Navigating a New State-Federal Relationship

Dec 6th, 2016 | Posted by

California is on an epic collision course with soon-to-be-president Donald Trump. Governor Jerry Brown, incoming AG Xavier Becerra, and the legislative leadership are determined to defend California’s people and values against the new regime in DC.

It remains to be seen what this means exactly for California’s high speed rail project. Federal funding now seems unlikely until at least the 2020s. At this point there is no basis for continuing to delay the inevitable – California needs to plan for HSR to be funded and built without any more federal financial contributions. Eventually we will see Trump and his party ejected from power, but that could take four to eight years. It’s time for California to focus on resilience and survival, and building HSR all by itself is part of that.

Before the CA-US conflict begins in earnest (a political conflict, to be clear), the federal government did offer something very helpful last week. The Federal Railroad Administration finally announced new regulations allowing operators to use trains designed to European safety standards:

The FRA expects the new rules will enable railroads to use trains that are safer, more energy efficient, and cheaper to operate. The rules will allow American passenger train operators to purchase rolling stock designed to European safety standards (but not Japanese standards), without going through an expensive waiver process….

It’s unknown why the new regulations spurned Japanese models, but Alon Levy, who blogs about transit issues at Pedestrian Observations, speculates that it’s because Japanese safety standards focus more on crash avoidance than “survivability” compared to European standards.

It remains to be see what this means for California HSR, but Siemens and Alstom clearly now have an advantage over Japan, at least in terms of trainsets.

  1. J. Wong
    Dec 6th, 2016 at 22:17
    #1

    California should offer to let Trump be the 1st to ride in exchange for Federal funds. How could he resist?

    AGTMADCAT Reply:

    Shit, call them Trump Trains if he’ll pay for them.

    Aarond Reply:

    Bundle it with a Trump Interstate Strategic Railways Investment Act.

    “making America great again” etc

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Trump can’t spend any money without the house republicans and as far as his make America great bully pulpit goes his supporters all despise California anyway

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    House Republicans have few things to gain from opposing Trump.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Trump was elected with support from a variety of people, many of whom do not like government spending. Its going to be tricky for house republicans, but their real constituents are big business, oil and insurance and they are not going to approve of many of trumps plans.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They love government spending. As long as the evil gubbermint is spending money on them. Like bribing Carrier to stay in Indiana.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    yeh that and defense spending to create jobs which is somehow magically not government spending to create jobs.

    joe Reply:

    And look who’s all warm and happy about government spending for 1billion plus a peice bombers?

    Why HSR critic Ralph Vartabedian!

    http://articles.latimes.com/1995-12-19/business/fi-15702_1_pico-rivera
    by RALPH VARTABEDIAN and PAUL H. JOHNSON

    Until recently, it appeared that Southern California was making a quick exit from the defense business, having lost half a dozen major plant complexes despite boasting of one of the largest and most highly trained labor forces in the country.

    But in the last two years, the region has reversed course and has held on to facilities that had appeared headed out of state or destined for a simple shuttering as federal funding dried up.

    “We feel really good,” said Ralph D. Crosby Jr., Northrop’s B-2 general manager. “At the human level, this is good news.”

    Jerry Reply:

    Good article from 1995.
    That’s how the game is played. By all states and political parties.

    Jerry Reply:

    Cities and states are willing to offer their 1st born for MLB or NFL franchises.

    William Reply:

    Just can’t help it :)
    Professor X (Xavier Becerra) will lead the mutant-kind (Californian?) to fight the unjust (Republican and/or Trump adminstration?)

    Aarond Reply:

    No, it’s gonna be Cena/Borden beating Trump in 2020.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Hopefully Gillibrand/Booker or Booker/Gillibrand.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What about Wendy Davis? She could bring Texas into play.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I would have laughed a year ago, but Texas was historically close this year, and with a Texan and a possibly disastrous trump administration, that could be surprisingly realistic. Trump’s base resides in declining places, and Texas is anything but that.

    There are also the Castro brothers, but I think they’re too inexperienced for the presidency. Of course, the same can be said for both Davis and obviously Trump himself.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Plus Davis could excite a lot of women because her stance for women’s rights is the primary reason people know her. And if this election has shown one thing than it is that exciting the base is more important than many people think.

    Jerry Reply:

    And build them at a new plant in Indiana.

    les Reply:

    Let his daughter build a Trump property near a station or two.

  2. Eric M
    Dec 6th, 2016 at 22:31
    #2

    Governor Jerry Brown, incoming AG Xavier Becerra, and the legislative leadership are determined to defend California’s people and values against the new regime in DC.

    You should have said: “and cities such as San Francisco are determined to defend illegal immigrants that are breaking our laws, and in-turn violating our federal laws”.

    StevieB Reply:

    How does your tangential observation relate to California High-Speed Rail?

    Eric M Reply:

    You need to read what I quoted and follow along

    StevieB Reply:

    There is nothing to follow as you did not make a comment relating to California High-Speed Rail.

    Eric M Reply:

    Do you need a safe place with some coloring crayons? Apparently you don’t understand, or didn’t read the part of Robert injecting his political view regarding the topic. So it pertains to the subject at hand, as politics and high speed rail are intertwined. smh

    StevieB Reply:

    In your mind California High-Speed Rail and Sanctuary Cities are the same but politics are more complicated than your simple logic can imagine.

    Eric M Reply:

    That’s a laughable response, showing you still don’t get it.

    StevieB Reply:

    Is it all part of a secret conspiracy?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why should some bastard in Washington get to decide who can live in San Francisco and who can not?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They don’t.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So the ICE coming in and rounding up people in San Francisco to deport them would be illegal?

    StevieB Reply:

    Approximately 5,000 officers in ICE cover 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. Sending them to San Francisco would stretch an already thin force even more.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or we could just have open borders….

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But what if Trump ratchets up the budget for the ICE (I don’t know, by selling illegal cocain to Iran or something, we have had the likes before) and hire not 5000 officers nationwide but 50 000 for California alone. And then operates under a “guilty until proven innocent” framework?

    Impossible?

    People said it’s impossible to round up all Japanese Americans, remember?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’ve already backed off building a wall. What makes you think they are going to want to pay for 50,000 citizens who will want high wages and benefits?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Where did you hear that they won’t build the wall?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    When he said it’s going to a fence. In a televised interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Which probably won’t get built either because the access road will cost too much.

    Jerry Reply:

    And how will the fed/state conflict on pot play out?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s a very good question. Who knows. In theory the Feds could shut it all down within months or even weeks. But there would be backlash. It seems that on issues like these we will be able to glean just how authoritarian the Trumpistas of 18 Brumaire really are.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    Yup, those illegals are the cause of all our country’s ills. If not for a small number of people performing menial labor for low wages (often illegally low), we’d have HSR already … right? That’s your point?

    Eric M Reply:

    We are a nation of laws, and if people get the idea that we do not enforce our laws, they will continue to break those and others.

    Bdawe Reply:

    If we’re a nation of laws, I suggest starting with the Emoluments Clause

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    If we are a nation of laws, I suggest scrapping ones that don’t make sense, like those limiting immigration. We are better when more people move here. We should be actively encouraging immigration.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Immigration turned the US from a backwater the Dutch traded in for Suriname (ever heard of Suriname? My point exactly.) into the mightiest nation ever on earth.

    The only people with a legitimate gripe about immigration are those who can trace their heritage on the North American continent to before 1492.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I can trace mine prior to 1492 (more than most people, not exclusively), yet I welcome immigrants. I’m sure many native Americans agree.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well yes, but my point is being an immigrant and arguing against immigration is kind of hypocritical. Native Americans did objectively experience negative consequences from mass European migration – the whole story is of course a bit more complicated, but nobody else in the US can legitimately make this claim.

    But then again, Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann was on the run from the law once and turned to South Africa (post-Apartheid, mind you) to evade jail…

    Yeah, Pegida is led by an even more ridiculous figure than the Nazis way back when…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes. Of course.

    aubrey Reply:

    Do people really still make this argument? If the Indians had been anti-immigration they might still exist. We aren’t obligated to repeat the mistakes of the people who used to live here

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s not really true. Indians that were “anti-immigration” (fought back) were displaced and massacred just the same by the better armed and better equipped armies under European command. Also, Indians very much still do exist.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    They do exist. They also exist in way smaller numbers. Furthermore, people invaded the Americas, they never just immigrated. Europeans never attempted to peacefully coexist here with the Indians for the mutual benefit of everybody.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are the current numbers of Indians actually lower in absolute terms than they were in circa 1600?

    Because current research indicates that there were actually a lot of people who died of disease without ever meeting a European and a lot of that dying happened fairly early on…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Also, most of those who intended to live peaceful with or among the Natives managed to do so and their descendants are now considered natives as well for the most part (with some notable exceptions for e.g. runaway slaves and their descendants who aren’t always considered native)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Perhaps laws should be changed. If there isn’t a point in them they should be abolished. Or would you fought for the enforcement of slavery 200 years ago? There isn’t any point in trying to keep people out. The bigger America is, the better America is, and in todays society, citizenship, nationality, and place of birth are (thankfully) irrelevant.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But we should really enforce all those fugitive slave laws… What happens if we don’t?

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    We are a nation of law breakers. Scofflaws. Name one Californian in this comment section who obeys the speed limit on the 405 or 280. Raise your hand if you’ve never jaywalked. Double parked. Taken a pen home from work. Theft is theft!
    Americans cheat on their taxes, drive under the influence, make their kids lie about their age to get lower movie ticket prices. Americans LOVE illegal drugs, and always have. The entire system of living in the US us based on people trying to get over on each other. These mostly humble people fleeing poverty show up here to work and save their families and suddenly we get all “we are a nation of laws” holier than thou on them
    Shut the fuck up. I have found over time and experience that the immigrants are better at bring Americans than Americans are. As we can see by the recent presidential campaigns actual real Americans are mostly a bunch of fuck faced retards. ERIC.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Name one Californian who can go the speed limit on the 405.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Ha!

    Eric M Reply:

    Nice morals and language

    Travis D Reply:

    You seem to think even immoral laws (like immigration laws are) should still be enforced and people bravely defying them should be punished.

    Eric M Reply:

    Are you serious?!?! Requiring someone to apply for entry to our country is immoral and bypassing/breaking that law is being brave? So if someone opens the door to your house and starts squatting, would that be okay with you and your family? You need to get a grip on reality.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Requiring someone to go through a ridiculously complicated process to enter a nation (an obsolete concept), and limiting the amount of people who can do so yearly (even though the more, the merrier) because some idiot decided that one bit of desert is in one country and one bit is in another and people who are born somewhere get priority is utterly ridiculous.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Borders and nation states are pretty silly. Nationalism is even stupider…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    amen

    Eric M Reply:

    And how is that working out for Germany, with the migrant rape crisis happening to German women. You two need to have your heads checked.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    What migrant rape crisis? You mean a few isolated incidents. It may shock your nationalistic right wing mind, but migrants break laws at lower rates than civilians. Some Americans are rapists too. Furthermore, more people are saved by accepting migrants than are harmed. That’s basic utilitarianism, and a migrant raping a local is no worse than a local raping a local. The concepts of nationality and citizenship are obsolete. We are all global citizens.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You really should read less Breitbart, Eric…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I support immigration, but you are just demostartably wrong.

    If uncontrollled immigration was great, then Turkey and Greece would be doing awesome…they are not. And that is only immigration from 1 small war.

    And the attacks in Germany were 1200 women and 2000 men in 1 night. That is a real problem, you can’t just ignore that. It’s not even isolated, there are documented instances in other places also. It’s not ok

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year's_Eve_sexual_assaults_in_Germany

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Those events were blown way out of proportion.

    Do you know the number of assaults, sexual harassment, rape, groping and whatnot that happen every year during the Munich Oktoberfest?

    Why don’t you know those numbers?

    Well, maybe because you can’t make outrage laden headlines about “Bavarian man gropes drunk woman” even though it is of course wrong and should not happen…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @John N.

    1. Turkey and Greece have refugee problems because they’re points of transit, not destinations, so people are just setting up camp. Furthermore, Turkey currently has 2.7 million refugees. That’s about 3.3 percent of its population. If America had that, it would be over 10 million people. Places that are even worse off include tiny, poor nations like Lebanon, which has 20% of its population made up of refugees. If America were to accept just 1% of its population in refugees yearly, it would only need to house 3.1 million people. That is easy.

    Send 225K to NY
    225K to LA
    200K to Chicago (helps grow stagnant population)
    100K to DC
    100K to Bay Area
    200K to Detroit (helps revitalize)
    100K to Boston
    75K to Philadelphia
    75K to Houston
    100K to Dallas
    50K to Miami.
    50K to Atlanta.
    50K to Seattle.

    And we’re halfway there with trivial additions to just 13 metro areas. That was easy. That number could easily be doubled with regular immigration without inundating anybody, which, by the way, is more than 8 times the amount of visas we grant yearly.

    2. The attacks were horrifying. Nothing like that is acceptable. It should not be normalized. It should also not be considered a result of migration.

    Jerry Reply:

    The vast majority of all of the reported assaults, sexual harassments, rapes, groping and whatnot that happen every year in the United States are committed by immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Obviously immigration is the problem.

    Jerry Reply:

    As reported in Breitbart. Or was it Onion?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes. In fact, every reported assaults, sexual harassments, rapes, groping and whatnot in America has been caused by people who are descended from people who have not always been in the Western hemisphere. In fact, you can trace it all back to African migrants.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But the same is true for the ethnicity of the victims…

    I think it would be a great idea to open up depressed areas to young, well educated political refugees. It worked for Prussia way back when. It can work again.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Stealing a pen vs entering a country illegally. Hmm. Totally the same thing

    Americans prosecute all the serious crimes you mention. Tax evasion, drugs, etc. in fact I bet you also think that there are too many prisoners because America is “law and order”

    I support immigration and think it continues to make this country great. But it is hard for me to support people who’s first act of love for America is to break our laws. So I am torn between a long historical tradition of supporting immigration and a long historical tradition of being a nation of laws.

    A rational immigration policy could bridge the gap, but until then you can’t just ignore they are breaking a real and serious law on purpose

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Like the reform law(s) passed in 1986 and signed by Saint Ronnie. That were never enforced.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The obvious solution is to give a visa to anybody who can pass a basic background check.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I would not call that an “obvious” solution. What kind of visa, for how long, under what restrictions. That is no more a solution than “build a wall”

    There is no country in the world with completely open federal borders. Its a complicated issue that cant be summed up in soundbites and pithy 1 line polices from either side.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    A green card for everyone who wants one who doesn’t pose a national security threat. What’s not to like? Furthermore, as part of a compromise deal, border security could go up to keep out people without green cards so the Republicans could sell the myth that they helped to keep out the rapists, drug dealers, and murderers.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are several countries with completely open borders. In fact, you’d have to go out of your way to even get your passport stamped in the Vatican or San Marino if you wanted to.

    And yes, stealing a pen and crossing a border are two different things. One is objectively harmful to someone (if only in the most minute amount) prior to the existence of laws or society. The other is just some line in the sand that humans made up.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Super. Germany can open borders to,everyone and show us how it is done. The 1st 100,000 or so have not cause so many problems as to collapse the government so another 2-3 million should be fine. Syria is ready to send another round and France is happy to empty “the jungle”.

    The US will be happy to follow after they show us how great it works

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It does work great. Some Germans just happen to be xenophobic idiots stuck in the past. If it makes the rest of the country happy, I would be happy to have unlimited immigration, provided everyone moves to just Southern California. I look forward to everyone else getting left in the economic, social, political, social, urban, and cultural dust.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well Brandenburg in the late 17th and early 18th century did have more or less open border (their leader even said he’d be building mosques if Muslims were to come). Of course we never heard of Brandenburg ever again after that…

    Because it became more famous under the name Prussia, aka one of the leading powers of Europe.

    But of course those immigrants were not refugees. They were political and religious exiles thrown out of their place of origin because their government did not like them and considered them a threat to the established order. That’s totally different.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Some one should break a law off in your behind

    Eric M Reply:

    Not all of us like that like you do

    Jerry Reply:

    As the noted philosopher Calvin (of the law firm of Calvin and Hobbes) once said:
    “The law is on the books, but it would take all their resources to enforce it.”
    http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1995/02/25

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    At some point it becomes impossible to enforce a law that everybody breaks. At least if you try to enforce it in every single case.

  3. Roger Christensen
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 00:49
    #3

    So although M passes with the promise of getting the Wilshire subway to Westwood within a decade, we now have a regime of anti-transit ideologues that could pull the plug on Federal money? Is this a scenario for California transit agencies?

    Aarond Reply:

    To speculate, Elaine Chao will follow her husband (Mitch McConnell) and won’t rock the boat too much. Trump himself will be the real wildcard, as can be seen by his recent “air force one” feud.

    Also the larger issue is Trump’s 35% tariff which will cause commerce within California to change.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    We could also find ourselves at war with China over Taiwan soon…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfpkhXTdVwI

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I haven’t heard about how the subway will get to Westwood that fast. Will they just continue the TBM on beyond Wilshire/La Cienega without stopping? When will they start station boxes in Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood?

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    Trump on the phone with Garcetti said he supports the LA 2024 Olympic bid – part of that plan is to get Westwood up by 2024 where there will be athlete housing on the UCLA campus. Measure M also promised this – moving the current Westwood 2035 date up more than a decade. This would mean both the post La Cienega segments of Century City and Westwood would have to break ground within a couple of years.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know. I just really want specifics on that. I assume the plan is to just run the TBMs without stopping past La Cienega westward, which means station boxes must be excavated before that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or you put in more TBMs

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes. That’s possible too. As I said, I want specifics.

  4. Jerry
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 00:50
    #4

    Are there statistics available which show if crash avoidance is more successful than crash survivability?
    :-)

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Jerry, that’s a hard question to answer. Every time a train successfully completes its journey it has avoided a crash. So you could measure train miles against collisions. But the tricky part comes with items like PTC. Existing signalling systems avoid collisions. How much do you spend to shift the risk just a fraction of a percentage point by PTC?
    On another tack, does the money spent on survivability come at the expense of better avoidance? Is the extra weight and expense of “armor plated” railcars counter productive as the increased fuel expense and vehicle cost could be used for better train management systems? Indeed do heavier trains contribute to accident damage and fatalities even while the purpose is to avoid them?
    Just thinking out loud here. My gut tells me that the money spent on PTC is mostly wasted. I think of local incidents (Glendale, Chatsworth and Oxnard). Glendale and Oxnard were stray road vehicles that PTC would not have detected. Chatsworth would have been most likely avoided by old-fashioned ATS, which has subsequently been fitted.
    It’s a worthy topic for discussion, and relevant to this board, unlike all too many recent posts.

    Roland Reply:

    Paul, I respectfully disagree (see below response to Elizabeth’s #2). A successful PTC implementation should be the foundation for signaling systems designed to prevent collisions at level crossings, not just train-to-train collisions.
    https://www.mobility.siemens.com/mobility/global/SiteCollectionDocuments/en/rail-solutions/rail-automation/level-crossing-protection-systems/simis-lc_en.pdf

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    As Paul noted, most of the train accidents are related to grade crossings, not PTC type incidents. The FRA did seem concerned mostly about the grade crossing type problems, which is why crash survival must (unfortunately) be considered until we start taking our infrastructure more seriously.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/cuO2Fu63d0o?t=27

    Jerry Reply:

    ” start taking our infrastructure more seriously.”
    Could not agree more.

    StevieB Reply:

    When an automobile has a crash with a train it is because the automobile driver has placed himself within the train right of way where the automobile can be struck by the train. The fault lies entirely with the poor judgement of the automobile driver. Eliminating the opportunity of the driver to use poor judgement in placing his automobile on the tracks in front of the train has a very high cost for the benefits.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well you can eliminate level crossings by just shutting down roads crossing rail lines.

  5. webster
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 03:09
    #5

    I’m curious to know how/what-in the rules specifically excludes Japanese-made rolling stock.

    “In addition to measuring a train’s crashworthiness based on whether it meets current prescriptive strength standards, the proposed changes would allow a train’s crashworthiness to be evaluated based on it meeting an equivalent level of safety achieved through crash energy management technology or other innovative engineering methods”

    I interpreted ‘other innovative engineering methods’ as “crash-avoidance” technologies.

    In any case, wouldn’t the rules technically only apply, at speed? As in, shared corridors in which some equipment is operating at speeds up to 220mph alongside equipment traveling much slower (e.g. NEC).

    Will there be any stretches where this will be the case for CA?

    webster Reply:

    https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L18435

    swing hanger Reply:

    The new standards are actually better for Japanese builders than the existing onerous and some say ridiculous FRA regulations, as companies like KHI and Hitachi are fully capable (they are *engineering* companies supplying world markets after all) of designing rolling stock that comply with the regulations of target markets, please see Class 395, Class 800/801 for the U.K., and in Adiron’s neck of the woods, the M8 emu.

    Roland Reply:

    100% Correct. Please meet Alistair Dormer, Hitachi Rail’s Global Chief Executive, the father of Class 395 and the architect of the AnsaldoBreda acquisition: http://www.hitachirail-eu.com/leadership-team_111.html

    webster Reply:

    Hmmm…but most of the standards the rules mention (Part III, Section A & C in the draft) aspects of how the body of the equipment deals with stress: it should be able to have some level of impact without deforming, for one (e.g. CEM).

    Again, I’m genuinely still unsure what the specific engineering considerations are in various markets – and how they subsequently compare – but surely, the standards they are laying out aren’t that difficult for anything currently on the market, elsewhere?

    Is even the lightest rolling stock not suitable with the criteria they’re establishing as the baseline?

    http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L18433#p1_z5_gD

    webster Reply:

    I guess what I’m trying to understand, is whether the rules explicitly preclude, say, something like the N700 Series Shikansen rolling-stock?

    My understanding of the draft is that the rules specifically apply to speed: that is, if operating on a shared corridor at speeds approaching 220mph, then specific considerations need to be made (e.g. the entire NEC).

    However, I don’t know if it necessarily follows that these same considerations need apply if the shared segments have operating speeds well below 220mph (e.g. the ‘Blended’ segments of CAHSR).

    Ultimately, I’m curious if the rules are moot if said HS trainset is not operating at 220mph on the segments it shares with slower services.

    If that makes sense…

    **My sense is that these rules are really directed more so at what Amtrak is doing in the NEC than CA.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    No – the rules are not moot for hsr trains that will travel at lower speeds on blended sections. This is the whole logic of the rules. Because that situation will be a reality for most hsr proposals, we should standardize around that requirement.

    webster Reply:

    ….right, but the rules specifically are drafted concerning a situation in which trains are operating at high speed directly along others operating at lower speed. In other words, it doesn’t matter if a train capable of 220mph service is operating in a blended corridor with trains only capable of 150mph if both are operating at 80mph.

    It’s clear that they’re speaking more to the situation with Amtrak in the NEC, where Amtrak does operate at higher speeds (110-150mph alongside tracks which have commuter services operating 70-110mph).

    That’s a correct reading of the rules, no?

    I’m just trying to figure out precisely why the author thinks this precludes a specific manufacturer.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It might not preclude a specific manufacturer, but it may preclude certain pre-existing train models. And if e.g. Siemens can just sell the Velaro and meet (most) regulations, that’s a huge advantage over some company that has to re-engineer a train basically from scratch.

    Useless Reply:

    webster

    I guess what I’m trying to understand, is whether the rules explicitly preclude, say, something like the N700 Series Shikansen rolling-stock?

    The rule says FRA will take upgraded UIC spec trains.

    Shinkansen models upgraded to UIC spec aren’t Shinkansens at all because the 30% weight increase changes the whole vehicle dynamics. So Japanese are pretty much out of US market.

    Useless Reply:

    Swing Hanger

    Class 395, Class 800/801 for the U.K

    Those aren’t high speed trains. Japanese have never and ever designed a high crashworthy high speed train set before. So Japanese lack the experience and the economy of scale(home market) to successfully compete in the US market.

    Useless Reply:

    webster

    I’m curious to know how/what-in the rules specifically excludes Japanese-made rolling stock.

    European trains are structurally twice as strong as Shinkansen trains.

    William Reply:

    @webster, it should be said that trainsets made to Japanese standard could be excluded, not Japanese made. Japanese maufacturers has proven that they can make good trainsets to UIC and US standards though.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Can Japanese make good UIC trains, yes.
    Can Japanese make good high speed trains, yes.

    Can Japanese make good UIC + high speed trains, that is yet to be proven.

    webster Reply:

    That’s what I mean when I say “Japanese Rolling Stock,” to be more clear.

    What I’m getting at is why couldn’t existing rolling stock in-use in Japan, Taiwan, etc be upgraded to satisfy some minimum CEM performance metrics, which seems to be the basis of the new rules? Or rather, would it even need to be upgraded much, if they can satisfactorily demonstrate sufficient CEM solutions?

    In other words, if they’re asking vendors to demonstrate that the structure of the train is ‘rigid’ enough to retain enough volume integrity for some acceptable minimum survivability, why would it be that existing rolling stock – that we associate with Japanese HSR – not be suitable: is this not a design consideration, at all/ would require drastic reworking of the designs?

    Some people, like Useless, still seem to think the new baseline they’re setting is as high as it has always been – it doesn’t appear that way from reading the rules. They’re explicitly saying they’re moving towards an analysis of crashworthiness that weighs acceptable rates of survivability and risk as opposed to demanding that as much damage as possible be avoided (i.e. are stronger than what could possibly hit it).

    Useless Reply:

    webster

    What I’m getting at is why couldn’t existing rolling stock in-use in Japan, Taiwan, etc be upgraded to satisfy some minimum CEM performance metrics

    Since the chassis has to be stiffened twice as much, weight increases 30%. Then everything down below including bogies must be redesigned to cope with higher weight.

    In other word, a totally new train that cannot be used in Japan(Too Heavy), and worse yet, cannot even be tested in Japan because no Shinkansen track in Japan can host them.

    Now, how is such a limited production custom model going to be cost competitive against Alstom, Siemens, and Rotem’s off the shelf models already in mass production?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So in other words most Japanese manufacturers won’t bother.

  6. StevieB
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 08:50
    #6

    “Urgent appeal: California Democrats to invoke new anti-Trump weapon,” by Laurel Rosenhall on CalMatters: “An underplayed consequence of the fact that they won two-thirds of the seats in both houses last month is that—if they stick together—California Democrats have the required margin to pass a bill with an “urgency” clause. Unlike ordinary bills passed by a simple majority, bills with urgency clauses take effect the minute the governor signs them, and cannot be stalled by voters who might try to prevent them from becoming law by forcing a ballot referendum.”

    California legislators have the means to counter many moves by President Trump. No doubt some “urgent” legislation will be passed this year.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s not going to work because of federal supremacy. But this really isn’t a problem for infrastructure spending (which is much more mutual between CA and DC) than it is for social policies.

    Also the groundwork for Trump’s biggest plans, notably on immigration, were constructed over a decade ago. Figure that because of the NCLB/Common Core DC now has data on all CA students, and their parents while the Patriot Act gives Trump a paramilitary force and camp system to deport them. Sacramento can’t fight this.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Do you think that data includes addresses? Or maybe not. Why would personal identifying information be necessary for any requirements of NCLB/Common Core?

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes as the core of the NCLB was standardized exams to measure teacher performance. This requires metrics on where students (and their parents) live, their race and their immigration status. The data is collected by the company and sent to the Dept. of Education after exams are processed in their off (school) site facility.

    Additionally even if such data was somehow inaccessible to the federal government Congress has the votes to simply change the Common Core specifics and do something very nasty ala Prop 187.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Where they live generally but not specificly. In the past the government has been good about privacy and not requiring such information. That could change of course but California would definitely not go along with it. Nor is having a law sufficient, you’d have to be able to enforce it. So how would they enforce it?

    Aarond Reply:

    Exam survey forms ask for the student’s address, and that is what teachers instruct students to put down. Also the company needs the address (outside of the survey) to mail results.

    If not so already, the fed Dept. of Education would simply require it for exam to be Common Core compliant; every major publisher would readily abide. States have no options other than removing themselves from the CC system and forfeiting federal K12 grants.

    This is one of the issues with centralization and one of the biggest things people feared would result from the NCLB. But that battle was lost fifteen years ago.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Companies are usually good about keeping this information silo’ed for privacy reasons. There’s also a question about who owns the information, which I would expect is not the company but the state or the school district. Could or would the Dept. of Education request this information especially given that it isn’t part of their purview? Also, I would expect that the companies would refuse requests from Homeland Security because they have no legal basis for such a request.

    Aarond Reply:

    “Privacy” is a thing that ends at national security, of which immigration enforcement is part of. If not new processes can be legislated and easily applied. As K12 funding is centralized, states have no options.

    The feds have both the legal precedent and laws in place to force states to both share student data and do nasty prop-187 styled things.

    J. Wong Reply:

    What do you want to bet that if the Federal gov’t tried anything like that, California (and likely other states including some red ones) would sue to block it.

    Aarond Reply:

    Lawsuits are inevitable, winning them is not. California’s argument would be extremely weak as the Federal government is responsible for enforcing Federal law, this includes immigration policy.

    It’s a lamentable situation; if the state had tried prosecuting crooked employers who brought in illegals we likely wouldn’t be in this situation. Going forward, Sac would be smart to aggressively cook said farmers (many of whom are also major Republican donors) if only to shake the Feds.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Common Core, no matter what they screech about on Fox News and InforWars, isn’t a Federal program.

    Aarond Reply:

    Perhaps not in a traditional sense, but the CCSSI gives clear and enormous benefits to the federal DoE who uses it to enforce the 2002 NCLB which is a federal law. As a result, it more or less is federal policy because it’s the standard.

    What people get wrong is that Obama didn’t start it, even though he was a staunch proponent and responsible for it becoming the standard across 48 states.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    States are free to adopt a different standard.
    There are 50 states, have been since 1959.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I very much doubt that Trump is going to deport most immigrant families. It isn’t feasible.

    Aarond Reply:

    It can happen here. The TSA would setup checkpoints on all roads from the big cities and arrest anyone without identification or with an AB60 card. Inside cities they’d start inside schools as they are easy to lock down. The remainder are then taken down in individual strikes on their residences. Congress would follow up with a law barring nonresidents from attending publicly funded schools.

    It’s not about the feasibility, it’s about making nonresidents’ lives hell so most chose to self-deport.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Not that political gain>political loss in that scenario.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Would a dictator care about his popularity among those people?

    Aarond Reply:

    The issue isn’t so much Trump as it is the fully Republican legislature. As we saw with Obama, even retaking a single house is enough to stall a President’s ambitions. The GOP got two years (perhaps four or six more) to modify the national government in any way they desire.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It’ll be interesting to see what the Dems can to at the state level in time for 2020 redistricting. A blue wave in 2018 could be a game changer.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But it would have to be a big wave as the current districts are stacked against them in all but a handfull of states.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Can you imagine the protests if ICE started targeting schools especially since most students are citizens.

    Also, Congress cannot pass laws barring non-citizens from attending public schools and again most students are citizens. It’s their parents who are undocumented.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Federal supremacy is not absolute. Even if ordered to do so, the state can protest through the court system that the Federal government does not have the authority to do so. California will very much do so.

    Aarond Reply:

    Can’t work as Congress will threaten to pull money. Sacramento won’t even touch Calpers, they aren’t going to jeopardize federal grants especially with Jerry in charge and CAHSR incomplete. Even then, the feds can circumvent Sacramento entirely and have the DHS do the work.

    This is the big point here, a highly centralized system has been constructed that allows crackdowns to quickly occur. And, the only people with the authority to audit the system are in DC not Sacramento.

    Joe Reply:

    Constitution delegates power to the states. The Federal government has been limited in its power to coerce states as you suggest. Supreme Court halted the use of this power to expand Medicare expansion under ACA.

    The Feds lack staff to round up and export all these millions of people let alone do it within the legal system we operate. Each case can be and will be litigated.

    My Gilroy police don’t get tasked by the Feds to enforce immigration law.

    zorro Reply:

    That was Medicaid Expansion, not Medicare…
    Medicaid Expansion under the ACA(a Bing search)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But Trump will be able to pack most federal courts.

    Roland Reply:

    No need to. ICE cometh to Gilroy.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They can’t pull money that is unrelated to the issue at hand. So having education funding cut when DHS asks for access to addresses collected for education requirements won’t fly. Also the DE can’t ask for addresses to hand over to DHS.

    Joe Reply:

    The Federal government was unable to use state Medicare funding to require ACA compliance and expand Medicare. The Supreme Court ruled the government had to continue to fund nonparticipating state’s Medicare. Some expanded and got additional money and others did not but don’t lose Medicare money.

    zorro Reply:

    Correction: Medicaid Expansion

    Joe Reply:

    Good correction
    Still the example shows limitations on what Feds can do with funding.

    Joe Reply:

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/06/court-holds-that-states-have-choice-whether-to-join-medicaid-expansion/
    The deadlock was broken by the dissenters. Justice Scalia – writing on behalf of himself, and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito – agreed with the Chief’s plurality that the threat to withhold all funds was unconstitutionally coercive. But they would have held that the consequence is that the entire expansion program should be stricken. The result would have been that even states that wanted to participate in the program could not. The plurality’s approach of simply striking down the provision that allowed withholding all funds if the state refused the expansion was, in the dissenters’ view, tantamount to rewriting the statute.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Actually it is a case that happened under Obama that hurts you the most here. When Arizona passed a law to monitor the border remember the administration sued and won. They claimed federal authority over immigration.

    Works both ways, the power to let them stay or deport the, is an entirely federal prerogative,

    Then, Obama claimed it was his prerogative to let the Dreamers stay without congressional approval. So again, it works both way, Trump,can claim the same prerogative to aggressively enforce the law.

    This is why Obama using executive orders rather than laws was a poor choice. He set presidents that Trump can now use and nothing is locked in beyond presidential prerogative so can all be instantly undone. It’s a bad situation for those in the country illegally, they have few rights and few options other than leaving

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Obama was just using precedents set by Republican presidents.

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s even worse as it cements it as precedent and offers less chance during a SCOTUS appeal.

    Joe Reply:

    This executive “Precedent” as you call it doesn’t mean shit to the Supreme Court.

    That court adjudicates and sets precedent in rulings.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It’s been adhjucated by SCOTUS

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_v._United_States

    Federal law is supreme. Even if CA passed a law to make them legal,it would be immediately overturned. You can stick your head in the sand all you like, it is directly on point.

    Joe Reply:

    Dumbass reply.
    Presidential orders are not Court precedent nor do they limit the Supreme Court.

    Feds do not govern state or city police or government. The Donald the Orange can’t direct police to enforce immigration laws. He can send ICE or the FBI.

    Obama simply deprioritozed enforcement at the federal level. Trump can revert it but not demand CA direct resources to the enforcement. My city police are not required by federal law to determine immigration status and hold people.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That cite is a court case…that specifically decided that federal immigration law is supreme.

    The original comment was that CA can pass laws to counter the fed…which is not true.

    And Trump does not have to pull federal money, he can just stop granting it. Imagine he has a 1 trillion dollar infrastructure investment fund, he can simply exclude states that have sanctuary cities.

    The court case you cite says the Feds can’t make the states do something they don’t want to do, but the Feds didnt have to give them the money either. In a standoff the Feds win because the state needs them more then the Feds need a state,

    Joe Reply:

    Strawman argument.

    Feds don’t dictate how state or local police do their jobs. Feds don’t pay my police. Supreme Court limits the use of federal funds for coercion. No the Feds can’t hold back road funds to make Gilroy police enforce federal law.

    States can’t set immigration policy. Feds can’t make my police check immigrstion status. You don’t show proof of citizenship when you get a ticket. My City isn’t required to hold people for ICE.

    You keep on arguing silly things and don’t address the substance. Imaginary powers clearly unconstitutional under Obama are now common policy under GOP supreme leader.

    StevieB Reply:

    Janet Napolitano vows to protect undocumented California college students

    The University of California system announced Wednesday that campus police will not undertake joint efforts with any law enforcement agencies to investigate students suspected of breaking federal immigration laws.
    Police officers at the UC’s 10 campuses will not contact, detain, question or arrest any individual solely on the basis of immigration status, except as required by law, the school system said in a statement.

    StevieB Reply:

    California bill creates deportation ‘safe zones’ for undocumented immigrants

    Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, on Wednesday announced a bill that would prohibit state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources for immigration enforcement.

    Senate Bill 54 would also create “safe zones” at public schools, hospitals and courthouses where immigrant enforcement would be banned, and require state agencies to update their confidentiality policies so that information on individuals’ immigration status is not shared for enforcement purposes.

    “To the millions of undocumented residents pursuing and contributing to the California dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and overreaching mass-deportation policy,” de León said in a statement. “We will not stand by and let the federal government use our state and local agencies to separate mothers from their children.”

    StevieB Reply:

    California “Trust Act” has been in effect since 2013.

    With deportations at an all-time high, state and local officials fought a now-defunct program, known as Secure Communities, in which local law enforcement collaborated with federal immigration officials. California Attorney General Kamala Harris told local law enforcers they could refuse federal requests to hold immigrants.

    California built on that break from the federal government in 2013, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill commonly known as the Trust Act. That measure bars jails from honoring federal requests to hold onto undocumented immigrants after their release date unless they have been convicted of or charged with serious or violent felonies.

    In effect, the law asserts California’s right to protect people from deportation for low-level crimes. Subsequent court decisions fortified that legal precedent, saying jails could not be compelled to detain immigrants past when they’re eligible for release.

    Aarond Reply:

    Consider the implications if Sacramento really did try to fight: Congress would have a legitimate reason to require all Interstates to be patrolled (and checkpointed!) by the TSA. Congress could also require the Dept. of Education to protect every K12 school and college with their own armed federal agents, same for the DHHS with public hospitals. Meanwhile ICE is right there and can strike anywhere at any time.

    Sacramento simply cannot win here, as long as DC is GOP run. It’s in Sac’s best interest to keep quiet and comply with the law so nothing truly nasty is implemented.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    TSA agents are expensive. So are ICE agents.

    Joe Reply:

    Keep quiet and comply.

    Don’t make me hit you.

    That will work.

    Aarond Reply:

    There are ways of getting around the federal government without instigating a full-on fight which Sacramento cannot hope to win.

    As it pertains to schools, CA could setup a voucher program to promote private ones, which would work very well considering the original purpose of catholic schools (it’d also get illegals out of the common core system). Same applies to public hospitals vs catholic ones. Also Sacramento can go three steps further and prosecute crooked businessmen who cause illegal immigration.

    It’s about making the best of a bad situation.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Those will be interesting times. That much is for sure.

    Jerry Reply:

    de novo

    Joe Reply:

    Federal orders don’t apply to state and local governments.

    Maybe you law and order guys need to brush up on law and order.

    Obama de-prioritized deportation or dreamers. He didn’t order states or local law enforcement to stand down. Trump can make deportation a top priority but he doesn’t control local police or state police. He can’t make San Francisco cops police let alone prioritize federal immigration laws.

    Aarond Reply:

    Trump don’t need local police, he’s got ICE. ICE has their own agents, their own buses and their own prison system. Congress could also easily expand the TSA’s reach from airports to federal highways.

    That’s my entire point here: even if the Feds cannot force states or cities to do their bidding they can be outright ignored and replaced with federal officers and agents.

    Joe Reply:

    Right, Feds have ICE. Not enough staff and congress can decide how much to grow ICE but they have limited powers.

    Feds can’t replace state or local police with ICE. You are being ridiculous.
    TSA can’t patrol state highways.
    You’ve got an authoritarian boner.

    Aarond Reply:

    The feds don’t have to replace local police, they only need ICE (and friends inside the DHS) to do the jobs local police won’t do. And while the TSA cannot patrol state highways, they can patrol any Interstate which is where the majority of intercity car traffic is. All that is needed is a new bill.

    I’m not supportive of any of this but the GOP have the votes for it.

    Joe Reply:

    These new TSA immigration police pull you over.

    What documention do you produce to show you’re a citizen?

    Aarond Reply:

    A driver’s license.

    zorro Reply:

    A Social Security Card, only US Citizens and Resident Aliens can get Social Security type benefits thanks to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act.

    J. Wong Reply:

    And the states can file against anything they don’t like. Just because the GOP has the votes doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

    Besides, the TSA cannot pull over anyone. Would you stop for them? I wouldn’t.

    Aarond Reply:

    The TSA might not be able to pull people over, but that can be easily changed. Already the Border Patrol (another DHS arm) operates the existing interior checkpoints near the US border. The precedent for a national highway patrol exists.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They won’t be working for free.
    It will go over real well with the people who have been yammering about FEMA camps.

    Aarond Reply:

    As if those people matter, they voted for this and will swallow it all down. The sickest irony is that the first people to get screwed are predominantly Republican farmers in the Central Valley.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Its not going to happen. Think of all the campaign promises that have already gone down the memory hole. She going to prosecuted or even investigated. The wall isn’t going to be built. Obamacare isn’t going to be repealed. He’s draining the swamp by filling it with insiders. And apparently there aren’t going to be any tariffs, just tax breaks for companies that threaten to leave.

    StevieB Reply:

    The Obama Administration increased deportations and Obama has deported more immigrants than any other president.

    Donald Trump’s immigration plan is set to be announced later this week. And if previous comments are any indication, the Republican presidential contender said he plans to focus on deporting criminals, similar to the current strategy of the Obama administration.

    Donald Trump is not going to get more deportations from the same number of agents. Changing the focus of deportations from convicted criminals to children here illegally would be catholically condemned.

    Danny Reply:

    more news from HSR’s competition http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/06/united-airlines-charging-to-use-overhead-bins/
    very clever trick, actually–monetize something that the planes come with, and pretend that they cost the airlines money and that “everyone else is just bundling it”

    Danny Reply:

    oops wrong thread

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Airlines are doing that because they can get away with it.

  7. Elizabeth Alexis
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 10:44
    #7

    The question is whether this is a defeatist or realistic move.

    The logic:

    1) We want to standardize a little bit so we have a chance of a US market.
    2) We refuse to insist that freight companies upgrade grade crossings so we have to presume a lot of accidents in most areas of the country.
    3) Thus, allowing trains that would crush passengers in an everyday crash scenario is not okay.
    4) The US rules were overly strict and self-defeating in effort to able to have train cars hit and not suffer any structural damage (from 1930s when the thought of having to trash the train car used to test crash worthiness was unthinkable)

    #1 and #3 seem not unreasonable. #4 seems perfectly understandable.
    It is #2 that would have to budge if we want to rely on crash avoidance.

    Eric M Reply:

    I think we need to move from the mentality (regarding crashes) of “when it does happen” (overbuilt rolling stock), to “preventing it from happening” (lightweight rolling stock with better signaling, etc.).

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    yep. At this point, freight companies can’t be asked to fence off ROW at points which are really dangerous. We are willing to live with a status quo that should be unacceptable in a civilized society. It would be nice to see that change, but the rules reflect a belief that this change is unlikely.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Dear Elizabeth,
    Please…enough with the fear-mongering. Europe (in case you haven’t heard) also has grade crossings — quite a lot in fact. FRA tank trains have not been shown to perform any better in grade-crossing collisions compared to European passenger trains. In fact, the FRA trains do much worse. We need to get away from the archaic buff-strength rules of the 1930’s, and adopt modern safety measures; i.e. CEM, PTC, articulated units, etc.

    webster Reply:

    Isn’t that what the new rules are doing…?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That was my information as well.

    Woody Reply:

    How about some safety measures inside the coach: air bags, at least to cover the front inside wall. What I’ve seen of You Tube crash test videos, the big problem is when a crash throws bodies flying forward to smash their faces into the “dashboard” part of the car.

    And seats belts, not required use, but provide the option for passengers to voluntarily use seat belts. Some of us like seat belts, shoulder harnesses and all, and would use them if the trains had them.

    Oh, wait. That stuff was not invented here in the railroad world. You aren’t even allowed to install seats belts in a revenue car to get passenger feedback, so no real world testing.

    EJ Reply:

    “FRA tank trains have not been shown to perform any better in grade-crossing collisions compared to European passenger trains.”

    Key point right there. Proponents of European rail collision standards often state that Europeans emphasize collision avoidance over strength. Maybe. They still have train crashes in Europe from time to time. The more important point is their collision standards seem to work at least as well as ours do, while permitting lighter weight trains.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is some light reading for #2: http://orr.gov.uk/what-and-how-we-regulate/health-and-safety/guidance-and-research/infrastructure-safety/level-crossings.

    The general idea is to approach safety at level crossings the same way the FRA are regulating PTC implementation in the US. PTC should be the top priority because level crossings that interlock with the signaling system are just about the only way to prevent the majority of accidents (short of grade separations or road closures).

    Bdawe Reply:

    Why should the freight companies pay for it? It’s negligent motorists refusing to follow extensive warnings that are the cause of the problem, and if we are going to go out and eliminate grade crossings on the legacy network, it should be funded by motorists who both cause the problem and the major beneficiary of the solution.

    Roland Reply:

    Did you hear about the semi that brought Capitol Corridor to its knees today after getting stuck at a grade crossing?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    How can we insist that freight companies upgrade crossings when HSR won’t do it in the most densely populated parts of the nation. CAHSR is planning on operating at 120mph without grade separation. All it takes is 1 car out of millions that ignore the signal and there is a tragic accident.

    It is just not fault tolerant regardless of who is to blame

    Joe Reply:

    I agree. Coming from Montana it’s laughable to think the rail roads have to adjust rows.

    Even Caltrain along south county Monterey highway has ungated crossings with stop signs.

    Roland Reply:

    Not for much longer.

    Joe Reply:

    Right of way improvements are welcome. Gilroy voted out our awful sprawl loving, car centric mayor. He still on the Caltrain board as chair and our abysmal VTA service reflects his indifference.

    Roland Reply:

    Not as of the end of the last Board meeting. http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-12-01+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf (Item 5.b).

    Roland Reply:

    Make that 110. They currently have no plans for VABs.

  8. Roland
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 11:00
    #8

    $100 anyone? http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/12/07/another-roadshow-contest-when-will-bart-to-warm-springs-open/

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    January 19, 2017

    Roland Reply:

    Did you email Mr. Roadshow?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    yep.

    Roland Reply:

    You lost: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2016/12/10/bart-says-warm-springssouth-fremont-wont-open-until-winter-2017/

    Peter Reply:

    January 19, 2017 is during “Winter 2017”.

    Reality Check Reply:

    According to Wikipedia and the Farmer’s Almanac, winter of XXXX begins with the winter solstice (December 21, XXXX) and ends at the vernal equinox (March 20, XXXX+1).

    So “Winter of 2017” begins December 21, 2017 and ends March 20, 2018.

    Jerry Reply:

    “By way of explanation for the latest delay, BART wrote on its website, “Unique challenges associated with integrating new, state-of-the-art technologies with the 40-plus year old BART operating system, has created delays and the need for more testing.”

    Can’t teach old BART new tricks.

  9. Roland
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 12:40
    #9

    Robert’s statement that “Siemens and Alstom clearly now have an advantage over Japan, at least in terms of trainsets.” is beyond bizarre. Why would Siemens and Alstom be more successful than Hitachi and Bombardier in the US than they are in Europe???

    As far as the Chinese are concerned, their marching orders are now cast in stone. CRRC’s acquisition of Skoda Transportation was the beginning. Barring local government interference, Talgo, Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom are next. 2017 is going to be real fun!!!

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    Why would Siemens and Alstom be more successful than Hitachi and Bombardier in the US than they are in Europe???

    Well, Bombardier is not disadvantaged, but Hitachi is because Hitachi has never designed a high buff strength high speed train set before.

    Roland Reply:

    How about AnsaldoBreda? Have they also “never designed a high buff strength high speed train set before”?

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    How about AnsaldoBreda?

    Frecciarossa 1000 was a Bombardier Zefiro assembled by AnsaldoBreda.
    V250 was an AnsladoBreda design, but was a total disaster and was removed from service one year later.

    Hence AnsaldoBreda is a novice as far as high speed train is concerned and has nothing to contribute to Hitachi.

    Japanese are clueless as to how to design high-buff strength high speed train sets because they have never done it before, nor do they have the economy of scale enjoyed by Alstom, Siemens, and Rotem.

    Clem Reply:

    Japanese industry routinely design highly advanced manufactured products such as aircraft, satellites, rockets, etc. The question isn’t whether they have the technical know-how (they are most definitely not “clueless”), but whether they can deploy it in a way that is affordable and competitive.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2620836/The-battle-hardened-Brit-building-UK-bullet-trains-Falklands-hero-leading-Japans-rail-giant-Hitachi-eye-HS2.html

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    The HS2 is pretty much dead, or may even run Chinese rolling stocks because that would be the condition of Chinese investment needed to build the HS2.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Where do you get HS2’s deadness from?

    And yes, Japanese manufacturers are obviously hurt by the US following what I guess are basically European rules. European manufacturers will be able to simply change a few details on their trains, have them run circles in Velim and ship them over to the US. And Siemens can even exclude that step, they just have to expand and/or redesign their existing Sacramento factory.

    Woody Reply:

    I don’t expect to see rail cars being off-loaded from ships arriving from Europe. Too many projects tied up in Buy American clauses. But the companies with stateside plants can build to the almost-off-the-shelf European designs. So for sure Siemens and Alstom, and even CAF, have a head start.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, you’re probably right about Buy America. But more and more it seems like Siemens is the frontrunner for CaHSR…

    Roland Reply:

    1) Ever wondered why Hitachi Rail moved their global headquarters to London?
    2) Kindly name another Asian manufacturer with a UK factory.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Hitachi is getting business in the UK because the UK DfT believes that the quality and value of rail products increases the further away you are from London. They quite happily destroyed the UK industry and are cool to the Europeans. It didn’t hurt that Newton Aycliffe is not a million miles from Tony Blair’s constituency. Let’s hope Hitachi does not send their people to Newton Aycliffe to learn English.

    Roland Reply:

    Newton Aycliffe is sooo yesterday: http://www.hitachi.com/New/cnews/month/2016/03/160317.html

    Roland Reply:

    http://italy.hitachirail.com/etr-1000_387.html

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    ETR1000/Frecciarossa 1000 is nothing more than an Italy assembled Bombardier Zefiro. AnsaldoBreda didn’t design it.

    Clem Reply:

    With a floor height of 49 inches, no less!

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_platform_height#/media/File:Map_Europe_railway_platform_height.svg

    Clem Reply:

    It would appear the vehicle floor height is significantly greater than the platform height, and level access is not provided! Those Yurpeans enjoy such amazing regulatory freedoms.

    William Reply:

    European manufactures (Siemens, Alstrom) also had not built high speed trainsets (200mph+) in the dimension that California HSR wants, if the Chinese ones are excluded, as I am not sure they meets UIC standard.

    Hyundai Rotem built narrow body HSR trainsets for domestic market, albeit with technology transfer from Alstrom, but considering the trouble it has meeting US standard, and reliability problems it has with its domestic products, I’ll put a question mark on it.

    Kawasaki, and to a lesser degree Nippon Sharyo, have built sucessful non-high speed trainsets that meet US standard, so I would believe they would have less trouble building to the lighter and less stringent UIC standard, but I’ll also put a smaller question mark on them as well.

    Peter Reply:

    Pretty sure Siemens can build you a Velaro to any width you want (Siemens also provided wider Velaros to Russia). Alstom could probably do the same with the AGV, although with very few customers they don’t have the same track record on the issue as Siemens does.

    Roland Reply:

    Just like Bombardier can build you a Zefiro to any width you want.

    Clem Reply:

    Any manufacturer worth their salt can build you anything in any width. The earlier California HSR RFI documents specified a minimum vehicle width of 3.2 m

    Roland Reply:

    That was before “blended”. A UK analogy is that it would be impossible to run an Omneo anywhere other than on HS1 (that’s why the Class 395 is narrow-gauge). Bottom line is that you are stuck with 3.0M (pretty close to UIC 505-1 and European GC gauge) whether you like it or not.

    William Reply:

    While that may be true, I don’t expect making car body of different width be a push-button process, or that the crash-worthiness certification can be assumed.

    As for Caltrain’s structural envelop, the electrification RFP specified for 3.4m wide trains, and there is no newer documents to contradict that.

    Roland Reply:

    Again, William, you don’t have a clue WTF it is you are talking about.

    William Reply:

    @Roland, please enlighten us on which part you don’t agree.

    Roland Reply:

    3.4m

    William Reply:

    Please reread Electrification RFP Volume 3 Part A Section 3. Caltrain Electrification is designed to accommodate CHSRA’s requirement, which is 3.4m.

    Clem Reply:

    Be sure to reference the final conformed documents, not the drafts!

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: The drafts were based on a dedicated ROW, not a blended system which has completely different constraints.

    Jerry Reply:

    All sort of crazy quilt, ain’t it?

    Jerry Reply:

    Is that planned obfuscation?
    Or just haphazard chaos?

    Roland Reply:

    Same applies to 50″ platforms: may be OK for dedicated ROW but NBG for “blended”.

    Clem Reply:

    The drafts were never based on a dedicated ROW, and the final EMU RFP allowed a full 3.25 m width per AAR plate specs. 50″ platforms will work perfectly for blended operations, with 72″ lateral offset providing plenty of side clearance for freight and for trains blasting past platforms at 110 or 125 mph. One can’t say the same of any plan involving 25″ platforms, given how the EMUs were specified.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    This has nothing — nothing — to do with “dedicated ROW” or “constraints” or (not pulled out of their own arses) “requirements” or “blended” or anything other than “rent-seeking”.

    It’s all about turning Caltrain + (never-to-be-implemented) CHSR into SEPTA + Amtrak. World klass!

    You’re getting the North East Corridor, nothing more, in fact certainly even less, hard as that might be to imagine.

    High floor rolling stock! Acela Mk 2! Assisted boarding! Conductors! Assistant conductors! Deputy Assistant Subaltern Conductors! Trap doors! SFFS! Double-cost rolling stock! Triple-cost rolling stock! Non-working signalling! Ten-times-cost signalling! Impossibly customer-hostile timetables! Impossibly customer-hostile stations! Unique everything! Feet and inches! Pathetic timekeeping! Shade-tree maintenance! Breakdowns-r-us! “State of Good Repair” shutdowns forever, and ever, and ever! Cavity searches before boarding, patriotic citizens!

    This is going to be just great! And boy is it going to be profitable for LTK Engineering Services, for Parsons Transportation Group, for Parsons Brinkerhoff, and for all of their special, special, special friends.

    Clem Reply:

    So what’s your solution to avoid future mediocrity?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cmon’ now SEPTA manages to rehab a station or two once a decade, at moderate cost and without causing rifts in the time-space continuum.

    Roland Reply:

    1) Re-issue the RDP RFP.
    2) Ask PFAL to perform the evaluation.

    Useless Reply:

    William

    if the Chinese ones are excluded

    Japanese excluded too.

    but considering the trouble it has meeting US standard, and reliability problems it has with its domestic products, I’ll put a question mark on it.

    Don’t.

    Rotem’s standard mass-production models are fine, these include the KTX-II, intercity EMU, subway cars, etc.

    It is Rotem’s one-off custom models with large “local content” that have been problematic. Since Rotem is offering its standard mass-produced high speed train models, there will be no issues.

    joe Reply:

    No one mass produces HSR trains.
    There are no HSR dealerships and end of year incentives.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Depends on what you’d consider mass production… There have been three digit orders of the same train…

  10. Useless
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 13:06
    #10

    FRA says Shinkansen is out of question.

    http://www.fra.dot.gov/Elib/Document/16784

    Modifying advanced Japanese high-speed trainsets to comply with the proposed Tier III requirements and be interoperable in the U.S. rail system would likely be cost prohibitive; FRA estimates $4.7 million per trainset.

    The preliminary analysis concludes that a hypothetical $50 million European high-speed trainset could be modified to comply with the proposed Tier III requirements with only minor structural modifications and as indicated above at little additional cost about $310,000 per trainset.

    Roland Reply:

    The Class 395 and the entire A train family started out as mini-Shinkansens:
    Every single train meets European crash standards.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_395#Design

    Useless Reply:

    Roland

    The Class 395 and the entire A train family started out as mini-Shinkansens:

    Absolutely not.

    The A train family is an express narrow-gauge train family in Japan and had nothing to do with Shinkansen. A train models to come in standard gauge in export versions, but they are not high speed train sets.

    Eric M Reply:

    That does not say Shinkansen is out of the question. It is the FRA “belief” that it would be cost prohibitive. Who is to say a team of Japanese designers cannot find a way for the modifications to be cost effective.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric M

    Who is to say a team of Japanese designers cannot find a way for the modifications to be cost effective.

    Whatever Japanese designs, it is a custom design that do not share parts with Shinkansen, not sold in Japan, thus does not enjoy the economy of scale that Alstom, Siemens, and Rotem trains enjoy at home.

    Joe Reply:

    Economy of scale would refer to the open US high speed rail market. It’s large in and of its own to depreciate costs over sales to this large and new market.

    Useless Reply:

    Joe

    Economy of scale would refer to the open US high speed rail market.

    No, US market is worth less than 100 train sets, both California and Acela inclusive.

    Other markets have 400 ~ 1,000 train sets in service.

    Hence Japanese cannot possibly cost compete against Alstom, Siemens, and Rotem bringing their mass-produced bullet trains to the US market.

    Joe Reply:

    Wrong
    US market is determined by the economy size and opportunity.

    Siemens will have an edge due to their established US factories and work force but your arguments against the Japanese product are repetitive and reactive.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What would you take:

    A thousand pre-existing hungry people who like Hot Dogs

    Or a hundred hungry people who may like Hot Dogs (but aren’t yet quite sure) and their two thousand friends who have never heard of hot dogs?

    Yes, trivially the US has more of a potential high speed rail market than any individual European country by virtue of the size of both its land area and its population. But Europe has demonstrated an interest and political commitment to new HSR, whereas support in the US has been tepid at best. Now, I think that once CaHSR opens the barriers will fall and the floodgates will open, but few companies bet current costly business decisions on what might happen some time in the 2030s (i.e. after CaHSR opens).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Very true. Brightline could also prove demand for 125 mph service on private railroads. I find it to be one of the most intriguing projects anywhere.

    Roland Reply:

    How about sensible?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That too.

    joe Reply:

    You make hot dogs. Your competitor makes hot dogs. Everyone else likes hot dogs.
    The US wants hot dogs.

    The US market is not trivially larger than a single european country.
    California’s economy alone is 5th largest globally.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, but there is not yet a proven demand for High Speed trainsets. A demand for transportation, certainly. And HSR can fulfill that demand, certainly. But that’s not quite the same thing. And a train manufacturer has to take into account the very real danger of anti-train idiots holding the reigns of government….

    Roland Reply:

    Would you like Kraut with your Hot Dog?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I don’t like hot dogs. I do like kraut.

    Roland Reply:

    Krauts like hot dogs.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is actually a place selling Hotdogs with Sauerkraut right in the main station of Dresden.

    Roland Reply:

    Keine Scheiße !!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    While “keine Scheiße” does mean “no shit”, it does not have the same idiomatic meaning.

  11. Useless
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 13:50
    #11

    Anyhow this is a great news for California High Speed Rail.

    Rotem didn’t plan to offer the HEMU-430X, the fastest revenue service bullet train in the world at 370 km/hr, in the US because it was designed to 200 ton+ 5 MJ CEM UIC+ spec and didn’t have the 600 ton buff strength of KTX-II power cars, but this rule change would allow the HEMU-430X to be offered in the US.

    The HEMU-430X offers a near Shinkansen N700 class acceleration even though it is a UIC+ train set.

    Eric M Reply:

    The HEMU-430X (KTX-III) is not in service.

    William Reply:

    Also, didn’t Korail threaten to sue Hyundai Rotem for KTX-II’s reliability problems?

    Useless Reply:

    William

    Also, didn’t Korail threaten to sue Hyundai Rotem for KTX-II’s reliability problems?

    No, that was in 2012.

    The KTX-II is more reliable than the TGV-K now.

    Eric M Reply:

    Yes. There were lots of problems. Useless is just the cheerleader for anything from Korea…..all else is bad

    Eric M Reply:

    And Hyundai-Rotem has a abysmal track record with the equipment they produce

  12. Jerry
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 15:05
    #12

    And build them at a new plant in Indiana.

    Jerry Reply:

    Should be under AGTMADCAT comment at top. 3:02 am

  13. Roland
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 15:44
    #13

    New Badgerloop video: https://youtu.be/lat3WBXQy8I

  14. JimInPollockPines
    Dec 7th, 2016 at 21:25
    #14

    Assuming we are all Californians here, and just between us, come on. Are we not sick and freakin tired of putting up D.C. Politics and the never ending buffoonery of the other states? We can should do everything without their help and we should do everything we can to irritate the crap out of them while we do it. How hard can it be to scrape up 50 billion dollars?

    Roland Reply:

    Quite easy: just stop paying federal taxes for a couple of years.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Apparently Mr. Trump is skilled at not paying federal income taxes. Maybe he can give out his secrets.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i am not sure that would work. When the IRS throws people in jail they cant work and the state taxes will therefore decline.

    Roland Reply:

    Calexit.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    There is nothing’s going stopping them. With 2/3 majority in both houses and the governorship ,they could pass a 50 billion dollar bond any time they liked.

    The problem is that all Dems don’t support the train.

    morris brown Reply:

    @John Nachtigall

    Actually the problem is that almost all the Demo in the Legislature don’t support HSR. A 50 billion bond measure would increase the State’s bonded debt by about 50%. No support at all.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Almost all. Really? Show me a list.

    Aarond Reply:

    Personally I doubt Newsom would go for it, and most SF and Alameda Co politicians would swing with him. I mean a $50 billion bond would require a gut check and I just don’t see Newsom supporting it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Newsom has very little in transit as demonstrated by his stint in SF.

    zorro Reply:

    Well if I were putting up such a Bond, I’d make sure it follows the example of Measure M in Los Angeles County, It would have money for HSR, Roads, Bridges, LRT, etc, etc, etc.

    Gov Brown is still Governor until sometime in 2018, So He has at least 1 year left…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yay for statewide measure M

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    They could raise a new tax on guns to finance it.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Personally, I hope Newsom isn’t elected.

    Roland Reply:

    Personally, I hope you are wrong.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Personally, I prefer Villaraigosa.

    zorro Reply:

    If that was true Morris, how come Democrats and Republicans didn’t gang up and vote down anything for HSR?

    Answer, most Democrats are for HSR, your side lost, and is still losing, even Prop 53 lost…

    J. Wong Reply:

    They don’t need $50b. They only need maybe $30b.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    hello interest.

    Roland Reply:

    Wong again. 100% perfect score!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do you think that’s funny?

  15. morris brown
    Dec 8th, 2016 at 07:07
    #15

    Amtrak will start using high-speed trains in 2021 — but your trip will still take just as long

    StevieB Reply:

    California High-Speed Rail has an advantage over the Northeast Corridor in that the dedicated track is designed to permit travel at 220mph. To shorten trip times in the Northeast Corridor would require billions of dollars to improve the track. It is good of you Morris to link an article pointing out the superiority of the California High-Speed Rail system.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Indeed. It is also good of Morris to point out that we should spend billions improving the NEC.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yep. First go after (relatively) low hanging fruits like centuries old bridges and tunnels.

    EJ Reply:

    Those (mostly) aren’t low hanging fruits. Have you seen the tab on the Gateway project? Besides, building anything in the Northeast costs a fortune.

    Low hanging fruit is, first, modernizing old PRR catenary, which they’re doing, then lighting a fire under the state of Connecticut for track improvements to get speeds above 80 mph on significant stretches of the NEC within that state (which would also benefit numerous Connecticut residents who ride Metro North into NYC every day).

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Gateway is ridiculously expensive. Gateway also needs to be built.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It could have been done cheaper if the governor of New Jersey wasn’t an idiot.

    All transit projects are cheaper if done yesterday rather than tomorrow.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Improving the catenary would help a lot.

    EJ Reply:

    Thought they were already doing that? I took the Regional from BWI to NYP a few months ago and there was a lot of new catenary going in.

    Roland Reply:

    There won’t be any billions left to blow on the NEC after Calexit.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Which is highly unlikely.

  16. Roland
    Dec 8th, 2016 at 13:14
    #16
  17. Roland
    Dec 8th, 2016 at 13:36
    #17

    Breaking News: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/12/08/big-decisions-by-high-speed-rail-next-week-could.html

    zorro Reply:

    If CHSRA goes to court, the CHSRA will win, as HSR will be running there, so open & shut case, so bring it on…

    Jerry Reply:

    Paywall.
    So for what reason will/might they be going to court??

    synonymouse Reply:

    Waste of time going before any of Jerry’s machine courts.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You can sign up for a free account.

  18. Roland
    Dec 8th, 2016 at 14:52
    #18

    Breaking News: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/08/hs1-sale-borealis-ontario-teachers

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Could you stop overusing the terms “breaking news”?

    Roland Reply:

    Could you STFU?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why should I?

    Jerry Reply:

    This just in.
    Roland tells Bahnfreund to STFU.
    More news at 11.

    Roland Reply:

    H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!!!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Breaking news: Car(e)-free LA makes satirical comment about the meaningless response somebody made to another satirical response about the aforementioned responder that rudely tells someone to stop saying not to say an overused phrase that the responder used in the initial comment.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Hey, people are talking about me an nobody mentioned Sauerkraut yet. What’s happening?

    Roland Reply:

    This just in.
    Roland tells Bahnfreund to STFU.
    More news at 11.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Supposedly people in Israel have an almost compulsive obsession with watching or hearing the news and get genuinely ants if they miss the news broadcast at the top of the hour…

  19. John Nachtigall
    Dec 8th, 2016 at 15:30
    #19

    Hi
    Another Month, another construction update

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_FA_Operations_Report.pdf
    Generally ROW Acquisition numbers for CP1 and CP2/3 will not mean much going forward because all of the plans are “0” because the ROW is supposed to acquired at this point. They will both be “replanned” in the future, but for now they are moving against a plan of “0”. Still, for consistency sake

    CP 1 was +14 for the month, on a plan of 0
    CP2/3 was +23 for the month, on a plan of 0.
    CP/4 was -3 for the month, on a plan of 4. They will be negative for the next 2 months and then like the other the plan goes to 0.

    For the overall project performance, called SPI, an on time project is =1 Greater than 1 is early and less than 1 is late

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_FA_Operations_Report.pdf
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_FA_CP2_3_Performance_Metrics_103116.pdf
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_FA_CP4_Performance_Metrics_103116.pdf

    CP1 was 0.5 up from 0.46 last month
    CP2/3 was 0.75 from 0.77 last month
    CP 4 was 0.80 down from 0.83 last month.

    These are cumulative metrics for the whole project. So since CP1 is so far behind schedule, they will most likely never be able to make up the difference until the end of the project. So to understand how they are performing now, I calculated the monthly performance by subtracting out last months report from this months report leaving only 1 month of performance. It is the easiest way to see if they are digging themselves out of the hole or not. As with everything else on HSR, it is a mixed bag

    CP 1 was 2.26 (40.5 million work done when 17.9 million expected)
    CP 2/3 was 0.43 (9.8 million work done when 22.9 million expected)
    CP 4 was 0.49 (2.2 million work done when 4.6 million expected)

    So CP1 progress is spectacular. They are more than double the productivity that was expected. It is an unmitigated success and you have to commend them
    On the other hand, CP2/3 and CP4 are operating at less than 50% productivity. While CP4 could be excused as being early , CP2/3 is about 20-25% done they have no excuse for such low performance

    Overall, some bright spots but execution problems continue to plague the project. With a budget that is already so tight they are scheduled to terminate the line at a concrete pad north of Bakersfield, they need to at least stay on track which is not was they are doing. But the recent performance on CP1 shows that outstanding performance is at least within the realm of possibility.

    Joe Reply:

    Man stuck in Chinese finger puzzle tries again.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I chuckled.

    StevieB Reply:

    CP1 is the only segment that has started construction. The other segments have no construction. You are confusing construction and operations other than construction. ROW acquisition is not construction and neither is engineering.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    CP2/3 has spent 257 million dollars to date on a 1.3 billion project

    http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_FA_CP2_3_Monthly_Status_Highlight_Report_103116.pdf

    I didnt say they had started production i said they were 20-25% done, which they are on a spending basis. They were supposed to have spent 344 million at this point. 344/1365 = 25%. if you prefer you can use actual spend 257/1365 = 18%. Hence the reason I used the range.

    Bottom line, they are well into the project and should be preforming better than 1/2 productivity.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But what if they end up under budget?

    Wouldn’t your metrics suggest they are slower than they should be?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    How many late projects come in under budget…that is zero

    Joe Reply:

    The project budget is revised biannually. The project plan and requirements change biannually.
    You’re being inane.

    Take the inital cost estimate for CP1 with a max cost of 1.8B.
    Add the new work to CP1 and you have total estimated cost.
    Tract the cost.

    The project changes so sticking with one early number and ignoring reality is — well conservatism.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    These are the numbers that the authority is publishing. They published these numbers, not me.

    And for the record, that is what they are tracking…cost of project so far vs. scheduled budget so far. They chose the metric and the requirement.

    StevieB Reply:

    Unless you can say when and where construction on CP2/3 will start and if the ROW will be delivered at the construction site then your metrics are inconsequential. Not even Fox and Hounds will pay attention to your conclusion.

    Jerry Reply:

    The first item on the November Construction Update from the first page of the CAHSRA web site states:
    WORK BEGINS ON CONSTRUCTION PACKAGE 2-3
    Work continues to advance on Construction Package 2-3 (CP 2-3), the 65-mile segment between Fresno County and one-mile north of the Tulare-Kern County line. Recently, Dragados Flatiron Joint Venture (DFJV), the CP 2-3 design-build contractor, started major construction activities near Manning and Cedar Avenue in Fresno County. They have begun hauling fill dirt alongside the BNSF railroad tracks for the construction of a berm for the high-speed rail track foundation. Continual testing of the soil will occur as it is placed and compacted to ensure proper support needed for the high-speed rail line. As much as 50,000 cubic yards of fill dirt will be placed during this phase of the project.

    joe Reply:

    John’s lying and you show why with your reference to actual project twork.

    Bottom line, they are well into the project and should be preforming better than 1/2 productivity.

    Bottom line, they are well into the project and should be preforming better than 1/2 productivity.

    Earned Value Management counts money spent when work is done.

    The planned costing (spending plan) is not productivity measure and doesn’t show if the project is over budget.

    EVM tells you what work is completed compared to your cost estimate of that work.

    You plan to drive to LA at 8AM and arrive by 2PM.
    You actually leave at 10AM and plan to arrive at 4PM.

    The time in the car isn’t 2 hours longer. It’s the same estimate with a delayed start.

    John’s arguing you are going to be driving 2 more hours.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    except in your analogy, they did start at 8am because they broke ground..

    and they have an appointment at 2pm (opening the system)

    and they are not going to make it

    joe Reply:

    Now you’re tell us CAHSR has an appointment. WTF does this even mean?

    You are using EVM schedule performance index and nonsense to tell us about future cost and budget.

    There’s a EVM metric, the Estimate at Completion (EAC)
    It is the current estimated total cost for authorized work.
    That total estimate equals Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP) plus the estimated costs to complete (Estimate To Complete (ETC)) the authorized work remaining.

    No Schedule Performance Index John.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    post a link to the CAHSR EVM or EAC. Post a link to any of that.

    Joe Reply:

    Why don’t you post a link to EVM or EAC. You’re the troll telling us the project is going over budget. Show us where you get that information. If you don’t have access to it then consider your ill-informed opinion.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That’s because you are all talk and no data. There is no link.

    I looked at the available data and drew a conclusion. You made up data in your head and decided everything was fine.

    I am fine letting everyone on this board decide who is more credible.

    Joe Reply:

    I showed you the schedule performance index.

    You want to troll the project is going over budget and complain that I don’t provide you with the necessary data.

    You looked at schedule variance and made up a nonsensical conclusion about being over budget.
    It’s BS and wrong. You don’t understand the information and its limits.

    joe Reply:

    Statements written about the project data without reading the explanations and background are fraudulent.

    Joe Reply:

    The EVM tracts cost for work completed. You can’t use dates and ignore work.

    What work is completed and what is the actual cost compared to planned cost.

    If work is delayed then they have to be behind costing.

    Schedule performance is not the measure.

    EVM calculates the estimated cost at completion. That’s the number to track. What’s that number for the work package.

    Jerry Reply:

    I thought a few weeks ago construction was started on CP2.
    Sort of some berm work.
    Also some utility relocation stuff.

    StevieB Reply:

    Utility relocation is contracted to utility companies and is prior to construction. It is bad form to dig a trench into underground utilities.

    agb5 Reply:

    According the the status report that was just a test:

     Subgrade Preparation and Embankment Test Fill between E. South Ave.
    & E. Manning Ave.

    Travis D Reply:

    Also that is a month behind. The updates that John reference are for all work up to October 31st. My understanding is that during the month of November they did start construction on the BNSF relocation.

    Joe Reply:

    .
    These are cumulative metrics for the whole project. So since CP1 is so far behind schedule, they will most likely never be able to make up the difference until the end of the project.

    CP1 was delayed by lawsuits. Work completed had to be redone. Added costs due to the lawsuit delays were 67 m. Additionally CA added work to CP1 to build to Merced. Your analysis ignores these facts.
    At a trivial level, the millions of added work to CP1 change the inital project plan. They cannot finish CP1 inital plan since it’s now larger. Expect a new plan to include the new work.

    Progress is measured using EVM. EVM is tied to the value of work competed vs the plan. Given large construction items, EVM should not change evenly with time.

    Jerry Reply:

    “The Authority is working with TPZP to rebaseline the delivery schedule for the remaining parcels in CP1. The agreed upon dates will drive the construction schedule to provide substantial completion by June 2019, which aligns with the time extension granted.”
    Not to worry.
    We have until June 2019 for substantial completion.
    By then the 2020 election campaign will be heating up.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Cost overruns result from delays. Delays result from inefficient project management.

    Add in cap and trade not making as much as anticipated.

    They don’t have the money to finish IOS north

    zorro Reply:

    Anti HSR forces are in decline, your side has lost everywhere, in court, and at the Ballot.

    Joe Reply:

    John’s making up stuff.

    He called the project management team incompetent.

    Factually the lawsuit delayed property acquisition and appraisals expired. Work had to be redone.

    Not one critic published has criticized the project management team as severely as john.

    StevieB Reply:

    California High-Speed Rail progress is continuing apace. John Nachtigall is grasping at straws looking for any sign of poor performance. All he can find is delay in purchase of ROW that is inconsequential to present construction.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I literally just repeated the numbers that CAHSR published. Look them up yourself.

    And if you bothered to read my post you would see that I complimented them on CP1 and the excellent work they did this month.

    But the fact is they are behind schedule, for whatever reason. And projects that fall behind schedule go over budget.

    Both of those things are indisputable facts.

    joe Reply:

    That’s not true.
    You interpret the numbers and that interpretation is wrong.

    People take issue with your interpretation that misrepresent and in some cases is make up nonsense.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I did not make up the SPI metric…CAHSR did and publish it every month
    I did not set the goal (=1)….CAHSR did and publish it every month

    Every month CAHSR publish this

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_FA_CP2_3_Performance_Metrics_103116.pdf

    which states on the first page

    “The following performance metrics for Construction Package 2-3, a design-build project, are intended to give the Authority’s Board of Directors and other key stakeholders a high level overview of the performance of this project. Safety is a top priority and listed first, followed by key metrics for cost, schedule, and quality, as all are fundamental metrics for the management of the project. ”

    They are the ones that use green/yellow/red dials
    They are the ones showing the metric in red

    I didnt do any of that.

    They are late, it does matter and attacking me personally will not change those facts.

    Joe Reply:

    The metric is a number.

    Your interpretation is bogus. It’s not a personal attack. You can’t BS and whine when called out.

    EVM calculates the “estimate cost at completion”. That’s the metric to estimate the cost of the work package given current and past performance including money spent and work needed to complete.

    You’re misrepresenting the schedule performance metric as a cost /budget measure. It’s wrong and frankly a dumb thing to do for anyone remotely familiar with EVM.
    Don’t take it personal — you’re an above average person and very handsome and smell nice.
    This analysis you wrote is wrong and why people are trying to correct the bad info.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    well if I am misinterpreting then so is the authority and everyone except you Joe.

    Because they calculate as money spent vs budget schedule.
    and they consider it a “key factor in project performance”
    and it is failing the self set requirement.

    Its just a matter of time before CP2/3 is declared over budget and re-planned.

    joe Reply:

    Not knowing what metrics means leads to bullshit. Cost variance tells us if they have an over run. Schedule variance does not

    Money spent per time/schedule doesn’t indicate if they are overrunning on cost.
    You’re only looking at the spending plan.

    The contractor reports the budgeted cost for all work packages completed/performed. This is the cumulative Budgeted Cost for Work Performed (BCWPcum), or earned value.

    If the contractor has not completed all the scheduled work packages planned through the status date, then the BCWPcum will be less than the BCWScum, representing a “monetized” indication that the contractor has completed less work than scheduled, known as Schedule Variance (SV).

    Cost Variance (CV) is the mathematical difference between Budgeted Cost for Work Performed (BCWP)</B and Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP).

    If they are overspending you’ll see it in cost variance, not schedule variance.

    You have a plan to spend $100 by 12/8 and get 10 XMAS gifts for 10 each and have only spent $70.

    If you spent $70 on 6 gifts you are running over budget even thought you are under spending by today’s date. You will spend $40 more and thus run over budget.

    If you however spent $50 on 6 gifts you are expected to only spend $40 more and will be late but under budget.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Anytime you want to post actual numbers I am glad to look at them

    Joe Reply:

    You don’t have the necessary information and pretended you could draw informed conclusions.

    When confronted with your farcical mistakes you blame others for not sooon feeding you data.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I am the only one to post actual numbers joe, you have proven 2 things.

    you can read an equation out of a project management book and you can speculate.

    You ASSUME the schedule will not impact the cost, which all available data on large projects shows ACTUALLY is correlated. Your blind trust of CAHSR prevents any objectivity

    CP1 has already been overtime and overbudget. Give it another year and CP2/3 and CP4 will be in the same spot. You can’t consistently miss schedule and stay on budget. Read the beginning of that project handbook you like so much. It’s such a fundamental law that we have a saying.

    Time is money. Perhaps you have heard of that.

    Joe Reply:

    “Time is money”

    EVM has cost variance and schedule variance.
    Two measures are needed because time ain’t money, it’s a slogan for a troll.

    You post schedule metrics and make unfounded claims about budget. Your lack of knowledge allows you the confidence to troll with word salads.

    Now your a hero for making up garbage. Hurt feelings and you need a medal.

    Joe Reply:

    You’re putting words in my mouth now Mr. troll.

    First of all Joe posted a link showing CP1 will cost by $67 million more because of the lawsuit delay.
    You’re goofy analysis is the problem.
    you lied and called project management incompetent. The delay and cost increase was caused by a lawsuit and specifically a property appraisals that were made an expired due to the delay.

    This is a disagreement over your goofy made up bullshit and the facts.

    When CP1 was issued the authority budgeted $1.8 billion. The contract came in well below that upper bound. A PROJECT cost overrun on the segment would need to go over what the project estimated which is 1,800,000,000 PLUS the additional work added the CP1 after the contract was awarded. that additional work is a build towards merced which is in a usable segment.

    of the contract is not equal to the programmatic

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If there’ll be a 2020 election, that is.

    Jerry Reply:

    Whoops. My bad.
    From the Central Valley Segment – Independent Funding Plan Report:

    “Applying the FTA- recommended practice for the CP 1-4 construction work yields an overall completion date of May 2020, about 250 calendar days later than the date indicated in the Program Summary,”

    It looks like a completion date of May, 2020, and not June, 2019.

  20. Elizabeth Alexis
    Dec 8th, 2016 at 18:21
    #20

    Next week’s board meeting has several key action items. Documents are now posted online:

    Central Valley funding plan and independent consultant report
    Same for caltrain
    Operator procurement

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Board/monthly_brdmtg.html

    Clem Reply:

    The consultant report on the Caltrain electrification program is quite interesting. Among the things I found interesting:

    Section 2.5 finds that like CBOSS (uh-oh), the PCEP org chart is full of consultants with limited authority to act on behalf of Caltrain, and points out what a shit-show CBOSS turned into.
    Section 2.8 aligns with a point that Roland has often made.
    Section 2.10 basically states the consultant does not believe Caltrain can deliver the program on time and on budget.
    Section 3 states that “The Authority’s traffic analysis indicates that there is no need for additional passing tracks.” I’d love to see the assumptions they made to come to that insane conclusion.
    Section 4.2 discusses sagged vs. non-sagged designs. I learned something new, although it conflicts with a Japanese paper that I read stating that non-sagged was best for very high speeds.
    Section 4.6 states that HSR vehicles will “fit inside the Caltrain structure gauge and envelope,” that is if Caltrain doesn’t restrict it further with 25″ platforms strewn about.
    The call notes at the end describe a new CPUC General Order being close to completion to cover 25 kV electrification in non-HSR territory, but I can find no trace of this proceeding on the CPUC website.

    Plenty of other tidbits in there!

    agb5 Reply:

    They do conclude that the electrified corridor would probably be suitable and ready for high-speed train operations under prop1A definitions.

    Roland Reply:

    Section 2.8. The JAW triplet SMEs know better.
    Section 5
    “Any High-Speed Train Service contemplated by the Authority is outside the scope of
    this Funding Plan because no Authority High-Speed Train Service will be provided in
    the usable segment. As such, no Revenues and no Operating and Maintenance
    Costs have been contemplated in the Funding Plan. We are therefore unable to
    comment on whether or not an operating subsidy is required.”
    S-N-A-P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    DO NOT PASS GO! STRAIGHT TO JAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    agb5 Reply:

    Jail for what? The Usable Segment legal construct was created to enable exactly this kind of thing.

    StevieB Reply:

    Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act.

    Article 2. 2704.04. (b)
    (3) Upon a finding by the authority that expenditure of bond proceeds for
    capital costs in corridors other than the corridor described in paragraph (2)
    would advance the construction of the system, would be consistent with the
    criteria described in subdivision (f) of Section 2704.08, and would not have an
    adverse impact on the construction of Phase 1 of the high-speed train project,
    the authority may request funding for capital costs, and the Legislature may
    appropriate funds described in paragraph (1) in the annual Budget Act, to be
    expended for any of the following high-speed train corridors:
    (B) San Francisco Transbay Terminal to San Jose to Fresno.

    The Peninsula is a designated corridor that would advance the construction of the system without being ready for operating High-Speed Rail service.

    Roland Reply:

    (c)(1) No later than 90 days prior to the submittal to the Legislature and the Governor of the initial request for appropriation of proceeds of bonds authorized by this chapter for any eligible capital costs on each corridor, or usable segment thereof, identified in subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04, other than costs described in subdivision (g), the authority shall have approved and submitted to the Director of Finance, the peer review group established pursuant to Section 185035 of the Public Utilities Code, and the policy committees with jurisdiction over transportation matters and the fiscal committees in both houses of the Legislature, a detailed funding plan for that corridor or a usable segment thereof.
    (2) The plan shall include, identify, or certify to ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
    (A) The corridor, or usable segment thereof, in which the authority is proposing to invest bond proceeds.
    (B) A description of the expected terms and conditions associated with any lease agreement or franchise agreement proposed to be entered into by the authority and any other party for the construction or operation of passenger train service along the corridor or usable segment thereof.
    (C) The estimated full cost of constructing the corridor or usable segment thereof, including an estimate of cost escalation during construction and appropriate reserves for contingencies.
    (D) The sources of all funds to be invested in the corridor, or usable segment thereof, and the anticipated time of receipt of those funds based on expected commitments, authorizations, agreements, allocations, or other means.
    (E) THE PROJECTED RIDERSHIP AND OPERATING REVENUE ESTIMATE BASED ON PROJECTED HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER TRAIN OPERATIONS ON THE CORRIDOR OR USABLE SEGMENT.
    (F) All known or foreseeable risks associated with the construction and operation of high-speed passenger train service along the corridor or usable segment thereof and the process and actions the authority will undertake to manage those risks.
    (G) Construction of the corridor or usable segment thereof can be completed as proposed in the plan.
    (H) The corridor or usable segment thereof would be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation.
    (I) One or more passenger service providers can begin using the tracks or stations for passenger train service.
    (J) The planned passenger service by the authority in the corridor or usable segment thereof will not require a local, state, or federal operating subsidy.
    (K) The authority has completed all necessary project level environmental clearances necessary to proceed to construction.
    (d) Prior to committing any proceeds of bonds described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 2704.04 for expenditure for construction and real property and equipment acquisition on each corridor, or usable segment thereof, other than for costs described in subdivision (g), the authority shall have approved and concurrently submitted to the Director of Finance and the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee the following:  (1) a detailed funding plan for that corridor or usable segment thereof that (A) identifies the corridor or usable segment thereof, and THE ESTIMATED FULL COST OF CONSTRUCTING THE CORRIDOR or usable segment thereof, (B) IDENTIFIES THE SOURCES OF ALL THE FUNDS TO BE USED and anticipates time of receipt thereof based on offered commitments by private parties, and authorizations, allocations, or other assurances received from governmental agencies, (C) INCLUDES A PROJECTED RIDERSHIP AND OPERATING REVENUE REPORT, (D) includes a construction cost projection including estimates of cost escalation during construction and appropriate reserves for contingencies, (E) includes a report describing any material changes from the plan submitted pursuant to subdivision (c) for this corridor or usable segment thereof, and (F) describes the terms and conditions associated with any agreement proposed to be entered into by the authority and any other party for the construction or operation of passenger train service along the corridor or usable segment thereof;  and (2) a report or reports, prepared by one or more financial services firms, financial consulting firms, or other consultants, independent of any parties, other than the authority, involved in funding or constructing the high-speed train system, indicating that (A) construction of the corridor or usable segment thereof can be completed as proposed in the plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (1), (B) if so completed, the corridor or usable segment thereof would be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation, (C) upon completion, one or more passenger service providers can begin using the tracks or stations for passenger train service, (D) THE PLANNED PASSENGER TRAIN SERVICE TO BE PROVIDED BY THE AUTHORITY, or pursuant to its authority, WILL NOT REQUIRE AN OPERATING SUBSIDY, and (E) an assessment of risk and the risk mitigation strategies proposed to be employed.  The Director of Finance shall review the plan within 60 days of its submission by the authority and, after receiving any communication from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, IF THE DIRECTOR FINDS THAT THE PLAN IS LIKELY TO BE SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED AS PROPOSED, the authority may enter into commitments to expend bond funds that are subject to this subdivision and accept offered commitments from private parties.

    http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-08.html

    agb5 Reply:

    Planned HSR service: none
    Projected ridership: zero
    Projected revenue: zero
    Operating subsidy: zero
    Full cost of constructing a “Usable segment thereof” is the cost of the electrification component.

    (f) In selecting corridors or usable segments thereof for construction, the authority shall give priority to those corridors or usable segments thereof that are expected to require the least amount of bond funds as a percentage of total cost of construction. Among other criteria it may use for establishing priorities for initiating construction on corridors or usable segments thereof, the authority shall include the following: (1) projected ridership and revenue, (2) the need to test and certify trains operating at speeds of 220 miles per hour, (3)the utility of those corridors or usable segments thereof for passenger train services other than the high-speed train service that will not result in any unreimbursed operating or maintenance cost to the authority

    Roland Reply:

    Section 2.5

    It is good practice for any track improvements (including renewals) to be carried out in advance of electrification so that only the final alignment can be designed and wired. It is also essential that the track centerline is fixed and identified, particularly at curve transition points, so that the catenary can be designed, installed and maintained as specified. Allowance should be made by the designer for known track projects that have not been completed before installing the catenary.

    Track maintenance crews must be trained to understand that they are no longer free to move the alignment, cant or elevation of the track except in accordance with allowed tolerances from the designed position and that this discipline should be applied before catenary design takes place, to avoid abortive design or construction work. Permanent markers should be installed on poles that should record the track running edge to face of steel dimension, cant and contact wire height so that
    maintenance teams can readily check if movement has taken place. If reduced track tolerances are applied in places to ease OHLE construction they must also be marked at the site. This is particularly important because PFAL understands that Caltrain and/or the Authority will make track upgrades to enable 110 mph speeds in the foreseeable future. Though the track improvements compatibility risk described here mainly poses a risk to the PCEP schedule for the purposes of this review, a secondary issue is the potential for throw away costs due to the possibility of replacing electrification infrastructure.

    agb5 Reply:

    Yes, that is best practice, and that is how the Chinese would do it.
    But American exceptionalism requires it to be done in other ways or not at all.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It’s not American exceptionalism but American politics. If A should precede B but funding for B can be identified but not funding for A guess what happens.

    Roland Reply:

    Actually, it’s what happens when SamTrans rehires a certifiable moron from BART and puts her in charge of a Mod Squad.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Wong: wrong. It’s Caltrain. Anything those sub-humans can do wrongly, and do over and over again, and do at 2x or 3x or 10x the cost, tjey will, and have, and are doing, and will do.

    It’s nothing to do with “American politics” in you fantasy that seems to involve some sort of imaginary “lack” of funding. They’re swimming in cash. Up to their ears in pork. They simply choose — deliberately, unambiguously, repeatedly, fraudulently, self-servingly, corruptly — to maximize expense, maximize contractor profits, and minimize public benefit.

    You don’t electrify at 2x the going rate or re-re-re-resignal (uniquely!) at 3x or more (much more!) because mean old “politics” deprives you of the ability to plan ahead like any boderline-functional human being might.

    Roland Reply:

    They clearly need a dedicated funding source! Par-Tay!!! 10,000 J-O-B-S! Woo-hoo!!!!

    StevieB Reply:

    Roland,
    that is all well and good if the corridor were constructed to be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation. Caltrain funding is for a capital cost in the San Francisco Transbay Terminal to San Jose corridor that would advance the construction of the system and would not have an
    adverse impact on the construction of Phase 1 of the high-speed train project. Ask yourself if the Caltrain electrification program would advance construction of the California High-Speed Rail system even though no Authority High-Speed Train Service will be provided in the usable segment.

    Roland Reply:

    See above…

    StevieB Reply:

    Not all elements of the law apply to all funding.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “This is particularly important because PFAL understands that Caltrain and/or the Authority will make track upgrades to enable 110 mph speeds in the foreseeable future. Though the track improvements compatibility risk described here mainly poses a risk to the PCEP schedule for the purposes of this review, a secondary issue is the potential for throw away costs due to the possibility of replacing electrification infrastructure.” it is that you do not understand.

    agb5 Reply:

    They have resolved to build two usable segments.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the High-Speed Rail Authority, as follows:
    Pursuant to Streets and Highways Code section 2704.08, subdivision (f), the Authority hereby selects for construction each of the following usable segments:
     The portion of the Phase 1 corridor (described in Streets and Highways Code 2704.04, subdivision (b)(2)) between and including a San Jose station and a Bakersfield station;
    and
     The portion of the Phase 1 corridor between and including a Merced station and a San Fernando Valley station.

    Roland Reply:

    And the money for the Pacheco tunnels is coming from?

    Jerry Reply:

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

    Jerry Reply:

    With naming rights for each tunnel.

    Roland Reply:

    H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!

  21. Jerry
    Dec 8th, 2016 at 23:17
    #21

    Trump wants a Trillion Dollar rebuild of the infrastructure. The following three Trump friendly areas approved taxes for their transportation programs.

    Atlanta: Voters approved a sales tax increase of 0.5 percent to raise $2.5 billion to fund expansion of the MARTA system, including several light rail extensions.

    Indianapolis/Marion County: Voters approved a quarter-percent income tax increase to raise $1.68 billion over 30 years to fund the IndyGo Transit plan. Projects include three new bus rapid transit routes include the 35-mile electric BRT Red Line.

    Raleigh/Wake County, N.C.: Voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to raise $1 billion over 10 years to fund the Wake County Transit plan, including commuter rail between Durham and Raleigh and new bus rapid transit in four directions from downtown Raleigh.

    Will the sanctuary city policies stop support for other metropolitan areas?

     http://www.npr.org/2016/12/08/504856998/from-immigration-to-infrastructure-big-city-mayors-draw-up-wish-list-for-trump

    Jerry Reply:

     http://www.npr.org/2016/12/08/504856998/from-immigration-to-infrastructure-big-city-mayors-draw-up-wish-list-for-trump

    Jerry Reply:

    http://www.npr.org/2016/11/23/503129325/voters-backed-transit-funds-will-congress-ok-trump-infrastructure-plan

    zorro Reply:

    Yeah, local funding, not funding from Washington DC, which is what the GOP/Republican Party(same thing) believes in, there are already calls to stop Tiger Grants for LRT, thinking that this is not the job of the Federal Government(which has a lot of money, but is spending averse, unless it’s for permanent war spending), but the job of state, and local governments to do, like with the Hoover Administration in 1929, laissez-faire economics aka: you’re are all on your own, don’t look for help from the US government, it ain’t coming, not with the Republican Party at large and in charge…

    StevieB Reply:

    Trump proposed allowing private capital to build infrastructure which it would then own. The government would repay 82% of the capital investment through tax credits. The privately owned infrastructure would be operated for the owners profit.

    Local government transit projects are not part of Trump’s Trillion Dollar infrastructure giveaway.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Trump also suggests another funding source for infrastructure projects:
    repatriation of profits corporations hold overseas. But there are big disagreements over how much to tax those profits and how much money it would really bring in.”
    As always, the controversy will be, “how do we pay for it.”

    StevieB Reply:

    Donald Trump often says whatever comes to mind on the spur of the moment. Few if anything he blurted out during the campaign will become policy.

    Joe Reply:

    “biographer: Stop overestimating him — he’s a cross between a junkie and a hungry chicken”

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    He’s more like a kid playing with matches. If he can knock $5 billion of market cap off a major corp with a Tweet that can become intoxicating. As for passenger rail, not even on his radar.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sure some of he poorer people he knows travel first class on Acela. An maybe even one or two who use the LIRR to get out to the Hamptons.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He used to rent to Keith Olbermann who famously does not drive since he lost depth perception way back when. But the two aren’t exactly on speaking terms anymore (and Olbermann has since moved out, naturally).

  22. Roland
    Dec 9th, 2016 at 10:49
    #22

    Caltrain: Caltrain has requested that $28 million in FY2014-15 and FY2015-16 funding for their railcar replacement project be shifted to the South San Francisco Station project, with the railcar funds being replaced by SMCTA local sales tax funds transferred from the station project, due to fund eligibility issues. The board resolution from SMCTA certifying the transfer of funds from the South San Francisco Station project to the railcar replacement project is attached. The programming continues to count toward meeting MTC’s commitment of $315 million for the railcars.
    https://mtc.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=4831606&GUID=CD732516-686A-4E16-8E6B-4CC12BEE6573

    What could possibly go wrong
    BTW, this SMCTA resolution did NOT go through the Caltrain Board.

    Roland Reply:

    Oh and BTW, the $315M is what’s left after deducting a $125M “advance” for “SOGR” from the $440M FTA grant for the railcars that will be repaid once the $647M FFGA grant goes through (and no, I am not making this up either).

  23. morris brown
    Dec 9th, 2016 at 14:38
    #23

    The Field Poll is shutting down – after 70 years of charting California’s political highs and lows

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting comment:
    “If you get your information from Fox News or Comedy Central, a legitimate public opinion poll like Field is an unwelcome intrusion into your version of reality,”
    Sorry to see them go.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I’d say Comedy Central is a better source of News than Fox is.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And with the rise of Breitbart and InfoWars, Fox isn’t looking so bad.
    I’m really hating this normalization of the irrational right.

    Aarond Reply:

    There isn’t any way to do reliable polls in the modern era, now that landlines are dead. Sad, because there’s no replacement: mobile robocalls are unreliable while internet polls are easily rigged.

    Not that it truly matters, California is a hard Dem state now unless there are any major upsets. Which means polling doesn’t matter as the state government (for better or worse) can just do what is pleases.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Back in the day this would simply produce a more “left” Republican party over the course of the years until the strengths were more or less even. But who knows whether such a thing can still happen in the US…

  24. Wells
    Dec 9th, 2016 at 18:04
    #24

    Reading the usual rash of nerdy comments to find some room to express my own viewpoint, I gave up that idea and offer this: California will probably get next to nothing from the federal government.
    Why wouldn’t Trump literally moon Californians? It’s doubtful CAHSR even completed will benefit a sufficient number of Trump supporters; the wealthy are riding that train. Does CAHSR pencil-out in terms of exorbitant profits for the right people or the right (read highway) construction contractors, oil-dependent airline and automobile related interests who view the system as competition?
    Yer screwed.

    Roland Reply:

    Good luck balancing the Federal budget the day Nevada and Washington decide to join Calexit. Who was mooning whom again?

    zorro Reply:

    Congress would never allow any exit from the US. And you’re forgetting Oregon I think.

    Wells Reply:

    Wow. Thanks for next to nothing, nerds. The wealthy (riders) are Trump’s only constituent,
    but he won’t resist denying (mooning) California HSR. He’s made statements about spending on airports, ports (coal/oil/gas export terminals), highways, oil pipelines, well drilling, fracking.
    I doubt he’ll even extend subsidies for EVs, windfarms and solar.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Windfarms can make back their investment without subsidies when built in the right place.

    Aarond Reply:

    CAHSR sits flush with his campaign’s brand: rebuilding America. It’s a shovel ready project that benefits a huge amount of people (40+ million) that only needs money.

    Also, I reckon we can count on Trump to shower money onto his home town (NYC) which will need at least $100 billion for their own laundry list of projects (220 mph NEC, Gateway Tunnels, Empire HSR, New Empire Station, Cross-harbor rail tunnel, etc) and CA offers 55 votes towards that goal. Rail projects also use US steel, a thing which Trump has said he will protect. And the GOP itself has entered a new era, and might perhaps be more open to rail in general.

    I’m (very) cautiously optimistic, it’s up to CA and NY area Democrats to lobby moderate Republicans here.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He’s not even in office yet. They aren’t going to investigate or prosecute her. They aren’t going to build the wall. They aren’t going to investigate or prosecute her. They aren’t going to repeal Obamacare. Or prosecute her. What makes you think they are going to pay attention to any of their campaign promises other than cutting taxes on rich people?

    Aarond Reply:

    Because Trump is a huckster and only cares about his hometown – NYC. I’m confident saying he’s a true New Yorker at heart and will fight for it regardless of anything else.

    To that end, some Republicans will obviously disagree with that. In comes California with 55 votes and an incomplete train project. Deals can be struck.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    In your opinion, what could Trump possibly say or do to get CA to vote for him in 2020.

    He could Marry Nancy Pelosi, make Elizabeth Warren his Attorney General and Bernie Sanders the VP and he would still not get the Dem House or Senate votes.

    CA went all in on the “We Hate Trump Bandwagon, and still continue to pile on with the “sanctuary” policies which are just going to piss him off. He is not going to grant them special deals, he is too much of a narcissist to do that. CA did the one thing he can not forgive….not loving him personally.

    Jerry Reply:

    And on top of all of that, California loves Saturday Night Live.

    Roland Reply:

    And Hitler: https://youtu.be/IeLs9i3D7fw

    Joe Reply:

    He could Marry Nancy Pelosi, make Elizabeth Warren his Attorney General and Bernie Sanders the VP and he would still not get the Dem House or Senate votes.

    Marry Nancy Pelosi…FFS.
    He’s unqualified so wtf does it matter who he marries for the fourth time?

    You’ve not describe one capability, policy change or substantial difference. He hangs with Dems and we’re supposed to like him because it’s High school.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Also, for what it’s worth, Bernie lost the California primary.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    sar·casm
    ˈsärˌkazəm
    noun
    the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

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

    I was using both.

    Let me spell it out.

    It would not matter what policies, practices, changes, or endorsements Donald Trump could make, at no point now or in the future would Democrats (and especially CA Democrats) support any of his suggestions. They hate him on a personal level.

    example, he want to spend money on infrastructure and the Democrats (who want to spend money on infrastructure)….object
    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-democrats-may-object-to-funding-for-trumps-1-trillion-infrastructure-plan-2016-11

    Example, he wants to end free trade, and the Democrats who oppose free trade….object. https://www.rt.com/usa/366921-dc-protest-trump-tpp/

    It is a visceral hate. So AArond’s original post, that CA could strike a deal for train money in exchange for votes will never happen. Because, like you Joe, they will not negotiate with someone they consider a madman.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Silly Democrats, objecting to giving tax breaks to projects that would have been built anyway.
    Or for projects that wouldn’t have been built, socializing the capital costs and privatizing the profits.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I am with you. I dont think infrastructure spending works. I dont support the plan when Krugman suggests it and I dont support it when Trump suggests it. But, the point is that it is a Democrat supported plan to increase infrastructure spending at the expense of the federal budget running even more of a deficit.

    joe Reply:

    Remember when John used to troll with economic doom essays about CA becoming the next Greece?

    It was all the rage when Gov. Brown took over from Arnold and started to use proven “bipartisan” economic principles to fix the state economy. We taxed, spent and grew the economy.
    In 2016 CA is running a 2.8 Billion dollar surplus.
    http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/11/17/66216/california-analyst-projects-2-8-billion-budget-sur/

    He ran away from that argument. Why?

    Jerry Reply:

    Why? Good question. It depends upon who you want to support or who you want to blame.
    Does Brownback deserve credit or blame for Kansas’ economic condition?
    Or is it all Obama’s fault? Or credit?
    Or George W’s?

    Jerry Reply:

    “I don’t think infrastructure spending works.”
    A pothole (problems with infrastructure) is neither Democrat or Republican. It just needs repaired (fixed).
    It is repaired using revenue. Whether based upon taxes or tolls. Or tax breaks, tax subsidies, tax bribes, etc., etc.
    The economic hypocrisy exists with BOTH political parties.
    Oh. By the way. We need a Trillion Dollar$ to upgrade our nuclear arsenal.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sure you are nostalgic for the days when the Federal Government had a surplus and the discussion was about what would happen to the economy when the debt, not the deficit, disappeared.

    Jerry Reply:

    Cheney said, “deficits don’t matter. ”
    (unless they’re Democratic deficits)
    :-)

    Jerry Reply:

    Was it the W administration that said you could go to war, have a tax cut, and build up the Iraq infrastructure?
    You know. The guy someone threw a shoe at.

    Jerry Reply:

    But then again, what’s a little debt here and there?
    We’ll let China pay for it. (Remember, it’s on their credit card. If they get funny with us, we’ll just cancel the card.)

    Jerry Reply:

    Yeah? And what’s China going to do about it?
    Hey. It’s just a negotiating point.
    We might get some HSR train sets out of it.
    Providing of course they open up a plant in Indiana and build them to USA standards.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What did the Romans have that no one else had?

    Carthage had the better navy and more advanced seafarers. Greece had the better philosophers. The German barbarians ultimately came to have both the better military and the better generals. (During the late 4th and most of the 5th century almost all generals on both sides were Germanic or Hun)

    But Rome had by far the best roads, aqueducts, housing, education, thermal baths and whatnot. In short, Rome had the best infrastructure in the ancient world. Yes, they ultimately came to have a (surprisingly small) well equipped, well disciplined, well trained military, but without the roads to move them from A to B in no time, they would not have lasted as long as they did. And I am sure had someone showed the Romans how to build railroads, they would have covered Europe and North Africa in tracks even faster than historically happened.

    So your assertion that infrastructure investment is a waste of money is… bizarre. In fact, the US would still be shipping their military through Panama and Nicaragua if it weren’t for that radical Lincoln and his harebrained never earn back investment scheme to link nowhere, Nebraska with some minor city formerly known as Yerba Buena…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wow, talk about piling on. Let’s see if I can hit all the points

    1. I was not specific enough. I don’t believe that big infrastructure spending leads to a healthy economy. Obviously providing infrastructure is important to set the economy up for success, but Japan and Greece and a host of other countries show that just sending a ton on infrastructure does not lead directly to a great economy. Simply put, if deficit spending and building made a great economy then Japan would not have had 2-3 decades of stagnation and failure.

    2. Brown does deserve credit for helping to heal CAs economy. But he did not use tax and spend, he used tax and NOT spend. If you recall he vetoed the budget because of excess spending. However, one thing he did not do was fix the messed up tax system. In the next recession, the revenue will fall by 50% again and we will be back into a deep hole. So yes, he has done much much better than Illinois, but there is still a structural defect he failed to address.

    Also points off for punking out on his promise that the tax increase was temporary.

    3. Deficit spending is no longer a partisan issue, there are hawks and doves in both parties. The US is Far away from from it being a problem but that does not mean it can’t be solved now. Even if it meant higher taxes I would like to see the deficit at 0 and a balanced budget amendment. I make no apologies for that. Yes I know that the last time there was no deficit was with Clinton in the White House, I give him credit for that

    I never said CA was in the same situation as Greece. Obviously no US state could ever get as bad as Greece because of the monetary union and federal spend. See Puerto Rico which would have collapsed like Greece if they were not in the USA

    Note: Greece is still f***ed and the EU keeps pushing them farther down because they have no ability to manage anything. I didn’t agree with how Obama handled the recession, but he is a genius compared to how Europe has booted it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Greece uses the Euro, yaknow? Just like Puerto Rico uses the Dollar. And Puerto Rico cannot simply declare bankruptcy under the current system.

    Also, I am vehemently opposed to a balanced budget amendment. Because there are good reasons for states to take out loans. And they even exist in good economic times – especially if for some reason your economy is doing good and interest rates are still low.

    Also, what do you think Japan should have done in the last couple of decades?

    I think Japan will have a major problem for demographic reasons fairly soon. They probably are experiencing those problems already. You can’t have sub-replacement fertility and net zero migration for a long time…

    Jerry Reply:

    Puerto Rico???
    A very strange situation.
    In 1932, BOTH political party platforms advocated STATEHOOD for Puerto Rico.
    What happened? I don’t know. But so much for political platforms. (It later became a “Free Associated State.”)
    But in 1950, two Puerto Ricans attempted to assassinate President Truman.
    And in 1954, Puerto Ricans entered the US House of Representatives chambers and shot five US Congressmen. (All survived.)
    And the discussion on the floor of the House at the time of the shooting? Immigration!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    We don’t have to deficit spend to get better infrastructure.
    We could decide that being able to turn the whole planet into a glassy radioactive cinder twice over isn’t a good way to spend money and only have enough to turn a half of the planet into a glassy radioactive cinder. Let the climate disaster that would create kill off anyone still left. We could decide, along with the few states that can also make large swaths of the planet into glassy radioactive cinders, that none of us are ever going to do that and have even less of them.
    Before Obamacare the government was paying half the healthcare costs in the country between Medicare, Medicaid and government employee health plans. Wanna cut 20 percent or more from that bill go to a single payer system. 20 percent is a low estimate.
    We could go back to tax rates similar to ones back in the 90s. When the debt was being paid down.
    We could raise the minimum wage high enough that someone working 40 hours a week makes too much money to be eligible for poverty benefits.
    How about raising fuel taxes high enough that they actually cover the costs of the roads the fuel is used on? I’m sure there are more ways.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Hmm….so no rebuttals that big infrastructure spending does produce a great economy. I wonder why?

    Greece continues to pull down the EU, but you will notice that Puerto Rico is not destabalizing the US. And they are the same situation (poor location of a larger union, currency they dont control, incompotent, out of control local government). The difference is that the US can handle crisis and the EU cant. The US does it ugly and it always takes to long, but in the end it gets done. The EU has had 6-7 years to solve Greece and they cant.

    Here is a hint, you have to write down the money you gave them and give them a fresh start. So its simple, for every 10% decrease in tax evasion, you get 10% off the debt. You allow them to meet this goal however they like. Either by simplifying the tax code, reducing taxes, or better enforcement. Go be a sovereign state. In the end they get relief and the EU gets a functional member.

    As for Japan, also a simple fix. Write down the bad loans, stop taxing and spending, and open up your economy to outsiders. You know, capitalism. Simply put, they need VC and vulture investors to buy the company and strip them down to the profitable parts and dump the rest. The US has had multiple banking crisis in the last 30-50 years and every time the strong survive, the weak die, and the economy recovers. Japan’s biggest obstacle to success is the inability to let the losers die

    Note: Puerto Rico has never asked to become a state. When they make up their mind they are free to join or leave. no one is stopping them but themselves.

    And finally, yes Adirondacker, the government could spend more money on a variety of things. You strike at the heart of the real difference between the GOP and the Dems. The size of the government. If I hand money to the government can they spend it more efficiently on things like health care and welfare than if I keep it. That is the question. We will agree to disagree on the answer I imagine.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Having a nuclear arsenal that can only turn half of Eurasia in a glassy radioactive cinder is avoiding spending money. Removing superfluous well paid health insurance company CEOs etc. and profits from the system is avoiding spending money. Paying people enough that they don’t qualify for government benefits is avoiding spending money. Raising fuel taxes avoids spending money from more general taxes and eventually avoids spending money on roads.

    All of the banking crisises since the Great Depression were caused by Republican free market zealotry.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    really, the GOP cause EVERY banking crisis? How did we fuck over Iceland? Sweden? Argentina?

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

    Not having a fully functioning military and relying on the USA for defense is a way to save money also. Aircraft carriers are expensive capital and expensive to run also. So are bombs, which are just useless until you need them and dont have them. (Libya anyone?) The Swiss are experts at this as they have decided to not even have an air force anymore because they are in the middle of NATO but dont have to pay. Excellent use of the “free rider” principal.

    And Obamacare has certainly shown that the government is much better at spending money than the private sector. 2016 put us right back at the same level of expense that was predicted without Obamacare, and all it cost us was hundreds of billions in wasted money on failed websites, co-ops, and advertising. Super work

    Raising the minimum wage works great, for those that have jobs, but it costs jobs. Just the latest study

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/07/26/seattles-minimum-wage-rise-is-reducing-employment-in-seattle-i-was-right-in-predicting-this/#15d288e64e6c

    and a tax is a tax, general or fuel. Fuel taxes are actually more regressive than income taxes, but if you want to punish the poor proportionally, go right ahead, I dont think it is good policy.

    Like I said, we will agree to disagree.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Silly me, I didn’t know Icelandic banks were guaranteed by the U.S. government.
    Very poor people don’t own cars but still pay for roads through their rent which pays property taxes. Poor people who have enough money to own cars can drive less or get a more efficient car. Or decide to take the bus which would be running more frequently because of increased demand. If Republicans had followed the advice of the radical communist Richard Nixon we would have restricted our oil imports. National defense issues etc. Or the advice of wild eyed John Anderson and taxed fuel a lot more there would be much more efficient cars on the road today.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You didnt specify US Banks. If it is GOP policies that cause problems, why do they occur in other countries. But if you want to restrict it to that, the savings and loan crisis was not the GOP

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

    “In no particular order of significance, they identify the rising monetary inflation beginning in the late 1960s spurred by simultaneous domestic spending programs of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” programs coupled with the military expenses of the continuing Vietnam War that continued into the late 1970s. The efforts to end rampant inflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s by raising interest rates brought on recession in the early 1980s and the beginning of the S&L crisis. Deregulation of the S&L industry, combined with regulatory forbearance, and fraud worsened the crisis”

    As for gas taxes, we keep having this argument. Everyone benefits from roads regardless of if you own a car. Just like everyone benefits from freight trains and no one owns a freight car.

    There is no national security problem with oil. America is a net exporter now thanks to fracking. The “America gets cut off and withers to nothing” argument was wrong, just like all the other malthus crap.

    The only peak oil we will ever see is peak DEMAND. Which is now forcast at 2030-2040. Congratulations everyone we bridged the gap.

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

    Here is the bottom like adirondacker. Losing elections have consequences. And your side does not have enough people to win the elections necessary to enforce your policies. Democracy….it can be a bitch.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Since you love to split hairs Savings and Loan Associations aren’t banks. It’s all Jimmy Carter’s fault that the Reagan administration didn’t supervise the transition. It all fell apart years after Mr. Carter had returned to Georgia.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    wow, that is a hair to split.

    And if you want to talk about the disaster that was Jimmy Carter’s presidency I am all for it. How much time do you have?

    joe Reply:

    It is a visceral hate. So AArond’s original post, that CA could strike a deal for train money in exchange for votes will never happen. Because, like you Joe, they will not negotiate with someone they consider a madman.

    Something hasn’t happened or is even remotely suggested of being offered definitely at proves John is once again correct.

    Joe commented that Trump could fund HSR from CA to Las Vegas for the benefit of his and Adelson’s hotels. Joe even posted links.

    Here’s one again.
    http://www.reviewjournal.com/traffic/high-speed-rail-plans-may-include-station-near-proposed-raiders-stadium-site

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really, so,in exchange for HSR funding Joe, what would you give Trump in return? Funding for the Wall? What would you negotiate for in exchange for the money?

    StevieB Reply:

    The Las Vegas HSR Station adjacent to Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Trump’s mysterious New York City projects that don’t even exist yet.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That’s a bad spot for a station. it should be closer to City Center.

    Joe Reply:

    What would I give?
    You’ve institutionalize bribery before the inauguration.

    Irrational hate of liberals shouldn’t blind you to the advantages of funding CA HSR for the benefit of the US economy.

    Aarond Reply:

    He could get the GOP to drop social conservatism, which would net him the techie vote. That said I expect 2020 to be Harris/Booker so CA is lost that year anyway.

    A CAHSR deal is separate and would be hammered out in the legislature, Trump only wants money for NYC and CA Dems should offer him the path of least resistance.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The techie vote going for a low intellect, low experience, nationalistic xenophobe with a base of racist angry people who want it to be 1950? I don’t think so.

    Finally, do we really think Harris will be the nominee in 2020? She hasn’t even served a day yet. She should hold out for 2028 or 2032. Booker on the other hand should be on the ticket.

    Aarond Reply:

    Silicon Valley is libertarian, their fling with the Democrats ended the moment Trump won and such a relationship became inconvenient. Look at all the talk about “fake news”, it’s the old media doing it and not Google or Facebook. The only thing keeping Republicans out are themselves, partially due to the CA GOP being a socal operation.

    As for Harris, she’s being groomed in the exact same way Senator Clinton and Senator Obama were in 2000 and 2004. Same for Booker.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Booker, Gillibrand, and Klobuchar, are all more sensible choices than Booker. The silicon valley has some stupid libertarian techno-utopia types, but Trump is certainly no libertarian. The silicon valley would vote for a republican that is pro trade, pro immigration, pro business, socially liberal, and pro infrastructure, and that doesn’t currently exist.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    more sensible than Harris*

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The choice is made by primary voters, not the party. For all we know the candidate could be a total wild card…

    Aarond Reply:

    National primary campaigns require a lot of money, and the DNC have superdelegates to “mediate” any populists that might pop up. And I doubt the DNC will learn from their mistakes this year.

    Also the GOP were in a special place this year as their last President was a mess and they tried it again with Jeb. They also sabotaged Ron Paul’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012, which burned whatever trust was left.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Aarond

    Yeah. Because Bernie definitely would have won. *sarcasm* He would have lost Nevada and Virginia even if he did better in the Rustbelt, he wouldn’t have had a shot in Florida or NC in the first place, and a very strong potential alternative campaign from Bloomberg could have taken a lot of centrist Democrats.

    joe Reply:

    The Dem Primary ended in April, the winner of the popular vote went on to win 2.7 Million more national votes.

    Clearly super delegates are not the problem.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    John is right. Also, Trumps idea of infrastructure is just tax breaks for investors, the GOP does not support huge new government investments, and Trump will not push things through with Democratic votes

    Jerry Reply:

    Investments for the purpose of tax breaks are still investments.
    And a ‘tax break’ is still a government investment.
    ‘Tax breaks’ are also a form of subsidies.

    EJ Reply:

    Applies more to privately funded projects. Could be a win for Texas Central.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That is a very possible, very intriguing project that could get a lot of help from such an infrastructure policy.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or it could not, because the Japanese will be the new Chinese if Trump says so.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Exactly, investment tax credits apply more to building hotels than bridges or trains

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And guess what Trump made his money (if it even exists) with…

    Jerry Reply:

    Mr. Trump is famously mercurial.

    Roland Reply:

    “220 MPH NEC”. Beyond H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!!!!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    220 MPH NEC is a very sensible and necessary infrastructure project that should absolutely happen.

    Roland Reply:

    Nothing that a 4-6 track tunnel can’t fix, right?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Um……okkayyy?

    Why would we not want 220 MPH NEC? It has even more potential riders than 220 MPH CAHSR, which should obviously be built.

    Roland Reply:

    Who said anything about “not wanting”?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Its not a matter of not wanting–its a matter of needing more than any other infrastructure project in the nation that isn’t a subway line except arguably for CAHSR.

    Wells Reply:

    There is far more need for inner-city transit upgrades than inter-city HSR, more mid-speed passenger-rail. The notion that those who can afford the ticket price ‘need’ to travel from SF to LA is pretentious. What about those who likewise supposedly ‘need’ to travel from SF to any other city in the nation? Long-distance travel is a luxury, not a need. HSR is mostly business class, vacation travel. Some defend the project as a means to attend seasonal sport events, not just the LA Olympic Games. Reducing speed reduces cost and makes long-distance travel more time consuming therefore less attractive for those who have little concern for civilization outside their gated compounds. Trump’s only interest in anyone is only how they can be exploited, a fact that Trump Chumps will never realize.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I said that various inner city subways were more important. However, out of every possible intercity road rail or airport project, none is more important in America than an upgraded NEC, except possibly CAHSR.

    Wells Reply:

    I’m not a big fan of subways and recommend avoiding them where possible. Inner-city bus service still fails with or without complementary subways. My planning philosophy is aligned with Portland’s regional planning agency Metro. Their main guiding principle in this regard is for balanced development throughout the metropolitan region, not just downtown where the traffic congestion that comes with high density is best addressed with a subway. If suburban or inner-city neighborhoods remain housing compounds and residents must travel afar by any means for all purposes, that travel cannot be met with either form of transit. In other words, even in car-strangled LA, bus service must improve alongside its planned subway extensions; that is, allocated transit system dollars can’t solely be directed to subways. As for the NEC HSR, long-distance travel is still a luxury.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The NEC is two, perhaps three animals. The Amtrak service, which barely makes a dent in the total travel market of the corridor, the commuter agencies, and some fairly minimal but locally important freight operations. Most of the travel market is automobile.
    So which problem do you want to solve? Will 220mph attract sufficient autos and some flyers to justify what everyone acknowledges will be enormous cost? Or do you reform and improve the commuter ops to pick up more short haul travelers (e.g. NJ – Long Island) whose journeys are not currently rail accessible?

    Jerry Reply:

    Ban cars in limited areas.

    Jerry Reply:

    Set Broadway Free.

    Jerry Reply:

    Hey, we already ban one person vehicles from some lanes already.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The only railroad stations on Long Island are LIRR stations.
    If you want to serve the most population the route should go via Long Island. S’kay if New Rochelle, Stamford and Bridgeport get half hourly service, once an hour via Providence and once an hour via Springfield. Though there are enough people along the New Haven line that a third train to Albany and beyond might scare up enough passengers.
    Rebuild the Atlantic Avenue tunnel, there are enough people in Brooklyn to support a train once or twice an hour. Which would also serve Wall Street. The third or fourth biggest CBD in the country depending on whose numbers you look at.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Wells. Subways or elevated rail are the only decent forms of rapid transit. At grade is terrible. I’m from Oregon, and MAX light rail is appalling–it is sooooooo slow. Portland isn’t as wonderful and urban as it is profiled to be

    @Dyson. The point of HSR. More capacity on existing NEC for local service. Faster journey times. More passengers. Mabye the closure of smaller airports like White Plains, National, La Guardia, Providence, and Hartford. High speed service to areas of the NEC that could use it, like Hartford.

    @Adirondacker. There isn’t a logical stop for NEC HSR in Brooklyn. Mabye Queens–but that is it. What the LIRR needs is a simplified service pattern that runs a frequent clockface schedule all day, making it like the RER. A NYC RER would not only be great for suburban passengers, but it would relieve crowding on the subways and decrease journey times from places like Fulton Street to Jamaica. See this for more: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2010/03/10/new-york-regional-rail-a-coda/

    Wells Reply:

    @Car-free LA, my point about luxury travel (or even routine long-distance travel and commuting) is that it can’t be met with any form of transit. “Commute systems create more demand for commuting than they can handle.” They overload during rush hours and operate at less than 1/4 capacity the rest of the day/evening. They encourage commuting that can only be met by driving. It’s the outdated development patterns that have to change. Assume that driving ad nauseum must become a thing of the past. Assume that mass transit isn’t subways or grade separated light rail alone is a complete transit system. Assume that connecting bus service – rather than this trendy self-driving car BS – is necessary to direct development whereby routine long-distance travel is no longer necessary, at which point, average transit systems speeds can be slower because more routine trips are shorter in length and transferring between transit modes becomes more convenient. Then, think about LA becoming car-free. The faster we travel, the more time it takes to reach everyday destinations that develop further away. The slower we travel, the less time it takes to reach destinations that develop closer to home, neighborhood and community.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Wall Street is the country’s third or fourth biggest business district.
    More people live in Brooklyn than live in Queens. Most of the subway lines in Brooklyn serve the LIRR station on Flatbush Avenue. Atlantic Avenue already has local and express subway service a block away on Fulton.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Wells. I don’t disagree about busses. I am car-free by choice, after all. However, subways are undoubtaby the best form of urban transit and we could use a hell of a lot more of them. I would take one subway line over a small handful of light rail or streetcar lines in many circumstances.

    @Adirondacker. There isn’t a rational way to reroute the NEC to Wall Street and Brooklyn without a ton of tunneling and inefficient routing. Furthermore, such a routing would skip the even bigger and more important neighborhood of midtown.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think that buses have – at best – the job of feeding into rail lines. Of course a better bus will attract more riders, so buses should absolutely go electric (less vibration) and get their own lanes (taken away from cars, not built from scratch), but if you want to draw people to transit, you gotta have rail.

    International best practice is light rail on its own track with level boarding. It works and it is able to rapidly expand. It can even used disused industrial railways and the like in a tram-train model. And if light rail (whatever its faults in that specific example) can work in LA, the most car centric city in ever, it can work everywhere.

    And yes, out of the potential intercity rail projects CaHSR and NEC speedup (plus capacity expansion) are absolutely the most desirable. But I am not quite sure whether 220 mph top speed is needed. For now it makes much more sense to get the 30 mph section up to 180 mph and the likes. The Acela is more than double the price of a Shinkansen and only half as fast. It still sells out. Imagine what it could do if it were a Shinkansen or a TGV…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Hey Hey Hey Hey Bahnfreund. While I conquer that LA has a reputation fro being auto-oriented, it was never built around the automobile, and it has really good transit “bones’–consistent density, a street grid, rail ROW, non-excessive polycentrism. If you want autocentric then you should go to Dallas, Houston, or Phoenix, and even those places aren’t quite so auto dependent anymore.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes, I know that from the built environment aspect, LA is not the worst offender. But the built environment can be changed. What some car advocates argue cannot be changed is the fact that “Americans love their cars, deal with it” – and if such a thing turns out to be untrue in Los Angeles, the argument must crumble everywhere else.

    Of course you can still build transit and fuck it all up. For example if you build “commuter rail” with diesel traction, park&ride at every single station and no off-peak service whatsoever. What you should do is electric traction, dense new housing and retail near and in stations and affordable weekly monthly and yearly passes. And you should not underestimate the ridership that “tourism” from the local area can generate on weekends.

    Wells Reply:

    @Car-free LA, I am reminded of the computer named “Intelligence” in the puppeteer feature “Team America, World Police” after reading your replies. Not that your views about, “like, you know, like infrastructure?” are markedly different from most regulars here. I’ve been car-free since 1996 in Portland advocating and proposing designs for MAX expansion, like you, walking my talk on the regional planning route. The Bay Area and BART systems make a better comparison to MAX than the LA area light rail. My advocacy for San Diego’s Red Line through Mission Valley in 1994 helped reverse local Greenpeace opposition deceived by propaganda. After it was built, the long abused, neglected San Diego River and Mission Bay estuary are now in much better ecosystem health. Prohibitively expensive subways and super fast HSR are like sports arenas serving exclusively upper-class constituents and can backfire counter-productively. The Pacheco route, for instance, will no doubt come with more car-dependent sprawl and traffic. The Altamont route will do more to direct transit-oriented development to reduce car-dependency and alleviate horrendous traffic.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Sure, but (no offense to Portland) PDX isn’t a city of the same league (business, population, density) as LA. Imagine a MAX line down Wilshire boulevard running every 15 minutes. It just wouldn’t work. People are already realizing that not entirely grade-separating Expo was a mistake, and about half of it is elevated. Metro is talking about bulling out grade crossings on the blue line to elevate them. Subways aren’t upper class–they serve whoever lives in the dense areas they pass through, like Boyle Heights(poor) and Beverly Hills (rich). HSR caters to a slightly wealthier clientele, but so does US 101 up to Santa Barbara. Transit should benefit the poor, but not only the poor. I’m not saying everything should be a subway, but surface running light rail in many environments (like downtown Portland) is a huge mistake.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A rich country is not a place where poor people have cars, but a place where rich people ride the metro.

    Yes, the “metro is for the rich, buses are for the poor” line has a basis in fact in the US (though if you look at e.g. Germany it is hard to find reliable statistics to back up that claim and there a lot of pieces of data that put it into doubt), but it is a dangerous line. Because if you believe it, the car lobby can block sensible subway construction (btw, I do not think a wholly underground system is a good idea most of the times; it is usually a better idea to have a Stadtbahn with underground or elevated parts where space is precious and at grade in the sticks) arguing that “we should invest in buses for the poor”, which of course never happens.

    If you take a look at the riders of ICEs in Germany or TGVs in France, you do not get the impression of the upper crust being among themselves there – maybe in first class. And I much rather have people take the train from Berlin to Munich than fly. And with the prices of flights these days, that is only possible if the train is faster than granny’s old timey Bundesbahn.

    Yes, “unsexy” investment is often neglected, and you could – in theory – do a lot for transit service just by raising average speeds a bit, running more trains on existing rails and banning cars from certain streets so the bus can have free reign, but we have to deal with political and social realities as they are. The progression mixed traffic bus => bus on exclusive ROW => Rail on exclusive ROW would make sense and would be the cheapest way to adapt capacity to demand, but it means “taking away lanes from cars” and you know how much of a political suicide that is.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Two track from Rahway New Jersey to North White Plains New York or Floral Park New York should be more than enough,

    Roland Reply:

    Check and AFAIK 220 MPH is not possible in that corridor (160 MPH would be nice).

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Exactly. The total journey time is the key, get over the obsession with top speed, that notion is for amateurs and politicians. The NEC is a succession of short blocks with important intermediate suburban traffic generators. Top speed is much lower priority compared to getting through station areas fatser with higher speed turnouts etc.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    faster….fatser if you are the NJ Governor

    Jerry Reply:

    :-)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That is true for the southern section. However, through CT, RI, and MA, there are locations where 220 MPH makes a lot of sense if you’re going to build greenfield rail anyway.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well if the legacy line cannot be used for legitimate reasons (and I do not, frankly consider “we would have to reroute some freight” a legitimate reason) it makes sense to go for the big guns to start with. And sure, there’ll be a point in time when 220 mph will make sense, so we should route with that in mind. Currently the Velaro can do 400 km/h but doesn’t. There’s a reason for that. A financial reason.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Everything will be stopping in Manhattan so the speed for the few miles on either side isn’t that important. There are long stretches outside of Manhattan where high speeds are possible.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    True. If Amtrak has its extremely expensive way, trains will stop at both Pennsylvania and Grand Central.

    Roland Reply:

    I am sure that the private sector is absolutely dying to invest in a 220 MPH Manhattan bypass. Gilroy on the other hand…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Nobody wants to bypass Manhattan.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Except the Dallas Cowboys.

    scnr.

    Aarond Reply:

    If I were Cuomo or De Blasio I’d be shooting for the moon. Trump is one of them and as an NYC landowner directly benefits from NYC area megaprojects.

    Danny Reply:

    yeah, this election sorta “went New Yawk” all over everyone

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Wow. Imagine the two of them working together. What a pleasant fantasy.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Cuomo and De Blasio?

    Unlikely.

    Danny Reply:

    hey, Cuomo was caught collaborating with Christie over Bridgegate
    he’s not his father

    J. Wong Reply:

    The mistake most of you are making is embuing Trump with any competence at all. He was expecting to lose and it wasn’t until election night and the networks called it for him that he even realized he had won. He just flies by the seat of his pants so predicting what he is going to do is a fool’s game.

    Edward Reply:

    And he is really image conscious. He doesn’t want to release his tax returns because it would show how much money he lost via bad business decisions. He was continually saying the election was rigged so that he would have an excuse for losing, which he expected to do.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    More than one expert has been on the talk shows discussing the small amount of information available and conclude that he isn’t a billionaire, he doesn’t make enough. He may control billions of dollars of real estate but if it’s mortgaged or otherwise encumbered it’s not his.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    He went bankrupt running a casino.

    That’s all I need to know about his business skills.

    Plus, he killed the USFL.

  25. Roland
    Dec 9th, 2016 at 22:49
    #25

    Breaking News: FFGA up from $647M to $680M to be granted before the end of the year: https://youtu.be/n9lrJmfJvm0?t=446

    morris brown Reply:

    This video about 2 months old is without any current substance. The amount is still $647M and new date is “early 2017”
    See consultants report on item #3 for the Dec 12th board meeting.

    Roland Reply:

    Come on Morris, can’t we have some light “Caltrain” humor once in a while?

  26. morris brown
    Dec 10th, 2016 at 06:39
    #26

    Tuesday’s, Dec 13th 2016, Authority’s board meeting should prove to be very interesting.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMMTZ3TW5WV2w2TFU

    Alan Reply:

    Nothing interesting about it at all. Morris is simply living in his own little (non)reality, where things are unconstitutional based only upon his say-so.

    There’s nothing wrong with AB1889, which has been discussed ad nauseum in this forum. Morris simply refuses to let facts interfere with his fantasy.

    Besides, if Stuart Flashman, California’s most incompetent lawyer, argues the case, it’s a slam dunk that AB 1889 will be found constitutional.

    Jerry Reply:

    Even Obamacare was found to be ‘constitutional’.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And they did not even need to invoke interstate commerce…

    Roland Reply:

    Given that AB1889 has been discussed ad nauseum in this forum there can’t possibly be anything wrong with it.

    Jerry Reply:

    Morris, your anti-HSR zeal is causing you, and Menlo Park, to shoot itself in both feet.
    Your neighborhood is considering a project that will INCREASE TRAFFIC by as much as 25%. All right there at 1300 El Camino Real. This is on top of increased traffic from Facebook.
    You all cannot have your cake and eat it too.

    agb5 Reply:

    Morales said he believes the authority’s funding plans will withstand any legal challenges. “We are very confident that we are complying with all of the requirements of the law and moving forward as intended,” he said. “We do expect a lawsuit, but we do expect to prevail.”

  27. morris brown
    Dec 10th, 2016 at 12:28
    #27

    Fresno Bee: Taking a bite of the bonds: Rail agency will seek $2.6 billion from Prop. 1A for Valley construction

    Jerry Reply:

    “The federal government has provided California with about $3 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds and federal railroad transportation money. About $2.6 billion is expected to come from Proposition 1A, and another $2.2 billion from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

    The federal money comes with strings that are putting some pressure on the state: the ARRA stimulus grants amounting to about $2 billion have to be spent by Sept. 30, 2017; California also has to put up a share of matching funds, expected to come from Proposition 1A.
    Morales said that the rail authority has spent all but about $400 million of the ARRA grants, “and we expect to spend them all” by the September 2017 deadline.”

    Jerry Reply:

    So how will California provide the “matching funds” if not from Prop 1A?
    No “matching funds”?
    So how does California repay the Federal Government?

    J. Wong Reply:

    They’ve already identified funds in the Authority’s business plan: Cap&Trade funds. Of course, some people will counter that by claiming that those funds won’t be adequete either now or in the future. We’ll see.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well with the recent news that OPEC intends to decrease oil production, there could be any combination of a) a spike in public transit ridership (decreasing the need for a subsidy) b)more US oil production (including fracking) c)More demand for stuff that isn’t oil, including Tesla cars d) a renewed spike in public support for stuff like HSR.

    So there are several ways in which California could end up with more money and if need be the Democratic supermajority can just appropriate funds as needed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    OPEC is infamous for announcing production cuts and then not cutting production.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, Spiegel online also said as much…

    And that we don’t have to worry, oil prices will never rise above 60$ per barrel again…

    Aarond Reply:

    OPEC is only (supposedly) decreasing production because the Saudis have realized how truly fucked they now are. Tillerson’s #1 job will be defending the US oil industry, which the Saudis attempted to kill in 2014 by not cutting production. Trump will likely push an oil tariff (a thing Obama himself proposed before the election) and completely obliterate them.

    Thankfully, California is well positioned here as that most of our energy comes from NG and through CARB we are slowly moving towards NG hybrids and EVs. Which means PG&E and friends will have good reasons to dump renewables in a decade for “clean” gas.

    joe Reply:

    Then there’s the internet.

    Exxon partners with Russia state oil co. and now billions in oil tied up in Russia and asian markets.

    MOSCOW — the giant oil company [exxon] stands to make some major gains as well: It has billions of dollars in deals that can go forward only if the United States lifts sanctions against Russia.

    As head of America’s largest oil company, Mr. Tillerson has earned a friendship award from Russia and voiced skepticism about American sanctions that have halted some of Exxon Mobil’s biggest projects in the country.

    But Mr. Tillerson’s stake in Russia’s energy industry could create a very blurry line between his interests as an oilman and his role as America’s leading diplomat.

    …..

    Tillerson’s biggest deal in Russia was announced in 2011 with Rosneft. The companies were focused on drilling for oil in three key Russian regions: the Arctic, the deepwater of the Black Sea, and Siberia.

    In 2013, Vladimir Putin awarded ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens.

    Siberia to receive $1 trillion to develop oil and gas fields

    As before, Russia will continue to cultivate Siberia. According to an assessment by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, more than a trillion dollars will be allocated to exploitation and pipeline construction in Eastern Siberia over the next 20 years. Oil and petroleum products will flow in an increasingly eastern direction, with the share of exports to Asia

    Aarond Reply:

    America and Russian oil companies both got burned by the Saudis, so such a relationship makes sense.

    Joe Reply:

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the united oil companies of America.

    Alliances between international oil companies don’t make sense for my nation’s interests.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    An alternate is scenario is that within a decade renewables and batteries will be so cheap no one will be considering anything else.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well in Germany the most expensive renewable energy (solar) is already cheaper on a private rooftop than electricity from the grid at end-consumer prices. So even without subsidies it makes economic sense to plaster German roofs with solar panels.

    And similar things are true on much larger scale with wind. Plus you have the whole “independent from the Saudis” angle. To say nothing of global warming.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Reasonable people project out the price drops, assume they are going to level off at some point and come up with PV and batteries being cheaper than the distribution costs of electricity in about ten years. Not the cost you pay per kilowatt hour, the cost you pay per kilowatt hour to deliver electricity. Nothing can compete with that.
    A very quick surf of prices, last winter, slapping enough PV in the yard to run a ground sourced heat pump pays for itself, at $2.50 a gallon for heating oil, in 15 years.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s not bad at all. Especially considering that 15 years is not a long horizon to finance stuff. And if you have to sell the house, the solar power will raise the resale value quite a bit…

    Jerry Reply:

    “We’ve been using federal funds on the program to date, and we are advancing rapidly through them,” said Jeff Morales, the rail authority’s CEO. “We need to get the bond funds in place to continue moving forward, and we’re at a point now where we can meet all of the requirements of Proposition 1A.”

    Roland Reply:

    Dream on!

    keithsaggers Reply:

    “The Central Valley Segment is a Usable Segment in that it includes two environmentally cleared stations at Fresno and at Kings/Tulare.” CHSRA

    119 miles from Madera to Shafter in the Central Valley, nothing to do with Caltrain Corridor.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s your point?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That CAHSR is pretty much inevitably going to have at least one usable segment that will be usable relatively soon and NIMBYs can’t feasibly stop it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well certainly, that’s why construction started in the Central Valley. All that remains to be done from that point on is to link the spine to the approaches to LA and San Francisco. The latter is easy (Caltrain electrification is already in the works) but the former might prove the biggest challenge to come. Nothing that can’t be overcome, but no cake-walk either.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Ultimately, it is the Legislature that must determine whether the Authority’s plans are adequate to start disbursement of funds per Prop 1A. As far as the courts, they’ve already said that they are not going to accept “dueling” experts so that doesn’t give the opponents much ground on which to protest.

  28. Roland
    Dec 10th, 2016 at 17:24
    #28

    4.1 SUITABILITY OF SIGNALING SYSTEM
    The signaling system adopted by the Authority must be fit for the purpose of
    operating high speed passenger trains. To understand the suitability of the train
    entitled control system specified for the HSR system, the review has examined the
    document Track and Systems Performance and Technical Requirements. There are
    some requirements in that document that do not reflect contemporary practice for the
    deployment of ERTMS systems. For example, the line item budget for Signaling and
    Communications shows an expectation that track circuits would be used. However,
    modern signaling projects are taking advantage of communications based technology
    that avoid the use of track circuits because those technologies can reliably and safely
    determine train positions. Track circuits then become superfluous and the system life
    cycle cost is reduced because track circuits do not need to be maintained.
    Discussions with the Authority suggest that track circuits were intended to provide
    reliable broken rail detection. Experience indicates that broken rails mostly appear at
    or near rail joints. In these cases, the track circuits are unaffected because, although
    the rail is fractured, the fracture occurs within the limit of rail bonding or securing and
    is therefore not detected. Only 30-50% of broken rails are detected by track circuits.
    There are modern forms of broken rail detection that do not require reliance of track
    circuits but these would not necessarily be supplied by a signaling contractor.

    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_item2_ATTACHMENT_Independent_Cons_Report_CV_Segment_Fund_Plan.pdf (page 45)

    Roland Reply:

    However, we also find that the budget allocated
    to Signals and Communications line item in particular may be low for an ERTMS level
    2 type of system design. PFAL was provided a detailed line item budget breakdown
    for the Signaling and communications system, dated December 1, 2016. The
    Signaling and Communications line item budget also has a category for the train
    control system that will be required on-board the passenger trains. However, no
    funding was allocated to this on-board system within the Signaling and
    Communications budget with the expectation that such a system will be supplied by
    the rolling stock provider. In the interests of effectively managing major technology
    interfaces, PFAL suggests that the Authority consider procuring the on-board
    systems as part of the Signaling and Communications package and then providing
    that system as “free issue” to the rolling stock provider for installation on the
    passenger trains.
    The level of estimating detail for Signals and Communications provided to PFAL is
    parametric in nature. However, cost comparisons with other ERTMS projects are
    clouded by “brownfield” and “greenfield” considerations. We would expect that the
    Signals and Communications budget should be more in the order of $500 million
    (2015$). Accordingly, PFAL suggests that the Authority maintain a critical review of
    the line item budgets within the Track and Systems overall budget – and stay within
    that overall budget which PFAL considers achievable (page 37).

    Roland Reply:

    Signaling is underbudgeted by 40% ($309M budget vs $500M PFAL estimate).
    See Table 7 on page 24

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Wow. It’s almost like catching up with the 1970’s. Except they aren’t, and won’t.
    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals will never allow it. (Trust me, this is written into the CFR. Because USA USA USA!)

    AXLE COUNTERS ARE EURO-SATAN!
    BALISES UN-AMERICAN!
    KILL KILL KILL!
    CBOSS FTW!
    PTG! PBQD! LTK!

    Jerry Reply:

    So will the issue of track circuits be addressed at the meeting?

    Jerry Reply:

    My FastTrack knows when I go through the toll booth.

    Jerry Reply:

    Or should I say the toll booth knows when my FastTrack passes?

    Jerry Reply:

    All without track circuits.
    Wonder if something similar would work with trains?
    Maybe another study with more consultants might help.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Or they could just use existing best practice solutions from Europe.

    Like Single Payer Health Care…

    J. Wong Reply:

    At 25mph only! Faster than that it cannot read, but instead snaps a picture of you and your license plate. Then the service center in Arizona looks at it & looks up your number. If you registered it with your fast track account, they just charge the toll against your account. Otherwise they send the notice to pay or a fine to your address.

    Marc Reply:

    Dumbarton, Carquinez, and other locations (including, I suspect, the toll express lanes) have wide high speed FasTrak lanes that can read transponders reliably at upwards of 60 MPH.

    Jerry Reply:

    Exactly.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    J Wong of course these things are capable of reading at faster than 25mph. Probably using 19th century versions.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Fails to read every time I exceed 25 going through the toll.

    Jerry Reply:

    “The new equipment can collect tolls at speeds up to 100 mph, said Beth Zelinski, a toll authority staff member. A California Highway Patrol officer, testing the system by zipping through the plaza at 85 mph, had his toll collected electronically. The equipment also snapped a clear image of his license plate.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Area-s-first-open-road-tolling-at-new-2545248.php

    Marc Reply:

    Get a new transponder. I had one that soft-failed like that, it would work at some booths, but not others. The replacement has no such issues, and works fine at 65+.

    Jerry Reply:

    My Garmin is even faster.
    But my sarcastic reference was to why are we even using “track circuits”?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because GPS and other similar systems don’t have the resolution for two track railroads? Or work in tunnels? Or many stations?

    agb5 Reply:

    ERTMS Level 3 does not use track circuits or GPS.
    It uses passive beacons to locate the train and GSM radio to communicate with central control.

    Jerry Reply:

    On the Coast Starlight once we were held up until the train received clearance from ‘Omaha’.
    Was that ‘central control’ ??

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You were the one who brought up your Garmin.

    Jerry Reply:

    True. I brought up the Garmin as an example of one of many devices that can receive and read signals from hundreds of miles away (space).
    That idea or concept should hold true for signals to/from devices on roofs of tunnels (catenary poles, lines) or near/around stations.
    Or on CalTrain ROW.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes there are. They have been working on the challenges for decades. Which is why there are a quarter of a gazillion versions of ETCS.

    Roland Reply:

    “Level 3 is currently under development. Solutions for reliable train integrity supervision are highly complex and are hardly suitable for transfer to older models of freight rolling stock. Some kind of end-of-train device is needed.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Train_Control_System#Level_3

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Yes there are. They have been working on the challenges for decades. Which is why there are a quarter of a gazillion versions of ETCS.
    The Gotthard Base Tunnel, with exclusive ETCS signalling, one of the Megaprojects of the planet, is opening on schedule this December.

    I guess they forgot to consult America’s Finest Upstate New York Chatbot to inform them that Schenectady via New Rochelle isn’t the same oogly goodness as Altamont with a Poughkeepsie diversion to Milpitas with a Bombardier M-8 12hz tap change under Biasca, and that Bronx isn’t Gurtnellen or even Domodossola despite the BRT/IRT/IND because of Saranac Lake and the Ronkonkoma Transfer.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Clearance from Omaha, you say?

    Did it by any chance involve a man named Peyton?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1IZdqPYuts

    Jerry Reply:

    So maybe the “blended system” means we use all of them??
    Gee. Where’s Richard M. when we need him?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I think you’ve got it covered.

    I see a bright future ahead for you, son. Initiative. Stick-to-it-ness. Gumption! I like a man with gumption.

    Jerry Reply:

    Tunnels. Stations.
    Red lights before tunnels and stations should be able to stop trains.
    Chatsworth? ?
    OK. Human error.
    My smoke detector can set off alarms, as other devices are also able to.
    What’s wrong with very simple devices to set off alarms in trains that run red lights?

    Jerry Reply:

    How do these so called self driving cars recognize red lights???

    Jerry Reply:

    Do self driving cars recognize red lights in tunnels or around train stations??

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Good opportunities for fubars along 210 and 10 with RR with signals in center of freeway.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The 210 isn’t exceptionally fubared compared to most freeway median rail lines. Its pretty walkable. If Pasadena wanted to, it could build walls on the sides of the tracks and then a cap park over them and the freeway, making riders essentially think they’re in a subway.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A red light as such is actually less safe than some legacy signaling. Because if the light fails it might be mistaken for a “go” signal. All signaling is today designed in a way that ensures that “stop” is the default position of a failed system. For example if a cable ruptures, the mechanical device says “don’t go”…

    Jerry Reply:

    We can do better.

  29. Paul Dyson
    Dec 10th, 2016 at 19:12
    #29

    It’s OK Richard. The USA calls it “dark territory”. Give the man at the front end a piece of paper and tell him to ask for directions at the next stop!

    Roland Reply:

    Works great at up to 350 MPH, so we should be OK.

    Marc Reply:

    Dumbarton, Carquinez, and other locations (including, I suspect, the toll express lanes) have wide high speed FasTrak lanes that can read transponders reliably at upwards of 60 MPH.

    Marc Reply:

    Sorry, wrong place

  30. Roland
    Dec 10th, 2016 at 21:47
    #30

    Draft Memo on Ridership and Revenue for the Valley to Valley Line

    Page 4
    We noted one deviation regarding the model structure from international HSR models. That is the omission of long distance bus as a main mode. In Europe, long distance bus is not generally considered a competitor to HSR as it takes significantly longer than conventional rail and has only a minor share of long distance market. In the UK, long distance bus typically have 10% of the demand of conventional rail, and in many other European countries where it is regulated and not intended to compete with rail, it is significantly lower. However, when members of the study team undertook HSR forecasts in Australia, we found that long distance bus was as fast as, and had a higher market share than conventional rail; there we found it necessary to include long distance bus in the mode choice. We believe that it would be better to do so in California as well, as while long distance bus is a minority mode, it is comparable in its importance (market size) to conventional rail.

    CS has effectively removed all current long distance bus trips from the dataset they used for both the model estimation and for forecasting. This means that there is no ability within the model for HSR to capture ridership from long distance bus. This approach is inherently conservative. However, there is also a risk that it may have implications for the estimation of other model parameters. Omitting significant data from model estimation may result in other factors being estimated as having influenced demand, whereas it was the omitted factor (in this case the presence of bus competition); we cannot say whether this risk biases forecasts up or down (if at all).

    Page 5
    The one concern we have with this approach is that the RP data relies entirely on surveys; there is no count data of actual usage of air, CVR and auto on a flow basis. We understand that CS were unable to obtain such data (WTF???)

    Page 8
    It can be seen that the majority of ridership comes from auto, with air an important source on the longer distance flows. The dominance of auto as a source of demand is unusual for HSR and reflects the current dominance of automobiles for travel within California. As noted above, existing intercity bus traffic is excluded from the CS analysis. Induced demand is below 6% in all market pairs (and in one case slightly negative demand). This is very low; induced demand on new HSR systems is typically in the range of 20% to 50% of total trips.

    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_item2_ATTACHMENT_Ind_Con_Draft_Memo_Ridership_Revenue_for_Valley_to_Valley_Line.pdf

  31. keithsaggers
    Dec 11th, 2016 at 16:15
    #31

    Item 5
    Board Meeting
    The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or designee of the CEO, is hereby authorized to issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to obtain Statements of Qualifications from entities to provide Early Train Operator services, with the goal of shortlisting a qualified group to invite to participate in the Request for Proposals. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or designee of the CEO, is authorized to may make any necessary modifications to the RFQ during the procurement process

    Roland Reply:

    Do you mean like LTK modified the Caltrain EMU RFP until it matched Stadler’s version of a CalFranKISSentrain? What could possibly go wrong?

  32. Jerry
    Dec 11th, 2016 at 18:40
    #32

    Passenger trains start running through 35 mile long Gotthard Tunnel.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/11/longest-tunnel-gotthard-base-begins-regular-rail-service-in-switzerland

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Crucially the Gotthard Tunnel was primarily made for freight, but it does serve a passenger purpose – cross-alpine trains in 30 minutes less…

  33. Roland
    Dec 12th, 2016 at 19:24
    #33
  34. Roland
    Dec 12th, 2016 at 19:28
    #34
  35. synonymouse
    Dec 12th, 2016 at 21:12
    #35

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/12/2-dc-metro-rail-cars-decouple-train-during-rush-ho/

    C’mon BART you can match that.

    Roland Reply:

    And that, Ladies and Gentlemen is precisely why ETCS L3 needs “some kind of end-of-train device” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Train_Control_System#Level_3

  36. Jerry
    Dec 13th, 2016 at 00:24
    #36

    Florida’s new Brightline train departed the Siemens Sacramento plant on December 8, 2016.
    A very short clip of the train passing through Arizona can be seen at:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9Ir-2LoSDw

    Brian_FL Reply:

    And a view of the train entering FECR rails today. It looks good in the Florida sunshine

    http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2016/12/13-brightline-on-fec-rails

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks. Good photo.
    It’s unique that a new passenger train could take a route that real passengers are not able to.
    Also, the photo shows an old double track rail bridge which has a drawbridge.
    Similar to the old Dumbarton swing bridge.

    Jerry Reply:

    Passenger train goes over the Tehachapi Loop.
    But it was empty.
    And on its way to Florida.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well thankfully CaHSR will soon build an even better connection for passenger trains.

  37. JimInPollockPines
    Dec 13th, 2016 at 10:30
    #37

    So, Goldman Sachs in charge of the treasury and Exxon Mobile in charge of the State Department. What can go wrong?

    Jerry Reply:

    Jim, you left out Rick Perry in charge of Department of Oops.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And Breitbart in charge of, what was it again?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Propaganda.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ah yeah… The ministry for Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, as it were…

    BruceMcF Reply:

    People made fun of the Smart Glasses for his second run, but since they seem to have landed him the job overseeing America’s nuclear power plants, it looks like they worked after all.

    Jerry Reply:

    Also, overseeing the federal responsibility for the design, testing and production of all nuclear weapons.
    Which, by the way, all need updating to the tune of One Trillion Dollar$.
    But hey. A trillion here and a trillion there and before you know it, you are talking about real money.

  38. synonymouse
    Dec 13th, 2016 at 10:59
    #38

    SF bitching about uber et al. Wait until they get Jerry’s 200 million.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-traffic-Uber-Lyft-SFMTA-blame-10791265.php

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or you could blame private cars instead of cars that give people a reason to sell theirs that they use once a week.

    Aarond Reply:

    SFMTA is trying their hardest to cover their ass. The cold truth is that Uber and Lyft do so well in SF because the city government has failed in their duty to provide an effective transit network for residents.

    I pity Muni because if their new trains (deliveries begin next year) screw up the city is not going to shovel them more money and BART will go in for the kill. This is where the city government would defer the Caltrain DTX.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    GEARY SUBWAY NOW!!!!!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why are there so many separate agencies to begin with?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Because people are too dumb to bring up merging them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    At the very least there could be through-ticketing..

    Aarond Reply:

    ALL CAPS NOW

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MUNI HAS NOT BUILT NEARLY ENOUGH INFRASTRUCTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MUNI METRO IS TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUILT SUBWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Giant squid of anger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    synonymouse Reply:

    broad gauge to Palmdale!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    proposed nobody…ever

  39. Jerry
    Dec 13th, 2016 at 17:26
    #39

    The video of today’s CAHSRA board meeting can be seen at:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUGZ7WpxG90&feature=youtu.be

  40. morris brown
    Dec 13th, 2016 at 18:59
    #40

    To those interested, you can view or download a copy of the Complaint filed today (12/13/2016) regarding the funding plans and related issues.

    link:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMZXFMZUVfZDNwSGs

    joe Reply:

    A roster of characters join to form the ANTI-RAIL LEAGUE:

    JOHN TOS (“TOS”),
    TOWN OF ATHERTON (“ATHERTON”),
    COUNTY OF KINGS (“COUNTY”),
    MORRIS BROWN (AKA “BROWNIE”),
    PATRICIA LOUISE HOGAN-GIORNI (“GIORNI”),
    ANTHONY WYNNE (“WYNNE”),
    COMMUNITY COALITION ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL (“CC-HSR”),
    TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND (“TRANSDEF”)
    CALIFORNIA RAIL FOUNDATION (“CRF”)
    and HARLEY QUINN

    Jerry Reply:

    Can’t wait for the court’s decision.

    joe Reply:

    Caltrain Electrification Complaint

    Not a Useable Segment

    While the electrification would provide a power source for high-speed rail between San Jose and the 4th and King Street San Francisco Caltrain station, it would not electrify the tracks between the 4th Street station and the Transbay Transit Center, the actual legal terminus of the high-speed rail line.

    A usable segment can terminate at 4th and King. A usable segment on the peninsula is not required to include the TBT terminus nor is a usable segment defined as track between two stations – the segment isn’t required to have stations as the end points.
    Prop1A text is simple:

    (g) “Usable segment” means a portion of a corridor that includes at least two stations.

    Not Safety and to Slow

    In addition, the Caltrain Electrification Project would neither address sharp turns in the Caltrain alignment that are inconsistent with the requirements for high-speed train operation nor current Caltrain station configurations, including those at the Caltrain Atherton and Broadway-Burlingame stations, that are both inconsistent with high-speed train operation and would be unsafe for passengers using Caltrain if high-speed train operations were allowed.

    Arguing speed is irrelevant. Prop1a does not mandate any HSR speed along the entire system. It mandates travel times between specific stations and mandates sustained train speed capability. Safety is a red herring.

    Electrification is Not Fully Funded

    In 2015, the PCJPB certified an Environmental Impact Report for its electrification project and approved the project, which was projected to cost roughly $2.1 billion. Even with the $705 million contribution from CHSRA, the electrification project was not fully funded.

    Caltrain electrification is estimated to cost just under 2 B (http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2016-12-01/caltrain-taps-feds-for-647m-grant-funds-sought-for-electrification-of-commuter-corridor/1776425172142.html) and (http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article120075138.html)
    Caltrain Electrification does not inherit all Prop1a requirements.
    Electrification can start.

    Roland Reply:

    Paging Adam Raines: there is enough material here for a Judge Joece rant: https://youtu.be/IeLs9i3D7fw

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    There are a lot of parts to the lawsuit, and it concentrates on the modification of the law by AB1889, which I would agree is the bigger principal. But saying “speed is irrelevant” is not true.

    (f) In selecting corridors or usable segments thereof for construction, the authority shall give priority to those corridors or usable segments thereof that are expected to require the least amount of bond funds as a percentage of total cost of construction. Among other criteria it may use for establishing priorities for initiating construction on corridors or usable segments thereof, the authority shall include the following:

    (1) projected ridership and revenue,
    (2) the need to test and certify trains operating at speeds of 220 miles per hour,
    (3) the utility of those corridors or usable segments thereof for passenger train services other than the high-speed train service that will not result in any unreimbursed operating or maintenance cost to the authority

    You can simply not test and certify a train for 220 MPH on the blended section because it is unsafe to operate at those speeds. But just for the record, they cant hit the time requirement either.

    They will continue to get sued so long as they continue to try and skirt the provisions of the law. It is obvious to even the most casual observer that the assumptions built into prop1a did not come true. As a result, the plans had to radically change, but those changes are not consistent with the law now. This is not a tenable situation. Simply put, this is the not the system that was promised for the money that was allocated.

    agb5 Reply:

    Among other criteria it may use

    The authority has no obligation to consider these criteria for every usable segment.

    Joe Reply:

    Speed tests will occur on the CV segment per the Fresno Bee article.

    You can simply not test and certify a train for 220 MPH on the blended section because it is unsafe to operate at those speeds

    This is awesome.
    You should hammmer away on this key failing.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so you believe the peninsula will hit 220 mph certified design??

    Joe Reply:

    I think your comment was silly. Repeat it early and often.

    Tell me is that 220 MPH design required.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    its not…i thought they were designing and building a HSR? Are they building a kinda high speed rail?

    Joe Reply:

    Sorry, not going to waste time arguing “whatishighspeedrail”

    Please keep polishing this 220 Pennisula turd argument –You’re winning.

    Mark Duncan Reply:

    HSR has never, ever, planned to have 220 mph operation on the Peninsula. I believe 110 mph is the maximum speed that has ever been proposed.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The original proposal was full speed, then when the cost hit 100 billion the “blended” plan was proposed. That plan trys to ignore the time and speed requirements in the law.

    We will see if they succeed

    Roland Reply:

    Bullshit: http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-09.html

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    SF to SJ does not run in 30 minutes on a blended ROW. Even the authority admits that

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Sure. But it probably will some day when it it deemed necessary to build a 4 track peninsula corridor.

    Jon Reply:

    No, they don’t, and they produced simulations showing that 30mins between SF and SJ was achievable. As many have noted, those simulations contained some extremely optimistic assumptions, but that’s not the same thing as admitting that 30mins is not achievable.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    they didnt stop the train. Even if you allow them to break the speed limit (125 mph instead of 110) and start at 4th and King (even though the last court case said they had to start at Transbay). Even if you allow all of that, how do you explain not stopping the train.

    That is not an optimistic assumption, that is not achievable. A non-stop plan from SF to Denver does not parachute passengers off. Just like a non-stop train from SF to SJ has to STOP at SJ.

    And BTW, even with all that, they were over by 30 seconds. So they exceed the max time of 30 min.

    Its not achievable with the blended plan

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The blended plan, for the umpteenth time. isn’t the final configuration.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why would an Express run stop betwen San Francisco and San José?

    There may not be many Express trains, but nowhere in Prop 1A does it say anything about the proportion of trains that have to be express or meet the time requirements…

    Joe Reply:

    This assertion is not correct Mr. Troll.
    There are a large set of possible configurations.
    Travel items do not have to be operational-it is a capability to be demonstrated under prop1a just as trains have to have a capability to operate at 220.

    This 220 design or today’s blended is a false dichotomy.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    make up your mind. you just said earlier that speeds dont matter and it is travel times. Pick a metric.

    It specifically says.

    “Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that shall not exceed the following…”

    Notice the words Maximum and service. It most certainly does have to be operational. and cant exceed, in the case of SF to SJ, 30 minutes.

    Peter Reply:

    My favorite is the following: “(6) Inland Empire-Los Angeles:  30 minutes.”

    What does that even mean? LAUS to Ontario? LAUS to San Bernardino?

    Perfect proof that these numbers are arbitrary and not to be taken at face value.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you dont often see laws that are not supposed to be taken at face value.

    Why do you think they put in the numbers?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Not that there should be a LA-IE line via the SGV, of course.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do notice the word “nonstop” – there is nothing in the law about the travel time of trains that make more stops.

    Jon Reply:

    There was never a proposal to run 220mph on the peninsula. There was a proposal for dedicated tracks, but it was always planned that speeds would be limited due to ROW curves and the close proximity to residences.

    agb5 Reply:

    If the original proposal was “full speed” they would have specified a SF to SJ travel time of 15 minutes.
    The actual 30 minute travel time requirement implies 110mph was considered pushing the envelope.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They never proposed full 220 mph operation on the Peninsula even with 4-track non-blended. The proposed speed limit was 125 mph.

    agb5 Reply:

    In General, he is still trying to convince the judge that a Usable Segment must be a complete HSR system, including trains, so that he can then proceed to shoot down the plan on the grounds that such a short piece of track could not operate without a subsidy.

    This theory is easily dismissed. The purpose of prop1A funds is to initiate construction of a high speed rail system, and nowhere does it state that the Authority, after spending the finds, must operate a high speed train service.
    The bond funds cover only 14% of the estimated cost of the system, the authors of prop1A knew that a Usable Segment might not be a viable high speed train system and therefor went to considerable trouble to define how an “other than high speed train service” could use a Segment, (thus making it usable)

    agb5 Reply:

    He fails to explain how AB1889 “materially” changed voter intent.
    The voters expected all bond funds to be spent exclusively building components of a high-speed train system between SF and LA and AB1889 does not change this.

    AB1889 merely narrows the meaning of the word “portion” to mean “part of a whole”, and forecloses on Flashmans exotic meaning of “portion”. He insists that a portion of a high-speed train system must be a complete functioning system, including trains, but really a portion was always just a “part” of a high-speed train system.

    Joe Reply:

    The complaint is complicated.

    The Blended plan brings service to 4th and King for tens of billions less than a full build to TBT.
    The plan doesn’t preclude future compliance to prop1a.

    TBT is being built for HSR, development around TBT is predicated on rail service.
    The alignment wil not need to change — just extend to TBT and improve the alignment to allow faster travel time.

    Roland Reply:

    Blowing $600M on electrification before improving the alignment will make all the difference.

    Joe Reply:

    It works for me.

    Roland Reply:

    Thank you for proving once again that you do not have a clue WTF it is you are troliing about.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Funding is proceeding and will precede any hearing. They’re going to have to ask for a temporary restraining order. If they don’t get it, it’s all over.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is all over before it started.

    “Simply put, this is the not the system that was promised for the money that was allocated.”

    Totally immaterial and inoperative. California is run by a profoundly corrupt patronage machine which has fixed the judiciary. Think of it as a mafia and Jerry Brown is the capo di tutti capi. A well-spun Al Capone.

Comments are closed.