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TWAK Apr 5, 2023 3:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 9909980)
I see. I assumed the rail would go through Tulare and Visalia but it goes through Corcoran and Hanford instead. So yeah, that would put it at the eastern edge of Historic Lake Tulare.

I wonder if they chose the other route since there's larger farm lots and probably less expensive than directly off 99?

homebucket Apr 5, 2023 4:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9909938)
And I think that would be an improvement. The 'major' towns/cities of the Central Valley would still have access to the HSR. They'd have to drive 30 mins to an hour to reach a station, but how is that any different than people driving to an airport? They would still be getting a huge amenity by having easy, fast access to SF and LA (eventually Sac and SD, too), even if the train didn't pass through the center of town. The whole point of HSR should be connecting the Bay Area to SoCal as fast and easily as possible. When you have mission creep, such as serving every cow town in the CV, the project suffers, as we've seen. Land acquisition and road and utility relocation in the CV has been a HUGE waste of time, money, and resources. These issues would have been much, much simpler had the I-5 alignment been selected. Because these issues were dealt with when the 5 was constructed!

Oh well, that ship sailed long ago. It is what it is at this point. Looking forward to seeing bullet trains connect Madera and Bakersfield in 2030!

You generally put rail where population density is (does it make more sense to put train lines and stations in the middle of the 10 bc it already exists or does it make more sense for it to go under Wilshire Blvd where all the people are?), especially if one of the goals is to reduce personal vehicle utilization which contributes to congestion and emissions. The 5 is actually about an hour away from Fresno. Both Fresno MSA and Bakersfield MSA are around a million people. Sure, their residents are likely to drive to their respective HSR stations rather than walk or take transit there, but placing the stations in a central location vastly reduces auto usage and its side effects. And perhaps it spurs these cities to actually build some TOD around these stations and invest in high density urban development in its core.

And these aren't cow towns, unless by your personal definition, Fresno and Bakersfield aren't "real" cities. :rolleyes:

There will also be express trains that bypass all the Central Valley stations for those that want to get from LA to SF nonstop.

ssiguy Apr 5, 2023 4:35 AM

This has become such an embarrassment for the state and reeks of corruption, incompetence, and a complete disregard for tax payer money. This is the poster child of how NOT to built rail.

If it was only California's problem then that's their business but the incompetence of CHSR has set other viable HSR corridors back decades. Opponents will always rightly point to this endless financial pit being built on the never-never time frame as a reason that HSR should not be built in their jurisdiction.

homebucket Apr 5, 2023 4:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssiguy (Post 9910486)
This has become such an embarrassment for the state and reeks of corruption, incompetence, and a complete disregard for tax payer money. This is the poster child of how NOT to built rail.

If it was only California's problem then that's their business but the incompetence of CHSR has set other viable HSR corridors back decades. Opponents will always rightly point to this endless financial pit being built on the never-never time frame as a reason that HSR should not be built in their jurisdiction.

They said the same thing about Japan's Shinkansen when it was first being constructed, with the eventual project being double the initial budget.

The naysayers then ended up being wrong about it, just like the naysayers now will too be wrong.

TWAK Apr 5, 2023 5:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9910493)
They said the same thing about Japan's Shinkansen when it was first being constructed, with the eventual project being double the initial budget.

The naysayers then ended up being wrong about it, just like the naysayers now will too be wrong.

As you know, they said the vote wouldn't pass and that construction wouldn't start; both of these things happened! That is two strikes against the naysayers.
Is it newsworthy that 2008 money is not the same as 2023 money? It's also odd that on an urbanist forum, folks would be upset that a route covering more people (and in theory would increase ridership) is somehow a bad thing. If I was a contractor I wouldn't want to be paid in 2008 money...lol.
I think it's because forumers didn't know that millions of people live in the Central Valley? There's more people living there than in their states or provinces lol.

tech12 Apr 5, 2023 5:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssiguy (Post 9910486)
This has become such an embarrassment for the state and reeks of corruption, incompetence, and a complete disregard for tax payer money. This is the poster child of how NOT to built rail.

If it was only California's problem then that's their business but the incompetence of CHSR has set other viable HSR corridors back decades. Opponents will always rightly point to this endless financial pit being built on the never-never time frame as a reason that HSR should not be built in their jurisdiction.

CA is the only state building HSR. No other state is building it, and this is somehow the fault of the one state that is building it? lol

Also, the system was approved by CA residents. Kinda hard for the project to be disregarding their money, when they themselves voted for it.

The only things embarrassing about CA HSR are the shitty PR, and how many people completely misunderstand the project, and misunderstand rail transit, and don't know how things like large construction projects and politics work in America, who fail to avoid the multitude of propaganda sources that take advantage of that ignorance in order to convince them that CA HSR is a doomed fail train to nowhere.

jmecklenborg Apr 5, 2023 1:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9910498)
As you know, they said the vote wouldn't pass and that construction wouldn't start; both of these things happened! That is two strikes against the naysayers.
Is it newsworthy that 2008 money is not the same as 2023 money? It's also odd that on an urbanist forum, folks would be upset that a route covering more people (and in theory would increase ridership) is somehow a bad thing. If I was a contractor I wouldn't want to be paid in 2008 money...lol.
I think it's because forumers didn't know that millions of people live in the Central Valley? There's more people living there than in their states or provinces lol.

The Central Valley section of HSR stretching from Bakersfield to Sacramento is going to directly serve 6-7 million people. That is more people than 20~ U.S. states:

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...720&fit=bounds

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...720&fit=bounds

Busy Bee Apr 5, 2023 4:35 PM

The advocacy for the I-5 route, a route so obviously illogical and inferior, has been one of the most peculiar aspects of the CaHSR saga. The project's goal is to operate trains at 200+ mph. At that speed the minor geographical diversion to serve most of the Central Valley population centers - centers that will likely prove to be huge ridership generators not to mention the economic impact - will be about as insignificant as a flight that is 1:35 versus one that is 1:15. No planning body in their right mind would choose to run an arrow straight western route that ignored several million people to save 20 minutes on an end to end express train schedule for the SF/LA business set. The thought is preposterous. The notion of fast modern branch line connections to CV cities from the I-5 route being the solution is also so myopic - those lines would likely never come to fruition. The obvious best plan is the plan that was chosen. The idea that this isn't obvious to everyone makes me wonder about people.

jmecklenborg Apr 5, 2023 4:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9910854)
The notion of fast modern branch line connections to CV cities from the I-5 route being the solution is also so myopic - those lines would likely never come to fruition. The obvious best plan is the plan that was chosen. The idea that this isn't obvious to everyone makes me wonder about people.

Most of the capital expense of this project will be in the terminal city approaches and in the mountain range tunnels. 30-50 extra miles of track out in the desert and Central Valley farms is a rounding error as compared to the size and unpredictability of the major expenses.

I think the big swing-and-miss in recent years was California's election of a governor with presidential ambitions. Jerry Brown knew he was ending his political career as governor, so he was willing to fund HSR. Presidential hopefull Newsom acted like there wasn't any money, even though the state collected $100 billion in surplus tax revenue during his first term. Interest rates were near zero for many years; now they're 5%+.

edale Apr 5, 2023 6:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9910482)
You generally put rail where population density is (does it make more sense to put train lines and stations in the middle of the 10 bc it already exists or does it make more sense for it to go under Wilshire Blvd where all the people are?), especially if one of the goals is to reduce personal vehicle utilization which contributes to congestion and emissions. The 5 is actually about an hour away from Fresno. Both Fresno MSA and Bakersfield MSA are around a million people. Sure, their residents are likely to drive to their respective HSR stations rather than walk or take transit there, but placing the stations in a central location vastly reduces auto usage and its side effects. And perhaps it spurs these cities to actually build some TOD around these stations and invest in high density urban development in its core.

And these aren't cow towns, unless by your personal definition, Fresno and Bakersfield aren't "real" cities. :rolleyes:

There will also be express trains that bypass all the Central Valley stations for those that want to get from LA to SF nonstop.

Bakersfield is ~15 miles from the 5. Fresno's a bit further, but both are close enough that residents from those cities would be served by the HSR line. It takes me about an hour to reach LAX, but I still book flights out of there! I don't know why these cities had to have stations in town when they barely have functioning transit systems of their own. As you say, it's not like people are going to be walking or taking transit to the HSR stations in these cities, so why not put them by the 5?

I wasn't referring to Bakersfield and Fresno as cow towns, but Merced, Gilroy, and Hanford? Yes. All are under 90,000 people with little in the way of urban economies. They're basically agricultural outposts.

You don't build HSR with the hope of spurring TOD in CV cities. That's mission creep again. HSR should compete with air travel. It exists to connect big cities- cities people fly between. Just as you don't have airlines stopping at every little burgh they fly over, I see no need for HSR to do the same. The problem with this project is it's trying to everything, when it really should have a focused objective of connecting the state's two largest regions- the Bay Area and greater LA. The CV would still be served, albeit less directly, but it should never have been the focus.

Just my opinion. I do hope for the best, as I'd love to be able to one day take the HSR to SF. I just feel like there have been several crucial errors made, and the route itself is one such error. It's not unheard of for transportation projects to be cancelled halfway or more through construction. Look at all the cities in this country with unused subway tunnels-- projects that seemed like great ideas but either made too many missteps or the political climate changed, and they got canned. That's not an impossibility with CAHSR. I worry we might end up with only a line in the CV at the rate this project is going.

Busy Bee Apr 5, 2023 6:50 PM

There will be SF-SJ-LA express trains that bypass every other station in between. How is that dramatically different than an I-5 alignment doing the same but having the additional anti-benefit of not directly serving the intermediate stations with all stop trains filling out the schedule?

Also where are all these unused subway tunnels?

TowerDude Apr 5, 2023 7:54 PM

Would be nice to get some certainty about when the Pacheco Pass and Palmdale-Burbank Tunnels will start digging.

edale Apr 5, 2023 8:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9911069)

Also where are all these unused subway tunnels?

Cincinnati, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Rochester, NYC... lots of places have them.

TWAK Apr 5, 2023 8:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9911061)
Bakersfield is ~15 miles from the 5. Fresno's a bit further, but both are close enough that residents from those cities would be served by the HSR line. It takes me about an hour to reach LAX, but I still book flights out of there! I don't know why these cities had to have stations in town when they barely have functioning transit systems of their own. As you say, it's not like people are going to be walking or taking transit to the HSR stations in these cities, so why not put them by the 5?

I wasn't referring to Bakersfield and Fresno as cow towns, but Merced, Gilroy, and Hanford? Yes. All are under 90,000 people with little in the way of urban economies. They're basically agricultural outposts.

You don't build HSR with the hope of spurring TOD in CV cities. That's mission creep again. HSR should compete with air travel. It exists to connect big cities- cities people fly between. Just as you don't have airlines stopping at every little burgh they fly over, I see no need for HSR to do the same. The problem with this project is it's trying to everything, when it really should have a focused objective of connecting the state's two largest regions- the Bay Area and greater LA. The CV would still be served, albeit less directly, but it should never have been the focus.

Just my opinion. I do hope for the best, as I'd love to be able to one day take the HSR to SF. I just feel like there have been several crucial errors made, and the route itself is one such error. It's not unheard of for transportation projects to be cancelled halfway or more through construction. Look at all the cities in this country with unused subway tunnels-- projects that seemed like great ideas but either made too many missteps or the political climate changed, and they got canned. That's not an impossibility with CAHSR. I worry we might end up with only a line in the CV at the rate this project is going.

The CV is the focus right now because that's the portion being built and the spine of the system was chosen to be built first. The Bay Area and LA have to be connected somehow, and the cheaper land in the CV is the way to go.
Everybody needs to just wait...the system is hundreds of miles long and it's not going to be built overnight. All the lawsuits didn't help and those were indented to derail or stall the project off the bat. The mostly 99 route is fine since it can serve a lot more people than on I-5 and the point is for people to not have to drive hella far to take the train, since that's generally how it works. I do think the portion going through the Hanford area should have stuck with 99, but the price of land along 99 is probably more expensive.

Busy Bee Apr 5, 2023 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9911151)
Cincinnati, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Rochester, NYC... lots of places have them.

With the exception of Cincinnati which is in a transit folklore category all its own and the lesser known Rochester example, the rest of those are short and/or small "provisions" for future expansions that never - or have never - materialized. Not really some large collection of fully constructed but dormant "unused subway tunnels" as you are trying to suggest.

edale Apr 5, 2023 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9911234)
With the exception of Cincinnati which is in a transit folklore category all its own and the lesser known Rochester example, the rest of those are short and/or small "provisions" for future expansions that never - or have never - materialized. Not really some large collection of fully constructed but dormant "unused subway tunnels" as you are trying to suggest.

ok cool :tup:

JDRCRASH Apr 6, 2023 3:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAsam (Post 9909980)
I see. I assumed the rail would go through Tulare and Visalia but it goes through Corcoran and Hanford instead. So yeah, that would put it at the eastern edge of Historic Lake Tulare.

Same. Glad I’ve been proven wrong lol

ardecila Apr 7, 2023 3:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TowerDude (Post 9911137)
Would be nice to get some certainty about when the Pacheco Pass and Palmdale-Burbank Tunnels will start digging.

Personally I would do the SJ-Gilroy section next. This has benefits to Caltrain on Day 1 (extending electrification and letting them retire their diesels).

It also continues the momentum from the Peninsula electrification project, ideally they could use all the same contractors and get some efficiencies of scale.

If this isn't fair to SoCal, then throw in electrification on the Metrolink Ventura County line which will also be overlaid with HSR between Burbank and LA Union Station.

All of this has climate benefits too in terms of reducing diesel emissions (although it's fairly minor in the grand scheme of things).

FromSD Apr 7, 2023 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9910854)
The advocacy for the I-5 route, a route so obviously illogical and inferior, has been one of the most peculiar aspects of the CaHSR saga. The project's goal is to operate trains at 200+ mph. At that speed the minor geographical diversion to serve most of the Central Valley population centers - centers that will likely prove to be huge ridership generators not to mention the economic impact - will be about as insignificant as a flight that is 1:35 versus one that is 1:15. No planning body in their right mind would choose to run an arrow straight western route that ignored several million people to save 20 minutes on an end to end express train schedule for the SF/LA business set. The thought is preposterous. The notion of fast modern branch line connections to CV cities from the I-5 route being the solution is also so myopic - those lines would likely never come to fruition. The obvious best plan is the plan that was chosen. The idea that this isn't obvious to everyone makes me wonder about people.

I agree with you on the superiority of the Highway 99 alignment versus the I-5 alignment. Connecting those 6-7 million people is worth the relatively minor hit the train takes on trip distance and time. The diversion to the Antelope Valley, on the other hand, makes much less sense. To capture about 300,000 people in Palmdale and Lancaster, the train goes way out of its way. Is there really a massive demand by people in the Antelope Valley to take a train to the Bay Area? (The Antelope Valley already has decent rail access to LA via Metrolink). And I'm no expert on the topography of the area, but I wonder whether the more direct route along I-5 and through Tejon Pass might also have required less tunneling. A few years ago, there was talk of just tunneling directly from Burbank underneath the San Gabriel Mountains to eliminate part of the lengthy swing west to the North San Fernando Valley and then back east through Santa Clarita. That would have required a very long and expensive tunnel. Why not keep an alignment along I-5 and use tunnels when the freeway alignment is too twisted and steep?

But this discussion on alignment really is moot because the voter-approved referendum specifies the general route HSR must take including the diversion to the Antelope Valley and the alignment near Highway 99 through the Central Valley. Any major change in that alignment would probably require voter approval in another referendum. I imagine that the Highway 99 route helped get votes to pass the proposition in places like Fresno and Bakersfield. I also recall that the Antelope Valley route may have been influenced by LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich who was calling in political favors.

The original HSR proposition was deeply flawed. It only provided seed money for the project. Somehow the rest of the money was going to come from private investment and the federal government. Neither of those sources of money have materialized, apart from a few billion from the Obama stimulus program almost 15 years ago. The proposition stipulated that HSR could be built for $30 billion, which was obviously a gross underestimate, and the HSR authority was left with egg on its face when it almost immediately revised its estimates up to at least $70 billion.

The original decision to focus construction in the Central Valley made sense. The topography was less demanding and land acquisition costs in agricultural areas would be lower. But the HSR authority never made any progress in identifying funds to build to build the expensive and difficult parts of the route from Bakersfield to LA and from Merced to Gilroy. So what we have left with is a stranded 125-mile high speed line that connects Bakersfield to Merced. It will do what Amtrak's San Joaquins do, just a little faster.

I don't fault Newsom's decision to limit the scope of construction work to the already funded portion of the project in the Central Valley. It helped defuse some of the political opposition to the project and probably increased the chances that at least the Central Valley portion of the line would get built. The California GOP uses HSR as a rallying cry for all that is bad about rule by Democrats in California. I see his decision as an exercise in damage control.

As for using the temporary $100 billion state surplus to build HSR: that surplus is already gone. Some of it was banked in the state budget reserves for the inevitable rainy day. Some of it was returned to the tax payers. And some of it was used to fund extraordinary needs during the pandemic including homeless support. The state does have other priorities that most voters probably think take higher priority over HSR.

I really do hope California does find a way to finish the HSR project. I don't know what the way forward for doing that is. If the project ends without that happy conclusion, though, at least we got an electrified Caltrain out of the bargain. That is definitely a valuable thing.

jmecklenborg Apr 7, 2023 6:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromSD (Post 9912940)
The diversion to the Antelope Valley, on the other hand, makes much less sense. To capture about 300,000 people in Palmdale and Lancaster, the train goes way out of its way. Is there really a massive demand by people in the Antelope Valley to take a train to the Bay Area? (The Antelope Valley already has decent rail access to LA via Metrolink).

This is where Las Vegas rail is going to connect. The Las Vegas rail service will be a paying tenant as the user of a tunnel owned by CAHSR.

If the tunnel to Bakersfield had been built along the I-5 Grapevine route, there would have to be two 20-30 mile tunnels to establish high speed service to both corridors.

Busy Bee Apr 7, 2023 7:29 PM

There was also significant, or at least more, fault concerns with the Grapevine crossing.

craigs Apr 7, 2023 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9912808)
If this isn't fair to SoCal, then throw in electrification on the Metrolink Ventura County line which will also be overlaid with HSR between Burbank and LA Union Station.

Isn't HSR expected to run for a couple miles in the same ROW as the Antelope Valley Line until just north of Burbank Blvd., at which point the Ventura Line currently then starts sharing the tracks southward?

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromSD (Post 9912940)
The diversion to the Antelope Valley, on the other hand, makes much less sense. To capture about 300,000 people in Palmdale and Lancaster, the train goes way out of its way.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that route chosen because of the difficulties in routing CAHSR through the Grapevine? Wikipedia says the Tejon Pass is 4,160 ft. above sea level, which is a massive gain in a relatively short span coming from the north. Also, apparently that area marks the intersection of the two largest seismic faults in California, the San Andreas and Garlock fault systems.

FromSD Apr 8, 2023 12:31 AM

I can't speak directly to the relative earthquake fault risks for the Grapevine route versus the Antelope Valley route. I imagine there are risks with either route. The original 1999 report on California high speed rail had recommended the Grapevine alignment out of Los Angeles. According to a NY Times article from last October, the decision to go with the Palmdale/Lancaster route came when the northern LA County Supervisor, Mike Antonovich. got a member of the rail authority board, Jerry Epstein, to lobby other board members to adopt the longer, more expensive Antelope Valley route. Epstein wanted the LA County Board of Supervisors to renew his Marina del Rey leases for another 40 years, and Antonovich was his chance to make sure that happened. Antonovich denies a quid pro quo (Marina del Rey leases in return for high speed rail for his constituents in Palmdale and Lancaster), but stranger things have happened. According to the NY Times article, the Antelope Valley alignment added 41 miles to the route and increased costs by 16%, not a trivial sum for a project whose cost estimates now approach $130 billion.

To be fair, the NY Times article, which casts California HSR in a pretty negative light, was written by Ralph Vartabedian, who has a long career with the LA Times writing similarly negative articles about the project.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/09/u...sultPosition=1

On the argument that the Antelope Valley route provided a better LA connection for the Las Vegas Brightline service: maybe, but I would argue that a taxpayer-funded project like California HSR shouldn't take on additional costs and risks to accommodate a privately-owned enterprise like Brightline West, especially since it's only in the last year or so that high speed rail to Las Vegas seemed to have a real chance of happening.

craigs Apr 8, 2023 2:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromSD (Post 9913219)
I can't speak directly to the relative earthquake fault risks for the Grapevine route versus the Antelope Valley route. I imagine there are risks with either route. The original 1999 report on California high speed rail had recommended the Grapevine alignment out of Los Angeles. According to a NY Times article from last October, the decision to go with the Palmdale/Lancaster route came when the northern LA County Supervisor, Mike Antonovich. got a member of the rail authority board, Jerry Epstein, to lobby other board members to adopt the longer, more expensive Antelope Valley route. Epstein wanted the LA County Board of Supervisors to renew his Marina del Rey leases for another 40 years, and Antonovich was his chance to make sure that happened. Antonovich denies a quid pro quo (Marina del Rey leases in return for high speed rail for his constituents in Palmdale and Lancaster), but stranger things have happened. According to the NY Times article, the Antelope Valley alignment added 41 miles to the route and increased costs by 16%, not a trivial sum for a project whose cost estimates now approach $130 billion.

To be fair, the NY Times article, which casts California HSR in a pretty negative light, was written by Ralph Vartabedian, who has a long career with the LA Times writing similarly negative articles about the project.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/09/u...sultPosition=1

On the argument that the Antelope Valley route provided a better LA connection for the Las Vegas Brightline service: maybe, but I would argue that a taxpayer-funded project like California HSR shouldn't take on additional costs and risks to accommodate a privately-owned enterprise like Brightline West, especially since it's only in the last year or so that high speed rail to Las Vegas seemed to have a real chance of happening.

In that case, it's unfortunate that a Republican politician forced an expensive and unnecessary Antelope Valley route. I never liked Antonovich, and now there's even more reason to dislike him.

jmecklenborg Apr 10, 2023 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromSD (Post 9913219)
On the argument that the Antelope Valley route provided a better LA connection for the Las Vegas Brightline service: maybe, but I would argue that a taxpayer-funded project like California HSR shouldn't take on additional costs and risks to accommodate a privately-owned enterprise like Brightline West, especially since it's only in the last year or so that high speed rail to Las Vegas seemed to have a real chance of happening.


In the United States, there is a long history of railroads paying to run their trains on another railroad's tracks. This is going to be a significant source of long-term income for CAHSR that will offset the very high cost of constructing a high-speed entrance into Los Angeles. Brightline gets a better service than they could have ever built themselves and CAHSR earns mailbox money. The phrase is a cliche but this is the definition of a win-win.

edale Apr 10, 2023 5:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9912971)
This is where Las Vegas rail is going to connect. The Las Vegas rail service will be a paying tenant as the user of a tunnel owned by CAHSR.

If the tunnel to Bakersfield had been built along the I-5 Grapevine route, there would have to be two 20-30 mile tunnels to establish high speed service to both corridors.

I've seen this claimed a few times, but I thought Brightline was going to terminate in Rancho Cucamonga, not Palmdale/Lancaster?

Busy Bee Apr 10, 2023 6:15 PM

I understand it that Brightline - or whatever tge service will be called as well as whether or not it will even remain a separate entity from CHSR - will establish the Rancho Cucamonga as the terminal but will also be built to Palmdale when the CHSR mountain tunnel comes online. This would allow a LAUS-LV train and an Rancho Cucamonga-LV which would be more convenient for inland residents.

Crawford Apr 10, 2023 6:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9909938)
And I think that would be an improvement. The 'major' towns/cities of the Central Valley would still have access to the HSR. They'd have to drive 30 mins to an hour to reach a station, but how is that any different than people driving to an airport? They would still be getting a huge amenity by having easy, fast access to SF and LA (eventually Sac and SD, too), even if the train didn't pass through the center of town. The whole point of HSR should be connecting the Bay Area to SoCal as fast and easily as possible. When you have mission creep, such as serving every cow town in the CV, the project suffers, as we've seen. Land acquisition and road and utility relocation in the CV has been a HUGE waste of time, money, and resources. These issues would have been much, much simpler had the I-5 alignment been selected. Because these issues were dealt with when the 5 was constructed!

Oh well, that ship sailed long ago. It is what it is at this point. Looking forward to seeing bullet trains connect Madera and Bakersfield in 2030!

This x1000.

CAHSR should have been designed as a SF-LA bullet train, with no other competing objectives. To this point, it's much more of a make-work project for areas like Bakersfield than anything having to do with mobility.

The "but the direct, cheaper route doesn't serve downtown Bakersfield therefore people won't ride it" is bizarre. There isn't going to be much Central Valley ridership. And if there were, it wouldn't be harder to access via the direct route. It isn't like most LA residents live walking distance to Union Station, so why would we have such standards in the Central Valley?

jmecklenborg Apr 10, 2023 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9914494)
I understand it that Brightline - or whatever tge service will be called as well as whether or not it will even remain a separate entity from CHSR - will establish the Rancho Cucamonga as the terminal but will also be built to Palmdale when the CHSR mountain tunnel comes online. This would allow a LAUS-LV train and an Rancho Cucamonga-LV which would be more convenient for inland residents.

The Brightline trains will almost certainly terminate in Anaheim along with CAHSR Phase 1. This means the Las Vegas trains will be accessible in Burbank, LA Union Station, and Anaheim.

The Metrolink tracks between LA Union and San Bernardino won't be upgraded until CAHSR Phase 2, which can't happen until Phase 1 is operational, but I'd bet that that terminus will be extended eastward toward San Bernardino or Riverside rather than duplicate LA Union Station.

Busy Bee Apr 10, 2023 7:05 PM

Makes sense.

jmecklenborg Apr 11, 2023 4:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9914529)
Makes sense.

...it's not particularly useful to look this far forward, but because the Brightline trains inevitably won't match the CASHR trains, they'll have to have different maintenance facilities in Anaheim.

If there had been a public partnership between Nevada and California, the whole thing could have been coordinated from the beginning, and construction could have been phased so as to keep engineers, consultants, and work crews consistently employed.

Part of the problem with a joint agency would have been the fact that most of the route would be in California, with only about 50 miles of track in Nevada.

LA>Phoenix is closer to 50/50, but still roughly 3/5 in California, and even more if the San Diego part of the Phase 2 plan is considered.

The Interstate Highways blew past this problem since the federal highway trust fund paid for 95% of construction across the barren government-owned lands in the West.

Busy Bee Apr 11, 2023 5:08 PM

If I was a betting man I'd wager there is about a 90% chance that both services wind up with a Siemens Velaro varient - especially with the DB operator concession - and if so there is the possibility that maintenance could be shared and CaHSR equipment could be run on the LV line if it came to that.

homebucket Apr 11, 2023 5:33 PM

Quote:

Foster + Partners and Arup collaborate on California High-Speed Rail’s first four Central Valley stations
3rd April 2023

The Central Valley stations will become the grand entrances to America’s first high-speed rail segment – marking a major milestone for sustainable, decarbonized transportation for all Californians.

California High-Speed Rail (CA HSR) has selected the joint venture of Foster + Partners and Arup to design the Merced, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, and Bakersfield stations that will serve high-speed rail passengers on the initial 171-mile segment. Foster + Partners and Arup are collaborating on planning, architecture, and engineering for the four new stations that will serve as models of design for stations planned along the entire 500-mile Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Francisco system.

The team is utilizing its local knowledge combined with its global high-speed rail station experience while adapting a systemwide kit of parts previously created by Foster + Partners to design the four Central Valley stations. The joint venture will be providing management and design services as part of the first Notice to Proceed (NTP 1) to complete the design development and configuration footprint for each station site with an option to progress to the second Notice to Proceed (NTP 2), which will include final design, construction ready documents, construction, and commissioning support. The duration for NTP 1 is estimated to be 30 months.

The joint venture is set to exceed the Authority’s Small Business participation goals by engaging a team of diverse, local experts and subcontractors throughout all essential parts of the design development for the new stations.

Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, said: “California High-Speed Rail is a truly pioneering project which has the potential to shape the future of sustainable travel in California and across America. After delivering our systemwide vision plan, we are now delighted to be working with Arup on detailed designs for the network’s first four stations.”

John Eddy, Principal, Arup, noted: “Once complete, this segment of high-speed rail will provide much-needed linkages between the diverse communities that comprise California’s Central Valley. We’re thrilled to utilize our global expertise in high-speed rail design to support the California High-Speed Rail Authority. We look forward to collaborating with Foster + Partners and our subconsultants on this landmark investment in sustainable transportation.”

California High-Speed Rail is under construction in the Central Valley today with a goal of having the first operable line slated to be complete between 2030 -2033.
https://www.fosterandpartners.com/ne..._campaign=CHSR

homebucket Apr 11, 2023 5:34 PM

And the images:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a5355cf9_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...b56431cb_b.jpg

https://www.fosterandpartners.com/ne..._campaign=CHSR

homebucket Apr 11, 2023 5:42 PM

Great choice for architecture firm.

Foster + Partners has experience building HSR stations as well as other large scale transportation developments.

N830MH Apr 11, 2023 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9915187)

Great article!! Thank you for sharing this. Hope they complete for the next 7 years to ten years from now. Getting ready!!

markb1 Apr 13, 2023 3:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9914475)
I've seen this claimed a few times, but I thought Brightline was going to terminate in Rancho Cucamonga, not Palmdale/Lancaster?

It's apparently LA Metro and Caltrans that will connect Palmdale to Victorville:

https://www.metro.net/projects/high-desert-corridor/

Crawford Apr 13, 2023 1:42 PM

Very cool to have Foster & Partners working on the Central Valley stations. Will be awesome, iconic architecture. Though I hope the canopies will offer shade, not like that initial rendering. CV sun is intense.

I just wish they'd be working on the stations that matter. These stations are completely irrelevant to CAHSR's success. I still cannot believe that the U.S., the globe's laggard on HSR, has decided to test HSR by running service to Merced, Fresno, Tulare, and Bakersfield, which is some of the most hostile HSR geography in the U.S. It would be like first testing a national Netherlands-level bike mobility project in exurban Phoenix, or first testing a national blizzard warning system in Miami. We have to pray that CA voters ignore the initial near-zero ridership, and push this through to completion, where high ridership is quite likely.

The first TGV line in France was Paris to Lyon. Biggest city to second biggest city. Most transit-oriented city to second most transit oriented city. TGV is the global HSR gold standard.

Busy Bee Apr 13, 2023 1:53 PM

^^^
Quote:

...has decided to test HSR by running service to Merced, Fresno, Tulare, and Bakersfield, which is some of the most hostile HSR geography in the U.S

I don't know what you mean by this. Do you mean hostile as in geography/climate or hostile as in unlikely to produce much ridership between CV city pairs? How is the CV IOS hostile geography? It's flat as a pancake.

Crawford Apr 13, 2023 1:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9917048)
^^^

I don't know what you mean by this. Do you mean hostile as in geography/climate or hostile as in unlikely to produce much ridership between CV city pairs? How is the CV hostile geography? It's flat as a pancake.

Hostile as in unlikely to provide ridership.

The CV has some of the lowest transit ridership and highest vehicle ownership in the U.S., which is saying something. It's extremely sprawly, with extremely weak urban cores. Very little walkability, bikeability, or transit orientation. Very little downtown-to-downtown modal demand. So all of the necessary ingredients for HSR are missing.

It's like planning a subway line in NYC by testing it in Alabama, and then concluding the subway won't generate ridership. It's insanity. CA just needs to push this through, bc there will be an avalanche of right-wing rhetoric once this opens. "See America isn't like Europe, dummies! Tulare has no train demand. We like our trucks. We're nothing like Paris or Frankfurt. Ha!"

I bet you the overwhelming source of ridership during the first phase will be train buffs. I'd definitely ride it. It will be busiest on weekends and holidays. But as a functional tool, no way.

Busy Bee Apr 13, 2023 2:05 PM

I think the CHSRA knows full well the IOS will function as a demonstration line that will create awe and enthuse the pols to get the rest of the system built. I highly doubt they're planning on touting the robust ridership as evidence that will convince them to get going on the mountain crossings. They aren't myopic. I fully expect the true function of the IOS is public enthusiasm to finish Phase 1.

Crawford Apr 13, 2023 2:12 PM

I hope you're right. I'll make a point to ride Phase I, but I'm a rail buff.

sopas ej Apr 13, 2023 2:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9917033)
The first TGV line in France was Paris to Lyon. Biggest city to second biggest city. Most transit-oriented city to second most transit oriented city. TGV is the global HSR gold standard.

I would've assumed the HSR gold standard would be Japan's shinkansen.

Incidentally, that first leg was Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka.

tech12 Apr 14, 2023 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9917050)
Hostile as in unlikely to provide ridership.

The CV has some of the lowest transit ridership and highest vehicle ownership in the U.S., which is saying something. It's extremely sprawly, with extremely weak urban cores. Very little walkability, bikeability, or transit orientation. Very little downtown-to-downtown modal demand. So all of the necessary ingredients for HSR are missing.

The portion of the Central Valley that'll be served by HSR has over 6 million people, and is already served by one of the busiest Amtrak routes in the US (the San Joaquins, which goes from Bakersfield to Oakland, and stops at every Central Valley city in between them). Two of the metros it'll serve have existing commuter rail lines to the Bay Area (ACE in Stockton and Capitol Corridor in Sacramento), and there is bus service throughout the central valley. Sacramento even has a light rail system. So the central valley already has better public transit than a significant portion of the country. You can easily find more sprawled, less densely populated, less walkable cities in America, that have worse transit, and smaller regional populations. The central valley is not a terrible place for HSR, especially considering that the system it's getting will serve not just it, but every major population center in CA.

Also, the goal of the project is not just to improve transit, but to revitalize the central valley cities. The idea is that once the system is complete, the areas around the stations in Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, etc, will see lots of development.

TWAK Apr 14, 2023 1:37 AM

Plus the CV is like the only place to build it lol and it's only so wide.
Think of the cost of having HSR along the coast....

tech12 Apr 14, 2023 1:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TWAK (Post 9917913)
Plus the CV is like the only place to build it lol and it's only so wide.
Think of the cost of having HSR along the coast....

Not to mention that the Central Coast only has like 20% of the population of the San Joaquin valley/Sacramento area.

But yeah, I think some people forget that the coast ranges are a thing lol

Crawford Apr 14, 2023 2:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9917885)
The portion of the Central Valley that'll be served by HSR has over 6 million people.

Population is irrelevant. US has 330 million, Switzerland has 9 million. Guess which has vastly better conditions for HSR?
Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9917885)
and is already served by one of the busiest Amtrak routes in the US (the San Joaquins, which goes from Bakersfield to Oakland, and stops at every Central Valley city in between them).

There's one Amtrak line that has real ridership. So "one of the busiest Amtrak routes" is a meaningless statement. It's saying there's more than one train a day. Also, Phase I isn't serving Oakland, so who cares? If it did, it would make sense.
Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9917885)
Two of the metros it'll serve have existing commuter rail lines to the Bay Area (ACE in Stockton and Capitol Corridor in Sacramento),

Nope, neither city is served in Phase I.
Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9917885)
and there is bus service throughout the central valley.

There's bus service in every podunk metro. Who cares?
Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9917885)
Sacramento even has a light rail system.

Ok, but irrelevent. No Sacramento service.
Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9917885)
So the central valley already has better public transit than a significant portion of the country.

No, it has terrible public transit, and extremely high auto share, and extremely weak cores, and extremely low walkability and bikeability and very low incomes and minimal corporate base and agricultural economic base and few professional jobs. It has nothing you need for HSR. There's nothing that works in Paris-Brussels that would work in Tulare-Bakersfield. Phase I won't deliver much ridership, and I bet you everyone leading CAHSR knows it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9917885)
Also, the goal of the project is not just to improve transit, but to revitalize the central valley cities.

Ding, ding ding. We have a winner.

This is why Phase I is so crazy. They're basically doing it first bc CV is poor and Hispanic, so they can brag about equity, economic justice and the like. Is it a transit project, an economic development project, a reparations project? You see it in the promotional language.

If, once CAHSR were running, they wanted to throw the CV a bone and put a station there, fine. It would be a waste of money and time, but it wouldn't threaten HSR in the U.S. But putting it first is extremely risky for U.S. HSR. It's a dream scenario for the anti-transit GQP.

TWAK Apr 14, 2023 2:22 AM

They have to build it in the CV (40 to 60 miles wide), so might as well hit the population centers and these people do use the trains already there to get to SF, Sac, and LA. They might not be connected to HSR, but they are connected to regular rail.
When the initial project finishes, people from these areas will use it and people outside of these areas will also use it.

craigs Apr 14, 2023 3:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9917932)
If, once CAHSR were running, they wanted to throw the CV a bone and put a station there, fine. It would be a waste of money and time, but it wouldn't threaten HSR in the U.S. But putting it first is extremely risky for U.S. HSR. It's a dream scenario for the anti-transit GQP.

You greatly overstate what California's nascent high speed rail system means to the U.S. as a whole. The vast majority of the nation was never going to have high speed rail regardless of California's experience. And if there was a viable high speed rail system in some other state that was certain to get built but for California's laggardly construction timetable and budget overruns, then name it. California is the only state trying to build high speed rail today only because other states are not trying at all.

LAsam Apr 14, 2023 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9917932)
This is why Phase I is so crazy. They're basically doing it first bc CV is poor and Hispanic, so they can brag about equity, economic justice and the like. Is it a transit project, an economic development project, a reparations project? You see it in the promotional language.

As believable as this sounds for CA, I'm not sure it's accurate... or at least it's not the primary reason for Phase I to be in the CV. From my viewpoint, Phase I is located where it is because it's the low hanging fruit of the CAHSR system and allows for tangible results to be shown as soon as possible. The hope being that we get the CV segment up and it motivates everyone to keep pushing on the project so we can connect the major metro areas. Had we started with the most challenging parts of the CAHSR system, those being the segments connecting the major metros to the CV, the cost and time may have killed the will to complete the system as a whole.


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