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dimondpark Oct 11, 2011 2:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5435717)
Thank you Jerry Brown! Hopefully this is just the first step in changing over the management and direction of this project.

Couldnt agree more.

More importantly to me, the delay will secure that the $9 Billion bond voters passed isnt issued prematurely and the CAHSR squanders it.

dimondpark Oct 13, 2011 5:17 PM

Quote:

Cost of California's high-speed rail may surge

By: Will Reisman | 10/12/11 8:42 PM
Examiner Staff Writer

A new report says California’s proposed high-speed railroad could cost state taxpayers more than three times the official $43 billion cost projection.

This $138 billion estimate comes from a trio of Bay Area analysts who have followed the project, which was conceived to carry residents from San Francisco to Los Angeles in about 2½ hours.

The revised cost comes from new construction developments and lower-than-expected federal contributions, said coauthor and entrepreneur William Warren, who has a Masters in business from Stanford University.

The California High Speed Rail Authority, which oversees the project, expected to receive about $18 billion from the federal government. But in a new era of fiscal austerity, Warren thinks it’s unlikely the railway will receive more than the $3 billion it has already secured.

Meanwhile, cost estimates for the Fresno-to-Bakersfield segment were recently revised from $7 billion to between $10 million and $13.9 billion, an increase that Warren and colleagues say will cause construction costs to hit $66 billion...

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011...#ixzz1agPBFFTC

I have long suspected that the true total financial cost of this project would be over well 100 Billion.

202_Cyclist Oct 13, 2011 8:39 PM

Alain Enthoven, one of the authors of this study, lives next to the proposed alignment in Palo Alto and has been a consistent critic of this project. Admittedly, I haven't read this report but I would be skeptical of it.


Anti-HSR Activism is a Rich Man’s Movement
http://www.cahsrblog.com/2011/04/ant...mans-movement/

ltsmotorsport Oct 14, 2011 2:43 AM

I was just thinking this when I saw Warren's connection with Stanford.

jamesinclair Oct 14, 2011 8:44 AM

I said it a year ago, eveyr few months, a new critic comes along and simply makes up a new higher number.

$61
$80
$100
$120
We're at $138 now?

The next critic will say $150 by december. And why not, making stuff up is fun.

pesto Oct 17, 2011 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesinclair (Post 5444283)
I said it a year ago, eveyr few months, a new critic comes along and simply makes up a new higher number.

$61
$80
$100
$120
We're at $138 now?

The next critic will say $150 by december. And why not, making stuff up is fun.

I don't have them in front of me, but my recollection is that even before the vote there were studies from planners at USC and U. of Minnesota which estimated costs in the 80M to over 100M range. It might be interesting to compare assumptions and methodologies, if you can find them somewhere.

electricron Oct 17, 2011 5:20 PM

If neighborhood groups get there way and force CHSR to build HSR tracks in tunnels (or open air trenches below grade) along CatTrain ROW instead of aerial guideways, total costs will skyrocket. The same can be said for Southern California neighborhoods too. The published costs assume building the cheapest alternative, not the most expensive which neighborhood groups are demanding.

Much of the existing double track CalTrain corridor is built above grade already. Just adding two more tracks at the same grade (whether at or above grade) will easily be the cheapest solution - tearing up the existing tracks and rebuilding them along with two more new tracks below grade will be far more expensive.

The existing portions of the CalTrain corridors that are above grade have been there for decades. If you demand the most expensive solution, you'll going to force costs higher. Whatever happen to building the most efficient system?

JDRCRASH Oct 18, 2011 1:41 AM

I never paid much attention to these biased and flawed cost analysis'. In fact I guarantee you Mr. Enthoven's "estimate" assumes Palo Alto and the rest of the Peninsula gets EVERYTHING it wants so they can support CHSR.

If the majority of the route is at-grade, it will likely still cost only $40-50 Billion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by N830MH (Post 5439922)
They never was. I am never rode on HSR before. Is that 300 or 400mph? Is that a fastest train? It will save the time. I think HSR will be very successful. Is that nonstop from LA to Bay Area? Can they have a express line?

Yes it would have an express line.:)

202_Cyclist Oct 18, 2011 2:45 PM

Investors might wait to back rail project until trains are running (LA Times)
 
Investors might wait to back rail project until trains are running

October 17, 2011
LA Times
By Ralph Vartabedian


“Private investors may not be willing to invest in the California bullet train project until after it begins operating, the California High-Speed Rail Authority said in a letter to key legislators, an acknowledgment that again raises serious questions about how the state is going to fund the $43-billion construction over the next decade.

The letter gives a preview of the authority’s upcoming business plan, a critical document that is supposed to address longstanding concerns that it lacks a credible plan to build and operate the system. Even supporters of the Southern California-to-San Francisco system have said the previous business plans were unrealistic in their estimates of construction costs and ridership numbers, among much else.

The business plan is expected to be filed Nov. 1 and along with a related funding plan must be approved by the Legislature before the state can issue any of the $9 billion voters approved for the project in a 2008 bond measure. The legislature has a 60-day window to approve the plans and then begin the process of committing the state to bonds that would take several decades to pay off…”

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...ually-run.html

pesto Oct 18, 2011 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5448098)
Investors might wait to back rail project until trains are running

October 17, 2011
LA Times
By Ralph Vartabedian


“Private investors may not be willing to invest in the California bullet train project until after it begins operating, the California High-Speed Rail Authority said in a letter to key legislators, an acknowledgment that again raises serious questions about how the state is going to fund the $43-billion construction over the next decade.

The letter gives a preview of the authority’s upcoming business plan, a critical document that is supposed to address longstanding concerns that it lacks a credible plan to build and operate the system. Even supporters of the Southern California-to-San Francisco system have said the previous business plans were unrealistic in their estimates of construction costs and ridership numbers, among much else.

The business plan is expected to be filed Nov. 1 and along with a related funding plan must be approved by the Legislature before the state can issue any of the $9 billion voters approved for the project in a 2008 bond measure. The legislature has a 60-day window to approve the plans and then begin the process of committing the state to bonds that would take several decades to pay off…”

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...ually-run.html

Well, the first step toward recovery is to admit there is a problem. Now that HSR admits that there is no investor (or Chinese, Japanese or French builder) who would be willing to risk their own money on HSR, a more realistic approach to building should be considered.

I would start with revising ridership estimates (as several auditors have suggested); clarify how many non-stops and locals there would be and how long they would really take (their back up documents are vague on this).

My guess is that this will show that two regional systems (SD-Bako; and SJ-Sacto) will bring the most bang for the buck. But, let the chips fall as they may.

BrennanW Oct 18, 2011 7:16 PM

I've always thought that regional rail systems will be the paving stones for true intercity rail service in this country. I was impressed with the ICE when I was in Europe this summer, but the regional trains - their speed, frequency, and infrastructure - blew me away. What is the problem with spending a bunch of money on ROW without promising voters you're going to immiediatly run trains at 300 mph on them? I like the LA-SAN corridor because there seem to be a lot of people and investors interested in it. Similarly SFO-SMF.

Why are these corridors so popular? I think it is definately because there is existing regular speed (80 mph is not slow) commuter service on it. People have got the "transit culture" there. That culture is ESSENTIAL in building support for new rail systems.

I think the best use of that $9 billion is building a new approach in to the valley from the north, and completing the San Jaoquin service form Bakersfield into LA Union. Maybe upgrade frequencies on the San Jaoquin, and speed parts of it up in rural areas to 110 mph. Then you've got the spark, people start using intercity rail (people tend to like it once it becomes an option.)

Boom.

No longer is there any opposition for a huge, real investment in a statewide rail system. The momentum, like what is going on in Denver and Salt Lake City, soon Oklahoma City, would be immense- on a statewide level.

I can only dream of the day.

JDRCRASH Oct 19, 2011 1:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5448404)
My guess is that this will show that two regional systems (SD-Bako; and SJ-Sacto) will bring the most bang for the buck. But, let the chips fall as they may.

HA! Don't count on that, especially if ANY NIMBYs along those segments get their way.

You think a few powerful Central Valley farmers are tough to deal with? Just wait... you haven't seen ANYTHING yet. Imagine how time consuming it will be to go through the countless lawsuits filed by urban NIMBYs, disqualifying the segments from utilizing the Prop 1A funds within it's allotted timeframe.

And remember... there's also Union Pacific we have to deal with. The only other route here through the SGV is alongside either the 10 or 60 freeways, and BELIEVE ME, those proposals are dead on arrival. Rosemead and even El Monte have expressed concern about that and would prefer an agreement with Union Pacific to share their ROW.

Reminiscence Oct 19, 2011 7:43 AM

I think I've lost faith this will ever get built. Those 130 something billion dollar estimates are some of the biggest overestimates I've ever seen, no way it's that much, even if we wait another 30 years to start building (which actually looks likely). Everyone wants some sort of guarantee this gonna work, but if it's gonna happen, someone has to take the big risk and do it. When I first heard of this proposal years and years ago, I thought by now we'd see some building going on. I guess I held my hopes up too high, things always take forever to build here. Sad really.

dimondpark Oct 19, 2011 7:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5443660)
Alain Enthoven, one of the authors of this study, lives next to the proposed alignment in Palo Alto and has been a consistent critic of this project. Admittedly, I haven't read this report but I would be skeptical of it.


Anti-HSR Activism is a Rich Man’s Movement
http://www.cahsrblog.com/2011/04/ant...mans-movement/

We need only look at current and past construction projects in this state to see exactly what's going to happen.

Lawsuits and ensuing delays along with other unforseen setbacks will push the cost into the stratosphere.

The Bay Bridge was supposed to cost a little over 1 Billion Dollars at first, well that was 6 Billion dollars ago.

Now amplify that kind of political drama and bureaucracy over an entire state, over several county and city lines, throw into the mix an unenthusiastic state government that is not exactly rushing to hasten the development of this thing.

And now, even more good news for taxpayers:
Quote:

Investors may not back bullet train until after it's running, agency says

By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times

October 18, 2011
Investors may not be willing to back the state's bullet train project until after it begins operating, the California High-Speed Rail Authority said in a letter to key legislators, an acknowledgment that again raises serious questions about how the $43-billion construction cost will be paid over the next decade.

The letter gives a preview of the authority's upcoming business plan, a critical document that is supposed to address long-standing concerns that it lacks a credible blueprint for building and operating the system. Even supporters of the Southern California-to-San Francisco system have said the previous business plans were unrealistic in their estimates of construction costs and ridership numbers, among other things...

Although it is not impossible to find some private money, the letter said "the authority is planning for a more likely market scenario in which private capital is attracted based on the revenues of the project once revenues are proven." The failure to attract private investors earlier is seen by many critics as evidence that the state's plan is excessively risky.

With private investors out of the picture and Congress now balking at providing any more than the existing funding, the upcoming business plan has to answer how it could hope to complete the project. One option appears to be a financing tool, being considered in a U.S. Senate subcommittee, in which the federal government would provide tax credits to holders of bonds used to help build the system, according to the authority's letter to the Legislature's budget committees...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,7732152.story

Like Ive already stated in this thread, Im all for spending $43 Billion to enhance public transit in this state and would gladly support responsible, feasible and worthwhile projects that really do improve and expand existing systems.

But this particular project in its current form, doesnt pass the muster imHo.

dimondpark Oct 19, 2011 7:24 PM

This is extremely interesting. Maglev? Anybody know anything about that?
Quote:

California counting on outmoded technolgies

By Thomas D. Elias San Jose Mercury News

Posted: 10/11/2011 10:47:21 PM PDT
Updated: 10/11/2011 10:47:22 PM PDT

While many of its roads, bridges and hospitals remain potholed or potential hazards whenever the next major earthquake strikes, California and its enablers in the federal government nevertheless remain determined to pour billions of dollars into two types of large infrastructure projects: high-speed rail and large-scale solar thermal farms.

Voters approved high-speed rail, while state legislators and two governors have pushed big solar.

But there are many who claim both efforts aim to use outmoded and needlessly expensive technologies...

Rather than building traditional tracks, these people suggest using magnetic levitation (maglev) trains running on elevated viaducts that allow cross traffic to move easily beneath them and never run the risk of hitting pedestrians.

"Bullet trains are obsolete, at the end phase of their development," says Rick Canine, an executive of Federal Maglev Inc., which claims it could build the California system for about $14 million per mile, rather than the $56 million per mile estimated in the state's most recent plan.

Canine claims maglev trains would have a top speed of 300 mph in long runs through rural country, while the high-speed rail proposition promised a maximum speed of 220 mph but would actually almost never exceed 190. Maglev trains, he says, could safely go 150 mph in urban and suburban areas, while bullet trains would never exceed 110 in those places.

Yes, Canine has a financial interest in maglev. But that doesn't make him wrong. Especially since the reality is that maglev trains in Japan have actually run at 360 mph and could go 400. They don't, though, mostly because the faster a maglev train runs, the more electricity it consumes.

Rather than rails, maglev trains run on concrete beds with embedded magnets that repulse other magnets on skis beneath lightweight aluminum passenger cars. Lack of steel rails is one reason for the lower construction costs.

Then there are the lower maintenance costs of maglev. A 19-mile maglev line in Shanghai, China, for example, used just two weeks of labor in its first eight years of operation, according to a report presented at a 2010 international symposium on maglev. Rails require far more maintenance.

Which makes this is a technology deserving of a far stronger and longer look than the California commission has given it.



http://www.mercurynews.com/columns/ci_19093791

Would this kind of train make sense for us?

DJM19 Oct 19, 2011 10:11 PM

I very much doubt he could build the same system 4 times cheaper using maglev technology. From everything I've heard it would probably be the opposite.

hammersklavier Oct 20, 2011 1:30 AM

The only practical application of Maglev is that Shanghai airport line. It's untested in intercity applications, and hence unlikely to save money vis-à-vis off-the-shelf European and Japanese HSR technology (which is, among other things, well-tested). Not that that'll change some hearts and minds. Why CBOSS is being pushed instead of a localized ERTMS application, I'll never know.

JDRCRASH Oct 20, 2011 5:00 AM

Maglev replacing the CHSR is impossible, actually. The existing plan is too far along.

On the shorter Las Vegas-Anaheim corridor, however...

By the way, the reason why the Shanghai Hangzhou extension wasn't built as maglev wasn't because the technology ITSELF. It was because there was great pressure on the government to make it a subway, greatly increasing the costs. Had it been built the same way the initial airport line was built (above-grade or at-grade), it wouldn't have cost anywhere NEAR as much.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 5450424)
The only practical application of Maglev is that Shanghai airport line. It's untested in intercity applications, and hence unlikely to save money

Forgive me if I think this makes no sense, but how do you know it's "unlikely to save money" if an attempt hasn't been made? What happened to the old saying, "you'll never know until you try"?

dimondpark Oct 20, 2011 5:16 AM

I knew I could get info from fellow SSPers. Thanks guys!

BrennanW Oct 20, 2011 5:45 AM

I know this sounds a little nutty, but in Trainz Simulator 2006 and beyond, they included a fictional 100+ mile intercity maglev line in Australia connecting three fictional cities through a windy, rocky route with some sections at 300+ kmh.

The entire system was elevated, and single track except for stations and 2-3 passing sidings on the entire route. They simulated 30 minute headways and if you did it without delay on the three-station line, you would always pass the other train at the middle station.

This, I feel, was a pretty accurate depiction of a true intercity maglev system. You all should check it out if you're interested in trains and high speed rail operation.

http://i714.photobucket.com/albums/w...levStation.jpg

hammersklavier Oct 20, 2011 7:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5450655)
Forgive me if I think this makes no sense, but how do you know it's "unlikely to save money" if an attempt hasn't been made? What happened to the old saying, "you'll never know until you try"?

Bugs.

You always get bugs cropping up in untested technology. Remember that story where a B&O steam engine raced a horse-drawn carriage from Baltimore to Washington but the steam engine broke down halfway through? That's what's called a "bug". They usually need a ton of money and/or effort to fix. The only way to iron them out is to actually use the technology--but if cost-effectiveness is a goal, then getting the most tested (and hence least "buggy") technology available is the most viable option.

Sure, maglevs may be cheaper in the long run, but the first few maglev lines around going to be substantially more expensive to build and operate, until the technology becomes tested and proven. The B&O lines from Baltimore to Washington and Point of Rocks have of the most overbuilt rail bridges in the country for precisely that reason. Despite its risks, steam railroad technology was, however, employed because it represented a clear technical advantage to tollpikes and canals. Maglev technology represents no clear advantage, would have to be built on a learning curve (like finding out you don't need a masonry viaduct to cross every stream), fix bugs in the technology, and so has exorbitantly high barriers to entry. It is unlikely the testing of Maglev technology will happen anywhere in the developed world for precisely this reason.

zilfondel Oct 20, 2011 9:43 PM

Quote:

It is unlikely the testing of Maglev technology will happen anywhere in the developed world for precisely this reason.
EDIT: Sorry, I thought you were talking about traditional tech and not Maglev.

Maglev-wise - Japan starts construction on their $117 billion Tokyo-Osaka Maglev line [Chūō Shinkansen] in 2014. It will travel at 505 kph.

JDRCRASH Oct 20, 2011 10:37 PM

Yeah hammersklavier, there is truth to that . What's good is that it seems Maglev testing is starting to be studied a lot more now.

BTW, I just remembered, here's something interesting about "Ultra High Speed Rail" Technology I stumbled upon a few weeks ago, and why TGV trains will likely not reach or surpass it's top tested speed (574.8 km/h) in commercial use:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passeng...93_1000_km.2Fh

hammersklavier Oct 21, 2011 2:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zilfondel (Post 5451464)
EDIT: Sorry, I thought you were talking about traditional tech and not Maglev.

Maglev-wise - Japan starts construction on their $117 billion Tokyo-Osaka Maglev line [Chūō Shinkansen] in 2014. It will travel at 505 kph.

Well I was wrong on that count...Although that reminds me that Japan had HSR 20 years before anybody else...

aquablue Oct 21, 2011 3:30 AM

It's true, I always thought the USA was missing a massive opportunity by not investing in maglev. The Japanese will show the world the future of transport and the USA should be investing in the future, not the present. They should take advantage of the lack of her infrastructure and just follow the lead of the jr project. Perhaps they would help finance it as they are eager to export their tech.

JDRCRASH Oct 24, 2011 2:22 AM

Quote:

California bullet train: The high price of speed

Its proposed route would destroy churches, schools, homes, warehouses, banks, medical offices, stores and much more.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2011-10/65593994.jpg
Photo Credit: (Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times / October 13, 2011)
Fernando Salazar, 17, a junior at Bakersfield High School, makes a box in the wood-working shop at Bakersfield
High School. A proposed high-speed rail route would require closure of the school's industrial arts building.



By Ralph Vartabedian

October 22, 2011, 6:03 p.m.

Bakersfield—Since it opened in 1893, Bakersfield High School has been the pride of this city and its academic cornerstone, the place where the late Chief Justice Earl Warren graduated and students call themselves the Drillers in homage to the region's oil patch.

It has withstood earthquakes and depressions, but perhaps it will not survive the California bullet train.

The train's proposed routes are taking aim at the campus, potentially putting a bulls-eye on the Industrial Arts Building, where future engineers, ceramic artists, auto mechanics, fabric designers and wood-workers take classes. Even though freight trains already lumber not far from the campus, these elevated trains could rocket by on a viaduct at up to 220 mph every five minutes, eye level with the school library and deafening the stately outdoor commons where students congregate between classes.

"Obviously we can't have a school with a high-speed rail going over the top of the building," said Principal David Reese. "What kind of distraction would that cause our students?"

The California High Speed Rail Authority, the agency trying to build the bullet train, couldn't have found a more politically sensitive target. The school is where House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), one of the project's staunchest opponents in Congress, sends his children.

Critics say such blunders are routine for the rail authority. Across the length of the Central Valley, the bullet train as drawn would destroy churches, schools, private homes, shelters for low-income people, animal processing plants, warehouses, banks, medical offices, auto parts stores, factories, farm fields, mobile home parks, apartment buildings and much else as it cuts through the richest agricultural belt in the nation and through some of the most depressed cities in California. . .

READ MORE . . .
Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...le+Feedfetcher

bmfarley Oct 24, 2011 2:28 AM

I see a new forum somewhere else for CHSRA, but, arranged by segment. Could a forum administrator do the same here?

http://carail.yuku.com/directory

JDRCRASH Oct 24, 2011 3:28 AM

Something doesn't feel right here. Since when were hundreds of properties in danger? Most, if not all, of the ROW through Bakersfield is large enough to build two more rail lines...
And since when did building viaducts 80 ft tall make sense? I think it should be trenched...

Something tells me this project is seriously going down the wrong road...

mfastx Oct 24, 2011 6:07 PM

This is getting ridiculous. Deafening?? High speed trains are some of the quietest trains there are. You have got to be kidding me. There are many libraries where cars drive in front, etc. Why would a train going in front of someone for two seconds be distracting??

Wow.

dimondpark Oct 24, 2011 6:42 PM

Quote:

Kings County Supervisors Reject High Speed Rail

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- After more than a year of back and forth discussions Kings County now says it wants out of California's High Speed Rail Project.

Tuesday, Kings County supervisors adopted a resolution saying they do not want any high speed rail routes going through Kings County. Supervisors say citizens have overwhelmingly rejected the idea of high speed rail in the county. Supervisors also say the High Speed Rail Authority has either ignored or rejected all of the board's concern about the rail running through Kings County.

"It's just meeting after meeting and work after work for nothing," said Kings County Supervisor Richard Fagundes.

"I think it's time that Kings County opposes high speed rail," said Kings County Supervisor Richard Valle.

Kings County Supervisor Joe Neves said, "I just think it's time we stick a fork in it and call it good."

A unanimous vote by the Kings County Board Of Supervisors opposed any California high speed rail routes through Kings County. The decision comes after a series of emotional meetings in which residents voiced concerns that a proposed route through Hanford would hurt the community. Residents were also worried proposed routes running east and west of the town would cut through precious farmland.


In a written statement to Action News, the High Speed Rail Authority said, "The Authority will keep working with the residents of Kings County directly to make this the best project possible for California."

Despite Kings County's disapproval, the bullet train proposal will still move forward with its plans. A final route through Kings County is expected by August 2012.

Residents aren't surprised the rail authority still plans to run the train through Kings County.

"It became very obvious as time has gone on they have no intention of working with us at all," said John Tos, who owns property that will be affected by the route.

"My house would be taken -- my house and 4 neighbors' houses so all the houses on that street except one and a small business are gone," said Kings County resident Ross Browning.

The Citizens For California High Speed Rail Accountability will be holding an informational meeting about the resolution Tuesday night at 5:30pm at Brandman University in Hanford.


http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/video?id=8396838

At the time of this post, CAHSR still plans to run the line through Kings County--expect a law suit that will, in all likelihood end up with CASHR having to move its line outside the county lines.

CyberEric Oct 24, 2011 8:53 PM

It's getting ugly now isn't it.

pesto Oct 25, 2011 4:50 PM

Really a shame. I voted for HSR and thought their management team was savvy enough to work the politics of a project this size. But I was amazed by their incompetence at every step.

If the money is lacking, then first build it right (trenches or whatever mitigation is needed) in short metro areas (say, Irvine, Riverside, High Desert to LA). Build a reputation as a good guy who works with locals and runs a tight ship, not as someone who says screw your house, screw your neighborhood, screw your high school; or,if you don't want it, we'll build from nowhere to nowhere, just to spend money.

A great time for Jerry Brown to show that he can get something done: fire the board, put a new team in charge and come up with a plan based on political realities and actual funds available.

mfastx Oct 25, 2011 8:21 PM

I'm sorry but this is getting even more ridiculous. Precious farmland?? How much ROW does this high speed rail line require? Less than a highway that's for damn sure.

I hate it when NIMBY's like this try to stop something that will improve the state as a whole. I wonder if people did this amount of bitching and moaning when the Interstate Highway system was built, that cut through "precious farmland" and obliterated entire blocks of neighborhoods. Where were these NIMBY's then??

electricron Oct 25, 2011 8:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mfastx (Post 5456308)
I'm sorry but this is getting even more ridiculous. Precious farmland?? How much ROW does this high speed rail line require? Less than a highway that's for damn sure.

I hate it when NIMBY's like this try to stop something that will improve the state as a whole. I wonder if people did this amount of bitching and moaning when the Interstate Highway system was built, that cut through "precious farmland" and obliterated entire blocks of neighborhoods. Where were these NIMBY's then??

They were out in force then too. A few actually won cases in court to stop freeways. Memphis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Portland are just a few cases where they won that I'm aware of. There were probably others. There are freeways being torn down now too.

You could probably appease many farmers in the rural areas by building the HSR line above grade so farmers could reach their disconnected acres by driving under the rail corridor without having to drive a mile or two to an underpass or overpass to get to the other side of their property. But that would double the costs for the HSR line.
And it's just adds onto the costs suburbanites are demanding for below grade tracks, either in trenches or tunnels which triples the costs of even aerial tracks.

Face facts man, the cheapest solution, at grade most of the way, isn't going to get built.

Likewise, a farmer can see his crops making their way to market on the freeways, so he's got a stake in them. A farmer in a County that's not likely to get a train station can't see ever using the HSR line. It will not move his crops to market either. He has no interest at all in the HSR line.
The County Commissioners, without a rail station, can't either. You want them to approve eminent domain land purchases in their county? Good luck.

JDRCRASH Oct 26, 2011 7:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5456336)
You could probably appease many farmers in the rural areas by building the HSR line above grade so farmers could reach their disconnected acres by driving under the rail corridor without having to drive a mile or two to an underpass or overpass to get to the other side of their property. But that would double the costs for the HSR line.

F**k that. At-grade freeways don't hurt farmers... neither will HSR, as illustrated here in Spain:

http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/ih...ledo-spain.jpg

Quote:

And it's just adds onto the costs suburbanites are demanding for below grade tracks, either in trenches or tunnels which triples the costs of even aerial tracks.
I don't know about that, especially if the viaducts really are planned to be 80 ft high...

Trenches don't have to happen everywhere in urbanized areas. You could build soundwalls to appease neighborhood and road overpasses.

Quote:

Face facts man, the cheapest solution, at grade most of the way, isn't going to get built.
ARGH, NO!!!! Why should at-grade freeways exist but at-grade high speed rail can't? That is BULLSHIT.

202_Cyclist Oct 29, 2011 8:50 PM

Union Pacific voices major objections to bullet-train plans (LA Times)
 
Union Pacific voices major objections to bullet-train plans
The powerful rail firm says the Central Valley route raises serious safety issues, disregards the company's property rights and would disrupt its freight operations.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2011-10/65738782.jpg
Union Pacific says risks could arise as bullet trains sail past the company's freight lines. Above, a Union Pacific rail yard in Rialto. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times / May 13, 2004)

By Ralph Vartabedian and Dan Weikel
Los Angeles Times
October 29, 2011

"California's bullet train project, already under attack from a giant farming operation in the state, has attracted another powerful critic — Union Pacific, the nation's largest railroad.

Union Pacific says the California High Speed Rail Authority's Central Valley route raises serious safety issues, disregards the company's property rights and would disrupt its freight operations.

The company's comments as part of an environmental review assert that the authority, which is building the $43-billion system, has made a "false conclusion" that the bullet train would not affect the freight railroad's operations during construction or later passenger service. Documents and drawings show encroachment onto the railroad's right of way in Fresno and Merced. The comments were provided to the Times by Union Pacific..."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,2642103.story

JDRCRASH Oct 30, 2011 12:57 AM

Union Pacific's safety concerns have no merit, especially when the high-speed trains would use advanced, state-of-the-art communication safety systems.

The way I see it, here's CHSR's situation:

It can either deal with a few big entities like Union Pacific so they can share their ROW...

or

It can deal with tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of homeowners/farmers/local politicians that, while not much alone, when combined together pose a FAR greater threat to the project than Union Pacific; all just so we can run this project along freeways, GUARANTEEING the acquisition, and worse, demolition, of properties.

Don't know about you guys, but I'd rather settle for the former, because making this line grade-separated the whole length just to appease the NIMBYs' typical concerns is NOT AN OPTION.

bmfarley Oct 30, 2011 1:33 AM

As I see it, CHSRA Trains will be traveling at 180mph and will need about 90 seconds to come to a complete stop.

There will be as many as 10-11 trains per hour in the peak hours. That is a train every 5-6 minutes on average.

90 seconds is already 25-30 percent 0f the headway. How much time would it take from the moment something enters the CHSRA ROW from UP, for the necessary protocols to be accomplished, and, an approaching HSR train to be notified to stop?

As I see it, assuming 180mph, there is already a 25-30 percent chance a CHSRA train will come upon something before it could stop.

I don't think that is acceptable. UP is right. As would any other "experienced" train operator. I would think.

JDRCRASH Oct 30, 2011 2:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 5461365)
I don't think that is acceptable. UP is right. As would any other "experienced" train operator. I would think.

So the HSR trains can't reach their intended speeds, even if they don't share tracks with UP? Why not?

BTW, I don't think 10 trains every 5 minutes is even necessary. Where's the demand for that? Every 10 minutes maybe.

donoteat Oct 30, 2011 4:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 5461365)
As I see it, CHSRA Trains will be traveling at 180mph and will need about 90 seconds to come to a complete stop.

There will be as many as 10-11 trains per hour in the peak hours. That is a train every 5-6 minutes on average.

90 seconds is already 25-30 percent 0f the headway. How much time would it take from the moment something enters the CHSRA ROW from UP, for the necessary protocols to be accomplished, and, an approaching HSR train to be notified to stop?

As I see it, assuming 180mph, there is already a 25-30 percent chance a CHSRA train will come upon something before it could stop.

I don't think that is acceptable. UP is right. As would any other "experienced" train operator. I would think.

It's not like freight trains run at random. If a train were to encroach on the HSR right of way, it would have been planned and accounted for well in advance.

As for accidents, well, accidents happen, I guess.

bmfarley Oct 30, 2011 5:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5461401)
So the HSR trains can't reach their intended speeds, even if they don't share tracks with UP? Why not?

BTW, I don't think 10 trains every 5 minutes is even necessary. Where's the demand for that? Every 10 minutes maybe.

As I understand the design scenario, CHSRA is adjacent to UP. Not running on same tracks. This issue is that "if" there is an incident on UP tracks that that incident could spill over into the CHSRA right-of-way. And, UP says there would not be enough time to learn of incident, communicate it to CHSRA, before a HSR train came upon the incident. Keep in mind, there are lots of railway incident every year. Including derailments. Many are small, some are large. Some are in California.

As for frequency of trains...

The CHSRA is planning routes between several end stations, and including a range of services, and, service levels. They're also planning a certain number of trips for each during peak hours. Add up all the services in a corridor, and viola, you have 10-11 in each direction per hour. This service level is also consistent with the Business Plan and Ridership Forecast... as they should be. Call it the 2030 Build-Out Scenario. However, you would be right that this service level might not come to pass, but, they need to assume something for planning purposes.

The below help paint a picture. It was taken from a 2010 CHSRA ridership report. I have seen it elsewhere too.

http://img580.imageshack.us/img580/3...patternmap.jpg

SnyderBock Oct 30, 2011 8:42 AM

Union Pacific has been a pretty powerful opponent of passenger rail plans in Colorado/Denver. So this, does not surprise me at all. Union Pacific played that same "saftey concern" card in Denver, so Colorado legislature passed into law, a bill that would protect Union Pacific from any liability, in case of an accident between passenger and frieght rail. However, this was not good enough for Union Pacific, and they held firm in their position of opposition to the passenger rail plans. When Denver's RTD wanted to purchase unused Union Pacific ROW, Union Pacific told them it would cost $1.5 billion, despite RTD highered appraisers suggesting it would only cost ~$250 million. They basically wanted RTD (regional Transportation District), to pay for all new frieght lines and a state of the art frieght rail yard. None of which was neccessary. Union Pacific just wants these things, but doesn't want to pay for them, so they were hoping they could get the RTD to spend money intended for passenger rail service, to pay for it all. RTD didn't give in and instead used emminent domain to acquire all new ROW, for a fraction of the cost. So instead of selling to RTD, unused Union Pacific rail ROW for the line, with minimal impact on private property oweners along the corridor, RTD had to create all new ROW. Thankfully, it was mostly light inductrial properties in the path. The new ROW actually works very well, bringing the future passenger rail closer to the community. Thank you, Union Pacific!

JDRCRASH Oct 31, 2011 12:10 AM

Snyderblock, do you know how many properties are going to have to be acquired along the whole route if it doesn't share the UP ROW (not it's tracks)?

hammersklavier Oct 31, 2011 2:01 PM

...Whatever happened to things like Jersey barriers for safety?

I've noticed a pro-passenger/anti-passenger divide among the big freight operators. NS and BNSF are pro-passenger; UP and CSX anti-passenger. UP and CSX seek to drive up the cost of provisioning passenger rail as much as possible, whereas NS and BNSF are much more amenable to compromise.

Doesn't a BNSF corridor run through the CV? What's wrong with using it? Perhaps a blended BNSF/CA-99 approach would be able to minimize takings (where HSR would predominantly follow the BNSF tracks but switch over to CA-99 where the BNSF ROW is too narrow) in the event UP proves unduly recalcitrant? I do recall BNSF being much more supportive of this project than UP...

ardecila Oct 31, 2011 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SnyderBock (Post 5461552)
So instead of selling to RTD, unused Union Pacific rail ROW for the line, with minimal impact on private property oweners along the corridor, RTD had to create all new ROW. Thankfully, it was mostly light inductrial properties in the path. The new ROW actually works very well, bringing the future passenger rail closer to the community. Thank you, Union Pacific!

The irony is that, IIRC, the new ROW lies directly to the south of Union Pacific's tracks, severing all of that industrial-zoned land from future UP freight connections.

The Red Line South project is facing a similar issue in Chicago, where an UP corridor has been identified as the preferred alignment. Unfortunately, since the corridor runs through entirely residential neighborhoods, many people who live along the tracks will need to lose their homes to make way for the new CTA alignment.

Union Pacific isn't entirely recalcitrant, though. They own and operate 3 of the busiest commuter lines in Chicago and they were open to the possibility of a fourth commuter line on the same corridor proposed for the Red Line. They've also been fairly supportive of extensions to the three existing lines. The only thing they won't do is sell off their ROW to another party that can deny them access.

JDRCRASH Nov 1, 2011 1:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5463036)
Union Pacific isn't entirely recalcitrant, though. They own and operate 3 of the busiest commuter lines in Chicago and they were open to the possibility of a fourth commuter line on the same corridor proposed for the Red Line. They've also been fairly supportive of extensions to the three existing lines. The only thing they won't do is sell off their ROW to another party that can deny them access.

I can't help but wonder if UP says, "but that's Chicago, where they need transit, so we'll lay off".

202_Cyclist Nov 1, 2011 2:04 AM

hammersklavier:
Quote:

I've noticed a pro-passenger/anti-passenger divide among the big freight operators. NS and BNSF are pro-passenger; UP and CSX anti-passenger. UP and CSX seek to drive up the cost of provisioning passenger rail as much as possible, whereas NS and BNSF are much more amenable to compromise.
This is largely correct. I attended a recent event about financing transportation and creating jobs at the Bipartisan Policy Center in DC. Matt Rose, CEO of Burlington Northern was one of the panelists. He certainly agreed that the property rights of the freight rail operators need to be respected and he noted that they've paid property taxes on the right-of-ways that they own. That said, however, he was not hostile to high speed rail.

Matt Rose's remarks on the subject begins at about 30 minutes.

http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/even...ing-infrastruc

202_Cyclist Nov 1, 2011 2:22 PM

Cost projection for California bullet train jumps to nearly $100 billion (LA Times)
 
I support the proposed high speed rail project but it's probably time to reassess what segment gets built first with these new cost estimates. As much as it pains me to say this, I agree with pesto that perhaps the CA High Speed Rail Authority should focus on LA-San Diego or upgrading the Capital Corridor segment between Sacramento and San Jose. I think the Surfliner route has Amtrak's second-highest ridership and the Capital Corridor route has either the third or fourth highest ridership. Improving either of these routes to 120-150 mph service would have tremendous value regardless of whether the entire statewide system is completed. Either of these investments will still improve mobility, get cars off the road, and create jobs.

Cost projection for California bullet train jumps to nearly $100 billion

October 31, 2011
Ralph Vartabedian
Los Angeles Times

"California's bullet train will cost an estimated $98.5 billion to build over the next 20 years, an amount far higher than any previous projection, according to a business plan scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday.

The estimate includes possible future inflation that will drive up the cost of the line, which would send trains at up to 220 mph from Southern California to the Bay Area.

The cost growth results in large part from a major revision in the construction schedule. In the past, the state assumed the system would be completed by 2020 but now assumes construction would be finished in 2033. That stretched-out schedule and an assumption that future inflation would average 3% per year are two key reasons the overall estimated cost of the system almost doubled in the new business plan..."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...log+(L.A.+Now)

M II A II R II K Nov 1, 2011 2:50 PM

California's bullet train gamble begins: $9 billion now on the line


Read More: http://www.mercurynews.com/californi...il/ci_19229856

Quote:

California's top leaders weighing the fate of the $45 billion high-speed train line will finally get the crucial details they need Tuesday to decide once and for all: Is it time to kill the project or empty the bank account to start building the sleek railroad with no guarantees there will be enough money to run a single bullet train?

Quitting now would force the state to return a massive federal grant if they scrap the rail line. But launching the project in the sparsely populated Central Valley, as is now planned, could mean spending an astonishing $9 billion in taxpayer funds to build only enough track to serve as a brief shortcut for a few thousand Amtrak riders.

And with a deadline looming to start construction by this time next year or lose $2.2 billion in federal funding, the stakes couldn't be higher. "It's a very tough decision. If you go down this path (and build), you're committing the state to an unknown amount of money," said Elizabeth Alexis, a leading analyst on the project with Palo Alto-based Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design.

.....

M II A II R II K Nov 1, 2011 2:52 PM

California high-speed rail will try to turn corner with new business plan


Read More: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/10/31/401...#ixzz1cSvDxVWL

Quote:

For California's high-speed rail project, it's been an inauspicious autumn. Disparaged for its lack of public outreach, the California High-Speed Rail Authority hired a new deputy director for communications and public policy, Lance Simmens, who introduced himself to Kings County residents – and YouTube viewers everywhere – by falling asleep at a public meeting. The authority board delayed releasing its much-awaited business plan and canceled luncheons with the Sacramento Press Club. Twice.

When it tried to find a replacement for powerhouse public relations company Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide – which itself came under fire and is quitting its $9 million contract – the authority fumbled that, too, canceling the bid process and starting over. But two months after Gov. Jerry Brown came out in support of the project and suggested that his administration could help rail officials "get their act together," the authority contends it has. It will release a business plan Tuesday, including updated ridership and cost estimates.

.....


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