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

plutonicpanda Oct 29, 2021 9:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9436552)
It bothers me tremendously that essentially top-notch marketing materials like these fan videos are not being produced by the Authority to maintain and further sell the public on a political commitment to the project, but instead produced by a random enthusiast doing it for no other reason but their passion and interest for little to no money outside of peripheral Patreon contributions. Why the CHSRA hasn't hired John is beyond me.

Furthermore, the CHSR project isn't like a HS2 or a new TGV line scheme where you produce a video showing how pre-existing rail service will be drastically improved by a HSR bypass. Essenitally for all intents and purposes the California project doesn't have a pre-existing service its improving upon. The existing Amtrak services are not only subpar in most ways, it's not a reality that most citizens can relate to as something they are familiar with and therefore something they can see will be dramatically improved by HSR implementation. In the case of California, this isn't "an improvement" this is a paradigm shift or at least has the potential to be. From day one the Authority should have been producing marketing materials that didn't just show 2.5 seconds of a scene with a train and a tunnel in the desert or speeding through the Fresno trench, thats fine an all, but what they should be doing is showing the average Californian how the system can be used. Show the transition between sitting in freeway traffic or hours behind the wheel through the central valley, fighting parking in cities, etc etc. Show instead a rider leaving their front door, catching a short bus ride or having a friend drop them at the front door of an ultramodern HSR station. Show them using a laptop or playing cards or talking with friends/family or even snoozing while the suckers over on the highway are falling asleep at the wheel LOL. Show them arrival in the center of town, in several cities, walking just a few hundred feet to their destination or catching public transportation or an easy pre-coordinated rideshare to a more suburban destination. There's so many things the CHSRA shoudl and could be doing to keep the public engaged and "on board" with the promise of this project. Instead most of their videos, other than the animations 10+ years old and un-updated, seem to be random flyovers of routes no longer in contention or about ironworkers and how many jobs have been created. That's fine, I'm just not sure if that's enough to keep the public excited about the big picture potential of the project and how it could transform how Californians travel.

You'd think with the budget they could afford it. Their current press just consists of a few pictures and text updates though that is better than I can say for projects that happen in Oklahoma and Texas.

I don't see how Amtrak is a serious form of transportation between LA and SF. Just use a plane, car, or Greyhound. The train is only fun if you have time to blow and want a nice cruise. I still haven't taken Amtrak along the coast yet except south to San Diego.

TWAK Oct 29, 2021 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9437908)
IMHO, I do not see the need for that market for trains going faster than 125 mph....

California will have trains faster than that, so Florida needs to shut that system down till they get on our level. Texas too.
Sound familiar?

Quote:

LA to LV is an entirely different matter because the distance between the major destinations is far greater than 84 or 17 miles. :shrug:
Florida is too slow.

SFBruin Oct 29, 2021 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 9438091)
Just use a plane, car, or Greyhound. The train is only fun if you have time to blow and want a nice cruise.

There is a litany of private bus operators that provide service between San Francisco and Los Angeles. These include Megabus, Bolt Bus, and many others.

They were an actually viable way to get between the two metros, as long as you didn't mind having your back hurt for a day or so at your destination.

I don't know how these businesses have fared during the, ya know, disease and all, but, assuming we get out of that, they were an at least decent option.

TWAK Oct 30, 2021 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 9438181)
There is a litany of private bus operators that provide service between San Francisco and Los Angeles. These include Megabus, Bolt Bus, and many others.

They were an actually viable way to get between the two metros, as long as you didn't mind having your back hurt for a day or so at your destination.

I don't know how these businesses have fared during the, ya know, disease and all, but, assuming we get out of that, they were an at least decent option.

I gave up on the Bakersfield Amtrak bus after traveling through one of those storms that produced mudslides in LA. The driver kept on having to take detours and just ended up in flooded/muddy surface streets.

SFBruin Oct 30, 2021 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9438234)
I gave up on the Bakersfield Amtrak bus after traveling through one of those storms that produced mudslides in LA. The driver kept on having to take detours and just ended up in flooded/muddy surface streets.

That never happened to me.

My bus did once run out of gas, though. The driver literally said, "dammit", and then we all had to get off in the Valley somewhere.

TWAK Oct 30, 2021 2:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 9438243)
That never happened to me.

My bus did once run out of gas, though. The driver literally said, "dammit", and then we all had to get off in the Valley somewhere.

Oh boy do I got a story as far as the bus goes...and it basically ends up with me telling everybody to get off the bus.
The driver was compromised, either health, or lack of training, nerves, mechanical error, or something. I just don't know, because he did not respond to my commands or questions. Basically the driver could not turn the bus so he kept on hitting the curve...on a bridge. It was freaking everybody out and I had to do something, so I told everybody to get off the bus and I was lecturing him until the cops showed up. He passed the DUI test but they didn't let him drive the bus again so we had another bus pick us up.

Busy Bee Oct 30, 2021 2:54 AM

^ That story reminds me of the end of this movie Force Majeure.

TWAK Oct 30, 2021 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9438332)
^ That story reminds me of the end of this movie Force Majeure.

I'll have to check it out.
There were old women and kids screaming because we were on a bridge in downtown LA, and I'm not gonna just let that happen. Looking at a map, it was probably the East Caesar Chaves Avenue Bridge which is not far from Union Station. It could be one of the other bridges, but it was one of those neat looking ones. The worst part is I also had to talk to 911 because they hung up on the people before me. So then I also had to be the guy to talk to the cops but they didn't let me know the deal after his DUI check.
This driver, was trying to do a 3 point turn on a bridge but he never finished it. We had to walk over to the nearest intersection with the most names (I figured the cops would be able to find it).

jmecklenborg Oct 31, 2021 4:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numble (Post 9438038)
California already gave Brightline the ability to raise $4.2 billion in tax-exempt bonds to pay for the project, more than Nevada gave to the project.
https://hsrail.org/blog/xpresswest%E...ak-ground-soon

And most of the ROW is owned by California, which has already signed the lease agreement to lease it to Brightline. https://www.vvng.com/caltrans-and-xp...ce-along-i-15/

If you are familiar with the bi-state infrastructure squabbles in the east, you would know that these situations are often entirely dependent upon who holds office at a particular time. Well-laid plans are often tossed the instant a new governor takes office, i.e. the ARC Tunnel cancellation.

electricron Oct 31, 2021 1:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9438865)
If you are familiar with the bi-state infrastructure squabbles in the east, you would know that these situations are often entirely dependent upon who holds office at a particular time. Well-laid plans are often tossed the instant a new governor takes office, i.e. the ARC Tunnel cancellation.

It does not require a bi-state situation, it also occurs with all in one state situations as well. An example being the LaGuardia people mover extension cancellation. Newly elected or otherwise Presidents and Governors have cancelled more projects that project mismanagement - both public and private sector projects.

Will O' Wisp Nov 1, 2021 6:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9438913)
It does not require a bi-state situation, it also occurs with all in one state situations as well. An example being the LaGuardia people mover extension cancellation. Newly elected or otherwise Presidents and Governors have cancelled more projects that project mismanagement - both public and private sector projects.

True, but on the other hand infrastructure politics in Western states tend to be a whole lot less personal for some reason. There's a whole lot less "this is gov so-and-so's project", which means there's less reason to cancel them when a new guy comes around.

curt-pdx Nov 1, 2021 10:13 AM

AND . . . . . CP4 drone footage from John at The Four Foot
This is the shortest and therefore the furthest along construction package, so you really get a sense of what the finished corridor will look like:

Video Link



Quote:

Originally Posted by curt-pdx (Post 9436495)
NEXT BIT has dropped: Drone footage of CP2-3 from John at The Four Foot:

Video Link


SFBruin Nov 1, 2021 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 9439311)
True, but on the other hand infrastructure politics in Western states tend to be a whole lot less personal for some reason. There's a whole lot less "this is gov so-and-so's project", which means there's less reason to cancel them when a new guy comes around.

We do have the advantage of having bigger states, so most projects only involve one, maybe two states.

If we wanted HSR from Seattle to Portland, for example, we would only have to involve Washington and Oregon. It's not so simple on the East Coast.

jmecklenborg Nov 1, 2021 5:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 9439342)
It's not so simple on the East Coast.

It's also not easy in the Midwest since Kentucky "owns" the Ohio River, meaning it - the poorer state - has to pay for the construction and maintenance of all bridges, excepting the north approaches, to Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

It's a ridiculous situation, but one that is a real problem should Chicago>Indy>Louisville>Nashville>Atlanta or Detroit>Dayton>Cincinnati>Lexington>Nashville gain traction.

Will O' Wisp Nov 2, 2021 3:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 9439342)
We do have the advantage of having bigger states, so most projects only involve one, maybe two states.

If we wanted HSR from Seattle to Portland, for example, we would only have to involve Washington and Oregon. It's not so simple on the East Coast.

My most controversial take is that it would be better for the citizenry and the nation if several east coast states were combined together. NY/NJ/PA/DE should be one state. Possibly including MD and DC as well. So many infrastructure problems could be solved if this happened.

SFBruin Nov 2, 2021 3:46 AM

Agreed. I don't know which ones to combine, though.

electricron Nov 2, 2021 5:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 9440179)
My most controversial take is that it would be better for the citizenry and the nation if several east coast states were combined together. NY/NJ/PA/DE should be one state. Possibly including MD and DC as well. So many infrastructure problems could be solved if this happened.

No state government is going to wish to dissolve itself with its 2 senators, and its electoral votes.
DC is another matter altogether. The District of Columbia's creation is rooted in Article I, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution,
"To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings"

You would have to change the US Constitution with an amendment that requires 2/3rds of the other states to agree. That is not going to happen.
The purpose of this clause is to make Federal laws the only laws that apply in the Seat of Government - such that no State can dictate laws with the District. As soon as you make DC apart of Maryland again, Maryland laws would also apply over the entire District. Can you imagine the Governor of Maryland telling the President of the United States that he has to wear a covid mask indoor and outdoors 24 hours every day? :shrug:
Having the District independent of Maryland avoids that situation altogether. :tup:

Our forefathers were not completely dumb as some of you might suggest.

numble Nov 2, 2021 6:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9440234)
No state government is going to wish to dissolve itself with its 2 senators, and its electoral votes.
DC is another matter altogether. The District of Columbia's creation is rooted in Article I, section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution,
"To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings"

You would have to change the US Constitution with an amendment that requires 2/3rds of the other states to agree. That is not going to happen.
The purpose of this clause is to make Federal laws the only laws that apply in the Seat of Government - such that no State can dictate laws with the District. As soon as you make DC apart of Maryland again, Maryland laws would also apply over the entire District. Can you imagine the Governor of Maryland telling the President of the United States that he has to wear a covid mask indoor and outdoors 24 hours every day? :shrug:
Having the District independent of Maryland avoids that situation altogether. :tup:

Our forefathers were not completely dumb as some of you might suggest.

The Constitution just says DC is a district not exceeding ten miles square. It used to be a square of 10 miles on each side, including Alexandria. Alexandria was removed. It didn't require a Constitutional amendment to remove Alexandria from DC.

It is possible to remove all but the areas required for actual federal government (e.g. White House, Capitol, etc.) from DC, and admit the now non-DC area as a new state, and admissions of states do not require ratification of the states.

SFBruin Nov 2, 2021 6:56 AM

Delete.

jmecklenborg Nov 2, 2021 3:15 PM

Infrastructure problems as they pertain to intercity rail could be reduced if the rail systems themselves were designed in-house, either by state DOTs or by a dedicated federal agency. So much of the high cost for intercity rail and transit in the United States comes from exploitative for-profit actors like Parsons-Brinkerhoff. Yes, PB's $3,000/day consultants are brought in for high-cost bridge & tunnel highway projects, but not to the same extent as they are for rail. It appears that CASHSR is attempting to do some activities in-house, but the costs could be brought down if we had a national agency that acted as consultants to the state DOT's. There could also be procurement at a national scale. As big as CAHSR is, it doesn't have the economy of scale that the big freight railroads have or the experienced purchasing staffs.

jmecklenborg Nov 2, 2021 3:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 9440179)
My most controversial take is that it would be better for the citizenry and the nation if several east coast states were combined together. NY/NJ/PA/DE should be one state.

The way we arrived at the 50 states is very random, with each new group of states being politically motivated. We attempted to invade and take over Canada 1812-14 and lost. We never attempted it again because all of those new northern states would have meant free states greatly outnumbered slave states. As a mirror, the United States had the option to annex Cuba in the mid-1800s but didn't because the entry of a new slave state would have upset the balance.

The current calls to make DC a state are all motivated by the Democrat party and its belief that they'd pick up two senators for the next 100 years. Be careful what you wish for - as hard as it might be to imagine today, an era of DC being a Republican lock might be just 15 years away. I am regularly startled when I think back to how different the electoral map was just 20 years ago, let alone the 1980s.

Busy Bee Nov 2, 2021 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9440442)
The current calls to make DC a state are all motivated by the Democrat party and its belief that they'd pick up two senators for the next 100 years. Be careful what you wish for - as hard as it might be to imagine today, an era of DC being a Republican lock might be just 15 years away.

You're right that is hard to imagine - like impossibly hard. I see absolutely no indication of such a shift and I think its more likely the GOP won't even be a thing in 15 years. Not sure what political winds you are listing to. As for the motivation behind the DC statehood movement, I sort of resent your position that it is nothing more than a Democratic motivated push to more safely hold the majority in Congress. In case you didn't know, the DC statehood push has been around for decades and it strains credulity it was always about national Democratic politics, especially considering the Democrats held strong majorities for decades without the "need" for DC statehood. The primary motivation has always been about fair representation and representation that can actually vote, you know, like Wyoming. My position is they should stop framing it as "statehood" and just frame it as right and fair representation. No need to eff up the national flag, no need to rename anything. The District of Columbia would still be the District of Columbia outside of the small designated federal zone, it would just have a seat in the House and 2 seats in the Senate. Then when every American has the same democratic representation, let the political chips fall where they may.

electricron Nov 2, 2021 4:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9440454)
You're right that is hard to imagine - like impossibly hard. I see absolutely no indication of such a shift and I think its more likely the GOP won't even be a thing in 15 years. Not sure what political winds you are listing to. As for the motivation behind the DC statehood movement, I sort of resent your position that it is nothing more than a Democratic motivated push to more safely hold the majority in Congress. In case you didn't know, the DC statehood push has been around for decades and it strains credulity it was always about national Democratic politics, especially considering the Democrats held strong majorities for decades without the "need" for DC statehood. The primary motivation has always been about fair representation and representation that can actually vote, you know, like Wyoming. My position is they should stop framing it as "statehood" and just frame it as right and fair representation. No need to eff up the national flag, no need to rename anything. The District of Columbia would still be the District of Columbia outside of the small designated federal zone, it would just have a seat in the House and 2 seats in the Senate. Then when every American has the same democratic representation, let the political chips fall where they may.

Politics aside, there is still the issue of Constitutional law at state.
Article 1 Section 8 defines the "Powers of Congress". The clause establishing the District of Columbia falls under the "Powers of Congress". So obviously, Congress could change its powers when it decides to do so.
When was the last time you saw Congress surrender a Constitutional power?

Like what happen to the section of the District south of the Potomac, the land was surrendered back to Virginia, therefore most likely the section of the District north of the Potomac would probably be surrendered back to Maryland. At least Maryland would have a very strong claim for it.

The Constitution also states what is required to add a new State.
Article 4 - The States ; Section 3 - New States
"New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."

Can the northern section of the District be made into a new State or would it return back to Maryland? Maryland gave up that territory to make the District, not to make a new State 200 plus years later. It would make an interesting constitutional case in the Supreme Court.

Which bring up the possibilities about breaking states up into 2, 3, or more states. How many States do you know desire giving up tax revenues?

Anything is possible, and given the right circumstances anything can be probable. But I do not ever see the circumstances where States will be willing to give up tax revenues and surrendering territory to another State.

jmecklenborg Nov 2, 2021 4:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9440454)
You're right that is hard to imagine - like impossibly hard. I see absolutely no indication of such a shift and I think its more likely the GOP won't even be a thing in 15 years. Not sure what political winds you are listing to. As for the motivation behind the DC statehood movement, I sort of resent your position that it is nothing more than a Democratic motivated push to more safely hold the majority in Congress. In case you didn't know, the DC statehood push has been around for decades and it strains credulity it was always about national Democratic politics, especially considering the Democrats held strong majorities for decades without the "need" for DC statehood. The primary motivation has always been about fair representation and representation that can actually vote, you know, like Wyoming. My position is they should stop framing it as "statehood" and just frame it as right and fair representation. No need to eff up the national flag, no need to rename anything. The District of Columbia would still be the District of Columbia outside of the small designated federal zone, it would just have a seat in the House and 2 seats in the Senate. Then when every American has the same democratic representation, let the political chips fall where they may.

If it was just about representation, then they'd be content with asking to be annexed by Virginia or Maryland.

I'm not an expert on Puerto Rico but it has 2X the population of Hawaii and is half the distance from the mainland, which is enough for me to take any wish of theirs for statehood seriously, but we hardly ever hear from them.

Busy Bee Nov 2, 2021 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9440532)
If it was just about representation, then they'd be content with asking to be annexed by Virginia or Maryland.

I'm not an expert on Puerto Rico but it has 2X the population of Hawaii and is half the distance from the mainland, which is enough for me to take any wish of theirs for statehood seriously, but we hardly ever hear from them.

We're not talking about Puerto Rico. I'm sure there is a statehood constituency there but I'd also imagine one for independence as well. Not sure what that has to do with DC. Also, as far as the notion that if their motivations were anything other than representation and not how its currently framed as a D power grab of some sort, and if so they should just merge with Maryland or Virginia is really lacking. You seem to be saying they are (as a voting block) so craven in their motivations they wouldn't be bothered at all about essentially dissolving historical municipal identity for temporal political power that, as you say, may shift in the future where it wouldn't even matter (still unsure what possible future would transform DC residents into Republicans, but whatever). It's not totally unlike a notion that in an attempt to consolidate and coordinate trade and economic power, France , Germany, Italy, Belgium wouldn't just form a economic union but would completely dissolve national identity. That makes no sense. DC residents aren't Marylanders (or whatever they're called) or Virginians, and they wouldn't want to absolve their District identity just to help the Democratic Party. A hollow insinuation if I've ever read one.

This conversation has absolutely nothing to do with California HSR.

SFBruin Nov 2, 2021 6:28 PM

Delete.

SFBruin Nov 2, 2021 6:44 PM

Delete.

jmecklenborg Nov 2, 2021 7:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9440569)
DC residents aren't Marylanders (or whatever they're called) or Virginians, and they wouldn't want to absolve their District identity just to help the Democratic Party.


DC residents don't even have a nickname. It's overwhelmingly a bunch of transplants. Almost nobody has "deep roots" in DC. It seems like a place where the D party could reward people from elsewhere in the country with a seat in the U.S. Senate. Like when Hillary Clinton migrated to New York, but every time.

Agreed that the varying state and district borders complicate long-distance rail projects. If the Ohio bullet train had happened back in the 1980s, we would be living in a different country from an intercity rail perspective. Sure, a few other mid-sized states had multiple cities within them (Missouri and Tennessee and Texas, for example) but most don't, and so we would have seen new interstate compacts or federal legislation to ease the construction of new passenger rail lines.

I'm not sure that CAHSR will work to that same end since the state is so different from the east and Midwest that I'm not sure that it will work as a proof-of-concept in the same way that Ohio would have.

I should start an Ohio bullet train thread at some point. It would have been a really, really big deal. It seemed to have had some push from the Japanese, who were heavily invested in the state in the 1970s and 1980s, since the push disappeared with Japan's economic might in the early 1990s.
https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

edale Nov 2, 2021 7:49 PM

Getting back to CHSR, the more project update videos I watch, the more I am absolutely convinced we messed up royally by not following the I-5 corridor. While a lot of us (myself included) often think of the Central Valley as being desolate, it's actually quite developed from an infrastructure perspective. This means there are TONS of tiny roads that probably carry maybe a couple dozen cars a day that have to be bridged, tunneled, or otherwise rerouted. Add in the myriad of crossings in the towns and cities the HSR will be going through, and it's clear to see why this project is taking forever.

The Central Valley residents would still have been served by an I-5 route. Someone in Fresno or Visalia or Bakersfield could drive/take a bus/get dropped off at the station closest to where they live-- no more than an hour for most-- and have direct, quick service to SF and LA. We'd shave off at least 40 miles, which would be a significant savings, and we'd have so much less work to do for infrastructure relocation, as the 5 largely already dealt with those issues.

Connecting Bakersfield to Fresno...who the hell cares about or wants that? You get off the train in Frenso for whatever reason, and how are you going to get around? There aren't transit systems in place like there are in LA and SF. Making the eastern side of the CV be the focus of CHSR was a massive error, and one that might prove fatal for this project. I'm not convinced we're going to see full completion of the LA to SF line in the next 40 years. By 2060 maybe we'll all have flying cars by then lol.

Busy Bee Nov 2, 2021 8:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9440720)
DC residents don't even have a nickname. It's overwhelmingly a bunch of transplants. Almost nobody has "deep roots" in DC. It seems like a place where the D party could reward people from elsewhere in the country with a seat in the U.S. Senate. Like when Hillary Clinton migrated to New York, but every time.
[/URL]

Laughably wrong. Yeah maybe a good chunk of federal workers or the lobby orbit but i think a couple hundred thousand African Americans would disagree that they aren't native District residents. Where are you getting your information? And fortheloveofgod why would you bring Hillary Clinton into this?

jmecklenborg Nov 2, 2021 8:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9440739)
Getting back to CHSR, the more project update videos I watch, the more I am absolutely convinced we messed up royally by not following the I-5 corridor.

Building through the Central Valley cities that developed around the UP mainline is costing perhaps $2 billion more than building parallel to I-5, which is is a rounding error on the overall cost of the network. The added 35~ miles (much of that the deflection to Palmdale via Tehachapi) will add at most 15 minutes to the overall express transit time. They still could nix Palmdale and reach the San Fernando Valley via the I-5 Grapevine route, which is a bit shorter and less expensive, but would cut out Las Vegas.

Even if they had built along I-5, they still wouldn't have the money with the current allocation to dig the Pacheco Pass tunnel or Grapevine tunnel or Alameda tunnel (or whatever route variation) if they had kept costs a little lower in the Central Valley. Plus, if they were working on the I-5 route right now, we'd have people complaining that they aren't properly serving the central valley cities.

Busy Bee Nov 3, 2021 1:40 AM

^ Fast forward 20 years and I could see a scenario where constructing the Grapvine approach as well, providing a second basin entry/exit bypassing Palmdale, is at least discussed as a possibilty to add system flexibilty and performance. Though I've always heard there are major seismic concerns for the Grapevine route and that contributed to it not being chosen.

Will O' Wisp Nov 3, 2021 2:02 AM

Wow, sorry I didn't mean to start a massive political debate...

The idea of combining several NE states into one is utterly impossible politically, obviously, but I have wondered if it would be possible to have them act more like a single state organizationally when it comes to transit. The Port Authority seems like an attempt to do this, but it doesn't function as well as it could. Having the commissioners appointed by the NY/NJ governors was a mistake in hindsight, it makes the Port Authority into nothing more than an arm of the governors (leads to a lot of corruption too).

Bringing this back to HSR, it would be an interesting idea to create a multi-state organization in the South or Midwest, with its leaders directly elected by the citizens of each state, dedicated to building HSR lines. That would still be hard to do, but at least it would be feasible

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9440785)
Building through the Central Valley cities that developed around the UP mainline is costing perhaps $2 billion more than building parallel to I-5, which is is a rounding error on the overall cost of the network. The added 35~ miles (much of that the deflection to Palmdale via Tehachapi) will add at most 15 minutes to the overall express transit time. They still could nix Palmdale and reach the San Fernando Valley via the I-5 Grapevine route, which is a bit shorter and less expensive, but would cut out Las Vegas.

Even if they had built along I-5, they still wouldn't have the money with the current allocation to dig the Pacheco Pass tunnel or Grapevine tunnel or Alameda tunnel (or whatever route variation) if they had kept costs a little lower in the Central Valley. Plus, if they were working on the I-5 route right now, we'd have people complaining that they aren't properly serving the central valley cities.

It depends if routing the line through the less populated 5 route would have lead to less legal/political resistance in the central valley. If it would have, that calculus might win out. But given the great deal of resistance TXHSR is still facing even though it doesn't pass though any developed areas, my thoughts are that it wouldn't have made an appreciable difference, and would have lead to less ridership in the end.

jmecklenborg Nov 3, 2021 2:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9441019)
Grapvine

It has always looked to me like the potential Grapevine route is much more complicated than what is currently planned. So at least as complicated as the Burbank>Palmdale Tunnel plus the Tehachipi Pass combined.

A "base" Grapevine tunnel would be in excess of 30 miles long, so much longer than what is currently planned for Burbank>Palmdale. It's also possible that the much greater length of operation at medium speeds would make the total Los Angeles to Bakersfield time almost the same despite the shorter distance.

What is currently planned is a 40-mile stretch between LA Union and Palmdale operating at roughly 120-150mph. The trains would then achieve top speed for approximately 40 miles before slowing somewhat for the Tehachapi Pass.

By contrast, Grapevine would mean 120-150mph for 80 miles between LA Union and the north side of the mountain range at Grapevine.

Creating a second entrance into Los Angeles via Grapevine wouldn't make much sense if the stretch between Burbank and LA Union remains the currently-planned 3 tracks. They'd exaggerate the problem that is already going to exist with Metrorail trains slotting into the HSR approach.

If they create a totally separate southern terminus with no connection to Union Station that means there would have to be a totally separate staging/turnaround facility. The lines in the SF valley all point toward Burbank, so getting from Slymar south to, say, LAX would require rebuilding the 405 with a pair of HSR tracks in the center.

electricron Nov 3, 2021 2:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9441189)
A "base" Grapevine tunnel would be in excess of 30 miles long, so much longer than what is currently planned for Burbank>Palmdale. It's also possible that the much greater length of operation at medium speeds would make the total Los Angeles to Bakersfield time almost the same despite the shorter distance.

What is currently planned is a 40-mile stretch between LA Union and Palmdale operating at roughly 120-150mph. The trains would then achieve top speed for approximately 40 miles before slowing somewhat for the Tehachapi Pass.

By contrast, Grapevine would mean 120-150mph for 80 miles between LA Union and the north side of the mountain range at Grapevine.

I just wanted to add why the maximum speeds of HSR trains slow down as much as they do in mountainous areas. While curvature of the track contribute some, most of the slower speeds is because of the grade changes, specifically heading downhill.
Think about tractor trailers speeds in mountainous areas, they slow down because of a lack of power going uphill, but they also slow down downhill because of the limitation of brakes. HSR trains have plenty of power to go faster uphill, but have the same limitation of the brakes going downhill as trucks. :(
Whereas the Palmdale routing adds miles to the HSR corridor than the Grapevine, it has far less miles of steeper grades than the Grapevine route.
Hence why there is practically even elapse times between both routes, and why sometimes the longer route can be faster than the shorter route.

jmecklenborg Nov 3, 2021 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9441238)
I just wanted to add why the maximum speeds of HSR trains slow down as much as they do in mountainous areas. While curvature of the track contribute some, most of the slower speeds is because of the grade changes, specifically heading downhill.

There are also speed limitations in tunnels, even level ones, for a variety of reasons (the new maglev in Japan will go full-blast in its tunnels, but I'm not sure what the difference is). Obviously, the new base tunnels in Switzerland and Austria will have multiple trains in them at the same time headed in the same direction. But that situation is to be avoided if possible. The Pacheco Pass Tunnel is being designed to be just short enough be roughly the space between two trains traveling in the same direction, meaning a following train will have space to stop before entering the tunnel in the event of a problem.

Maybe there is a way to build 2-3 long tunnels over Grapevine instead of a single monster base tunnel. It would take years of study to determine the best strategy. I suspect that CASHR went with Palmdale because they were more confident in the geologic conditions in that area, in addition to the Las Vegas connection.

electricron Nov 3, 2021 7:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9441411)
There are also speed limitations in tunnels, even level ones, for a variety of reasons (the new maglev in Japan will go full-blast in its tunnels, but I'm not sure what the difference is). Obviously, the new base tunnels in Switzerland and Austria will have multiple trains in them at the same time headed in the same direction. But that situation is to be avoided if possible. The Pacheco Pass Tunnel is being designed to be just short enough be roughly the space between two trains traveling in the same direction, meaning a following train will have space to stop before entering the tunnel in the event of a problem.

Maybe there is a way to build 2-3 long tunnels over Grapevine instead of a single monster base tunnel. It would take years of study to determine the best strategy. I suspect that CASHR went with Palmdale because they were more confident in the geologic conditions in that area, in addition to the Las Vegas connection.

Level tunnels can have speed restrictions for HSR trains, which can be minimized with tunnel designs, like how much larger the tunnel bore is per specific train clearance plates. You can not reduce the amount of grade changes by design choices alone, Mother Nature created the different grades, but designers can reduce the % of grade slopes by maximizing the horizontal distance traveled per vertical distance.
There are many places on our planet where trains go their fastest within tunnels.

TWAK Nov 3, 2021 9:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9441411)
Maybe there is a way to build 2-3 long tunnels over Grapevine instead of a single monster base tunnel. It would take years of study to determine the best strategy. I suspect that CASHR went with Palmdale because they were more confident in the geologic conditions in that area, in addition to the Las Vegas connection.

I know people have an issue with the price, and that's probably the most expensive option there is. They definitely chose Tehachapi for the cost, engineering, and there's more population centers along that route. There's rail ROW as well.
Y'all like maps?
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ect_Status.png
source

LAsam Nov 3, 2021 11:35 PM

^Who's taking bets on whether we can board a high speed train from LA in 2033? I'll take the over, please.

Busy Bee Nov 4, 2021 1:11 AM

I think there's reason to be skeptical, but i also think there is equal reason to be optimistic. There is a very real possibility that the tunnelling from Palmdale to Sylmar will actually proceed sooner and be accomplished faster than many have assumed. In the history of tunneling it's not uncommon for completion dates to be moved significantly forward due to cooperative geology and a TBM performing flawlessly. Personally, I'm confident these target dates will be very close.

TWAK Nov 4, 2021 1:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 9441943)
^Who's taking bets on whether we can board a high speed train from LA in 2033? I'll take the over, please.

I think part of it is the EIR, and after that clears the dates can change. They will be testing trains starting in 2023 for the "2025" areas, but I'm sure if LA wanted to it could be done faster.

jmecklenborg Nov 4, 2021 1:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9441841)
I know people have an issue with the price, and that's probably the most expensive option there is. They definitely chose Tehachapi for the cost, engineering, and there's more population centers along that route. There's rail ROW as well.
Y'all like maps?
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ect_Status.png
source

I reread Prop 1 from 2008 to see of the authority has the authority to build sections of Phase 2 before the completion of Phase 1. I'm not a lawyer and in my opinion you'd need a lawyer to decipher this. I'm leaning toward a NO.

2704.04. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature by enacting this
chapter and of the people of California by approving the bond
measure pursuant to this chapter to initiate the construction of a
high-speed train system that connects the San Francisco Transbay
Terminal to Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim, and links the
state's major population centers, including Sacramento, the San
Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, Los Angeles, the Inland
Empire, Orange County, and San Diego consistent with the authority's
certified environmental impact reports of November 2005 and July 9,
2008.
(b) (1) Net proceeds received from the sale of nine billion
dollars ($9,000,000,000) principal amount of bonds authorized
pursuant to this chapter, upon appropriation by the Legislature in
the annual Budget Act, shall be used for (A) planning and engineering
for the high-speed train system and (B) capital costs, as described
in subdivision (c).
(2) As adopted by the authority in May 2007, Phase 1 of the
high-speed train project is the corridor of the high-speed train
system between San Francisco Transbay Terminal and Los Angeles Union
Station and Anaheim.
(3) Upon a finding by the authority that expenditure of bond
proceeds for capital costs in corridors other than the corridor
described in paragraph (2) would advance the construction of the
system, would be consistent with the criteria described in
subdivision (f) of Section 2704.08, and would not have an adverse
impact on the construction of Phase 1 of the high-speed train
project, the authority may request funding for capital costs, and the
Legislature may appropriate funds described in paragraph (1) in the
annual Budget Act, to be expended for any of the following high-speed
train corridors:
(A) Sacramento to Stockton to Fresno.
(B) San Francisco Transbay Terminal to San Jose to Fresno.
(C) Oakland to San Jose.
(D) Fresno to Bakersfield to Palmdale to Los Angeles Union
Station.
(E) Los Angeles Union Station to Riverside to San Diego.
(F) Los Angeles Union Station to Anaheim to Irvine.
(G) Merced to Stockton to Oakland and San Francisco via the
Altamont Corridor.
(4) Nothing in this section shall prejudice the authority's
determination and selection of the alignment from the Central Valley
to the San Francisco Bay Area and its certification of the
environmental impact report.



To me, completion of the line between Bakersfield and Sacramento would be relatively inexpensive and a big political win. I think the workaround would be to have ACE or the Capitol Corridor build the line between Sacramento and Merced. California keeps posting gigantic surpluses. A fraction of any of these annual surpluses could fund the extension to Sacramento, which would involve zero tunnels or other unpredictable elements.

electricron Nov 4, 2021 5:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9442022)
I reread Prop 1 from 2008 to see of the authority has the authority to build sections of Phase 2 before the completion of Phase 1. I'm not a lawyer and in my opinion you'd need a lawyer to decipher this. I'm leaning toward a NO.

To me, completion of the line between Bakersfield and Sacramento would be relatively inexpensive and a big political win. I think the workaround would be to have ACE or the Capitol Corridor build the line between Sacramento and Merced. California keeps posting gigantic surpluses. A fraction of any of these annual surpluses could fund the extension to Sacramento, which would involve zero tunnels or other unpredictable elements.

CHSR has its own plans and order when everything should be done. Sorry your ideas do not match theirs, and frankly do not match mine either.:shrug:

ardecila Nov 4, 2021 5:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9441841)
I know people have an issue with the price, and that's probably the most expensive option there is. They definitely chose Tehachapi for the cost, engineering, and there's more population centers along that route. There's rail ROW as well.
Y'all like maps?

Honestly sticking to existing rail ROWs has likely increased cost. The freight railroads have insisted on 100' of separation, meaning huge swaths of land need to be bought up even through the middle of Fresno. When the HSR has to cross over the existing railroad, they have to build enormous "pergola" structures that are 3x-4x the size of comparable structures on European systems.

They'd be better off just carving their own path across the Central Valley (to be fair, they have done this in certain sections).

edale Nov 4, 2021 6:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 9441943)
^Who's taking bets on whether we can board a high speed train from LA in 2033? I'll take the over, please.

I'd even take the over on 2040!

Busy Bee Nov 4, 2021 6:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9442516)
Honestly sticking to existing rail ROWs has likely increased cost. The freight railroads have insisted on 100' of separation, meaning huge swaths of land need to be bought up even through the middle of Fresno. When the HSR has to cross over the existing railroad, they have to build enormous "pergola" structures that are 3x-4x the size of comparable structures on European systems.

They'd be better off just carving their own path across the Central Valley (to be fair, they have done this in certain sections).

Ardecila, they probably still would have had to cross over the freight railroads at several spots even if they didn't have these segments on parallel routing. We know the crossings would be aerial structures in the CV due to the water table. The biggest question is whether a different routing would enable crossing at a more perpendicular angle negating the need for these enormous pergola structures. I personally have my doubts that any radically different routing that makes for simpler and cheaper crossings would have been possible or beneficial in any other way and may have in fact cost more due to other land requirements. I feel pretty confident the experts chose a pretty good right of way.

electricron Nov 5, 2021 1:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9441841)

Yes, I love maps, and this one in particular shows how inept CHSR is. I wish to point out specifically the gap between Bakersfield and CP4, and the gap between Merced and Madera CP1. Note that the EIS study has been completed for these gaps, yet no construction contract has been issued, and that no construction is presently underway in both gaps. The IOS is supposedly to run trains between Bakersfield and Merced using tracks laid in these two gaps, yet no construction is underway yet. There is no way they can finishing building tracks in these gaps at the same times as they finish building CP1 thru CP4, without delaying the existing construction projects. There is no way they can run trains to Bakersfield and Merced without finishing these gaps they have not even started on. :runaway:

Huh :shrug:

Over promising and under delivering seems too common in California nowadays.

tech12 Nov 5, 2021 5:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9442923)
Yes, I love maps, and this one in particular shows how inept CHSR is. I wish to point out specifically the gap between Bakersfield and CP4, and the gap between Merced and Madera CP1. Note that the EIS study has been completed for these gaps, yet no construction contract has been issued, and that no construction is presently underway in both gaps. The IOS is supposedly to run trains between Bakersfield and Merced using tracks laid in these two gaps, yet no construction is underway yet. There is no way they can finishing building tracks in these gaps at the same times as they finish building CP1 thru CP4, without delaying the existing construction projects. There is no way they can run trains to Bakersfield and Merced without finishing these gaps they have not even started on. :runaway:

Huh :shrug:

Over promising and under delivering seems too common in California nowadays.

An ongoing construction project is incomplete?

Wow, very insightful.

electricron Nov 5, 2021 8:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9443029)
An ongoing construction project is incomplete?
Wow, very insightful.

I thought I made it clear they had not even started construction on the IOS gaps; into Merced and into Bakersfield; so for all practical purposes it is not an ongoing construction yet.
I keep reading here that they will start and finish testing the IOS by 2023 when these gaps in the corridor have not started construction and the trainsets have not been ordered as of November 2021. How is that even possible? Take that for some insightful (deer in headlights) news! You are welcome.

ssiguy Nov 6, 2021 6:56 PM

I think California HSR is the best thing that has ever happened to rail in the US!

It is the poster child of how NOT to build HSR so the rest of the US can learn from it's stellar ineptitudes and not make the same mistakes.


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