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Busy Bee Feb 23, 2022 9:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9546924)
I disagree. How can you demonstrate real 200 mph HSR when you do not run trains capable of 200 mph speeds?
Do you really believe Californians will be impressed iThere 125 mph speeds when they already have 90 mph speed trains?

I suggest just purchasing a minimum number of trainsets for demonstration purposes instead, and buy more later as the system is enlarged.

I'm not sure why you think those ex-hsr trains i mentioned dont go faster than 125mph. Do you know anything about the specific equipment i mentioned? They all are capable of ~180 mph top speeds. The general public would likely not differentiate between 170-180mph and 200-210mph operating on the IOS especially when top speeds would likely be lower to service all stations. This could also be a promotion opportunity as the public could be reminded that the new trainsets when Phase 1 opens will be travelling anothet 50mph faster and loaded with high tech features.

electricron Feb 28, 2022 7:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9546964)
I'm not sure why you think those ex-hsr trains i mentioned dont go faster than 125mph. Do you know anything about the specific equipment i mentioned? They all are capable of ~180 mph top speeds. The general public would likely not differentiate between 170-180mph and 200-210mph operating on the IOS especially when top speeds would likely be lower to service all stations. This could also be a promotion opportunity as the public could be reminded that the new trainsets when Phase 1 opens will be travelling anothet 50mph faster and loaded with high tech features.

I will agree 180 mph speeds would demonstrate the advantages of true HSR trains. That 200 mph speeds are not necessary. The average passenger will not be able notice the difference between 200 and 180 mph speeds when accosted to 60,80, and 90 mph speeds. Although I expect the average passenger could detect the difference between 125 and 180 mph speeds as they could 80 and 125 mph speeds.

MAC123 Mar 13, 2022 6:46 PM

https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/03/11/news-r...uction-update/

NEWS RELEASE: High-Speed Rail Releases Spring 2022 Construction Update
March 11, 2022

FRESNO, Calif. – Today, in recognition of Women in Construction Week, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) released its Spring 2022 Construction Update and recognized women who are contributing to the nation’s first high-speed rail project. With continued winter construction progress, highlights include last month’s completion of the South Avenue Grade Separation in Fresno County, updates on the Cedar Viaduct’s dual span of arches and installation of pre-cast concrete girders at the Conejo Viaduct.

Since the start of construction, the project has created more than 7,500 construction jobs. There is currently 119 miles under construction in the Central Valley with more than 30 active construction sites.

For more information about ongoing construction, visit: www.buildhsr.comExternal Link

Spring 2022 Construction Update Title Card From VideoExternal Link

View Spring 2022 Construction Update in:
EnglishExternal Link | SpanishExternal Link

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings: https://hsra.box.com/s/vyvjv9hckwl1d...fir2q8External Link

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

ssiguy Mar 14, 2022 12:48 AM

Even if only the inland section of California HSR project gets completed, I think it has been worth of penny of the $80 billion.

California has provided an invaluable poster-child example to the rest of NA on how NOT to build HSR. If other projects go ahead and yet they want the lines to be built affordably and come in on-time and on-budget then all they have to do is study the California HSR project and do the exact opposite taking all the guess work out of it.

Busy Bee Mar 14, 2022 1:08 AM

Stale and silly. Are you being serious?

ssiguy Mar 14, 2022 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9565915)
Stale and silly. Are you being serious?

Obviously I am being sarcastic in how I said it but not by it's injunction.

This fiasco and scandalous disregard for Californian taxpayers will be studied for years by governments on how easily such a megaproject can get so out of hand. It will provide an example to other cities/states on how not to construct such projects financially, environmentally, politically, and engineering wise.

The reason cities/states look at other ones with similar aspirations and/or construction projects is to determine "best practices". Effectively what works and what doesn't? It allows them the opportunity to design and build projects yet not making the same mistakes or conversely with well design projects on how to replicate them.

In all matters of life we learn from our mistakes and other agencies will learn from California's. Californians have also learnt a lot but unfortunately for them this lesson has cost them $80 billion with almost nothing to show for it.

jmecklenborg Mar 14, 2022 4:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssiguy (Post 9566043)
this lesson has cost them $80 billion with almost nothing to show for it.

Less than $10 billion has been spent so far.

NY Times had a hit piece in this Sunday's edition. No reason to link to it - just another example of a writer who hasn't followed the project, can't use Google, and gets fooled by obstructionist shills. The comments are horrible, as is to be expected.

DePaul Bunyan Mar 15, 2022 7:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssiguy (Post 9566043)
Obviously I am being sarcastic in how I said it but not by it's injunction.

This fiasco and scandalous disregard for Californian taxpayers will be studied for years by governments on how easily such a megaproject can get so out of hand. It will provide an example to other cities/states on how not to construct such projects financially, environmentally, politically, and engineering wise.

The reason cities/states look at other ones with similar aspirations and/or construction projects is to determine "best practices". Effectively what works and what doesn't? It allows them the opportunity to design and build projects yet not making the same mistakes or conversely with well design projects on how to replicate them.

In all matters of life we learn from our mistakes and other agencies will learn from California's. Californians have also learnt a lot but unfortunately for them this lesson has cost them $80 billion with almost nothing to show for it.

There no point in arguing. California HSR has become a religion for a lot of people. $105 billion (more than the market cap of the entire domestic air passenger market)? That's nothing, not when they can fawn over themselves and brag about their "accomplishment" and "leadership." It doesn't matter how overbudget the project is or how much it's deviated from what voters originally approved. There's a level of arrogance present in California politics that I feel they've inherited from the tech-bro world. By the time they start taking passengers we're going to have electric short-haul passengers planes and a majority of new cars sold will be electric.

TWAK Mar 15, 2022 7:54 PM

How dare California build what it wants....it should be building what other states want it to build!
:rolleyes:

Busy Bee Mar 15, 2022 8:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DePaul Bunyan (Post 9568003)
There no point in arguing. California HSR has become a religion for a lot of people. $105 billion (more than the market cap of the entire domestic air passenger market)? That's nothing, not when they can fawn over themselves and brag about their "accomplishment" and "leadership." It doesn't matter how overbudget the project is or how much it's deviated from what voters originally approved. There's a level of arrogance present in California politics that I feel they've inherited from the tech-bro world. By the time they start taking passengers we're going to have electric short-haul passengers planes and a majority of new cars sold will be electric.



I guess you've chosen the cynicism-as-virtue path. Pity.

MAC123 Mar 15, 2022 8:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DePaul Bunyan (Post 9568003)
There no point in arguing. California HSR has become a religion for a lot of people. $105 billion (more than the market cap of the entire domestic air passenger market)? That's nothing, not when they can fawn over themselves and brag about their "accomplishment" and "leadership." It doesn't matter how overbudget the project is or how much it's deviated from what voters originally approved. There's a level of arrogance present in California politics that I feel they've inherited from the tech-bro world. By the time they start taking passengers we're going to have electric short-haul passengers planes and a majority of new cars sold will be electric.

Market caps mean nothing. If you're looking at the market cap of a company to determine how much the company is actually worth, then you've messed up.
They are literally just a measure of how investors feel about a business.
I mean even just words that come out of CEO's mouth can affect the market cap by million, tens of millions, etc.

" That's nothing, not when they can fawn over themselves and brag about their "accomplishment" and "leadership."
Projection - the mental process by which people attribute to others what is in their own minds

"By the time they start taking passengers we're going to have electric short-haul passengers planes and a majority of new cars sold will be electric" And that means what exactly? While I can't wait for Electric cars to dominate, they are still just cars. They still have the inherent limitations of that form of transportation. Same with planes.

craigs Mar 15, 2022 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DePaul Bunyan (Post 9568003)
There no point in arguing. California HSR has become a religion for a lot of people. $105 billion (more than the market cap of the entire domestic air passenger market)? That's nothing, not when they can fawn over themselves and brag about their "accomplishment" and "leadership." It doesn't matter how overbudget the project is or how much it's deviated from what voters originally approved. There's a level of arrogance present in California politics that I feel they've inherited from the tech-bro world. By the time they start taking passengers we're going to have electric short-haul passengers planes and a majority of new cars sold will be electric.

The word "religion" clearly does not mean what you think it does, and what happens in California isn't your problem anyway.

MAC123 Mar 15, 2022 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DePaul Bunyan (Post 9568201)
I think spending over $100 billion on a graft-laden vanity project of dubious economic benefit that was promised 10 years earlier at a third of the current price when the state has a homeless epidemic and acute affordable housing shortage (not to mention rolling blackouts) is immoral. $100 billion is enough for debt-free college and universal healthcare, and could go a long way to making more affordable housing.

Okay, let's start this.


"graft-laden vanity project" Already wrong. Even if the designers made their designs for "vanity", this still wouldn't be a vanity project. And even if it was, so what? So what if they are doing it for vanity? Good for them I guess, it will still achieve its goal and benefit the people of California so if they feel good about it then that's on them.

"dubious economic benefit" Please elaborate on how connecting the 2 biggest economic centers with fast, efficient, safe and easy to use trains in the richest state in the richest country on Earth wouldn't bring economic benefit. We can have a discussion on how much benefit, but there will be benefit.

"that was promised 10 years earlier at a third of the current price" A situation not in any way unique to this megaproject. It's quite common actually for projects of this size. Yes it is unfortunate that it has turned out this way, but that isn't an attack on the project. When it is done (and it will be done, whether you want it to or not), it will still achieve its goal.

" when the state has a homeless epidemic and acute affordable housing shortage (not to mention rolling blackouts) is immoral" None of that is in any way unique or special about California. And all of those are currently being worked on. You know humans have the capability to multitask right? That we as a group don't need to grind to a halt at every single problem that the collective might have?
The Governor is (I believe, those this will need confirmation) working on getting rid of exclusive singly family zoning. Which should help with both the affordable housing shortage and homeless epidemic as a result of more supply coming into the market. Is it a silver bullet? No, nothing is or ever will be. The State is trying lots of things, as are other cities, states, and countries. Again, this is in no way unique to California. And ofc the State is still working on the blackout problem, they always are. It's a problem made worse by the raging fires that California has too deal with due to its climate and location, and the long droughts.
But if I was to support your logic, why is California constantly fixing its roads? Why does it upgrade its ports? Why does it upgrade its airports? Why does it upgrade its Metro? After all it still has lots of homeless people so the state should grind to a halt and deal with that, despite the fact it can do both at once.

"$100 billion is enough for debt-free college and universal healthcare, and could go a long way to making more affordable housing" Pick 1. You seem to be overestimating just how far $100 billion can go for 40 million people, which California is approaching.
And even if that fixed those temporally (which is all it would do), what about after that? What about the next generation of college kids? Do they not also get debt-free college? Where you gonna get the money now? What happens when that $100 billion runs out for universal healthcare? Does everyone now get shafted after having it for so long?
These aren't just "money problems". You can't just throw money at them and expect them to disappear. That's just how you lose $100 billion dollars. There needs to be legal changes, such as banning exclusive single family zoning (which is already done in California I believe, correct me if I'm wrong.), and lots of other changes.


Now if you wanna actually get back to the project at hand and not try to attack problems in the state, we can do that.

urban_encounter Mar 17, 2022 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9568249)
Somebody doesn't like California.

Well one can still love this State, it’s microclimates, topography and bohemian vibe while also recognizing that aspects of it are a f’cking mess thanks to the bureaucrats.

Hopefully we can get HSR finished at some point because there are two economies in California; wealthy coastal and economically cash strapped interior (Valley).

I used to believe HSR would be the world’s largest commuter rail system and make the Central Valley the world’s largest bedroom community. I still believe that but with new remote work alternatives, it can help populate Central Valley communities with high income telecommuters (with less office attendance requirements). Time will tell but HSR is going forward, so we should all hope for a very successful project that spurs additional rail investment in California and the rest of the U.S.

craigs Mar 17, 2022 5:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urban_encounter (Post 9569573)
Well one can still love this State, it’s microclimates, topography and bohemian vibe while also recognizing that aspects of it are a f’cking mess thanks to the bureaucrats.

Hopefully we can get HSR finished at some point because there are two economies in California; wealthy coastal and economically cash strapped interior (Valley).

I used to believe HSR would be the world’s largest commuter rail system and make the Central Valley the world’s largest bedroom community. I still believe that but with new remote work alternatives, it can help populate Central Valley communities with high income telecommuters (with less office attendance requirements). Time will tell but HSR is going forward, so we should all hope for a very successful project that spurs additional rail investment in California and the rest of the U.S.

I think the hybrid work plans (work from home X number of days, commute to the office Y number of days) will actually make it more feasible to live in the Central Valley/high desert cities and work to the coastal job centers.

jmecklenborg Mar 17, 2022 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9569807)
I think the hybrid work plans (work from home X number of days, commute to the office Y number of days) will actually make it more feasible to live in the Central Valley/high desert cities and work to the coastal job centers.

Definitely. Plus, rideshare means it'll be much easier to reach auto-centric job sites than was the case 10 years ago.

Also, there are significant improvements and expansions being made to both the Bay and LA transit systems that will make those cab rides, where necessary, very short.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 2:14 PM

I'm still confused why they're building this in the Central Valley, with its ultra-sprawl, ag economy, miniscule transit orientation and hostility to walkable communities. CAHSR obviously makes sense only as a fast connection between the Bay Area and SoCal. The "in between" part is irrelevant in terms of ridership.

So they're gonna finish the middle part, ridership will be crap, and then they'll probably cancel further phases of the project, because people are shocked to discover there's zero demand for a bullet train between Fresno and Tulare?

It would be like canceling a NY-London flight route on the logic that Newfoundland doesn't generate much transatlantic traffic.

Last real bullet train I took was from Paris-Frankfurt in 2019. You'll be shocked to hear that there was minimal ridership in the sparse plains of Northern France. The ridership was basically from Paris, Frankfurt and Mannheim (a large German industrial city near Frankfurt).

lrt's friend Mar 17, 2022 2:28 PM

You have to start somewhere.

In the days before non-stop flights between New York and London, the airport at Gander Newfoundland was one of the busiest in the world. No, there wasn't much ridership generated by Gander (population 5,000) but it was a necessary stopping point. The central valley is a necessary route for HSR in California. A few stops in the central valley with cities much bigger than Gander make sense.

MAC123 Mar 17, 2022 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9570014)
I'm still confused why they're building this in the Central Valley,

You don't understand, why they're building a train line in the central valley, the area between San Fran and LA.
I mean, I suppose they could try the ocean.

jmecklenborg Mar 17, 2022 5:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9570210)
You don't understand, why they're building a train line in the central valley, the area between San Fran and LA.
I mean, I suppose they could try the ocean.

The chosen route is roughly 50 miles longer than the shortest possible alignment. This added 15 minutes of travel time between NoCal and SoCal.

In exchange for these 15 minutes, Frenso and Bakersfield get downtown stations rather than remote park & rides.

But the much bigger issue is that the route deflection to Palmdale enables Las Vegas trains to enter LA Union Station. This gives much more justification to the enormous expense associated with construction of the 20~ mile tunnel between Palmdale and Burbank.

The alternative was a CAHSR 20~ mile tunnel between the SF Valley and Bakersfield and a second 20~ mile tunnel just for Las Vegas.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 5:08 PM

I'm endlessly amazed at how so many fail to understand the smart and prudent strategy of constructing the Central Valley first. The money went the furthest in the CV, gives the public something tangible to be sold on for completing the system and demonstrates the ability for something the average layman can't visualize and have no experience with to be constructed. The CV IOS will restore peoples faith in the project and serve as a launch pad to accelarate the completion of the full system. Would people rather have had the limited funding go entirely to mountain crossings which would have been even easier fodder for skeptical naysayer criticisms as they would be something with virtially zero utility until build out and completely out of sight for Californians. People that wail and moan about starting in the CV, or even whether HSR should serve CV cities home to millions of Californians, either don't really understand this project or the purpose of any comprehensive HSR network. The point isn't just to jettison the elite from LA to SF, that's what the Hypeloop fantasy is trying to sell. CaHSR should be applauded at every turn for doing this right with the funding they have on hand. A project of this scale woyld be challenging enough even with a full funding commitment (i.e. HS2) let alone trying to incrementally bring to fruition such a project with tepid political leadership and anemic budgetary commitments. All while the public skeptism is being fueled by in many cases special interest agitators that know if this system proves wildly popular, its really a new era. And those that take the anti- stance and fuel faux controversies and imply corruption where there is nobe just to sell papers should be ashamed of themselves. I understand people find the price tag shocking but this state's economy is huge. California is rich. America writ large is rich by every definition. There is zero reason there should be this attitude out there that somehow this project is beyond our means or abilities. Every major project this country has ever attempted has been greeted by howls of doubt by those without vision. They say it's too ambitious, too expensive, impossible, unnecessary, the wrong this or the wrong that. Then when the people we have entrusted to plan the future accomplish "the impossible" most if not everyone will ask how we lived without it.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 5:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9570210)
You don't understand, why they're building a train line in the central valley, the area between San Fran and LA.
I mean, I suppose they could try the ocean.

No, I don't understand why they started a train line in the least commercially viable portion, when completing the train line is 100% dependent on public support, which will only occur if the train line is successful (i.e. decent ridership).

They should have started in the Bay Area or SoCal, and moved from there. That would generate ridership, and support. Everyone knows when phase I opens, it will be viewed as a boondoggle, bc the ridership will be a joke. And the critics will have a point. Megabillions for a train line from nowhere to nowhere. The somewheres will have to wait for future phases. But how are you going to justify these future phases when what you've built to this point has near-zero demand?

To use an urban transit example, it would be like if they built the first phase of BART from Concord to Antioch. If they did that, the Bay Area probably wouldn't have BART today.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570245)
first. The money went the furthest in the CV,

Just to be clear, the money goes the least in the CV, obviously.

The CV is completely irrelevant to the viability of CAHSR. The CV could be the Gobi Desert, and it wouldn't change things. CAHSR prospects are totally dependent on the Bay Area - SoCal travel market. That's it. CA messed up by promoting CAHSR as a kind of Great Society project, aiding the economically backward CV. So basically the same justification as any kind of public works project.

HSR is only successful in the context of attracting transit-oriented, vehicle-free (or vehicle light) users in dense, constrained environments, too far for local transit but too close for long distance planes. Trying to justify HSR as a make-work project, or a reducing inequality project, is totally misguided. HSR if it succeeds, should supercharge coastal CA, with minimal impact on CV.

jmecklenborg Mar 17, 2022 5:52 PM

^The public voted for high speed rail and they expect high speed rail. The sections near SF and LA won't be high speed rail.

Virtually all of the money on CAHSR will be spent in and near the terminal cities and in the big mountain tunnels. 90% of the money will be spent on 10% of the track distance.

The Central Valley doesn't have any need for tunnels, high viaducts, or complex urban construction.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 5:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9570314)
^The public voted for high speed rail and they expect high speed rail. The sections near SF and LA won't be high speed rail.

Right, but that's where all the ridership is generated. The sections of Frankfurt-Paris HSR near either city aren't HSR either. You can't really build HSR through urban areas (at least not without astronomical costs). You typically use existing infrastructure.

If you built Frankfurt-Paris HSR by opening Phase I in the North France plains, it would have been a joke. Sure, it would be cheap and easy, but it would also be pointless.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9570307)

HSR is only successful in the context of attracting transit-oriented, vehicle-free (or vehicle light) users in dense, constrained environments, too far for local transit but too close for long distance planes. Trying to justify HSR as a make-work project, or a reducing inequality project, is totally misguided. HSR if it succeeds, should supercharge coastal CA, with minimal impact on CV.


That's so much wrong packed into one paragraph.

MAC123 Mar 17, 2022 6:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9570238)
The chosen route is roughly 50 miles longer than the shortest possible alignment. This added 15 minutes of travel time between NoCal and SoCal.

In exchange for these 15 minutes, Frenso and Bakersfield get downtown stations rather than remote park & rides.

But the much bigger issue is that the route deflection to Palmdale enables Las Vegas trains to enter LA Union Station. This gives much more justification to the enormous expense associated with construction of the 20~ mile tunnel between Palmdale and Burbank.

The alternative was a CAHSR 20~ mile tunnel between the SF Valley and Bakersfield and a second 20~ mile tunnel just for Las Vegas.

Ah I didn't know about that. Thought the dude was just asking why it was going through the central valley at all.

edale Mar 17, 2022 6:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9570314)
^The public voted for high speed rail and they expect high speed rail. The sections near SF and LA won't be high speed rail.

Virtually all of the money on CAHSR will be spent in and near the terminal cities and in the big mountain tunnels. 90% of the money will be spent on 10% of the track distance.

The Central Valley doesn't have any need for tunnels, high viaducts, or complex urban construction.

I think this is what's most concerning to me. People keep saying the CV is the easiest part of the route, which I certainly believe, as it's flat and sparsely populated. But even this 'easy' part of the route has been massively delayed and over-budget. The construction update videos are pathetic-- incredibly slow progress on relatively small projects, like rerouting country road crossings and what not. One can only imagine how painfully slow and expensive the mountain crossings, tunnels, and urban segments are going to be given this track record in the CV.

I'm a big supporter of having HSR in CA. As I've said here before, I think they made a huge mistake not paralleling the 5. The cost per mile of CA HSR is $154 million. 50 additional, unnecessary miles = $7.7 billion in additional cost to the project. It also meant that many more road, rail, and viaduct crossings had to be dealt with then would have been required following the 5's ROW.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 7:13 PM

To the contrary.

The amount of construction is impressive by every metric. Forget the authorities progress videos, they suck. Check out Four Foot's drone updates to really appreciate the magnitude of the project. Also much of the cost overruns are due to some of the contractors purposefully and deceptively underbidding the package and then loading it down with changé orders once they get into it. Also don't underestimate a general learning curve on a project this massive, especially in N. America. Logistical conatraints in the form of land acquisition delays. And as with any engineering project of the scale, the authority tasked with carrying it out, in a good intentioned effort to be good stewards of public monies, tends to over rely on professional consultants to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a major concern of every infrastructure investment in America and desperatly needs to be reigned in.

jmecklenborg Mar 17, 2022 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9570396)
I think this is what's most concerning to me. People keep saying the CV is the easiest part of the route, which I certainly believe, as it's flat and sparsely populated. But even this 'easy' part of the route has been massively delayed and over-budget.


The land acquisition in the Central Valley is the most complicated area since, unlike most of the rest of the route, stuff actually grows there, meaning the land is in use and has value. They'll face similar problems between Gilroy and the Pacheco Pass Tunnel portal, but that's only about 30 miles. Sadly, they hesitated to use eminent domain, or else they could have cut 2~ years off the current phase.

I don't expect that the same problems will arise between Bakersfield and Palmdale because...nothing grows there.

Moreover, the rest of the route has already been determined and is already in public hands. About 110-120 miles of CAHSR will parallel or share existing commuter rail tracks. About 30-35 miles will be in bored tunnels.

So the precise route of 150 miles of the route has already been determined and they will only need to buy incidental pieces of land in future phases.

jmecklenborg Mar 17, 2022 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570433)
Check out Four Foot's drone updates to really appreciate the magnitude of the project.


His videos illustrate the ridiculous delays in buying small strips of land, which has added expense to the IOS. Eminent domain was created for railroads. It was arguably abused in the urban renewal/highway era. We're building a railroad - this thing is nothing at all like what occurred in the 1960s.

MAC123 Mar 17, 2022 7:56 PM

Wait, you're telling me this entire time they haven't been using eminent domain!?!?!?

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 8:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9570464)
His videos illustrate the ridiculous delays in buying small strips of land, which has added expense to the IOS. Eminent domain was created for railroads. It was arguably abused in the urban renewal/highway era. We're building a railroad - this thing is nothing at all like what occurred in the 1960s.

There's a lot of nitty gritty details the public doesn't get to know regarding the land acquisition process. I suspect the negotiated land sales in some cases involved prolonged back and forth with the authority and land owner attorneys over sale price as well as vacancy deadlines. The fact that many CV landowners are indifferent, ambivalent and/or downright hostile towards the states HSR plans has undoubtedly played into the delays. So much of this is really out of the authorities hands.

jmecklenborg Mar 17, 2022 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9570470)
Wait, you're telling me this entire time they haven't been using eminent domain!?!?!?

Very limited use, apparently. They definitely did not draw a line on a map, approve it on a Friday, then send the letters out the next Monday morning with a 30-day notice to vacate. They tried to negotiate with everyone, individually, which wasted a ton of time and money.

It's farmland so it seems reasonable to have given owners 24 months (two seasons) to vacate. Instead, we're like 10+ years into this and they still don't own every last piece of land.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9570470)
Wait, you're telling me this entire time they haven't been using eminent domain!?!?!?

The authority isn't seizing properties "for the public good" as in the traditional sense of eminent domain. The land acquisition process is one of negotiated sale with in many cases landowners being compensated above and beyond fair market value. This is not uncommon. It's how the sausage is made. I grew up in a neighborhood where barely any houses regularly sold over 100K. When a local institution wanted to build a parking deck, with the blessing of the city the institution paid my friends parents a half million dollars for their house. They moved up and on and the institution got a four story parking garage.


It's also important to remember the requirements of a HSR trackway especially in regards to curve radii naturally has led to many more impacted properties than would normally be the case with a highway or even the original railroads 120+ years ago.The CaHSR route passes through the grid valley essentially diagonally meaning many clipped corners and slivers here and there. Each one of those is a seperate complicated negotiated sale between the state and the landowner.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 8:28 PM

Why couldn't they have just built an elevated structure along I-5?

I-5 mostly goes through nothing. It has a big, empty median. And it connects SoCal to Bay Area. There has to be some sticking point that prevented this, right?

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 8:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9570502)
Why couldn't they have just built an elevated structure along I-5?

I-5 mostly goes through nothing. It has a big, empty median. And it connects SoCal to Bay Area. There has to be some sticking point that prevented this, right?

Do you understand the concept of catchment area? An arrow straight I-5 route serving no interior population centers is not in the interest of all Californians and is frankly no way to build a railroad. If SF was Osaka and LA was Tokyo the concept of a super-express arrow strait connection would likely to justifiable, but that would work off the assumption the CV was already well served by an existing HSR link to both ends.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 8:46 PM

Another thing that many are overlooking with the volume of needed properties and the delays in acquiring those properties is a geographic feature of the CV. The valley is layed out as a grid for as far as the eye can see. A HSR r.o.w. requires extremely long curve radii which leads to many clipped corners and little slivers all along the route that have to be acquired since the r.o.w. essentially travels diagonally across an east-west-north-south grid of private property. This exponentially increases the amount of parties that need to go through the acquisition process. Along the entire route there are buildings and homes as well that are unavoidable with the engineering performed to maintain the required top speed and station locations. Again, these are much smaller issues when building a highway where curving or chicaning around structural obstacles is much easier for a 70mph design speed.

jmecklenborg Mar 17, 2022 9:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570515)
Do you understand the concept of catchment area? An arrow straight I-5 route serving no interior population centers is not in the interest of all Californians and is frankly no way to build a railroad. If SF was Osaka and LA was Tokyo the concept of a super-express arrow strait connection would likely to justifiable, but that would work off the assumption the CV was already well served by an existing HSR link to both ends.

After this thing gets running they could always go back and build the I-5 section, plus a 20-mile tunnel through the mountains, plus 10 miles in the San Fernando Valley to save...15 minutes.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570515)
Do you understand the concept of catchment area? An arrow straight I-5 route serving no interior population centers is not in the interest of all Californians and is frankly no way to build a railroad.

On the contrary, that's exactly how it should have been built. There should have been no regard for anything but connecting Bay Area and SoCal. Those are the only West Coast nodes that make any remote sense for real HSR.

Again, Fresno and Bakersfield are completely irrelevant. It's like connecting Tulsa and OKC. And speak to this project operating as a 2009-era recession make-work project. Plus the interior investment helps politicians who love to talk about reducing inequality and sticking it to the coastal elitists. No doubt there are happy images of Mexican migrant workers commuting to lettuce farms via bullet train.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 10:34 PM

How can you be so obtuse? Is it deliberate?


You are so misguided in your perceptions I'm not sure where to begin, or if it's worth it to. Anyone who repeatadly refers to this as a make-work project even though it's been an aspiration of California leaders since the early 1990s or disregards the importance to connect millions of people in the Central Valley with the more prosperous economy of the coast clearly isn't open to have their mind changed.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570644)
How can you be so obtuse? Is it deliberate?

You are so misguided in your perceptions I'm not sure where to begin, or if it's worth it to.

Show me a HSR system, anywhere on the planet, that operates as CA is intending It's absurd. Certainly nothing in Europe or Japan. The NE Corridor doesn't operate like this.

Imagine if the Acela were primarily conceptualized as a make-work project to reduce inequality, and investments were targeted around poverty-stricken agricultural lands. And those investments would then justify later connections to NYC-DC and NYC-Boston. Completely absurd. The only reason Acela makes sense is bc it's centered around NYC. And has as few stops as possible, and only in really urban, transit-oriented geographies.

Busy Bee Mar 17, 2022 10:58 PM

Your entire opinion is built around an incorrect, bad faith assumption.

Quote:

Imagine if the Acela were primarily conceptualized as a make-work project to reduce inequality, and investments were targeted around poverty-stricken agricultural lands.

Any government making an investment of this scale would make a priority out of hitting as many population centers as is possible to generate ridership and spread the economic benefit. The thought you don't understand this, and in fact you seem to believe the exact opposite, is bewildering.

edale Mar 17, 2022 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9570641)
On the contrary, that's exactly how it should have been built. There should have been no regard for anything but connecting Bay Area and SoCal. Those are the only West Coast nodes that make any remote sense for real HSR.

Again, Fresno and Bakersfield are completely irrelevant. It's like connecting Tulsa and OKC. And speak to this project operating as a 2009-era recession make-work project. Plus the interior investment helps politicians who love to talk about reducing inequality and sticking it to the coastal elitists. No doubt there are happy images of Mexican migrant workers commuting to lettuce farms via bullet train.

Not to mention, the 5 is not that far from Bakersfield or Fresno. So the people of those cities, as well as all the other towns around the eastern side of the CV would still have access to the HSR on a route that followed the 5. Bakersfield is 20 mins off the 5, Fresno is an hour. Imagine driving from either town, parking your car and taking a fast, one seat ride into downtown SF or LA. Still a huge amenity! The stations did not have to be in downtown Bakersfield or Fresno to be beneficial to those communities-- especially Bakersfield.

Crawford Mar 17, 2022 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570670)
Your entire opinion is built around an incorrect, bad faith assumption.

Well then you should tell CASHR leadership.

Here's the CASHR Authority CFO, just a few days ago:

“The new analysis shows the continued progress of the nation’s first high-speed rail project as a strong economic driver,” said Authority CFO Brian Annis. “We’re proud of the work this project is doing to help disadvantaged communities, put men and women to work statewide and create opportunities for small businesses.”

https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/02/16/invest...rnias-economy/

So CASHR seems to value three things:
1. Help disadvantaged communities
2. Put people to work
3. Create opportunities for small businesses

None of these things have any relevance to HSR.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570670)
Any government making an investment of this scale would make a priority out of hitting as many population centers as is possible to generate ridership and spread the economic benefit.

Yet no government has. None in Europe, none in Japan. Incredibly, they seem to view HSR as a fast, direct route between major transit-oriented metropolitan centers, with the in-between geographies largely irrelevant. Imagine that. It's like Paris-Frankfurt is intended to serve Paris and Frankfurt, and not the millions of people living between the two. Weird.

Crawford Mar 18, 2022 12:24 AM

The most heavily used stretch of HSR in Germany is the Cologne-Frankfurt route. It's textbook HSR best practices.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologn...peed_rail_line

It follows the autobahn for the entire high-speed, non-urban stretch, and the thru-stations are all minor, highway-oriented stops. The route takes the most direct path, and ignores the "in-between". Because they don't really matter for HSR. It's much more important to give origin-destination travelers the fastest and most direct route, than to serve random communities along the way.

Busy Bee Mar 18, 2022 12:46 AM

Touting the economic benefits does not make it a "make-work" program. They would be stupid not to publicize the positive economic impact. Marketing 101. Claiming that's the point of the entire endeavor makes you sound ridiculous and like your gaslighting us.

The problem with the European and Japanese examples you sight is that those places already have outstanding rail services to every major and in many cases minor cities. If you are honestly saying you think it would have been better to completely "ignore" every major population center in California other than the Bay Area and LA to save the coastal traveler 30 minutes, well I don't really know how to change you're mind. I guess that's just your, you know, opinion man.

ardecila Mar 18, 2022 2:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570522)
Another thing that many are overlooking with the volume of needed properties and the delays in acquiring those properties is a geographic feature of the CV. The valley is layed out as a grid for as far as the eye can see. A HSR r.o.w. requires extremely long curve radii which leads to many clipped corners and little slivers all along the route that have to be acquired since the r.o.w. essentially travels diagonally across an east-west-north-south grid of private property. This exponentially increases the amount of parties that need to go through the acquisition process. Along the entire route there are buildings and homes as well that are unavoidable with the engineering performed to maintain the required top speed and station locations. Again, these are much smaller issues when building a highway where curving or chicaning around structural obstacles is much easier for a 70mph design speed.

I don't necessarily know that the grid platting of the Central Valley is any tougher than the randomized platting of Euro countrysides. Might even be easier, since in the CV land is held in larger parcels by fewer owners.

What made it tough is the 2h40m travel time from LA to SF that is written into law by Prop 1A (and other travel time benchmarks). To satisfy those benchmarks, the project needs to push the limits of HSR technology and basically operate at 220mph top speed for virtually the entire route, especially since the SF Peninsula/Caltrain section will be capped at 110mph. So of course, CAHSR is way overbuilt even compared to French or Japanese HSR, let alone German HSR. China might have comparable lines, but that's about it.

CAHSR designers and engineers are legally prohibited from making any decisions that reduce cost or improve constructability if it affects the average speed even slightly. If that means negotiating with 20 landowners along a wide curve instead of 5 landowners along a slightly tighter curve, too bad. Also, the travel time benchmarks have already been the grounds for a lawsuit so CHSRA was definitely put on notice that they need to meet the goal.

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 5:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9570861)
basically operate at 220mph top speed for virtually the entire route, especially since the SF Peninsula/Caltrain section will be capped at 110mph.

On one hand we have people complaining about CAHSR trains traveling too slow. Then on the other, the problem is that it's too fast.

On one hand people are upset that it "connects nowhere to nowhere". But then they complain about the somewheres it does connect.


Quote:

CAHSR designers and engineers are legally prohibited from making any decisions that reduce cost or improve constructability if it affects the average speed even slightly.
Right. Because there would have been immense pressure to water it down.

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 6:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9570676)
Not to mention, the 5 is not that far from Bakersfield or Fresno.

Downtown Fresno is a full 40 miles from I-5. There is no direct expressway connecting Fresno with I-5. So it's like a 60-minute drive. In those same 60 minutes, a HSR train travels 200~ miles.

So a Fresno resident could travel from DT Fresno to I-5 or from DT Fresno to San Jose in the same amount of time.


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