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numble Jun 17, 2021 5:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9314090)
Thanks for finding my source, and confirming I did not invent numbers out of thin air. You should also see this quote from the same report.
"The Cap-and-Trade Program annual auction revenues have averaged $534 million since 2015‑16, with a low of $221 million and a high of $787 million."
The numbers derived from math are correctly calculated from the data provided in that same report.

As with any forward looking data, higher highs and lower lows than what occurred in the past can occur in the future, that is why I averaged the data in the first place. :shrug:
If I had desired to twist the data making the revenues from cap and trade smaller, I could have just used the lower number, and likewise the opposite way as well. But I did not twist the data because I averaged them.

Which data set is more correct, what an independent study reported to the legislature or what the government department reported? I have not the slightest idea, just wanted to add there must be reasons why the legislature wanted an independent report.

That quote isn’t in the report. You edited it to represent the total amount of revenue, when the actual quote says $534 million is the average that the CAHSR project receives (in other words, the Cap-and-Trade’s annual auction revenues are 4x that amount):
Your statement:
The Cap-and-Trade Program annual auction revenues have averaged $534 million since 2015‑16, with a low of $221 million and a high of $787 million.”

The actual statement in the independent report:
“The project’s annual auction revenues have averaged $534 million since 2015‑16, with a low of $221 million and a high of $787 million.”

There is no math to show how you arrive at a $534m annual average auction revenues in total (for which 25% goes to CAHSR), you just misread and misquoted from the LAO report, which says $534m is the average annual cut received from total auction revenues per year.

electricron Jun 17, 2021 1:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numble (Post 9314119)
Your statement:
The Cap-and-Trade Program annual auction revenues have averaged $534 million since 2015‑16, with a low of $221 million and a high of $787 million.”

The actual statement in the independent report:
“The project’s annual auction revenues have averaged $534 million since 2015‑16, with a low of $221 million and a high of $787 million.”

There is no math to show how you arrive at a $534m annual average auction revenues in total (for which 25% goes to CAHSR), you just misread and misquoted from the LAO report, which says $534m is the average annual cut received from total auction revenues per year.

Oh, I understand your correction now. Sorry I misread the report. So all the calculations I did earlier was a waste of my and everyone else's time.
:(

Even with the new peak at the numbers, they are still going to be short of cash completing all of Phase 1 by a significant amount.

$534 Million (average to date for that report) x 16 years (Cap & Trade program set aside for CHSR is set to expire in 2030) is only $8.544 Billion.
California Proposition 1A only allows bonds up to $10 Billion. Uncle Sam's ARRA funding was $2.5 Billion, and Uncle Sam's HUV funding was approximately $1 Billion, summing all up to just $22.044 Billion.

Cap & Trade CHSR "program" funding needs to be 3 to 4 times what they had been averaging to get the required approaching $80 Billion total.
80 - 22 = 58
58 / 16 = 3.625
And if that $80 Billion is too high an estimate, lets drop it to $60 Billion
60 - 22 - 38
38 / 16 = 2,375
In that case the Cap & Trade program needs to be 2 to 3 times what they had been averaging.
My point is just as valid as before, they need more cash to actually finish the railroad between SF and LA - or two, three, or four times more time.

jmecklenborg Jun 17, 2021 2:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9314263)
My point is just as valid as before, they need more cash to actually finish the railroad between SF and LA - or two, three, or four times more time.

The state has run gigantic surpluses for the past few years. Prudently, those funds were used to shore up the state pension fund and cash reserves 2017-2020.

California, right now, has almost enough cash on hand and due in its coffers within the next 12 months to pay cash for the rest of this project:
https://calmatters.org/commentary/20...t-surplus-lao/

There is no way that the governor and legislature would ever hand a huge sum to CAHSR without also allocating money to local transit, but as many have mentioned here before, much of the CAHSR project *is* local transit since many upgrades are being made to commuter rail in the Bay and LA.

The current surplus is so profound that the state could easily hand over the cash to build the tunnel between 4th/King and Transbay, which would help peninsula commuters in the short-term.

In LA they could upgrade commuter rail from Burbank to Anaheim to CAHSR specs - all grade separations, Union Station upgrades, and electrification.

There is also potential in the Bay to improve ACE and Capitol Corridor by electrifying to CAHSR/Caltrains specs in anticipation of the second Transbay Tube.

electricron Jun 18, 2021 1:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9314292)
The current surplus is so profound that the state could easily hand over the cash to build the tunnel between 4th/King and Transbay, which would help peninsula commuters in the short-term.

In LA they could upgrade commuter rail from Burbank to Anaheim to CAHSR specs - all grade separations, Union Station upgrades, and electrification.

There is also potential in the Bay to improve ACE and Capitol Corridor by electrifying to CAHSR/Caltrains specs in anticipation of the second Transbay Tube.

Whether CHSR gets any more State derived cash or not, they should be investing it into tunnels between Merced and Gilroy and between Bakersfield and LA. Tunnels take twice as long to build as elevated or at grade structures, and at least twice as much money as well. Surpluses, money falling from the heavens, should be spent on the most expensive sections. What good is a second transbay tunnel in northern California, or a tunnel under Burbank in southern California as long as SF and LA remain unconnected. The first priority should be interconnecting the two huge metros with high speed tracks.

Busy Bee Jun 18, 2021 2:31 AM

I agree they need to get moving on the tunnels.

jmecklenborg Jun 18, 2021 8:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9315012)
The first priority should be interconnecting the two huge metros with high speed tracks.

I don't believe that they can run trains to just Burbank or LA Union because operations will be dependent on the maintenance facility/storage yard in Anaheim. So from Palmdale southward they need to build everything.

That's different than NoCal, where the HSR trains might terminate at 4th/King before the connecting tunnel to Transbay can be built.

That said, from a political standpoint, it probably makes sense to launch both the Pacheco Pass and Palmdale tunnels at the same time. Inevitably, one or the other will go wildly over budget and that will be used as an excuse to never build the other tunnel if the "bad" tunnel is built first.

ardecila Jun 18, 2021 8:57 PM

^ That's not really true, once the Burbank-Bakersfield mountain crossing opens they can just purchase dual mode locos and re-route the existing San Joaquins fleet. The result would be a basically high speed service from LAUS to Emeryville/Oakland, with the only "slow" section (79mph) between Merced and Oakland.

Both the Siemens Venture coaches and the Charger diesel locos are rated up to 125mph and should be able to reach that speed consistently on a true HSL, unlike the NEC which still has a lot of slow zones. The result would have roughly the same average speed as Acela between LAUS and Merced, even without building a specialized maintenance facility for high speed trainsets. However, due to the long tunnel on the mountain crossing a diesel loco would not work, so a dual mode version of the Charger would probably be required. After the HSR is fully built out from LA-SF, the dual modes can be handed down to one of the commuter operations.

electricron Jun 19, 2021 4:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9315930)
Both the Siemens Venture coaches and the Charger diesel locos are rated up to 125mph and should be able to reach that speed consistently on a true HSL, unlike the NEC which still has a lot of slow zones. The result would have roughly the same average speed as Acela between LAUS and Merced, even without building a specialized maintenance facility for high speed trainsets. However, due to the long tunnel on the mountain crossing a diesel loco would not work, so a dual mode version of the Charger would probably be required. After the HSR is fully built out from LA-SF, the dual modes can be handed down to one of the commuter operations.

Why build a track for 220 mph speed trains and then only use rolling stock that can only go 125 mph? Eventually, they will have to hang catenaries in long tunnels, dual mode or single mode, might as well use electric trainsets.
Eventually, they will use trainsets for 220 mph speeds, might as well go ahead and build the maintenance facilities or depots to support them.
California's order includes 49 Venture cars, formed into seven semi-permanently-coupled trainsets.
The existing San Joaquin trains running between Oakland and Bakersfield have 315 rail miles, the new HSR corridor will be approximately just as long. The existing trains take around 6 hours to travel the 315 rail miles, averaging 52.5 mph.
Assuming 125 mph max speed trains double the average speeds of the trains to twice what they do today, 105 mph average, the trains will still need 3 hours to travel those 315 rail miles.
They still will not take your all the way to LA from Oakland, or to San Jose and San Francisco if you route the trains to Oakland.

jmecklenborg Jun 21, 2021 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9316294)
Why build a track for 220 mph speed trains and then only use rolling stock that can only go 125 mph?

It wouldn't be a permanent situation. I am suspicious, however, that building a single diesel track on the new HSR line to enable a rudimentary service between Bakersfield and Oakland would impede the eventual testing and implementation of HSR on the line.

Also, it's worth noting that the max speed in the planned tunnels will be about 150mph, so not much faster than the max speed of the non-HSR trainsets. However, I did some reading recently on the base tunnels finished recently in Switzerland and the ongoing construction of the separate Austria-Italy tunnel, and they're all being built to a slower spec of 120mph vs California's 150mph. They're saving a ton of money by doing so because the bore diameter is about 26 feet instead of 28 feet, which pencils out to a huge amount of material and cost savings over the length of a 30-mile tunnel.

Lowering the tunnel speed requirement for one tunnel or the other could save the project a ton of money but the 10~ minute longer end-to-end run time might put it in violation of the 2008 ballot issue.

Building along I-5 would have, in theory, saved time for the LA-SF express run since the running distance would have been about 30 miles shorter. But in reality it might not have saved any time because it would have enabled the tunnels to have been built at an even smaller diameter, perhaps with a max speed of 100-110mph, in order to achieve the same 2:45 run time.

electricron Jun 21, 2021 1:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9317683)
Also, it's worth noting that the max speed in the planned tunnels will be about 150mph, so not much faster than the max speed of the non-HSR trainsets. However, I did some reading recently on the base tunnels finished recently in Switzerland and the ongoing construction of the separate Austria-Italy tunnel, and they're all being built to a slower spec of 120mph vs California's 150mph. They're saving a ton of money by doing so because the bore diameter is about 26 feet instead of 28 feet, which pencils out to a huge amount of material and cost savings over the length of a 30-mile tunnel.

But in the tunnels, they would be building 150 mph tracks. Besides the bore size, the tunnels also have grades, steep enough to lower maximum speeds. And by the way, the speed reductions is for going downhill cause by braking limitations.
But in the Valley, 220 mph tracks are what they are planning to build.

jmecklenborg Jun 21, 2021 5:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9317697)
But in the tunnels, they would be building 150 mph tracks. Besides the bore size, the tunnels also have grades, steep enough to lower maximum speeds. And by the way, the speed reductions is for going downhill cause by braking limitations.
But in the Valley, 220 mph tracks are what they are planning to build.

The irony is that the calls for lengthy tunnel construction on the peninsula would not improve travel times much since the speed would only increase by 40mph. By comparison, the speed could increase by a full 100~mph on an aerial structure above the Caltrains tracks, but the aerial structure (or more likely some combination of aerial and surface) would have to be incredibly long - like 30 miles - in order to significantly improve the overall performance of the HSR line.

Improving the speed from 110mph to 220mph for 30 of the 35 miles between San Jose and SFO would create a time savings of roughly 10 minutes. It would, however, significantly reduce lowered gates, which after the improvement would only be motivated by Caltrains commuter trains and the occasional freight train. Also, Caltrains from Gilroy could operate on the elevated HSR tracks, speeding that service, and further reducing lowered gates.

Busy Bee Jun 21, 2021 6:16 PM

^When you say "elevated" do you mean the 4-track embankment that was one of the Authorities proposals for the Peninsula before the blended system (compromise) approach was adopted. I've never heard of an "aerial structure above the [Caltrain] tracks."

jmecklenborg Jun 21, 2021 6:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9318038)
^When you say "elevated" do you mean the 4-track embankment that was one of the Authorities proposals for the Peninsula before the blended system (compromise) approach was adopted. I've never heard of an "aerial structure above the [Caltrain] tracks."

^Some combination of an embankment and overpasses similar to what has been built recently near Fresno.

With the electrification of Caltrains well underway, there is a greater sunk cost that won't be recoverable if they tear up the current improvements in 10-20 years.

I'm getting back to the point I made several months ago on this thread - that the peninsula kicked and screamed about the 4-track plan because they were afraid no improvements would be made to Caltrains. It's not hard to imagine a 4-track scenario where the 2 Caltrains tracks were left as conventional diesel operation with the promise that it would be upgraded to electric and 30 years later they're still waiting for it.

jmecklenborg Jun 21, 2021 7:32 PM

^Also, I have ridden on a high-speed train (in France), but I haven't heard how loud one is traveling at full-speed on an embankment, so I think there is some justifiable concern over the noise level generated by 30 trains per hour (15 per direction between Caltrains and HSR). Putting the line in a trench or tunnel would largely eliminate the noise issue, but as I noted above, those options would not achieve the highest level of service possible.

Obviously, life is going to suck for anyone whose house backs up to this line after things really get underway with the Caltrains electrification. But I doubt that living even one block away will be as annoying all of the jet noise in Marina Del Ray.

Busy Bee Jun 21, 2021 7:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9318053)
I'm getting back to the point I made several months ago on this thread - that the peninsula kicked and screamed about the 4-track plan because they were afraid no improvements would be made to Caltrains. It's not hard to imagine a 4-track scenario where the 2 Caltrains tracks were left as conventional diesel operation with the promise that it would be upgraded to electric and 30 years later they're still waiting for it.

I'm not a resident of the Bay Area or California for that matter, but wasn't the nimbyism regarding the 4-track peninsula more to do with the exaggerated noise, visual and psychological impact concerns they felt the raised guideway would have rather than any suspicion that Caltrain wouldn't receive the improvements in service?

jmecklenborg Jun 22, 2021 1:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9318152)
I'm not a resident of the Bay Area or California for that matter, but wasn't the nimbyism regarding the 4-track peninsula more to do with the exaggerated noise, visual and psychological impact concerns they felt the raised guideway would have rather than any suspicion that Caltrain wouldn't receive the improvements in service?

That's part of it, no doubt, but the design wasn't going to be 4 side-by-side tracks for 40~ miles. There were going to be spots where HSR would be elevated/depressed but Caltrains would remain at-grade in part to save money and in part because there are still active freight spurs and the light rail line in Mountain View.

Frankly I think it's going to be a bit of a S-show with the crossing gates up and down almost countless times per hour at 20-odd grade crossings. There is so much opportunity for something to go wrong. Weird stuff happens at grade crossings - not just with cars but with bicycles, pedestrians, etc.

I think we're going to see full grade separation of HSR revisited when the Transbay approach tunnel is funded and the second Transbay crossing is under study. It's not difficult to see, when scanning the line on Google Earth, that there is plenty of space for the HSR tracks in most locations to run at-grade. Where conflicts exist it'll be a lot easier, in some places, to leave Caltrains as-is and build HSR tracks on piers directly next to the existing tracks or directly above.

electricron Jun 22, 2021 1:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9318791)
That's part of it, no doubt, but the design wasn't going to be 4 side-by-side tracks for 40~ miles. There were going to be spots where HSR would be elevated/depressed but Caltrains would remain at-grade in part to save money and in part because there are still active freight spurs and the light rail line in Mountain View.

I think we're going to see full grade separation of HSR revisited when the Transbay approach tunnel is funded and the second Transbay crossing is under study. It's not difficult to see, when scanning the line on Google Earth, that there is plenty of space for the HSR tracks in most locations to run at-grade. Where conflicts exist it'll be a lot easier, in some places, to leave Caltrains as-is and build HSR tracks on piers directly next to the existing tracks or directly above.

Americans understand the bidirectional 3 or 4 track rail corridor easier because of the NEC, but the English quad track layout used to have both a fast pair of up and down tracks and a slow pair of up and down tracks, which would be very similar to having a regular sets of tracks for regular trains and a separate set of dedicated high speed tracks within the same corridor.

The operational advantage of the NEC quad track configuration is that freight industries can exist on both sides of the corridor and be serviced easily with little to no impact to fast trains on the fast tracks. The English configuration favors placing industries along the slow pair of tracks on one side of the corridor, to reach industries on the fast side of the corridor flyovers or duck-unders are needed, all adding to the expense to build and maintain the corridor. In a market where the corridor is maintained by private enterprises, flyovers and duck-unders are not preferred. In a market where government maintains the corridor, flyovers and duck-unders are just another cost for taxpayers to subsidize.

On the Peninsula, Caltrains already owns the corridor, so either quad track layout would have worked. I strongly believe the nose abatement issues were the primary reasons for the preferred alignment chosen in the EIS. As with the rest of the CHSR lines, reducing costs have not been, are not, nor will not be the primary concerns of the Authority.

Busy Bee Jun 22, 2021 3:27 PM

Can we put this to rest please?

Caltrain is the branded commuter railway. Caltrans is the CA government DOT that chartered the service nearly 40 years ago. There is no "Caltrains" unless you're taking a photo of 4th and King.

Yes, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

jmecklenborg Jun 22, 2021 6:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9318810)
On the Peninsula, Caltrains already owns the corridor, so either quad track layout would have worked. I strongly believe the nose abatement issues were the primary reasons for the preferred alignment chosen in the EIS. As with the rest of the CHSR lines, reducing costs have not been, are not, nor will not be the primary concerns of the Authority.

I personally find the crossing gates and horn blowing to be more disruptive than the trains themselves. Grade separations would have ended both of those sounds.

Also, the sound of passing trains is very difficult to predict. For certain, speeding electric trains make plenty of noise but not the same sort of noise as diesels traveling at the same speed.

Sound from railroads has a weird way of either traveling or not traveling. A train might be more noticeable from a quarter mile away than from a block away. The horns, for sure, often travel for miles.

Busy Bee Jun 27, 2021 10:46 PM

CHSRA released the Final EIR for the Bakersfield to Palmdale segment. Dive in here for the minutia.

jmecklenborg Jun 28, 2021 1:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9324343)
CHSRA released the Final EIR for the Bakersfield to Palmdale segment. Dive in here for the minutia.

Thanks for the link. Looks like the track will climb 4,000~ vertical feet between Bakersfield and the mountains. Bakersfield is 400 feet above sea level and Palmdale is 2,500 feet above sea level so there will be much more climbing/descending on the Bakersfield side of the mountains.

There are charts in this link that show an alternative with a completely steady grade between Bakersfield and the crest of the ridge. The chart isn't very specific but it looks like that imagined climb would have required viaducts with 100+ foot piers. They're not going to do that, meaning the climb/descent will be a bit uneven. It might be in the report but I wasn't able to see if they plan to maintain 220mph both uphill and downhill. The highest speed might be impossible given the uneven character of the slope.

Busy Bee Jun 28, 2021 2:24 PM

^ Hmm. Not sure about this. Where did you see this in the doc? They are planning several spans with 100' + columns. It looks like they kept grades around 2-2.5%

jmecklenborg Jun 28, 2021 2:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9324769)
^ Hmm. Not sure about this. Where did you see this in the doc? They are planning several spans with 100' + columns. It looks like they kept grades around 2-2.5%

Looking at it again, you're right - all of the alternatives have 200~ foot piers toward the bottom. It's amazing that all of these viaducts and short tunnels will be less expensive than another 10~ mile tunnel.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...880&fit=bounds

electricron Jun 28, 2021 3:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9324769)
^ Hmm. Not sure about this. Where did you see this in the doc? They are planning several spans with 100' + columns. It looks like they kept grades around 2-2.5%

At 2.5% grade, the CHSR speed limitation based upon French limitation, the maximum speed of the train would be 168 mph, and at 2% grade the max speed would be 186 mph.
https://www.hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/up...TM2_1_2R00.pdf (Page 22 & 23)
So, there will be some slow down for these climbs, or should I say for there drops in elevation.

I have since had time to look at more of the drawings, and I read 2.8% grades mostly in the Tehachapi Pass. But the 168 mph speed limitation for 2.5% grades is the same for 2.8% grades, so nothing new there except the correction to the steepness of the grade.

Busy Bee Jun 28, 2021 4:15 PM

I just wish the Authority would have a budget, representing maybe the cost of a few houses purchased for right-of-way, to create some decent animations (not just birds-eye flyovers) showing what these sections will really look like so people like us (and others) won't have to sift through hundreds of pages of highly technical engineering drawings, all of which start to look the same after a while. I got cross-eyed last night.

One standout feature of the preferred alignment that I find perplexing and just of dubious necessity is the double crossing of SR-58 east of Edison. I fail to see why the alignment needed to do that, justifying massive and massively expensive straddle bents spanning SR-58 when they could have just remained north of the highway and south of the BNSF.

jmecklenborg Jun 28, 2021 4:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9324831)
At 2.5% grade, the CHSR speed limitation based upon French limitation, the maximum speed of the train would be 168 mph, and at 2% grade the max speed would be 186 mph.
https://www.hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/up...TM2_1_2R00.pdf (Page 22 & 23)
So, there will be some slow down for these climbs, or should I say for there drops in elevation.

I rode the TGV about 15 years ago from Paris to Lyon. The train climbs the ridge that separates the northern climate from the Mediterranean climate. You pop out of a fairly short tunnel (1 mile?) and...boom, palm trees. The climb up this ridge is really impressive though...you get a sense for how incredibly powerful the train is since it coasts up the hill until it gets to the lower required speed.

jmecklenborg Jun 28, 2021 7:10 PM

Also, it would be interesting to know what they have in mind so far as phasing the Burbank-Palmdale tunnel segment as compared to Bakersfield-Palmdale.

I assume that this segment will have a shorter design-build-test period than the long LA approach tunnels and so should break ground 1-2 years after. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is basically no use for the big tunnels between Burbank and Palmdale without the full build-out to Anaheim, so pretty much everything needs to be under construction simultaneously. That would be a volume of construction, purchasing, accounting, and upper management far beyond what has occurred to date in the Central Valley.

jmecklenborg Jul 1, 2021 12:36 PM

Steven Rattner was on Obama's "Team Auto" that bailed out GM and Chrysler. Yet he opposes subsidies for Amtrak and CAHSR:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/01/o...gtype=Homepage

"The California fiasco illustrates how execution will be key to implementing any infrastructure projects. But the government’s record is not great. The Federal Aviation Administration has been working on “NextGen” air traffic control for more than 15 years and it is still years from completion. By shortening flight lengths, this could do more for the climate than many other ideas being batted around, save countless hours of travel time and billions of dollars."


Right, take money that is "wasted" on Amtrak and "invest" (i.e. give another subsidy to) in the airlines.

Busy Bee Jul 1, 2021 1:23 PM

That's some bullshit.

jmecklenborg Jul 1, 2021 2:45 PM

^The only real "fiasco" with CAHSR is how poorly managed the image of the project is. The public has no idea what is going and so opponents are able to shape it to their advantage. There is no face to the project.

Someone add to this list or correct me if I'm wrong, but pretty much the only other ways this thing could have played out by this point given available funding would have been:
1. Build SF/LA approaches first, which would only be usable by commuter rail until the major tunnels are built.
a) Caltrains between Transbay and Gilroy
b) Metrolink between Burbank and Anaheim
2. Build Central Valley first, but along I-5, which would have no intermediate stations and terminal stations near Los Benos in the north and tiny Wheeler Ridge where I-5 levels out north of Grapevine. No future access to Las Vegas.

Obviously, had Clinton won the White House in 2016 things would be further along. We likely would have avoided Gavin's ambiguous "halt", at the very least. I think when you consider a HSR line paralleling I-5 but with zero intermediate stations and no entrance into either LA or SF you better understand the decision to serve the various small Central Valley cities, which all grew in a straight line along the old railroad.

Eightball Jul 2, 2021 6:19 PM

Wut

The amount of money & time it will end up costing to build the very basic central valley portion alone is approximately equal to what voters were promised for THE ENTIRE THING. That is a delivering on your promises problem, not an image one. The project has been an abject failure and embarrassment, unfortunately.

numble Jul 2, 2021 6:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9328400)
^The only real "fiasco" with CAHSR is how poorly managed the image of the project is. The public has no idea what is going and so opponents are able to shape it to their advantage. There is no face to the project.

Someone add to this list or correct me if I'm wrong, but pretty much the only other ways this thing could have played out by this point given available funding would have been:
1. Build SF/LA approaches first, which would only be usable by commuter rail until the major tunnels are built.
a) Caltrains between Transbay and Gilroy
b) Metrolink between Burbank and Anaheim
2. Build Central Valley first, but along I-5, which would have no intermediate stations and terminal stations near Los Benos in the north and tiny Wheeler Ridge where I-5 levels out north of Grapevine. No future access to Las Vegas.

Obviously, had Clinton won the White House in 2016 things would be further along. We likely would have avoided Gavin's ambiguous "halt", at the very least. I think when you consider a HSR line paralleling I-5 but with zero intermediate stations and no entrance into either LA or SF you better understand the decision to serve the various small Central Valley cities, which all grew in a straight line along the old railroad.

Starting to award design-build construction contracts with only 15% design completed, as opposed to 30% (some agencies now even do 60% for high risk sections) and awarding contracts before land acquisition was complete was a fiasco that did not involve a poorly managed image problem. A lot of the high spending for this project is paying contractors to be on standby because they were awarded the construction contract but the agency had not yet acquired the land for them to work on it.

jmecklenborg Jul 6, 2021 1:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 9329574)
Wut

The amount of money & time it will end up costing to build the very basic central valley portion alone is approximately equal to what voters were promised for THE ENTIRE THING. That is a delivering on your promises problem, not an image one. The project has been an abject failure and embarrassment, unfortunately.

There are all sorts of unfinished highway projects all over the country. Nobody really cares about "highways to nowhere" or "bridges to nowhere" until steel rails are involved - then, for whatever reason, the hair stands up and Americans flip the hell out.

West Virginia is full of highway fragments and bridges to nowhere:
https://www.wvnstv.com/news/west-vir...tructure-bill/

...but the Reason Foundation, Reason TV, etc., are nowhere to be seen.

Busy Bee Jul 6, 2021 3:00 PM

^100%

electricron Jul 6, 2021 3:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9332005)
There are all sorts of unfinished highway projects all over the country. Nobody really cares about "highways to nowhere" or "bridges to nowhere" until steel rails are involved - then, for whatever reason, the hair stands up and Americans flip the hell out.

West Virginia is full of highway fragments and bridges to nowhere:
https://www.wvnstv.com/news/west-vir...tructure-bill/

...but the Reason Foundation, Reason TV, etc., are nowhere to be seen.

Well, it is not considered as much as a boondoggle because the price tag is far less. The 4 lane King Coal Expressway is around 100 miles in length, while costing around $2 billion to build. That’s around 20 million per mile. Few brand new railroad projects in brand new corridors cost that little.
How much has CHSR cost to date in the San Joaquin Valley?
171 miles initial operating segment is projected to cost over $20 billion, averaging $117 million per mile., almost 6 times more.

Because the West Virginia highway is so short and so cheap to build, few are worrying if the highway will not be completed. People worrying whether California could finish the over 800 mile promised CHSR system by themselves is valid.

jmecklenborg Jul 6, 2021 4:20 PM

^The cost of a highway doesn't include the cost of the vehicles. The cost of a transit line or intercity rail line, by contrast, always includes the cost of the trains, the maintenance facility, training the staffs, etc. The overhead catenary system and substations for electric trains are very expensive.

Every passenger train wreck is national news. Meanwhile, so many people die every day on America's highways that individual incidents are hardly get local coverage.

202_Cyclist Jul 14, 2021 9:05 PM

CHSRA, Palmdale announce partnership to advance Palmdale station planning

Antelope Valley Times
July 12, 2021

"The California High-Speed Rail Authority has entered into an agreement with the city of Palmdale to supply matching funds for a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. If awarded, the grant will support completion of the city’s Station Implementation Master Plan.

The Authority is requesting a $1.35 million RAISE grant to fund development of the Master Plan for the integrated, multimodal future Palmdale high-speed rail station. The RAISE funding would enable the Authority, in close collaboration with the city of Palmdale, to advance conceptual design of a world-class rail and transit center in downtown Palmdale.

“We are committed to bringing clean, electrified high-speed rail to Southern California,” said Southern California Regional Director LaDonna DiCamillo. “We are actively working with our local partners on projects such as this, aimed at bringing short and long-term benefits to millions of Californians. High-speed rail service was always envisioned by voters to connect riders across Southern California and statewide – this partnership is another step in making that happen.”

https://theavtimes.com/2021/07/12/ch...tion-planning/

jmecklenborg Jul 15, 2021 6:37 PM

This is so vague (plus they posted what I believe is a San Jose station rendering):

The Palmdale Station will serve as a connection point for California high-speed rail, Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) and Brightline West, creating a seamless connection between California high-speed rail and Brightline’s planned high-speed rail service to Las Vegas via Palmdale.



How do they define "seamless connection"? Having to board a CAHSR train and then transfer to a Brightline/Virgin/Blue Origin/Pets.com train in Palmdale isn't "seamless", even if they build flying crossovers and you're able to walk across an island platform to a Las Vegas train that leaves 5 minutes after CAHSR arrives.

The LA>LV scheduling will be odd in any transfer scenario since CAHSR express trains, which will not stop in Palmdale or travel on any shared LVHSR track, will nevertheless influence the Las Vegas schedule.

Any HSR system like what is being built has 12 time slots, per direction, per hour. But a system as complex as CASHR will be at full build-out means express/skip-stop/local won't progress in the same order during differing hours with similar service levels. This means some Las Vegas-bound trains won't have enough room for everyone who seeks to transfer but another leaving just 10 minutes later might only be a quarter-full.

Busy Bee Jul 15, 2021 7:09 PM

Yeah that rendering is super old, probably not Palmdale and pretty lazy on the newspapers part. I'm not sure it ever said, but I always associated the rendering with Bakersfield.

EDIT: Actually it may be depicting SJ Diridon

ardecila Jul 15, 2021 7:10 PM

Seems like capacity issues are a good problem to have IMO…. I'm finding it hard to believe that you would encounter such problems, but I suppose it's possible in a few generations after the CAHSR system is completed.

Designing a true 3-legged station is very difficult, certainly if you want the station near downtown. You're always gonna have a right-way transfer (which can be through-routed) and a wrong-way transfer where people need to change trains. Or you can do a T-shaped station where all Vegas passengers need to change trains. Possibly you can address the issue of wrong-way transfers with a reversing move out of the station, but this would constrain the capacity of the system. Or a turning loop, but good luck finding that much real estate near downtown Palmdale. A lot will depend on the alignment of the High Desert Freeway and where it enters Palmdale... Brightline is just piggybacking on LA Metro's freeway alignment.

Also can someone explain to me why all the emphasis is on Palmdale and not Lancaster? Palmdale seems like a relative backwater, with no downtown to speak of. Lancaster has a mature downtown with a great, walkable main street. Palmdale has aerospace jobs, I guess? :shrug:

Busy Bee Jul 15, 2021 7:30 PM

Aside from the impossible current politics, why isn't Brightline West just part of CHSR again? I have a sneaking suspicion that in 20 years it will be.

202_Cyclist Jul 15, 2021 8:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9341071)
Also can someone explain to me why all the emphasis is on Palmdale and not Lancaster? Palmdale seems like a relative backwater, with no downtown to speak of. Lancaster has a mature downtown with a great, walkable main street. Palmdale has aerospace jobs, I guess? :shrug:

I looked and Palmdale and Lancaster have approximately the same size population (my condolences to the 300,000 people who live in these two cities) and Palmdale is closer to the LA basin.

Additionally, LA World Airports (LAWA) owns the airport at Palmdale, which has three long runways. For decades LAWA has wanted to turn the Palmdale airport into another international airport for Southern California, with it served by high-speed rail. I guess dreams die hard.

jmecklenborg Jul 15, 2021 8:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9341071)
Seems like capacity issues are a good problem to have IMO…. I'm finding it hard to believe that you would encounter such problems, but I suppose it's possible in a few generations after the CAHSR system is completed.

Designing a true 3-legged station is very difficult, certainly if you want the station near downtown.

In theory, the improved signaling enabled by various new technologies should enable HSR trains to operate closer to one-another. Depending on which article you read, HS2 in England will have 14-18 trains per hour. If we get well north of the old standard of 12 trains per hour, then there will be plenty of capacity for a few LA Union to Las Vegas trains per hour, even in the event of the full CAHSR Phase 1/2 build-out.

Another thing I just thought of is that having trains travel from Las Vegas to NoCal via a wye north of the station is possible, but having them stop at the Palmdale station would require extravagant trackwork to the south to avoid a backing movement. More likely I'd expect any train on this route to simply skip the Palmdale location. But like so much about Xpress West/Brightline/Virgin, we don't hear specifics.

Eightball Jul 15, 2021 8:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9341096)
Aside from the impossible current politics, why isn't Brightline West just part of CHSR again? I have a sneaking suspicion that in 20 years it will be.

Brightline has previously completed construction and actually run trains (on a much smaller budget!)

ardecila Jul 16, 2021 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9341155)
Another thing I just thought of is that having trains travel from Las Vegas to NoCal via a wye north of the station is possible, but having them stop at the Palmdale station would require extravagant trackwork to the south to avoid a backing movement. More likely I'd expect any train on this route to simply skip the Palmdale location. But like so much about Xpress West/Brightline/Virgin, we don't hear specifics.

It looks like this is the plan, yes:
https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/upload...le_Station.pdf

The High Desert Corridor will link to the HSR mainline north of downtown Palmdale, with a connection pointing south only. A north connection is contemplated as well but seems to be a lower priority - its inclusion in the EIS means it can be built without additional environmental work in the future.

The more recent plans in the Final EIS confirm that the downtown Palmdale section will be 6 tracks of HSR, with express HSR in the middle, local HSR platform tracks outside of that, and High Desert Corridor tracks on the outside with a cross-platform connection to the local HSR trains. Plus two tracks for Metrolink to the east of that, so 8 tracks total.

I will repeat that it is absurd to place such a huge transit hub less than 1 mile from this:
https://goo.gl/maps/sboekZwDSKCX6kkn7
I sure hope there are some highrises included in that station plan.

jmecklenborg Jul 16, 2021 5:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9341446)
It looks like this is the plan, yes:
https://hsr.ca.gov/wp-content/upload...le_Station.pdf

Thanks for the link.

Various online sources peg the Palmdale/Lancaster/Antelope Valley combined population at 475,000-500,000. This puts it at the same level as Fresno - so while not a big area, a bit more significant than most assume.

The full build-out of CAHSR and LVHSR will make this a much more practical area to live in the future than it is now. What's crazy to think about is if it becomes too big there will be a push to have CAHSR express trains stop there in order to shorten the travel time to/from San Jose and San Francisco, to the detriment of LA<>SF travelers.

ardecila Jul 16, 2021 5:30 PM

I'm not arguing the need for a station in the Antelope Valley somewhere, I just don't get why you'd choose Palmdale over Lancaster. The whole region is a sprawly mess, but Lancaster is the most established center and the only area that even remotely resembles urbanism.

Downtown Lancaster:
https://goo.gl/maps/D9E4fEPHf74Bibqo6

"Downtown" Palmdale:
https://goo.gl/maps/vY586djnyDfgVNCy5

202_Cyclist Jul 16, 2021 6:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9342015)
I'm not arguing the need for a station in the Antelope Valley somewhere, I just don't get why you'd choose Palmdale over Lancaster. The whole region is a sprawly mess, but Lancaster is the most established center and the only area that even remotely resembles urbanism.

Downtown Lancaster:
https://goo.gl/maps/D9E4fEPHf74Bibqo6

"Downtown" Palmdale:
https://goo.gl/maps/vY586djnyDfgVNCy5

Fair enough. Lancaster has a far more significant downtown than I thought it did. When I grew up in Southern California 20 - 30 years ago, both Lancaster and Palmdale were mostly tumbleweed and either mobile homes or planned communities.

Busy Bee Jul 16, 2021 6:17 PM

It seems to me the driving force behind the Palmdale station choice is the fact that at least some Las Vegas HSR trains (who knows what it will eventually be called, and furthermore who will be operating it) will eventually be routed to LAUS. A LV bound train would be going that much out of it's way to reach Lancaster(if it was the CHSR station instead of Palmdale) and north of the designated High Desert Corridor.

ardecila Jul 16, 2021 6:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 9342060)
Fair enough. Lancaster has a far more significant downtown than I thought it did. When I grew up in Southern California 20 - 30 years ago, both Lancaster and Palmdale were mostly tumbleweed and either mobile homes or planned communities.

Lancaster actually won design awards for their downtown... a lot of the denser development is newish.

https://www.cnu.org/what-we-do/build...ster-boulevard

So there is hope for Palmdale, but they have to WANT a downtown like this or it won't happen. I'm not optimistic.


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