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-   -   California High Speed Rail Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180558)

JDRCRASH Dec 3, 2011 4:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SD_Phil (Post 5502537)
I'm starting to think this isn't going to happen. It seems like it has too many opponents both in the state and in the federal government. Is there any real hope for HSR in CA?

Well in the worst case scenario I guess it's possible they end up spending the rest of the bond money and federal funds to fully extend it north to Fresno, install the catenary wires, build stations, and start service between Fresno and Bakersfield.

Like I said earlier, if we were to somehow get the rest of the $12 Billion in federal funds, we might be able to extend it to San Jose and/or Palmdale/Sylmar, and open the possibility for Metrolink/Caltrain riders to transfer. That's at least SOMETHING worthwhile.....

I mean, there's just so much money (while small in the larger picture) invested in this project now that I can't imagine ALL of the funds being unspent and diverted elsewhere.

tigernar Dec 3, 2011 1:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dimondpark (Post 5500714)
They are two independent megapolitan regions hundreds of miles apart (LA and SF), already served by hundreds of flights a day, and our airports are nowhere near their historic capacaties as far as passenger volume.

This sounds pretty much like the Madrid - Barcelona case. Just less than 400 miles apart, and before the hsr was built it had the busiest air route in the world with 971 flights a week. 90% of all six million travellers between the two cities flew. In 2008 the hsr opened, and already two years later passengers by train surpassed the passengers by plane. And that is with a travel time of 2 hours 38 minutes. Soon it will be even faster, and get even more of the market share. And SF's population density is higher than Madrid's. Don't come here and say that calhsr wont work because of distance or population.

yankeesfan1000 Dec 3, 2011 1:36 PM

Well said tiger. I've done the Barca Madrid route before on the train that is, and it's so much better than flying. No checking in, no security, no waiting for an hour to board the train, but the best part is that if you fly you end outside the city but when you take the train you disembark and you're right downtown.

It's also a bit short sighted to say that because the airports aren't at capacity now it's not a worthy project. This will alleviate congestion, and will take what, a decade? So in a decade they could be at capacity.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this. I'd love to see it get going.

bmfarley Dec 4, 2011 5:06 PM

Of course California High Speed Rail will happen. The only thing in debate are alignment, some project elements, phasing, and a timeline for implementation. Much of this will be in flux until it is finished. And naysayers will be at every fork in the raod and claim it is dead at every turn.

fflint Dec 5, 2011 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmfarley (Post 5504055)
Of course California High Speed Rail will happen. The only thing in debate are alignment, some project elements, phasing, and a timeline for implementation. Much of this will be in flux until it is finished. And naysayers will be at every fork in the raod and claim it is dead at every turn.

Agreed on all points.

pesto Dec 5, 2011 7:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tigernar (Post 5502849)
This sounds pretty much like the Madrid - Barcelona case. Just less than 400 miles apart, and before the hsr was built it had the busiest air route in the world with 971 flights a week. 90% of all six million travellers between the two cities flew. In 2008 the hsr opened, and already two years later passengers by train surpassed the passengers by plane. And that is with a travel time of 2 hours 38 minutes. Soon it will be even faster, and get even more of the market share. And SF's population density is higher than Madrid's. Don't come here and say that calhsr wont work because of distance or population.

This is very confused. First, there is well established, reasonably priced air service between 5 airports in LA and 3 in the Bay Area (not including SD and Sacramento). Even California HSR agrees that they will get only about 15 percent of their passengers from former air users, so this is hardly worth discussing.

Their hope is to take riders from cars. But car ownership in California is much higher than in Spain, cars are larger, gas is much cheaper, roads are much better and parking is readily available. California is also much wealthier than Spain and mass transit is not popular.

Comaring Barcelona to SF makes no sense since SF is only 10 percent of the Bay Area. It's not even the biggest CITY in the area. The area extends over about 50 miles along the coast and 20 miles inland and, of course, LA is much larger. Density for the area as a whole is much lower than for European cities.

drifting sun Dec 5, 2011 7:52 PM

Pesto, those are all interesting little factoids, but there seem to be plenty of people in CA who don't subscribe to yours, and dimondpark's arguments which consist of a lot of hair splitting ("well, this area is dense, but those over there aren't dense enough, etc."), and asserting that just because a sizable portion of Americans are wasteful in their lifestyle habits compared to the average European, that HSR will never catch on here. Build it, and people will use and discover how nice it is compared to the hassle of flying, or succumbing to road rage while on the highway, and they will demand more. Even stupid Americans can learn new tricks.

pesto Dec 5, 2011 7:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yankeesfan1000 (Post 5502859)
Well said tiger. I've done the Barca Madrid route before on the train that is, and it's so much better than flying. No checking in, no security, no waiting for an hour to board the train, but the best part is that if you fly you end outside the city but when you take the train you disembark and you're right downtown.

It's also a bit short sighted to say that because the airports aren't at capacity now it's not a worthy project. This will alleviate congestion, and will take what, a decade? So in a decade they could be at capacity.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this. I'd love to see it get going.

I'm not sure that Sants is exactly downtown, but it's reasonably accessible to a large percentage of the city. Union Station in LA, by contrast is not easily accessible to the bulk of people in Southern California; the same applies for SF and the Bay Area. When you get there, you will need to rent a car for sure in LA and likely in SF unless you plan to stay strictly downtown. One of the airports will likely be much more convenient to where you want to go.

Tourists can obtain these flights for about $140 RT, which is much cheaper than what HSR is now quoting. Cars, of course, are far cheaper than this for families.

pesto Dec 5, 2011 8:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5505326)
Pesto, those are all interesting little factoids, but there seem to be plenty of people in CA who don't subscribe to yours, and dimondpark's arguments which consist of a lot of hair splitting ("well, this area is dense, but those over there aren't dense enough, etc."), and asserting that just because a sizable portion of Americans are wasteful in their lifestyle habits compared to the average European, that HSR will never catch on here. Build it, and people will use and discover how nice it is compared to the hassle of flying, or succumbing to road rage while on the highway, and they will demand more. Even stupid Americans can learn new tricks.

You seem to be a nice person and have great hopes for the future. So do I. But the world doesn't run on great hopes. The numbers just show that in California HSR would be much slower than air and much more expensive than cars. I would scarp HSR between regions, where it brings nothing to the table that isn't already there, and spend the money on intra-regional transit, where it is desperately needed today and every day.

And as long as we're talking about Spain, it isn't entirely irrelevant to note that "build it and they will come" is great for Shoeless Joe, but not for real people. In Spain HSR went way over budget and got brutal governmental investigations regarding the damage it caused to the built environment around it. And the Spanish government, who funded it, more or less went bankrupt and is now cutting back social services and infrastructure at a frantic pace so that the Germany will please, please lend them some more money to keep living their "build it and they will come" life-style.

202_Cyclist Dec 5, 2011 8:16 PM

pesto:
Quote:

Tourists can obtain these flights for about $140 RT, which is much cheaper than what HSR is now quoting. Cars, of course, are far cheaper than this for families.
You can get airfares at this price if you buy sufficiently far in advance. If you have to travel tomorrow or in two days, you'll likely be paying $300 - $400 for the plane ticket. Air carriers are very sophisticated with price-discrimination with charging business travelers.

You and I are both very optimistic with electric and plug-in/hybrid vehicles. Airplanes, however, although far more efficient and increasingly so, still run on oil and are subject to the higher price volatility of oil. In early 2008 when oil was $147 per barrel, airlines were quick to add $20-$30 surcharges.

pesto:
Quote:

I'm not sure that Sants is exactly downtown, but it's reasonably accessible to a large percentage of the city. Union Station in LA, by contrast is not easily accessible to the bulk of people in Southern California; the same applies for SF and the Bay Area. When you get there, you will need to rent a car for sure in LA and likely in SF unless you plan to stay strictly downtown.
As you well know, LA County is busy building rail lines across the county as part of Measure R. In the next few years, the Expo line and several other rail lines will either begin service or be under construction. There is already something like 450 mlies of Metrolink commuter rail, with 70 or 80 stations.

Sacramento and San Diego (Phase II) are both planning investments in local rail transit. Santa Clara County agreed to tax itself to extend BART to San Jose. I think there can be little doubt that by 2033 (or whenever high speed rail begins service) there will be far more extensive transit networks in all of California's metro areas.

drifting sun Dec 5, 2011 8:18 PM

Pesto, I don't know about LA or the greater Bay Area, but in SF the area of not really needing a car to get around is much larger than "strictly downtown". SF has some of the most walkable, delightfully urban neighborhoods of almost any city, and there is always MUNI, which is heavily used even though it suffers from frequent problems.

As for Spain, I personally know "real people" that consider the train as like the air that they breathe. They are aware of the high cost, but they wouldn't have it any other way; they seem to recognize good public transportation is a priority, even though it is expensive.

ByTheBay Dec 5, 2011 9:17 PM

To put things into perspective, Californians need to think of investing that much money for hsr like this, the $100 billion pricetag is the equivalent of buying 4 million new cars, that's almost 1 in 10 people in this state, I don't have the stats to prove it but I'm positive California averages atleast 1 car per person. The normal life of a car is about 10-15 years, so the average Californian goes through about 3-4 cars in their lifetime, this is hypothetical. If 35 million people are willing to purchase a car 3-4 times in their lifetime, why can't the equivalent of 1/10 of them sacrifice one of those cars to build a transportation network that will serve the entire state for GENERATIONS to come, not just every 10-15 years. Why? Because 9/10 people live suburban lives who can't live without a car and some of them, not all, don't want to think of the greater good for the future.

drifting sun Dec 5, 2011 9:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5505351)
You seem to be a nice person and have great hopes for the future. So do I. But the world doesn't run on great hopes. The numbers just show that in California HSR would be much slower than air and much more expensive than cars. I would scarp HSR between regions, where it brings nothing to the table that isn't already there, and spend the money on intra-regional transit, where it is desperately needed today and every day.

And as long as we're talking about Spain, it isn't entirely irrelevant to note that "build it and they will come" is great for Shoeless Joe, but not for real people. In Spain HSR went way over budget and got brutal governmental investigations regarding the damage it caused to the built environment around it. And the Spanish government, who funded it, more or less went bankrupt and is now cutting back social services and infrastructure at a frantic pace so that the Germany will please, please lend them some more money to keep living their "build it and they will come" life-style.

Another thing to consider. It (the push for more "visionary" oriented infrastructure development) is not about having vain hopes and fanciful dreams, rather, it is about not ignoring the externalities that the "free market" ignores, externalities that still have very measurable consequences on pretty much anything humans should care about - personal health, environmental health, social and cultural progress, etc. Public infrastructure projects cannot be restricted by the same economic forces that for-profit minded people limit themselves to. They shouldn't even be measured by the yardstick of "paying for itself", at least in terms of direct currency. Good public works projects are always the object of disdain by individuals that believe everything should yield to the law of the almighty dollar. You might think that is the only reality that humans should abide by, but the environment we live in and depend upon for our very survival doesn't care about the market-guided architecture that humans have built to govern how we live. There really is more to life than money, even though the current power structure globally seems to be dominated by greedy banksters that would have you believe otherwise.

tigernar Dec 6, 2011 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5505289)
This is very confused. First, there is well established, reasonably priced air service between 5 airports in LA and 3 in the Bay Area (not including SD and Sacramento). Even California HSR agrees that they will get only about 15 percent of their passengers from former air users, so this is hardly worth discussing.

Their hope is to take riders from cars. But car ownership in California is much higher than in Spain, cars are larger, gas is much cheaper, roads are much better and parking is readily available. California is also much wealthier than Spain and mass transit is not popular.

Comaring Barcelona to SF makes no sense since SF is only 10 percent of the Bay Area. It's not even the biggest CITY in the area. The area extends over about 50 miles along the coast and 20 miles inland and, of course, LA is much larger. Density for the area as a whole is much lower than for European cities.

Huh? I wouldn't trust your numbers a single bit. Ever. The SF CSA has a population that is 42% of the Bay area. And 1.5 times the size of Barcelona, and Madrid's population is smaller than the SF CSA as well. SFs population density is greater than Madrid's. LA has three times the population of Madrid and only half the population density.

Anyway, comparing SF to LA doesn't make much sense in this case as I was trying to show you that SF has a big enough population and population density to sustain high speed rail, which is has got. And there are six times as many people living in Paris as in Lyon, and the hsr between those two cities is widely seen to be one of the world's most successful. If this is going to be a (population) numbers game, you have lost.

dimondpark Dec 6, 2011 6:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tigernar (Post 5502849)
This sounds pretty much like the Madrid - Barcelona case. Just less than 400 miles apart, and before the hsr was built it had the busiest air route in the world with 971 flights a week. 90% of all six million travellers between the two cities flew.

That's less than the weekly flghts and annual passenger between the Bay Area and Los Angeles area, and we have plenty of room to expand the number of flights.

Quote:

Don't come here and say that calhsr wont work because of distance or population.
My point is these 2 regions dont need a high speed rail for the reasons named by the California High Speed Rail, which as I stated are now dubious at best.

Furthermore, we feel misled hence this:
Quote:

Poll: Two-thirds of California voters support high-speed rail revote

Updated: 12/06/2011 10:34:02 AM PST

SACRAMENTO - A new Field Poll finds nearly two-thirds of registered California voters support putting the high-speed rail bonds they approved in 2008 back on the ballot now that cost projections have skyrocketed.

A poll released Tuesday shows strong sentiment across political affiliations for holding another vote.

Californians approved selling $9 billion in rail bonds in 2008 but by a nearly two-to-one margin now say they would reject them.

California's High-Speed Rail Authority now projects the cost of the system to be $100 billion and trains to travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2033. That's $57 billion higher and 13 years longer than original estimates.

Field interviewed 515 registered voters from Nov. 15-27. The poll has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

http://www.mercurynews.com/californi...il/ci_19481327


pesto Dec 6, 2011 6:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tigernar (Post 5506597)
Huh? I wouldn't trust your numbers a single bit. Ever. The SF CSA has a population that is 42% of the Bay area. And 1.5 times the size of Barcelona, and Madrid's population is smaller than the SF CSA as well. SFs population density is greater than Madrid's. LA has three times the population of Madrid and only half the population density.

Anyway, comparing SF to LA doesn't make much sense in this case as I was trying to show you that SF has a big enough population and population density to sustain high speed rail, which is has got. And there are six times as many people living in Paris as in Lyon, and the hsr between those two cities is widely seen to be one of the world's most successful. If this is going to be a (population) numbers game, you have lost.

SF City has less than 10 percent of the Bay Area population and good transit. The rest of the Bay Area requires a car for convenient travel. It spreads out for 70 miles, and SF isn't even close to the center.

Paris-Lyon is 200 miles non-stop; HSR is a clear winner. SF-LA is 400 miles with multiple stops; HSR is a clear loser.

pesto Dec 6, 2011 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5505519)
Another thing to consider. It (the push for more "visionary" oriented infrastructure development) is not about having vain hopes and fanciful dreams, rather, it is about not ignoring the externalities that the "free market" ignores, externalities that still have very measurable consequences on pretty much anything humans should care about - personal health, environmental health, social and cultural progress, etc. Public infrastructure projects cannot be restricted by the same economic forces that for-profit minded people limit themselves to. They shouldn't even be measured by the yardstick of "paying for itself", at least in terms of direct currency. Good public works projects are always the object of disdain by individuals that believe everything should yield to the law of the almighty dollar. You might think that is the only reality that humans should abide by, but the environment we live in and depend upon for our very survival doesn't care about the market-guided architecture that humans have built to govern how we live. There really is more to life than money, even though the current power structure globally seems to be dominated by greedy banksters that would have you believe otherwise.

By 2030, HSR and mid-sized commuter cars will run on the same fuel: electricity. It will presumably be generated by solar, nuclear or natural gas. But the point is that it they will use the same source of power. (As a side note, environmental groups have issues with CA HSR.)

Airplanes will presumably still be oil based. But, as HSR notes, they will NOT be getting much from traffic from airplanes.

I stongly support public works. In particular: urban subways and rail; clean buses; repaired streets; cargo rail; seaports; improved public architecture.

pesto Dec 6, 2011 7:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5505366)
pesto:


You can get airfares at this price if you buy sufficiently far in advance. If you have to travel tomorrow or in two days, you'll likely be paying $300 - $400 for the plane ticket. Air carriers are very sophisticated with price-discrimination with charging business travelers.

You and I are both very optimistic with electric and plug-in/hybrid vehicles. Airplanes, however, although far more efficient and increasingly so, still run on oil and are subject to the higher price volatility of oil. In early 2008 when oil was $147 per barrel, airlines were quick to add $20-$30 surcharges.

pesto:


As you well know, LA County is busy building rail lines across the county as part of Measure R. In the next few years, the Expo line and several other rail lines will either begin service or be under construction. There is already something like 450 mlies of Metrolink commuter rail, with 70 or 80 stations.

Sacramento and San Diego (Phase II) are both planning investments in local rail transit. Santa Clara County agreed to tax itself to extend BART to San Jose. I think there can be little doubt that by 2033 (or whenever high speed rail begins service) there will be far more extensive transit networks in all of California's metro areas.

Tourists do plan ahead and buy ahead. That's why they get cheap flights and this is what HSR has to compete against. Business people don't care about the discounted flights; they are interested in speed and will pay. As HSR has always noted, they will not take many people off of air.

In general, domestic tourists are not going to take their families on a subway vacation. Some Europeans will, but they are not the typical commuter from LA to the Bay. Most people want to have a car available in LA (Disneyland, the beaches, etc.). Non-tourists all the more so, since they will typically be visiting friends or family in the suburbs, not at 4th and Townsend or N. Alameda.

I am in favor of local spending on transit (although not of very long LRT that wanders off across the countryside). HSR from the High Desert, SB, Riverside and Irvine to LA is fine; I would divert the HSR funds into that. In 20 years, after we have added a LOT of intra-regional transit, then I would look at what kinds of needs there are for inter-regional.

dimondpark Dec 6, 2011 7:27 PM

I live in a big home all by myself and its mainly to house all the stuff I have accumulated over the years. Admittedly its a suburban setting that is in a city(Oakland) that has many urban neighborhoods as well.

Lately Ive been thinking that my years of gathering all this crap perhaps hasnt really given me the sense of satisfaction I thought it would. Not that I shouldnt have the right to own a marble bust of FDR, or a headhunter's mask or a varnished, oriental wooden trunk, but I'm beginning to wonder if this 5,000 sq ft house is nothing more than an enormous storage unit.

I get much greater satisfaction from playing with my dog, tending to my garden or going out on the town. LOL. None of which require a lot of space.

I think that's part of the problem with suburbia btw, people are enamored with what they think they need to make them happy but not what really makes them happy.

But it doesnt take a degree in rocket science to understand that suburban sprawl alone increases air pollution, wastes water and plows through precious farmland. That doesnt even address the materialst aspects that I raised above.


Not that Im one to judge the decisions of others as I dont know everyone's state of mind.

drifting sun Dec 6, 2011 7:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5506705)
By 2030, HSR and mid-sized commuter cars will run on the same fuel: electricity. It will presumably be generated by solar, nuclear or natural gas. But the point is that it they will use the same source of power. (As a side note, environmental groups have issues with CA HSR.)

Airplanes will presumably still be oil based. But, as HSR notes, they will NOT be getting much from traffic from airplanes.

I stongly support public works. In particular: urban subways and rail; clean buses; repaired streets; cargo rail; seaports; improved public architecture.

Yes, electricity will have to be the main fuel for any future transportation, generated by as many different sources as viable. As I said before, I am not opposed to electric automobiles, I just think fast trains solve even more problems related to congestion, commute time, productivity, etc. The knowledge to implement renewable technology like solar in a more efficient and less costly way either exists, or it could exist in a short time frame if true political will were to be put behind the effort. The same bright engineers and researchers that work for big oil, coal, and natural gas could bend their efforts towards solar, wind, tidal, etc. Why don't they? Because that is what the free market allows - the big corporations in charge of producing the energy that runs society already make their big dough on extracting and bringing to market unsustainable, dirty energy sources. This is because the free market mechanisms do not encourage sustainable energy production, and these same forces do not punish entities for trashing the environment, or the punishment is less than the profits of "doing it the ugly way".

So, perhaps when a majority of Americans suffer from COPD or something similar, due to rising air pollution, or maybe when we are down to the last reservoir of clean drinking water that is not polluted by benzene or something, then, finally, enough people will stand up and demand different ways of providing essential services. This is the way the free market "corrects" injustices like environmental destruction, only when we are at the brink of collapse.

To your side note - I thought that environmental groups opposed HSR because of issues other than increased electricity generation; I am very pro-environmental, but sometimes environmental groups are guilty of fighting the wrong battle, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.

If you favor public works projects like you claim, then your arguments wouldn't contain the same old "big government squashing poor taxpayer" rhetoric.

pesto Dec 6, 2011 7:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dimondpark (Post 5506751)
I live in a big home all by myself and its mainly to house all the stuff I have accumulated over the years. Admittedly its a suburban setting that is in a city(Oakland) that has many urban neighborhoods as well.

Lately Ive been thinking that my years of gathering all this crap perhaps hasnt really given me the sense of satisfaction I thought it would. Not that I shouldnt have the right to own a marble bust of FDR, or a headhunter's mask or a varnished, oriental wooden trunk, but I'm beginning to wonder if this 5,000 sq ft house is nothing more than an enormous storage unit.

I get much greater satisfaction from playing with my dog, tending to my garden or going out on the town. LOL. None of which require a lot of space.

I think that's part of the problem with suburbia btw, people are enamored with what they think they need to make them happy but not what really makes them happy.

But it doesnt take a degree in rocket science to understand that suburban sprawl alone increases air pollution, wastes water and plows through precious farmland. That doesnt even address the materialst aspects that I raised above.


Not that Im one to judge the decisions of others as I dont know everyone's state of mind.

A lack of satisfaction with material goods is not surprising. To think that they will bring you happines is probably the single most common human failing.

The thing you need to watch out for now is not to become fixated on some other "god" when you have rejected Mammon. That is, there is no single great moral or political idea that is going to lead to the solution of your problem or the world's problems.

You hit the basic idea: all things in moderation; tolerance; mind your business and let others mind there's.

pesto Dec 6, 2011 8:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5506793)
Yes, electricity will have to be the main fuel for any future transportation, generated by as many different sources as viable. As I said before, I am not opposed to electric automobiles, I just think fast trains solve even more problems related to congestion, commute time, productivity, etc. The knowledge to implement renewable technology like solar in a more efficient and less costly way either exists, or it could exist in a short time frame if true political will were to be put behind the effort. The same bright engineers and researchers that work for big oil, coal, and natural gas could bend their efforts towards solar, wind, tidal, etc. Why don't they? Because that is what the free market allows - the big corporations in charge of producing the energy that runs society already make their big dough on extracting and bringing to market unsustainable, dirty energy sources. This is because the free market mechanisms do not encourage sustainable energy production, and these same forces do not punish entities for trashing the environment, or the punishment is less than the profits of "doing it the ugly way".

So, perhaps when a majority of Americans suffer from COPD or something similar, due to rising air pollution, or maybe when we are down to the last reservoir of clean drinking water that is not polluted by benzene or something, then, finally, enough people will stand up and demand different ways of providing essential services. This is the way the free market "corrects" injustices like environmental destruction, only when we are at the brink of collapse.

To your side note - I thought that environmental groups opposed HSR because of issues other than increased electricity generation; I am very pro-environmental, but sometimes environmental groups are guilty of fighting the wrong battle, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.

If you favor public works projects like you claim, then your arguments wouldn't contain the same old "big government squashing poor taxpayer" rhetoric.

This is just recycled Marxist, union propaganda from the 19th century. It's just not the way that the world works. Take a couple of economics classes.
And "political will" is often short for "shoving what we believe down people's throats no matter how stupid it is".

Oil companies are trying to make money; they are happy to make it with oil but if they can make more money from other energy sources, they will invest in them. And that's what they are doing: putting trillions into solar, natural gas, wind, etc. They are some of the brightest guys in the world and they have analyses at hand that we can't touch, so they certainly understood the limits of oil production decades before you and I did.

So did the car companies. But you don't just start building electric cars or solar plants. If they are not efficient, they are just a fun idea. It takes a ton of brain power and luck to create something that is worth more than it costs to produce. Lots of failures, lots of lost money, until something kind of works. And then you dump that because something just a little better is available, and then you dump that, and repeat the same pattern forever. That's how the economy should work.

And keep the govt. out. They are slow, corrupt and tend toward replicating what is already known. Solyndra is just one unusually clear example: the funding of technology that was already known dead, strictly for poltical purposes. This holds back investment in the US solar industry, since it confuses the market.

drifting sun Dec 6, 2011 8:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5506859)
This is just recycled Marxist, union propaganda from the 19th century. It's just not the way that the world works. Take a couple of economics classes.
And "political will" is often short for "shoving what we believe down people's throats no matter how stupid it is".

Oil companies are trying to make money; they are happy to make it with oil but if they can make more money from other energy sources, they will invest in them. And that's what they are doing: putting trillions into solar, natural gas, wind, etc. They are some of the brightest guys in the world and they have analyses at hand that we can't touch, so they certainly understood the limits of oil production decades before you and I did.

So did the car companies. But you don't just start building electric cars or solar plants. If they are not efficient, they are just a fun idea. It takes a ton of brain power and luck to create something that is worth more than it costs to produce. Lots of failures, lots of lost money, until something kind of works. And then you dump that because something just a little better is available, and then you dump that, and repeat the same pattern forever. That's how the economy should work.

And keep the govt. out. They are slow, corrupt and tend toward replicating what is already known. Solyndra is just one unusually clear example: the funding of technology that was already known dead, strictly for poltical purposes. This holds back investment in the US solar industry, since it confuses the market.

You point towards Big Oil's token nod towards renewable energy with the same attitude as a brainwashed Sunday Schooler, and you accuse me of spouting rhetoric? What I was trying to point out is not typical Marxist dogma; I am not Marxist, they (just like Libertarians) are too extreme, absolute in their views. I'm talking about mixed, regulated, market economies. You let the market do what it will for things that are non-essential, like pizzerias, crocs, and other "luxury" type items. The stuff that is more endemic to the health and well being of humans and the environment, you need to regulate, subsidize, or provide incentives to ensure that externalities are accounted for.

JDRCRASH Dec 6, 2011 9:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5506859)
This is just recycled Marxist, union propaganda from the 19th century. It's just not the way that the world works. Take a couple of economics classes.
And "political will" is often short for "shoving what we believe down people's throats no matter how stupid it is".

So what do the people believe then? If you think it's more oil and suburban sprawl (which the private industry created, yet all economists agree is unsustainable), then you're deeply mistaken.

Quote:

Oil companies are trying to make money; they are happy to make it with oil but if they can make more money from other energy sources, they will invest in them. And that's what they are doing: putting trillions into solar, natural gas, wind, etc.
I knew they were investing billions (over a long period of time), but TRILLIONS? Really? Do you have sources?

Quote:

They are some of the brightest guys in the world and they have analyses at hand that we can't touch, so they certainly understood the limits of oil production decades before you and I did.
Then why have only recently have they started investing in solar, wind, etc?

Quote:

So did the car companies. But you don't just start building electric cars or solar plants. If they are not efficient, they are just a fun idea. It takes a ton of brain power and luck to create something that is worth more than it costs to produce. Lots of failures, lots of lost money, until something kind of works. And then you dump that because something just a little better is available, and then you dump that, and repeat the same pattern forever. That's how the economy should work.
Except the private industry doesn't start rail projects... they're not supposed to. Just like they don't start highways. Fundamental economics.

Quote:

And keep the govt. out. They are slow, corrupt and tend toward replicating what is already known. Solyndra is just one unusually clear example: the funding of technology that was already known dead, strictly for poltical purposes. This holds back investment in the US solar industry, since it confuses the market.
If you want the government out, then why stop at ending assistance for the solar industry? Why not stop helping the oil industry, which needs much less help?

And I will not allow you to crow about Solyndra without deliberately leaving out the vast majority of solar projects already getting built (though the Sierra Club is certainly not helping by complaining about tortoises... regulation reform is BADLY needed in California).

innov8 Dec 6, 2011 9:54 PM

Critics of State's High-Speed Rail Plan Moving In for the Kill

http://www.voiceofoc.org/state/artic...9bb2963f4.html

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

By TRACY WOOD

Three years ago last month, California voters approved a $42-billion proposal for a high-speed rail system that promised bullet trains going back and forth between Anaheim to San Francisco.

The ride for the program since that November day has, to say the least, been bumpy.

Auditors have lambasted its management, legislators have slammed its public relations, and academics have poked holes it its ridership estimates. And during the course of all this criticism, the project's price tag ballooned to $98 billion.

Now with a September deadline to break ground or lose $3 billion in federal funding looming larger by the day, high-speed rail opponents seem to have the program surrounded with an arsenal of legal and policy weapons and are primed to move in for the kill.

Consider the events of the past few weeks:

* A lawsuit filed on behalf of the Kings County Board of Supervisors and two area farmers contends the scaled-down project fails to meet construction and financial requirements approved by California voters in 2008. The suit asks the courts to bar state officials from using state bond funds on the proposed initial section.

* Republicans, who control the U.S. House of Representatives and oppose the rail plan, have scheduled a special Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing Dec. 15 solely to hear about the California project.

* California's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office last week issued a report asserting that as is, the project can't tap into state funds because it doesn't meet requirements imposed by Proposition 1A, the 2008 ballot initiative.


Rachel Wall, spokeswoman for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said agency leaders believe they are in compliance with 1A and staff has been meeting with the analyst's office to discuss the issues it raised.

She added in an email, "Due to pending litigation the Authority cannot provide any additional comments at this time regarding its statutory compliance."

But Michael J. Brady, the Richmond lawyer who filed suit on behalf of Kings County, says the High-Speed Rail Authority is wrong. "They're [state high-speed rail officials] in a real bind," he said. "They're in violation of 1A in very important respects."

The 2008 Ballot Initiative

When voters approved high-speed rail, the ballot initiative included specifics that must be met before any of the $9 billion in state tax money it authorized for the project can be used, Brady said.

The purpose, he said, was to protect state taxpayers from a rail project that used up the $9 billion state allocation without producing a true high-speed rail system or wound up requiring taxpayers to underwrite operating costs.

The lawsuit Brady filed in Sacramento Superior Court last month alleges the present plan fails to meet important requirements of state law and asks the court to prohibit California officials from allocating the 1A bond money until the requirements are met.

Among pivotal issues raised by Brady is an argument that the 130-mile initial segment through the Central Valley will cost $3 billion in federal stimulus funds and a match in state 1A bond funds, but it won't meet the 1A definition for high-speed rail.

"The suit first claims that the Authority plans to spend billions constructing a NON HSR [high-speed rail] SYSTEM in the central valley — a conventional rail system that is not even electrified, and that the voters of California never intended for their money to be used for conventional NON HSR projects," assserted a news release accompanying the Nov. 14 lawsuit.

In addition, Brady argues the rail authority only has 20 percent of the $30 billion it says it needs to build the initial working high-speed section. Under the law, he said, Proposition 1A money can't be allocated until money to cover the full cost of the section is in place and accessible.

Furthermore, the suit contends an operating subsidy will be needed to run the initial section, a plan that is outlawed under 1A.

Finally, suit asserts that required environmental impact reports haven't been finished as required by law, and most recently a Sacramento court disallowed a proposed environmental impact report.

"It's a mess," said Brady in a telephone interview. "They have a huge hurdle to overcome."

Brady's viewpoint is supported, at least in part, by the legislative analyst's report to the Legislature last week. The analyst's office stated that rail leaders failed to account for all of the money they will need to build the first usable segment of the system. Without that, the analyst asserts, the project doesn't comply with 1A and isn't eligible to tap into state funds.

The Legislative Analyst's Office is the nonpartisan office that advises lawmakers. Its recommendations normally carry substantial weight.

In addition, it said the project "has not yet completed all environmental clearances for any usable segment and will not likely receive all of these approvals prior to the expected 2012 date of initiating construction."

If those obstacles aren't enough, rail officials must persuade House Republicans that California has a viable high-speed rail plan that deserves additional federal funds. Right now, further federal appropriations are being blocked.

House Republicans are also trying to stop the $3 billion in stimulus funds from going to the California rail project.

The Los Angeles Times reported last month that Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Atwater), a subcommittee chairman on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, believes Congress can retrieve the federal grants that have been allocated to California's high-speed rail and use the money instead to build highways in the Central Valley.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate probably would fight efforts to rescind the federal grant, according to the Times. But the Dec. 15 transportation committee hearing could unleash another round of attacks on the rail plan.

dimondpark Dec 6, 2011 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5506810)
A lack of satisfaction with material goods is not surprising. To think that they will bring you happines is probably the single most common human failing.

The thing you need to watch out for now is not to become fixated on some other "god" when you have rejected Mammon. That is, there is no single great moral or political idea that is going to lead to the solution of your problem or the world's problems.

You hit the basic idea: all things in moderation; tolerance; mind your business and let others mind there's.

Im such an idiot.

This post was meant for a defending suburbia thread in City Discussions. How stupid of me.:haha:

s.p.hansen Dec 7, 2011 5:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5506859)
This is just recycled Marxist, union propaganda from the 19th century. It's just not the way that the world works. Take a couple of economics classes.


Marxism is underpinned by the thesis that the Free Market is not the most efficient way to distribute goods. Unless people are advocating planned economies, they aren't Marxists or Communists.

And your association of Labor Unions with Soviet or Marxist influences is totally off target.

Labor Unions in America were an adaption that Capitalism made which Marx did not adequately anticipate. U.S. Labor Unions were anti Communist. And Communist intellectuals did not like American Labor Unions. Some even conceded that Communism would never work in America because of its Utilitarian ethos and powerful Labor Unions.

So that aside. It's not really possible to make an anti Communist or anti Marxist argument against High Speed Rail or Regulations of things like pollution. Regulations still imply that the Free Market is the most efficient innovator and means of distributing goods. Did you miss the decades of the 80's and 90's? Do you know what happened to the Labor Party under Tony Blair? Have you seen what China is doing with Capitalism?

Also remember that the Labor Party is not the same thing as Labor Unions, nor is the Labor Party the same thing as Communism (especially after the 80's).

I thus surmise that you know very little about history at all and merely invoke "Marxism" and "Labor Unions" as emotional buzzwords for people who are also unaware of history and already converted to your cause. These arguments you structure around such buzzwords have no effect on those who aren't already part of "the folks" (as Bill O' Reilly would say).

The question then must be asked, "If your arguments are not capable of persuasion, why labor them in a thread dedicated to public transit (where people generally don't buy into your use of your buzzwords)?"

pesto Dec 7, 2011 7:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5506909)
You point towards Big Oil's token nod towards renewable energy with the same attitude as a brainwashed Sunday Schooler, and you accuse me of spouting rhetoric? What I was trying to point out is not typical Marxist dogma; I am not Marxist, they (just like Libertarians) are too extreme, absolute in their views. I'm talking about mixed, regulated, market economies. You let the market do what it will for things that are non-essential, like pizzerias, crocs, and other "luxury" type items. The stuff that is more endemic to the health and well being of humans and the environment, you need to regulate, subsidize, or provide incentives to ensure that externalities are accounted for.

Been tried: check out UK and Sweden (1950's to 1980); Soviet Union and Eastern block; most of Latin America in the 1930's to 1980). Also note France, Spain, Italy, etc., who found that govt. direction, fat social programs and needless spending and borrowing lead to bankruptcy and pretty much disappearance from economic relevancy in the world. For a different perspective, check what happened to Singapore, India and China when they only partially unravelled the regulatory restrictions and gave the free market half a chance.

If you're seriously interested, take a look at Elinor Ostrom's work (Nobel Prize winner). She takes some basic ideas from Coase and others and shows that governmental attempts to eliminate (or maximize) externalities are almost always less efficient than letting the market settle the issues. Some of her stuff is pretty hairy mathematically, but much of it is quite accessible.

pesto Dec 7, 2011 7:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5507000)
So what do the people believe then? If you think it's more oil and suburban sprawl (which the private industry created, yet all economists agree is unsustainable), then you're deeply mistaken.



I knew they were investing billions (over a long period of time), but TRILLIONS? Really? Do you have sources?



Then why have only recently have they started investing in solar, wind, etc?



Except the private industry doesn't start rail projects... they're not supposed to. Just like they don't start highways. Fundamental economics.



If you want the government out, then why stop at ending assistance for the solar industry? Why not stop helping the oil industry, which needs much less help?

And I will not allow you to crow about Solyndra without deliberately leaving out the vast majority of solar projects already getting built (though the Sierra Club is certainly not helping by complaining about tortoises... regulation reform is BADLY needed in California).

I usually say "billions" but heard a report recently that used trillion in talking about energy companies (oil and others) investment in renewables. It's oly a matter of time. But I'll change it to billions if you prefer.

Funny, I thought that private industries did start trains and airplanes (and cars and bicycles too). I must be confused. But it seems off the subject. I don't object to govt. involvement in HSR in the 3rd world, along the US East Coast or in most of Europe. I am project by project on this, just like anything else. If it answers a need efficiently, I support it. I just don't see the numbers that work in California.

I am not "crowing" about Solyndra. I am unhappy. You know there are probably 1000 rejected business plans for every one that gets funding. But Solyndra found that rejection by the market, for clear and compelling reasons, just means that you go after the biggest money hose in the world and they don't care if it makes sense as long as you pose for pictures. Plus it makes other solar ventures hesitate because they know that someone else has gotten access to potentially limitless funding.

pesto Dec 7, 2011 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.p.hansen (Post 5507568)
Marxism is underpinned by the thesis that the Free Market is not the most efficient way to distribute goods. Unless people are advocating planned economies, they aren't Marxists or Communists.

And your association of Labor Unions with Soviet or Marxist influences is totally off target.

Labor Unions in America were an adaption that Capitalism made which Marx did not adequately anticipate. U.S. Labor Unions were anti Communist. And Communist intellectuals did not like American Labor Unions. Some even conceded that Communism would never work in America because of its Utilitarian ethos and powerful Labor Unions.

So that aside. It's not really possible to make an anti Communist or anti Marxist argument against High Speed Rail or Regulations of things like pollution. Regulations still imply that the Free Market is the most efficient innovator and means of distributing goods. Did you miss the decades of the 80's and 90's? Do you know what happened to the Labor Party under Tony Blair? Have you seen what China is doing with Capitalism?

Also remember that the Labor Party is not the same thing as Labor Unions, nor is the Labor Party the same thing as Communism (especially after the 80's).

I thus surmise that you know very little about history at all and merely invoke "Marxism" and "Labor Unions" as emotional buzzwords for people who are also unaware of history and already converted to your cause. These arguments you structure around such buzzwords have no effect on those who aren't already part of "the folks" (as Bill O' Reilly would say).

The question then must be asked, "If your arguments are not capable of persuasion, why labor them in a thread dedicated to public transit (where people generally don't buy into your use of your buzzwords)?"

I guess you're talking about the UK Labor Party. Until now I was unaware that it had severed its connection to British unions but I'm sure that was a good idea.

In general, your analysis is more confusing than anything else. (btw, I have accompanied Communist organizers to meetings with industrial workers in LA, so I don't need background on their theory and practice.) You might ponder why a critique of free market DISTRIBUTION led to a theory focused on changing the control of PRODUCTION. It's a nice beginning exercise.

In any event, I didn't say that Marxism and unions are equivalent or that anyone was a Marxist. I said that the arguments sound like Marxist and union cliches from about 80 years ago. Nowadays you only hear them from union leaders and the older left-wing populists. Check out a modern economics text if you want to get up to speed on current nomenclature.

This only comes up because it is constantly claimed that HSR is a good use of money and will create jobs. The economic question is whether it is the most efficient way of getting people between LA and the Bay. This is normally measured by revenues less expenses. I don't believe that this will yield a positive number given the advantages that air and cars hold. If this is the case, it is irrelevant how many people it puts to work or how many lines are built in China, because it absorbs capital that would otherwise be invested in OTHER projects that also put people to work and (presumably) would have created more value.

drifting sun Dec 7, 2011 8:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5508144)
Been tried: check out UK and Sweden (1950's to 1980); Soviet Union and Eastern block; most of Latin America in the 1930's to 1980). Also note France, Spain, Italy, etc., who found that govt. direction, fat social programs and needless spending and borrowing lead to bankruptcy and pretty much disappearance from economic relevancy in the world. For a different perspective, check what happened to Singapore, India and China when they only partially unravelled the regulatory restrictions and gave the free market half a chance.

If you're seriously interested, take a look at Elinor Ostrom's work (Nobel Prize winner). She takes some basic ideas from Coase and others and shows that governmental attempts to eliminate (or maximize) externalities are almost always less efficient than letting the market settle the issues. Some of her stuff is pretty hairy mathematically, but much of it is quite accessible.

I'm always interested in learning new ideas, but I suspect your Ms. Ostrom's work is very much theory driven, with little real-world evidence to support it. Funny you threw a Scandinavian country in there.....Taking a look at some real-time statistical evidence (you can look that up for yourself, I am too lazy at the moment), and not just relying on "theory", I am pretty sure that all of the Nordic countries have for quite some time enjoyed high standards of living, higher level of contentment among their citizens, higher levels of education, healthier population, innovative/entrepreneur driven economies (due in large part to that state-subsidized education and health care), and they still have plenty of wealthy individuals. I'm pretty sure as well that the recently-elected president of Denmark ran, and won, on a platform of increased public investment.

drifting sun Dec 7, 2011 8:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5508144)
Been tried: check out UK and Sweden (1950's to 1980); Soviet Union and Eastern block; most of Latin America in the 1930's to 1980). Also note France, Spain, Italy, etc., who found that govt. direction, fat social programs and needless spending and borrowing lead to bankruptcy and pretty much disappearance from economic relevancy in the world.

Soviet Union was Communism (started out as Stalinism), not mixed, regulated markets; Latin America suffered from the U.S. constantly propping up brutal dictators to force open their markets and let wealthy corporations rape and pillage with impunity. France, Spain and Italy: current economic woes are not just due to their overzealous spending on public programs, they were hit the same way we were with the housing bubble, and other financial sector shenanigans.

Well, how about Ireland? What about that country that was renowned for being a low tax haven, one that was supposed to attract and spur on all this great corporate investment, and then trickle down economics would come into play, tweaking everybody's happiness meter, etc. etc. Why are they on the brink of economic collapse and ownership by the IMF and global financiers?

drifting sun Dec 7, 2011 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5508144)
If you're seriously interested, take a look at Elinor Ostrom's work (Nobel Prize winner). She takes some basic ideas from Coase and others and shows that governmental attempts to eliminate (or maximize) externalities are almost always less efficient than letting the market settle the issues. Some of her stuff is pretty hairy mathematically, but much of it is quite accessible.

This is getting even more off the topic of CAHSR, but sparing a cursory glance at Elinor Ostrum's recent nobel-prize winning research lends the impression that she eschews both government regulation and privatization of resource management and environmental protection.

fflint Dec 8, 2011 3:09 AM

Oh, look--the thousandth time Pesto has hijacked this thread into another baldly political discussion about his conservatism and why it's the bestest evarrr.

Please get back on topic. For the thousandth time.

pesto Dec 8, 2011 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5508265)
I'm always interested in learning new ideas, but I suspect your Ms. Ostrom's work is very much theory driven, with little real-world evidence to support it. Funny you threw a Scandinavian country in there.....Taking a look at some real-time statistical evidence (you can look that up for yourself, I am too lazy at the moment), and not just relying on "theory", I am pretty sure that all of the Nordic countries have for quite some time enjoyed high standards of living, higher level of contentment among their citizens, higher levels of education, healthier population, innovative/entrepreneur driven economies (due in large part to that state-subsidized education and health care), and they still have plenty of wealthy individuals. I'm pretty sure as well that the recently-elected president of Denmark ran, and won, on a platform of increased public investment.

Just the opposite; 100 percent case studies. She's not a theorist at all. She observed a wide variety of situations in which the govt. had imposed their theories and they had failed. Subsequent negotiations among local parties reached superior solutions. This had been predicted by some theories and rejected by others and she showed very clear results, with an intelligent analysis of why. That's why she got the Nobel Prize.

Sorry to hear about Denmark. But fortunately it's only 5M people and they tend to be very friendly.

pesto Dec 8, 2011 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5508281)
Soviet Union was Communism (started out as Stalinism), not mixed, regulated markets; Latin America suffered from the U.S. constantly propping up brutal dictators to force open their markets and let wealthy corporations rape and pillage with impunity. France, Spain and Italy: current economic woes are not just due to their overzealous spending on public programs, they were hit the same way we were with the housing bubble, and other financial sector shenanigans.

Well, how about Ireland? What about that country that was renowned for being a low tax haven, one that was supposed to attract and spur on all this great corporate investment, and then trickle down economics would come into play, tweaking everybody's happiness meter, etc. etc. Why are they on the brink of economic collapse and ownership by the IMF and global financiers?

First of all, your comments are just ludicrous.

But let's focus on your example. In 1960 Ireland was the poorest country in the EU. It decided to try lowering taxes and encouraging high-tech to come to their country and train their people. In spite of the rest of Europe doing their damnedest to outlaw the low taxes, they managed to become BY FAR the most tech savvy and literate populace in the EU, outgrow every economy in the EU by a mile and cause Dublin to become one of the economic and nightlife centers of all Europe. All in a country that shouldn't have ANY economic activity (terrible weather year round, few people, short growing season, on the periphery of Europe, competing with the German juggernaut, British finance, French culture, Spanish weather and Greek low prices).

Really an unparalleled success story. Check out what Dublin looked like in 1950 and today. Or call your local Irish Development representative and ask what he thinks of their development program. An insane success.

pesto Dec 8, 2011 8:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5508818)
Oh, look--the thousandth time Pesto has hijacked this thread into another baldly political discussion about his conservatism and why it's the bestest evarrr.

Please get back on topic. For the thousandth time.

I don't start these. Someone usually says "the governmeht has to spend big to get the economy going and get jobs" as one of the motivations for building HSR. I point out that the economics of HSR makes no sense and the economics of spending on worthless projects to stimulate the economy is bad economics. Instead of addressing why every auditor who has ever looked at HSR has issues (including the democratic legislature), someone claims I am libertarian or crazy or that Europe and China are a lot smarter than we are.

I am more than happy to stay on topic. I see enough bad economics the rest of my day.

202_Cyclist Dec 8, 2011 9:22 PM

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will be holding a hearing on California's investment in improved mobility next week. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee also had a hearing earlier this week on high speed rail.

"California’s High-Speed Rail Plan: Skyrocketing Costs & Project Concerns"

December 15, 2011
10 AM EST

http://transportation.house.gov/hear...px?NewsID=1475

waltlantz Dec 8, 2011 9:52 PM

Sufferin Succotash and Holy Hogwash

AN ACTUALLY RELEVANT POST!

(I think I may cry)

DJM19 Dec 8, 2011 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5509639)
The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will be holding a hearing on California's investment in improved mobility next week. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee also had a hearing earlier this week on high speed rail.

"California’s High-Speed Rail Plan: Skyrocketing Costs & Project Concerns"

December 15, 2011
10 AM EST

http://transportation.house.gov/hear...px?NewsID=1475

What a diplomatic title for the hearing. :rolleyes:

202_Cyclist Dec 8, 2011 10:20 PM

DJM19:
Quote:

What a diplomatic title for the hearing.
Exactly-- no partisanship in Congress these days.

dimondpark Dec 8, 2011 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5509639)
The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will be holding a hearing on California's investment in improved mobility next week. The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee also had a hearing earlier this week on high speed rail.

"California’s High-Speed Rail Plan: Skyrocketing Costs & Project Concerns"

December 15, 2011
10 AM EST

http://transportation.house.gov/hear...px?NewsID=1475

Im no longer a fan of the project but that title for a public 'hearing' is just horrendous.:haha:

But dont worry, Im sure the Senate will then have a hearing called something like High Speed Rail: California and America's only solution for future transit needs.

dimondpark Dec 8, 2011 10:37 PM

Anyone know anything about this?
Quote:

San Diego, USA

General Atomics has a 120-meter test facility in San Diego, which is being used as the basis of Union Pacific's 8 km (5.0 mi) freight shuttle in Los Angeles. The technology is "passive" (or "permanent"), using permanent magnets in a halbach array for lift, and requiring no electromagnets for either levitation or propulsion. General Atomics has received US$90 million in research funding from the federal government. They are also looking to apply their technology to high-speed passenger services.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maglev

Quote:

http://atg.ga.com/EM/transportation/...ransrapid1.jpg


General Atomics is a member of the American Magline Group, a consortium chartered to build a maglev system from Anaheim, CA to Las Vegas, NV. As presently envisioned, The Anaheim - Las Vegas trains will be similar in design to the vehicles successfully demonstrated by Transrapid on its 19.5 mile track in Elmsland, Germany and on a fully operational 18.5 mile system in Shanghai, China, which have achieved speeds of greater than 300 miles per hour. GA will be responsible for providing the power and propulsion technology for the Anaheim-Vegas system.

The public-private partnership between the California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission and American Magline Group is the entity recognized under federal law to design, build, operate and maintain the Anaheim - Las Vegas system. Our public-private partnership has secured cooperative agreements or resolutions and statements of support from all of the cities and regional planning organizations in every jurisdiction along the route.

http://atg.ga.com/EM/transportation/...apid/index.php

I'm almost certain this system would have a more immediate and noticeable impact on traffic than a LA-SF as the drive from LA to Vegas on the 15 is quite bad on weekends.

In fact, Id rather have 2 regional systems like this covering SoCal/Vegas and Greater NorCal and believe that would be far more beneficial at this point in time.

drifting sun Dec 8, 2011 11:12 PM

Which way do you envision a Northern California route taking? San Francisco up and around to Sacramento, or down to San Jose and on to Fresno?

dimondpark Dec 9, 2011 6:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5509773)
Which way do you envision a Northern California route taking? San Francisco up and around to Sacramento, or down to San Jose and on to Fresno?

I dont know exactly , but that's a great question.:)

At first glance, I suppose the ideal NorCal coverage area for this map seems most ideal:
http://www.spur.org/documents/articl...ges/map008.gif

Leo the Dog Dec 9, 2011 4:39 PM

Wow, if the costs are already skyrocketing just imagine what the true costs will be at completion. I can see this entire project getting shelved.

Looks like San Diego won't be seeing any HSR in my lifetime.

waltlantz Dec 9, 2011 6:56 PM

I'd imagine that costs would go up in some form some time or rather, but yea.

This early in the process wlll lead to the people seriously souring on the whole thing. Kinda understandable though.

Clevelumbus Dec 10, 2011 1:45 AM

I don't think it's going to happen from what I've been hearing, and even if it does, by the time it's built, 2030+, it will be obsolete.

JDRCRASH Dec 10, 2011 3:27 AM

I'm telling you, if it really is going to take more than two decades to build, it's time to take the next step and make this HSR line a maglev.

Yankee Dec 10, 2011 3:50 AM

I say if your timeline for any project is more than 20 years you should just start building the thing that's gonna replace it. Or not even bother, I mean wtf China or 1950s America would have built this in 5 years.


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