural America don’t subsidized anyone. They are very good at whining when anyone suggests they stop slurping up so many from trough.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Even if the US had never bought a single drop of oil from the Saudis, the very fact that the US consumes oil makes Saudi oil more valuable and that is terrible. Because we all know what Saudi Arabia (the company that happens to own land) does with any surplus money: They fund their own Sharia death squads or similar groups in other countries. I am actually glad that Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran dislike each other, but unfortunately they chose proxy wars instead of going down in a war against one another they hopefully both lose. The world would be better if it were rid of both those regimes.

    And no, I do not profit from people driving when a drunk driver hits me on my bike. I do not profit from subsidized parking jacking up my rent. I do not profit from all the exhaust making breathing hazardous.

    The Romans lived in different times. They were master of infrastructure, for sure, but had they lived with railroads and cars to chose from, they would have chosen the railroads. The Romans had a keen sense for military necessities (don’t believe for a second a single Roman road was a civilian endeavor) and railroads are much more valuable as military assets than roads are.

    And saying roads cannot be monetized easily is just bizarre. Putting up a toll gate is so easy, they literally did it before people could write letters.

    Also, I did not say rural roads should be “shut down” – just that they should be sold and if there is no buyer, there should be no public investment either. Ultimately the US will stop subsidizing suburbia or perish.

    Humans have been moving out of marginal lands ever since industrialization began. The trust Alm-Öhi is now a distant folkloric memory and all the economic activity in those levels are tied to tourism, not living there. People go to town if in any way they can afford to. US suburbia will be seen as a bizarre and dangerous aberration by the historians of more civilized ages. It has always been the uneducated and backwards folks that stayed in the countryside and the upwardly mobile or potential revolutionaries that moved into cities.

    For the most part, human history is the history of cities. Certainly the history of human progress is a history of cities. And cars have no place in cities.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Taxing the fuel or the distance is cheap and easy to administer.

    Jerry Reply:

    The USPS is an example of a national agency (call it whatever) that serves ALL the people throughout the nation at the same cost. (It’s in the US Constitution)
    There have been efforts to privatize it. (I take no stand on the issue.)
    But I do believe that the USPS is much more efficient than the German postal system. And the German postal system has a much smaller logistical footprint. (The USPS even serves Guam.)
    What may, or may not, work in one country does not always translate to success in another country.

    Jerry Reply:

    The electric utility industry is an example of public/private ownership. With varying results. It is now, even part of “globalization”.
    One size does not fit all.
    The USA frowns on cookie cutter approaches.

    Jerry Reply:

    But before we sell all the roads, and open/close/expand all the airports we do need (IMHO) a good operating HSR system. Somewhere. In the USA. Hopefully in California. Within most of our lifetimes.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @John N. Those intercity freeways are the same market as (profitable) airplanes and (profitable) HSR, so they shouldn’t be subsidized. Nobody says the same for local streets.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    just because a section of the country has a low population does not make it “marginal” The middle of the country feeds not just the US but the world. The reason the population is sparse is because the land is used for farming. With advances in technology you just dont need that many people. But it does not make them unimportant.

    That crumbling infrastructure system has continued to work despite the bad press. The simple reason why, because it gets fixed. Of course it is in need of repair, approximately 5% every 20 years, then it needs fixed again. Just like trains, sidewalks, and all other forms of transit. My bathroom needs to get cleaned every 2 weeks. Its not a defect in bathroom design, its just a basic fact that things get dirty. Same for roads, they wear out and get fixed. The big numbers they throw around just have to do with the tremoundously big base value of the infastructure. On a 20 year replacement cycle a 10 trillion dollar system SHOULD have 500 million in repairs each year.

    Your obsession with cities and non-private transport borders on zealotry. But even you cant assert you do not benefit from roads. In fact I am sure you own a car even if you wont admit it here. You eat, you have an apartment, you travel. Those are all roads and gas powered vehicles.

    And finally, yes, the US could pay for this transportation system with a variety of methods

    – Gas tax: Regressive but effective and linked to the people who have benefit. Misses the electric cars who wear the roads just like gas

    – Tolls/Congestion fees: Regressive and intrusive (you have to be tracked for it to work). Again linked to people who use the system

    – General taxes: Progressive but not linked to the consumption of the system. i.e. people who drive more dont pay any more.

    – full private system: Overall higher cost because now there has to be a profit. So really just a version on tolls with higher costs.

    The US uses all these systems already. I see no problem with a portion being paid for by general taxes because everyone benefits so everyone can pay.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The middle of the country is not necessarily marginal, but there are some places (like former coal towns in Appalachia, or rural Alaska) that we should stop subsidising like crazy with infrastructure. A government funded relocation or live-on-your-own-without-help program could go a long way.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    thank you for illustrating why a looney like Trump just got elected.

    Re-read what you just wrote. You advocated that entire communities of Americans, with 100s of years of roots in their geographic locations, be offered the choice of moving to a new area or be cut off from government assistance. For the crime of no longer being “relevant”. ??? And I am the heartless GOP asshole?

    I thought your “destroy trillions of dollars of airport and road infrastructure to build a need for trillions in trains” plan was crazy but you topped that.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No. I’m not talking about large swaths of land, but there is some merit to that. Consider Centralia, Pennsylvania, for example. A coal fire broke out there and lasted for years, millions were spent, and the government offered to help people live somewhere else, and almost everybody accepted. The remaining few chose to stay with the agreement that they wouldn’t receive much government help. Everybody was happy. This same idea could be replicated across a select few communities that are marginal in the sense that they have third-world living conditions, yet millions and millions are spent to help them, yet nothing ever gets better. I am not writing off millions, I am saying that the system of spending like crazy in some very poor areas that are still very poor doesn’t work, and most people would embrace a chance to get out. Perhaps you have never lived in an economically-depressed small town like I have and wanted, like most people, to get out?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1st of all, we are talking about large swaths of land. Look at your original comment combined with Baunfrends comment.

    He advocated that any highway leading to any place that could not be sold or operated for a profit be abandonded. That is a large section of the country. I would hazard that entire states like Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota don’t contain a single road that could be tolled for profit.

    Then you doubled down and said depressed places “like former coal towns in appalachia or rural Alaska” should be stopped subsidizing. That is not a “select few” communities. There are entire sections of the rust belt that meet those criteria of towns that have been hollowed out. And you are advocating to cease government support of those section of the country. Evern if it was 5% of the population that would be 20 million people.

    So yes, you are writing off millions of people

    As for my experience, I grew up in Pueblo Colorado. It had the largest integrated (turns ore into steel, not just recycle old steel) steel mill West of the Mississippi. It is the definition of a Democratic blue collar, working class, union town. 100k people.

    And the steel industry collapse just wounded it on levels that you had to see to believe. 10+ % unemployment when the rest of the country had 2-3%. And through it all, you could not have paid people to leave. They love their town and they choose to stay and fight. Passed a tax to offer incentives for businesses to move. Partnered with the community college to train people for any business that did move so they had a work force. Gave personal tours to every business that would bother to come and look. And by hook, crook, and a whole lot of effort they did turn it around. The mill is a shadow of its former self, but the town is not.

    If you did grow up in a small town then you know full well those people dont want to move. And they certainly should not be abandoned because they are not “economically feasible” Those are American citizens. You should be ashamed for just thinking it.

    If they want to move, they are free to do so because there are no borders. They can move to any state or area at will. Without the need for forced government relocation, which is exactly what this would be if you cut off the transportation system.

    News flash, not everyone wants to live in a big city on the coasts.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Many do. Many want to move to a nearby small city, not necessarily New York. But seriously, do you understand how financially ridiculous it was to move to California (and I was better of than many of my peers.) Cities have erected walls of cost around them, yet they’re where all the opportunity is, so it is very hard to get out. There is a bit of a generational divide between who wants to move and who wants to stay, but millennials overwhelmingly want out, and we are the demographic future.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i know exactly how expensive it is to move from Colorado to CA. I did it. And then CA to PA. And then back from PA to CA.

    You keep trying to couch this as a choice. You advocated forced relocation. That is not ok. If you took away the transportation system they would have no choice, that would be forced. That is not ok.

    Be responsible for your statements

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So the stalwart yeomanry in Real American ™ gets subsidized but the people who make the money to subsidize them don’t get anything? Even though it’s cheaper to give them alternatives to automobiles?

    Jerry Reply:

    Peter gets robbed.
    Paul gets paid.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    This may come as an amazing shock to you, but the rich always subsidize the poor. In all ways, not just transportation. Because the poor dont have money. Are you really just figuring this out?

    The top 2.7 % pay 51% of federal income taxes. News flash, the reason every tax cut program helps “the rich” is because the rich pay all the taxes. The bottom 60% pay a measly 5.6 %

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/13/high-income-americans-pay-most-income-taxes-but-enough-to-be-fair/

    And as is proven time and time again, it is not “cheaper” to give them alternatives to automobiles. Roads are a sunk cost. The capital is already invested and the maintenance must happen regardless of if the “poor” use them or not. The means to use them (cars) are borne by the individual and not the government. So on whole, the poor using autos for transport is very little added extra cost to society.

    Trains on the other hand, is all added cost. The capital, the maintenance, etc., none of it is paid for now so it is all extra cost.

    Hence the reason you cant get people to pay for your choo choo trains. They are added costs.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    For the upteenth time the roads and airports are adequate if you assume the population is never going to grow and the economy will never get any better than it is now. An HSR line can carry 12,000 people an hour in each direction. How many lanes of highway does that come out to? Or how many new airports?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You have to expand the infrastructure somehow or risk gridlock.

    Jerry Reply:

    Abandon roads. You can put a thousand and one spins on it.
    Turn them into recreation trails or logging trails and charge fees for those who use/need them.
    Move people out of their houses and when big forest fires happen you won’t have to worry about rescuing them.
    Save money all the way around.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    the US population is growing at less than 1%. There are plenty of places were the existing capacity is more than enough. Those are the places where it was proposed to “eliminate roads”

    This thread was on eliminating roads in the least dense areas. There is no capacity constraint there. Its just cruel, elitist crap.

    There is an America outside of cities. You just got a taste of their voting power…did you learn nothing?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know there is an America outside cities–I’m from it. I also wasn’t referring to it when I talk about adding capacity. The vast majority of growth is in California, the Cascades Corridor, NEC cities, the New South, Florida, Texas, and a handful of mountain-west cities. These places all will need more capacity. Its a choice of roads, rail lines, or airports. I choose rail lines.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Most of those towns were founded when there was nothing but a dirt road. And what does a paved road turn into when its use no longer supports the economic business case for repairs? A dirt road. Rural America will be fine. If people in the 21st century want to live in a dirt road town is another question, but ultimately, we cannot build an interstate into every nook and cranny. Do you know when the density of settlements was highest in Europe? Early 14th century – just before the Black Death wiped about half those settlements of the map never to return. People have been moving to cities whenever civilization advanced. I am the last to prohibit people from living in hinkydink. But I don’t want to subsidize them. And I don’t want to subsidize cars. For the record, I own a Bahn Card 25, but I do not own a drivers license.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    rural america will be fine, because they are not going to lose the transportation subsidy

    want proof….they are so powerful they cant even end Saturday USPS delivery in rural areas because they have that much pull. That would have 0 effect on anyone and save 100s of millions…still not going to happen.

    Its no more likely than your plan to shut down most airports to try and build a demand for rail.

    And side note, if you took your plan literally, its not just rural area. Places like Salt Lake City and St. Louis are so isolated as to not have roads that could be tolled for a profit. You just lack any understanding of the large geographic area that is the USA. Germany is smaller than CA and less than 1/2 the size of Texas. Long distance travel evolved to planes for a reason. Rail had the head start but planes just make more sense if you only want to invest in capital once.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    As a general rule planes work best between megaregions, trains work best within megaregions, and cars are best outside of megaregions. Megaregions are where the growth is, so most new capacity should be of the rail variety.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You cannot currently build a plane that runs on electricity that can do anything a train cannot currently do well, except cross some puddles of water). And we all know fossil fuels are finite. So either you’ll have to create artificial fuel for planes or you’ll have to drastically reduce the number of flights. Likely both. HSR can drastically reduce the number of flights on any corridor where it is introduced. Be that Madrid-Barcelona, Paris-Marseille, Frankfurt-Cologne, Seoul-Busan or any of myriad others you can think of.

    Of course you ignore the trillions of federal dollars spent on first developing jet engines as a military asset and later building airports as “dual use” facilities. Similar things are true for highways.

    Trains meanwhile were a for profit and taxed business for most of their existence in the US. Imagine if there had been zero Dollars for r&d of jet engines, zero dollars for airport construction, zero dollars for highway construction and instead highways were all private for profit toll roads, all while railroads receive generous federal grants and are not expected to make money. I know, it would be a horrible world where nobody would love Baby Jeebus…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Trains aren’t really appropriate for NY-LA, for instance. Trains need to go after cars more than planes.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    finally, a glimmer of logic. Its not just NY to LA, its an7y city pair more than 500 miles distance which in the US is MOST city pairs.

    So if LA and NY have to build an airport anyway, the train is….redundant. Regardless of it is more efficient at shorter trips. Simply put, if you build an airport you can go anywhere, if you build a train station you still have to build an airport.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes, but in the case of SF-LA your choices are a bigger airport or HSR, not HSR or nothing.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    …plus more infrastructure of some sort to serve the growing central valley

    Neil Shea Reply:

    John: absent from your analysis is any consideration of greenhouse gases, climate change and rising sea levels. Why is that — is it because you are anti-science, or indifferent to, or in favor of incremental global warming? (I’m asking sincerely)

    Meanwhile, yes, as you know doubt understand: airport capacity is not infinite, there are incremental cost to adding runways, gates, additional airports. And since SFO and LAX are in proximity to less than half of the state’s population, you are actually advocating for dozens of airports with hundreds of daily flights within California. Is that your plan, or did you also want taxpayers to subsidize construction and maintenance of hundreds of incremental lane-miles of freeways?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    ohhh…subtle. Are you going to ask me if I have stopped beating my wife?

    Are you sure my only 2 choices are anti-science or in favor of global warming? hmmm…tough choice. I will choose option 3.

    The US has, without trains, reduced its carbon emissions. And as a cherry on top, it has done it because of that evil fracking. Now as a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, I can’t decide what is the better part of the story. There is more than 1 way to reduce emissions and we choose the one that did not sink the economy.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/04/16/how_fracking_has_reduced_greenhouse_gases_130303.html

    Now with alternatives like solar and wind getting cheaper, the peak oil demand is in sight, we made it through the oil era.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-11-28/from-peak-oil-to-peak-oil-demand-in-just-nine-years

    Proving once again, that the Malthus follower are wrong about everything.

    PS. We already have dozens of flights daily from LA to SFO. I am no convinced that capacity is maxed out. Traffic jams occur in the cities, not between them. But given a choice, I would expand on the existing capital not invest in a 3rd mode.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @ John N.
    I halfway agree with you, but when it comes to climate change, we can’t just do better–we have to do perfect. We simply cannot have as many car trips as we do today. Planes aren’t really an issue, because there isn’t much of an alternative to them and the environment can absorb their emmissions.
    Our airports are packed close to capacity and SFO, for instance, has terrible reliability problems. If we want more flights, we have to expand. Alternatively, we can build HSR and not expand airports, while in fact expanding the range of intercontinental destinations from the spare LAX-SFO capacity. With less emmissions, door to door travel time, and better reliability and a bigger range of destinations.

    Also, you’re wrong about traffic jams not occurring between cities.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    After all the drama, the US met the Kyoto Protocols

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/usa-meets-kyoto-protocol-without-ever-embracing-it/

    We did our part. China is a soveign country, we can’t force them to comply. Despite all the talking and hang wringing and blame, it is not the US that is the issue. I don’t know what you would have us do, CAHSR reduces emissions a trivial amount. Estimates at 1.5% of driving in 2040, and you have to factor in the construction emissions.

    If you really care to reduce car trips, build light rail and commuter rail. HSR is just a vanity project for rail, like a Dodge Viper or a Tesla, it looks great but has no actual effect in any appreciable fashion.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    just yesterday you were implying that there was never ever never going to be any need at all to build anymore roads.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And what is your view on urban rapid transit expansion?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. I implied no such thing. I said that capacity is sufficient with existing roads in rural areas, and I stand behind that statement. I never said that we will never need to build roads. In fact, I said that infrastructure is on a 20 year cycle for replacement. So every road will need replacing at some point.

    2. As I said above and in other posts on this board, urban rapid transit is the most logical way to replace cars. 80+% of all trips are less than 20 miles. If you want to replace those trips you need local trains. In my opinion it is a much better bang for the buck than HSR.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I agree that urban rapid transit is the best way to replace cars. What I am wondering is have you or will you vote yes on a transit measure wherever you live?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    @John:
    The question about greenhouse gases is an important one. Your policy prescriptions seem indifferent to them. Everyone knows “when you find yourself in a hole stop digging in”. Collectively the world including the US & China is digging more slowly, but has not stopped.

    The US has put far more total greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than any other country, including China, and per capita we still do. Your answer that you don’t want to consider this in policymaking is like a schoolboy saying that I’m going to still pee in the pool because I think someone else does also.

    Your California transportation solution is to support 5-10 Airport pairs at a very high carbon cost per passenger mile traveled, and to expand cars and roads for all other transportation – also high carbon per passenger mile. It’s flat earth thinking. Ask your kids what kind of future they would like, as worldwide climate extremes intensify and our department of defense says this will become a major geo political problem before long.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The US met the Kyoto protocol goals, we did our part to stop global warming. We cant go back in time. The US has reduced more emissions (% and absolute) than any other country. Specifically, the US has stopped digging.

    If you want to talk total (absolute) emissions they are at 1990 levels. The environment does not care about per capita, they care about absolute and China took that crown a long time ago. Of course you know that because you clarified in your statement we are the per capita leader (which by the way we are not, we are number 11. Interestingly right above Australia who the Greens hail as a “woke” nation on the enviroment.

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

    Also, the US has expanded the economy, transportation, and growth in the last 30 years, but not emissions.

    But obviously you care about global warming above all else. Air transport represents 2% of overall emissions. Its just not the problem.

    http://www.atag.org/facts-and-figures.html

    So if you care about it deeply, and it appears you do, you should be supporting commuter and light rail not HSR. HSR will not appreciably lower carbon emissions. And if you factor in the emissions form building HSR perhaps not lower it at all.

    I dont have kids, but that does not mean I cant read and understand facts. The US is not the problem. and HSR is not the solution.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @Car

    I moved to Santa Rosa after the SMART vote. Other places I lived have never had them

    But yes, I would vote in favor of light rail, I am from Colorado and the rail in Denver has been transformative in many ways. It is a good value for the money.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Personally, I’m extremely concerned about climate change, and air travel doesn’t worry me at all. Coal and cars are the problems. I support HSR because it is the fastest and most cost effective way to add needed capacity and speed up journey times.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The best policy we could make with the smallest impact would be to replace all coal plants and old natural gas plants with obsolete pollution controls with a mix of nuclear, solar, and wind. The Feds would buy the old plants (eminent domain) so the utilities would not complain, the feds would build the new plants to absorb cost overruns, then auction them to the utilities so the free market decides what they are worth. The difference between construction costs and auction costs (almost sure to lose money) will essentially be the cost of the getting rid of carbon. Throw in an update to the nationwide grid (long overdue) and you could moderize the whole power grid in 1 fell swoop and make everyone happy.

    Since Trump is such a “pro coal” guy now it would not be possible, but without Trump it would have been almost painless politically. You dont impact the lives of anyone except coal companies and you can buy them out also. Probably a trillon or so to pull it all off, totally doable and in the end you get a modern grid with new power plants to please the GOP and you eliminated the number 2 source of carbon to please the greens without affecting the normal guy in any way except to provide a whole bunch of construction jobs.. Obviously way too efficient to work.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    John Nachtigall Reply:
    January 6th, 2017 at 12:58 am

    1. I implied no such thing.

    Yes you did, more than once. You’re a troll. Your major technique is to change the subject with a good sprinkling of changing the goalposts.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @John N. Also, connecting electricity grids is very valuable. It’s always windy/sunny somewhere.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @adirondaker

    Well then you are in luck. Since everything is recorded here it should be bo problem showing where

    “Just yesterday you were implying that there was never ever never going to be any need at all to build anymore roads.”

    Never ever never is a really long time. That would be something I posted on Jan 4. Now I looked and could not find anything but you seem confident.

    Of course we both know what is going to happen. I didn’t write that so instead of admitting how wrong you are you will instead claim you have no interest (time) in finding this non existent statement.

    PS. Just because I disagree with you does not make me a troll.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You are a troll. I give up.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Shocked face. You can’t find the statement

    And I don’t think you and joe understand what a troll is. I would be a troll if I was posting statements I didn’t believe in just to get a rise out of you. For example

    Strip Mining prevents forest fires
    Global warming is great because I want a tan
    Trains are bad because I have to mix with the “little people”

    That is trolling. I just disagree, and provide data why, with your opinions. I have always tried, and mostly succeeded, in not attacking people personally

    This is an important subject and I appreciate this blog is willing to allow both sides

    joe Reply:

    You are a troll John.

    You trolled coeds with the molecular name for water and you troll HSR land acquisition.

    as for roads…

    That crumbling infrastructure system has continued to work despite the bad press. The simple reason why, because it gets fixed. Of course it is in need of repair, approximately 5% every 20 years, then it needs fixed again. Just like trains, sidewalks, and all other forms of transit. My bathroom needs to get cleaned every 2 weeks.

    WAIT, WHAT?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I don’t feed trolls.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Joe
    @Adirondacker

    I do think you’re being a bit unfair to John. Though we have our disagreements, he isn’t a low-intellect troll.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Trolls come in a wide variety. Some them can be quite clever.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We can absolutely walk and chew gum. In fact, on climate change, we have to walk, chew gum and swing and pitches by Hall of Famers all at the same time and we already have two strikes on our strike count.

    Of course urban rail is tremendously important as it gets people out of their cars every single day. But unlike what some here seem to think we can only replace planes that pollute the upper levels of the atmosphere with something that is not a plane. A less polluting plane still pollutes. Trains can run on the sun the tides or the wind – planes can’t. Yes, in the current environment few people will take a train from NYC to LA – but ultimately we will one day live in a world where people either take the train for such a trip or don’t make the trip at all.

    It won’t be a horrible death-world. The vast majority of people on earth do not routinely make trips of the length of LA to NYC. And if such a trip has to be made (e.g. visiting family) it won’t take weeks, it takes a bit under three days with existing Amtrak, so it can be done within a day with faster trains. Of course the first HSR routes will run between major cities in close proximity, but ultimately railroads will tie the nation together.

    Just imagine what you would like the world to look like if internal combustion engines were the only modern technology to suddenly stop working. This is the closest approximation to the world in which we will end up living.

    Of course we might go through a phase of near apocalyptic wars over the last drips of oil to fuel “essential” trips from Los Angeles to New York City and other wars over the last fertile soil that is not too far from precipitation to be put under the plow.

    We can live in a rail dominated future or we can live in an oil dominated past. But the price of the past is blood.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Bahnfreund

    We generally agree, but I still think flying isn’t a problem. Its such a tiny portion of emissions that it can be absorbed by the environment. Though the “We can live in a rail dominated future or we can live in an oil dominated past. But the price of the past is blood.” is a really good line.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The technology to make aviation fuel ( or plastic or lubricants or pesticides or anything else that comes out of petrochemical plants ) exists to make all of it in a carbon neutral way. It costs a lot more than boiling dinosaur juice, so we boil dinosaur juice. Airplanes aren’t going to go away. Or plastic or lubricants or pesticides or…

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

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer-Tropsch_process

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The vast majority of people in the world don’t travel more than a few miles from home on any given day. That does not negate the need for planes.

    How do you propose we cross the oceans? Boats? Back to the days of the Queen Mary?

    More than 3 Billion people fly each year.

    This is simple, at no time in history has humankind regressed in the speed of travel. It has always been faster and faster never slower. So no, people will not use a train from LA to NY. A plane will always be faster. And since they need airports in LA and NY to get over those inconvenient bodies of water that is that.

    And once again, we are not running out of oil.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Bahn,

    I know for a fact that there are small rural highways ALL OVER Germany and The Netherlands. And they’re built by various levels of government. Be reasonable; trains can’t go everywhere.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    But that doesn’t mean freeways should be subsidized. They’re the car equivalent of HSR.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Germany has may too many highways. And the fact that they don’t have a speed limit irks me as well.

    There needs to be a moratorium on new highway construction. If the private sector finds a business case to build them, let them put up the money. But leave the government out of it. The government has better stuff to spend money on. Like decent connection to Poland and the Czech Republic by railway.

    Jerry Reply:

    @car(e)free
    what is the difference between a “low-intellect troll” and a non “low-intellect troll”?

    Jerry Reply:

    Good Time magazine article on Internet Trolls:

    http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Trolls are low intellect. John isn’t. We may disagree with him, but he makes defensible points, and its rather trollish to write troll after he says anything.

    Jerry Reply:

    Sorry, but your answer is wrong.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Time magazine article clearly points out that trolls are both liberal and conservative, smart and dumb.

    Jerry Reply:

    Internet Troll:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    How is he a troll?

    Jerry Reply:

    At car(e)-free
    You called him a troll.
    But you said in your opinion that he is not a “low-intellect troll.”
    So does that mean in your opinion he is a “high-intellect troll”?

    Jerry Reply:

    How does it feel to be wrong?

    Jerry Reply:

    My reference to:
    Sorry, but your answer is wrong, and
    How does it feel to be wrong?
    is a feature that a troll uses.
    If it sounds familiar, to postings of the alleged troll then so be it.

    Jerry Reply:

    Don’t feed a troll.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I don’t think John is a troll. I never called him a troll. I meant that he is neither low intellect, nor is he a troll. He just has disagreements with most of the rest of us.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He doesn’t disagree. He just changes the subject. Page 47 of the troll manual.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wow, I go watch TV for a bit and come back and its all about me. If I was a troll I would be in heaven. Of course I would be the worst troll in the world since I have neither a twitter or facebook account (or snapchat or instagram). Dont feed the troll is just code words for “I cant disprove your point so I will attack you personally.)

    @car

    Thanks for the defense, I appreciate that we can disagree without name calling. Interesting how quickly they turn on you when you stray from the approved message right. Like how you didn’t call me a troll but suddenly they said you had?

    @ others

    I appreciate (I guess) that you are implying that I am a high intellect troll. I will take the compliment. You really need to differentiate, for your own sake, the difference between people disagreeing with your point and people who troll

    Robert has made it very clear this blog is not supposed to be an echo chamber. That people of both opinions are allowed. While I acknowledge that most people who post to this blog are pro-HSR, to post something, with data, that opposes that position is not trolling.

    – I consistently provide data and links to back my opinions
    – I do not personally attack the members of this board. Unlike other who make personal attacks.
    – I do not reflexively oppose all positions taken on this board. For instance in this very thread i supported light rail.

    PS: @Joe, when you cut off my analogy in the middle it of course does not make sense. I did once play a joke on a co-ed in college, the shame. I am sure you have never played a joke in your whole life. I will stand behind the fact it was a funny joke. And I am not trolling the ROW acquisition, I am re-posting the data that CAHSR is providing while making commentary. How is that trolling?

    @ adirondacker

    If I am the one who changes subjects, they why are you refusing to show my statement that “never ever never will need new roads”? I was trying to stay on subject and you changed to subject to how I am a troll.

    Joe Reply:

    I certainly didn’t troll coeds.

    You somehow think your incapable of trolling yet you’ve come to a PRO HSR blog and mocked people who support HSR and call them hypocrites.

    but you say you don’t troll …

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Hey Nachtigall is singing a song on how we are all evil and I am not even included. SAD.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Evil? Seriously I think we need to check the site code because I am not writing these words.

    And hike Robert is pro-HSR he has stated that envy opinions are welcome. If he wants this to be an exclusive pro-HSR echo chamber with no differences of opinion all he has to do is ask and I would no longer post.

    But maybe, he realizes that closing your mind to differences of opinion does not advance your cause.

  5. synonymouse
    Jan 1st, 2017 at 12:55
    #5

    Global warming is a function of an exploding population.

    So why build another LA in Palmdale or trash ag in the San Joaquin Valley?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The exploding population in question being that of cars and airplanes.

    HSR and public transit help to curb that population explosion.

    synonymouse Reply:

    To secure the increased number of cars and airplanes you need the exploding population ponzi scheme. The auto is the mainstay of the US economy. Why do you think Trump is thumping GM, the erstwhile god of the GOP?

    They are already complaing that automated cars will reduce the number of organs available for transplant. The political elite is that morbid and ruthless.

    synonymouse Reply:

    French TV is reporting an extraordinary heat wave in the Arctic in the middle of the long winter nights.

    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/meteo/climat/environnement-que-se-passe-t-il-dans-le-cercle-polaire_1997951.html

    Can you picture the TransAmerica Shaft surrounded by a lake?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    We could all live first world lives with a population of ten billion, and have less pollution. Efficiency, not population, is the problem.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We can all have decent lives or some of us can have cars in the driveway – your choice. I’ve made mine.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I have no car. I never mentioned anything about it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah. I think we are in basic agreement on that point. Though it seems I am a bit more radical in my conclusions and rhetoric, which may well be a generational thing.

  6. keithsaggers
    Jan 1st, 2017 at 18:33
    #6

    http://www.necfuture.com/alternatives/

    keithsaggers Reply:

    “The Federal Railroad Administration’s NEC FUTURE affirms Amtrak’s long-held view that rebuilding and expanding the Northeast Corridor is essential for the growth and prosperity of the entire region,” Amtrak said in an emailed statement.

    Transportation Department officials announced this year that Amtrak will receive a $2.45 billion federal loan to pay for upgrades, including 28 new trains for the popular Acela Express service and station upgrades in the District, Baltimore and New York. The loan, the biggest in the department’s history, will be paid back using revenue generated along the corridor, Amtrak officials said

  7. Roland
    Jan 1st, 2017 at 19:24
    #7

    GWR IEP waving a middle finger at the indefinitely postponed wireless (and powerless) GWML electrification project: https://youtu.be/A_YJA_6IjY0?t=97.

  8. Jerry
    Jan 1st, 2017 at 23:49
    #8
  9. Bahnfreund
    Jan 3rd, 2017 at 10:52
    #9

    Meanwhile in China: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/312104-china-plans-major-expansion-of-high-speed-rail-network

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    37 miles per billion dollars spent in China (18600 miles/504 billion)

    8 miles per billion in CA (520 miles / 63 million) and that assumes no cost overrun

    Its just simple math, the US already built out road and planes, its too expensive to ditch that and rebuild a train network that provides no substantive advantage. China is going from 0 to something, in the US you would go from something to something else, for 5-10X the cost…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You must be really ignorant to assume that China has no highways or airports.

    By the way, China is actually less money efficient per kilometer of rail built than – Spain – yes, Spain. The US are notoriously inefficient in building big things on the cheap, but that does not mean relieving all sorts of congestion on one of the most important corridors in the nation while greatly diminishing CO2 emissions and encouraging economic development is not worth every single penny.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so we agree, it is really expensive to build in the US. As a result it is politically unfeasible to build extensive HSR in the country.

    And my point was the state of China’s infrastructure before HSR was a fraction of the US. The US has the most powerful economy in the world and it relies on a mature transportation system. China still has 3 day long traffic jams, obviously not mature.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It has three day long traffic jams on gazillion lane roads; any country faced with a phenomenon like that can only draw one conclusion: Something has to be done. Something besides roads.

    The US does not ahve a mature transportation system so much as it has a crumbling one.

    And the reasons why public works of almost all kinds cost more in the US are plentiful, but that does not mean the US should build expensive highways instead of expensive railways. It means they should send people to Spain to find out how their railways can be so cheap and then apply the lessons learned.

    But unfortunately the US is not good at learning lessons from elsewhere.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It is really expensive. That doesn’t mean not politically unfeasible. CAHSR costs a lot, but it is really only $250 (Prop 1A) per Californian. Which less than the cost of driving from SF to LA and back 5 times in an average car.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and yet in 8 years they have failed to fund it. You just proved my point

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They have funded part of ut, and it is under construction.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i assert it is politically unfeasible because CA has supermajorities of Democrats and a Govenor who has vigorously advocated for it and given all those advantages, CA has still not fully funded the plan.

    If you cant get it funded with all those advantages how can you ever get it funded?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Are you supposed to fund entire megaprojects taking decades all at once? That’s news to me.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART was funded at its inception and deployment. And PBCAHSR so resembles BechtelBART, even the signature gratuitous errors. PB cannot do broad gauge so it goes to Palmdale on a fatuous detour.

    Joe Reply:

    Dear Troll
    No large project has all the funding lined upfront.
    Not the F35 fighter, not the US highway system, CA water project and etc.

    All projects require multiple year recommitments of funding.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Great. Where is the commitment? Not the re-commitment, I mean the original commitment?

    With cap and trade in its current state they cant sell a revenue bond. Which means that they dont have enough money for IOS North much less phase 1.

    They dont even have enough to run from SF to Bakerfield. They are running from SJ to a concrete pad in a field. And that assumes they get money that now looks to be unreliable at best.

    You guys have champagne dreams, but a tap water budget.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The money will come when it is needed. Nobody can just abandon a shiny project with trains running at 220 miles an hour. And trust me, if Brown needs to, he’ll personally sit in a test train during his lame duck period to generate political pressure.

    Joe Reply:

    Dear Troll
    Merced confuses you because your toomlocked into prop1A

    Prop1a requires reporting and construction of useable segments. Merced stop is an artifact of the prop1a.

    They have to build and report construction this silly way to meet prop1a requirements. It’s a 9B bond act. We’ll be done with all the prop1a lawsuit and design bullshit when 18B total is spent.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Merced is also a remnant of the IOS originally being Burbank to Merced, not San Jose to Bakersfield. They were pretty loud about loosing their stop.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes.
    Merced’s state reps strongly support HSR so the system is moved north to service that area and allow transfers to Amtrak and eventually ACE to San Jose via Altamont until Pacheco is built.

    The expansion to Merced area comes at the expense of the southern expansion into Bakersfield.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Which is stupid. Bako>Merced.

    joe Reply:

    Not stupid is Bako-Merced Sacramento | San Jose

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    priorities should be:

    SJ-Fresno
    SF-Fresno
    SF-Bakersfield
    SF-Palmdale (maybe, depending on Vegas HSR)
    SF-Burbank
    SF-LA
    SF-Anaheim
    Las Vegas
    SF-Anaheim plus Merced
    SF-Anaheim plus Merced-Sacramento
    San Diego
    Phoenix
    Tucson

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well Phoenix and Tucson may come when they come. Right now It’s all about SFO-San Jose-LAX. Via the Central Valley, of course.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Sure. My point is that serving Merced is not that important.

    les Reply:

    115 miles every 8 years; 8 years is enough to transition two administrations, pass another bond, add 6 million potential riders to the state, accumulate enough C&T for another 100 miles and etc, etc. Such shortsightedness. What’s the panic, the EIRs are not even completed and CP4 has no construction going on yet.

    Jerry Reply:

    No panic.
    It’s just that we can do better.

    les Reply:

    yes, but it’s far from being dead. Sure it will never match the pace of Chinease construction but at least we don’t have Jeff Denham running the show.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or some Nachtigall singing a song of doom oh so unlike a sweet songbird…

    Joe Reply:

    NYC took decades to extend a subway line. We’re not that slow.

    Joe Reply:

    Wikipedia
    The proposed full line [Second avenue subway] would be 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long with 16 stations and a projected daily ridership of 560,000, costing more than $17 billion

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The southern section is flawed. It should try to take traffic from the outer boroughs to reduce interlining on other lines. Its unfortunate how difficult it would be, however, to connect PATH WTC to the 2nd Avenue subway. That would have been ideal. (Actually PATH-Lex would have been, but that’s another issue.)

    zorro Reply:

    If you’re talking about HSR in California, that should be 119 miles, but you’re forgiven.

    Another Bond, that would be good, it just needs to be much bigger than $9.95 Billion, which should be like $100 Billion, should be enough for Phase 1 of HSR Construction, and maybe that would be enough to start on Phase 2 of HSR in CA, or maybe even enough to build both Phases…

    Jerry Reply:

    Hey, every mile counts.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    nope (but thanks for forgiving me)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail

    This system will be built in two phases. Phase 1 will be about 520 miles (840 km) long, and is planned to be completed in 2029, connecting the downtowns of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Anaheim using high-speed rail through the Central Valley

    You are thinking IOS North, I used the 64 billion that is the estimate for all of phase 1. So apples to apples

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Speaking of Phase 2, I don’t think it is discussed enough. The southern section to San Diego has serious flaws.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    After IOS North is running, Californians will vote an additional $15B which together with Cap & Trade, private funds, and future fed contribution should finish much or all of Phase 1

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    We hope.

    Joe Reply:

    HSR trolls misunderstand funding and Prop1A.

    Once Prop1A money is issued, the bond requirements end. No more lawsuits over “useable segment”. No “identfiy all funding” and 220 mph design and segment time requirements.

    It’s just another project.

    9B in prop1A so it’s 18B of the 64B when including matching funds.

    synonymouse Reply:

    $250 for the perennial operating subsidy of a commute op?

    Joe Reply:

    Rulz of civilization learned by sim-gaming.

    You can switch your sim-city from trains to cars but once you use cars you can’t build more train track.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Which is why every city I built in Sim-city was 100% trains. Low pollution, low noise, better enjoyment and easier to manage in the late game, but most important, the capacity was almost unlimited. It always stretched the budget in the beginning, but using roads was always a sucker bet in that game. In late game you can build enough roads for the needed capacity and traffic jams kill your happiness.

    If only this was a video game, but it isn’t

    Jerry Reply:

    Video games. Twitter games.
    Can’t drain that swamp without an EIR report.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well trains do have lower pollution and higher capacity in the real world.

    However, Sim City sucks at mixed zoning. Probably because mixed zoning would be too easy as it is both cheaper and reduces traffic problems (if everyone has most of their work and shopping nearby, why would they need a car or metro on a daily basis?)

    Joe Reply:

    SimCity is to HSR Construction as Lesiure Suit Larry is to Dating.

    Jerry Reply:

    Is that Lounge Lizard still around?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Fred Frailey from Trains magazine has a good take on the current situation with passenger rail plans here in the USA. This country does need better leadership. And Mr. Frailey makes a good point on how Obama and his DOT failed to take advantage of the money released by the federal government back in 2010. Maybe Trump will be able to rally the government to fund various passenger rail projects across the country. I hope he is right.

    http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/fred-frailey/archive/2017/01/03/who-will-be-our-next-ike.aspx

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks Brian.
    A good comment on a good blog.
    ” Our 48,000 miles of interstate highways constitute the crown jewel of this nation’s infrastructure, bigger in their impact on our lives than even our world-class freight railroads. Without the interstate network, created by act of Congress six decades ago this June, our economy would today be a fraction of its present size. But I am tired of hearing arguments that say if we can build an interstate highway network, high-speed passenger rail is a no-brainer. Or that if high-speed trains can exist in Spain and Italy—Italy of all places!!! Its economy has been frozen in place for what seems like centuries!—there is no excuse for such trains not sprouting in the United States of America.”

    Danny Reply:

    point by point:
    We absolutely WILL pour all the tax dollars we want into maintaining and even expanding infrastructure, for the reason that we’ve let ourselves pretend that roads and airports aren’t “government spending”: that’s reserved for “untried” “megaprojects” like what Japan’s had for almost 60 years. Chicago-School minarchist fantasies couldn’t even work under Pinochet, so that economic theory can only sustain itself by hiding costs and disguising taxes (and well-paid economics chairs at universities).
    Amtrak’s biggest attackers are in fact its biggest constituency: the Senators from the South, Midwest, and West. They want fast, frequent, quality service and they want the NEC to pay for it without complaining. They want the Pioneer and Desert Wind and Black Hawk and Caprock Chief, and they want to take credit for it all to boot. They represent the most subsidized states/districts, which is precisely why they have to attack “welfare” so much, to head off the populists and Republicans with less neoliberal economics. Trump frankly told these voters that they were on the dole and they loved him for it.
    So how do we make a truly bipartisan plan? “Bipartisan” conventionally means “halfway between two intransigent parties on a single line.” Midway between Warren and Cruz you have Manchin and Rubio. Hardly paladins of transit! The two parties and the areas they represent have needs that can be served by rail. People are divided, but not on all issues and not uniformly (no matter what Krugman and David Brooks insist).
    He mentions CT and CA as “struggling” to finance CAHSR and BosWash but blocked by WY, KY, or KS’s opposition to Federal spending (note, too, that all the states he lists get more from Washington than they give in Federal taxes: that’s not a coincidence). Many HSR corridors on my map are indeed between (what are now) blue states—CA, OR-BC, CO, NYC to Toronto and Montreal, the NEC—all areas where the Dems have retreated/shriveled to. But terrific HSR prospects include FL, TX-OK, AZ, Charlotte-Washington, Atlanta, and the entire Midwest from Philly to Lincoln and Topeka. It’s low-carbon AND blue-collar (and it’s high-tech and little old ladies can ride it and so on).
    As above, the red/taker states or however you want to damn them LOVE Amtrak and nakedly rely on it. VA, NC, and GA are making their own rail-service plans for the reason that passenger rail is essential—not just for any specific purpose like commuting or taking the burden off the airlines, but because Wilmington and Asheville need to be connected to Charlotte and Raleigh, because Atlanta simply needs to be able to work with Augusta and Savannah and Birmingham and Macon and Columbus. Anything less is a disservice, sheer active neglect. Alon Levy aside, the country was literally built up around rail, and the placement of cities in the South and West distinctly follows the tracks: tarmacked access roads and state and interstate highways came decades later. Passenger rail neatly fits their urban geographies. HSR would thus neatly merge with Amtrak service—one provides operating profits, the other has needs for track upgrades and labor costs: daily service and good turnaround management keeps the losses down.
    “Car culture” happened not because people suddenly needed to go camping but because of the tremendous domestic boom after the war, including making capital equipment for Western Europe. It was the billions poured into urban highways and airports that destroyed passenger rail as a physically-existing infrastructure.
    Obama/the Dems definitely kept their powder dry and never used it. But what had happened was that they became a nice fuzzy party for yuppies who need fat investments and thus lost all referents to reality other than their lackeys. The Dems lost 2010 not because of gerrymandering or the Tea Party or even Wasserman-Schultz, but because they were not permitted to fight for things better than what had been passed 2009-10. They didn’t defend the Liz Fowler-written ACA by promising to put everyone on popular and economical Medicare, but told critics to shut up or they’ll make the party look bad. The ARRA was half tax breaks and it’s hard to trumpet that you saved us from the Second Great DepressionTM when everyone’s income’s flat for 8 years—and especially when you’re raising money from 2007’s criminals by telling them you’re “the only thing between you and the pitchforks” and letting Citi pick your whole Cabinet. And then Bowles-Simpson. Oy. Rahm returned to ruin Chicago and with it went Obama’s mojo, and the Dems spent the next 5 years complaining impotently about the other party. There was nothing to defend except whatever the party honchos decreed from on high, no vision other than circling the wagons around an empty center. That’s left them with zero branches of government and a demagogue who intends to make the GOP a permanent majority party and somewhat of a big tent.
    I do like “upstater’s” comment

    keithsaggers Reply:

    President-elect Donald Trump, who has lamented that it’s sad that trains in China run up to 300 miles per hour while “we have trains that go chug, chug, chug,” has pledged to deliver a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to Congress within his first 100 days in office.

  10. Roland
    Jan 3rd, 2017 at 21:07
    #10
  11. Roland
    Jan 4th, 2017 at 08:00
    #11
  12. Jerry
    Jan 4th, 2017 at 12:34
    #12

    California to raise auto registration fee in April by $10.
    To pay for HSR? No.
    To pay for public transportation? No.
    To pay for expenses of running DMV? No.
    It will be used to help pay for the pensions of state employees.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Gawd.

    Jerry Reply:

    Make that, ‘Yee Gawds.”

    Wells Reply:

    Okay then, how bout this: Organize a STATES RIGHTS issue on how pension funds are deserved but the funds for over-priced health care, $5000-$10,000 ambulance rides, regular check up and senior assistance living costs are through the roof, etc. By States Rights you’d hunt up some new conservative demograph who believe in rail, thus a bi-partisan effort to address funding. HRT will save lives. No doubt about it. =HRT==WILL==SAVE==LIVES=
    And consider reaching Merced in the 1 Phase.
    Go past Madera. Definitely, ddefinitely, dddefinitely.

  13. Roland
    Jan 4th, 2017 at 15:08
    #13

    Breaking News!!!:
    The authority figures that, no matter what happens, cap-and-trade will probably provide a couple billion dollars in revenue, leaving a shortfall of about $7 billion for the segment of rail linking the Central Valley and the Bay Area.

    There’s no immediate single source of funding that could be used to close that gap, according to Richard. Instead, he said, doing so would likely involve a “series of 20 percent solutions.”

    One possibility Richard described centers on deals with local governments that see property values and tax revenues boosted by the arrival of high-speed rail service.

    “There are a number of mechanisms that we’re looking at,” he said, “that would essentially involve cooperative agreements with local communities so that as property values, property taxes and so forth went up—sales taxes, receipts, things like that—we could share in them.”
    http://www.routefifty.com/2016/12/california-cap-and-trade-bullet-train-funding/134151/

    Jerry Reply:

    For example. Five Thousand (5,000) jobs in Menlo Park.
    Increased income for Menlo Park could help pay for at grade crossings improvements.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Where are they going to secure the money for the operating subsidy?

  14. Wells
    Jan 4th, 2017 at 16:08
    #14

    Newsflash! – Get to Merced instead?
    Oh no, that would make too much sense.
    Guy gets into the Autonomous called 5mins ago, says “Take me to Jack in the Box up the street.”
    Robocar answers, “No. Every time you eat in the car, ME, the greasy wrappers and, my god, ‘unfinished’ drink cups get tossed in the back. You’ve violated the lease terms. Expect a dirty replacement truck in 15 minutes; friend of mine, digs dirt for what you’d call a living, if you ever did a decent day’s work. Does the same thing. Be careful a mountain of trash doesn’t bury you. Ta Tah!”

    Jerry Reply:

    Instead?
    I thought it was going to Merced.

    Wells Reply:

    Only to Madera, the junction could HSR leaders propose would NOT better to Merced, of course.
    The question then is why not Madera? Please, you guys, get your act together, for gods sake…
    Isn’t Merced an education hub? Of course, Merced sooner than Gilroy’s now then forsaken calm quiet evenings uninterrupted at frequent intervals of noisome squealing, boboboys and trip sisters from here to nowhere over there, there was something else worth mentioning, except you know, cars.
    MISTER Trump and cohorts will fail. I’m thinking bi-partisan States Rights argument – Federal tax deferment class action civil suit. Of course, and however by which elements are reduced,
    and so forth and so on.

    Wells Reply:

    Pardome, allow me to edit that down a bit later,eh?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Please do. Goodnight.

    Wells Reply:

    MISTER Trump and his cohorts will rob the treasury,
    as did Bush Jr his first year. =Get to Merced instead= the better interim and build to eventual, if not first working HSR system. Getting to Modesto too almost as effective and first runs. Why tear up nature first? Who are these rail planners. Any of you know anyone at CAHSR regularly? Altamont needs it. duh.

    A bi-partisan States Rights argument:
    Federal tax deferment class action civil suit
    that adheres to State Constitutions.
    A way bring conservative rail supporters in this field,
    where a State’s citizenry can call shots on what gets built and what not to build.
    Basicly, the idea needs a lawyer’ finesse.
    Just thinking out loud.
    Definitely, ddefinitely, dddefinitively.

    zorro Reply:

    Altamont is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD… It’s Pacheco Pass, the UPRR owns Altamont, and has said NO to HSR on it’s territory, it’s land, aka ROW, which is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. So no planning has been, nor will any be done for stupid Altamont, and it never will ever happen, so drop it…

    Wells Reply:

    Zorro, respectfully I disagree. Your aim is totally off.
    Altamont has more than 2x the potential of Gilroy and
    the new Gilroy football stadium, home of the Gilroy Go-rillas.
    Like Go-real-as-us Go-rillas! Like homey joe bro, yo!
    A person borrowing a ‘Z’ name, Zeus, Zapata, Zypher,
    (zephyr, a fast retro streamlined circa 30’s-50’s passenger traincar)
    zorro, (lower case z), your days are numbered as an advocate.
    Zorro, the zorro spirit lives on. CAHSR is doing well enough to continue support.
    Long-term, Altamont is easier and actually more productive,
    should you ever care, zorro, to check your statistics graphs and plus-minus charts.
    Talgo XXI, yo baby gonna R I D E the one TALGO trainset, yokel.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Gilroy Station serves about 500K people. A Livermore Station serves about 500K people. They’re the same, though Gilroy (because of Monterey/Santa Cruz) has more tourist potential. The real difference is between a Fremont/Union City area station and a Dirdon Station. Dirdon>Fremont/Union City. Therefore, Pacheco>Altamont.

    zorro Reply:

    And if My kidneys are not operated on, I could die, and I’d rather not yet, since I have a solid mass in each kidney, smaller in the left, larger more painful in the right, it’s either a cyst, a tumor, or renal cancer(the ER said worrisome for cancer), My Doctor is trying to get an MRI scan for Me, and a biopsy, right now I’m taking tylenol to keep My temp and pain down, I had to travel to the ER recently, though when I was almost there I had to stop and get out on the fwy shoulder, I was in enough pain to double Me over, I also felt like throwing up. The masses were shown in first an ultra sound, as they were just a minor annoyance, though painful when peeing, then in the ER in a CT scan, the pain was so bad that I was shouting, and I don’t like shouting or screaming.

    Have fun, I’m not…

    Woody Reply:

    Sorry to hear of your ordeal.
    Not to seem flippant, but …Get Well Soon.

    zorro Reply:

    Thanks.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes. I’m sincerely sorry you’re having such problems. I hope that you feel better and that you don’t have cancer.

    zorro Reply:

    Also Gilroy wants HSR, I don’t think Altamont is the correct route, it would cost more money to double back to go to Gilroy, Pacheco would cost nothing extra, and Pacheco is less expensive, trees and such don’t have lawyers. Whereas Gilroy does…

    Joe Reply:

    Gilroy still wants HSR and the current budget with all funds identified for phase one is too small to build over Altamont and reach SF.

    A phase one from CV to San Jose is unacceptable.

    We are now locked into Pacheco and Caltrain blended to SF. Prop1a restrictions and need to find all funds under prop1a have baked in Pacheco.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I wonder if it was a mistake to fund construction south of Fresno, instead of trying to get SF to Fresno as Phase 1. Of course, I would have preferred IOS South, but that isn’t realistic.

    Wells Reply:

    Car(e)-free doesn’t wonder construction further past Fresno?
    Newsflash! From Bakersfield, LA + LV are shorter distance bus runs.
    Of course, Bakersfield is a fine terminus, especially further to Merced, Modesto.
    That basic passenger-rail service is better than Gilroy wild fields soon to sprout hillside views on roads raked across the landscape of wildlife that once thrived before the car arrived. Peace out.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Obviously I get that Bakersfield is better than Fresno, but I think a SF-Fresno phase 1 is better than a San Jose to (almost) Bakersfield phate 1. Postpone Bakersfield until later.

    Joe Reply:

    Getting nesr Bakersfield adds ridership and can entice congress (a F U to McCarthy and cough up some
    Money) to bring the extension into town. They also can pull riders from Merced.

    The plan today meets the HSR needs as constrained. It shows a path forward and can be modified.

    Wells is nuts.

    Roland Reply:

    “The current budget with all funds identified for phase one is too small to build over Altamont and reach SF”. Right again. !00% perfect score!!! http://www.routefifty.com/2016/12/california-cap-and-trade-bullet-train-funding/134151/

    Roland Reply:

    @car(e)-free LA. Bako clearly needs two Amtrak buses. One to LA and another one to La Gare des Amandes.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is an even better idea: let’s blow all the Prop1A money on useless crap first so that we can forget about Gilroy altogether.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Cynical much?

    Joe Reply:

    Living rent free in Roland’s head. Lots of space here. Many toilets too.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Are they electrified toilets though? Is this the case even when he is in Blossom Hill?

    Joe Reply:

    Merced for all intentions and purposes will be reached.
    Madera is just a placeholder for 2016.

    Prop1a requires HSR show a plan for phase 1 and all money so it’s Madera in the 2016 plan which is good for two years and has to be reworked in 2018.

    This 2016 plan is just that – a plan.

    After all 9B of prop1a and 9B of prop1a matching funds are spent the entire prop1a theater ends.
    CA will build to Merced. No “useable segment” and “show me the money” requirements and no prop1a lawsuits.

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G… So we need to find $7B to connect to Gilroy?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    ok just so I dont misunderstand let me repeat back what you are asserting

    Once the bond money for prop 1a runs out, all of the restrictions and requirements are no longer enforceable and the CAHSR authority can do whatever they like with no repercussions.

    Is that what you are saying?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Once all the bond money is spent what remedy is there? You love to quote chapter and verse, I’m sure you know which one to cite.

    Joe Reply:

    The requirement to identify all HSR funding for a useable segment and no subsidy … blah blah ends when CA spends the last of prop1a money – 18B into the project.

    So the state simply has to show funding until they spend the 18B – sometime before phase 1 finishes.

    This explains why CA HSR supporters in the legislature don’t have find all $64B.

    joe Reply:

    Once the bond money for prop 1a runs out, all of the restrictions and requirements are no longer enforceable and the CAHSR authority can do whatever they like with no repercussions.

    No, Mr. Troll. The Authority will follow the same laws every other large public construction project follows in CA.

    The provisions of the Bond Act define what is needed to access Bond Money.
    When the funding is exhausted, that will be 18B into this project, the bond act requirements are meaningless.

    You remind us CA lack’s all the money so har-har.

    You can laugh at the end of Prop1a Bonds and the intricate dance needed to access those monies.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    thats what I said. Your assertion is that once the money is spent, there are no restrictions. The time requirements, the “no building without the moneyu” requirements, all that is not required.

    So what I dont understand is why they put them in at all. Since 9 Billion was never enough to build a whole system, why put in system level requirements if after the money is spent there is no need to follow the rules.

    I can only think of 2 answers

    1. They did it to lie to people to get them to vote for the law
    2. You interpretation is not correct and they have to follow the restrictions even after the money is spent.

    Can you think of another reason?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    3. When the measure passed, the projected cost was immaculate, so they didn’t account for other money sources and imposed no restrictions on them.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so the part built with the 9 Billion does have the restriction? Because that is not what Joe is saying. he is saying after it is spent there are no rescritions on any of it?

    Which is it?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    9 Billion does have the restriction, everything after doesn’t

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It must comply with the Prop 1A law while it is being spent. After that, the authority can do whatever. Obviously, after it is spent, then it has been spent and can’t be spent more, and while it was spent it had to follow the law.

    Joe Reply:

    Clarification: prop1a is 9 billion but requires equal matching funds. The total money impacted by prop1a requirements is 18 billion when counting the matching funds. So when the 9 billion of prop1a ends the requirements to access prop1a are meaningless.

    The project will have had 18b of work completed.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That makes no sense. Since the 9 or 18 billion was never enough to build a system why would you ever include system level requirements like no subsidy or LA to SF travel time.

    Your interpretation would mean that all those requirements were never enforceable.

    For example, when they buy a train with that initial 18 billion, and they are, does that train have to meet the 30 min SF to SJ requirement, but not the train bought in 20 years?

    Your position lacks any logic

    And joe, continuing to personally attack me just makes you look bad. I have never made this personal

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I would assume that would apply to segments built with Prop 1A money. For instance, trains operating over San Jose to Kings/Tulare would have to be profitable, but they wouldn’t necessarily need to be from Bakersfield to Palmdale. If Prop 1A money is spent on the peninsula, it has to make it operationally possible to do Transbay-Dirdon in 30 minutes (or make that possible in the future if it is only 4th and King to Dirdonm, for example.)

    Joe Reply:

    Sorry if facts don’t make sense to the troll.

    All bond act requirements are requirements for a HSR project to access bond funds — it is enforceable by denying funds. HSR meets these requirements and has a plan to set them in the future so it qualifies for money.

    Prop1a is a bond act- it authorizes the issuance of bonds to build HSR. Failure to comply means no access to funds.

    You want more Proof ?!!

    Environmentalists opposed Pacheco because the prop1a ban on a Los Banos station would not be enforceable after the bond funds are issued. The state ca choose to add a station at a later date.

    It is also fraudulent for CA HSR to plan to violate the bond act. They have to act in good faith. They are and have phase 1 plan defined as required.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes, you are a troll and makeup conflict.
    No one advancing prop1a bond act lied mr troll.

    The preliminary bond act never promised it would be enough to build a completed system.

    The bond act creates a bond with stipulations on how it can be accessed and spent. Desperate litigate gangs know they can’t sit back and wait for a violation. They know once the bond money is committed its game over forever.

    Jerry Reply:

    Wasn’t the operative word, “initiate”?

    Joe Reply:

    Yes.

    Prop1a kicks off HSR construction with provisions to assure the state has a good start. Start only.

    These provisions are overly restrictive and things became complicated due to federal funding deadlines and lame attempts to kill the project with legal delays.

    Jerry Reply:

    Are HSR stations going to be tax free?
    If so, is that a subsidy?
    Can Prop 1a funds be used to build stations.
    Hey. We live in a society in which PBS has to beg for money.
    Remember, Newt tried to kill Big Bird.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Best to make HSR stations churches. We can all get ordained. Make operating trains part of the liturgy.

    Jerry Reply:

    Great idea.
    All the money for train tickets could be considered donations.
    And the government wouldn’t know what was being done with the money.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    All train tickets would be federal tax deductible. If the bastards won’t give us the money we’ll claw it back another way. There has to be a way we can securitize the anticipated cash flow to build it. We’re on to something here!

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    All hail the heavenly bullet train, and the saints of electrification and viaducts, lest we be sent to the parking lot of hell. LOL.

    StevieB Reply:

    @Paul Dyson
    Itimized Deductions are a subsidy for the wealthy. 30.1 percent of households chose to itemize their deductions. Only 6.0 percent of tax returns with under $25,000 in income chose to itemize deductions in 2013. On the flip side, 93.5 percent of tax returns with over $200,000 in income were itemizers. Itemized deductions are an area of the tax code that benefits the wealthy so much that many tax reform proposals have sought to eliminate them completely.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Frankly, I would accept a flat tax if it meant the end of all loopholes. Our tax code is just too complicated. My ideal world would be progressive income tax–no deductions or loopholes EVER, but that probably won’t happen.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Johnny Cash Cathedral with the main hymn of, This Train is Bound for Glory.
    The Merle Haggard Heavenly House of Bakersfield will guarantee the train’s arrival there.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    StevieB, don’t take everything seriously, you age prematurely.

    Peter Reply:

    Madera makes sense as a temporary station until HSR extends to Sacramento because the Merced Amtrak station is on the other side of town from the proposed HSR station (similar to how the Fresno Amtrak station is 10+ blocks from the proposed HSR station). Anyone coming from Sacramento would transfer in Madera.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Perhaps that’s a reason to switch Amtrak to the Bako-Visalia-Fresno HSR-Madera Downtown route, then.

    Jerry Reply:

    That’s probably what will happen.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I hope so. It serves a bigger population and serves areas (Visalia) further from the HSR route.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Also it allows a connection to Bako F Street HSR

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s not going to anything to connect to in Bakersfield except buses. And taxis and the kiss-n-ride and car and bike rentals in whatever form they take in 2029.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    In the future, HSR passengers from SoCal might connect there to get to Visalia/Tulare (projected CSA population: 1 million)

    datacruncher Reply:

    The San Joaquin Valley Railroad has a connecting track in downtown Fresno between the BNSF and UP lines. The connecting line is just south of the current Fresno Amtrak Station and loops west to end 1 block south of the HSR station site. I have thought in the past that routing the San Joaquins onto that and terminating near the HSR station made more sense than a transfer platform outside Madera.

    The SJVR connection I’m talking about can be seen in downtown Fresno by clicking “View interactive map” then zooming in on the map here:
    https://www.gwrr.com/railroads/north_america/san_joaquin_valley_railroad#m_tab-one-panel

    Jerry Reply:

    Excellent map. Great link.
    On the link you can find maps for any railroad in the USA.
    Thank you datacruncher.

  15. synonymouse
    Jan 5th, 2017 at 19:39
    #15

    http://nextshark.com/high-speed-train-china-airpocalypse/

    What you can expect here with Jerry’s 200 million souls.

  16. Reality Check
    Jan 5th, 2017 at 19:55
    #16

    UP OKs Caltrain electrification; plans to open bids for Peninsula freight service

    At Caltrain’s board meeting today, staff announced a major deal with freight operator Union Pacific to accept electrification, and for Caltrain to take over intercity and freight rights for the SF-SJ corridor.

    The national freight carrier’s approval was needed for electrification and the blended system with High Speed Rail to move forward — the deal removes a potential barrier.

    Opening the freight service on the Peninsula to bidding by third party, short-haul freight operator has major potential benefits for costly improvements on the corridor, including grade separations and track changes to support faster high-speed rail service. A short-haul operator could conceivably run equipment that could tolerate slightly higher grades and tighter curves, which could dramatically reduce the cost of these expensive capital projects.

    […]

    Jerry Reply:

    The link doesn’t seem to connect to anything.

    Eric M Reply:

    Here you go

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Anyone want to invest in a bi-mode freight locomotive? Don’t confuse Roland.

    Roland Reply:

    Are you the bloke that invented the iep powerpack driveshaft?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    No, just vacuum cleaners with more thuction….

    Roland Reply:

    “At Caltrain’s board meeting today, staff announced a major deal with freight operator Union Pacific to accept electrification, and for Caltrain to take over intercity and freight rights for the SF-SJ corridor.”
    Quote required.

    Joe Reply:

    Edward Reply:

    :-)

  17. Roland
    Jan 6th, 2017 at 01:18
    #17

    https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/01/05/caltrain-ridership-drops-after-72-straight-months-of-increases/

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    So what is causing the drop in ridership?

    Overcrowding?
    Inadequate service?
    Service disruptions?
    High fares? (Revenue is up.)
    Lower gas prices?
    Is it just a trend?

    Article mentions BART ridership is also down, BART also suffers from overcrowding and service disruptions. And BART has also had fare increases, i.e. inflation based small fare increases every two years.

    Roland Reply:

    All of the above and it’s only going to get better after we blow $2.5B replacing the entire fleet with 200 fewer seats and 80% fewer toilets per train. Par-Tay, J-O-B-S and F-U-C-K Silicon Valley and its rich kids!!!

    Joey Reply:

    I think the conclusion is that all of the seats should be toilets.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    All the seats on BART are toilets.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Cynical much?

    Roland Reply:

    Fact, not fiction.
    Caltrain’s LTK-designed vinyl seats are designed to handle any toilet overflow.

    Joe Reply:

    1. Over-crowding

    Roland Reply:

    Overcrowding can be easily fixed by tossing all passengers, seats, bikes, toilets, wheelchairs and strollers out of the window.

    Joey Reply:

    Semi-seriously, try keeping just the passengers.

    Joe Reply:

    Or running more trains per hour because new trains have better performance. This complex math exceeds Roland’s capacity.

    Roland Reply:

    5 trains x 762 seats (3,810 seats) – 6 trains x 573 seats (3,438 seats) = 372 seats lost

    Roland Reply:

    Oh and BTW, the 5 x 762 seat trains/hour are running @ 125% capacity so the actual CURRENT demand is 4,763 seats/hour/direction during peak but the CalficKISSentrains will be 1,325 seats/hour short of CURRENT demand (2,650 seats/hour in both directions).

    So, how do we make up for this SamTrans-engineered capacity crisis? Additional freeway lanes on 280 and 101 or single transit-dedicated lanes each supporting a minimum of 22 additional packed shuttles an hour?

    Roland Reply:

    2012 capacity analysis:
    6 trains x 948 seats (5,688 seats) – 6 trains x 573 seats (3,438 seats) = 2,250 seats lost
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Documents/Final-Caltrain-California+HSR+Blended+Operations+Analysis.pdf (page 38).

    Roland Reply:

    Paging the SamTrans retards: http://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2017/01/06/paralympian-train-toilet-accident-cnni.cnni

    Roland Reply:

    When I die I want @Caltrain workers to put me into my grave so they can let me down 1 more time. @GoCaltrain: https://twitter.com/Caltrain/status/816684346107039744

    Roland Reply:

    “Caltrain” response: “The burnsmanship is quality, tho” and, no, I am NOT making that one up either:
    https://twitter.com/Caltrain/status/816684346107039744

  18. Eric M
    Jan 6th, 2017 at 10:34
    #18

    Anyone else notice when you Google “California High Speed Rail” or “California High Speed Rail Authority”, Google no longer lists the Authority’s main website? Yet it does come up with Yahoo and MSN

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I checked it out just now, you are correct it does not list the top page, links 4 and 5 are sub-pages of the site.

    I can confirm that “CAHSR” the top page was link 2 because that is how I always got to it and that is not longer working also

    Google is always changing the criteria in its algorithm, must have changed it again.

    Jerry Reply:

    Wonder why?

    randyw Reply:

    The higher listed sites seem to be ones that are updated more often.

    Joe Reply:

    Google search Rankings are individually customized.
    Try duckduckgo.com

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s amazing how many people don’t know that.

    Startpage is another service that claims to offer you the “neutral” google results (duckduckgo has its own results)

    Jerry Reply:

    Obviously the Russians did it.

    Jerry Reply:

    Or some 15 year old kid.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Or a 400 pound hacker sitting on their bed.

    Roland Reply:

    Did you try PBRRA?

    Joe Reply:

    Poverty Bay Rugby Referees Association.

    Roland Reply:

    Bingo!!!

  19. Roland
    Jan 6th, 2017 at 13:07
    #19

    http://www.theconstructionindex.com/news/view/dot-commits-15bn-to-la-metro-extension

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yay! This really is wonderful news.

    Roland Reply:

    Subject to 30-day congressional review.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/1yaxFJw4fHI?t=366

  20. StevieB
    Jan 6th, 2017 at 16:49
    #20

    Cedar Viaduct: 2016 Year in Pictures
    These viaduct do not go up overnight. A small look at where the money has been spent.

    Joe Reply:

    Today is the two year anniversary from the Construction kickoff event with Gov Brown.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Wow. I still remember where I was when that happened. It doesn’t seem that long ago.

    Wells Reply:

    I still remember my first Inaugural ceremony, Sept 1998, Hillsboro, last speech Al Gore, after 11:am,
    Four other speakers preceded Al Gore’s opening day ceremony. The joke was me and my rail nerd friend were late at the moment the other speakers were finished, just in time to hear Al Gore; no extra time wasted listening to politicians speaking. Westside MAX has proven its worth. Al Gore was right to be there.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    IMHO, Westside MAX is still Trimet’s best project, but a big part of that is just the topography of the West Hills.

  21. Roland
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 10:30
    #21

    “This week, the board approved a contract with a company called moovel North America to spend up to $643,733 to develop the base app along with upgraded features, and for two years of service. It also includes options for three one-year extensions totaling $885,000. The app company will also receive a tiered commission rate of 6.5 percent to 4.2 percent based on ticket revenue, according to Caltrain”
    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2017-01-06/caltrain-heads-to-your-phone-transit-agency-to-develop-app/1776425173885.html

    Clem Reply:

    Wow, a contract for something useful that is worth only six figures. How unusual for Caltrain!

    Roland Reply:

    No need to purchase tickets until a conductor shows up and yells “tickets please”-> packed bullet passengers travel for free. G-E-N-I-U-S!!!!

    Clem Reply:

    That’s a good point, how does mobile ticketing work within the rules of proof-of-payment? Does the app record where and when you paid before getting on the train? I’m sure there are easy ways to make it work, but I’d like to hear more about what they actually are.

    Michael Reply:

    MUNI’s using the same company for their mobile ticketing. Right now, for the MUNI, it only seems to work for individual tickets.

    http://www.moovel-transit.com

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Germany is currently in the process of implementing electronic ticketing (via app and / or smartcard) on more and more systems and the feds say they want it available nationwide in the foreseeable future. Germany has been operating on proof of payment for decades. There are several quite easy ways to implement them, not all of them data security nightmares…

    Roland Reply:

    “The region has expressed an interest in procuring a transit fare-payment system reflective of its innovative culture and able to adapt to a changing technological landscape. Developing a system concept grounded in this vision will allow for a C2 system able to utilize the current technological choices of the customer (e.g., mobile apps) with an eye to help position the system to be more responsive to new solutions that may present themselves years after C2 has been implemented.”
    http://bids.mtc.ca.gov/download/1235

    Roland Reply:

    SamTrans transportation planning excellence at its best (and no, I am NOT making this up either!!!)

    “Proof of payment – IN! Fare gates – OUT! “It may seem counterintuitive, but so much time and money is wasted enforcing fares on public transit.”

    https://twitter.com/Caltrain/status/814635485054148608

  22. Roland
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 11:41
    #22

    “Although the above contributions totaled $210.4 million, the parties also agreed that $125 million originally included for PCEP in the 2012 MOU would be utilized for immediate state-of-good-repair
    projects (SOGR) to maintain existing Caltrain operations, increasing the budget gap from $524 million to $649 million.

    Caltrain is now seeking to close the funding gap with federal grant funding through the FTA’s Core Capacity Grant program. On September 14, 2016, Caltrain submitted a request for $649 million in FTA’s Core Capacity funds. Since then, Caltrain has been working with FTA to secure the approval and execution of a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA). In order to be awarded the FFGA, FTA notified Caltrain that it needed to provide an additional contingency equal to 10 percent of the project’s total budget of $1.98 billion (or approximately $200 million).

    This is in addition to the $316 million contingency currently included. FTA’s position was that the extra contingency was needed to ensure that any cost overruns or shortfalls in revenues could be covered without additional federal assistance.

    In response, VTA, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans)/San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA), and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) provided letters to FTA regarding each agency’s potential funding capacity for equivalent commitments of up to $50 million.

    On December 15, 2016, FTA informed Caltrain that an actual resolution committing these funds adopted by the governing boards for each of the funding partners would be required. The FTA is further requiring that the additional contingency funds committed by the partners be available to the PCEP without the need for further policy actions by their governing boards.

    In response to Caltrain’s application for grant funding for the PCEP project, the FTA is requiring the PCEP budget to include three types of contingency funding, as follows:
    1. Allocated contingency for each of the Standardized Cost Categories (SCC) that reflects the risk for particular activities, such as real estate acquisition and rail car procurement. ($154 million)
    2. Unallocated contingency based on FTA’s assessment of risk for the entire project. ($162 million)
    3. Cost Overrun contingency of 10%. ( $200 million)

    http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/bod_010517_packet.pdf (page 248)

    Roland Reply:

    SFCTA video: https://youtu.be/1yaxFJw4fHI

  23. Jerry
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 13:33
    #23

    Hyperloop One at CES.
    Possible Hyperloop connection between London and Edinburgh.

    The startup’s reasons for being at the Consumer Electronics show included collaborating with the self-driving car industry to make sure autonomous vehicles will inter-operate with the hyperloop system, loading themselves into pods to be whisked off to far-away destinations, according to Hyperloop One, VP Nick Earle.

    “A self-driving Uber would be able to go inside the hyperloop and come out the other side,” Earle said.

     https://www.yahoo.com/news/cities-vie-hop-super-speedy-hyperloop-rail-171056964.html

  24. Jerry
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 13:34
    #24

    Wonder why PTC companies weren’t at CES?

    Roland Reply:

    Could it be because Positive Train Control is not generally known as a Consumer Electronic?

    Jerry Reply:

    Is Hyperloop a Consumer Electronic item?

    Wells Reply:

    Jerry. Hyperloop is a ruse, a distraction,
    Of course hyperloop is nonsense.
    May you be blessed by its
    nuclear base disempowered.
    Bee, la, hewyah, empowered.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    PTC companies have to sell to people who know shit about railroading. Hype Loop has to sell to politicians and/or gullible gazillionaires…

    synonymouse Reply:

    But HypeLoop is only slightly more daft and poorly conceived than BRT on Geary, BART broad gauge or base tunnels to Palmdale.

  25. keithsaggers
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 14:55
    #25
  26. Domayv
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 15:19
    #26

    Looks like the Port Authority is moving forward with the Gateway Tunnel and related projects http://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2017/01/port-authority-moves-forward-with-capital-plan-delivering-27b-gateway-commitment-108502

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The Port Authority makes me proud to be a Californian. Metro, BART, and Caltrain may have their flaws, but at least the Port Authority isn’t involved.

    Roland Reply:

    Some of us wish the SamTrans pig wasn’t involved either.

  27. Wells
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 17:17
    #27

    The PATH extension was budgeted at $1.7 billion, but the precise funding for the LaGuardia work remained a bit murky. A presentation laying out the broad strokes of the plan grouped the LaGuardia project with redevelopment efforts at John F. Kennedy International Airport, saying the two would receive $2.5 billion. The general understanding, though, is that $1 billion of that would go to JFK, and the remainder to LaGuardia.
    Both the PATH extension and the airport projects are assumed to receive federal grant money totaling $1.2 billion.
    The two projects became the biggest point of contention during Thursday’s meeting after commissioner Ken Lipper, a New York appointee who has been harshly critical of those proposals, introduced an amendment to make that work contingent on further study into the costs. Saying his own calculation showed the chance for $100 million in annual operating loses, he said the train plans “are amongst the most ill conceived projects that I’ve experienced in government.”
    “I was told to vote for this — or asked to vote for this — because it’s part of a grand compromise,” Lipper said. “I don’t feel that good government means I’ll let you waste $2 billion of the public money in return for you letting me waste $2 billion of the public money.”
    But other board members — even those who said Lipper may have a point — voted against the amendment. Some agreed further study was needed, but said that didn’t need to occur now.
    The politics behind it all, however, left some agency observers questioning the way things are done. New Jersey lawmakers who spoke at the meeting said efforts to build “parity” into the capital plan — that is, divide the plan into New York project and New Jersey projects — was in direct contradiction the agency’s founding principles. The Port Authority was created to tackle regional needs, they noted.
    “We are beginning to sound a little bit like a Monopoly game,” Weinberg, the New Jersey Senate majority leader, said during the meeting. “You know — I’ll trade your one LaGuardia Airport for one bus terminal. It really is beginning to sound a little weird to the public, as well as to those of us who have been advocating.”

  28. Wells
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 17:22
    #28

    New York and New Jersey projects — were in direct contradiction to agency founding principles.
    Port authority was created to tackle regional needs. “We are beginning to sound a bit like Monopoly,” Weinberg, the New Jersey Senate majority leader said, “I’ll trade your one LaGuardia Airport for one bus terminal. 0

  29. Roland
    Jan 7th, 2017 at 19:34
    #29

    Nexus between HSR and greenhouse gases: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-38545649

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