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

nito Sep 24, 2021 1:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9401890)
There are no tunnels of any kind on the IOS. This project - like any undertaken by any of the 50 states - exists in a political/administrative environment that doesn't exist in England or anywhere else. The existence or absence of tunnels is an incidental detail.

It's basically impossible for a state or any individual U.S. city to do anything unusual, even if they have the cash on hand, because everything is dependent upon the federal matches. To go at it alone - without the free federal money - is just plain bad business.

Before the federal government started its grants and matching after WWII, states and cities did embark on ambitious infrastructure projects - the cross-state canals in New York and Ohio are obvious examples from the 1800s and several states built toll expressways in the years before the Interstate Highway Act - the first being the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Several states/cities coordinated to build tollways that linked to form a continuous roadway - the Chicago Skyway linked directly to the Indiana Turnpike which linked directly to the Ohio Turnpike which linked to the Pennsylvania.

It was actually easier to do this stuff in the past because various DOT's weren't sitting around waiting for the federal grant cycle. CAHSR is stuck waiting and waiting on Federal $$$.

I think what I was trying to get at was that the level of engineering complexity for the IOS is lower than that for Phase I of HS2 (with extensive tunnelling, city centre interventions, etc…), yet the construction timeframe for the IOS is longer.

Things aren’t exactly done rapid in the UK compared to other countries either. In the UK it is a constant battle with the Treasury to get transit projects done. The other day the Public Accounts Committee produced their outlook on HS2 which was positive. They did have concerns over Euston where there is an ongoing debate/dithering as to whether the HS2 station is built in a cheaper ten platform single phase or more expensive eleven platform two phase project. Thankfully Old Oak Common can be a temporary terminus if Euston is delayed, but the project ploughs on.

Busy Bee Sep 24, 2021 3:22 PM

^It's so nice to see the political dithering about how a station is most economically constructed and not whether trains are a socialist plot to steal your freedoms.

jmecklenborg Sep 24, 2021 4:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nito (Post 9405887)
I think what I was trying to get at was that the level of engineering complexity for the IOS is lower than that for Phase I of HS2 (with extensive tunnelling, city centre interventions, etc…), yet the construction timeframe for the IOS is longer.

The timeframe is longer because even if the Pacheco Pass and Palmdale-Burbank tunnels are fully funded in 2022 (which there is no reason to believe that they will), it'll be 2032 before revenue trains are running through either of them. No, they aren't close to as big as the new and u/c base tunnels in Switzerland and Austria, but they're each still very large projects.

If, instead, CAHSR had built the LA and SF approaches first, plus the two major tunnels, then the IOS would be the missing link, and there would have been tremendous pressure to build it as quickly as possible.

electricron Sep 24, 2021 9:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9406213)
The timeframe is longer because even if the Pacheco Pass and Palmdale-Burbank tunnels are fully funded in 2022 (which there is no reason to believe that they will), it'll be 2032 before revenue trains are running through either of them. No, they aren't close to as big as the new and u/c base tunnels in Switzerland and Austria, but they're each still very large projects.

If, instead, CAHSR had built the LA and SF approaches first, plus the two major tunnels, then the IOS would be the missing link, and there would have been tremendous pressure to build it as quickly as possible.

I sort of agree, but no quite entirely.
HSR 1 starting building the tunnel under the Channel first because that is what takes the longest time to build.
Forget the politics behind the project and just look at it as an engineering/construction problem. The first things they should have built is the sections that take the longest to do, and that is the tunnels through the mountains. Apparently that will be the last things they will build for Phase 1. The IOS completely avoids the mountain passes and tunnels. Wrong!:shrug:

It is going to take them 10 years and more to build the IOS as is, it will take them longer to build the tunnels through the mountain passes, it does not require a genius to understand that. So if the IOS enters service as promised in 2029, when do you think the tunnels will enter service, 2049?

jmecklenborg Sep 24, 2021 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9406623)
It is going to take them 10 years and more to build the IOS as is, it will take them longer to build the tunnels through the mountain passes, it does not require a genius to understand that. So if the IOS enters service as promised in 2029, when do you think the tunnels will enter service, 2049?

This isn't a good comparison because having two independent systems, one in northern california and the other in southern california, even for a few years, would mean there would need to be two entirely duplicative maintenance facilities. The rolling stock would be worn down to carry very few passenger and would be worn down unevenly given the different character of the two unconnected sections. Also, the cities situated on the "interior" side of either tunnel are very small - specifically, Palmdale (150,000) and Madera (65,000).

And the exact same forces that are acting to obstruct CAHSR's big tunnels would have acted to obstruct the Central Valley. Up in Seattle, the first streetcar segment opened in 2007 and the second, unconnected segment opened in 2016. Here we are in 2021 and various forces have acted to thwart construction of the critical center section. It's now hoped that it will open in 2025 - almost 20 years after the first section opened in South Lake Union.

The United States military equipment procurement process sees major programs yanked all of the time. For example, there are only three Sea Wolf class submarines and only three Zumwalt class destroyers. We aren't in a time of war so there are no sunk ships to replace and there is no specific date by which we absolutely, must have this railroad complete and running.

Also, part of the motivation for our big military programs is selling the equipment to allies. We have sold many fighter jets to Israel and others, and we are now under contract to allow Australia to build eight nuclear-powered attack submarines based on our Virginia class.

CAHSR is the very beginning of the United States reviving its once-huge passenger railroad equipment industry, but we need a lot more going on nationwide before we have enough domestic business for General Electric or another manufacturer to start designing U.S.-made equipment.

electricron Sep 25, 2021 1:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9406722)
This isn't a good comparison because having two independent systems, one in northern california and the other in southern california, even for a few years, would mean there would need to be two entirely duplicative maintenance facilities.
And the exact same forces that are acting to obstruct CAHSR's big tunnels would have acted to obstruct the Central Valley.

I thought I suggested removing politics from the scenario, take a look at it from an engineering and constructor point of view. So you immediately fire back with political arguments; DOD, Northern vs Southern California, Inner city vs rural, or in other words; political game-man-ship. Booooooooo!

If it is going to take CHSR 15-25 years to build these tunnel sections, and just 10-15 years years to the sections in the Valley, let's get a 10 years head start building the tunnel sections first, then 10-15 years later start building in the Valley. The entire project could be completed in 20-25 years, not the 30-45 years as they are progressing presently. The tunnel sections completing about the same time as the Metros and Valley sections - or at least a few years of each other - not the decades apart.

From an engineering and constructor point of view, finishing all the sections at about the same time means you do not have to build two maintenance facilities you fear. But it does take commitment to actually build and finance all of it.

As for the political activities thwarting construction of the critical center section, they have not stopped one inch of it yet. Landowners expect fair and just compensation for the land being taken from them, and of course lawsuits have had to run their course seeking what is fair and just. But that happens on every transportation or utility project using eminent domain to buy the property. And I also disagree on what are the critical center sections, it is not the Valley sections but the mountain pass sections that are the most critical because they will take both the longest time and the most money to build.

Will O' Wisp Sep 25, 2021 2:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9406213)
If, instead, CAHSR had built the LA and SF approaches first, plus the two major tunnels, then the IOS would be the missing link, and there would have been tremendous pressure to build it as quickly as possible.

I would argue the exact opposite. Politically, the region most opposed to CAHSR is the central valley. Legally, the majority of the eminent domain issues are in the central valley. With the approaches done, LA and SF might start to feel like they'd done their part and stop pushing as hard (not to mention, there would only be enough money to do one approach, and the fight over which would be distracting). I feel like the most likely outcome would be the approaches would get done and the rest would easily fade into the ether (or really, only the SF approach would get done)

jmecklenborg Sep 25, 2021 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 9406885)
I would argue the exact opposite. Politically, the region most opposed to CAHSR is the central valley. Legally, the majority of the eminent domain issues are in the central valley. With the approaches done, LA and SF might start to feel like they'd done their part and stop pushing as hard (not to mention, there would only be enough money to do one approach, and the fight over which would be distracting). I feel like the most likely outcome would be the approaches would get done and the rest would easily fade into the ether (or really, only the SF approach would get done)

Correct, Prop 1A provided enough money to build, in 2008 dollars, SF to Madera or LA (Anaheim) to Palmdale. It didn't provide enough to build both.

We'd be in a different situation if Clinton had won in late 2015 rather than Trump, since Elaine Chow harassed Caltrain and CAHSR from the moment she was appointed head of the FTA.

However, it needs to be pointed out that the Central Valley section is almost comically cheap to build as compared to every other section of the project, so it's tough to imagine that cost alone would keep it from being built.

jmecklenborg Sep 25, 2021 3:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 9406861)
I thought I suggested removing politics from the scenario, take a look at it from an engineering and constructor point of view. So you immediately fire back with political arguments; DOD, Northern vs Southern California, Inner city vs rural, or in other words; political game-man-ship. Booooooooo!

This project is a piece of cake from an engineering point of view, given that the United States has led the planet in military aviation, navy, space, computers - everything with the exception of high speed trains - for the past 70 years. Hell, we have the greatest freight railroad network on the planet and nearly 100% of its equipment is manufactured domestically.

The United States is, by far, the wealthiest country in the world. The S&P is worth 10X in 2021 as compared to 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. California alone has the cash on hand to build this thing, even without the help of the federal government.

So why aren't we farther along? Politics.

craigs Sep 25, 2021 4:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9406722)
This isn't a good comparison because having two independent systems, one in northern california and the other in southern california, even for a few years, would mean there would need to be two entirely duplicative maintenance facilities. The rolling stock would be worn down to carry very few passenger and would be worn down unevenly given the different character of the two unconnected sections. Also, the cities situated on the "interior" side of either tunnel are very small - specifically, Palmdale (150,000) and Madera (65,000).

A minor point, but there are over 400,000 people in the Antelope Valley area, where Palmdale is located.

Will O' Wisp Sep 25, 2021 5:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9406953)
This project is a piece of cake from an engineering point of view, given that the United States has led the planet in military aviation, navy, space, computers - everything with the exception of high speed trains - for the past 70 years. Hell, we have the greatest freight railroad network on the planet and nearly 100% of its equipment is manufactured domestically.

The United States is, by far, the wealthiest country in the world. The S&P is worth 10X in 2021 as compared to 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. California alone has the cash on hand to build this thing, even without the help of the federal government.

So why aren't we farther along? Politics.

Politics, priorities, and culture to be more precise.

Three days ago CA approved $15 billion in wildfire defense, drought protection, and other climate change funding. That's more than the entire cost of the IOS, spend in just one year. The money is there, the government prefers to spend it on other things.

But even in CA, HSR rolls against the culture. Americans always look at government in terms of taxes raised and money spent, not on societal benefit. Transportation infrastructure is money loosing. From that perspective, roads are a better investment, they cost much less to build and maintain than HSR. I wouldn't be surprised if HSR cost more than an equivalent road system even after you accounted for HSR's income from ticket fees. So you get a lower tax bill with freeways.

But that math doesn't take into account the cost of a car, gasoline, heath effects from an auto based society, and lowered productivity from time spent in traffic. All that doesn't go on a tax bill, even though it can add up to far more per person than the cost of HSR and public transit. So even if they have a lower taxes, your average American probably spends more in total for the ability to get from place to place than people do Japan or western Europe.

electricron Sep 25, 2021 8:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 9406980)
Politics, priorities, and culture to be more precise.

But that math doesn't take into account the cost of a car, gasoline, heath effects from an auto based society, and lowered productivity from time spent in traffic. All that doesn't go on a tax bill, even though it can add up to far more per person than the cost of HSR and public transit. So even if they have a lower tax bill, your average American probably spends more in total for the ability to get from place to place than people do Japan or western Europe.

Probably? That is an all inclusive verb. What is the reality?
% of Americans owning cars? 75.5%
% of Europeans owning cars?
Portugal 77.8%
Luxembourg 72.7%
Iceland 71.9%
Italy 66.6%
Slovenia 59.8%
France 59.5%
% of Japanese owning cars? 61.2%
https://www.forbes.com/2008/07/30/en...h=12433a92185a

https://www.travelmath.com/cost-of-driving/
USA $127.97 for 100 miles
Europe E119.01 for 1609 kilometers (100 miles)
E119.01 = $139.45
https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=11...&ei=UTF-8&fp=1

Hmmm. Almost as many Europeans owns cars as Americans, and they have to pay to license and insure their cars as well, and pay more in fuel to drive 100 miles. How can their cost of transport be cheaper? Environmental affects will be more dependent upon miles traveled than anything else. There is nothing keeping Americans from buying their homes closer their place of work if they so choose. But I will admit most American cities are spread out less dense than European cities so Americans travel further.

13,476 miles by the averaged American
https://www.google.com/search?q=amer...hrome&ie=UTF-8
12,000 km/year by the averaged European
https://www.google.com/search?
q=europeans+distance+travel+in+cars+per+year&rlz=1C1ASUM_enUS903US903&ei=_t1OYc7zOYP1-gST8IeAAQ&oq=europeans+distance+travel+in+cars+per+year&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EANKBAhBGABQ9ZAGWOSpBmCEsgZoAHACeACAAVyIAZQFkgECMTCYAQCgAQHAAQE&sclient=gws-wiz&ved=0ahUKEwjO6o3X2pnzAhWDup4KHRP4ARAQ4dUDCA8&uact=5
FYI, 12,000 km = 7456.4 miles
Looks like I thought correctly about miles driven.

London Underground fares are based on zones traveled.
New York Subway fares are not based on zones, you can ride anywhere on a single trip for $2.75. Make a transfer, add another $2.75. Most buy fares by the month (30-Day) $121.00 or by the week (7 days) $32.00.
How the math works for commuters, 2 trips x 5 days a week = 10 trips.
$32 / 10 trips = $3.20 per trip. Make 4 trips every day, 28 trips in a week, your cost per trip is now just $1.14 per trip. The more you ride the subway, the cheaper it gets.
Hence, transit is cheaper in New York than in London.

So, is it really cheaper to travel in Europe than in America? Not probable.

It is so easy to express a wrong opinion without backing it up with data.

jmecklenborg Sep 25, 2021 2:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 9406980)

But that math doesn't take into account the cost of a car

This goes for rail transit projects along with intercity rail. The trains themselves are very expensive and need to be staffed. But the trains last much longer - often 30+ years - and travel many more miles than any private vehicle or city or charter bus.

The counter-argument is that owning a car carries a fixed daily cost, and so it only costs incrementally more for someone to drive the car to Point B as opposed to take a bus or ride a train. But that argument - always coming from the Tea Party types - disappears when the matter of air travel comes up. Oddly, they don't disband the argument when the matter of high speed rail comes up, even though the Northeast Corridor and CAHSR are time-competitive door-to-door with jet flight.

Busy Bee Sep 25, 2021 3:04 PM

The cars per household number is more striking. Go fetch that for us Electricron.

electricron Sep 25, 2021 5:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9407162)
The cars per household number is more striking. Go fetch that for us Electricron.

That can be done. You could have done it but decided not to.
Per https://www.cars.com/articles/how-ma...1420694459157/
1.927 cars per USA household

Per https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...fig2_341399861

That graph is about the best I could find, it seems the European Union likes to list everything separately by country and avoids a general European average.
Booooooo!

Never-the-less, not as high as America. Considering almost half the homes in Europe are townhouses without garages, there's not a lot of parking spots by most homes.

Busy Bee Sep 25, 2021 6:21 PM

It's also becuase they don't NEED two or more cars per household since compact living and sensible urban planning with alternative transportation abounding is the norm. Also teenagers/Y.A.s don't view having their own car as a "right of passage" far far less than N.A. culture does, and even that is diminishing here.

Busy Bee Oct 8, 2021 1:28 AM

Streetsblog Visits Under Construction CHSR Structures

SFBruin Oct 10, 2021 9:20 PM

It seems to me that good transit in many mid-sized cities prevents people from needing to own a second car.

You might be able to get around without a car at all in these types of places, but the second car definitely is an easy sacrifice.

curt-pdx Oct 28, 2021 4:20 PM

NEXT BIT has dropped: Drone footage of CP2-3 from John at The Four Foot:

Video Link


Quote:

Originally Posted by curt-pdx (Post 9402836)
More goodness from John at The Four Foot - a drone flyover of CP1:

Video Link


My thanks to him for his impressive commitment of time to keep us informed. There will be two more drone flyover videos of the other construction packages coming soon.



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