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

ardecila Aug 30, 2018 6:37 PM

^ IOS is to San Francisco I believe. Caltrain electrification will extend from SF to Tamien in south SJ, then CHSRA will electrify the remainder of the Caltrain corridor to Gilroy where it will connect to the new Pacheco Pass line. The Caltrain corridor will absolutely be a place where the high-speed trainset runs on legacy tracks, albeit newly-electrified ones, at a slower speed, up to 4th/King.

That line across Pacheco, BTW, will not be easy or cheap. An increase in costs is inevitable for that segment which contains many miles of tunnel crossing active fault lines.

Busy Bee Aug 30, 2018 7:34 PM

I could be wrong but I do not believe the Peninsula blended row is part of the IOS. The major reason is that they are not going to be terminating at 4th/King like Caltrain will temporarily before the DTX tunnel to Transbay is complete. That is if the IOS op's are using the actual hsr trainsets.

The way I understand it is that the interim operating plan is for the IOS to run from Bakersfield to San Jose with a electric Caltrain transfer.

electricron Aug 30, 2018 8:19 PM

Amtrak only provides a bus service between Bakersfield and Los Angeles today, so there is no way at all for the possibility of LA to SF passengers using the soon to be completed newly laid tracks in the central valley exclusively by train. Buses will still be needed.

People criticize the privately funded HSR train from Victorville to Las Vegas as being incomplete, because people will need to ride buses from LA to Victorville - yet few advocates admit the same with the bus ride LA to Bakersfield????

The only portion of the CHSR track improvements that LA to SF can use for the foreseeable future without using buses will be the corridor electrification between San Jose and San Francisco - which Amtrak doesn’t run trains on and probably never will. So those riding any of Amtrak’s trains running in California between LA and San Jose will have to transfer trains in San Jose. Even if they rode the trains to Emeryville, they’re still taking a bus into San Francisco.

I’ll repeat what I wrote before, the first segments CHSR should have built are the missing links in Amtrak’s California portfolio; Bakersfield to Los Angeles and San Jose to San Francisco. You know, where they could use Federal funding where it is needed most, on the most expensive sections of the HSR corridor.

jmecklenborg Aug 30, 2018 9:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 8299257)
I’ll repeat what I wrote before, the first segments CHSR should have built are the missing links in Amtrak’s California portfolio; Bakersfield to Los Angeles and San Jose to San Francisco. You know, where they could use Federal funding where it is needed most, on the most expensive sections of the HSR corridor.

The Caltrains reconstruction/electrification is being built in part with a $647 million federal grant. This is the one that the Trump administration temporarily took away just to play politics. The new Caltrains commuter trains are going to operate on the same high voltage as the future HSR trains. Better acceleration thanks to the acceleration will enable Caltrains to operate one more train per hour than they do currently in addition to 4 HSR trains per direction.

jmecklenborg Aug 30, 2018 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8299139)

That line across Pacheco, BTW, will not be easy or cheap. An increase in costs is inevitable for that segment which contains many miles of tunnel crossing active fault lines.



The board's flipping the IOS to SF as opposed to Los Angeles likely had to do with anticipated tunneling costs in Nocal vs. Socal, plus the shear amount of time required to dig these monster tunnels. Pacheco is going to be 13 miles versus 20 or more miles between Palmdale and Burbank.

BrownTown Aug 31, 2018 1:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8299371)
The Caltrains reconstruction/electrification is being built in part with a $647 million federal grant. This is the one that the Trump administration temporarily took away just to play politics. The new Caltrains commuter trains are going to operate on the same high voltage as the future HSR trains. Better acceleration thanks to the acceleration will enable Caltrains to operate one more train per hour than they do currently in addition to 4 HSR trains per direction.

Yes, but the blended right of way is still a drastic reduction in speed and throughput. This was done to save money to keep the budget from completely blowing out. They estimated it will save $30 Billion (keep in mind the original system that voters approved was only supposed to cost $33 Billion). However it also means that any reasonable estimate will show that the current system will not meet the time requirements that Californian's voted on. This isn't some little mistake either, the proponents of this project very blatantly and knowingly lied about its cost, speed and schedule in order to get the voters to approve it. This is the sort of thing people should go to prison over.

jmecklenborg Aug 31, 2018 4:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8299600)
Yes, but the blended right of way is still a drastic reduction in speed and throughput. This was done to save money to keep the budget from completely blowing out. They estimated it will save $30 Billion (keep in mind the original system that voters approved was only supposed to cost $33 Billion). However it also means that any reasonable estimate will show that the current system will not meet the time requirements that Californian's voted on. This isn't some little mistake either, the proponents of this project very blatantly and knowingly lied about its cost, speed and schedule in order to get the voters to approve it. This is the sort of thing people should go to prison over.

The reason that the ambitious speed requirements were written into Prop 1A was to keep the project from being watered down. A voter-approved bond issue that forces them to build a high speed passenger railway forces the board to build a high speed railway with the allotted funds. They can't build anything that precludes a 2:45 transit time or else opposition can get a court order to stop construction.

Nothing has yet been built that physically prohibits a 2:45 transit time from SF to LA. A total of 50 miles was added to the mainline in order to serve Palmdale (which single-handedly added 30 miles) and the Central Valley cities. So at 220mph, those extra 50 miles cost the LA-SF express trains a grand total of 13-14 minutes.

There is nothing stopping the authority from scheduling one early morning and one late night super express per day that makes no stops between SF and LA, thereby making the trip in 2:30 or thereabouts and fulfilling the time promise. As is, all "express" trains will stop at SFO, San Jose, and Burbank Airport.

There is still nothing preventing the authority from building a 13~ mile viaduct between the Burbank airport and LA Union Station that would untangle HSR from local trains and enable a time savings of about 10 minutes. However, I'd speculate that the advantage of a dedicated approach would really be about consistency and maintaining a schedule for trains that travel through LA to San Diego or Anaheim.

Pedestrian Aug 31, 2018 5:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8299600)
Yes, but the blended right of way is still a drastic reduction in speed and throughput. This was done to save money to keep the budget from completely blowing out. They estimated it will save $30 Billion (keep in mind the original system that voters approved was only supposed to cost $33 Billion).

Mainly it was done because every little high end town on the Peninsula threatened a lawsuit--and several did file suit--that would tie up the project because they didn't want fast trains coming through their idyllic towns.

Quote:

The High-Speed Rail Authority's press release (in 2013) noted the significance of the "blended rail" approach to sharing the Caltrain corridor that may allay some of the fears of the . . . cities of the use of eminent domain for an expanded right-of-way (needed for 4-tracking the corridor).

https://www.planetizen.com/node/61045

BrownTown Aug 31, 2018 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8299829)
Mainly it was done because every little high end town on the Peninsula threatened a lawsuit--and several did file suit--that would tie up the project because they didn't want fast trains coming through their idyllic towns.

I'm aware of the issues that this and every other infrastructure project faces.. and the people who pushed for it should also have been aware. If they wanted to make this and similar projects successful California should have passed laws strengthening eminent domain and reducing the ability of NIMBYs to sue. As it is spending Billions of dollars to fellate a few rich people is going to be the death of the whole project.

jmecklenborg Aug 31, 2018 5:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8299872)
As it is spending Billions of dollars to fellate a few rich people is going to be the death of the whole project.

There are several scenarios by which there would have been no improvements to Caltrains whatsoever. As is, the peninsula down to Gilroy is getting world class commuter rail.

The blended service is a compromise from the perspective of HSR but it isn't much of a compromise. The new 6-track Transbay Terminal is the bottleneck, not the blended HSR/commuter rail. Even with dedicated tracks, HSR could have only run four trains per hour to and from Transbay.

I believe (I have not read this) that the big operational difference between the blended service and dedicated HSR is that the stops at SFO and San Jose for each train, including express trains, are necessary to cue all trains.

A complete HSR alignment from SF to LA Union with no blended service at either end would mean about 50 miles of 200mph operation instead of 110mph service plus the subtraction of three mandatory station stops. Add the I-5alignment to the equation and the end-to-end transit time would be about 45 minutes faster.

At no time was the fastest transit time between LA and SF the singular goal of this project. By compromising that end by adding 50 route miles, 6 million people are brought into the service area. Also, I question the demand for more than one 1,000 seat express train per hour from DTSF to DTLA. Such a train loses all of the potential ridership from the San Fernando Valley and from the Peninsula and San Jose. Combined, that's a 5+ million market.

Crawford Aug 31, 2018 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8297034)
HYou don't exactly see a lot of poor people on the Acela or Eurostar etc because they cost hundreds of dollars unless you get an off-peak time months in advance.

That's not true. HSR on the Continent is very heavily subsidized, fares are dirt-cheap and lots of working class and poor peole ride HSR. You can get Frankfurt-Paris tickets for $30-$40 USD. Second class often feels like a Greyhound bus.

Acela leans upper class, but fares are much more expensive, and it's difficult to get tickets. Acela doesn't lose money, HSR in Europe does.

BrownTown Aug 31, 2018 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8300331)
That's not true. HSR on the Continent is very heavily subsidized, fares are dirt-cheap and lots of working class and poor peole ride HSR. You can get Frankfurt-Paris tickets for $30-$40 USD. Second class often feels like a Greyhound bus.

That's why I used Eurostar as an example. Regardless, my concern is whether the taxpayers are getting a good deal, not whether the riders are getting a good deal. My concern is ACTUAL costs, not subsidized costs.

phoenixboi08 Sep 1, 2018 10:47 AM

Quote:

Some highlights from the September 2018 Construction Update
- San Joaquin River Viaduct & Pergola
est. completion: 2019

https://i.imgur.com/Aqrdjab.png


- Cedar Viaduct
est. completion: TBD

https://i.imgur.com/xCXVi1P.png


- Fresno Trench & State Route 180 Passageway
est. completion: late 2018

https://i.imgur.com/BdW6LqA.png

phoenixboi08 Sep 1, 2018 12:07 PM

I've never found any decent, up-to-date KMZs of the current route alignments, station locations, etc. (the Authority really needs to put something like this on their site. Their current map isn't useful at all).

Anyways, I found an old map based on one done by some students at UC Davis, and imported it into Google Earth and created a KMZ. I haven't yet imported it into Google Maps (because that interface is clunky, and the original data is from GIS so the projection is likely different and means it needs to be tweaked), but you can view it in the Earth web client.

https://i.imgur.com/59eGstT.png

If nothing else, it's interesting to quickly identify some of the construction sites/land clearing that's been taking place -- although, I'm fairly certain Google Maps may not have been updated since I last examined the route over a 1.5 years ago? I'm not sure how frequently this data gets updated.

You can tell it's not too old because the Tuolome St. Bridge seems complete, but stuff like the Cottonwood Creek Viaduct, Cedar Viaduct, etc aren't very visible ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ?
https://i.imgur.com/4YYZi6T.png

Anyways, if anyone has anything more recent/better, please share.

jmecklenborg Sep 4, 2018 1:27 AM

I'd like to see construction costs for some of those individual features, like the pergola. That thing looks like about $150 million worth of concrete and rebar.

I'd also like to see a simple percentage of route miles involving "structure" versus basic surface running. This first phase might be as low as 1% of the route involving a ramp/viaduct or trench.

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mousquet (Post 8258323)
I went to CA. I traveled all the Californian coast from SF to LA. Some of their highways are super wide. Especially when you drive by LA. The widest I've seen in my life. I even forget the number of lanes...

It clearly doesn't work as a standalone solution. You still get stuck in traffic over there, no matter how huge their highways are.

Over here, we've been advertising competition between any transit means. Cars, buses, trams, trains, planes...
We've been leaving ideology behind and just would pick the most efficient. I think that will work for us all.

I think what BrownTown has basically complaining about is the cost of the workforce in the US.
Well, I wish the French workers had the same purchasing power as the American ones. Our unions here have done a poor job in defending workers' interests.
They've been too busy at politics and ideology, serving their so-called leftist ideals and forgetting about purchasing power on the ground.
That's silly, ineffective. Now many workers are pissed and vote for the retarded far right in this country.

It seems to me we could find some very great system by mixing some Fr and US principles.
More competition, and higher purchasing power.

As already pointed out, LA has among the least amount of freeway lanes per capita. Coupled with the fact that freeways such as the Beverly Hill and La Cienega Freeways that should have been built but weren't among tons of others, you can see why traffic is so bad in LA, but still doesn't compare to many major cities, so be thankful.


https://www.dmagazine.com/urbanism-t...es-per-capita/

Note how various cities that have smaller pops than larger cities with less freeway miles seem to have much worse traffic. Anecdotal note, of course. Portland traffic is way worse than many cities much larger than it. Of course, Portland also has geographical restrictions, which don't help.

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8295026)
It sounds like you were on the 405. L.A. is actually underserved by freeways and ranks below many of it's peers in freeway lanes per capita. Much of the mid-century freeway plan was never completed. L.A. traffic and congestion is awful because the extensive rail system that once existed was scrapped and was to be replaced by a huge freeway network [see map below], which was never finished, scaled back and entire freeways eliminated. Double whammy.

The 5 freeway just south of downtown is only 3 lanes in each direction, that it until a massive project finished up. It is a huge bottleneck and soon that'll finally be upgraded to today's standards. The cost to build a freeway in L.A. increased 6 times from 1960 to 1980.

http://www.trbimg.com/img-54504196/t...y-freeways/720
L.A. Times graphic

IIRC, that map is missing a couple proposed freeways. Wasn't Laurel Canyon to be come a freeway as were artificial islands built in front of Santa Monica proposed to support a freeway connecting to PCH?

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8295594)
The Central Valley cities and counties, cumulatively, have just about as many residents as the Bay Area. 6~ million versus 7~ million, depending on what, specifically, is counted.

The Central Valley has roughly the same population as the 15th biggest of our 50 United States.

Their demographics are also quite different than those of San Frans and SoCals. Do you envision the populations from the big cities driving their cars to the central valley and hopping on the train only to have a much slower connection waiting for them at the other end? It doesn't make sense. What purpose would Central Valley cities that are already dominated by cars use HSR for?

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8295834)
Plenty of US cities built virtually the entire freeway systems with no cancellations. Dallas, Houston, or Kansas City come to mind.



You could say something similar about building freeways through dense cities, which are the canceled projects you're shedding tears for.

I don't believe any of those cities you mentioned built every freeway they planned.

Furthermore, if you make a case against freeways in larger cities than you make a case against transit in suburban areas where most people live. There might be a few exceptions, but most people live in the suburbs and unless you have solutions for funding a functional transit system serving low density cities and also have a solution for the first last mile issue which is a problem even in large dense cities, lets hear it. Then if by some miracle you do, you're going to run into the issue that most people living in suburbs likely won't want to use transit anyways either because of preference or negative stereotypes they've come to believe.

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8295865)
Yay I can't wait for my Federal money to go to a single rail line in California for the upper-middle class and rich people. What an awesome cause...

To be fair, they still haven't done any studies to know who their riders will even be. But yes, you're assumption is one that will likely be the end result.

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8295933)
Rail and transit projects always get 100x more scrutiny than highway and airport projects

That makes sense because 85 percent of Americans commute by car.

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 8296958)
He was talking about flying from wherever he lives to Vegas. This is his quote:




And he has this unfounded idea that a high speed train ticket would cost 1500 bucks and only rich people would use it. Where is *that* coming from, I wonder?

You think a ticket needs to be $1,500 hundred dollars for it be expensive? I know so many people who can't even afford a $300 plane ticket to see their families often.

plutonicpanda Sep 6, 2018 1:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 8299257)
amtrak only provides a bus service between bakersfield and los angeles today, so there is no way at all for the possibility of la to sf passengers using the soon to be completed newly laid tracks in the central valley exclusively by train. Buses will still be needed.

People criticize the privately funded hsr train from victorville to las vegas as being incomplete, because people will need to ride buses from la to victorville - yet few advocates admit the same with the bus ride la to bakersfield????

The only portion of the chsr track improvements that la to sf can use for the foreseeable future without using buses will be the corridor electrification between san jose and san francisco - which amtrak doesn’t run trains on and probably never will. So those riding any of amtrak’s trains running in california between la and san jose will have to transfer trains in san jose. Even if they rode the trains to emeryville, they’re still taking a bus into san francisco.

I’ll repeat what i wrote before, the first segments chsr should have built are the missing links in amtrak’s california portfolio; bakersfield to los angeles and san jose to san francisco. You know, where they could use federal funding where it is needed most, on the most expensive sections of the hsr corridor.

+1

jmecklenborg Sep 6, 2018 6:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8304898)
That makes sense because 85 percent of Americans commute by car.

Do Venetians prefer gondolas?

electricron Sep 6, 2018 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8305107)
Do Venetians prefer gondolas?

Well, they can't use cars or bikes. Gondolas are for tourists, and usually operate on limited routes. Venetians usually walk or take a boat everywhere within the city, and there are a many boat services available.

phoenixboi08 Sep 6, 2018 10:28 PM

Alstom's completing its test track at its Hornell facility in preparation for eventual testing of Avelia trainsets for Amtrak's Acela.

Video Link


I'm still intrigued to see how they bid; I have a suspicion there could be a joint Seimens-Alstom bid (although, maybe that isn't all too realistic).

jmecklenborg Sep 7, 2018 6:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 8305223)
Well, they can't use cars or bikes. Gondolas are for tourists, and usually operate on limited routes. Venetians usually walk or take a boat everywhere within the city, and there are a many boat services available.

Did Venetians vote for gondolas? Where are all of the local and state road projects that the electorate votes for or against? That's right, they don't. My city hasn't had a road project of any kind on the ballot since 1956. No local road improvement, no expressway project. Nothing. The merits of absolutely nothing debated and presented to the electorate in 62 years. Yet public transportation is endlessly harassed and Amtrak service is nearly non-existent.

But the little tea partiers and little libertarians get to have their little parties and scratch one another's backs and pretend there is some sort of level playing field out there, all the while taking money from the little old ladies they trick into sending their similarly insane candidates money.

electricron Sep 7, 2018 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8306432)
Did Venetians vote for gondolas? Where are all of the local and state road projects that the electorate votes for or against? That's right, they don't.

Venice has been having elections long before America's founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence. They elected their first Doge in 697. I strongly suggest discussions over transit or mobility have occurred thousands of times since.

phoenixboi08 Sep 8, 2018 10:52 AM

Seems they're settling on a final alignment for the Burbank-LA segment at least...
Still waiting for the Palmdale-Burbank (one can hope they settle on something as close to the original SR14 alignment -- or, anything that involves as little tunneling as possible).

Quote:

High-speed rail officials update public on Burbank-to-L.A. section of project
By ANTHONY CLARK CARPIO
SEP 07, 2018 | 5:00 PM

https://i.imgur.com/VXAR5tBm.png?1
The proposed Burbank to Los Angeles section of the state high-speed rail project is still projected to be built alongside the existing tracks used by Metro, Metrolink, Amtrak and freight operators. (Courtesy of the California High Speed Rail Authority)

The proposed route hasn’t changed since the last time it was discussed in Burbank and Glendale about two years ago. The project would be built alongside an existing railway currently used by Metro, Metrolink, Amtrak and freight operators.

However, the train would travel underground using a proprietary railway as it approaches the north side of the Hollywood Burbank Airport, and it would have its station platform at that location below roadway traffic.

The train would continue traveling below grade through Buena Vista Street and rise to the roadway level by the time it reaches the Empire Center.

Officials were previously considering having the train travel at grade level with the existing railway and have the station platform located where the new Metrolink station was built just north of the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

“The approach is to try and grade-separate the corridor so that we have the safest condition possible,” De La Peña said.

De La Peña added the stretch will move passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles within two hours and 40 minutes.

While speeds are estimated to reach over 200 mph on the bullet train as it travels through the Central Valley, De La Peña said the train will slow down to around 100 mph once it reaches Burbank until it arrives at Union Station.


green_man Sep 12, 2018 1:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8307578)
Seems they're settling on a final alignment for the Burbank-LA segment at least...
Still waiting for the Palmdale-Burbank (one can hope they settle on something as close to the original SR14 alignment -- or, anything that involves as little tunneling as possible).

Is the advantage of the SR14 alignment primarily financial? I could see it adding more time to the trip, but OTOH I have no idea if trains are prohibited from running at full speed through tunnels, so maybe it balances out.

plutonicpanda Sep 14, 2018 2:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8305107)
Do Venetians prefer gondolas?

I haven't been to Venice and I don't know what they want. Also kind of hard to compare a city in a country like Italy to the U.S. when it's smaller than some states we have here. Not to mention you picked out a city that people often travel to only because of how unique its transportation situation is.

plutonicpanda Sep 14, 2018 2:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8306432)
But the little tea partiers and little libertarians get to have their little parties and scratch one another's backs and pretend there is some sort of level playing field out there, all the while taking money from the little old ladies they trick into sending their similarly insane candidates money.

Surely can't be too different than how commuters are tricked into buying the "building this light-rail line will reduce traffic congestion because adding more lanes won't work." Which is bull.

If induced demand really existed as claimed, than every freeway would be bumper to bumper.

jmecklenborg Sep 14, 2018 4:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8314125)
I haven't been to Venice and I don't know what they want.

The point is that people use what is available to them. In the United States, we do not have public votes for road projects -- ever. The public did not vote to build the interstate highway system, it just happened. In fact it took huge efforts to stop them.

The public does not vote to build or expand airports. It just happens. They are not managed by elected officials.

But rail? Look out. Is harassed endlessly by anti-tax man-boys. Local transit and intercity rail are presented as hobgoblins. Pro-transit, pro-train people are smeared. Randal O'Toole is hired to write a hit piece for the paper.

Sun Belt Sep 14, 2018 2:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8314269)
The point is that people use what is available to them. In the United States, we do not have public votes for road projects -- ever. The public did not vote to build the interstate highway system, it just happened. In fact it took huge efforts to stop them.

The public does not vote to build or expand airports. It just happens. They are not managed by elected officials.

But rail? Look out. Is harassed endlessly by anti-tax man-boys. Local transit and intercity rail are presented as hobgoblins. Pro-transit, pro-train people are smeared. Randal O'Toole is hired to write a hit piece for the paper.

:???:

The public didn't vote for the railroads either when they were first established. We had 9,000 miles of rail in 1850 and 130,000 miles of rail by 1890.

Today's roads and rail do require approval from voters because we have 330 million people in huge established cities. You can't just plow through cities anymore or build from scratch without effecting private properties.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...b/Class1rr.png

jmecklenborg Sep 14, 2018 8:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8314600)
:???:

I'm talking about rail transit and high speed rail, not intercity freight railroads. I think everyone understood that but you.

BrownTown Sep 14, 2018 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8315103)
I'm talking about rail transit and high speed rail, not intercity freight railroads. I think everyone understood that but you.

There WAS rail transit on a lot of those routes when they were built.

electricron Sep 15, 2018 6:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8314269)
The point is that people use what is available to them. In the United States, we do not have public votes for road projects -- ever. The public did not vote to build the interstate highway system, it just happened. In fact it took huge efforts to stop them.

The public does not vote to build or expand airports. It just happens. They are not managed by elected officials.

But rail? Look out. Is harassed endlessly by anti-tax man-boys. Local transit and intercity rail are presented as hobgoblins. Pro-transit, pro-train people are smeared. Randal O'Toole is hired to write a hit piece for the paper.


That's a very untrue statement suggesting the American public never votes on highway and transit projects. I've voted for both bonding programs at the city and county levels in recent year where I live, and some have voted for bonding programs at the state level. It's only the Federal government in America that doesn't hold referendums. While it varies state to state; city, county, and states do hold referendums.

Crawford Sep 15, 2018 2:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8305107)
Do Venetians prefer gondolas?

They prefer boats, obviously. Venetians travel via a massive boat network.

Gondolas are very expensive and only for tourists.

Busy Bee Sep 15, 2018 3:59 PM

The Venetian boat buses, one of the most unique transit experiences in the world imo.

jamesinclair Sep 15, 2018 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8300856)
I've never found any decent, up-to-date KMZs of the current route alignments, station locations, etc. (the Authority really needs to put something like this on their site. Their current map isn't useful at all).


If nothing else, it's interesting to quickly identify some of the construction sites/land clearing that's been taking place -- although, I'm fairly certain Google Maps may not have been updated since I last examined the route over a 1.5 years ago? I'm not sure how frequently this data gets updated.

You can tell it's not too old because the ]Tuolome St. Bridge[/URL] seems complete, but stuff like the Cottonwood Creek Viaduct, Cedar Viaduct, etc aren't very visible ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ?

Anyways, if anyone has anything more recent/better, please share.

On google earth, on the top bar, the 7th button from the left lets you choose which date you view the image.

This allows you to do two things:

1. Identify the exact date youre looking at
2. In some cases, view newer images than the default. Many times the default image will be older because it is better (ie, clouds or bad shadows).

You can see all of Fresno as taken on 2/18/2018

phoenixboi08 Sep 17, 2018 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by green_man (Post 8311299)
Is the advantage of the SR14 alignment primarily financial? I could see it adding more time to the trip, but OTOH I have no idea if trains are prohibited from running at full speed through tunnels, so maybe it balances out.

Several advantages: But mainly, Santa Clarita could have been a useful transfer point/hub for this part of the region.

Not a major destination or city, no, but a Santa Barbara-Ventura rail link is a long-term (and interesting) possibility that could link Amtrak's San Joaquins and Coast Starlight, not to mention Metrolink.

Essentially, if they'd simply gone mostly at grade along SR-14 and avoided tunneling under the mountains, it would have been cheaper definitely but also lined them up to combine the utility of this program with local/regional projects (eg. the Sepulvada Pass could have been heavy rail to extend Amtrak/Metrolink to LAX through the Valley and then be positioned in such a way so as to take advantage of the north Harbor Subdivision to reach LAUS).

You get:
1) Direct access between Bay Area for San Joaquins service to LAUS
2) New alternate routes for Metrolink from the Valley to LAUS (allowing improvements on the Burbank-LAUS corridor, which will be neccesary for HSR anyways)
3) Additional service at LAX and a "West" hub there for transfers to other parts of the region and a "North" hub at Santa Clarita

Everyone says this is crazy/unpractical, but I disagree. Along with this routing -- and a Metrolink/Amtrak extension across the Tehachapis to Bakersfield in the interim, until Palmdale is connected for HSR -- this could have been a faster interim manner to get CAHSR to LAUS for 1) minimal cost and 2) with enormous local benefits, that would increase as more direct routing is made to bypass Santa Clarita eventually (ie. tunnels under the mountains) and follow the alignment south towards Burbank.

Essentially, I think the program for LA should have been "Caltrain Electrification On Steroids."

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesinclair (Post 8316058)
On google earth, on the top bar, the 7th button from the left lets you choose which date you view the image.

This allows you to do two things:

1. Identify the exact date youre looking at
2. In some cases, view newer images than the default. Many times the default image will be older because it is better (ie, clouds or bad shadows).

You can see all of Fresno as taken on 2/18/2018

Yeah, I've been using the new web app, and I couldn't locate it for the life of me. I'll take another look.

jmecklenborg Sep 17, 2018 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8317005)
Several advantages: But mainly, Santa Clarita could have been a useful transfer point/hub for this part of the region.
Essentially, I think the program for LA should have been "Caltrain Electrification On Steroids."


At full build-out, more cross-state HSR trains will sever LAUS during peak hours than will serve SF Transbay. I can't remember off the top of my head but at least 2 HSR trains will terminate at San Jose per hour during peak service due to the low capacity (just 4 trains per hour) at SF Transbay and to free up capacity for Caltrains commuter service.

I agree though that HSR to an upgraded commuter service at Palmdale could be a worthwhile transfer while the giant tunnel is being constructed. But all of that outlay won't matter so much once HSR is in full operation, since a fast commuter service from Palmdale on upgraded tracks won't come close to competing with the excess HSR capacity that will whisk commuters to Burbank Airport and LAUS in just 30~ minutes.

phoenixboi08 Sep 18, 2018 9:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8317664)
At full build-out, more cross-state HSR trains will sever LAUS during peak hours than will serve SF Transbay. I can't remember off the top of my head but at least 2 HSR trains will terminate at San Jose per hour during peak service due to the low capacity (just 4 trains per hour) at SF Transbay and to free up capacity for Caltrains commuter service.

I'm not sure...but I believe LAUS is being redesigned with greater capacity, and all trains from Anaheim/San Diego must pass through LAUS, which isn't the case with trains to/from Sacremento (at least, until a second tube is constructed across the bay).

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8317664)
I agree though that HSR to an upgraded commuter service at Palmdale could be a worthwhile transfer while the giant tunnel is being constructed. But all of that outlay won't matter so much once HSR is in full operation, since a fast commuter service from Palmdale on upgraded tracks won't come close to competing with the excess HSR capacity that will whisk commuters to Burbank Airport and LAUS in just 30~ minutes.

Well, more so a transfer point at Santa Clarita.
The benefit is more the Sepulveda connection, increased regional/Amtrak service, and additional capacity via LAX-Harbor Subdivision to LAUS.

It would allow people traveling from East LA/LAX to travel directly North to Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties, the SF Valley, CV, or Northern CA without having to go to LAUS.

phoenixboi08 Sep 25, 2018 10:46 AM

California voters are really starting to get on my nerves:
2007: "Hey, let's vote for this thing. Sounds good."

2010: "Wait. Changed my mind. Let's block it."

2016: "Wow, it's sure getting expensive...someone should just cancel it now and redirect the funds."

2018: "No, really. We're just gonna try that."

This probably has some shot at passing. Expect a bunch of Koch money to flood in. In fact, I bet this pivot has their fingerprints on it.

And, unfortunately, Newsom seems wishy-washy. He'd not expend much effort explaining why this effort would be a pyrrhic victory for these campaigners...It's also rich to hear the LATimes reporting this in such a manner considering Vartabedian has been grossly misleading the public for a decade about HSR.

Oh well. It'll have a second life as a punching bag for republican hopefuls.

Quote:

Gas-tax repeal backers to launch new campaign to halt California's high-speed rail project

http://www.resizr.com/ti.php?fn=e796...8d0c9bd7d2.jpg


Backers of a November initiative to repeal the gas-tax increase said Monday they will also ask voters to approve a measure in 2020 that would provide funds to fix roads without charging Californians more at the pump, and would halt the state’s $77-billion high-speed rail project.

jmecklenborg Sep 25, 2018 4:46 PM

This is a disaster. It's designed to pressure the HSR board into delaying the letting of more contracts. They'll say "look how out-of-control the board is -- spending money when they know this vote is coming up".

There is a formula to obstructionism. This is textbook.

jmecklenborg Sep 27, 2018 4:11 AM

At 49:30 through 53:00 the matter of Metrorail shared use and electrification is discussed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O9u4bsIBFs

The lady affirms that everything from Burbank Airport to Anaheim is being designed to optimize commuter rail service as part of HSR construction. Diesel will enjoy full grade separation between Burbank and LA Union and 30 miles between LA Union and Anaheim. Metrorail will be able to use electric locomotives should they ever switch over.

Also, the San Diego route via the Inland Empire will be designed to accept future high speed rail to Phoenix. There is also a mention that a future HSR connection to Las Vegas was a motivation for the Palmdale routing.

plutonicpanda Oct 4, 2018 3:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8314269)
The point is that people use what is available to them. In the United States, we do not have public votes for road projects -- ever. The public did not vote to build the interstate highway system, it just happened. In fact it took huge efforts to stop them.

The public does not vote to build or expand airports. It just happens. They are not managed by elected officials.

But rail? Look out. Is harassed endlessly by anti-tax man-boys. Local transit and intercity rail are presented as hobgoblins. Pro-transit, pro-train people are smeared. Randal O'Toole is hired to write a hit piece for the paper.

Rail is becoming more popular by the day and cities that have had no rail network since the streetcars were torn out are now seeing support pouring in to build new rail lines(my hometown of OKC is a shining example).

The public votes all the time to expand roads, freeways, and rail. People do use whats given to them but many will make a choice on what better suits them if alternatives are given. In certain situations, one has to be realistic about what alternatives they can expect based on where they choose to live.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8315781)
The Venetian boat buses, one of the most unique transit experiences in the world imo.

Which is precisely why it's a bad example to use.

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8325510)
California voters are really starting to get on my nerves:
2007: "Hey, let's vote for this thing. Sounds good."

2010: "Wait. Changed my mind. Let's block it."

2016: "Wow, it's sure getting expensive...someone should just cancel it now and redirect the funds."

2018: "No, really. We're just gonna try that."

This probably has some shot at passing. Expect a bunch of Koch money to flood in. In fact, I bet this pivot has their fingerprints on it.

And, unfortunately, Newsom seems wishy-washy. He'd not expend much effort explaining why this effort would be a pyrrhic victory for these campaigners...It's also rich to hear the LATimes reporting this in such a manner considering Vartabedian has been grossly misleading the public for a decade about HSR.

Oh well. It'll have a second life as a punching bag for republican hopefuls.

Even though I do not like the fact any funds at all are going from SB-1 to build or support bicycle, mass transit lines, or anything else that isn't a road or freeway, I still support it because it's the best hand dealt right now. California simply can not wait any longer. Our transit systems needs expanding and rebuilt as do our roads and freeways. So I'm willing to compromise and support SB-1. Anyways I am pessimistic here, but I think prop six will pass.

I think I've said this before here, but I am not happy about the HSR in it's current form. I wish we'd spend more money and build MagLev as opposed to the older conventional HSR methods.

jmecklenborg Oct 4, 2018 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8335082)
I think I've said this before here, but I am not happy about the HSR in it's current form. I wish we'd spend more money and build MagLev as opposed to the older conventional HSR methods.

Building a maglev between San Francisco and Anaheim in line with Phase 1 of HSR would require 90 more miles of grade separation and would not improve SF or LA commuter rail at all. Doubtful that a maglev switching operation would allow full speed passing at local stations.

The reason why maglev hasn't taken over the world is because its ONLY advantage is a slightly higher top speed, but compromises in dozens of ways.

It's unlikely that in 100 years airline travel or rail travel will have changed significantly.

Busy Bee Oct 4, 2018 4:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8335082)
I think I've said this before here, but I am not happy about the HSR in it's current form. I wish we'd spend more money and build MagLev as opposed to the older conventional HSR methods.

If it made so much sense the whole world would be doing it. Outside of one short line in Japan, they are not. "Conventional rail" doesn't have to mean antiquated. No one goes around dismissively calling automobiles that sit on rubber tires "conventional autos" .

jmecklenborg Oct 4, 2018 9:07 PM

At the most recent public meetings, CAHR has announced that the likely preferred routing for Palmdale-Burbank. It will be the SR 14 route, which will involve 6-7 tunnels ranging in length from 1/2 mile up to 13 miles.

The route was chosen because the rock conditions along that corridor are much better than either of the long tunnel alternatives and so there is much less potential risk.

They have at least one former mining pit which they plan to fill with spoil from the tunneling.

As for use of the existing Metrolink tracks by HSR, the speakers made a point to emphasize that an all-surface route paralleling those tracks would be 18 miles longer and the grade and curves preclude full speed.

Here is a video of the most recent meeting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MRjG2i2tkw&t=0s


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