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202_Cyclist Dec 13, 2010 10:18 PM

The California High Speed Rail blog has a good rebuttal of the "train to nowhere' blather today.

http://www.cahsrblog.com/2010/12/eve...is-is-nowhere/

Bakersfield and Fresno have a combined metropolitan population greater than 1.5M.

OhioGuy Dec 21, 2010 1:50 AM

Board OKs extending CA's high-speed rail line

Quote:

Updated at 03:09 PM today
AP Associated Press


LOS ANGELES -- Officials have decided to extend the first segment of California's planned high-speed rail line in the Central Valley to Bakersfield.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority board agreed unanimously Monday to spend an additional $616 million in federal funding on the extension. Earlier this month, the federal government reallocated more than $1 billion in high-speed rail funding to California and 11 other states after Ohio and Wisconsin decided not to proceed with their rail projects. Planners of California's high-speed rail system say the extra funds will allow them to construct up to 123 miles from north of Fresno to Bakersfield, two major population centers in the Central Valley.

glowrock Dec 21, 2010 2:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 5100151)

No doubt, this is excellent news for the Central Valley! :yes:

From Fresno to Bakersfield, you're looking at well over 2 million residents within easy reach of HSR, just for the first phase! Excellent news all around!

Aaron (Glowrock)

SD_Phil Dec 21, 2010 2:44 AM

^agreed. thanks for updating us with such good news!

JDRCRASH Dec 21, 2010 3:35 AM

Thanks for posting that spectacular news!!!:banana:
I think the catenary wiring is still going to come after, but still, i'll tell ya, this was HUGE.

Quote:

Originally Posted by glowrock (Post 5100167)
From Fresno to Bakersfield, you're looking at well over 2 million residents within easy reach of HSR, just for the first phase! Excellent news all around!

Aaron (Glowrock)

Actually that's the first segment of the first phase.

Now the "train-to-nowhere" argument is just about officially dead.

Reminiscence Dec 22, 2010 4:45 AM

This is a huge boost to HSR support because now you're linking two major cities as opposed to what we had before. I look forward to groundbreaking :ack:

Also, extra kudos to Merced for supporting HSR even though it won't be included in this part of the first phase. They don't want to derail this for the rest of the people, that's great. Now if only some other people can learn this isn't all about them :rolleyes:

Beta_Magellan Dec 22, 2010 6:50 AM

Just out of curiosity, what’s the travel market like Fresno and Bakersfield?

electricron Dec 22, 2010 1:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5101691)
Just out of curiosity, what’s the travel market like Fresno and Bakersfield?

I would suggest much less than Los Angeles to San Francisco. Never-the-less, Rome wasn't built in a day, or all at once, and neither was I-5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

bobcat Dec 22, 2010 3:38 PM

It's better than before, but probably still too short of a line to draw major ridership. The distance between Fresno and Bakersfield is only a little over 100 mi and over such a short distance driving will be still be more convenient for most travelers. Maybe they could market it as a regional tourist attraction.

DJM19 Dec 23, 2010 2:19 AM

Well, unfortunately for people commuting from Fresno to Bakersfield, the train will not operate until the whole SF-Anaheim phase is done. So they are just gonna have to stare at it awhile.

s.p.hansen Dec 23, 2010 4:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 5102728)
Well, unfortunately for people commuting from Fresno to Bakersfield, the train will not operate until the whole SF-Anaheim phase is done. So they are just gonna have to stare at it awhile.

Call For References.

202_Cyclist Dec 28, 2010 3:59 PM

Central Valley farmers take issue with proposed high-speed rail route (LA Times)
 
Central Valley farmers take issue with proposed high-speed rail route

Officials hope to get the bullet train's first phase underway soon, both to create jobs in the hard-hit region and to secure federal funds. But bypassing towns means cutting through agricultural land.


By Rich Connell
Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2010

"Crunching through fallen leaves in a sprawling walnut grove, John Tos frets about the high-speed railroad headed his way.

He gets why many in this part of the Central Valley are excited about a construction project that could mean tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity. But a newly selected route cleaves through prime cropland his family has farmed for 94 years. Fields would be split, complex irrigation systems disrupted and operations complicated, says the grower with a graying Abe Lincoln beard.

"Ag and this train don't get along at all," he says.

http://www.latimes.com/media/graphic...2/58474167.jpg

Down the road at the Kings County job center, Zach Godinho is at the computer looking for work. Unemployment is a chronic problem in this region, running 30% to 40% higher than the state average. "It's like a deflated balloon," says the 29-year-old former grocery cashier and part-time high school tutor, who's been searching for full-time work for three months. If a bullet train can bring jobs, he says, "I'm all for it.""

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,4676136.story

JDRCRASH Dec 28, 2010 7:33 PM

Is a station in Hanford all but certain? I hope not, especially when the authority's website trip planner doesn't include it.

JDRCRASH Dec 28, 2010 7:49 PM

Read most of the LAtimes blog comments on the story. I have to say, i'm disappointed that California is full of so many dunces. I had to wade through tons of bullshit to read well-thought out comments. People like "Captain Reasonable" are what are what's keeping this state's progress down.

Sodha Dec 28, 2010 11:14 PM

I'm scared our high speed rail is getting bogged down with too many stations. Why are places like Hansford, Norwalk or Glendale, etc.. getting stations? This bullet train should only be reserved for cities greater than 500K population and the Amtrak or local rail can be the connector. Too many stations will slow down this puppy. Only a dozen or so cities in CA deserve a HSR station...not others where alternative transportation can be provided (i.e. Metro rail to Norwalk, Metrolink to Glendale, buses between Hansford and Fresno).

bmfarley Dec 29, 2010 3:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sodha (Post 5107414)
I'm scared our high speed rail is getting bogged down with too many stations. Why are places like Hansford, Norwalk or Glendale, etc.. getting stations? This bullet train should only be reserved for cities greater than 500K population and the Amtrak or local rail can be the connector. Too many stations will slow down this puppy. Only a dozen or so cities in CA deserve a HSR station...not others where alternative transportation can be provided (i.e. Metro rail to Norwalk, Metrolink to Glendale, buses between Hansford and Fresno).

Unless the CHSRA strategy has changed, it will be up to local jurisdictions to front a larger share of construction cost for those stations. Further, for them to support local/regional services. Express services will bypass these stations.

JDRCRASH Dec 29, 2010 5:18 AM

Hanford doesn't need a station. Period.

bmfarley Dec 29, 2010 6:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5107745)
Hanford doesn't need a station. Period.

Hanford, or the County, probably cannot afford it, too. So, at the end of the day, there will be no Hanford station. But, in the interim, the CHSRA needs to design for that option.

DJM19 Dec 29, 2010 8:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sodha (Post 5107414)
I'm scared our high speed rail is getting bogged down with too many stations. Why are places like Hansford, Norwalk or Glendale, etc.. getting stations? This bullet train should only be reserved for cities greater than 500K population and the Amtrak or local rail can be the connector. Too many stations will slow down this puppy. Only a dozen or so cities in CA deserve a HSR station...not others where alternative transportation can be provided (i.e. Metro rail to Norwalk, Metrolink to Glendale, buses between Hansford and Fresno).

I believe the route is limited to 26 stations by law. So if the Hanford region gets a stop, another will be removed from the route. They are not approving any more stations than what was approved in prop 1A. And glendale does not have a station.


But year, I dont think Norwalk needs it.

sammyg Dec 30, 2010 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobcat (Post 5101907)
It's better than before, but probably still too short of a line to draw major ridership. The distance between Fresno and Bakersfield is only a little over 100 mi and over such a short distance driving will be still be more convenient for most travelers. Maybe they could market it as a regional tourist attraction.

It's about the same as Milwaukee-Madison, so it makes sense to take money from that route and use it for Fresno-Bakersfield, which has more population, too.

JDRCRASH Dec 30, 2010 2:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 5108302)
But year, I dont think Norwalk needs it.

Are there any proposals to remove it from the plan?

jamesinclair Dec 31, 2010 4:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5107745)
Hanford doesn't need a station. Period.

Hanford = Visalia

City:
125,921
Metro:
426,276

Palmdale
152,622

Lancaster
145,776


You were saying?

bmfarley Dec 31, 2010 5:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 5108302)
I believe the route is limited to 26 stations by law. So if the Hanford region gets a stop, another will be removed from the route. They are not approving any more stations than what was approved in prop 1A. And glendale does not have a station.


But year, I dont think Norwalk needs it.

I suspect with great certainty that that cap on stations is tied to the prop 1A funding. In other words, non 1a funding may provide for additional stations.... But that does not mean express or semi express trains will serve them.

JDRCRASH Dec 31, 2010 6:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesinclair (Post 5109664)
Hanford = Visalia

City:
125,921
Metro:
426,276

Palmdale
152,622

Lancaster
145,776


You were saying?

The station will be more than 10 miles from Visalia near Route 43.....with mostly agriculture and little urban land around it.....basically out in the middle of nowhere.

And come on, Palmdale is a different story. It's the largest city on the route between Bakersfield and LA (Glendale won't have a station). Not to mention from there you can transfer to the Metrolink system.

DJM19 Dec 31, 2010 7:49 AM

Well, from my understanding, prop 1A stipulates more than funding. It also has the station cap, and it stipulates that a trip from SF to LA has to be done under a certain time limit (perhaps in the fastest most-express route).

But I am not sure.

Anyway, if the cap is maintained, I suspect Norwalk or Sylmar would be cut.

202_Cyclist Dec 31, 2010 3:18 PM

Schwarzenegger names key transportation appointments (LA Times)
 
Schwarzenegger names key transportation appointments

LA Times
12/30/2010

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced appointments to key transportation posts Thursday, including the reappointment of former Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle to the California High-Speed Rail Authority board.

Pringle, who currently heads the panel overseeing development of the state's $43-billion San Francisco-to-Anaheim rail system, was one of two prominent board members scrutinized this fall by the state attorney general for serving in multiple offices that could have clashing financial and other interests.

Pringle served simultaneously on the board of the rail authority, on the Orange County Transportation Authority and as mayor of Anaheim..."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...=Google+Reader

jamesinclair Jan 1, 2011 4:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5109775)
The station will be more than 10 miles from Visalia near Route 43.....with mostly agriculture and little urban land around it.....basically out in the middle of nowhere.

And come on, Palmdale is a different story. It's the largest city on the route between Bakersfield and LA (Glendale won't have a station). Not to mention from there you can transfer to the Metrolink system.

Clearly you don't live in the valley.

10 miles through endless agriculture = a trip to the walmart.

JDRCRASH Jan 1, 2011 5:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesinclair (Post 5110544)
Clearly you don't live in the valley.

I do live in the SGV, and it takes, at most, a 3-5 mile drive to the nearest Wal-Mart, which is in Baldwin Park.

Quote:

10 miles through endless agriculture = a trip to the walmart.
But that's the problem; too many people are gonna wanna drive to the station.

XtremeDave Jan 1, 2011 7:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5110576)
But that's the problem; too many people are gonna wanna drive to the station.

This is inevitable for the rural and exurban stations. While everything should be done in LA and San Francisco (and other cities with developed transit systems) to encourage people to take transit to the HSR stations, the stations in the Central Valley and exurban cities (Palmdale, Gilroy, etc.) will require parking.

High speed rail is part of reducing our dependence on driving, but we have to accept that for most of the stations along the line, driving is the only option most will have to access these stations. I would rather have people drive 10 or 20 miles to an HSR station than be completely car dependent and drive 200 or more miles to their destination.

This doesnt mean that HSR shouldnt be part of strengthening our downtowns and reducing car dependence. We need to make sure that the major cities are integrating HSR into their downtowns. Besides LA and SF, Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, etc. should have stations that enhance and help revitalize their central cities. However, this means stopping plans like San Diego's plan (while just an early proposal, as phase 2 of HSR isnt supposed to reach their until 2030 and no actual planning has been done) to have HSR terminate at a Lindbergh Field station.

hammersklavier Jan 1, 2011 7:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5110576)
But that's the problem; too many people are gonna wanna drive to the station.

What about on the French LGVs then, where the stations are located out on the edge of town, or worse, halfway between the towns they serve?

tigernar Jan 1, 2011 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 5110622)
What about on the French LGVs then, where the stations are located out on the edge of town, or worse, halfway between the towns they serve?

If you mean the rural french stations in between towns: they do NOT work (same with the UK's only park and ride HSR station: Ebbsfleet). I have no clue how it'll work with the american driving culture, but it's clearly shown that stations work best if they're in town.

Rational Plan3 Jan 1, 2011 3:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tigernar (Post 5110666)
If you mean the rural french stations in between towns: they do NOT work (same with the UK's only park and ride HSR station: Ebbsfleet). I have no clue how it'll work with the american driving culture, but it's clearly shown that stations work best if they're in town.

I think Ebbsfleet is in a better position than some of the French rural LGV. A third of services towards the continent do stop there and it does capture business travellors from the counties surrounding London, especially for getting the early morning trains when you can't catch a train into London that early.

There are over twenty parkway stations in the UK with plenty more proposed. They serve a variety of functions, but a large number, act railheads for long distance services, Unlike the rural stations in France, the ones in the UK are mostly on the edges of large cities where the drive into town will take to long, and the parkway stations act as access points for the surrounding towns and villages.

The biggest example is Bristol Parkway, which is North of Bristol on the mainline between London and Wales. It opened in the 1970's, with two platforms and and a car park. The trains for the city centre still travel via the city centre but trains from Wales and other regional services now call at the parkway. The Parkway has acted as business nucleus for the North Bristol Sprawl, Corporate headquarters, business parks, Ministry of Defence Procurement, Universites and Hospitals all within a short drive.

So Greater Bristol now has four trains an hour to London, two from the centre and two from the suburbs.

jamesinclair Jan 2, 2011 6:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5110576)
I do live in the SGV, and it takes, at most, a 3-5 mile drive to the nearest Wal-Mart, which is in Baldwin Park.
But that's the problem; too many people are gonna wanna drive to the station.


Fine, then Costco.

The closest Costco from the Hanford Amtrak station is.....in Visalia.

21 miles away.

I GUARANTEE people from hanford drive there.


But you know what, lets talk apples to apples. And in this case, those apples are trains.


Hanford: Pop 53,266
Passengers (2010) 187,865

Corcoran: Pop 25,692
Passengers (2010) 27,375

Hanford has 2x the population of Corcoran....but 7x the ridership.


Fresno: 505,479
Passengers (2010) 352,737

Fresno has 10x the population....but only twice the ridership.


Why? Visalia.

And people are going to drive to the HSR station in the valley regardless of where you place it. Bakersfield, Fresno, Hanford....95% of people will arrive by car, doesnt matter if its right downtown (Fresno, Bakersfield) or out in the middle of nowhere.

You originally said:
"Hanford doesn't need a station. Period."

Hanford may not need a station, but the area between Fresno and Bakersifled, mostly known for the Tulare outlets and Visalia probably does. Add up all those people, and you have yourself decent ridership.

electricron Jan 2, 2011 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesinclair (Post 5111225)
Hanford: Pop 53,266
Passengers (2010) 187,865
Corcoran: Pop 25,692
Passengers (2010) 27,375
Hanford has 2x the population of Corcoran....but 7x the ridership.
Fresno: 505,479
Passengers (2010) 352,737
Fresno has 10x the population....but only twice the ridership.
Why? Visalia.
And people are going to drive to the HSR station in the valley regardless of where you place it. Bakersfield, Fresno, Hanford....95% of people will arrive by car, doesnt matter if its right downtown (Fresno, Bakersfield) or out in the middle of nowhere.
You originally said: "Hanford doesn't need a station. Period."
Hanford may not need a station, but the area between Fresno and Bakersifled, mostly known for the Tulare outlets and Visalia probably does. Add up all those people, and you have yourself decent ridership.

As I've written many times, it's not density that counts as much as it's accessibility. While it is generally true that placing a train station in a dense central business district helps ridership, I think we're forgetting why. The why that rings true is it is more accessible to more people with good public transit helping with the lack of immediate parking. A suburban station with good access, in this case good highways and lots of parking, also helps ridership. Few airports in the world are located immediately near central business districts, the local communities have made great efforts to provide great access to them.
Therefore, a station in the middle of nowhere can have large ridership numbers depending upon how easy it is for locals to get there.

JDRCRASH Jan 3, 2011 4:55 AM

The point that i'm trying to make here is why wasn't a route selected that would have the train run closer to Visalia than Hanford? If people are willing to drive, why not make that commute less than it needs to be? While it's probably all but impossible connect the route to the ROW that runs through Visalia along Oak Ave, there's still another ROW along the 99 freeway that's only a few miles from the city.

And if you were willing to place a station closer to Hanford than Visalia, you might as well run the train on the existing Amtrak ROW less than 3 miles further to the west. But then that presents problems like the possibility of ROW widening.

Don098 Jan 3, 2011 6:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5111963)
The point that i'm trying to make here is why wasn't a route selected that would have the train run closer to Visalia than Hanford?

For political reasons:

The New York Times
"Worries Follow Route of High-Speed California Line"
Jesse McKinley
January 2, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/us/03borden.html?hp

MADERA, Calif. — The area just south of this agricultural city is not much to look at: miles of farmland, a collection of dingy fast food outlets and a gold rush ghost called Borden, where all that remains is a tiny cemetery devoted to long dead Chinese workers.

But sometime soon, this flat-on-flat expanse — about 150 miles southeast of San Francisco — may well be home to a first-in-the-nation destination as the initial northern terminus of California’s ambitious high-speed rail network.

Under a plan approved in early December, the inaugural stretch of the multispurred 800-mile system will eventually connect San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento and other major California cities and will run through the state’s farm-rich Central Valley.

Federal and state authorities have committed some $5.5 billion to the first leg of the project, which will connect Bakersfield, the valley’s southern hub, and the unincorporated area south of Madera. Construction of what will be the first high-speed rail line in the United States is to begin in 2012 and run through 2017, with the promise of creating tens — even hundreds — of thousands of jobs in an area that suffers some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

But despite the potential bounty of jobs, high-speed rail has not been fully embraced. After the rail authority approved the initial route in early December, Representative Dennis Cardoza, a Central Valley Democrat, disparagingly referred to it as “the train to nowhere.”

“For the California High-Speed Rail Authority to choose this route is to significantly undermine the public’s trust, marks a gross misuse of taxpayer funds and will alienate significant supporters of the project,” he said.

Part of that agita, of course, may be that the first section of high-speed rail will not pass through his district.

But the congressman is not the only person complaining. Several towns have passed resolutions opposing the project because of worries about the disruption of a 220-mile-an-hour train zipping through downtown districts.

And in the Central Valley, where huge, decades-old government irrigation projects have helped turned California into an agricultural powerhouse, farmers have grumbled about the rail project gobbling up valuable farm land.

“We’re of the belief that the productive farmland is an environmental and societal benefit, and we ought to be doing whatever we can to keep that land productive,” said Dave Kranz, a spokesman for the California Farm Bureau. “And once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”

Roelof van Ark, the chief executive of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing the project, said he was trying not to take criticism of the project personally. “It’s not about today; it’s about the future,” Mr. van Ark said. “I hope that Mr. Cardoza and others will see the light.”

On Dec. 9, California’s rail authority received a windfall of additional federal stimulus money — some $600 million — when Republican governors in Ohio and Wisconsin passed on money intended for their states. California voters approved high-speed rail in 2008, and deadlines are already passing, including a Dec. 31 cutoff for the state to finalize a plan to spend federal money in the Central Valley. Initial spending will span a raft of projects, including designing stations, redirecting nearby roads and acquiring land.

Still, many details need to be worked out, including the exact route, which must be able to accommodate conventional train systems in case the high-speed rail project fails to find enough financing to be completed. And that uncertainty unsettles local leaders.

“The communication has just been atrocious,” said Mayor Robert Poythress of Madera. “If there have been any messages, they’ve been mixed.”

Ronald W. Hoggard, the city manager of Corcoran, to the south, echoes that sentiment, worrying that the big money involved in the high-speed project — the eventual price will be more than $40 billion — will roll over his small-town concerns. “When they talk about ‘the train to nowhere,’ we’re not nowhere,” Mr. Hoggard said. “We’re Mayberry.”

Mr. Hoggard says Corcoran, a city of 26,000 — including 12,000 “guests of the state” at nearby prisons — had spent years painstakingly restoring its main street, repainting store facades and improving City Hall, and he worries that the train will distract from the city’s carefully shaped character.

“If they were to come through town, with an elevated track, at 85 decibels?” he said. “It’s just inconsistent.”

Mr. van Ark said elevated lines passing through city centers were a possibility, but he played down their impact on small-town life. “Trains do run through the centers of town in the rest of the world,” he said.

The Central Valley is accustomed to rail lines, with freight trains loaded with double-decker cargo cars rolling day and night. And Corcoran itself has a small, quaint Amtrak depot in its downtown core.

Still, the selection of the first segment of rail line was a surprise. Other options included connecting major cities, like Los Angeles and Anaheim or San Francisco and San Jose. But the Federal Rail Administration required that the first federal money be spent in the hard-hit Central Valley.

Mr. van Ark pleads for patience, saying, “This is not about building a line in the Central Valley.” And indeed, while the first link may run from Bakersfield to that ghostly area outside Borden, that is not the final destination anyone has in mind.

“This is all about building an intercity, high-speed network,” he said. “One must put that above where this will start.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/us/03borden.html?hp

XtremeDave Jan 3, 2011 8:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5111963)
The point that i'm trying to make here is why wasn't a route selected that would have the train run closer to Visalia than Hanford?

There are 2 railroads that run through the Central Valley, one owned by BNSF and the other by Union Pacific. The UP line runs along the 99 (or should I say, the 99 runs along the line) from Bakersfield to Manteca, while the BNSF line runs west of 99 from Bakersfield to Fresno, and east of 99 from Fresno to Stockton. This map of California railroads can show this in graphical form (UP in brown, BNSF in green).

Union Pacific refuses to share ROW or allow HSR to run along their corridor due to concerns over liability regarding derailments impacting HSR, while BNSF has been much more supportive of allowing HSR to run along their ROW. Because of this, the current Fresno-Bakersfield alignment runs almost completely along the BNSF ROW. With the exception of some bypasses of cities like Hanford, the preferred plan is to build as much of the HSR along the existing railroad ROW. However as of now, the preferred alignment for the HSR north of Fresno is along the UP ROW, and it will be seen how this battle will end up.

So while it would be more convenient to have a station closer to Visalia, that would require building HSR along the UP ROW next to CA-99, which UP has no interest in allowing.

Politics somewhat factors into this, since the CHSRA had to get an alignment selected fast in order to qualify for the federal funds, and a long battle with UP would have prevented this from happening and delayed the start of construction.

tayser Jan 3, 2011 10:57 AM

was just looking at the visualisations on the project's website and thought the SF Bay one was a bit odd...

Video Link


2x tracks for 300kph running right next to slower services and what not... "usually" there'd be a barrier of some sort. Still though if it's pulled off, it'll scare the bejeesus out of passengers on the slow services :lol:

afiggatt Jan 3, 2011 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tayser (Post 5112163)
was just looking at the visualisations on the project's website and thought the SF Bay one was a bit odd...

2x tracks for 300kph running right next to slower services and what not... "usually" there'd be a barrier of some sort. Still though if it's pulled off, it'll scare the bejeesus out of passengers on the slow services :lol:

The HSR maximum speed for the SF to San Jose segment is planned to be 125 mph. The 220 mph speeds will be on separated tracks south of San Jose.

On the NEC, especially on the busy 4 track stretch in NJ, the Amtrak Northeast Regionals at 125 mph and Acelas at 135 mph overtake the slower commuter trains on the adjacent tracks all the time. The first couple of times you are on a Regional or Acela and another Amtrak train comes by at 125-135 mph in the opposite direction right pass your window, it can be a little startling. But after a couple of times, the experienced rider pretends not to even notice it.

ardecila Jan 3, 2011 10:18 PM

Cool. Reminds me of the NEC north of Stamford.

Nexis4Jersey Jan 3, 2011 11:01 PM

It sounds like a whoosh....the first few times its nerve jerking but after a while its not the bad....the faster your going the less you seem to notice anything....

some of my whoosh videos

Video Link

@ 0:39

Under an Acela Express sounds like Thunder....

Video Link

JDRCRASH Jan 4, 2011 5:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by XtremeDave (Post 5112114)
There are 2 railroads that run through the Central Valley, one owned by BNSF and the other by Union Pacific. The UP line runs along the 99 (or should I say, the 99 runs along the line) from Bakersfield to Manteca, while the BNSF line runs west of 99 from Bakersfield to Fresno, and east of 99 from Fresno to Stockton. This map of California railroads can show this in graphical form (UP in brown, BNSF in green).

Why not utilize a portion of the ROW that goes through Visalia along Goshen Ave and Oak Ave? It's owned by SJVR (San Joaquin Valley Railroad).

Here's the location (it's in blue): http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...38581&t=h&z=15

jamesinclair Jan 4, 2011 6:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5113070)
Why not utilize a portion of the ROW that goes through Visalia along Goshen Ave and Oak Ave? It's owned by SJVR (San Joaquin Valley Railroad).

Here's the location (it's in blue): http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...38581&t=h&z=15

A detour with lots of curves = bad for HSR

The BNSF line = straight.

Again, people in Visalia and Hanford have to drive everywhere. There's pretty much no hope for not driving. Putting a HSR station downtown will not do anything.

Sticking it between Hanford and Vislia is probably better for all the folks in Visalia, Hanford, Corcoran Lemoore and Tulare

It's like putting the airport out in the middle of nowhere. Who cares if it's not near anything if it's easy to get to?

Obviously it's a very different reality in SF, LA and San Diego. Even Fresno and Bakersfield have hope as they actually have downtowns.

tayser Jan 4, 2011 7:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by afiggatt (Post 5112182)
The HSR maximum speed for the SF to San Jose segment is planned to be 125 mph. The 220 mph speeds will be on separated tracks south of San Jose.

ah ok, fair enough.

Quote:

On the NEC, especially on the busy 4 track stretch in NJ, the Amtrak Northeast Regionals at 125 mph and Acelas at 135 mph overtake the slower commuter trains on the adjacent tracks all the time. The first couple of times you are on a Regional or Acela and another Amtrak train comes by at 125-135 mph in the opposite direction right pass your window, it can be a little startling. But after a couple of times, the experienced rider pretends not to even notice it.
What's the regionals top speed? (going to be using this corridor very soon) 160kph (100mph)?

there's a fair difference between 160kph trains plodding along with 300kph+(185mph) trains whizzing past.

Nexis4Jersey Jan 4, 2011 9:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tayser (Post 5113140)
ah ok, fair enough.



What's the regionals top speed? (going to be using this corridor very soon) 160kph (100mph)?

there's a fair difference between 160kph trains plodding along with 300kph+(185mph) trains whizzing past.

Regionals top speed is 125mph , for the most part except in Delaware and parts of Philly you be cruising at 125mph. NJT and MARC Trains also go up 125mph on the Electric lines , Septa , Metro North and LIRR go 100mph on there lines. The Acela goes up to 130mph south of Newark,NJ for the most part.

ardecila Jan 5, 2011 4:33 AM

Seriously? I took the regional from Providence to NY over the summer, and there's no way it did more than 90mph except possibly east of Bridgeport (whizzing past Metro-North's EMUs was pretty cool). I took the Acela for the return trip, but it was at night and I didn't have a good sense of the speed. I was too distracted by how nice the coaches were.

The NEC in Jersey might be different, though. :shrug: I rode MARC's Penn Line a few years ago, and that seemed to travel much faster.

Nexis4Jersey Jan 5, 2011 6:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5114128)
Seriously? I took the regional from Providence to NY over the summer, and there's no way it did more than 90mph except possibly east of Bridgeport (whizzing past Metro-North's EMUs was pretty cool). I took the Acela for the return trip, but it was at night and I didn't have a good sense of the speed. I was too distracted by how nice the coaches were.

The NEC in Jersey might be different, though. :shrug: I rode MARC's Penn Line a few years ago, and that seemed to travel much faster.

Well in CT its Capped to 90mph , that might increase to 120mph when the overhaul project is completed in 2018.

JDRCRASH Jan 5, 2011 6:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesinclair (Post 5113104)
A detour with lots of curves = bad for HSR

The BNSF line = straight.

Again, people in Visalia and Hanford have to drive everywhere. There's pretty much no hope for not driving. Putting a HSR station downtown will not do anything.

Sticking it between Hanford and Vislia is probably better for all the folks in Visalia, Hanford, Corcoran Lemoore and Tulare

It's like putting the airport out in the middle of nowhere. Who cares if it's not near anything if it's easy to get to?

Obviously it's a very different reality in SF, LA and San Diego. Even Fresno and Bakersfield have hope as they actually have downtowns.

Alright, fine. I just really hope the area around the station is developed; and not just with traditional sprawl. In my opinion, a HSR station surrounded by farmland sets a bad PR image of the CHSR authority and the project, and will almost certainly be used by conservatives in their "train-to-nowhere" rant.

electricron Jan 5, 2011 1:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5114257)
Alright, fine. I just really hope the area around the station is developed; and not just with traditional sprawl. In my opinion, a HSR station surrounded by farmland sets a bad PR image of the CHSR authority and the project, and will almost certainly be used by conservatives in their "train-to-nowhere" rant.

Then counter them with photos of rural TGV stations in France. Like thus one in Meuse
http://www.champagne-gites.com/blog/..._sign_full.jpg

I also wanted to add a comment I made in a different thread recently. We're forgetting why having train stations in high density neighborhoods are good, and that's ease of access. In high density neighborhoods, it's ease of access to pedestrians in that they don't have to walk far. In low density neighborhoods, ease a access is often the availability of empty parking spots and the number of arterial streets nearby. You've got to make it easy to access for the most likely mode of transport in that city, town, or neighborhood.
Most airports are located in low density neighborhoods, yet passengers don't have problems getting to them. Yet there are train stations smack in the middle of a high density neighborhood that sees poor ridership because access to the station is difficult. Easy access is the key, not high density.

afiggatt Jan 5, 2011 3:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5114128)
Seriously? I took the regional from Providence to NY over the summer, and there's no way it did more than 90mph except possibly east of Bridgeport (whizzing past Metro-North's EMUs was pretty cool). I took the Acela for the return trip, but it was at night and I didn't have a good sense of the speed. I was too distracted by how nice the coaches were.

The NEC in Jersey might be different, though. :shrug: I rode MARC's Penn Line a few years ago, and that seemed to travel much faster.

The NEC through CT is by far the slowest overall part of the corridor. The problem is that the basic ROWs were laid down in the 1830s and 40s, a very long time ago when trains were going much slower. The top speed for Amtrak for most of the Metro-North New Haven line segment from New Rochelle to New Haven is 70 mph with only 1 short 90 mph piece. On the old Shore Line route in eastern CT from New Haven to Westerly, RI there are some 100 or 110 mph stretches, but the stretch around New London is slow because of the curves and the only remaining grade crossings on the NEC.

The Regionals will go 125 mph on a number of segments between DC and NYC, but there are many 80 to 110 mph areas as well. The NEC has a large number of speed changes over the entire corridor. Keeps the engineers busy. Generally, going north from DC, the Regionals will hit 120-125 mph a couple of times between DC and Baltimore, then crawl through the B&P tunnel (opened in 1879) in west Baltimore, hit some longer 120-125 parts between Baltimore and Wilmington, then won't hit 120-125 again until well north of Philly, and then gets to the several long straight segments north of Trenton NJ where the Regionals can run flat-out at 125 and the Acelas at 135. The only reason the Acelas can't run at 150 mph in the long straight segments in NJ is because of the limits of the old 1930s era hanging catenary. Selectively replacing the catenary between NYC and DC with constant tension cat is on the long term NEC improvement plans, but funding has to be found.

Metro-North and CDOT is systematically upgrading the New Haven line with constant tension catenary and replacing old bridges in a muli-decade long upgrade project. But the close spacing of the tracks, the many curves, and the lack of incentive for Metro-North to allow higher speed trains which might interfere with their commuter operations, means that even after the upgrades, Amtrak is not likely to be able to operate at high speeds over much of the New Rochelle to New Haven segment.

The CA HSR system has the advantage of avoiding these problems by building new tracks and selecting the most suitable ROW from scratch.


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