California Proposes Revised, Improved Cap-and-Trade Model

May 3rd, 2017 | Posted by

Over at Vox, David Roberts reviews the State Senate’s new cap-and-trade plan – and he loves it:

The changes that SB 775 proposes for the state’s carbon trading program are dramatic — and, to my eyes, amazingly thoughtful. I know some environmental groups have reservations (on which more later), but in my opinion, if it passes in anything close to its current form, it will represent the most important advance in carbon-pricing policy in the US in a decade. Maybe ever. Yeah, really.

This should help produce a lot more revenue from the cap-and-trade system, help it survive future legal challenges, and more successfully slash CO2 emissions. All of that helps get high speed rail built.

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  1. Roland
    May 3rd, 2017 at 21:20
    #1

    The Boring Company: Complete TED keynote: https://youtu.be/MD28Nce-lX8

    RobBob Reply:

    It seems the cost to actually tunnel is not that high compared to the other related costs of putting things underground. The $1.6 billion San Francisco central subway cost $233.5 million to tunnel. That’s only 15% of the total project cost. (those cost numbers are from https://www.tunneltalk.com/Central-Subway-24Apr13-San-Francisco-opens-station-bids-as-first-TBM-arrives.php)

    Roland Reply:

    Correct. The expensive bits are the underground stations, not the tunnels per se.
    “The $233.9 million contract consisted of 1.5 miles of twin-bore tunnels underneath Fourth Street and Stockton Street, from I-80 to North Beach. Its major components included tunnel boring machine (TBM) procurement, construction of the TBM launch box and cross passages, construction of extraction shaft and portal, and headwalls for the Union Square and Moscone stations, among other elements. The contractor procured the TBMs from The Robbins Company, headquartered in Solon, Ohio. With the completion of this contract in May 2015, on schedule and $16 million under the baseline budget, the Central Subway project achieved a major milestone. Reaching this milestone retired one of the major risks of the project.The Stations and Systems contract was awarded in May 2013 to Tutor Perini Corporation. At $838 million, this is the largest single construction contract ever awarded by the SFMTA. The contract consists primarily of the three underground stations, one surface station and the project-wide systems, which include track, overhead contact system, communications, signals, ventilation, and fire protection among others. Other associated components include a connection between the existing Powell Street station and the new Union Square station.”
    http://www.sfcta.org/central-subway

    EJ Reply:

    I don’t know about the Central Subway in particular, but modern US subway stations seem massively over-designed to me. Older NYC subway stations usually have at most a small headhouse, with stairs and elevators right down to the platform level. Ditto most rapid transit stations I’ve seen in other countries. The only place outside of the US I’ve seen the massive headhouses and mezzanine levels we tend to build have been on some central, high volume RER stations, and from what I understand even these were pretty controversial at the time.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    German S-bahn stations look lots like the over-designed newer subway stations. Lisbon’s metro stations look identical to DC metros.

    Danny Reply:

    frankly combing the deserts of furthest Araby for jinn to do the digging for us is more realistic, because at least jinn appear in the historical record chasing people around

    he’s insulting scientists and engineers saying the only reason we don’t have these marvels is because he didn’t put his uniquely all-powerful mind to them (because they bring up things like what’d get rid of 10x the tailings piling up)

  2. Roland
    May 3rd, 2017 at 21:25
    #2

    Caltrain Board meetings are now broadcast live: http://www.caltrain.com/about/bod/video.html

  3. Roland
    May 3rd, 2017 at 21:33
    #3

    STB or CEQA in California?
    https://www.courthousenews.com/freight-rail-fight-impact-calif-high-speed-rail-project/

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/38/article/143717/

    Joe Reply:

    Sad. CEQA doesn’t allow critics to argue about subsidies, ticket prices or the economy – it’s just about the EIR.

    Railroading high speed rail thru the system

    It is something that CHSRA proponents can ill afford since an exhaustive CEQA examination would likely prove every one of their premises false from unsubsidized one-way tickets costing less than $100 to how it will have a positive long-term impact on the San Joaquin Valley economy.

  4. Jerry
    May 3rd, 2017 at 23:19
    #4

    “It’s like some Hegelian synthesis of every proposal in carbon-pricing history!”

  5. Jerry
    May 3rd, 2017 at 23:20
    #5

    Students ditch the car and hop on the train to get to their proms
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-metrolink-prom-20170502-htmlstory.html
    With photos of Union Station prom travelers.

    Woody Reply:

    Nice feel-good story with feel-good photos.
    Thanks for the link.

  6. Jerry
    May 3rd, 2017 at 23:24
    #6

    Welcome back, u took a long enough hiatus. Are u going to post anything about the top level management shakeup?

    joe Reply:

    What shake-up? Who is doing the shaking?

    Jeff Morales was with HSR for five successful years during which the project was under attack and high risk of termination. That’s a long time. He gave notice in private at a time when the project is on target to spend ARRA money, has cap and trade money and now Prop1a bonds.

    Given Jeff’s experience and the low pay relative to the private sector, we were lucky to have him that long.

    The LATimes has made many dire forecasts for years and they never happen — even when the State GOP calls hearings, the LATimes “facts and analysis” wither.

    Recall the confidential Contractor Report that was actually an outdated, untitled, unattributedpower point slide deck presentation.

    Roland Reply:

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

    Jerry Reply:

    That wasn’t me. (Perhaps Joe?)

  7. Roland
    May 4th, 2017 at 09:26
    #7

    Paging the FTA: the truth is FINALLY coming out (85-100 seats per EMU railcar): http://calmodtrains.com/

  8. Roland
    May 4th, 2017 at 09:29
    #8

    Paging the FTA: the truth is FINALLY coming out: 85-100 seats per EMU railcar: http://calmodtrains.com/

    joe Reply:

    INCREASED FREQUENCY AND REDUCED TRAVEL TIME

    Hmm. That means greater capacity.

    BART

    To increase the number of seats in the fleet, BART has set a goal to obtain funding to increase the number of cars purchased from 669 currently to 1,081 train cars in the future. This would increase the number of seats in the fleet by about 49%. ***

    ***Use of 1,081 cars requires companion investment in train control upgrade.  

    More seats for riders with fewer seats per BART EMU b/c more trains and greater train frequency enabled by improved train control.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Do you think ANYthing that the California government or one of its sub-units does is worthwhile? Why don’t you just dig a hole and then pull the dirt in on you. I can’t imagine how you can go on living in such a disgusting place!

    Self-burial, it’s the hot new thing for Republican House members since the AHCA vote.

  9. John Nachtigall
    May 4th, 2017 at 10:00
    #9

    Setting everything else aside there is absolutely positively no way that CA can implement a border tax with other states. CA is not a sovereign nation and taxing products built in other states just won’t fly

    I submit Jordan v. Department of Motor Vehicles as a prime example

    CA tried to charge $300 extra dollars to every out of state car specifically to offset emissions and smog. It is exactly on point. It was declared unconstitutional both the CA and US Constitutions.

    “[t]he effect of this fee is similar to the practice of charging license fees and use taxes on vehicles sold outside California that are higher than the license fees and taxes imposed on vehicles sold inside California. ‘The discrimination between interstate and local commerce is plain…. [T]he violation of the commerce clause is patent.’ ” (Jordan v. Department of Motor Vehicles, (1999) 75 Cal. App. 4th 449, 463)

    So its a nice idea….it is never going to fly. Every US court case says no. BTW, in losing the above case CA ended up paying the lawyers north of 88 million for the privilege of having to give back all the money.

    Now back to the other problems

    1. Between now and 2020 what sucker would ever buy anything in the existing system. So no revenue between now and 2020.

    2. Since it is a new system, the 25% assigned to HSR would need to be reassigned, so HSR is back to square 0 on no source of revenue.

    3. Its just a tax disguised as cap and trade. say goodbye to all carbon intensive industries.

    Great Plan

    joe Reply:

    Oracle of Doom writes

    Setting everything else aside there is absolutely positively no way that CA can implement a border tax with other states.

    So its a nice idea….it is never going to fly. Every US court case says no. BTW, in losing the above case CA ended up paying the lawyers north of 88 million for the privilege of having to give back all the money.

    Hmm. If one reads the link….

    4) It has a border-adjustment tax.

    All carbon trading systems face the problem of how to prevent “leakage.”….

    To prevent that, the system would implement a border-adjustment tax, levied on imports according to their carbon intensity (much like the LCFS taxes imported fuels according to carbon intensity). In effect, this amounts to levying a carbon tax on imports. That way everyone competes within the state on a level playing field.

    The tax has to be designed to weather both “dormant commerce clause” lawsuits domestically and possible WTO judgments internationally. I will do you the favor of mostly passing over these technicalities; suffice to say, the authors have scrutinized the issue and believe they have a legally resilient solution.

    As always, critics say “it’s unconstitutional”. Like HSR and current cap and trade, prop1a and basically anything they don’t like — unconstitutional.

    2. Since it is a new system, the 25% assigned to HSR would need to be reassigned, so HSR is back to square 0 on no source of revenue.

    What a putz thing to write.

    3. Its just a tax disguised as cap and trade. say goodbye to all carbon intensive industries.

    CA Supreme Court ruled cap and trade is no tax: Cap and Trade is not mandatory and no one has a right to pollute. Good to see you get the facts wrong today indicating you haven’t a clue about the new law.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. The “authors” can believe anything they like. I gave a specific example of how CA, after having passed and defended exactly this situation, lost. To the CA Supreme court, it didn’t even make it to the Federal Court. At no time in USA history has a state, without congressional approval, been allowed to tax imports from another state. Its a free market.

    Just how do you think this is going to work? For example, all Aluminum, a very carbon intensive process, is made outside CA without cap and trade. Do you really think CA will be allowed to have a border tax on Al cans?

    There is a reason this author passed over the issue. It wont happen

    2. I may be a putz, but you didnt refute it is true. and I noticed you skipped over point 1, that there will be no revenue on the current system up to 2020. HSR has lost its funding.

    3. As the author of this article explained, it does fall under Prop 26 so it needs 2/3 regardless of if it is a tax or a fee or whatever. my point was much more simple. You raise the cost of doing business and guess what….business moves. Call it a non-voluntary fee, per the predictions it will be at the top end of the range the whole time. It will make it expensive….that will raise expenses….that will make moving out of CA more economical. Why do you think they want the border tax? To stop exactly this.

    my facts are exactly on point.

    bixnix Reply:

    1. You could toll the transportation bringing it in.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It’s against federal law to toll highways that use federal funds. But you could, if you choose, toll local roads and raise gas taxes. But that does not help in-state business because they use the same roads and taxes. It would not protect in-state business

    Anandakos Reply:

    You can give the local businesses a rebate. Simply make the tolls a tax credit.

    zorro Reply:

    Glad to see you own being a “Putz“, John Nachtigall…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Sure, I would rather be a putt telling the truth than a cool kid who is delusional

    joe Reply:

    He is for saying we have no money … how many billions and hundreds of millions are we obligated to match with Prop1a given the ARRA grant?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No CA has a lot of money…more than enough to build HSR. I am saying that the current 25% allocation is moot because they are throwing away the current system in 2020 and if they want money after 2020 they have to reauthorize. All of which is true

    zorro Reply:

    Starting over from Scratch is better, since We don’t need a weak CnT law that expires in 2020.
    I support SB775.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and what are you going to use to build HSR phase 1 in the meantime?

    Joe Reply:

    Reality: CA has 2.3 billion in Prop1a matching funds to spend.

    I’m sure the CA Leglislature does not know they have to play your game and counter every FUD ball you cough up with an immediate answer otherwise you win.

    Roland Reply:

    FUD ball: where is the money for tracks and signalling is coming from?

    Les Reply:

    You all demand to immediately see cash in hand for out-year work in a lock-box guarded in the Capitol Basement. It doesn’t work that way.

    CHSR have the green light to issue contracts and money to fund the work. At the next decision point the State will resubmit plans and budgets and continue to proceed – as always.

    The funding and work details will change as expected which is why the State requires resubmission of plans and budgets during the project lifecycle.

    joe Reply:

    Above was written by Joe.

    les Reply:

    The 51st and 52nd state do it all the time. They just do it in peso’s and canadian dollars instead. Maybe California need secede.

    Washingtonians de-tax Oregon all the time. It should only make sense that Oregon tax Washington shoppers. I once met an Iowonian who bought a $80,000 RV in Oregon and used an Oregon address to avoid a sales tax. Individuals bilk the system all the time. Why can a state do it?

    les Reply:

    err: Why can’t a state do it?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Canada and Mexico are sovereign countries, CA is not. As far as seceding, it’s been tried…did not work out well for those states and they are still US territory.

    And CA can charge whatever they like in sales tax, income tax or property taxes. What they can’t do, as you read in my cite, is charge preferential rates based on in-state or out of state. It is simply not allowed

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    https://californianational.party/en_US

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No. Not ever. Don’t be ridiculous. #StrongerTogether

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I have no obligation to the us or the Democratic Party. I’d rather work together with conservative Californians and make deals to unite us for a better CALIFORNIA free from the idiocy of the political parties in Washington.

    zorro Reply:

    Republicans are a minority in California, Nationhood for California is not going to be on the ballot, it’s a DEAD idea that was tried before, only 2 counties wanted it, out of 58.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Who is hash tag stronger together with whom? Who are you talking about? It’s time for Californians to get off of the pointless dem vs rep merrygoround that wastes our time. The us doesn’t even like us in fact they hate us. I’ve been all across the country for decades and Americans absolutely despise us everywhere you go. An independent CA with a less centralized government and counties acting as states with with a high degree of freedom to manage themselves as they see fit be they liberal or conservative would remove the resentment that our current system promotes. Leave defense, infrastructure and higher education to Sacramento with rural counties having a more equal voice while not forcing them to adopt policies designed for la and sf. Give everyone more freedom and more privacy than they have now That gets everyone on board.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No. No. No. That is the opposite direction we should be moving in (#NorthAmericanUnion) (#GiveTheUNPower). Unity is always better than decentralization. The federal government provides invaluable services, and we are all worse off as separate nations (Just look at UK/EU.) Besides, I didn’t see you talking this way before our preferred candidate lost. Stop being so petulant, and fight for politically achievable things like getting rid of the Electoral College, and perhaps subarea equity in federal spending which would essentially take care of your issues.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Car(e) I realize you are an idealist and a globalist. But surly you cant believe the UN could run a good government? Honestly, they have trouble doing anything but talk.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Sure I do. If they actually had power. They should be the people to solve Syria, Iraq, etc., through an international military, with war declared by a proportional vote of all member nations. This is getting rather off-topic, though.

    EJ Reply:

    @car(e)-free for once I agree with John N. You need some basic set of shared values among your constituents to form an effective government. I’m not talking about semi-imaginary racial/cultural tropes, but just a basic commitment to fundamental democratic ideals.

    I think the UN is great. There should be an international forum where the US, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, France, China, Brazil, Sudan, etc. can get together and yell at each other. Beats going to war, and occasionally something useful comes of it. But UN military intervention has had results that are questionable at best. You give the UN a standing army and we’ve got some bad times. This ain’t starfleet.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    https://theflatearthsociety.org/home/

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_frivolous_political_parties

    Eric Reply:

    saw that list of frivolous parties and immediately the “election night reporting” monty python sketch started playing in my mind…

    joe Reply:

    The description contradicts John.

    To prevent that, the system would implement a border-adjustment tax, levied on imports according to their carbon intensity (much like the LCFS taxes imported fuels according to carbon intensity). In effect, this amounts to levying a carbon tax on imports. That way everyone competes within the state on a level playing field.

    We impose a fee on any seeking to evade the in state. John misrepresents the proposal to mean exactly opposite of what it does. Moving a power plant out of state and selling electricity in CA doesn’t avoid the fee.

    Anandakos Reply:

    But California can make the tax or fee — call it what you will — a refundable, tax credit for in-state payers.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Les
    It is also a big problem that Oregon has no sales tax.

    les Reply:

    yes, i just bought a laptop there and saved $35.00.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Mhmmm. It is very problematic for the finances of the state government. Besides, you should be using Amazon.

    les Reply:

    Oregon sure hits hard with the income tax however. People who live in Vancouver and work in Portland have it made. They get the best of both worlds.

    les Reply:

    oops, i have it backwards. i mean live in Oregon but work in Vancouver.

    Anandakos Reply:

    That’s not true. All Oregon RESIDENTS pay Oregon Income Tax as do NON-RESIDENTS who work in Oregon. It doesn’t matter where you live; if you work in Oregon you pay Oregon Income Taxes.

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah the move is to work in Washington and live (and shop) in Oregon.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I’ve always talked that way since I was I kid I knew we were different and should be our own nation But only recently has an actual party arisen. And bitch don’t call me petulant you ain’t old enough to know shit.

    We’ll make our own immigration laws
    We’ll make our own trade deals with Canada Mexico and the us
    And the pacific rim
    We’ll hiring NATO and contribute our two percent
    We’ll have our own voice in the UN
    We’ll give our citizens unprecedented privacy laws
    We’ll give our citizens more freedom to live as they choose
    And we’ll be free of dysfunctional dem vs rep nonsense that passes for governance in the us.
    We’ll stop supporting an ungrateful nation with our tax money.
    And we will no longer be an ATM for the Democratic Party
    Our urban and rural counties will work together and compromise and end the us vs them mentality
    And we can all be free from the meddling into our personal lives from the far left and far right both of whom spend too much time telling people how they should live

    That is what it means to be a real Californian
    That’s how we used to do it. That’s what made us great.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Not that it will ever get that far…because there is no indication the people of CA actually want to succeed. But you left some things off your list

    We’ll go thirty because all the water sources for the state lie outside CA borders
    We’ll go hungry because we need that water to grow food
    We’ll lose a large portion of the economy that will not give up being a US company
    We’ll be beaten and bloodied in the ensuing civil war where the most powerful military in the world, free from having any logistical challenges (since CA is next door) will roll over the combination of millitia/highway patrol
    We’ll go back to being an obedient little state.

    no be a good little citizen and get back in line

    Joe Reply:

    We’ll go thirty [sic] because all the water sources for the state lie outside CA borders

    “All the water sources for the state”

    “All”

    Really?

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Those clouds overhead don’t qualify?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    if you think your drinking water and agricultural water come from rain you really have problems.

    The water rights that CA owns are an Interstate compact….guess what happens when you are no longer a state…no interstate compact. Just ask Mexico how much water they get from the Rio Grande after the US is done with it. The watershed starts in the Rockies, it can end at the border.

    Joe Reply:

    “All the water sources for the state”

    Please elaborate. From which state does your tap water come?

    Michael Reply:

    John- All the water (with the exception of a very small bit of Klamath River water) north of the Tehachapis is from within the state. South of there is a mix of Northern California water, Owens River water, local water (not much), desalination, and Colorado River water. If you want to learn about this out of state source, you can start here.
    http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_1016EHR.pdf

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Did they move Hetch Hetchy over the boarder? Because that supplies 85% of SF

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_in_California

    Unlike the other California watersheds, essentially all of the water flowing in the Colorado originates outside the state. The Colorado is a critical source of irrigation and urban water for southern California, providing between 55 and 65 percent of the total supply.

    So you win, CA would only lose about 50% of its water

    Michael Reply:

    John- Do I need to supply a map? Hetch Hetchy, which I’m sipping right now, is in state. All of the ag in the Central Valley is California water. All of the Bay Area is California water. Another handy resource…
    https://mavensnotebook.com/the-notebook-file-cabinet/californias-water-systems/

    joe Reply:

    he Colorado is a critical source of irrigation and urban water for southern California, providing between 55 and 65 percent of the total supply.
    So you win, CA would only lose about 50% of its water

    Jesus H Christ.
    Southern California isn’t the state’s bread basket you argumentative twit.
    Colorado supplies only 4.4 million acre feet total.
    Show us the math you used to make up that goofy 50% number.

    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/styles/large/public/2013-06/interactivemap-th.jpg

    Anandakos Reply:

    Woo-Hoo! joe names and shames Basketball.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Nope

    That is federal land. Yosemite is held in trust by the Federal government for the citizens of the United States. In fact 45% of the land in CA is owned by the Federal governments. So if CA succeeds, what makes you think it gets to take that land with it? You watershed is almost all Federal land.

    This article contains a helpful little map

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/article53922925.html

    So in this “peaceful succession”, I can only assume that land rights will be respected, and therefore those will remain US government property. To be fair, however, all land that CA owns in the other 49 states will remain CA land.

    Joe Reply:

    “All water sources”
    Man can’t admit he wrote a lame troll.

    Now we’re told Yosemite is not in California-get out your USA map troll master.
    Which state does yosemite reside Johnny?

    Michael Reply:

    Dont call me Johnny

    Yosimite resides in the State of California, which is a member of the United States of America

    The land is property of the US government.

    Are you proposing that in this little fantasy of yours, that when CA succeeds (and is no longer part of the USA) that is seizes the land that is rightfully owned by the US government. Because the US government owned that land before CA was even a state, the state of CA has no claim on that land.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    above was me

    Joe Reply:

    I and another corrected your bullshit comment that all CA water sources were out of state.

    Im not arguing about the terms of succession. You can imagine whatever you want there John since
    it is a fantasy that you an imagine to suit your desires and arguments.

    CA watersheds are geophysical fact. As usual, you fired off before knowing the topic
    Aluminum !

    EJ Reply:

    Good god. There are international treaties that govern water rights between Canada, the US, and Mexico. There are also complex agreements between states in the US around water rights for shared watersheds. Since nobody in their right mind is contemplating a violent, unilateral, 1861 style secession of California, one presumes that negotiation of rights to water, minerals, and other resources would be part of the process.

    EJ Reply:

    And JN, you’re a right-winger. Aren’t you folks all about turning federal land over to the states?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    To negotiate requires that both sides want something. The USA has nothing to gain from a CA succession. They already have all the revenue, land, people, productivity, economy, resources, and technilogy of owning CA. What could CA possibly offer to the US to “negotiate” an exit?

    Which is why there are never non-violent civil breakups and they are all civil wars. The US would not give up CA without a fight. Just like they would not give up the southern states without a fight. And they were less valuable than CA

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And I am a conservative, but I do not support moving federal lands to the states. And I believe there are programs that are better left to federal power like regulating banks as an example. Do you think they will revoke my GOP card?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Learn how to spell, people! Geez.

    Easily Confused Words: Succession vs. Secession

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really. We are resorting to criticism of spelling at this point?

    Roland Reply:

    Really.

    EJ Reply:

    “Which is why there are never non-violent civil breakups and they are all civil wars.”

    I don’t think the UK is going to war with Europe any time soon, despite Brexit. And the UK has given Scotland a legal, peaceful path to secede if they so choose. (and they’ve got many of the same thorny issues to deal with that California and the US would, e.g. what happens to all the military bases in Scotland?)

    But whatever, it’s all armchair speculation. California secession talk is going to die down just like it always does. But it would be interesting to have a formal referendum on it.

    Joe Reply:

    Slovania left Yugoslavia with minimal conflicts.
    The USSR didn’t dissolve via a civil conflict.
    Australia, New Zealand, Canada.

    Counter examples abound if one were base opinions on facts instead of emotions and beliefs.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    you ain’t old enough to know shit.

    Aww…sweet of you. I am young enough to have a vested interest in a prosperous future, but that’s about it.

    We’ll make our own immigration laws

    Or we can win everything in 2020. That’d work too. Don’t screw over New York and Oregon and Washington and….

    We’ll make our own trade deals with Canada Mexico and the US

    Sounds like Brexit. *sarcasm* The US would love a trade deal after we left *sarcasm.* Though it would be nice if we could join the TPP.

    And the pacific rim

    Except that we wouldn’t even have the entirety of the American Pacific Rim. Though I don’t support secession, if we were to secede, we may as well split the country at the Continental Divide.

    We’ll hiring NATO and contribute our two percent

    Which is better than doing it within the USA?

    We’ll have our own voice in the UN

    Or we could be realistic, and try for proportional UN representation.

    We’ll give our citizens unprecedented privacy laws

    Nah. Not a fan.

    We’ll give our citizens more freedom to live as they choose

    Nice sound byte.

    And we’ll be free of dysfunctional dem vs rep nonsense that passes for governance in the us.

    And move to what. The center in California would just move left until there is a 50/50 split.

    We’ll stop supporting an ungrateful nation with our tax money.

    Which leaves New York where? Try for a Democrat majority and subarea equity in spending. Or acknowledge that some people need our help.

    And we will no longer be an ATM for the Democratic Party

    Are private donors in a very blue, very populous state a problem?

    Our urban and rural counties will work together and compromise and end the us vs them mentality

    Yeah right. Though most people are urban. Mostly, we just need to fix water rights.

    And we can all be free from the meddling into our personal lives from the far left and far right both of whom spend too much time telling people how they should live.

    Neither actually has power.

    That is what it means to be a real Californian

    A real Californian is someone who lives in California.

    That’s how we used to do it. That’s what made us great.

    No. We’ve never done the things you listed.

    Wells Reply:

    uh yes before your time, californians had a live and let live attitude across the board. Now there is too much meddling in freedom and privacy.

    Wells Reply:

    One-third of state residents support peacefully seceding from the United States, up from 20% since Californians were last asked the same question in 2014, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll. The poll’s margin of error for the California answers was plus or minus 5 percentage points
    -la times may 7 2017

    why would we help new york? they are the competition. fuck new yorkers and their condescending attitude towards us.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Don’t flatter yourself. New Yorkers don’t condescend. They ignore.

    EJ Reply:

    You ignore us? I wish.

    bixnix Reply:

    With all due respect to NY, we’re more important.

    Wells Reply:

    people like you are whats wrong with america to begin with.

    bixnix Reply:

    Non self centered people?

    Eric Reply:

    Why join NATO? california is on the pacific.

    Derek Reply:

    Turkey is on the Mediterranean.

    Joe Reply:

    Ralph Wiggum is a recurring character on the animated series The Simpsons.

    EJ Reply:

    An independent California (which is not going to happen) shouldn’t join NATO. At least not until Mexico does.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    States tax things produced and then sold instate all the time. Sales taxes, tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes, .. . . . fuel taxes..

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yep. And they are charged at the same rate. Gas made in or out of state is taxed at the same rate. So is food, goods, or anything else. The proposal is a border tax that chatprges out of state but not in state. It’s ridiculous,on its face.

    joe Reply:

    The proposal is a border tax that chatprges out of state but not in state. It’s ridiculous,on its face.

    100 % False.

    The effect is to stop compliance evasion by moving out of state to avoid the fee. It isn’t nor does it have the effect of a tariff because you falsely and without regard to the facts claim so.

    Since 2009 CA has LCFS taxes on imported fuels according to carbon intensity. A republican governor created this LCFS by executive order.

    CA Supreme Court has ruled cap and trade is a fee and not a tax nor is polluting a protected right.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s charging out state the same rates as in state. Just like buying a bottle of fine Kentucky bourbon instead of California brandy.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    the proposal is it is not. The proposal is a border tax so out of state is charged and in state is not.

    If the rate is the same…it is not a border tax.

    Joe Reply:

    Nope.

    The state proposes a carbon fee on both in and out of state.
    You are arguing the state will not apply cap and trade to in state carbon emissions.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and the only way to enforce it for out of state is a border tax….which is unconstitutional. Unless you think CA has tax powers in other states?

    I refer you again to the Jordan v. Department of Motor Vehicles

    The CA court you love so much for ruling in favor of cap and trade and HSR said

    [t]he effect of this fee is similar to the practice of charging license fees and use taxes on vehicles sold outside California that are higher than the license fees and taxes imposed on vehicles sold inside California. ‘The discrimination between interstate and local commerce is plain…. [T]he violation of the commerce clause is patent.’ ” (Jordan v. Department of Motor Vehicles, (1999) 75 Cal. App. 4th 449, 463)

    It is simply not allowed.

    PS: The actual proposal is for “carbon intensive product” not just energy

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then it’s unconstitutional for California to levy taxes on Jack Daniels.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    no, its unconstitutional for CA to levy a tax on Jack Daniels and not on these guys

    http://sonomacountydistilling.com/#home

    this is not rocket science…why are you guys not picking this up.

    No preferential out of state taxation. Its called “The United States”….no internal border control, 1 currency, free market….it was in all the papers, I am surprised that you are surprised.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California would be taxing the embedded carbon in the beer from Colorado or the whiskey from Kentucky just like it does on beer or whiskey from California.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and how would they do that.

    So lets say 1 L of whiskey costs $5, pre cap and trade. both in CA and in TN

    In CA the cap and trade credits required (direct and/or indirect cost of energy) add $0.25 (5%).

    How are you going to tax the TN whiskey 5% without taxing the CA whiskey? remember that $.25 was not a tax, it was a voluntary payment of cap and trade credits per the court. So how are you going to get TN to pay a voluntary 5% at the border?

    PS. That is a whole other issue in that there is no closed borders between states so enforcement is impossible.

    In Jordan v. Department of Motor Vehicles read the specific opinon

    Joe Reply:

    I am sure your ideas are unconstitutional.

    What’s relevant is the actual cap and trade proposal which sadly you don’t know and argue.

    Please continue to tell us your ideas will not work and are unlawful.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They’d be taxing the carbon the same way they tax the alcohol. Or the same way they collect any other excise tax. I’m sure some one somewhere is growing tobacco in California. California taxes tobacco heavily. Just like it does alcohol. Or road fuel.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No, it’s not like that at all. Because a border tax would have to preferentially tax imports.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    I’ve looked through this thread and I think John is the winner on points. But. Maybe (I know it’s not factual change, it[s just different verbal packaging): How bout if all carbon (in state and out of state) were charged the same, but CA producers (if they satisfied CA carbon requirements) could apply for a rebate based on total sales, and they were required to pass on to consumers in the form of correspondingly decreased prices? I worry that this would be too complex and therefore expensive. But it might be made up for because there would be no need for out of state duties (or tariffs, custom charges, taxes,
    bribes ..).

    Anandakos Reply:

    Charge everybody nosebleed rates and rebate it through a refundable California Income Tax Credit at 100%.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Now that would not be good for the citizens. Any tariff — and that is what it would be — raises the price of consumer goods because it limits competition. But it’s easy enough to avoid the Interstate Commerce Clause. Just use two taxes. It’s like a diagonal spread in options.

    joe Reply:

    1. The “authors” can believe anything they like. I gave a specific example of how CA, after having passed and defended exactly this situation, lost. To the CA Supreme court, it didn’t even make it to the Federal Court. At no time in USA history has a state, without congressional approval, been allowed to tax imports from another state. Its a free market.

    You cite the constitution – like any wing nut – those things you dislike are unconstitutional. Including HSR and prop1a and wtc. We’ve seen this sad act before.

    The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard disproves your constitutional interpretation. We can regulate and not run afoul of interstate commerce case law. No one has a right to pollute.

    Jerry Reply:

    A California law requires that eggs sold in California must come from chickens that are cage free.
    Six other states said their egg farmers would have extra expense in order to sell their eggs in California. The six other states sued in US Federal Court. And lost.
    They ended up with cage free egg on their face.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so ALL eggs have to be cage free. That is not the proposal. The proposal is a border tax where out of state is treated differently than in state.

    I cite a specific case, in CA, with a tax used for emissions, where it was specifically cited as unconstitutional….by a CA state court.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    We are not yet sufficiently eggsistentualist to demand that all cackleberries be laid by cage-free hens.

    Joe Reply:

    Show us how CA emitters avoid the cap and trade fee.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1. Smelt Aluminimum in Wyoming (dont pay for carbon credits) BTW, the carbon footprint of Al is high, but glass is worse.

    For the aluminium can, considering 50 % recycling rate, the Carbon Footprint has been calculated as 8.96 kg CO2e per kg. … Then the 8.96 kg CO2e for the aluminium cans must be compared with 23.5 kg CO2e for the glass bottle

    2. Sell aluminum to Coors in Colorado (no fee there)

    3. Coors sells cans in CA (no fee there) because CA can not charge them at the border because that is illegal

    Hence they never pay offset fees

    Rinse and repeat for every other industry.

    Joe Reply:

    Please point to where cap and trade would applies to aluminum cans.
    Give a reference so we know this is grounded in the law or proposed law.

    Don’t smoke pot so these what-if discussions aren’t mind blowing or an interesting use of time.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Cap and trade applies to Smelting Aluminium. It is very electricity intensive and the generation of that electricity generates CO2. I gave you the quote, it is 9 kg of CO2 per kg of Al.

    Also, making beer emits CO2 or equivalents, both the chemical process and the actual power needed to produce the product.

    If you had a smelter or a brewery in CA you would have to buy cap and trade credits. Those outside the state do not.

    here is a specific reference to the aluminum industry

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/cap-and-trade-explained-what-ontarios-shift-on-emissions-will-mean/article23895285/

    “The government gives out some permits for free, usually to companies in sectors that are vulnerable to competitors in other jurisdictions without cap-and-trade systems. (One example is the aluminium industry in Quebec, which faces stiff competition around the world.)”

    Now you will recall that free offsets are being eliminated in the new system, so guess who has to pay rather than get them free?

    You dont really understand how this works do you? There is more to emissions than just energy production.

    from the CA cap and trade page

    https://www.c2es.org/us-states-regions/key-legislation/california-cap-trade

    Sectors Covered

    Electricity, heat and steam production, and five major industrial sectors (oil, iron and steel, cement, glass, pulp and paper) 2005-2012; plus CO2 from petrochemicals, ammonia, aviation and aluminum, N2O from acid production, and PFCs from aluminum starting in 2013

    So now that I have conclusively proven you wrong in all respects are you going to admit defeat?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Aluminum smelters tend to be near the hydroelectric dams.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    yep…in states with low environmental regulations

    Joe Reply:

    A man who can make up a coherent example.
    WA has a facility using hydroelectric power and has environmental laws.
    Wyoming, your made up example has none.

    Hydroelectric energy has what size carbon footprint and fee?

    Joe Reply:

    Which in state California aluminum facility does cap and trade favor?

    You make silly claims and jump around – stick with the argument it’s a tariff that does not apply to CA and show me the in state aluminum facility.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    California has always been a magnet for industries despite its high regulations and taxes. It’s okay if we lose a few industrial plants. Our economy will be just fine.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You wanted an example, I gave you one.

    CA aluminum facilities (which cap and trade would penalize. Hence the need for a border tax to relevel the playing field)

    http://www.manta.com/mb_45_E81557N1_05/aluminum_smelting_and_refining_secondary/california

    I can make the same argument with steel or any other heavy industry. I just picked Wyoming out of the air, feel free to substitute any other state. The argument is the same

    So again, I supply all the data and let me guess, you still won’t admit you are wrong.

    Joe Reply:

    CA aluminum facilities (which cap and trade would penalize.

    No such smelter exists in CA

    You made up a bogus example.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Did you read the list? Re you looking for a particular brand?

    Joe Reply:

    “Smelter”

    You referenced smelting, approximately three operate in the USA. None in CA.

    Bait and switch. You are lame.

    Joe Reply:

    BTW, you don’t show how a CA emitter avoided the fee in your hypothetical example.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    a CA emitter would not avoid the free. So if oyu have a brewery in CA you would require credits…that is the whole point. So beer made in CO is cheaper than beer made in CA because CA brewers have to pay for credits, either directly or indirectly with higher energy costs.

    That is why they want a border tax. You realize we are talking about the border tax right?

    Joe Reply:

    You say the “tax” is unfair and here your need to win means you explained why the state already charges a fee and needs to charge the same fee for the importer.

    That means the fee is not a tariff. It is an equal application of cap and trade.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It was a fee in Jordan vs Motor Vehicles also. That’s not relevant. It’s not the same fee. In the state it is “voluntary” cap and trade credits. A border fee would be non voluntary. It is not even close

    Joe Reply:

    It’s not a tariff John.

    As for credits, what mess are you burping up? You implied a state polluter can evade the carbon fee.

    How?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s cheaper to ship the electricity and melt the aluminum cans in California. With hydropower from Washington and Oregon.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    good one. Let me know when you get a permit to open a smelting plant in CA. Do you have any idea how dirty and polluting they are? You might as well try and open a steel mill.

    les Reply:

    Washington has always had the largest smelting plants because of Boeing needs and cheap power. Most the dirty ones are going out of business because of world competition which taxing is not a problem.
    Aluminum is a very poor example.

    Joe Reply:

    Columbia falls MT had a facility too.

    Cheap electricity from public hydropower in NW was deregulated and sold on open market. I was paying 0.04 kWh in Montana but now the rates are higher as electricity is sold on the grid.

    Iceland does smelting – ore is shipped to Iceland for the low cost, green power. 40-50% of cost is power and It’s always been hydropower.

    I think the KY facility does high grade aluminum for DOD and aerospace and is the only, out of three left, that uses carbon generated electricity.

    Yes aluminum was a bad example.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Why is it a bad example….any production outside CA would have to be taxed…it’s a perfect exampl

    les Reply:

    because the main players use clean energy anymore. anything that isn’t clean is imported from out of country which can easily be taxed.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It’s not out of country…it’s out of state…I swear, is no one paying attention

    Joe Reply:

    Internationally Tariffs on imports are illegal so the example stands as another explanation why a fee for internal good and fee on an externally imported good is legal and not an unequal trade barrier.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    the LCFS apply to ALL fuels, not just out of state.

    You keep missing the point.

    Joe Reply:

    The point is there is no legal language but you have already divined this cap and trade concept it is not constitutionally possible.

    We have an admission CA can levy requirements on out of state fuels.

    Your argument is based on a blatant misrepresentation of an article. There is no proposed tariff and both in and out of state will have the same carbon fee.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Cap and Trade is entirely possible and easily constitutional. The only constitutional argument on cap and trade is the 2/3 requirement. The border tax in the proposal is unconstitutional. CA is sovereign only in CA.

    I have misrepresented nothing. from the article, notice they specifically say imports.

    “In effect, this amounts to levying a carbon tax on imports”

    They will not charge both in and out of state the same. The author, and presumably the law writers, try to bring up the LCFS. but that is charged on everything. It simply wont pass muster. I cited the specific coart case where CA tried to do this in the 1990s….its directly on point.

    Joe Reply:

    Recap:
    An article that doesn’t explain the yet to be written cap and trade policy is called unconstitutional.

    Same expert assure us cap and trade can be constitutionally compliant.

    The imaginary cap and trade John says is unconstitutional needs to be replaced with the imaginary law he thinks is legal.

    Aluminum!!!

    What a waste of time it is trying to untangle your concocted arguments.

    joe Reply:

    2. I may be a putz, but you didnt refute it is true. and I noticed you skipped over point 1, that there will be no revenue on the current system up to 2020. HSR has lost its funding.

    LOL Not I’m not obligated.

    You always tell us we have no money and how HSR is illegal and now with 3.2 B in ARRA money about done we have to match with Prop1a.

    We have no money … LOL.

  10. Clem
    May 4th, 2017 at 15:08
    #10

    Curious to hear what Roland has to say about this tweet:
    https://twitter.com/Caltrain/status/860116845407416321
    Such smooooooth slab sides…

  11. Reedman
    May 4th, 2017 at 16:29
    #11
  12. Wells
    May 4th, 2017 at 19:08
    #12

    The last VOX article I read was on ‘their’ predicted future of transportation.
    Long story short, in it, VOX editors predict: Hyperloop, self-driving cars,
    autonomous delivery pods, drone delivery, verticle takeoff flying taxi,
    and a few more equally ridiculous technologies that will never happen.
    Somehow, I’m certain VOX also predicted our first woman President,
    which would’ve been better than the fiend now pretending to conduct the office.

    Wells Reply:

    Here’s a link to that mentioned VOX article:
    https://www.vox.com/new-money/2017/4/26/15363592/tesla-uber-google-waymo-spacex-innovation
    There were 3 additional transportation technologies that I forgot – supersonic air travel, reusable rockets, and EVs. Supersonic air travel – the Concorde – is a viable, proven technology that the wealthy won’t be denied. EVs like the Tesla, the Nissan Leaf and others are viable, but to my way of thinking, the most efficient are the BMW Car2go Smart Cars; the smallest EVs designed for low speeds and shortest range driving distance. The Smart Car that isn’t electric, isn’t smart. As for reusable rockets that deliver satellites into orbit – the earth sciences that satellites observe are important, but they’re never going to usher in a practical space travel and planetary colonization. We’re better off taking care of the only world we’ll ever inhabit.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Just read in today’s Chicago Tribune Newspaper that Stephen Hawking, the renowned scientist, has just revised downward his earlier prediction that humankind has one thousand years in which to implement an escape to another planet to avoid extinction on this one – to, now, we only have 100 years. http://www.chicagotribune.com/…/ct-stephen-hawking-escape-earth-20170505-story.html

    Wells Reply:

    Hawking may be making his prediction only as a warning similar to mine; we’re better off taking care of the only planet we’ll ever inhabit.

    Roland Reply:

    And plan B is?

    EJ Reply:

    There is no plan B. What are we going to do? Terraform Mars? Build self-sufficient cloud cities on Venus? Build self-sufficient space habitats? Find a habitable planet around another star and go there?

    The technology to do any of that is centuries away at the least, regardless of what Elon Musk thinks.

    Roland Reply:

    Until he launches Godot: http://www.dailybreeze.com/business/20170512/the-boring-co-begins-tunneling-with-elon-musks-godot-machine-at-spacex

    EJ Reply:

    TBMs already exist. I realize this one has the blessing of His Holiness, Elon Musk, PBUH, but right now it’s just a regular TBM. Also this has nothing to do with space colonization.

    joe Reply:

    If you’ve seen “Interstellar, humanity has to leave Earth because of a blight killing plant life thus rendering the planet in habitable for oxygen breathing mammals.

    Amazingly the plants brought and grown on their interstellar spaceship are not affected.

    Any technological capability to colonize a different plant, understanding and engineering gravity and etc, would also be capable of protecting plant life and altering this planet.

    The appeal of space is leaving “The Other” behind.

    EJ Reply:

    The appeal of space is leaving “The Other” behind.

    Bingo. And yeah, fixing the environmental damage we’ve caused here on earth is a huge political and technical problem but it’s a snap compared to creating a truly self-sustaining long-term space colony or terraforming another planet.

    Roland Reply:

    I meant launching Godot (or parts thereof) as in a Falcon Heavy (first TBM on orbit).

    Roland Reply:

    The Grand Master Plan: https://youtu.be/IAZ-Xbn5hr0?t=496

    agb5 Reply:

    Just think about if someone said they’re going to design a new automobile and it’s going to be 1,000 percent more efficient. Would you believe them?” said a tunneling consultant who asked not to be named. “Give me a break. You think someone can take apart a Boeing plane and put it back together, improving it by 500 percent? Elon’s got a very steep learning curve.

    bixnix Reply:

    It sounds like something Trump would say.

    Come to think of it, Elon is to tech what Trump is to real estate (and politics :-( ). A hyperbole-loving self promoter who somehow built a big fan base on few real accomplishments.

    EJ Reply:

    But, but, Elon Musk helped create paypal! And an electric car company that loses money! And rockets that are cheaper an almost as capable as stuff that NASA and the Air Force were launching in the 1960s. I mean he’s a smart guy but when he says “ok, we’re gonna build this, but better” I’m not holding my breath.

    EJ Reply:

    More seriously, it’s only natural that a good engineer looks at a piece of existing technology and says, “I bet I could build that better.” Doesn’t mean it’s something we should bet on.

  13. JimInPollockPines
    May 4th, 2017 at 19:59
    #13

    This must be done. The us is in an unsalvagable decline. They ARE detrimental and toxic to CA. Enough with the dysfunction of both parties. Enough with tratdems treating us like an ATM. Enough of being dictated to by Texans and Alabamans enough with the other 49 talking shit about us while they sponge off of our prosperity and enough with the condescension of the east coat media.
    https://californianational.party/en_US

    The dems keep calling me from back east to ask for more money I told them I changed my registration and to go away and stop bothering Californians We don’t need you. Take a hike

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You’re being as self-centered and ignorant at the Trump-supporting nationalists.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    No. I’m a Californian Always have been. Never identified as an America only as a Californian. And what I pointed out is the truth. We do not need the United States and would be much better on our own. Real Californians understand that truth.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Real Californians?

    PS. The USA has NEVER been better than now (other than 8 months ago

    Wells Reply:

    The united states and its people and its political parties are wasting our time, stealing our money, dictating our actions, and treating us like shit. We don’t need them. They are dragging us down with them https://californianational.party/en_US

    Wells Reply:

    Richard, I did not write this post.
    Someone using my handle ‘Wells’ did.
    Judging by the character of this post, I must protest.
    Whoever wrote this sounds like a rightwing, anti-government troll.

    zorro Reply:

    So go ahead, renounce your American Citizenship JimInPollockPines, just don’t leave the US, or you’ll never be allowed back in.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Never an American huh? Ok show me your CA passport and you win.

    Edward Reply:

    I remember those. They had a bear safety paper background. Really official looking. A few people actually used them in out of the way border crossings. Everybody’s heard of California. Right?

    The state department was not amused and asked the provider to stop the foolishness. It was fun while it lasted.

    Edward Reply:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5oGOMkXMAAyyt1.jpg

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You miss the point. US passports are only issued to US citizens. So if Jim has never identified as an American, he could not have a passport. That is unless he is a hypocrite and uses US services when it is convenient? Surely that could not be the case….I would be aghast.

    I would also be interested how he answers job application questions when they ask if he is a US citizen. Does he scratch our US and write in CA?

    Like all kooks he is all talk and no go

    Jon Reply:

    I don’t identify as a citizen of any sovereign nation, but I can’t have no citizenship, because that’s technically not possible. So I do have a passport from a country, even though I don’t identify as a citizen of that country.

    Guess what! The narrow set of national identities allowed by the various bureaucracies of the world doesn’t always line up with how we feel in our hearts! Who woulda thunk it?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Guess what? To obtain that passport you had to sign a declaration, under penalty of law, that you are a US citizen. You did that voluntarily because a passport is not required.

    So I don’t give a shit what your heart “thinks”, you swore you were a US citizen. Are you a hypocrite or a US citizen?

    Joe Reply:

    Testifying you are a legal citizen eligible for an entitlement is not a fidelity oath.
    Nations do not own people. We are born with inalienable rights as human beings.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No one said it was an oath of loyalty. In fact here in America you are not required to be loyal to federal, state, or local government and you can still be a citizen. Once again you miss the point

    You can’t simultaneously claim to be a US citizen and Not a US citizen. Pick.

    He is in fact a US citizen, because they issued him a passport. But saying that you “dont identify as a US citizen” after you have sworn that you are is hypocracy. It’s that simple. If he was a man of his conviction he would refuse to sign.

    It’s a bunch of crap. If you are going to stand on principle then stand on it. All I see is a lot of talk and actions that contradict

    EJ Reply:

    JN, you’re like that guy popping out of the well in that cartoon saying “and yet you participate in society! Curious! I am very intelligent!”

    He has a US passport because California can’t issue passports since it is not currently internationally recognized as a country. I imagine he also pays US federal taxes because he’d get in serious legal trouble if he didn’t.

    He’s not engaging in civil disobedience because he feels that there are legal channels to change California’s status. In the meantime you go along with whatever the norms are that allow you to live your life. This is not a hard concept.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I don’t know what cartoon you are referring to, so I cant comment on that.

    CA has never claimed to be a country. You act as if all it is missing is international recognition, there is no petition to become a country, it is just an internet fantasy. More importantly, there are no legal channels to change its status. Statehood is irrevocable. There was a bloody war to prove that point, you may of heard of it, it was in all the papers. PS. You can pay US taxes and not be a citizen, so that would not be a deciding factor. On the other hand, on job applications you have to claim to be a US citizen or provide a green card, so there is another area he is lying.

    I do agree it is not a hard concept. People who want all the privileges of US citizenship, but also want to claim they are not US citizens are merely hypocrites. It is a simple concept. They are all talk and no action. Swearing under the law you are a US citizen and then turning around and saying you are not a US citizen just shows the kind of liar they are. And liars have no credibility and therefore what they say and think has no weight.

    There is no disobedience required. He could check “no” of the citizen box of job applications. He is not required to have a passport to live. If he truly believed he was not a US citizen he could walk the walk. Otherwise he is just a windbag that talks a lot and actions that prove his real beliefs.

    Joe Reply:

    Here John:
    https://thenib.com/mister-gotcha

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    yeah I got no problem with that…especially the 1st one.

    Should I start calling you all Scott?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/snl-thank-you-scott_us_58e9c42be4b05413bfe37e16

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It doesn’t matter how you identify, citizenship-wise. It matters where you live.

  14. Roland
    May 5th, 2017 at 12:34
    #14

    Caltrain May 4th Board meeting: https://youtu.be/b3chI9qMlhk

  15. morris brown
    May 5th, 2017 at 12:34
    #15

    NEW POLL RESULTS: California Voters Want Funding for High Speed Rail Spent on Different Projects Instead

    StevieB Reply:

    How this GOP pollster worded the question makes all the difference.

    Question: California’s High Speed Rail project is now projected to cost 64 billion dollars. With a budget like this, California could invest in other infrastructure projects instead of High Speed Rail. I’m going to read you a list of possible investments and please tell me which ones you’d prefer to see prioritized. If you’d rather spend all of the 64 billion dollar budget on High Speed Rail, just let me know.

    Joe Reply:

    Morris found a NIMBY porn site.

    CA had a few elections and the public decided in favor each time. Gov Brown ran on HSR and his opponent explicitly wanted to ax the crazy train.

    StevieB Reply:

    Question: The Department of Defense is now projected to cost $638.6 billion dollars for Fiscal Year 2018. With a budget like this, the United States could invest in other projects instead of Military Spending. I’m going to read you a list of possible investments and please tell me which ones you’d prefer to see prioritized. If you’d rather spend all of the $683.6 billion dollars on the military, just let me know.

    What percentage of those polled would place military spending as the highest priority?

  16. morris brown
    May 5th, 2017 at 14:12
    #16
  17. Roland
    May 5th, 2017 at 14:38
    #17

    “While I am not very fond of public transportation, occasionally I have to take BART.
    With the recent attack led by 40-60 thugs, that’s it for me.
    Neighbors, friends and relatives have also made that decision.
    This along with the removal of more seats does it! …
    We are not living in Japan where riders are packed in like sardines.”
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/05/roadshow-calling-for-help-on-bart/

    Jerry Reply:

    Yogi said, “People don’t ride BART anymore, it’s too crowded.”

    Joe Reply:

    Perfect.

    Man not very fond of public transportation concludes public transportation would be far better without the public.

    Roland Reply:

    “For one, it’s way over priced. It seems like BART is increasing the fares every single year.
    To go from 12th ST BART City Center Oakland to Civic Center BART in San Francisco and back it is costing me $6.30 a day. That’s $31.50 a week or $126 a month!
    If I’m going to pay that much I expect seats I can at least sit on, trains that are going to be on time and a ride to work that doesn’t require me being delayed under the Transbay Tube for up to 30 minutes at a time.”
    https://oaklandmofo.com/blog/bart

    Joey Reply:

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

    Joe Reply:

    That’s a guy complaining about ~22 mile round trip station to station.

    At 0.54 per mile BART is less costly than driving if this were a trip in Kansas from Smallville to the Kent family farm.

    He’s getting a bay crossing thrown in for free.

    EJ Reply:

    Also the MTA 30-day unlimited ride card is about $120, right? So commuting from Queens or Brooklyn to Manhattan every day costs about the same. And BART ain’t the lap of luxury but give me a trip on BART vs. the NC subway any day.

    Also people complaining about BART employee salaries is tiresome. Hey guy, these people have to live in the Bay Area just like you do. Their housing and general cost of living isn’t any cheaper than yours.

    EJ Reply:

    A lot of people in the Bay Area just love to complain. I’ve ridden mass transit systems all over the world and while BART’s not my favorite (that would probably be Vienna’s integrated metro and S-Bahn system), it’s generally fine. It’s quick and gets your where you need to go. And, oh, there’s too many weirdos on it? Welcome to the Bay Area, dude. Bay Area been like that for decades.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    I’d love to see a legitimate S-Bahn in the bay area.

    Roland Reply:

    With Indian gauge?

    Wells Reply:

    Portland’s 2.5 hour adult ticket is $2.50. BART charges by distance, which makes ticket purchasing and turnstile boarding more confusing and discouraging. Awhile back, the Columbia River Crossing I-5 Bridge replacement project (fiasco) proposed tolls up to $6.00 each way. I figured a $2.50 toll would more fairly price the cost of funding the new bridge roughly equal to the cost of mass transit.

    Eric Reply:

    Portland lets you get around an area of ~2 million people. BART lets you get around an area of ~4 million people. The difference is bigger if you look at GDP rather than population. BART is simply more useful, so it should cost somewhat more.

    Ben Pease Reply:

    True enough. My pet gripe is that most of the newer BART stations are named for places they aren’t anywhere near.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: Portland does not have any Captain Jacks: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2017/news20170508

  18. StevieB
    May 5th, 2017 at 14:52
    #18

    $100 Million for Caltrain electrification was included in this week’s congressional budget deal.

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. Really???

    StevieB Reply:

    I know you are thinking it is not enough but they were never going to budget the entire amount in one year.

    morris brown Reply:

    @StevieB and others.

    The $100 Million mentioned for Caltrain electrification in the just passed Budget extension, is not available to Caltrain unless Secretary Chao signs and approves the FTA FFGA core grant.

    The Caltrain PR machine keep saying how wonderful this all is, but fail to exphasize they are no closer getting the funding than they were before. This short video excerpt from the May 4th board meeting, clearly has CEO Hartnett stating the true nature of this “hoped for” funding.

    Video link:

    https://youtu.be/9DzsWfawFEk

    Even 2 reporters for the LA Times got sucked into this perceived fallacy.

    LA Times: Trump pledges to help his voters. In the meantime, he doesn’t mind punishing the opposition

    The stopgap spending bill that Trump signed into law on Friday freed some of the money for Caltrain, but much of it remains in limbo.

    None of this funding has been freed up.

    Les Reply:

    is not available to Caltrain unless Secretary Chao signs and approves the FTA FFGA core grant.

    Two things:

    1) The grant is a funding mechanism for the full amount needed. Any money congress allocates to the federal agencies for procurement needs some funding mechanism. This is a normally trivial distinction that a budget requires some action on the executive’s part.

    2) Mafia rules: I can’t make you do something but I can make you regret not doing it. The GAO (https://www.gao.gov/legal/) issues guidelines about federal purchases (Bid Protests & Appropriations Law) and their conclusions can be non-binding (legally) but the Execute follows those rulings least they lose money from Congress or face legislative repercussions.

    2a) The Caltrain EMUs are built in Senator Orin Hatch’s State and he is openly supporting the project. Chao’s husband is the Majority Leader of the Senate and Hatch is his close ally.
    2b) This procurement is very important to the House Minority Leader.
    2c) Institutional power: Allowing the precedent to not sign the grant without repercussions greatly weakens Congress.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Les:

    Your comments here about the Caltrain funding are nonsense.

    The $100 M as well as previous budget $67 million are completely tied to a possible allocation to Caltrain for a 5309 FTA FFTA core grant application. They cannot be accessed for any other purpose and Caltrain cannot receive these fuds unless their FFGA grant is approved; Secretary Chao has refused to sign off approving the grant application.

    How much clearly can the issue be?!!

    Look at this segment of the Caltrain Board meeting of May 4th; here CEO Hartnett explains the issue.

    https://youtu.be/9DzsWfawFEk

    Les Reply:

    That’s not me

    Les Reply:

    Somebody’s on a user hijacking bing.

    joe Reply:

    Apologies, Les. I did some local system/browser cleaning and seems this grabbed your id when i posted.

    Morris;
    Nothing I wrote was contradicted by you repeating your prior opinion.

    Chao didn’t reject the application, she postponed and GOP congressmen asked her to postpone signing — not reject it. Look at the facts.

    Chao rolled the grant request into 2018’s budget process.

    Now Congress has written a 2017 budget to complete the fiscal year with an era mark for the grant.

    She has to decide to reject and blow off Congress and Senator Hatch or sign the grant.

    joe Reply:

    After years of reviewing the project during the Obama administration, in a brief letter the FTA said it now needs more time and deferred a decision at least until Trump develops his budget proposal.

    Roland Reply:

    SamTrans Pravda poppycock.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2017-05-09/dems-seek-caltrain-money-following-budget-approval-congressional-representatives-urge-nations-transit-leader-to-support-electrification/1776425179987.html

    Joe Reply:

    Denial “of this grant after it was already approved by career staff would set a damaging precedent as the administration embarks on a potential infrastructure initiative over the next several months. In the history of the modern FFGA process, a project which received the high ratings that [Caltrain] did from career staff has never been denied an FFGA,” according to the letter signed by U.S. representatives Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, among others.

    morris brown Reply:

    The May 8th letter to Chao from Senators Harris and Feinstein can be viewed at:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMa1dFQjVveEc5Y3M

    les Reply:

    Sound Transit is in the same boat as caltrain and now expects their cut to come through as well:
    “The bill is part of a deal to keep the federal government operating through September 2017 and is expected to receive President Donald Trump’s signature. The bill calls for Sound Transit to receive $100 million in federal funds.”

    http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/passenger/light-rail/budget-deal-saves-funding-for-sound-transit-lynnwood-extension.html?channel=61

    Roland Reply:

    Joe Reply:
    May 7th, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Above was written by Joe.

    joe Reply:

    No. joe did not write the lescomment above at 2:19.

  19. agb5
    May 6th, 2017 at 02:00
    #19

    Helicopter shots of the construction sites:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/

    Roland Reply:

    Too bad they are building all this good stuff is in the wrong places…

    StevieB Reply:

    There was no other environmental clearance approved when the money was made available so construction was not possible anywhere else. Many here argue for the impossible such as Congress approving California leaving the union but it is only a more modern equivalent of taking a soapbox to Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park in that it makes the speaker feel a little better.

    Joe Reply:

    A wise comment from 2013 by a person (jim but not jimsf) who has some familiarity with project management and the government.

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/01/ray-lahood-urges-america-to-catch-up-on-high-speed-rail/#comment-175059

    Let’s review the bidding.

    California offered four possible segments: LA-Anaheim, SF-SJ and the two CV segments. …..

    Read it all.

    It is a very reasonable explanation why we are building in the CV.

    Roland Reply:

    Too bad they are building all this good stuff in the wrong places in the CV.

    zorro Reply:

    It’s where the EIR was ready, all the rest weren’t ready yet, so the ARRA money was targeted there, so that’s where HSR was started, it’s a dead subject. What’s done, is done.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    They should have offered Anaheim/San Diego-Bakersfield.

    EJ Reply:

    They should have started with the most expensive and technically challenging bit?

    joe Reply:

    The ARRA requirements disallowed a commuter segment SF to SJ and LA to Anaheim isn’t on the core LA to SF route defined in Prop1a.
    There also wasn’t enough $ to close the Bakersfield gap per prop1a and HSR requirements and the design was way too preliminary.

    I am curious as to what you think will play out in SoCal given the opposition to any alignment that doesn’t use a wormhole.

    LA council candidate Torossian gets praise from group fighting high-speed rail

    A group that has been fighting high-speed train routes through the northeast San Fernando Valley gave top marks Friday to Los Angeles City Council candidate Karo Torossian over his opponent Monica Rodriguez. The proposal to build a bullet train route through Council District 7, from Palmdale to Burbank, is one of the issues closely watched by some voters headed to the polls for the May 16 runoff.

    EJ Reply:

    Well this is just my general impression; I don’t have surveys or anything to back it up, but I generally feel like HSR is a much lower priority for most people in SoCal than it is in the Bay Area. LA is focused on its Metro rail buildout, LAUS run-through tracks and related projects, and Rapid Bus improvements, and San Diego is building a trolley extension, double tracking its portion of LOSSAN, and arguing about how to fix its freeways.

    Bear in mind Palmdale’s only on the HSR trunk line because their political support was necessary to get Prop 1A passed. And now a handful of gentleman ranchers around Santa Clarita are up in arms about it spoiling their views of the lovely 14 freeway and scaring the livestock. They get heard because they’re rich and loud, but remember that 95% of SoCal doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Antelope Valley one way or the other. You show the average Angeleno or San Diegan the current proposed CAHSR route and for most of them, the first reaction is “why the hell does it go to Palmdale?” I mean Gilroy might feel at times like the Bay Area’s red-headed stepchild, but at least you’ve got the garlic festival. The vast majority of Angelenos have never been to Palmdale and couldn’t imagine any reason to do so.

    So I don’t know what’s coming. My wild-ass guess is over the next few years it coming more into public consciousness, and lawyers and politicians knocking heads to get a Tejon pass alignment. The Tejon Ranch company seems to have the ear of Jerry B and pols of his generation, but they are dying or retiring and the company itself seems fairly moribund. But I dunno.

    Even a base tunnel through the Tehachapis from the northern San Fernando Valley to the Central Valley would be shorter than some of the tunnels through the Alps that they’re doing in Europe, though AFAIK none of the Alpine tunnels go through active faults, so… but regardless, the Palmdale alignment, while enshrined in current law, is looking increasingly unsustainable, so I think inasmuch as SoCalians are paying attention to the project at all, they’re just waiting to see how it all shakes out.

    EJ Reply:

    I should also say that almost anyone I know in San Diego who has an opinion on the project thinks that an upgraded LOSSAN corridor is the way to go versus the currently proposed dogleg through the IE, unless that includes a route through Cajon pass to Vegas, and a future extension to Phoenix (San Diego-Phoenix is a big travel market but a direct rail route has some brutal mountain crossings. Look at how they had to route I-8). As a somewhat tipsy fellow Surfliner passenger said to me recently, “you know, this train is actually pretty great and more people should take it, but it should be faster, and, you know… better.”

    Joe Reply:

    For now most news I read in SoCal is NIMBY talk. Who’s going to make HSR move away or build a worm hole to LA.

    Post Prop1a, incrementally improving legacy rail between SD and LA would be allowed and be cost effective for expanding HSR ridership.

    Also I expect greater interest in HSR when new track also improves grade separations like the LA to Anaheim corridor.

    ALon wrote about LOSSAN recently. it’s a hot take.

    EJ Reply:

    I read it; it’s mostly good, although Miramar Hill is a tougher nut to crack than he thinks it is. At least he’s off his tram-train kick for the Blue Line trolley extension.

    EJ Reply:

    Well some of those SoCal NIMBYs around Santa Clarita way have a fair amount of money and clout, and in their case, unlike Peninsula NIMBYs, the ROW they’re opposing doesn’t already exist and is on an alignment that as people pay more attention to the project is increasingly coming under scrutiny.

    You joke about a “wormhole to LA” but a base tunnel under Tejon isn’t completely crazy. Longer tunnels are being built in Europe right now, and we’ve built tunnels through faults before. Also there’s no small amount of tunnelling in the current Palmdale proposals.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @EJ. I think Miramar Hill should be tunneled by HSR and LOSSAN regardless, because a station in University City is important. However, I see a lot of potential for a Caltrain-esque HSR/Surfliner/Coaster blended section from University City south. I also think that the HSR route up to San Bernardino has potential for blended operations with Coaster/Metrolink. Essentially, I would design a service like this:

    (San Diego-Tijuana International Airport: 4 Regional TPH)
    San Ysidro Station: 4 Regional TPH
    Chula Vista Station: 4 Regional TPH
    Imperial Station: 4 Regional TPH
    Balboa Station: 4 Regional TPH
    Midtown Station: 4 Regional TPH, 4 HSR TPH
    Old Town Station: 4 Regional TPH
    University City Station: 4 Regional TPH, 4 HSR TPH
    ——-LOSSAN Corridor——
    2 Regional TPH to Palmdale
    ——-Inland HSR Corridor——-
    2 Regional TPH to San Bernardino
    1 HSR TPH to Phoenix
    1 HSR TPH to Las Vegas
    1 HSR TPH to San Francisco
    1 HSR TPH to Sacramento

    Map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1glrwOBM2NQh1H3c4ZITq33yQ8Yw&usp=sharing

    @EJ Again
    Palmdale should still be served for 4 main reasons:
    1. Better access to Las Vegas
    2. 500K people live there
    3. Many, many more could with HSR, and if developed in a nice, efficient, affordable streetcar suburb way, they should.
    4. PMD Airport could someday replace LAX (and BUR), with efficient HSR access.

    EJ Reply:

    @car(e)-free Sure, people live in Palmdale. Lots of people live on the central coast, which isn’t getting HSR service because it’s too much of a detour for everyone else.

    Palmdale still involves significant additional expense vs. Tejon and creates a time penalty for everyone traveling between LA and SF. It’s much more of a detour than serving the east side of the central valley (where all the people live), which is something I support. Palmdale’s bleak and arid, there’s no great compelling reason to encourage more sprawl there. (which is what additional housing would be – nobody’s moving out to the high desert to live in a “streetcar suburb”). If it needs improved rail service, a “higher-speed” spur would be much cheaper and would get the job done.

    Palmdale isn’t “better access to Las Vegas” for the market that would be most viable for HSR service to Vegas. The most direct route to Vegas for San Diego and most of LA is through Cajon pass, you know, the route where most of the trains already go.

    Not aware of any plans to replace down LAX. If so, somebody oughta tell LAWA since they’re spending billions on modernizing it.

    I don’t really understand your proposed schedule for regional San Diego trains. It seems like you’re just duplicating the trolley schedule.

    Peter Reply:

    @car(e)-free LA

    There’s zero money for a tunnel under Miramar Hill. Zero. Zilch. There’s not even money to complete the second phase of Sorrento to Miramar Double Track. This tunnel exists nowhere other than in the fevered imaginations of armchair transit planners. San Diego has more important transit improvement fish to fry.

    EJ Reply:

    @Peter AFAIK the latest plan is for a 50 mph line that runs mostly on the opposite side of the canyon on the canyon on Miramar Hill’s north side. A decent speed improvement (currently the line on that side of the hill is restricted to 25 mph), and it avoids tunneling, and also avoids having to maintain the existing line for freight service.

    bixnix Reply:

    Everything I’m talking about would be several decades out.
    PS. Though LAUS-LV runs should use Cajon, SF-LV should go through Palmdale.

    EJ Reply:

    SF-LV is irrelevant. It’s at best a 5 hour trip, and anything that long is seldom economically viable for HSR.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Lots of people would still take it, and since the infrastructure is still there for SF-LA, it wouldn’t cost much extra, but would bring extra benefit. Also, it would be more like a 4-4.5 hour trip.

    Peter Reply:

    @bixnix

    If you’re referring to the San Diego region, then several decades out, they might have broken ground on the Del Mar tunnel (the one that’s actually needed so that the rail line doesn’t wash into the sea).

    EJ Reply:

    @care(e)-free ok call it 4.5 hours. If they’ll take a 4.5 hour trip SF-LV that means they’re not particularly time sensitive and so they’ll just as well take a 5-5.5 hour trip via DTLA and the IE.

    bixnix Reply:

    A 4.5 hour trip by HSR is actually more like 5 door to door. This compares with a flight that is like 4 door to door. If we assume that flying costs about $30 more to fly than use HSR, most people will take the hour longer (and more enjoyable) HSR. However, I’d assume that that number would drop off significantly at 2 hours longer.

    EJ Reply:

    @bixnix SFO-Vegas is a 90 minute flight. In no way does that translate to 4 hours of travel time. And 30 minutes total extra time for HSR is not real unless your origin and destination are extremely close to a station.

    I mean you can pad out the length of time it takes on either end of a flight and underestimate the amount of extra time for HSR, but it doesn’t make it realistic. And I know what CAHSRA is claiming but I don’t see how they’re really going to operate HSR cheaper than flying, when that doesn’t really happen anywhere else in the world where HSR and air travel compete. In fact in Europe the crappy discount airlines are usually cheaper than trains.

    I mean there’s a reason they wrote 2:40 SF-LA into law; they found that over 3 hour trip time in most cases the economic effectiveness of HSR starts to decrease. Most bread and butter HSR routes where HSR competes heavily with air travel are under 3 hours – London-Paris, Paris-Lyon, Tokyo-Osaka, DC-NYC, are all under 3 hours. Barcelona-Madrid is at the high end at 3:10.

    I’ve seen this play out personally. I’ve got family near Glasgow, Scotland, and I’ve taken the train from London several times (about 4.5 hours Euston to Glasgow Central) and it’s delightful, and I’m on vacation so not pressed for time and I like trains. But they have to go down to London on business fairly frequently and they always fly, because despite the extra hassle of flying, they can be there and back in a day, which is less practical with a 4.5 hour train trip.

    Jerry Reply:

    How long for a flight from Fresno or from Bakersfield to Las Vegas?
    And what is the cost for the flight(S)??
    Versus the time and cost of HSR?

    Joe Reply:

    Yeah, there will be more HSR stations therefore easier door to door trips.

    Vegas is a vacation destination and possibly less time sensitive and perhaps more drunk friendly.

    EJ Reply:

    Y’all are still relying on a stereotype of Vegas travelers as drunken gamblers on vacation. Vegas has a hell of a lot of conventions, and there’s a huge amount of business travel. Not that business travelers in Vegas don’t party – believe me, been there, done that, but just like business travelers everywhere, they are time sensitive. If the majority of Vegas travelers weren’t time sensitive, then Amtrak’s Desert Wind wouldn’t have been canceled and the X-train and Z-train and whatever other proposals for conventional train services are floating around out there would have gotten off the ground more easily.

    Sure, there’s probably some sweet spot in terms of travel time where somebody in Bakersfield would take the train to Vegas via Palmdale whereas they wouldn’t via DTLA. I submit that this is not a very large market and CAHSRA would be ill-advised to incur the substantial additional expense and the LA-SF travel time penalty of building via Palmdale instead of Tejon.

    EJ Reply:

    Also Tejon doesn’t actually preclude routing a line from the SFV via Palmdale and on to Vegas. Slightly longer than Tehachapi if you’re coming from the north, but not by much.

    Also, don’t underestimate the environmentalist opposition to the proposed Palmdale-Victorville “High Desert Corridor.” From Northern California it might look like a bleak wasteland, but a lot of SoCalians love their desert and the last thing they want is to see it get covered with sprawl. Not to mention it’s home to a number of endangered species – the famous desert tortoise is just one of them.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    How is this alignment as a compromise alternative:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1N5uu9DtuZlXfahS3UlFYmrlLByU&usp=sharing

    EJ Reply:

    Not a civil engineer so I dunno. One of the advantages of Tejon is you’ve got one mountain crossing instead of two. This seems like the worst of both worlds. You’ve still got two mountain crossings and you don’t actually directly serve Palmdale.

    EJ Reply:

    I mean Clem put a lot of effort into his analysis of Tejon vs. Tehachapi so I’m not gonna rehash it. Just look at his post.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I generally agree with Clem, but not in this scenario. (I also disagree with him on the DTX, though he hasn’t gone much into that–I prefer Brian Stokle’s analysis.) A big reason I support Antelope Valley service is future development opportunity, particularly of the aerotropolis variety. Seriously, and airport there could serve anywhere in Southern California, the Central Valley, and Las Vegas within 90 minutes. This opens up the possibility of massive redevelopment of airports all over the metro area, not to mention a significant decrease in puddle-jumper flights, and an increase in possible destinations served through the hub effect.

    Joe Reply:

    Clem estimates the Tejon alignment crosses faults at grade. A big plus.
    He says it shaves off operating costs during, shorter distance.
    He roughly estimated about 5B less costly to build.
    These are sincere, thoughtful and defensible estimates – maybe not right but a good effort.

    Politics, which matter greatly since it’s a public funded project, put the alignment through Palmdale. That kept NV Senator Reid as a strong advocate for the project and protected the ARRA money.
    LA County wants the Palmdale alignment.
    Palmdale threaten to sue if it was moved.
    HSR needed allies so Palmdale.

    With the current focuse north and turmoil in DC, not much will happen in the south.
    NIMBYs drive local SoCal politics at this time and there isn’t going to be a concensus alignment as HSR works on the EIRs.

    Michael Reply:

    Joe- That is a very nice and level-headed assessment. <- Sincere.

    From my tea leaves, the southern crossing remains open to debate, for the same reasons stated in your last paragraph.

    Roland Reply:

    @CFLA.
    1) Look at elevations and you will understand why 138 connects to I5 where it does.
    2) Next you will discover a 1% grade between Burbank and the 138 wye.

    joe Reply:

    What does matter is who is paying.

    NV has a private HSR entity which would build to Palmdale and hookup with CHSR. As long as NV HSR is private, the long term politics will continue to favor Palmdale.

    EJ Reply:

    They’d be perfectly happy to build to Victorville and hook up with Cajon Pass HSR. LA-IE-SD HSR is already planned to go right by there on the other side of the mountains. Cajon pass itself would be difficult and expensive to construct, but it’s quite a short distance.

    Joe Reply:

    Okay.

    EJ Reply:

    You best believe it, Joe, (hey are joe and Joe different people?)

    Joe Reply:

    Different computer systems, same login and email.

    bixnix Reply:

    In my fantasy world they should have started with the section that benefits the most people (Southern California-Free California link.) However, I’m not unhappy with the Central Valley segment, and I understand the rationale behind it.

    zorro Reply:

    And some are stupid enough to want to move the money HSR in CA does get.

    Prop1a Bond Money, can’t be moved, anywhere, not without a vote of the People, since it’s a part of the California Constitution. And Prop1a Bond Money is now being spent on HSR and HSR related projects.

    ARRA money can only be spent where designated, or returned to the DOT, good luck on that, it’s spent.

    Cap and Trade Money from AB32, can’t be used on roads, hwys, fwys, or bridges for autos, to do so would be illegal.

  20. morris brown
    May 6th, 2017 at 10:05
    #20

    Nuts to High Speed Rail. Here is the way to travel:

    Shiki-shima: Has Japan just launched the world’s most luxurious train?

    joe Reply:

    Meanwhile air travel gets even less comfortable:
    Legroom shrinks in American Airlines’ economy class

    Roland Reply:

    AA clearly need to get rid of all the seats and the wasted bathroom space.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You do know what false equivalence means, don’t you? And posting it never helps your argument.

    Roland Reply:

    Nom de plume: JAW.

    Joe Reply:

    Boeing Cuts Bathroom Size for More Cabin Space

    http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/boeing-more-cabin-space-small-bathrooms

    agb5 Reply:

    Airbus increases bathroom size and cabin space:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Any6R1dGnrM

    Roland Reply:

    Why would the SamTrans permatemps come up with such a brilliant solution when they can easily trash all the toilets and most of the seats (and get away with it)?

    Les Reply:

    Huh?

    I search finds this contradiction: <a Href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-airbus-new-cabin-design-20140919-story.html&quot; New Airbus design offers more space for luggage, less for bathrooms

    Typically a builder allows the buyer to configure the inside of a plane and adjust seat pitch and bathroom size. The US market is moving to fewer flights configured like “cattle cars” with less space for bathrooms and lesser seat pitch.

    les Reply:

    not sure who this is but it is not les. probably roland talking to himself again.

    Roland Reply:

    Not guilty and dyslexia is the aroma of the Clairon du Garlique.

    les Reply:

    huh?

    Roland Reply:

    Joe Reply:
    May 7th, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Above was written by Joe.

    EJ Reply:

    Hey geniuses! Not that Robert shouldn’t fix his damn blog, but see those little boxes above your comment that say who you’re commenting as? If it comes up as someone else, you can always change it…

    Danny Reply:

    and they can only behave as they do because there’s no HSR in this country–that’d be as much competition as an Etihad LA-NYC

    but instead they’ve managed to monetize misery and have an incentive to keep squeezing Economy and adding Economy Plus, Doubleplus, Economy Business, Economy Exit Row, even Economy Minus Near the Heads

    Jerry Reply:

    Regarding leg room, all trains are luxurious compared to airline economy class.

    Roland Reply:

    That was back in the old days before the SamTrans retards started ripping all the seats out.

    Eric Reply:

    Amtrak superliners have great legroom. Don’t see why our new HSR shouldn’t. Comfort would be a selling point vs. cattle car airliners.

    Roland Reply:

    How about great standing room? Would that work?

    Eric Reply:

    Why pay hundreds of $$ for a flight, when you can pay thousands for a train?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    or tens of $$ for a normal train.

    EJ Reply:

    Shinkansen tickets are not cheap. Prices tend to be comparable if not more expensive than domestic Japanese airfare.

    Acela and even NE Regional tickets also tend to be considerably more expensive for the distance traveled than the heavily subsidized fares we’re used to in CA.

    EJ Reply:

    E.g. San Diego to Santa Barbara is about the same distance as Boston South Station to New York Penn. If you wanted to travel tomorrow and bought your ticket now, the former will cost you $42 value fare, $63 business class, on any train all day other than the Coast Starlight. The NE regional is $78-$101 for the value fare, $141-$192 for business class, depending on which train you take. Acela starts at $117 and goes all the way up to $294 for a peak hour morning first class ticket.

    CAHSRA has a lot of brave talk about beating airfare and still making an operating profit (and to be sure there are certain economies with HSR because you overall labor costs are lower for the distance traveled), but I’ll believe it when I see it.

    bixnix Reply:

    With Amtrak, the NEC has to make more than just a little profit. CAHSR just has to barely break even. If it’s smart about TOD, it can have an operational loss, like Hong Kong’s MTR.

    Joe Reply:

    What if they design HSR such that the revenue models show a profit but the same models show operating at a lower cost, higher ridership with a subsidized ticket price generates more economic benefit e.g. high GDP and tax revenue?

    What’s to stop the state from changing the business model ? Prop1a is a revenue bond, it sets rules to access money. Once prop1a is spent, all these requirements are moot.

    EJ Reply:

    By the same token they can easily cut out Palmdale, because prop 1A money will be long gone by the time they start building the southern mountain crossings. IANAL (and neither are you I don’t think) but from what I understand it ain’t that easy.

    Joe Reply:

    I agree. Prop1a is only as good as the remaining money that backs it up. Post prop1a, all bets are
    Off. Aside from LA Anaheim, most is tbd.

    However today we also have political issues like NV and CA trying to get federal money. NV wants a low interest fed loan to a private co and CA wants grants. Reid, long gone now, wanted Palmdale and I suspect NV pols would like it and want CA to foot the bill for construction in CA. CA would if federal funding was offered because of a NV CA agreement.

    Tomorrow this can change and socal pols will have great say over the alignment.

    Right now NIMBYs rule and work is far off. WADC in turmoil. A private NV public CA political alliance favors Palmdale. Overtime this may be baked into the planning.

    EJ Reply:

    AFAIK there’s no lawyer on either side of the issue who is making that claim. Everyone seems to think that the restrictions in Prop 1A apply to the whole system, not just what’s built with the bond funds. I mean neither of us are lawyers, so we’re ill-equipped to discuss the fine points of its legal language.

    It would seem to be a fairly stupid law, though, if all of its requirements could freely be ignored once the money was spent, and I don’t think it was written by stupid people.

    EJ Reply:

    I also don’t really understand how any theoretical partnership with Nevada significantly adds to our political clout in DC. They’ve got 4 congressional reps to our 53. Harry Reid drew a lot of water, but he’s retired.

    joe Reply:

    To me this is an important attribute:
    I can’t finesse legal text but Prop1a is a bond act which stipulates process and requirements to access the bond money. That’s all it is. Failure to comply disallows access to $ only. Failure to follow prop1a intentionally is fraud.

    Litigation always centers on money. Delay and lose ARRA money or block prop1a money over non-compliance. If Prop1a was forever binding, the litigation would challenge the project itself as unlawful. No need to block money if the system doesn’t follow the law. Just challenge the lawfulness of the system.

    Also note statutes to define and create HSR in CA were passed prior to Prop1a. See all of them here:
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/About/Legislative_Affairs/governing_statutes.html

    The Bond Act requires all this long term planning, certification and documentation showing compliance BECAUSE the system under construction and described their plans CAN be change when the money is spent.

    CHSRA must follow the bond act requirements and not misuse funds by planning to deviate at a later date when money is spent. That would be fraud and/or abuse. That’s illegal.

    CA can revisit how they want to proceed when the bond money is spent — as planned under prop1a or differently.

    Building to San Jose will exhaust the Bond Act. The costly San Jose to SF could be done cost effectively and not in 30 minutes exactly or less.

    They could build out from LAUS incrementally to Anahiem and SD.

    EJ Reply:

    Meanwhile for the truly budget conscious Bolt Bus will take you all the way from LA to San Francisco for $22.

    Roland Reply:

    Trivia: Stagecoach/Megabus JV is no more. Stagecoach is bidding for the early operator on its own (Stagecoach own both Megabus and 49% of Virgin Rail).

    EJ Reply:

    Truly fascinating.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Megabus pulled outta europe with Brexit, sold its fleet etc to Flixbus. I miss it. I got a £1 ticket form Barcelona to Leeds once. Flixbus fares don’t start that low (or go as high on the day).

    [Yes, I did use it!]

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.le.cz/i.php?page=cms-1119

  21. Roland
    May 8th, 2017 at 10:42
    #21
  22. Roland
    May 8th, 2017 at 10:45
    #22

    “Russell Goldsmith is chairman and chief executive of City National Bank and chairman of RBC’s U.S. Wealth Management business. He also chairs the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs.”

  23. Roland
    May 8th, 2017 at 16:07
    #23

    Breaking News: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2017-05-08/california-high-speed-rail-opponents-likely-to-appeal-ruling

    Alan Reply:

    Yawn. Likely timeline: Losers appeal rather than refile, as the court allowed. The appeal is denied, becaause losers didn’t follow the judge’s instructions. In the meantime, the time allowed to refile expires. Case ended. California’s Worst Lawyer ™ strikes again.

    joe Reply:

    “Why waste time?” Flashman said

    Flashman said the appeal would argue that Cadei misunderstood the legal challenge.

    Cadei previously ruled that the change is still within the broad outlines of what voters approved.

    The California High Speed Rail Authority has won a series of legal battles, allowing the project to move forward even though long-term funding remains uncertain.

    Danny Reply:

    they did the same with the Expo Line–that’s called barratry

    agb5 Reply:

    The case is about an injunction, to get an injunction you need to show 3 things:
    – Without an injunction you will suffer irreparable harm.
    – The injunction will not cause the defendant irreparable harm.
    – You have a good chance of winning the underlying case.

    Flashman failed on all 3 counts, or “across the board” as he admits. The chance of all 3 points being reversed on appeal are zero.

    He persists with his “a Usable Segment must be a high-speed rail system” fake narrative.

    Joe Reply:

    That “useable segment” will hit this buzzsaw.

    The Appellate Court already gave HSR broad latitude and pointed out prop1a recognizes there will be changes which is why CHSR must produce reports every two years to document these expected deviations.

    CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY v. John Tos et al., Real Parties in Interest. | FindLaw

    Real parties in interest acknowledge that there is no published appellate decision denying validation of a bond authorization before there has been an actual bond expenditure for a project differing significantly from the project approved by the voters. There are, however, many cases in which the courts have broadly construed the purpose of the relevant bond act to allow projects to proceed that would appear to be either at odds with, or beyond the scope of, the articulated purpose of the act or the description of the project on the ballot.

    CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY v. John Tos et al., Real Parties in Interest. | FindLaw

    For example, in East Bay Mun. Util. Dist. v. Sindelar (1971) 16 Cal.App.3d 910 (EBMUD ), the voters approved a measure allowing the utility district to incur a bonded indebtedness to finance a 10–year “Water Development Project for the East Bay Area” in 1958.

    CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY v. John Tos et al., Real Parties in Interest. | FindLaw

    The courts have been particularly attuned to the fluidity of the planning process for large public works projects.   In fact, the Supreme Court has allowed substantial deviation between the preliminary plans submitted to the voters and the eventual final project, admonishing:  “[T]he authority to issue bonds is not so bound up with the preliminary plans as to sources of supply upon which the estimate is based that the proceeds of a valid issue of bonds cannot be used to carry out a modified plan if the change is deemed advantageous.”

    CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY v. John Tos et al., Real Parties in Interest. | FindLaw

    The development of a high-speed rail system for the state of California is even more complex than a regional water or transportation system.   The Authority is obligated to prepare preliminary and final funding plans as well as business plans every two years as it fine-tunes the construction of the project.   Thus, it may be that the specifics of the project deviate from some of the preliminary planning documents or constitute minor changes from tentative plans.

  24. Jerry
    May 9th, 2017 at 14:11
    #24

    Growing Support for HSR in Central Valley.
    A majority of 58% of San Joaquin Valley adults support the Construction of CA HSR.
    When asked, 66% said they would use it for business, pleasure, or BOTH.
    http://fresnostate.edu/socialsciences/departments/add-programs/leadershippublicpolicy/research/index.html

    Jerry Reply:

    As Roland would say: Breaking News.
    Survey shows more and more people like and want California HSR.
    http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/9770-survey-shows-most-valley-residents-support-construction-of-high-speed-rail

    Jerry Reply:

    Or,
    This just in:
    Valley Survey finds HSR Support.
    http://m.hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/valley-survey-finds-bullet-train-support/article_d392b7d2-c392-5f79-89dc-2019a3baa474.html

    Roland Reply:

    They are confused: they think that the San Joaquins are high speed rail but then again they might be right.

    StevieB Reply:

    Central Valley Republicans don’t know what high speed rail is but they know they oppose it. Republican congressmen in California are vulnerable. California takes center stage in battle for House majority.

    California is home to seven vulnerable Republican incumbents in districts where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump — more than a quarter of the seats Democrats need to flip. And there are early indications that the landscape taking shape will benefit Democrats: a turbocharged liberal movement galvanized by the House GOP-led Obamacare rollback, shifting demographics that have moderated California’s last remaining conservative bastions, and rising discontent with the president.

  25. StevieB
    May 9th, 2017 at 20:20
    #25

    California’s senators amped up the pressure Monday on Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to sign off on a full funding grant agreement for an electrification project for a Bay Area transit system entangled in the politics of high-speed rail. Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris urged Chao to let the Caltrain electrification effort move forward “without further delay” considering Congress has shown its support for the project by appropriating $100 million toward a $647 million grant endorsed by the Obama administration just before President Donald Trump took office. The project has already secured $73 million in federal funding but needs a full funding agreement from FTA in place before it can access the money.

  26. Jos Callinet
    May 10th, 2017 at 21:03
    #26

    WE CAN BET OUR LAST DOLLAR that Secretary Elaine Chao will NEVER sign off on this funding grant. She is totally under the thumb of her husband, Senate President Mitch McConnell (R, KY), and equally beholden to those California Republicans who convinced her to delay (actually, deny) the Caltrain Electrification Funding in the first place.

    We are no more likely to see her sign off on this grant than we are to see her husband agree to appointing an Independent Investigator to look into F.B.I. Director Comey’s firing or the alleged Russian interference (hacking) of our 2016 presidential election.

    In short, we are (as New England fishermen like to say), “SCROD.”

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.progressiverailroading.com/federal_legislation_regulation/news/Trumps-infrastructure-plan-will-be-unveiled-in-weeks-Chao-says–51619

    Jerry Reply:

    Meanwhile, as part of Infrastructure Week, several transportation organizations announced events designed to raise awareness of the need to address the nation’s aging infrastructure. Among them was the Railway Supply Institute (RSI).

    “During Infrastructure Week and all through the year, we welcome the opportunity to work with local, state and federal governments to enhance and promote investment in rail infrastructure to continue to grow America’s economy while creating and sustaining jobs,” said RSI President Tom Simpson in a press release.

    StevieB Reply:

    I hope you are not a betting man as you would have lost your shirt.

  27. Jos Callinet
    May 10th, 2017 at 21:14
    #27
  28. Jos Callinet
    May 11th, 2017 at 06:04
    #28

    Thank you, Roland – perfect definition of our being scrod by Elaine & Co.

  29. Roland
    May 11th, 2017 at 07:21
    #29

    Jeff Morales’ last famous words: “I have been Rossified”.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Rossified

  30. StevieB
    May 11th, 2017 at 15:39
    #30

    California Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) has been appointed to the board of directors for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. He made a written statement.

    “High-speed rail is an opportunity to create jobs and expand our workforce development by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the city and county of Fresno. I think it is imperative to have a legislator from the Central Valley serving on the Authority, and I look forward to providing a local and Central Valley voice to the successful development of the largest public works project in America.”

    Roland Reply:

    1) http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Board/Members/Ernest_Camacho.html
    2) http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20150106/ex-central-basin-water-manager-fined-30000-for-accepting-gifts-from-consultant

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Joe Reply:

    What did you think went wrong because it appears you are accusing Camacho for Aguilar’s acceptance of gifts – Camacho did nothing wrong.

    Ex-Central Basin water manager fined $30,000 for accepting gifts from consultant

    Arthur Aguilar, who served as general manager of the Commerce-based wholesale water district from 2005-2012, agreed to the fine and stipulated to nine counts of accepting gifts from Pacifica Services, Inc., a Pasadena-based engineering/consulting firm.

    EJ Reply:

    “On Dec. 10, Aguilar and his wife attended dinner at Camacho’s home at a cost of $300, paid by Pacifica.”

    EJ Reply:

    Though I’m failing to connect the dots on what any of this has to do with Dr. Joaquin Arambula.

    Roland Reply:

    Find yourself a good therapist before it’s too late.

    EJ Reply:

    Not answering the question, as usual.

    joe Reply:

    Roland decided to link Arambula to Ernest Camacho because they are both HSR board members. He then tried to imply Camacho is responsible for Aguilar’s acceptance of multiple gifts. Aguilar ate dinner at Camacho’s residence which because of Aguilar’s oversight responsibilities, required he reimburse Camacho for the meal.

    Roland Reply:

    “During 2010, Aguilar played golf with Sisson on 10 separate occasions: April 20, May 6, May 28, June 4, July 8, July 30, Aug. 19, Sept. 10, Oct. 21 and Nov. 30. Each time, Pacifica paid Aguilar’s green fees of: $27, $385, $56.26, $56.25, $41.75, $90, $61.25, $125, $140 and $135, respectively. A total of $1,117.51 in golf greens fees. On Dec. 10, Aguilar and his wife attended dinner at Camacho’s home at a cost of $300, paid by Pacifica. Six weeks later, Aguilar recommended an additional contract of $168,547.50 for Pacifica to the board, which was approved.”

    Joe Reply:

    Sadly there is no explanation as to the significance of the text.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “During 2010, Aguilar played golf with Sisson on 10 separate occasions: April 20, May 6, May 28, June 4, July 8, July 30, Aug. 19, Sept. 10, Oct. 21 and Nov. 30. Each time, Pacifica paid Aguilar’s green fees of: $27, $385, $56.26, $56.25, $41.75, $90, $61.25, $125, $140 and $135, respectively. A total of $1,117.51 in golf greens fees. On Dec. 10, Aguilar and his wife attended dinner at Camacho’s home at a cost of $300, paid by Pacifica. Six weeks later, Aguilar recommended an additional contract of $168,547.50 for Pacifica to the board, which was approved.” it is that you do not understand.

    Joe Reply:

    Please elaborate. What does Sission and Pacifica have to do with Ernest Camacho and what has Mr Camacho done wrong?

    Let’s see if you can explain without libeling Ernest Camacho, a private citizen.

    Joe Reply:

    I will help you. Here is the State’s policy:
    http://www.fppc.ca.gov/learn/public-officials-and-Gifts and Honoraria

    $470 Gift Limit (Effective January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018): State and local officials and employees are prohibited from receiving a gift or gifts totaling more than $470 in a calendar year from certain sources.

    Gifts and Honoraria

    Gifts, Honoraria, Travel Payments, and Loans

    Public officials and employees are subject to certain restrictions related to receiving gifts, honoraria, travel payments, and loans.

    What Did Ernest Camacho do wrong?

    EJ Reply:

    @Joe

    C’mon, Camacho is Sisson’s boss, and he was also personally involved in wining and dining Aguilar. He may not have broken any laws, but somebody with his amount of experience with CA state contracts should be familiar with state laws regarding gifts to public officials.

    EJ Reply:

    Even private companies place limits on the value of gifts that people who make purchasing decisions can receive from vendors. It’s not an obscure concept.

    Joe Reply:

    1st thank you EJ for actually making a comment unlike Roland.

    It’s an asymmetrical relationship where the State Employee holds power over the private business.
    For that reason I suspect the law doesn’t punish the gift giver.

    If the person who holds power over your company’s contract wants a gift, accepts gifts and it’s not illegal on your part, it’s an IQ test — you offer the gift.

    Note the gifting isn’t a bribe. That’s what Roland wants to imply. Bribery.

    Roland Reply:

    First “death threats”, now “implication of bribery”. What’s next?

    EJ Reply:

    @Joe

    I think we both agree that it most likely doesn’t rise to the level of actual criminality. But aiding and abetting actions by a state employee (or an employee of a private business), when you know, or should know, that those actions are unethical, is also unethical.

    I once attended an ethics seminar (not because I or the company I worked for had been accused of anything unethical, the company just considered it important for all its employees to have an annual brush-up on business ethics), and this exact scenario was raised as something that would be ethically problematical and that one should avoid it.

    EJ Reply:

    For me the question isn’t whether Camacho should face criminal penalties (obviously not) but whether somebody who has engaged in this kind of shady activity is entirely suitable as a CHSRA board member. These people are guardians of the public trust and I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with somebody this willing to play fast and loose with the rules serving on the board.

    Roland Reply:

    Thank you EJ and that was precisely my point. I and others have been pushing for the appointment of at least one engineer to the CHSRA Board and Mr. Camacho fits the bill in that respect. Having said that, it would appear that Mr. Camacho may be guilty of “lack of judgment” (AKA “should have known better”) and that whoever appointed him to the Board failed to exercise due diligence.

  31. Jos Callinet
    May 11th, 2017 at 20:16
    #31

    Very few comments here lately, as (I believe) everyone’s attention is currently riveted on the brouhaha surrounding F.B.I. Director Comey’s firing by D. J. Trump, and all the repercussions ensuing from that. Meanwhile, H.S.R. can wait.

    Jerry Reply:

    True. His Weirdness can take all the oxygen out of the news cycles. TASS only photographer in Oval Office for photos of meeting with Russian officials.
    Meanwhile, however, H.S.R. is being built. Slowly. But it is being built.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    He surprises me with his idiocy every. single. day.
    At least we have the happy news from across the Atlantic from our Lord and Savior Emmanuel Macron, who, by working with our other Lord(ess)s and Saviors Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau, will save the world.

    EJ Reply:

    Macron will just carry the torch for bourgeois neoliberalism until a right-winger with more charisma and less baggage than LePen comes along, unless the French left gets their shit together and defeats them both.

    bixnix Reply:

    I guess I’m just bourgeois neoliberal. Anyway, Macron is popular, his policies will improve the economy, and similar leaders like Merkel have held on to power so I don’t see why he wouldn’t either. If it’s him vs the left, he wins with the costed of the center and rational right. If it’s him vs the right, he wins with the votes of the center and the rational left.

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/AbFpEMM1Pkk?t=54

  32. Roland
    May 12th, 2017 at 03:58
    #32
  33. Roland
    May 12th, 2017 at 04:43
    #33

    Breaking News: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/stadler-seeks-most-powerful-loco-family-as-eurodual-trials-begin.html

    Jerry Reply:

    Six-axles, and,
    “Capable of hauling main line trains at up to 160 km/h in either diesel or electric mode, the Eurodual prototype is rated at 7 MW when under 25 kV 50 Hz electrification or 4 MW from a 1·5 kV DC supply. Its Stage IIIB-compliant Caterpillar C175-16 diesel engine is rated at 3 MW.”

    Roland Reply:

    Soon-to-be-derided by the local soapbox: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2012/03/hybrid-dmu-unicorn-of-rails.html

  34. Jeff Carter
    May 12th, 2017 at 05:03
    #34

    Off topic–Caltrain proposes fare increases.

    Agenda item 15: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2017/2017-05-04+JPB+BOD+Agenda.pdf

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2017/2017-05-04+Call+for+Public+Hearing+Proposed+Tariff+Changes.pdf

    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2017/05/thursday-caltrain-board-considers-another-fare-increase/

    http://www.caltrain.com/Page4974.aspx

    Significant increase in the monthly pass of approximately 20%, looks like they are trying to trash the monthly pass.

    Monthly Pass based on 15 days/month rather than 13 days/month.

    Eliminate the 8-ride ticket.

    Zone fare increased from $2 to $2.25/zone, a $0.25 in per zone charge.

    Increase in parking fees.

    50% increase in cost of Go-Pass from $190 per Pass to $285. Go-Pass is an annual pass that employers must purchase for all eligible employees which includes employees that do not use Caltrain.

    Roland Reply:

    As outlined at the meeting, the termination of SamTrans’ permatemp mafia should take care of the structural deficit and eliminate the need for any fare increase.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    This proposal by Caltrain places a significant burden on the regular everyday riders. With the per-zone increase and changing the monthly multiplier from 26.5 to 30 times the one-way Clipper fare, the increase in monthly tickets is over 20%. Why Caltrain is using the terminology of based on XX days or equivalent to XX days instead of just using a multiplier seems rather unusual. Is Caltrain trying to trash the monthly pass? A growing number of customers use Caltrain 4 days/week and this proposal makes the monthly pass less attractive to them, especially with the elimination of the 8-ride ticket. Based on the just released fall 2016 Triennial Survey, the average Caltrain customer rides Caltrain 4.38 days/week, which is about 19 days/month or 38 trips/month. Some may remember the last time Caltrain raised fares and at the Board meeting of 5-November-2015, the fare comparison table staff presented used the eligible discount pricing for the monthly pass compared to regular price monthly on other rail systems. The board was very concerned at the ‘very low” price of the monthly pass. It wasn’t until astute members of the public pointed out that the table was wrong that staff realized the mistake, minutes of the meeting can be found here: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Minutes/2015/2015-11-05+JPB+BOD+Minutes.pdf

    What is Caltrains rationale for the based on 15 days (or 30 multiplier)? Some agencies have a higher multiplier others have lower, even much lower multiplier for a monthly pass vs. a one-way ticket.

    Caltrain has a very high farebox recovery near 70%, second only to BART here in the bay area (although some people question as to how BART calculates farebox recovery). Caltrains farebox recovery is higher than nearly all of the other commuter rail systems they call their “peers “ see page 9, slide 18 here: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2017/2017-05-04+Preliminary+FY2018+Operating+Budget.pdf

    It was also noted that the JPB partner member agencies (MUNI, SAMTRANS, VTA) contributions have significantly decreased since 2005 see slide 17 on page 9.

    Farebox recovery on VTA is around 11-12%, SamTrans is around 18-19%, and MUNI is around 33%, is this fair? Why should Caltrain be forced to pay more? Yes, Caltrain does not have a dedicated source of funding but why doesn’t the bay area transit manifesto do something about it, they have been talking about this problem for over 25 years. Of course they have no problem throwing money at dubious BART extensions. So Caltrain suffers, fares will be going up, yet trains remain crowded, as there are no planned increases in capacity in the near long term future.

    Below is a table of the current fares vs. the proposed fares, I don’t know how to post this so it shows up in nice columns…

    COMPARISON OF CURRENT CALTRAIN FARES AND PROPOSED FARES

    1 ZONE CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGE % CHANGE
    ONE-WAY TVM $3.75 $3.75 $0.00 0.0%
    ONE WAY CLIPPER $3.20 $3.20 $0.00 0.0%
    DAY PASS TVM $7.50 $7.50 $0.00 0.0%
    MONTHLY $84.80 $96.00 $11.20 13.2%

    2 ZONES CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGE % CHANGE
    ONE-WAY TVM $5.75 $6.00 $0.25 4.3%
    ONE WAY CLIPPER $5.20 $5.45 $0.25 4.8%
    DAY PASS TVM $11.50 $12.00 $0.50 4.3%
    MONTHLY $137.80 $163.50 $25.70 18.7%

    3 ZONES CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGE % CHANGE
    ONE-WAY TVM $7.75 $8.25 $0.50 6.5%
    ONE WAY CLIPPER $7.20 $7.70 $0.50 6.9%
    DAY PASS TVM $15.50 $16.50 $1.00 6.5%
    MONTHLY $190.80 $231.00 $40.20 21.1%

    4 ZONES CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGE % CHANGE
    ONE-WAY TVM $9.75 $10.50 $0.75 7.7%
    ONE WAY CLIPPER $9.20 $9.95 $0.75 8.2%
    DAY PASS TVM $19.50 $21.00 $1.50 7.7%
    MONTHLY $243.80 $298.50 $54.70 22.4%

    5 ZONES CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGE % CHANGE
    ONE-WAY TVM $11.75 $12.75 $1.00 8.5%
    ONE WAY CLIPPER $11.20 $12.20 $1.00 8.9%
    DAY PASS TVM $23.50 $25.50 $2.00 8.5%
    MONTHLY $296.80 $366.00 $69.20 23.3%

    6 ZONES CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGE % CHANGE
    ONE-WAY TVM $13.75 $15.00 $1.25 9.1%
    ONE WAY CLIPPER $13.20 $14.45 $1.25 9.5%
    DAY PASS TVM $27.50 $30.00 $2.50 9.1%
    MONTHLY $349.80 $433.50 $83.70 23.9%

    Joe Reply:

    We benefit from this pass however the employer pass program cost increases are justified and a place for Caltrain to seek revenue.

    We opt for the program which also makes at work parking a $9 a day cost if we drive and park at work.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    The GO-PASS is an annual pass that employers must buy for all eligible full time employees regardless if they use Caltrain or not. It consists of a sticker affixed to the employees ID badge. So an employer with 200 full time employees must buy 200 GO-PASSES, even though there may be only 10 that are using Caltrain regularly. The cost to the employer is $190 x 200 = $38,000, the GO-PASS sticker is provided to the employee for free in most cases as an employee benefit, many of which are very well paid employees. Now part time and sub contractor employees (who are mostly low paid) are not eligible for the GO-PASS.

    I can drive to work and park for FREE, many peninsula tech campuses are surrounded by free parking, and they also provide free shuttles between the Caltrain stations and the campus. Additionally many of these companies are now providing the so-called “Google buses” which provide a free (employee perk) transportation between the employees home location and the workplace.

    joe Reply:

    So an employer with 200 full time employees must buy 200 GO-PASSES, even though there may be only 10 that are using Caltrain regularly.

    As compiled by GreenCaltrain from other sources:
    Stanford University, which offers the GoPass to its employees, has a 24% Caltrain mode share, and SurveyMonkey has a 50% Caltrain mode share, and SRI in nearby Menlo Park has a 15% Caltrain mode share.

    Your example at 24% ridership means 50 users, not ten. If a monthly pass is $200 it’s $120,000 service for $38,000 revenue.

    Roland Reply:

    Any idea why MTC (also 200 empoyees) goes not buy Go-passes?

    Joe Reply:

    Why should Caltrain be forced to pay more?

    Because trains at peak are over capacity.

    Possibly they could charge a peak commute fee or offer discounts off peak when trains are slow or charge less for local only and more for Local-Bullet passes.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    So we all have to suffer and pay more because of Caltrains failure to provide adequate service and the politics of bay area transit’s failure to provide adequate funding to Caltrain?

    Using this logic, then Caltrain should eliminate the GO-PASS and make everyone pay full price for the monthly pass. Users of the tech buses should also pay for using them, as they do add to traffic congestion.

    Roland Reply:

    How about eliminating the $27M SamTrans baggage instead?

    joe Reply:

    So we all have to suffer and pay more because of Caltrains failure to provide adequate service and the politics of bay area transit’s failure to provide adequate funding to Caltrain?

    Really? At a time when the DoT is blocking congressional money you still put this on caltrain?

    Fare increases are a market solution to crowding. It’s still a subsidized ride. They are rationing with fares and ideally it should be at commute peak only.

    We all suffer because the bay area housing and transit – all modes – is inadequate. At some point people have to accept the collective consequences of NIMBYism and anti growth policies and the fact we choose to live with a commute.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Seems like peak surcharges are a better solution than a cross-the-board hike.

    Roland Reply:

    How about off-peak discounts?

    BTW, here is what happened last year (after a 10% hike): “Farebox revenue increased 1.4 percent from April 2016”. http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2017/2017-06-01+JPB+BOD+Agenda.pdf (page 24)

    I just can’t wait until next month when we are expected to see a farebox DROP (after a 10% increase).

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    The trains are crowded at peak. People tend to respond more strongly toward costs than savings. Surcharges are likely to be more effective than discounts. Both could likely be employed simultaneously.

    Roland Reply:

    Have you ever visited Silicon Valley when people are trying to get to/from work?

    Joe Reply:

    I agree.

    We’re off to Poughkeepsie NY via the Hudson line from Grand Central NYC. They sell peak and off peak tickets.

    Caltrain should examine Express train surcharge and peak commute surcharge.

    bixnix Reply:

    Oh fun. I’ll be using that service in a few weeks.

    Roland Reply:

    Next retard up for a SamTrans Planner Oxymoron (TM) position with a salary commensurate with his level of expertise: “Fare increases are a market solution to crowding. It’s still a subsidized ride. They are rationing with fares and ideally it should be at commute peak only.”

  35. jedi08
    May 12th, 2017 at 06:12
    #35

    Paris / bordeaux in 2h05, with 1114 passengers, 35000 seats and 19 TGV per day over a distance of 500 kilometers:

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/voyages/2017/05/12/30003-20170512ARTFIG00092-les-petites-revolutions-du-nouveau-tgv-oceane-paris-bordeaux.php

    Roland Reply:

    Nous avons le TGV low cost, oui!

    Roland Reply:

    Here is how the line was financed (no new stations): http://www.eib.org/attachments/press/lgv-sud-europe-atlantique-en.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    Oh and BTW, the line completely avoids every single densely populated area between Paris and Bordeaux, a minor detail apparently completely lost on (now defunct) PB’s finest: https://dordogne.cci.fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/PDF-10-LE-TRACE.jpg

    Joey Reply:

    It helps that they already have electrified double tracked legacy lines that can be used by stopping trains to access the city centers (oh, and they’re also not owned by recalcitrant freight companies).

    Still though, I think this approach is worth studying in at least some California cities. The additional cost of building a parallel segment would be offset by the fact that you’re building a lot less track through the urban area, and that it can be built to much lower standards (since all the trains using it will be stopping and don’t need to travel at full speed)

    bixnix Reply:

    Sure–in Hanford/Visalia and Gilroy. Which is already happening (for Hanford/Visalia at least.) The Bakersfield F Street alignment could be considered skirting the city center to the degree that Avignon TGV does, as well. The only other options in phase 1 where this would make sense are San Jose (#Altamont) and some cities north of Merced, but there are already straight railroad corridors through their downtowns, so there isn’t much advantage in avoiding them.

    Joe Reply:

    Furthermore, the Gilroy UP ROW parallels downtown Gilroy. The tracks do not bisect the city.
    UP tracks run immediately to the east of downtown, behind an alley. The alignment would remove Railroad street which is predominately old warehouses. There is a small neighborhood between the tracks and HW 101.

    Due to increased traffic and other concerns, I now expect the city to recommend HSR move out of town to the green field site due to the size of the sound walls and other impacts. It’s a tough call but I think HSR would accept that alignment. The greenfield is less costly for HSR, no UP ROW impacts, shorter distance too. It would be more costly for Gilroy which would need to expand city infrastructure. The city is also adding a 101 exchange with access to that greenfield regardless of the station.

    bixnix Reply:

    Or there is Altamont ;-)

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Altamont gets smarter by the day

    Joey Reply:

    I would actually target Fresno and maybe Modesto for this approach. I don’t think Hanford or Gilroy are large enough to justify the duplication.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    But Fresno’s downtown is on the edge of the city, there is a straight HSR path, and it’s under construction.

    Joey Reply:

    True, meaning that Fresno is out for this.

    agb5 Reply:

    No new stations were need because the existing stations where already HSR compatible with long high platforms, electrification, PTC etc.
    There is no equivalent situation in CA.

    Roland Reply:

    1) All platforms are 550mm (every platform is “classic compatible”).
    2) The only way to get the private sector involved is to build up TGV traffic on classic lines until they are so congested that operators will pay a premium to run on high speed lines (and charge their passengers accordingly).
    3) The fact that “there is no equivalent situation in CA” is a symptom that CA is putting the high speed cart in front of the horse.

    EJ Reply:

    So California should build conventional speed electrified lines first? (The current trackage in the CV is owned by BNSF and UP, who don’t want electrification and don’t want to free up additional train paths for more passenger service.)

    Roland Reply:

    Yes: https://calsta.ca.gov/2016/08/01/calsta-state-releases-final-plan-to-transform-freight-system/

    Joe Reply:

    LOL

    “The Sustainable Freight Action Plan reflects the hard work done by the partners to address the needs of the freight industry,

    Now demand an independent investigation and inquire as to why UP and BNSF haven’t offered to help build this electrified passenger service with their freight capacity.

    You’ll find Caltrain San Mateo is behind it all.

    EJ Reply:

    I don’t see anything in there about electrification.

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.arb.ca.gov/gmp/sfti/sfti.htm

    EJ Reply:

    Again, a lot of discussion about fuel cells and batteries, not railway electrification.

    Roland Reply:

    “Inter-regional Freight Electrification and Port Electrification pertain to efforts to reduce air pollutant emissions by switching from diesel-fueled trucks or rail cars to an electric propulsion system. ARB has recently initiated a new stakeholder process to improve freight efficiency and transition to zero-emission technologies in response to a Governor’s executive order.53 ARB has received a series of pilot proposals, including many proposing to use heavy-duty electric propulsion technology.”
    http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/uploadedFiles/CPUC_Public_Website/Content/About_Us/Organization/Divisions/Policy_and_Planning/PPD_Work/PPD_Work_Products_(2014_forward)/PPD%20Transportation%20Electrification%20Whitepaper%20.pdf

    EJ Reply:

    “To date, all three large investor owned utilities have participated in fuel-switching from diesel fuel
    to either electricity or natural gas at major ports to varying degrees. Specifically, SCE has an
    approved tariff to support electrification at the Port of Long Beach.55 Aside from the consideration
    of this particular electrification program, the CPUC has not been actively involved in electrification
    efforts within the heavy-duty sector. “

    EJ Reply:

    Note that the port of Long Beach (as well as the Alameda corridor) is a publicly owned facility. IIRC the Alameda corridor was in fact deliberately built with sufficient clearances for OHLE, should that ever become a priority.

    CPUC is silent on its ability to encourage (or force) freight railroads to electrify long stretches of the lines that they own, and, when other parties have mentioned it, UP and BNSF have been vocal in their opposition to it.

    Jerry Reply:

    At the end of the 1930s, the United States stood as the world leader in railroad electrification. With 2400 route-miles and more than 6300 track-miles under electric power – far more than any other country – U.S. electrification represented more than 20 percent of the world total.
    http://ctr.trains.com/railroad-reference/operations/2001/01/railroad-electrification-proposals

    EJ Reply:

    Wonderful. They never should have ripped it out. But they did. And they don’t want it back.

    EJ Reply:

    Part of the problem is that they’d be taxed more highly, since electrified infrastructure is an asset. I’m not sure if there’s a legal framework for publicly owned electrification on top of privately owed railroads, but perhaps there should be?

    Michael Reply:

    Wasn’t most of the electrification interurbans? Yeah, the Milwaukee’s mainline electrification (645 miles) was a quarter of that, and it was mainline. Most of the rest was lighter built lines that did have decent passenger and freight at one time, but were mostly interurbans. Different from mainlines in Europe. Not very many (<2?) name trains outside the current NEC ran under the wire, as far as I know.

    EJ Reply:

    Also I thought the goal here was to do HSR cheaper.

    Roland Reply:

    Yes.

    EJ Reply:

    Well your imaginary electrified CV BNSF corridor will hardly achieve that.

    Roland Reply:

    Who is talking about an imaginary electrified CV BNSF corridor for HSR?

    bixnix Reply:

    You implied it in your response supporting conventional electrified lines like BNSF and UP in the Central Valley.

    Roland Reply:

    Joey Reply:
    May 12th, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    It helps that they already have electrified double tracked legacy lines that can be used by stopping trains to access the city centers

    Roland Reply:

    Meanwhile in Burbank:
    https://youtu.be/HabHg_eMIbc?t=100
    https://youtu.be/HabHg_eMIbc?t=120

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.tunneltalk.com/Company-News-May2017-Rebranding-of-WSP-Parsons-Brinckerhoff.php

    Jerry Reply:

    Rebranding of WSP | Parsons BrinckerhoffMay 2017

    Gregory A Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP USA, said, “Now, we are moving forward as WSP USA, and although our name has changed, our commitment to technical excellence and client service will never change.”

    With nearly 7,000 employees in 100 offices nationwide, WSP USA will continue to serve public and private clients with a range of services including strategic advisory services, program management, planning, engineering, construction management, and operations & maintenance.

  36. JJJ
    May 12th, 2017 at 12:28
    #36

    Musk has the tech world in a frenzy with his new tunnel crap.

    It’s no wonder Silicon Valley has one of the worst transportation systems in the country.

    Roland Reply:

    Just like they were with his Tesla and SpaceX crap. Will these people ever learn?

    JJJ Reply:

    He didnt invent the electric car. Theyd been around for 100 years. He didnt invent space travel, that started 50 years ago. Hes good at taking existing stuff and tweaking it to be better.

    Can he improve a tunnel boring machine? Absolutely, and I hope he does.

    Does that mean he’s suddenly a competent transportation planner. Nope.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    If the man would stop ignoring basic geometry, he may have something to offer transit. But he’s trying to shove carholes where they don’t fit.

    Peter Reply:

    Just looked at some of the animations. Basically, he is proposing PRT with autonomous Teslas for the last mile.

    Joe Reply:

    I see a rich, spoiled man sick of being stuck with Plebeians on the roads acting out like Blofeld of SPECTRE. He wants a special road for him and his kind to get to and from an airport. Same guy who is so cheap his Tesla factory in Fremont doesn’t have enough parking or employee shuttle

    The Google Bros solved the traffic problem by leasing buses to pring people to the main cmapus. They also leased neighboring Moffett Field for their G6 jets. They can fly via jet or helicopter to their customized Boeing Jet in Sacramento for trips overseas.

    bixnix Reply:

    If this was diqus (hint, Robert, hint), I would upvote you.

    Roland Reply:

    Right again (100% perfect score)
    http://abc7news.com/traffic/friends-remember-alameda-co-deputy-killed-in-crash/1987105/

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Employers shouldn’t be expected to provide parking or shuttles to employees. Elon’s right not to.

    Roland Reply:

    And your solution for a 24×7 factory is?

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    I’d say let ’em figure out how to get to work without giving them 180 square feet of some of the most valuable real estate on earth to store their 2000 kg ass-transporter in for 8 hours daily.

    What a concept, right?

    Roland Reply:

    And the concept to get thousands of people to/from work between midnight and 5.00 AM is?

    Joe Reply:

    Tesla grappling with parking space shortage at its Fremont factory – Story | KTVU

    REMONT (KTVU) — Tesla is having difficulty accommodating its workforce at its Fremont factory, which apparently doesn’t have enough parking spaces for all of its employees who need them.

    Tesla has about 6,000 employees at its job site but only enough parking lot spaces for 4,500 vehicles and many employees have turned to creative ways to park their cars.

    Tesla points to Fremont city officials who have approved the company’s master plan, which calls for how it will use land and its resources.

    Palo Alto too.
    Tesla Pays Employees To Bike To Work After Slew Of Parking Problems « CBS San Francisco

    Sky Drone 5 was flown above Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters on Wednesday afternoon and showed that every inch of available space was filled.

    And it also showed a crazy quilt of cars, in both the traditional parking spots and the lanes in-between.

    Jerry Reply:

    Palo Alto has a parking problem??
    Tell me about it.
    Aren’t they part of PAMPA?
    The people who oppose public transportation??

    Roland Reply:

    Quote required.

    Roland Reply:

    “Since they opened the south lot and north lot, it’s a little bit easier because they have a shuttle that comes every 10 minutes so you can park in here and take a shuttle to go over there,” employee Minhazur Rhman said.

    Tesla employees say Elon Musk put out a memo that says he is working on an electric pod car rollercoaster that would connect to all the parking lots so that employees could travel around the campus faster.
    http://abc7news.com/business/parking-at-bay-area-tesla-headquarters-factory-described-as-nightmare/1866510/

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    If every third car had two people in it, or every sixth car had 4 people in it, then 4,500 spaces is enough for 6,000 employees.

    Seems like charging for single-occupancy vehicle parking is a decent solution.

  37. morris brown
    May 12th, 2017 at 19:39
    #37

    LA Times: Gov. Brown asks President Trump for help on the California bullet train

    Talk about letting the Fox in the Chicken coop. Why do any environmental work at all!

    Joe Reply:

    WTF is wrong with you?

    Roland Reply:

    WTF is wrong with YOU?

    Wells Reply:

    You, WTF, wrong is? Yoda

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp

    bixnix Reply:

    Whoa!

    Joe Reply:

    In his letter, he tells Trump that getting waivers from federal environmental oversight has allowed California to “cut the regulatory burden on thousands of road projects.”

    CEQA is generally more stringent than its federal counterpart law. After obtaining the approval, however, the rail authority decided to comply with both state and federal environmental laws.

    A common practice with road constructionthat saves time and money is proposed for HSR. Federal EIR are less strict than California’s CEQA.

    Roland Reply:

    Has it ever occurred to you that we need the FRA to keep an eye on these clowns?

    joe Reply:

    They didn’t ask to be let free from oversight.

    Environmental impact statement – Wikipedia

    Contrary to a widespread misconception, NEPA does not prohibit the federal government or its licensees/permittees from harming the environment, but merely requires that the prospective impacts be understood and disclosed in advance.

    CAHSR will follow CEQA and CEQA allows litigation. We’re doing fine under CEQA and Trump’s EPA or FRA isn’t going to add value.

    Roland Reply:

    Do you understand the subtle difference between a 250 MPH high-speed line and a freeway (Jeff Morales did not and that’s why he was Rossified).

    joe Reply:

    (Jeff Morales did not and that’s why he was Rossified).

    High-Speed Rail CEO Stepping Down in June | KMJ-AF1

    Gov. Jerry Brown praised Morales in a statement Friday, for his leadership during “a very challenging period.”

    Here are links to noise models so you can make some substantial claims. . You can download and run the models. I’ve run the FRA and discussed noise & Mitigation with Gilroy HSR Commission.

    TNM V25 – Traffic Noise Model – Noise – Environment – FHWA

    FHWA Traffic Noise Model 2.5:

    Software download (9 MB ZIP)

    High Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Spreadsheet Model | Federal Railroad Administration

    >
    High Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Spreadsheet Model

    Roland Reply:

    You don’t understand and the video has not posted (yet)…

  38. Reedman
    May 12th, 2017 at 20:22
    #38

    The Amtrak engineer operating the Philadelphia train that crashed in 2015 has been charged with eight counts of manslaughter.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/12/528206181/amtrak-engineer-charged-in-deadly-2015-philadelphia-train-crash

  39. Roland
    May 12th, 2017 at 22:52
    #39

    Caltrain “need higher-level leadership, strategic decision making, and the right management to implement the decision.” https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2017/05/12/guest-opinion-caltrains-future-spadework-needed-for-permanent-stability

    Clem Reply:

    OK, but what color do you want?

    bixnix Reply:

    Fucia with chartreuse stripes. In actuality, they’re all fine, except for number 2.

    agb5 Reply:

    You can apparently vote at calmodtrains.com

    Joe Reply:

    I recommend an earth tone body “morris brown” with “nimby yellow” stripes.

    Reality Check Reply:

    The original and sharpest (presumably Stadler-proposed) Caltrain EMU color scheme isn’t even on Caltrain’s “ballot“.

    Option #1, being closest to that, is best one left on Caltrain’s ballot. What’s with that horrible dark gray and the other overly-busy and directional color schemes? I guess Caltrain’s NIH meant they had to fuck up the nice and clean Swiss/Stadler color scheme.

    bixnix Reply:

    I went with option 3, because I don’t like stripes. None of them are great though.

    Clem Reply:

    That dark gray is surely a historical wink to the old SP colors.

    I can’t say that I like any of them, least of all the original Stadler rendering, which is so conventional. Like an airliner with a window band / cheatline, it screams 1980.

    There are some purely functional considerations: underbody should be dark to hide grime, roof should be lighter for solar load, and ends should be bright for grade crossing visibility. And you need something to break up those huge vertical slab sides.

    Wells Reply:

    I picked option 2. The narrow horizontal red stripe near the roofline, to me, implies an electrical circuit board, electric operation, technological advancement. It also suggests ‘straight line’ movement. The dark band on the floor line has a taper at front and rear which suggests aerodynamic speed. I’m not a fan of silver. I prefer a standard white for the base color to reinforce the depiction of circuit board electronics. Some bright color – yellow, orange, tangerine – in tapered stripe/streak could be added to front and rear surfaces to make approaching trains visibly stand out.

    Clem Reply:

    More functional considerations

    Sides need reflective stripe for visibility at grade crossings
    Livery can emphasize doors for better orientation in platform crowds

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Where is the reflective stripe on NS rolling stock in Holland which has a plethora of high frequency grade crossings? Japan? et al…

    Clem Reply:

    In Japan and the Netherlands, motorists don’t drive into the sides of moving trains. This is America!

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Touche

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Actually, doors should have a high contrast to the surroundings, allowing visually impaired people (of course not 100% blind) to recognize them.

    agb5 Reply:

    Low doors should be colored yellow.
    High doors should be colored green.
    Stations should have either a yellow or green theme to let the traveler know which doors will open during the height transition.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Or you could just have “low door station/high door station” painted or displayed on the platform which would be a lot more unobtrusive.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    …and wouldn’t dictate the livery in such a tail wagging the dog sort of way…

    Clem Reply:

    Form should follow function, just saying

    EJ Reply:

    I find it hard to object to painting doors and platform gap fillers in a loud, contrasting color, even if it looks a bit ugly, if it helps the visually impaired safely access transit.

    Clem Reply:

    From outside the train, which doors will open is patently obvious. From inside, less so, which is why the interior surface of the low and high doors should be different colors.

    EJ Reply:

    Yes, in the interest of equity and accessibility, once low and high doors are both functional, there should be a clear visual indicator as to which will open next, for visually impaired as well as those who have limited English skills.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    This with a pantograph.

    EJ Reply:

    Works for me. The old SP black, orange, red, and silver isn’t actually too far away from Austria’s Railjet, which I think is one of the sharpest modern train liveries.

    Michael Reply:

    Railjet is a sweet service all around. I went from Munich to Budapest a few years back. Very comfortable trains. I’m looking forward to seeing how close the Brightline trains are to Railjet. Since the new order of Amtrak cars seems to be terminally f’d up, maybe a pivot to the Siemens product would make sense. They have a production line up and running..

    EJ Reply:

    Railjet is great. I’ve taken them Vienna-Budapest and Vienna-Graz. They aren’t the fastest but they might be my favorite European trains. And their advance fares are so cheap! You can easily afford to get rid of your extra Hungarian money in the bar car.

    That said standard class (or whatever they call it) on Railjet is comfortable but a little bit spartan by US standards. I think Brightline is aiming for a little more luxury.

    EJ Reply:

    And yeah Siemens seems to be on the ball in the US market. San Diego Trolley has been all Siemens from the get go and they’ve been solid. Even the 30+year old Siemens-Duewag U2 bangers found a buyer in Argentina.

    bixnix Reply:

    Yeah, though I prefer KinkiSharyo LRT.

    Roland Reply:

    Check this one out: https://twitter.com/animagnum/status/863169050691510272/photo/1

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I have to say I completed disagree that the original Stadler rendering paint scheme looks dated or anachronistic in any way. It is easily the most simple (less IS more) and sophisticated option and yes, it’s not even on the ballot. Like usual, agencies in the US think that wild RV paint jobs are somehow better than understated elegance. Look to DB, not RV.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    …and just to add to the DB thing… …DB trains, especially an ICE, is the peek, in my opinion, of restrained sophistication. “Gee wiz, this train is soooo boring, they really need to spice things up with some stupid swooshes and gradients” is something no one has said, ever.

    Clem Reply:

    While I agree that wild RV paint jobs are incredibly tacky and should be avoided, they do serve a purpose: to break up a boring large flat vertical slab. The Stadler design for Caltrain is unusual in that it has vertical slab sides almost 5 meters tall, with no taper at the top, unlike any DB train you’ve ever seen.

    Roland Reply:

    Comme ca? http://www.railjournal.com/media/k2/items/cache/1c192b34cce9ce81c18336a73b7fd32d_XL.jpg

    Clem Reply:

    Ha! Keeping the hope alive…

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/0408.pdf pp12-13 it is that you do not understand.

    Is it 961 seats and 80 bikes or 893 seats and 112 bikes?

    Clem Reply:

    You should kindly help the various decision makers understand the error of their ways. There must be a persuasive argument.

    Roland Reply:

    The previous decision makers are gone. The new ones are rapidly becoming aware of the errors of their predecessors’ ways ($1/2B later and counting)…

    EJ Reply:

    None of these are particularly lurid or busy compared to some of what you see in the rest of the world these days.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Western_Railway_(train_operating_company)#/media/File:150263_and_150_number_216_Cardiff_Central_to_Taunton_2C79_by_Train_Photos.jpg

    Or this. Teal and pink. So much for classic French style:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouigo#/media/File:SNCF_OUIGO_TGV_Dasye_761_Marseilles_-_Paris.jpg

    I like the dark gray quite a bit actually. Not only, as Clem says, is it a subtle nod to the old SP “bloody nose” scheme, but white shows dust too easily.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Or they could just resist any attempt at recalling anything historic and go with something fun and fresh like this scheme on these locos.

    Clem Reply:

    Meh… sometimes, less is just less.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    I’m just a sucker for turquoise.

    EJ Reply:

    Sweet color scheme if you’re designing an insect, not so much for a train. Faber Castell, I’m afrad you’re fired.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Booooo

    EJ Reply:

    Well those ICEs look good in publicity shots. When they pull into a station in the middle of summer, and that bright white is splattered with dust and dead bugs, not so much.

    EJ Reply:

    Other than that light-gray undercarriage shows dirt too easily, the Austrians really nailed modern train livery IMHO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railjet#/media/File:%C3%96BB_Railjet_1116-236_on_Krauselklause-Viaduct.jpg

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Not really related, but sort of related and definitely aclassy throwback.

    EJ Reply:

    Not sure if other US railroads do it, but Union Pacific paints a handful of their engines in “fallen flag” schemes from constituent railroads that they absorbed over the years. It’s fun seeing a new SD70M in Southern Pacific colors, especially since that engine never wore Espee livery in “real life.”

    EJ Reply:

    UP itself rarely makes big changes to its livery – one of the biggest was the big American flag and the slogan “Building America” in place of “UNION PACIFIC” down the side of the engine. And there are various small changes in the size and position of the “shield,” But they’ve been yellow and grey with a red, white, and blue shield almost since they started running diesels. They know better than to mess with a classic.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s to give people in the Bay Area something else to complain about. Complaining is their main hobby after all.

    Jerry Reply:

    Maybe the Russians are trying to interfere with the color selection process.

    les Reply:

    ah, quit complaining.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You’re back? That’s something to complain about.

    les Reply:

    Morris keeps harping about how “To be approved for this FTA grant, Caltrain needed to show that after electrification of the corridor was implemented, the seated passenger capacity of the commuter line would be increased by at least 10% from existing capacity. The grant application which Caltrain sent to the FTA did show a 10% increase in capacity.”

    The Caltrain corridor is basically SJ to SF. HSR will run 6/hr from SJ to SF. How can’t this not increase the capacity of the corridor by more than 10%? What difference does it make what trains are doing the hauling.

    les Reply:

    minus the double negative :) where is an editor when you need one.

    Roland Reply:

    The FTA care about the number of seats, not trains and they know that 5×762 is more than 6×558.

    Clem Reply:

    It’s evidently 4×558 + 2×889 now.

    Roland Reply:

    What could possibly go wrong the day a 6-car EMU shows up in Sunnyvale during the northbound morning peak instead of a 7-car Bombardier?

    Clem Reply:

    Let me guess, 331 people will stand?

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: standing on the platform after spending 5 minutes desperately trying every single freaking door before eventually giving up and delaying the train departure by 3 minutes in the process.

    Clem Reply:

    Are you implying the inside of the train would be crowded? There is plenty of room to stand, more than in any Bombardier you’ve ever been in.

    joe Reply:

    Wrose. He’s implying people will not be able to board because they would get confused by the higher platform door.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    people in the rest of the world try to board at the door(s) that open.

    les Reply:

    more trains means more seats. there will be > 450 x 6 additional seats per hour with HSR runs.

    Clem Reply:

    Those unfortunately do not count under FTA rules, as opposed to your rules.

    Roland Reply:

    Especially when they replace 889-seat bombardiers and bring the entire Peninsula down to its knees during the morning and afternoon peaks.

    joe Reply:

    Sad this is technicality over classification and not a actual problem.

    Since the FRA hasn’t complained, I’m curious if it matters aside from retired NIMBYs and transit vultures nitpicking. They are delaying, not rejecting the application.

    I’d offer another option if the Feds did complain — as you suggest buy more cars and if that’s not possible simply delay ordering all the bike cars toadd seats.

    Yes I know a few vocal and involved activists would explode but I suspect a public backlash against bikes if the system were not electrified to protect the free bike cargo.

    joe Reply:

    Bike configurations are TBD but assume 80 per train (40×2) with each bike freeing 0.80 seats. That’s 64 additional seats. Clem tells me these 64 seats is not enough but close.

    Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog

    This design change is worth +64 seats per six-car EMU, or +256 seats/peak hour, or +7.5% core capacity.

    Roland Reply:

    According to Calmodtrains.com, the CalFranKISSentrains only have 16 bike bays, so bike capacity is down to either 48 or 64 bikes depending on whether they stack a maximum of 3 or 4 bikes.

    Assuming 4-bike stacks, the CalFranKISSenTrains would be approximately 14 (558-60) seats short of the 8:1 ratio (512 seats) when they rip out 10 seats per car for the other set of doors.

    Clem Reply:

    That “ripping out” (more like a temporary removal) won’t occur until every EMU is 8 cars long, which invalidates your math.

    Roland Reply:

    So ripping 80 seats out of 744 is better than ripping 60 seats out of 558?

    Either way, you are still way below the existing 762-seat capacity which means that, $36M later, the CalFranKISSentrains are dead and will soon be history, just like the stupid 50-inch platforms.

    Joe Reply:

    Your math has been invalidated. All your base belong to Clem.

    According to Calmodtrains.com
    CalModTrains

    New Bike Cars
    There would be two dedicated bike cars per train that will be well marked from the outside. Each bike car would have two levels, with bike storage on the lower level. The exact bike layout will be discussed in Spring 2017. Please visit again to see the latest developments.

    Note: Caltrain is in the middle of developing a bike parking management plan that will explore opportunities for improving bike parking at stations.

    Reality Check Reply:

    As page 15 of the minutes of the July 2, 2015, JPB meeting show, after lengthy discussion, and public input, and a failed motion to adopt a 9:1 ratio, the board unanimously passed a motion to adopt an 8:1 seats:bike-spaces ratio for the EMUs.

    Since we’ve currently got 80 bike spaces per train now, this means 640 (8 x 80) seats per EMU are required merely to preserve the existing 80 spaces per train. So, ironically, reduction of bike spaces is an unintended and underappreciated side-effect of reducing seats in favor of greater standing space.

    The folly of basing bike spaces on a ratio to seats is illustrated most obviously in that if all seats were eliminated to maximize passenger capacity, onboard bike spaces could be eliminated while remaining in full compliance with the agreed-to 8:1 ratio!

    Roland Reply:

    The current 6-car Bombardier seat-to-bike ratio is approximately 10.5 to 1 (762 seats to 72 bikes). Back in July 2015, the SamTrans RSMFRs already knew that they were in serious trouble with the CalFranKISSenTrain capacity hence an entire year’s worth of bathroom elimination presentations followed by the 8:1 ratio recommendation after the Board settled on a single bathroom.

    The entire chronology of events going back to the 2012 capacity study (948 seats) is here: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/BAC+7.21.16+Correspondence+Packet.pdf

    joe Reply:

    A link to one of your Caltrain monographs.

    Roland Reply:

    Feel free to bronze it in eternity.

    Clem Reply:

    Roland recommends:

    Terminate all activities with Stadler Rail effective immediately for convenience
    Terminate contracts with DC LLC (Dave Couch) for cause
    Terminate all contracts with LTK Engineering for cause
    Consider initiating litigation against DC LLC, LTK Engineering, and the San Mateo County Transit District for breach of trust

    Respectfully submitted for your consideration

    I’m sure they’ll consider it, for about a microsecond.

    joe Reply:

    Here’s Caltrain
    Bicycle General Info

    Each gallery car train set has two bike cars and Bombardier train set is equipped with three bike cars. The number of bicycles is limited to 40 per gallery car (80 bikes total for train) and 24 per Bombardier car (72 bikes total for train).

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me out with the relevance of Gallery car bike capacity.

    Joe Reply:

    Here’s your help.
    Reality Check: “Since we’ve currently got 80 bike spaces per train now, this means …”

    Unsurprisingly, the 5 car seat to bike ratio is ~8:1.
    Adding the 6th car throws the ratio off and no one complained.

    So much free help. You are a lucky man.

    EJ Reply:

    Was this the thing where you suggested they subpoena Bombardier and interrogate them as to why they didn’t bid? LOL.

    Roland Reply:

    Quote required for Bombardier subpoena. LOL.

    Joe Reply:

    Oh, so how was your “Independent Investigation” going to investigate the contractors that didn’t bid?
    Maybe they would send you in wearing a wire while you chat them up.

    And you prescribed how Caltrain should direct their independent investigation.

    Roland Reply:

    Quote required.

    EJ Reply:

    Oh, sorry, they were going to be “invited” to share their reasons for not responding to the RFP. And when they responded with “of course we won’t” because businesses are not in the habit of revealing why they make decisions, what then?

    joe Reply:

    Page 6 of your link.

    You assert the EMU bid is non-competitive. That’s a crime as it was planned and solicited to be competitive.

    you accuse Stadler of participating in a non-competitive bid process. That too is an accusation of criminal behavior.

    you call for an independent investigation

    you then tell caltrain what they should direct independent investigation to do and how. (it’s independent so explain how that would work, genius)

    you try to implicate the other RFP vendors and want them to explain why they didn’t bid thus co-conspiring to create a non-competitive bid. please talk to the investigation so it can determine if each is also guilty of criminal behavior.

    EJ Reply:

    So mysterious as to why only one company wanted to tool up US production, to comply with buy America laws, to build a uniquely specified, smallish EMU order, when any future market is tiny, considering only a handful of US cities even have electrified commuter lines, and none of them have indicated interest in new bi-level EMUs in the near future. Equally mysterious as to why these EMUs are going to cost more than European-built EMUs which are turned out by the hundreds, for multiple buyers.

    I’m sure it’s a conspiracy.

    Roland Reply:

    Multiple quotes required.

    Joe Reply:

    Citation provided. Link above and Page 6 of your own monograph.

    Looking forward to your denial.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “Dear Honorable Chair Cortese and MTC Commissioners” (pages 1 & 3) it is that you do not understand (it’s independent so explain how that would NOT work, genius).

    joe Reply:

    An independent investigation. Did you write that to sound sophisticated and not realise the independence means whomever forms it cannot manage the investigation.

    Roland Reply:

    Do you understand the subtle difference between “managing” and “commissioning”?

    Joe Reply:

    Yes I understand the difference which is not subtle

    Your directives to an independent commission including very specific actions as to how to investigate.

    agb5 Reply:

    Why don’t they run 6.1 trains per hour, with trains running every 9.83 minutes, that way the timetable can be fine tuned to make 7 trains run during the FTA defined ‘peak hour’, with the last train leaving the station one minute before the hour expires.
    The timetable would be incomprehensible for the passengers, but it could be a price worth paying.

    les Reply:

    Caltran currently list ridership at 65,000 or 125% capacity. Their site says that by 2040 they will handle 111,000 riders. This is clearly greater than 10% increase. Is this increase due to electrification? Is the 65,000 the max for a diesel based system?

    joe Reply:

    Yes electrification and (my guess) with added track since blended on the current ROW with HSR is a temporary solution, and full grade separations at all crossings.

    les Reply:

    Well then Morris is clearly out of line. Somebody ought to reign him in. His disinformation is only outdone by Sir Ralph.

    EJ Reply:

    Couldn’t Caltrain just get rid of the bike spaces and replace them with seats? I’m not saying this is actually a good idea (I don’t really have a dog in this fight anyway) but wouldn’t that at least get rid of any potential FRA objection? Seems pretty easy to convert them back to bike racks in the future.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Some amount of riders who wouldn’t ride w/o bikes do so because they can. Not a particularly significant percent. As it is, the conductors routinely pack in more bikes than capacity just as more standing passengers are packed in over capacity.

    Joe Reply:

    Since Caltrain is at capacity during peak — no ridership would be lost. Those leaving would be replaced with new riders.

    The set of people that must bike, must use a full sized bike and must commute at peak and cannot park a bike at the station (if secure space was offered) is very small.

    Those refusing will be driving instead. LOL if that’s done to spite Caltrain and fellow riders.

    7-speed folding bikes like a Schwinn can be had on amazon for $220.

    EJ Reply:

    Here’s what Metro is doing for cyclists:

    http://thesource.metro.net/2017/05/19/new-metro-bike-hub-opens-at-red-lines-hollywoodvine-station/

    “The facility includes parking for 64 bicycles under closed-circuit TV surveillance, secure access, peak-hour staff availability, same-day repairs, accessory sales and bike-related clinics.

    The hub allows riders to leave their bikes at the station in a safe environment and avoid the hassle that sometimes comes with bringing bikes aboard crowded trains.”

    EJ Reply:

    Note that these facilities are not free. Nobody seems to have a problem with that.

  40. Roland
    May 13th, 2017 at 13:29
    #40

    Paging Reality Check:

    1) Do you remember this: https://paloaltoonline.com/news/2013/08/01/update-samtrans-confirms-its-bus-was-involved-in-train-incident-at-menlo-park-crossing.
    2) There was an identical incident reported by a motorist in the May board correspondence packet.
    3) There was another incident with a car trapped under the gate yesterday: https://twitter.com/Caltrain/status/863201273297883136
    4) Do we really need to wait for a semi (or a school bus) to suffer the same fate for the permatemp mafia to do anything about this?

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: https://twitter.com/Caltrain?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.caltrain.com%2FPage4983.aspx

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/256302839-story

    Reality Check Reply:

    Negligent driver OK after illegally putting car into path of Caltrain

    Roland Reply:

    Just like the “negligent” SamTrans bus driver, right?
    “I was crossing in the opposite direction of the bus.

    The bus started when the lights stopped and the arm was completely up as I did. However, shortly after we all started to cross, the southbound train triggered the lights and arms again.

    The bus was already crossing the tracks. The arm fell on top of the bus and snapped. The bus did not hurtle across the tracks in any way. The bus continued to the next block and turned. I do not know if they pulled over at that time or not. ”
    https://paloaltoonline.com/news/2013/08/01/update-samtrans-confirms-its-bus-was-involved-in-train-incident-at-menlo-park-crossing

    Reality Check Reply:

    Nope, this clown was headed east on Churchill and had his front bumper clipped off by the passing southbound train. So nothing like the SamTrans bus driver, which, according to the account you posted doesn’t sound like he violated any vehicle codes.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct. The SamTrans bus driver did not violate any codes and neither did the gentleman in the May correspondence packet who apparently was compensated for the damage to the hood of his car (a month later).

    Joe Reply:

    neither did the gentleman in the May correspondence packet who apparently was compensated for the damage to the hood of his car (a month later).

    Hmmm. Past tense.

    PUBLISHED: May 22, 2017 at 6:11 pm | UPDATED: May 23, 2017 at 8:29 am
    A southbound train clipped the front end of what appeared to be a Nissan Altima.

    A month later is June 2017.

    It’s been a tough week for the dude.

    Roland Reply:

    Anyone else ever suggested therapy?

  41. StevieB
    May 13th, 2017 at 19:34
    #41

    CA High-Speed Rail Construction Update May 2017.

    Published on May 11, 2017
    A look at the construction progress of the nation’s first high-speed rail line in May 2017

    Jerry Reply:

    Great video.

    Roland Reply:

    Nothing that a minor USAF exercise cannot fix.

    StevieB Reply:

    Structures are getting larger and stronger every day. Soon they will be as the Luftwaffe Flak Towers of Hamburg and Vienna, too large to remove.

    Jerry Reply:

    ‘ride’ on.

    zorro Reply:

    The Flak Towers in Germany were bombed by the US Army Air Force, they were largely invulnerable to bombing then, as they were designed very well, even Dynamite didn’t do much, only time and nature will get rid of them. The government finally used all the bombing debris to try and bury them under an artificial hill, that tower can still be seen on one side to this day.

    The anti-HSR effort is a failure, it will try one more time on this pathetic lawsuit, and lose, eventually the lawsuits will end, Stuart Flashman will have won all the way to the Bank, He’s a lawyer, since lawyers always get paid, and He ain’t doing these lawsuits pro-bono.

    Roland Reply:

    “The alignment of the system is still at the 15 percent design level, so the input assumptions about speed constraints may not fully reflect actual conditions. In addition, the rolling stock performance characteristics are still based on a generalized design, so actual performance may deviate (upward or downward) from the initial data. Moreover, the calculations assume that 220 mph operation through urban areas in the Central Valley and between Palmdale and Los Angeles will be acceptable to the local communities.”

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/files/Final-Aug-14.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    Time flies.
    That’s a 2013 document. Look how far we’ve come.

    Roland Reply:

    Indeed we have. California’s finest actually went ahead and pissed away billion building the stupid thing in the wrong place! Par-Tay. J-O-B-S! Woo-hoo!!!

    StevieB Reply:

    Given the need to prioritize transportation investments, whose mobility needs are most important? Why are Roland’s riders more important than planned California High-Speed Rail riders?

    joe Reply:

    Well you probably didn’t participate in the Early Train Operator Request for Qualifications (RFQ16-13).

    Library of Congress Aesop Fables / The Fox & the Grapes

    “What a fool I am,” he said. “Here I am wearing myself out to get a bunch of sour grapes that are not worth gaping for.”

    bixnix Reply:

    The alignment through the Central Valley makes sense but I’ll certainly be disappointed if/when construction starts on Pacheco.

    Roland Reply:

    Second attempt: kindly help me understand which part of “Moreover, the calculations assume that 220 mph operation through urban areas in the Central Valley and between Palmdale and Los Angeles will be acceptable to the local communities.” it is that you do not understand.

    StevieB Reply:

    What calculations and why are they important to you?

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/files/Final-Aug-14.pdf

    StevieB Reply:

    What is the importance to you of this file?

    J. Wong Reply:

    He believes it shows that the time constraints of Prop 1A can (and supposedly will) only be achieved by traveling at full speed through the Central Valley cities and that said Central Valley cities won’t allow that because of the “noise” of an HSR consist traveling at full speed. Consequently, HSR will not achieve the stated travel times meaning supposedly that it is a waste of money to build in the Central Valley or at least building through the centers of the Central Valley cities.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Prop 1A doesn’t say how often they have to make it between San Francisco and Los Angeles, once a day, once a month, once….

    StevieB Reply:

    The constraints of Prop 1A are required to be met in a plan to be approved by the Legislature to release bond funds. The plan was made and approved. Bonds have been sold. The courts have not abrogated the approval of the Legislature. All opponents can do is point and cry loudly while construction continues apace.

    Joe Reply:

    Right. It’s just a bond act. Meet the conditions and you get some money.
    Prop1a isn’t a law mandating how HSR operates.

    agb5 Reply:

    It probably will be acceptable. HSR is running parallel to a diesel freight railroad and a six lane highway that already generate more daily decibels than a 2 second swoosh from HSR.

    Downtown Fresno is a wide open industrial wasteland compared to downtown Poitiers

    If some people don’t find it acceptable, what are they going to do about it? The noise levels at various distances have been well documented in the plans that the majority voted for.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly provide an example of a 220 MPH high speed line running parallel to a freight line anywhere else in the World (Isn’t this precisely what resulted in the $300M in change orders for CP1?).

    What will they end up doing about it? Simple: just slow down to 125 MPH just like everybody else by which time they will realize that they did not need to blow $300M on a freight containment barrier.

    Going back to Poitiers, no problems because trains slow down to 110 MPH and are allowed to share tracks with freight AFAIK.

    EJ Reply:

    Here you go. Skip to around 25:30:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dwhc7VN3DJY

    It’s not 220 mph since only a handful of those lines actually exist in the world but it’s a full speed HSR line. HSR lines in spain commonly run next to conventional speed lines which carry freight.

    agb5 Reply:

    The freight containment barrier is designed to contain freight so that HSR can travel as fast as it likes on the other side of the barrier.

    Jerry Reply:

    “anywhere else in the world”
    China??
    China’s largest 664 mile HSR line has trains every 4 to 12 minutes on tracks parallel to older freight and passenger lines.

    Joe Reply:

    HSR isn’t sharing track with freight, no slow down necessary.
    I have helped you understand.
    Please articulate your other concerns and I will try to help again.

    Jerry Reply:

    You have tried to help him, and you have done it “kindly”.

    Roland Reply:

    “As for the speed of our trains in Southern California, they would travel up to 110 mph in urbanized areas (just as in Northern California) based on regulations set forth by the Federal Railroad Administration. This practice is also consistent with existing high-speed rail systems around the world, where trains operate slower in urban corridors.”

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Meetings/LPMG/2017-05-26+HSR+LPMG+E-Update.pdf

    Jerry Reply:

    ” With high-speed rail trains operating along a blended corridor at 110 mph, a fully grade-separated alignment is not mandated. The California Public Utilities Commission requires grade separation for rail operations faster than 125 mph. Grade separating 42 crossings before revenue service is a challenge for the Authority and for local communities. The Authority is looking to partner with local cities on grade separation projects, similar to what is being done with the City of San Mateo.”

    agb5 Reply:

    For most residential properties in Fresno the increase in noise over the existing background levels will be merely a few decibels.
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/fresno-baker-eir/RDrft_EIR_FB_TR_NoiseVibration.pdf#page=147

    Joe Reply:

    Also, the FRA has a noise propagation model in excel.
    https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0216

    Clem also implemented a version in excel available here: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2010/09/train-noise-calculator.html?m=1

    Any serious concerned citizen could one of both to assess actual impacts.

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s try a different messenger (just for fun!)

    Clem Reply:
    April 17th, 2016 at 7:58 am
    HSR noise is no joke. Speaking of jokes, the joke will be on us when the California high-speed line (engineered at great expense for 250 mph) is limited after the fact to 150 mph through urban areas.

    StevieB Reply:

    Your superficial knowledge of High-Speed Rail is your undoing. Because of the requirements of stopping at a station in terms of braking and acceleration as well as speed restrictions on curves the urban areas are not 250 mph sections of track.

    Roland Reply:

    Your superficial knowledge of High-Speed Rail is only surpassed by your pompous twitness: http://calhsr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/PMT-Memo-Ph1-Blended-Trip-Time-020713.pdf

    StevieB Reply:

    Nowhere in that document does it say that California High-Speed Rail was engineered for 250 mph and limited afterward through urban areas. It is naive to contend that the entire line is engineered for 250 mph.

    EJ Reply:

    The line through Bakersfield includes some significant speed restrictions as designed, even for nonstop trains. I don’t know about Fresno.

    Joe Reply:

    “OMG Noise” is the new FUD-ball coughed up by our esteemed transit contrarian.

    joe Reply:

    Would rotation help you reconsider?
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B80uFwx71YrKYU1NNGNxV0ZDdVE

    agb5 Reply:

    -How much noise will a state-of-the-art train generate in the year 2029 ?
    -To what speed will such a train need to slow to for the noise to become ‘acceptable’?
    -Fresno is already a very noise place, additional HSR noise will be acceptable for most residents.
    -Residents who don’t find it acceptable will suck-it-up, or accept attenuation measures.
    -This has no impact on the bond measure designed-to-achieve time.

    Joe Reply:

    Probably not much different.

    According to CHSR documents and other source:
    At sub-150 mph speed noise is from the bottom, wheels mostly. These sound waves are mitigated with sound walls.

    Train noise at speeds over 150mph include an aerodynamic component due to speed that emanates off the top of the train. These are longer wave sounds and more difficult to mitigate.

    What Gilroy is reacting to now is the size of the structures to mitigate noise. Outreach material by a contractor used in early planning did not show the sound walls.

    Steven H Reply:

    Fresno should be relatively easy to bypass in the future: HSR enters the area from the SSW and exits in the NW; and Fresno is much less sprawl-y towards the southwest than it is in the north, so the bypass wouldn’t be any longer than the local run. A bypass that leaves the HSR ROW around Bowles and re-enters it around the San Joaquin River is exactly the same distance as the local run: 20 miles. Even assuming the greatest possible (as opposed to greatest probable) difference in speed–one in which non-stopping trains must average 150 mph and bypassing trains may average 250 mph–a bypass shaves about three minutes off of the trip time through the Fresno area. [I suspect that non-stopping trains in that 20-mile stretch will actually average something closer to 180 mph (because only a fraction of that 20 miles is actually built up) and bypass trains would only save about 90 seconds]

    I don’t think that a bypass is worth the three minutes savings; however, I also don’t think that the three minutes savings is worth not serving the largest CBD in the area. This a very different situation than the Gilroy example that served as the context for Clem’s comment about HSR noise jokes.

    Are you going to call me the r-word now? Can I offer a suggest: just call me an idiot; the r-word is offensive, and nobody wants to argue with an offensive ass.

    Roland Reply:

    Dear offended,

    So far so good. Now that we have that sorted out, what is your suggestion for an HSR stop in downtown Fresno?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    How about the one that is being built?

    Roland Reply:

    The one where the San Joaquins don’t go?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    But eventually should, because they should follow the UP route through Visalia and Tulare.

    Roland Reply:

    G-E-N-I-U-S!!!!!!! Why didn’t anyone else think of the most obvious solution???
    Par-Tay, J-O-B-S, Woo-Hoo!!!

    Jerry Reply:

    Distance from Fresno to San Jose is 150 miles.
    At 150 mph it will be a one hour trip.
    Sounds OK to me.

    Roland Reply:

    Why would anyone living in Fresno be interested in commuting to downtown San Jose?

    Jerry Reply:

    49ers games?

    Jerry Reply:

    Sharks games?

    Jerry Reply:

    J-O-B-S

    Roland Reply:

    But, but, but. Weren’t we supposed to create 100,000 jobs in sunny Fresno (and Utah)?

    Jon Reply:

    Because there are a ton of well-paying jobs in downtown San Jose, but housing there is really expensive; and because the opposite is true in Fresno. How hard is that to figure out?

    EJ Reply:

    I grew up in San Jose. It’s hardly distinguishable from Fresno, but it’s now about 4x as expensive. Even if you deduct the cost of a commute via HSR, you can buy a lot more house for your salary in Fresno than you can in San Jose.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @EJ
    The question is whether Fresno’s housing costs will increase (it seems reasonable to assume they’d reach the same prices as somewhere within a one-hour commute of Downtown San Jose today, like Livermore, where the average home costs $720,000.) Would a $720,000 Livermore-esque house plus the cost of HSR, plus actually commuting two hours every day actually be worth it for many people?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Look, people will more likely be commuting from Merced to San Jose on HSR, rather than Fresno.

    Joe Reply:

    … because the road to/from Fresno is crap. HW152 is a slow 2 lane road outside Gilroy whereas Merced commuters have 8 lane 680 and 580.

    Roland Reply:

    This may come as a total shock to you but San Jose is actually a large bedroom community 20 miles south of Silicon Valley.

    Joe Reply:

    And it’s full of orchards and everything is in black & white.

  42. Reality Check
    May 14th, 2017 at 11:28
    #42

    LA Times (Ralph Vartabedian) story:

    Gov. Brown asks President Trump for help on the California bullet train

    Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday appealed to President Trump for help on the California bullet train, which would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    Brown’s letter asks the president to transfer federal oversight of environmental reviews on the $64-billion project to the state rail authority.

    It also seems to search for common ground between two leaders who have little other than an appreciation for high-speed rail and a disdain for what some would call “red tape.”

    Brown has made the construction of a bullet train a cornerstone of his vision for the state’s future transportation system, while Trump has touted the need for fast trains nationwide.

    So far, Brown hasn’t gained any demonstrable traction with the Trump Administration, but the letter appears to be his biggest bet yet that he can do business with the president — even while the Trump administration battles California over sanctuary cities and other hot-button issues.

    Brown’s request for “delegation of federal authority” under the National Environmental Protection Act is far from symbolic.

    The bullet train project’s environmental review process is behind schedule. Earlier this year, the state’s rail authority said it would not meet its long-stated goal to have all of its reviews done this year and that they would slip into 2018.

    “The authority has had ongoing discussions with the administration about streamlining the environmental process,” rail authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley said in an email Friday.

    Brown made his request because he believes the state can handle the environmental workload faster than federal regulators, according to officials close to the project.

    […]

    StevieB Reply:

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at reducing federal regulations at the White House on January 30, 2017 so the request of Gov. Jerry Brown should be welcome…unless Trump has reversed another position.

  43. morris brown
    May 15th, 2017 at 16:35
    #43

    LA Times: Sen. Dianne Feinstein pledges to oppose Transportation nominees until Caltrain funding is approved

    This looks to me like a lot of bluster with no ammo to execute. The White House continues to get Senate approval for their nominees, regardless of Democrat opposition. If anything I would think it hurts the chances of Caltrain getting their FTA FFGA grant approved.

    zorro Reply:

    Good for Senator Feinstein, hopefully other Democratic Senators will follow suit. This is leverage.

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: http://www.progressiverailroading.com/people/news/Rosen-named-USDOTs-deputy-secretary–51643

    Are we having fun yet?

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.acronymfinder.com/I-Fire-Only-Blanks-(IFOB).html

    StevieB Reply:

    A winning strategy as Caltrain funding is approved.

    Roland Reply:

    Nothing like laying one’s hands on the pee-pee tapes: https://youtu.be/Rdskdey9uns?t=174

  44. Jerry
    May 16th, 2017 at 11:08
    #44

    Hey!
    It’s, “Infrastructure Week.”
    Who knew?

  45. agb5
    May 16th, 2017 at 13:03
    #45

    More new photos of construction:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/

    Jerry Reply:

    The new Tuolumne Street bridge might be the first large project of HSR which will be complete.
    Ribbon cutting will take place soon.

    Roland Reply:

    Too bad they are building all this good stuff in all the wrong places…

    agb5 Reply:

    Right, it would be so much better to build all this good stuff out in the desert where nobody is inconvenienced and where nobody will buy a train ticket.

    Roland Reply:

    It depends on whether the target market is currently served by airlines or the San Joaquins. If the answer is both, then an appropiate alignment would skirt major cities rather than just follow the I5 alignment.

    agb5 Reply:

    A passenger transportation system should go close to where people live.

    zorro Reply:

    And people live in the Central Valley, which is where HSR is being built at, and as a result unemployment is going down in the areas where HSR construction is happening at.

    StevieB Reply:

    So in your reasoning Fresno should not get a High-Speed Rail station and instead rely on an airport that would be inadequate in a third world country and therefore be condemned to the present economic stagnation instead of the improved economic opportunity provided by improved transportation.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2017/05/california-proposes-revised-improved-cap-and-trade-model/#comment-308169

    Joe Reply:

    Retreating to his safe space without offering explanation.

    EJ Reply:

    What idiot-boy is doing is pretending that California’s freight modernization plan includes plans and funding to electrify the corridor currently used by the San Joaquins, when it includes nothing of the sort. This would in theory allow hsr trains to divert onto the freight route to serve downtown stations, and hsr tracks to bypass them.

    Roland Reply:

    To the village idiot twins: kindly help me understand which part of $312M in CP1 change orders it is that you do not understand: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_051017_FA_CP1_Monthly_Status_Report.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    Changing topics. Classic troll behavior per Clem’s past observations of you.

    “But, but, change orders!!!”

    CP1 will go over the initial bid price because they added work to CP1 building towards Merced.
    CP1’s inital cost estimate was, high end, 1.8B.

    EJ Reply:

    Do try to stay on topic. I know it’s harder than throwing tantrums and calling everyone stupid, but you’ll find in the end it’s more productive.

    Roland Reply:

    How about you stay on topic and stop calling other people idiots you big fat asshole.

    Joey Reply:

    Apparently insults are not acceptable unless Roland is the one making them?

    EJ Reply:

    Are you that big of a troll or are you genuinely unaware of your own behavior?

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly pay a visit to a taxidermist on your own behalf.

    bixnix Reply:

    Was that supposed to be a witty retort? You are so thin skinned, Roland.

    EJ Reply:

    Don’t much care for the creepy death threats, Roland. Find yourself a good therapist before it’s too late.

    EJ Reply:

    Also, Robert, I know you’re reluctant to drop the banhammer, but Roland’s crossed a line here.

    Roland Reply:

    Someone found your pacifier and turned it in. Kindly complete this form and thou shalt be reunited: http://www.caltrain.com/riderinfo/lostandfound.html

    EJ Reply:

    So you don’t understand that making death threats online is actually taken quite seriously these days? It’s time for you to take a good hard look at your behavior.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yeah Roland, it is disgusting, infantile, irritating, and you know it.

    Roland Reply:

    @EJ. Kindly help me understand which part of “get stuffed” it is that you do not understand.

    EJ Reply:

    The question isn’t whether or not CP1 or the whole project costs too much. It’s whether or not the approach used in Bordeaux to save money by bypassing cities and routing stopping HSR trains to existing stations on conventional likes makes sense in California.

    Roland Reply:

    Progress!!!! And the answer is?

    EJ Reply:

    No.

    EJ Reply:

    That said I do agree they should bypass these cities and build beet field stations on the outskirts.

    Roland Reply:

    Congratulations for confirming that you are a real asshole.

    EJ Reply:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You’re amazing.

    bixnix Reply:

    I agree in theory, but there aren’t very many places where that actually makes sense.

    EJ Reply:

    Fresno’s a done deal at this point, but it definitely makes sense in Gilroy and probably Bakersfield as well. Also probably Palmdale, assuming that doesn’t completely fall through in favor of Tejon.

    bixnix Reply:

    Bakersfield only makes sense in a Tejon alignment, and I’m still praying fr an Altamont alignment for Gilroy. Palmdale could work, and I made a map of that earlier.

    Joe Reply:

    Greenfield station at gilroy would shave some distance and is still very close to the city core.
    With current growth, traffic near the downtown site is problematic and that 101
    exit 152 east to LA. It backs up every weekend.

    The north east side of the city is pepper field and wide open. The site is visible from 101 and there will be a new 101 ramp just north of that site which would reduce congestion.

    I’m thinking that greenfield site will be the favored solution.

    Roland Reply:

    I’m thinking that you do not understand…

  46. Roland
    May 16th, 2017 at 13:25
    #46

    £1.2bn investment, 140 new trains and 40,000 extra passengers: What new train franchises mean for the North: http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/12bn-investment-140-new-trains-11122385

  47. Roland
    May 16th, 2017 at 16:22
    #47

    CHSRA 5/10 Board meeting: https://youtu.be/szCw4Fl3bp0

    StevieB Reply:

    How much of the tribute to Mr. Morales did you watch, Roland?

    Roland Reply:

    More than there is in the video.

    StevieB Reply:

    Drinks and dancing?

  48. Roland
    May 16th, 2017 at 22:04
    #48

    Breaking News: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Texas-High-Speed-Rail-Project-Moves-Forward-422666414.html

    Jerry Reply:

    There are likely more court battles ahead, especially with landowners who don’t want a train across their property at any price. But none of it discourages Aguilar.
    “Pretty much any project that is of large magnitude has the same kind of issues,” he said.

    EJ Reply:

    Good for him. I think these landowners are going to find that stopping somebody from building a railroad isn’t that easy.

  49. agb5
    May 17th, 2017 at 09:06
    #49

    Meanwhile, back in court, Flashman & Co. have asked for and been given an extension until 25 May to file an amended complaint.
    Perhaps this time he can write his complaint more clearly so that the Judge does not “misinterpreted opponents’ legal argument”, but probably he can’t because in fact the text of AB1889 does not contradict the text of Prop1A unless you give the word “portion” a meaning that is not in the dictionary. The judge will see right through that.

    If the owner of Transdef is reading, please update your excellent resource with the latest filings.
    http://transdef.org/HSR/AB1889.html

    Jerry Reply:

    They have had their, “day in court”, many times over.

  50. morris brown
    May 17th, 2017 at 21:08
    #50

    Federal Money for Caltrain Electrification Project Could Be Doomed

    The SJ Mercury has a similar article at:

    Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says she can’t approve Caltrain electrification grant yet

    Clem Reply:

    An FFGA is a promise of future-year annual appropriations. Here’s some money to get you started, and we’ll get you the full amount (the first ‘F’ in FFGA) later. If Secretary Chao waits for years until all the money has been appropriated, no promise is necessary and an FFGA is useless. Her way of managing FFGAs is unprecedented in the history of FFGAs.

    Joe Reply:

    Right.
    This is unprecedented.

    If successful, this “pocket veto” will be a new tool to undermine congress.
    She is the wife of the senate majority leader. He’s backing her which isn’t surprising as he is ruthless but where this precedent takes us is hard to say.

    Meanwhile House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, who initated this attack on Caltrain, made news today.

    Alan Reply:

    Obviously, Chao does not understand, or has been told to ignore, the fact that Congress sets policy and the Executive branch agencies execute that policy. Chao has no discretion at this point–hers is simply a ministerial function.

    Jerry Reply:

    So why didn’t our California US Senator Harris tell her that at the hearing??

    Joe Reply:

    She did afterwards in a letter co-signed by CA’s Senator and in boldface.

    Feinstein, Harris Refute Transportation Secretary’s Caltrain Testimony – Press Releases – United States Senator for California

    “Longstanding law requires that any funding for multi-year projects like this ‘shall be carried out through a full funding grant agreement.’ Congress provided $100 million for Caltrain in the recent funding bill, which is in addition to $73 million available from previous years. All of the funding Congress makes available depends on signing this agreement.

    Jerry Reply:

    Harris asked: “How do you recommend we address the deadline that we have of June 30?”
    “It’s a tough problem,” Chao responded. “I understand the deadline. But there’s no funding. And, so, that’s a problem.”
    “How do you suggest we resolve the problem,” Harris inquired.
    “I wish I knew,” Chao replied.
    As for the full-funding grant agreement, she said: “I cannot issue it if the funding is not there.”

    Alan Reply:

    Obviously, she’s lying. There is funding in the FY17 CR which was approved by both houses of Congress and signed by The Orange One.

    At the rate the dominos are starting to fall, even ol’ Mitch might be in danger. The FBI is probably doing double-time to investigate McCarthy. (Just think…a whole new, modern version of the McCarthy hearings…)

    Jerry Reply:

    Again, our US Senator did not want to hold her (Chao’s) feet to the fire.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s not a Reality TeeVee show.

    Chao testified on the record and she, under legal penalty for false statements to Congress, said she misunderstood the law and admitted she had no idea how to resolve this problem. Both CA Senator’s fired back Chao is not following “Longstanding law requirements”.

    Basically Chao said she doesn’t know the law. This will come back to her as these things usually take time and a record for which one cannot unwind the past.

    Note this testimony follows previous letters to her from CA Senators and house minoriy leader about the grant.

    California Senators Call on Trump Administration to Approve Caltrain Grant – Press Releases – United States Senator for California

    “Congress has directed $100 million for the Caltrain electrification project,” the senators wrote. “This specific funding lays to rest any question about whether Congress supports this much needed, shovel-ready infrastructure project. Caltrain waits only for the Department of Transportation’s final approval.”

    Full text of the letter is available below:
    May 8, 2017

    Eshoo Leads California Democratic Delegation in Urging Transportation Agency to Approve Caltrain Funding
    February 7th, 2017

    Note the dates.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Basically Chao said she doesn’t know the law.”
    That is disingenuous to say the least.
    Chao was Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President G.H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991.

    Joe Reply:

    On may part?

    That was both Senator’s direct comment in their letter. They refuted her testimony.

    Chao said she didn’t know how to solve the problem – in her testimony to Congress. They have her on the record.

    Either she doesn’t know the grant can be signed without full funds which means she doesn’t know the law or she’s providing and answer other than the full truth to the Congress — unlawful.

    Not knowing the law is the lesser transgression.

    Alan Reply:

    That was a quarter-century ago. Laws and policies change as the years go on. Fortunately, it’s now a moot point.

    Jerry Reply:

    The administration cannot refuse to spend money which Congress has appropriated.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impoundment_of_appropriated_funds

    Train v. City of New York, 420 U.S. 35 (1975), was a case in the US Supreme Court whose implications mean “[t]he president cannot frustrate the will of Congress by killing a program through impoundment.”[
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_v._City_of_New_York

    Roland Reply:

    Oh yes they can: https://youtu.be/7l3gDHbxc5U

    Joe Reply:

    Physics. She just decides to not sign the document. Who can physically make her?

    The system works until someone decides not to cooperate. There will be consequences however later, not now. I see the senate majority Mitch as a radical who welds power like a club. His wife has his backing.

    They refused to hold hearings on a nominee and now refuse to sign a funded grant.

    Alan Reply:

    Who can make her? How about a court of law? If the Administration is violating the Impoundment Control Act, one would think that a court could order the Secretary to carry out the expressed will of Congress.

    Joe Reply:

    Not by June 30th.

    In 2017 Dems relied on the normal execution of government but the Executive and Senate Majority Leader have decided to throw that norm out the window.

    As with 2017, Congress will need Dem votes to avoid a 2018 budget shutdown during an election year.

    A more likely solution is for the minority leader to change the budget language in 2018 and ear mark the money to Caltrain with very specific language. Chao will have budgets directing her how to spend money.

    I do think the Senate can and will make Chao’s life more difficult. Also the GOP CA Delegation has decided their policy is whatever pisses off liberals including muck with “liberal’ CA’s economy. How that helps them, get reelected in 2018 is unclear.

    morris brown Reply:

    You can view the 6 minutes of questions by Senator Harris to Secretary Elaine Chao at:

    https://youtu.be/T_UkhGqlFDc

    @Clem

    Maybe the Caltrain FFGA application was unprecedented by submitting bogus current passenger capacity data to the FTA!

    The funding deadline is the absolutely stupid decision of Caltrain to sign vendor contracts when the funding was not in hand.

    Joe Reply:

    No. The grant isn’t rejected for noncompliance no matter how many times you repeat yourself.

    This is pure authoritarianism. No regard for the law or precedent. They simply redefined how the grants work with a contradictory interpretation.

    All is cool with you. Face it. You’re a Trumpet.

    Roland Reply:

    The Clairon du Garlique just called the Trumpet black!!!

    Jerry Reply:

    @Morris
    “The funding deadline is the absolutely stupid decision of Caltrain to sign vendor contracts when the funding was not in hand.”
    But Hillary was a sure winner, and there was no need for the bureaucracies to hurry.

    Joe Reply:

    If the DoT doesn’t sign the grant funded they are unilaterally changing the meaning and purpose of this type of grant.

    It’s authoritarian, unlawful and a-okay by Morris who also claims to be the arbitrator of the constitution.

    Jerry Reply:

    President Mike Pence might have to settle the matter.

    Joe Reply:

    I think it will take a CA house cleaning event in 2018.

    Danny Reply:

    yeah, but Brown’s leaving that same year so there’s less pressure and consistency from the executive–a supermajority would pass nice budgets but that’d be all it’d do without a driving vision

    Joe Reply:

    Prop1a and cap and trade will fund HSR in 2018 – we have to match every ARRA dollar with prop1a and that’s billions.

    Caltrain $$ for electrification will be fought and won by the Senators and CA congressional delegation in 2018.

    The CA GOP made it personal — they went after fellow district member’s projects and I think there will be hell to pay in the 2018 election for the backstabbing move on Caltrain and CA.

    It’s no coincidence HSR 2016 construction plans were moved from McCarthy’s Bakersfield to northward towards Merced.

    In 2018, Issa should be gone, probably Knight too. Other likely losses are Rohrabacher, Denham and I’d add Royce and Walters. God knows what Nunes will do to himself.

    agb5 Reply:

    Caltrain needs to put a steam locomotive back onto morning commute service to high-lite the situation. They can name the steam loco the “Flying Trump”.

    Caltrain could send a delegation to Russia and China to seek emergency funding, that should illicit a hysterical media response.

    Jerry Reply:

    Emergency help from China or Russia?
    Similar to CARE packages?
    China Assistance for Rail Electrification.
    Kremlin Aid Relief Effort.

  51. Roland
    May 18th, 2017 at 15:15
    #51

    Breaking News: Bikers do it standing too and they are still down on bike capacity even after trashing 300 seats and most of the toilets to get down to the 8:1 seat/bike ratio: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/5.18.17+BAC+CalMod+Presentation1.pdf

    Conclusion: the CalfranKISSentrains deserve a proper incineration. I will provide the marshmallows.

  52. agb5
    May 18th, 2017 at 15:26
    #52

    Even Elon Musk can’t believe how stupid his Tesla cult followers are:

    We’re a money losing company… It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-18/musk-admits-teslas-market-cap-higher-we-have-any-right-deserve

    But hyperloop in tunnels will be a winner for sure!

    Jerry Reply:

    Each rider will receive a free Cabbage Patch Kid and a free Beany Baby.
    Along with a free autograph from Bernie Madoff.

    joe Reply:

    Well there’s Uber which is even more ridiculous.

    With Tesla he jumped on a transition in automobiles where conventional manufacturers 1) do not hold many patents and 2) their supply chain for combustion autos isn’t much of an advantage.

    He bought Toyota/GM’s high quality the NUMI Motors facility for a steal with equipment and tax breaks. They invested in driving automation.

    He’s a putz yes but more accomplished than the usual tech bro.

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.boringcompany.com/faq/

    agb5 Reply:

    His explanation of how he is gong to increase tunneling speed is mostly marketing spin.

    – “In the United States, there is virtually no investment in tunneling Research and Development … our economy .. not improved its productivity in the last 50 years.”
    – True but in Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, there has been investment and huge improvement in productivity, that is why American tunneling projects buy machines from these countries.

    – “The machine’s power output can be tripled”
    – Out-of-the-box thinking, the worlds leading TBM manufacturers never imagined doing that!

    – “By automating the larger TBMs, both safety and efficiency are increased.”
    – TBM are already automated to the optimum level of cost vs. robustness.

    – “Existing technology can be modified to support continuous tunneling activity.”
    – Maybe, but this is not a radical innovation that has not been tried before.

    Send us your crowd funding $$ so that we can have fun spending them.

    Roland Reply:

    History has a habit of repeating itself: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-epic-struggle-to-tunnel-under-the-thames-14638810/

  53. EJ
    May 18th, 2017 at 17:51
    #53

    Sorry if I’ve dragged people into my spat with Roland LeBrun. But he crossed a line into violent threats and I feel it’s important to call it out.

    Joe Reply:

    I agree. He’s gotten worse than synonymouse who’s comments are in moderation.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    They are?

    joe Reply:

    Yes.

    Jon Reply:

    Roland has pretty much killed any sort of informative debate on this blog. That and the infrequency of new posts is why this blog is dying.

    Roland Reply:

    Right again (100% perfect score): http://www.cahsrblog.com/2017/05/california-proposes-revised-improved-cap-and-trade-model/#comment-308440.

  54. Roland
    May 18th, 2017 at 22:17
    #54

    Breaking News: SamTrans confirmed this evening that the 50-inch high platforms are indeed dead.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Citation/link/reference missing and needed.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Public+Affairs/Government+Affairs/pdf/5.18.17+BAC+CalMod+Presentation1.pdf (slide 2).They stated that the HSRA no longer planned to use high platforms when I pointed out the loss of the 10 flip ups but they were going to keep the other set of doors “just in case”.

    BTW, the fact that Stacey Mortensen is on the Peer Review Group should help guide the conversation: http://www.cahsrprg.com/biographies.html

    Clem Reply:

    CHSRA has never said they wouldn’t use high platforms. The peer review group suggested they look into it and the “early operator” will do the trade study again.

    EJ Reply:

    Clem, your continued patience is awe-inspiring.

    Jon Reply:

    Your parsing of Roland’s hyperbole is appreciated as always.

    It makes complete sense to keep the option open until that decision is make. If HSR end up going low platform, just seal up the high doors on Caltrain and put seats in front of them. If HSR goes high door, just seal up the low doors on Caltrain and put seats in front of them.

    Joe Reply:

    Clem’s patient.
    If one looks at the linked Caltrain slides, it’s about bikes and absolutely nothing about doors or platforms.

    It’s not uncommon to see a claim that is unsupported if not contradicted by the link.

    Roland Reply:

    Just reporting last night’s news. Feel free to take this up with SamTrans if you disagree.

    Roland Reply:

    “The Giruno is ‘the first ever mass-produced low-floor high-speed multiple-unit’, Stadler owner and CEO Peter Spuhler said at the roll-out, with stepless entry from 550 mm and 760 mm high platforms”http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/passenger/single-view/view/250-kmh-low-floor-trainset-for-the-gotthard-base-tunnel-rolled-out.html

    Peter Reply:

    It’s still not level boarding, even in Switzerland. Floor height is 940 mm.

    Clem Reply:

    Your Stadler boosterism aside, the Giruno is only compliant with Swiss accessibility requirements. It is not ADA compliant. CHSRA will have ADA end-to-end wheelchair accessibility like the Acela Express, Avelia “Liberty” or the Siemens Brightline trainset. That’s how it’s done in America.

    Roland Reply:

    D’accord: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/–LtWMyoPVzQ/VGuWb1wqDII/AAAAAAAACrY/6_rxeouhS1I/s1600/IMG_2179.JPG

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Forget it, you are wasting your time arguing with him. It does not matter how many counterexamples you provide, or how many times you quote ADA and FRA regulations. Clem has his own view, and nothing will puncture that bubble.

    Wheelchair users in Switzerland will have 100% complete level boarding, whereas the “new” Caltrain will still have lifts, mini-highs, and other craziness. Because that’s how it’s done in America.

    EJ Reply:

    Maybe because nobody has posted on this blog or Clem’s blog any actual documentation of Swiss ADA laws and the current state of wheelchair access? Just random out-of-context links and shitposting? (I’m not accusing you of this DE, but others…)

    EJ Reply:

    I mean of course whatever the Swiss equivalent of ADA is, I don’t imagine they have a law called “Americans with Disabilities Act”

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The Swiss equivalent of ADA is the Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz (BehiG). Its full text (in German language) can be found here: https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classified-compilation/20002658/index.html . A less legalese and more understandable explanation is here: https://www.edi.admin.ch/edi/de/home/fachstellen/ebgb/recht/schweiz/behindertengleichstellungsgesetz-behig.html (note that both links point to the website of the Swiss Federal administration).

    For transit, it means that by 2024, all stations and vehicles must be usable by people with disabilities. It does, for example, for trains, NOT mean that each and every corner can be reached by people in wheelchairs. The law also allows organizations of people with disabilities to have a word in public projects and projects for the general public. (and they do that, more virulently than unions in other countries).

    Clem Reply:

    Who’s in a bubble? Feel free to debunk any of the arguments I’m making. My mind is easy to change.

    Maybe California’s HSR should not have end-to-end wheelchair accessibility, in which case the Giruno (with 2 doors at 550 mm) might be an option. Discuss.

    Jerry Reply:

    What is the required percentage of handicap parking spaces in a parking lot?
    Can a similar percentage be applied to passenger rail cars?
    A bus does not have end to end wheelchair accessibility. But a bus can accommodate people in wheel chairs.

    Joe Reply:

    https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L03697

    There’s a FAQ.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thank you.
    That covers accessibility in boarding.
    Doesn’t seem to require end-to-end access within the train. Unless there is a food service car which so far CalTrain doesn’t provide.

    Clem Reply:

    On this particular tangent, we were discussing high-speed trains, like the Stadler Giruno.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The Giruno has an area, about 40 meters in length which can be handled with wheelchairs. This area includes first class accomodation, second class accomodation, the restaurant, and the wheelchair-accessible toilet. The area is not level, but has (manageable) ramps; it has no steps, however. It has level boarding for 550 mm and 760 mm platform heights. Page 12 of this presentation: http://www.bahnonline.ch/bo/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Giruno-Roll-Out-Projektvorstellung_SBB-CFF-FFS-Stadler-Rail-Group_18-517.pdf shows the situation.

    Clem Reply:

    Interesting, thanks. So that would seem to meet ADA requirements.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Does that mean that the alleged “accessibility everywhere in the train” is not an ADA requirement?

    Roland Reply:

    Correct.

    Clem Reply:

    Yes, it’s accessibility to all amenities that is a requirement. If there are different classes of service or a restaurant car they must all be accessible. In practice, I believe end-to-end accessibility goes above and beyond the regulatory requirement.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Thanks, Clem (and Roland).

    Roland Reply:

    Clem Reply:
    August 28th, 2016 at 12:08 am
    Regarding single-level 760 mm HSR: yes it’s possible (though currently not in service anywhere), but we were talking about a train of a similar architecture to the TGV Duplex, or perhaps a high-speed version of a California Car.
    I looked into this again and found this clearly written guide on what is and isn’t required for HSR ADA compliance. It reads a lot better than the CFR and provides the rationale for various requirements in understandable terms.
    I was wrong about upstairs food service needing to be wheelchair accessible.
    However, a California Duplex high-speed train, just like a single-level high-speed train, would be required to provide:
    – level boarding at EVERY platform-facing door
    – wheelchair access to at least one door per side of EVERY car that has doors
    – at least 1 wheelchair space in EVERY car that has doors, presumably on the lower level
    – an ADA compliant accessible bathroom in every car that has a bathroom, presumably also on the lower level

    Roland Reply:

    Clem Reply:
    March 13th, 2017 at 5:31 pm
    His grace and contrition when proven wrong rival only his ability to learn.

    Clem Reply:

    @Roland, here is the link you forgot to include:
    https://www.access-board.gov/attachments/article/697/Highspeed.pdf

    @Max:
    It is worth a close read. It reminded me that wheelchair access is indeed required in every car of a high-speed trainset, as is an ADA restroom in any car with a restroom… ADA has a lot of requirements and it’s hard to remember them all. So I will freely admit that I was wrong: the Stadler Giruno is not ADA compliant after all. I’m sorry that I wrongly remembered the ADA regulations and will endeavor (as I am sure that Roland will) to learn them.

    Roland Reply:

    Nothing that trashing 9 geschlechtergetrennte Toiletten inkl. Pissoirs cannot fix.

    While on this topic, can you educate me about the ADA shortcomings of this train specification?
    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2015/04/might-caltrain-trains-have-less-room-after-electrification/

    Clem Reply:

    In rather typical fashion you are changing the subject to commuter trains, when the topic at hand is ADA requirements for high-speed trains. That’s why the link above (one that you very much ought to read!) is named Highspeed.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    In rather typical fashion, you elected not to comment on trashing 9 geschlechtergetrennte Toiletten inkl. Pissoirs.

    EJ Reply:

    Amtrak gets around that by offering at-seat meal service to people with disabilities, since the cafe car is usually not accessible to disabled people.

    EJ Reply:

    I think restaurant car accessibility is a red herring. Amtrak does not have accessible restaurant cars but provides at seat meal service to disabled passengers.

    joe Reply:

    What about the max speed which I think is 250KM/H? Would this low floor design accommodate motors powerful enough to achieve CA’s required 350km/h sustained speed ?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The train is designed to run through the Gotthard Base Tunnel at 250 km/h. That is one of the requirements.

    According to the Wikipedia entry (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadler_EC250), the net weight is 380 t, and the loaded weight (with 4 standing passengers per m2) 454 t. Putting that into relation of the short term power rating of 6000 kW or continuous rating of 4800 kW leads to an operationally relevant 10.5 kW/t, or 12.3 kW net.

    Looking at the data for the ETR 610 Pendolino, also designed for 250 km/h, we have a continuous power rating of 5500 kW, but we have a net weight of 450 t, leading to 12.2 kW/t net, and an extrapolated 10.5 kW/t crammed full.

    As the ETR 610 runs through the Gotthard Base Tunnel at 250 km/h, there is nothing preventing us from supposing that the Giruno would not be able to do the same (because 10.5 kW/t is about what is needed for that purpose).

    EJ Reply:

    The question is though whether it can be built to achieve 350 km/h, which is CAHSRA’s requirement.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    No; that would be a different design. I could imagine something based on this design, but there would be quite a percentage of new development.

    Of course, if you bring enough money, and ask Mr. Spuhler very nicely, Stadlerrail will design and build a 350 km/h train for you…

    Joe Reply:

    I understand this train was designed for the unique temperature profiles of the tunnel. It’s HSR but 150MPH HSR.

    Can the equipment necessary to achieve 220 MPH or 350 KPH fit within this train, or any, with a low floor?

    I would think the reason this low HSR is a first is due to the difficulty of fitting power equipment on a low floor EMU and not challenges with disability regulations. Just a speculation, not my hobby or background.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Note that this is pure speculation, but currently, the train has 4 out of 11 motorized bogies, with probably 2 independent drive trains. By adding another drive train with 2 more motirized bogies, there would be sufficient installed power for 350 km/h. Of course, the bogies would have to be adjusted for 350 km/h operation (wheelbase, brakes, suspension, you say it…). In addition, the front of the train would need a redesign (longer snout, for example).

    The reason for this design speed is that this is all what is needed for the intended use. The fastest segment between Frankfurt and Milano is the Gotthard base tunnel with 250 km/h limit, and even if it gets extended towards Venezia one day, that speed would still be what the Frecchiaargento (ETR 600, ETR 610) trains would run at.

    Under the assumption that the bogies can be accordingly redesigned, I would see no killing arguments against the low-floor design.

    agb5 Reply:

    Why does CAHSR need a low floor, they are building high platforms.
    No way they are stopping at a 200mm ( 8″ ) platform.

    EJ Reply:

    Compatibility with other low-floor rolling stock. For example if they can agree on a common low-floor boarding height, Caltrain won’t ever need its higher doors.

    Joe Reply:

    ….so Caltrain drops the dual door requirement, and they can buy Roland’s diesel hybrid trains and then peolpe will want to expand caltrain service across Dumbarton bridge…..

    There’s and Rube Goldberg set of conditions in play here.

    EJ Reply:

    @Joe

    So we get more operational flexibility and compatibility? I’m not sure what the problem is. Dumbarton Caltrain is a good idea and would have happened already if BART hadn’t stolen Caltrain’s lunch money.

    Joe Reply:

    Dimbarton is complicated. BART didn’t take the money as billions are needed. Alameda county rejected the tax to pay for a Dumbarton crossing so its very complicated.

    Caltrain should proceed with fast accelerating EMUs to help blend with HSR. This does not preclude
    Dumbarton.

    If the gods decree dumbarton, a hybrid emu could be bought for such service and run on the Caltrain row after crossing if the system were to accept less capacity due to the sluggish performance of hybrids interfering with HSR and Caltrain KISS. Other options include a transfere eBART onto BART.

    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

    Roland Reply:

    @Clairon du Garlique
    1) There is nothing “complicated” about Dumbarton if we stick with RWJ to MPFB to start with.
    2) Guess what will happen to Diridon if SamTrans have to turn CalFranKISSenTrains @ Diridon or Tamien. Answer: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/01/san-jose-done-right.html
    3) Do you understand the implications of running more than 6 trains/hour/direction until the Peninsula is fully grade-separated?
    4) Can you elaborate on sluggish performance of hybrids interfering with HSR and Caltrain KISS (quote required).

    Joe Reply:

    Dumbarton is complicated but a walk in the park compared to a discussion with you.

    Which organizational meeting do you attend to make copious public comments about Dumbarton?

    Joe Reply:

    BTW, to time to call bullshit on your insistence all others need to show your hybrids are sluggish. It’s been done and never have I see you acknowledge the effort or refute the math.

    Joe Reply:

    You just referenced 6.4MW.
    No math or calculations. Just toss out a number.
    When confronted that the Omneo is slow as molasses you changed the subject.

    When you pressed an attack and forecast the Caltrain contract would be canceled Clem wrote:

    Dear Roland, you’re off your rocker, bless your heart

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain and HSR.
    Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog: Platform Height

    Platform Height
    Among the things on your mind as you step across the platform gap to board a train, the height of the platform above the rails probably ranks last. As it turns out, this dimension–and correspondingly, the floor height of the train–is very important. It determines:

    -platform dwell times, or how long it takes passengers to get on and off;
    -interoperability between two train systems, Caltrain and HSR;
    -accessibility for the disabled and people carrying bulky items (luggage, strollers, bicycles);
    -the available options for procuring affordable, off-the-shelf train designs.
    …..
    One can easily see where this is all headed, based on the figure at left: with bi-level EMUs, Caltrain is likely to end up with an entry floor height in the low twenty inches, while HSR will end up in the forties. The non-negotiable requirement for level boarding would result in two different and incompatible platform heights. Does that even make sense?

    Clem Reply:

    No it does not make sense!!!

    Roland Reply:

    Remind me. When was the last time your favorite blogger presented at APTA?

    EJ Reply:

    But it has doors at 2 different heights, and we all know what a tragedy that is.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Keep in mind that the difference of the floor height with those doors is 21 cm, corresponding to a normal step. Within the car, this height difference is handled with ramps, probably barely noticeable by non-wheelchair-bound passengers.

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain will run dual door trains for dual platform heights until the system transitions to HSR height trains.

    This will result is a temporary loss of seating, although increased room for standing.

    It messes with the minds of some people and annoys others who would prefer to jump ahead and assume HSR vendors will offer low floor EMUs.

    EJ Reply:

    Well HSR vendors already seem to be offering low floor EMUs. If we could standardize boarding height for all passenger rolling stock in the state to something like 550 mm (which IIRC correctly is only a few cm higher than Amtrak’s California Cars, that would be a win. You’d have to figure out a way to put a fork in the current CPUC requirement for 8″ platforms though.

    EJ Reply:

    Caltrain’s dual height doors were an ugly kluge, as anyone will admit. But they were a necessary response to CAHSR’s intent to go with 50″ platforms while still providing service to existing low platforms. If everyone can finally play nice and agree on a uniform low platform height, that would be a better solution.

    Clem Reply:

    were an ugly kluge, and continue to be an ugly but necessary kluge. The chances for a low-floor 350 km/h EMU to emerge continue to be low, and delaying the design decision is not very likely to change the outcome.

    Speaking of outcomes: the worst possible outcome is for the high doors to be deleted with no solution in place to provide gap-free unassisted level boarding at 25″ platforms, let alone a workable transition plan to get there. This is where all the high-door haters fall flat.

    EJ Reply:

    @Clem

    Do you know where the 25″ lower floor height comes from? Is that the lower floor on a Bombardier Bi-Level? I think you posted it on your blog at one point but I can’t find it.

    Because it’s an odd height that doesn’t correspond to either of the European 550 or 760 mm standards, and I believe Amtrak’s California cars and superliners are much lower, 18 or 19 inches IIRC.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Clem: Forgive me if this has been covered already, but could Caltrain use internal movable steps like on the old/new Muni LRVs? This way you still have steps for the current platforms, but level boarding at, say, 25 inches with only one set of doors.

    EJ Reply:

    An we’re now getting the Talgo trains that Wisconsin didn’t want – I can’t find a reference for their floor height but Talgo claims they’re “level with UIC Standard High platform” which I assume means 760 mm?

    Joe Reply:

    @Clem: Forgive me if this has been covered already, but could Caltrain use internal movable steps like on the old/new Muni LRVs?

    Clem’s consistently caution that any mechanical solution will likely fail given mean time to failure and the number of times it must operate.

    MUNI’s solution was a failure.
    Muni’s Next Train Fleet: Breda Disqualified From Another Contract – Streetsblog San Francisco

    The list of problems with the Breda LRVs include frequent malfunctions with its doors and mechanically-raised steps, as well as intake vents placed on the bottom of the trains, where they frequently get clogged by debris and cause costly disruptions to the vehicles’ propulsion systems.

    Roland Reply:

    Q: Do you know where the 25″ lower floor height comes from?
    A: http://www.apta.com/mc/rail/previous/2012/presentations/Presentations/Nelson-D-Rebalancing-Commuter-Rail-Level-Boarding.pdf (pp 46-53)

    Reality Check Reply:

    Yes, Bredas were all around horrible … but that was due to Breda. The new Siemens Muni LRVs being delivered now have the same movable steps … well, not the same, better. I think the part count on the Siemens steps is something like one-tenth what the Bredas had. This was a huge point. The reliability and mean time between failures (MTBF) on the Siemens LRVs had to be something like an order of magnitude better than the Bredas.

    So about that single set of Muni LRV doors with the movable steps (that convert from flat floor for higher level platform level-boarding to stairs for street stops) … those wouldn’t be converting back and forth so much on Caltrain, would they? Initially, they’d be in the lower/stairs position for however many years it takes for Caltrain to raise platforms. Once platform-raising begins, running the stairs up and down would only occur until all platforms were raised. Then they’d essentially be permanently in the raised/flat-floor position for system-wide level boarding at raised platforms. The idea is that they allow you to avoid having two sets of doors to accommodate the transition to level boarding and all the cost and hassle (interior reconfiguration) associated with that.

    Again, consider, Muni (and Siemens) thinks these will work great in continuous daily use on the new LRVs over the course of their lifetime. Caltrain would only be using the moving stairs feature during the platform height transition … it seems this could/should work as long as the platforms aren’t too high (or else there’d be too many interior stairs to make this feasible).

    Clem Reply:

    @Reality Check: “could Caltrain…” type of questions are fast being overcome by events. No they can’t anymore, the train’s detailed design is frozen and much further along than Caltrain lets on. They had years to develop a solution, and changing course at the last second is expensive and ill-advised.

    @Joe: I am not systematically opposed to mechanical solutions. They are a necessary evil for unassisted level boarding. Indications are that the Caltrain EMUs will have folding bridge plates on the high doors. You can zoom in to extreme detail in this recent PDF drawing.

    Those who don’t like this solution ought to offer their own (5% of the problem), along with a workable transition plan (which is 95% of the problem!) The latter is usually arm-waved away.

    Clem Reply:

    @Reality Check: “all the cost and hassle (interior reconfiguration) associated with that” is actually not that much. The loss of seating is trivial (contrary to what some would stridently have you believe) and the additional cost is $30 million or five percent of the contract value.

    EJ Reply:

    @Clem

    I do think it’s worth noting that Caltrain is now describing the high doors as an “option.”

    http://calmodtrains.com/?target=exterior-design

    On the paint scheme page they are shown grayed out.

    J. Wong Reply:

    It’s not clear what they mean by “option”. Here’s the quote from the calmodtrains.com site: “Note: design includes an option for additional doors. These will not be used when electrified service begins.”

    Joe Reply:

    Then the color scheme mentoined by EJ and in the pics would not highlight the upper doors as this scheme would be for the inital deployment which only uses the lower doors.

    Clem Reply:

    Now you see ’em, now you don’t. A few weeks ago this rendering (without high doors) showed up on Caltrain’s twitter feed: https://twitter.com/Caltrain/status/860158640879157248

    Joe Reply:

    Wild speculation

    Fact: McCarthy asked that Chao delay signing the electrification grant to give time for further study since it enabled HSR.

    Speculation: Caltrain removed any hint of HSR while CA put on the full court press to get the grant signed.

    EJ Reply:

    Why would removing references to HSR help their case? Trump was all excited about the “beautiful trains” the Chinese have and thought we should have some of our own.

    EJ Reply:

    Maybe it’s a vain hope, but as Roland pointed out, the peer group did recommend CAHSR seriously consider bi-level trains, and Caltrain is undeniably getting cagey about high-level boarding. If CA really could settle on 25″ level boarding as a statewide standard, that would be big.

    Peter Reply:

    More like 22 inches. Sprinter already offers level boarding at 22 inches, and Caltrain’s new Stadlers will have a lower floor height of 22 inches. I think maybe the Bombardier Bi-levels are also at 22 inches?

    Clem Reply:

    Bombardiers are at 25″ and California Cars at 18″.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Clem, looking at calmodtrains.com, do you know why bike cars have table seating for 16 (8 at each end) on the mid-level while these areas are shown as blank blocks on the remaining cars? I can’t decide or know if that’s because bike cars are unpowered and so don’t have equipment using that space, or if it’s standing space on the non-bike cars?

    Hmmm.

    EJ Reply:

    I would imagine California cars could be retrofitted with higher floors if necessary. They have enough headroom downstairs that 7″ difference would hardly be noticeable.

    @Peter I thought the Caltrain Stadlers were at 25″?

    Clem Reply:

    @Reality Check: they’re unpowered. The traction arrangement is B2-BB-22-BB-22-B2.

    See Stadler brochure.

    @EJ: lower level access is at 22″ (the usual 550 mm)

    Clem Reply:

    Oops starts with 2B (leading truck unpowered)

    Roland Reply:

    Trivia: the Regio 2N version of the Omneo is 600 mm (23.622 inches) ATOR.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Clem, yes, thank you … I can well imagine “‘could Caltrain…’ type of questions are fast being overcome by events. No they can’t anymore, the train’s detailed design is frozen and much further along than Caltrain lets on.”

    I suppose I was asking about if they had to (or could) take another run at the design with Stadler, because I’m pessimistic about Chao/McConnel/Trump coming through with a signed FFGA before the clock strikes midnight at the end of next month when the deals with Stadler and Balfour turn into pumpkins. We’re told they’d have to renegotiate at that point with possible/likely price changes … perhaps that could involve design tweaks too? After all, I’m assuming the Caltrain KISS EMU still only exists on digital “paper” so far, right?

    Also, about those high door folding bridge plates … I’m wondering at what width (depth) these will require some form of protective arms or “fingers” protruding perpendicularly from the train alongside them so that Caltrain isn’t unduly exposed to liability for people who manage to fall off the bridges into the train-platform gap.

    Jon Reply:

    This has already been superseded by events. The FTA has agreed to proceed with Caltrain electrification, so no time for a train redesign.

    Roland Reply:

    Par-Tay, 9,600 J-O-B-S and F-U-C-K commuters who don’t have access to company shuttles!!!

    Max Wyss Reply:

    This is going a little bit off-topic, please bear with me; if you are not interested, simply skip this post…

    A few more things about the Giruno roll out on May 19: info24 News (that’s a Swiss transit news site) has this article: https://www.info24news.net/2017/05/18/roll-out-giruno-stadler-pr%C3%A4sentiert-den-neuen-gotthard-zug/ .

    At the bottom of the page are three videos:

    • a flyby for the press, out in the fields

    • A ride on board for the media, showing the amenities of the train, including a fully functional passenger information system, showing the schedule of that press run, and including the “official” greetings and announcements of stations for that particular press run.

    • The actual roll-out ceremony. It starts with some drums and fireworks, while the train has its grand entrance on Track 1 of Bussnang Union Station (with a direct connection to the spur track to the Stadlerrail factory). The two gentlemen getting off the train are Mr. Spuhler, owner and CEO of Stadlerrail and Mr. Meyer, CEO of the Swiss Federal Railways. As part of their friendly bantering, they wonder where the guest of honor, Ms. Leuthard, President of the Swiss Government is; they last saw her in the Family car, but must have lost her on the way in. About 10 minutes in the video, a Chevrolet Corvette shows up, driven by “Harry Hasler” a (in)famous character played by one of the leading Swiss entertainers. He opens the passenger door, and helps Ms. Leuthard out of the car.

    This last scene can only happen in Switzerland… Where else would it be possible that the president of the country is driven around in a pretty powerful sportscar by an entertainer…

    To the more serious facts… The Giruno roll out happened roughly 30 months after signing the contract. Within that time, they designed and built that train (this rather short time was put against the TWINDEXX Swiss Express by Bombardier, which is already 3 years late (one of these years can be assigned to one of the people with disabilites organizations), and the SBB will get at least 2 extra trainsets for free). Now, they are expecting another 30 months for certification of that train for Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy…

    EJ Reply:

    After the GBT opening ceremony, nothing would surprise me coming out of Switzerland. You guys better be careful, your reputation for humorless seriousness might be in jeopardy.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Hmm… good point.

    Well, in this case, it was a semi-private event. And I would not be surprised if there were a good friendship between Peter Spuhler and Doris Leuthard (due to Spuhler’s former membership of the Nationalrat (the Swiss equivalent of the house of representatives) on one hand, and with Victor Giaccobo on the other hand (pictures from the Open Day event on Saturday make me believe that). So, you do funny things for a friend…

    And I must say, the whole third video is hilarious (but you have to have some passive understanding of Swiss German…; sorry monoglots…)

    EJ Reply:

    Haha a lot of German speakers can’t even understand Swiss German. I do know how to play Jass and I’ve even got a Swiss deck of cards with the classic German suits (Schellen, Rosen, Schilten, und Eichel), so I’m not COMPLETELY ignorant of Swiss culture. I once had a Swiss boss who taught me the game and traveling in Switzerland a few years later some of my fellow train passengers were delighted to find a foreigner who understood the game.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    That was a great honor, to be taught Jassen…

    EJ Reply:

    Not gonna lie, it’s a fun game. I’m pretty bad at it, of course. But it’s cool how apparently the entire country plays it.

    EJ Reply:

    There’s an old joke:

    In European Heaven:
    The police are British
    The car mechanics are German
    The chefs are Italian
    The comedians are French
    And everything is organized by the Swiss

    In European Hell:
    The police are German
    The car mechanics are French
    The chefs are British
    The comedians are Swiss
    And everything is organized by the Italians

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    ha!

    EJ Reply:

    I think there’s a high level of surrealism in German and probably Swiss-German humor that English speakers don’t necessarily relate to. It’s probably why Monty Python had such a substantial German following that German TV had them do a series in German, despite none of them actually knowing the language.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Where’s Bahnfreund to confirm?

    Roland Reply:

    Same doghouse as Syno.

    EJ Reply:

    Not EJ but Brian_FL here
    There is no doghouse or intentional banning. It is just Robert Cruickshank’s inability to control his own blog. He knows this blog is screwed up, yet he has done nothing visible to the users to fix it in the past few months.

    Why Robert does not end this blog or at least switch blog hosting is beyond me. He allows a situation where some of the long time commenters, such as myself, cannot post comments. I have an account here on WordPress so that is not the issue. His blog has suffered compared to previous years in the meantime because of the lack of diversity in commenting. I continue to post comments on other more reliable forums and websites.

    Roland Reply:

    This blog is firing on all cylinders as far as I can tell.
    R.I.P. Hillary.

    Roland Reply:

    @Max, Thank you for the link. I walked through the Giruno last year and initially did not notice that the floor was a lot like a Russian mountain. I was filming at the time so I nearly tripped a couple of times until I realized that the stripes on slide 10 act as a warning to passengers that the striped section is on an incline.

  55. Jos Callinet
    May 19th, 2017 at 10:24
    #55

    The principal reason why this blog is dying is we’ve talked the High Speed Rail Thing to death. Moreover, the actual project is pretty much stalemated by Washington’s (not to mention, California Republicans’) deep hostility toward it.

    There is very little of substance to report, hence my estimation as to why Cruickshank is not submitting new commentary. Besides, I sense the high likelihood that he has become totally bored at and burned out by the never-ending repetitiveness of the comments on this blog.

    We posters have been going around and around in circles for a very long time now. Nothing of much interest is happening. What high-speed rail construction we’re witnessing out in the field in California is very likely to end up as monuments to a spectacularly failed venture, which likely will become architectural ruins for future civilizations to marvel at.

    As for this blog, I would not be surprised to see Robert Cruickshank close this blog but leave it available as an archive for those interested in the history of this project to browse. It has had a remarkable run, but it has run out of steam. Anyway, thanks, Robert, for all you’ve done to make this blog possible, and to have stuck with it this long.

    Jon Reply:

    Yeah, this is all very true.

    Perhaps Roland should be thought of as an opportunistic infection on a terminally ill patient; a symptom, rather than the underlying cause.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Yes, Jon, thank you for your thoughtful observation about this blog, and the nature of Roland’s role in it.

    Also, like many others here, I have been wondering for quite a while why we haven’t been seeing any postings by Synonymouse lately – not until I read Joe’s post a few entries above did I find out that he, to quote Joe, is “under moderation” (a.k.a. – silenced for the time being?). Wondering what line he crossed to provoke that censure?

    Jerry Reply:

    The blog is very useful for updates on all things related to HSR activities.
    Such as what is happening with Texas, Florida’s Brightline, or HSR to Las Vegas.
    Also, useful reports on the legislative activities in Sacramento and D.C. are brought to light.
    Updates on the pending lawsuits are reviewed quickly.
    I am not aware of any other blog which carries this type of information in one place.

    Roland Reply:

    Indeed you are right: here is a typical thread: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2017/05/california-proposes-revised-improved-cap-and-trade-model/#comment-308461

  56. Jos Callinet
    May 19th, 2017 at 12:27
    #56

    Jerry, you make a very good point! It’s that this blog has become so cluttered with endless arguments going around and around and around – that it has become harder and harder to sort through all the “junk” to find the occasional worthwhile new bit of information.

    It might be worthwhile for Robert to set up a second blog devoted to just the sorts of news and information you’ve described – and keep it devoid of all the endless bickering, name-calling and toxic argumentativeness now dominating these pages.

    None of us should tolerate anyone calling anyone else here by derogatory names such as “a–hole,” etc. We should be able to disagree with one another in a respectful manner!

    Jerry Reply:

    Agree. Too much “junk” or FUD, and unnecessary name calling.
    An ongoing full-time moderator or referee would be necessary to eliminate some of it.
    Especially to differentiate between disagreements and arguments.

  57. Danny
    May 19th, 2017 at 17:26
    #57

    A retired federal law enforcement officer from Wisconsin told investigators he shot and seriously injured an Amtrak train conductor because he wasn’t allowed to de-board early at a suburban Chicago stop, prosecutors said Friday.

    http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Wisconsin-retiree-charged-in-shooting-of-Amtrak-11159367.php

    EJ Reply:

    Standard US cop entitlement + senility is a dangerous combination.

  58. Roland
    May 19th, 2017 at 20:43
    #58

    http://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/Rail-News/Two-more-HS2-contracts-awarded
    What could possibly go wrong?

    Roland Reply:

    “In the UK, we were part of the project team for High-Speed 2.”
    http://www.wsp.com/en-GL/sectors/high-speed-rail
    Case closed.

  59. Jerry
    May 21st, 2017 at 13:21
    #59

    Off track, but it is the end of, “Infrastructure Week.”
    NY Governor Cuomo seeks emergency help with Penn Station repair problems.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/cuomo-asks-trump-emergency-assistance-penn-station-article-1.3183796

  60. Jerry
    May 21st, 2017 at 16:24
    #60

    Not Jerry, but Brian_FL

    It’s been awhile but news from Florida is Brightline has received 2 more trainsets. Bright Orange and Bright Green were delivered 2 weeks ago. Testing of the Siemens trainset has progressed with tests north of WPB to allow for track work to priced south between WPB and Ft Lauderdale. I’ve been told it is for brake testing among other FRA mandated tests of the train.

    Stations at WPB and FTL are almost complete and station tracks are nearing completion as well at both stations.

    Future expansion to Tampa and then Jacksonville seems to be in the early stages of planning. So everything appears to be going as well as expected.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    What’s happened (or happening) to the several bills introduced into the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee regarding limitations that would be put on Brightline that might prevent it from extending from West Palm Beach to Orlando? I understand the NIMBYS along that portion of the line have submitted potentially crippling legislation that, if passed and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, would put a serious damper on expansion plans to Tampa and Jacksonville, because they first need to reach Orlando.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    AND, Bright Red is still in Sacramento, being finished up. It’s the fifth and last of Brightline’s current order of train sets, and is expected to depart for Florida sometime in June.

    EJ Reply:

    Brian_FL here
    The bills did not get out of committees. So for the forseeable future, AAF has no serious or major impediments in front of them. All they have to do is get the required permits for bridges over waterways and so forth. Every permit challenge so far has been defeated. The biggest challenge is to obtain financing. Even that can be overcome. AAF has previously committed to building to Orlando with or with out private activity binds (PAB’s). So, in my opinion, the opponents are facing a moment of reckoning. AAF will build no matter what. AAF won’t become a glorified commuter rail operation between Miami and WPB. They plan to go to Orlando and expand to Tampa and Jacksonville in a few years. NIMBYS on the Treasure Coast just don’t understand what they are up against.

    EJ Reply:

    Hey Brian – you know when it says “commenting as [some other user]” you can click “change” and put the right info in, right?

    Roland Reply:

    Brian types “EJ” followed by your email address before clicking “change”.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Brian_FL here not J Wong
    Nope Roland and EJ, I tried clicking change over the past months and it does not work. This blog is fucked up and nothing has been done to fix it.

    bixnix Reply:

    Same. I’m actually Car(e)Free LA, but I can’t not be Bixnix when in my phone.

  61. Michael
    May 22nd, 2017 at 11:35
    #61

    Off topic, but…

    The New York Times is reporting that Caltrain Electrification funding is a go. No link for you, but reported on multiple Twitter posts, including Senator Feinstein.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the link: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/05/22/caltrain-electrification-funding-fta-congress.html

    J. Wong Reply:

    The Stadler contract was one of those on hold. Looks like the EMUs are going forward.

    J. Wong Reply:

    NYTimes.com link via Reuters: U.S. to Release Grant Funds for California Transit Project

    Jerry Reply:

    Senator Feinstein’s Twitter post:
    (1/3) Wanted to share some great news: I got a call from @SecElaineChao on Saturday. She said she’d sign the @Caltrain funding agreement

  62. John
    May 22nd, 2017 at 12:38
    #62

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Caltrain-electrification-project-back-on-track-11164688.php

    Caltrain will receive the $647 million in federal funding it needs to help electrify and modernize the Peninsula’s commuter railroad, federal transportation officials announced Monday.

    A spokeswoman for the agency said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao will sign a previously arranged grant agreement that will give Caltrain the federal money over the next five years. The funds cover roughly a third of the $1.98 billion project with the rest of the money coming from state and local funds.

    (see what happens when Donald is not in the white house – he needs to do more foreign visits)

  63. Peter
    May 22nd, 2017 at 14:07
    #63

    Now that the FFGA has been taken care of, should we open the discussion on the next non-issue for Roland and Morris to tilt against? I think it’s going to be grade separation for Caltrain.

    Clem Reply:

    For Morris it will be the release of $600M of Prop1A bond funding, a legal matter soon to be ripe for litigation.

    Alan Reply:

    Why not? He’s lost every other battle, including the FFGA. Might as well p*** into the wind a bit longer…

    Roland Reply:

    You will never guess what the SamTrans Mafiosi plan to piss away the $600M on: https://youtu.be/S7nUgephTpo?t=234

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s a lie, @Roland. The 25th Ave grade separation is budgeted at $165 m with $84 m coming from the Authority.

    And on one hand you insist that full grade separation is required to achieve desired thruput, but then complain about a specific grade separation? You are just a troll.

    J. Wong Reply:

    How about watching the video, JAW? Who is a troll now?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Stupid @Roland I watched the video. Nothing was said about $600 m. It was an explanation that the promised $84 m was still forthcoming from the Authority.

    joe Reply:

    I did too and it’s just the same Roland gimmick to misrepresent a link.

    It’s a reference to the 25th street grade separation, something Roland complains is needed and also trolls against.

    There is ~700M in Measure B County revenue set aside for Santa Clara Co Grade separations and it’s not enough.
    84M from HSR is reasonable.

    Roland Reply:

    @ stupid JAW.

    Kindly help me understand which part of “Whereas, The Proposition 1A $600 million Authority investment, along with State Proposition 1B Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement, and Service Enhancement Account, bay area local transportation funds, Federal Transit Authority (FTA) funds (FTA is not a party to the 2012 Nine Party MOU) and bridge toll funds, identified in the 2012 Nine Party MOU, will be used to pay for the Advance Signal System/Positive Train Control (PTC), Corridor
    Electrification and associated Electrical Multiple Unit rolling stock acquisition projects (‘PCEP’ or ‘Project’), estimated in 2012 to be $1.456 billion” It is that you do not understand.
    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_item3_ATTACHMENT_Final_Resolution_HSRA_16-21_Funding_Agreement_PCEP.pdf

    PS. Stewart Flashman is going to have fun with that one (even without the new Hillsdale station).

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Roland your video link was to Harnett discussing the FFGA and 25th Ave. How does that support your statement “piss away the $600m”?

    Roland Reply:

    @JAW. Which part of “there is no money for Hillsdale in the $600M on Prop1A bonds” is it that you don’t understand?

    J. Wong Reply:

    What makes you think they are funding Hillsdale out of Prop1A or the $600M (which is coming out of Prop1A) that is part of the electrification funding?

    Also again the video says the Authority was waiting on the FFGA from the Feds for clarity before signing the funding agreement for Hillsdale. Now maybe you think that implies that the $84M for Hillsdale is part of electrification, but it doesn’t.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of this Resolution it is that you do not understand: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_080916_Item2_Final_Resolution_HSRA16_22.pdf

    J. Wong Reply:

    Kindly direct me to the part of the Resolution that says the $84M commitment is coming from Prop1A funds or the $600M of Prop1A funds being allocated for electrification.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Whether the $84 million is coming from Prop 1a funds or cap and trade revenue, there is a legitimite question as to why one random grade separation project in San Mateo County gets paid for by CHSRA. Why not the Rengstorff project? Why not split between three counties?

    J. Wong Reply:

    It is an interesting question. My suspicion is that San Mateo planned the grade separation and asked the Authority to contribute.

    So why not Rengstorff? Has funding even been allocated yet?

    Roland Reply:

    Why would anybody other than San Mateo deserve payback for AB1889?

    Joe Reply:

    ahhh

    Random?

    I can help. Up until April of this year, Palo Alto has not cooperated and stopped planning since 2012. The city has missed out on grade separation planning and fund raising and publicly recognizes they are far behind the other Santa Clara cities.

    Perhaps citizens advocating responsible rail design had encouraged their city to not dither.

    In parenting this is called natural consequences.

    Joe Reply:

    Here’s a link.
    https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2017/04/05/city-looks-to-bring-public-onboard-for-grade-separation-debate

    I’m sure any resident is aware of the challenge to form a consensus before submitting funding requests.

    No reason to hold up HSR and grade separations in other counties because some litigious cities thought delay was a strategy.

    Roland Reply:

    @Elizabeth.
    Please remember that the 25th Avenue “Grade Separation” project is a very small part of the brand new Hillsdale station $180M project complete with new underpasses @ 28th and 31st Avenue designed to connect Bay Meadows to the Hillsdale Shopping Center (28th & 31st currently dead-end at the tracks). Please also note the drop-dead gorgeous center platform which will add absolutely nothing to Caltrain capacity once we are done pissing away another $200M. http://www.caltrain.com/projectsplans/Projects/Caltrain_Capital_Program/25th_Avenue_Grade_Separation.html

    79 MPH forever. Par-Tay, J-O-B-S!!!!

    Joe Reply:

    Finally, Santa Clara and Pennisula cities have yet to come to an understanding abiutbhrade separation requirements.
    https://www.mv-voice.com/news/2017/04/24/concern-rises-over-restrictions-for-grade-separations

    Palo Alto was thinking of changing the track elevation such as a trench while the county funds require grade separations leave track at grade.

    As usual it’s a local problem and not HSR’s responsibility at this time.

    Roland Reply:

    Personal question: Do you type random crap all day long as a profession?

    bixnix Reply:

    @Roland.
    The center island platform is a critical part of a FSSF Traci arrangements.

    Roland Reply:

    @bixnix: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/ is LITERALLY dying for your thoughtful comments.

    bixnix Reply:

    Awww… thanks dear Roland.
    PS. It’s figuratively, not literally.

    Roland Reply:

    3) ) Do you understand the implications of running more than 6 trains/hour/direction until the Peninsula is fully grade-separated?

    Joe Reply:

    You never once demonstrated any capacity to explain.
    There are ways to calculate train frequency and capacity and you successful avoid them.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly educate yourself and let us know whatever it is that we are missing: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Blended+System/Caltrain-HSR+Blended+Grade+Crossing$!26Traffic+Analysis-Final.pdf

    Clem Reply:

    Table 2-1, assume 8-car EMUs.

    Roland Reply:

    Any particular reason you ignored the “948-seat” bit?

    Joe Reply:

    Neither “948” or “seat” appear in a document search of the PDF.

    Roland Reply:

    “To fully understand the key model inputs and parameters that were used in this study, it is critical
    to review the Caltrain/HSR Blended Operations Analysis prepared in March 2012
    (http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Documents/Final-Caltrain-
    California+HSR+Blended+Operations+Analysis.pdf).”

    Roland Reply:

    Table 18 on page 35 shows:
    – 6×6-car EMU @711 seats = 4,266 seats (average 118.5 seats/car)
    – 5×8-car EMU @948 seats = 4,740 seats
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Blended+System/Service+Plan+Ops-Cons+Study-Public+Draft.pdf

    Stadler is clearly the way to go: Par-tay, 9,600 J-O-B-S in sunny Utah. Yoo-hoo!!!

    joe Reply:

    More bullshit. You misrepresent a sensitivity test.

    Cities asked Caltrain to evaluate the operational feasibility and implications of keeping the same number of trains as today during the peak hours and to consider increasing the train consists (rather than increasing the number of trains) to accommodate increases in ridership.

    The correct calculation for capacity is 8 EMUs. 6x8 EMU @ 711 seats = 5688

    Roland Reply:

    More bullshit. Can someone else help this retard unconfuse himself?

    joe Reply:

    Any particular reason you ignored the “6×8-EMU” bit?

    Roland Reply:

    1) What’s a “6×8-EMU”?
    2) In case you missed it, a 6-car CalFranKISSentrain has 558 seats (average 93 seats/railcar, not 118.5)

    Clem Reply:

    You seem to be hinting that an 8-car Stadler EMU will simply have 558 * 8/6 = 744 seats. That’s probably a bad assumption. I think the two added cars will likely be similar to the bike cars, except without bikes, or 132 seats each. Under those realistic assumptions you end up with 822 seats + 72 bikes per 8-car EMU. (Incidentally I doubt the 8:1 seat:bike ratio will survive forever, which is why I assume the extra cars are filled entirely with seats.)

    Six of those per hour works out to 4,932 seats/hour, a bit more than the 4560 seats/hour claimed by Caltrain in response to your concern.

    Clem Reply:

    …another possibility is the two added cars are cab cars (resulting in 4+4), which works out to almost exactly 4560 seats/hour in the peak, and allows 4-car EMUs to operate off-peak. That would keep operating costs low and perhaps enable 30 or even 20 minute midday service intervals.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “A typical passenger car layout would have two main levels with between 85 and 100 seats per car” it is that you do not understand. http://calmodtrains.com/

    Roland Reply:

    According to your own math, “132 seats each” would indicate that you are getting confused between CalFranKISSenTrains and Bombardier bi-levels: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/04/core-capacity-math.html

    Clem Reply:

    We’re not dealing with “typical” figures anymore. We have detailed seating layouts available to us.

    1) take this bike car layout
    2) replace bike storage with 5 x 8 = 40 seats, or 46 seats on the lower level
    3) add 60 seats upstairs, 26 seats intermediate, 46 seats downstairs

    That’s 132 seats, QED. Your preconceived notion that the Stadler EMU has too few seats is getting in the way of your reasoning.

    Roland Reply:

    Indeed we do. How about looking at the seating layout on the actual page and start counting instead of making up the usual bullshit.

    EJ Reply:

    Which seating layouts on which actual page?

    EJ Reply:

    What actual page are you talking about?

    Clem Reply:

    Your rage is causing blindness! I can help you with the train stuff, but you can’t expect me to teach you basic skills like how to count to 132. Use your fingers or tally marks or something!

    Clem Reply:

    By the way there’s an error in the bike car seating layout cartoon on calmodtrains.com, where they are missing 8 seats upstairs (52 seats instead of the correct count of 60). The bike car is longer (six window bays) than the other cars (five window bays) while calmodtrains.com has them with identical upstairs seating.

    Rely on the Stadler brochure, which is dimensionally correct, i.e. not a cartoon.

    Roland Reply:

    Q: What actual page are you talking about?
    A: http://calmodtrains.com/ (click on the “seats” tab)
    PS. Expect the brochure reader to “correct” you when you are done.

    EJ Reply:

    The additional cars in an 8 car set would be trailers, like the bike cars. so they wouldn’t have as much space blocked by electrical equipment as the car shown in that diagram.

    EJ Reply:

    Also what Clem said. I’m gonna rely on Stadler’s brochure over what some random artist drew on calmodtrains.com

    Roland Reply:

    Exhibit One: 573 seats http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2016/09/emu-brochure.html
    Exhibit Two: 558 seats http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/04/core-capacity-math.html
    Conclusion: SamTrans should delegate FFGA application seat counting to San Carlos bloggers.

    Clem Reply:

    Shorter Roland: Samtrans should be trusted blindly, except when they should be fired.

    Roland Reply:

    Going back to the question at hand, what is the answer de jour and what is the source? Another obsolete Stadler brochure or ??

    EJ Reply:

    Why do characterize Stadler’s brochure as “obsolete?”

    EJ Reply:

    Kindly direct us to where an 8-car EMU is depicted on calmodtrains.com

    Reality Check Reply:

    What kind of idiot puts the exterior electronic destination sign (showing “San Francisco” in this diagram) in the middle of the car!? There should be two per side, positioned in the space between the lower and upper doors, obviously.

    I have to think Caltrain specified that, maybe to cut the number/cost of exterior destination displays in half … You obviously want such signs near the doors, not 20 or more feet away! This is SOP in Europe, so I can’t believe Stadler came up with that nonsense.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Ok, oops, the stupidly-positioned exterior electronic destination sign actually shows “San Jose … “San Francisco” would never fit in the sign as depicted without scrolling. At least the car *has* exterior electronic destination signs!

    Clem Reply:

    573 was counting from the brochure, including tip-up seats. Based on what we since found out about bike capacity, 72 bikes requires use of the spaces over the total 12 tip-up seats on the lower level of the bike cars, which then can’t be counted. This yields a brochure total of 573 – 12 = 561, or within less than a percent of the seating capacity of 558 advertised in the FFGA materials.

    The Stadler brochure is certainly quite reliable, even if it is almost a year old. Your efforts to muddy the waters and sow confusion and doubt are futile!

    Roland Reply:

    @EJ. The 8-car EMUs are a futile effort by Clem to muddy the waters and sow confusion and doubt.

    Joe Reply:

    Sophistry

    In this thread the 8 EMU reference originated from Roland who cited a table comparing seats per hour for 6×6 EMU trains per hour to 5×8 EMU trains per hour.

    8 also comes from correcting Roland’s misinformation. In the same document table 2-1 refers to 8 EMU trains.

    When looking at Caltrain capacity, it’s feasible for Caltrain to operate 8 emu trains and run 6 per hour.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The only person “sow[ing] confusion and doubt” is the one who keeps on claiming that Caltrain is going to cancel the Stadler contract any day now.

    Clem Reply:

    You are hereby issued Full Authority to get over it.

    Roland Reply:

    You are hereby issued Full Authority to impale yourself upon your electric bike after someone steals the saddle.

    EJ Reply:

    Get help.

    EJ Reply:

    Seriously do they have decent security at these SamTrans board meetings? Because one of these days Roland is going to straight up go postal. I’m not joking.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Why, Roland, why?

    Neville Snark Reply:

    He’s John Nachtingal without the wit.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You mean Syno.

    Roland Reply:

    Not me. Probably Joe.

    joe Reply:

    No, the psycho May 22nd comment was Roland.

  64. StevieB
    May 23rd, 2017 at 18:42
    #64

    Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued the following statement after the Federal Transit Administration announced that it intends to sign the Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Caltrain electrification project:

    “This shovel-ready project will help expand service on an already congested corridor, improve air quality and put thousands of people to work. Secretary Chao did the right thing on Caltrain. This is not only good for California, it’s good for America.”

    The administration lobbied the U.S. Department of Transportation, White House and Congress extensively on this issue and in March, Governor Brown met with both Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in Washington, D.C. to push for the approval of this grant agreement. Administration officials also held numerous meetings with local leaders, business groups and members of the California Congressional delegation. Additionally, Governor Brown penned two letters to Secretary Chao on the project

    How influential was Governor Brown lobbying? It is impossible to assess.

    Joe Reply:

    Speaking of Gov Brown’s leadership. A
    Cap and Trade allowances in the May auction sold out.

    “https://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auction/results_summary.pdf”

    “Exact details on revenue haven’t been released, but the state could be looking at $1 billion, higher than some recent auctions.” From http://www.latimes.com/la-bio-chris-megerian-staff.html

    joe Reply:

    Correction 500M, not a Billion

    California carbon auction sells out after auctions upheld by appeals court, allowances sell above the floor | EDF Talks Global Climate

    Results from the May 16 auction

    The auction offered more than 75 million current vintage allowances (available for 2017 or later compliance) and all of them sold at a price of $13.80, 23 cents above the minimum floor price. This is the first time the auction has cleared above the floor since November of 2015.
    Allowances held by the utilities, Quebec, and ARB sold with over $500 million expected for California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).

    StevieB Reply:

    More than 90 percent of the available credits sold out, according to data released by the California Air Resources Board.

    It was one of the strongest auction results in the past year, and came weeks after a crucial court ruling upheld the legality of the auctions. A key factor in the market weakness was a pending court case challenging the constitutionality of the auctions. Last month, the state Court of Appeal said the auctions can proceed.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article152407344.html#storylink=cpy

  65. J. Wong
    May 24th, 2017 at 12:04
    #65

    Who would day-trip from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley?

    I for one. Who else?

    Joe Reply:

    I would probably use it. Really it’s the youngest generation who will use it and they can attend Fresno State, UC Merced and etc.

    Two high performing seniors I know picked UC Davis. Both will be CS majors and they like the proximity to their Bay Area families via CC rail.

    This system is a economic game changer for the CV and access to affordable living and the coasts.

    EJ Reply:

    I most likely wouldn’t with the Central Valley as it is. I mean, dude, it’s Fresno. Bless ’em, somebody has to grow our food, but I’m not super into looking at it.

    But HSR should transform the region. Silicon Valley is becoming unsustainable. I know several people in San Diego who’ve turned down job offers at places like Facebook, even though their salary would literally double, because the cost of living would make it not worth it (and San Diego isn’t even particularly cheap). With HSR companies will start considering building campuses or even headquarters in the CV, since their workers will have much more affordable housing, and if their executives want to live in high-priced Peninsula communities they will still have a reasonable commute.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Well, people like Paul McCartney play Fresno so maybe that might entice you. :-)

    Also, even if it isn’t a major destination, there might be a small number of interesting restaraunts or shops that might make it an interesting weekend day trip.

    bixnix Reply:

    I’d day trip…perhaps to San Francisco or Santa Cruz. But not times, I’d spend the night. One trip I’m looking forward to is HSR access to Yosemite via Merced.

    Joe Reply:

    Yosemite for sure.

    Every city has its interesting places and people. Coastal cities don’t have a monopoly and artists will go where it is affordable and or/access to outdoors.

    I’ve found interesting places to visit in Stockton, Salinas and etc. and bet Fresno has its share.

    Driving is a drag and if these places were accessible via HSR, and bus/walk, I’d go and explore more often.

    bixnix Reply:

    Sure. Every once in a while, I’ll take Metro way across LA to somewhere like Long Beach, just to explore, and Fresno wouldn’t be much longer of a trip.

    Jerry Reply:

    Occasionally it is good to see AAA minor league teams such as the Fresno Grizzlies. Depending on who they are playing and the day of the week I would go to a game. The stadium is just one block from the proposed Fresno HSR Station.
    Also, many tourists would make use of connecting bus service to Yosemite Park.
    The tourism factor is much overlooked in most of the discussion of HSR in California.
    Florida’s Brightline on the other hand considers tourism a major factor in their customer base.
    I have talked to riders on the San Joaquin who were riding from the CV to Sacramento to see the Sacramento Kings.

    bixnix Reply:

    Yeah. I’ve actually been imagining a sort of “Classic California tourist loop”, in and out of LAX or SFO. LA to Yosemite to SF to Monterey/Big Sur to LA. Add ons to San Diego or other states available.

    StevieB Reply:

    It is much more likely that passengers from the Central Valley would travel north for a day. Business deals are more likely to be done face to face and San Francisco draws shoppers and tourists.

    bixnix Reply:

    And one day business trips from SF to from LA.

    bixnix Reply:

    *between

    Roland Reply:

    Sure thing. Spend 4 hours on the train, have a one-hour business lunch and your nine-hour “working” day (including one hour lunch break) will be over by the time you get home.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You mean 5-6 hours on the train and 3-4 hours in meetings and things, which is totally reasonable in many business circles.

    EJ Reply:

    There’s a reason 2:40 was specified as the travel time between SF and LA. That works out to about 3.5 hours travel time on either end, which is about the maximum possible for a one day business trip, and slightly longer but comparable with flying. (and the assumption is that working on the train will be easier than working on a plane).

    Joe Reply:

    Right.

    Given the rationale, 2:45 isn’t a problem yet that 5 minutes extra could be tolerated if it happens between sj and sf to save billions. There’s a reason the SJ to SF leg is not in the current business plan.

    Roland Reply:

    The irony is that a 5-minute saving could have saved billions.
    Ever wondered how/why SNCF figured they could get LA-SF done for $30B?

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah but they didn’t and it’s too late now. They should have bypassed downtown Fresno, but it’s a done deal and complaining about it now achieves nothing.

    agb5 Reply:

    How would the the high speed trains get over the mountains and meet travel times if they were built like tanks to survive collisions with freight trains?

    Could it be that SNCF low-balled the number to get the foot in the door, and $30B in 2008$ is not like $64 in YOE$

    joe Reply:

    Clem put together a more detailed slide deck than SCNF.

    Roland Reply:

    1) It is never too late. How about learning from the Fresno catastrophe and looking at other approaches? http://www.morganhilltimes.com/news/high-speed-rail-city-to-conduct-its-own-review-prep/article_dd40dd58-419a-11e7-9799-6311e9c85121.html.

    2) Who said anything about going OVER the mountains? https://www.tunneltalk.com/Argentina-Chile-Nov12-extreme-rail-tunnel-through-the-Andes.php

    3) Here is what a train built like a tank to survive collisions with freight trains looks like: https://youtu.be/Unlekx9ZXxQ?t=21

    4) There is no low-balling as such. It is a different business model where one entity is responsible for designing and building high speed lines and local jurisdictions are responsible for the connections to the existing stations (and the resulting cross-platform transfers).

    joe Reply:

    False equivalency:
    Fresno has a station, Morgan Hill doesn’t. There are reasonable alignments proposed to follow HW101 east of town and no stop, no lesson to learn from Fresno.

    Whataboutism: SNCF made an unsolicited, non-compete, sole source sales pitch to take over the multi-billion dollar project.

    Bait and Switch:
    Argentina – Chile tunnel is a sales pitch with low cost to attract government investment. Low balling again. Promise 3.5B for 52Km tunneling ($67M/Km) whereas the Swiss actually estimated 10B and spent 12B for 57 M of tunneling ($210M/Km).

    EJ Reply:

    The Argentina-Chile proposal costs $3.5 Billion at the same stage CAHSR was gonna cost $32 Billion.

    Roland Reply:

    joe Reply:
    May 25th, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    “Adverse effects associated with garlic include bad breath, body odor, fatigue, dizziness, headache, sweating, lightheadedness, low blood sugar, muscle aches and loss of appetite.”
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/518790-effects-of-too-much-garlic-on-human-body/

    joe Reply:

    Roland reposted a comment he made using my pseudonym, joe.

    @EJ and at a cost of 32B, SNCF still promised to build the system for 2B less. The tunnel per km costs 1/3 of what it cost the Swiss. Don’t expect any takers.

    I am entertained at the url TunnelTalk.com – Welcome to Tunnel Talk and it’s host, John Cleese.

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like this retard does not understand the difference between boring and D&B and why this accounts for such a difference in costs(?)

    joe Reply:

    No it does not account for the difference in costs.
    That’s why you left a “(?)”

    You picked a low-ball sales pitch as an example.

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like this retard does not understand the difference between boring and D&B and why this accounts for such a difference in costs between Europe and South America.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Except it wont :-(
    Normally, I don’t like freeway projects, but from a regional perspective, it makes sense, and it would give us the opportunity to tear out and redevelop the Arroyo Seco Parkway.

    Jon Reply:

    Plenty of people living in the Bay Area have relatives in the Central Valley. There’s a reason the San Joaquins are packed around Christmas and Thanksgiving.

    Peter Reply:

    I wished for HSR when I had to drive from San Diego to Fresno for a job interview…

    Roland Reply:

    Am I the only one sensing something seriously wrong with someone living in San Diego looking for a Job in Fresno?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Only someone as parochial as you.

    joe Reply:

    It was only a matter of time before Religion to get into the conversation.
    Did you know that the First Lady was a fervent Catholic?

  66. Roland
    May 25th, 2017 at 00:02
    #66

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/23/roadshow-i-have-given-up-on-caltrain-want-to-know-why/

    J. Wong Reply:

    Oh the irony! You move to the suburbs and lo and behold the density increases so that it becomes more urban.

    Jerry Reply:

    And Sandra’s complaint is about the parking at the CalTrain stations when she goes to the Giant games or other SF events. However, after 3 PM parking is much available and FREE at the Millbrae intermodal station.

    Roland Reply:

    Rumor has it that Sunnyvale riders eventually figured out that they could get a seat if they drove up to Mountain View (and no, I am not making that one up either).

    Joe Reply:

    Confusing statement.

    The express North bullet train at sunnyvale doesn’t stop at mountain view.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly allow me to unconfuse you:

    The express North bullet train at Mountain View doesn’t stop at Sunnyvale.

    Joe Reply:

    Then what’s the big deal?

    With electrification we’ll have faster travel times and more trans per hour at peak. The current bullet system creates problems at adjacent stations.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Are you actually trying logic with Roland?

    joe Reply:

    Do you have the slightest clue about the subject matter at hand?

    joe Reply:

    Not “joe”, obviously Roland.

    joe Reply:

    “Adverse effects associated with garlic include bad breath, body odor, fatigue, dizziness, headache, sweating, lightheadedness, low blood sugar, muscle aches and loss of appetite.”
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/518790-effects-of-too-much-garlic-on-human-body/

    joe Reply:

    Someone was binge drinking last night while posting under my pseudonym.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes. I know that there are few feasible ways to run frequent bullet and local service without four-tracking the entire Caltrain corridor, and I know that the existence of bullet service incentivizes driving to stations served by it, and I know that electrification will make local service competitive with current bullet service. If bullet is to exist, perhaps it should only be north of RWC, with outbound bullet trains heading over Dumbarton. This would make it unnecessary to four-track south of RWC, assuming that service more frequent than every 15 minutes per service is ever desired. Now if we went with Altamont, we could send all SF-SJ Caltrain locals down the existing tracks as frequently as we liked, with special tracks just for SF-RWC bullet ACE/HSR trains.

    Roland Reply:

    Your extended knowledge of rail operations and capacity planning in particular qualify you for a SamTrans Senior Planner Oxymoron (TM) position.
    Too bad you cannot afford the plane ticket to the interview. How about Megabus?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I already have a job, thank you Roland (that allows me to buy plane tickets.) Unless you have something valuable to contribute, please shut up.

    joe Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “Sunnyvale bullets are so packed that people can’t get on the freaking trains” it is that you do not understand.

    Joe Reply:

    The baby bullets create problems at adjacent stations. This problem has been discussed by members of the public at Caltrain meetings. Perhaps you should listen to them instead of rehearsing your next speech. People complain that California Street service is negatively impacted by adjacent University Ave bullets. It is an under serviced stop where service is pushing that ridership to university.

    What if god had given you two ears and one mouth?

    Roland Reply:

    “Adverse effects associated with garlic include bad breath, body odor, fatigue, dizziness, headache, sweating, lightheadedness, low blood sugar, muscle aches and loss of appetite.”
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/518790-effects-of-too-much-garlic-on-human-body/

  67. Roland
    May 25th, 2017 at 12:38
    #67
  68. morris brown
    May 25th, 2017 at 15:10
    #68

    Amended lawsuit now filed view at:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9m407yyFerMUC1BbmFva2Y0NjQ

    morris

    Jerry Reply:

    Woman sues Jelly Belly. Claims she didn’t know they had sugar in them.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-lawsuit-jelly-belly-sport-beans_us_5927564fe4b0df34c35ad587

    StevieB Reply:

    The allegations in the lawsuit are the same as those rejected in the previous lawsuit. How can another rejection not result?

    agb5 Reply:

    Same old BS.
    He is simply asserting that, in his opinion, a “usable segment” must be a complete high speed rail system, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

    Prop1A states that a Usable Segment is “part of” a high speed rail system and the “part” must be suitable and ready, and the “part” can be used as a test track or can be used by trains other than high speed trains.

    The text of AB1889 does not contradict the text of Prop1A, unless, in Prop1A, you give the word “portion” a meaning that does not exist in any dictionary, which is what Flashman is doing. The judge understands the meaning of words and will see through this misdirection.

    Flashman also plays games with the word “ready”, asserting that “suitable and ready” means “a high speed passenger service must begin immediately”

    In effect, Flashman argues that an oven-ready chicken MUST be put in the oven IMMEDIATELY after purchase, otherwise you can’t really call it oven-ready.

    The Authority argues that, after purchase, an oven-ready chicken can be put in the oven only when a critical mass of dinner guests arrive; any delay between Purchase and Oven does not change the chicken’s oven-ready state.

    Whereas an oven-ready chicken has a “use-by” date on the label, a Usable Segment has no use-by date; no maximum delay between the “part of a HSR system” being operation-ready and the start of high-speed revenue service.

    Flashman wants the court to create a use-by date, he requests a date of “immediately”, but would settle for 6 or 12 months if immediately was technically impossible, which it is, because of the need to test and certify trains and systems.

    The Legislature suggests that a Usable Segment can be used as a test track or “by trains other than high-speed trains” for an undefined length of time. AB-1889 further clarified that a Usable Segment does not have a use-by date.
    A rail Segment can remain operations-ready without a revenue service operating on it in the same way that a chicken can remain oven-ready without actually being the in oven.

    The Legislature chose not to impose a use-by date, and the court cannot overrule the Legislature by inventing and imposing arbitrary dates. Even if the court did demand the Authority start a service, the Judge would then be have to define what constitutes a “service”, because there is no definition of that in Prop1A. The court will not go down this road.

    This argument is doomed to fail.

    joe Reply:

    In addition to bogus word games, the Court defers to the legislature and presumed expertise of the agency.
    C075668.PDF

    The Supreme Court has cautioned courts to exercise a highly deferential and limited review, “out of deference to the separation of powers between the Legislature and the judiciary, to the legislative delegation of administrative authority to the agency, and to the presumed expertise of the agency within its scope of authority.”

    …and Prop1a ia a bond act which is not restrictive in it’s description to disallow advantageous changes.

    In fact, the Supreme Court has allowed substantial deviation between the preliminary plans submitted to the voters and the eventual final project, admonishing: “[T]he authority to issue bonds is not so bound up with the preliminary plans as to sources of supply upon which the estimate is based that the proceeds of a valid issue of bonds cannot be used to carry out a modified plan if the change is deemed advantageous.”

    Roland Reply:

    Expertise of the agency is an oxymoron.
    Presumption thereof is a fatal flaw.

    joe Reply:

    It is The Law.

    Our Courts defer administrative authority to the Legislature and presumed expertise to the agency, the very people you deride every meeting.

    Roland Reply:

    Five years from now, SJ to SF will be suitable and ready for 79 MPH High Speed Rail.

    agb5 Reply:

    The electrification “part” will be suitable and ready for 120mph service. That is the only part that the bond funds are partly paying for.

    Roland Reply:

    Whoops! Did someone forget to tell SamTrans?

    StevieB Reply:

    Roland is predicting the Flashman lawsuit will fail and Caltrain electrification will be completed in five years. Morris will be disappointed.

    Roland Reply:

    The Flashman lawsuit definitely has merits (that’s why the judge asked him to file an amendment). Whether he will prevail is an entirely different matter).

    BTW, does anyone know if the injunction was to stop the bond sale or to stop them from pissing the bonds away on more useless crap?

    joe Reply:

    The Flashman lawsuit definitely has merits (that’s why the judge asked him to file an amendment).

    The Lawsuit has so little merit the Judge offered to let them change their legal arguments.

    Avoid any grounds for appeal and put this thing to rest once and for all.

    ​California high-speed rail opponents likely to appeal ruling | 89.3 KPCC

    Judge Raymond Cadei rejected opponents’ latest lawsuit aimed at blocking California’s $64 billion high-speed rail project. The judge ruled that the lawsuit is premature. But he amended his earlier tentative ruling to allow opponents to refile the lawsuit with different legal arguments.

    ​California high-speed rail opponents likely to appeal ruling | 89.3 KPCC

    Judge Raymond Cadei rejected opponents’ latest lawsuit aimed at blocking California’s $64 billion high-speed rail project. The judge ruled that the lawsuit is premature. But he amended his earlier tentative ruling to allow opponents to refile the lawsuit with different legal arguments.

    agb5 Reply:

    The judge is giving Flashman enough rope to hang himself.
    The original injunction suit was going to fail for multiple reasons, which is messy.
    The new amended suit is going to fail for one reason which is cleaner.

    Flashmans core argument is that, according to his exotic reading of the Bond Act, the minimum “unit of construction” is an entire High Speed Rail System with in-service trains.

    The tentative ruling of the court rejects this concept, noting that a High Speed Rail System is composed of many parts, and the minimum unit of construction is “some parts”.

    Roland Reply:

    “Whereas, The Proposition 1A $600 million Authority investment will be used to pay for the Advance Signal System/Positive Train Control (PTC), Corridor Electrification and associated Electrical Multiple Unit rolling stock acquisition projects” http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_121316_item3_ATTACHMENT_Final_Resolution_HSRA_16-21_Funding_Agreement_PCEP.pdf

    Note that this resolution does NOT include the $84M chunk San Mateo are about to grab for Hillsdale ( https://youtu.be/S7nUgephTpo?t=234) even though the CHSRA Board refused to sign the MOU and the appropriation never went to the Legislature.

    agb5 Reply:

    Pants on fire:

    Whereas, The Proposition 1A $600 million Authority investment, along with State Proposition 1B Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement, and Service Enhancement Account, bay area local transportation funds, Federal Transit Authority (FTA) funds and bridge toll funds, identified in the 2012 Nine Party MOU, will be used to pay for the Advance Signal System/Positive Train Control (PTC), Corridor 2 Electrification and associated Electrical Multiple Unit rolling stock acquisition projects

    Money is fungible, so the accounting can show the $600m was all spent on electrification.

    agb5 Reply:

    The Injunction was to prevent The Authority spending funds and have the entire project cancelled because, inter alia, one of the defendants would lose 3% of his orchard ( for which he has already been paid $165,000 compensation ).

    TOS will lose trees upon which he has lavished not only money but personal efforts, for which monetary damages will not be an adequate remedy

    LOL

    StevieB Reply:

    Courts regularly put a price on compensation for losses including those resulting from farmers broken hearts. Tos may love his trees but his broken heart will heal given time and money.

    agb5 Reply:

    But he claims that “monetary damages will not be an adequate remedy”.

    If TOS cooperated, he could swap his lost land for a newly orphaned bit of land adjacent to his that is about the same size. Transplant the trees, and he is made whole.

    Joe Reply:

    I have a solution:

    High-speed rail’s tree-planting plan slow to start

    Authority spokesperson Lisa-Marie Alley said the goal is to plant 5,000 trees along the first 29-mile section from Madera to Fresno. She said the planting has been delayed because of the drought.

    However, the head of the Sacramento Tree Foundation said the drought should not stand in the way of tree planting.

    “I think it’s the wrong message for them internally, as well as for the broader Central Valley community,” the foundation’s executive director Ray Tretheway said.

    “This year, which is the fourth year of an extreme drought, we have planted 9,700 trees,” Tretheway said.

    According to a June 2013 report to the Legislature, rail planners expect the Madera-to-Fresno section to produce 30,107 metric tons of greenhouse gases from 2013 to 2018.

    A 2010 study by two civil engineering professors estimated the total project would generate 9.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, or about 2 percent of California’s yearly emissions.

    Frank Oliveira of the group Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability said some studies have shown the state will need to plant 5 million trees.

    “Where are they going to put 5 million trees and keep them alive? Who’s going to take care of those trees? How much is that going to cost to take care of those trees?” Oliveira said.

    Tos!!

    Roland Reply:

    Frank is right (they need to plant another 4,990,300 trees) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/24/seven-million-native-trees-planted-along-hs2-route/

    Joe Reply:

    Nope:

    Seven million trees and shrubs will be planted between the new London to Birmingham HS2 rail route to help it blend in with the countryside, believed to be the biggest project of its kind

    The Authority needs to offset carbon emissions, not plant shrubbery.

    You need to quote an expert in forest carbon cycling and growth. Not angry NIMBYs.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly watch the video and STFU: https://youtu.be/1bkoGvw9kbA?t=166

    Alan Reply:

    Flashman is such an incredibly incompetent “lawyer” that he actually filed this with the court:

    It is proposed to run from Madera to Shafter, with two stations, one in the City of Fresno and the other, a Kings/Tulare station, located West of Hanford and East of Visalia along Highway 43 in an area that is currently agricultural.

    (emphasis added)

    Does anyone else see the physical impossibility of the bolded text? The judge must have been showing incredible restraint not to laugh Flashman out of court. What an amateur.

    zorro Reply:

    That would be some track gauge, must be a whopper of a train, Amateur Hour at the Bar.

    Visalia scroll to the left for Hanford…

  69. Jerry
    May 25th, 2017 at 20:39
    #69

    The new Tuolumne Bridge in downtown Fresno is complete and will open to two way traffic with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 31, 2017.
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/buildhsr.html

    StevieB Reply:

    Conversion to two way traffic will benefit businesses along the previous one way street. One way streets are designed to increase the volume of cars moving through. Businesses on one way streets are more difficult to get to by automobile and unfriendly to foot traffic.

    joe Reply:

    Two-way traffic is guaranteed to boost HSR ridership beyond all expectations.

    StevieB Reply:

    The Tuolomne Bridge is sturdy and designed to handle the boosted HSR riders so that will not be a problem.

    Roland Reply:

    It is comforting to know that there is some kind of nexus between the new Tuolumne Bridge and High Speed Rail other than just Par-Tay and J-O-B-S.

    bixnix Reply:

    And making it possible​ to actually fit HSR.

    Roland Reply:

    Silly me!!! I always thought that the catenaries were too low for double stack!!!

    Jerry Reply:

    The new bridge is higher and allows more room under the bridge for the new tracks for HSR.
    And by the way, everybody likes to Par-Tay.
    And all people like to have J-O-B-S.

  70. Roland
    May 26th, 2017 at 14:13
    #70

    Breaking News!!!! http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2017/2017-06-01+JPB+BOD+Agenda.pdf

    Clem Reply:

    Is there actual news, besides the FFGA and full notice to proceed with the CalFranKISSenTrain?

    Roland Reply:

    Over $100M misappropriation of Prop1A bonds for the Hillsdale & SSF island platforms (Belmont announced that CHSRA are planning to blow theirs up at last night’s LPMG).

    There is enough material for another CBOSS blog post on your favorite soapbox here: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Finance/Quarterly+Capital+Program+Status+Report/JPB/FY17+Q3+JPB+Quarterly+Report.pdf

    More later.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Meetings/LPMG/2017-05-26+HSR+LPMG+E-Update.pdf. The latest letter from UP letter is at the end.

    zorro Reply:

    Prop1a bond money is not just for HSR, it is also for HSR connectivity too, at least. And since HSR will be using the same electrical and probably the platforms too, it’s not illegal to do.

    Flashman is a bad joke, He needs to be fired, Atherton is being robbed, they need to get a real competent lawyer, who can’t even get His directions right, a 12yr old boy scout could get the directions right, but then they can read maps, and know West from East.

    $950 million of the 2008 Proposition 1A bond proceeds are to made available for capital projects on other passenger rail lines to provide connectivity to the high-speed train system and for capacity enhancements and safety improvements to those lines.

    California Proposition 1A, High-Speed Rail Act (2008)

    Roland Reply:

    They pissed away the $950M on CBOSS, BART and other “connectivity” a long, long time ago.

    zorro Reply:

    Flashman is a loser, He always does, HSR money can be spent on where HSR will go, don’t like that?

    Too bad, so sad, and I’m not sad. :p

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: 760-seat 60-car Bombardiers are operating at over 130% capacity: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2017/2017-06-01+Annual+Passenger+Counts.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    “Past winter wettest year on record”.

    Roland Reply:

    Gilroy extension ridership down 6.3%

    Joe Reply:

    Oh My. What were you Blossom Hill Boyz doing last February?

    Blossom Hill -18
    Gilroy -5

    Joe Reply:

    The Dot Com bust in 2001 and spring 2003 widening HW 101 show up clearly in the south county ridership data.

    Full speed ahead on new 101 – Morgan Hill Times: News

    When Gov. Gray Davis orders open all eight lanes of Highway 101 from Bernal Road to Cochrane Road Monday around noon, the largely ceremonial phone call he’ll place from the ribbon-cutting ceremony near the Coyote Creek Golf Drive off-ramp will symbolize a lot more than the unplugging of years of freeway congestion.

    Dot-com bubble – Wikipedia

    a historic economic bubble and period of excessive speculation that occurred roughly from 1997 to 2001,

    Roland Reply:

    Driving in the rain. Driving in the rain. Driving in the rain.

    Clem Reply:

    Caltrain needs 8-car EMUs ASAP.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    That’s for dam sure, maybe even 10-car EMU’s…

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. I N-E-V-E-R saw that one coming!!! And the money is coming from?
    Talking of which, do you really expect Santa Clara County to fork up 1/3 for trains that are incapable of servicing 1/3 of San Jose?

    Clem Reply:

    The marginal cost of expanding the fleet is pretty darn small compared to $1.98 billion. Stadler won’t stop at 96 cars. It would be nice if you could advocate for that, after you reach the acceptance stage of your RFP grieving process.

    Joe Reply:

    You are referring to the BART Extension.

    Additional Caltrain EMUs cost shared with other counties, are rounding error.

    Stay focused.

    Roland Reply:

    A $400M rounding error that will not increase capacity above 6-car Bombardiers after pissing away $2.5B?

    Joe Reply:

    You’re dizzy from hyperventilating. Sit down. Calm yourself.
    How much are the extra EMUs?

    The incremental cost would be another $130M (one third of $390M, or less than 7% of the entire value of the PCEP project)

    And these trains will travel faster, shorteneing the trip and require with less dwell time.

    Joe Reply:

    Split evenly, a third of 130M would cost Santa Clara Co < 44M.

    Now what's the VTA contribution to extend BART?

    Roland Reply:

    This is what happens when retards start repeating useless nonsense they read on obscure blogs.

    Clem Reply:

    Joe’s figures are in the right ballpark. If you disagree, it might be instructive to explain why you think that extending the 16-train EMU fleet to a seating capacity of ~800 each (after purchase of 32 option cars) would cost anywhere close to $400M.

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot the Management Oversight, the Owner’s Team overhead and the platform lengthening.

    While on this subject, do you understand that you are condoning pissing away even more money on trains that, five years from now, will not have any additional capacity over and above trains currently running at over 130% capacity?

    One last thing: what is your solution for south San Jose and beyond?

    agb5 Reply:

    We all have to move beyond the outdated idea of measuring capacity in units of seats. SRO is normal and expected at peak hours on BART, MUNI and now Caltrain. Get out of the broken and outdated “commuter rail” mindset, and switch to what Americans know as “heavy rail.” Stop swimming against the tide.

    agb5 Reply:

    (This is Clem, not abg5)

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of
    “Caltrain Calmod 2.0 SF to San Jose Full conversion to 100% EMU +
    capacity increase ($440m);
    broadband ($30m);
    Maintenance Facility improvements ($36m);
    level boarding & platform extensions ($250M)
    up to $756M TBD”
    It is that you do not understand

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2017/2017-05-04+JPB+BOD+Agenda.pdf (page 126).

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of

    “The 5.4 square feet per passenger comfortable load standard discussed in the TCRP Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual includes both seated and standing passengers. FTA recognizes the majority of commuter rail systems do not allow standees given the nature of the trips being much longer in length and due to safety considerations. Thus, FTA uses a different calculation to determine core capacity eligibility of commuter rail projects. A project sponsor of a proposed commuter rail core capacity project must provide information on equipment design, cars per train, trains per peak hour and current ridership to FTA with their PD request that shows at least 95 percent of available seats are used in the peak hour going the peak direction. In this way, FTA determines if the proposed commuter rail project is at capacity or will be within five years.”

    https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/FAST_Updated_Interim_Policy_Guidance_June%20_2016.pdf (page 86)

    joe Reply:

    Perhaps you don’t understand reality.

    The federal electrification grant was submitted, approved by Obama Admin and signed by the Trump Admin — the CA GOP and Admin never objected to the capacity calculations.

    Caltrain ordered 16×6 trains (96 EMUs) by competitive bid, which are under construction with a contract option of 32 addition EMUs increasing or 16×8 trains. That’s where you will find additional seats.

    This is where we are now. It’s the same policy as BART, add passenger capacity per car and increase train size and frequency to increase seats.

    The average Caltrain trip is 22 miles. Level boarding and faster average speeds will cut down the travel time.

    Roland Reply:

    So what you are proposing is to have standees traveling at 110 MPH?
    Are you some kind of fucking nut?

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of
    “Caltrain Calmod 2.0 SF to San Jose Full conversion to 100% EMU +
    capacity increase ($440m);
    broadband ($30m);
    Maintenance Facility improvements ($36m);
    level boarding & platform extensions ($250M)
    up to $756M TBD”
    It is that you do not understand

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2017/2017-05-04+JPB+BOD+Agenda.pdf (page 126).

    Clem Reply:

    @Roland, allow me to kindly help you understand. We’re not talking about CalMod 2.0 (about $750M), but CalMod 1.1 (about $175M). While your effort to conflate the two is appreciated, the price tag is 4x cheaper than CalMod 2.0. That said, CalMod 2.0 is worth every penny. Level boarding will save easily 15 seconds per stop.

    Joe Reply:

    Faster average speed isn’t necessarily higher speed. It happens with EMUs that are quicker to accelerate and deaccelerate to/from max speed.

    Joe Reply:

    FWIW.

    BART’s purchase of ~750 cars comes out to ~3 1/3 million each. The Caltrain average price for just 96 is a tad over 4m each and the are bilevel.

    BART removed seats per car but plans to add more cars to increase seating at the system level.

    Caltrain has the option buy 32 more cars and should for the same reason. Increase capacity. The cost is comparative to BART.

    EJ Reply:

    An M8 single level EMU costs $3.85 MM, so Caltrain’s costs aren’t out of line with US norms, although higher than many other countries. Buy American generally increases costs.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is a better idea: why don’t you start a new thread on your dying blog with your vision of a viable operating plan for Caltrain in 2021, including seats/bikes/hour/direction, whether the plan includes service south of Diridon and, if so, how you propose to extend the service to Tamien and beyond.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Heh, heh. Dying blog . . . heh, heh.

    #Not Jeff Carter#

    Roland Reply:

    We missed you Richard!!!

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Finally something on the mysterious Caltrain fare study:

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2017/2017-06-01+JPB+BOD+Agenda.pdf

    Agenda item #13, Update on Fare Study.

    From staff report:
    The last system-wide Caltrain fare study was conducted in 2001, when fare elasticity
    was determined to represent a significant deterrent to fare increases. The elasticity
    measured at that time indicated that ridership was highly influenced by price, resulting
    in a high anticipated elasticity (meaning that any fare increase would be expected to
    generate a corresponding ridership decline). Since 2001, however, on-board surveys of
    Caltrain customers reveal that many riders along the corridor have high relative
    incomes and may not be as price sensitive as riders during the early 2000s. Additionally,
    Caltrain ridership has continued to climb rapidly, signaling that there may be missed
    opportunities to improve farebox recovery ratios.
    —————-

    What total disregard to/for lower income riders who have abandoned Caltrain and can’t afford the high fares. Ridership has leveled off in recent months. Many of the “high income” riders get the best deal through the GO-PASS or another employer subsidy. At 70% farebox recovery, Caltrain is significantly higher than the JPB partner agencies and higher than nearly all of their so-called “peer” agencies.

    Of course staff is insensitive to fares since the agency is a GO-PASS participant. Samtrans is purchasing the GO-PASS for all eligible employees , including those who don’t use Caltrain, and providing the GO-PASS as an employee benefit.

    Talking about a low income or “means-based” fare is not an answer, as MTC has found this to be a difficult task and to implement such a program would mean the likelihood that fares would have to be raised for everyone else to account for lost revenue. Additionally how is an arbitrary “low-income” determined?

    Joe Reply:

    FWIW go pass employees are not high income. I think the fee should increase but you’re making sweeping generalities and scapegoating.

    The root problem is the ridiculous housing shortage along the Pennisula.

    Reality Check Reply:

    The immediate problem is that VTA is unilaterally blowing a hole in Caltrain’s operating budget:
    VTA reluctance to pay Caltrain bill sets off cascading problems with fares, maintenance, bike security

    Joe Reply:

    I recall the 2011 SamTrans shortfall and Caltrain outreach about consequences.

    One proposed solution was to cut south Santa Clara county service – that was an inappropriate suggestion then but not now. Cutting San Mateo County service, bypassing stops, was proposed and San Mateo responded.

    Roland Reply:

    Reminding me again who responded and bailed San Mateo out back in 2011?

    Roland Reply:

    Green Caltrain is a 501(c)(3) funded by the SamTrans Pravda.
    https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501-c-3-organizations

    Clem Reply:

    That makes you what, a mole for Bombardier?

    Roland Reply:

    I don’t believe that was Clem (more likely the head of the SamTrans Pravda currently on the Stadler payroll).

    Roland Reply:

    “To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

    Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

    The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

    Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.”

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Clem Reply:

    If you wish to level an accusation, do so. The innuendo alone is ineffective.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Based on data from the October 2013 triennial survey provided by Caltrain, 72% of Go-Pass users earn over $75k, 57% of Go-Pass users earn over $100k. So how is it that “go pass employees are not high income.” ?

    joe Reply:

    I’m for increasing the fee but I think you’re idea what constitutes high income is grossly out of touch.

    New Train Car Project | bart.gov

    As a result, seat count will drop by 4.6 seats per car on average. To increase the number of seats in the fleet, BART has set a goal to obtain funding to increase the fleet to 1,081 train cars. This would increase the number of seats in the fleet by 49%.

    joe Reply:

    $250K/Year Salary Qualifes For Subsidized Housing Under Palo Alto Plan « CBS San Francisco

    The city council has voted to study a housing proposal that would essentially subsidize new housing for what qualifies as middle-class nowadays, families making from $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

    bixnix Reply:

    That’s insane. Subsidies like that will simply mean lots of people don’t get housing. The market will provide affordable housing for everyone if they just let it run its course, rather than cooking up stupid NIMBY shit like parking minimums, required setbacks, and height limits.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s insane.
    100k salaries are not “high income” for the Pennisula.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    It’s insane that you consider 100k as “not high income for the peninsula.” There are plenty of people here that make significantly less than $100k.

    Friends of Caltrain has found that there are people that can use Caltrain but the fares are out of reach for them.
    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2016/11/whos-not-riding-caltrain-caltrain-board-wants-to-explore-opportunities-to-improve-equitable-access/

    Yes housing/cost of living here is insane, which is why many people have to have one or more roommates. However, just because cost of living is so high, it doesn’t mean that Caltrain fares have to be outrageously high. Just because east coast commuter railroads charge high fares and peak fares doesn’t mean Caltrain has to. The east coast has winter snow, high heat in summer, high cost parking, which we don’t have here other than scarce, high cost parking in downtown San Francisco.

    We need to get away from this ideology of Caltrain being a “commuter” system, instead thinking of Caltrain as a transit system that should provide frequent low cost local and express service throughout the day.

    Why not employ a high income surcharge? This would be much more equitable than implementing an idiotic, self-defeating, counterproductive peak and express surcharge, which would tend to disproportionally hurt those that can least afford it.

    Once again, Caltrain has a significantly higher farebox recovery that nearly every transit system in the Bay Area and it is higher than most other so-called commuter rail systems across the country.

    Once again Caltrain faces completion from free tech buses and free parking at many peninsula/Silicon Valley campuses. Additionally Peninsula transit agencies provide long distance service for one low fare.

    Clem Reply:

    You wrote:

    Talking about a low income or “means-based” fare is not an answer

    And then:

    Why not employ a high income surcharge

    How is a high income or “means-based” fare any different? How is an arbitrary high income threshold to be determined?

    I happen to think an accumulator pass is the answer, with an option for a graduated monthly cap for those who can demonstrate financial hardship. This would be an MTC / Clipper thing, and not up to each individual transit agency.

    Clem Reply:

    Sorry for the borked HTML tags…

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem. Yes, that is exactly what is going to happen but it won’t be anywhere as complicated as you make it out to be.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @Clem: “How is a high income or “means-based” fare any different?”

    It’s not much different, but at least they can afford to pay a higher fare.

    “How is an arbitrary high income threshold to be determined?”

    Exactly the same way a low-income fare would be determined.

    @Clem: “I happen to think an accumulator pass is the answer, with an option for a graduated monthly cap for those who can demonstrate financial hardship. This would be an MTC / Clipper thing, and not up to each individual transit agency.”

    MTC is looking at it, but finds that it is difficult.
    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2017/02/fare-integration-is-hard-concludes-bay-area-means-based-fare-study/

    The MTC study also indicated that in order to provide a means-based discount, fares may have to be increased for everyone else to account for lost revenue.

    I am no fan of an “accumulator pass,” just a simple monthly pass should be the standard. A few days before the first of the month, your monthly pass bill is due; it is consistent like rent, mortgage, credit cards, etc. An accumulator pass can mean your monthly or xx-day pass is due in the middle of the month, which is impractical and can lead to crazy ridership estimations. I happen to think that there should be a 7-day pass, good for 7 consecutive days after first use. How should one demonstrate financial hardship, which can be arbitrary? Why should one have to demonstrate financial hardship, some people are very sensitive to revealing their financial situation?

    Bottom line is that transit, especially Caltrain is grossly underfunded and there needs to be a strong concerted effort to secure better transit funding. When Mike Scanlon came on board back in 1999/2000 lots of lip service has been played on securing a dedicated funding source for Caltrain, why hasn’t something been done in those 17 years? Many of us have been advocating this for even longer…

    joe Reply:

    There are plenty of people here that make significantly less than $100k.

    For the area 100K isn’t high income. High income isn’t “people make less than 100k”.

    We need to get away from this ideology of Caltrain being a “commuter” system, instead thinking of Caltrain as a transit system that should provide frequent low cost local and express service throughout the day.

    VTA charges more for express bus passes -whataboutthem?

    A transit system can price rides based on time of day to promote use off peak commuter.

    Clem’s idea of an accumulator pass with cap is good however the ultimate solution is to raise the minimum wage to 15-20 an hour.

    If a downtown Palo Alto shop can’t afford the minimum wage, well why not? They’re a wealthy city and residents can afford to pay a wage driven by the cost of restricted housing.

    Clem Reply:

    How would “high” income people be any less sensitive to revealing sensitive financial information than “low” income people? As soon as you do means testing, whether as a threshold for “low” income or for “high” income, it’s the same thing. I was just pointing out that you are contradicting yourself.

    Roland Reply:

    It is just as easy to get a transportation subsidy as proving that you are under 18, over 65 or qualify for foodstamps or MediCal.

    As far as “green caltrain” is concerned, there is zero nexus between means-based transportation subsidies and fare integration.

  71. joe
    May 26th, 2017 at 21:11
    #71

    KPIX video:

    Local Lawsuit Threatens Fed Funding For Caltrain Upgrade

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/category/spoken-word-kpixtv/3673380-local-lawsuit-threatens-fed-funding-for-caltrain-upgrade/

    Roland Reply:

    And the News is?

    Joe Reply:

    Another post not from Joe. You’ve been posting with my ID. I think you did that #71 above and replied to it.

    Your reply to the fake post is @10:07 and then someone used MORRIS BROWN account at @10:10 to try to DOX me and you commented @10:14.

    Alan Reply:

    Another totally, completely frivolous lawsuit from California’s Worst Lawyer ™. Prop 1A makes very clear that a portion of the bond funding was for projects exactly like the Caltrain electrification. Melissa Caen did a very poor job in the KPIX report by failing to point out that basic fact. Of course, KPIX is the same station that employs drama queen Phil Matier.

    One can hope that the courts have finally seen enough to refer Flashman to the State Bar for disbarment.

    zorro Reply:

    I agree Flashman should be disbarred, He can’t even get directions right that a 12yr old Boy Scout could.

    zorro Reply:

    And it was $9.95 Billion, and not just for HSR either, but also for rail projects where HSR will one day go, the States Lawyers will bring up the areas where Bond money was spent at already, no one filed lawsuits in Southern California over that, and I think Stuart Flashman is nuts, the judge will see right thru His latest attempt, I’d be surprised if the Judge didn’t dismiss the case, but more likely will rule for the state.

    California Proposition 1A, High-Speed Rail Act (2008) @ Ballotpedia

    This gives the CHSRA the right to spend Bond Money on Caltrain, Flashman is just doing wacko GOP/Republicans dirty work.

    $950 million of the 2008 Proposition 1A bond proceeds are to made available for capital projects on other passenger rail lines to provide connectivity to the high-speed train system and for capacity enhancements and safety improvements to those lines.

    Precedent for Caltrain spending of Prop1a Bond money has already been set, yet no one sued to stop the CHSRA from spending money there, and there are more than what I posted:
    Connectivity & Bookend Projects

    Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO) – Regional Rail Connector
    SB 1029 provides $115 million to help construct a 2-mile light rail connection among Metro Gold, Metro Blue and Metro Exposition light rail transit systems through downtown Los Angeles to provide a one-seat ride from throughout the County to Union Station and the high-speed rail system. SB 1029 helps leverage $1.4 billion in funding for this project. (Connectivity)

    Southern California Regional Rail Authority (METROLINK) – New or Improved Locomotives/Cars
    SB 1029 provides $89 million to repower and/or purchase 20 to 30 higher horsepower locomotives, and recondition and improve passenger cars. The state investment of $89 million will help leverage a total investment of $203 million for this purpose. Metrolink also received approximately $35 million for advanced signaling system work from Proposition 1A in previous appropriations. (Connectivity)

  72. morris brown
    May 26th, 2017 at 22:10
    #72

    joe.sez@gmail.com

    Roland Reply:

    This is Joe impersonating Morris.

    Joe Reply:

    You’ve posted as me so I know you have me email address.
    Now your trying to DOX me.

    I didn’t post the MORRIS comment at @10:10 but your reply was @10:14 and another reply at 10:07. Looks like you were on line at that time. I think the Morris Brown post was also you.

    It’s against site policy to reveal email addresses. This is an attempt to harass.

    Valid E-mail Addresses

    We don’t really care if the email address you use to post comments is valid or not. We consider the email information confidential. However, if you use a valid address it will be easier for us to verify that someone has hijacked your alias. Secondly, there may be the occasion that we might want to contact you with information related to your comment (this is not intended to imply we’ll use that email address for any marketing, third-party, or other purpose other than blog-related communication).

    Roland Reply:

    Not guilty and how could someone like you possibly have enemies?

    Joe Reply:

    Was the 10:14 post yours?

    Why did you say the Morris Brown post was “jo”?

    I have no “enemies”. The above are violations of he site policy.

    The timeline indicates you were the active commentor at the time.

    Roland Reply:

    Not guilty and how could someone like you possibly have enemies?

  73. Roland
    May 26th, 2017 at 22:39
    #73
  74. car(e)-free LA
    May 26th, 2017 at 22:59
    #74

    This is comment 1000.
    You can do better than this, Robert.
    Please.

  75. Roland
    May 27th, 2017 at 01:27
    #75

    Morgan Hill video (the Vice-Mayor had to recuse himself because one of the alignments goes right through his brand new house): http://morganhillca.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=1019&Format=Agenda (click on #3).

    Joe Reply:

    No big deal for a small toen.

    Gilroy’s former Mayor had to recluse himself from alignments. The downtown station’s footprint included his business.

    You need to stop intentionally posting as other people and should not reveal or identify email addresses.
    It’s a violation of site policy.

    Roland Reply:

    I had no idea Gilroy’s former Mayor was a recluse (something to do with the natives?)

    Making false accusations is a sign of desperation and a violation of site policy.

    Joe Reply:

    I’ve bookmarked the Morris Brown post and thread with a URL.

    You were party to something that violates the site policy.

    I suspect someone impersonated Morris Brown as do you because you accused me for some reason.
    The timeline shows you were active just prior and post the Morris Brown comment.

    You have had access to my account info and were recently posting under that account.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    >You have had access to my account info and were recently posting under that account.

    What are you, a three-year-old playing in a sandbox?

    #Not Jeff Carter#

  76. les
    May 27th, 2017 at 11:09
    #76

    I just started my trip of free overnight parking in Hillsboro, $2.50 for 20 miles of Max to Cascades station and $24.00 one way train ride from Portland to Seattle. Eat your hearts out corporate welfare programs Brightline and DIA. I was hoping to catch a new Siemens train but those aren’t quite ready yet. Maybe next month.

    EJ Reply:

    Dude, we get it. You hate Brightline for some mysterious reason.

    Les Reply:

    Dont have to piss money in to the wind to make a few chronies milliomaires.

    Les Reply:

    I guess some people are just stupid that way.

    EJ Reply:

    What are you talking about?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No tax dollars have been spent on Brightline.

    Les Reply:

    Who in the hell do you think is paying for the stations? Vaporware? Only need fix a few new signaling systems and finish the tacoma station and cascade siemens trains will be good to go. Btw, i just took a ride on the older talgos at 84mph for $24.00 to seattle. What will the brightline fares run? And what will the average speed be? It all sounds so earth shattering.

    wdobner Reply:

    There’s $1.5 billion in RRIF loans sourced from taxpayer funds which show that assertion to be completely false. Most of those funds were spent on real estate development in Miami, and perhaps the feds will get their money back, but given opposition to Brightline’s expansion beyond the area served by Tri-Rail that remains to be seen.

    les Reply:

    Tax payers are doing more than their share to ensure Brightlines viability.

    “A planned Tri-Rail station in downtown Miami came one step closer to fruition on Tuesday, when the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve $13.9 million in funding for the project.”

    http://wlrn.org/post/miami-dade-commission-approves-downtown-tri-rail-funding

    The Orlando International Airport Intermodal Terminal or South Airport Intermodal Terminal is an intermodal transit complex under construction at the Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida. The new station, which is partially being funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, will serve as the Orlando station for the Brightline higher speed regional rail service

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

    les Reply:

    And something tells me we haven’t heard the last of Rich Scott baiing out his chronies.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Brian_FL here,
    Rick Scott is not quite the big supporter of Brightline that you think he is. His FDOT cronies are making life difficult for TriRail and almost caused them not to get access to Brightline’s miami station. Brightline’s support in Tallahassee comes from bipartisan leaders in the legislature who want Brightline to succeed.

    les Reply:

    Now this is some cool newsworthy stuff. Enough of the bullshit coming out of florida.

    https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/High-Speed-Amtrak-Trains-43563874

    EJ Reply:

    I guess you can’t count on something called “popsugar.com” to get their facts straight. The existing Acela sets can run up to 165 mph – the 150 mph limit is imposed by the FRA for any train in mixed traffic, and the new sets will be subject to it as well until Amtrak builds dedicated HSR lines.

    Jerry Reply:

    Great Amtrak video in the Popsugar article.
    It even shows the new HSR trains going over the single track 107 year old Portal Bridge which connects Manhattan and Newark. 

    Old Portal Bridge Presents $900 Million Problem for Rail Commuters
     https://nyti.ms/1n3yMr3

    One of many in need of modernization.

    bixnix Reply:

    Yes, isn’t it nice of Brightline to let Trip Rail use their station Downtown.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Brian_FL here again,

    Brightline withdrew the RRIF loan request over a year ago. The stations and track/bridges infrastructure built so far have been financed with private financing. They have plans to apply for $600M in private activity bonds for phase 1. They will build phase 2 to Orlando with PAB’s or bank loans or equity loans. They will not ask for government loans.

    As far as TriRail using the Brightline Miami station, with any other rail transportation project their decision would be called common sense or good planning. Only among a certain type of transit suporter is a private project considered a negative. Brightline has given SFRTA what amounts to an interest free loan to cover construction while the typical government bureaucrats took almost 2 years to make a decision. Brightline had to begin building the TriRail component of the station early on in order to guarantee it would be included.

    At the orlando airport, the state did give the airport $215M to help construct it. Brightline will pay rent (50 year lease) and a per passenger fee that will more than cover the cost of their part of the airport station.

    How is brightline any different from any other private business that gets government help or incentives? What is bad about Brightline having TriRail help ensure its viability? Brightline will indeed provide public benefits when it becomes operational.

    EJ Reply:

    Most major US cities have or had at one time a “Union Station” that was publicly funded and leased by the railroads that served it. The Northeast (and European) model where there was a mishmash of competing stations served by different railroads was the exception.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Brian_FL here. Les has always hated AAF/Brightline. Maybe because it doesn’t involve unions and over priced design build contracts. Speaking of cronyism, how is CA HSR and Tutor Perini working out? Archer Western and AAF seem to be doing fine.

    Or maybe Les hates it because it will actually exist is a few short months. It isn’t vaporware like certain western HSR projects are so far.

    Joe Reply:

    Binding arbitration was built into the Tutor contract. It’s kept him sedated. There’s no benefit in making a scene in the newspapers and undermine his relationship with the arbitrators.

    Roland Reply:

    Eh Brian, don’t bother trying to have a “conversation” with this retard.
    Next thing you know he will bookmark you and report the event to the Internet Polizei.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s certainly more pleasant and productive than having a conversation with you.

    wdobner Reply:

    He probably dislikes Brightline because it isn’t high speed rail. It’s a redundant commuter rail line providing cover to use RRIF loans for real estate development.

    Brightline is not going to “exist” beyond the area already served by Tri-Rail in the next few months. Despite (over)promises AAF does not have a clear source of funding to extend service north of West Palm Beach. That is especially true with opponents claiming victory in their latest legal dispute. If the CHSRA were to propose to serve San Jose to San Francisco on Caltrain’s electrified tracks you wouldn’t call that high speed rail, so why is Brightline’s even less ambitious service HSR?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Brian_FL here
    Yeah the opponents claimed victory even though their legal case was thrown out of court. Some victory. No one, especially myself, has ever called Brightline HSR. Maybe higher speed service.

    bixnix Reply:

    It’s a useful express commuter line that will significantly improve mobility throughout South Florida while probably making a loss, so it has to finance itself through real estate development, which is also a good thing. This may surprise you, but society can benefit when business benefits.

    les Reply:

    yes, society needs bid-less chronysm and corporate welfare to determine who succeeds. That’s the world i wish to live in.
    Meanwhile on the west coast.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-bids-for-bullet-train-2016010-story.html

    EJ Reply:

    Why don’t you just click “Change” before submitting your comment? Then you can change it to your correct info.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Brian_FL – as I’ve explained before that has never worked. I have tried creating a new account and that failed as well. Believe me, if I could log in or post comments normally i would!

    les Reply:

    “Speaking of cronyism, how is CA HSR and Tutor Perini working out?” Didn’t Tutor actually bid for it’s contract against actual competitors or am I mistaken? Wasn’t CAHSR operations put out for bid?
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/doing_business/RFQ_16_13_ETO_Shortlist_042817.pdf

    Let’s see Brightline had to bid against who for its rights? I’m waiting……still waiting.

    les Reply:

    oh wait, isn’t that the definition of cronyism, ie, they don’t have to bid. typical republican playbook.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Republican playbook”?
    Democrats as well as Republicans flourish from no contract cronyism. Especially in “Defense” Department war activities from Vietnam to Iraq.
    Rail contracts are chump change compared to war activities. Read ‘controversies’ in Brown and Root and Halliburton in:
     https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBR_(company)
    Have a war and reward your friends.
    Cronyism at its worst.
    Happy Memorial day.

    Jerry Reply:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBR_(company)

    les Reply:

    I think of Cheney every I think of Cronyism. The guy set the bar as far as size of contracts. Rick Scott has set the bar as far as corporate welfare goes.

    les Reply:

    Wow how nice! Brian_FL here. Les, your name came up on the Robert Cruickshank commenter roulette wheel! I really do appreciate you letting me squat on your name this time LOL

    Brightline didn’t have to bid for rights as they were part of the same organization that owned FECR at the time. They did actually bid on the access to the beach line toll road ROW corridor to Orlando by the way. It was a public bid held by FDOT back in 2012.

    In regards to Tutor Perini, remind me again who is playing musical chairs between CHSRA and the construction/engineering industry that is building the project? Do not think for a second that the business relationships between the men who run CAHSRA, the engineering firms, and the Tutor Perinis of the world do not influence who gets chosen for each entity. It only appears on the surface that there is no cronyism going on. I work in engineering and deal with this stuff all the time.

    Cronyism is not just defined by no-bid contracts. It is also the ‘good old boys network’ as well.

    les Reply:

    Sorry, I can’t take credence from any blogger who hijacks anothers handle to make an argument.

    les Reply:

    it’s only a FECR line because Rick Scott made sure that his cronies could have control.

    les Reply:

    http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2014/oct/21/charlie-crist/charlie-crist-rick-scott-rejected-high-speed-rail-/

    les Reply:

    Brian_FL here
    That article only shows what a hypocrit Crist was. Even 3 years after Scott rejected FL HSR money, Crist was campaigning that he could get it back somehow, someway. Crist as a reborn Democrat opposed AAF/Brightline for his own political greed. I, among many others, let him know that opposing AAF at the time was not progressive and only helped Scott. He eventually shut up with his opposition to AAF as any progressive/Democrat here knows that AAF is better than anything else possible in Florida in the next 30 years.

    Please tell me what drives your hate for AAF/Brightline? Why do you feel Amtrak/CHSRA is the way to go forward? They are bloated entities with their own need to sustain their destinies at the cost of taxpayers. They don’t care how much it costs. They only want to preserve their own existence.at least the private sector has self control and are cognizant of reality when it comes to what is sustainable over the long term. Do you really think CA HSR will be built in the next 10 years when their financing plan is a hot mess?

    les Reply:

    What difference does it make what Crist has said or done since Scott’s rejection, opinion without power is stuff for cheap ass blogs. AAF is better than anything else only because of Scott’s stupidity and his anti HSR sentiment; he’d rather help his buddy at FECI (which i’ve posted on many of times, too bad your badass engineering degree never taught you to read).

    Why I don’t like AAF? Hmmm, let’s see, I read on this blog countless times on how you criticize California’s project with little regard for what it is up against and yet you boast about a 2nd rate system and how great it is, a system that is nothing better than a typical midwest or west coast amtrak system. What the hell is so special about it? It has resulted from cronyism, tea-party politics and current and future corporate welfare.

    les Reply:

    Brian_FL
    You brought up an article where Crist attacked Scott. I’m no fan of Scott either, but you seem to let your own ideas guide you in the wrong direction.

    Name the buddy at FECI please. I know several there. I know what you have posted and it’s all based innuendo and what I think is your dislike for private enterprise and republicans. For the record, I am not republican nor conservative.

    I criticize CA HSR as I don’t think they have the right management in charge nor do they have a clue how to build a $80B project. And the state of CA so far has refused to adequately fund the project. I am not against the concept, just the way it’s been implemented so far. Explain how AAF with 16 hourly trains in each direction is similar to anything Amtrak has in the midwest or west coast? It is similar or better to their Acela service in my opinion.

    les Reply:

    Right management in charge? Maybe Schwarznegger, Newsome, can do a better job? Who’d you have in mind? 80 billion dollar project ever happened before? 3 billion of 80mph choo-choos vs 68-80 billion HSR trains, do you really think they can be compared? Besides last I checked it was mostly foreign companies and consultants doing most the work, you know, places where HSR actually exist. I hate to burst your bubble but Floridian companies just don’t have the tech nohow.

    I look at the amazing things coming out of the project. Diesel-less trains for one, the double positive from the C&T program (pollution control and HSR funds), a system that spans mtns and faults (you know, the things Floridians haven’t a clue about), the integration with existing systems, numerous grade separation projects that will have enormous benefits to towns like fresno and Bakersfield, and on and on. It’s not just about making a few of Scott’s buddies wealthy.

    les Reply:

    Brian_FL
    Who did I have in mind? Well first off, someone not related to the same engineering/construction firms that are tasked to build the project. If the head of CAHSRA can switch jobs with their main engineering firm, that says alot!you name politicians as your choices. The worst possible outcome. CHSRA needs people with integrity who won’t be looking out for their good old boys.
    I’m not comparing AAF to CA HSR, they are two different animals. One is managed well, the other not so well. Is PB a foreign HSR engineering firm? Who did they assign to the project in CA? CHSRA had input from a foreign firm with lots of HSR experience, SNCF, yet because of purely political reasons they rejected their experience, knowledge and input.

    You right, it’s not about about making Rick Scott’s buddies wealthy. It’s about making Gov. Brown’s cronies wealthy! Unions and various government contractors will get rich off this multi generational project.

    Tell me, when will you be able to ride one of these magical non-diesel, $80B high sped electric trains in CA? I can most assuredly tell you that I will be riding hourly train service here in Florida in a few short months.

    Les Reply:

    Post are vaporizing. Try again here. You can dish it out but when someone critisizes your homy system you hit hyper-hypocritical mode.
    I wasnt suggesting anybody but only trying to figure out what you had in mind.. nice twist though.

    PB is a forweign owned firm as are the leads for cp2 and cp4, as well as many other consultants. All 0 of Floridas consultants were busy

    French system took 50 years to evolve and still adding to it. Not everybody wants to go the quick crackerbox way of florida.

    Eric M Reply:

    Brian_FL here

    LOL look whom is talking about becoming unhinged. You cant stand that a privately funded, non union, non givernment

    Joe Reply:

    Non union with government money.

    Eric M Reply:

    Brian_FL
    @Joe

    What government momey? Please explain.

    joe Reply:

    LOL No explanation.

    I just fired up my browser and did a search.

    Roland Reply:

    How many cores did the browser need to reach search orbit?

    Eric M Reply:

    Here again,
    Non taxmoney suckling project is actually about to begin operating, Les. Again, no matter if PB is foreign or domestic owned, it’s leaders have switched roles with their client (CHSRA), which is a conflict of interest and what I would call cronyism. How you can defend the system that Gov Brown has implemented I don’t know. It is rife for abuse and wasting taxpayer money.

    By the way, FL HSR and AAF have used the services of HNTB for both projects. That is how Gene skoropowski got involved with AAF through his work with the state supported HSR project.

    Joe Reply:

    Politifact:

    Scott made two key omissions when he described All Aboard as a “100 percent private venture” and claimed there is no state money “involved.” The project could get a $1.6 billion federal loan, and there is state money involved at the airport.

    We rated Scott’s statement Mostly False.

    Eric M Reply:

    Brian_FL
    @Joe, Gov Rick Scott is an idiot. I will agree he is a jerk. But your post implies that AAF will get state funds and RRIF loans. Neither is true. As I have said before, the Orlando station is being leased for at least 50 years with a per passenger fee. And AAF is no longer pursuing the RRIF loan. The Miami Station is being built with private financing. TriRail is paying for their share of the station. AAF gave them an interest free loan in order to begin construction.

    But it appears that since CA has dived head first into the government/contractor/union complex, most supporters of CA HSR have become opposed to private initiatives such as Brightline.

    PolitiFact is run by the St Petersburg newspaper. It has its own agenda. It does not like Gov Scott. It was a strong supporter of Democrat/Republican Charlie Crist. They have their reasons to want AAF to fail.

    joe Reply:

    Conspiracies aren’t my thing. Right now the line that it’s all private money is false.

    CA’s system is public. Nothing wrong with that and we’re absolutely not interested in 125 MPH HSR becuase it’s not what we voted for — 220 MPH sustained speed.

    Roland Reply:

    we’re absolutely not interested in 125 MPH HSR becuase it’s not what we voted for — 79 MPH sustained speed with high A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N.

    J. Wong Reply:

    125mph was always the plan for the Peninsula, and yes, that is what was voted for. You seem to believe that nothing can be done to increase the speed limits to 125mph. It’s not physically impossible, you know, just time and money.

    Roland Reply:

    Nothing that ripping out miles of poles and wires cannot fix.

    Par-Tay, J-O-B-S and let’s drive everybody off to private shuttles and cars while we spend the next five years writing off $1/2B worth of “electrification”.

    Are we having fun yet?

    les Reply:

    Brian_FL here

    Are you even aware of the situation here in Florida? It’s obvious that you don’t understand the relationships between the players. And where is your proof that Rick Scott acted on this to benefit FECI? Don’t you remember that the tea party got him elected in 2010? He wanted to prove to them he was anti government. He opposed FL HSR on ideological grounds. Not because it helped FECI.

    I’m not hijacking your handle in a mischievous way. Due to Cruickshank’s inability to moderate and control his blog, this is what it is. You know I’ve been posting on here since around 2009. I very much wish to post under my own name. Yet, Cruickshank has yet to fix his blog to allow normal posting to happen. I’ve always made clear who I am unlike other posters on here it seems.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    >Les has always hated AAF/Brightline. Maybe because it doesn’t involve unions and over priced design build contracts.

    He’s probably the president of PB, or the head of the High Speed Rail Authority, or the head of Caltrans . . . oh what the hell they’re all interchangeable anyhow. Enjoy your PB World pensions MFers.

    #Not Jeff Carter#

    les Reply:

    Brian_FL here

    Is that you Syno? Welcome back! LOL

    Roland Reply:

    That was Richard M :-)

    EJ Reply:

    Aw, your little buddy is back. How cute!

    Roland Reply:

    Huh?

  77. Roland
    May 27th, 2017 at 14:17
    #77
  78. Eric
    May 27th, 2017 at 17:33
    #78

    Someone killed a congressional inquiry into America’s sky-high transit construction costs
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/24/15681560/gao-report-transit-construction-costs

    Roland Reply:

    This is S-H-O-C-K-I-N-G: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2017/05/california-proposes-revised-improved-cap-and-trade-model/#comment-308776

    zorro Reply:

    The 710 fwy is already dead, Metro recently killed it.

    zorro Reply:

    Probably one of the 14 CA GOP in Congress, they don’t want results that would contradict GOP/Republican Party ideology…

  79. Roland
    May 28th, 2017 at 07:03
    #79

    Breaking News: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/05/calmod-11.html
    Are we having fun yet?

    J. Wong Reply:

    I was counting and it sure looked like I boarded a 7 car Bombedier consist southbound Thursday morning.

    Roland Reply:

    Yes and we predicted these about 6 months ago. Total seat count 900 seats, to be replaced by 550-seat CalFranKISSenTrains 5 years from now. Are we having fun yet?

    joe Reply:

    This Friday CA funded electrification and now you can join us advocating for 32 additional EMUs. California Official Says High-Speed Rail Project Can Proceed | California News | US News

    California’s High Speed Rail Authority has been cleared to proceed with a $2 billion plan to electrify Caltrain tracks between San Francisco and San Jose. The state Department of Finance on Friday approved the expenditure of $600 million in voter-approved bond money. The approval follows the Trump administration’s decision to fully fund a $650 million grant for the project.

    And take a seat at Tamien.

    Roland Reply:

    What makes you think that there will be any seats left at Tamien by the type your huffer-puffer gets there?

    joe Reply:

    What appears when you sit and disappears when you stand?

    Roland Reply:

    Ask Clem what happened the day someone stole his saddle.

    Clem Reply:

    Told-you-sos aside, what’s your solution?
    Cancel the Stadler contract? Bzzzt!!
    Fire Samtrans management? Bzzzt!!
    What’s it gonna be, and how can you make it better?

    Jerry Reply:

    So will the ‘new’ Hillsdale and Hayward Park stations be a minimum of 700 feet?
    I would hope so.

    joe Reply:

    http://www.cityofsanmateo.org/DocumentCenter/View/55832

    see slide 10

    Roland Reply:

    Cancel the Stadler contract? Check!
    Fire SamTrans (they can keep their “management”)? Check!

    BTW, how about checking out what the lady who nixed the stupid high-platforms is up to?
    https://www.acerail.com/getdoc/9ecc9f23-73db-4a55-9330-6fec88ec05d9/default
    New Locos (page 25)
    Platform extensions (page 27)
    Enjoy!!!

    Clem Reply:

    I’m not as plugged in as you are to the inner workings of it all; who nixed what?

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/biographies.html

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/files/PRG-letter-of-7-Feb-2017-Reduced.pdf

    Clem Reply:

    Let me get the sequence straight:

    1) Mortensen thinks HSR should use low platforms to share with ACE
    2) Thompson includes the suggestion to study the idea in a letter to CHSRA
    3) Caltrain issues a contract change order to Stadler

    Per the latest monthly report, the first EMU car shell (all welded together in Switzerland) is due to the final assembly facility in Utah on 10/13/2017. By then it will be obvious who nixed what.

    joe Reply:

    4) Unicorns.

    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.

    Uncertainty favors flexibility. The more Roland insists platform height is in flux, the more he favors that fleet of dual door-height Stadler EMUs.

    Who’s going to tell him?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Why does Caltrain need to issue a change order? If CAHSR somehow decides to have bi-level cars then Caltrain will just not use the upper doors on the Stadler EMUs but just seal them off & put seats in front of them.

    joe Reply:

    The CHSR Board letter has set off a Rube Goldberg set of consequences.

    If the dual doors are not absolutely NOT needed, Roland expects Caltrain should cancel the contract and reissue the RFP for single height doors.

    A Cambrian Explosion of possible Caltrain follows.

    This change all requires believing with absolute certainty CA will use HSR platform height.

    Clem Reply:

    Speaking of Rube Goldberg: imagine for a moment what it would take for the low doors on an EMU to enable ADA-compliant level boarding (without conductor-assisted bridge plates as used on other so-called “level” boarding properties like Utah’s FrontRunner or any NEC commuter railroad), while otherwise preserving the ability to safely pass a platform without stopping at 110 mph…. AND to pull off these two during the transition period when legacy 8″ platforms must also be served. The vaunted Omneo can’t do this last bit, which is the key to level boarding.

    We’ll just weld some plates over the step wells, or something.

    Roland Reply:

    “The System must provide seamless connectivity with other transportation operators across the state, such as local and regional bus service, Caltrain, Metrolink and Amtrak.”
    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_061417_Item_ATTACHMENT_Draft_Early_Train_Operator_RFP.pdf
    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_061417_Item_ATTACHMENT_Draft_Early_Train_Operator_RFP_Attachment_E_Contract.pdf

    Clem Reply:

    Seamless connectivity

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/dLRHdGrw9cQ?t=1293

    Jerry Reply:

    ACE Rail Platform Extension will accommodate 10 passenger cars?
    Will their trains really be that long?

    Roland Reply:

    Yes: The 7-car trains are SRO.

    Roland Reply:

    New RFP:
    6-cars: 711 seats
    8-cars: 948 seats
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Blended+System/Caltrain-HSR+Blended+Service+Plan+Ops-Con-Report.pdf (table 18 on page 36).

    joe Reply:

    Table 18 details the peak hour (per direction) capacity of six 6-car trains compared to five 8-car trains and resulting train consist lengths.

    Hmm the Stadler Contract is 16×6 car trains with an option to buy 32 additional cars.

    Using MS Excel on a Ryzen multicore computer I calculate 16×8 car trains.

    Roland Reply:

    And your MS Excel on a Ryzen multicore computer produces how many seats, bikes and bathrooms inn how many feet of platform?

    Roland Reply:

    My ordinary MS Excel produces 12 x 8-car trains barely capable of carrying the local San Mateo light rail traffic.

    joe Reply:

    Keep the 8 cars, upgrade from 12 to 16 cores, and try using a sit-stand desk.

    Roland Reply:

    What happened to the seats, bikes, bathrooms and passengers?
    Were they all sacrificed on the altar of A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N?

    Joe Reply:

    …passengers

    Someone took a step forward.

    Roland Reply:

    I guess all that dead weight was interfering with A-C-C-E-L-E-R-A-S-H-U-N…

    Joe Reply:

    Passengers! passengers! passengers!

    Not toilets
    Not bikes
    Not seats

    Roland Reply:

    Just toss all passengers out of the window and you are good to go.

    agb5 Reply:

    acC-E–L—E—-R—–A——S——-H——–U———N

    Roland Reply:

    Duly bronzed for future reference.

    Clem Reply:

    Better prepare a good supplication to the board on Thursday, when instead of issuing a new RFP they will give full notice to proceed to Stadler. Maybe you can help them see the light before the first metal is extruded.

    Roland Reply:

    Where would you like to stick your San Mateo County light rail?

    Clem Reply:

    15 kW/ton, baby.

    Roland Reply:

    Just make sure your light rail gets out of the way when out Baby Bullets come blasting through (4 tracks in Belmont and San Carlos, Baby!)

    joe Reply:

    Belmont’s about where those SF Bullets will reach max speed.

    Roland Reply:

    As son as we eliminate the Curva Grande.
    Too bad about all these poles and wires…

    J. Wong Reply:

    The Belmont reverse curve is already at 110mph so upping it to 125mph shouldn’t be that difficult. Yup, just when those poles and wires get comfortable where they are, they get moved. So tragic.

    Roland Reply:

    Why slow down to 125 when you are fully grade separated?

    Joe Reply:

    Grade separation is not the sole factor determining maximum train speed.

    Roland Reply:

    Really? I had no idea…

  80. Drunk Engineer
    May 28th, 2017 at 16:35
    #80

    Brian_FL here

    Update on AAF/Brightline with news about their West Palm Beach station. Last Tuesday they had an open house for media:

    http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/business/first-look-inside-wpb-new-brightline-train-station

    http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/shaping-our-future/all-aboard-florida/2017/05/23/brightlines-west-palm-train-station-unveiled/337019001/

    Very nice station. Ticketing machines have the ability to change your reservation depending if you are early or late for your train. Tickets will also includes options for first and last mile transportation so there is no hassle to create a journey from non public transit served areas.

    Also they are keeping non ticketed people out of the station lounge areas. I can’t wait for them to expand service to Orlando and Tampa in a few years.

    Roland Reply:

    We can’t wait either. In the meantime, check this out:
    https://www.acerail.com/getdoc/9ecc9f23-73db-4a55-9330-6fec88ec05d9/default (page 22)

  81. Roland
    May 29th, 2017 at 12:57
    #81
  82. Roland
    May 30th, 2017 at 01:18
    #82
  83. EJ
    May 30th, 2017 at 09:32
    #83

    A sign of the times, utility companies competing with oil companies:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/29/southern-california-edison-unleashes-450-electric-car-rebate-everyone/

    EJ Reply:

    EJ, alias LES :)

    Roland Reply:

    That must have been Les. He is the only one who talks to himself.

    Les Reply:

    At least les limits his exchanges. Kaopectate would be a wise choice for others.

    Roland Reply:

    Gotcha :-)

  84. Jos Callinet
    May 30th, 2017 at 20:46
    #84

    Verbopectate for loose vowels!

  85. william
    May 31st, 2017 at 09:32
    #85

    @Robert

    I tried to login to the blog with my WordPress account that I had registered for this blog, but eventhough WordPress said login was successful, this blog did not show it, and consequently I cannot comment using my WordPress account credential.

    The issue arose as number of comment for each article approaching 1000. May I suggest that we close comment on this website and use other social sites such as Facebook or Reddit instead?

    Jerry Reply:

    Wonder why some people have problems, and other people do not?
    Seems to work alright with me.

  86. Jeff Carter
    May 31st, 2017 at 10:53
    #86

    > May I suggest that we close comment on this website and use other social sites such as Facebook or Reddit instead?

    Good idea. This blog is as dead as we all will be when high speed rail runs it’s first high speed electric train from Madera to Wasco.

    #Not Jeff Carter#

    Roland Reply:

    May I suggest that you and others move on and post comments on other social sites such as Facebook or Reddit instead? Here is another great candidate for your rumblings: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/

    R.I.P. Hillary!

    Jerry Reply:

    You might be dead, but others will not.

    Jerry Reply:

    If you don’t like this blog then don’t look at it.

  87. Roland
    May 31st, 2017 at 13:39
    #87

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-caltrain-grant-20170530-story.html

    Jerry Reply:

    This will make the Peninsula the first part of the CA HSR system that is electrified.

    J. Wong Reply:

    The reality is that it is happening, comments by @Roland, @morris brown, and @synonymouse to the contrary.

    joe Reply:

    Electrified SF-SJ city pairs with SFO and a SV stop for a few billion dollars. That’s a great start.
    You can feel Ralph’s disappointment as he throws the usual FUD into his LA Times article.

    Cities are expected to lead grade separation efforts. These will cost additional money but benefit Caltrain, HSR and local residents currently disrupted by gate closures.

    Menlo Park and Palo Alto are waaay behind the curve applying for money. Menlo Park wants to restrict separations to two track as a way to stop HSR but can’t get funding for that planning.
    Palo Alto still wants a trench or tunnel whereas Santa Clara Co. VTA requires any grade separation project NOT alter track elevation. Both cities pandered to NIMBYs so it will take them time. Meanwhile limited money will be spent by those cities which planned and accept the restrictions.

    There’s a lot of activity still to happen but the ball is rolling. Electrification will happen.

  88. Roland
    May 31st, 2017 at 13:53
    #88

    Breaking No News!!! http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/your-commute/article153545889.html

    Jerry Reply:

    Wonder why Texans are so opposed to HSR?

    Eric M Reply:

    Brian_FL here,

    The TX opponents seem identical to the FL NIMBYS that are against AAF/Brightline. They use the same phrases and arguments even. I’ve always suspected they are linked by a common benefactor or group that is feeding them info on what to do. Hopefully TX Central overcomes he opposition and is able to begin construction soon.

    I wouldn’t say a majority of TexaNS are opposed, I think it is similar to FL in that there is a very vocal minority that is making noise.

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