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

Car(e)-Free LA Jan 18, 2020 7:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 8803760)
There is already a thread for that private Las Vegas venture.

California High Speed Rail, this thread's subject, is a different project.

To be fair, they are inherently linked and should be designed as part of a comprehensive network.

Busy Bee Jan 18, 2020 7:31 PM

Yes

craigs Jan 18, 2020 8:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Car(e)-Free LA (Post 8804180)
To be fair, they are inherently linked and should be designed as part of a comprehensive network.

One is a north-south state project under construction, the other is an east-west private pipe dream not under construction. Even if the pipe dream had been realized, they were never planned to intersect or connect at any point.

And that's why they have separate threads. They are separate and distinct.

Busy Bee Jan 18, 2020 9:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 8804220)
Even if the pipe dream had been realized, they were never planned to intersect or connect at any point.

Not accurate. Both Xpresswest and the CAHSRA always assumed that once the basin tunnels connected Palmdale with LAUS the [Desertxpress/Xpresswest/Virgin] train would connect LAUS with Las Vegas using CAHSR rails at least to Palmdale. So while not being a comprehensive network operated by the same entity they clearly would intersect and interact with each other.

38R Jan 19, 2020 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 8804220)
One is a north-south state project under construction, the other is an east-west private pipe dream not under construction. Even if the pipe dream had been realized, they were never planned to intersect or connect at any point.

And that's why they have separate threads. They are separate and distinct.

Incorrect

http://zocalo-on.kcrw.com/wp-content...9472291880.jpg

jmecklenborg Jan 20, 2020 8:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 38R (Post 8802541)
Yup. This thing is getting fully funded as soon as the next Dem President takes office.

Heck, If Bernie can get in with a D House and Senate, we'd get the extensions to Sacramento and San Diego, plus the High Desert Corridor all built by 2035.

The state has an estimated $7 billion surplus in 2020. As a percentage this is low single-digits, but it is nevertheless a gigantic sum as compared to any other state.

What's so ridiculous, looking back on 50+ years of transit and passenger rail policy in the United States, is that we were throwing big money at rail back in the 1970s, when interest rates were sky-high, but we've been preposterously conservative in the 2020s, despite historically low interest rates.

Busy Bee Jan 20, 2020 2:29 PM

I know who to blame... The name starts with Rep and ends in ublicans.

plutonicpanda Jan 20, 2020 7:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8805365)
I know who to blame... The name starts with Rep and ends in ublicans.

That is comical. I guess time will tell at this point. I guess republicans are responsible for all of the regulatory red tape, insane labor union laws, etc. that made this project estimated at 20b USD to balloon to 100b USD.

Republican State: Alabama rebuilds downtown freeway for 700 million dollars.

Democrat State: NYC estimates a rebuild of I-81 costs triple that. Simply tearing it down and building a grid is over 1 and half billion dollars.

But lets pretend it is all republicans fault. Nothing good in this country will come until democrats have complete control like they did under Obama's first term.

Busy Bee Jan 20, 2020 10:51 PM

Here we go again...

Stop using the examples of unrelated projects when this thread is clearly about CHSR and broadly USHSR. Yeah the GOP is just clamoring like they cant contain themselves to start HSR and the only reason they arent is because labor is just too expensive. Nothing ideological. Nothing political. They just want to develop mobility infrastructure that is independent of the auto or the fossil fuel industry in a "fiscally conservative" way.

Sure.

plutonicpanda Jan 20, 2020 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8805860)
Here we go again...

Stop using the examples of unrelated projects when this thread is clearly about CHSR and broadly USHSR. Yeah the GOP is just clamoring like they cant contain themselves to start HSR and the only reason they arent is because labor is just too expensive. Nothing ideological. Nothing political. They just want to develop mobility infrastructure that is independent of the auto or the fossil fuel industry in a "fiscally conservative" way.

Sure.

You are conflating two issues.

You painted a broad generalization about republicans being obstructionist to California which is a joke. I provided an example as to why that is not true. My argument may not be apples to apples but your argument is no better making sweeping generalizations with nothing to back it up.

What have the democrats done other than draw a map? Have they opened HSR? They can't even get an existing rail line from St. Louis to Chicago to 100MPH. It is evident these people(I am referring to CAHSR authority) are so full of it they have no clue what to do.

Sitting and blaming Republicans and then making strawman arguments when called out won't help mass transit or HSR in this country.

Busy Bee Jan 20, 2020 11:22 PM

The CAHSR program is unfunded because you cannot and will not get Republicans to fund HSR. That's the Democrats fault? I kind of feel like that's as simple as it gets.

38R Jan 21, 2020 12:00 AM

Alabama is flat and empty and the land costs like 5 cents per square mile. Comparing it to developed areas like CA or NYC is dumb.

plutonicpanda Jan 21, 2020 12:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 38R (Post 8805927)
Alabama is flat and empty and the land costs like 5 cents per square mile. Comparing it to developed areas like CA or NYC is dumb.

Except I didn't compare it to NYC, I compared it to Syracuse. The scope of the project and the geography are more similar in this instance than different. Also, NYSDOT is proposing the rebuild alternative as a four lane facility whereas the AlDOT project was a 8-10 lane and still a quarter of the price.

Furthermore, Alabama is hardly "flat and empty." In terms of being flat, it ranks 27 in the flattest states and NY is only 10 states behind it in 37.

Here is the stretch of I-81 in Syracuse: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0402....146046,15.17z

AlDOTs build: https://abc3340.com/news/local/ribbo...own-birmingham

So my point is there are cost differences and each project can be argued to be an apples to oranges comparison. But relating this to CAHSR, suggesting republicans are the sole cause to this project being hindered is just malarkey.

plutonicpanda Jan 21, 2020 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8805888)
The CAHSR program is unfunded because you cannot and will not get Republicans to fund HSR. That's the Democrats fault? I kind of feel like that's as simple as it gets.

The Democrats have been so willing to fund it. That is why when Obama was in office for the first term he could have done virtually anything he wanted, and this project that already had funds allocated it to it, a plan laid out by President Obama to establish a national HSR network, still wasn't enough to make CAHSR a reality.

Trump's proposal to roll back certain regulations will do more to help this project than anything the Democrats have done. There are tons of mass transit projects around the country that have bipartisan support. I would agree in principle that Democrats are more friendly to HSR than Republicans but I still stand by my statement that your statement Republicans are to blame is non-sense.

202_Cyclist Jan 21, 2020 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8805939)
The Democrats have been so willing to fund it. That is why when Obama was in office for the first term he could have done virtually anything he wanted, and this project that already had funds allocated it to it, a plan laid out by President Obama to establish a national HSR network, still wasn't enough to make CAHSR a reality.

Trump's proposal to roll back certain regulations will do more to help this project than anything the Democrats have done. There are tons of mass transit projects around the country that have bipartisan support. I would agree in principle that Democrats are more friendly to HSR than Republicans but I still stand by my statement that your statement Republicans are to blame is non-sense.

Jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja!

Was it Democrats who proposed cutting Amtrak’s funding by nearly 1/4 or was it Mafia Don’s regime?

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/03/...ransit-amtrak/

plutonicpanda Jan 21, 2020 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 8805953)
Jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja!

Was it Democrats who proposed cutting Amtrak’s funding by nearly 1/4 or was it Mafia Don’s regime?

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/03/...ransit-amtrak/

Ah well that proves it. You heard it here first folks. The reason HSR hasn't become a reality in California is because of republicans and that is proved simply by the fact they proposed cutting Amtrak funds. :rolleyes:

But by all means keep dodging my points so you head is comfortably buried in the sand.

202_Cyclist Jan 21, 2020 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8805962)
Ah well that proves it. You heard it here first folks. The reason HSR hasn't become a reality in California is because of republicans and that is proved simply by the fact they proposed cutting Amtrak funds. :rolleyes:

But by all means keep dodging my points so you head is comfortably buried in the sand.

It was also Republicans like Jeff Denham who threw up one procedural roadblock after another.

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...entral-valley/

Busy Bee Jan 21, 2020 12:42 AM

I guess I would just ask that if President Obama hadnot lost Congress in 2010, what reason do you have to believe they would not have continued to pass HSR funding for the next 6 years???

202_Cyclist Jan 21, 2020 12:44 AM

Which party has proposed budgets that have cut both funding for transit and intercity passenger rail over the past decade and which party has advocated for investing in sustainable transportation? The answer is not difficult.

craigs Jan 21, 2020 1:08 AM

This thread has no subject any more. Now we're conflating the private and failed Las Vegas-to-Nowhere high speed rail with CAHSR (they have separate threads for a reason that some here apparently refuse to consider), and the usual partisans are busy posting about national partisan politics.

Mods should just shut this sad thread down.

Busy Bee Jan 21, 2020 1:32 AM

Hit the road

plutonicpanda Jan 21, 2020 2:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 8805970)
It was also Republicans like Jeff Denham who threw up one procedural roadblock after another.

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...entral-valley/

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8805971)
I guess I would just ask that if President Obama hadnot lost Congress in 2010, what reason do you have to believe they would not have continued to pass HSR funding for the next 6 years???

My point was you are wrong in saying Republicans are to blame for HSR being delayed(perhaps indefinitely) in California. I disagree with you. I've made my points so I guess we will see when inevitably the next Democrat becomes president and presumably has a Democratic majority house and senate. But, IMO, to assume Rep. are to blame for this fiasco just shows people wanting to blame anyone but themselves.

PS, I want this project to be a reality. I am however not happy with the costs as other countries have shown it can be done for much cheaper with same quality. We should have Japan build our system, IMO.

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 8805994)
This thread has no subject any more. Now we're conflating the private and failed Las Vegas-to-Nowhere high speed rail with CAHSR (they have separate threads for a reason that some here apparently refuse to consider), and the usual partisans are busy posting about national partisan politics.

Mods should just shut this sad thread down.

The LV HSR rail would prove ultimately to be of great significance in a truly regional HSR network. Imagine people claiming the entire interstate system is irrelevant to I-40 which is a major part of it. It all works together. We need the LV HSR but as proposed this is sure to fail and ultimately hurt HSR as a whole because of the way it has marketed to the public and their opinion that is sure to become once they see this fail. Who in their right mind that lives in SoCal would take HSR to Vegas from Victorville after having driven for hours!? Now if it were from Union station then I agree.

Also this project needs to be concurrent to a widening of I-15 to 6-8 lanes. That should be something Caltrans is doing. Then build the HDC(WITH THE FUCKING FREEWAY) and include HSR. Then have private interest tunnel through the Cajon pass and Antelope Valley. This would serve commuter and regional traffic. Could all be done concurrently. Would be a mix of private and public funds.

jtown,man Jan 21, 2020 7:45 AM

I am pro-rail as anyone on here but the federal government should be investing very little into HSR. VERY few routes make sense. I think BOSWASH and California do make the most sense but California is probably making this harder and more expensive than it needs to be. The fact is this, HSR in California will replace plane rides with train rides. Basically the citizens of California(and there is a want for everyone else to pitch in more) are subsidizing the travels of middle to upper-class people who are making a statement by taking the train or cutting some time off their business commute.

Even if Dems do control everything in a year, I don't want them to commit any funding to HSR. Let me give that cash to cities.

plutonicpanda Jan 21, 2020 3:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8806245)
I am pro-rail as anyone on here but the federal government should be investing very little into HSR. VERY few routes make sense. I think BOSWASH and California do make the most sense but California is probably making this harder and more expensive than it needs to be. The fact is this, HSR in California will replace plane rides with train rides. Basically the citizens of California(and there is a want for everyone else to pitch in more) are subsidizing the travels of middle to upper-class people who are making a statement by taking the train or cutting some time off their business commute.

Even if Dems do control everything in a year, I don't want them to commit any funding to HSR. Let me give that cash to cities.

The issue of how to connect HSR in cities like Houston and Dallas to their existing transit lines is something I have been wondering about but you make a good point that a large, arguably majority, of commuters will be middle-middle upper class so their trips will likely originate by car regardless just as they do for planes.

electricron Jan 21, 2020 9:16 PM

Keeping in mind what makes sense, all one has to do is study the results Amtrak gets with Acela. While many advocacy pundits look at miles traveled, the realistic pundits look at elapse times.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acela_Express
NY to DC averages 2.75 hours elapse time over 225 miles achieves 75% market share
NY to Boston averages 3.5 hours elapse time over 231 miles achieves 54% market share.
The market share being limited to just trains and planes, completely ignoring buses and private vehicles.
It was not the additional 6 miles that lowers the NY to Boston market share 21% lower than the NY to DC market share, it was the additional 45 minutes of elapse time.
Which reinforces the idea that trains are really competitive with routes of less than 3 hours.

Anther consideration to account for is how congested the highways are. In the higher density areas of the NEC and California, the attractiveness of trains are much higher than in the less dense areas found in the rest of the country for travel of less than 3 hours.

Pedestrian Feb 15, 2020 12:18 AM

Quote:

California Outlines Progress Toward North America's First High-Speed Rail System

“Electrified rail is advancing in all three regions of California—the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southern California,” according to a draft of the 2020 Business Plan published by the California High Speed Rail Authority. Comments on it will be accepted through April 12.

The plan noted that construction is underway or will soon begin on 350 miles of high-speed rail: a 171-mile line in the Central Valley; 51 miles of electrified commuter rail in the Bay Area; and a 130-mile line being built by a private company between Las Vegas and San Bernardino County, California.

Work is now underway at 30 construction sites in the Central Valley. There are roughly 3,500 workers and 539 small businesses “engaged in building bridges, viaducts, grade separations and other high-speed rail infrastructure,” according to the report . . . .

The Central Valley high-speed line, which is expected to be in operation by 2028, will cut travel times from Merced to Bakersfield by up to 100 minutes. The full line is projected to be in operation in 2040 and will slash travel times from the Bay Area to Los Angeles to under 3 hours—versus a 7- to 8-hour drive. The system will carry 40 million riders annually, and the greenhouse-gas reductions will be the equivalent of taking 400,000 cars off the road . . . .

(San Joaquin River Viaduct)
https://www.hsrail.org/sites/default...020_91_web.jpg

https://www.hsrail.org/newsletter-dr...d-b736c309c09b

Pedestrian Feb 15, 2020 12:24 AM

Quote:

New high-speed rail plan keeps pushing toward Merced, Bakersfield for interim operations
BY TIM SHEEHAN
FEBRUARY 12, 2020 02:19 PM

With construction under way on 119 miles of its route through the central and southern San Joaquin Valley, the California High-Speed Rail Authority continued Wednesday to try to make the case for completing development of an electrified bullet-train line between Merced and Bakersfield as an interim step toward connecting the Valley to San Jose.

The agency released a draft version of its 2020 business plan, a document it is required to submit to the California Legislature every other year. It highlights the authority’s determination to expand the current construction boundaries – from north of Madera to north of Bakersfield – by about 52 miles total into downtown Merced and downtown Bakersfield.

Wednesday’s release of the draft plan marks the start of a two-month public comment period before a final version is adopted by the rail authority’s board of directors.

Merced-to-Bakersfield is being promoted by the rail authority to be its first operational segment by 2028-2029. Between its three current construction contracts and the one it plalns to make later this year for installation of tracks and electrical systems, the agency expects to spend a total of $12.4 billion. Extending the line from 119 miles to 171 is expected to add another $4.8 billion to the costs in the Valley, including an estimated $700 million to buy the line’s first electric trains . . . .

Thus far, in addition to work in the Valley, Kelly said the authority has committed about $2.9 billion to rail and infrastructure improvements on the San Francisco Peninsula and in the Los Angeles Basin to pave the way for a statewide bullet-train line connecting the Bay Area and Southern California . . . .
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local...240234126.html

LAsam Feb 19, 2020 8:59 PM

The ridership from Merced to Bakersfield is going to be abysmal.

jmecklenborg Feb 19, 2020 11:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 8836015)
The ridership from Merced to Bakersfield is going to be abysmal.

It looks like they want to get real HSR trains for this segment instead of using diesel or electric commuter trains that could eventually be shifted to Caltrains or and eletrified LA metrorail. It actually makes a lot of sense to build shops only for HSR trains and get experience maintaining them and operating them instead of having a phase-out and phase-in of HSR at some future point.

Also, no doubt they will have all trains run local, so a trip from Bakersfield to Merced will involve no less than 3 full stops, which will add about 15 minutes to the trip. I also wonder if they'll operate HSR trains but not regularly run them at top speed in order to minimize wear.

I also would like to see an estimate for Merced to Sacramento, which has always been listed as Phase 2. The distance is roughly 120 miles. Assuming Trump is given the boot in November, the funding situation will be much different 12 months from now, and the line to Sacramento could be built quickly and possibly open at the same time as the initial operating segment between Merced and Bakerfield, and well before completion of the Pacheco Pass Tunnel.

The project needs wins. I think Bakersfield to Sacramento is a much bigger operation that proponents can point to than Bakersfield to Merced, and it'll likely cost less than the 13-mile Pacheco Pass Tunnel.

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2020 11:59 PM

Real suggestion...

The authority ought to look into purchasing second hand high speed trainsets from Eurostar and give them a rehab. The first generation Alstom locomotives and trailers are being removed from service as the new Siemens built Eurostar 2 equipment comes online. Seems like a sensible frugal idea to me and leave procurement of new purpose built trainsets for the future when they are actually needed.

https://static.lpnt.fr/images/2010/1...41_660x281.jpg
_

Pedestrian Feb 20, 2020 12:01 AM

Quote:

How will we pay for the high-speed train to San Francisco?
By Adam Brinklow Feb 19, 2020, 9:48am PST

. . . for now, all the real work focuses on “phase one,” the SF-to-LA corridor. And even that is biting off more than enough to chew, according to the new draft plan. Here are a few key takeaways.

The good news is that costs have not significantly changed since last year: The authority still estimates a likely “base” cost of $80.3 billion (up slightly from $79.1 billion), with the worst-case scenario of $98 billion down a bit since 2019, and the pie-in-the-sky happy projection of $63.2 billion exactly the same. Voters originally approved a $45 billion plan in 2008—which comes out to roughly $55 billion in modern currency.

Right now the budget until 2030 runs as high as $23.4 billion. “While this amount of funding is considerable, it is not enough to build the entirety” of the SF-to-LA connection, says project CEO Brian Kelly. So far, the bullet train project has spent about $6.2 billion.

The only big milestone that Bay Area commuters will see in the near future for the larger project is that the state hopes to get the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) clearances for the region’s rail connection cleared up within the next two years. The major construction being done in the Bay Area is the ongoing Caltrain electrification, which will eventually allow HSR trains to use those tracks for the final stretch into San Francisco. However, this is a separate project that Caltrain would be undergoing anyway.

. . . construction is expanding . . . there are now 30 active build sites in the Central Valley and that construction is up to “600 onsite workers per week.” In March of 2019, that same figure was just 217 . . . .

(There are) some potential future moneymakers, including the eventuality of using fares from yet-to-be completed sections of the railway in the Central Valley. The most optimistic estimates put service five years away.

If the state extends the current cap-and-trade system to 2050, it could crank out up to $15 billion for high-speed rail.

Maybe the simplest solution is to “secure the remaining Proposition 1A construction funds at the appropriate time”—that is to say, collect on the rest of the nearly $10 billion that voters already approved that has yet to be appropriated . . . .
https://sf.curbed.com/2020/2/19/2114...rain%20to%20SF

Just keep building with whatever money can be scraped together. Eventually I believe the value of this project will be recognized as air travel becomes nastier and more brutish and less efficient, and the available airport gates/runways will become ever more clogged with transcontinental and transoceanic flights.

Pedestrian Feb 20, 2020 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8836198)
It looks like they want to get real HSR trains for this segment instead of using diesel or electric commuter trains that could eventually be shifted to Caltrains or and eletrified LA metrorail. It actually makes a lot of sense to build shops only for HSR trains and get experience maintaining them and operating them instead of having a phase-out and phase-in of HSR at some future point.

Quote:

In January 2015 the California High Speed Rail Authority issued a request for proposal (RFP) for complete trainsets. The proposals received will be reviewed so that acceptable bidders can be selected, and then requests for bids will be sent out. The winning bidder was projected to be selected in 2016, but plans have not yet been finalized.

It is estimated that for the entire Phase 1 system up to 95 trainsets might be required. Initially only 16 trainsets are anticipated to be purchased. Trainset expenses, according to the 2014 Business Plan, are planned at $889 million for the IOS (Initial Operating Segment) in 2022, $984 million for the Bay to Basin in 2027, and $1.4 billion for the completed Phase 1 in 2029, for a total of $3.276 billion.

In February 2015 nine companies formally expressed interest in producing trainsets for the system: Alstom, AnsaldoBreda (now Hitachi Rail Italy), Bombardier Transportation, CSR, Hyundai Rotem, Kawasaki Rail Car, Siemens, Sun Group U.S.A. partnered with CNR Tangshan, and Talgo (CSR merged with CNR in June 2015, bringing the number of companies down to eight).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Califo...igh-Speed_Rail

k1052 Feb 20, 2020 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8836239)
Real suggestion...

The authority ought to look into purchasing second hand high speed trainsets from Eurostar and give them a rehab. The first generation Alstom locomotives and trailers are being removed from service as the new Siemens built Eurostar 2 equipment comes online. Seems like a sensible frugal idea to me and leave procurement of new purpose built trainsets for the future when they are actually needed.

I think most of them are getting scrapped but I'm not certain.

LAsam Feb 20, 2020 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8836198)
It looks like they want to get real HSR trains for this segment instead of using diesel or electric commuter trains that could eventually be shifted to Caltrains or and eletrified LA metrorail. It actually makes a lot of sense to build shops only for HSR trains and get experience maintaining them and operating them instead of having a phase-out and phase-in of HSR at some future point.

Also, no doubt they will have all trains run local, so a trip from Bakersfield to Merced will involve no less than 3 full stops, which will add about 15 minutes to the trip. I also wonder if they'll operate HSR trains but not regularly run them at top speed in order to minimize wear.

I also would like to see an estimate for Merced to Sacramento, which has always been listed as Phase 2. The distance is roughly 120 miles. Assuming Trump is given the boot in November, the funding situation will be much different 12 months from now, and the line to Sacramento could be built quickly and possibly open at the same time as the initial operating segment between Merced and Bakerfield, and well before completion of the Pacheco Pass Tunnel.

The project needs wins. I think Bakersfield to Sacramento is a much bigger operation that proponents can point to than Bakersfield to Merced, and it'll likely cost less than the 13-mile Pacheco Pass Tunnel.

Sacramento to Bakersfield is better, but I still don't see a ton of demand for that route. I get that they are building the least expensive portion first... but I fear that people will look at it as a "proof of concept". This segment will not be successful, and could further jeopardize the remainder of the project.

In my opinion, the most valuable piece of the entire HSR project, for the California economy as a whole, is the connection of SF to Sac via HSR. SF is unsustainable right now from a housing perspective, and this would open up a huge area of sleeper communities... not to mention the boost it could provide Sac. The SF economy is huge to California, and the housing is more dire than Southern California. Make SF to Sac the proof of concept, then start expanding the network out.

jtown,man Feb 20, 2020 4:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 8836884)
Sacramento to Bakersfield is better, but I still don't see a ton of demand for that route. I get that they are building the least expensive portion first... but I fear that people will look at it as a "proof of concept". This segment will not be successful, and could further jeopardize the remainder of the project.

In my opinion, the most valuable piece of the entire HSR project, for the California economy as a whole, is the connection of SF to Sac via HSR. SF is unsustainable right now from a housing perspective, and this would open up a huge area of sleeper communities... not to mention the boost it could provide Sac. The SF economy is huge to California, and the housing is more dire than Southern California. Make SF to Sac the proof of concept, then start expanding the network out.

Haven't we gone over this already? The idea of this being used as a commuter train is very slim. VERY slim.

LAsam Feb 20, 2020 5:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8836889)
Haven't we gone over this already? The idea of this being used as a commuter train is very slim. VERY slim.

Why? Whenever I travel overseas, HSR is used as a combo commuter and intercity rail.

electricron Feb 20, 2020 5:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 8836932)
Why? Whenever I travel overseas, HSR is used as a combo commuter and intercity rail.

The fare prices between the two types of passenger train services are different because of the different government subsidies. Just as an example, let’s assume you are commuting to New York City from New Haven.
Per https://www.wanderu.com/en-us/train/...s-ny/new-york/
And https://www.rome2rio.com/s/New-York/New-Haven

Amtrak Acela fare $85
Amtrak Amfleet fare $35
Metro North fare $17
Bus $9
Who with any logic would pay over $800 a week, or over $3,000 a month to commute by an Acela train when they can do so for over $150 a week or over $600 a month - 5 times cheaper?

LAsam Feb 20, 2020 6:07 PM

^ Point taken, thanks. I'm just struggling to see the cost/benefit for us in CA in having this high speed line between LA/SF. Improved commuter rail seems like it would provide much better ROI. If a situation could exist where we leverage this new HSR to get improved commuter rail, that would seemingly make it more worth our while. You could have "Local" and "Express" lines.

Truenorth00 Feb 20, 2020 7:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 8837010)
The fare prices between the two types of passenger train services are different because of the different government subsidies. Just as an example, let’s assume you are commuting to New York City from New Haven.
Per https://www.wanderu.com/en-us/train/...s-ny/new-york/
And https://www.rome2rio.com/s/New-York/New-Haven

Amtrak Acela fare $85
Amtrak Amfleet fare $35
Metro North fare $17
Bus $9
Who with any logic would pay over $800 a week, or over $3,000 a month to commute by an Acela train when they can do so for over $150 a week or over $600 a month - 5 times cheaper?

And yet 100 mile HSR commutes are a thing in Europe and Japan, and a good chunk of every HSR operator's revenue relies on commuter traffic. The typical profile isn't a daily commuter, but someone who goes in 2-3x per week. And with Bay Area home prices being what they are, I can see a ton of folks putting up with a 2-3x weekly 1.5 hr commute from Fresno at $400 a week. If CalHSR isn't actively planning on targeting this market, their business planners should be fired....

Skintreesnail Feb 20, 2020 7:35 PM

Doesn't the MARC penn line operate at high speed? Couldn't discounted commuter high speed rail and express intercity rail share the same infrastructure like on the NEC? Sure acela is expensive, but MARC is fairly cheap and operates at 125 mph. SEPTA just purchased new engines that also are built to operate at 125 mph. Maybe the fact that the California HSR will be 2 tracks kind of restricts this, but I'll still ask the question.

202_Cyclist Feb 20, 2020 7:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Truenorth00 (Post 8837114)
And yet 100 mile HSR commutes are a thing in Europe and Japan, and a good chunk of every HSR operator's revenue relies on commuter traffic. The typical profile isn't a daily commuter, but someone who goes in 2-3x per week. And with Bay Area home prices being what they are, I can see a ton of folks putting up with a 2-3x weekly 1.5 hr commute from Fresno at $400 a week. If CalHSR isn't actively planning on targeting this market, their business planners should be fired....

Yes, I think that is part of the projected ridership. I also anticipate many similar commuters from Bakersfield to Burbank and LA.

The high-speed rail naysayers who question who will ride from LA - SF ignore all of these intermediate passengers.

LAsam Feb 20, 2020 8:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 8837194)
Yes, I think that is part of the projected ridership. I also anticipate many similar commuters from Bakersfield to Burbank and LA.

The high-speed rail naysayers who question who will ride from LA - SF ignore all of these intermediate passengers.

My fear is that the initial line will have terrible ridership, and could potentially torpedo the project as a whole. At which point, we wasted a colossal amount of taxpayer money, and provided a case study against HSR in the USA.

LAsam Feb 20, 2020 8:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Truenorth00 (Post 8837114)
And yet 100 mile HSR commutes are a thing in Europe and Japan, and a good chunk of every HSR operator's revenue relies on commuter traffic. The typical profile isn't a daily commuter, but someone who goes in 2-3x per week. And with Bay Area home prices being what they are, I can see a ton of folks putting up with a 2-3x weekly 1.5 hr commute from Fresno at $400 a week. If CalHSR isn't actively planning on targeting this market, their business planners should be fired....

This was my thinking as well. Why not start with the commuter traffic in Northern and Southern California, and then connect the lines together? I just worry we are squandering a huge opportunity here.

electricron Feb 20, 2020 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skintreesnail (Post 8837160)
Doesn't the MARC penn line operate at high speed? Couldn't discounted commuter high speed rail and express intercity rail share the same infrastructure like on the NEC? Sure acela is expensive, but MARC is fairly cheap and operates at 125 mph. SEPTA just purchased new engines that also are built to operate at 125 mph. Maybe the fact that the California HSR will be 2 tracks kind of restricts this, but I'll still ask the question.

Yes, MARC trains between Baltimore and DC fares are around $7. Amtrak Amfleet fares around $20, Amtrak Acela fares around $50.
The MARC train elapse time is around 56 minutes, Acela is around 35 minutes, between Baltimore and DC.
Is 20 minutes time savings worth over $40 each way?

Daily commuters want realible, predictable schedules more than additional speed. It is the less than twice daily travelers on business that want the higher speeds. That’s why Acela trains turn a profit, they charge higher fares than what the highly subsidized commuter trains charge.

Pedestrian Feb 20, 2020 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skintreesnail (Post 8837160)
Doesn't the MARC penn line operate at high speed? Couldn't discounted commuter high speed rail and express intercity rail share the same infrastructure like on the NEC? Sure acela is expensive, but MARC is fairly cheap and operates at 125 mph. SEPTA just purchased new engines that also are built to operate at 125 mph. Maybe the fact that the California HSR will be 2 tracks kind of restricts this, but I'll still ask the question.

If and when completed, CA HSR and CalTrain will share the same tracks on the Peninsula (at least until sanity eventually intervenes) so what are you saying? This unfortunate decision was forced in the HSR project by Peninsula cities who tried to use legal challenges to the installation of dedicated HSR tracks to block the project (because they don't want high speed trains passing through their pristine towns). Didn't quite work: They'll still get the trains but HSR will be slowed by not having dedicated tracks.

sammyg Feb 21, 2020 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8837459)
If and when completed, CA HSR and CalTrain will share the same tracks on the Peninsula (at least until sanity eventually intervenes) so what are you saying? This unfortunate decision was forced in the HSR project by Peninsula cities who tried to use legal challenges to the installation of dedicated HSR tracks to block the project (because they don't want high speed trains passing through their pristine towns). Didn't quite work: They'll still get the trains but HSR will be slowed by not having dedicated tracks.

I believe that was the plan, but then outraged suburbanites in Atherton and Palo Alto freaked out about closing off roads that cross the tracks and the reps from those areas forced CAHSR to start construction elsewhere.

LAsam Feb 21, 2020 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 8837474)
I believe that was the plan, but then outraged suburbanites in Atherton and Palo Alto freaked out about closing off roads that cross the tracks and the reps from those areas forced CAHSR to start construction elsewhere.

This same story plays out across California continuously. We can't get out of our own way. It's for reasons like this that we end up with HSR between Merced and Bakersfield. It would be kind of amusing, if it wasn't costing all of us taxpayers billions of dollars. :brickwall:

urban_encounter Feb 29, 2020 4:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 8837271)
This was my thinking as well. Why not start with the commuter traffic in Northern and Southern California, and then connect the lines together? I just worry we are squandering a huge opportunity here.

Stop using logic in determining where HSR should get built first.

(Well said btw)

SFBruin Mar 1, 2020 12:48 AM

Personally, I think that they should begin by connecting one of the ends with a nearby city in the Central Valley, e.g. SF to Madera.

This would provide a novel service and work as a proof of concept for the entire system.

Pedestrian Mar 1, 2020 1:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 8846838)
Personally, I think that they should begin by connecting one of the ends with a nearby city in the Central Valley, e.g. SF to Madera.

This would provide a novel service and work as a proof of concept for the entire system.

Both ends require massive, expensive tunneling. I don't think they had enough money to do it.

I think they started in the CV for 2 reasons:

1. It's flat and they could build a lot of track miles for the least money;

2. They were hoping to tamp down the Republican opposition by giving their constituents the first service and a chance to see how nice it could be to be able to zip up and down the CV in minutes.


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