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202_Cyclist Oct 21, 2022 11:55 AM

High-speed rail stations ‘one step closer to reality’ in the Central Valley

By Manny Gomez
Oct. 20, 2022

https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/wp...resize=960,540
Conceptual Rendering Bakersfield Station Courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. (Image via KSEE)


"FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The design contract for the Central Valley’s high-speed rail stations has been approved by the California High-Speed Rail Board – another step towards making the project a reality.

On Thursday, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority) Board of Directors unanimously approved awarding the design and support services contract for the Merced, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, and Bakersfield stations that will serve high-speed rail passengers on the initial 171-mile segment.

The Authority awarded an approximately $35 million station design contract to Foster + Partners and Arup for the first two separately funded phases..."

https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/ne...entral-valley/

jmecklenborg Oct 21, 2022 1:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9766833)
Rancho Cucamonga now with the planned Cajon Pass extension, and I have to assume they will find a way to get Brightline trains to LAUS or do a timed transfer to Metrolink.

The Metrolink tracks from LA Union out to Ontario and beyond aren't going to be upgraded until CAHSR Phase 2. So it's going to be a relatively slow ride, even if it's a one-seat ride. The Las Vegas trains will need to travel all the way to Anaheim to be serviced and turned, which isn't really a bad thing, because one of the great strengths of the CAHSR plan which nobody seems to realize is that Orange County is going to have all of the train service that LA Union has.

202_Cyclist Oct 21, 2022 2:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9767713)
The Metrolink tracks from LA Union out to Ontario and beyond aren't going to be upgraded until CAHSR Phase 2. So it's going to be a relatively slow ride, even if it's a one-seat ride. The Las Vegas trains will need to travel all the way to Anaheim to be serviced and turned, which isn't really a bad thing, because one of the great strengths of the CAHSR plan which nobody seems to realize is that Orange County is going to have all of the train service that LA Union has.

One of my friends passed through the Anaheim ARTIC station this week. It is a beautiful, shiny, station but he said it has about the same ridership as the Twinbrook WMATA station in DC, a relatively small metro station.

jmecklenborg Oct 21, 2022 7:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 9767756)
One of my friends passed through the Anaheim ARTIC station this week. It is a beautiful, shiny, station but he said it has about the same ridership as the Twinbrook WMATA station in DC, a relatively small metro station.

It's a 2-platform station right now. One day it's going to have 10+ HSR arrivals and departures per hour, plus electrified Metrorail.

twinpeaks Oct 21, 2022 9:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9768185)
It's a 2-platform station right now. One day it's going to have 10+ HSR arrivals and departures per hour, plus electrified Metrorail.

:notacrook:

homebucket Oct 21, 2022 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9768185)
It's a 2-platform station right now. One day it's going to have 10+ HSR arrivals and departures per hour, plus electrified Metrorail.

You mean Metrolink right? When is Metrolink planning to go electric by?

Busy Bee Oct 22, 2022 3:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9768409)
You mean Metrolink right? When is Metrolink planning to go electric by?

The extremely specific date of sometime in the future.

jmecklenborg Oct 22, 2022 6:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9768409)
When is Metrolink planning to go electric by?

I doubt that they will rebuild the Metrolink corridor between Burbank and Anaheim before ground is broken on the tunnel or tunnels between Palmdale and Burbank.

Busy Bee Oct 25, 2022 6:43 PM

Video Link

jmecklenborg Oct 26, 2022 1:55 PM

^Somebody explain the track configuration at the station...it's going to be a terminal station, at least for awhile, so it looks like there is an extra track that allows trains stored on the tail tracks to bypass the station.

Also, there are no express tracks...so will all trains on the future spur to Sacramento be locals?

JDRCRASH Oct 26, 2022 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9772197)
Also, there are no express tracks...so will all trains on the future spur to Sacramento be locals?

Well I always thought the whole selling point of the plan was to have trains that can make the trip from LA to SF in 2 1/2 hours (obviously as express), not necessarily from SD to SAC in that time frame. So… :shrug:

TWAK Oct 27, 2022 2:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9771454)

Would be neat to see some TOD like there is at some BART stations, that includes some mid-rises for these central valley cities.

jmecklenborg Oct 27, 2022 4:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 9773011)
Well I always thought the whole selling point of the plan was to have trains that can make the trip from LA to SF in 2 1/2 hours (obviously as express), not necessarily from SD to SAC in that time frame. So… :shrug:

Actually now that I think of it...since Merced is the closest stop to the wye, and because Madera does have express tracks and the LA>SF trains will always have priority, it's necessary to have all southbound trains stop at Merced in order to cue into the wye.

Meanwhile, the same function is not necessary for northbound traffic, so it might be the case that the bypass track shown in the rendering is in fact an express track.

jmecklenborg Oct 27, 2022 5:22 AM

Also, it's hilarious how tiny Merced is part of Phase 1, north of the wye and therefore the only stop on the system's only branch, thanks to the wording of Prop 1A back in 2008. Originally the wye was going to be built north of Merced, with the system's approach to the Bay Area either via the Altamont Pass or via a 20+ mile tunnel directly into San Jose (no HSR service in Gilroy or Caltrain upgrades between San Jose and Gilroy).

I'll repeat what I've posted earlier - that northward construction to Sacramento seems to make a lot of sense, even without the Pacheco Pass Tunnel and access to the Bay Area. Sacramento to Bakersfield is a distance of about 275, with a combined population of 6 million along the route. That's a very similar distance and population to the Ohio HSR plan that went down at the polls back in 1982. Similarly, no tunnels or significant bridges.

markb1 Oct 27, 2022 7:05 PM

Here's a track schematic: https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/upload...-2019-0501.pdf

(from: https://hsr.ca.gov/business-opportun...track-systems/)

It shows four tracks at the Merced station.

jmecklenborg Oct 27, 2022 7:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markb1 (Post 9773941)

It shows four tracks at the Merced station.


Thanks. I hadn't seen that graphic before. It looks like the makers of the new Merced video either took some artistic license or they illustrated an alternative.

One item I noticed on the graphic are the two different HSR platform lengths at 4th & King. Looks like one will be for single-length trains and the other for double-length trains.

craigs Nov 1, 2022 10:17 PM

Video Link

LAsam Nov 2, 2022 4:33 PM

^Those videos do a good job highlighting how ambitious this project is and how much new infrastructure is required. Not to mention the fact that this is the easy portion they are currently constructing!

Roy_Batty Nov 16, 2022 4:04 AM

I have been trying to research in previous posts and other websites how is this project funded and how much time is it going to take to have all the money to complete Phase 1. As of now, I understand the total cost is estimated to be around 100 billion USD. I appreciate your feedback:

- It seems the only funding secured by the project is a combination of 10 billion USD bonds approved in 2008 by Proposition 1A + 3.5 billion of federal funds received by the federal government during the Obama administration in 2009/2010 (ARRA and HUV) + 25% of annual Cap-and-Trade taxes obtained by the California government from 2014 to 2030 (500 million USD annual average from 2014 to 2020). This totals something around 20 billion USD depending how does Cap-and-Trade average varies during this decade. Am I missing something?

- I just recently read the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved in November 2021 by the federal government allocates 66 billion USD to train infrastructure; 22 billion USD for Amtrak and 36 million USD for “competitive grants”. However, it seems the project is seeking to get only 1.3 billion USD from federal funding which I understand comes from this. Is this true? 1.3 billion from 36 billion USD seems too low for such an important project.

jmecklenborg Nov 16, 2022 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roy_Batty (Post 9791634)
I have been trying to research in previous posts and other websites how is this project funded and how much time is it going to take to have all the money to complete Phase 1. As of now, I understand the total cost is estimated to be around 100 billion USD. I appreciate your feedback:

- It seems the only funding secured by the project is a combination of 10 billion USD bonds approved in 2008 by Proposition 1A + 3.5 billion of federal funds received by the federal government during the Obama administration in 2009/2010 (ARRA and HUV) + 25% of annual Cap-and-Trade taxes obtained by the California government from 2014 to 2030 (500 million USD annual average from 2014 to 2020). This totals something around 20 billion USD depending how does Cap-and-Trade average varies during this decade. Am I missing something?

- I just recently read the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved in November 2021 by the federal government allocates 66 billion USD to train infrastructure; 22 billion USD for Amtrak and 36 million USD for “competitive grants”. However, it seems the project is seeking to get only 1.3 billion USD from federal funding which I understand comes from this. Is this true? 1.3 billion from 36 billion USD seems too low for such an important project.


^Yes, you are generally correct, from what I understand. Only a tiny fraction of what is needed to build the full system has been allocated or spent.

Roy_Batty Nov 19, 2022 9:50 AM

If this project only gets 1.3 billion from the infrastructure bill, I will be very disappointed. I do understand the bill intent is to fund many projects, but not so long ago there were talks about canceling this project and the federal government (under the Trump administration) even tried to pull out some of the agreed funding. CHSR represents the future of passenger rail transportation in USA, if it “succeeds” (that is the project gets operational in its full route) it will be followed by more of these initiatives, if it fails there will be a huge disinvestment for any such project in the next 50 years. This project should receive more money from the trillion of dollars that have been approved during this administration.

https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/05/24/news-r...ructure-funds/

markb1 Nov 19, 2022 10:50 PM

On the last slide of the Construction Update from the Nov 17 board meeting (https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/upload...DRAFT-A11Y.pdf), there's a list of grant applications. There are two lines for future applications with unspecified amounts, and the last line is "Multi‐year Target / Various Future Programs", with a value of $8B.

jmecklenborg Nov 21, 2022 3:44 PM

There was no money for HSR when the state was posting its gigantic surpluses - surpluses so gigantic (almost $100 billion last year) that Newsom sent everyone a gas card. Now there's going to be no money with the state facing a shortfall:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/califor...pos_3#cxrecs_s

The WSJ takes a victory lap - which is to be expected:
As usual, Democrats spent like this would never end.
Not really - most of the surplus went to shoring up the state pension fund. Not a single dollar of the epic surpluses went to California High Speed Rail.

markb1 Nov 21, 2022 8:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9795904)
There was no money for HSR when the state was posting its gigantic surpluses - surpluses so gigantic (almost $100 billion last year) that Newsom sent everyone a gas card. Now there's going to be no money with the state facing a shortfall:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/califor...pos_3#cxrecs_s

The WSJ takes a victory lap - which is to be expected:
As usual, Democrats spent like this would never end.
Not really - most of the surplus went to shoring up the state pension fund. Not a single dollar of the epic surpluses went to California High Speed Rail.

To be fair, the surplus did allow for a deal to be made that released the second half the 2008 bond money.

Half of the surplus actually went to education, since that is required by law. $38B went to reserves, including $23B for the rainy-day fund.

craigs Nov 22, 2022 4:49 AM

California law requires the state to refund taxpayers when there is a surplus beyond a certain limit.

Busy Bee Dec 31, 2022 4:03 PM

Travel Woes Reignite Debate on CHSR

That Steve Glazer sure is, let's call it... misguided.

jmecklenborg Dec 31, 2022 5:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9827843)
Travel Woes Reignite Debate on CHSR

When Southwest buckled under pressure this past week, I had the thought that if the same had happened to Amtrak or mass transit, we would have heard accusations that the mode itself is the problem. You don't hear that airplanes are inherently bad when people miss seeing their families (or worse - get stuck with them!) due to weather, staffing, and computer problems.

homebucket Dec 31, 2022 5:58 PM

Def could’ve used the HSR during this Southwest fiasco. I’m sure a lot of people would’ve booked tickets rather than rented cars. In some cases there weren’t any car rentals left either so they were just stranded. And the other airlines took advantage and price gouged. Hopefully there would be systems in place in the future that would prevent CAHSR from price gouging as well in such a situation.

jmecklenborg Apr 2, 2023 4:10 PM

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

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/envi...avoc-rcna75942

Busy Bee Apr 2, 2023 5:13 PM

Wow.

Im sure engineers are evaluating whether this level of soil saturation affect the settling of the piers.

Also this thread shouldnt go three months withoit a post. Pretty pathetic.

MAC123 Apr 2, 2023 6:02 PM

There's plenty of news about it, especially in 3 months. Dunno why no one posts it here.

But as for the rain, that's exactly why the entire line is on those raised berms you see all over the place (and the aqueducts, etc) among other reasons

JDRCRASH Apr 3, 2023 1:25 AM

I was wondering about how the project would be affected by the rains, given that the segment most furthest along just so happens to run smack dab over part of the old Tulare Lake area.

With all the cost overruns and longer timetable for completion I would hope the authority had scenarios like this in mind when they were handing out contracts.

AndrewK Apr 3, 2023 7:30 PM

It doesn’t help that there have been no major updates to the Build HSR website in a year.

Busy Bee Apr 3, 2023 7:43 PM

I've been saying this for years. CHSRA loves to toute the economic benefit of _______ thousand jobs created by building the central valley IOS but bizarrely neglects the PR media campaign by having subpar and infrequent project updates, and for lack of a better word "selling" of the project, which does them no favors with the politics of this megaproject. I don't understand what they're thinking. And maybe its more for nerds and super advocates but their Flickr photostream has been dormant for two years. That's like one person that could make sure thats kept current along with performing their other media relations tasks. Its just weird and broadcasts an instability about the whole endeavor.

homebucket Apr 3, 2023 8:18 PM

I don't think there's any Central Valley forumers here either that can drive by and take photos to provide updates.

Busy Bee Apr 3, 2023 8:50 PM

YouTuber "Drone Zone Flyovers" does some pretty excellent video updates for major structures. Another "The Four Foot" did some epic drone update videos but hasn't posted anything in ages.

MAC123 Apr 3, 2023 9:25 PM

I'm subscribed to the Drone Zone. They produce quality, relatively common drone videos of the construction sites.

jbermingham123 Apr 4, 2023 2:43 AM

jesus.. those pv farms back there are probably totally trashed

jmecklenborg Apr 4, 2023 3:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbermingham123 (Post 9909501)
jesus.. those pv farms back there are probably totally trashed

I didn't see that until you pointed it out. That looks...bad.

Lots of drone footage here:
https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/loca...-lake/3197517/

It's going to take awhile for scientists to determine exactly how long the reformed lake is going to be around.

homebucket Apr 4, 2023 3:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9909732)
I didn't see that until you pointed it out. That looks...bad.

Lots of drone footage here:
https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/loca...-lake/3197517/

It's going to take awhile for scientists to determine exactly how long the reformed lake is going to be around.

Last time this happened it took about 2 years for the lake to fully go away. I think this time there's even more water from melting snow coming so 2 years might be the minimum here.

Busy Bee Apr 4, 2023 4:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbermingham123 (Post 9909501)
jesus.. those pv farms back there are probably totally trashed

Probably comrs down to whether water finds its way into areas that are detrimental to corrosion. Isn't the actual panel holding structure made of galvanized steel? I would imagine if water got into cable conduit it wouldn't necessarily ruin it. Whether prolonged soaking of the silica PV panels themselves destroys them is something i dont kbow the answer to.

edale Apr 4, 2023 5:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9909738)
Last time this happened it took about 2 years for the lake to fully go away. I think this time there's even more water from melting snow coming so 2 years might be the minimum here.

Why the hell would they route the HSR through an ephemeral lake? Yet another piece of evidence supporting the I-5 alignment. What a clusterfuck this project continues to be. Even ardent supporters are starting to see the writing on the wall that this project is being mismanaged to all hell.

sopas ej Apr 4, 2023 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edale (Post 9909846)
Why the hell would they route the HSR through an ephemeral lake? Yet another piece of evidence supporting the I-5 alignment. What a clusterfuck this project continues to be. Even ardent supporters are starting to see the writing on the wall that this project is being mismanaged to all hell.

If it followed the 5, then it would bypass all the major towns/cities of central California.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...24fd42a9_b.jpg

LAsam Apr 4, 2023 5:30 PM

It looks like historic Lake Tulare is out between the 5 and 99. I thought the rail was being constructed along the 99 corridor. Does the rail further towards the center of the San Joaquin valley at this location?

jmecklenborg Apr 4, 2023 6:06 PM

It looks like the line is being built along the eastern shoreline of the dead lake. That means if the lake were to fill by 90%, the line would be completely unaffected.

Until human beings die off and the dams and irrigation diversions in the mountains fail a few decades later, lake water will not reach the base of the HSR berms.



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

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

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

sopas ej Apr 4, 2023 6:12 PM

:previous:

And I'm sure engineers and the people routing this thing have already studied Historic Tulare Lake, so I'm sure all of this was taken into account.

For reference, per the CAHSR website, the Kings/Tulare Regional Station would be located just east of the center of Hanford, where CA Highways 43 and 198 intersect: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Hist...4!2d36.3274502

jmecklenborg Apr 4, 2023 6:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 9909921)
:previous:

And I'm sure engineers and the people routing this thing have already studied Historic Tulare Lake, so I'm sure all of this was taken into account.

This might slow down construction in the area, but it's not as if this thing is on any sort of deadline.

edale Apr 4, 2023 6:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 9909868)
If it followed the 5, then it would bypass all the major towns/cities of central California.

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

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

LAsam Apr 4, 2023 7:00 PM

I see. I assumed the rail would go through Tulare and Visalia but it goes through Corcoran and Hanford instead. So yeah, that would put it at the eastern edge of Historic Lake Tulare.

jmecklenborg Apr 5, 2023 2:31 AM

I just took a look at a topographical map of Tulare Lake. At its deepest, the lake was only 20 feet deep, and the majority of the lake was only about five feet deep. This means the size of the lake must have fluctuated wildly with relatively small changes to the volume of water flowing in.

The deepest point was roughly 170 feet above sea level and the highest point was roughly 190 feet above sea level, with exponentially more water necessary to rise each foot above 190. It might have been the case that 2X as much water was necessary to get it from 185 to 190, and maybe 4X as much to get to 195.


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