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  #3001  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2020, 8:01 AM
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CHSR and Caltrain trains will be sharing tracks over 47 miles between SJ and SF. The CHSR trains will reach maximum speeds of just 110 mph while the Caltrain trains will reach 79 mph, lets say 80 mph to make the following math simpler.
47 miles / 110 mph = 0.427 hours or 25.6 minutes.
47 miles / 80 mph = 0.587 hours or 35.3 minutes.
The CHSR train will make just one intermediate stop, so add 2 minutes or so for 27-28 minutes. The Caltrain train will make 19 intermediate stops, so add 38 minutes or so for 73 minutes. It actually takes around 93 minutes or so per the schedule now, because the train does not go 80 mph all the way.

Let's assume CHSR is running trains every half hour over these 47 miles, and Caltrain is running trains every half hour as well. Let's give the Caltrain train a half hour start. In about a half hour it will go around 16 miles (one third 47 miles). That's when CHSR departs 16 miles behind the Caltrain train. In another half hour, the Caltrain goes another 16 miles. In that same second half hour, the CHSR train goes 6/7 of the 47 miles, around 40 miles. It passes the slower Caltrain once. The CHSR train will reach the end of the 47 miles long before the Caltrain train, but it will not pass a second Caltrain train as both should reach the end station at the same time. So only one passing siding is needed under the best of circumstances, i.e. the Caltrain train leaving after the CHSR train, and therefore a half hour before the next CHSR train.
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  #3002  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2020, 11:55 AM
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^ You should work for the CAHSR authority.
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  #3003  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2020, 8:26 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
CHSR and Caltrain trains will be sharing tracks over 47 miles between SJ and SF. The CHSR trains will reach maximum speeds of just 110 mph while the Caltrain trains will reach 79 mph, lets say 80 mph to make the following math simpler.
From what I've read, the plan is to run the CalTrains and HSR trains at the same speed.

Quote:
Caltrain has already started electrifying its tracks to shift from diesel to electric service. The agency’s trains are expected to match the 110-mph speeds the high-speed trains would travel while on the Peninsula.
https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/art...n-15398354.php

But the CalTrains would need to stop more often:

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High-speed rail service along the San Francisco to San José corridor will be a blended system which will support modernized Caltrain service and high-speed rail service primarily on shared track largely within the existing Caltrain corridor. This approach minimizes impacts on surrounding communities, reduces project cost, improves safety and expedites implementation.

The Authority is continuing the planning and environmental process to further define the blended system. System improvements that will be defined during the planning and environmental review process include passing tracks, that can be used by high-speed rail to pass Caltrain trains that need to stop more frequently, system upgrades to support higher train performance and speed, system safety improvements, including grade crossings, and stations.
https://hsr.ca.gov/high_speed_rail/p...ons/sf_sj.aspx
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  #3004  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2020, 9:11 PM
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New proposal on Caltrain sales tax ballot measure would allow 3 counties to control money
Rachel Swan
July 18, 2020 Updated: July 18, 2020 1:44 p.m.

Officials in San Francisco and Santa Clara counties have set new conditions to approve a November sales tax measure for Caltrain, the Peninsula rail line that’s facing financial ruin.

Under the proposed agreement obtained by The Chronicle, all funds generated by the one-eighth-cent sales tax would go back to the county in which they are collected. The money would be deposited in an account controlled by the county’s transit agency, which would then have the authority to give all of it — or a fraction of it — to Caltrain.

Top staff at the rail agency say they desperately need the tax to pass. When COVID-19 hit, Caltrain lost 95% of its riders, a severe blow for a system that relies on fares to cover 70% of its operating costs. Agency staff say that without the tax — which they project would generate $100 million a year — they will either have to shut down service or cut it so severely that hardly anyone would use it.

But the tax has to go through a long and complicated approval process even to get on the ballot. It needs to pass through four transit boards as well as the boards of supervisors in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. This week, two San Francisco supervisors tried to scuttle the tax by declining to introduce it at a board meeting, in hope it would not get a hearing or a vote.

The supervisors, Aaron Peskin and Shamann Walton, have long been frustrated with the governance structure of Caltrain because it is run entirely by San Mateo County Transit District, known as SamTrans, which manages and operates the system for a three-county Joint Powers Board. Walton is also a Caltrain board director . . . .
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/...l-15417294.php

I have serious doubts that if the SF MTA can divert the money from CalTrain, they won't do it. They are always looking for more money for Muni. And the same in Santa Clara which is trying to fund Phase 2 of BART through San Jose.
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  #3005  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2020, 6:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
From what I've read, the plan is to run the CalTrains and HSR trains at the same speed.
But the CalTrains would need to stop more often:
Those extra stops, 19 vs 1, means the CHSR train would still catch and pass the slower Caltrain train, just further along the route than before.

Remember, the CHSR train covers that distance in 27 minutes with one stop. Instead of adding an additional 38 minutes to 35 minutes, we now would be adding it to 25 minutes, totaling 25 + 38 = 63 minutes for the Caltrain train. That is still adding 2 minutes per stop to both train times. 27 minutes for CHSR +30 minutes head start for Caltrain is 57 minutes, 6 minutes shorter than what the Caltrain needs. So even in the best possible scenario, the express trains passes the all stop trains once. All we did is shift where the pass happens. Wherever that pass happens, the trains can be scheduled to make the pass there with a shorter head start.
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  #3006  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2020, 9:14 AM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Those extra stops, 19 vs 1, means the CHSR train would still catch and pass the slower Caltrain train, just further along the route than before.

Remember, the CHSR train covers that distance in 27 minutes with one stop. Instead of adding an additional 38 minutes to 35 minutes, we now would be adding it to 25 minutes, totaling 25 + 38 = 63 minutes for the Caltrain train. That is still adding 2 minutes per stop to both train times. 27 minutes for CHSR +30 minutes head start for Caltrain is 57 minutes, 6 minutes shorter than what the Caltrain needs. So even in the best possible scenario, the express trains passes the all stop trains once. All we did is shift where the pass happens. Wherever that pass happens, the trains can be scheduled to make the pass there with a shorter head start.
I'm not arguing it won't work. Just telling you (and everyone) what I've read about HOW it will work: Trains running at same speed between stations, new sidings (i.e "passing tracks") to allow the HSR to pass stopped CalTrains (presumably at stations where the HSR doesn't stop).
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  #3007  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2020, 1:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
I'm not arguing it won't work. Just telling you (and everyone) what I've read about HOW it will work: Trains running at same speed between stations, new sidings (i.e "passing tracks") to allow the HSR to pass stopped CalTrains (presumably at stations where the HSR doesn't stop).
There are 19 intermediate stations at least, the express HSR trains will only stop at one, that leaves 18 others to choose from for that pass to occur. It is possible to set a schedule where they need just one passing siding. Any additional passing sidings just adds flexibility to the scheduling of the trains.
I doubt they will need 19 or more passing sidings, whether they be at stations or between them.
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  #3008  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2020, 7:53 PM
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There are 19 intermediate stations at least, the express HSR trains will only stop at one, that leaves 18 others to choose from for that pass to occur. It is possible to set a schedule where they need just one passing siding. Any additional passing sidings just adds flexibility to the scheduling of the trains.
I doubt they will need 19 or more passing sidings, whether they be at stations or between them.
Nobody said how many they will need but I expect there to be more than one CalTrain on the route while each HSR train travels up the peninsula (the CalTrain schedule provides much more frequent service) so they will need more than one passing track and the more the merrier because of what you call the added flexibility. I'm sure the HSR folks can figure it out.
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  #3009  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2020, 9:20 PM
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If the current ROW is appropriate for 100+ mph, then they should convert it in the next 5 - 10 years.

Last edited by SFBruin; Jul 21, 2020 at 3:50 AM. Reason: Phrasing.
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  #3010  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2020, 3:29 AM
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Is the current ROW appropriate for 100+ mph?

If so, they should convert it in the next 5 - 10 years.
Yes, the ROW is appropriate (with elimination of grade crossings, addition of passing tracks and some other modifications that will require "displacement" of 62 homes and 202 businesses according to the Chronicle article I linked above). The controversy was over 4-tracking it which would require displacing more properties.

As for "converting it", that's at least partly underway--the major item is the electrification that is underway. The timing for other infrastructure upgrades is such as to allow high-speed service on the Peninsula by 2031. The immediate goal was to make CalTrain service comparable to BART service through the electrification, thus finally ringing at least the southern part of the Bay with heavy rail.
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  #3011  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2020, 11:54 PM
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I genuinely don't want to poop on progress but the Peninsula investment as currently being pursued has the potential to be a colossally shortsighted endeavor. The CHSRA should have insisted on a 4-track Caltrain/HSR row with full grade separation top to bottom. For the life of me I don't know how they are going to accommodate 12 HSR trains/hour through 2-track stations at any reasonable speed. It just seems like all these millions will likely be wasted when they realize that you can't pull off proper operation of Caltrain and HSR without a row to facilitate it which includes dedicated tracks bypassing stations and zero potential interaction w/ people or vehicles.

The capacity of the system is limited by the 6 stub tracks in Transbay, not the Peninsula tracks. 4 platforms will be dedicated to CAHSR and 2 to Caltrains. The HSR trains each need a 30 minute slot to perform a turnaround, so the system capacity is 4 HSR trains per hour. The Caltrains commuter trains don't need any turnaround servicing so there will be 6 per hour served by just 2 platforms.

The limited capacity of the Transbay Terminal is forcing the hand of the second Transbay crossing - the long-contemplated 4-track structure that would carry two passenger rail tracks and two BART tracks.

Turning Transbay into a through station triples or quadruples its capacity since the turnaround functions (cleaning/restocking the trains) can be performed elsewhere.
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  #3012  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2020, 1:14 PM
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Could they build the terminal stop at Millbrae / SFO and have people take Caltrain into downtown San Francisco?

I feel like that would be better.
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  #3013  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2020, 1:47 PM
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Could they build the terminal stop at Millbrae / SFO and have people take Caltrain into downtown San Francisco?

I feel like that would be better.
They could do anything. But would they?
They have been selling this to the public for decades as a downtown to downtown HSR line alternative to flying and taking local transportation to and from the airports.
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  #3014  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2020, 3:12 PM
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Could they build the terminal stop at Millbrae / SFO and have people take Caltrain into downtown San Francisco?

I feel like that would be better.
No, they cannot. Prop 1A (now part of state law) requires direct service from Los Angeles to San Francisco with a total travel time of 2h40m or less. A forced transfer to Caltrain would not be direct service, and would not meet the travel time requirement. If the state does not meet these requirements fully, it opens the project up to further lawsuits either in good faith (people who want faster trains) or in bad faith (people who want no train at all).

They could theoretically amend the law by putting the question back to the voters as another ballot initiative, but it's not likely voters would approve a worse-quality service, and it's really a locally-focused question that shouldn't be voted on state-wide. What does a person from Barstow or Long Beach know about Millbrae or nerdy transportation planning questions in SF?

In reality the 2h40m travel time is probably not realistic given the amount of money that is available... so CHSRA is planning for the 2h40m time, knowing that they probably won't be able to achieve that in practice. They will either meet the requirement on a technicality by running a single express train per day that is a red ball, clearing all other trains out of the way, or they will get the system built first and then ask for a change in the law to allow for slower travel times.
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  #3015  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2020, 6:53 PM
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No, they cannot. Prop 1A (now part of state law) requires direct service from Los Angeles to San Francisco with a total travel time of 2h40m or less. A forced transfer to Caltrain would not be direct service, and would not meet the travel time requirement. If the state does not meet these requirements fully, it opens the project up to further lawsuits either in good faith (people who want faster trains) or in bad faith (people who want no train at all).

They could theoretically amend the law by putting the question back to the voters as another ballot initiative, but it's not likely voters would approve a worse-quality service, and it's really a locally-focused question that shouldn't be voted on state-wide. What does a person from Barstow or Long Beach know about Millbrae or nerdy transportation planning questions in SF?

In reality the 2h40m travel time is probably not realistic given the amount of money that is available... so CHSRA is planning for the 2h40m time, knowing that they probably won't be able to achieve that in practice. They will either meet the requirement on a technicality by running a single express train per day that is a red ball, clearing all other trains out of the way, or they will get the system built first and then ask for a change in the law to allow for slower travel times.
Of course, if they'd had the sense to go via Altamont and the Grapevine, they could do 2:30 with no trouble at all but I digress.
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  #3016  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2020, 7:38 PM
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Arguably the language of Prop 1A also requires San Jose and Palmdale to be on the mainline. Altamont and the Grapevine would bypass both of these cities, respectively.

Same problem - the Legislature got too specific when drafting the language, and now it has forced CHSRA into costly decisions to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

Part of me agrees that San Jose should be on the mainline, it is the transportation hub of Silicon Valley with ample light rail/bus and eventually BART connections. A better, more transit-oriented future for Silicon Valley (California's biggest economic engine) really requires better alternatives to the car than what exist today.

Palmdale, not so much. Maybe with Virgin considering a route for Las Vegas trains into the LA basin via Cajon Pass, the HSR mainline can be rerouted to the Grapevine... but again, this would require an amendment to Prop 1A and is unlikely to pass.
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Last edited by ardecila; Jul 27, 2020 at 7:49 PM.
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  #3017  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2020, 8:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
No, they cannot. Prop 1A (now part of state law) requires direct service from Los Angeles to San Francisco with a total travel time of 2h40m or less. A forced transfer to Caltrain would not be direct service, and would not meet the travel time requirement. If the state does not meet these requirements fully, it opens the project up to further lawsuits either in good faith (people who want faster trains) or in bad faith (people who want no train at all).

They could theoretically amend the law by putting the question back to the voters as another ballot initiative, but it's not likely voters would approve a worse-quality service, and it's really a locally-focused question that shouldn't be voted on state-wide. What does a person from Barstow or Long Beach know about Millbrae or nerdy transportation planning questions in SF?

In reality the 2h40m travel time is probably not realistic given the amount of money that is available... so CHSRA is planning for the 2h40m time, knowing that they probably won't be able to achieve that in practice. They will either meet the requirement on a technicality by running a single express train per day that is a red ball, clearing all other trains out of the way, or they will get the system built first and then ask for a change in the law to allow for slower travel times.
To be completely honest, the most useful train will likely be a direct train from downtown to downtown. It’s likely that that will also be the train that has the most number of passengers. Contrary to how many people think… Ridership is usually greatest between the two major population centres and Most of the trains really should be nonstop. I know that politically it does it make a lot of sense because the small towns and medium-size centres feel snubbed but the reality of it is most of the ridership will come from people going from San Francisco to Los Angeles direct.

If you go to Japan (and I know it’s a different country with different problems and challenges) out of 16 to 18 trains per hour only one of them makes every single stop 75% of trains only stop at major population centers… Like Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo on the original bullet train line. People who live in Bakersfield for example, likely will not use the train to go to LA as often as people from LA going to San Francisco.

The new Chou line under construction In Japan will likely have a direct train every 10 minutes or so with only one all stop train per hour.

High speed trains or more like short haul airplane routes than choo-choo trains 🚂
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  #3018  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2020, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
In reality the 2h40m travel time is probably not realistic given the amount of money that is available... so CHSRA is planning for the 2h40m time, knowing that they probably won't be able to achieve that in practice. They will either meet the requirement on a technicality by running a single express train per day that is a red ball, clearing all other trains out of the way, or they will get the system built first and then ask for a change in the law to allow for slower travel times.
It is currently the plan that all trains will stop at the following stations:
1. LA Union Station
2. Burbank
3. San Jose
4. SFO
5. DTSF Transbay

The SFO and Burbank stops are necessary for all express trains because the situation getting in an out of each terminal stop is not ideal and those stops allow for things to be cued in an orderly way (at a station) rather than on a random siding.

Also, for people who are new to this, no trains will terminate at LA Union Station, but rather will continue and terminate at Anaheim. There will be plenty of space for trains to be serviced there near the stadium.
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  #3019  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2020, 12:00 AM
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Part of me agrees that San Jose should be on the mainline, it is the transportation hub of Silicon Valley with ample light rail/bus and eventually BART connections.
San Jose will benefit much more than San Francisco from CAHSR. That's why there has been so much opposition to CAHSR generally - San Francisco real estate interests know damn well that:

1. San Jose will have several more express runs to LA than SF each day, since some trains will terminate at San Jose thanks to the capacity issues in the Transbay Teminal.

2. Air travel from SF or San Jose to LA is essentially the same thing right now, but the train trips to LA from San Jose will be 45 minutes faster than a trip from SF to LA.


Will the entry of CAHSR into the equation single-handedly enable San Jose to pilfer large office tenants from San Francisco and become the dominant city in Northern California? No, but it makes it a much more of a practical alternative than it is currently.
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  #3020  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2020, 4:08 AM
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I'm still worried about how they are going to get through the Pacheco pass.

Are there land tunnels that long in other parts of the world like Switzerland?
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