XpressWest Estimates 11 Million HSR Riders A Year

Mar 5th, 2017 | Posted by

Last week XpressWest estimated 11 million people would ride high speed rail every year by 2035:

The figures were based on a $115 roundtrip ticket that would connect passengers on the publicly funded California High Speed rail system to a private line operated by XpressWest, the company franchised nearly two years ago to build a rail segment from Las Vegas to Palmdale….

About 3 million passengers are projected to take roundtrip rides when the first segment between Las Vegas and Palmdale, California, is completed by XpressWest in 2021, generating about $300 million in annual revenue, according to the study.

Those a great estimates. But without governmental funding, XpressWest will need to find another major investor, especially after China dropped out. A completion date of 2021 for tracks from Palmdale to Victorville and Las Vegas is doable, but it requires construction to begin sometime this year – which seems like a longshot.

It’s also unclear whether an anti-rail presidential administration would throw up even more roadblocks to this project. Republicans have attacked this plan in the past, deriding it as a “casino train.”

PS: Several of you have reported problems logging into the site, posting comments, or comments being posted under different usernames. I’m looking into this issue. The site’s WordPress install is fully up to date, as are all plug-ins. So bear with me as I try to diagnose and fix the problem.

  1. car(e)-free LA
    Mar 5th, 2017 at 09:39
    #1

    $115 is too high for a roundtrip ticket.

    [Reply]

    Bdawe Reply:

    ya, is it 115 from LA or 115 from Victorville or Palmdale?

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    115 roundtrip from Palmdale to Vegas, which is $57.5 one way from Palmdale to Vegas. It should be more like $40 one way.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    It will be but you may not necessarily like what it takes to get there: https://youtu.be/uwcLuaStNmo?t=34. Having said all that, nothing will happen until we decouple the train service providers from the rail infrastructure providers.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    That’s why Brightline will suck and why I like the Cascades line.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Cam you elaborate?

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    It’s not just the decoupling that matters. Private desire to maximize profits is also a big part. The Cascades has Amtrak’s federal pull (for track usage and some priorities) to remain viable and will run at a fraction of Brightline’s prices. Brightline’s track, service and ROW are all owned by the same company and hence have complete control and ability to run high fares. On the same token X will run high fares and disallow competition such as CAHSR to run on their tracks (however X will expect access to CAHSRs tracks to LA). If the State owned X’s tracks, CAHSR could have directs to Vegas and hence some competition. State control and competition are the keys to keeping fares down.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    State control and competition is an oxymoron. How about a free market where rail is regulated the way we regulate freeways and bus operators compete freely within an established regulation framework? Would that work?

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes…sort of. It would, provided that you don’t get a terrible mess of inefficient routes and schedules, like what often happens with private transit operators, due to the “walled garden” mentality.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You want to have the state to own the tracks and subsidize them heavily like they do for the roads and airports and some funky finagling where the toll road pays for the canal?

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Is it better for them to set their fares at the “so cheap I love it” level, or the “a bit expensive but still the best option so I’ll take it” level? Probably the latter.

    Also, 5 years of inflation brings your $40 to $45.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The best system is to have multiple operators competing for the same market and offering different levels of service at different pricels (just like the airlines).

    [Reply]

    Anandakos Reply:

    Right. Let’s not just have one pair of tracks to Las Vegas. Let’s have SIX!

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    So you think it should be subsidized?

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    At least on par with what freeway or airport are subsidized.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or else have track access fees (per passenger) not exceed road access fees (tolls).

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Wouldn’t it be something if CAHSR could compete with Xpresswest and run their
    trains through to Vegas. This competition will never happen with private control of Nevada track. However X will be able to run the other way into LA.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    CAHSR isn’t a train operator. For all we know, it’ll be Xpresswest operating over CAHSR track.

    [Reply]

    Les Reply:

    Of course, who ever the op is. But point being x won’t allow competition.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Unless that is the price for them getting to operate to LAUS and SFTBT.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    Xpresswest is at a very early stage of development. It may come to pass that they contract for a concessionaire to run their trains and that the concessionaire may be the same as that contracted by the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I still think that all of CAHSR should be transferred to XpressWest ownership if they build the Palmdale-Burbank tunnel.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds good as long as you remember that the Las Vegas branch starts 40 miles west of Palmdale.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    That sounds suspiciously similar to Trumps infrastructure giveaway were private corporations put of 18% of the cost and the Federal Government puts up the remainder through tax credits. The main problem is that private corporations answer to shareholders who demand maximum profits and the State of California desires to maximize economic development in the state. The goals are mutually exclusive.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Then as part of the deal, set maximum prices and require a certain level of service quality.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They aren’t keeping any of their other promises why would they follow through on this one?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It would actually be terrible. The EU open access mandate isn’t the Union’s brightest moment.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    How about substantiating your claims instead of spreading useless drivel?

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    How about asking politely?

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    That’s rich, coming from you.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Would you care to elaborate?

    [Reply]

    Claude Reply:

    Japan tried private companies running on publicly held track with the shinkansen trains. Without the ability to leverage the value of the track and amortize the associated costs they were unable to raise funds to make needed improvements, and the government had no incentive to make the improvements as they came up.
    The companies were unable to respond to market changes and had difficulty maintaining profitability until they obtained full control of the track.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I think they could lower prices and boost ridership and still make a profit.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Ive been researching plan tickets to vegas and they are very expensive. Im paying over 300 round trip from sfo to las

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I assume for sometime in the near future. That’s because people in the Bay Area think what would be a very pleasant spring day in the Midwest or Northeast, is bitterly cold and they want to go some place warm. The airlines know they can charge a lot for that.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Wait a second. I was thinking of going to NYC in late March/early April, and temperatures are frigid. I’m waiting until August.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    .you don’t want to go to New York in August unless your idea of a good time is Mumbai during monsoon season. You will get the chance for a free Turkish bath on the subway platform. Nothing special you have to do, it’s hotter and more humid down there. If you are really lucky the hot exhaust from the train’s air conditioning will blast you.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I happen to enjoy 90 degrees and humid. Perhaps I’m masochistic. Regardless, NYC when it’s 30 degrees doesn’t seem pleasant.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Any New Yorker who can afford to gets the hell out of the city in August. Adi doesn’t mention the delightful interaction between the heat, humidity, and the garbage smell (you see, contrary to the impression you get from movies, there are only like 3 back alleys in all of New York – so everyone puts their trash right out on the street for collection).

    The very best time in New York is the first few warm days in the spring. Women put on sundresses, and New Yorkers literally walk around with smiles on their faces (which is not common). The second best is a crisp, sunny, winter’s day. 85% of what you’re gonna do in NYC as a tourist is indoors, anyway.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I don’t really smell all of that anymore. It’s there but always been there and always will be. That’s what it smells like. It’s part of the street furniture. Like honking cabs and smelly buses. The buses aren’t as smelly as they used to be. Neither are the cabs. There’s talk of making the cabs and buses electric. They are making the trade off between using very valuable real estate for alleys and putting up with piles of garbage being at the curb twice, three times a week. That usually goes out late at night and disappears by dawn.
    Crisp fall days are good for people who have never been in the Northeast during fall color. Even in mediocre years they are stunned. Unfortunately it can be early and it’s over with by the time they get there or be late and not started when they are there or there is heavy rain a day or two before which knocks all the leaves off…. It’s hard to schedule predictably… Even Midwesterners who get decent fall color are stunned.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    I’ve never understood why they heat the subway trains in the winter, though. You’re already all bundled up, because you had to walk to the subway and stand around on a cold platform, then you get on a train and what are you supposed to do, take your coat off? Where do you put it?

    EJ Reply:

    Though I still think that when it’s not a gale or a blizzard, NYC in winter is underrated. So long as you’ve got waterproof shoes and warm clothes, it’s great. I’ve never been there during fall color season, but anywhere out of the city is going to be more spectacular than NYC itself, right? Maybe with the exception of Central Park?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    New York smells like garbage, Paris smells like diesel fumes. At least here the city is doing something about the problem.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Combine the short stroll from the Plaza to the fountain with viewing fall color.
    ….. go up to the Cloisters… a good intimate view and a spectacular view across the river. And the Cloisters.

    Jerry Reply:

    The Cloisters is a hidden gem.

    Roland Reply:

    London used to smell like diesel fumes and they did something about it when the sulfur started eating away the stonework on the historical buidings.

    agb5 Reply:

    That’s how much HSR costs

    [Reply]

  2. Les
    Mar 5th, 2017 at 10:50
    #2

    I think GE or EMS should invest. It would give them a chance to upgrade from 125mph engines to 150 with their first guaranteed market.

    [Reply]

    Les Reply:

    It also makes them eligible for Fed money.

    [Reply]

    Anandakos Reply:

    No fed money coming. But if any polity in the world can afford HSR, California can.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    So true.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    I think Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn should invest.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Sure. I’d happily invest too, if I had a couple billion lying around. That said, if they were to open shares for small-time investors, I’d happily put some of my own money in.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    … if you have enough traffic to be going 125 a lot you probably have enough traffic to make electrification worthwhile. It costs money to maintrain tracks for a 125 and ya ain’t do that unless there are a lot of trains.
    They’ve been toying around this since everybody who said the Japanese would not be able to do it long term – run at 130 – changed their minds. They do this, they use turbines. I’m sure some place somewhere using a smaller diesel for HEP and getting in and out stations where it makes sense to fire up turbine was explored. Diesel really isn’t all that good at 125 and I’ve read, and I’m not going bother to find some sort of confirmation for this, going 150 with diesel is reallly reallly hard and while it’s conceivable to go faster, you can’t carry enough fuel with you.
    ….. it’s gonna be hard to any of usual suspects interested in a market that will never be very big…

    [Reply]

    DTP Reply:

    Getting a diesel locomotive up to 150 is not just hard – it’s virtually impossible.

    Supposedly the Russians got one up to 168 mph in the early 90s, but I don’t know if I trust that.

    The independently verified speed record is held by the UK’s HSTs, at 148 mph. These are also some of the fastest in revenue service, running at 125. Supposedly Siemens’ Chargers will do the same here in the US.

    Once you get above 110 or so the fuel consumption is too great for diesels to really be practical. If you want to go fast, you need to go electric.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Agreed above 125: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_speed_record_for_rail_vehicles#Fuel-electric

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Not only that, but getting into higher speeds it becomes difficult for a traditional internal combustion engine to provide enough power. You will likely need a gas turbine (turboshaft) which is more powerful but considerably less efficient.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Welcome to Clem’s latest project: https://youtu.be/57MgWvPnjS4

    [Reply]

    Max Wyss Reply:

    …as it has been proved by the TGV 001. OK, it is not only because of the limited power output, but also because of the oil shock, which got the SNCF to switch to electric high speed trains.

    There were no really successful gas turbine-powered locomotives/trains; I think the most successful was the RTG of the SNCF, using a helicopter turbine. Otherwise… gas turbines pop up every 15 or so years, but things don’t change.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The New York Central welded a jet engine onto a car, riveted on some fairing and went realllllllly realllly fast. There are things you can do. In commercial service the really short answer is that you can’t carry enough fuel. If you can’t carry enough fuel that means it’s guzzling it. If it guzzles fuel that make electrification much more attractive….. look at it from a slightly different viewpoint even megawatts of electricity don’t weigh much, you can pour a lot of them down a skinny little wire at 25,000 volts. Yes you can do things, in the revenue service world you can’t.

    [Reply]

    Nick uk Reply:

    Yes the HST reached 148. Despite being 40 years old these trains are still in front line service although they have been reengined and the coaches upgraded in that time. I live very near the Welwyn viaduct on the East Coast mainline the London Edinburgh route and these trains sound magnificent and easy to pick out by ear in a sea of electrics. Mind you the Class 91 electric locos have their more muted sound but the power is still felt also when they shoot by. Electrics on the whole are much better even the 1960s Class 87s used on the line to the Nort West could reach 110 as they had around 5000 horsepower. Even so the most magnificent loco is Flying Scotsman !

    As far as high speed rail is concerned, the only plausible propulsion is electric. Cleaner, faster, quieter, less polluting and more efficient. I find it strange that the Caltrain electrification is being resisted although some recent U.K. Electrification supports and gantries looked like they could support a monorail and are quite hideous but still preferable to older smoky diesels.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    keeping mind this is the first attempt anyone had made. Things can be quite sturdy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:B&O_electrification.jpg

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    An overhead third-rail!!! G-E-N-I-U-S!!!

    This is more relevant: “Reconstructing the Howard Street Tunnel to accommodate double-stacked intermodal containers had been once thought to cost $1–3 billion. However, in April 2016, a $425 million plan was revealed that would create the needed 1.5 ft (0.46 m) of additional clearance in the tunnel by trimming and notching its arched ceiling, lowering its floor, and using steel crossties, which have a lower profile than wood crossties.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Belt_Line#Howard_Street_Tunnel_clearance_improvements

    [Reply]

  3. morris brown
    Mar 5th, 2017 at 20:48
    #3

    Wall Street Journal: Chao’s Choo-Choo Stop

    (behind a paygate: I copy below:)

    Chao’s Choo-Choo Stop

    A $647 million grant two days before Obama left the White House.

    3/05/2017

    The Obama Administration may have left town, but its legacy lives on across the country in Sacramento. So congratulations to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for putting a stop to some dubious grant-making for San Francisco Democrats by a former Obama official in another imbroglio for California’s bullet train.

    Last month Ms. Chao said she is delaying indefinitely a $647 million federal grant for the Caltrain commuter service that former Federal Transit Administration chief Carolyn Flowers approved two days before President Obama left office. Ms. Flowers now works at an engineering company that is a contractor for the Caltrain project. Last week Governor Jerry Brown sent a letter to Ms. Chao begging her to release the funds pronto. “Can we discuss this on the phone?” he asked in a handwritten note.

    California’s 14 House Republicans have asked Ms. Chao to withhold the federal cash until an audit is completed on California’s misbegotten bullet train. An internal Federal Railroad Administration analysis in December found that the train’s first segment in the sparsely populated Central Valley is running 50% over budget.

    How does the electrification of Caltrain connect to high-speed rail? Good question. The bullet train will supposedly link to Caltrain, though that may not be for several decades, if ever, at the current rate of construction. Since the choo choo may never reach the Bay Area due to litigation and funding shortfalls, Bay Area Democrats late last year wrote legislation that would make $600 million of the $10 billion in high-speed rail bonds that voters approved in 2008 available for electrifying Caltrain. This may be unconstitutional as legislators aren’t allowed to amend measures passed by voters, and some taxpayers have sued.

    Ms. Flowers decided to help her progressive friends in San Francisco on her way out the door by fast-tracking the federal grant for Caltrain. Now she’s returned through the other door to collect a piece of the cash. Sacramento is America’s western swamp.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Ouch!

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    If WSJ Opinion editor Paul Gigot says stopping the grant is a good thing it must be true. He represents owner Rupert Murdock conservative billionaire ideals. He was so wrong predicting removing Saddam Hussein would bring stability to the middle east and he may be wrong here.

    You get rid of a madman who happens to want weapons of mass destruction. Second, you get the possibility of rebuilding Iraq in a much more stable, democratic way…And third, I think there is the potential for a profound demonstration to the rest of the Arab world — which is still in many ways pre-modern — that a country like Iraq can actually begin to make strides in a democratic, self-governing fashion. I think that would be a lesson taken perhaps in Iran, where the mullahs are already under pressure from the population that doesn’t like their dictatorship, and in Saudi Arabia. Who knows what will happen in Syria and elsewhere? But I really think there is the potential for that region to be a much more stable place in the future.

    [Reply]

    Nick uk Reply:

    Isn’t Trump the madman who wants more such weapons ? Maybe he could use the ones that G “WMD” Bush found lol

    [Reply]

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    Husein’s weapons were well documented at the end of the first phase of the Gulf War. As a condition of the truce he was required to publicly destroy his mass weapons in front of international inspectors.
    Instead he spent 12 years playing hide and seek with his weapon programs and to this day no one knows what happened to the weapons that were documented or who has them today.
    As for the WSJ editorial, the frequent inclusion of the word “choo-choo” is a good clue that the wuthor isn’t a serious thinker.
    The Journal was once a respected newspaper.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Instead he spent 12 years playing hide and seek with his weapon programs and to this day no one knows what happened to the weapons

    I know.
    It was all bullshit.
    They were destroyed.

    You can’t move weapons programs around like a trailer. Now he did have scud missles on trailers and those were found and targeted and destroyed. So trailers can be traced.

    Walter white in a RV making chemical weapons – he got caught.

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    A lot of them weren’t destroyed. Or rather, they were destroyed by US soldiers after 2003.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    Except for all the chemical weapons US soldiers had to neutralize between 2004 and 2011:
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html?_r=0

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Clap harder. The conversation at the time was much more sophisticated. It’s too bad you were too lazy to pay attention or too stupid to understand. Wouldn’t you be having more fun at a Make America Great Again rally. Sorta like the ones they had when Saint Ronnie was running?

    [Reply]

    Eric Reply:

    I voted for Hillary, you know. Not everything is as simplistic and one-dimensional as you think.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You are the one who thinks it’s one dimensional. It was much more complex and saying there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction is shorthand for the complexity.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Oh FFS all the chatter before the war about Saddam’s “WMDs” was about yellowcake and supposed uranium enrichment programs. Then after you bloody-minded ghouls got your wonderful war you found a few old chemical weapons caches and were like, “hey, we never directly SAID he had nukes, and besides, chemical weapons are also technically WMDs!”

    [Reply]

  4. Roland
    Mar 5th, 2017 at 21:57
    #4

    @Robert,
    Thank you for looking into the caching issues. I may be on the wrong track but it looks like your web server is dishing out random pages out of the cache (did you change the caching configuration to resolve the performance issues we had a few months back?)
    One last question: Can you tell us what your web server/release is (Apache, IIS or ???)

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The server identifies itself as “nginx/1.10.3”
    https://www.nginx.com/resources/wiki/

    [Reply]

  5. agb5
    Mar 6th, 2017 at 01:35
    #5

    Technically, one problem with this site is that the server is instructing the browser to cache the site for seven days, so the browser just keeps re-displaying the cached version and does not check for updates.

    In the HTTP header of http://www.cahsrblog.com : Cache-Control:max-age=604800

    A typical news blog would have: “Cache-Control:max-age=30”, meaning if the page is older than 30 seconds the browser checks with the server to see if the latest version of the page is different from the version it has in the cache.

    If cost of bandwidth is a concern, perhaps there is a more efficient type of blog structure that does not re-download 400 comments every time a new comment is added.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    It’s been a while but caching dynamic HTML was a seriously bad idea back in the old days (only to be outdone by client-side caching). Having said that, does anybody know anything about blog design and, if so, why the only version of a page that needs caching (server-side) cannot be the latest and greatest version whatever that might be?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m not having the problem so I’m not going to think about it lot. But then I don’t read a lot this stuff in a browser, it’s an RSS reader. How quaint. I’m using Firefox and when I tell the reader to use Chrome to follow links …. i can’t reproduce it. Perhaps you should all see what browser and operating system you are using and maybe something funky is happening in a few or one of those combinations. …since I can’t reproduce the problem, I’m no help…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    I tried Windows Exploder (same problem). Thanks for Firefox suggestion.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    Do what is called a Hard Refresh on the page. In Chrome you hold down the Ctrl key and click the Reload button. Search for Hard Refresh with other browsers.

    [Reply]

  6. J. Wong
    Mar 6th, 2017 at 07:09
    #6

    Caltrain Grant

    Side note: the Times reports that the Finance dept has released funds from the bond sales

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Quote required.

    According to the article, “The Finance Department of Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, decided on Friday that the project was ready to lay some track and approved $2.6 billion in spending. But there are lingering questions about how the later stages of the project will be financed, especially if Congress blocks more federal support.” so the question is how they could already have sold any bonds let alone released the funds.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Roland:

    The letter from Michael Cohen of the State Department of Finance approving the Central Valley Funding plan and thus sale or Prop 1A bonds to fund this segment can be read at:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMd050eGhIaDg3S1k

    The previous sale of Prop 1A bonds noted, seems to be for the funding of the $950 million of Prop 1A funds that were allocated for use by other agencies to connect to HSR. Also a small amount to fund studies, not construction.

    Expect to see legal action to be started to overturn this approval. After all, the Funding Plan was carefully noted by the Funding Plan Consultant to be valid only when including the amendment of Prop 1A, by the Legislature approved AB-1889 (Mullin); AB-1889 is blatantly UN-constitutional.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    carefully noted by the Funding Plan Consultant to be valid only when including the amendment

    The consultant states no opinion on its validity without the amendment.
    The central valley segment is exactly what the Prop1A authors had in mind as a usable segment.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @ agb5 who wrote:

    The consultant states no opinion on its validity without the amendment.
    The central valley segment is exactly what the Prop1A authors had in mind as a usable segment.

    Pure BS: Did you ever read the Consultants report? Link:

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/funding_finance/CV_Segment_Funding_Plan_Independent_Fin_Advisor_Report.pdf

    Once you get this on your computer, do a search on 1889. Spread in numerous places are the comments which say valid as shown in ab-1889.

    Don’t write crap please.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Sorry Ace but nowhere does the Consultant say if and only if ab-1889.

    He’s doing his job and using the laws in place. No where did he think to please your egocentric and conspiratorial mind to make a finding for your argumentative viewpoint and willfully ignore a law.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Yes I did read it.

    The consultant states that the “suitable and ready” test is defined by law AB-1889, and the central valley segment passes that test.

    Nowhere does the consultant assert “not suitable or ready without AB-1889”.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Exactly.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    $1.4 billion bond sale to benefit high-speed rail work in the San Joaquin Valley.

    The state Treasurer’s Office is expected to sell about $1.4 billion in high-speed rail bonds next month – the first sale of Proposition 1A bonds for construction of California’s embattled bullet-train project in the San Joaquin Valley.

    Another $1 billion bond sale could come in the second half of the year, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s preliminary budget for 2017-18…

    “I find that the Central Valley funding plan submitted by the authority is likely to be successfully implemented as proposed,” state finance director Michael Cohen wrote in his March 3 letter. “The authority may therefore enter into commitments to expend bond funds and accept offered commitments from private parties in support of the Central Valley segment.”

    According to the Department of Finance, the state expects to sell the high-speed rail bonds along with other state bonds during the week of April 17.

    [Reply]

  7. morris brown
    Mar 6th, 2017 at 08:40
    #7

    New GPS technology will help keep trains from crashing. Why is it taking so long to arrive?

    Long article on PTC

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    it takes too long to get an accurate enough measurement to be running trains on two tracks. And forget about running on tracks under a station that has a lot of steel in and four tracks. It’s good solution for single track branch lines without a lot of traffic that almost could run with “one engine under steam” rules. …. you aren’t going to be depending on GPS on a busy railroad during a July thunderstorm that is so severe that some signals are being blocked…. It’s a fantasy.

    [Reply]

    Max Wyss Reply:

    It appears to me as a serious design flaw, if PTC relies only on GPS. First and foremost, it is the military which runs GPS, and if they decide that they don’t want the needed precision, the position may be known only by ± 20 m or even worse. This no longer allows to locate the train on the correct track in station/yard and multi-track situations.

    This is the main reason why ETCS-L2 relies on (trackside) balises which provide the exact location to the train, as well as odometers etc. for providing an approximate position while the GPS signal is not available.

    There may be an additional issue with PTC, unless properly handled. This is the check of the integrity of the train. Meaning that the system has to know whether the train is still complete, or whether it has separated. ETCS-L3 does have train integrity control, and so far, there are only test applications on secondary passenger lines where D/EMUs are used, which have an intrinsic integrity check.

    OTOH, the article correctly states that there will be a different operating culture.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The can use the Galileo navigation satellites which are higher precision and not controlled by US military
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_(satellite_navigation)

    [Reply]

    Max Wyss Reply:

    But… but… but… Gallileo is NIH… even worse, it is Uropean…

    The encrypted service would definitely provide suficient precision, indeed. But for obscured locations, such as tunnels, an auxiliary system (balises) would still be necessary.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You are going to a lot of difficulty “seeing” them in passenger stations that have a lot of steel. It’s going to be hard in tunnels. Once you start scattering more conventional stuff there and in that and over there… you aren’t saving much. And maintaining two systems instead of one. … either side of someplace that’s got bad reception you are going switch to something conventional …… and maintain the integration nightmare you deliberately caused. . . it sounds good on paper. Every five years it’s raining so hard the whole system loses reception and all the trains stop in the middle of rush hour…… no it’s not a good idea.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    But the yellow ACSES balise is also NIH, French!

    [Reply]

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The system UP is installing, I-ETMS, is not exclusively GPS-based. It uses wayside signals and monitors track integrity.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Correct and the sooner “Caltrain” forget about I-ITCS and get on with the program the better.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m not going spend a whole lot of time confirming and finding references. I-ETMS is is Wabtec’s name for the system Alstom sells as I-ITCS. and one of those two may be the name everybody was using at the time for every one’s product and is now obsolete. The railroads have come up with one standard that everybody is going to be using. Multiple vendors of things ACSES like have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the FRA that all the stuff is inter-operable. The horrors of multiple systems being incompatible was something to discuss briefly in 2005. Except for CBOSS which wasn’t anything like anyones fish and didn’t have any fowl. Foul maybe but not much fowl.

    [Reply]

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    I-ETMS and I-ITCS are different – unfortunately. I-ETMS is the freight solution. I-ITCS is the caltrain specific bastardized version of ITCS – the system developed by GE for Amtrak in Michigan, which has been sold to Alstom.

    Would you like some alphabet soup for dinner?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Thanks, I’m not gonna to spend a whole lot of time on something that got resolved years ago. There’s freight on the Michigan line. They’ve come to some sort of arrangement that works. For all I know or care they ripped all the electronics out and redid it. The radios and the fiber optic lines, which are the pricey parts, if there are any, don’t care if carrying ITCS or ETMS or ACSES or dirty movies the perv in the third car is downloading, I’m sure there is press release, which I’m not gonna go look for, announcing that these vendors who supply this system, that system and the other one too all had very happy interoperablity tests, everything went fine and the drama everyone was predicting didn’t appear. Everyone east of the Sierra Nevada has solved their problems. Whether it’s signaling systems or platforms heights or if the toilet paper in the bathrooms should be plain or embossed with the logo.
    …. you could ask SEPTA…. SEPTA….. the laughinstock of Northeastern and Midwestern transit systems how they do all this stuff but no California is special

    [Reply]

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    SEPTA actually chose to not interoperate http://planphilly.com/articles/2013/05/22/septa-seeks-tiger-funds-to-separate-freight-and-passenger-trains

    I don’t believe there is any area of true interoperation between i-etms and anything else.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    MBTA just reneged on 2014 deal to make their line compatible with freight PTC
    http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/ptc/pan-am-southern-pan-am-railways-take-mbta-to-task-over-ptc.html

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    On the NEC all the time. It’s an itty bitty bit of the traffic, “only” 50 trains a day. Though I think, I don’t care, the P&W is all ACSES all the time. . . you don’t me want to see if some railfan was ecstatic he was able to video the UP or BNSF locomotive in Metuchen do you? A locomotive that wasn’t shrinking back in horror at those scary wires?
    There is an itty bitty port next to some itty bitty refineries on the the eastern end of the West Trenton line that generate a tiny bit of traffic. And there are those trains from Florida once a day. ….They seem to think they need three tracks to handle it and the occasional SEPTA train.

    ,,,, and you do realize that Pan Am is the punchline to bad joke don’t you? …. that states petition the STB to wrest control from them here there and over there and do it easily. That it’s very likely this is all some kabuki to get Massachusetts to pay a bit more to assume ownership of the tracks? That it’s very likely they want to scrape together money to file the paperwork to abandon track that has been so poorly maintained that FRA forced them to take it out of service. I don’t pay that close attention and Pan Am may have cleaned up it’s act….. nah… there is all sorts of speculation about what their ulterior motive for existence is but it’s apparent that it’s not railroading.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …. I’m sure someone somewhere is coming up with something where really cheap solar powered GPS-ish things get glued to the rails fairly often…. that still wouldn’t detect some problems cheap old fashioned track integrity does. … that don’t get enough sun in tunnels, under bridges, someplace where there are lot of trees in the valley…
    It’s hard to tell advanced technology from magic. A lot of people think that if they are surrounded by this much magic someone can just go sprinkle some spells and incantations over there and magic will happen there too….

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Your point being?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sorry you are too stupid to get the subtle subtext that is slightly off topic.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Can you elaborate?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …… I did…..

  8. Roland
    Mar 6th, 2017 at 10:26
    #8

    Electrification update.
    NB237 just crawled at 5 MPH between Tamien and Diridon “because of workers on the track”. A look out of the windows confirmed 4 individuals digging 2 round holes approximately one foot in diameter, a gentleman holding a round sign with a capital W and a very senior-looking individual apparently in charge of supervising the proceedings. What was very strange is that these gentlemen were digging holes on the EAST side of MT-1, the Union Pacific not-to-be-electrified track(???) and that things will get even more interesting once they get to the embankment…

    Cutting a long story short, is there any reason why they are not installing back-to-back cantilevers between MT-2 and the future MT-3 instead of a gantry across all 3 tracks? On a related note, many people have been trying to point out that using back-to-back cantilevers in the middle of the line in Atherton is a seriously bad idea. Any comments?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Thank you JAW and Doug for pointing out the other (open) BART entrance @Millbrae. The only problem now is that “because of workers of the track”, NB237 was 7 minutes late (AKA “on time”) arriving @ Millbrae giving BART an opportunity to leave the platform as Caltrain was pulling up on the other side…

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Both the NB local and bullet arrive at Millbrae at 4 past and 9 past the hour missing the Richmond BART departure on the hour forcing you to wait 20 minutes for the next. C’est la vie.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I suspect that one means a 25 minute wait and the other means a 20 minute wait or a 20 minutes wait or a 15 minute wait … or sumptin’

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    C’est la vie means forget about BART and catch MUNI at 4th & King which is precisely what I did and it’s only going to get better with the Central Subway :-)
    Having said that, expect Caltrain ridership to take a significant hit the day the Berryessa extension opens…

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What is the current situation with just bussing to Fremont BART for you?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The 181 absolutely rocks (70 MPH non-stop is faster than BART). Sadly it MAY be no more after VTA’s Next Network. Having said that: http://www.vta.org/News-and-Media/Connect-with-VTA/Large-Volume-of-Public-Feedback-Prompts-a-Later-Release-of-VTAs-Final-Transit-Service-Redesign-Plan#.WL-Z8PkrLIU (the

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    If I am anywhere near Market outside a Tamien bullet window, Caltrain does not show up on Google (even a bullet that terminates @ Diridon cannot compete with BART & the 181).

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    So sad that the VTA 180 and 181 are shutting down service with the BART expansion.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    181 is replaced with BART at Berryessa station and transfer to VTA 61, 500 or 523.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    At the rate things are going, the 181 is likely to outlive the 185.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Regardless, the VTA 181 express bus is being retired. Riders must use a slower alternative or drive.

    Alternatively Alameda county can launch an express bus for their residents.

    Roland Reply:

    181 is no longer being retired (for now). Ridership will be monitored for at least 3 months after Berryessa opens.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Does anything happen anytime, anywhere in your life that pleases you?

    [Reply]

  9. datacruncher
    Mar 6th, 2017 at 21:51
    #9

    Gavin Newsom held a meet-and-greet for his 2018 campaign in Hollister on Saturday. A local news website reporter did a nice job documenting his comments and answers to questions. Among Newsom’s quotes:

    When asked about his opinion on the proposed high-speed train that would run from San Francisco to San Diego through the Pacheco Pass just north of San Benito County, Newsom described the long, torturous journey the system has taken with a price tag that skyrocketed up to $100 billion and then dropped several billion as routes were changed over and over again. He said, as of today, he favors a $7.5 billion first phase construction project that would take the train from the Central Valley to Silicon Valley.

    “That’s the bird in the hand that we’re likely to get at least that phase one,” he said. “That’s not a bad thing, to connect this region into the fastest growing part of the region. You don’t have to be pro or con high-speed rail, but we have to electrify Caltrain. It is too important to this economy not to do that. But, unfortunately, the Republicans in California decided to de-fund $647 million for their down payment on the electrification by trying to connect that to the high-speed rail and basically kill the high-speed rail project.”

    https://benitolink.com/newsom-stops-hollister-his-quest-be-governor

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds good except that the $7.5B he is referring to is between Fresno and Shafter. Am I the only one thinking that Gavin may actually be thankful to the Republicans for killing this boondoggle?

    [Reply]

    Les Reply:

    He’s trying to play both sides of the fence; he would be bad for rail and I hope voters see through him.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    He’ll be thankful that their resistance allows him to “save” HSR. That said, if Pacheco is bridged, it’s a done deal. L.A. will be clamoring for HSR.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not necessarily. I definitely see him supporting Altamont if it is less expensive (to start with).

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    Of course Gav would support Altamont, because it’d cut out San Jose (MTC would claim that a bus bridge between Fremont BART and Fremont HSR is sufficient). But there’s no way he could plausibly win that battle especially if he is also in favor of Caltrain electrification.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Gav may not win but you can bet some serious money that John Denham is about to pull off a $1B grant for SJRRC & (hopefully) Altamont & DBR.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Jeff will be proud of his little brother John’s efforts to help commuters. Sadly Jeff is the representative and he’s not delivering squat.

    As you see 181 dumbarton bus service stop because or redundancy with VTA BART, I can assure you Santa Clara isn’t investing in a Dumbarton crossing.

    VTA wants commuters to head to San Jose via BART.

    Sad but that’s the path forward.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The 181 will live on because the majority of the riders are San Jose State students living in Fremont.
    Sad but that’s the path forward.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Here is what Gavin actually said but unfortunately it is cut short: https://youtu.be/EdlMAgmcupE?t=422

    [Reply]

  10. Roland
    Mar 7th, 2017 at 11:31
    #10

    Latest ding in the stupid double-door nonsense:

    “An alternative potential response would be to use bi-level trains at the outset for HSRA service. We have recommended in past letters that the Authority consider adopting bi-level trains from the outset because the loading platform level would be consistent with the lower level used by Caltrain and Metrolink (and ACE if there are joint operations in future). In our discussions, the Authority indicated that they will consider inputs from the new system operator (discussed below). We recommend that this issue be addressed carefully before HSRA commits itself to a rolling stock fleet design.”

    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_021417_FA_Peer_Review_Group_Report.pdf

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Can you provide a corrected link? Quoted text does not appear.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Whoops, sorry about that: http://www.cahsrprg.com/files/PRG-letter-of-7-Feb-2017-Reduced.pdf

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Thanks. I’d be all for it, by the way.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Shocking, amazing and who would have known that all sorts things that railroads have been doing since the first two met would have to be done ! !
    And the tail should wag the dog because it would be awful we did anything at all like the rest of the country, east of the Rockies does. To wring a few more years out of small fleet of rolling stock that is almost at the end of it’s life.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Time for a new blog post, starting with the cancellation of the CalFranKISSentrain contract?

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s “fake news” since nothing has been announced it’s just idle speculation.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    And your bet is?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    No cancellation.
    You becoming increasing belligerent.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    I like discussing solutions to real problems. The problems don’t go away by denying they exist, or by rejecting the solution, or substituting your own reality.

    While it’s nice that Lou Thompson suggested studying bi-level trains to get away from a high-platform architecture for HSR, that’s a far cry from anybody at CHSRA actually making it happen. When actions are taken (such as for example signing off on a joint interface control document with all involved agencies) then there will be a blog post from me. In the meantime, we must accept the record, that California will use single level high-floor trains per Tech Memo 6.3 section 4.2 and the more recent presentation by Frank Banko at the Level Boarding Forum. Involving a private operator is no more likely to change this than the multitude of other milestones that you previously stated would change everything.

    Furthermore, it is doubtful that California will procure a trainset that is not fully wheelchair accessible from end to end, like the existing Acela Express and Brightline trainsets and like the future Acela II (Avelia USA).

    In the meantime and until such official evidence becomes available, the “CalFranKISSentrain” currently under contract is the correct solution to our functional requirements within the given constraints (blending with high-platform HSR).

    Of course, you’re free to disagree, you’re free to shoot the messenger, and you’re free to exhaust yourself making ineffectual statements to boards of directors. Do your worst!

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    . . I just want to make sure I have a basic detail correct. They are going to raise the platforms half way, use them for a few years or even a decade or longer…..and then raise them all the way. I just want to make sure I that I understand that detail.

    Trains with cafe cars probably have to be accessible from end to end. And quite a few able bodied passengers are going to wandering up and down the train. Commuter trains don’t cafe cars and s’kay if the wheelchairs can’t get everywhere. They have to be able to get to a bathroom if there are any.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Who’s “they”… Caltrain as an agency has no official plans to raise platforms, and only a high-level agreement to “blend” with HSR. Level boarding is only a nebulous concept to them, but somebody with a clue placed the following text in the EMU contract documents:

    2.2.1.1 Future Level Boarding
    CHSRA trains will run over the same alignment and stop at some of the same stations as JPB
    trains. The bi-level EMU must therefore have the same interface with the infrastructure as the
    future High Speed Rail cars, including clearance envelope, and platform boarding height.
    JPB plans to raise platform heights to approximately 50.5-50.75” ATOR (to interface with a
    vehicle threshold height of 51” ATOR), initially at San Francisco, Millbrae, and San Jose
    stations. Other station platforms on the JPB system may ultimately be raised to the same level.
    These requirements will likely require two sets of doors – one at high level and one at a lower
    level.
    The vehicles are required to be delivered with all higher and lower level sets of doors functional,
    and with controls and features duplicated at all sets of doors, as defined elsewhere in this
    Technical Specification.
    However for an initial period of operation it is likely that JPB’s vehicles will be required to board
    passengers from only the low (8” ATOR) level platforms. Seats shall be installed in front of the
    higher level doors as practicable. These seats shall be easy to remove (reference TS 3.3.8).
    Once the higher level doors are tested, the higher level doors shall be locked and sealed. Once
    any platform is raised to the ~50.5” ATOR level, the doors will be unlocked, any seats will be
    removed, and the doors will be used for level boarding at the ~50.5” ATOR platform.
    The vehicles must also be capable of providing level boarding for passengers with disabilities
    (See section 3) when low level platforms are utilized. JPB currently has ‘mini high’ platforms at
    22” at a single location on the low level station platform and will allow the use of ramps or bridge
    plates from the mini-high platform to the lower level doors.
    To facilitate the scenario where all platforms are raised to the ~50.5” ATOR level, it must be
    possible for JPB to easily de-activate the lower level doors and add additional passenger
    seating in the lower level vestibule area. The Contractor shall submit a conversion plan for JPB
    review and approval.

    This is why the Stadler trains will look like this.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    That old RFP was for the LTK/Clem-engineered CalfranKISSENtrain nonsense. The new RFP will be drafted by sane individuals.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then what are the mostly discussions about doors at 25 inches another set higher up and Stadler is evil and the specs were writtem make then the only bidder all about? You’re gonna do like SEPTA manages to do once in a while and make the low platforms high all at once and those doors that half way between the top of the rail and the doors higher up are there for the fun of it?

    Clem Reply:

    It’s not an old RFP, it’s a firm order placed under a binding contract. The “new RFP” is an “alternative fact.”

    Joe Reply:

    Epic melt down looming. Possibly when the first shots of the trains are published.
    Maybe later when they are delivered and physically visible. Depends on the strength of Roland’s reality distortion field.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of LNTP it is that you do not understand.

    Clem Reply:

    I understand it perfectly well, thank you; the ‘L’ is because the funding isn’t quite lined up. Trust me, the ‘L’ is not because the doors aren’t quite lined up to your liking. As soon as the funding is lined up (and that may take a little while), game on. Look at the bright side: more time to beseech CHSRA to go Duplex.

    EJ Reply:

    Oh, delightful. Then we’d have the usual suspects screaming about vendor lock-in, since Alstom is the only manufacturer that makes a double-deck HSR train that’s viable for CAHSR.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Once you make all the alterations you will need for California, they don’t make that train,

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Just like they don’t make a train for the NEC either: http://www.alstom.com/press-centre/2016/8/alstom-to-provide-amtrak-with-its-new-generation-of-high-speed-train/

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No they don’t, But since everything east of the Rockies is going to be gawd awful something from the PRR, NYC and the Pullman Company Amtrak loading gauge, they are gonna have things that are pretty close to what almost everybody else all across the world uses. There will be multiple vendors competing to do things at completive prices. Forever. Awful. …. and they will able to get parts. Terrible.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Basing it on an existing platform is still valuable though. Adding another level is a lot more involved than say, the changes Stadler made to the KISS for Russia or is planning to make for California.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You don’t have any platforms in California so that’s not a great consideration. I know you think you have all sorts of insurmountable legacy problems … but you don’t.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: our legacy problems are a figment of Clem’s imagination.

    Joey Reply:

    When you order a train you specify the loading gauge. Doesn’t matter if the platforms exist or yet. The loading gauge specified by Caltrain is not a loading gauge that the KISS has been built in before.

    Clem Reply:

    …not that it matters very much: the KISS is already manufactured in 3 different cross sections; Caltrain will be the fourth. The construction method (extruded aluminum sections welded together) inherently lends itself to this.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct and that’s one of the many reasons why the contract will be cancelled.

    Clem Reply:

    If you say it enough, it might become true!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sure there are some very clever people in the world who realize that those people over there have a slightly bigger loading gauge and just order whatever they had.

    Clem Reply:

    You mean clever people at NJT could order the CalFranKISSenTrain?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    More along the lines that one of the things the people at SEPTA considered was ordering some M8s without third rail shoes, someone sued because there was defect in the process, it got redone, they decided that they would have Rotem do something new and exciting where the Budd plant still was, there was some kind of problem that Kawasaki sued over, they went ahead with Rotem, it was a disaster and that was ironed by the time Denver was deciding whether to order up some M8s without third rail shoes or that stuff Philadelphia has. Denver decided that they would do the same stuff as Philadelphia. Denver decided that any marginal benefit they got for going more-betterest they would just order up stuff from the market that has multiple vendors offering stuff at competitive prices that don’t have any regulatory issues or have ones that have been resolved by someone. And that was good enough.

    There’s gonna be tiny little obscure markets that will decide that they will show the world and do something better. Between the MTA and NJTransit everybody else gets multiple vendors with competitive prices. And fun stuff like parts being available for 40 years. I know it’s awful that the dead hand of the Pullman Company was influential enough to be affecting things until we figure out Star Trek transporters … but it’s good enough. Take the rub boards off the edge of the platforms it’s Shinkansen. It’s gonna be good enough forever.

    …kinda awful that Los Angeles, when some more masochists showed up to use the trains were able to scare up some stuff from New Jersey. And CalTrans made a pretty good deal on that lightly used stuff from New Jersey… I think they were same stuff. I’m not gonna go bother to look. That they were able to do cheap and fast. It’s really awful that a few railfans caught shots of things with NJTransit logo on the side at Los Angeles Union Station. Awful

    I’m sure there were other considerations going on like Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal ( I know it’s an anathema that a world class vendor is headquartered in North America and that it all goes on in lovely Germany, clap harder. ) and that some of the work would be done in Quebec. But AMT looked around and ordered up stuff that NJTransit uses with different paint and upholstery colors. And without all that antique-y 25Hz stuff. And a few other minor differences. And discovered they were going to have to do some track work in Gare Central. But they didn’t go off on a quixotic quest for a tiny littlle bit of better. They ordered up stuff that NJTransit uses and since all the development costs etc. had been spread out over a lot of stuff they got fairly decent prices on stuff that’s good enough. So did MARC. And there is enough it floating around that there will be spare parts for a long time.

    GOtransit comes along for the ride and considers just ordering the stuff the other system in Canada uses. From a company headquartered in Canada and who will be making the stuff in Canada. It’s awful. They never actually do much of anything but they are along for the ride. Is so is Chicago.

    I’m becoming convinced that there is something Hetch Hetchy which is why the Bay Area got BART and the other systems being built around the time, Washington’s Metro and Atlanta’s MARTA got the B division of the NYC Subway. Sorta kinda more less. Hmmm Atlanta didn’t put everything under one street in the center of the system and Washington has the Red and the Blue and Yellow and the Green and the Orange and will have the Silver and Purple someday. Hmmm. They all do share that it’s all local all the time and late at night curl up and go to sleep. And remind myself that very few places in the world have local and express and 24 hour service. Chicagoans have told me BART cars are big. And I get on and say myself … this is some aberrant LIRR car that did something naughty with PATH and Ewww there is carpeting on the floor. And cloth upholstery EWWW. …it’s not that far to Berkeley maybe I’ll stand. EWWWWWWWWWWWWW …. all local all the time off Market Street… this is a Central Park West express…. with c l o t h upholstery. It’s been a while since I’ve been on BART, I hear they are rethinking those decisions.

    ….. since the rest of state doesn’t drink much Hetch Hetchy water…. maybe they’ll look at that report that most HSR systems cluster around the same place, with some notable exceptions and that they are all sorta kinda the NEC and one day our commuter systems will be much larger and there will be a thriving market that has multiple vendors that has met multiple layers of regulatory issues and will just order up some of what the rest of the States and Canada uses. It won’t be exquisitely perfect but it does have other charms… Like the commuter trains sharing tracks and platforms in busy stations and when there is a special event it’s no big deal to have the intercity trains stop at a commuter station. Maybe.

    Joe Reply:

    Tl;dr

    EJ Reply:

    Though I’d be all for running some version of the 2N2/Euroduplex or whatever Alstom is calling the double-deck TGVs these days.

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    TGVs have notoriously cramped cabins at 2.9m wide due to narrow loading gauge in France.

    Also, Alstom has not sold or published any wide-body bi-level HSR trainsets designs, which could necessity even shorter car-bodies than French TGV to stay within the axle load limit. The fact is bi-level trains are cramped no matter the width, and only suitable for shorter intercity service.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    William, again, you have no idea WTF it is you are talking about.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The “wide body” stuff looks enormous to most Europeans but you would need a tape measure to discover the difference between whatever it is you have in mind and a Shinkansen. And tape measure to find the difference between a Shinkansen and something that is designed to Amtrak loading gauge.
    …. and every body east of the Rockies after assuring themselves that dirigibles mooring at skyscrapers and digging canals for vaporetto isn’t really a good idea, that a quest for something exquisitely perfect isn’t all that much different what everybody else is using and they’ll have some of that. The rest of the country is going to be using the specs of the NEC. Which aren’t all that much different from those awful Shinkansen.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    You’d need a tape measure to find the difference between an Amfleet and a TGV Duplex.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You’d be able to tell from quite a distance which one is stubbier. I suppose that a few people aren’t as skilled at detecting 20 feet/7meters. Give or take. But most people wouldn’t even need to look hard if they are close enough together.

    Clem Reply:

    I see what you did there; you’ve skillfully redirected the conversation from width to length.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I didn’t specify width only. You assumed that “wide body” restricted it to width. ….A 747 is a wide body but it is also somewhat longer than all Boeing’s previous offerings.

    William Reply:

    At 10cm, the width difference between TGV and Bombardier BiLevel is about the same between a 9th gen Honda Civic and 9th gen Accord, or about the width of two airline economy seat armrest. Not a small difference at all.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    I had no idea a Honda Civic was as wide as a TGV.

    William Reply:

    The difference in width, not total width.

    The total width of a Honda Civic is 1.75m. The TGV’s 2.9m width is only slightly more than 1.5X of a Honda Civic, which makes for narrower isles and/or narrower seats in 2-2 configuration.

    Roland Reply:

    Have you considered the difference in width as a percentage of total width?

    EJ Reply:

    I mean, I’ve ridden them – they were fine. Not as roomy as American trains but not as cramped as British trains. Also unlike a lot of folks on this blog I have faith in Alstom’s (or other manufacturers’) ability to add or subtract a few inches here or there to accomodate a particular customer’s specifications. European train manufacturers routinely make trains a little wider for customers like Russia or Sweden that have wider loading gauges than the rest of the continent.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    All those trains that are flitting around someplace not California, in fleets so big they are among the biggest outside of Japan, aren’t there. From multiple vendors at reasonable prices. The same vendors that do things in Europe. That they made a few small orders for Russia and Finland is the important thing.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Uh, yeah, they make custom orders for Russia and Scandinavia. What’s your point exactly?

    William Reply:

    This would vendor lock to just one manufacturer: Alstrom.

    All the new built systems are at ~48″ platform height. Over 90% of HSR trains in the world are at ~48″ level-boarding height.

    BTW, all the supposedly less than 48″ boarding height trains simply moved ramps and steps from outside of the train to inside, e.g. multiple levels inside the train, even for single-level trains.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    William, again, you are in the wrong playpen.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Would it be legal for a new build platform and train in Fresno to be non ADA compliant? or will the trains dwell at the station for a random duration while a member of staff assists a wheelchair user to board, or do the high speed trains need to haul double doors around at 220mph.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    No. 49 CFR 38.175 states unambiguously that HSR “shall be designed for high-platform, level boarding.”

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Oops! Did you miss the “operating primarily on dedicated rail” bit?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you want to really really fast there can’t be a whole of things going really really slow in your way.

    [Reply]

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Build four tracks, build for tracks!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Until you peel off the LGV and transfer to a ligne classique: https://youtu.be/IOOHoRAX_D0?t=11

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ligne classic exist because aren’t quite as fascinated by the eternal quest for perfection and make some compromises on the low frequencies tendrils reaching from the end of the line.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    1) Correct.
    2) Interesting things start happening once classic lines approach saturation:
    – The private sector can leverage the existing ridership to attract private capital to build LGVs (a point apparently lost on California “planners”).
    – The private sector knows that it is impossible to build high speed lines through downtown anywhere without tunneling so they design LGVs that bypass entire cities and provide links to classic lines with access to existing downtown stations (can you spell “Fresno”?).

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The ligne classique, such as it is, through the center of Frenso is really really really straight and rather wide. Until there is enough traffic they’ll slow the trains a down a bit for a few miles on either side of Fresno, even more for the ones that are going to stop.( the ones that are going to stop go reallllly reallllly slow before they stop. ) Some day far far in the future when they can fill up express trains that don’t stop in Fresno the people in that distant future can think about building a bypass.

    Roland Reply:

    Am I the only one thinking that the trains that do stop may actually be stopping in the wrong place and that those that do not should not be going anywhere near “downtown”?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In nice round numbers two sets of tracks cost twice as much to build and maintain as two sets of tracks and when you split one set of people over two sets they have to pay a lot more. And most of them don’t give a shit that the train slows down to 125 for few miles now and then.

    Joey Reply:

    I don’t think the cost/benefit of sending stopping trains downtown and express trains around has really been studied in California. You are building more track overall, but the urban sections can be built to lower standards (tighter curve radii, less noise mitigation). In the case of Fresno specifically, there is also an easy way for the tracks to exit the city just north of the station, so the length of urban construction could be reduced significantly.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Roland. Where else in Fresno would be a good place for trains to stop?

    Roland Reply:

    I think that the existing station with Amtrak/San Joaquin/Greyhound connections makes more sense but I would like to hear about the other side of the story (if there is one).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Once there is a station north of Fresno there won’t be any San Joaquins. Not in Fresno anyway.

    Roland Reply:

    Please elaborate. Are you saying that “HSR” will be making all the San Joaquin stops between Fresno and Bakersfield and, if so, what will happen north of Fresno if “HSR” ends up taking Pacheco as currently planned (unlikely as long as San Jose is a “sanctuary” city)?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the ridership at Wasco or Corcoran is so itty bitty itsy tiny that a 12 passenger bus could serve it. With lots of empty seats. There isn’t going to be any other train service once HSR is running.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Which is why the San Joaquins should switch over to UP and serve much more heavily populated Elk Grove, Turlock, Madera, Visalia, Tulare, etc, in addition to offering convenient transfers to HSR at Stockton, Modesto, Merced, Fresno, and Bakersfield F Street.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why would anybody in their right mind wait for a slow train when they can take a fast train?

    Roland Reply:

    Good question and this is precisely why we are having this conversation. Are you saying that there would be no justification for a local rail feeder system that could not be handled by 12-passenger buses and, if so, how did the San Joaquins survive all this while?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    THe big scary fast HSR trains will be going to the places where San Joaquins pick up and drop off most of their passengers. If there are HSR trains running between Fresno and Bakersfield why would anybody in their right mind take a San Joaquin from Bakersfield to Fresno? Or vice versa.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Price?

    Anyway, the point is to serve the millions who live in the CV, but not in a city served by HSR.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It wouldn’t be cheaper. Running almost empty makes the fare really high.
    There aren’t millions of people who won’t be served by HSR. That’s the whole point, serving the places where there are millions of people.

    EJ Reply:

    “really really really” – we can now refer to this as “Trumping.”

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Now believe me…

    Roland Reply:

    Going back to the video, the non-stopping TGV took 13 seconds to travel 400 meters, so it looks like the speed limit of the perfectly straight ligne classique through downtown Poitiers is 110 KPH (68.3 MPH).

    Please note the deflection of the bench as it gets hit by the air wave at the 14s mark: https://youtu.be/IOOHoRAX_D0?t=11.
    Am I the only one thinking that the Frank Vacca memo may well be in serious caca?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    With regards to the question of costs, here are a few salient points:

    1) There is no additional cost other than the raccordements each side of the towns because every ligne classique is a pre-existing “blended” line.
    2) The cost of the LGVs is substantially lower because they systematically avoid complex pre-existing infrastructure.
    3) The cost of land acquisition is substantially lower because the lines systemically avoid any immediate proximity to existing urban cores.
    4) Sound mitigation is achieved primarily through open trenching and tree planting (no need for sound barriers).
    5) There is no need for intrusion barriers because the LGVs stay away from the lignes classiques.
    6) There is no need for new stations and associated infrastructure so the only additional cost is platform lengthening (pretty much the only thing that Diridon needs).

    Stupid Grenouilles!!!!

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There is no existing line in Fresno that wouldn’t embarrass rural Bulgarians.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Are you suggesting that you can get around the rule just by declaring the non-dedicated track to be a completely separate high speed rail system? Good luck with that argument in court.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Who said anything about getting around the level-boarding rule?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    So you suggest but don’t say it outright.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Quote required.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Roland Reply:

    Citation required.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    citation

    Roland Reply:

    So you suggest but don’t say it outright.

  11. les
    Mar 8th, 2017 at 07:21
    #11

    So far the new Cascades route has been used to test other states new Siemens. Finally Cascades gets their own locos:

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/siemens-rolls-out-first-cascades-charger-locomotive.html

    [Reply]

  12. Wells
    Mar 8th, 2017 at 16:30
    #12

    My first reaction upon hearing that the Donald sleeps less than 4 hours per night is that he is Manic. The grandiosity and narcissism goes with the territory. Lack of sleep, to restore the Brain, results in delusional perceptions of consensual reality. Meds would down him out but not really help. And he is what I long ago called a Knee Jerk Liar. Confronting them with reality does not make them admit that their lies are wrong. I found a strong correlation with people abused or molested as a child. This won’t go away.

    If America had oversight of an election in another country, we would call for another election. Did Russia use Trump and his campaign as a Trojan Horse? If so, it worked and is now the tactic being used on European elections. We need to set the example, take the lead on how to respond to this provocation. We know that the Republicans won’t respond in an appropriate manner unless backed into a corner. We need a New Election.. And the new election would eliminate Cross Check subversion. Wish you could run again but don’t see us getting approval to go back that far.

    I thought Richard should read this one. We’ve got revolutionary material here.
    You can pull this post if you like. Get to Merced with permanent infrastructure please.
    Get to Merced. Must do anyway. Altamont needs and could use the infrastructure rebuild.
    Why can’t you guys understand that?
    =INFRASTRUCTURE= (uh, wha?)

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    Bla bla bla. I have very successful friends making seven figures who sleep only 4 hours a night. You are grasping at straws to fill in your own outlandish narrative.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    None are 70.

    I have a relative who is 70+ and sleeps lightly, gets up early / like 4am. He’s trying to get the millions owed him from a Nigerian banker.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ….lots of people get up early. It’s been my experience that they go to bed early. Just like quite a few people think it’s uncivilized to get up before the crack of noon there are people who are happiest having the breakfast dishes washed before dawn.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They don’t tell you how many naps they take or that it’s only a few nights a year or month. I can get by on four hours a night if I spend three hours taking a nap in front of the TV after dinner.

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    They don’t take naps. They work long days, six or seven days a week. (and I do have some friends in their 70’s who only sleep a few hours, so don’t act like you know Joe). Just because you can’t sustain that level of production, doesn’t mean others can’t.

    It’s obvious you an Joe don’t realize what it takes to get to that level of financial success.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    This was longer but to put it succintly…… People who have to cut back on their sleep so they can work more really have to evaluate their lives. Really.

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    It’s apparent you have no idea the responsibility of owning a company who employs hundreds of people. And by the way, it’s succinctly

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I used to keep books. The bookkeeper knows about everything except maybe whether you like ketchup or mustard on your burgers. And maybe even that because they see the dry cleaning bills. And they see the dry cleaning bills because you are eating while you are working. Or working while you are eating. The quality of the work is better, if you don’t do that, work while eating or eat while working, the paperwork that is still on paper doesn’t have grease stains. And it helps keep down the vermin. The vermin don’t stay long, they can’t find anything to eat.

    ….. like alcoholics who claim they don’t get hangovers, people who cut back on their sleep so they can work more, think that being exhausted is normal. They’ve made a lot of compromises when it comes to the food and a lot of them have cut out the sex or at best have cut way back. For more than a few of them it’s because they don’t like to have sex. Or hide from the sex by being in work too much. They really have to evaluate their lives.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    It’s obvious you an Joe don’t realize what it takes to get to that level of financial success.

    Easy

    1) tell people they only need 4-5 hours of sleep.
    2) tell them you worked 7 days a week and 16 hours for years and got rich.
    3) hire these people and pay a flat salary.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ….more than once a coworker, who has been promoted from an hourly position to a salaried position… suddenly discovers that they won’t be getting paid overtime any more! And when they look at from the view point of an hourly wage they took a pay cut ! I tell them, that in theory, since you salaried you can, if you want to, get everything that needs to be done, done by lunch and go home. Odd how it works out that you are salaried because, technically you don’t have set hours but you always end up working more than 40 hours a week. Odd.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    It’s like companies that give you “unlimited” vacation time. Turns out you’ve got too much work to take more than a week off every year, and then they don’t ever have to pay you for unused vacation time!

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    Thanks for proving my point

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    How much sleep do you really need, and what happens when you don’t get enough?

    During sleep, a newly discovered network of water channels in the brain, called the glymphatic system, becomes active and functions as a waste disposal system, carrying toxins away which would otherwise accumulate and damage brain cells. The accumulation of one of those toxins, amyloid-beta, is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    …those who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, regardless of the reason, can experience adverse effects in many aspects of their lives. The lack of crucial restorative sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness, irritability, difficulty focusing, deterioration in work or school productivity, and impaired creativity and decision making. Sleep deprivation also affects performance and reaction time. Losing two hours of sleep is similar to the effect of alcohol intoxication. Sleep deprivation is also involved in many automobile, truck and airplane crashes.

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    And next week there will be a different study saying the opposite, just like studies for everything else in this world.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cigarettes don’t cause cancer and this whole global warming stuff is a Chinese hoax and the Earth is flat and 6.000 years old. There’s new study to prove it.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    Americans have reached a point where ignorance—at least regarding what is generally considered established knowledge in public policy—is seen as an actual virtue. To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to demonstrate their independence from nefarious elites—and insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong.

    How America Lost Faith in Expertise

    In such a corrupted environment, where even the most straightforward of facts can find a challenger, Trump can shine as the loudest, brashest voice of self-proclaimed authority.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Reminds me of my favorite Asimov quote:

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

    Troubling times.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There is always a percentage of the population that is too lazy to think and some people who, no fault of their own, can’t form complex thoughts. And some people who get perverse pleasure from being obtuse. It’s hard to tell the difference between them. Well the ones who can’t think, being malicious or devious etc. is difficult for them too. And there are people who have an emotional need to be told what to do. Some of that overlaps. Laxy people who like to be told what to do, they get a two-fer. They are always around and difficult to convince that there is a different way. And psychopaths who are amoral and will exploit them.
    ….. part of the problem is that the people who think find it difficult to tell the psychopaths “NO”.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I’m very skeptical that there is a sizable portion of the populace unable to form complex thoughts.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    there is a sizable part of the population who think the Earth is only 6,000 years old. That might be stubbornly obstinately being obtuse. But for some of them this whole millions of years thing and plate tectonics is just too complex and they opt for it was all a miracle that happened 6,000 years ago.
    …they exist you are just lucky enough to not know many of them..
    They sit in a room lit by electric lights watching a television with 200 channels and thermostat that keeps them warm or cool… and think this whole science thing is a bunch of hooey….They pick up their smart phone and want to show you the website that makes it all very clear that it is all a bunch of hooey…. They can’t do complex thought.

    EJ Reply:

    Have you ever talked to a hardcore Trump supporter? Not somebody who voted for him because they hated Hillary or just always vote Republican or whatever – I’m talking somebody who was genuinely excited about him back during the primaries and thinks he’s doing a great job. There’s not much going on intellectually.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @EJ. You’re right, I suppose. Fortunately, they’re a minority.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …hating Hillary is evidence that they suffer, to some extent, with the inability to form complex thoughts. They think she changes her hair-do because she hasn’t been able to get her horns trimmed. She wears sensible shoes because that is the only thing that is comfortable on cloven hooves.
    …. after the sixth investigation of Benghazi turned up nothing … they cheered on the next three….
    a lot of Hillary haters are unable to cope with complex information…
    …..and people who voted Republican because they always vote Republican were not letting the reality of Donald Trump alter their world. They could have stayed home. Or not voted on the Presidential line.
    ….the cause easily explains a lot is that they too stupid.

    EJ Reply:

    Well, a lot of people didn’t like her because, like you, she didn’t seem to have any real principles beyond a sneering contempt for the rest of the country. These people didn’t necessarily vote for Trump, they just didn’t vote.

    EJ Reply:

    Not to say that there aren’t a bunch of people who hate Hillary for idiotic reasons. As John Rogers pointed out years ago, in any given election at least 27% of the electorate is completely crazy. But there are perfectly rational reasons to dislike Hillary.

    EJ Reply:

    Like, remember when her campaign tried to get an endorsement from Kissinger?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Clintons are execrable Machiavellian slime balls. Much better a execrable Machiavelli slime ball who is competent compared to most Republicans. And every time the Republicans have their knickers in a really tight twist over something it turns out to be a whole lot of nothing. And then they get caught doing it and it’s okay if you are Republican and get deeply offended that you are bringing it up.

    …and a whole lot of them are just in it because Republican don’t serve up complex. They just like being told what to do. Up until the election they were going to lock her up. At the beginning of the rally, half way through and twice at end. At three rallies a day. Within days of the election it was time to move and they don’t talk about it anymore.
    …really, stop wasting the effort to come up with a polite explanation. They ARE that stupid.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @EJ “Well, a lot of people didn’t like her because, like you, she didn’t seem to have any real principles beyond a sneering contempt for the rest of the country.” [citation needed.]
    @Adirondacker “The Clintons are execrable Machiavellian slime balls.” [citation needed.]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Search Amazon for “Clinton slime ball”. There are whole books about it. Written by people who aren’t frothing ranting conspiracy nuts with a half hour on Fox. Really, if you want a citation for that you have to pay closer attention.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Searching Clinton slime ball on Amazon yielded no results. Would you care to provide a verifiable and respected source providing evidence to any moral flaws of Hillary Clinton?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Her name appearing on a ballot? Not realizing that after 24 years of the Republican party calling her a she-devil, she ran anyway. Unable to recognize that there are people in the world who, no matter what you tell them, hate her guts? A failing many other Democrats have. being unable to recognize that the world is filled with idiots who work at being stupid and who just want to deal with simple dogma.
    …. I was hoping that after allowing the press to concentrate on watching the Republicans eat their young, she and Bill would announce that they have decided to tend to their foundation and spend more time with the grandchildren. But no, she ran.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/07/hillary-clinton-emails-history-214095

    Just 1 example. My favorite part was the name story. Who lies about the origin of her name? Why would you lie about such an insignificant fact?

    She has no morals, it’s just that simple. She lies about small and big things. To this day, she has not apologized for the email thing. Think about that, she was willing to lose the presidency rather than admit she was wrong.

    As for GOP Trump voters being stupid, how about these Hillary supporters

    http://www.vox.com/identities/2017/1/5/14176650/chicago-torture-video-trump
    http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/four-charged-in-carjacking-of-man-taunted-with-dont-vote-trump/

    Stop throwing stones…literally. There are idiots on both sides

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Somebody somewhere is doing something stupid, immoral or illegal. None of us are the Pope. Except for the Pope The amount on your side is much larger.
    “But but but the Clintons!” was wearing thin in 2002. If you want to play that game we can examine G Dubya or Darth Cheney too. The idiots on the left don’t have jobs that were subject to confirmation by the Senate. The left doesn’t celebrate them. Or convicted felons very often if at all. You don’t want to bring it up. Or get in high dudgeon over a blow job and it’s okay when one Senator pleads guilty to doing something, we still are quite sure what, while changing planes in Minneapolis and another pays women not his wife to put him diapers. It was reallllly realllly rich that were sending Newt Gingrich out to talk about BIll Clinton and where he had put his dick. REallly REAlly rich. And very very lucky when the Orange one was ranting, at the debate about Bill Clinton’s dick that HIllary, when it was her turn, did say “BIll Clinton is not running for office. BIll Clinton is still married to his first wife.” and looked the moderator straight in the eye and said “what’s the next question” Republicans should be very very grateful that Democrat are so polite. Very. Really you are like a 13 year with his pants around his knees and his hand in the cookie jar reeking of some sort of smoke blabbering about how Billy rides his bike in the street. It’s unbecoming. Stop it.

    The Clintons are Machiavellian slime balls. They are so good at it they got Republicans to actually walk the talk that Republicans are so fond of when it comes to the budgets. But being a Machiavellian slime ball is what the Third Way is all about and why are you shocked that politicians are Machiavellan? The Clintons have decided to spend more time with their foundation, with the grandchildren and are in no position to trammel your Constitutional rights, start a nuclear war – the man child holding the button has said multiple times…. he has no clue what it does… and or deliberately picking the worst option for everything. Get over the Clintons. They are private citizens and probably will be forever. Clinton bashing can be an amusing hobby, at the moment there are bigger fish to fry.

    Hold you knee jerk indignation for a moment. I realize that you are desperately searching for any shred of anything anywhere to be able to keep your Ronnie Reagan Underoos. Just tear the scab off and get it over with. Go through your Great Disappointment and move on. Spend your time thinking about how another party is going to sift through the ashes of the GOP and establish something that is connected to reality and recognizes the 21st century exists. ..it’s really odd that people who decry political correctness get highly offended when they are the target of a bit of unPCness. Odd.

    The quality, quantity volume and duration of the stupid flowing out of Washington D.C. means that they are being very very cynical and think their supporters really are that stupid…. which is unlikely because keeping it up for this long with the excellent quality would be difficult . or they really are that stupid themselves. That they really believe that Jeff Sessions is so very super competent and clever that he should be attorney general, never talked to that guy, regrets he forgot about that insignificant time he did once and all at the same time remembers all the conversations he had with him so clearly that they never talked about the subjects in question. . . just pull the scab off fast. . .
    that in his very busy schedule as a Senator, his campaign duties, it just slipped his mind that he made time to go see the guy in question in person… just pull the scab off fast.

    And even though they said it wasn’t anybody anywhere it’s regrettable that four super competent very clever people, it just slipped their minds and simultaneously they remember it so well they didn’t talk about anything significant. And that during a heated, hot contested campaign, a staffer or staffers, I’m not clear on how many people it was, got the urge to visit London. Which the British found intriguing. And apparently were so intrigued that they have a bit more information that whats on the paperwork filed at the border. And Amsterdam, which the Dutch found intriguing. And it’s not just London and Amsterdam it’s Moscow too. If you think that all they were talking about were preparations for National Blini Day you can swallow anything and should consider a career in a circus sideshow.

    ,,, and under the radar of the tsunami stupid there was a bunch of cotton headed people on one of the cable channels going on and on about whether or not President Trump would apologize to Heidi Cruz when the Cruzes went to dinner at the White House. Not a big state dinner that everybody shows up for where people who hate each other guts can flash 1,000 watt smiles at each other because that’s the only interaction they will have, something more intimate. . . just like the Rubios did. Something is up. It’s not going to be good.

    …pull the scab off now, have your emotional crisis and when the ventilating system gets clogged with excrement you won’t have to deal with both at the same time.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I would retort if I had any idea what you just wrote.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Denial comes before acceptance.

    You picked denial. I hope you have a good wallow.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Wow, you DO like to be negative, don’t you?

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    @Wells, this blog is run by Robert Cruickshank. Richard Mlynarik may be the person you have in mind, who tends to rant a little.

    [Reply]

  13. datacruncher
    Mar 8th, 2017 at 17:44
    #13

    Trump Begins to Map Out $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
    President suggests 90-day deadline for states to start projects; expresses interest in high-speed rail and spectrum auction

    President Donald Trump pushed his White House team on Wednesday to craft a plan for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending that would pressure states to streamline local permitting, favor renovation of existing roads and highways over new construction and prioritize projects that can quickly begin construction.

    “We’re not going to give the money to states unless they can prove that they can be ready, willing and able to start the project,” Trump said at a private meeting with aides and executives that The Wall Street Journal was invited to observe. “We don’t want to give them money if they’re all tied up for seven years with state bureaucracy.”

    Trump said he would was inclined to give states 90 days to start projects, and asked Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to provide a recommendation. He expressed interest in building new high-speed railroads, inquired about the possibility of auctioning the broadcast spectrum to wireless carriers, and asked for more details about the Hyperloop, a project envisioned by Tesla founder Elon Musk that would rapidly transport passengers in pods through low-pressure tubes.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-begins-to-map-out-1-trillion-infrastructure-plan-1489012229

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    90 days to start spending money on high speed rail projects! That narrows it down a bit.

    The Feds could cancel the matching funds requirement and pay the entire cost of the central valley segment. That way it is guaranteed that the funds will be spent immediately and the state will not need to dip into Prop1A funds which will foreclose on frivolous lawsuits and other bureaucratic delays.

    Within 90 days Trump can have a photo-op standing in front of the Trump towers that support the Trump Viaduct (previous known at the Cedar Viaduct)

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Dream on…

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s would take Californians 90 months to decide which shade of beige the concrete should be dyed.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Not so, acceptable shades of beige where defined 36 months ago in the California High-Speed Rail Authority Aesthetics Manual for Non-Station Structures

    As appropriate, CHSTP concrete structures shall be identifiable by their use of consistent
    integral color. Three shades of color additive are acceptable concrete infrastructure colors.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Which of the three shades is a decision. Somebody somewhere is contemplating a lawsuit because they aren’t offering four. And a different group of people are thinking about suing because they didn’t hold context sensitive meetings in an obscure dialect of Mongolian. And that dyeing it beige will confuse mosquitoes and it should be light blue. And nobody has discussed which texture. Or whether it should be.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The design build contractor will choose the shades as part of the their design process, no consultative meeting required.

    Decorative elements, patterns, textures may be used on extensive flat surfaces to create shadow lines or to adjust or improve the perceived proportions of a HST aerial structure. Applied colors or textures that may require routine maintenance and/or replacement, are not allowed.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Perhaps the golden state should be renamed the beige state.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    nah, during the dry Californians call all the stuff that turns dingy yellow brown, gold. Call it California Summer Gold ( pantone beige )

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Fun fact, our brownish wild grass is actually a European invasive. The native Californian grasses were almost entirely crowded out over a century ago – apparently they were much more golden in color.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Right on the state being mostly invasive annuals.

    From what I know, the CA natives in NorCal central coast were mostly perennials, not adapted to fire, and didn’t brown up on the summer.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I don’t see how he’s going to have the time for such photo ops when he’s going to be hunkered down obsessively watching his impeachment hearings on Fox.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    And the accompanying asinine Tweeting.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Is the Hyperloop ready to be built in 90 days?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not according to Elon…

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    Honestly we won’t know for another six months when the next budget is formed. We’ll probably get both Calmod and CAHSR money in the end, but not without the typical pissing match. It all depends on what Senate Republicans will tolerate, and I reckon most are neutral on the CAHSR issue and won’t block money if Fienstien adds it back in.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I didn’t think it would be falling apart this fast. The Senate Republicans may be a bit too busy other things to be deep concerned about the budget in six months.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Dream on…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The budget will be formed in May (two months): https://youtu.be/U8taOjFvnxE

    [Reply]

  14. Roland
    Mar 9th, 2017 at 02:13
    #14

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/great-britain-records-10-years-without-train-accident-fatalities.html Stupid Brits!!!

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Well, we’re right there with them in having a HSR project that’s repeatedly delayed and is gonna cost a bloody fortune.

    [Reply]

  15. Aarond
    Mar 9th, 2017 at 06:54
    #15

    O/T: Does anyone know the internal clearances of the Transbay Tube? There’s not much online information on it. My best (and very rough) guess is 13′ by 12′.

    For context, I only bother with this because someone suggested to me that Budd Metroliners/Amfleets (each 14’10” high) could fit through the TBT.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    The tubes are 17 feet in diameter – I’m not sure what the height of the railhead is off the bottom of the tube, but there’s no way you could fit an amfleet car down there, even if the track was the correct gauge.

    [Reply]

  16. Roland
    Mar 9th, 2017 at 07:37
    #16
  17. StevieB
    Mar 9th, 2017 at 09:10
    #17

    Ralph Vartabedian says, “We just have to remember, this is the first true high-speed rail system in the entire country. So the first time you do anything its always going to be hard. I think that a lot of people who support the project are you know kind of willing to give the rail Authority some understanding on that point and understand its going to take a while to learn how to do this”.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He’s an idiot. Almost all of the stuff being done we do all the time and experienced competent contractors know how to do it.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Just like the CV , right?

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    So, Adrondacker12800, I guess you are admitting the current contractors are not competent!

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    you found “experienced competent contractors know how to do it.” confusing?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    was it the big words or the long ones?

    [Reply]

  18. morris brown
    Mar 9th, 2017 at 16:24
    #18

    The tale of the California HSR boondoggle reaches the rest of the country

    Alabama Rep. Bradley testimony on California HSR Boondoggle.

    This brings me to my other reason for sitting before you today. I want to urge the Committee to avoid mistakes from the past, like funding for California High Speed Rail.

    Looking back at 2009, the Obama Administration spent $8 billion for transportation. One quarter of that funding, $2 billion dollars, went to California High Speed Rail. This project was by no means shovel ready. In fact, more than eight years later, the land is not even fully procured to complete the project.

    To date, California has not met any of the obligations to match the federal funding. Even worse, almost another billion dollars was given to California in 2010 and the project remains embarrassingly behind schedule.

    The Los Angeles Times reported last month that the project will cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated as much as $3.6 billion more. And thats just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    This is the definition of a boondoggle. Mr. Chairman, we all heard about the bridge to nowhere. Well it is safe to call this the train from nowhere to nowhere. This is one of the largest wastes of taxpayer money ever. Given the many serious transportation needs around the country, it is a shame so much funding was wasted on California High Speed Rail.

    I hope the Committee will use the disastrous example of California High Speed Rail to ensure funding is going first and foremost to nationally and regionally significant projects instead of boondoggles. We must make smart investments in our nations most serious infrastructure needs.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    “We must make smart investments in our nations most serious infrastructure needs.”

    I love how the last line in his myopic testimony ironically encourages investing in HSR. That’s poetry.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    46 mph train service is what’s best for America, true high quality infrastructure. Thank you Alabama.

    “The Gulf Coast Limited operated over a 145-mile” “3 hours 10 minutes”

    http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2016/09/alabama_cities_jockey_for_amtr.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Coast_Limited

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …. if you lived in Alabama wouldn’t you want to go to New Orleans once in a while?

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    You would think. It’s crazy that somebody from Alabama is judging California for a train to nowhere when they want to bring back a system that can barely beat a bicyclist. That’s not infrastructure that is pure Toys R Us mentality.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    When the Federal government spends money in California, bringing back to California money Californians send to Washington, it is a terrible waste. When Californians send tax money to Washington and it goes to Alabama that’s their money. Being spent on the stalwart yeomanry of Real America ™ where true Real American ™ values are upheld. Sucking vast rivers of subsidies.
    …. and anyway California isn’t Real America ™.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    46 mph is just about the average speed of the Pacific Surfliner. Now, the Surfliner needs to be drastically sped up, but even as it is it’s a useful train.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …there is no traffic in Alabama. They have a somewhat different experience.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Every US city has traffic these days. Maybe not on the level of the 405 or the Jersey Turnpike, but it’s bad.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I live in a Combined Statiscal Area that is almost as big as New Orleans or Birmingham. People complain bitterly about the awful traffic. They had to slow all the way down to 45 ! !
    …..there is no traffic in New Orleans or Birmingham and everything else is even smaller.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    “…..there is no traffic in New Orleans or Birmingham and everything else is even smaller.”

    New Orelans has traffic.

    From the NO airport on the west side, a PM counter commute into the city was somewhat easy until about the superdome. I’d stop in town, wait and then proceed out of the city. There’s a few chock points crossing the lake that were really bad.

    I’ve fought traffic in NO back 10-15 years ago when I used to go to the area.

    Wikipedia is not your friend.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And the people in Mobile think they have skyline and people in Decatur are amazed hip urbanness of it all. It’s not. There isn’t enough road in Albany or New Orleans or Birmingham to be stuck in traffic for very long. Sometimes there is a spectacular truck accident that closes the Interstate but things like that happen very rarely. They happen on obscure rural roads too. . . I know the two alternate ways to get from my itty bitty town to the slighlly less tinsy town on the other side of the river because every few years a logging truck skids off the road and takes out two telephone poles and you can’t go that way until the truck is out of the way and National Grid, Time Warner and Frontier are set up to do what they have to do…. really you can’t get stuck for an hour in a metro area you drive across in 30 minutes when conditions are good …. or 45 when the locals think it bad. You can’t.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Lets face it, there are only 20-30 cities in America that really get bad traffic.

    Joe Reply:

    Sorry but not interested in your little town.

    New Orleans has traffic and would benefit from rail into the city.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The CSA i live in is the same size as New Orleans and has two big rivers running through it.
    I’ve driven in Manhattan in the day. There isn’t any traffic in New Orleans. The locals think it’s atrocious but there isn’t any traffic.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And that CSA is…?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Two or more MSAs that share a lot of commuters?

    DTP Reply:

    Adirondacker, you’re dead wrong. I’m from Boston – I know traffic. And it exists in New Orleans at rush hour. Trying to go west on I-10 from downtown toward Metairie/Kenner in the evening is awful.

    Just because there is worse traffic elsewhere, does not mean that New Orleans (and similar places) do not have traffic.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You run out of New Orleans in a relatively short distance. Unless it’s at a dead stop the bad traffic doesn’t last very long. You run out of metro area.

    DTP Reply:

    It’s about 12 miles on I-10 from downtown to Kenner. Plenty of time for bad traffic to form.

    les Reply:

    27 stops vs 4 stops

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    “This is one of the largest wastes of taxpayer money ever.”
    Really???
    Does the Iraq War ring a bell??? ($3 Trillion)

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Democrats forced them to do that so they don’t take any responsibility. The party of responsibility rarely takes any. It’s always somebody else’s fault.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Man who buys property next to ROW that existed and ran trains when Lincoln was president remains outraged over impacts to his property.

    Remember when California was supposed to go bankrupt ?

    What’s it like sucking up GOP propaganda and looking to Trump to bail out your bad home investment?

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    You can tell that he is fake when he quotes a “fake news” article in the L.A.Times as evidence of what a federal report allegedly claimed.
    As a member of the government he get and quote from the actual Federal report, but he does not because he knows the findings of the report do not support his fake narrative.

    He also knows that there is no need to procure all of the land to complete the project before construction begins. Politicians are very familiar with the use of eminent domain.

    [Reply]

  19. StevieB
    Mar 10th, 2017 at 00:20
    #19

    “The Los Angeles Times reported last month that the project will cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated as much as $3.6 billion more”. The Politifact Truth-O-Meter would give this statement a Pants On Fire! The Los Angeles Times article was careful to use the phrase “could cost” where the lying Congressman Bradley uses the phrase “will cost”.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    The top bosses of LATimes, stewards of an ailing publicly held media company: Latest corporate (tronc) financials show $2.7M in leased jet charges.

    The cost is equivalent of 317 hrs @ $8500/hour, is enough to pay 25 high-end journalists.

    $2.7M = entire retail ad increase in 2016.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Maybe not 25 of them. Quick and dirty way to figure out how much an employee costs is to take their base salary and double it. A cubical, a computer and a phone, office supplies and keeping the common areas clean and stocked and if you are hiring 25 of them that’s a fraction of a person in payroll and human resources. If the company has good benefits, more.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    I got that 25 fact from a 3rd party journalism watchdog source commenting on the tronc’s use of money.

    It’s a decent estimate for today .

    Your cost model comes from a 70’s movie with dustin hoffman and robert redford where high tech is a fax machine.

    So “joe” looks to verify and …
    Median salary for Los Angeles is 41K and 54K+ defines the top 25% but you knew this when you commented — right.

    Take out video production jobs and use “experienced journalist:” as high end.
    Median pay is 54K in LA.

    Hmmm…

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Silly me I didn’t think “high end” meant median, that if it’s high end it’s not median. That um um it’s um um …. high end. … that I understand what “median” means? It’s the thing in the middle. Which isn’t the high end. You waaant maybe I should put that a different way?

    and “twice what they make” comes from making a living advising a wide variety of employers about further automating their payroll and human resources systems not from a movie. It’s twice most of the times and sometimes three times and it’s been that for a long time. Probably for so long movies hadn’t been invented.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Median experienced journalist salary.

    High end of the job category and median salary for LA area.

    Not intern
    Not entry level
    Not new hire
    Not middle level
    Not average

    Mr Quibbles and Bits needs to show us his version of high end.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You were the ones who mentioned “high end” Without looking at median income for Los Angeles county I knew “high end” with benefits, a cube that is comfortable and dry, modern telecom and the hardware to use it is more than 100,000 dollars. It’s up to you to come up with a more accurate number.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I’d say that high end is about 80K/year for a single person, 140K/year for a DINK couple, and easily over 200K/year for people with kids.

    [Reply]

  20. StevieB
    Mar 10th, 2017 at 13:23
    #20

    Nova: Why trains crash

    NOVA investigates recent rail tragedies and advances in train tech that could help prevent them, taking a special look at Japan’s superefficient bullet trains, which have a perfect safety record.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    youTube version.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/yaWH_gMqGTk?t=2731 Stupid Japs!!!

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    I know you’re being sarcastic, but please don’t use racist terms. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  21. morris brown
    Mar 10th, 2017 at 20:28
    #21

    Action on the legal front expected soon

    High-speed showdown

    Since the March 3 Department of Finance approval, the plaintiffs say they will go to court in Sacramento to try and block any expenditure.

    “We hope to file a request to the judge to grant a temporary restraining order as soon as this Friday,” said attorney Stuart Flashman. “We expect it is likely the judge will rule on our request the same day.”

    The Authority has said they expected to respond the original lawsuit by March 15.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    are the lawyers going to be buying a new Mercedes with the legal fees or are they going to go for a Tesla? They have a cushy life. lose, get crazy people to concoct another reason to sue, lose, rinse repeat.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I take that back, lose have crazy people insist they have the ultimate bestest plan and insist on going forward even though you tell them they are going to lose. … In red with black upholstery?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I take that back too. We had a ’59 Impala, the one with the gull wing fins and teardrop taillights, that was black with a tomato red interior. Much flashier on close inspection.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Stewart Flashman drives a Prius.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    “going to be buying” means it will happen sometime in the future.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    A “Stewart Flashman” writing into the SJMercury drives a Nissan Leaf.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/07/30/roadshow-55-mph-in-carpool-lane-youre-an-arrogant-road-boulder/

    “Arrogant Road Boulder”

    Q Is this guy Stuart Flashman (Roadshow, July 29) real or did you get punked? Right now, he must be the most hated man to grace the pages of Roadshow in a long, long time. Welcome, Stuart, to your 15 minutes of fame!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    They donate their time and rely on donations for Court fees and other legal expenses.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The delay of the peninsula segment electrification funding makes it more complicated for Flashman. He must convince the judge that the central valley segment would not be compliant without amendment ab-1889, but, as the independent financial consultant notes, the Office of Legislative Counsel already validated it as a compliant usable segment in 2012, before ab-1889 was enacted.

    Office of Legislative Counsel Letter, June 8, 2012: “the initial (Central Valley) segment by itself is not proposed to be used for high-speed train service until the later completion of the IOS.”

    The central valley segment functions as a test track, and can be used by trains other than high speed trains, as described to the voters in Prop1A

    (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, and (4) the extent to
    which the corridors include facilities contained therein to enhance
    the connectivity of the high-speed train network to other modes of
    transit, including, but not limited to, conventional rail (intercity
    rail, commuter rail, light rail, or other rail transit), bus, or air
    transit.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @agb5 (and others)

    As I have noted before the Financial consultant everywhere prefaced their validity of the funding plans with

    <blockquote
    When completed, the PCEP will be suitable and ready
    as defined in AB 1889; See Section 3

    When AB 1889 is declared UN-constitutional the validity of the funding plans are not valid.

    In any case the wait won’t be long.. perhaps as early as next week.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You insist this going to be the end of it all every time. Every time you are wrong. What makes this delusion different than the others?

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Section 3:

    … On completion of the project, the usable segment will be suitable for
    testing of high-speed trains. The implementation of the additional investments
    required by the Authority to begin high-speed train operations, such as completion of
    the remaining portion of the Valley to Valley Line between San Jose and Madera, are
    planned and accounted for in the 2016 Business Plan – an approach confirmed in the
    June 8, 2012 Office of Legislative Counsel Letter

    So the consultant is saying that the plan was already valid before ab-1889.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    And Morris has previously agreed that the segment from San Jose to San Jose meets all the requirements of Prop 1A.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    San Jose to Fresno

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Until they change two jots and a tittle and it will be the end of the republic unless we stop all work.
    NIMBYs BANANAs, etc. really good at that. And people who want to give them some benefit of doubt fall for it. Don’t let down your guard until the last coat of paint is dry. And even then don’t. There are examples of them stopping the use of a completed project.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Set aside the constitutionality argument.

    AB-1889 shows the Legislatures’ intent and interpretation of the HSR bond act they wrote and submitted to the public for vote.

    Morris et al have to show there is an alternative interpretation that obstructs Prop1a bonds.

    That Caltrain $$ was denied bond $$ due to lack of matching $$ shoes the state is following the bond act.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Well the State Legislature is going to give the CHSRA about $1.25 Billion a year, that is not beholden to Prop1a and/or the Bonds…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    1) So we will be done paying for this piece of garbage in 150 years?
    2) Citation required.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    1. Garbage?
    2. Citation

    Roland Reply:

    1) Where is the “high speed” line that does not make any stops?
    2) Will there be a Phase II to deliver what was promised in the Bond Act?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I suppose daredevils could try hurling themselves at the speeding trains and then leaping off as they pass through stations but I would hazard a guess that the minimum number of stops any useful train makes is two.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    1. No stops?

    StevieB Reply:

    A “high speed” train that circles endlessly in a loop could make for a movie plot, wait a minute it already has, the Czech-Korean science fiction thriller film Snowpiercer.

    joe Reply:

    The lawsuits are all predicted on non-compliance with some Prop1a technicality.

    The 2016 Business Plan Complies with Prop1A and provides service from Fresno to San Jose and blending to SF.

    With this Plan, $1.25B/year would be eligible for Bond funds and result in 2.5B a year for HSR. We could follow this plan to exhaust all bond funds building to SJ and then be ride of Prop1a forever.

    [Reply]

  22. Roland
    Mar 10th, 2017 at 20:44
    #22

    Calmod update:

    1) They have just posted the 2/23 HSR meeting audio.
    2) The 2/23 Calmod e-update is still AWOL (did the canary encounter an untimely demise?) http://www.caltrain.com/Page1933.aspx.

    [Reply]

  23. Roland
    Mar 10th, 2017 at 22:02
    #23
  24. Les
    Mar 11th, 2017 at 08:14
    #24
  25. Roland
    Mar 11th, 2017 at 09:31
    #25

    Here comes Warm Springs: https://youtu.be/-TjIuSIgtlA

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Warm Springs beautiful “Sky Cycles”: https://youtu.be/HI8D67EAsn0

    [Reply]

  26. Roland
    Mar 11th, 2017 at 10:00
    #26

    Bertha update showing construction and completion of the upper deck: https://youtu.be/jOhpnR5L4jU?t=145

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    This video of a Jules Verne creation ran better for me:

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/library/advisories-and-updates/march-9-project-update-new-360-degree-video-takes-you-inside-the-tunnel-as-bertha-enters-zone-10

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    For as dumb as the project is, the silver lining is that it’s beta testing technologies that can be used for train tunnel construction in the future. Let’s imagine if SF tried the same thing but under Geary or 19th.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Nobody in their right mind would ever consider boring a single-bore passenger rail tunnel under a City except the San Jose retards who are about to do precisely that!

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    Why not? If it works, it works. And at least in SF the most actionable concern NIMBYs have would be construction impacts.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Paging William. Aarond wants to play. Kindly share the coordinates of your favorite playpen.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Tunneling under San Jose should be a piece of cake compared to tunneling under medieval stone buildings built on sand: https://youtu.be/7FmErNJAW8M

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    WTF does “Catherine” have to do with a 45-foot single-bore BART tunnel??????

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Barcelona is had already done it a couple of times. Probably a few other examples as well. It turns out that digging underground station caverns is really expensive relative to the cost of boring a tunnel.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    More expensive than $1B/mile???

    Please provide citations for the “few other examples as well” and provide a brief explanation of how tunnel ventilation works in a single-bore tunnel with Russian-mountain crossovers.

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Another example: Groene Hart tunnel in the Netherlands (admittedly not urban, but it doesn’t make a huge difference).

    Maybe you should ask Barcelona about all the ventilation problems they haven’t been having after 6 years of operation. The ventilation requirements for electric trains aren’t very high and you can have vents between the two levels just as easily as between two tunnels.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    And for a better discussion of the costs and challenges, please read Alon Levy’s excellent post on Large Diameter TBMs

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Paging Aarond & William: Joey wants to come over and play.

    Joey Reply:

    Paging Aarond & William: Joey wants to come over and play.

    Translation: ” I don’t have any counterpoints”

    Clem Reply:

    Ventilation isn’t about trains, it’s about fires.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Correct…

    Joey Reply:

    Several Channel Tunnel incidents have shown us that the presence of fuel is a very good indicator of whether fire will occur (the trains themselves were electric, it’s vehicles on them that caught fire). Not that all-electric tunnels don’t need to have ventilation for fires, but the risk of fire, and the severity of the fire if it happens, are both significantly less.

    Roland Reply:

    Right again (100% perfect score): http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/06/cause-of-fire-at-walnut-creek-bart-station-saturday-undetermined/

    Joey Reply:

    So maybe that’s an argument for not putting substations inside of tunnels?

    At any rate, you have yet to specify exactly what problem large diameter bores would have in the event of a fire.

    Roland Reply:

    Please provide a brief explanation of how tunnel ventilation works in a single-bore tunnel with Russian-mountain crossovers.

    Thank you.

    Clem Reply:

    Roland thinks you can’t have fire doors in the crossover ramps.

    Joey Reply:

    Put fire doors at the ends of the ramps, and walls between the ramps and the main tracks. It’s really not terribly complicated.

    In this video: https://youtu.be/3_-z20u-1N0?t=3m16s
    Not sure if there is in fact a fire door on the ramp diverging to the right and up, but there certainly could be.

    Clem Reply:

    Indeed it is, and one really has to wonder which part of these fire doors Roland doesn’t understand.

    Roland Reply:

    How about providing a link to a document that explains how these alternate reality firedoors are operated and how they interact with the ventilation system?

    Joey Reply:

    Roland: if you translate the link Clem posted you will find that the doors close automatically in the event of a fire (same as the fire doors in many buildings). They are otherwise open. Pedestrian access during a fire is achieved by a smaller door which is visible in the photo.

    Do you have any more questions about this “alternate reality” called Barcelona? Recall that the things we are discussing are not theoretical. They are installed and in operation on a subway line carrying real breathing passengers.

    Clem Reply:

    His grace and contrition when proven wrong rival only his ability to learn.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/0kqyev46qyI?t=1

    Roland Reply:

    Maybe you should ask Barcelona about all the ventilation problems they haven’t been having after 6 years of operation.
    https://www.euroweeklynews.com/3.0.15/news/on-euro-weekly-news/spain-news-in-english/136880-fire-in-barcelona-station-causes-morning-chaos

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    No mention of Lines 9 or 10, which use large diameter bores.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m shocked, amazed and astounded that building 40 story buildings, on their side, underground costs a lot of money compared to the elevators shafts that for some peculiar reason are outside of it.

    Building a deep cavern station in Manhattan for NEC-o-the-Future is going to be like putting the Empire State building under the streets. It will probably be skinnier. It’s as long as the Empire State Building is tall.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    If that is even necessary…

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes it is, you have no idea of the scale of the hordes of people it would serve. Any other option costs more to build if it’s going to have the same capacity.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Penn Station is designed really inefficiently.
    This is Penn Station in New York: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Fz2D-PtD2xY/UblcPYDqu7I/AAAAAAAAAjs/1SMToZFtOoQ/s640/New+York+Penn+Station+Tracks.jpg
    Penn Station has 351,000 daily passengers over 22 platforms.

    This is Chatelet-Les Halles RER Station in Paris: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/Gare_de_Chatelet_Les_Halles_track_map.svg/1024px-Gare_de_Chatelet_Les_Halles_track_map.svg.png
    Chatelet-Les Halles has 493,000 daily passengers over 8 platforms.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The RER is not the LIRR. If I’m in Penn Station it’s an interesting artifact that all the trains go through Woodside. If I want to go to Bellerose I want something that goes through Jamaica and the trains that go through Flushing don’t achieve my goal. Nor do trains that go through Valley Stream. And I want to select carefully when I’ve limited my selection to trains that go through Bellerose to those that actually stop in Bellerose, not just pass through on the far tracks. You are trying to compare apples to giraffes. The same kind of thing happens in New Jersey.

    If I’m in a Times Square subway station and I want to go to Chambers and Varick I don’t care if the the train is going to South Ferry, Flatbush Ave. or New Lots Ave. I’m hoping it’s not on the track against the wall but that’s not a conundrum people on the RER face. Everything is express all the time. Compared to the Metro. If I’m in the other Times Square subway station I’m there because I want to go to Union Square and I’m even less interested in trains that go to Flatbush Ave. or New Lots. The RER isn’t NYC subway expresses either.

    It’s very very easy to come up with “12 HSR trains an hour in each direction through Manhattan” if you consider an HSR system that reaches to Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland, probably Columbus, Charlotte and Springfield Mass. in addition to Boston. Real easy. And most places in the world it’s 12 trains an hour on a pair of HSR tracks. In 2040 there has to be third pair of tracks into Midtown. You can play around and do this that or the other thing you need three tracks in each direction. It’s not a platform capacity problem it’s back to being a track capacity problem.

    ….and really, too many people with crayons in their hand have tried to plagiarize IRUM for me to not recognize it…..

    Clem Reply:

    The RER / Transilien has more ridership than LIRR, NJT and Metro North put together, but your point was?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And the Paris Metro is all local all the time. It’s express trains use totally different tracks that go totally different places without cross platform transfers and they call it the RER. What’s your point.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    My point is that Penn doesn’t need more platforms.

    4 platforms for NEC Amtrak through-running.
    4 platforms for NEC Amtrak terminating.
    8 platforms for NEC Regional Rail (all through-running) (4 express, 4 local)
    4 platforms for Empire Connection trains.
    That’s excessive. Done.
    Total: 20 platforms. (allows for slight platform widening/some Spanish solution)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Get a diagram of where every column holding up the Hotel Pennsylvania, Seventh Avenue and the subway, Madison Square Garden and 5 Penn Plaza, Eighth Avenue and the subway and the Post Office. Put those on a plastic overlay in Sharpie, on the “wrong side” makes it more difficult to rub them off. then get out the dry erase marker and begin playing around…… only to find you can’t do much moving around of much of anything without spending lots and lots and lots of money Or tearing down Madison Sqaure Garden and 5 Penn and maintaining service around a construction site for a decade.

    Spanish solution doesn’t buy you much because there aren’t a whole lot of people getting on when lots and lots of people are getting off and there aren’t a whole lot of people getting off when lots and lots of people are getting on. It work out much more neatly if NJTransit passengers were getting on when LIRR passengers are getting off but nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooo they all want to get off trains in the morning and on trains in the afternoon.

    …..nope you can’t take 5, 6, 7 and 8 and put a Spanish solution where 6 and 7 are, there would be row of columns between the rails on the new Spanish solution. Even if you shift it a bit that way or this the doors on the “other” doors would be opening into columns. Or you are spending powerful amounts of money to move them. Somewhere. Or it makes the ceiling too low. Or requires Reardon metal.

    WHich part of this fantasy is the stubby little platforms and tracks that are 1-4 and are terminal not through running tracks? I suppose relegating Metro North Hudson line trains and Empire Amtrak trains to it would work.

    you did figure where you are going to put 4 Hudson Line Metro North trains a peak hour into this and 6 New Haven Line Metro North trains into it didn’t you? And that the Empire connection only can get to 7 ,,, if I remember correctly. It may be 8. Ya did din’t ya?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    My point is that new platforms are not needed. Lets say each track can handle a train every 5 minutes.
    Lets also assume Penn is served by Raritan Valley, Montclair-Boonton, NEC, and North Jersey Coast line trains from the east, and Far Rockaway, Long Beach, West Hempstead, and Babylon trains from the east, each through running with a corresponding line (though there would obviously be some short-turns). That means if trains run every 10 minutes, you need four platforms to serve each train (and assign 2 lines to each for operational sanity.)

    Lets also assume that Amtrak NEC trains run through every 10 minutes, but Amtrak can only handle a train every 20 minutes per track. That means you need four platforms for NEC Amtrak.

    That leaves 14 platforms for terminating trains. More than enough. Also, if you want to implement the Spanish solution on all through running trains, you just knock out 8 tracks, leaving 6 terminating platforms, which still allows the Empire Connection 8 trains per hour. If you want to give just the regional rail or just the Amtrak platforms the Spanish solution (and doing so would increase throughput), then you would need to knock out 4 tracks, leaving 10 terminating platforms, allowing for 14 trains per hour through the Empire Connection.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    My point is that you don’t know where the columns are.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ..and there are very reasonable people who suggest using that island platform between the Empire Connection and tracks 1-4 that is under the Post Office for Hudson Line Metro North service and Empire Service ( until there is some sort of HSR tunnel somewhere ) It means that, most of the time, is tucked away in a corner all by itself and doesn’t conflict with much of anything. Unless Gateway is going to erase it. I’ll have to look someday.

    Joey Reply:

    Initial crayon version: http://i.imgur.com/G0sxZqv.png

    Black tracks are existing (or shifted slightly without moving columns), blue would require underpinning to move columns out of the way (or digging under 31st and 33rd in the case of the outermost tracks). 9 10m wide platforms serve 18 platform tracks.

    Other options are available. You can just pave over every other pair of tracks, which leaves you with with 6 19m wide platforms (again, expanding under 31st and 33rd) and one narrow 6m wide platform at the center. Use that platform for Amtrak LD trans which don’t demand high pedestrian volumes and you want to be out of the way of everything else. Not a lot of platform tracks left but if you use it as a station and not as a parking lot for trains it should be enough. And you still probably have to some underpinning on the approach tracks (it would be nice, for instance, to be able to platform more than 9 cars at tracks 1-4 or whatever becomes of them).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Blocks on the west side are roughly 800 feet long and 12 cars of 85 foot long cars are longer than a block, try again,
    and the ancient things you are dredging up aren’t showing the stuff added later that goes through the platforms

    Joey Reply:

    What does the size of blocks have to do with underground infrastructure?

    And no, I am not expecting the column placements, particularly under MSG and One Penn Plaza. But the tracks and platforms have not moved, so it stands to reason that their north-south positioning hasn’t really changed. Columns outside of that block should largely be in the same places.

    Joey Reply:

    Should be “expecting the column placements to be 100% accurate

    Joey Reply:

    And for what it’s worth, the diagram car(e)-free LA linked above mostly confirms what I said about the column placements under MSG

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It looks suspiciously like some one cropped it out of this

    http://broadway.pennsyrr.com/Rail/Prr/Maps/Itlk/nyp.gif

    and that is from 1944. Things have stayed the same but a lot of things have changed too.

    What’s up on the street bears a surprising interrelationship to what is under the street in the boring old three dimensional universe Penn Station exists in. I know this whole grid concept and just using plain old numbers instead of some clever naming scheme that that take years to learn can be confusing but the diagram you are using has “7th Ave” on the right side and “8th Ave” on the left side and that’s 800 feet give or take. Ten car platforms give or take a bit. Yours are too short. It allows the people who know the amazing tricks it allows you to do like figure out that 253 West 52nd Street is about a mile away from Penn Station between 7th and 8th Avenues just like the station is. And it’s a local stop on the subway if you decide to take that.

    One of the ways you can put off building reallllllllly long deep caverns with 16 car platforms is to use the realllllllllllllllllly long platforms in the center of Penn Station that stretch allllllllllllllllll the way from 7th Ave.almost it seems to 9th Ave. Which is 1600 feet away from 7th Avenue give or take. You probably don’t want to pave over any of those tracks even though that leaves you with skinny little platforms. Right now they do clever things like put two short trains at one of the long platforms, on weekends when they are scheduling things so they can get by with one tunnel being open. Very clever the way they exploit that.

    …. and while 6 car trains that escaped from duty as a shuttle far out in the suburbs appear in Penn Station now and then they can go to 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 car platforms. They can! Really! Honest to gawd! Short trains can to to platforms that are longer then they are! They even do that on the subway! But sending 12 car trains to an 8 car platform does nasty things to your dwell time and annoys commuters. Or even 10 car trains. It does. …. and trains that long are quite common unbelievable as it may seem. It’s just too clever sending one 12 car train instead of two 6 car trains. Too clever. Isn’t it? And they don’t do it as often as they like because there are platforms less than 12 cars in the station. Some of which they are going to extend as part of Gateway. All very clever. Pity that they don’t come up with some sort of through running plan.

    Try again.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    His propostition can absolutely extend platforms further east, and that isn’t a problem.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    *west, I mean

    Joey Reply:

    Adirondacker: My point is, why do you think the platforms have to fit between 7th and 8th? The existing station footprint is far bigger than that.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Almost everybody conceives of it being the two blocks between 7th and 8th, 31st and 33rd. It’s not it’s between 7th and 9th and 31st and 33rd. The track level takes up almost five blocks all the way out to 10th Ave and sneaks a bit east of 7th. I understand that. You are using a diagram that is apparently from 1944. Things changed around since then. When they tore the headhouse down and put new buildings over the tracks and after the MTA picked up some land real cheap and extended it all the way out to 12th Avenue. Almost. Not passenger space but what they did affects things greatly.

    The platforms don’t have to start anywhere in particular. But if the eastern end of it is at what would be 7.25th Avenue 800 feet away would be where 8.25th avenue would be. Kinda sorta, It maybe 8.19th Ave. or 8.32 Ave. It’s the general vicinity. Under the eastern side of the Post Office. West of where “8th Ave” appears on the drawing. And if it starts at 7.15 Ave 1000 feet away, to the west not towards 5th Avenue, is going to be at 8.40th Avenue. Give or take a bit. It appears to me that the scale, east to west is somewhat foreshortened. But if the eastern end of something starts at 7.125th Ave 800 feet away, give or take, is going to be under the Post Office at 8.125th Avenue. And 1000 foot long platform would be at 8.375th Ave…. I’m old. I remember life before calculators. I’m manipulating fractions. 100 feet is an eighth of block, a quarter of a block is 200 feet etc. A block and a half is 1200 feet. And the “800 feet”, I’d really have to check what the distance is between the center of the avenue to the center of the avenue on the West Side. It’s not the same on every block and it’s somewhat different on the East Side compared to the West Side. Your platforms are too short.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/17/nyregion/thecity/17fyi.html

    They came up with “Meh, it averages 750” I used 800 because I want to manipulate things that are about an tenth of that, and quarters and halves. Your platforms are too short. being generous they are three quarters of block long. Whether that’s from seven and halfth Avenue to Eighth and quarter or from Seven and an eighth to Seven and seven eights. They are too short.

    ….. i’d be willing to bet you having a real problem wrapping your head around halves, quarters and eighths. Especially eighths. I’m old, it’s was real handy in a world without calculators. … I do thirds, sixths and twelfths on Tuesday, Thursday and the Saturday matinée…. A third of 48 is 16 is quite an interesting tidbit in many people’s lives. Some of them even have measuring devices with every 16 marked off…..

    Colorforms! . This really needs Colorforms! Nah, I’m not going to try to describe Colorforms.

    Joey Reply:

    Eights are cute. I studied physics – 7pi/640 isn’t terribly unusual. I don’t particularly care how much of a New York block that is.

    The platforms serving regional trains need to be 300m long (12 cars), for intercity trains 400m (16 cars). Many of the platforms are there already but not all. The rest need to be expanded westward (it looks like Gateway plans to do this with tracks 1-4 at least a little). Yes, this would mean expanding them past 8th AVE. Some of the center platforms already extend almost all the way to 9th AVE.

    And yes, for the Nth time, I know that things have changed since the 40s. Many things haven’t, including the locations of the locations of the tracks and platforms. I’ve seen plenty of modern diagrams and they all confirm that the old 1940s one is still 98% correct.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It looks suspiciously like some one cropped it out of this
    http://broadway.pennsyrr.com/Rail/Prr/Maps/Itlk/nyp.gif
    and that is from 1944. Things have stayed the same but a lot of things have changed too.

    My column map is fully up to date, and shows that Joey’s proposition would work.

    PS. What is with the routing of the Gateway tunnel entering Penn on the north side? Gateway should start on the north side in NJ and cut over to the south side in NY, and be just for regional rail. That way, all regional trains from New Jersey can pass under existing tunnels (which Amtrak would use) and then end up on the south side of Penn, allowing them to continue on the LIRR without crossing over Amtrak NEC service. Though Gateway essentially allows the opposite of this, carrying Amtrak trains under NJ-LIRR regional trains, Gateway is a great opportunity to build a new regional rail station in Weehawken, connecting to HBLR, and obviously, that can’t happen if Amtrak is running through.

    Joey Reply:

    Oh, since I missed that

    It looks suspiciously like some one cropped it out of this
    http://broadway.pennsyrr.com/Rail/Prr/Maps/Itlk/nyp.gif

    I cropped it out of that.

    Joey Reply:

    What is with the routing of the Gateway tunnel entering Penn on the north side?

    It would enter on the south side. Tracks 1A and 2A in this diagram: http://i62.tinypic.com/2h4ffpe.jpg . They already built part of the approach to avoid issues with the Hudson Yards project.

    It’s no in the right place to connect to the northernmost pair of East River tunnels, but it is where you would want to connect to the lower level of Grand Central, which is at least as valuable.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Joey
    You’re right. Never mind. I just think that there should be a station in Weehawken as part of the Gateway project.

    Personally, I would redesign platforms like this: https://s15.postimg.org/em8h5lqbv/Penn_Station.png

    4 Amtrak NEC tracks that use the existing Hudson tunnels and the north two East River tunnels, all utilizing the Spanish solution, which allows 12 trains per hour per direction.

    4 Empire Connection tracks, which allows 8 trains per hour. These platforms could also be accessed from the existing Hudson tunnels, allowing Amtrak long distance trains to the south to use them.

    4 NY RER tracks that use Gateway and the south two East River tunnels, all using the Spanish Solution, allowing 12 trains per hour per direction.

    PS. I’ve always been confused about how a Grand Central-Penn Station connection would work, operationally. Can someone please explain?

    Joey Reply:

    PS. I’ve always been confused about how a Grand Central-Penn Station connection would work, operationally. Can someone please explain?

    The southernmost tracks at Penn would connect to the lower level of Grand Central. A subset of what is now Metro North would through run to a subset of what is now New Jersey Transit.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    OK, but wouldn’t that result in too much capacity from the east (6 tracks) funneling down to too little capacity in the west (4 tracks)?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    An old fogey like me used 22/7ths as an approximation of pi not a key on a calculator. 7 times pi is 22. If it’s not 22 you don’t want to use 640. You want 219/6400ths or 2199/64000ths etc.

    Joey Reply:

    Well not quite because you have the Empire line, which under this scenario should be reconnected to the northernmost set of tracks. The Empire line would probably be a lot less saturated than every other approach, but then you’ve also got the LIRR yard (which the Hudson Yards project is currently being built over while keeping it in operation). So if you’re going to terminate any trains you should do it on the northern part of the station.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Whatever is holding up skyscrapers surrounds the Empire Connection. It’s not moving anywhere.

    Joey Reply:

    We can be reasonably sure that wherever there is currently a yard track there is not a column. It certianly isn’t trivial now that there’s stuff over the tracks, but you cast it as impossible (just like everything else), which

    Joey Reply:

    which I think isn’t the case.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Some of the buildings are already occupied.

    Joey Reply:

    If you’re boring a tunnel under a building, you don’t particularly care if it’s occupied or not. You care that your tunnel doesn’t intersect any of its pilings.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Um um um um deep tunnels can’t reach Penn Station.

    https://nec.amtrak.com/content/hudson-yard-right-way-preservation-project

    where they mention that pesky 800 feet.

    .

    Joey Reply:

    They needed that because they wanted the approaches to be in a specific place.

    Tunnel approach starts at 9th on tracks 2B and 3B. There is currently a building under construction over the tracks on that block, but it is being built on a platform clear-spanning the tracks, so the track area is free of any supports. The bored part would start about where there tracks pass under the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel. The tunnel would keep diving to pass under the foundations of 5 Manhattan West and 30/50 Hudson yards (it would only pass under the short part of 30). The curve ends adjacent to Hudson BLVD east, missing the 7 station access shafts. Comes back up to the surface probably somewhere around 38th St. This would allow a curve radius of around 225m, which is larger than that of the current Empire Connection (I think it’s closer to 150 but hard to say exactly).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ya know if they invent the machine that lets tall buildings hover for a few years while you move tracks around it probably has something to with the same technology that lets the people on Star Trek have a transporter. We can just use the tunnels for the high capacity fiber optic cables that let every one replace elevators with transporter booths. You and your suburban neighbors will share the Door Booth at the corner and the Door will open on the other end at your floor in the office.

    Joey Reply:

    No track moving is necessary. Tracks 2B and 3B would be removed to build the approach to the tunnel, then re-connected to the tunnel when done. I already demonstrated that no building supports are immediately adjacent to that construction area. Do I have to draw a diagram?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No not really because people on planet earth aren’t going to be spending that much money so a few trains an hour can come in on Track 15 instead of Track 5.
    They’re not.
    A bunch of people who still remembered how to use slide rules looked at stuff when the state was getting some prime real estate cheap. And the people who decided the stadium didn’t pencil out took a detailed look at stuff and the people who decided since the stadium didn’t pan out evaluated all-commercial, all-residential and mixed use did too and didn’t get the urge. And the people building multi billion dollar malls have people on staff who can glance at detailed drawings and get the urge to check that no, the MTA and Amtrak don’t any plans to move it any time soon. And the the lawyers who could get together and form a country club with 18 holes, had their fingers in this. It’s hundred and hundreds of people who don’t have access to the really outstanding stuff you are buying from your dealer.

    Describe what happens just west of the tunnel portals in Long Island City. Not in detail, just a few words will say that you know it’s there. Trying to understand what is bubbling around in your brain is a bit difficult and all these plans and schemes you have, it seems, get seriously tangled up by it. Well maybe not I really haven’t looked at it that hard. I’m too stunned by the obvious fatal errors.

    Joey Reply:

    Well maybe not I really haven’t looked at it that hard. I’m too stunned by the obvious fatal errors.

    There seems to be a contradiction here. This seems to be going back and for as you: “It’s not possible for these general reasons” me: “Here are the specific reasons that make it possible”. So are my “fatal errors” looking into details that you aren’t willing to look at? If you said “this building’s foundation exists at this exact location where you were intending to look the tracks, but so far all you have given me are “there are buildings above”. You’re not obligated to respond to everything I post, if understanding the details is more than you have time for I’m sure there are other arguments to be had on this blog.

    Describe what happens just west of the tunnel portals in Long Island City. Not in detail, just a few words will say that you know it’s there.

    They descend downward at a leisurely 1.5%, keeping it near the surface for a relatively long time. I don’t know exactly where it transitions from a covered trench to a mined tunnel.

    No not really because people on planet earth aren’t going to be spending that much money so a few trains an hour can come in on Track 15 instead of Track 5.
    They’re not.

    You’re absolutely right that this doesn’t make sense for a few trains an hour. The Empire line would have to be hosting many more trains for this to even begin to make sense.

    Joey Reply:

    No not really because people on planet earth aren’t going to be spending that much money so a few trains an hour can come in on Track 15 instead of Track 5.
    They’re not.

    But this is also moving the goalposts. Are you saying it’s impossible, or that it doesn’t make sense with today’s service patterns?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Okay. You’ve used your superhuman powers of observation to figure out from a drawing made in 1944 where they put columns in 1966 and the cartoon of train paths confirms it. Mazel tov.

    Joey Reply:

    I cross referenced a drawing made in 1944 with more modern sources to determine approximately where the columns are. No superhumanity required!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The cartoon looking one was stolen from version 3 which was discussed at length before it became version 3. It may be stolen from version 5 of a different map that re-used that chunk from version 3 of the other map. Everyone agrees it’s really good at what it does but it doesn’t do stuff like accurately depict where stuff is. tt’s not designed too. Whopped everyone agrees that there are 21 tracks in Penn Station. Alert the FBI with the breaking news.
    …. approximately ain’t good enough and that doesn’t make your 6 car platforms any longer. Mazel Tov!

    Joey Reply:

    They “crayon version” as I described it was intended to show the north-south placement of the tracks and platforms, not their east-west alignment. Sorry if that was not clear.

    Please point to any evidence that the diagram does not accurately depict the locations of the tracks and platforms, either then or now. It lines up with 100% of the modern diagrams I have seen.

    Joey Reply:

    And if by “most people” you mean it was discussed in a thread on Railroad.net or something, feel free to link that!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You trusted them and that’s good enough for you ! Why do you care where they came from or what was discussed where by who?

    Joey Reply:

    Clearly not, or we wouldn’t be discussing this. If you have some information to share please share it!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I have shared information and you object to it. Have a good time. I suggest dry erase markers and plastic in the future.

    Joey Reply:

    You’ve shared vague un-sourced claims that doesn’t let me tell at all what’s correct and what isn’t. I ask for specifics and you resort to insults.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I gave you the link to the respectable commonly cited website with the scan of the original document. Well it might not be the original but it is close. That is dated March 1944. You didn’t like that answer. I tell you buildings you think haven’t been built are occupied and you don’t like that answer. I tell you a block in Manhattan is 800 feet long and think it’s irrelvant. And later stumble on an official Amtrak document that implies 800 foot long block is interesting in the context.
    …. dry erase markers are easier

    Joey Reply:

    I gave you the link to the respectable commonly cited website with the scan of the original document.

    You gave me a link to the diagram that I cropped and then crayoned on top of. That wasn’t clear initially but I did clarify that.

    That is dated March 1944. You didn’t like that answer.

    I liked that answer just fine. I claimed, and cited evidence, that the locations of the tracks and platforms had not changed since then. You did not provide any evident to the contrary.

    I tell you buildings you think haven’t been built are occupied and you don’t like that answer

    I acknowledged it and attempted to figure out exactly where and how the buildings were held up.

    I tell you a block in Manhattan is 800 feet long and think it’s irrelvant.

    800ft/1 city block is relevant to the to the trench they built because that’s the size of Phase 1 of the Hudson Yards project. It’s not directly relevant to anything else.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ….nah….

    les Reply:

    Seattle has no choice. It has a major league funneling effect (city is bordered by the Sound on one side and Lake Washington on other) with only room for 3 north-south roadways. One is about to collapse due to a prior earthquake, 405 is too far east and I-5 is a virtual parking lot. Throw in the fact Seattle is on again off again the fastest growing city in the nation and one can see it has zero other options. The city recently completed link tunnels under the city, now Bertha and soon 2 more tunnels for Link. I also think cargo rail also has tunnels under the city. People also don’t realize is their is an old burnt down part of the city underneath many of the new structures.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    When I visited a couple of months ago, I was blown away by the amount of construction in Seattle. It makes San Francisco look tame, and San Jose look like a joke..

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    “A total of 68 major projects were underway from Sodo to South Lake Union at the end of 2016, the most since records began in 2005.”

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/record-construction-frenzy-sweeps-downtown-seattle-with-more-building-to-come/

    [Reply]

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    The issue is that of all those 3, none are demand-based tolled, and there’s not an adequate bypass, I’d say 405 is bogged down by bellvue traffic, rather than simply being too far east, it’s not really far east enough for its purpose- and mountains/water make a better bypass a bit difficult. People simply don’t pay enough to drive in Seattle.

    Even if they did, I don’t think it would be enough to justify Bertha. The alaskan way viaduct serves mostly downtown-bound traffic. Its replacement won’t serve downtown as the viaduct currently does. Why would you build what is, in effect, a bypass road DIRECTLY THROUGH the most expensive place to build any road? It would make more sense to route that same traffic- literally any other way.

    Seattle process.

    Anyway, yes there’s room for more than 3 north-south roadways. It’s a question of what kind of costs and property takings are acceptable. I personally don’t think that with demand-based tolling you’d find too much traffic to accommodate.

    If there were such demand, you’d have the funding to work with (demand-based tolls generate significant revenue), and you’ve got available solutions as simple as trenching some current stroads in car-centric run-down areas, to as byzantine as a hybrid floating bridge from west seattle to interbay. All of which are cheaper than Bertha, with greater benefits.

    Really, though, a rail system and bus grid is a more appropriate solution.
    Which could also be funded via demand-based tolling.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    it doesn’t sound like you have ever been to Seattle

    [Reply]

  27. Aarond
    Mar 12th, 2017 at 10:45
    #27

    SB-1 (Beall) now goes the the Senate Appropriations Committee:

    http://patch.com/california/temecula/calif-may-soon-be-paying-more-gas-registration-fees-sb-1-passes-governance

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billHistoryClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1

    It’ll probably be another month or so before it gets to the floor itself, hopefully where dedicated Caltrain funding will be added.

    [Reply]

  28. Roland
    Mar 12th, 2017 at 10:53
    #28

    Tamien Update: http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/af_031617_+packet.pdf (click on item 8.553).

    Please note the complete absence of any mention of “Caltrain” (the VTA is apparently not aware that Tamien is a Caltrain station with a parking demand of +/- 1,000 cars).

    The childcare center and its 75 dedicated parking spaces are being moved to a TBD off-site even though the planning department requested 10,000 SF for the childcare facility…

    [Reply]

  29. StevieB
    Mar 12th, 2017 at 15:51
    #29

    With Trump on board, Texas puts high-speed rail on the fast track.

    The project must overcome several regulatory hurdles at the federal level before it can proceed to the construction phase. A series of environmental reviews already are underway, with the process expected to wrap up by early next year. The company also is seeking a new safety rule that will allow its trains to operate at up to 205 mph.

    “There’s no rules set yet for driving a train 200 miles an hour in the United States,” said Tim Keith, president of Texas Central Railway, “We’re having those rules written for our system.”

    The Federal Railroad Administration has standards only for trains that operate at a maximum of 150 mph, and Amtrak’s Acela trains in the Northeast are the only ones that travel that fast.

    California is building a 220-mph high-speed rail system, but that project has been delayed by political opposition. Its trains also have to meet more rigorous federal standards for crash protection because they will share tracks with commuter trains, Amtrak and some freight.

    By building a self-contained system where trains will not intersect with street traffic or encounter slower trains, the Texas project can employ off-the-shelf technology in use in Japan for more than 50 years.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Yes, but will Trump pay for Japanese trains when Japan won’t buy American cars?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/business/trump-japan-american-cars.html?_r=0

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    Japanese cars are sold in the U.S.A.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Quite frequently with American parts on American assembly lines. German ones too.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    American cars don’t sell in Japan because Americans put the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car, DOH!

    [Reply]

    Useless Reply:

    agb5

    American cars don’t sell in Japan

    Japanese of this decades are poor people(Average Japanese wage is now lower than Korea’s and is coming closer to the major cities of China), and people under 35 don’t have the money to buy real cars other than kei cars and many don’t even have licenses to begin with.

    The only import cars that sell in Japan are German and British(Jaguar & Land Rover) luxury cars and SUV. Toyota used to have a monopoly on this market segment but is now losing to the Germans.

    American cars as you know aren’t as luxuries as European luxury cars.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Decades ago the UAW costed out a fully loaded Chevy and a mid range Cadillac…. The luxury cars have real wood on the dashboard instead of vinyl printed to look like wood. It doesn’t cost much more than the mid range car. The luxury cars are aren’t all that luxe.
    …. the only reason I was considering a new car is that the car market was being warped many different ways by odd tax breaks. The only significant difference between the Ford Taurus and the Mercury Sable I was looking at was the logos. And for some reason the Mercury was cheaper. The competition was from Pontiac and the Buick that was the same but with different logos only came with seats I didn’t like.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    If TXC happens, they’ll build the rolling stock here in America. Remember that Nippon Sharyo already has a huge factory (that will one day churn out NGEC bilevel railcars) in Rochelle, IL.

    And, I strongly suspect TXC will happen at this point considering that it is a private project that doesn’t involve China. This is a bit old but still relevant:

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/texas-news/bullet-train-to-survive-2017-legislature-representative-predicts/325262824

    [Reply]

    Useless Reply:

    Aarond

    I don’t expect the XpressWest to happen.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s still up in the air. The two big things behind it are whether or not CHSRA can accelerate Bako-LAUS construction (not in the cards as of now, but this might change if/when SB1 hits the floor and can be amended), and if the Raiders move.

    It’s not over, at least not just yet.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    It drives me crazy when people who know better use the term “driving” a train instead of operating. Especially since there’s surely an awful lot of dopes who think there is a steering wheel inside the loco.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. This is SO helpful. I had absolutely no idea.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Carts being hauled by oxen don’t have steering wheels and they have a driver. Livestock is driven to market etc. The word doesn’t require a steering wheel. …. global warming is driving stronger storms…

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    “Driving” is correct English for operating a train, particularly in the UK.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Stupid Brits!!!

    [Reply]

  30. Roland
    Mar 13th, 2017 at 00:34
    #30

    Caltrain’s fearless leader returns from Washington full of confidence: http://www.caltrain.com/Page4877.aspx

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    He probably didn’t go alone. As mentioned on Caltrain’s website, Utah is implicated in this as they’re the place where the rolling stock will actually be built.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    I am sure Hartnett’s appeal was met with open arms. After all, his only credential to being appointed CEO of Caltrain etc, was his short tenure on the HSR board, where he always approved of everything Dan Richard proposed. Yes indeed, those Republican Reps, who are so against HSR must have been won over by Mr. Hartnett.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    No one cares about your home being next to the ROW.

    Here’s the NYTimes editorial supporting Caltrain and correctly characterizing damaging political attacks on HSR.
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/opinion/a-silicon-valley-train-gets-stuck.html

    Maybe someone can write a Fox & Clowns rebuttal.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    President Trump says the New York Times is “fake news”. Recent polls show that the majority of Republicans believe Trump over established media.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He’s gonna cut taxes, increase defense spending so we have an even larger over sized military, spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure and putting an import tax on Mexican goods is making Mexico pay for the wall. And because he waves his tiny hand medical costs are going to be cut in half. To be polite they live in an alternate reality. To be less polite, they really ARE that STUPID.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    *cries*

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2017-03-14/caltrain-business-leaders-lobby-dc-supporters-of-electrification-urge-feds-to-approve-647m-grant/1776425177230.html

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “I don’t hold much hope for a change of heart from the Department of Transportation, because this was a political, not a transportation decision” http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/opinions/2017-03-13/the-attempt-to-kill-electrified-caltrain/1776425177169.html

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    Letter: Attempt to kill Caltrain

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Palo Alto Rail Corridor Study
    http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/38025

    Evidence that Caltrain ROW expansion improves quality of life. Benefits such as full grade separation and additional crossings for pedestrian and bicycles will reconnect the neighborhoods.

    Hate and negativity are your tools. Most residents will see the benefits of rail transit and ROW improvements.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Connect the neighborhoods. The tracks were there before the neighborhoods and you can’t reconnect things that were never connected.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    So make that, “newly” connect neighborhoods.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Reconncted.

    With the improved car crossings like tall overpasses, fences and added auto traffic, once easy crossed tracks and lightly trafficked streets at all crossings have become less pedestrian and bike friendly.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Idiot from NY can’t stop himself.

    I lived along the ROW at Palo Alto MTView border. There is an old mill mall crossing for pedestrian and bike which is now the crossing for San Antonio station. The Mall with theater is gone. I Shopped at the Safeway and used the gym on the other side all with bike and waking.

    These underpasses connect and offer easy bike and walking acccess without car threats on less traveled roads.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It was farmland with tracks through it, for decades, before someone subdivided the farm to build your suburban splendor. With a few very minor exceptions. I’m sorry you want to deny that reality.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Nope butt head. Settlememts came early along the ROW because of the Camino real. Access and crossings wee easier.

    1990’s San Carlos was better connected until the berm was built.

    Go back to Wikipedia.

    Jerry Reply:

    @Joe
    And the Camino Real was there before the railroad.
    The road from Southern California led to Mission Delores which was built around 1776 c.e.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    i said there were a few minor exceptions. Tiny villages with a post office/general store/blacksmith/saloon/hotel did exist. The Census bureau keeps track of these kind of things and in 1870 there were 6.635 people in the whole county, It was farms. When there are few trains a day on the single track line people trespass across the ROW much more freely that doesn’t erase it.

    joe Reply:

    @Jerry – right. i thought I wrote that El Camino Came first but maybe wasn’t clear.

    The San Carlos ROW was moved to a berm in the later half of the 1990s.

    I can merely offer a “few minor exceptions” to your knowledge about the Caltrain ROW and history of the bay area and peninsula.

    What do I know, I just lived here for 25 years.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    none this changes that it was farmland with a railroad through it for a long time before it was suburb. And the tracks have gone from being single track to being double tracks and move there and move that way a bit but the tracks have been there since someone surveyed the newly subdivided lot you suburban splandor sits on.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And it’s stereotypical railroad suburb with Mediterranean climate landscaping. It’s not all that very different from railroad suburbs all over the world. You not all that special. Or much different than anonymous suburbs all over the world. Get over it.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Of course we’re not special but not suburban. The issues is you aren’t smart enough and don’t know the area.

    The area was better connected before it built up.

    Let’s see you argue otherwise. You always do when you don’t know and we’ll get a word salad.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Joe
    It depends on the definition of suburban. Many people would consider Pasadena to be a suburb of LA, Jersey City to be a suburb of NY, Arlington to be a suburb of DC, etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It was farmland before the railroad came. And it was farmland for a long time after the railroad came. I’m sorry you don’t like reality but that is what happened. And it’s sparsely populated suburb compared to green leafy highly desirable suburbs in other places. There is life off the Peninsula, there is really there is.

    joe Reply:

    Gilroy 2017 has at grade UP tracks and crossings at all streets downtown. The tracks don’t disrupt flow in the city and we don’t have blacksmiths or telegraph stations.

    You make these goofy references to the civil war era when the ROW has had such open and unobstructed, at grade track and crossings in San Carlos up to the 1990s.
    South San Jose near caltrain stops up until 10 years ago when the finally put in a fence to stop pedestrian crossings after a death.

    You say sparsely populated yet these are cities and downtowns and built up neighborhoods in the 10th largest us city.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It doesn’t upset the flow of Gllroy because there wouldn’t be a Glroy if the railroad hadn’t come. Get it through heads that every thing you see accommodated the railroad except maybe perhaps a few buildings that were there before the railroad came.

    joe Reply:

    @ Car(e)-FreeLA Is the peninsula a suburb? Even if so – what does these even mean/

    Factually the ROW has been slowly built up and crossings made less easy and more car centric and dangerous for bikes and pedestrians. Add the growth and traffic volume and it’s even worse now.

    Improvements to the ROW for HSR can include restoring the natural flow that has been taken away over the decades and car centric and safety centric ROW changes.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I think the Peninsula is a walkable, dense, mixed use, pleasant suburb. I also think it exists because of Caltrain. I also think it makes sense to connect the neighborhoods better.

    Joe Reply:

    What is suburban if you call it walkable and dense with a dependency on rail transit?

    In call those things cities.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Suburban and suburb are different. Any city that surrounds a core city is a suburb of it. Whether or not it is a cul-de-sac infested wasteland is another matter entirely.

    joe Reply:

    Oakland is suburb of San Francisco?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No, because it is one of the two core cities in the SF-Oakland MSA, and one of the three core cities in the SJ-SF-Oakland CSA.

    EJ Reply:

    @adi, when I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, I keep my mouth shut. You ought to try the same.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Anything west of the Appalachians that isn’t near water transport wouldn’t be there if the railroad hadn’t come that way. And most of the stuff east of the Appalachians is where it is because there was water transport. Which made it a interesting place for the railroad to go. After railroads were invented.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    So Palo Alto is a suburb of San Francisco or Oakland or San Jose?

    What about Gilroy? We existed before San Jose and haven’t a city bounding us. Established before a RR and along the camino real along a natural corridor.

    I mean it seems you have a set of mental buckets and put stuff into them and then form conclusions based on the buckets you made rather than the things as they exist.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It doesn’t upset the flow of Gllroy because there wouldn’t be a Glroy if the railroad hadn’t come.

    Gilroy existed before the RR. CA’s earliest communities formed along the Camino Real. The first native English speaking person in all of California came to the city – John Gilroy after whom they RENAMED the city from San Ysidro. We exist along N/S and E/W passages way.

    The RR came much later.

    What’s it like being an unapologetic idiot? Liberating it seems.

    Can’t even bother with wikipedia.

    joe Reply:

    Fiddlesticks — system grabbed carefree(s) credentials.
    Both above “joe”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There were a few villages along a dirt road. It’s very likely the dirt road was there because people began wandering through shortly after the last the time the Bering Strait was dry land. The missionaries heading north from Old Mexico, were asking the people ALREADY there, what was the best way north, if not following a trail that was already there. According to WIkipedia the place where John Gilroy’s village grew up isn’t anywhere near modern Gilroy. Not if you are living in a world where land transport means actual horses or a lot of walking. …. The missions are spaced a day’s travel apart. On horseback on a dirt road. In the 1850 census the population of the whole state is less than 100,000. There were some farms along a dirt road. Almost everything you see in Gilroy accommodated the railroad.
    .

    J. Wong Reply:

    What the hell are you two arguing about?

    Are the cities along the Peninsula suburbs? Yes, they are, especially given that commute traffic to/from SF on Caltrain still shows the expected pattern.

    Were the cities on the Peninsula developed as suburbs? That depends on the city, but using the canonical example of Levitton, some were and some weren’t. (Belmont follows that pattern and was originally mostly farmland, while Burlingame, San Mateo don’t for example. Belmont’s “station” for many years until it was replaced in the grade separation project was just a large shed for storing agricultural production before it got shipped out.)

    Of course, this nomenclature is of the moment given that real life is a moving target. Things change. Some places were founded and developed somewhat independently of SF but during the last century further developed as “bedroom” communities of SF. That process, however, is reversing somewhat in this century as they develop economies of their own (mostly founded on software and bio-tech).

    joe Reply:

    There were a few villages along a dirt road. It’s very likely the dirt road was there because people began wandering through shortly after the last the time the Bering Strait was dry land.

    Idiot continues to dig hole.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Camino_Real_(California)
    Road established colonial control over Alta California. de facto centre of the colonial alto california.

    Gilroy existed before Rail. Gilroy existed before California declared independence – Gilroy was the largest city in Santa Clara county.

    Idiot doubles down and doesn’t admit he’s made a mistake and continues to lecture that cities in CA were established along the RR.

    When confronted with facts he argues nothing mattered before the rail road and equates pre rail road California with first human migrations.

    .

    joe Reply:

    @WONG

    What the hell are you two arguing about?

    Are the cities along the Peninsula suburbs? Yes, they are, especially given that commute traffic to/from SF on Caltrain still shows the expected pattern.

    Commute patterns are not suburban/urban. We have a population interested in living in SF and commuting to work in the peninsula. IT started in the Peninsula and moved from the Pennisula into SF.

    Going back far enough any place can be called suburban – greenpoint brooklyn NY was a farmland – hence greenpoint. It’s not a suburb.

    Peninsula cities are not suburban but actually have more jobs and demand for housing than can be met with demand due to restricted land use. Even pro-growth Mountain View can’t meet housing demand. These cities are not suburbs.

    joe Reply:

    Why does this matter?

    The travel patterns favor electrification because they are not suburban – urban commute patterns. There is bidirectional demand along the corridor and off peak commute demand.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Okay. the Census Bureau and the people who understood how Congressmen they were going to get from the results of the 1850 seriously underestimated the population of large farming villages along the dirt road people had stopped calling the El Camino Real. Something to do with not being a colony of Spain anymore.
    There were less than 100,000 people in the state in 1850 and quarter of them lived in San Francisco. It was farmland when the railroad got there.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Santa_Clara_County,_California#Economic_growth

    joe Reply:

    I’m addressing the 2017 Caltrain ridership.

    You’re hopelessly lost.

    joe Reply:

    Oh you need to fix Wikipedia. Even your link contradicts your bullshit.

    “The railroads soon followed the establishment of Palo Alto and the university.”

    Please tell Wikipedia the cities in California were founded after the railroad. If they laugh – just tell them the roads were dirt. Then feed them a word salad.

    Oh and “Officially, the last two Manhattan dirt streets were paved over in 1938, an event important enough to make the NY Times:”
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scoutingny/8021617522/

    What does it mean? Nothing. Just as it doesn’t mean anything in CA.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    and the university was built on land that Leland Stanford had been using for his racing stables. It’s very likely the edge of his estate has some relationship to the topography. That had something to with where the dirt road was. It doesn’t change that it was a rich guy’s farm. And that the first class was 550 students. The whole shebang may have come to 1,000 people. Living in brand new buildings on what still had the scents of pre mechanization farm evident. And probably did for a few decades until the delivery wagons were replaced with trucks.It was surrounded by other farms for quite a while.

    joe Reply:

    The University was built on El Camino Real.

    No train tracks – they followed the highway which is why an idiot in NY thinks the cities followed the train tracks.

    Whatever with the farm and dirt stuff, Manhattan was covered and smelled like horseshit at this time. and Stanford continues to call it self The Farm.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You find it shocking that a big farm is on a road? That was donated to a nascent University by a railroad magnate who probably had a bit of influence on where the railroad was going to go? Someplace where there were farms to generate freight traffic? Shocking!

    joe Reply:

    An idiot is telling me The Farm, Stanford’s nickname, is supposed to be news and you think you surprised me.

    I started working with Stanford academics in 1983, came to the area in 1991 and the university salary pays the mortgage. Please proceed Mr Idiot.

    Tell me the roads are dirt and we had farms and used horses in the 1880s. Maybe pull up a wikipedia page and tell me the University history.

    The rail road followed the El Camino Real. If you knew the area you’d have stopped a while ago. Alas you will persist. Please proceed. Maybe tell me what I had for dinner.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Palo Alto is suburb of the SJ-SF Oakland CSA, primarily focused around San Francisco and San Jose. Gilroy is a suburb of the same CSA, but is focused around San Jose alone.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You are arguing that the Census bureau lied when it counted very few people out there in the farmland.

    Joey Reply:

    For anyone interested in seeing Caltrain’s ridership patterns, I’d recommend taking a look at page 32 of their ridership report which breaks down morning peak boardings and alightings by station and direction of travel.

    joe Reply:

    You are arguing that the Census bureau lied when it counted very few people out there in the farmland.

    Nope. You told us the cities followed the rail road and specifically lectured me about Gilroy.

    CA was colonized along a road. We have rugged coastal ranges thus the easiest transportation routes were inland.

    Palo Alto and Stanford are on El Camino real and predate the rail road.
    Gilroy existed during Spanish Rule, long before the RR.

    Geography matters.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I said right at the beginning there were some minor exceptions. They were minor. In 1850 census there were less than 100,000 people in the state and a quarter of them lived in San Francisco. Quite a few of them lived in Sacramento. Many of the ones not in San Francisco or Sacramento were up the hills trying to find gold. There weren’t very many people out in the farming villages. There weren’t many people out there in 1860 and there weren’t many people out there in 1870 after the railroad arrived.

    joe Reply:

    I said right at the beginning there were some minor exceptions.

    And you were wrong. Nothing minor about settlements in CA along El Camino Real and Coastal cities which all predate the train and gold rush.

    But you also told me my town was due to the RailRoad and it wasn’t since it has been the geography of the state that determined how the state was settled.

    The settlement called SF was on the El Camino Real doofus – another pre-rail road city.

    If population is what you want to chatter about it grew post war with the automobile, not the train.

    I’m saddened to see you make a big deal about population and then skip over the automobile.

    Maybe you need to read more Wikipedia and come back.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That many people switched to cars after 1920 doesn’t make the population bigger in 1850. The train tracks disappeared in many places but where they still exist the automobiles accommodated the tracks.

    Joe Reply:

    That many people switch to cars means your rail mansplaining was wrong.
    El Camino Real and the the highway system.

    It’s okay to be wrong. Don’t be scared.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The last passenger train rolled through here in 1956 and the last freight train in 1992. That didn’t make the tracks evaporate or build roads across the tracks. We still have to go out of our way to go around the railroad tracks. And there is even tourist passenger trains and an occasional freight these days.

    Jerry Reply:

    San Mateo will have two “new” street crossings after the “new” 31st Avenue/ Hillsdale Station is built.
    Meanwhile, PAMPA is still in the “STUDY” Stage.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    You will never guess where the money for the “25th Avenue Grade Separation Project” came from…

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    San Mateo Funding Request
    • Project: 25th Ave. Grade Separation
    • Phase: Construction
    • Cost Estimate: $165.3 mil

    Measure A request: $ 65.3 mil.
    State High Speed Rail Authority: $ 84.0 mil.
    Caltrans Section 190 Program: $ 10.0 mil.
    City of San Mateo match: $ 6.0 mil.
    Total: $165.3 mil.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    1) “The entire $180 million project also includes relocating the Hillsdale Caltrain station further north”
    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2016-08-09/high-speed-rail-considers-committing-to-caltrain-state-authority-to-vote-on-713m-for-electrification-84m-for-san-mateo/1776425166365.html

    2) What happened to the State High Speed Rail Authority: $ 84.0 mil?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    1) is this a good thing or a bad thing?

    Jerry Reply:

    1) It is a good thing.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    1) Because?
    Also, will it help, hinder, or have no impact on FSSF operations?

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Roland who wrote re San Mateo grade separation funding:

    2) What happened to the State High Speed Rail Authority: $ 84.0 mil?

    The CHSRA $84 million is still in the funding. see:

    https://cosm.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=5019819&GUID=99491D6C-61D6-41DE-B62C-3D8FB6147A4B

    This obligation was hidden away in the 2016 Authority business plan. It seems it was a back room deal that San Mateo negotiated. The only grade sep on the peninsula for which some funding was obligated. It is hidden in a footnote to an attachment to the 2016 Business Plan. So much for Authority transparency.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    We all knew about it, so it was transparent and not hidden.
    By the way, what is your Menlo Park doing about your grade separation problems? ??

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Lotsa stuff. Then two old fogeys scream loud and everybody else wanders off.

    http://www.almanacnews.com/news/2016/05/19/menlo-park-another-decade-another-grade-separation-study

    joe Reply:

    It seems it was a back room deal that San Mateo negotiated.

    The funding is public knowledge discussed at public meetings and reported in your local paper, the one you write to and complain about Caltrain.

    The city has spent years planning to raise the Caltrain tracks above street traffic at 25th, 28th and 31st avenues while seeking support from the High-Speed Rail Authority. T

    Apparently Morris needed to be actively informed and asked to approve San Mateo’s multi-year plans.

    Roland Reply:

    @Morris,

    1) Yes, this $84M was indeed a Tripousis backdoor deal (http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_080916_Item2_Consider_Approving_a_Peninsula_Corridor_Improvement_Plan.pdf) but it was never signed (I have an outstanding PRA out for a copy of the SIGNED agreement).

    2) The $84M is missing from the January 3rd appropriation request to the legislature: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/reports/2017/DOF_Cover_Funding_Plan_Report.pdf

    3) What is of more serious concern is that approximately $125M of FTA Formula funds dedicated to the EMU railcar replacement in the 2012 MOU have disappeared (they are misaccounted for in the funding request to the legislature) “FTA Formula Program funds include prior/current year grants of $24.91 million and future year commitments of $309.77 million. These Federal funds are committed by the MTC through the 2012 MOU.”
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/reports/2017/DOF_Cover_Funding_Plan_Report.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    “The Parties must execute a funding agreement for $84 million with the CHSRA before the award of the Construction Contract, currently scheduled for May 4, 2017. If the Parties do not execute the funding agreement with CHSRA by July 1, 2017, the JPB can terminate this Agreement with cause pursuant to subsection 5(c).”
    https://cosm.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=5019819&GUID=99491D6C-61D6-41DE-B62C-3D8FB6147A4B (Page 5 Termination).

    What could possibly go wrong???

    Roland Reply:

    @Morris: think positive: 4-track = automatic grade separation (as long as the 4 tracks are at grade) :-)

    [Reply]

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Morris: “Letter: Attempt to kill Caltrain”

    @ Joe:
    “Palo Alto Rail Corridor Study
    http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/38025

    Evidence that Caltrain ROW expansion improves quality of life. Benefits such as full grade separation and additional crossings for pedestrian and bicycles will reconnect the neighborhoods.

    Hate and negativity are your tools. Most residents will see the benefits of rail transit and ROW improvements.”

    Well Said!!!

    @ Joe: “Man who buys property next to ROW that existed and ran trains when Lincoln was president remains outraged over impacts to his property.”

    Maybe I should be outraged that I bought property next to an airport and didn’t realize that jets taking off make noise ;-)

    @ Joe: “Old retired man sits at home professing no knowledge as to why any working adult would want an improved Caltrain system.”

    Morris and his PAMPA buddies don’t care about improving life and transit on the peninsula. All they care about is keeping their little idyllic commune in a status quo. They have an illogical perception that Caltrain electrification, more trains, (and grade separations) will obliterate the entire peninsula. Never mind the fact that it will reduce diesel emissions, never mind that fact that electric is quieter, never mind that fact that electric is more efficient, never mind the fact that electric trains have much better performance, never mind the fact that oil/diesel prices can be quite volatile, and so on. They complain that more trains will strangle traffic on the peninsula, yet they oppose any grade separations. How come the typical traffic signals turning red every 30-90 seconds, don’t strangle peninsula traffic?

    They hype tier 4 diesels, even though electric trains are proven to be significantly better performing. The fact is that diesels are electricity generators driving electric motors for propulsion. Electrified trains the power is generated off site like at Hetch Hetchy, or Lake Shasta, or Lake Oroville. Now we are hearing more push for newfangled (unproven for rail) technologies such as batteries ah-la-Tesla, and fuel cells…

    They tout the trimming/cutting down of a few thousand trees (approx. 10% of all trees on Caltrain property) while this may sound like a lot, how many tens of thousands more are within ½ mile of the Caltrain ROW? They act as if it is sacrilege and a crime against humanity to cut down a tree; it’s the end of the world!!! The Palo Alto Daily Post (and Morris) would have us believe that Caltrain and HSR will clear-cut every tree within ¼ mile of the ROW. For every tree that is cut, a new tree will be planted. Why isn’t Morris organizing a lynch mob against Caltrans in Petaluma? http://abc7news.com/news/neighbors-say-caltrans-should-take-responsibility-for-petaluma-fire-damage/1582590/

    They worry that grade separations and additional tracks will take dozens upon dozens (hundreds??) of properties based on their own misguided facts, NOT based on any reality. They claim that elevated berms will divide the neighborhood. Since the tracks off limits to people, and are fenced in many places, and/or cloaked by trees/vegetation, (which will not be cut) how does this not divide the neighborhood?

    Morris do something productive in life, make life better for all. Don’t pitch your nimby-istic garbage/miss-information; preserving mediocre Caltrain service to anyone that will listen. Peninsula residents/commuters deserve a first class rail system that will take cars off the roads and carry over 100,000 trips each weekday. Many such as myself have been waiting for frequent electrified train service since the early 1980’s

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Thank you

    [Reply]

  31. Reedman
    Mar 13th, 2017 at 08:46
    #31

    Finally ….
    BART has received the OK from Sacramento to open the Warm Springs Extension.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-s-long-awaited-Warm-Springs-extension-to-10993146.php

    [Reply]

  32. John Nachtigall
    Mar 13th, 2017 at 12:45
    #32

    Hello Everyone

    The new operations report is out.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_031517_FA_Operations_Report.pdf

    Data first
    CP 1 was +4, delivering 9 out of planned 5
    CP2/3 was +15, delivering 17 out of a planned 2
    CP4 was -10 delivering 4 out of a planned 14

    The usual 5-15 parcels per project per month.

    They reset the ROW expenditure plan in December, again. So the current prediction (slide 34) is 150 million over budget of ROW acquisition.

    As far as overall schedule, SPI from the performance reports. SPI = 1.0 is on schedule

    CP 1 is 1.4
    CP2/3 is 0.89
    CP 4 is 0.76

    So this month it was CP1’s turn to be rebaselined. Going from 0.5 to 1.4 So it is now miraculously 40% ahead of plan instead of 50% behind. its a miracle. Honestly, who thinks CP1, which is 2+ years behind schedule and 150+ million over budget, is actually 40% ahead of “plan”

    Of course this is all news to the contractors, who want more money because of the delays

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-train-cost-increases-20170302-story.html

    I know you dont believe Tutor, but Dragado says the same thing.

    “Separately Dragado, a Spain-based firm that is teamed with U.S.-based Flatiron, said in an Aug. 23 letter that delays in obtaining land for construction along the rail route could end up costing $100 million to $110 million, though it could accelerate its pace and cut the increase to $60 million to $65 million.”

    So add that to the federal government report last month and now we have several independent sources claiming the same thing, ROW acquisition is causing both delay and expense to the project.

    In summary, we have reached the “spin” stage where delays are obfuscated.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Concentrate on that. It’s nice that you have a hobby that distracts you.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Troll is very upset the Project is executing on construction package 1.

    No miriacle. They gave a sound and justified reason for the improvement. please quote the reason for SP1 improvement. stop being a lame and now sour grapes troll.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Anyone else seeing this comment as left by me (EJ)? I didn’t leave it…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like you were impersonated by the Clairon du Garlique?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Sad you complain when the Schedule Performance Index improves when the average schedule plan is used in place of the early start plan.

    John writes:

    So add that to the federal government report last month and now we have several independent sources claiming the same thing, ROW acquisition is causing both delay and expense to the project.

    More evidence below John. Both the project and contractor said this exact thing last summer and it was printed in a newspaper. They even explain why – lawsuit delays.


    JUNE 14, 2016

    Another $63 million was added Tuesday to the cost of California’s high-speed rail project and the completion date for the first 29-mile leg was pushed back 17 months to August 2019, after the state won a lawsuit that had tied up land needed for construction for 4½ years.

    Ron Tutor, chairman of the lead company, Sylmar-based Tutor Perini Corp., said both sides compromised to get the project going again.

    “Unfortunately this was hanging over the job from the beginning, where we were unable to go to work because litigation was tying up all the properties,” he said in an interview.

    California faces a September 2017 deadline to spend the federal stimulus money. High-speed rail Chairman Jeff Morales told the board Tuesday that the state is “projecting that we will meet the deadline and be in advance of it.”

    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article83764897.html#storylink=cpy

    Feds say the project is on schedule to bill all ARRA funding by the 2017 deadline.

    [Reply]

  33. car(e)-free LA
    Mar 13th, 2017 at 17:13
    #33

    News from Florida:

    The Orlando station opening has been delayed until 2019
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/busi…137093528.html

    Brightline may expand to Tampa!

    http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire…htline-new-ceo

    In a Trains News Wire interview with both men, Reininger made it clear that the reason for the reorganization now is that the parent company intends to expand and replicate Brightline’s passenger rail blueprint to other markets, starting with the next segment from Orlando’s airport to Tampa, Fla., while “Dave can keep his hand on the wheel of the operating company.”

    “Tampa is Florida’s next largest population center. For years we’ve had an expression of interest from leaders in that marketplace who are more than a little interested in a connection into our service,” Reininger says, “So we will be able to research and apply ourselves to that opportunity for sure. And [Florida East Coast Railway] already controls the right-of-way into Jacksonville, so we will start to explore whether that is a feasible and reasonable alternative.”

    If I had to bet, I’d say this could reasonably be done by 2025, with stops in Lakeland and Disney (and I-Drive?)

    [Reply]

    Reedman Reply:

    This is Brian_FL, I haven’t been able to post for 2 weeks now. But since I have this opportunity I will take it. Apologies to Reedman. Your name and email came up when I replied here tonight.

    First, this message is to Robert Cruickshank: I implore you Robert, please fix your blog or shut it down. You are exposing emails of your contributors to random strangers. Still, the same issue exists weeks later after you were told about this issue by me and others.

    What will you do about it? Why do you not fix this issue? I don’t understand why you look the other way and do nothing.

    Now on to the news out of Florida. Yes Brightline has stated that Tampa is next. The second trainset was delivered to WPB today. Tampa is doable I think in about 7 to 10 years. Orlando will come online in 2022. It is looking pretty good here in Florida right now.

    AAF is following the 2006 State Rail Plan that FDOT released and updated in 2010. I am more convinced with each passing day that AAF will succeed.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Brightline says Orlando will come on line in 2019. Why do you think it will be further delayed? Or are you referring to an extension beyond Orlando Airport to I-Drive/Disney?

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Brightline is getting a dose of reality:
    http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12315928/debbie-mayfields-high-speed-rail-bill-passed-by-florida-senate-committee

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    This is Brian_FL not Michael,

    It isn’t quite what it may appear. The FL Senate bill has to go through two more committees before reaching the floor. And the president if the Senate is Joe Negron from the Treasure Coast. So there is a decent chance the Senate bill will pass. However, alot of the Tampa Bay area will support AAF and make the vote close. But the house bill, HB 269 must also pass in order to become law. So far no movement on it and it has 3 committee appearances too. Time is not on Debbie Mayfield’s side here. This is just the first round and 5 more to go. There are lots of supporters of AAF to knock these bills down.

    @ car(e) free, brightline will be lucky to reach Orlando in 2020. 2019 is doable only if things go perfect from now on out. At least AAF finally announced Tampa is next. And that is from the new executive director at FECI

    [Reply]

  34. les
    Mar 15th, 2017 at 19:23
    #34

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/Rail/pnwrc_PtDefiance/constructioncam/default.htm

    Amazing this little station will be running 22 Sounder and 14 Cascade trains through it plus be connected to Link. There is a Sounder train up on right background and a Link train center bottom. With Link connecting to Seatac and a few more Sounder trains coming online in the next few years it could be overwhelmed before it is finished. I’m looking forward to taking a new Siemens train through it this summer.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I wonder if the new Link connection and faster train time will mean more Oregonians will take the train to SeaTac instead of flying from PDX or driving.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    That’s an interesting thought. I definitely think Vancouverites will head north now and avoid crossing CRC, especially with a fare of only $25.00 to get to Seattle. The new services are definitely opening up options for the towns along the I-5 corridor.

    [Reply]

  35. Roland
    Mar 15th, 2017 at 20:13
    #35
  36. Roland
    Mar 15th, 2017 at 20:22
    #36

    Latest update on this morning’s highly entertaining board meeting: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-train-attack-20170315-story.html

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Video: https://youtu.be/cLVsP2Bpco4?t=534

    [Reply]

  37. Roland
    Mar 15th, 2017 at 21:46
    #37
  38. Roland
    Mar 16th, 2017 at 08:36
    #38

    Brisbane Baylands update: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2017-03-16/brisbane-to-study-baylands-environmental-issues-tied-to-transformative-proposal/1776425177380.html

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Yeah, but is it really T.O.D.?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Would you care to elaborate?

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    It is if the developer gets what they want, but not if Brisbane gets what they want.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Correct!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  39. Roland
    Mar 16th, 2017 at 11:44
    #39

    45-foot single-bore tunnel on the way to Santa Clara. Enjoy: http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/VTABARTSV_031317_packet.pdf

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    And here I thought the ventilation would never work.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    It does not.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Nice that they’re building the station so it can double as a blimp hangar or a large church. Wouldn’t want anyone to feel cramped or claustrophobic.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Yeah I am puzzled why the vertical shafts are so large. They’re certainly much bigger than the escalators they need to accommodate.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Well it looks like they may have actually saved money by boring the tunnel big enough that they can fit the station platforms right into it. So gotta splash out those contractor $$$ somewhere.

    [Reply]

  40. morris brown
    Mar 16th, 2017 at 16:32
    #40

    Trump’s proposed budget kills Caltrain FFGA funding

    Trump’s budget hits transit hard

    This change could lead to the cancellation of transit projects all around the country, from Caltrain’s electrification program, to Durham,

    (see item #6 in the table included in the article)

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    You all don’t understand. We need all of this money to upgrade out military.
    Why it’s going to take a least a Trillion Dollars to just upgrade out Nuclear Weapons Program.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    our

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    It’s pronounced “nucular”

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Plus, the report states:
    “While new transit projects would be eliminated from federal funding, the highway formula funds, which support new highway construction, would be retained.”
    Money for roads and lanes,
    and not rails and trains.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    The attack on HSR and Caltrain is ideological. There is no alignment, cost or plan that wouldn’t be criticized.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    Supposedly. With all the talk recently of “public private partnerships”, I strongly suspect House Republicans will greenlight road tolling, as doing so would allow them to gut the entire USDOT budget (a majority of which goes towards freeways).

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sure it is more complex than this and there is no reason why the law couldn’t be changed…. but you take money from the Federal Government and you want to put tolls on them you have to pay the Federal government back for all that tasty money you have been taking from the Federal government.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    But if you were to rebuild a very, very short stretch of highway on your own dime, I think you can toll it.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    This was car(e)-free LA, not agb5

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    It should be noted that “Image at top: Caltrain’s proposed electrification program” depicts Plan A (AKA 550 mm level boarding), not the CalFranKISSentrains which had the PB RSMFRs’ fingerprints all over it.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    That looks more like 8″ low platforms…

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Essentially MBTA with pantographs, total lack of ambition

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    His grace and contrition when proven wrong rival only his ability to learn

    [Reply]

    trentbridge Reply:

    Exactly what I think about Trump – can’t say sorry even when faced with the facts and refuses to listen let alone learn.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    Keyword: rough outline. The GOP will not kill long-haul Amtrak funding and Senators won’t allow their pork to be taken away.

    Trump can propose what he wants, but ultimately it comes down to what Republican Senators and House Budget Committee members will tolerate between each other. Trump will mindlessly rubber stamp whatever is placed in front of him by his own party.

    [Reply]

  41. Roland
    Mar 16th, 2017 at 18:39
    #41

    3/14 Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Hearing: https://youtu.be/7noG25tVmqg

    [Reply]

  42. Michael
    Mar 16th, 2017 at 19:38
    #42

    @ Robert Cruickshank. When will you fix this blog? I’ve resorted to using whoever randomly comes up when I refresh your webpage. It seems the names change. Sometimes I see their email addresses other times like now I just see their blog names. If this is how I must post here I will continue to do it. It is very frustrating to do this as I don’t like doing this. Yet, I have no other option.

    I have tried posting under my name and email address but it awaits in “moderation waiting” hell for weeks.

    Anyways, to all of you, have a good evening. Happy St Patricks Day!

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    This is posted by Brian _FL just in case anyone wondering

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    It seems to be working fine for me, except for caching, so I have to refresh to get new comments. The comments that are attributable to a particular user (for better or for worse) are attributed to that user.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I’m in the exact same place.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Worth noting that I am a registered user. Maybe that has something to do with it?

    [Reply]

    Ted K. Reply:

    Brian_FL here, not Ted K. I’m a registered user too. And I refresh the Web page and delete cookies and the browser cache. Nothing seems to work. Same issue on android phone, tablet, and my laptop. Under brian_fl all of my messages submitted stay in the awaiting moderation bin.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Obviously you haven’t checked your microwave recently.
    :-)

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    Brian_FL here, not Michael.
    Perhaps it’s my Samsung TV I bought a few years ago…

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Disqus cough Disqus

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    If we had Disqus, I’d upvote you right now.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Power to the small chat rooms!

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Hold on to your seats, Cruickshankncrew.
    Get to Merced with permanent rail
    for the temporary terminus there.
    Stockton that much nearer.
    Sacramento and you’re done.
    Get to Merced.
    -also-
    =Impeachment by 2018=
    (if not sooner)

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    What language is that?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    San Joaquinese.

    [Reply]

  43. Roland
    Mar 18th, 2017 at 20:49
    #43

    Eurotunnel freight shuttle footage showing trains carrying +/- 30 trucks each: https://youtu.be/3gpk08W4dEE?t=101

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    I’m envious. If we had this on the Peninsula, there wouldn’t be any trucks on either of the freeways.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Mmmm. Not really. The Eurotunnel is a choke point with no competition. The roads of the peninsula aren’t (despite sometimes feeling like it.)

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Can you elaborate on the “choke point” and “no competition” bits?

    [Reply]

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Yeah, the ferries all sank

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    :-) :-) :-)

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “The Tunnel when it works is fine,” said Helen Deeble, chief executive of P&O Ferries. “But it’s very much ‘a loo and a lightbulb’ experience. We’re trying to offer a different product.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/making-waves-the-ferry-thats-almost-too-big-for-the-ports-2191263.html

    [Reply]

  44. Roland
    Mar 19th, 2017 at 09:47
    #44
  45. Reality Check
    Mar 19th, 2017 at 20:55
    #45

    Ravenswood (and other) grade separations on the Menlo Park Rail Committee agenda for tomorrow, Monday, March 20th

    Some background/context from a friend:

    At the last Council meeting, council members discussed community feedback focusing on residents concerns about options that would increase the visibility of trains (a “split alternative” that would raise the tracks partway and depress streets partway).

    However, the “underpass” option that would only grade-separate Ravenswood would cut off the pedestrian/bike approaches between the Caltrain station and the library, gym, community and civic center buildings, and also SRI. The “community” voices being heard include neighbors next to the train, but do not yet include residents and visitors who want for themselves and their children be able to get to local community resources and jobs without driving, and value the ability to walk to the library etc..

    Council members also expressed concern that one of the “passing track” options (with 3 tracks) would extend through Menlo Park (see PDF page 11). The perception is that the passing track offers no benefit to Menlo Park and only drawbacks.

    However, studies from Caltrain and High Speed Rail show that when the amount of train service increases (with HSR, or even with more local service), passing tracks are essential to providing a high-quality train schedule, without “bunching” that would create a long wait between trains and then several trains in rapid succession. Bunching would also make traffic backups worse since the gates would stay down for most of 10-15 minutes in a row.

    Anyone interested in raising these (or other points), the meeting is at 5 pm on Monday, March 20 in City Council Chambers.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Ah, the sweet smell of the 150 MPH PAMPA tunnels…

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That’s cute. Tell me about it once important things like the DTX are built. And for that matter, I’d prefer 150 MPH tunnels through deserving towns like RWC. jk.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    To keep the math simple: 50 miles in a half hour is an average speed of 100. Bump it up to 150 it’s 20 minutes. not worth it. It be longer than 20 minutes but 20 minutes is good enough to say it’s not worth it.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Do you understand the subtle difference between maximum and average speed limits and the impact this has on the Prop1A jackpot?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes.
    adirondacker12800 Reply:
    March 19th, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    ….. Bump it up to 150 it’s 20 minutes. not worth it. It be longer than 20 minutes….
    I’m sorry you don’t understand that half an hour is is 30 minutes and a third of an hour is 20 minutes. …. 150 divided by 50…
    … it would be longer. And not worth it.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Do you understand the subtle difference between maximum and average speed limits and the impact this has on the Prop1A jackpot?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    And how is RWC going to pay for these 150 MPH tunnels, pray tell?

    [Reply]

  46. Roland
    Mar 20th, 2017 at 08:32
    #46

    Breaking News: Caltrain’s White House petition was signed by less than 25% of the average daily ridership: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-9600-american-jobs-tell-fta-approve-funding-caltrain-electrification

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Is that shocking? Most people don’t know about it.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Every Caltrain rider knew about it and refused to sign it because it supported a project that will knock 200 seats (and 5 toilettes) off per train (I am one of them).

    The only people who signed this petition either related to 9,600 alternate reality “jobs” or the lunatic fringe.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    The tens of thousands of Caltrain rides all told you this fact because you are friends with all of the tens of thousands of riders.

    Now march into the next Caltrain meeting and demand they all start taking you seriously.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    Ha! Good one. : )

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8E_zMLCRNg

    [Reply]

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @Joe: “ The tens of thousands of Caltrain rides all told you this fact because you are friends with all of the tens of thousands of riders.”

    Yes, good one ;-) And Bob Doty is his uncle ;-)

    @Joe: “Now march into the next Caltrain meeting and demand they all start taking you seriously.”

    No don’t do that, the meeting will never end. We can’t ever expect them (anyone) to take him seriously, he speaks on nearly every item, tells them that they are clueless and VTA would do so much better job at managing Caltrain.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    I read the Caltrain meeting minutes. If Caltrain were VTA, he’d accost them as well.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    How about reading the VTA minutes for a change?

    [Reply]

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @Roland “ Every Caltrain rider knew about it and refused to sign it because it supported a project that will knock 200 seats (and 5 toilettes) off per train (I am one of them).”

    How the hell do you know this?

    Was it advertised on TV?

    Was it frequently announced on all trains?

    Were notices given to every Caltrain customer?

    It’s very likely that a small percentage of Caltrain customers knew about this petition. In fact a lot of them probably don’t know anything about the electrification funding.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Did you miss all the posters plastered at every station?
    Did you watch the evening news? http://abc7news.com/traffic/caltrain-starts-online-petition-to-save-electrification-project/1765054/
    Do you read the papers? http://www.sfexaminer.com/caltrain-launches-white-house-petition-losing-federal-funding-modernization/

    Do you ride Caltrain???

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Do you have the charisma and personal relationships with all riders as Roland???

    We didn’t sign the petition and use Caltrain and support the project. Not every supporter wants to sign a meaningless petition. It’s not going to make Kevin McCarthy’s heart grow three sizes larger or sway an orange man insisting he was bugged.

    Do you ride The Caltrain??? Not everyone knows.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    No. I ride my bike from Tamien to San Francisco and back everytime it rains to save the planet.

    [Reply]

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @Roland: “Did you miss all the posters plastered at every station?”

    Didn’t see anything at the stations I have used: Millbrae, 22nd, San Carlos. I am one that tends to look at all announcement/flyers at stations and on trains, if I didn’t see anything then most other riders didn’t see anything either. Many people don’t bother to look at bulletin boards, etc. I believe Friends of Caltrain volunteers were out distributing flyers at some stations. My experience with distributing flyers has been that most people are not interested and don’t want to be bothered.

    “Did you watch the evening news? http://abc7news.com/traffic/caltrain-starts-online-petition-to-save-electrification-project/1765054/

    Yes, I watch NBC 11, didn’t see anything about the petition. They reported that the funding was denied/put off and Caltrain/local politicians were going to lobby Washington, no mention of online petition.

    “Do you read the papers? http://www.sfexaminer.com/caltrain-launches-white-house-petition-losing-federal-funding-modernization/

    Yes and once again I don’t recall anything about online petition. Was it in the printed edition of the Examiner or just the online edition? What about the Chronicle, the Mercury News, numerous other papers?

    “Do you ride Caltrain???”

    Yes, since 1977… Daily weekday rider. Occasional weekend rider.

    You claim that “every” Caltrain rider knew about it and “refused” to sign it. You claim that flyers were plastered at every station. These claims cannot be substantiated. I found out about the petition on the Friends of Caltrain/Green Caltrain blog.

    I do share your concerns regarding bathrooms and capacity, but lashing out constant vitriol does little to change people’s minds. It’s much better to discuss this in a civil and courteous manner.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah…

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If toilets are such a big deal, add some public restrooms at RWC station. Everybody will be fairly close to one at any given point on their ride, if their ride is long enough to warrant a restroom, assuming restroom access in SF and SJ. Quit wasting passenger space with restrooms on board.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    What if someone has an emergency? Like they can’t wait, this can and does happen…

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    BART makes it work. LA Metro makes it work. Caltrain can too.

    [Reply]

    Reality Check Reply:

    BART “makes it work” with forcing trapped riders into floor-shitting and pissing like this:

    Nearly 300 passengers were stuck on a BART train for at least 1.5 hours at the Walnut Creek station Saturday night after a fire broke out in an electrical room just underneath the tracks.

    “A passenger on the train told ABC7 that some passengers were missing flights out of SFO due to the delay. He also said that children needing to use the restroom were ushered into an empty car that was turned into a makeshift bathroom.”

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Yes. There’s one toilet per train for emergencies.

    Mr. Pooper wants more than emergency facilities – he’s asking for a mobile toilet facility.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    All aboard the porta-potty express. I’m your conductor Roland….

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Enjoy your new set of wheels: https://youtu.be/Y3BIAuEWzaY?t=85

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of 762 seats and six diesel toilets vs. 573 seats and one electric toilet it is that you do not understand.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    The diesel toilet is abysmally slow to flush?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Your grace and contrition when proven wrong rival only your ability to learn.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Closed Petition
    This petition has been archived because it did not meet the signature requirements.
    It can no longer be signed.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Seriously though. What are we going to do? Could the Bay area Counties create a single transit taxing district like Sound Transit, then pass a Measure M level plan? Does this power need to come from the state?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Congress can pass a budget with the project marked formfundingZ

    The Senate in particular could negotiate a deal with Senate Dems which requires dot to fund Caltrain and force it on the house as a condition to pass the budget.

    It’s not a sure thing but recall the congress authorizes spending.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    D-E-L-I-R-I-O-U-S.
    Now march into the next Caltrain meeting and demand they all start taking you seriously.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Never gone to the regular meetings. I hear you speak at each opportunity, multiple times per meeting.

    Is this true or are you being impersonated by a gang?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Please meet the gang: https://youtu.be/Yne6t4I0LPQ

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Nope. No blind links.

    Seems a series of people have impersonated you. No single person would attended and speak that often. Clearly a gang of imposters.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The only holes who impersonated me came with built-in porta-potty plumbing.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Roland: “D-E-L-I-R-I-O-U-S.
    Now march into the next Caltrain meeting and demand they all start taking you seriously.”

    They are more likely to take Joe more seriously than Roland seriously. I don’t always agree with Joe, but at least he is courtious, unlike Roland.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Fair enough. California will get something, but the bay area still needs a single regional transit agency.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Pardon my vernacular but WTF does this have to do with increasing Caltrain capacity?

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Nothing directly. It has to do you with funding electrification, which improves capacity indirectly.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of 762 seats and six diesel toilets vs. 573 seats and one electric toilet it is that you do not understand.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    We count capacity as people and not seats. Maybe you should go over this at the next Caltrain meeting with demonstrarion. Remain seated at all times.

    Roland Reply:

    Go and tell that to the FTA.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/38YqClA0dW8?t=987

    Roland Reply:

    Oh and BTW, we just discovered that the SamTrans retards managed to increase peak hour capacity by a whopping grand total of 16 (sixteen) seats AFTER adding a sixth train and trashing 30 bathrooms which is pretty good considering that we are only blowing $2.5B on the most important project in the nation. Par-Tay!!! J-O-B-S!!!

    Are we having fun yet?

    Roland Reply:

    I forgot the best part which is losing another 360 seats the day they open the other set of doors.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s the most important project in the country if the country is the Bay Area. Otherwise not so much.

    Clem Reply:

    Open the high doors –> transition to level boarding –> allow unassisted boarding and shorter dwells –> increase punctuality and increase average speed –> increase blended system track capacity –> increase frequency –> reduce crowding –> attract more ridership

    I love it when a plan comes together.

    Roland Reply:

    “We have recommended in past letters that the Authority consider adopting bi-Ievel trains from the outset because the loading platform level would be consistent with the lower level used by Caltrain and Metrolink (and ACE if there are joint operations in future). In our discussions, the Authority indicated that they will consider inputs from the new system operator (discussed below). We recommend that this issue be addressed carefully before HSRA commits itself to a rolling stock fleet design.”
    http://www.cahsrprg.com/files/PRG-letter-of-7-Feb-2017-Reduced.pdf

    I love it when a plan comes together.

    Clem Reply:

    Mr. Thompson’s letter is a good one, filled with thoughtful ideas, but remains just a letter from Mr. Thompson.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindlier provide a link to Mr. Tillier’s letter to the Legislature.
    Soapboxes/playpens need not apply.

    Roland Reply:

    CPUC Section 185035.

    (a) The authority shall establish an independent peer review group for the purpose of reviewing the planning, engineering, financing, and other elements of the authority’s plans and issuing an analysis of the appropriateness and accuracy of the authority’s assumptions and an analysis of the viability of the
    authority’s financing plan, including the funding plan for each corridor required pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 2704.08 of the Streets and Highways Code.

    (b) The peer review group shall include all of the following:
    (1) Two individuals with experience in the construction or operation of high-speed trains in Europe, Asia, or both, designated by the Treasurer.
    (2) Two individuals, one with experience in engineering and construction of high-speed trains and one with experience in project finance, designated by the Controller.
    (3) One representative from a financial services or financial consulting firm who shall not have been a contractor or subcontractor of the authority for the previous three years, designated by the Director of Finance.
    (4) One representative with experience in environmental planning, designated by the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing.
    (5) Two expert representatives from agencies providing intercity or commuter passenger train services in California, designated by the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing.
    (c) The peer review group shall evaluate the authority’s funding plans and prepare its independent judgment as to the feasibility and reasonableness of the plans, appropriateness of assumptions,
    analyses, and estimates, and any other observations or evaluations it deems necessary.
    (d) The authority shall provide the peer review group any and all information that the peer review group may request to carry out its responsibilities.
    (e) The peer review group shall report its findings and conclusions to the Legislature no later than 60 days after receiving the plans.

    zorro Reply:

    So? The CHSRA has a peer review group, and is overseen by the Legislature or of a part of the Legislature, that’s two groups Roland.

    Clem Reply:

    So let’s just get this straight– when the peer review group raises a good idea, PBHSRA snaps to attention and executes it?

    Roland Reply:

    So let’s get this straight – when some blogger comes up with an incredibly stupid idea, the SamTrans retards snap to attention and execute it?

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s important to keep a broader picture here: Prop 1A is still happening and Prop 1A requires Caltrain modernization. The absolute worst case scenario here is that the project is shoved back 1-2 years as Caltrain would have to rebid the contracts. In the meantime, I think it’s safe to say that a secure source of funding for Prop 1A will be found and approved.

    Also in the state legislature there’s SB-1 (Beall) which could be amended to pay for Calmod in the first place.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Prop1A never said anything about 79 MPH. Did you read the LAO letter?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Tiny shorts required speed limits written in proposition 1a.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    No they did not.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Gov Brown mentioned Caltrain twice in an video interview.

    Gov met with State Dems, said it was the largest attended meeting he’s ever seen since he started in the 70’s. When asked to describe the meeting topics, he mentioned Caltrain twice.

    This is a State priority and 1/9 Americans is a California.

    [Reply]

  47. Roland
    Mar 20th, 2017 at 18:29
    #47
  48. Roland
    Mar 21st, 2017 at 00:24
    #48
  49. Jerry
    Mar 21st, 2017 at 13:38
    #49

    And in CA HSR news:

    The California Senate appointed Senator Jim Beall to the Authority Board of Directors as an Ex Officio member. Senator Beall has long been a champion of high-speed rail as well as other transportation and connectivity projects throughout the state.

    In 2016, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1813, which added two non-voting ex officio members to the Board. One member is to be a Member of the Senate, appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, and the other is to be a Member of the Assembly, appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. Senator Beall fills the Senate Committee on Rules’ position on the Board, while the Assembly position has yet to be filled.

    [Reply]

  50. agb5
    Mar 21st, 2017 at 14:59
    #50

    New photos on Flickr.
    Fresno River Viaduct has a flying saucers theme: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/33574724515/
    Tuolumne bridge has fancy streetlights: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/33574792435/
    Ready to lay tracks to infinity and beyond: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/32760162003/

    All: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/

    [Reply]

  51. Roland
    Mar 21st, 2017 at 19:49
    #51
  52. Roland
    Mar 21st, 2017 at 21:39
    #52

    Breaking News: Correct CalFranKISSentrain seat count is 558 (not 573) seats. 6-car Bombardiers mysteriously grow from 792 to 804 seats after electrification to make up for shortfall!!!

    Please note that, according to the above figures, an 8-car CalFranKISSentrain will have 60 (804-744) FEWER seats than a 6-car Bombardier set!!!

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    So, my count was off by less than 3 percent. Clearly this changes everything!

    Different notions of “hauling ass,” I suppose.

    Source please?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://goo.gl/R9QKFy

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Well, well, well, this is getting REALLY interesting: It looks like someone may have accidentally reported incorrect existing seat counts to the FTA:
    #217: 605 seats (instead of 650)
    #225: 620 seats (instead of 762)

    Ooh-la-la. Quelle affaire!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    #217 was replaced with a 6-car Bombardier set last July. http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2016-07-15/caltrain-replacing-gallery-cars-with-bombardiers/1776425165069.html
    The FTA Core Capacity grant application is now off by over 300 seats (and counting)

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    All because of Caltrain getting stereotyped by the FTA into a little box marked “commuter rail” that causes the system capacity to be measured in seats, ignoring standees.

    Meanwhile, BART (which lives in a different little box marked “heavy rail”) is increasing capacity by removing seats, because FTA counts standees for heavy rail.

    Yes, using mathematics you can demonstrate that Caltrain is failing the criteria for a Core Capacity Grant for commuter rail. Is this a shameful scandal or the result of outdated categorization, as Caltrain morphs into something closer to “heavy rail” ?

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    That’s a heavy question.
    Would heavy toilets help??

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Every ass hole should come with built-in porta-potty plumbing.

    [Reply]

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @Clem: “All because of Caltrain getting stereotyped by the FTA into a little box marked “commuter rail” that causes the system capacity to be measured in seats, ignoring standees.”

    I hate the term commuter rail, because it gives people the impression of the outdated model of: from suburb to city/CBD in the morning and from city to suburb in the afternoon, heavy service during peak commute hours and little service outside of peak commute hours. Applying nonsensical labels to transit systems serves no purpose other than to create an unfair advantage of one system over the other. This was used by the Larry Dahms led, BART-centric MTC in producing the SCR-74 Peninsula Mass Transit Study (1985). It made BART look great by using crush (seated+standing) loads and frequent headways, vs. seated only loads (10-car trains) on 5-minutes headways for electrified Caltrain. A ten car electric Caltrain could seat twice as many seats on a 10-car BART train. Caltrain gallery cars were designed to carry 100 standees crush load throughout the car. They gave BART a crush load capacity of about 200 standees in addition to 72 seated passengers. They also lowballed the BART construction costs and highballed the electric Caltrain costs.

    Drop the stupid irrational labels and make a true capacity comparison of seats vs. seats and crush load vs. crush load. Transit vs. transit, not commuter rail vs. heavy rail.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    How about going back to school and reporting back when you are done with your homework?
    https://youtu.be/38YqClA0dW8?t=987

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News!!! The FTA spreadsheet was created on 9/26/15, a full two months after #217 was upgraded to a 762-seat 6-car Bombardier.

    Coincidentally (not), one of the characters listed on the Caltrain FFGA spreadsheet happens to be one of the individuals involved in a prior fracas with the FTA: http://www.metro-magazine.com/rail/news/285447/fta-houston-metro-viol.

    Are we having fun yet?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Typo error: the spreadsheet was created on 9/26/16, not 9/26/15.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “In order for the FTA to continue to direct federal funds to these projects, Metro will be required to submit a written affirmation of its intention to rebid the contract and detail its plan to achieve full compliance with all federal requirements.”

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “Pauline Higgins, Metro’s general counsel, was fired in February following allegations that Metro documents may have been shredded — documents that had been requested by someone under the state’s Public Information Act.”
    http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2010/04/fired-metro-lawyer-had-wanted-agency-to-work-on-keeping/1270667719.column

    [Reply]

  53. Roland
    Mar 22nd, 2017 at 15:53
    #53

    Breaking News: http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article140188783.html

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei ruled against a temporary restraining order sought by Kings County and other opponents. He set an April 19 hearing to consider a preliminary injunction, one day before the state anticipates selling a portion of the nearly $10 billion in bonds that voters approved in 2008.

    An opponents’ lawsuit challenges AB1889, which was signed into law last year by high-speed rail proponent Gov. Jerry Brown. It changed previous laws to allow high-speed rail bonds to be spent to electrify 55 miles of track from south of San Jose to San Francisco.

    The suit says the change is beyond what California voters approved nearly a decade ago, and that only voters can make the change.

    “This is their way to get around the financial straitjacket. That’s the whole purpose of AB1889,” said David Schonbrunn, president of the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund that joined in the lawsuit.

    Lawmakers and the California High Speed Rail Authority say it was merely clarifying legislation that authorized $1.1 billion for transit improvements at both ends of the high-speed rail project, and that the Legislature could act on its own.

    Rail authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley noted that opponents have failed for more than five years to block the project while succeeding only in driving up delays and costs. Financing has been moving ahead after plaintiffs in the biggest lawsuit lost and decided last year not to appeal.

    An injunction now “would harm the public interest, by putting billions of public dollars at risk,” the state argued in its court filing. However, the bullet train’s future also remains uncertain because it relies on significant federal funding, and the Republican-controlled Congress does not support the project.

    Of course the Finance Department is not named in the latest Lawsuit, and says they have a judgement that says they can sell the Bonds if they want to(Carte Blanche), so it’s another Win for the CHSRA

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Noted Constitutional scholar Morris Brown’s next big deadline of doom is April 19.
    That’s when plaintiffs can ask again for an injunction, and they will try again.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    “This is their way to get around the financial straitjacket. That’s the whole purpose of AB1889,” said David Schonbrunn, president of the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund that joined in the lawsuit.

    TRANSDEF tells me Prop1a was a straight jacket, something to slow or stop a high-speed rail project.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    That might be, but it doesn’t seem like the plans of Mice and Men, by the losers, are bearing any real fruit in their harvest. Too bad.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Flashman has a mousetrap to terminate the plans of mice.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Flashman has a mousetrap, made by ACME, Wile E. Coyote recommended…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The straight jacket was to keep it on a straight 220 MPH line, not the other way around. Go and find money for ECR LRT if you want seatless and toiletless A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N.

    [Reply]

    wdobner Reply:

    Do you think ECR warrants LRT?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Whatever it takes to keep Clem amused somewhere other than the Caltrain ROW.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Judge allows California high-speed rail funding to continue

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Morris you’re awfully quiet this evening.

    “Gov. Brown ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Federal Caltrain Funding”

    http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12318115/brown-cautiously-optimistic-about-federal-caltrain-funding

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    OK les… I am indeed around at times.

    At the MTC meeting today 3-22-2017, Steve Heminger made remarks regarding project funding and the Trump budget.

    Video at: 2 minutes:

    https://youtu.be/JTQOop4_leI

    Auto generated transcript of these remarks:

    Caltrain electrification which as you know does not have a full funding grant agreement it’s that close maybe it’s that close we don’t know but it’s in terms of sequence it’s at the finish line trying to get over as well as BART which is seeking to reinvest in its system and seek core capacity money those four at least I’ve I’ll mention a couple of things if I could just so that I give you is full of pictures I can what I included in attachment 3 in your packet is the queue these are all the projects that are either they’d there they are they receive their full funding grant agreement and there that’s denoted on the in the chart in the stage of development. Or they’re waiting to get to that place in the queue and I’ve indicated with arrows the various projects in the bay area. And I wanted to make a couple of of points about that one is the transbay terminal phase 2 was not included because they’re not formally in the queue but they’re they’re clear plan on our long range plan plan bay area contemplates that project getting new start money. I secondly as the chairman indicated the Caltrain project is very much hanging in the balance right now I don’t think we could ask for a better lobbyists than the governor of California and he is back there doing that right now it but we but I don’t think were encouraged by what we heard in Washington. And in addition to the particular issue that looms over Caltrain which is its connection to the high speed rail program which a lot of our Republican members of Congress from California don’t like there is also the fact that if the president’s budget were implemented as proposed I’ve no project that doesn’t have a full funding grant agreement would get funded and that includes Caltrain which would be sort of right there at the window of the teller when they draw the shades down and say the bank is closed. So I I think the president’s budget submission highlights the peril frankly that that project is in and we’re certainly going to do our dead level best to get that contract signed but right now it’s on the wrong side of that finish line.

    So I wouldn’t take these remarks from Heminger to be “cautiously Optimistic” at all.

    A friend told me today, last evening he was called on a survey about Caltrain, which turned out to obviously be a “push survey” leading to perhaps a ballot measure to fund Caltrain.

    Finally today on the Court hearing. Judge just decided to not grant the TRO since only non-state funds currently be spent. Note the hearing in April is set before any bonds will be sold, and an innunction can be obtained at that time.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Fox and Hounds

    The determination to build the wall should change the debate over a California controversy: high-speed rail.

    If the feds have that kind of money for a totally useless wall, then they should be able to contribute $20-plus billion to high-speed rail. Easy.

    http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2017/03/theres-money-wall-theres-money-high-speed-rail/

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Yep, most come here in airliners, from Asia, and just over stay their Visa’s, ICE will just ignore them, one Korean guy came out and said He was here illegally, nobody believed Him(He doesn’t have brown skin), as do rabid Republicans in their Racist Froth to deport every last brown skinned person, US Citizen or not.

    In Nazi Occupied France during WWII, people feared the phrase “Your Papers Please”, why?

    It often could mean deportation to Forced Labor Camps(Work Makes You Free, was in German above the entrance gate), where people were worked to death as Slaves for the War Effort for the Third Reich, since they were given minimal food, water and clothing, by making walking skeletons destined for the furnaces, that’s how the Nazi’s built their Tanks, Aircraft(the Me-262-a1 was one, as was the Me-263(the Komet, a rocket powered tailless interceptor), the V1 and V2 were two others(V stands for Vengeance Weapon, V1 was the 1st cruise missile, the V2 was the 1st suborbital Rocket(impossible to stop, all one could do was to destroy the launch sites and the portable launchers, same as a later Soviet skud missile really), which led to the Apollo Program, etc, etc, etc), the 262 was the 1st operational Jet Fighter in Combat(Heinkel made a prototype Jet Fighter before that, but it was never approved), some 262’s were shot down by P51 fighters in a slight dive or 262’s were caught attempting to land or takeoff and shot down(most were w/o fuel or parts cause of 24/7/365 bombing raids by the Brits(Night) and by the US(Daylight), those that could fly, could not fly more than 24 hours without being overhauled), 600mph in flight, slower otherwise due to danger of flaming out(Dive brakes would have helped in their attacks on Bombers, since the Jets were so damned FAST compared to the Bombers, this was from a Brit pilot who flew a 262 after the war as an evaluation of the Jet’s capabilities, I read, the 262 was also nick named “the Flying Gas Tank”), today not so much using GE engines), Guns, Ammo, etc, etc, etc, some of which near the end were being built underground at great cost in Human Life, if the Bombs didn’t get you, the work would…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    You are on the wrong blog. May I suggest a playpen commensurate with your immense knowledge of all technical matters rail http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-big-picture.html?

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    It’s a sad day when true experts like Roland resort to sniping rather than stating their recommendations clearly or debating the message, not the messenger. What a loss.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand how one can be expected to debate a nut diatribing on WWII, the Gestapo and P51 fighters let alone state any recommendation other than a certificate of admission to the local loony bin.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/R1Ig7tMFibQ?t=239

    [Reply]

    Les Reply:

    Morris, California will be building lines to phoenix, Tijuana and Reno and you will still be saying it ain’t happening. Keep dreamn dude.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Think about it. Opposition was in the Valley and support is highest at the endpoints. The Valley is a done deal. Ergo fights over.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    CV opposition is probably driven by the fact that’s where the impacts are happening without residents any service in foreseeable future. There’s CV political noise and exaggerated complaints over land acquisition.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Has it ever crossed your mind that there is a remote possibility that they could be acquiring land in the wrong place?

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Yes. I considered their maybe alternatives but never saw any litigant offer an alternative route or show why it HSR’s path was “wrong” and have them stick with it. (Kings CO station site was on a perched water table. I think it’s been moved.

    Kern Co didn’t offer any alternatives and Bakersfield endorsed a ROW after they realized their EIR wouldn’t delay the project.

    What do you have to offer except pretending that you understand that which you do not understand?

    [Reply]

    Les Reply:

    Also, rural politicians think if it is suitable for a tractor then it’s good enough, otherwise a waste of taxpayer money.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Reno? Nah.

    [Reply]

  54. Roland
    Mar 22nd, 2017 at 21:10
    #54
  55. Roland
    Mar 22nd, 2017 at 21:14
    #55

    Guess Cruickshank will never fix his blog…

    Brian_FL here, not Roland.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not true.
    Robert just did exactly that and he deserves a Y-U-U-U-U-U-G-E great big thank you from all of us.

    The problem is that your id has been suspended/deleted (that’s why your comments end up on the moderation queue) and you need to ask Robert to look into the issue. I personally have no idea what you could possibly have done to deserve suspension (unless someone else used your id to do something seriously naughty), so feel free to use mine to post the latest and greatest updates on AAF until the issue is resolved (we miss you!!!)

    [Reply]

    JJJ Reply:

    I dont think thats the issue. When I post from this PC, mine go through. When I post from another PC, they get stuck in moderation forever.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Clear the browser cache on the other PC and see if that resolves the problem(?)

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Brian_FL here. Well I tried posting under a new user name and from a different computer at work. Still same issues – either they go to waiting moderation or someone else’s name shows up when I hit reply. The names change often lol until I clear the cache and cookies in the Web browsers.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    What browser are you using?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Brian_FL both chrome and explorer also use android phone, Samsung tablet and 2 laptops, all the same issues on each one. It’s a website issue. Never had this issue until a month ago.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    And everything is OK on each device if you use my id?

    [Reply]

  56. Roland
    Mar 23rd, 2017 at 13:16
    #56

    “Funding for Caltrain electrification needs to be confirmed by June 30, or it would need to renegotiate its contract, adding further delay and cost to the $2Billion project.”

    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2017/03/california-holds-off-on-hsr-bonds-for-caltrain-electrification-while-exploring-fund-swap-and-even-private-funding/

    [Reply]

  57. datacruncher
    Mar 23rd, 2017 at 16:07
    #57

    New PPIC statewide survey results out today

    Today, about three in ten Californians (33% adults, 28% likely voters) say the state’s high -speed rail system is very important for the state’s future quality of life and economic vitality. In our surveys since 2012, between 28 and 36 percent of adults have said the same. In our current survey, Democrats (37%) are nearly three times as likely as Republicans (13%) to say the high-speed rail system is very important for the state’s future (31% among independents). Across regions, Los Angeles residents (42%) are most likely to say it is very important. The likelihood of saying high-speed rail is very important declines with increasing age and income.
    ………
    Californians are closely divided between favoring (48%) and opposing (46%) a high-speed rail system in California.

    A total of 66 percent say they would be in favor if the system cost less, while 28 percent would still be opposed. Among likely voters, a majority oppose building a high-speed rail system (54%), and 37 percent would still be opposed if it cost less. In response to a similar question last year, 52 percent of adults and 44 percent of likely voters said they favored building the system.

    Across regions today, support for the system is highest in Los Angeles (56%) and lowest in the Central Valley (39%). Democrats (55%) and independents (47%) are far more likely than Republicans (22%) to be in favor, and Latinos (54%) and African Americans (49%) are somewhat more likely than whites (41%) to be in favor.

    Across age groups, a majority of young Californians favor the system (57% 18 to 34), and support declines with increasing age (47% 35 to 54, 40% 55 and older). Those who approve of Governor Brown are much more likely than those who disapprove to favor the system (59% to 20%).

    http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_317MBS.pdf

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “Across regions today, support for the system is highest in Los Angeles (56%) and lowest in the Central Valley (39%).” Does anyone remember who decided to start this piece of garbage in the CV?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people of Ohio, Florida and other red states who refused the money the Federal Government was offering as long as it could be spent fast?

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The people decided:

    (f) In selecting corridors or usable segments thereof for
    construction, the authority shall give priority to … the need to test and certify trains operating at speeds
    of 220 miles per hour

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Which takes us right back to the mess in downtown Fresno. How the hell are they going to go through there at 220 MPH???

    [Reply]

    Les Reply:

    Have you ever seen a passenger board at 220? It’s not pretty. In some circles they call it suicide.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    So the new “plan” is that every train will stop in Fresno then? If so, why do we need a 220 MPH ROW and associated carnage to do 0 MPH and whatever happened to LA to SF in two hours and 40 minutes???

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s a hint that some of the trains would not be making it in 2:40 minutes with that part about 24 stations.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The only time requirements in Prop1A are for NON-STOP trains.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Prop1a does not say that Roland, I’ve read it, so has everyone else. To pickup, or drop off passengers, all trains stop.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Prop1a doesn’t dictate any operating speed nor stops. There is no requirement to run 2:40 MPH service between SF and LA.

    The system it describes has to have capabilities: train sets capable of sustained 220 MPH operation and Prop1a gives travel times between stations such as 2;40.

    From Gilroy meetings, I asked and the HSR rep clarified that the alignment design is for 220 MPH operation. It’s not a commitment to operate at that speed.

    To qualify for Prop1a money, all designs and construction with Prop1a $ and matching $ needs to be for a system design/description capable of a 2:20 travel time.

    For that reason the alignment in Gilroy will have 16ft sound walls designed to mitigate 220 MPH trains. That design doesn’t require any service operation speed.

    As an example, BART is designed for higher speeds than they current operate to reduce maintenance costs. The design dictates maximum speeds, not operating or minimum speeds.

    Roland’s been baiting people – he’s a master at it.

    Roland Reply:

    Does your frontal orifice come with built-in porta-potty plumbing?

    Roland Reply:

    @Zorro, here is the relevant section of Streets & Highway Code:
    http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-09.html

    Kindly provide a link to your alternate reality version.

    agb5 Reply:

    Prop1A is all about “initiating construction” of a piece of hardware that is “designed to achieve” certain characteristics.
    Prop1A is silent on the characteristics of the software that will run in the hardware

    Roland Reply:

    (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 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 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

    joe Reply:

    Roland punted. No surprise — now he’ll change the subject.

    The above requires HSR produce a “plan” and a “report”.

    (1) a detailed funding plan for that corridor or usable segment thereof that

    (2) a report or reports, prepared by one or more financial services firms,

    Above doesn’t require service – it states what is in the report.

    joe Reply:

    Note (1) the funding plan and (2) report are financial documents prepared by the HSRA or financial consultants.

    Neither contain operational or technical. information.

    Don’t expect Roland will explain anything– he’s in cut ‘n’ paste and run to a new topic mode.

    agb5 Reply:

    220 mph ROW

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Looks good to me. Is there any problem I don’t know about?

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    If I’m reading these schedules right they plan on averaging 177 from Fresno to Bakersfield, ie, 110 miles in 38 mins. With slow downs at stops they bill be buzzing along.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/ridership/ridership_revenue_source_doc5.pdf

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    38 minutes includes a 6.3 minute slowdown-and-stop-and-accelerate.
    A non-stopping train would cover 110miles in 31.7 minutes, averaging 208mph.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Which takes us right back to the mess in downtown Fresno. How the hell are they going to go through there at 220 MPH???

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Do we have any solid evidence that they intend to operate at 220 MPH through downtown Fresno?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    No.

    I asked this Q at the Gilroy HSR meeting and The CHSR Rep said they are doing a design for 220 MPH for the Gilroy alignment. He specifically said that doesn’t mean CA will operate trains at that speed.

    Roland Reply:

    Yes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B80uFwx71YrKYU1NNGNxV0ZDdVE/view
    This is the evidence they submitted in court last year (the famous “Vacca memo”) to prove that they could make LA union to SJ in two hours and 10 minutes.

    joe Reply:

    I see Roland ran away from referencing Prop1a text because it doesn’t support his mistaken understanding.

    CHSR must plan and design a system with a capability to allow 2:40 travel time.
    CHSR must buy trainsets capable of 220 MPH sustained speed.

    Capability isn’t a operating requirement.

    A capability will be verified and validated. Travel time validation will happen by analysis of travel time on the designed ROW with simulated train performance.

    I just helped you understand that which you do not understand.

    Roland Reply:

    Do we have any solid evidence that they intend to operate at 220 MPH through downtown Fresno?

    Roland Reply:

    Yes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B80uFwx71YrKYU1NNGNxV0ZDdVE/view
    This is the evidence they submitted in court last year (the famous “Vacca memo”) to prove that they could make LA union to SJ in two hours and 10 minutes.

    joe Reply:

    No.

    Someone doesn’t understand what “could” means when he uses that word.
    I will help.

    https://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/will-would-shall-should
    The modal verbs are; will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might and must.

    http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/could-can-and-would
    Like can, could can be used of possibility as well,

    ….it refers to something that you believe is likely to be true or to happen.

    Could is also used to refer to something that you wish to have or do but that is not possible (“If only we could be free of this tyrant!”). It’s also used to describe something that was possible but did not happen, used with the verb have (“We could have won if we had practiced harder.”).

    CHSR could make the travel time but CHSR is not obligated to operate at that speed. The design must have the capability to achieve,2:40. The operation of HSR is not mandated to operate at any speed or time table.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “cannot possibly under any circumstance” it is that you do not understand.

    joe Reply:

    “cannot possibly under any circumstance” is a Roland fabrication to undo your mess of an argument.

    First you argue they will run trains at 220 MPH in city cores and now you want to argue that can’t make travel times.

    The design and “could” do not prove they will or prop1a mandates they shall run trains at 220 in city cores.

    The fact plaintiffs cannot prove HSR “cannot possibly under any circumstance” make LA to SF undermines you.

    Time for a letter and shown down at the next opportunity for CHSR public comments. You will dazzle them.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of this simulation it is that you do not understand:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B80uFwx71YrKYU1NNGNxV0ZDdVE/view

    joe Reply:

    Please help me understand your non sequitur.

    You can’t, and I mean cannot as in unable, explain yourself.

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s start with a simple Y/N question that even Joe should be able to answer.

    Q: Looking at the CURRENT alignment of California “high speed” rail, is Fresno on the line between Bakersfield and “south of Fahey Road” (AKA “Henry Miller Road”)?
    A: ?

    joe Reply:

    Still no explanation. More non-squinters and deflection.

    More questions and “tests’ for people rather than explaining 1) where you see an operational speed mandated in Prop1a. 2) where do you see definitive proof travel times are not possible. “cannot possibly under any circumstance”

    I’ll answer questions when you show and explain your reasoning for these two yet unsupported claims.

    Roland Reply:

    Q: Looking at the CURRENT alignment of California “high speed” rail, is Fresno on the line between Bakersfield and “south of Fahey Road” (AKA “Henry Miller Road”)?
    A: ?

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Roland

    Please help me understand: Why can’t HSR go through downtown Fresno at 220MPH? Are there absolute physical limitations to this? Or just operational limitations?

    Clem Reply:

    What he insinuates is that the noise impact from the roar of 220 mph trains is incompatible with an urban environment, cannot be mitigated by sound walls, and will in practice be resolved by restricting speed to about 150 mph, making it harder to comply with trip time requirements. But it’s so much more fun to play guessing games.

    joe Reply:

    A man who never makes a claim is never wrong.

    The CHSR Rep at Gilroy’s HSR committee meeting separated the alignment design from operating speed. I specifically asked him questions about design, sound mitigation and operating speed for both alignments with emphasis on downtown.

    They will build sound mitigation for 220 mph speed trains (which unfortunately surprised some in the room who didn’t read the material and didn’t know it included tall walls and pass through trains).

    The Authority Rep specifically said that 220 mph does not require trains operate at that speed. Operating speed is TBD. There are no service speed or time requirements in Prop1a.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If it’s noisy on the second Wednesday in January for one run no one is going to object much. But then by the time they actually try to do that all the bond money will have been spent and there’s not much of anything anyone can do about it taking 2 hours and 41 minutes.

    Roland Reply:

    @Trou de balle du Garlique

    1) Kindly Google the name of “the CHSR Rep at Gilroy’s HSR committee meeting” and “high speed rail”, click on the individual’s LinkedIn bio and help me understand what, if any, relevant expertise this individual might have by copying/pasting the section pertaining to his/her prior experience working on high speed lines anywhere in the World.

    2) Kindly familiarize yourself with the finer points of California Streets and Highways Code Section 2704.09 and Shut The Fuck Up (STFU) until you do.
    http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-09.html

    Joe Reply:

    Rat thinks he can disparage himself to credibility.

    Kindly familiarize yourself with the epic failure of you with no impact on Caltrain or HSR.

    Kindly count your letters, pleas and threats to Caltrain for ignoring you. It’s public record including the threats to cancel the system and take over.

    Kindly factor the public burden and cost of accommodating your dysfunctional abuse of Public Comments at meetings.

    Thank you in advance.

    Roland Reply:

    1) Kindly Google the name of “the CHSR Rep at Gilroy’s HSR committee meeting” and “high speed rail”, click on the individual’s LinkedIn bio and help me understand what, if any, relevant expertise this individual might have by copying/pasting the section pertaining to his/her prior experience working on high speed lines anywhere in the World.

    2) Kindly familiarize yourself with the finer points of California Streets and Highways Code Section 2704.09 and Shut The Fuck Up (STFU) until you do.
    http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-09.html

    Jerry Reply:

    @Clem
    So are there other ways of mitigating the sounds from fast HSR trains other than ‘sound walls’?
    Such as ‘destructive interference’ of the sound waves?

    joe Reply:

    Prop1a doesn’t mandate any operational speed or travel time.

    This fact is also verified by the CHSR Authority when asked about design and operational speeds in formal communication with the City of Gilroy.

    It was a very productive meeting. Sound walls, speed and noise were all discussed and I gave the city a pointer to the FRA and Clem’s implementation of the FRA noise propagation model.

    Why can’t Roland calm down. listen and persuade?

    Roland Reply:

    The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following characteristics:
    (a) Electric trains that are capable of sustained maximum revenue operating speeds of no less than 200 miles per hour.
    (b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that shall not exceed the following:
    (1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station:  two hours, 40 minutes.
    (2) Oakland-Los Angeles Union Station:  two hours, 40 minutes.
    (3) San Francisco-San Jose:  30 minutes.
    (4) San Jose-Los Angeles:  two hours, 10 minutes.
    (5) San Diego-Los Angeles:  one hour, 20 minutes.
    (6) Inland Empire-Los Angeles:  30 minutes.
    (7) Sacramento-Los Angeles:  two hours, 20 minutes.

    http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-09.html

    joe Reply:

    https://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2015/brdmtg_041415_Consolidated_Comments_from_Public.pdf

    Mr Richard, the last time you and i communicated….

    so I wrote you again last October …

    I received no reply so I spent last XMAS writing another letter …

    The final straw was last week…

    In closing the Authority has now crossed a bridge too far and unless things change in the next couple of months I’m going to leave you with two alternatives.

    first i and others will start lobbying for legislation that will confine your activities to sections capable of sustained speeds of 150 MPH and

    Second, we will defund the project and get the job done ourselves.

    Repetition isn’t working.

    StevieB Reply:

    @Roland
    The trip times in California Streets and Highways Code Section 2704.09 are part of what the plan in the previous section say shall include, identify, or certify. Since the plan was approved before the bonds were made available for sale next month the code section is satisfied. The trip times are for the plan and there are no consequences for not meeting planned trip times during operations.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A mile an hour faster than 219?

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    All of the central valley segment is being built for 250mph with the exception of the Cedar Viaduct that has a 220mph limit because of the tight horizontal curve radius, and the Fresno Trench that has a 220mph limit because of the vertical curve radius.

    To go through Fresno a 220mph, the train driver can just put the PTC-limited pedal to the metal.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Thank you for confirming that the only way to make LA to SF in two hours and 40 minutes (as mandated by Prop1A) is to go through downtown Fresno at 220 MPH.

    agb5 Reply:

    I confirmed no such thing.
    Technically the train “can” go through downtown Fresno a 220mph, which is what Prop1A requires the design-build contractor to build.

    Roland Reply:

    Fair enough. Let’s phrase this another way.
    Q: What are the consequences of NOT blasting through downtown Fresno at 220 MPH?

    agb5 Reply:

    A: Insufficient data.

    What do you think the max operating speed should be and why?

    The train should be tested at 220 for sure.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Is there a problem with blasting through Downtown Fresno on bypass tracks at 220 MPH?
    Also, I don’t think it has been established which stations ALL trains will stop at–Fresno might be big enough to warrant all trains stopping.

    Roland Reply:

    Operating is always 10% less than design in the rest of the World, so the maximum theoretical operating speed on the Cedar viaduct and the Fresno trench is 200 MPH, not 220 (first of many dings in the Vacca memo).

    Having said all that, there is no way in hell you will ever be able to operate through downtown Fresno @ 200 MPH and you are about to find out why (assuming the FRA, the CPUC et al let you get that far).

    My best guess is that you may be able to get a couple of 220MPH passes in the boonies (assuming the line gets electrified and you can scrape $1/2B for a semi-decent signalling system, which is a big IF) and the Legislature will introduce emergency legislation right after that to stop you from ever doing that shit again within 5 miles of any populated area.

    Roland Reply:

    “(e) Trains shall have the capability to transition intermediate stations, or to bypass those stations, at mainline operating speed.”
    http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-09.html

    agb5 Reply:

    The designers of the track don’t know about and don’t need to know about what advanced train technology will be available in the year 2029, when the first SF to LA service begins.
    By 2029 trains can have new materials with better laminar airflow.
    The track ROW will be there for the next 100 years so making the track as straight as possible is the principle objective of the track designers.

    agb5 Reply:

    re:

    Operating is always 10% less than design in the rest of the World, so the maximum theoretical operating speed on the Cedar viaduct and the Fresno trench is 200 MPH, not 220

    A:

    The design speed of the two vertical curves
    between (STA 10878+82 to 10941+75) would be
    reduced from 250mph to 220mph. The maximum
    operating speed of 220mph will not be affected;
    however, future operating speeds of up to 250mph
    would be precluded.
    The vertical curve lengths of 2,000ft and 3,300ft
    are within exceptional criteria as defined in Section
    6.1.6.

    Peter Reply:

    “Operating is always 10% less than design in the rest of the World, so the maximum theoretical operating speed on the Cedar viaduct and the Fresno trench is 200 MPH, not 220”

    100% correct. Only if you’re referring to the design speed of the train, not the tracks.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/K8E_zMLCRNg

    Joe Reply:

    Technical memorandum from 2009.

    Abstract on page 1
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/eir_memos/Proj_Guidelines_TM2_1_2R00.pdf

    This technical memorandum presents alignment design guidance for the segments of the proposed high- speed rail line in exclusive use operation. On these segments, speeds will be above 125 mph (200 km/h) up to a maximum operating speed of 220 mph (350 km/h) and will consider that faster operation up to not less than 250 mph (400 km/h) in the future will not be unnecessarily precluded

    Roland Reply:

    Legislation from 2008:

    The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following characteristics:
    (a) Electric trains that are capable of sustained maximum revenue operating speeds of no less than 200 miles per hour.
    (b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that shall not exceed the following:
    (1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station:  two hours, 40 minutes.
    (2) Oakland-Los Angeles Union Station:  two hours, 40 minutes.
    (3) San Francisco-San Jose:  30 minutes.
    (4) San Jose-Los Angeles:  two hours, 10 minutes.
    (5) San Diego-Los Angeles:  one hour, 20 minutes.
    (6) Inland Empire-Los Angeles:  30 minutes.
    (7) Sacramento-Los Angeles:  two hours, 20 minutes.

    http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/streets-and-highways-code/shc-sect-2704-09.html

    joe Reply:

    shall be designed to achieve … characteristics

    Design isn’t operation. There is nothing here about operations. Furthermore Prop1a will expire when the funds are exhausted (<18B worth of construction total) and be meaningless when the system is operational for Phase 1.

    Prop1a It is a Bond Act defining characteristics necessary for accessing bond money.

    Roland Reply:

    (e) Trains shall have the capability to transition intermediate stations, or to bypass those stations, at mainline operating speed.

    Joe Reply:

    “Capability”

    In Gilroy they will build an alignment capable of allowing trains to pass through the station.
    This capability is also not an operational requirement. Fact & Verified by CHSR.

    You do not understand that which you do not want to understand.

    Roland Reply:

    1) Kindly Google the name of “the CHSR Rep at Gilroy’s HSR committee meeting” and “high speed rail”, click on the individual’s LinkedIn bio and help me understand what, if any, relevant expertise this individual might have by copying/pasting the section pertaining to his/her prior experience working on high speed lines anywhere in the World.

    2) Kindly help me understand which part “There are 4 Long Distance platforms (platforms 4 through 7) with two passing tracks in the middle separated by barriers for high speed service (ICE trains that do not stop here pass at 125mph)” it is that you do not understand http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_021417_TLU_Board_Meeting_SFO_pres.pdf (slide 8).

    Joe Reply:

    Sorry. All is proceeding without you. Please continue to defund the HSR project and build it yourself.

    Roland Reply:

    Your desires are my commands, Sir.

    Danny Reply:

    well, what was it before? did it go up, down since 1A passed? did they have any motive for opposing it or is it just the typical NIMBY “it’s too fast and it’s too slow and it’s too cheap and it’s too expensive” caterwauling?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B80uFwx71YrKYU1NNGNxV0ZDdVE/view
    Any questions?

    [Reply]

  58. Jerry
    Mar 23rd, 2017 at 22:51
    #58

    The PPIC survey said a total of 64% of all adults feel that HSR is important for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California.
    Very important 33%
    Somewhat important 31%

    [Reply]

  59. Roland
    Mar 24th, 2017 at 07:17
    #59

    I wonder how many Caltrain riders would have signed this petition if they had known about it?
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/force-san-francisco-bay-areas-caltrain-system-modernize-without-relying-failed-high-speed-rail-funding

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Probably at lot less than signed the one for this: Support 9600 American Jobs – Tell FTA to Approve Funding Caltrain Electrification

    [Reply]

  60. Roland
    Mar 24th, 2017 at 08:18
    #60
  61. David
    Mar 24th, 2017 at 16:07
    #61

    hi how is everybody. I’m David

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Hi David,
    Welcome to the party. How about a brief introduction?

    [Reply]

  62. David
    Mar 24th, 2017 at 16:16
    #62

    HSR will soon be dead in California. The jig is up and people are opening their eyes. Even Joe will see the light soon and vomit over this waste of taxpayer resources. Also, there is no such thing as “peak oil”, at least not yet. We are still finding reserves in the billions of barrels.
    To spend $67 billion to reduce yearly vehicle road mileage 1% is asinine. Build more freeway lanes. sink more wells and let the masses be free.
    Capitilism is good. Socialist ways are bad.
    Cheap abundant power is the sign of a strong country.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    More freeway lanes would cost more and unless they are tolled heavily, very socialist.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    “waste of taxpayer resources”
    Is that like the $3 Trillion wasted on the Iraq War??????

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Then I guess you’d like your Medicare to skyrocket, oh yes the AHCA is DEAD… TBSS.

    HSR is not dead, and you and whose Army will make HSR dead?

    Yeah Dirty Power, owned by the KOCH brother’s, scum of the earth…

    And fwys are socialist, as is Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Meals on Wheels, SNAP, Unemployment Insurance, SSDI, SSI, Breathing is very Socialistic(everyone does it and is very Democratic, be a Republican, stop breathing), etc, etc, etc…

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Solar and wind is very inexpensive now, Coal and Oil are cheap money wise, but make people sick, kids get asthma, but then you get what you pay for, sickness and death…

    Solar and Wind don’t pollute, and don’t kill life, Oil does.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Right again (100% perfect score): http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/new/us-windfarms-kill-10-20-times-more-than-previously-thought.html

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Just because something is on the internet doesn’t make it true.

    http://www.dhmo.org/

    ….well the stuff about dihydrogen monoxide on that website is true….

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Wasn’t benzene (natural constituent of crude oil) used to help make DTT back in the day. At least with wind turbins you can use scarecrows.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Coal isn’t cheap anymore. The utilities close coal plants and switch to natural gas. Cheap batteries look like they will be cheap enough by 2025 that even cheap natural gas is too expensive.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Freeways cost more and provide a lower quality and more polluting product than HSR–capitalism for you.

    [Reply]

  63. Roland
    Mar 24th, 2017 at 22:47
    #63

    My friend Carl’s version of alternative Caltrain facts (100% perfect score): http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/24/editorial-caltrain-electrification-needed-for-both-u-s-and-local-economy/

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Diesel locomotives in 1863, how’s that for an alternative fact!

    [Reply]

    Reality Check Reply:

    Yeah, I read that SP started phasing out steam in 1947 and was fully switched over to all-diesel by 1957.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

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

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s not forget the millions of dollars of OUR money “Caltrain” is pissing away on this clown for organizing these jolly Washington lobbying trips (how about issuing a PRA to find out how many millions of taxpayer dollars they pissed away on airfares, hotels, food & beverage and “entertainment”?)

    “It’s not quite Mr. Smith goes to Washington, but it’s not far off either.

    On the heels of meetings with Caltrain Chief Modernization Officer Michael Burns, Caltrain Executive Director Jim Hartnett and a bevy of Silicon Valley and lawmakers and regulators in Washington D.C., a backup plan was discussed to save Caltrain’s electrification project after it lost federal funding.
    Burns updated the San Francisco County Transportation Authority board on the new efforts Tuesday morning.

    “We are exploring other potential funding options, particularly with the state,” Burns told the authority. “One of the issues raised by the Republican delegation was the use of high-speed rail funds … in our funding plan. We are exploring whether there are opportunities to substitute those funds with other funds.”

    He added, “And leaving no stone unturned, we are working with our financial advisors and private sector partners to explore other potential funding sources in the event the full funding grant agreement is not executed.”

    http://www.sfexaminer.com/caltrain-officials-seek-backup-funding-electrification-project/
    http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=24&clip_id=27392 (click on #12)

    Enjoy!!!

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    What’s your alternative? Sort of like a “repeal and replace” for Caltrain modernization? Show us the bill!

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Then draft it quickly and incoherently, and give up on it after a week.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    And then blame it on the Democrats.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    And then their own, who at this rate, will start being eaten within the next 8 weeks…

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They are too busy shopping for cast iron butt covers.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    1) Simultaneous raids on 2121 El Camino and 1250 San Carlos by the Feds ($1.2B saving).
    2) I-ETMS ($100M).
    3) 200×950-seat-hybrids ($400M saving).
    4) Rethink DTX ($3B saving).
    5) Upgrade the line to 30-min non-stop trip ($3B).
    6) Electrification ($300M).

    [Reply]

    Reality Check Reply:

    No level boarding?

    How does the acceleration & braking rate of those hybrids compare to KISS EMUs?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    – Level-boarding @ 550-600 mm will happen gradually in the item 5 timeframe.
    – Deceleration will be the same from day one (regenerative braking).
    – Acceleration will also be the same once the line gets electrified from one end to the other (6).

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Can you explain how a fleet of 200 electro-diesel multiple unit cars would cost $400M less than the Stadler contract ($551M base + $385M option = $936M) ? A cost of $2.5M per car (including agency overheads) would be unheard of, especially for this side of the pond and for such a fancy technology. I imagine the vehicle cost to provide the capability to “transition gradually to level boarding over time” would not be zero.

    “Don’t worry, everyone will love it, it’ll be tremendous.”

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The total cost of the CalFranKISSentrains is $664M (Phase I) + $440M (Phase II) = $1.14B.
    The cost of the 200 EDMUs is $600M + $100M for hybridization = $700M ($400M saving).
    The cost to provide the capability to “transition gradually to level boarding over time” is a rounding error (less than $10M).
    The agency (and its overheads) will be eliminated shortly after the raids, arrests and endictments (1).

    Don’t worry, everyone will love it, it’ll be tremendous.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    https://tips.fbi.gov

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The FTA is working on it :-)

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    With friends like Roland, Caltrain needs no enemies

    Roland Reply:

    With friends like Clem, Caltrain needs no enemies.

  64. Car(e)-Free LA
    Mar 25th, 2017 at 10:03
    #64

    Can we have a new thread please? By this time last year, we’d had 27. This year, we’ve had nine.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    I counted 28 different threads (many duplicates) in this blog post.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Sorry…Bad word choice.

    [Reply]

  65. Jerry
    Mar 25th, 2017 at 12:56
    #65

    Gee. HSR in CA is imperfect. Just like Obamacare.
    Whatever shall we do?
    Why of course. Do away with it.
    Then all will be well in the world.

    [Reply]

  66. Reality Check
    Mar 25th, 2017 at 18:40
    #66

    Breaking news?

    Metro OKs continuing work on LA Union Station run-through tracks

    Link Union Station (LINK US) … Project Update, February 9, 2017

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not really but thank you for the link to this nice article.

    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_031517_Item2_Consider_Amending_Contract_with_Metro.pdf

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    I see them disagreeing on the 2+6 or 4+6 option but otherwise everything seems to be in order.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Almost one hour of the last board meeting was dedicated to this. A rep from Metro was formally requesting advanced funding so Metro could do 100% design on the 101 bridge instead of 30% and handing it off to the design-build contractor. They say this is much more efficient so they can be shovel ready sooner than the would have been. Plus, they didn’t deny that the 2024 Olympic bid is a big factor. Its worth a watch though it a bit agonizing how to death they talked this issue… I think they approved it becuase it does make sense… honestly I stopped watching after a while…

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The curvature of the route is appalling. It should be designed so that trains can eventually run in a perfectly straight line from Elysian Valley under Dodger Stadium to the Arts District.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    But, but, but. What about Rudolph Diesel?

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Aaah, the old Tunnel Anywhere theory at work.
    Details to be worked out ‘after’ signing contract.
    Just don’t use Seattle LRT model as your for example.
    Honolulu LRT is looking good this far nearing completion.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    There is a lot of rationale for a HSR-Metrolink route through Elysian Park. It could cut 5 minuites off the trip, and provide a station for Dodger Stadium (Metrolink only) and many dozens of potential new developments.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    You mean the way over budget Hawaii line that has but one route with no tunnels to choose from?

    [Reply]

  67. Roland
    Mar 25th, 2017 at 23:12
    #67

    Plan B: http://californiapolicycenter.org/just-enforcing-existing-law-feds-can-halt-california-high-speed-rail/

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Doesn’t mean anything to CA HSR, you’re just grasping at straws Roland, the courts have already ruled on such matters.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    It’s garbage, still grasping at straws. Lawsuit after lawsuit has been launched, all have FAILED.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Someone found your pacifier on Caltrain and turned it in. Please complete this form and thou shalt be reunited: http://www.caltrain.com/riderinfo/lostandfound.html

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Roland, you just can’t handle the truth, all the anti-HSR Lawsuits have failed, that’s a FACT.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    FACT: Someone found your pacifier on Caltrain and turned it in. Please complete this form and thou shalt be reunited: http://www.caltrain.com/riderinfo/lostandfound.html

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Zorro, I have sad news for you – FACTS no longer count for much in these days of Fake News and Alternative Truth. The truth is what the listener/reader WANTS to believe it is, or that “truth-of-the-moment” which supports their beliefs, no matter how far said “truth” wanders from any “ACTUAL, OBSERVABLE and VERIFIABLE FACT.”

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Seriously? You’re willing to compare the stewardship of the planet by Trump vs Brown/California? Get real.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Uh?

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Heil Trumpler! Achtung pigdogs!
    Nein to choo choo!
    Law number nein oh ninety nine!
    Uh huh uh huh.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    War das der Ton eines alten Furzes?

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Soon, we will all be bowing and scraping before the feet of HIS EMINENCE, OUR ORANGENESS!

    [Reply]

  68. Roland
    Mar 27th, 2017 at 12:38
    #68
  69. Roland
    Mar 27th, 2017 at 14:03
    #69
  70. Roland
    Mar 27th, 2017 at 14:12
    #70

    VTA Annual report

    $292.6M Bus & Light Rail Operations
    $13.6M Commuter Rail (Caltrain + ACE + Capitol Corridor) and Other Contracted Services

    http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/06912000001g79yAAA

    [Reply]

  71. Jos Callinet
    Mar 27th, 2017 at 19:24
    #71

    Robert Cruickshank’s extended absence from his blog has me concerned that he has become rather burned-out by the never-ending opposition high speed rail (as well as Amtrak-style trains, which the Trump Administration is eagerly awaiting its moment to kill in its current budget). It’s been a very long haul since the day he first launched this blog. He has a family to raise, and that is of course of primary importance.

    I know how depressing the news about rail is everywhere we turn in this country. I don’t blame you, Robert, if you take an extended break from pursuing this blog.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Agreed.

    Yoda: Dark Times, We live in.

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    @zorro: D. T. – how fitting!

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Jos: From twitter I see that Robert moved to WA. He’s a strong rail supporter and also focused on Seattle’s system and public education — the Admin wants charter schools which he strongly opposes. He’s not quitting CA, he’s multitasking.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Seattle Subway, which he is a member of, and components of ST3 are also in trouble thanks to Trump. Robert has roots in the area and a home as well.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    “Sound Transit: Trump budget a “body blow”

    http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/passenger/light-rail/sound-transit-trump-budget-a-body-blow%E2%80%9D.html?channel=61

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Thanks, joe – interesting to know this. From the way you and les describe his situation, it seems to me he has a few “irons in the fire” to attend to, all at once. That’s a fairly tall order, especially for a father doing his best to raise his young family. I wish Robert and his family the best!

    [Reply]

  72. Roland
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 02:38
    #72

    Total shocker: Berryessa BART to SFO will be faster (and cheaper) than the Caltrain/Millbrae/San Bruno contraption and will offer a single-seat ride: http://www.vta.org/News-and-Media/Connect-with-VTA/VTAs-BART-Silicon-Valley-Extension-Parking-Survey

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    BART has level boarding, is removing more seats from their new cars to add capacity and has no on board toilets.

    I suggest bringing a collapsable stool and using adult depends if you want to make the trip. Also air freshener.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    How about speeding up Caltrain and increasing the existing seating capacity to accommodate the resulting massive mode shift? Would that work or should we bring in the private sector to learn how to operate a profitable transit system after ITDA?

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Your diesel “power packs” will do no such thing. The time to electrify is well past.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The time has come to spend some serious money on track capacity/speed instead of pissing away hundreds of millions on the 79 MPH San Mateo omnibus and its assorted collection of white elephant stations. In the meantime, “electrification” will have to wait until we can find people capable of getting the job done in less than a year preferably without impacting service (and preferably for $300M or less).

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    What fantasy-land do you live in?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Dear Cinderella,

    Kindly show me $84M in Prop1A bonds for the “25th Avenue grade separation project” and I will show you $95M for hybridization.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    The private sector would taser you on day one, send you the bill for the electricity, and bar you from future meetings.

    BART removed seats from new trains, carries zero toilets on board and uses level boarding.

    Your fantasy trains don’t exist and by review of your specifications, are vastly inferior to real offerings.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    But the fantasy trains are so much cheaper!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Right again on every count. 100% perfect score. The kindergarten is out!

    [Reply]

  73. Roland
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 03:13
    #73

    Brand new: Virgin Class 800 under test on unelectrified tracks: https://youtu.be/gcmu9lfod0g

    [Reply]

  74. Roland
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 03:17
    #74

    Brand new: Virgin Class 800 under test on unelectrified tracks: https://youtu.be/gcmu9lfod0g?t=16
    There is no noticeable sound coming from the diesel powerpacks.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/w9w9amWKhV4?t=56

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Drag race

    – Javelin (“avec panto”): https://youtu.be/QpnEwHHScv8?t=36
    – Virgin Azuma (“sans pantos”): https://youtu.be/w9w9amWKhV4?t=79.
    Notice the intense Rudolph Diesel clatter and suffocating emissions.

    And the winner is?

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    The standing start is limited by tractive effort, so the acceleration should be the same. Try a sprint from 40 to 70 mph, and the Javelin will bury the Azuma.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Give the Azuma a 25kv OCS and it will bury the Javelin. In the meantime, the Azuma can travel @ 125 MPH where the Javelins cannot play.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Give Caltrain 25 kV OCS and it will bury any retromingent solution involving diesel / hybrid / dual power

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    @79 MPH with fucking Caltrain #10 switches on/off the mainline?
    You are way past your bed time. Kindly retire to your favorite playpen.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Why would Caltrain ever pull off the Caltrain mainline? What a quaint idea.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Whooops. Sorry. Totally forgot that the PB motherfuckers had eliminated Baby Bullets. My bad.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Besides Bayshore, where do the Bullets pass the locals?

    Roland Reply:

    Lawrence and we need many more stations like these if we are to increase line capacity.
    Hillsdale, Redwood City, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and SSF are all good candidates. I just could not believe it when they built Santa Clara with 2 tracks (we were 8 feet short of 4 tracks…)

    Clem Reply:

    Standing overtakes suck. Who wants to sit in a stopped train for 5 minutes (not including the enormous padding that will be required without level boarding) to wait for another train to pass? There is a reason why these overtakes are kept to an absolute minimum in the Caltrain timetable.

    It is far better to (1) speed up the local with high power-to-weight ratio and level boarding and (2) increase timetable reliability thus reducing padding with level boarding.

    Level boarding level boarding level boarding, do you see a pattern?

    Advocating for “many more overtakes like these” is like advocating for the timetable to explode into cascading delays at the slightest provocation. It just won’t work, even less so with HSR thrown in the mix.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Why would baby bullets be needed when the new EMUs are operational?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why should full trains stop places almost nobody wants to get on or off?

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem
    Standing overtakes take as little as 3 minutes (not 5) and would take even less time if trains were able to get on/off the mainline @ 80 MPH instead of 50.

    Roland Reply:

    @Paul
    That is indeed CHSRA’s plan. They are eliminating all the baby bullets so that HSTs can pass where the baby bullets currently pass.

    Roland Reply:

    “Who wants to sit in a stopped train for 5 minutes (not including the enormous padding that will be required without level boarding) to wait for another train to pass”
    Am I the only one sensing something seriously wrong here?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It costs a lot of money to maintain track for 125. Grade separating for 126 costs even more. If the trains run so infrequently it doesn’t make sense to electrify them it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to grade separate them either. Or maintain the track that well.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Same tracks the 125s have been running on for the last 40 years. They were supposed to be electrified until Balfour Beatty told Network Rail that they had better opportunities in the US.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-33997472

    The Brits just ordered more power packs from Rolls Royce and told BB to get stuffed. Affaire faite. http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/rolling-stock/rolls-royce-nets-further-british-diesel-powerpack-order.html

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    5 hours and change to go 300 miles, I suspect they don’t go very fast for very long. Or very often when I check train schedules.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Western_main_line#Services
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Western_main_line#Infrastructure
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Western_main_line#Electrification_west_of_Airport_Junction (last paragraph) Note that they won’t be able to exceed 125 MPH until ERTMS which will happen at the same time as electrification.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Here is what the tracks look like now: https://youtu.be/9sOB53_0Ads

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    But, but, but. What happened to the intense diesel clatter/vibrations and the overwhelming emissions?

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    CO2 is invisible.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    True and so are the 133 tons of sulfur Metcalf deposits on Morgan Hill every year: http://weaponsman.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/20140205_083633_ssjm0206metcalf01.jpg

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Whataboutism requires the “what about” be factual and not fake.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The largest emitter in Santa Clara County was the Metcalf Energy Center, a power plant built in 2005 by Calpine in south San Jose. The plant ranked 27th among statewide industrial sources, with 1.27 million metric tons.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2009/11/22/what-are-the-largest-sources-of-global-warming-emissions-in-california-the-list-is-out-2/

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.dirtykilowatts.org/dirty_kilowatts.pdf

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Here is a better shot with a view of the future CEMOF location: http://visions2200.com/Images/H_EnergyMetcalfLrg.jpg

    [Reply]

  75. Roland
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 10:10
    #75
  76. John Nachtigall
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 12:57
    #76

    For those of you that thought that Saudi Arabia pushing up production to push the US oil producers into bankruptcy was going to work. It didnt. Technology and capitalism worked

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arabia-puts-u-s-energy-producers-to-a-testand-they-ace-it-1490655500

    “Oil prices started to collapse in 2014 because American shale businesses oversupplied markets. The Saudis responded by increasing production, which drove prices even lower. Their theory was that this would wreak havoc on small and midsize petroleum upstarts in states from Texas and Oklahoma to Pennsylvania and North Dakota.

    The fall from the $120-a-barrel stratosphere to under $30 did take a toll on producers everywhere. Businesses reduced investments and staffing, and many went bankrupt. It also deprived OPEC member states—and Russia, it bears noting—of hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues, forcing them to tap sovereign-wealth funds and cut domestic budgets.

    Something else happened. Little noticed outside the petroleum cognoscenti, shale technologies kept getting better. The productivity—output per shale drilling rig—has been rising by more than 20% a year. That means every 3½ years the average rig produces twice as much oil or gas. No other energy technology of any kind is improving at that rate. Put another way, the cost to produce shale oil keeps falling.”

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Other technology improves also. Sticking a gasoline or diesel nozzle into the charge port of an electric car doesn’t do much. A few years ago wild eyed optimists were predicting that electric cars would be as cheap to buy as internal combustion engine cars by 2025. They were pessimists. It looks like it will be 2020 or maybe even the 2019 models.

    There is other technology too.

    http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/solar-thermal-really-really-dead

    [Reply]

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. Electric cars are less than 1% (.90 according to wiki)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_electric_vehicles_in_the_United_States

    2. A Tesla model 3 starts at 35k…and is actually going to be 60k. A Toyota Camary starts at 23k and goes to about 35k for a top model.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2017/03/28/tesla-model-3-production-lower-price-higher-a-lot-morgan-stanley-analyst/#1a31506030a0

    20 years minimum before they are mainstream and that is only after they find batteries that dont die in cold. Because there is a whole population that actually lives in winter.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Tesla isn’t the only manufacturer making electric cars.
    Batteries don’t die in the cold. We’ve been over that. Sorry you didn’t pay attention when we explained that to you.

    [Reply]

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    really?

    http://www.newsinenglish.no/2014/01/20/norwegian-winter-parks-popular-tesla-electric-cars/

    are you sure?

    https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/cold-weather-range-loss

    like really sure?

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/02/winter-chills-limit-range-of-the-tesla-model-s-electric-car/index.htm

    maybe consumer reports is lying. Perhaps you know something about Physics that everyone else does not

    https://optibike.com/lithium-battery-performance-in-cold-temperatures/

    And you are correct, there are quite a few companies who lose money making electric cars. Tesla is just the most popular. But no one makes money and the price is still much higher than gas engines.

    But I am a fair man. You pick the threshold. 20%? 30%? What percentage of electric cars ont he road will mark the arrival of the “electric revolution”?

    in the meantime…a little reading

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/government-has-spent-a-lot-on-electric-cars-but-was-it-worth-it/2016/01/06/359bd25c-b496-11e5-9388-466021d971de_story.html

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not 2013 anymore. We went over that.

    [Reply]

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    The three most populous US states are largely frost-free. Eight of the 10 most populous countries are.
    So the people of Gary and Flint may need non-electric cars, and there will be a large population of used ones available.

    But winter isn’t a deal-breaker for manufacturers.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the car has 200 mile range and when it’s reallly realllly cold out it drops to 100 your 40 mile roundtrip commute is toasty warm. Especially if you leave it plugged in overnight and tell it warm everything up for 8:15 departure. Ya are going to take advantage of that, that it is smart enough to warm the car up for you before you get in it? While it’s still plugged in. And in Arizona you are going to take advantage of it being able to ventilate itself when it’s sitting in the sun?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    “If the car has 200 mile range and when it’s reallly realllly cold out it drops to 100 your 40 mile roundtrip commute is toasty warm”

    And a women’s breast feels like a bag of sand. Which electric car do you own?

    The strategy for electric vehicles is to NOT heat the cabin toasty warm and instead use seat and steering wheel heaters.

    I run my plugin fusion energi on hybrid in the AM to use engine heat to warm the windows and cabin.
    Yes the car is set to warm the cabin prior to leaving but it’s not close to toasty warm.

    Which vehicle do you own and use?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Who thought US oil producers were going into bankruptcy?

    That’s a mighty talk strawman you made there John.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    KIndly help me understand which part of “ExxonMobil has become the second large oil company to report earnings well below analysts’ expectations, following Chevron on Friday.” it is that you do not understand. https://www.ft.com/content/7dfdd9d7-1910-3993-8c3a-dbde5b5442c1

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    “earnings”

    [Reply]

    Ted K. Reply:

    You for 1 joe. You and other posters on this blog were so sure the Saudi’s would put them out of business so oil prices would skyrocket. And I have not even mentioned how “peak oil” has gone the same path as flat earth theory.

    Did you forget your predictions? You were so sure about peak oil and the GOP going the way of the Whigs.

    The bottom line is US oil production is as strong as it has ever been and reserves are as high as they have ever been and OPEC’s monopoly is broken. Hell of a good day

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Bankrupt? Nope. Ridiculous.
    Coal yes and that’s obvious now.

    Peak oil still rules and explains why we are moving to more polluting sources of oil processed from shale. Can’t deny peak oil if we have to mine shale instead of drilling more holes for sweet light crude
    in Pennsylvania.

    The full cost of shale and tar sands including carbon emissions to produce the oil and environmental costs like strip mining have not been lowered. It’s physics. These costs may be externalities fostered in society but are still costs paid by non oil users.

    I’ve also been critical of Methane’s greenness due to underestimating the leaks from field to use.
    That too is unaddressed and looks to be ignored now. We will see greater warming.

    Reality has a way of asserting itself.

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Seems the petroleum producers are on bended knee, gratefully reciting their “Shale Marys”!

    [Reply]

  77. Reality Check
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 14:14
    #77

    Not exactly HSR, but that’s what they’re calling it … nice photos of bridges and tunnels though:
    High-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem rail coming down the track
    Set to open in 2018, this extraordinary rail route will revolutionize travel between Israel’s two biggest cities.

    This rail line will revolutionize travel between the country’s two biggest cities, bringing residents and visitors into the heart of Israel quickly for work or leisure.

    Currently it takes about an hour to drive the approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, though traffic jams often lengthen the trip. An old scenic train route chugs along from the remote southwest corner of Jerusalem, winding around the hills and making several stops before reaching Tel Aviv two hours later.

    When it opens in the first half of 2018, the high-speed route will take less than 30 minutes, including a stop at Ben-Gurion International Airport. It will service Tel Aviv’s existing four railway stations and a new transportation hub alongside Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station and light-rail stops.

    The fast train is the biggest Israel Railways projects in the past decade and one of the biggest infrastructure projects in modern Israeli history, costing the government just under $1.9 billion. Nine bridges and four tunnels enable as straight and flat a route as possible.

    “The bridges are up, the tunnels are dug; now we’re working on the electro-mechanics and putting down the rails” …

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Even Uzbekistan has HSR.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    24 miles of tunnels (the longest one is 7.5 miles long) including cross-passages every 250 meters (nice!) The 125 MPH speed and double-decker trains compare very nicely with 6 miles of BART tunnels and no airport connection for $4.5B…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “Everything in this project was never done in Israel before, so each part was done in collaboration with an experienced foreign company” https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/03/28/new-high-speed-tel-aviv-jerusalem-rail-nears-completion/

    [Reply]

  78. Domayv
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 14:17
    #78
  79. Reality Check
    Mar 28th, 2017 at 14:20
    #79

    Mexico-lover Trump will love this!

    Grupo México to buy Florida East Coast Railway

    The company said the acquisition of FEC will allow it to establish itself as “an important railroad owner in the United States, adding a vital Florida rail line to the company’s existing operations in Texas.”

    “The acquisition of FEC is an important strategic addition to our North American transportation service offering,” said Alfredo Casar, President and Chief Executive Officer of GMXT. “Our acquisition of the FEC will significantly enhance the scope, scale and diversification of our service.

    Officials with All Aboard Florida’s Brightline said the sale would not impact the passenger rail project, which plans to start offering service in South Florida this summer.

    “The sale of the Florida East Coast Railway does not impact Brightline,” the company said. “Brightline is a separate company that has dual ownership of the corridor and the right to operate passenger service. We have all shared operations-related agreements in place with the Florida East Coast Railway for us to fully build out and implement our passenger rail system.”

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Now those NIMBY Republicans will redouble, quadruple their efforts to put a stop to Brightline in any way, shape or fashion they can dream up and bring before a court of law, and/or before the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee – to stop these AWFUL MEXICAN-LOVING TRAIN PEOPLE.

    [Reply]

  80. Mike B
    Mar 29th, 2017 at 10:36
    #80

    It has been some time since I have posted here. I have said on numerous occasions that someone with the technical expertise (Clem, Richard M, Roland) bring all the Caltrain cost overruns, bloated budgets, etc. to the attention of the local bay area television news investigative teams (they all have them). And bring it to the attention of governmental watchdog agencies, grand jury, GAO, legislative analyst, etc. But nobody heeds my suggestion, instead I hear nonsense from a small number here that they are not interested in these things. NBC 11 investigated accounting irregularities at Samtrans and investigated bad piping at Berryessa BART station, and has investigated VTA. So why wouldn’t they be interested here?

    Clem pointed out that CBOSS was a pile of crap some time ago, and now Caltrain is withholding funding to the CBOSS contractor/consultant. I have read through Rolands diatribe of correspondence to MTC and various boards. The investigative teams would have a field day with this stuff. Why does Caltrain electrification cost so much more than anywhere else?

    Roland suggests indictments to Caltrain staff, and I think Richard M. has suggested the same (and even worse).

    Clem often points out many of Caltrain projects shortcomings.

    So get off your buts people and get the word out so we can put a stop to all the waste at Caltrain. I have tired but they need someone that has better technical expertise than I do>

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Probably the biggest problem you’re going to have is the reasonableness of some of your supposed “technical experts” (not @Clem of course). Given what they post here, both @Richard Mylarnik and @Roland don’t come off as particularly reasonable. If anything, they come off as slightly crazy. Imagine then how a typical journalist is going to respond to them, and perhaps why they probably don’t follow up.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Whatever gave you the impression that Clem had any “technical expertise”?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Clem’s website and opinions with explanations.

    I shared the FRA noise model on the hiv site and Clem’s implementation of the model with the Gilroy HSR committee.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!
    How about sharing this while you are at it: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-big-picture.html

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Nope.

    The FRA noise model is public domain and I had previously verified Clem’s implementation in excel produces reliable results.

    You asked about his expertise and I gave a specific example.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Not interested.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Whatever happened to “Clem’s website and opinions with explanations”???

    [Reply]

  81. Roland
    Mar 29th, 2017 at 14:52
    #81

    Dumbarton Rail update:

    “SamTrans Planning Director” Ultimate Oxymoron.
    “If we went with rail, it is likely to have a capital costs starting at a billion.” Congratulations! You just killed the project.
    “In order to make any kind of capital investment work on the corridor, we have to engage with the private sector and do some kind of P3 arrangement.” I can’t wait for Facebook to find out what happened to the first million….
    “We’re going to be spending a lot of time seeing what can attract Wall Street investment to help pay for the capital costs” Translation: we will spend years pissing away millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars on even more useless studies.
    “We are talking to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, to try and get RM3 money” Good luck with that!
    SB: SamTrans can put this together?
    DK: We’re doing some soul searching right now whether or not we want to take on this major a Multi-modal investment. It’s a massive capital project, and we have to determine if we’re positioned to take it on. Stay out of it and the DBR tunnel will happen before you are done with your next “study”.

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2017/03/08/dumbarton-study-update-with-samtrans-planning-director/

    [Reply]

  82. Paul Dyson
    Mar 29th, 2017 at 20:56
    #82

    RC, MIA?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The other RC was alive and well last time I checked: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2017/03/xpresswest-estimates-11-million-hsr-riders-a-year/#comment-305699

    [Reply]

  83. Roland
    Mar 30th, 2017 at 01:09
    #83

    Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders of the state Legislature unveiled a plan Wednesday to raise $52.4 billion over the next decade to pay for a massive program of rebuilding California’s highways and bridges and improving public transit.

    The plan would be paid for with a combination of revenue measures: an increase in the state’s excise tax on gasoline from 28 cents to 40 cents a gallon, increased vehicle registration fees and a new $100 annual charge on emission-free vehicles.

    https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/03/29/brown-democrats-unveil-revenue-plan-for-roads-bridges-transit/

    [Reply]

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