Steel In the Ground Matters

Feb 14th, 2017 | Posted by

The San Francisco Chronicle has an excellent article examining the massive construction work on high speed rail that is taking place in the Fresno area right now. The article shows a great contrast between the hard-working men and women building HSR and a better Central Valley – and the haters who still, after nine years, bitterly refuse to accept reality.

The columns of the superstructure stand nearly 80 feet tall, while the bridge deck is emerging as a sleek, aerial concourse. The span angles only slightly to accommodate the wide turns that can be expected with long and speedy trains. Each day, the giant viaduct grows as cranes hoist steel and concrete. All materials are American-made, officials say.

Two similar spans are under construction nearby. About 12 miles to the north, a nearly mile-long viaduct is rising over the San Joaquin River, while about 25 miles to the north, in Madera County, a bridge is materializing across the Fresno River.

What do HSR opponents want – to just let this infrastructure sit there unused in the hot summer sun? That would be absurd.

Go read the whole article and enjoy the photos of California’s high speed rail project. Putting steel in the ground makes a big difference. It shows the whole state this project is real, it’s alive, and it’s going to survive whatever efforts are made by HSR deniers in California or in Congress to kill it.

  1. Ian Mitchell
    Feb 14th, 2017 at 12:35
    #1

    The kind of folks who bring a snowball onto the Senate floor to dispute global warming will stand under a viaduct and say HSR will never happen.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    *Cough Cough Senator Inhofe*

    Danny Reply:

    true story: he also almost killed himself landing his plane on a closed runway while it was crawling with repair equipment, which had to double-time off the tarmac

    Eric Reply:

    Well, it’s sort of the opposite effect…

    If you fight HSR and say it will never happen, maybe you’ll win and it won’t happen.

    Whereas if you say global warming doesn’t exist and don’t stop burning fossil fuels, you’re guaranteeing that global warming WILL continue.

  2. Jerry
    Feb 14th, 2017 at 13:14
    #2

    A front page headline article no less.
    “Should funding dry up, the ballot measure requires that whatever was built  be made available for other services, ostensibly Amtrak.
    But, with $20 Billion in hand construction is full throttle at nine major sites.

    Dan Richard said, “it’s coming together. Once these few projects get done, connecting them comes fast.”

    “It won’t be long before the construction sites become a showpiece for the future of American transit.”

  3. Travis D
    Feb 14th, 2017 at 14:11
    #3

    Are we really all ignoring the massive ongoing infrastructure catastrophe at Oroville?

    EJ Reply:

    Yes, because none of us have any social or intellectual life outside of the comments section on this blog.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I’m following @VamonosLA on Twitter for this.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Anyone think that this might be like the Yerba Buena Earthquake and the Embarcadero Freeway–a chance to tear down the dam?

    Alan Reply:

    Not likely. The dam is too important to the state’s water system.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    To get rid of Oroville Dam, you would need to get rid of this much agricultural land:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1e1OD0Od_T2qeScAIsRi3dFUjzDo&usp=sharing

    Joe Reply:

    Whatever that means. evapotranspiration varies thus water use varies so I don’t know what made you confident.

    Water is stored and released as flow later in the year or for Ag or pumped south to places like San Luis and stored for later use in the south.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Wikipedia did.

    EJ Reply:

    “Yerba Buena Earthquake”? You mean the Loma Prieta Earthquake?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yeah. Sorry. I have no clue why I said that.

    Roland Reply:

    No problem and when was the last time you had any clue about anything you said?

    EJ Reply:

    Why are you so poorly socialized? Were you raised in a skinner box or something?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    When I looked at the comments policy, and realized that Robert says he will delete comments with ad hominem attacks.

    Roland Reply:

    It’s a conspiracy! Somebody call Alex Jones!

    StevieB Reply:

    Oroville Dam is to California High Speed Rail as President Trump is to Romanian Demonstrators.

    Wells Reply:

    Now see here, some jokes need an explanation.
    How exactly are HSR, the dam, mister trump and Romans alike?
    Warren Buffett is recommending sell off your Walmart stock.
    He’s a old man still making a fortune poorly mismanaging a railroad.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    poorly mismanaging?

    Nathanael Reply:

    Yeah, see, he tries to mismanage it but he fails to, and it ends up being well managed.

    I guess? :-)

    Alan Reply:

    You do understand that fixing the dam and building HSR are not mutually exclusive?

    Travis D Reply:

    Of course we can do both. I just find crumbling infrastructure of any kind interesting.

    Edward Reply:

    Those who don’t remember the Marysville and Yuba City floods may not know that the original main reason for the dam was flood control. It could conceivably be made smaller but it will never go away. Here is more info than most want:

    https://mavensnotebook.com/2013/03/28/mavens-minutes-tim-washburn-on-the-history-and-future-of-sacramentos-flood-control-system-2/

    Reedman Reply:

    An article about some of the recent weather-related rail problems in the Central Valley:

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article133015004.html

    Roland Reply:

    ACE has been out for 3 days and hopes to restart limited service tomorrow (Thursday).
    http://www.recordnet.com/news/20170215/limited-ace-rail-service-returns-thursday-friday

    BTW, here is what happened last year in case anyone forgot: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2016/03/07/ace-train-service-between-stockton-and-san-jose-canceled-after-train-derails/

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    They could use a tunnel. Electrification alone will not get over these muddy coastal hills.

  4. Alon Levy
    Feb 14th, 2017 at 14:48
    #4

    I just published a piece in TechCrunch about the GOP and Caltrain:

    Congressional Republican threats to Caltrain funding could cripple Bay Area’s growth

    The actual content isn’t anything new to people who’ve been reading the comments here. (Electrification is necessary if Caltrain wants to mix local and express trains without spending too much money on concrete, etc.)

    Roland Reply:

    Any idea where the money behind all these op eds is coming from?

    StevieB Reply:

    Looking to make money writing opinion pieces?

    EJ Reply:

    Tech Crunch sells ad space, and uses it to pay writers and staff. Is this a trick question?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The op-ed was free (which should not be taken as an indication I am willing to work for free, just that paying publications have slow turnarounds for freelancers and this is urgent). The media pays freelancers for reporting, inc. data journalism (i.e. most of my pieces), but not for op-eds.

    Roland Reply:

    Good to hear that you are repeating baseless Caltrain drivel without any contributions from Stadler or the San Carlos mafia.

    Joe Reply:

    Breaking: Caltrain Egomaniac attacks Clem and now Alon.

    EJ Reply:

    What would you expect Stadler to contribute?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Would you prefer it if I said George Soros is paying me a retainer?

    EJ Reply:

    You should have just posted random, cryptic links without making any sort of point, and then called anyone stupid who asks for clarification.

    Roland Reply:

    I would prefer that you (and everyone else on this revered blog) did not receive any contributions, period.

  5. StevieB
    Feb 14th, 2017 at 20:51
    #5

    Documentary: High-speed rail’s vexed crawl up California comes to us from KALW in San Francisco.

    Expensive Bay Area home prices have pushed families farther away from where they work, and closer to some Central Valley high-speed rail stops.

    Right now, close to 65,000 people commute to the Bay Area from the Northern San Joaquin Valley, with commute times clocking in at two hours and above. But would high-speed rail save more time and be affordable?

    Danny Reply:

    huh, they’re reporting that people are basically treating HSR as a fait accompli and planning accordingly

    this happened in LA–now that the Purple, Crenshaw, and Expo Lines aren’t being held up by badly-disguised racism, future as well as current transit availability’s a factor in how people choose their homes and jobs now

    before it existed, rail could be attacked from every angle because it was unfamiliar and hypothetical–Damien Goodmon could scream that it’d genocide Black kids, Santa Claritans can run around on horseback saying it’ll make their livestock explode, Cheviot and Beverly could say that burglars will bike in to their neighborhood and boost their TVs

    now the NIMBYs look particularly stupid because all their rabid screeching is being disproven every 5 minutes each way, AND they held up a popular backbone for the neighborhood and the city; jeering about “choo choos” didn’t stop Measure M

    so now there’s a bunch of aware pro-rail fighters and growing displeasure at the NIMBYs (at least in LA), and CAHSR advocacy will definitely plug into this

    Jerry Reply:

    It does take a while for people to accept change.

    Eric Reply:

    The anti-rail NIMBYs may be losing, but the anti-development NIMBYs are still going strong.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Well, anti-rail NIMBYs are just idiots. But anti-development NIMBYs are *making money* — by restricting development they increase the value of their own property.

    So you see the difference between an abusive special interest group who is driven by ideological stupidity, and an abusive special interest group which stands to make cold hard cash. the latter is generally more effective.

  6. Roland
    Feb 15th, 2017 at 08:16
    #6

    Breaking News:
    Further to agreement with FRA, estimated date for San Jose to Merced ROD is now October 2018 (at the the earliest). This is described as “aggressive”. No sign of yesterday’s F&A last minute handout in the F&A meeting materials
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/02/15/california-high-speed-rail-san-jose-timeline.html.

    CalSTA announced during Land Use (item 3) that they were working on regulations and/or legislation to facilitate the electrification of existing freight lines. This has profound implications for San Jose to Gilroy because it will eliminate the need for freight-only unelectrified tracks in the UPRR corridor.

    Travis D Reply:

    That would mean a shared ROW and save billions.

    Sounds like it is worth a delay in the timeline.

    Alan Reply:

    You’ve forgotten that UP’s attitude on that has always been, “What part of ‘Hell, no!’ don’t you understand?”?

    Nathanael Reply:

    Pffft, they run freight under the wires everywhere in the world, and you’ll see UP engines (“run through”) running under the wires in the eastern US.

    UP will absolutely agree to this if (a) someone else pays for all of it, and (b) the wires are high enough to allow high-and-wide loads to move

    Roland Reply:

    Some genius must have figured out that noone in their right mind would ever design let alone build a high speed line through downtown anywhere. This is yuuuuge!!!!

    As far as “steel in the ground” in the wrong place is concerned, this can be easily rectified with a minor US Army training exercise.

    Travis D Reply:

    Guess the Germans and Japanese are no one.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly provide examples of German and Japanese trains going through any downtown at 200 MPH.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    They don’t go through downtown at 200 mph. They slow down.
    They go through downtown because that’s where the customers are and they foolishly want people to use the trains.
    No one knows why they don’t want the trains to run empty all the time. Go figure, right?

    Roland Reply:

    Thank you for confirming that Japanese and German trains slow down when going through downtown.

    Here are a couple of thoughts:
    1) What is the point of building high speed lines through downtown anywhere if non-stopping trains have to slow down to 120 MPH?
    2) How about designing high speed lines that completely bypass towns and connecting stopping trains to existing downtown stations via existing conventional lines?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Building two ROWs costs more than building one ROW for the few trains a day that don’t stop. If there ever are a few trains a day that don’t stop.

    Roland Reply:

    You are missing the point:
    1) The ROW and all the infrastructure that goes with it (including stations) already exist for the stopping trains.
    2) HS lines constructed in the boonies are typically much faster and cost a fraction of new lines through densely populated areas. Example: DTX/SOMA.
    Bottom line: why should a train have to go through downtown anywhere unless it intends to stop there?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    it doesn’t already exist in California.
    You are missing the point that it costs money to build two ROWs and maintain them. Unless you are confusing Fresno with Osaka and Bakersfield with Nagoya.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They shouldn’t, which is why CAHSR isn’t building HSR lines through downtowns they don’t intend on stopping in.

    EJ Reply:

    Yes it does. What do you think the San Joaquin uses?

    Eric Reply:

    Slowing to 120MPH is less than 1/4 the time penalty of stopping, not even including the time spent stopped while people board/alight.

    Clem Reply:

    More like 80 second penalty versus 200 second penalty, plus however many miles are spent dawdling at 120 instead of 220 mph (30 seconds per mile instead of 16.3 seconds per mile)… that adds up

    Roland Reply:

    To 20 KMs and over 13 minutes before joining the actual LGV in this case: https://youtu.be/eWqMIy5jVhM?t=885. Double that if non-stopping trains had to go through downtown Paris.

    Time for a US Army minor training exercise in the Fresno area?

  7. Eric M
    Feb 15th, 2017 at 12:07
    #7

    I see Google search has still not been fixed when searching for “California High Speed Rail”. The main website: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/ Doesn’t even show up in the first few page results. Yahoo and MSN first result is the authority’s website. Wonder if Google has something against the project.

    Joe Reply:

    YMMV
    Google search results are supposed to be customized for the user. My search shows it’s the second hit. The first is Wikipedia.

    Try DuckDuckGo or a site that doesn’t build user profiles.

    EJ Reply:

    It depends how the site is constructed. You can build a site so results emphasize the home page, but not everybody does. So google is showing you sub-pages with high traffic totals or recent updates.

    Jerry Reply:

    Eric M
    The ‘problem’ is with Google. Perhaps they changed their algorithm. Maybe to generate more ‘hits’. Or more ad revenue. But there has been a change.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s a conspiracy! Somebody call Alex Jones!

    Eric Reply:

    Here are my top four Google hits:

    California High-Speed Rail – Wikipedia
    Construction of High-Speed Rail – California High Speed Rail Authority
    CA High-Speed Rail: Over Budget, Behind Schedule – Breitbart
    California High Speed Rail Blog

  8. Roland
    Feb 15th, 2017 at 14:24
    #8

    SamTrans oxymoron of the week:
    “Caltrain will, in the coming months, add more stops to the baby bullet train service.” http://kron4.com/2017/02/14/in-depth-caltrain-riders-say-overcrowding-has-become-an-issue-on-trains/

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Don’t tell Clem about the KRON 4 report… He has indicated the one of the best ways to increase capacity is to remove seats and allow for more standees.

    Clem Reply:

    Don’t tell Roland about what BART just did to increase peak capacity of their trains.

    Roland Reply:

    “These three projects will boost capacity by increasing the number of cars and seats available system wide and the frequency of trains on the track during rush hour.”

    “The biggest benefit of modernizing BART’s train control system will be the ability to increase the frequency of trains. We will run more trains on the same system without compromising safety by maximizing the efficiency of the existing tracks.” The Horror!
    https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2016/news20160502-0

    Joe Reply:

    More trains per hour yet fewer seats per train.

    Rex Harrison can train you.

    Roland Reply:

    But, but, but, whatever happened to A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N???

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Clem: “Don’t tell Roland about what BART just did to increase peak capacity of their trains.”

    Yes and people are unhappy with the removal of seats on BART.

    BART is suffering many of the same problems as Caltrain, crowdwed trains, breakdowns, delays, etc. See companion KRON 4 report: http://kron4.com/2017/02/13/in-depth-bart-takes-mental-toll-on-some-riders/

    BART is suffering from the 1980’s – 2000’s fixation on dubious, considerably underperforming, and over budget extensions instead of keeping the core system in a state of good repair, (and at the expense of Caltrain improvements such as electrification or ACE train expansion).

    Standing might be ok for the technocrat/dot-com types but some of us do actual physical work for a living or some of us may have bad knees or backs and may need to sit while commuting

    Max Wyss Reply:

    BART might have a look at the Series 40000 trains of Seibu Railway in Tokyo area… rotating seats, longitudinal for rush hour, transversal for normal hours.

    Found in the Railway Gazette articlet: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/seibu-railway-unveils-series-40000-emus-with-rotating-seats.html

    Joe Reply:

    Standing might be ok for the technocrat/dot-com types but some of us do actual physical work for a living or some of us may have bad knees or backs and may need to sit while commuting

    Free lunch.

    Add the seats back and you argue riders will get to both board a crowded train and sit comfortably.

    Roland Reply:

    Latest Silicon Valley T-shirt logo: “Coders do it standing”.
    Par-Tay, J-O-B-S and F-U-C-K the 3.5 million snotty kids trying to get some work done in the valley.

    Joe Reply:

    Reality is cruel. It beats down the creative mind with choice and tradeoffs.

    Perhaps you can move on to invent the weight loss donut or M. C. Escher-always-downhill bicycles.

    Jerry Reply:

    The weight loss donut only works on the Sisyphus Bicycle.

    Joe Reply:

    Good one.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I agree, but geometry is geometry and new capacity needs to go somewhere.

    William Reply:

    The other way to say this is:
    Jeff Carter & Roland finds increasing BART & Caltrain total capacity not important.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of what happened after SamTrans parked 11 of the 16 Metrolink Bombardiers last June it is that you don’t understand.

    Marc Reply:

    Obviously it’s a major conspiracy, have they been secretly moved to Area 51?

    In my reality, some number of Metrolink coaches went into service fairly soon after arrival by adding them to existing 5 car sets. Others obviously spent some time parked while waiting to be refurbished and converted to bike cars. These gradually replaced the first group of Metrolink coaches, which also returned to the shop for refurbishment and/or bike conversion. At some point an additional Bombardier set was put into service, as evidenced by the fact that there is now one mostly consists of Metrolink cars. This replaced a gallery set, which was broken up to make 3 or 4 (that I’ve noticed) 6 car gallery sets. What sleight of hand have I missed?

    Roland Reply:

    Just about all of it.
    1) Area 51 is located behind CEMOF (it is obscured by the building)
    2) There are only 5 baby bullet sets, so they initially picked the 5 best ones to lengthen them to 6 cars and parked the other 11.
    3) They then spent 6 months ripping out 24 seats in the lower deck out of another 5 to create the 3rd bike cars by swapping these 5 gutted cars for the 5 that were already in service at which point they retired the first 5 and parked them in Area 51
    4) The June 2016 66K average daily ridership resulted in 5-car Gallery sets running at 150% of capacity resulting in great pictures released by the SamTrans Pravda.
    5) Members of the public reported the location of the 11 cars to MTC
    6) Six of the 11 cars were immediately deployed resulting in the first (and only) 6-car Metrolink consist
    7) This made it possible to retire one Gallery set and split it into 5 Gallery cars which were used to increase Gallery sets to 6-car
    8) Approximately $10M of the $15M Board-approved Metrolink car project budget is currently unaccounted for.
    The remaining 5 Metrolink cars are parked at CEMOF waiting for an extra car to make up a complete consist.

    Marc Reply:

    Well, it’s amazing what those “members of the public” can do, but my understanding was that increasing some of the sets to six cars and keeping more spare cars was the plan all along, given that Caltrain/SamTrans doesn’t have the funds to put another train into service. Spares are nice to have, I don’t how many times I rode on cars last year that had no air conditioning or malfunctioning doors, but it was too damn many.

    Roland Reply:

    Look at last year’s budget and you will understand why there is no money left for Caltrain maintenance: SamTrans have been milking Caltrain for all it was worth for decades and wages and benefits are beyond containment by any remotely competent management.

    Joe Reply:

    Please mansplain the budget.

  9. Roland
    Feb 16th, 2017 at 07:23
    #9

    Error 503 Service Unavailable
    Paging Robert:
    Service Unavailable

    Guru Meditation:

    XID: 1866833705

    Varnish cache server

  10. JJJ
    Feb 16th, 2017 at 07:24
    #10

    I noticed that a lot of new articles started popping up once the flickr account was reactivated.

    Marketing matters.

    Roland Reply:

    Yes, the new intern definitely moved things along.

  11. morris brown
    Feb 16th, 2017 at 08:11
    #11

    Caltrain and High Speed Rail and FTA funding – Revolving Door Shenanigans

    Joe Reply:

    Scandal – how so?
    Q:What law was violated?
    A: None. Neither Morris nor the LA Times cite any specific violation.

    Well, all these efforts succeeded and on Jan 18th, FTA Administrator Carolyn Flowers, signed off on approving the grant. The approval has set off a 30 day period where several Federal congressional committees are alerted and can respond to the approval.

    Why doesn’t Morris demand they prosecute the scandal?

    What a chickenshit.

    Jerry Reply:

    But we NEED that shenanigan money to help build the WALL to keep out the illegal nannies from Menlo Park and Atherton. And of course, to stop the modernization of CalTrain. We need that money to modernize and rebuild our military.

    les Reply:

    If they weren’t doing the people’s business then I would be alarmed. But since it is only a fox and a hound and a few groundhogs that are upset then what is the big deal Morris.

    Joe Reply:

    Right.

    Caltrain is a public agency and not a private company.

    The grant was issued to a public agency operated by three counties in California.
    What is the conflict?

    Since she approved the grant to a public agency, does Morris think it is legal for her to move to California ? She feathered a bed in this state. She was with DOT so she has conflicts with all states. Possibly she has to move to Canada to avoid the appearance of scandal.

    les Reply:

    If it was somebody screaming besides the same ole malcontents then it might be something worth looking into. But given who is offended then there is obviously nothing gone wrong.

    Joe Reply:

    Right.

    And the LATimes made no specific allegation. They didn’t mention conflict of interest in the article.

    Just make some factual claims in the right order and imply something is wrong.

    les Reply:

    “If Elaine Chao Axes This Bay Area Rail Funding, We’ll Know She’s Politicizing Transportation”
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2017/02/16/will_elaine_chao_axe_federal_funding_for_caltrain.html

    Roland Reply:

    1) There was no mention of any political influence in the FTA letter.
    2) Elaine Chao did not sign the letter.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Naive Roland?

    Roland Reply:

    Just sticking to the evidence at hand.

    Roland Reply:

    This project does not qualify for an FFGA, period.

    Les Reply:

    It was but then it wasn’t. Go figure

    Roland Reply:

    It never did. The FTA eventually figured it out.

  12. StevieB
    Feb 16th, 2017 at 20:35
    #12

    Concrete Girder Construction Video for California High-Speed Rail.

    Published on Feb 16, 2017
    Con-Fab California is a Central Valley manufacturer of structural precast, prestressed concrete located in Lathrop, California. The company is under contract to build all girders in Construction Package 1 (CP 1) of the California high-speed rail project. That includes the largest girders ever cast in California.

  13. Domayv
    Feb 16th, 2017 at 22:01
    #13

    http://www.raillynews.com/2017/vancouver-portland-hsr-feasibility-study-funds-allocated/

    Wells Reply:

    $1 million to various engineering firms to consider a proposal their department heads know is highly questionable and would only leave the worse problem of basic metropolitan area and small town transit systems. 200+mph HSR in the USA is like the self-driving car anywhere; neither will solve daily traffic congestion. The well-dressed minions of Silicon Valley have as much sense as misterTrump.

    Domayv Reply:

    what would solve congestion then? more lanes?

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Lower incomes.

    Wells Reply:

    Sorry about that jab, but it’s true with HSR being over-priced and mismanaged, at least relative to HSR and passenger-rail and rail transit standards around the world. Silicon Valley wants their HSR stop in Gilroyville estates land. Altamont HSR would be for the working lower income and poor class of long-distance commuters. Ah, now you see. Like that moniker, Gilroyville Estates?
    Their football team, the Gilroy Gorillas, wear whitish uniforms getting dirty.

    Domayv Reply:

    I’ve been thinking they can make a new Caltrain commuter line SF-Stockton/Fresno via Altamont

    Domayv Reply:

    why should the incomes be lower, that would make zero sense

  14. Joe
    Feb 16th, 2017 at 22:31
    #14

    Forget about CA attracting private money to please the critics.
    HSR opponents wouldn’t change one lie.

    A new report estimates the Texas bullet train could cost taxpayers $21.5 billion and concludes that privately funded high speed rail is not a feasible mode of transit outside of the Northeastern United States.

    The report from the Reason Foundation estimates that the proposed Texas Central Partners project between Dallas and Houston will run at a $537 million annual operating deficit over the its first 40 years of operations.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2017/02/14/texas-bullet-train-could-cost-taxpayers-21-5.html

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Apparently the Reason Foundation doesn’t understand how private companies work. They make money or go bankrupt. … Like airlines.

    Domayv Reply:

    and the government heavily subsidizes the air industry.

    Jerry Reply:

    Did the Reason Foundation factor in the “cost” of pollution?

    StevieB Reply:

    The Reason Foundation argues against California High-Speed Rail in that it would cause earthquakes.

    CHSRA says the trip will still take only 2 hours and 40 minutes which would make it the fastest train on the planet. The National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board says trips on this speed would be unsafe.52 Fur-ther, such speeds might induce earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault.

    StevieB Reply:

    The Reason Foundation report gives encouragement to opponents because Gavin Newsome will cancel the project.

    Governor Jerry Brown’s term expires in 2018. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome is the strong favorite to succeed Brown. Newsome opposes the HSR project, argu-ing the money could be better spent on other priorities such as water infrastructure.56 Many experts expect Newsome would terminate the project upon taking office

    The analysis is outdated as Newsome last stated that if elected he would assure that California High-Speed Rail was funded.

    StevieB Reply:

    The Reason Foundation report uses negative reports by numerous Koch funded “think tanks” as an argument against California High-Speed Rail.

    Many think tanks including the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation and Reason Foundation also wrote reports critical of HSR.

    The argument might have more weight if the entities were impartial and not all paid by the same opponents to write negative reports.

    les Reply:

    I once did some work for an outfit called CO2Science.org (nice hummingbird logo on front). I was stunned to find the website was finance by oil companies so that they may put faulty journal articles out there. There are no limits to spreading propaganda. Hell, we allow for a foreigner from a coal rich country to run one of our major news organizations (Fox).

    Danny Reply:

    ever since the Powell Memo they’ve unleashed this plague of “think tanks” upon us

    Nathanael Reply:

    Free speech is great and all, but these criminal propaganda outfits need to be forced to disclose who’s paying for them. Failure to do so should be punished by immediate execution for treason.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Finding out who is paying for them would be nice. It looks like the rest of the press has grown a spine and instead of pussy footing… is that a bad choice of words…. around things they are calling the lies, lies. The readers/listeners don’t have to connect the dots for themselves anymore. Let’s hope it persists.
    ….. or there is s landslide victory for the Democrats in 2018 in the aftermath of Paul Ryan becoming President….

  15. Jerry
    Feb 17th, 2017 at 00:41
    #15

    Amtrak passengers stuck in freezing cold for several hours outside of New York City. (the Bronx)
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/nyregion/amtrak-train-nyc.html?mabReward=R3&recp=5&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Last I checked, the Bronx was a borough.

  16. agb5
    Feb 17th, 2017 at 03:13
    #16

    HSR contractor has dropped the ball here: https://flic.kr/p/RZJMCX

    Faber Castell Reply:

    You’ve got some real stones saying something like that

  17. Roland
    Feb 17th, 2017 at 08:07
    #17

    Clem’s alternate reality stillborn now sprouts protruding folding bridge plates fully compliant with AAR Plate WTF: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/02/worth-thousand-words.html

    Par-Tay. 96,000 J-O-B-S!!!

    Clem Reply:

    If I was designing it, I would add 20 cm of vehicle width, make upstairs 5 abreast, and make the bridge plates shorter. More space for seats and standees, less goofy, and more easily meets FTA commuter rail “capacity” criteria. Too bad I’m not designing it.

    Roland Reply:

    Thank God you will no longer have any part in “designing” any of it.

  18. les
    Feb 17th, 2017 at 08:19
    #18

    Another attempt at defining Seattle-Vancouver HSR:
    https://www.seattletransitblog.com/2017/02/17/the-technical-challenges-of-seattle-vancouver-high-speed-rail-part-1/#more-86561

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What if it was incorporated into the Sand Point LRT crossing, and the route stopped at Totem Lake and continued to Everett via Woodinville and Snohomish? That way, the only tunneled section would be SoDo to UW.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Is that technologically feasible?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I think so. It would have to look something like this: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V3kohRRUy2r3BFv5TmZM5P9DywY&usp=sharing

    Travel times would be in the range of:
    SoDo to UW–5 min
    UW to Totem Lake–10 min
    Totem Lake to Everett–15 min

    les Reply:

    SoDo – UW is more than 5 mins via link if UW – Capital Hill is 9 min. Must be more like 20 mins to sodo.

    UW link to Seatac is 52 min.

    HSR station at Totem Lake would be very competitive and preferred for most travelers.

  19. Tom A
    Feb 17th, 2017 at 11:03
    #19

    Inn Baltimore – a stub exit ramp to a never built freeway stood for a couple of decades. There is still a below ground section of the the I-70 extension that never got built as well.

  20. morris brown
    Feb 17th, 2017 at 12:30
    #20

    Breaking news on the Caltrain FFGA from the FTA.

    Just out:

    In a letter to Jim Hartnett dated Feb 17, 2017, the FTA has deferred on a decision to execute the FFGA.

    A copy of the letter can be found at:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMZFJtRS0ydHVXTG8

    Jerry Reply:

    Let the Hunger Games begin.

  21. EJ
    Feb 19th, 2017 at 12:29
    #21

    “What do HSR opponents want – to just let this infrastructure sit there unused in the hot summer sun? That would be absurd.”

    Sunk costs are the worst reason to do anything. Not that they shouldn’t build CAHSR, but you can’t justify it by saying it’s already been started.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    THe funding requires two stations and independent utility. The San Joaquins can run on it.

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