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phoenixboi08 Oct 8, 2018 9:54 AM

Quote:

Construction Tour: California High-Speed Rail (Fall 2018)

Video Link


I will be glad once all the large, civil works wrap up over the next 12-18 months and they begin to be stitched together.

If for no other reason than for people to accept it's a concrete thing that is currently (at least) happening rather than a hypothetical.

But I'm getting a bit anxious to see the rolling stock bids advance :)

DJM19 Oct 8, 2018 5:29 PM

Thats quite an impressive viaduct.

BrownTown Oct 8, 2018 9:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 8339246)
Thats quite an impressive viaduct.

Which concerns me a lot. There's some pretty big (AKA: expensive) pieces in this first construction package and it's in the easiest parts of the entire path. I can't even imagine how much more expensive things are going to get when we start getting into the geographic barriers and urban areas.

jmecklenborg Oct 9, 2018 7:30 AM

The majority of the central valley alignment is at-grade and boring. That's how 113 miles of HSR is being built for far less money than the 15~-mile Wilshire Subway.

Aside from the stations, these three structures are just about it so far as unusual pieces of engineering for 100+ miles. Photos of the grade separations under construction out in the almond and strawberry fields are pretty boring.

Also, people need to remember that the central valley track -- what we're looking at right here -- is the only part of the HSR network designed for 220mph travel. The express trains will blow through the local stations at 200mph which is why this viaduct, trench, and pergola with their shallow grades and gentle turning radii are necessary.

phoenixboi08 Oct 9, 2018 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8339477)
Which concerns me a lot. There's some pretty big (AKA: expensive) pieces in this first construction package and it's in the easiest parts of the entire path. I can't even imagine how much more expensive things are going to get when we start getting into the geographic barriers and urban areas.

All the bids in Phase 1 pencil out at like $30 million/mile (something like $3.5 billion for ~120 mi.).

As much as people hyperventilate about this project, and as much as the media is desperate for this narrative, CAHSR is notall that expensive.

And the things that have made it expensive (utilities relocation, roadworks, land acquisitions, litigation/delays, scope creep due to "community concerns," expansion of the timeline, etc) have really been mostly beyond the control of the Authority and really fall at the feet of voters and [some] elected officials :runaway:

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8339798)
The majority of the central valley alignment is at-grade and boring. That's how 113 miles of HSR is being built for far less money than the 15~-mile Wilshire Subway.

Aside from the stations, these three structures are just about it so far as unusual pieces of engineering for 100+ miles. Photos of the grade separations under construction out in the almond and strawberry fields are pretty boring.

Also, people need to remember that the central valley track -- what we're looking at right here -- is the only part of the HSR network designed for 220mph travel. The express trains will blow through the local stations at 200mph which is why this viaduct, trench, and pergola with their shallow grades and gentle turning radii are necessary.

Actually, I think those other things are interesting and are important to show. :P
Otherwise, I think it allows the creeping perception that these big concrete works are "white elephants."

I firmly believe once work begins on stitching together the entire line (eg. embankments/berms, trackbeds, etc), it will feel less ephemeral to the public -- and media will be compelled to actually report on the thing as if it is, indeed, under construction and happening.

Busy Bee Oct 9, 2018 2:15 PM

Quote:

And the things that have made it expensive (utilities relocation, roadworks, land acquisitions, litigation/delays, scope creep due to "community concerns," expansion of the timeline, etc) have really been mostly beyond the control of the Authority and really fall at the feet of voters and [some] elected officials
Don't forget the accommodation and pacification of the private freight railroads. Just imagine how much less expensive and less necessary some of the infrastructure aspects would be if the freight rail that interacted within the hsr row was nationalized or owned by the state of California.

electricron Oct 9, 2018 4:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8339952)
Don't forget the accommodation and pacification of the private freight railroads. Just imagine how much less expensive and less necessary some of the infrastructure aspects would be if the freight rail that interacted within the hsr row was nationalized or owned by the state of California.

Why would that be any cheaper for the CHSR line construction if California owned the freight corridors? Just about all their concerns are over safety and liability, wouldn’t these concerns be the same no matter who owns the freight rail corridors? And wouldn’t the remedies cost the same?

Busy Bee Oct 9, 2018 5:09 PM

I might be missing something, but big picture, it sure seems like it would have been possible that both the pergola south of the river and the downtown trench would have been made unnecessary if the hsr row could have gotten to the east side of the UP row. Sure there were other obstacles and plenty of shifting of rails necessary as well as crossing 99, but if you had the freight railroad cooperate as if the same endeavor instead of adversarial it could have been accomplished.

jmecklenborg Oct 9, 2018 8:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8340197)
I might be missing something, but big picture, it sure seems like it would have been possible that both the pergola south of the river and the downtown trench would have been made unnecessary if the hsr row could have gotten to the east side of the UP row. Sure there were other obstacles and plenty of shifting of rails necessary as well as crossing 99, but if you had the freight railroad cooperate as if the same endeavor instead of adversarial it could have been accomplished.

...and that same issue is going to drive up Phase 2 to San Diego.

However, it's interesting to note that Phase 2 will establish an entrance for Phoenix HSR for both LA and San Diego. SD obviously has far fewer residents than the LA basin, but no doubt the market exists for at least a few SD-Phoenix trains per day.

I have not been to Phoenix or driven into the desert east of San Bernardino, but 250 miles of HSR through that wasteland will likely be very cheap to build as compared to the Calfornia HSR in the central valley since there will be much less meddling with parallel corridors and few local stations out there in the true middle-of-nowhere.

Seems like a LA Union or San Diego to Phoenix transit time using 120mph Phase 2 tracks to San Bernardino would surely be under 3 hours, and possibly under 2:30.

phoenixboi08 Oct 9, 2018 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8339952)
Don't forget the accommodation and pacification of the private freight railroads. Just imagine how much less expensive and less necessary some of the infrastructure aspects would be if the freight rail that interacted within the hsr row was nationalized or owned by the state of California.

Well, but that's what I mean.

All the construction packages 1-4 came in at less than $40mil/mile.
Those civil works associated with the freight RRs are including in the design-build contracts, no? Or is the Authority handling some of it, separately?

Busy Bee Oct 9, 2018 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8340458)
I have not been to Phoenix or driven into the desert east of San Bernardino, but 250 miles of HSR through that wasteland will likely be very cheap to build as compared to the Calfornia HSR in the central valley since there will be much less meddling with parallel corridors and few local stations out there in the true middle-of-nowhere.


Just throwing this out there, but I wonder if the extreme desert temps will require ballastless track (slab track) to negate rail deformation? This could drive up the per mile cost and would also probably apply to Xpresswest/Brightline/whateverthehellitmightbe...

phoenixboi08 Oct 10, 2018 9:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8340664)
Just throwing this out there, but I wonder if the extreme desert temps will require ballastless track (slab track) to negate rail deformation? This could drive up the per mile cost and would also probably apply to Xpresswest/Brightline/whateverthehellitmightbe...

That's a good point.

I'd also imagine it'd have an impact on the catenary, right?

I've tried following the Saudi HSR project, but information can be scarce...

Busy Bee Oct 10, 2018 2:12 PM

The catenary is probably an easier solve as OCS already uses a system of flexible tensioning to counter expansion/contraction.

CaliNative Oct 14, 2018 8:16 AM

Southern California Shortchanged
 
All the current construction is in northern and central California. I say start a high speed electrified rail line between L.A. and San Diego. If the geological complexities and high cost of tunneling through the San Gabriel range can be solved, maybe one day the northern and southern segments can be linked. If not, the high speed rail will have two useful segments, one in the north and one in the south.

Busy Bee Oct 14, 2018 3:06 PM

Or we can start acting like the richest country and richest state that we are and build the fucking thing as intended.

jmecklenborg Oct 14, 2018 9:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8345619)
Or we can start acting like the richest country and richest state that we are and build the fucking thing as intended.

The detractors have somehow succeeded in completely fooling the public. Somehow the most basic information -- that over 100 miles of the project are physically under construction as we speak -- is not generally known.

My youngest brother has an engineering degree and is in grad school at UCLA. He didn't know the thing was under construction until I told him last month. He didn't believe me and only conceded that the project is in fact under construction after consulting his phone.

dubu Oct 14, 2018 9:08 PM

is it going up to oregon?

Busy Bee Oct 14, 2018 9:31 PM

^No. Though as the project moves forward I fully expect the chatter about a Portland-Seattle-Vancouver hsr link to heat up, but don't ever expect a connection to the California system, there's not a government on earth that would pursue such a venture. You'd really need a metropolitain area in the very top of Northern California with a population of 3 million at minimum to create a scenario where such a link would be feasible or reasonable.

The Chemist Oct 15, 2018 6:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8340664)
Just throwing this out there, but I wonder if the extreme desert temps will require ballastless track (slab track) to negate rail deformation? This could drive up the per mile cost and would also probably apply to Xpresswest/Brightline/whateverthehellitmightbe...

Pretty sure any track designed for 350km/h needs ballastless track. All of the 350km/h routes here in China are fully balastless - the only time you see ballast used is on routes designed for lower speeds (<250km/h).

jmecklenborg Oct 15, 2018 7:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8345842)
^No. Though as the project moves forward I fully expect the chatter about a Portland-Seattle-Vancouver hsr link to heat up, but don't ever expect a connection to the California system, there's not a government on earth that would pursue such a venture. You'd really need a metropolitain area in the very top of Northern California with a population of 3 million at minimum to create a scenario where such a link would be feasible or reasonable.

A HSR rail line is a not just high speed but very high capacity. The California HSR system is going to have a gigantic capacity -- twelve 1,000-passenger trains per hour per direction through the Central Valley. California has the population to support such a system. The Pacific Northwest does not.

The Pacific Northwest chatter is coming from the belief on the part of the nerds in those cities that their area is one of the great hubs of the universe, which it is not. Neither Portland or Vancouver are significant population or business hubs. Each are on the level of a Memphis or Indianapolis or Columbus. Seattle is bigger but nowhere close to the level of Chicago, Houston, Dallas, SF Bay, etc.

So not only does the Pacific Northwest not have the population to support a California-type high speed rail system, it's got all sorts of topographic challenges between the cities and getting in and out of each city quickly (with at the very least the level of service that will soon exist on CAHSR's approach to SF and LA) will be at least as expensive but with far fewer potential passengers.

phoenixboi08 Oct 15, 2018 9:43 AM

Well yes.
I think more so than the population, which I'm often uncertain of how proximate a measure that truly is of ridership for projections, knowing more about the particular travel market(s) would be nice.

This report is handy, but they did some frustrating things now that I look back at it.

I don't believe they examine the air markets between US and Canadian cities, for one.
And they only show the travel markets within specific sub-regions but don't show how they relate (ie. I'm sure many flights take place between Vancouver/Seattle/Portland-California, so on).

Nonetheless, it's an interesting thing to ponder.


http://www.resizr.com/img.php?key=08...a81f9049977363


There's definitely a market for enhanced connections between Seattle-Portland (not sure that's so surprising), but the existing Cascades service can certainly be expanded to fulfill most of this, I would think?

I'm sure they're studying plenty of alternatives (including simply upgrading the existing Amtrak Cascades route, with new infrastructure where warranted). Something like what Illinois has been doing will likely happen before too long, I'd imagine.

But for my curiosity, Coast Starlight and Cascades Amtrak Services essentially achieve a Vancouver-Sacramento link, right? I’d think long-term upgrades of both to achieve a 110mph avg speed (150mph top speed) is perfectly reasonable, including major expansion of daily service. An end-to-end travel time of 8hrs isn’t horrible, most trips wouldn’t be traveling the entire route anyways, and intermediate services could add additional capacity. Basically, it’s not so far-fetched an idea.

I mean, the 300+mph idea is...a bit. But these existing services can be upgraded quite a bit.

dubu Oct 15, 2018 2:47 PM

the cities in the nw are all spread out and its too hilly for fast trains. so many people go to california from here. there could be a greyhound station, hotels and big parking garage at the last stop at the oregon border. it would be better then taking two planes or driving the whole way. thats too expensive though.

Busy Bee Oct 15, 2018 2:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Chemist (Post 8346104)
Pretty sure any track designed for 350km/h needs ballastless track. All of the 350km/h routes here in China are fully balastless - the only time you see ballast used is on routes designed for lower speeds (<250km/h).

This isn't accurate. There are 350km/h row with traditional ballast track. LGV Est is one example. Remember the plume of dust from the vitesse trials several years ago?

jmecklenborg Oct 15, 2018 5:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 (Post 8346131)

There's definitely a market for enhanced connections between Seattle-Portland (not sure that's so surprising), but the existing Cascades service can certainly be expanded to fulfill most of this, I would think?

Hard to imagine that there is enough business to create anything beyond traditional 110mph service Pacific Northwest, although that region does benefit from cheap hydro power so it might make a bit more sense to electrify than elsewhere.

California actually needed the HSR segment in the Central Valley to cross that expanse quickly. Plus, as has already been mentioned, the level terrain makes it relatively easy to build, and relatively inexpensive, as the actual HSR section of CAHSR is pretty much limited to the Central Valley, and will cost less than $10 billion. The extravagant $77 billion figure thrown around by the media accounts for the much more complicated lower-speed city approaches, commuter rail enhancements, tunnels that would have been necessary for any improved rail service high speed or otherwise, and the cost of the trains themselves.

When comparing the cost of trains versus airports, the media always counts the capital costs of the trains but not the capital costs of the airports. Same with highway expansions -- the costs of the vehicles necessary to make the expansion worthwhile are never considered.

Will O' Wisp Oct 15, 2018 8:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8346417)
Hard to imagine that there is enough business to create anything beyond traditional 110mph service Pacific Northwest, although that region does benefit from cheap hydro power so it might make a bit more sense to electrify than elsewhere.

California actually needed the HSR segment in the Central Valley to cross that expanse quickly. Plus, as has already been mentioned, the level terrain makes it relatively easy to build, and relatively inexpensive, as the actual HSR section of CAHSR is pretty much limited to the Central Valley, and will cost less than $10 billion. The extravagant $77 billion figure thrown around by the media accounts for the much more complicated lower-speed city approaches, commuter rail enhancements, tunnels that would have been necessary for any improved rail service high speed or otherwise, and the cost of the trains themselves.

When comparing the cost of trains versus airports, the media always counts the capital costs of the trains but not the capital costs of the airports. Same with highway expansions -- the costs of the vehicles necessary to make the expansion worthwhile are never considered.

CHSR has to get through this very tricky period of not being established industry and therefor not being able to access many of the funding sources airports/airlines do (I'll get to cars later). With decades of revenue figures from all across the nation, it's possible to predict with a great deal of accuracy exactly how many people will use an airport now and in the future based on economic conditions, population trends, and airport location/accessibility. Because of this banks and other private investors are very willing to lend money to airports for a capital improvement project, since they can be relatively assured that they'll be paid back in full with interest (in fact airport bonds are considered lower risk than many municipal bonds, and they pay some of the lowest interest rates available). Airlines do have some financial risk associated with them, but at the worst an airliner is still going to be a very valuable object to reprocess with relatively simple turnover.

Since the US doesn't have a history of HSR (at least to to scope and scale CHSR aims for) its future revenues are in doubt. They could be great, they could be crappy, and there's no real way of knowing for sure until it's built. So like any other risky but potentially transformative project the state has to stand up and pledge itself to pay the bill no matter which way it goes. And the risks are pretty significant, since building the whole thing with brand new custom built tech means that it'll all be virtually worthless if this whole thing goes south. People tend to associate taxpayer dollars as "their money", and so naturally some are going to get miffed on the state taking a bit of a gamble with it (note: I'm a supporter of CHSR, I'm just trying to explain how a project like this is guaranteed to engender more controversy than an airport project).

As for cars, while allegedly road improvements are paid for by gas taxes more often than not general funds need to thrown into the pot to fill some gaps. Americans tend to view owning a car as a necessary living expense like having a home or buying groceries, which may not necessarily need to be true but that's another conversation entirely. People tend to view their cars as a sunk cost, that they'll need regardless of if anything else is build or isn't.

jmecklenborg Oct 16, 2018 8:37 PM

I happened to drive out in the Mohave Desert in in 2002 where hundreds of jets were mothballed following the terrorist attack. Those used jets could be sold to any carrier anywhere whereas trains tend to be much more specialized. We retained a robust fright locomotive and rail car construction business in the United States because the needs of our railroads are unique and our used equipment can't be used in most parts of the world because it poses a danger to passenger trains.

CAHSR won't be completely divorced from the freight rail network which is why the trains will need to be able to survive a crash with the heaviest trains in the world. That's not a big deal from a design perspective so much as it is from ordering the trains from an overseas manufacturer and then the eventual resale of the trains.

I'm not a streetcar expert but I'd bet that the PCC standardization was motivated in part by the desire to create a large secondary market throughout the U.S. Instead, they ended up being sold overseas.

plutonicpanda Oct 23, 2018 2:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8335545)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8335608)
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" .

I don't know that much about rail, so I'm going out of what I know here... It would appear to me that MagLev often isn't used due to costs. Having an extremely smooth ride and faster speeds are some great benefits. Not sure why a line like that wouldn't improve commuter rail anyways.

As for the automobile comparison, an argument could be made that automobiles in their current form are starting to become antiquated. I stand my comments regarding conventional rail.

jmecklenborg Oct 24, 2018 12:12 AM

A maglev system has to be totally and completely separate from the existing rail system. That means it can't use the approaches to existing passenger rail stations, which is where "conventional" HSR saves a ton of money. Also, HSR trains can travel onto conventional rail branches and so offer a one-seat ride.

In California all of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 HSR track from Burbank south to Anaheim and from LA Union to San Diego is going to parallel existing commuter and freight rail tracks. The entire corridor -- roughly 200 miles of existing ROW -- is going to be fully grade separated and fenced meaning existing diesel commuter rail will be able to travel at a much higher speed than it does currently. The four parallel tracks mean HSR and commuter rail trains will be able to switch onto the other mode's dedicated tracks during inspections and physical repairs and so cause no interruption to service. Maglev definitely can't do that.

The situation will be similar between SF and Gilroy, where an existing 2-track commuter corridor will be replaced with a 3-track fully electrified line that is fully grade separated. That corridor is planned to also operate at 110mph, and with the faster acceleration enabled by the electrification of Caltran, they will be able to run one more commuter train per hour per direction even after the introduction of HSR's four trains per hour into the corridor.

If a Maglev (or the never-will-exist hyperloop) were built between LA and SF, there would be no improvement to either region's existing commuter rail service, and each would require the sort of 40+ mile viaduct between San Jose and San Francisco that the Silicon NIMBYs already blocked for HSR.

twoNeurons Oct 24, 2018 4:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8355376)
A maglev system has to be totally and completely separate from the existing rail system. That means it can't use the approaches to existing passenger rail stations, which is where "conventional" HSR saves a ton of money. Also, HSR trains can travel onto conventional rail branches and so offer a one-seat ride.

In California all of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 HSR track from Burbank south to Anaheim and from LA Union to San Diego is going to parallel existing commuter and freight rail tracks. The entire corridor -- roughly 200 miles of existing ROW -- is going to be fully grade separated and fenced meaning existing diesel commuter rail will be able to travel at a much higher speed than it does currently. The four parallel tracks mean HSR and commuter rail trains will be able to switch onto the other mode's dedicated tracks during inspections and physical repairs and so cause no interruption to service. Maglev definitely can't do that.

The situation will be similar between SF and Gilroy, where an existing 2-track commuter corridor will be replaced with a 3-track fully electrified line that is fully grade separated. That corridor is planned to also operate at 110mph, and with the faster acceleration enabled by the electrification of Caltran, they will be able to run one more commuter train per hour per direction even after the introduction of HSR's four trains per hour into the corridor.

If a Maglev (or the never-will-exist hyperloop) were built between LA and SF, there would be no improvement to either region's existing commuter rail service, and each would require the sort of 40+ mile viaduct between San Jose and San Francisco that the Silicon NIMBYs already blocked for HSR.

Or just tunnel it. 80% of Japan’s Chuo line will be tunneled. People forget that another issue HSR and Maglev have is noise pollution. Noise pollution is strictest in Japan which is why they tend to focus more on aerodynamic trains and minimizing tunnel impacts and noise from caternary wires.

Maglev is an easy fit for for Japan because their rail was all Built as narrow gauge. There was nothing to share so as such their high speed rail was already all built from scratch on dedicated tracks. Evidence of this is in Tokyo and Osaka and a few other places where the high speed rail has its own station not right in downtown. Tokyo’s rail center is Shinjuku or Shibuya... Tokyo station and Shinagawa are both less central, although Tokyo station is one of the original stations.

Osaka’s main station (Umeda) is across the river from the bullet train station Shin-Osaka.

Japan also built extremely efficient systems which make transfers not really that painful. Convenience and high quality service is hugely important culturally and made HSR more like commuter rail. Get in and find a seat. Prices are more or less fixed. Europe chose the airline model offering massive discounts in advance and gouging last minute travel.

Transferring from your local station only station to a Major station is common. Like if only all-stops served say Palo Alto and you’d hop off in San Jose to grab the limited stop from San Jose on the way to LA. ( more or less the same price so you might as well.

The point is that Maglev can work just as HSR can, you just have to be organized and to built systems around it to support it.

When the Chuo line is complete it will be faster to take the bullet train from Nagoya to Tokyo (40 min) than take the subway to Nagoya airport. That’s food for thought... turn Nagoya into a satellite of Tokyo?

Will O' Wisp Oct 24, 2018 7:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twoNeurons (Post 8355644)
Or just tunnel it. 80% of Japan’s Chuo line will be tunneled.

If I could just impress upon you the absolutely massive expense of tunneling, especially in built up areas. The Chuo Shinkansen is being built by perhaps the planet's premier transit infrastructure corporation, who has decades of experience in tunneling projects, through a lightly populated area where terrain sinkage is not a major consideration, with very few stations in-between (stations are often the most expensive portion of an underground transit line). In short there is no one on earth more capable of building a tunneled maglev right now more quickly, cheaply, and efficiently than JR Central. And yet, a line about one third the length of the Phase 1 CHSR (aka SF to LA) will have the same approximate total cost and take five more years to finish even after the Japanese government pumped additional funding to speed things up. In transit architecture tunnels are always a thing to avoid if you can help it, they are always the slowest to build and most expensive option.

jmecklenborg Oct 24, 2018 5:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twoNeurons (Post 8355644)

Transferring from your local station only station to a Major station is common. Like if only all-stops served say Palo Alto and you’d hop off in San Jose to grab the limited stop from San Jose on the way to LA. ( more or less the same price so you might as well.


All CAHSR trains, including the express trains, are going to stop in San Jose, SFO, and DTSF. There they will have cross-platform transfers to Caltrains.

Which, for the 10th time, is being upgraded to very fast electric commuter rail on a completely grade-separated ROW. So it's basically turning into BART, with a max of 6 trains per hour per direction.

Same with all of the Metrorail commuter rail between Burbank, LA, Riverside, and San Diego. It is all going to be fully grade separated, just like a rapid transit line. If it is electrified, it will be an incredible service.

No way does the political will exist today to spend the tens of billions necessary to upgrade Southern California's commuter rail network to a fully grade-separated system independent of High Speed Rail.

People on the internet can sit around and whine about a maglev or a shorter I-5 HSR system but can't face the fact that connecting DTLA and DTSF is only one feature of CAHSR and not its central mission, and the 20-minute time savings that would be produced by spending $30 billion to dig a 30-mile tunnel under Silicon Valley isn't going to win the system almost any riders.

plutonicpanda Oct 29, 2018 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8355376)
If a Maglev (or the never-will-exist hyperloop)

Not to overlook your points regarding maglev vs. conventional HSR which are valid, I'm surprised you are so sure of statements like this.

The realities of a hyperloop are surely right to be questioned , but the concept is a no brainier. If you can pull it off, this would be a game changer only if the issue of funding could be overcome-- which it has before with the interstate system and transcontinental railroad(not to mention the tons of other mega projects and initiatives).

It won't be cheap, but ground transportation that is faster than air travel? Think how much that would revolutionize travel. It could replace as we know it. Airports transformed? Think of how much more appealing it would be skip the lengthy process to 'actually' be traveling to your destination(less security screenings, not having to board a plane, not having to take off, land, taxi, etc...). Then you have the pesky physics issue to overcome, of course.

You seem so sure that it can't be done yet you don't believe the benefits of succeeding in creating technology like this isn't even worth spending some time and money for R&D? Again, if proven successful, the outcome would be unstated.

As for Japan being the 'lone wolf' in MagLev, there also aren't many countries either that are regarded as the most high tech/advanced countries in the world. Japan also has a reputation of the having the best mass transit network in the world. Let's keep that in perspective. I'd rather take advice from them than China or any country in Europe.

Busy Bee Oct 30, 2018 12:29 AM

Re: "game changer"

Hyperloop can not and will never be mass transportation. Why would such a colossal investment be made in something with such limited capacity? It's not air or rail which can and do move hundreds of thousands a day. It's a unprofitable gimmick that will never be built. A classic folly by every definition of the word.

mt_climber13 Oct 30, 2018 2:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8361875)
Re: "game changer"

Hyperloop can not and will never be mass transportation. Why would such a colossal investment be made in something with such limited capacity? It's not air or rail which can and do move hundreds of thousands a day. It's a unprofitable gimmick that will never be built. A classic folly by every definition of the word.

You're wrong about so much it's hard to take you seriously.

SIGSEGV Oct 30, 2018 3:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mt_climber13 (Post 8362020)
You're wrong about so much it's hard to take you seriously.

He's not wrong about the capacity. The capacity limits of proposed designs make them effectively useless.

SFBruin Oct 30, 2018 4:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8356167)
connecting DTLA and DTSF is ... not its central mission

Turning Caltrain and part of Metrolink into a BART-type service can be done by focusing on these parts and ignoring the rest.

I actually think that this might be a better use of funds...

FresnoHobbit Oct 30, 2018 5:51 AM

I don't understand why anybody would even compare the hyperloop to HSR. From what I have read, Hyperloop will have to run in straighter lines and at less grade than rail so it will obviously cost more to get rightaways. And how could it possible be cheaper to build an airtight tube than to lay down a track? And it has lower capacity...
To build a system able to handle a number of passengers similar to what the airlines are hauling today would make HSR look super cheap. But if anybody wants to spend their own money on it feel free - but you should probably build it in the desert or the plains where there are fewer obstacles.

Busy Bee Oct 30, 2018 1:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mt_climber13 (Post 8362020)
You're wrong about so much it's hard to take you seriously.

Be my guest future human. Elaborate.

lrt's friend Oct 30, 2018 3:34 PM

Until there is a working test track, there is no point in discussing hyperloop. Even after that, who is going to gamble on building the first operational line, with the likely cost overruns?

jmecklenborg Oct 30, 2018 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lrt's friend (Post 8362438)
Until there is a working test track, there is no point in discussing hyperloop. Even after that, who is going to gamble on building the first operational line, with the likely cost overruns?


Do the napkin math on how much steel this is going to take. It's like laying an inch of steel the width of a divided 4-lane highway and then rolling them into a burrito. Then think about how much steel that is as compared for four rails.

So each linear foot of hyperloop is going to require about 100 feet of 1" steel, or 100 cubic feet. That's like 25-100x as much steel per linear foot as compared to HSR depending on diameter and thickness of the tubes.

How innovative.

Busy Bee Oct 30, 2018 11:53 PM

Not to mention that it will still require concrete piers and other infrastructure as it crosses terrain. I think the gullible are thinking of this like a pipeline. It's more like a Mars mission of challenge. And then you realize no one will finance such an endeavor. And then it dies. Move on.

BrownTown Oct 31, 2018 1:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8363222)
Not to mention that it will still require concrete piers and other infrastructure as it crosses terrain. I think the gullible are thinking of this like a pipeline. It's more like a Mars mission of challenge. And then you realize no one will finance such an endeavor. And then it dies. Move on.

Given the quoted speeds it will also need to be incredibly straight. So you won't be able to avoid terrain either, it will need insane numbers of bridges and tunnels (far more than HSR). Basically anyone with half a brain can see that the hyperloop is going to cost 10x as much as HSR and if you know anything about HSR you know the cost is already pretty prohibitive. This isn't something technology can fix like writing a more efficient computer code, it's basic physics.

TrackMan Oct 31, 2018 6:42 AM

Yep, hyperloop is ridiculous.

jmecklenborg Oct 31, 2018 5:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8363332)
This isn't something technology can fix like writing a more efficient computer code, it's basic physics.

People are easily duped into believing that future technologies will provide profound benefits over current methods and do so at a lower cost.

Theranos is a perfect example. Elizabeth Holmes convinced the press and everyone from Henry Kissinger to Rupert Murdoch to Betsy Devos that there was an opportunity to improve significantly upon current blood testing methods. Without a proof of concept, Murdoch and Devos each tossed in $100 million and each lost that entire sum. Poof.

It was all a scam.

Hyperloop is the same scam. Convince people that vast improvements can be made over conventional HSR in order to convince politicians to not pursue "old-fashioned" HSR.

dubu Oct 31, 2018 7:17 PM

im just hoping it will be driverless and come up to the nw some day. they say if theres a big earthquake then redmond (central oregon) will be the new portland and if boise turns into a seattle then there would be closer big cities to california. there could be a boise to la train and central oregon to this train. if theres such thing as hyperloop then a hyperloop from central oregon to boise. thats a ways away but it would be cool having two long hsr lines on the west coast. then finally burning man can become a city, i think burning man is as old as me 33 years old. but with trains you can create new cities.

Busy Bee Oct 31, 2018 8:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8364039)
People are easily duped into believing that future technologies will provide profound benefits over current methods at a lower cost.

Theranos is a perfect example. Elizabeth Holmes convinced people to part with $100+ million dollars (Rupert Merdoch, Betsy Devos), plus the press, that there was a need to improve upon the blood testing methods that currently exist. That are currently 100% accurate. That are currently cheap. That are currently fast.

It was all a scam.

Hyperloop is the same scam. Convince people that vast improvements can be made over conventional HSR in order to convince politicians to not pursue "old-fashioned" HSR.

100%

Like I keep saying, we have this "always pregnant with the future" culture. Frustrating as hell since in the meantime we don't have nice things.

jmecklenborg Nov 14, 2018 5:01 AM

Google recently updated its imagery in and around Fresno. These images are from February 2018, so 10 months old at this point, but are much newer than the imagery this replaced.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...psuyfbek6f.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...ps4hlojoin.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...psqtl7qaap.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...psj36djexa.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...psi1bqgz7m.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...pswobrpy8v.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...psdz2qlsdj.jpg

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...psjkckrz8m.jpg

202_Cyclist Nov 16, 2018 2:15 AM

Jeff Denham, a Republican from Modesto who was the number one high-speed rail opponent in Congress, ended up being defeated last Tuesday. Good riddance!

Busy Bee Nov 16, 2018 2:41 AM

I saw that. Nov 6 was a very good day for CHSR. :drooling:

Busy Bee Nov 19, 2018 6:54 PM

November photo update up on Flickr.


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