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

Troyeth Jul 5, 2012 8:48 PM

This high speed rail project is up for its initial release-of-funds vote tomorrow in Sacramento. This is the critical vote with regards to the project's continued existence.

We know tomorrow if the United States, guided by the concerned hand of California, will begin to undertake the transformation away from purely fossil-fuel based, largely non-urban and inefficient modes of transportation.

tech12 Jul 5, 2012 9:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5757091)

The SF tunnel is more or less zero useful to the public;

Why would you say such a dumb thing? A connection to SF is useless to the public? How exactly?

Busy Bee Jul 5, 2012 10:02 PM

Yeah bringing Caltrain peninsula trains and future statewide high speed rail into Transbay Terminal were passengers can transfer to dozens of regional and local bus lines, multiple light rail lines and Bart all under one roof?..... Yeah totally useless for the public. What a waste of money.

mthd Jul 6, 2012 3:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5757091)
What's really going on here is that everyone (except a few people on this site) are agreed that the current HSR proposals are ridiculous. So now the vultures are gathering to help kill it of and grab as much of whatever money there actually is for their own areas.

The SF tunnel is more or less zero useful to the public; but it wouldn't surprise me if this is what the proponents of HSR had in mind all along, since they have always seemed to have a connection to SF real estate development. The LA expenditures are a very mixed bag; some look legit and some pure pork. The CV piece is utterly without use or benefit (except to create union jobs) and is obviously done to win votes for the other pieces.

Never thought I would say it, but by comparison Jerry Brown's proposals are almost rational.

Sorry if I've offended anyone but what else can you say?

i don't think you've offended anyone, but your statements seem pretty ridiculous.

the DTX tunnel is useless? it would absolutely dramatically increase caltrain ridership. i would personally use caltrain easily 10 times as often as would most of my family. it's laughable that the downtown san francisco station for caltrain is at king street. great for ball games and the growing but still TINY office market down there, but really.... it's about a mile from the largest office CBD west of chicago. it stops JUST short enough to require a transfer and add 20 to 30 minutes to your trip, and misses key interconnections to other transit agencies. DTX made sense 20 years ago and it makes even more sense now with "reverse" commuters.

the CV section of CA HSR is only as useless as, say, the CV section of the power lines or aqueducts running north and south through california. i suppose it would have been cheaper to just build those things only in the north and the south, where all the people live!!! but... wait... they wouldn't work. :( neither would HSR if it didn't connect LA and the Bay Area. the two biggest population centers west of Chicago. the 5th or 6th largest and the 2nd largest CSAs in the united states by population and the 2nd and 4th biggest by GDP. luckily the long run between them is easy to build and cheap. it won't be useful by itself, but you have to start somewhere.

JDRCRASH Jul 6, 2012 5:30 AM

you can't expect them to pay for/build it all at once. besides, conservatives would then call it a boondoggle :rolleyes:

Troyeth Jul 6, 2012 7:49 PM

Watch the vote live, here, beginning at 1p Pacific time.

yakumoto Jul 6, 2012 11:20 PM

Passed the senate! Any word on whether or not Brown is going to sign it?

edluva Jul 6, 2012 11:26 PM

Of course hes signing it. Hes been lobbying for it all term

Illithid Dude Jul 6, 2012 11:34 PM

Yes! This is fantastic news! Sure, people complain that CA doesn't have enough money for HSR, but in the long run, in 20 years when people won't even remember that there was arguments about the financial responsibility of funding it, CAHSR will be an incredible asset.

Grantenfuego Jul 7, 2012 12:04 AM

This sounds fantastic. What does it mean exactly? The plan is set in stone now, it's just a matter of funding?

Illithid Dude Jul 7, 2012 2:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grantenfuego (Post 5758471)
This sounds fantastic. What does it mean exactly? The plan is set in stone now, it's just a matter of funding?

The funding is what was just approved. The thing is ready to go- at least 130 miles of it.

edluva Jul 7, 2012 6:02 AM

....now all we have to do is find another 50 billion dollars and we're golden

this is a great development though. i will say, cahsr was horrible at selling this thing politically, and the agency's boneheaded ineptitude and its cozy relationship with contractor parsons brinkerhoff almost irked me of all people into joining the opposition.

but in the end i know this is probably our only chance at getting hsr built in my lifetime, and the realist in me has to accept the bad along with the good to see any progress.

between this and congressional passage of the transportation bill it has been a good week for transportation in california. here's hoping that old adage rings true again - as california goes, so goes the nation. this may yet signal a sea change in our country's attitude toward transportation, urban design, and ultimately the concept of shared responsibility (see obamacare)

NYonward Jul 7, 2012 3:31 PM

Good for California, finally someone is taking the lead on this and looking forwards.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...16c6d334b340e1

bunt_q Jul 7, 2012 4:16 PM

Awesome news. If it helps you guys to sell this thing, I promise I'll take a 2-week San Diego-to-San Fran high speed rail-based vacation as soon as this thing's up and running. There. That's my $4,000 in tourist spending pledge/contribution to the cause (that you Californians otherwise won't get!). :p

StethJeff Jul 7, 2012 5:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edluva (Post 5758749)
this is a great development though. i will say, cahsr was horrible at selling this thing politically, and the agency's boneheaded ineptitude and its cozy relationship with contractor parsons brinkerhoff almost irked me of all people into joining the opposition.

but in the end i know this is probably our only chance at getting hsr built in my lifetime, and the realist in me has to accept the bad along with the good to see any progress.

the fact that this became such a political mess with increasing dollar figures, lawsuits, and increasing opposition groups makes it all the more surprising that it passed and is getting done. if anything, things seemed so bleak in the aftermath of the initial vote that i'm surprised these discussions were still taking place a year ago. how it survived i have no idea.

skyscraperfan23 Jul 8, 2012 4:48 PM

California should be ashamed of themselves, this is not only gonna be bad for taxpayers, but it will also destroy califorina's farmland as we know it.

thank god I Live in florida and we are smart to reject this thing, at least rick scott is, Taxpayers cannot afford it.

skyscraperfan23 Jul 8, 2012 4:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edluva (Post 5758749)
....now all we have to do is find another 50 billion dollars and we're golden

this is a great development though. i will say, cahsr was horrible at selling this thing politically, and the agency's boneheaded ineptitude and its cozy relationship with contractor parsons brinkerhoff almost irked me of all people into joining the opposition.

but in the end i know this is probably our only chance at getting hsr built in my lifetime, and the realist in me has to accept the bad along with the good to see any progress.

between this and congressional passage of the transportation bill it has been a good week for transportation in california. here's hoping that old adage rings true again - as california goes, so goes the nation. this may yet signal a sea change in our country's attitude toward transportation, urban design, and ultimately the concept of shared responsibility (see obamacare)

Maybe for you, but definintely not for me nor the taxpayers, califorina is broke so enjoy it.

Lipani Jul 8, 2012 6:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5759600)
California should be ashamed of themselves, this is not only gonna be bad for taxpayers, but it will also destroy califorina's farmland as we know it.

Yes, HSR will harm California's farmland more than suburban sprawl. :rolleyes:

Dale Jul 8, 2012 6:45 PM

Can't wait to get from Madera to Bakersfield in a flash!

fflint Jul 8, 2012 7:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5759600)
California should be ashamed of themselves, this is not only gonna be bad for taxpayers, but it will also destroy califorina's farmland as we know it.

thank god I Live in florida and we are smart to reject this thing, at least rick scott is, Taxpayers cannot afford it.

How will the loss of 1,300 out of 2,000,000 agricultural acres "destroy California's farmland as we know it"? You've been drinking the Kool Aid.

StethJeff Jul 8, 2012 8:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5759600)
California should be ashamed of themselves, this is not only gonna be bad for taxpayers, but it will also destroy califorina's farmland as we know it.

:uhh: are you serious??

ozone Jul 8, 2012 8:36 PM

Seems like it's the Floridians that are pissed by our HSR project. Why?

bunt_q Jul 8, 2012 9:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5759689)
How will the loss of 1,300 out of 2,000,000 agricultural acres "destroy California's farmland as we know it"? You've been drinking the Kool Aid.

Speaking on behalf of the good people of Colorado, and in support of HSR, I think we'll allow California to take a little more of the Colorado River water we're not using... say, enough to water 1,300 acres of desert. That way we can get a template for HSR in a place where I think it actually has a good chance of succeeding. I was always afraid that if the first system we got up and running was in central Florida, it stood an above-average chance of failing miserably and forever tainting HSR for the rest of the U.S. On the other hand, if the first system is a success, everybody else will want more. The northeast, the midwest, maybe even Florida someday...and definitely Colorado's Front Range.

Yankee Jul 9, 2012 3:04 AM

Yes! I had no doubt it was gonna pass though. This is what California does best, being at the leading edge of innovation. Always has been, always will be, regardless of recessions and other temporary setbacks. No better place to build the nation's first high-speed rail. Congrats CA, congrats America!

urbanactivist Jul 9, 2012 1:49 PM

Congrats to California!! Once again proving that we can still do big things, and taking the lead in doing so!

Now the singular focus has to be on the November election... not only getting Obama reelected, but putting a Democratic majority in both houses so this investment will get some real help.

skyscraperfan23 Jul 9, 2012 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ozone (Post 5759737)
Seems like it's the Floridians that are pissed by our HSR project. Why?

Because we floridians told the truth here, it's a project that is involved with taxpayers expense and that we cannot afford, thank god a private partnership with FEC with their version of HSR is the one that will have no taxpayer's funding for it and that's the right decision, CA, you state is broke, you have a 16 billion dollar state debt, massive illegal immigration that is worse than ours and you talking about congratulations CA, please, your state is gonna add the debt to our children again.

Congratulations florida we did the right thing and allow the free market to introduce the High Speed rail and rick scott rejected that taxpayer spending HSR for good reason, as corrupt as scott was he did the right thing.

skyscraperfan23 Jul 9, 2012 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5759689)
How will the loss of 1,300 out of 2,000,000 agricultural acres "destroy California's farmland as we know it"? You've been drinking the Kool Aid.

See the stories, it's all true, HSR is gonna destroy tradtional middle class jobs and much more.
it is just as bad as that Big Oil Pipeline.

Busy Bee Jul 9, 2012 11:21 PM

I've become particularly politically immersed the last few years with a focus on the intersection between political philosophies and transport. If the current left/right paradigm is "false," it's the realist "false" I've ever witnessed.

zilfondel Jul 9, 2012 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5759689)
How will the loss of 1,300 out of 2,000,000 agricultural acres "destroy California's farmland as we know it"? You've been drinking the Kool Aid.

Its worse!

Quote:

California, the nation's top agricultural producer, also leads the states in the number of new residents added annually. California's population is projected to double to 63 million by 2040. If the resulting increase in urban acreage replaces farmland, California agriculture will lose nearly 5 million acres — 17% of today's total farmland base. With it will go open space, which is now a refuge for some wildlife.
Source: http://ucanr.org/repository/CAO/land...1&fulltext=yes

skyscraperfan23 Jul 10, 2012 12:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zilfondel (Post 5760782)

and this so-called high speed rail in CA is gonna make things worse, because it threatens that farm land.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/C...il-3684819.php

drifting sun Jul 10, 2012 2:09 AM

I love how public transportation projects are always deemed "unrealistic boondoggles created by mushy-headed liberals". Yeah, it's totally realistic on the other hand, to go about our lives as if the material resources we depend upon for our modern society are limitless.

Skyscraperfan23 - do you think you could pause the nonsensical cirque du rant that is going on inside your head and think about issues within a larger context than your pocketbook, just for a brief moment? You keep complaining and parroting the now wearisome sound bytes of teabaggers and ilk, like - "taxes are evil", "who's going to pay for this?" "failed policies", "kills jobs", etc.

Well, too bad. Conservative noisemakers might be making progress in different parts of the country (Wisconsin), but at least in California, HSR is going to happen, and unless you make a lot of money I bet your Fed. taxes do not go up, so quit whining.

skyscraperfan23 Jul 10, 2012 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5760893)
I love how public transportation projects are always deemed "unrealistic boondoggles created by mushy-headed liberals". Yeah, it's totally realistic on the other hand, to go about our lives as if the material resources we depend upon for our modern society are limitless.

Skyscraperfan23 - do you think you could pause the nonsensical cirque du rant that is going on inside your head and think about issues within a larger context than your pocketbook, just for a brief moment? You keep complaining and parroting the now wearisome sound bytes of teabaggers and ilk, like - "taxes are evil", "who's going to pay for this?" "failed policies", "kills jobs", etc.

Well, too bad. Conservative noisemakers might be making progress in different parts of the country (Wisconsin), but at least in California, HSR is going to happen, and unless you make a lot of money I bet your Fed. taxes do not go up, so quit whining.

Do I Care, glad florida has killed HSR for good reason, another reason why taxpayers should not be paying for it.
and I'm glad I Got off of the left/right paradigm.

Grego43 Jul 10, 2012 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ozone (Post 5759737)
Seems like it's the Floridians that are pissed by our HSR project. Why?

Not all Floridians...I for one am green with envy...and embarrassed at what a backward, anti-progressive, tea bagger state Florida is fast becoming.

KevinFromTexas Jul 10, 2012 11:28 PM

I would suggest since this is something that benefits all taxpayers (the general public) that it should be paid for with taxes. Besides, having it paid for with private dollars creates the possibility that they can jack up the prices as high as they want.

edluva Jul 11, 2012 7:09 AM

california's population is not going to hit 63million by 2040 (you can't project growth rates indefinitely into the future, everybody knows that) and skyscraperfan23's gloomy and idiotic depiction of california's future is not going to pan out.

unlike florida, california actually enriches the world (and in turn itself) through leading technological innovation, trade, education, and culture, and it continues to be a desireable place to live. plus, it stands to lose far less of its land to rising sea levels (florida stands to disappear completely in some scenarios)

california is going through a rough spot, much like the rest of this country. but hsr is prudent planning well beyond this recessionary period.

the future will come whether we like it or not. some states can react to it (florida) while others continue to create it (california)

thanks for your transportation money, florida!

northbay Jul 11, 2012 3:57 PM

edluva, well said.

LosAngelesSportsFan Jul 11, 2012 4:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edluva (Post 5762061)
california's population is not going to hit 63million by 2040 (you can't project growth rates indefinitely into the future, everybody knows that) and skyscraperfan23's gloomy and idiotic depiction of california's future is not going to pan out.

unlike florida, california actually enriches the world (and in turn itself) through leading technological innovation, trade, education, and culture, and it continues to be a desireable place to live. plus, it stands to lose far less of its land to rising sea levels (florida stands to disappear completely in some scenarios)

california is going through a rough spot, much like the rest of this country. but hsr is prudent planning well beyond this recessionary period.

the future will come whether we like it or not. some states can react to it (florida) while others continue to create it (california)

thanks for your transportation money, florida!

exactly right.

pesto Jul 11, 2012 5:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edluva (Post 5762061)
california's population is not going to hit 63million by 2040 (you can't project growth rates indefinitely into the future, everybody knows that) and skyscraperfan23's gloomy and idiotic depiction of california's future is not going to pan out.

unlike florida, california actually enriches the world (and in turn itself) through leading technological innovation, trade, education, and culture, and it continues to be a desireable place to live. plus, it stands to lose far less of its land to rising sea levels (florida stands to disappear completely in some scenarios)

california is going through a rough spot, much like the rest of this country. but hsr is prudent planning well beyond this recessionary period.

the future will come whether we like it or not. some states can react to it (florida) while others continue to create it (california)

thanks for your transportation money, florida!

Correct on the immateriality of HSR to ag land. In any event, let the land find it's highest use; if tech land is worth more, then so be it. Grow the food somewhere else.

The technology, weather, etc., in California are great but off the subject; the ocean rising comment is gratuitous.

The good news is that most of the money is going to improving transit within the LA and Bay areas. I am still hopeful that over time the CV portion will be allowed to die off completely, but politics may require that to take a few years.

Derek Jul 11, 2012 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5760768)
See the stories, it's all true, HSR is gonna destroy tradtional middle class jobs and much more.
it is just as bad as that Big Oil Pipeline.

Get your tinfoil hat folks!

bunt_q Jul 11, 2012 7:02 PM

So I apologize if this has been posted already in this thread someplace, but does somebody have good info (or a link to it) that summarizes how much of the project (geographically, timewise, and budgetwise) this first batch of big money covers? An "already funded" map maybe? :) I recognize this is only step one... I guess I'm wondering how far into the project this will get California. I assume somewhere along the way there'll be a point of no return. A point where all but the most crazy opponents will recognize that so much time/money has been spent that's it'd be foolish not to finish the system - nobody wants a half-built train stretching across half the west coast. Does this pot of money get us that far?

jg6544 Jul 11, 2012 7:30 PM

Glad we're finally going to begin construction, but I think it should have begun in the Bay Area and LA and worked toward the middle and I think we should have built a dedicated right-of-way in the I-5 corridor. Sharing track with local trains and freight isn't going to work.

JRinSoCal Jul 11, 2012 7:50 PM

I don't understand how a bullet train can safely share tracks with slower trains. Can this really work and can it still be called HSR? Cus I'm assuming it will have to travel significantly slower in certain areas.

DJM19 Jul 11, 2012 9:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRinSoCal (Post 5762582)
I don't understand how a bullet train can safely share tracks with slower trains. Can this really work and can it still be called HSR? Cus I'm assuming it will have to travel significantly slower in certain areas.

By the local rail (grade separation and electrification) those local trains can also travel faster (up to 110 mph I think). So HSR was never really going to go faster than that in an urban area anyway.

yakumoto Jul 11, 2012 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5762520)
So I apologize if this has been posted already in this thread someplace, but does somebody have good info (or a link to it) that summarizes how much of the project (geographically, timewise, and budgetwise) this first batch of big money covers? An "already funded" map maybe? :) I recognize this is only step one... I guess I'm wondering how far into the project this will get California. I assume somewhere along the way there'll be a point of no return. A point where all but the most crazy opponents will recognize that so much time/money has been spent that's it'd be foolish not to finish the system - nobody wants a half-built train stretching across half the west coast. Does this pot of money get us that far?

The dark shaded green, as well as the "early investment corridors" are what is currently funded:

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/w...peed-Plans.png

mr1138 Jul 12, 2012 12:10 AM

I don't think that anybody can make the blanket statement that "sharing track with freight will not work." This is the exact same approach that was used when building the Chunnel train between London and Paris. There are obviously some major differences between American 19th century freight and the electrified passenger lines that the Eurostar used to use, the details of which I cannot specifically say (maybe somebody with better knowledge on this subject than I can be more specific), but in principal it is the same and I'm sure the powers that be have already thought this stuff out.

When I rode the train from London to Paris 5-6 years ago, I didn't even realize that the whole system was not entirely dedicated to the latest technology. Having seen how smoothly the train transfers between different generations of track and how long it actually took to complete the dedicated high speed system (it was only finished just last year), I now find it hard to see how anybody could ever expect a system such as this to be finished all at once. If even Europe (who's investment in rail obviously far exceeds the U.S.) builds this type of project in stages, then there is no way we should expect a U.S. system to be done all at once. And to me it makes perfect sense to start with the Central Valley, because that is where you get the most "bang for the buck" in terms of mileage. Investing that money first in the urban areas would get you so little mileage that the system might not even see significant improvements in travel time over the existing 19th century trains.

electricron Jul 12, 2012 2:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr1138 (Post 5762903)
I don't think that anybody can make the blanket statement that "sharing track with freight will not work." This is the exact same approach that was used when building the Chunnel train between London and Paris. There are obviously some major differences between American 19th century freight and the electrified passenger lines that the Eurostar used to use, the details of which I cannot specifically say (maybe somebody with better knowledge on this subject than I can be more specific), but in principal it is the same and I'm sure the powers that be have already thought this stuff out.

Unlike Great Britian, not one intercity freight line in America uses electrically powered locomotives. There's no way an electric HSR powered locomotive can run on tracks without electric catenary wires. From the map, the UP owned tracks between San Jose and Merced are not going to be electrified. Only the tracks between San Jose and San Francisco are, which are owned by CalTrain, a local commuter rail operator. There's no money being allocated for the section yet. Therefore, the HSR train sets in the Central Valley will not be able to go to San Jose or San Francisco. Likewise in Southern California, tracks owned by Metrolink between Palmdale and Los Angeles and into Orange County will be upgraded (not sure if that means electrified initially). Never-the-less, no money has been allocated to fill the gap between Palmdale and Bakersfield. Again, the existing tracks are owned by UP, therefore no CHSR train set in the Central Valley will be able to go to Los Angeles until that gap is built.
So initially, the CHSR trainsets will be limited to running between Merced and Bakersfield.

mr1138 Jul 12, 2012 3:33 AM

Well that certainly sucks! I figured they would at least have figured out a way to use the electric commuter rail systems to provide station-to-station service from the very beginning. This needs to be a TOP priority if this system is going to work. Will they at the very least offer coordinated transfers in Bakersfield and Merced? Or do they actually expect people to drive all the way to these stations? I still feel it is completely unrealistic to expect a complete San Francisco to L.A. line all in one go, but if they can't even share track with old-school trains, then they need to figure out a way to complete this service ASAP.

xsoccerplayer18x Jul 12, 2012 6:21 AM

Could they not just use something similar to the Bombardier JetTrain as a stopgap measure until the line is fully electrified? When the time comes, would it even be possible to change the JetTrain from turbine-powered to overhead-powered in the future?

Rail>Auto Jul 12, 2012 8:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5762553)
Glad we're finally going to begin construction, but I think it should have begun in the Bay Area and LA and worked toward the middle and I think we should have built a dedicated right-of-way in the I-5 corridor. Sharing track with local trains and freight isn't going to work.

If they would have built it just in LA or just in SF starting out, it would be nothing but a super commuter rail line. HSR is designed for trips over 100 miles and under 400 miles, not short suburb trips.

Both of those areas have rail lines. It makes much more sense to build in the middle with a temporary inconvenience of not making the entire trip by train until the system is completely built out instead of just starting out with another commuter line and then building another phase in the middle which would make no sense and then finally complete it.

Not to mention, the central valley was hit hard by unemployment.

schwerve Jul 12, 2012 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5763020)
So initially, the CHSR trainsets will be limited to running between Merced and Bakersfield.

They won't be running HSR trainsets upon completion of the initial central valley segment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CAHSR Business Plan 2012
Through collaborative planning and implementation with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Amtrak, Altamont Commuter Express (ACE), BNSF Railway, and Union Pacific, the San Joaquin rail service (fifth busiest in the nation) will be shifted to the first construction segment upon its completion, resulting in a 45-minute time savings; through complementary improvements, this will tie with ACE to provide new, expanded, and improved rail service throughout northern California, connecting the Central Valley with the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento regions.



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