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hammersklavier Mar 17, 2011 2:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5204097)
So there's no community meetings or anything like that?

Not that I know of...it seems more like a mortgage, get your paperwork in order, get a loan.
Quote:

The most stops it seems right now for DX, other than LV and Victorville, would be ones in Primm/Ivanpah and Barstow. Same for the Maglev plan (in the High Desert section).
So the ideal compromise is to offer these stations...
Quote:

I see. So it might be more likely that they'll complain about something else about the project and use that as a platform for their ultimate goal of stopping the project?
Probably. Even so this is a project they would have to attempt to stop via litigation, and frankly given the current Supreme Court's attitude--and you know this would get all the way there--it would be an extremely difficult case to sell. DX's is stronger. Even so, dragging it on means DX would need to spend an eye-popping amount on court feeds (as would Barstow).
Quote:

By the way, are MTA's across the country city departments, or are they independent organizations?
Semi-independent organizations, mostly...I could be wrong, however. The ones I am familiar with in the Northeast are quite autonomous, however.
Quote:

Oh, I know that. I just thought that when you mentioned "private-market driven", you INDICATED that it was going to be paid off with zero government funds; which, like I said, is impossible.
Yep. We agree it will get government funding. The channels said funding goes through changes, however, requirements for funding. Grants are more stringent than loans; some avenues require community input; others don't. One of the few documents all can agree on is the EIS.

twoNeurons Mar 17, 2011 4:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5196779)
The original Shinkansen trains had maximum speeds of 130 mph (210 km/hr) just slightly faster than Metroliners on the NEC.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0_Series_Shinkansen

I believe the straighter corridor allowed the Shinkansen to maintain maximum speeds significantly longer than even the faster Acela trains on the NEC. I believe there's still significant gains that can be achieved on the NEC if we invest wisely on it. I'm not so sure a brand new corridor paralleling the NEC will be a wise investment.

It was also a train without level crossings.

The original Shinkansen was on dedicated rail and had a maximum track curvature of 1500m 2500m (just under 1mi.)

edit: Correction: 2500m.

Beta_Magellan Mar 19, 2011 7:46 PM

^^^I’ve seen the occasional call to use the N700 on a new NEC for this reason—the original Shinkansen is, by now, almost a legacy system, and the N700 was designed to reach 300 km/h on this older track (tilting trains, very quick acceleration). I’m not sure if it’s as competitive in California, though—it’s a whole new system there and should be built to a 350 km/h standard (I’m not even sure if there are any 350 km/h Shinkansen).

I’ve heard that there was some sort of big announcement with proposals for building and operating the system came out, specifically mentioning Alstom and Virgin as being among the potential bidders. Does anyone have a link for this?

Beta_Magellan Mar 21, 2011 3:18 PM

Ah, here’s what I was mentioning—from California’s HSR Authority:


Quote:

Press Release
Private Sector Expresses Tremendous Interest in California’s High-Speed Train Project



SACRAMENTO – More than 1,100 expressions of interest flooded into the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s offices in Sacramento prior to a Wednesday deadline – from businesses ranging from self-employed entrepreneurs and small businesses to multinational corporations and large construction firms. The submissions were in response to a “Request for Expressions of Interest” issued by the Authority in February, asking that the private sector put in writing their desire to help develop California’s high-speed rail project.

In the responses, companies addressed the design, construction, operation and funding aspects of both the initial construction segment in California’s Central Valley and the overall first phase of the statewide project stretching from the Los Angeles basin to the Bay Area. The responses will help guide the next stages of the formal procurement process and the packaging of future bids.

“The size of this response sends a clear signal that the private sector sees great opportunity in California’s high-speed rail project, the first of its kind in the nation,” said Roelof van Ark, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. “True high-speed rail systems are profitable, competitive and spur near-term job creation and long-term economic growth.”

High-speed rail operators around the globe responded to the Authority’s call, as did dozens of major construction and engineering firms, and hundreds of small businesses.

The Authority is currently reviewing and compiling responses with the intention of posting a list of respondents on California High-Speed Rail Authority Web site next week and to post the response documents within the coming weeks. From responses reviewed thus far, it is clear that the private sector is eager to participate in developing California’s project:

“We look forward to being a participant in and working with the California High-Speed Rail Authority in making this project the first very high-speed success story in the US.”
-Guillaume Mehlman, President, ALSTOM Transportation Inc.

“We are prepared to immediately partner with the Authority in developing an implementation approach that builds on current passenger rail transportation successes such as the Capital Corridor and San Joaquin Services, just to name a few.”
-Albrecht P. Engel, Amtrak

“This prospect is tremendously exciting in that it links the major cities of California in a visionary and market changing way. This is an opportunity to which VRG is prepared to commit substantial resources to, in order to assist the Authority in achieving its objectives. We believe that California is a market very well suited to High Speed Rail.”
-Virgin Rail Group

“We are excited for the opportunity to participate on such a monumental project.”
-Bill Trombley, Director of Preconstruction Services, Skanska USA Civil West California District

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is developing an 800-mile high-speed train system that will operate at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour, connecting the state’s major urban centers, including the Bay Area, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego. The first phase of the project, San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim, is projected to cost $43 billion. Initial infrastructure construction will begin in the Central Valley, the backbone of the system, in 2012. The project is being funded through a voter-approved state bond, federal funding awards and public-private partnerships.

Respondents will be invited to an industry forum the Authority is hosting in Los Angeles on April 12, 2011, to learn more about the next steps in the procurement process and the results of the request for expressions of interest. Credentialed press will also be invited.

twoNeurons Mar 21, 2011 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5207379)
^^^I’ve seen the occasional call to use the N700 on a new NEC for this reason—the original Shinkansen is, by now, almost a legacy system, and the N700 was designed to reach 300 km/h on this older track (tilting trains, very quick acceleration). I’m not sure if it’s as competitive in California, though—it’s a whole new system there and should be built to a 350 km/h standard (I’m not even sure if there are any 350 km/h Shinkansen).

The original 0-series Shinkansen were retired last year. These were the ones that looked like a bullet. There were trainsets that were donated to museums around the world. There are sets in England and in Japanese railway museums, if I'm not mistaken.

The N700 (Nozomi Service) actually maxes out at 270km/h on the original Tokaido portion of the Shinkansen. This is the portion between Tokyo and Osaka that was originally designed for a max speed of 200km/h. It has a minimum track radius of 2500m. I believe that these trains are some of the quickest to accelerate as well. A often-overlooked important fact when you are running in highly populated areas.

On a newer portion of Shinkansen, the Sanyo Shinkansen that runs between Osaka and Kyushu they run trains at 300km/h. It has a typical 4000m track radius. It can potentially run much faster in the future.

The newest line, the Hayabusa service on the Tohoku Shinkansen will run at 320km/h. These are the newest E5 series. I'm not sure the track radius, but that line was planned to run at 360km/h. They just couldn't get the train quiet enough at that speed.

To put this in perspective, China's new 350km/h lines typically have a minimum 7000m track radius. California is planning, I believe, for 6500m.

As alluded to before, part of the reason that trains don't run as fast in Japan is the tunnel boom effect and the number of tunnels that are close to populated areas. Japan has the strictest noise pollution laws (for trains at least) in the world. This combined with the inefficiency at higher speeds and the number of tunnels made faster speeds impractical. Remember, these trains are running every day, all day, sometimes at frequencies of every 6 minutes on some lines.

Japanese companies are one of the parties that are interested in the High speed contract for California.

In my opinion, their experience with earthquakes and their strong desire to export the technology make them one of the better candidates for the California System.

As for the North-east corridor, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to consider the N700 series, although I'm sure there will be excellent competition for that sector.

Personally, I'd love to see German, Canadian or French technology in the NEC and Japanese technology in the West. The US should try to get a mixture of technology, just as China has done.

202_Cyclist Mar 28, 2011 7:43 PM

High-speed rail: First phase could run to Merced after all (Merced Sun 3/28/2011)
 
High-speed rail: First phase could run to Merced after all


Authority plan to apply for money Florida rejected would expand construction project's 'backbone.'

By KEITH A. JONES
Merced Sun
3/28/2011

"High-speed rail may come to Merced sooner than expected, as the California High Speed Rail Authority will announce today it's asking for $1.2 billion in funding that was rejected by Florida.

If the request is approved, it would mean the first phase of track will run from Merced to Bakersfield. Also, instead of building a station just in downtown Fresno, stations will be built in Merced and Bakersfield. The authority is also looking at building a station in Tulare County.

"This is very good news for Merced," said Mayor Bill Spriggs on Sunday afternoon. "The City Council has always supported high-speed rail. We were disappointed when the Corcoran-to-Borden route was announced."

"If we get a portion of Florida's money, we'll able to complete the entire backbone of the project," Jeff Barker, deputy director of the rail authority, told the Sun-Star Friday..."

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03...ase-could.html

fflint Mar 28, 2011 9:19 PM

A backbone from Bakersfield to Merced would be a real turning point for passenger rail in California. Even in the worst case scenario in which the new separated trackage ends up serving conventional passenger rail, it would still speed up both Amtrak and freight trains significantly.

JDRCRASH Mar 29, 2011 1:46 AM

Yeah, but won't this section be just track? No actual HSR service?

If so, then why not use the money, not for the Fresno-Merced extension, but instead to start HSR service between Fresno and Bakersfield?

LosAngelesSportsFan Mar 29, 2011 2:03 AM

any other states about to reject funds?

JDRCRASH Mar 29, 2011 2:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LosAngelesSportsFan (Post 5219622)
any other states about to reject funds?

How many have rejected funds so far? Is it just Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida?

ardecila Mar 29, 2011 2:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5219593)
Yeah, but won't this section be just track? No actual HSR service?

If so, then why not use the money, not for the Fresno-Merced extension, but instead to start HSR service between Fresno and Bakersfield?

Rather than going to Merced, it should go in the other direction to Palmdale. The state would have to put up a bit more money, but it would start to tie the line into the vast swath of SoCal.

Beta_Magellan Mar 29, 2011 3:46 AM

I think Merced’s being overoptimistic about their chances to get a station in this next round. Key quote buried in the article:

Quote:

"With the extra money we think we can do one of two things," [CHSRA deputy director] Barker said: Extend the track to south of Bakersfield to at least Te-hachapi or build the track 39 miles beyond the triangle at Chowchilla toward Los Banos and San Jose.

Read more: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03...#ixzz1HxK4JEWc
If they extended to Merced now, it would reignite the old Altamont-vs.-Pacheco debate, which is something I’m sure CHSRA wants to avoid. Of the line does extend north it’s also going west, towards Pacheco. I agree with ardecila—better to head south. Connecting to the rest of SoCal, though, will be difficult. From cahsrblog.com:

Quote:

High Speed Rail Authority Official Looks at Conventional Right-of-Way to Get to Los Angeles from Palmdale
Mar 20th, 2011 | Posted by Dennis Lytton
[…]
One possibility for a one seat ride would be a true HSR ROW from Merced to Palmdale, using the conventional row to the East Bay and Los Angeles while the Pacheco and SR-14 high speed ROWs are being built. This incremental approach would probably be more in line with the way most European HSR systems were (and are being) developed. The lack of mainline electrification and the ownership structure of the conventional railroad in this country compared to Europe is an obvious but not insurmountable difference.
[…]
In the comments someone brought up TGVs pulled by diesels as a potential model to follow, but the speed of the current Palmdale-Los Angeles route remains a big challenge.

JDRCRASH Mar 29, 2011 3:51 AM

Wait, so they can't instead use the money to start HSR service between Fresno and Bakersfield?

ardecila Mar 29, 2011 11:56 AM

Huh? Service will commence as soon as the track is finished. CHSRA has not yet worked out the details - the "service" might be Amtrak running at 110mph (top speed of the P42 locomotive) or it might be TGV or Shinkansen trains running at 220mph.

JDRCRASH Mar 30, 2011 5:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5220087)
Huh? Service will commence as soon as the track is finished. CHSRA has not yet worked out the details - the "service" might be Amtrak running at 110mph (top speed of the P42 locomotive) or it might be TGV or Shinkansen trains running at 220mph.

Are you sure? I thought that only track (no catenary wiring) was going to be built.

Beta_Magellan Mar 30, 2011 4:56 PM

The P42 is the GE Genesis diesel—there’s been some talk of running the San Joaquin along the new tracks at 110 mph as a stopgap measure, though I’m not sure if this is doable due to their weight—CAHSR’s tracks will be designed to carry lightweight high-speed trains, not FRA-compliant tanks, so I’d be afraid running diesels might cause undue wear on the rails, forcing the tracks to undergo some pretty heavy repairs before eventually opening for actual HSR service. Anyone know anything more about this?

Beta_Magellan Mar 30, 2011 11:43 PM

California’s really going for it:

Quote:

Press Release, March 30, 2011
CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY
TO APPLY FOR FLORIDA’S $2.4 BILLION


Goal to Complete the Merced-Bakersfield Backbone of the Statewide System


SACRAMENTO – The California High-Speed Rail Authority voted unanimously today to apply for all of the high-speed rail funding recently returned to the federal government by the state of Florida. The Authority Board of Directors approved the staff recommendation that California pursue the $2.43 billion recently made available and offer a 20 percent state match in order to make California more competitive for these funds.

The resulting funds could allow the completion of the entire backbone of the statewide system – linking Merced and Bakersfield, including stations in each respective city. In addition to completing the backbone, it could also allow the Authority to build either north or south – north 39 additional miles toward the Bay Area or south, past Bakersfield, up to the Tehachapi Mountains.

Obtaining just over half of Florida’s money, along with the state match, would still give the Authority the potential to lay the track that will connect Merced to Bakersfield – the critical “backbone” of the statewide system where high-speed trains will travel at 220 miles per hour and ensure that California’s system is competitive with other modes of travel.

Read more at http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/pr_flfundingapp.aspx

aquablue Mar 31, 2011 12:40 AM

dlt......................

SnyderBock Mar 31, 2011 12:40 AM

I'd like to see it all go to California. I like to focus things down and get them built, one by one. It appears time to focus down on California's HSR and get it built.

aquablue Mar 31, 2011 12:40 AM

Hey, does anybody have any thoughts about what kind of trains America are going to build for this new track? Will they look like Shinkansen or French trains?

This is going to be good for the US to enter into this new area of train building.

aquablue Mar 31, 2011 12:48 AM

Dl......................

Jasonhouse Mar 31, 2011 1:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SnyderBock (Post 5222600)
I'd like to see it all go to California. I like to focus things down and get them built, one by one. It appears time to focus down on California's HSR and get it built.

I think they should send most to CA, but send a sizable chunk around to existing rail upgrades that would provide the biggest net revenue gains to Amtrak, regardless of where they are.

northbay Mar 31, 2011 4:40 PM

in this article, it makes it sound like the money will divided up:

Quote:

State wants high-speed rail money Florida rejected
Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle March 30, 2011 04:00 AM
03/31/11

...

At a special meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday, the High-Speed Rail Authority endorsed a plan to ask the Federal Railroad Administration for as much as it can get of the $2.4 billion in federal high-speed rail funds Florida recently decided to turn down, and agreed to chip in 20 percent more from state high-speed rail bond money.

After Florida Gov. Rick Scott declined to cash the federal check, not wanting to pay the rest of the cost for a speedy Orlando-to-Tampa train, federal rail officials invited other states to apply for the funds. The funds are likely to be divvied up among several states so applicants have been advised to break up their requests into phases.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1ICD2PyyO

afiggatt Mar 31, 2011 7:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by northbay (Post 5223419)
in this article, it makes it sound like the money will divided up:

Yes, that is what the FRA says in the Notice of Funding Availability. Quoting from it: "Rather, FRA is directing this solicitation to all interested and eligible applicants, and anticipates making multiple awards with the funding available. " For anyone wanting to see the details and the nuts & bolts of the process, go to http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/passenger/477.shtml. States and Amtrak have until 8 PM ET Monday to get their applications in.

There is a total of $2.43 billion to be reallocated: $1.63 billion from the stimulus funding which does not require state marching and $800 million from FY2010 funding which does require a minimum of 20% state match. California will not get it all. Too many other projects and the NEC which would use additional funding as well. It is will be interesting to see how the FRA and LaHood divvy up the funding.

JDRCRASH Apr 2, 2011 1:39 AM

I don't mind California not getting all of the funds. There are just too many projects around the country right now. That said, it should get the lion's share, IMO.

djlx2 Apr 2, 2011 2:24 AM

Did we find out what kind of train their using? I was hoping for more Reginas to be able to run on this california railway system, honestly. Shinkansens, I thought those were a restaurant.

JDRCRASH Apr 11, 2011 4:38 AM

Interesting comment by Ernesto M. Fazio on maglev technology:

Quote:

"The super conducting Maglev is certainly a better alternative than the wheel and track design. The Japanese have 3,000 people realigning the tracks every night because of the enormous abuse that technology imposes on the rails.
America invented the super conducting Maglev and we haven't deployed it. Moreover our system will function in all weather conditions.Here is an op-ed I had published in a Long Island paper
Maglev- Transportation in all Kinds of Weather

Ernest M. Fazio 631 757-1698
As I was listening to the news the morning of the blizzard the big news was how the transportations systems were in disarray due to the weather.

We all know that air travel is dysfunctional even in the best of times, but given difficult challenges like blizzards, it is flat-line dead. Rail traffic on the other hand is too slow for regular intercity use, and during a blizzard they cannot operate either. So what is a better way to transport ourselves?

The modern 2nd generation Maglev that has been developed on Long Island by Gordon Danby and James Powell can operate in almost any conceivable weather. (These are the same inventors that created the 1st generation Maglev that is now operating in Japan) That may sound like too large a claim, but consider this. The 2nd generation Maglev which is known as Maglev 2000 can run on an elevated beam with all the electrical components inside completely protected from the weather. The snow accumulation on the carrying beam would be small as the wind would blow most of it off. What little snow that may remain would not stop the train because snow and ice are magnetically transparent. The train itself has a high lift about 6 inches from the carry beam, therefore there will be no physical impediment to the trains forward motion.

The Maglev 2000 uses electronic switches, therefore, no frozen switches. Those flames you may see coming from the tracks on an icy day on the LIRR are propane heaters to keep the switches operating. Electronic switches are relatively cheap to build. By building into the system many switch alternatives we can by-pass stations easily to improve commuter schedules.

The Maglev is fast and extremely efficient, but it does not have to go fast to still be worthwhile. It is ideal for commuter trains because it uses the kinetic energy in the vehicle itself to brake. A conventional train has brakes similar to the brakes on a car. The steel and brake pad dust goes into the air we breath. The residue on the walls of the subways we ride in are caused by the braking action. In a conventional commuter train we throw away all of the energy we created in the vehicle every time we stop it With the Maglev, 90% of the kinetic energy is converted back to power in the guideway.

Another consideration is freight. The trucks that carry freight are just as vulnerable to bad weather as planes and conventional rail. The Maglev 2000 has enormous lift capacity. A specially designed Maglev car can carry two fully loaded 50 ton trucks and move in all kinds of weather at speeds of up to 300 MPH. The savings to the truckers would be substantial and the reliability of on-time shipping would be greatly enhanced. This would be a boon to the freight industry, while at the same time creating an entirely new manufacturing industry.

One of the original concerns about Maglev was that it would require an entirely new infrastructure and that would be too costly and disruptive to create. The inventors have devised a cost effective modification that will allow the Maglev to operate on conventional right-of-ways such as the Long Island Railroad. The modification would not prevent conventional trains from operating when the Maglev was not in service.

The question some of you may have is; What is the economic viability? The Maglev infrastructure cost is considerably less that the wheel and track so called high speed rail that is used in other countries, and it is inherently faster. The HSR being promoted by Germany and Japan as well as other designs cannot carry freight. Freight is important because it is the most profitable part of the transportation system. All of these systems being promoted from outside the country will have to be subsidized forever. Maglev can stand on its own economic merits."
Source: http://www.technewsdaily.com/japan-h...l-maglev-2338/

ElDuderino Apr 20, 2011 10:01 PM

Quote:

Peninsula lawmakers challenge high-speed rail plan

Will Kane, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Saying they'd rather see "high-speed rail done right than done wrong," three powerful Peninsula legislators said they'd like to see the proposed high-speed rail line from San Jose to San Francisco eliminated and combined with the existing Caltrain tracks.

The group, which includes Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), said in a public statement that sending an elevated high-speed line up the Peninsula - and through their constituents' neighborhoods - would disrupt the area and was redundant.

"We do not need to duplicate a high-speed rail system," Eshoo said. "In other words, we have Caltrain now."

Supporters of high-speed rail were quick to point out that stopping service in San Jose or sending high-speed trains onto Caltrain tracks would defeat the purpose of the fast, efficient rail system approved by voters in 2008.

"I wonder what the people in (San Francisco) would think?" said Jeff Barker, deputy director of the California High Speed Rail Authority. "What that would mean is that you get very few trips into San Francisco and the Transbay Terminal."

The issue is with the noise the proposed high-speed train is expected to make as it races by at 150 mph, as well as the disruption both the trains and the planned construction would cause to local residents. The trains will travel up to 220 mph in other parts of the state.

Despite pleas by residents to send the trains underground, which is the most expensive alternative, the authority said the trains would run up the Peninsula on a system of open-air trenches, tunnels and elevated tracks.

Instead of spending billions to build a new rail line up the Peninsula, the state ought to improve Caltrain, Eshoo said.

"It is the spine of our transportation system," she said. "Why not upgrade Caltrain?"

Riders who wanted to take the high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco could just transfer to a Caltrain in San Jose, she said.

But requiring a transfer would defeat the purpose of a high-speed rail network designed to compete with driving and flying, Barker said.

"Imagine if you got on a plane and it dropped you in San Jose and then you had to find your way to San Francisco from there," he said.

Stuart Cohen, head of Transform, a high-speed rail advocacy group, said the authority ought to look at simply avoiding San Jose and sending the train through the Altamont Pass, across a bridge near Menlo Park and then up the Peninsula to San Francisco, an option already rejected by the authority.

"If the choice is for it to become a San Jose-to-Los Angeles project, at that point you want to reconsider opening up the Altamont option," he said.

No bridge suitable for the trains currently crosses the bay, however.

The 800-mile, $42 billion high-speed rail line is bound to have an impact of some residents, Barker said.

"There is broad support for high-speed rail," he said. "It will benefit tens of millions more people than the tight area this system will go through" on the Peninsula.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BAHI1J32P8.DTL

fflint Apr 20, 2011 10:09 PM

The county that refused BART back in the day now wants to derail bullet trains to San Francisco. It's really hard not to hate San Mateo County sometimes.

glowrock Apr 20, 2011 10:51 PM

Gotta love the obnoxious NIMBY's, eh? What the hell is wrong with San Mateo County? They always seem to be the problem when it comes to the Bay Area and transit improvements...

Aaron (Glowrock)

Ragnar Apr 20, 2011 11:38 PM

Why do I get the feeling that California's HSR will be a Fresno to Bakersfield segment ("HSR to nowhere"), and everyone will point out how dumb California is.

If HSR does NOT go to San Francisco, it is a complete waste. I'm on the fence already as to spending $50 billion or so to get from L.A. to S.F. maybe 15-30 minutes faster than by air. And that is a BIG "maybe". Plus airlines (read: Southwest) will still likely offer a cheaper ticket.

Connecting in San Jose to a CalTrain from HSR would be like flying from LAX to SFO and changing planes in Stockton. Yes, you could do that, but why would you want to?

LosAngelesSportsFan Apr 21, 2011 12:03 AM

a small peninsula of nimby idiots isn't going to derail a massive rail project that was approved by a super majority of voters in ca.

fflint Apr 21, 2011 12:21 AM

Yeah, I'm not ready to write this off yet. The powers-that-be in SF city will take on these hick NIMBYs--there's way too much at stake to let some selfish asshats derail such a critical piece of infrastructure.

Seriously, the arguments just don't wash. Don't want to hear trains? Then don't move next to a 150-year old railroad. It's not like anyone can claim they predate the trains along that right of way.

penfold Apr 21, 2011 1:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5249383)
Seriously, the arguments just don't wash. Don't want to hear trains? Then don't move next to a 150-year old railroad. It's not like anyone can claim they predate the trains along that right of way.

This is an argument I still don't understand. The trains now are much louder than they would be if electrified. There are also incredibly loud bells which ring when the trains approach level crossings, which are supposed to be eliminated with HSR.

Will the trains be going at full speed through urban areas? Would this make them substantially louder than Caltrain as it is?

glowrock Apr 21, 2011 4:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ragnar (Post 5249324)
Why do I get the feeling that California's HSR will be a Fresno to Bakersfield segment ("HSR to nowhere"), and everyone will point out how dumb California is.

The first SEGMENT will be Fresno to Bakersfield, that much is true. It's one of the least expensive sections to start out with, and it is going to help a very, very depressed part of California in terms of thousands of jobs and very large amounts of economic growth in the region. But again, this is just the first segment. Nothing more, nothing less. Plenty more will come.

Aaron (Glowrock)

afiggatt Apr 21, 2011 4:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by penfold (Post 5249450)
This is an argument I still don't understand. The trains now are much louder than they would be if electrified. There are also incredibly loud bells which ring when the trains approach level crossings, which are supposed to be eliminated with HSR.

Will the trains be going at full speed through urban areas? Would this make them substantially louder than Caltrain as it is?

No, the plans are that the HSR trains will run at a max speed of 125 mph between San Jose and San Francisco. This means the segment will be similar to a 4 track section of the NEC, but with all new tracks, modern structures, and sound blocking barriers at key locations.

I agree. I find the arguments and NIMBY reactions I read about on-line about converting the existing rail corridor to a fully grade separated, electrified corridor to be ignorant and often silly. It will be quieter, improve safety, and provide HSR access to most of the major cities in CA to boot. Should be a no brainer.

fflint Apr 21, 2011 4:55 PM

Haha, looks like some pressure was brought to bear overnight: the NIMBY politicos are "clarifying" their statement in today's Chronicle:

Peninsula legislators update position on rail

Chronicle staff report
San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Three Peninsula legislators now say they don't think a proposed high-speed rail line from San Jose to San Francisco should end in San Jose, clarifying remarks they made earlier this week.

In a joint statement, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, said they thought high-speed trains should run up the Peninsula at a lower speed on current Caltrain tracks.

...
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1KB3OVR5q

Jasonhouse Apr 21, 2011 5:08 PM

lol. Incompetent, self serving idiots.

Ragnar Apr 21, 2011 5:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glowrock (Post 5249617)
The first SEGMENT will be Fresno to Bakersfield, that much is true. It's one of the least expensive sections to start out with, and it is going to help a very, very depressed part of California in terms of thousands of jobs and very large amounts of economic growth in the region. But again, this is just the first segment. Nothing more, nothing less. Plenty more will come.

Aaron (Glowrock)

IF we get the money to build the rest. That's very big "if" at this point IMO.

JDRCRASH Apr 22, 2011 5:12 AM

^ Quite frankly, you can blame Obama at this point, not House Republicans. He's had more than enough time to seriously sit down with political opposites and discuss the matter.

alphachapmtl Apr 22, 2011 11:57 AM

The route selected seems to defeat the purpose of a high speed rail.
It should go straight from San Diego to LA to San Francisco.
What is the point of going twice faster if you take a twice longer route?

afiggatt Apr 22, 2011 1:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alphachapmtl (Post 5251356)
The route selected seems to defeat the purpose of a high speed rail.
It should go straight from San Diego to LA to San Francisco.
What is the point of going twice faster if you take a twice longer route?

You want the route to connect the major population centers of CA. So the route through central CA goes through the valley - Fresno (metro population of 1.1 million) and Bakersfield (metro population of 830K). The route also connects the high desert at Lancaster and Palmdale on the way to Burbank and LA. The route from the central valley to LA is also significantly constrained by geography and where the fault lines are.

The LA to San Diego Inland Empire route is perhaps the most controversial but the decision was that there were too many physical constraints in a direct route from LA to San Diego. All extensively studied over a number of years. Besides the population of the Inland Empire region has grown enormously in recent decades. So the main route is planned to swing through or by the Inland Empire cities. The Surfliner trains - with improvements to the existing LA-SD route - will provide options for those traveling from San Diego to LA.

I have also noticed that the planned route of the complete CA HSR system will also provide for convenient connecting HSR corridors to Las Vegas (from Palmdale) and to Phoenix AZ (from south of Riverside). Don't know if this was a complete accident or part of the background thinking on the selection of the route while they could not publicly push for or propose future extensions to those out of state cities.

If you want to read the studies and EIS reports to see the details and how they got to the current planned route, there are a ton of documents on the CHSRA site at http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/library.aspx.

202_Cyclist Apr 22, 2011 2:14 PM

The Washington Examiner, a hack/propaganda 'newspaper' had an anti-high speed rail screed in yesterday's paper by a hack at the Hudson Institute. Anyone who describes Karl Rove's group as a 'non-profit advocacy group' immediately loses credibility. To paraphrase cirrus, Ms. Furchtgott's thoughts on high speed rail and transportation should be taken about as seriously as Lady Gaga's thoughts on astrophysics. Here is my response to this drivel.

"Your propaganda in yesterday's Washington Examiner is deeply flawed. First, Crossroads GPS is hardly a 'non-profit advocacy group.' We both know it is a group formed by karl Rove this past election cycle after the Supreme Court's CItizens' United decision to funnel unlimited campaign contributions from hedge-fund managers and other wealthy oligarchs to candidates.

Second, has any cost/benefit analysis been done for our interstate highway system? User fees (i.e. the gas tax) only pay for 51 percent of the cost of construction and maintenance: http://subsidyscope.org/transportati...hways/funding/. Additionally, the federal Highway Trust Fund has needed bailouts of $7B - $8B each of the past four years. This is a significant subsidy of motorists at the expense of the general population-- well over $30B in the past four years. Since 2008, slightly over $10B has been appropriated for investments in passenger rail. The subsidies for roads and driving is even larger when you look at county and local roads. Many of these roads are paid for through bonds, sales tax, property taxes and other sources of revenue that have nothing to do with driving, meaning auto use is subsidized. Parking is also a huge subsidy for motorists, regardless of how you travel. Donald Shoup estimates the subsidy for parking each year is $127B (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/bu...my/15view.html).

High speed rail compares even more favorably when you look at the externalities of driving. Every single year, there are approximately 35,000 - 40,000 auto fatalities in the US. In addition to the tragic human toll this costs our economy $160B every single year. High speed rail, on the other hand, is one of the safest modes of transportation. Since the Shinkansen began operating in Japan in the 1960s, there has not been one fatality on high speed rail in that country.

You also compare high speed rail to intercity bus, and again, your comparison is deeply flawed. According to Amtrak's plans for investment in mobility in the Northeast corridor, passengers will be able to get from DC to New York in just over 90 minutes (http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...o-be-realized/). Bolt Bus and other intercity buses, on the other hand, have to share the highway with all the other vehicles and trucks. Travel time by bus currently takes four hours or more. It is not unreasonable at all to expect there are a lot of high wage earners that will gladly pay more for a trip that is one-third the travel time as bus. This is also current travel time. The population of the United States is expected to increase to 400M people by 2050. Is there anyone who doesn't seriously expect our already-congested highways to become even more crowded and for travel to take longer as all these additional people drive? The level of comfort on high speed rail also far surpasses that offered by bus. High speed rail offers wider aisles, wider seats, wireless internet (as offered on some of the buses), more comfortable restrooms, and dining options."

No cost-benefit studies done for Obama's $53 billion high-speed rail boondoggle


http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinio...ail-boondoggle

hammersklavier Apr 22, 2011 9:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5250205)
In a joint statement, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, said they thought high-speed trains should run up the Peninsula at a lower speed on current Caltrain tracks.

Idiots. 1. HSR demands grade separation. 2. The FRA demands running-way separation between HSR-type (light) and freight vehicles...and I am sure the local freight operator will want to keep its major lead to Frisco proper.

202 Cyclist--a minor correction, but I'm pretty sure Bolt and Megabus have a five-hour run from NY to DC. (2 hrs from Philly to NY; 3 hrs from Philly to DC--my origination point is Philly so I can't take nonstop run, however.) Running the full length of the NJ Tpk instead of following the Delaware Expwy. will only cut a marginal amount of time off.

Gordo Apr 22, 2011 9:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 5251936)
Idiots. 1. HSR demands grade separation. 2. The FRA demands running-way separation between HSR-type (light) and freight vehicles...and I am sure the local freight operator will want to keep its major lead to Frisco proper.

UP actually already sold its tracks from SJ to SF to the three counties that jointly own Caltrain in the late 80's/early 90's (San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara Counties). UP now leases the right to use the tracks now for a few middle of the night trains (no daytime operation).

As part of the sale of the tracks, there is a clause that the lease to UP could be terminated for "substantially enhanced and upgraded grade-separated passenger services" - it's what is known locally as the "BART clause," because it was assumed at the time that BART could potentially be expanded down the peninsula at some point.

CHSRA has never talked seriously of exercising the clause in large part because they want to work with UP in other areas of the state where UP owns the best ROW, but it's always there as an option (and IMO should be used to significantly decrease the cost of grade separation up and down the peninsula - keeping the grade separations available for freight use means much lower grade increases/decreases, larger portals, higher catenary, and mega $$$, all for a few night trains a week).

Also - Caltrain already received an FRA waiver to run non-compliant trains in the corridor even if freight trains remain - it's a time-sensitive waiver with freight trains running only in the middle of the night (not even every night, just a few trains a week as exists now). That ruling from the FRA last year was considered the best news for passenger rail in decades.

electricron Apr 22, 2011 9:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 5251936)
Idiots. 1. HSR demands grade separation. 2. The FRA demands running-way separation between HSR-type (light) and freight vehicles...and I am sure the local freight operator will want to keep its major lead to Frisco proper.

Not necessarily. Acela HSR trainsets don't run on completely grade separated tracks. But, they aren't considered light. Significant costs reductions can be made if they decided to use FRA compliant HSR trains. Then they could use much of the existing tracks leading into cities when they aren't going really fast. The FRA regulations allow mixed usage of tracks at speeds less than 150 mph (Northeast Corridor).

But, I believe many on the peninsula are over reacting to elevated tracks. They want grade separations so traffic isn't waiting at crossings for the trains, but only if the tracks are laid under city streets. While I'll admit elevated tracks aren't beautiful, they sure are functional.

TRE on new elevated tracks over an intersection at Beltline Road in Irving
Video Link


That was a diesel locomotive @ 60-79 mph, an electric locomotive woud be much quieter.

By the way, looks like the folks up in the Peninsula are looking at doing what Orange county wanted, using the existing rail corridor at slower speeds. CHSR had not planned on going 200 mph in either locale, so the need for a new grade separated corridor decreases. Along with the decrease requirements comes decreased costs...

Beta_Magellan Apr 22, 2011 11:16 PM

If CAHSRA wants trains to go faster than existing Baby Bullet services, though, they’ll need overtakes in some places, and there’s no way California will allow four-tracked at grade intersections with trains going at 90 mph.

As a short-term compromise, though, this isn’t so bad—note that the original TGVs to Lyon ran along a shorter LGV (high-speed line) than exists now, making for a ~4-hour trip. There was enough dedicated high-speed track to demonstrate the difference between high speed and conventional rail, though, which helped convince people of the project’s worth.

electricron Apr 22, 2011 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5252063)
If CAHSRA wants trains to go faster than existing Baby Bullet services, though, they’ll need overtakes in some places, and there’s no way California will allow four-tracked at grade intersections with trains going at 90 mph.

As a short-term compromise, though, this isn’t so bad—note that the original TGVs to Lyon ran along a shorter LGV (high-speed line) than exists now, making for a ~4-hour trip. There was enough dedicated high-speed track to demonstrate the difference between high speed and conventional rail, though, which helped convince people of the project’s worth.

I'll agree. CHSR trains could overtake CalTrains at stations. Just triple or quad track at the stations initially.

Instead of this,
side platform 1
track 1
track 2
side platform 2

Build this
track 1 Caltrains
island platform 1
track 2 CHSR
track 3 CHSR
island platform 2
track 4 Caltrains

You don't need quad tracks over the entire distance.

hammersklavier Apr 23, 2011 1:02 AM

This blog post suggests that there is a slight difference between the dynamic envelopes of Caltrain and CHSRA (namely, platform height) which would make it slightly more expensive to design island platforms which serve both services, though...

As it is I doubt UP would want to lose any customers...they would only want to cease operations on the line were all their customers to shut down.

Although it's quite critical of CHRSA, the blog Systemic Failure is also quite insightful. Following that blog's stresses, a long-term issue we must endeavor to work on is an adoption of an international rail safety standard--one not based on weight they way it is now. Similarly we need to import European auto safety standards here straight stat.

JDRCRASH Apr 23, 2011 5:38 AM

Does anybody have a rough estimate on how much speed (both average and top) would be lost as a result of sharing tracks with Metrolink/Caltrain?
And I want real answers, not biased ones from track-sharing booster forumers.

I just hope one day the whole corridor can be grade-seperated on it's own track. Hopefully it doesn't become one of those VERY ANNOYING "the route is too busy to build a new track, and construction would disrupt existing services" situations. I can easily see this happening.


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