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  #2021  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 12:31 AM
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Why does the Transbay terminal (excuse me Salesforce Transit Center) have to be a stub terminal? Can't tracks be theoretically extended to Oakland someday? (maybe not in our lifetimes, but our grand-kids lifetimes)
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  #2022  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 12:57 AM
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It IS ridiculous how much transit infrastructure costs in the US. Completely absurd and Europe and Asia have strong unions but are able to build high quality infrastructure at a fraction of the cost here. It is unacceptable. Doesn't mean we shouldn't build it but in the US we love to re-invent the wheel why can't we contract out to some of those European or Asian transit/infrastructure companies to build this?
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  #2023  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mattropolis View Post
Why does the Transbay terminal (excuse me Salesforce Transit Center) have to be a stub terminal? Can't tracks be theoretically extended to Oakland someday? (maybe not in our lifetimes, but our grand-kids lifetimes)
Yes, they can be extended, and that will make SF Transbay a through station. If a new terminal station is built in Oakland with 8 tracks, then the capacity of the system will be doubled. I assume that Caltrains would also be extended.

I have seen chatter elsewhere about combining BART and HSR in the same pair of new tubes. I have no idea how that would work, technically. The different rail gauges and electric sources aren't so much of an issue as would be scheduling.

Ideally there will be two new pairs of transbay tubes -- one for HSR/Caltrains and then another for BART.
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  #2024  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 1:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Yes, they can be extended, and that will make SF Transbay a through station. If a new terminal station is built in Oakland with 8 tracks, then the capacity of the system will be doubled. I assume that Caltrains would also be extended.

I have seen chatter elsewhere about combining BART and HSR in the same pair of new tubes. I have no idea how that would work, technically. The different rail gauges and electric sources aren't so much of an issue as would be scheduling.

Ideally there will be two new pairs of transbay tubes -- one for HSR/Caltrains and then another for BART.
It is possible to do a large-bore tube below the Bay with two levels, similar to how Muni and BART are stacked below Market St, or in NY, how the 63rd St tunnel combines subway trains and LIRR trains. On the SF side, conventional rail would come from Transbay while BART would come from a new Geary subway. On the East Bay side, the tube would probably have a BART stop in Alameda and then a combined BART/HSR stop at Jack London Square.

This would obviously be more expensive than a BART-only tunnel or an HSR-only tunnel, but less than two sets of new tunnels.

However, if the rapid transit function of the new tunnel is performed by Caltrain, then you only need one pair of tracks below the Bay, since HSR and Caltrain are compatible. Basically, electrified Caltrain would pick up more of the riders from Millbrae/SFO/South San Francisco, so BART could run fewer trains to that branch and open up slots for Geary trains in the existing Transbay Tube. Certain Caltrain runs would be extended to Oakland where the service would (initially) terminate, but could later be extended or merged with Capitol Corridor.
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  #2025  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 2:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Yes, they can be extended, and that will make SF Transbay a through station. If a new terminal station is built in Oakland with 8 tracks, then the capacity of the system will be doubled. I assume that Caltrains would also be extended.

I have seen chatter elsewhere about combining BART and HSR in the same pair of new tubes. I have no idea how that would work, technically. The different rail gauges and electric sources aren't so much of an issue as would be scheduling.

Ideally there will be two new pairs of transbay tubes -- one for HSR/Caltrains and then another for BART.
Technical difficulties can be solved, regulation difficulties are very difficult to solve. Don’t forget BART is regulated by the FTA while Caltrains is regulated by the FRA. While they both may share the same tunnel, they will never be allowed to share the same tracks!
CHSR will also be regulated by the FRA. That’s why Caltrain’s can share the same tracks with CHSR - because both will be regulated by the FRA. If BART used standard gauge tracks as Muni, they could have shared the same tracks - because both are regulated by the FTA.
You’ll find it difficult to find anywhere in the USA where trains regulated by different federal agencies sharing the same tracks, exclusive of diamond crossings, and even those are very rare.
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  #2026  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 2:05 AM
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^Correct. Chatter about a new transbay tube has never suggested Bart sharing tracks with Caltrain/HSR, just that they would take advantage of the same tube.
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  #2027  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 2:13 AM
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It's water under the bridge because the decision has already been made to go with 800-foot platforms, but the big advantage of the bigger trains is that it drives down the per-seat cost. Running a 2x train doesn't cost 2x. It might cost 20-30% more accounting for electricity and train/track wear.

They're going to be selling out these 800-foot trains right away. Four trains per hour leaving SF Transbay, with three headed for LA and 1 to Sacramento is not really that much capacity -- specifically, a max of about 1,200 passengers per direction between LA and SF, with one of those trains likely being an all-stops local.

So they're going to end up charging big $ to ride this thing since so many trains will sell out 7 days per week.

Plus, we return to the issue of San Jose having a much larger capacity for trains than SF. Transbay is maxed out at 4 trains per hour, forever. San Jose could have those 4 plus 6-8 more that originate there.

I'm not opposed to the decision to not plan for double trainset operation and to limit the trains to a single trainset length. I do think they are making a mistake with such a relatively short platform length. A 1000' minumum would have been a good compromise and would have provided greater operational flexibility. A 1000' platform for example would accommodate a 10-12 car trainset, depending on specific trainset spec and assuming it's not a short carriage AGV style procurement.
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  #2028  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 3:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
They're going to be selling out these 800-foot trains right away. Four trains per hour leaving SF Transbay, with three headed for LA and 1 to Sacramento is not really that much capacity -
Are there plans to run the trains from SF/SJ northward to Sacramento in the future? That seems kind of silly, given the route alignment following 152 to the south of San Jose. Given such an out of the way route, it hardly seems that beneficial than using the existing Amtrak from Oakland to Sacramento. Especially for the 3+ million in the Eastbay. Taking a 30 minute BART ride to SF + time for connections/layover takes away from the notion of a 'High Speed Rail' trip.

The routing in general really seems flawed to skip the entire Eastbay. It's not convenient at all, especially compared to just flying OAK and arriving in 1/3 the time. It's good for the Southbay and Peninsula, but not so much for the rest of the Bay area. Hopefully, ridership projections took that into account.
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  #2029  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 7:21 AM
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Why all this concern over HSR train lengths (and their platforms).
The NEC, the busiest passenger rail corridor in the USA by far, see's Amtrak using Acela train sets that have 6 cars plus the 2 power cars at 665 and 3/4 feet.

Power + 1st class + business + bistro + business + business + business + power.

An 800 feet long platform would allow 8 Acela cars plus 2 power cars.
Only Amtrak's long distance trains with sleepers are longer - just about all Amtrak's Regional trains on the NEC are shorter than 800 feet.

Please do not suggest California's central valley will provide more riders than the NEC can. No one will take that point seriously.
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  #2030  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 9:48 AM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Why all this concern over HSR train lengths (and their platforms).
The NEC, the busiest passenger rail corridor in the USA by far, see's Amtrak using Acela train sets that have 6 cars plus the 2 power cars at 665 and 3/4 feet.

Power + 1st class + business + bistro + business + business + business + power.

An 800 feet long platform would allow 8 Acela cars plus 2 power cars.
Only Amtrak's long distance trains with sleepers are longer - just about all Amtrak's Regional trains on the NEC are shorter than 800 feet.

Please do not suggest California's central valley will provide more riders than the NEC can. No one will take that point seriously.
Increasing the length of HS platforms isn’t too onerous when considering the cost of the entire project, but it enables a doubling of line capacity by running longer trainsets, either at peak or at a future date when demand necessities it, especially when you can’t boost frequencies. Another point is that having more capacity means that you can regulate ticket prices better to increase utilisation throughout the day and make the business case more viable. Limiting capacity limits revenue collection. For some context, the chairman of HS2 has stated that he is focusing on a very high utilisation (daily ridership of 600,000) and that is only possible by having lots of capacity to target commuters, business users, tourists, and other leisure riders at all hours of the day.

As for whether a future CSHR could have higher ridership than the Amtrak’s services along the NEC (total ridership was 12mn, of which Acela Express accounts for 3.5mn), that is of course debateable; aviation and intercity rail travel is quite low as it is between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It comes back to the key variables such as journey time, frequency, capacity, cost and origin/destination connectivity coming into alignment.
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  #2031  
Old Posted May 3, 2018, 4:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kgbnsf View Post
Are there plans to run the trains from SF/SJ northward to Sacramento in the future? That seems kind of silly, given the route alignment following 152 to the south of San Jose. Given such an out of the way route, it hardly seems that beneficial than using the existing Amtrak from Oakland to Sacramento. Especially for the 3+ million in the Eastbay. Taking a 30 minute BART ride to SF + time for connections/layover takes away from the notion of a 'High Speed Rail' trip.

The routing in general really seems flawed to skip the entire Eastbay. It's not convenient at all, especially compared to just flying OAK and arriving in 1/3 the time. It's good for the Southbay and Peninsula, but not so much for the rest of the Bay area. Hopefully, ridership projections took that into account.
They're building up to Merced as part of Phase 1. So if they start running trains out of San Jose before SF, there will already be two routes -- one to Merced and one to Fresno.

I have never seen anything describing how operation up to Sacramento will work. Will the trains originate in SF or San Jose? I don't know. Will a scheduled train operate between LA and Merced before they extend to Sacramento? Again, I don't know.

If a detailed operational analysis has been performed since the Parsons-Brinkerhoff one back in 2008, I'd love to see it. A lot has changed since then.
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  #2032  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 7:51 AM
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The most unbearable experience is being packed in like sardines on an airplane, after being forced into queue after queue. Rail has a real opportunity to compete if it can ever get built.
If I'm traveling from LA to NYC, I'd rather be packed in like sardines on an airplane than HSR which would would arrive hours later than a plane would.

I think I've said this before but I'll say it again, I think the CAHSR would be really cool to have. I'd use it every once in awhile. But things that are cool to have are simply that, cool. They haven't even done any studies to see who the riders of this train will be. What will the costs be each way? I believe I saw figures at one point and they were laughable.

But that isn't the issue here. The issue is that a project like this in a state that can barely build a 7 mile subway isn't building a train that will cost more than 100 billion dollars and isn't scheduled to fully open until the late 2050's.

Then you have the other group of transit advocates who oppose anything that would fund freeways and expand them better alienating the majority of commuters in California who probably wouldn't use this train anyways. But have fun waiting for it.

At this point, I think the U.S. should adequately expand all of its freeways to flow with existing and future predicted capacity levels, redesign streets and strengthen bike and pedestrian trails, build more freeways in and around cities to give vehicles more direct routes where needed, build more grade separated intercity rail, build HSR in dense areas like the NE for now. Wait to see for a newer innovative solution for a national high speed transportation network as an alternative to flying. I am specifically thinking of the Hyperloop, but I have my doubts about it. We'll see what will happen. At this

Building a national HSR network with conventional HSR would be a waste of time and money. I would even go for Japan's MagLev. This country should innovate and go beyond what we currently have by thinking outside the box.
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  #2033  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 7:57 AM
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HSR is about way more than people going from San Fransisco to LA. It's about connecting all of CA, and a great way to make cities more affordable. It's about turning central CA cities in to suburbs of SF and LA, allowing workers in those two cities to live in affordable communities while working in vastly more expensive cities. It's about turning California in to a cohesive whole.
So you want to turn CA into a giant city that has the largest suburb in the world located in the Valley linked together by park and ride stations?
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  #2034  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 12:46 PM
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So you want to turn CA into a giant city that has the largest suburb in the world located in the Valley linked together by park and ride stations?
You say that like connecting all of CA is a bad thing. If SF and LA keep getting progressively more expensive, this is a great way to provide middle-class housing to those working in high-priced areas.
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  #2035  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 1:04 PM
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You say that like connecting all of CA is a bad thing. If SF and LA keep getting progressively more expensive, this is a great way to provide middle-class housing to those working in high-priced areas.
Yes, it would be if the HSR trains charged cheap fares as slower speed trains - but they won't! HSR will expect much higher fares for the faster speeds they provide - mainly because it costs more to make the trains go faster. So they will be far too expensive for middle class commuters to use for a daily commute.

There's two ways to raise revenues from property taxes; one is to raise the rates and the second is to raise the property's evaluations. There's two ways to raise revenues from income taxes as well, one is to raise the rates and the second is to reduce the deductions and credits. California has been double dipping for decades.

If the cost of living is too expensive for the middle class to live and work in your community, you need to change your local government's policies and programs. Because what they have been doing is leading to chaos and destruction. People shouldn't have to commute a hundred miles on a HSR train just to go to work every day.
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  #2036  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 8:05 PM
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Yes, it would be if the HSR trains charged cheap fares as slower speed trains - but they won't! HSR will expect much higher fares for the faster speeds they provide - mainly because it costs more to make the trains go faster. So they will be far too expensive for middle class commuters to use for a daily commute.
It's absurd how few people seem to understand this. Even the shitty Acela Express train costs like $150 a seat just to ride from DC to NYC. Given the capital costs involved prices for CAHSR would be $200-$500 one way. Maybe the state will provide even more massive subsides to reduce those prices, but that would just be throwing even more money down the toilet.
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  #2037  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 5:48 AM
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Personally, I'm not super worried about the high costs of a ticket. High speed rail has generally shown to have a high market share in other parts of the world, even when the price of a ticket is high (no source for this).

I am worried, however, about the high capital costs. I hate to be aspirational (JK, I don't), but isn't it indulgent to spend $60B + on a high speed rail project on a medium-density corridor when the country as a whole is facing a debt crisis?
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  #2038  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 12:33 PM
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^Well we better scale back that $700,000,000,000 defense budget and think twice about a $1,500,000,000,000 tax cut for the rich and corps on the national credit card... oops too late.
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  #2039  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 10:18 PM
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^Well we better scale back that $700,000,000,000 defense budget and think twice about a $1,500,000,000,000 tax cut for the rich and corps on the national credit card... oops too late.
This sort of logic both the parties use is some dumb. It's always, "Well you wasted X amount so now we can waste Y amount". No, that's stupid. Pointing out the other sides irresponsibility doesn't give you leave to be just as irresponsible.
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  #2040  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 11:25 PM
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That makes sense if you consider building a highspeed railway network in the countries' richest, most economically prosperous state a "waste of money." I don't believe it is. I think its an incredibly wise investment in the future. A tax giveaway scam so a corp cuts a $1,000 bonus check for x amount of employees instead of the $10,000+ increase in wages/salaries that inflation/corp profits/worker productivity actually calls for, to make it look like average Joe Schmo is benefiting when in reality most corps and large businesses are just taking the savings and passing it onto shareholders through stock buybacks (just like Dems said would happen) and cash hoarding, etc, etc, etc.
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