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-   -   California High Speed Rail Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180558)

TWAK Oct 12, 2022 1:43 AM

The train from Martinez to LA along the coast takes 13 hours (about), and then the other train you have to use the bus bridge from Bakersfield to Union Station in LA.
I'm totally cool with stops in Merced and ect, since that's an opportunity for them to grow. Think of the TOD around BART stations...now Merced and Modesto can have some good development. I'm saying this as somebody that will never be served by HSR or Rail (no lines up here), but I'm not salty about it.
-some of the opposition to HSR is based on saltiness.

Busy Bee Oct 12, 2022 2:23 AM

I found a crystal ball in my attic. It showed this entire contentious debate about route being completely meaningless once everyone saw how amazing this system was upon completion.

jmecklenborg Oct 12, 2022 4:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9757666)


Doesn't current express service (max. 79 mph) already make the SF-SJ run in 40 minutes?

Per the current timetable, it's 66 minutes, but the express includes five intermediate stops: https://www.caltrain.com/?active_tab=route_explorer_tab

HSR will only have one intermediate stop, at SFO, but it will also eventually terminate at Transbay, not 4th/King, which will add an unknown amount of time to the approach. 4-6 minutes? I haven't seen an estimate.

Crawford Oct 12, 2022 2:37 PM

Looking at the peninsula line, it appears to be entirely at-grade, with grade crossings everywhere. Kind of amazing considering it's, by far, the busiest commuter line outside of the Northeast and Chicago.

I cannot imagine you could eliminate grade crossings between SF and SJ for less than $5 billion. And that would be eliminating all the minor crossings, and just burying the major roadways.

On Long Island, they just spent $2.5 billion mostly to rebuild/widen a few existing underpasses as part of a track expansion project. Bay Area costs have to be similar, and this project would be vastly wider in scope.

ardecila Oct 12, 2022 3:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9757969)
Looking at the peninsula line, it appears to be entirely at-grade, with grade crossings everywhere. Kind of amazing considering it's, by far, the busiest commuter line outside of the Northeast and Chicago.

I cannot imagine you could eliminate grade crossings between SF and SJ for less than $5 billion. And that would be eliminating all the minor crossings, and just burying the major roadways.

On Long Island, they just spent $2.5 billion mostly to rebuild/widen a few existing underpasses as part of a track expansion project. Bay Area costs have to be similar, and this project would be vastly wider in scope.

Bay Area costs are ludicrous by global standards, but NYC costs make the Bay Area look like a bargain.

There are ongoing projects to separate various grade crossings on Caltrain, these are proceeding independently of HSR and on a piecemeal basis. For most intents and purposes, the HSR project ends at Diridon except for a yard in Brisbane. Even the tunnel extension to Transbay is being advanced as a separate project from HSR, which means there's a possibility HSR trains will stop at 4th and King.

Crawford Oct 12, 2022 3:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9758030)
Bay Area costs are ludicrous by global standards, but NYC costs make the Bay Area look like a bargain.

Maybe, but take a look at the route. There must be a few hundred crossings. It would be megabillions even if this were Alabama.

The nice thing, with the coastal CA weather, you need to spend a lot less to get a functional station. The stations don't have covered canopies (I guess bc no rain), they don't have enclosed waiting areas (mild weather) and with all the grade crossings, they don't appear to have pedestrian tunnels or bridges (which are climate controlled, massively overengineered and absurdly expensive in the Northeast). I guess people just cross the tracks.

homebucket Oct 12, 2022 3:50 PM

The SF-SJ portion of the line has 113 crossings. Of those, 71 are grade separated (63%). So there's 42 at grade crossings left. If we use a conservative estimate of $350 million per crossing that's about $15 billion at minimum to grade separate the entire SF-SJ line.

Then there's the southern portion that connects to Gilroy, which is owned by Union Pacific. Only 12 of 30 crossings are separated (40%).

LAsam Oct 12, 2022 4:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9757728)
I found a crystal ball in my attic. It showed this entire contentious debate about route being completely meaningless once everyone saw how amazing this system was upon completion.

Does it also show what the final cost winds up being?

jmecklenborg Oct 12, 2022 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9758030)
For most intents and purposes, the HSR project ends at Diridon except for a yard in Brisbane.

That's a good way of putting it. San Francisco is getting the short end of the stick. There's no way to avoid that fact without building the second Transbay tube and a tunneling project of almost unprecedented scope between Oakland and the Altamont Pass.

I recently got to tour the LIRR's control room for the East Side Access project. They will have more than one guy working full-time just to manage the tunnel's fire suppression and ventilation system. They've got a control board and space in the office that is as large as the guys who manage train movements. The whole thing had to be built in an overly-cautious fashion per requirements that didn't exist until relatively recently (not sure of the year). The tunnel between 4th/King and Transbay won't be as big or complicated as East Side Access, but it's really discouraging to see how much is involved to do something big in the United States due to our overly-cautious regulations. It's great that we won't have 5,000 people burn to a crisp in the new Grand Central Madison or the 63rd St. Tunnel, but nothing like that has ever happened in Penn Station or Grand Central or any of the NYC Subway's hundreds of miles of tunnel, after 100 years of non-stop use.

Also, SF people won't like hearing this, but the city is a minority of the Bay Area's population, and employment is widely dispersed throughout the region. If it costs $25 billion to dramatically improve DT SF's HSR service, wouldn't that same $25 billion go much further improving mobility for the Bay Area's many other...areas? None of which will require a second transbay tube or exotic megaprojects?

I think people are underestimating the three-legged stool that will soon prop up San Jose - Caltrain upgrade, HSR, and BART will soon converge at Diridon. DT San Jose is going to experience a significant increase in prominence.

Busy Bee Oct 12, 2022 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 9758078)
Does it also show what the final cost winds up being?

People wont give a shit. This state is rich as f*** and it would have cost twice as much to futureproof the highways and airports.

sammyg Oct 12, 2022 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9757969)
Looking at the peninsula line, it appears to be entirely at-grade, with grade crossings everywhere. Kind of amazing considering it's, by far, the busiest commuter line outside of the Northeast and Chicago.

I cannot imagine you could eliminate grade crossings between SF and SJ for less than $5 billion. And that would be eliminating all the minor crossings, and just burying the major roadways.

On Long Island, they just spent $2.5 billion mostly to rebuild/widen a few existing underpasses as part of a track expansion project. Bay Area costs have to be similar, and this project would be vastly wider in scope.

One of the reasons people in Palo Alto and Atherton oppose HSR is that they want to keep their at-grade crossings rather than build "ugly" crossovers like the ones in Mountain View and Sunnyvale.

Crawford Oct 12, 2022 7:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9758123)
I recently got to tour the LIRR's control room for the East Side Access project. They will have more than one guy working full-time just to manage the tunnel's fire suppression and ventilation system. They've got a control board and space in the office that is as large as the guys who manage train movements. The whole thing had to be built in an overly-cautious fashion per requirements that didn't exist until relatively recently (not sure of the year). The tunnel between 4th/King and Transbay won't be as big or complicated as East Side Access, but it's really discouraging to see how much is involved to do something big in the United States due to our overly-cautious regulations. It's great that we won't have 5,000 people burn to a crisp in the new Grand Central Madison or the 63rd St. Tunnel, but nothing like that has ever happened in Penn Station or Grand Central or any of the NYC Subway's hundreds of miles of tunnel, after 100 years of non-stop use.

Right, a huge part of the extreme cost differentials between U.S. and other first world nations is the absurdly overcautious design requirements. I don't know how this gets fixed.

Very cool you got to see Grand Central Madison, BTW. Excited to see it open to the public.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9758123)
Also, SF people won't like hearing this, but the city is a minority of the Bay Area's population, and employment is widely dispersed throughout the region. If it costs $25 billion to dramatically improve DT SF's HSR service, wouldn't that same $25 billion go much further improving mobility for the Bay Area's many other...areas? None of which will require a second transbay tube or exotic megaprojects?

All true, but, again, SF is the grand prize. Excepting maybe Seattle, it's the only American city west of Chicago with a strong, traditional, transit-oriented core. Building HSR in the West while largely ignoring the most transit-oriented Western environment seems foolish.
Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9758123)
I think people are underestimating the three-legged stool that will soon prop up San Jose - Caltrain upgrade, HSR, and BART will soon converge at Diridon. DT San Jose is going to experience a significant increase in prominence.

I'm highly skeptical downtown SJ ever becomes a major urban node, no matter how much investment you throw at it. It more or less sucks, from an urbanist perspective.

ardecila Oct 12, 2022 7:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9758123)
I think people are underestimating the three-legged stool that will soon prop up San Jose - Caltrain upgrade, HSR, and BART will soon converge at Diridon. DT San Jose is going to experience a significant increase in prominence.

Great - a place that is height-restricted due to airport flight paths, and can't grow horizontally due to NIMBYs. There's still some room for growth, but not nearly enough given the transit that will converge at this place.

TWAK Oct 12, 2022 8:41 PM

The peninsula NIMBYs brutalized the route and their actual goal was to derail it in the first place, instead of adapting it to their stupid (fake) wishes.

jmecklenborg Oct 12, 2022 9:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9758385)
Very cool you got to see Grand Central Madison, BTW. Excited to see it open to the public.

It's pretty impressive. They layout is completely different but the overall scale is what I imagine Transbay will be when it is activated...albeit without Grand Central immediately above it.

The ventilation and fire suppression is pretty amazing. It's integrated into the mezzanine design of the station box in a really clever way. I'm not sure that Grand Central or Penn have anything at all like what has just been built, which now makes me a bit nervous when using them.

jmecklenborg Oct 12, 2022 9:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9758524)
The peninsula NIMBYs brutalized the route and their actual goal was to derail it in the first place, instead of adapting it to their stupid (fake) wishes.

In a better world the state would have taken most bordering houses by eminent domain, constructed a new 4-track rail corridor (two tracks for HSR, two for shared Caltrain/Amtrak/freight), and covered trenched portions with apartments and public housing. It would have been way less expensive and had higher performance than what is being built. But such a move was politically impossible, so it's not worth grumbling about.

Crawford Oct 12, 2022 9:30 PM

Is the Bay Bridge engineered to allow rail? If the goal is SF, wouldn't it ultimately be cheaper to just ignore the peninsula, and run it up the less congested, less ultra-NIMBY, direct connection to downtown SF? Bullet trains have nothing to do with commuter service anyways.

homebucket Oct 12, 2022 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9758578)
Is the Bay Bridge engineered to allow rail? If the goal is SF, wouldn't it ultimately be cheaper to just ignore the peninsula, and run it up the less congested, less ultra-NIMBY, direct connection to downtown SF? Bullet trains have nothing to do with commuter service anyways.

The western span (double decker - trains used to run on the bottom deck) is but the new eastern span is not.

homebucket Oct 12, 2022 9:44 PM

https://www.foundsf.org/images/thumb...Bay_Bridge.jpg
https://www.foundsf.org/index.php?ti...ch_of_Progress

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8c/c4...4577cbed02.png

Crawford Oct 12, 2022 11:43 PM

Ah, so that was the precursor to BART. The new BART tube was the justification for ending the bridge rail service.

Zapatan Oct 13, 2022 12:15 AM

Is eliminating all grade crossing necessary for a high-speed line? If I'm not mistaken some high-speed lines in some other countries and maybe the Northeast still pass through crossings at extreme speeds. Seems a bit risky but not impossible to maintain safety.

Anyway, a lot of articles I've seen lately seem to contradict each other regarding this whole project. Is it still likely happening / will finish this decade?

Sorry, I've been out of the loop for a while.

craigs Oct 13, 2022 12:21 AM

The Key System stopped running trains on the Bay Bridge in 1958. Bart's Transbay Tube didn't open until 1974.

Crawford Oct 13, 2022 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 9758758)
Is eliminating all grade crossing necessary for a high-speed line? If I'm not mistaken some high-speed lines in some other countries and maybe the Northeast still pass through crossings at extreme speeds. Seems a bit risky but not impossible to maintain safety.

I cannot imagine first world nations have HSR with grade crossings. No way somewhere like Germany or France, where only the super dinky lines have grade crossings.

Main commuter service lines or normal intercity service lines rarely have grade crossings. You generally aren't going to run a bunch of trains on a line where any random car or person could appear. Way too risky.

lrt's friend Oct 13, 2022 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9758764)
The Key System stopped running trains on the Bay Bridge in 1958. Bart's Transbay Tube didn't open until 1974.

Yes, the Key System failed as a result of the gradual closure of the connecting streetcar network in the East Bay region.

homebucket Oct 13, 2022 4:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 9758758)
Is eliminating all grade crossing necessary for a high-speed line? If I'm not mistaken some high-speed lines in some other countries and maybe the Northeast still pass through crossings at extreme speeds. Seems a bit risky but not impossible to maintain safety.

Anyway, a lot of articles I've seen lately seem to contradict each other regarding this whole project. Is it still likely happening / will finish this decade?

Sorry, I've been out of the loop for a while.

I think for safety and reliability purposes it’d be best for all crossings to be grade separated. Wouldn’t want a line shut down or a train derailed because of an accident or suicide. It’ll take a long time to accomplish even if the majority of the SF-SJ route is already grade separated. But I guess it’ll be a long time until HSR reaches the Transbay Terminal. So there is time to get it done. It’ll be expensive though but necessary.

Mister Uptempo Oct 13, 2022 9:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 9758758)
Is eliminating all grade crossing necessary for a high-speed line? If I'm not mistaken some high-speed lines in some other countries and maybe the Northeast still pass through crossings at extreme speeds. Seems a bit risky but not impossible to maintain safety.

Anyway, a lot of articles I've seen lately seem to contradict each other regarding this whole project. Is it still likely happening / will finish this decade?

Sorry, I've been out of the loop for a while.

In the US, on any line that runs trains at a speed of 125MPH or higher the FRA requires full grade separation. If a line runs trains at a speed between 111-124MPH, level grade crossings must be equipped with impenetrable barriers.

In Michigan, MDOT tested such a system using barriers that rose out of the pavement as a train approached, perhaps in hopes of permitting the state-owned Michigan Line to exceed 110MPH at some point in the future.

I can't find any info regarding MDOT's conclusions, but the company working with MDOT is marketing the system. Here's a video of the system (Model 100) during testing on the Michigan Line-
Video Link


The same company markets a heftier system (Model 400), and while not specifically designed for rail crossings could likely be utilized if desired.
Video Link

nito Oct 13, 2022 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 9758758)
Is eliminating all grade crossing necessary for a high-speed line? If I'm not mistaken some high-speed lines in some other countries and maybe the Northeast still pass through crossings at extreme speeds. Seems a bit risky but not impossible to maintain safety.

Anyway, a lot of articles I've seen lately seem to contradict each other regarding this whole project. Is it still likely happening / will finish this decade? Sorry, I've been out of the loop for a while.

You might get some crossings on historic rural branch lines or city routes where trains would be running at lower speeds on approach/departure from stations, but the key reason for grade separation in HSR systems is consistency of high speed operation. If trains have to slow down (the risk of not doing so being far too great), that counts as a time penalty for trains having to decelerate and accelerate constantly which undermines the case for HSR. You wouldn’t expect traffic lights on a motorway.

For modern HSR systems you want isolated systems with as few (if any) conflicts as possible, so little to no interface with non-HSR services*, no shared tracks, platforms, etc… Where you have branches on the HSR line, you’d have grade separated viaducts/tunnels to mitigate conflicts. Where you have stations served only by some HSR services, but not non-stop services, you want separated approach/departure tracks and platforms to avoid conflicts**. You’d have the same segregation for non-revenue tracks due to speed difference. If the concerns is around too much disruption to grade-separate the route, chuck it on a viaduct or in tunnel (which is what is happening with HS2).

* The only exception to this is a solution like HS1 in the UK where you have international Eurostar trains sharing the segregated HS1 corridor with Southeastern Highspeed trains. The former travel from London to the Channel Tunnel and beyond void of any conflicts, but the latter depart HS1 (via grade separated junctions) at certain points along the route to join the standard mainline network (where operating speeds are lower, third-rail electrification and non-grade segregated conflicts like level crossings) to destinations across the county of Kent. Interestingly when reviewing the economic gains from HS1, it wasn’t faster continental services, but the new super-commuter services to towns across Kent which generated the best return.

** As the following video (my own) demonstrates, there are three EB tracks: i) Southeastern Highspeed stopping services (where the video is taken from), ii) non-stop Eurostar continental services, and iii) Eurostar stopping services. Having one line would drastically reduce operating speeds. There is an equivalent setup for WB services, and right at the end of the video you get a glimpse of the non-revenue grade separated depot track that runs between the EB/WB revenue tracks and then over the EB tracks

Video Link

jmecklenborg Oct 13, 2022 3:05 PM

Right on cue, a hit piece appears in the NY Times. This is just presidential hopeful Gavin Newsom getting out in front to distance himself from his unwillingness to shift any of the state's gigantic recent surpluses toward its completion:
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/09/u...-politics.html

Presenting the diversion of the mainline to Palmdale as entirely politically motivated and being central to the project's current situation is disingenuous. As we've noted here repeatedly, the Palmdale diversion was necessary to create a HSR entrance to Los Angeles for Las Vegas trains.

Crawford Oct 13, 2022 3:44 PM

Las Vegas has nothing to do with CAHSR. If some private company wants to run trains to Vegas, they can have at it.

I never understood the underlying demand for the LA-LV HSR idea. Bullet trains compete against medium distance flights. They don't seem to affect vehicle trips. When Barcelona-Madrid HSR was inaugurated, flights fell off a cliff, auto traffic was unaffected. Are Angelinos really flying to Vegas instead of driving?

edale Oct 13, 2022 4:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9759218)
Las Vegas has nothing to do with CAHSR. If some private company wants to run trains to Vegas, they can have at it.

I never understood the underlying demand for the LA-LV HSR idea. Bullet trains compete against medium distance flights. They don't seem to affect vehicle trips. When Barcelona-Madrid HSR was inaugurated, flights fell off a cliff, auto traffic was unaffected. Are Angelinos really flying to Vegas instead of driving?

Yes, there's a huge market for LA to Vegas flights. It's super quick, and the Vegas airport is right off the strip, so it makes it very easy for a quick, weekend trip, which I think is about the right amount of time to spend in Vegas. Driving to Vegas is ~4 hours under ideal conditions, and can easily approach 6, 7 hours with bad traffic. So of course people fly.

It's like wondering if people fly from New York to DC :haha:

jmecklenborg Oct 13, 2022 4:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9759218)
Las Vegas has nothing to do with CAHSR. If some private company wants to run trains to Vegas, they can have at it.

Las Vegas trains are currently planned to terminate in Victorville, 80 miles from LA Union Station. They'll be able to piggy-back on the tunneled CAHSR entrance to Los Angeles at Palmdale.

jmecklenborg Oct 13, 2022 4:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9759256)
Yes, there's a huge market for LA to Vegas flights.

The LA>SF and LA>LV corridors are both Top 5 domestic air routes.

Why again is so much trash thrown at CAHSR? The airlines know that the trains will dent their revenue.

Zapatan Oct 13, 2022 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9758771)
I cannot imagine first world nations have HSR with grade crossings. No way somewhere like Germany or France, where only the super dinky lines have grade crossings.

Main commuter service lines or normal intercity service lines rarely have grade crossings. You generally aren't going to run a bunch of trains on a line where any random car or person could appear. Way too risky.

They do but can't operate at full speed across them, an 100mph impact against a truck or even a car in some rare cases can turn ugly though.

One example would be the Studenka train crash in Czechia, where are ~40 ton truck carrying sheet metal got stuck in the way of a Pendolino train moving 90mph. The truck was destroyed completely but did some heavy damage to the train and 3 people died, mostly from flying debris.

Skipping Toll Takes a Toll: The 2015 Studénka Level Crossing Collision

https://mx-schroeder.medium.com/skip...n-19faf597db8e

Busy Bee Oct 13, 2022 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9759180)
Right on cue, a hit piece appears in the NY Times. This is just presidential hopeful Gavin Newsom getting out in front to distance himself from his unwillingness to shift any of the state's gigantic recent surpluses toward its completion:
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/09/u...-politics.html

Presenting the diversion of the mainline to Palmdale as entirely politically motivated and being central to the project's current situation is disingenuous. As we've noted here repeatedly, the Palmdale diversion was necessary to create a HSR entrance to Los Angeles for Las Vegas trains.

It is also the most stable fault crossing to enter the basin, something I-5 Grapevine advocates constantly ignore.

202_Cyclist Oct 13, 2022 5:35 PM

Meanwhile, construction continues on this important infrastructure investment, which will improve mobility for 38 million Californians, including six million residents of the Central Valley.

CHSRA Eyes Construction Toward Bakersfield

Written by Marybeth Luczak
Oct. 12, 2022
Railway Age

https://www.railwayage.com/wp-conten...2-scaled-1.jpg
Image courtesy of Railway Age.

"CHSRA on Oct. 11 reported that the grant, part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Railroad Crossing Elimination Program, will be used to eliminate six BNSF at-grade crossings in Shafter, advancing the high speed rail project toward Bakersfield.

If awarded the grant, CHSRA would construct two grade separations at Poplar Avenue and Riverside Avenue; complete the design and purchase the right-of-way for four additional grade separations at Fresno Avenue, Shafter Avenue, Central Avenue and East Lerdo Highway; and continue to fund the Central Valley Training Center in Selma, Calif. These would be first major structures to be worked on in the Central Valley, outside the 119 miles now under construction, which CHSRA said was a “milestone in connecting to Bakersfield..."

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger...RAchannel=news

LosAngelesSportsFan Oct 13, 2022 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9759218)
Las Vegas has nothing to do with CAHSR. If some private company wants to run trains to Vegas, they can have at it.

I never understood the underlying demand for the LA-LV HSR idea. Bullet trains compete against medium distance flights. They don't seem to affect vehicle trips. When Barcelona-Madrid HSR was inaugurated, flights fell off a cliff, auto traffic was unaffected. Are Angelinos really flying to Vegas instead of driving?

Lol there are dozens of flights daily from LAX and Burbank to Vegas

markb1 Oct 20, 2022 5:05 PM

A big reason to take a train to Vegas instead of driving would be to avoid the nasty traffic that happens on I-15 at times. A reason not to would be not having a good way to get around once you're in Vegas. But on most of my trips there, I've just stayed in a small area on the strip, so I don't think I would have missed having a car. Train wins!

MAC123 Oct 20, 2022 5:09 PM

You don't need a car if you just stay on the strip. Though some improvements to getting around it would be great.

Crawford Oct 20, 2022 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9759256)
It's like wondering if people fly from New York to DC :haha:

They don't. Train traffic absolutely dominates that corridor. The only flights are the business shuttles.

The only people who fly from NY to DC are business travelers, doing last minute trips on the shuttles. And even then, Acela usually makes more sense. Budget travelers take the regular Amtrak trains, or the dozens of private bus carriers (or, obviously, drive, like most Americans).

I'm genuinely amazed that Angelinos would endure a flight to Vegas instead of driving a few hours. Sounds bizarre. Do they fly to San Diego and Santa Barbara too? Those corridors have tons of traffic. And unlike I-15, which is only two lanes, you can't expand the road capacity.

badrunner Oct 20, 2022 5:47 PM

People will do a weekend or an overnighter to Vegas and a five hour drive each way cuts into too much time. It's not like a typical vacation, maybe more like a business trip in duration, and time is money. That being said, I have never flown from LA to Vegas, but I actually like the drive out in the desert and all the roadside attractions, and driving into the strip at night. You just gotta time it so you're not stuck in traffic.

edale Oct 20, 2022 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9766757)
They don't. Train traffic absolutely dominates that corridor. The only flights are the business shuttles.

The only people who fly from NY to DC are business travelers, doing last minute trips on the shuttles. And even then, Acela usually makes more sense. Budget travelers take the regular Amtrak trains, or the dozens of private bus carriers (or, obviously, drive, like most Americans).

I'm genuinely amazed that Angelinos would endure a flight to Vegas instead of driving a few hours. Sounds bizarre. Do they fly to San Diego and Santa Barbara too? Those corridors have tons of traffic. And unlike I-15, which is only two lanes, you can't expand the road capacity.

I lived in DC, and know many, many people who flew from Reagan National to one of the NYC airports. And they weren't business travelers. Delta Shuttle was a particularly popular choice for people making this trip, as it was pretty cheap and they had an expedited check-in/security experience. I have flown that route myself for a weekend trip to NYC. United alone operates 32 daily flights between NYC and DC, and that only represents 40% of the capacity share for that flight market: https://www.routesonline.com/news/29...c-frequencies/

I don't know why you're amazed that people fly rather than making a 4-6 hour drive. LA to Vegas is more than twice as far as San Diego or Santa Barbara, so I'm not sure why you're even bringing those cities up other than potentially not understanding California geography. According to this article, Las Vegas to LA is the busiest airline route in the country: https://www.oag.com/busiest-routes-r...20last%20month.

ardecila Oct 20, 2022 5:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9759312)
Las Vegas trains are currently planned to terminate in Victorville, 80 miles from LA Union Station. They'll be able to piggy-back on the tunneled CAHSR entrance to Los Angeles at Palmdale.

Rancho Cucamonga now with the planned Cajon Pass extension, and I have to assume they will find a way to get Brightline trains to LAUS or do a timed transfer to Metrolink.

The High Desert Corridor route from Victorville to Palmdale never made much sense to me. Adding HSR there was a way to greenwash a terrible sprawl-generating freeway and get exurban votes for LA County's Measure R and Measure M. Supposedly the "intention" was to make SF-LV also a profitable HSR market, but the distance is too far and the route too convoluted compared to air travel and driving.

Extending Brightline to Rancho is a better move, it opens the door for a future southward extension to San Diego. I think SD-LV is a more realistic market for rail, it's right at the sweet spot of ~300miles.

DJM19 Oct 20, 2022 6:19 PM

I think doing both is the answer. It can easily plug into the HSR at Palmdale and serve all population coming from the north. And it can plug into Rancho and serve all the population in the LA basin + southward.

markb1 Oct 20, 2022 6:32 PM

CaHSR from Palmdale to Union Station will take probably under 30 minutes. Metrolink from Rancho Cucamonga takes 1 hour and 17 minutes. I think connecting Brightline West to CaHSR in Palmdale makes plenty of sense once CaHSR arrives.

LAsam Oct 20, 2022 6:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markb1 (Post 9766739)
A big reason to take a train to Vegas instead of driving would be to avoid the nasty traffic that happens on I-15 at times. A reason not to would be not having a good way to get around once you're in Vegas. But on most of my trips there, I've just stayed in a small area on the strip, so I don't think I would have missed having a car. Train wins!

The dreaded "last mile" issue with public transportation. You could easily get around this using Uber/Lyft... or if there were shuttle buses from the rail terminal to all the major casinos running at regular intervals.

202_Cyclist Oct 20, 2022 6:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9766814)
I lived in DC, and know many, many people who flew from Reagan National to one of the NYC airports. And they weren't business travelers. Delta Shuttle was a particularly popular choice for people making this trip, as it was pretty cheap and they had an expedited check-in/security experience. I have flown that route myself for a weekend trip to NYC. United alone operates 32 daily flights between NYC and DC, and that only represents 40% of the capacity share for that flight market: https://www.routesonline.com/news/29...c-frequencies/

The number of daily flights between DC and New York and Newark is of limited relevance because both Dulles and JFK and Newark are major international hubs and much of this is to provide connecting traffic. A passenger might fly from DCA to JFK and then connect to Europe or the Middle East.

craigs Oct 20, 2022 11:16 PM

I suspect that those who question why people fly between Las Vegas and Los Angeles have never actually driven that route.

LosAngelesSportsFan Oct 21, 2022 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9767291)
I suspect that those who question why people fly between Las Vegas and Los Angeles have never actually driven that route.

Haha 100%. As someone that goes to Vegas 4 or 5 times a year, I usually fly half the time. If flying out of Burbank, I'll get there 30 min before, 45 min fight and all in all, 2 hours max until I'm at the hotel.

LAsam Oct 21, 2022 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9767291)
I suspect that those who question why people fly between Las Vegas and Los Angeles have never actually driven that route.

:haha:

Who doesn't like getting stuck in stop and go traffic in the middle of the desert?

Busy Bee Oct 21, 2022 2:35 AM

That gives you more time for shoulder pep talks.

https://media.tenor.com/gX5riKdK2ncA...oney-swing.gif
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