SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   California High Speed Rail Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180558)

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 6:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9570737)
It's much more important to give origin-destination travelers the fastest and most direct route, than to serve random communities along the way.

Your wish can come true with Brightline to Las Vegas, but only if CAHSR digs a 20~ mile. $10 billion+ tunnel between Palmdale and Burbank.

No tunnel would be built to serve Las Vegas if CAHSR were built along I-5.

Nobody lives between LA and Las Vegas. Meanwhile, 6 million people live in California's Central Valley. 30 U.S. states have fewer than 6 million residents.

craigs Mar 18, 2022 6:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9570293)
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.

So the first phase of BART opened between MacArthur and Fremont. Again, Fremont. It took years to hook up to downtown San Francisco--so what is your point, again?

Quote:

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

Because an elevated railroad costs infinitely more, for obvious reasons?

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.

If the ballot initiative had been only between San Francisco and Los Angeles along the 5 it would have never passed, and outsiders like you wouldn't have anything to complain about in a thread like this.


Quote:

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

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.

Agreed on all points.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9570936)
Your wish can come true with Brightline to Las Vegas, but only if CAHSR digs a 20~ mile tunnel between Palmdale and Burbank.

And no tunnel would be built to serve Las Vegas if CAHSR built along I-5.

Nobody lives between LA and Las Vegas. Meanwhile, 6 million people live in California's Central Valley. 30 U.S. states have fewer than 6 million residents.

And the Central Valley is the most likely part of California to continue to grow significantly in coming decades. Planning for future growth is prudent when spending large sums of public money.

Crawford Mar 18, 2022 1:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9570943)
So the first phase of BART opened between MacArthur and Fremont. Again, Fremont. It took years to hook up to downtown San Francisco--so what is your point, again?

My point is that CAHSR only makes sense as a route between Bay Area and NorCal, and everything between is irrelevant. But its first phase serves neither market; it only serves the irrelevant part. And future phases are dependent on the success of the first phase, given CA's endless voter referenda.

BART, unlike CAHSR, took the right path, as you indicate. Its first phase connected Oakland to Fremont. BART is an Oakland-centered transit system. Downtown Oakland is the hub. CAHSR should have followed this path.
Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9570943)
Because an elevated railroad costs infinitely more, for obvious reasons?

There's a very wide median along I-5. I doubt it all needs to be elevated. And much of the current proposal is elevated (and underground in parts, even in the CV). And the right of way costs would be minimal, unlike current proposal. CAHSR is already a $110 billion project and the investment is wasted if it doesn't generate heavy traffic on either end.
Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9570943)
If the ballot initiative had been only between San Francisco and Los Angeles along the 5 it would have never passed, and outsiders like you wouldn't have anything to complain about in a thread like this.

First, the "outsider" slur is dumb. I'm entitled to an opinion regardless of residence, and CAHSR has enormous implications for national HSR. The fact that the first real bullet train in the U.S. will be Fresno-Bakersfield focused is extremely worrying. That's a city pair designed to fail.

Second, CAHSR should never have been put to a vote. The endless referenda in CA make no sense. You elect politicians to make policy decisions. There's no point to having elections and then having major policy decisions put directly to voters. What's the point of elections, then?
Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9570943)
And the Central Valley is the most likely part of California to continue to grow significantly in coming decades. Planning for future growth is prudent when spending large sums of public money.

Again, doesn't matter. The relative success of HSR has nothing specifically to do with population figures. Dallas has no prospects for successful HSR despite having nearly 8 million residents and having the fastest U.S. population growth of any large metro. Zurich has fantastic prospects for successful HSR despite small population and minimal growth. It's about specific types of populations, with targeted trip modes on either end. Fresno can have 10 million residents; but it's still gonna function like Dallas rather than Zurich.

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9571043)

There's a very wide median along I-5. I doubt it all needs to be elevated. And much of the current proposal is elevated (and underground in parts, even in the CV).

At most, 10 miles of the 170-mile IOS is elevated (I'm including bridges over the area's "rivers"). There are zero tunnels. There will be a trench in downtown Fresno.

If you have paid any attention to the Brightline proposal, none of it is planned to travel in the I-15 median. It alternates between one side or the other.

Again, I'd like to hear the anti-Bakersfield/Fresno people determine exactly how much more it's costing to build what is being built as opposed to the shorter I-5 alignment, and what percentage that difference comprises as compared to the overall project cost (no doubt it's less than 5%). Plus, there were comments back in 2011-12, when the Grapevine Tunnel was studied, that it was going to be more expensive to build than the Palmdale-Burbank Tunnel. So it might be a wash or the 15-minute longer mainline route might actually be cheaper to build.

Again, someone expressing blind hatred for the supposed waste of money over the chosen Central Valley route needs to go do the research and report back here with EXACT figures, not vague sentiments.

And someone please explain how building both the Grapevine and Burbank-Palmdale Tunnel is cheaper than than just building one or the other.

Crawford Mar 18, 2022 3:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9571113)
Again, someone expressing blind hatred for the supposed waste of money over the chosen Central Valley route needs to go do the research and report back here with EXACT figures, not vague sentiments.

Just to be clear, I've never even mentioned CAHSR costs.

My issue isn't cost. Far from it. I think it's an extremely dumb plan, and likely to fail. Which will have tremendous long-term consequences for HSR in the U.S.

I would much rather have an even more expensive system, if it actually functioned like normal HSR around the world. Build it almost totally underground, along the coast, a la Japan's new Shinkansen. That would work. But the politicans would hate it. And interior Californians wouldn't have voted for it. And it wouldn't have done anything for "reducing inequality".

CAHSR is very clearly a plan hatched by politicians rather than transit planners. The priorities are all wrong. They have everything backwards. It should have absolutely no purpose but connecting the Bay Area and SoCal in as fast and direct a route as possible.

Busy Bee Mar 18, 2022 3:40 PM

Grapevine was/is also seismically more challenging and risky than the SR-14 routing.

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 4:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9571133)
J It should have absolutely no purpose but connecting the Bay Area and SoCal in as fast and direct a route as possible.

But what if - for a 15-minute penalty and perhaps a 5% increase in capital costs - that same giant investment can directly serve 8+ more million people (6 million Californians, 2 million in Las Vegas)?

MAC123 Mar 18, 2022 4:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9571255)
But what if - for a 15-minute penalty and perhaps a 5% increase in capital costs - that same giant investment can directly serve 8+ more million people (6 million Californians, 2 million in Las Vegas)?

Tell me more about this Las Vegas thing. Can the Vegas route not happen without this?

Crawford Mar 18, 2022 5:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9571255)
But what if - for a 15-minute penalty and perhaps a 5% increase in capital costs - that same giant investment can directly serve 8+ more million people (6 million Californians, 2 million in Las Vegas)?

I'd say that's a terrible deal. CV is irrelevant, regardless of population. I don't believe CAHSR has any jurisdiction over LV. HSR isn't a population-aligned thing, or the U.S. would have great HSR and France would have terrible HSR.

But that isn't my point. I don't particularly care about the costs, or the time. Or even the alignment, per se. If you want to do this dumb alignment, great, just don't do CV first.

My point is that Phase I (which is gonna have crap ridership, as it violates every HSR best practice) is going to sabotage future phases (which would likely have strong ridership). CA has referenda, and all it takes is 50.1% of CA voters to believe Phase I isn't a success, and the whole endeavor is sunk. And that probably means that national HSR is sunk, at least outside the NE corridor. So CA better get it right.

edale Mar 18, 2022 5:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9570935)
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.

So? People routinely drive 40 miles or more to get to airports.

It often takes me an hour to get to LAX from my place in Los Feliz given LA traffic.

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 6:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9571266)
Tell me more about this Las Vegas thing. Can the Vegas route not happen without this?

Las Vegas Brightline is currently planned to originate in Victorville, so a full 90-minute drive from DTLA with no traffic. There is no way for it to enter LA Union Station until a low-speed connection is built between Victorville and the Metrorail tracks near Ontario Airport or a high-speed tunnel is built under the mountains.

MAC123 Mar 18, 2022 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9571411)
Las Vegas Brightline is currently planned to originate in Victorville, so a full 90-minute drive from DTLA with no traffic. There is no way for it to enter LA Union Station until a low-speed connection is built between Victorville and the Metrorail tracks near Ontario Airport or a high-speed tunnel is built under the mountains.

And I'm assuming the high speed tunnel is the preferred option?

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 6:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9571339)
So? People routinely drive 40 miles or more to get to airports.

It often takes me an hour to get to LAX from my place in Los Feliz given LA traffic.


Yeah, well with HSR you'll be able to take the subway to LA Union Station and get off the train right in downtown Bakersfield or Fresno. You'd be a lot less likely to take the train if you had to take a cab from a lonely spot on I-5 to either of those cities.

Busy Bee Mar 18, 2022 6:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9571390)

The CV plays no role in the extent to which Bay Area--SoCal travel patterns shift from air/private vehicle to rail. This project should be exclusively focusing on connecting those two markets. No mission creep.

I really don't understand the baseline of your vendetta.

California want's to build a HSR connecting SF-LA. A later phase will connect Sac to SD, but that's neither here nor there. In order to connect SF to LA it needs to run through the land in between. You would rather it ran non-stop through no populations centers, providing no benefit to any other person except the well heeled SF-LA traveler. You'd rather you have them do that than shift the route further east in the CV and hit nearly every population center along the way providing 21st century high speed rail connections to the coastal economic centers and inviting what will likely be substantial economic investment to those communities? All so the the coastal traveler can save, what 30 minutes or so, all the while the dollar figure investment to build out changes very little in the big picture between the choices? You do know they are planning non-stop express trains right? It's not like every train leaving SF will stop at every HSR station along the route. The time lost by an express train travelling over the route under construction and decided on versus and express train travelling over your preferred arrow straight I-5 route will be cared about by exactly no one.

Crawford Mar 18, 2022 7:05 PM

No, I want a system that exclusively focuses on LA-SF. To start, at least. Start on one end of what's viable. LA or SF. Don't care if you later go to Tulare or Tahoe or Eureka or wherever, in future phases.

Fresno and Bakersfield, as a start, will fail. You're putting the entire viability of CAHSR on a portion of the state least suited for HSR. It's like building a NE Corridor bullet train by first building a segment in the Catskills or Poconos, rather than doing everything to get NY-DC or NY-Boston going.

TWAK Mar 18, 2022 7:07 PM

The system is starting from SF to Bakersfield and I'm pretty sure they will be testing the trains next year.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ect_Status.png
sauce

jmecklenborg Mar 18, 2022 8:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9571470)
No, I want a system that exclusively focuses on LA-SF. Start on one end of what's viable. LA or SF.

The Transbay Transit Center, the system's terminal station, was built several years ago. Upgrades to the peninsula tracks for HSR and Caltrans are under construction as we speak.

There are also grade separations being planned or even u/c (I'm not sure) in LA County in preparation for the quadruple-tracking of the Metrorail corridor between LA Union Station and Anaheim.

DePaul Bunyan Mar 18, 2022 8:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570433)
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.

You, one page earlier:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9570245)
And those that take the anti- stance and fuel faux controversies and imply corruption where there is nobe.

Which is it? No corruption or deliberate underbidding and jacking up change-orders?

Busy Bee Mar 18, 2022 9:19 PM

Many CaHSR detractors make unsubstantiated claims that the Authority is guilty of corruption or that the whole thing is some massive graft. The mind-numbing comments after CaHSR news reports or youtube videos is full of them. All of these people have zero first hand knowledge of the program and the motivation for making these comments is simple: they hate the project and the want others to hate it too and they'll use wild eyed anti-government conspiracies to make themselves feel better and sully the Authority at every turn.

The "corruption" I was referring to is the deliberate underbidding to win the contract, with Dragados being the most egregious. Because taxpayer funding is being used to finance CaHSR, the Authority is legally obligated to choose the lowest bidder. Then the lowest bidder gets on the job and makes up for their unrealistically low bid by backloading the contract with change orders and cost adjustments. This is a huge problem with any substantial government project and why there needs to be federal legislation that allows governmental bodies to decide on contract awarding based on more than financial criteria. A bid from a global construction company that is higher will in many times pay off by saving money by preventing change orders, miscalculations and in some cases quality control issues.

craigs Mar 19, 2022 6:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9571043)
My point is that CAHSR only makes sense as a route between Bay Area and NorCal, and everything between is irrelevant.

Disagreed.

Quote:

BART, unlike CAHSR, took the right path, as you indicate. Its first phase connected Oakland to Fremont. BART is an Oakland-centered transit system. Downtown Oakland is the hub. CAHSR should have followed this path.
Nah, admit it--you didn't realize that BART connected two non-destinations initially, and didn't connect to downtown San Francisco for years after opening. Arguing that BART, unlike CAHSR, did it right by connecting two non-destinations was not your intent when you posted.

Quote:

I'm entitled to an opinion regardless of residence
You are entitled to nothing.

Quote:

Second, CAHSR should never have been put to a vote.
Meanwhile, in reality, that is exactly how it happened. Get over yourself.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PROBLEMA (Post 9571368)
The CV is irrelevant but the other 49 loser states aren't? :haha:

No. Don't do that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9571470)
No, I want a system that exclusively focuses on LA-SF.

Nobody cares what you want. You are not a stakeholder.

ardecila Mar 19, 2022 8:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9570933)
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.




Right. Because there would have been immense pressure to water it down.

If you won't allow a megaproject to be "watered down" then you have a recipe for escalating costs. Germany is probably the best example of this, their HSR is just incremental upgrades to the existing system. Some of it is greenfield HSR on new alignments, but other parts of the system use legacy lines. If the cost of maintaining top speed through a particular area doesn't justify the cost of the infrastructure, then they accept a slower speed.

To be honest, the CAHSR project could use a LOT of "watering down" especially when it comes to design standards that don't even impact riders. This is a CAHSR "pergola" structure, the very existence of which is a result of those inflexible travel time benchmarks. The high speed requirement forces wide curves, which force the new line to cross existing lines at a very shallow angle.

But even if you take that requirement as a given, these structures cost several times what they should, because the freight railroads won't accept any columns inside of their 100' ROW. CAHSR has to build a 100' wide bridge over a single freight track. Here is a similar structure in Italy. The length is similar, but the width is only enough for two tracks on the lower level. Much cheaper to build.

Hopefully the very high average speed of CAHSR helps convince the rest of America that HSR technology is worth investing in. But I'm worried the high cost means we'll never even get the full CAHSR build-out.

jmecklenborg Mar 19, 2022 8:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9572456)
If you won't allow a megaproject to be "watered down" then you have a recipe for escalating costs. Germany is probably the best example of this, their HSR is just incremental upgrades to the existing system. Some of it is greenfield HSR on new alignments, but other parts of the system use legacy lines. If the cost of maintaining top speed through a particular area doesn't justify the cost of the infrastructure, then they accept a slower speed.

To be honest, the CAHSR project could use a LOT of "watering down" especially when it comes to design standards that don't even impact riders. This is a CAHSR "pergola" structure, the very existence of which is a result of those inflexible travel time benchmarks. The high speed requirement forces wide curves, which force the new line to cross existing lines at a very shallow angle.

But even if you take that requirement as a given, these structures cost several times what they should, because the freight railroads won't accept any columns inside of their 100' ROW. CAHSR has to build a 100' wide bridge over a single freight track. Here is a similar structure in Italy. The length is similar, but the width is only enough for two tracks on the lower level. Much cheaper to build.

Hopefully the very high average speed of CAHSR helps convince the rest of America that HSR technology is worth investing in. But I'm worried the high cost means we'll never even get the full CAHSR build-out.


Much of CAHSR *IS* upgrading existing lines. Caltrains on the peninsula and Metrorail from Burbank to Anaheim. That's well over 100 miles, combined. We have seen people whine here endlessly about that compromise. And in the same post you're complaining that the trains will travel too quickly on the purpose-built sections. The trains are too slow and too fast. Got it.

And there is a tunnel just south of the Italy pergola:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ro...5!4d12.4963655

Why don't you go over there and tell them how much money they wasted by placing the pergola in a location that necessitated a tunnel? I mean, they could have just run slower.

Busy Bee Mar 19, 2022 9:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9572468)
Much of CAHSR *IS* upgrading existing lines. Caltrains on the peninsula and Metrorail from Burbank to Anaheim.


CalTRAIN on the peninsula and MetroLINK from Burbank to Anaheim, but yeah.

Busy Bee Mar 19, 2022 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9572456)
Germany is probably the best example of this, their HSR is just incremental upgrades to the existing system

The difference being Germany HAS an existing system to build on. California and Germany are not comparible in any way that I can see. Even China is building upon a system with their HSR. California is a from scratch program if I've ever seen one, and as it should be.

Quote:

But even if you take that requirement as a given, these structures cost several times what they should, because the freight railroads won't accept any columns inside of their 100' ROW. CAHSR has to build a 100' wide bridge over a single freight track.
That's only the beginning of the amount of expense the freight RR's are costing the taxpayer with this project. The pergolas are one egregious example that wouldn't be happening if we had a nationalized system like many other countries or had the nerve to not bend over backwards for BNSF and UP and tell them they're going to play ball, especially considering we gave them all that free land and all. It's not just the ultra wide pergolas, which could be much narrower as you say, but could also be shorter if the RR's could live with a little chicane. And then there's the overcrossings that are overcrossings when in some situations should be undercrossings, but can't be because that would "interfere" with and "disrupt" the private enterprise of the freight RR's. And then there's the miles long intrusion barriers comprising of thousands upon thousands of cubic yards of concrete and are totally unnessesary, all to protect HSR tracks from a freight or legacy passenger derailment even though high tech real time sensors could accomplish the same thing. Blame could also be placed on the ye olde railroading "let's make a locomotive ring a bell" ways of the FRA.

Crawford Mar 20, 2022 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9572150)

Nobody cares what you want. You are not a stakeholder.

:haha:

Craigs, self-proclaimed Determiner of Bullet Train Stakeholdership of the Western Hemisphere.

Sorry, I'm a stakeholder, I'm entitled to my opinion, and CAHSR, as designed violates basically every best practice in HSR development. If it succeeds, it will be completely in spite of itself. It's trying to initiate a bullet train in some of the most transit-hostile urban geography in the Western U.S., while the neighboring, transit-fertile geographies are ignored for later stages.

Anyone claiming that Fresno-Bakersfield is a appropriate corridor for the first true HSR in the Americas needs their head examined. Anyone claiming that the relative success of Fresno-Bakersfield plays no role in prospects for finishing CAHSR and expanding HSR across America is nuts.

Busy Bee Mar 20, 2022 12:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9572577)
:haha:

Craigs, self-proclaimed Bullet Train Stakeholder of the Western Hemisphere.

Sorry, I'm a stakeholder, I'm entitled to my opinion, and CAHSR, as designed violates basically every best practice in HSR development. If it succeeds, it will completely in spite of itself.

Not really though. You keep saying that like it's irrefutable fact. It is not.

Quote:

Anyone claiming that Fresno-Bakersfield is a appropriate corridor for the first true HSR in the Americas needs their head examined.
Is like you still don't understand. They could have started in the mountains, and with the money available up till now we'd have nothing to run anything over and basically nothing to show the public. By starting in the CV, the completed IOS has some utility and will serve as fantastic advertising to commit to full completion. When given the hard choice that CHSRA had to make with the context of this specific project, not France not Germany not Japan, I think they made the correct and prudent decision.

craigs Mar 20, 2022 4:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9572580)
Not really though. You keep saying that like it's irrefutable fact. It is not.

Is like you still don't understand. They could have started in the mountains, and with the money available up till now we'd have nothing to run anything over and basically nothing to show the public. By starting in the CV, the completed IOS has some utility and will serve as fantastic advertising to commit to full completion. When given the hard choice that CHSRA had to make with the context of this specific project, not France not Germany not Japan, I think they made the correct and prudent decision.

There's no use talking sense to Crawford, a man whose ego is so huge that he is a "stakeholder" in California High Speed Rail--despite living and working thousands of miles away.

jmecklenborg Mar 20, 2022 5:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9572491)
That's only the beginning of the amount of expense the freight RR's are costing the taxpayer with this project. The pergolas are one egregious example that wouldn't be happening if we had a nationalized system like many other countries or had the nerve to not bend over backwards for BNSF and UP and tell them they're going to play ball, especially considering we gave them all that free land and all. It's not just the ultra wide pergolas, which could be much narrower as you say, but could also be shorter if the RR's could live with a little chicane. And then there's the overcrossings that are overcrossings when in some situations should be undercrossings, but can't be because that would "interfere" with and "disrupt" the private enterprise of the freight RR's. And then there's the miles long intrusion barriers comprising of thousands upon thousands of cubic yards of concrete and are totally unnessesary, all to protect HSR tracks from a freight or legacy passenger derailment even though high tech real time sensors could accomplish the same thing. Blame could also be placed on the ye olde railroading "let's make a locomotive ring a bell" ways of the FRA.


The tunnels are where all of the money is going to be spent. A $75 million pergola that could have been built for $50 million on European specs is a rounding error as compared to the costs of the Pacheco Pass and Palmdale-Burbank tunnels.

Crawford Mar 20, 2022 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9572727)
There's no use talking sense to Crawford, a man whose ego is so huge that he is a "stakeholder" in California High Speed Rail--despite living and working thousands of miles away.

Correct. All Americans are obviously stakeholders in U.S. mobility investments.

And there's zero sense in Bakersfield-Fresno HSR. Especially when national HSR largely depends on Bakersfield-Fresno performing roughly analogous to Paris-Frankfurt, Madrid-Barcelona or Florence-Rome.

No whining allowed from the peanut gallery when Phase I opens, and there's shock at the ridership, as if no one could have predicted this. No whining when taxpayers rebel against further phases.

Busy Bee Mar 20, 2022 3:56 PM

Phase 1 is not the same thing as IOS. The IOS will not have the ridership expectations of Phase 1 because it obviously isn't complete and will not connect LA and SJ/SF. You don't even know what you're talking about.

TWAK Mar 20, 2022 11:49 PM

SF to Bakersfield is opening in 2025. A lot of people already take that route to include myself, although the route along the coast goes all the way to LA and is beautiful (takes 13 hours).

jmecklenborg Mar 21, 2022 1:10 PM

On Sunday night I was listening to AM radio and heard a nationally-produced weekly news roundup where they interviewed the writer of the article that appeared last week in the NY Times. I didn't get the sense that she really grasped the project.

I return once more to my observation that few people in the media seem to have the ability to understand intercity rail and local rail transit projects. Not only do they fail to know the background of these things, they seem to lack a general understanding of 3-dimensional space. It's hard for someone like me (and imagine many others on forums like this) to imagine going through life without ever looking at maps for fun or contemplating how bridges and other big things are built, but these people absolutely exist, and exist in large numbers.

I do recall the writer remarking that "people in SF and LA don't seem to understand how much has been built...". Yeah, because the LA Times has lobbed one hit piece after another over the last 15 years. Plus, people in LA don't even know the subway is being extended under Wilshire. One of my brothers was living near UCLA when I last visited in 2019 and he had no idea that the construction sites along Wilshire were for the purple line, even though it says so in giant text on the signage. It's like, open your eyes, bro.

SAN Man Mar 21, 2022 2:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9573673)
On Sunday night I was listening to AM radio and heard a nationally-produced weekly news roundup where they interviewed the writer of the article that appeared last week in the NY Times. I didn't get the sense that she really grasped the project.

I return once more to my observation that few people in the media seem to have the ability to understand intercity rail and local rail transit projects. Not only do they fail to know the background of these things, they seem to lack a general understanding of 3-dimensional space. It's hard for someone like me (and imagine many others on forums like this) to imagine going through life without ever looking at maps for fun or contemplating how bridges and other big things are built, but these people absolutely exist, and exist in large numbers.

I do recall the writer remarking that "people in SF and LA don't seem to understand how much has been built...". Yeah, because the LA Times has lobbed one hit piece after another over the last 15 years. Plus, people in LA don't even know the subway is being extended under Wilshire. One of my brothers was living near UCLA when I last visited in 2019 and he had no idea that the construction sites along Wilshire were for the purple line, even though it says so in giant text on the signage. It's like, open your eyes, bro.

I think it's because most people out there aren't skyscraper geeks, transit nerds or history buffs. They aren't interested in that. Both of my sisters and my brother could honestly care less about historical markers on the side of buildings and roads. They have no idea about high rise residential construction projects going up and don't pay any attention to infrastructure projects like freeway widening, transit and airport expansion plans.

mattropolis Mar 21, 2022 5:58 PM

map has some wrong dates
 
I wish this map was correct in stating that the Pacheco pass tunnel would be finished in 2025. That section is not even environmentally cleared until later this year.

Not sure who Shannon1 is but the map is not an official source.
The Initial Operating Segment is from Merced to Bakersfield, not as shown from San Francisco. I believe it could be open in 2029.

However, other than the years shown on the legend as "Planned date of initial service", the map looks correct and is attractive. I like how the Phase 2 sections are in light grey.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9571472)
The system is starting from SF to Bakersfield and I'm pretty sure they will be testing the trains next year.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ect_Status.png
sauce


jmecklenborg Mar 21, 2022 6:48 PM

^That diagram might simply be 5+ years old. The timeline would be more accurate if Clinton had won the White House in 2016 and we wouldn't have gotten the rug pull and trolling from Elaine Chow.

Also, you see from this map that if a single thing from Prop 1A wasn't well thought-out it was the Phase 1/2 delineation. As I have posted earlier, I believe that the wording prohibits construction of any of Phase 2 until the base requirements for Phase 1 are fulfilled. This means "Phase 2 north" from Merced to Sacramento, a distance of roughly 120 miles, cannot be legally built by CAHSR until LA>SF is operational.

This provision was created back when it was thought that construction would proceed from the cities toward the Central Valley. It was also back when they though they were going to dig a very long tunnel (30~ miles) from Merced to San Jose. Instead, a much shorter (13-mile) tunnel is planned under the Pacheco Pass. But Merced is still part of Phase 1, meaning they have to build the wye + spur up to Merced. If they had built the longer tunnel, the wye would have been part of Phase 2.

jmecklenborg Mar 21, 2022 6:51 PM

^And I have stated earlier on this thread that I think Merced>Sacramento ought to be built now since it could be up and operational for a relatively low cost...plus Sacramento is a pretty big metro (plus Stockton and Modesto) and no doubt there is a decent market to travel between it and Fresno/Bakersfield, since air travel is so limited and the driving distance is quite far.

edale Mar 21, 2022 6:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9573368)
SF to Bakersfield is opening in 2025. A lot of people already take that route to include myself, although the route along the coast goes all the way to LA and is beautiful (takes 13 hours).

You seem to have bad information regarding the project timeline...

TWAK Mar 21, 2022 6:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9574051)
You seem to have bad information regarding the project timeline...

Please help the thread out and show what it really is. I got the graphic from Wikipedia...

numble Mar 21, 2022 7:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9573324)
CAHSR was approved 52-48%. In a state where it's quite easy to add referenda. Which will happen if the first phase disappoints, and elected officials don't push the brakes.

If Fresno-Bakersfield flops, the project is finished.

It isn't easy to add referenda anymore because the signature requirements keep increasing, the short timeframe allowed to get signatures (6 months), and the high cost of gathering those signatures.

Only 1 initiative has qualified for the November ballot so far, and 7 failed to gather enough signatures.

https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/bal...failed-qualify

https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/bal...allot-measures

Here's an article about a recent referendum that failed, the organizers estimating they needed $10m to pay signature-gatherers:
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/02/...of-signatures/

That was for a ballot initiative that construction firms favored but environmental groups were against. It probably is difficult to pass a referendum that is opposed by both construction firms and environmental groups.

Busy Bee Mar 21, 2022 7:19 PM

^Not to mention CaHSR just is not the kind of "outrage culture war" issue OR a blatant political power grab attempt like the Newsome recall. People aren't going to lie down on the metaphorical tracks for the cause of stopping this project out of financial concerns.

MAC123 Mar 21, 2022 10:20 PM

I had thought they could try LA to San Diego, but actually looking at a map I see now they are much farther away than I thought

Busy Bee Mar 21, 2022 11:55 PM

A poll that shows mixed feelings about the direction and current state of the high speed rail program is very different from the likely outcome of a referendum that asks those same voters whether they want to cancel said program after being fully educated on the consequences, just as it is very different from the outcome of the original Prop 1A before any construction had occurred at all.

jmecklenborg Mar 22, 2022 2:20 PM

Several Tea Party governors cancelled in-progress rail projects in the early 2010s - Scott Walker, Rick Scott, John Kasich, etc. - and some of their rejected federal money made its way to CAHSR.

It's highly unlikely that California - be it the governor/legislature or state ballot issue - will go full Tea Party and act to scuttle active contracts.

BUT, as I noted earlier in this thread, the ridiculous California recall provision that brought us Arnold Schwarzenegger looms over all who occupy that office. Newsom knew he - like all others who have or who will ever occupy that seat - needs to be as uncontroversial as possible in order to avoid a recall, then sit on their hands after the recall process is activated.

So the very thing that gave us CAHSR - California's relatively easy referendum process - has a check that on paper "balances" the state's affairs but in reality creates as many problems as it solves.

Jerry Brown was "all-in" on CAHSR but its unlikely that whomever succeeds Newsom will be anything like Brown. There is too much risk and no possible reward.

craigs Mar 23, 2022 6:33 AM

Most outsiders don't understand California politics, but this is a very astute post.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9574938)
Several Tea Party governors cancelled in-progress rail projects in the early 2010s - Scott Walker, Rick Scott, John Kasich, etc. - and some of their rejected federal money made its way to CAHSR.

It's highly unlikely that California - be it the governor/legislature or state ballot issue - will go full Tea Party and act to scuttle active contracts.

BUT, as I noted earlier in this thread, the ridiculous California recall provision that brought us Arnold Schwarzenegger looms over all who occupy that office. Newsom knew he - like all others who have or who will ever occupy that seat - needs to be as uncontroversial as possible in order to avoid a recall, then sit on their hands after the recall process is activated.

So the very thing that gave us CAHSR - California's relatively easy referendum process - has a check that on paper "balances" the state's affairs but in reality creates as many problems as it solves.

Jerry Brown was "all-in" on CAHSR but its unlikely that whomever succeeds Newsom will be anything like Brown. There is too much risk and no possible reward.


blacktrojan3921 Mar 23, 2022 9:53 AM

I think it's clear that the full portion of the line will finish. A lot of money has been spent on the project, and it would be insane to cancel it this far in development.

It does highlight the need for reform, as Ezra Klein put it. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/13/o...te-crisis.html

jmecklenborg Mar 23, 2022 2:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blacktrojan3921 (Post 9576127)
It does highlight the need for reform, as Ezra Klein put it. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/13/o...te-crisis.html

The NY Times also did a video op-ed, about a month ago, that criticized the inability of democrat-dominated municipalities and states to solve the problems they purport to champion, especially with regards to public transportation and housing.

Crawford Mar 23, 2022 3:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blacktrojan3921 (Post 9576127)
I think it's clear that the full portion of the line will finish. A lot of money has been spent on the project, and it would be insane to cancel it this far in development.

No, there are a number of scenarios where the first phase can be completed, and the money isn't wasted, but the full buildout never happens. This is absolutely a possibility.

Once the CV portion is completed, existing rail infrastructure could easily incorporate it using dual-mode locomotives. So you could have a fast Amtrak between the Bay Area and SoCal, just not a real bullet train. There's already a train, you know.

This is the risk. No one is talking about the investment going to seed, but rather it not being fully completed. And the LA portion would be more difficult than the Bay Area portion. This is why I don't understand why they didn't start with LA or the Bay Area, since those are the only areas that matter.

jmecklenborg Mar 23, 2022 3:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9576304)

Once the CV portion is completed, existing rail infrastructure could easily incorporate it using dual-mode locomotives.

Like the Tehachapi Loop?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9576304)


So you could have a fast Amtrak between the Bay Area and SoCal, just not a real bullet train. There's already a train, you know.

This is the risk. No one is talking about the investment going to seed, but rather it not being fully completed. And the LA portion would be more difficult than the Bay Area portion. This is why I don't understand why they didn't start with LA or the Bay Area, since those are the only areas that matter.


So...they should have begun the project by digging a 20~ mile tunnel to Palmdale?

Busy Bee Mar 23, 2022 3:57 PM

^ Yes, I think that's what he's saying, which is why he's so wrong. Unless of course he doesn't mean that either which means his entire argument regarding the project is bad faith designed to mask either support for some myopic point to point superexpress, like I-5, serving only elite business class riders and ignoring all others, or opposition to the project entirely.

jmecklenborg Mar 23, 2022 4:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9576379)
^ Yes, I think that's what he's saying, which is why he's so wrong. Unless of course he doesn't mean that either which means his entire argument regarding the project is bad faith designed to mask either support for some myopic point to point superexpress, like I-5, serving only elite business class riders and ignoring all others, or opposition to the project entirely.

In the current context, there is a tiny argument for building the LA>Palmdale tunnel first, since there has been real movement by private enterprise toward construction of high(ish) speed rail to Las Vegas. But Xpress West/Brightline didn't exist back in 2008, plus the Las Vegas metro area has experienced significant growth over the past 14 years.

But as I pointed out to Crawford, et al., in a previous post, the Brightline proposal will be built on one side or the other of the interstate, not in the median. The same would happen for most of all of the I-5 corridor - the line would be built next to it, not in the median. CAHSR's hypothetical cost savings aren't going to be found by comparing what is being built in the Central Valley to what might have been built instead.


All times are GMT. The time now is 7:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.