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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.


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